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Space & Astronomy

Mars plan suggests Phobos mission by 2033

By T.K. Randall
May 10, 2015 · Comment icon 7 comments



Could Phobos offer a stepping stone to help astronauts reach Mars ? Image Credit: NASA/Pat Rawlings
Astronauts on a manned mission to Mars could first use its moon Phobos as a staging area.
Getting humans to Mars will be one of the greatest technological challenges that mankind has ever faced, a task that will rely on the combined efforts of thousands of experts across dozens of fields.

During the Humans to Mars Summit in Washington this week, NASA's Firouz Naderi suggested that 2039 could be a realistic estimate for a manned mission to the Red Planet if its moon Phobos, a rocky world around 11km across, was to be used as a stepping stone that the astronauts could head to first.

During his talk Naderi expressed an interest in seeing such a mission go ahead sooner rather than later and to do it despite NASA's relatively low budget compared to what had been available during the development of the Apollo program in the 1960s.
By targeting Phobos first, he contended, it would be possible to reach Mars using the technologies currently in development such as NASA's Orion spacecraft and Space Launch System (SLS).

'Barges' containing supplies and materials could be placed in orbit around Mars to help support future landings while the astronauts would also try to utilize the resources already present on Mars as much as possible to maintain life support and to keep the whole operation running.

Whether NASA will ultimately decide to do things this way however remains to be seen.

Source: Space.com | Comments (7)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by pallidin 7 years ago
How interesting... I never thought of that approach. I read the article, and maybe it was addressed either in it or within the conference, but I have a question: How do they intend to pull-off putting a required massive launch complex(including launch pad, massive rocket, etc...) on Mars to get back to it's moon's staging area? And what's this about "cutting costs because of low funding"? Uh... a manned mission to Mar's is the last idea where you want to "cut-costs" If anything it should be an "over-cost" approach just for safety and redundancy. If that's not feasible, THEN DON'T DO IT UNTIL I... [More]
Comment icon #2 Posted by xxxdemonxxx 7 years ago
Great. If i each my greens and carrots, maybe i'll still be around to watch it all happen.
Comment icon #3 Posted by Atuke 7 years ago
Is there a specific timeline involved with this? Why such a random date? 2039. Why not 2027? Or 2032? It's all just kind of BS in my ear at this point. 45 years ago men were hitting golf balls on the moon, and landed there with computers and analog techno equivelent to a Nintendo DS. Where are the Hotels on Mars? I'm getting pretty sick of the space program.
Comment icon #4 Posted by BeastieRunner 7 years ago
Great. If i each my greens and carrots, maybe i'll still be around to watch it all happen. My son and daughters will be in college/graduating college by then. Eat your greens man!
Comment icon #5 Posted by paperdyer 7 years ago
This concept isn't too much different than launching Mars missions from OUR Moon. I wonder what happened to that concept?
Comment icon #6 Posted by Infernal Gnu 7 years ago
I love those two little cute moons of Mars. It pains me greatly to hear that Phobos gets closer to Mars by one meter per century and in 50 million years will be destroyed. I want it to be boosted to a higher orbit ASAP.
Comment icon #7 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 7 years ago
Uh... a manned mission to Mar's is the last idea where you want to "cut-costs" There is a VAST difference between doing a low cost mission and cutting corners. A low cost mission does NOT mean that safety has to be compromised. If anything it should be an "over-cost" approach just for safety and redundancy. If that's not feasible, THEN DON'T DO IT UNTIL IT IS. The days of NASA having a huge budget are long gone. If they do things your way and wait until those days return then they will NEVER get to Mars. Just keep sending robotic missions if cost is such a big issue. Please don't risk the live... [More]


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