Thursday, February 28, 2013

Set course for Mars!

Could mankind visit Mars in 2018? It doesn't seem very far away but Dennis Tito (former rocket scientist, the first space tourist and a very rich individual) has launched the Inspiration Mars project which is hoping to send a man and a woman on a flyby of the Red Planet taking advantage of favourable planetary alignments.

However it will still be a mission that lasts over 500 days and will shatter records for the longest and furthest manned spaceflights. It is possible the mission could use the private space industry developed SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon module. The mission while risky isn't beyond the bounds of current space technology, indeed the systems needed use a lot of technology developed and proven decades ago. Tito's plan would not involve a landing on Mars so that reduces the complexity, risk and cost somewhat. Lots of risk (and cost) remains though, not least from radiation once you travel through the Van Allan Belts.
Image credit NASA

I'd love to go (not sure if i could persuade my wife to join me though!)

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