An Atlas V rocket is slated to launch the next Space Based Infrared System satellite, or SBIRS, from Cape Canaveral. The satellites can detect ballistic missile launches from orbit.
United Launch Alliance
QUESTION: Will people ever go to Mars?
ANSWER: The simple answer is “yes,”humanity shall go to Mars!
Humanity has been fascinated by Mars since long before we stepped foot on the Moon. Our solar system has been the subject of innumerable works of science fiction, and inspired countless dreams of adventure and exploration. Now, after decades of determination, research and scientific breakthrough, we feel confident to target Mars as our next destination to flourish and prosper.
A number of space organizations from around the world, including NASA (United States), ISRO (India), RFSA (Russia), CNSA (China), ESA (Europe), SpaceX and many more are working together, or on individual projects, to send humans to Mars. Scientists are conducting various tests at the International Space Station (ISS) to develop technologies for human deep-space travel. The complex scientific calculation for an optimized journey between Earth and Mars shows that astronauts should be able to survive for at least 400 days in a Deep Space Transport tube for safe travel between the two planets.
Scientists are trying different experimental models, like deep sleep, to optimize the payloads required to survive such a long journey. There are other related challenges, like an astronaut’s mental and physical health, deep space radiation, interplanetary energy exchange, specific launching time and location, and many more, which need to be extensively worked on.
Organizations like The Mars Society and NASA are trying to motivate future generations to pursue space sciences in order to accelerate human interplanetary travel.
All the organizations are racing to get to Mars first, with SpaceX setting the lofty goal of 2022, and NASA hoping to get there by 2033. The year 2022 seems too ambitious, based on current research trends, but we are on the way to make history. It might take a longer time, but we shall definitely reach Mars in the near future, and possibly other planets as well.
Ask a Scientist runs on Mondays. Questions are answered by science experts at Binghamton University. Teachers in the Greater Binghamton area who wish to participate in the program are asked to write to Ask a Scientist, c/o Binghamton University, Office of Communications and Marketing, PO Box 6000, Binghamton, N.Y. 13902-6000, or e-mail [email protected]. For more information, visit www.binghamton.edu/mpr/ask-a-scientist/.
MEET THE STUDENT
Name: Abbey Rosengrant
School: St. John the Evangelist, Broome County Catholic Schools
Teacher: Anu Rai
Hobbies: Basketball, baseball, soccer
MEET THE SCIENTIST
Answered by: Gautam Ranjan
Title: Graduate student, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Binghamton University
Research area: Composites, 3D printing, finite element method, design and optimization, Mars mission, entrepreneurships
Interests/hobbies: Running, martial arts, cooking, networking
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