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No Money for Mars Visit

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Mars tripRT

The perspectives for landing humans on Mars in the next few decades appear to be bleak, since NASA’s current budget simply can’t cover the expenses for a manned mission to the Red Planet, according to the space agency’s human exploration and operation chief.

“I can’t put a date on humans on Mars,” Will Gerstenmaier said recently at a propulsion and energy forum in the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics.

The reason, he said, is that “at the budget levels we described, this roughly 2 percent increase, we don’t have the surface systems available for Mars. And that entry, descent, and landing is a huge challenge for us for Mars.”

While insufficient funding looms over plans to get first explorers on the Mars surface by early 2030s, Gerstenmaier said NASA is “marching towards schedules” on its major projects, such as unmanned Exploration Mission-1 (EM-1) and the manned flight of EM-2.

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