Everyone talking how we will go to Mars soon. Does the technology exist? Can we do it in this lifetime ?
Exploring and colonizing Mars can bring us new scientific understading of climate change, of how planet-wide processes can make a warm and wet world into a barren landscape. By exploring and understanding Mars we gain key insights into the past and future of our own world - Buzz Aldrin
The possibility of going to Mars will be determined by the availability of technology that will allow us to travel fast and land safely.
Exactly, How far is Mars ?
In theory, the closest that Earth and Mars would approach each other would be when Mars is at its closest point to the sun. This would put the planets at 54.6 million kilometers apart. Let’s put this in perspective, as we recorded Earth and Mars where the closest 34.8 million miles from each other. The farthest is 250 million miles apart. It’s important to notice that both Earth and Mars rotate over Sun, while for Earth it takes only 365 days to close the circle for Mars it’s longer. Mars goes around the Sun every 687 days. If we check the history of traveling on that route, we will see the average time:
- Mariner 4 (1965) — 228 days
- Mariner 6 (1969) — 156 days
- Mariner 7 (1969) — 131 days
- Mariner 9 (1971) — 167 days
- Viking 1 (1976) — 335 days
- Viking 2 (1976) — 360 days
- Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (2006) — 210 days
- Phoenix Lander (2008) — 295 days
- Curiosity Lander (2012) — 253 days
We can’t take everything we need with us
It’s not the same if in a rocket is robot or human. In order to stay alive in the space people need to eat something, they need to have a water, and oxygen. Also, there is a fuel, the rocket needs a lot of it just to get to the Mars. It’s double more for round trip. That is the main reason why is the trend one way ticket to Mars. There are no round trips.
Getting off from the Earth
A Mars mission would be on a much larger scale than almost anything we’ve done before, it’s not the same as regular mission. Still, there is no rocket that can take off from the Earth’s surface and escape its gravitational pull to reach space carrying the weight of a large spacecraft, astronauts and all the supplies and materials needed to get to Mars. Rockets would have to make several trips to drop off supplies and pieces for a vehicle into low-Earth orbit.
Then everything should be built in the space before a rocket could be ready to start a journey to the Mars. But, there is a problem with a fuel, objects in low-Earth orbit travel all around every 90 minutes. During half that time, they experience the heat of the sun. If objects are not well managed there is a big possibility that everything will blow up before the start.
Radiation is a problem too
In May 2013, NASA scientists reported that a possible mission to Mars may involve a great radiation risk based on the amount of energetic particle radiation detected by the RAD on the Mars Science Laboratory while traveling from the Earth to Mars in 2011–2012. The calculated radiation dose was 0.66 sieverts round-trip. The agency’s career radiation limit for astronauts is 1 sievert
But, we are trying to
It’s everywhere on the news, NASA, SpaceX and some other companies are trying to do it. They are trying to build a technology that will be able to bring people to the Mars. They are not trying to send us, yet. They just want to make an opportunity for it and prepare everything.
The future of technology is unpredictable
I guess we will find a way and send the humans to Mars before 2030. You know what is the awesome thing about it? From 1930–2030 will just pass 100 years. In that 100 years human development increase from the point where we launched our first successful mission to space to the point where we are able to walk on the Mars surface.