• Question: When are people going to mars ?

    Asked by imannadim to Ivan, James, Jessica, Nicola, Sarah on 18 Nov 2013.
    • Photo: Nicola Potts

      Nicola Potts answered on 18 Nov 2013:

      Not for a very long time.

      There is a popular saying that “A manned mission to Mars is always 30 years away” meaning it’s always going to be quite far away.

      Right now we don’t have any astronauts who have experience in what we call ‘Deep Space’, meaning they only go in Low Earth Orbit to the International Space Station (ISS). Although anything out of Earth might seem like space there is a big difference in what is required from spacecraft and astronauts.
      So we don’t have anyone trained and prepared to go.

      Mars is far away, and we don’t have a spacecraft which can travel there! Going to the Moon meant the rocket (Saturn V) had to be 95% fuel – and that thing is huge! When we have people in a spacecraft we can’t just go the long way around like satellites do so we either need a new fuel type or a HUGE rocket.

      Our astronauts also don’t go into space for more than 6 months, due to worry’s about radiation (there is more exposure to radiation in space than on Earth) and I guess fears they will go crazy in a small spacecraft for that long.
      It would take nearly 8 months to get to Mars, so longer than we normally allow people in space.

      Also because Mars is so far away there is nearly a half an hour time delay for communication so if anything went wrong it would take nearly an hour to get a response which is too long to wait!

      All these issues (and more) and currently being researched though to find an answer and go to Mars. Maybe you could be one of the people working on this?

    • Photo: Jessica Liley

      Jessica Liley answered on 18 Nov 2013:

      Have a look at this 🙂 http://www.mars-one.com/en/

      Apparently the first human settlers on Mars are planned for 2023. They will apparently travel in “Space X Falcon Heavy”, the world’s most powerful rocket. And they’re taking applications from people all over the world to go on the first trip. But there’s a catch….it’s a one-way ticket, no coming back to Earth for your summer holiday!

      But Nicci knows a lot more about this than me! From what she’s said, it doesn’t seem like we’re as little as 20 years away from visiting Mars does it?!

    • Photo: Sarah Tesh

      Sarah Tesh answered on 18 Nov 2013:

      Nicci’s covered everything I knew and more! Science is advancing all the time so I’m sure it will happen one day, just not for a while.

    • Photo: Ivan Campeotto

      Ivan Campeotto answered on 19 Nov 2013:

      Thank you for the nice question. I have learned from Nicci’s answer a lot too!