Mars is a compelling astrobiological target, and a human mission would provide an opportunity to collect immense amounts of scientific data. Exploration alone, however, cannot justify the increased risk. Instead, three factors drive a human mission: economics, education, and exploration. A human mission has a unique potential to inspire the next generation of young people to enter critically needed science and engineering disciplines. A mission is economically feasible, and the research and development program put in place for a human mission would propel growth in related high-technology industries. The main hurdles are human physiological responses to 1-2 years of radiation and microgravity exposure. However, enabling technologies are sufficiently mature in these areas that they can be developed within a few decade timescale. Hence, the decision of whether or not to undertake a human mission to Mars is a political decision, and thus, educational and economic benefits are the crucial factors.
|Number of pages
|Published - May 2005
|Living in Space: Scientific, Medical and Cultural Implications. A Selection of Papers Presented at the 14th IAA Humans in Space Symposium -
Duration: May 18 2003 → May 22 2003
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Aerospace Engineering