Mars Colony Will Have To Wait, Says NASA Scientists

Concept for NASA Design Reference Mission Architecture 5.0 (2009). Credit: NASA

Establishing a human settlement on Mars has been the fevered dream of space agencies for some time. Long before NASA announced its “Journey to Mars” – a plan that outlined the steps that need to be taken to mount a manned mission by the 2030s – the agency’s was planning how a crewed mission could lead to the establishing of stations on the planet’s surface. And it seems that in the coming decades, this could finally become a reality.But when it comes to establishing a permanent colony – another point of interest when it comes to Mars missions – the coming decades might be a bit too soon. Such was the message during a recent colloquium hosted by NASA’s Future In-Space Operations (FISO) working group. Titled “Selecting a Landing Site for Humans on Mars”, this presentation set out the goals for NASA’s manned mission in the coming decades.Established in 2006 by the then-active FISO Working Group, the FISO lecture series is intended as an innovative outreach effort, helping leaders in the fields of science, technology, engineering and space exploration connect with the public. Held on March 16th, the colloquium touched on a number of issues which were raised at the the First Landing Site/Exploration Zone Workshop for Human Missions to the Surface of Mars – which took place in October of 2015 at the Lunar Planetary Institute (LPI) in Houston, TX.Presented by Dr. Ben Bussey of NASA’s Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD) ) and Rick Davis of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate (SMD), the colloquium and Houston workshop that preceded it were both focused on NASA’s plans for a crewed mission to Mars, and the creation of possible Exploration Zones (EZ) on the planet’s surface.Prior to becoming the chief exploration scientist at HEOMD, Dr. —> Read More