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NASA Wants Humans To Reach Mars By 2033

Many experts and lawmakers are concerned that NASA cannot make the deadline, especially given the major delays in development of its new heavy-lift rocket, the Space Launch System, which is being built by aerospace giant Boeing.

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NASA
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine talks to employees about the agency's progress toward sending astronauts to the moon and on to Mars during a televised event, March 11, 2019, at the Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. VOA

NASA has made it clear they want astronauts back on the Moon in 2024, and now, they are zeroing in on the Red Planet – the US space agency confirmed that it wants humans to reach Mars by 2033.

Jim Bridenstine, NASA’s administrator, said Tuesday that in order to achieve that goal, other parts of the program – including a lunar landing – need to move forward more quickly.

“We want to achieve a Mars landing in 2033,” Bridenstine told lawmakers at a congressional hearing on Capitol Hill.

“We can move up the Mars landing by moving up the Moon landing. The Moon is the proving ground,” added the former Republican congressman, who was appointed by President Donald Trump.

astronaut
“The intent of course is to not just get humans to the surface of the Moon but prove that we can live and work on another world.” Pixabay

NASA is racing to enact the plans of Trump, who dispatched Vice President Mike Pence to announce that the timetable for once again putting man on the Moon had been cut by four years to 2024.

The new date is politically significant: it would be the final year in Trump’s eventual second term at the White House.

Many experts and lawmakers are concerned that NASA cannot make the deadline, especially given the major delays in development of its new heavy-lift rocket, the Space Launch System, which is being built by aerospace giant Boeing.

Any mission to Mars would take at least two years, given the distance to be traveled. Getting there alone would take six months, as opposed to the three days needed to reach the Moon.

A round trip to Mars can only take place when the Red Planet is positioned on the same side of the Sun as Earth — that occurs about every 26 months, so the dates are 2031, 2033, and so on.

NASA
NASA is racing to enact the plans of Trump, who dispatched Vice President Mike Pence to announce that the timetable for once again putting man on the Moon had been cut by four years to 2024. Pixabay

In 2017, a NASA budget bill set 2033 as the target date for the first manned mission to Mars, but NASA itself has talked about the “2030s” in its roadmap.

NASA wants to learn how to extract and use the tons of ice at the Moon’s south pole.

“Water ice represents air to breathe, it represents water to drink, it represents fuel,” Bridenstine said.

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“The intent of course is to not just get humans to the surface of the Moon but prove that we can live and work on another world.”

Democratic lawmaker Eddie Bernice Johnson, the chair of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, asked Bridenstine to put a price tag on the new schedule.

The NASA chief said he would make his updated budget request by April 15. (VOA)

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Researchers Discover a Way to Help Astronauts Spending Prolonged Time in Space Come Back to Earth

Dizziness or fainting due to changes in blood flow can occur after lengthy bed rest, among people with certain health disorders

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Researchers, Astronauts, Space
Orthostatic hypotension is the technical term for a temporary drop in blood pressure when a person stands up after sitting or lying down because blood rushes to the feet. Pixabay

Nearly 50 years after man’s first steps on the Moon, researchers have discovered a way that may help astronauts spending prolonged time in space come back to Earth on more stable footing.

Orthostatic hypotension is the technical term for a temporary drop in blood pressure when a person stands up after sitting or lying down because blood rushes to the feet, away from the brain.

Dizziness or fainting due to changes in blood flow can occur after lengthy bed rest, among people with certain health disorders or in the case of astronauts, being in a low-gravity environment.

“One of the biggest problems since the inception of the manned space program has been that astronauts have fainted when they came down to Earth. The longer the time in a gravity-free environment space, the greater the risk,” said Benjamin Levine, Professor at UT Southwestern Medical Center in the US.

Researchers, Astronauts, Space
Nearly 50 years after man’s first steps on the Moon, researchers have discovered a way that may help astronauts spending prolonged time in space come back to Earth on more stable footing. Pixabay

“This problem has bedeviled the space program for a long time, but this condition is something ordinary people often experience as well,” he said in the paper published in the Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

The study included 12 astronauts (eight men and four women, aged 43-56) who spent about six months in space. All performed individualized endurance and resistance exercise training for up to two hours daily during space flight to prevent cardiovascular, bone and muscle deconditioning. They also received a saline infusion upon landing.

The astronauts’ blood pressure was recorded with every heartbeat over each 24-hour period before, during and after their time in space.

The researchers found that there was minimal impact on their blood pressure during all phases of measurement and none of the astronauts in the study experienced dizziness or fainting during routine activities 24 hours after landing.

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This is the first study to demonstrate that astronauts do not experience dizziness or fainting during routine activity after landing, as long as they participate in certain types of exercise training while in flight and receive IV fluids when they return to earth.

“What surprised me the most was how well the astronauts did after spending six months in space. I thought there would be frequent episodes of fainting when they returned to Earth, but they didn’t have any,” Levine said.

“It’s compelling evidence of the effectiveness of the countermeasures — the exercise regimen and fluid replenishment,” he added. (IANS)