There will be life on Mars within the next 30 years as NASA plans to send humans there on a mission.
It is not just NASA who are looking to set foot on the red planet, there is a space race to colonise the planet between NASA, Mars One and Elon Musk’s Space X.
Manned missions to Mars are predicted to happen as early as 2030 by NASA, with their detailed plan to take off from the moon.
Such a huge mission to put Earth on the universal map doesn’t come cheap, and Pascal Lee, director of the NASA-funded Mars Institute, said it could cost $1 trillion over 25 years.
Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the moon, believes NASA should handover its International Space Station activities to the private sector because the non-profit company can’t afford it.
The private space sector is not waiting around, and using the data that NASA’s Pathfinder spacecraft collected from Mars 20 years ago, Mars One is designing permanent human settlements and training astronauts to take the six to eight month journey in 2031.
Space X, run by Elon Musk, is developing rockets to reach Mars and are planning a manned mission there by 2026.
Professor Stephen Hawking warned:
The Earth is becoming too small for us, our physical resources are being drained at an alarming rate.
We’re running out of space, the only places to go to are other worlds.
NASA believes that the first person to step on Mars is alive today, while Elon Musk wants 1,000 ships of 100 people to be launched in 40 to 100 years.
Space scientist Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock from the BBC’s The Sky at Night told the Sunday People:
If I’m optimistic, we could even see someone on Mars in the next 15 to 20 years.
We know that extinction is a possibility after what happened to the dinosaurs and we are vulnerable if, for example, a pandemic sweeps across Earth.
It makes sense for us to have colonies where we can in the solar system. Mars is an ideal candidate.
It seems that the biggest challenge of getting to Mars is not the science, but the cost.
In 2020, NASA plans to launch their Mars rover to take rock samples from Mars, while Mars One is planning a unmanned demo mission in 2022 to prove it is possible and habitable.