US space agency NASA has said that setting up human colonies on Mars in the coming decades is its primary mission. NASA has recently found Earth-like planets in the universe as part of its hunt for alien life beyond our own planet.
NASA has said that it is working on human and rocket technologies to successfully send humans to Mars. “Sending humans to orbit Mars is our primary mission now. We are working on the human and rocket technologies required for the long mission,” said Lt General Larry James, deputy director of Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
He said this while speaking at Birla Planetarium on “Exploring our world, the solar system and the universe” on Tuesday.
“We are doing human research in that mission. Next stage is going to lunar space and building habitat there and staying for long periods of time,” he said after the event.
“It’s generally five to six months to go to Mars and probably stay there for a year or so that the planets align themselves to come back to earth in a shorter time,” he added.
“We are talking about two to three years to orbit Mars and come back. So how do you keep the crew alive that long in terms of protecting them from radiation and ensure they have supplies? So, a lot of work still has to be done just to make sure the crew safety,” he said.
New rocket called Space Launch System (SLS) for carrying humans to the red planet is currently being designed by NASA. “Nasa is in the middle of building the rocket and testing its components. The first launch will be 2019,” he said.
NASA aims to send a man to orbit Mars sometime in 2030. He said that it is possible to build habitats on Mars just like the Antartica expeditions.
On Earth-like planets found by Nasa’s Kepler telescope he said, “There is no evidence of life yet.”
“The data you get from Kepler is primarily that the planet is there and how fast it is going around the star and how big is that. Knowing how fast it is going around the star we can state how far it is from the sun whether it is in the habitable zone,” he said.