First stop: Mars?

There has been much in the news recently about different approaches to possible manned mars missions In fact there seems to be almost a surfeit of manned Mars missions. Here are just a few:

  • NASA – plans going ahead to orbit Mars by 2030s
  • Russia – possible launch 2016-2020
  • SpaceX – Elon Musk has said many times teh reason he started the company was to take humans to Mars.
  • Mars One – Dutch mission that has attracted over 100,000 applicants for the first attempt
  • The Mars Initiative – publicly funded non-profit organization
  • Inspiration Mars – another non-profit organization

That’s a lot of interest, not to mention multiple funding sources, but it’s a “scattergun” approach – guaranteed to waste resources and duplicate efforts. NASA has talked about returning to the moon, or possibly a captive asteroid, as a stepping stone to future missions, an approach criticized by many who argue that the first goal should be Continue reading “First stop: Mars?”