As NASA Chief David Miller puts it, the technology that will be developed over the next few decades will “provide critical capabilities that create new jobs and businesses, invigorate our youth and lead to futures where we evolve into a species that lives and works end-to-end the solar system.” What will NASA be up to by 2030? The space agency and even President Barack Obama hopes it will be close to launching a manned mission to the surface of Mars.
But, before that’s possible there’s a whole lot of puzzle pieces to fit together. In fact, some of those pieces have not been even invented yet. But NASA is already laying the foundation. Getting to Mars is going to be a slow and steady march, and the first stage will take place within Earth’s orbit. This is where the majority of research and evolution on human health and support systems will happen. That will be where NASA test-drives its Orion manned vehicle runs tests during missions to asteroids, and experiments with solar powered electric flight. And that’s not including the work to be done on the Mars home-ground vehicle.
Landing On Mars Of Astronauts
While the level of radiation that astronauts are allowed to be exposed to over longer periods isn’t specified yet, NASA will have to work on amending tutelage to radiation on lengthier crewed space missions, and provision for other health-based issues, including in-space diagnostics and interventions. It also has its work cut out cutting back the lack of efficiency of current in space living. A heavy reliance on expendables like filters and sorbent beds to collect this adds another burden to future missions that need to be far more self believer. These improvements will apparently come from both evolutionary improvements as well as state of the art technology that NASA hasn’t elaborated on yet. Even then, improvements and changes will require heavy testing.
In space, no one can hear you scream and no technology fulfills all the demands of actuation outside of Earth’s atmosphere. NASA is banking on improvements here to trim transit times, thrust level and system entanglement, as well as improved safety and strength. Solar sails’ long life benefits make them great for monitoring space weather, and observing Earth’s polar regions. It’s also a relatively cheap way to move deep space satellites.
Finding Of Fact
Finally, in addition to oxygen and water, humans need food, and NASA needs to minimize the amount of it that goes into space. In particular, NASA needs a “bio-regenerative food system” probably something involving plants, which would reduce the quantity of food needing to be resupplied. Future astronauts will likely have the luxury of a fresher menu, with options a little beyond freeze-dried ice cream sandwiches. NASA has a lot of work to do before it heads to Mars. But if it nails it, space exploration will never be the same again.