Mars Base Camp Plans Underway for NASA

Mars Base Camp Plans Underway for NASA
Artist's illustration of the "Mars Base Camp" space station proposed by aerospace company Lockheed Martin. Credit: Lockheed Martin

We could be seeing a whole new space station orbiting around Mars by as early as 2028 if NASA gets their way. Plans are underway by NASA that involves astronauts living on the space station for around a year to gather data in preparation for the first manned landing.  This will allow scientists to study the planet in more detail before risking the risking the life of many people.





Lockheed Martin has created plans to construct a 132-ton space station that will orbit around Mars.  It’s designed to carry six astronauts at a time that would be responsible for analyzing dirt and rock samples and possibly even traveling to Mars’ two moons.  The first team of astronauts would occupy the space station for around a year, but is unclear whether a second team will then follow.

 

NASA’s rocket has just passed its final testing phase in June this year and is intended to transport astronauts to Mars in 2030, after first completing its crewless mission in 2018.  According to a study carried out at NASA’s Johnson Space Center, America is much more equipped to visit Mars now than they were visiting the Moon in the 1960’s.  The estimated costs involved in planning to send Americans to Mars will be around $35 billion by 2025.

Exploring space never comes cheap and even back in 1989, George H.W. Bush’s Space Exploration Initiative plans were estimated to cost around $400 billion over a period of 20 to 30 years.  Unfortunately, the program never took off, but if it had, it would have been the single most expensive government undertaking since World War II.  And, in 2004, George W. Bush’s Vision for Space Exploration would have cost $230 billion.  In comparison, the Apollo program would have only cost around $170 billion if calculated on the same terms.  But, Mars is not the Moon, and if it is all in the name of safety, then surely it can’t be a bad thing, can it?





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