NASA Doesn't Have the Money to Land Humans on Mars

Geronimo Vena
Luglio 14, 2017

NASA has been talking about getting humans to Mars for years, and continues to provide updated plans for getting there.

But unfortunately, according to William H. Gerstenmaier, NASA's chief of human spaceflight, sending people to Mars isn't achievable on their current budget. Revisiting the Moon is a different business.

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.

If indeed true, it would be a staggering blow for space exploration in the coming decades and contrary to NASA's plans to land a crew on Mars sometime in the 2030s. But the agency also needs to design landing vehicles that would actually do the landing and ascending parts, Ars Technica explains. Then, in March, that mandate became a bill which granted NASA $19.5 billion to fund humanity's first voyage to the Red Planet.

That doesn't mean the Mars mission is canceled.

In his address, Gerstenmaier explained that going by NASA's budget allocated to it by the U.S. government, it is simply unfeasible to launch a crew to the Red Planet. Beyond just being a launching pad for further space exploration, the gateway could "support an extensive moon surface program", says Gerstenmaier. "If we want to stay focused more toward Mars we can keep that".

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