NASA Astronauts to Land on Mars and Find Elon Musk There

NASA's three stage plan to rule the solar system 1 photo
Photo: NASA
In the 60 years of more or less continuous space exploration, NASA single-handedly shaped the course of human evolution. And now it has a plan for the next 20 years.
NASA has talked in the past about its goals for the coming decades, but on Wednesday it put them in writing and submitted them to Congress, backed by the Human Spaceflight Act submitted by Rep. Brian Babin (R-TX).

NASA’s plan is a three-point agenda that starts with transitioning from the current model of human space activities in low-Earth orbit, dominated by the government as the main contractor, to a more commercially viable, private sector-funded model.

Second on the list is putting Americans back on and around the Moon. Saying that in the 50 years since men first set foot on Earth’s satellite humanity has spent only 16 days there, NASA now plans to have boots on the ground in 2020, and humans living long-term in Lunar orbit by 2023.

Once that is achieved, Mars is up next. The InSight mission is already en-route to the planet, and it will be followed the same year rockets shoot for the Moon by the Mars 2020 mission.

Unfortunately, the first manned mission to Mars supported by NASA will not take off before 2030, the document revealed, leaving hopes for a quicker arrival there on the shoulders of private companies.

And even though most companies doing business in the field - Blue Origin, Stratolaunch, Virgin Galactic -have capped their efforts to a more commercial approach, by sending tourists and satellites into orbit, SpaceX is actively pursuing a Martian landing, one that would also land it more fame than money.

Officially, that is scheduled to take place long before NASA’s, sometime in 2023. By the time the first NASA astronauts will get to the Red Planet, Elon Musk’s Mars Base Alpha would already be up and running.

At least that’s what he says.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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