Oct 09 2015

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NASA’s new plan for reaching Mars

NASA Releases Plan Outlining Next Steps in the Journey to Mars. The full report is here.

They identify 3 exploration thresholds before reaching the surface of Mars:

  • Earth Reliant. Basically activities in the ISS (including to and from).
  • Proving Ground. Forays into deep space or Cis-lunar space that last a few days with the crew returning to Earth.
  • Earth Independent. Deep space or Martian space (we call that “NavSpace” in Ships & Stones)

They also identify 3 categories of technical and operational challenges:

  • Transportation: Sending humans and cargo safely through space
  • Working in Space: Enabling effective and healthy human and robotic activity in space
  • Developing Habitation: Allowing humans to live in space

And they identify major decisions that must be made to stay on the path toward a Mars mission:

I have some quibbles with the plan, but at least it is a coherent plan — something that has been missing from Mars mission planning for footprints on the ground.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/10/09/nasas-new-plan-for-reaching-mars/

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