For years, NASA has had a vision of getting humans to Mars. To this day, the agency continues to release exciting updated plans for accomplishing this goal. There is just one thing holding it back–money.
“I can’t put a date on humans on Mars, and the reason really is—the other piece is—at the budget levels we described, this roughly 2 percent increase, we don’t have the surface systems available for Mars,” NASA’s chief of human spaceflight, William H. Gerstenmaier, said during a propulsion meeting of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics on Wednesday.
“And that entry, descent, and landing is a huge challenge for us for Mars,” Gerstenmaier continued.
After developing the SLS rocket and Orion, NASA has not been able to begin the process of designing vehicles to land on Mars. The agency’s next moves will depend primarily on funding. Fortunately, our future on Mars does not rely solely on NASA.
More and more, we’re seeing agencies like NASA partnering with private, commercial space companies like SpaceX to accomplish their goals. Elon Musk hopes to provide an update about the SpaceX Mars mission in September in Australia. Musk also hopes to have his first manned mission by 2025.
Private companies Boeing and Blue Origin also have plans to put humans on Mars.
Do you think we will make it to Mars by 2025? What role will NASA play?
Source: Science Alert, Engadget