With the Mars being hoped as a probable life supporting planet, space missions on the red planet becomes more important. The leading countries are one after another sending space expeditions in search of life on Mars. In such a scenario the United States can’t afford not to undertake such a mission.
The constraints on the budget around making the landing of astronauts on Mars an unaffordable affair.
The National Research Council, in its congressionally mandated report, has given thrust to it.
The 285-page analysis, released on Wednesday, underlines that a successful trip to the Red Planet depends on a well-financed, “disciplined” approach with broad buy-in that must not fluctuate from administration to administration.
“Our committee concluded that any human exploration program will only succeed if it is appropriately funded and receives a sustained commitment on the part of those who govern our nation,” said Purdue University President Mitch Daniels.
Daniels is the former Indiana governor who co-chaired the committee authoring the report.
“That commitment cannot change direction election after election. Our elected leaders are the critical enablers of the nation’s investment in human spaceflight, and only they can assure that the leadership, personnel, governance, and resources are in place in our human exploration program,” he said.
The researchers studied three different “pathways” to find what sort of trade-offs might have to be made regarding affordability, schedule, risk, and the frequency of missions to intermediate destinations.
“All the pathways culminate in landing on the surface of Mars — which is the most challenging yet technically feasible destination — and have anywhere between three and six steps that include some combination of missions to asteroids, the moon, and Martian moons,” the press release accompanying the report said.
The idea of the researchers at National Research Council was not to endorse a specific path to land the Red Planet but does lay out a set of principles that the lawmakers follow to reach a mutual decision.
According to a release, a “return to extended surface operations on the moon would make significant contributions to a strategy ultimately aimed at landing people on Mars, and … would also likely provide a broad array of opportunities for international and commercial cooperation.”