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Should we take astronauts to Mars?  Yes, but…

Should we take astronauts to Mars? Yes, but…

NASA wants to send humans to Martian soil around 2040. However, some experts question the feasibility of the mission. The dream of conquering the Red Planet may become a nightmare if we do not take the necessary precautions.

Machines are slow and humans will be able to explore more of Mars

NASA and Elon Musk, among other organizations increasingly dedicated to space exploration, aim to put humans on Martian soil within a few decades. If plans go as planned, the North American space agency will be able to carry out the mission to the Red Planet around 2040.

But the question arises: Is it really possible to send humans to the Red Planet? Jordan Pritzfelder, a researcher in the Department of Earth, Planetary and Space Sciences at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), analyzed this issue in detail, taking into account the diverse challenges involved in the massive challenge.

Pritzfelder believes that sending humans to Mars is worthy because of the greater value of scientific exploration compared to tasks carried out by robots.

Humans can make quick decisions about sampling and data collection, as well as move more easily and freely in difficult terrain.

The researcher said University of California.

Challenges of landing humans on Mars  How the universe works

Humanity has been sending robots to Mars for more than 60 years

As some have mentioned previously, Mars today is a place frequented by terrestrial machines and a junkyard for failed or terminated missions. It all started in 1970, when NASA launched landers Vikings 1 and 2the first North American spacecraft to land on the Red Planet.

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Some of these missions remain active, providing detailed data about Mars. However, manned missions could provide valuable lessons about life on Mars. Jordan highlights the benefits of the Apollo program's manned missions, as "some rocks of scientific value were collected thanks to the quick thinking and judgment of the astronauts."

However, ensuring the safety and lives of astronauts on this distant and complex planetary surface presents significant challenges.

Furthermore, the accidental introduction of terrestrial microbes to Mars poses a potential risk.

Jordan Pritzfelder noted.

In 2022, NASA addressed some safety measures to prevent contamination of Martian samples that will be brought to Earth.

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What would it be like to live on the red planet?

Many theories, studies, and more specialized investigations suggest that astronauts may have lived inside subsurface lava tubes, protecting them from solar radiation. However, this may harm communication with the Earth.

In this sense, Pritzfelder proposes to establish above-the-surface facilities, similar to those in the Artemis program on the moon.

Colonizing Martian caves

Although sending humans to Mars presents many challenges, Pritzfelder believes this is the ideal time to consider these questions and their solutions.

It is exciting to be able to seriously consider this exploration, and as we return to the Moon, we will likely learn valuable lessons to enable human exploration of Mars.

The researcher concluded.