NASA Joins SpaceX And Boeing On The Race To MarsBy Emily Marks, UniversityHerald Reporter
SpaceX CEO and founder Elon Musk has been vocal about his plans to colonize Mars within 10 years. He has also unveiled the Interplanetary Transport System (ITS) which will be used to bring 1 million people to the red planet.
It was noted that the SpaceX founder and CEO plans to create a gigantic rocket - one that is more comfortable and larger than the Saturn V, which sent humans to the moon. Apparently, it will go on orbit, be refueled using multiple launches, go to Mars, enter the planet's atmosphere using aerodynamic braking to slow down and land on its tail.
Recently, Boeing's CEO Dennis Muilenberg intends to be the creator of the rocket that will first land on Mars. "I'm convinced the first person to step foot on Mars will arrive there riding a Boeing rocket," he said.
Boeing is said to be focusing on building the commercial space sector near earth and, at the same time, develop technology which will be used to venture beyond the moon. The aerospace giant is working with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to create a heavy-lift rocket for deep space exploration called the Space Launch System (SLS).
This time, it was reaffirmed that NASA will join SpaceX and Boeing on the race to Mars. Slate reported that President Obama has confirmed that NASA will put human on Mars "by the 2030s."
NASA is said to be pitching in $65 million over the next years. This is to enable the companies to create prototype modules on the ground which will be used to gain knowledge on the things that are needed for the real launching.
In an editorial piece on CNN, President Barack Obama revealed how NASA has discovered flowing water on the red planet and that there is evidence of ice on one of Jupiter's moons. The space agency has also been able to map Pluto.
The president admitted that NASA will be "sending humans to Mars by the 2030s and returning them safely to Earth." Ultimately, the goal is to be able to remain on the red planet for an extended time.