The Possibility of a Manned Mission to Mars

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"The Possibility of a Manned Mission to Mars"
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A manned mission to Mars is treated as the next frontier for mankind. The complexities and challenges of this mission are many times greater than any space travel mission ever undertaken.

It should be mentioned here that missions to Mars have been undertaken as early as 1975. NASA’s Viking Mission to Mars was kick-started with the launch of the Viking 1 on 20th August 1975, comprising the orbiter and the lander. The Viking 2 was launched shortly after, on 9th September 1975. The images and data sent back by the Vikings, helped scientists get a clearer picture about the Red Planet, Mars. The volcanoes, canyons, lava plains, highlands and evidence of surface water were visible from the images sent back to the Earth Center by the Viking orbiter.

Over the last few decades, several proposals for mission  to Mars, for exploring the Martian surface as well its two natural satellites, Phobos and Deimos, have been put forward by various organizations dealing in space research and space travel. Among the most recent of them, project Mars One was announced in the year 2012, with an objective of forming a settlement on Mars by 2023.

There are several imposing challenges and threats for the astronauts involved in a manned mission to Mars. The astronauts would have to cope with low-gravity environments, which could lead to physiological malfunctions, including eyesight loss. There would also be threats of high-energy and dangerous cosmic radiations for the astronauts who land on the surface of Mars. Missions to Mars, which aim to establish settlements, should also keep in mind that prolonged isolation from Earth could lead to psychological problems, lack of infrastructure could make living almost impossible and many other potential threats and barriers.

Leading nations like the US, Russia and China have all proposed several missions to Mars, some to explore evidence of life-forms and others to establish a human base. The US government under Obama has re-written and revamped mission outlooks for NASA.

It should be kept in mind very highly skilled, experienced and reputed astronauts from leading space agencies across the globe would be required to undertake a mission to Mars and land on the surface of the planet. And even in case of human settlement missions, extreme precaution must be exercised. But mankind is sure to take another giant leap forward with a manned mission to Mars.



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