Feb 18, 2018 | Updated: 09:54 AM EDT

Its A Toss Between Moon And Mars For The Next Big Space Mission

Apr 03, 2017 12:11 PM EDT

Manned voyages in the space might see a new horizon with the signing of a NASA authorization bill by US President Mr. Donald Trump. It includes plans for re-launching a National Space Council, which will look to formulate new Space related agendas that, apart from NASA, will apply for all the private US rocket companies like Space X, Blue Origin, Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Orbital ATK. The Council is supposed to be headed by Vice President Mike Pence.

According to the Scientific American, there have been speculations about space voyages that involve the presence of human beings for quite a long time now. The 48th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (LPSC) was no stranger to this as well. Scientists showed their latest findings regarding the moon, Mars, and other cosmic objects including asteroids and comets at the conference, with a hope to induce the number of manned expeditions in the space, cutting down the current number of unmanned explorations to the other worlds.

Reportedly, under the insistence of the Trump Administration, NASA is looking forward to fly a two people crew circling the moon in 2019. As per the scientists, it will open a new chapter in planetary science with the crew getting beyond low earth orbit. The program is believed to happen well ahead of the much-delayed manned missions like SLS (Space Launch System) and Orion program by NASA.

According to The Space Review, one of the major attractions of the newly passed bill is the setting up of a provision by NASA to send humans to Mars in 2033. However, there have been speculations about what kind of a mission it is going to be, one that will land the humans on the red planet or just a flyby or orbital mission.

As per NASA administrator Bill Gerstenmaier, there has been a sudden sense of urgency in the space programs. He said that there have already been plans of a second SLS/Orion Mission for sending payloads into the space that will help in developing a "cislunar" habitat. Decision making over what kind of a cargo to be carried and what kind of equipment to be built are in progress, he added.

Though there have been attempts made to make the 2033 Mars mission a success, many scientists are concerned that it might end up being a detour to the moon and back. Many factors, starting from the cost of the voyage to the training of the astronauts to endure in the Martian climate have to be considered before the voyage, opine the scientists. 

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