Will NASA be the first to land on Mars? The American space agency clearly wants to make sure this will be the case. NASA won’t allow anyone to land on Mars before them, in spite of commercial companies claiming they might get there first.
NASA is extremely set on sending the first humans on Mars and truly believes that no one can do it but them. Charles Bolden, NASA’s administrator who is also a former U.S. Marine Corps Major General and has more than 680 hours in space, seems to have stated that no one is going to land on Mars before NASA or without the support of NASA and the United States government.
His firm statement came after one of the committee members of the US House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, claimed that NASA might have competition when it comes to reaching Mars, as other commercial companies, like SpaceX are planning to send humans for the first time on Mars by 2020, which is much earlier than the time limit set for NASA to land on the Red Planet, which is 2030.
SpaceX’s CEO stated in an interview that he has his hopes up. Elon Musk said that the first humans will be flew on Mars in around 10-12 years, and that the possibility for that to happen are really high.
For example, the private commercial company Mars One has announced that they are preparing to take people to Mars almost ten years sooner than NASA. However, its plan has started to fall apart after researchers have discovered life threatening flaws in the company’s mission plan. One of the Mars One finalists, has revealed details about the company’s tricky approach to funding, which has lead many to believe that the entire mission, might be actually a scam.
Bolden, explained that in order for astronauts to be sent on Mars, first, scientists have to understand what happened to Mars and understand the circumstances on the planet, and in this way they will also understand what might happen to our planet, Earth, when it comes to sustaining life. He added that Mars is very similar to Earth, and by the time astronauts will arrive on it, it will be able to offer living conditions.
NASA’s administrator also revealed the fact that on their way to Mars, astronauts will also re-land on the moon.
In the past, on Mars there was a water ocean, meaning that the planet might have been habitable, but something that happened stopped Mars from producing its own magnetic field, meaning that its atmosphere and its water have been lost in the outer space, explained a study published in the journal Science.
Image Source: Huffington Post