For decades we’ve been hearing of plans to one day colonize the planet Mars, also known as the Red Planet. It’s an interesting idea, one that could propel the human race to learn quite a lot about the universe.
NASA is the primary source citizens of Earth are looking to send humans to Mars, but it appears as if the agency is unable to take on such an undertaking. Apparently, according to NASA, there’s not enough cash in its coffers to send humans to Mars.
NASA’s journey to Mars starving for cash
Interestingly enough, NASA has been promoting its Journey to Mars initiative for quite some time, so it comes as a surprise to find out the agency lacks the necessary amount of cash to get the job done. This announcement is likely a huge blow to the folks hoping to take a one-way trip to Mars.
William H. Gerstenmaier, NASA’s chief of human spaceflight, is the one who made the announcement, and he doesn’t come off as too happy about it. He says it’s not possible for NASA to achieve what it wants to do by 2030 within current budget constraints.
“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,” says Gerstenmaier during a recent meeting of the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics. “And that entry, descent, and landing is a huge challenge for us for Mars.”
According to several reports, the cost to create the spacecraft known as Orion, and the Space Launch System, is no longer feasible. It’s more expensive than what was originally planned, and there doesn’t seem to be any change in sight.
Furthermore, the agency has failed to design the vehicles for ferrying humans to Mars. As it stands right now, there’s a chance if NASA gets the money it needs today, the agency would fail to meet the 2030 deadline.
The primary mission as of today is to send humans to orbit Mars instead of landing on the planet’s surface.
United States President, Donald Trump, wants a Mars mission
Back in April of this year, President Trump urged NASA to get humans to Mars before 2030. In March, the President signed a bill that will grant NASA $20 billion in funding to make it to the Red Planet.
“We want to try and do it during my first term or at worst during my second term, so we’ll have to speed that up a little bit, OK?” According to Trump during talks with astronauts Peggy Whitson and Jack Fischer.
It won’t happen in four years, but it could happen in eight years if things move along quickly. However, seeing as space travel is very complex, 2030 or longer is the likely target, as the time would give the space agency enough time to plan and iron out potential problems.