Can we get to Mars by 2030?

According to report from Chinese news media (e.g. 美宇航局机密资料称宇航员将于2030年登陆火星), NASA has recently disclosed a time table for Mars exploration. If this is true, then NASA will send a manned mission to Mars around year 2030. Obama’s Administration may have changed the cause but it seems to me that he emphasizes Mars rather than Moon more than G.W. Bush. In his recent trip to KSC, he cliamed that he would see astronaut landed on Mars.

While I haven’t seen any report regarding a secret time table for manned Mars missions, I do know that NASA has had 2030s in mind for some years. For example, in 2007, Michael Griffin, then NASA Administrator, hinted that NASA may be able to launch a human mission to Mars by 2037. What it means is that NASA lay out its plan based on this tentative goal. I don’t think NASA has a well defined plan for a manned flight to Mars, as manned flights to the Red Planet will most likely not occur before 2030.

Going to Mars is not an easy task. Current technologies are not good enough for manned missions to Mars. Extensive fundamental research on the development of new technologies must be conducted in order to insure a success. NASA recently named Dr. Robert D. Braun as the agency’s Chief Technologist. As everyone knows, he is an expert on Mars EDL and has guided several Ph.D. students on this subject. This shows the commitment to the U.S. space exploration of NASA Administrator Charles F. Bold en and Obama’s administration. With this in mind, I am hoping that I will see a man landing on Mars in my lifetime.

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