Wednesday, November 28, 2007

NASA Outlines Manned Mars Vision

"Nasa outlines manned Mars vision."
BBC News, November 28, 2007
By Paul Rincon

"Nasa has released details of its strategy for sending a human crew to Mars within the next few decades.

The US space agency envisages despatching a "minimal" crew on a 30-month round trip to the Red Planet in a 400,000kg (880,000lb) spacecraft.

Details of the concept were outlined at a meeting in Houston, Texas.

In January 2004, President George W Bush launched a programme for returning humans to the Moon by 2020 and - at an undetermined date – to Mars.

The "Mars ship" would be assembled in low-Earth orbit using three to four Ares V rockets - the new heavy-lift launch vehicle that Nasa has been developing.

Notionally despatched in February 2031, the mission's journey from Earth to Mars would take six to seven months in a spacecraft powered by an advanced cryogenic fuel propulsion system.

Estimates of the cost of mounting a manned Mars mission vary enormously, from $20bn to $450bn.

The details are highly subject to change, and may not represent the way Nasa eventually chooses to go to the Red Planet
. ..."

Read the entire article by Paul Rincon

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