Human Mission to Mars is Both Feasible, Affordable

2014-01-14
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  • Travel Industry Wire Industry, Government Leaders Issue Consensus Statement on Six Principles to Achieve a Human Mars Mission by the 2030s

    A global working group of more than 60 leaders from more than 30 government, industry and academic organizations issued a joint statement today announcing consensus that a human mission to Mars is both feasible and affordable, assuming policy consistency among international space agencies and levels of funding consistent with pre-sequestration levels and modest increases annually in line with inflation.

    This group launched this initiative with the goal of building stakeholder consensus on what is necessary to make human Mars exploration feasible, sustainable, and affordable within two decades. To begin this international effort, Explore Mars, Inc. and the American Astronautical Society (AAS) hosted the Affording Mars Workshop December 3–5, 2013 at George Washington University.

    Participants assessed scenarios for compelling human and robotic exploration of Mars, the role of the International Space Station (ISS) over the coming decade, possible cost-effective “bridge” missions in the 2020s to follow ISS, key capabilities required for initial missions, international partnerships, and an actionable definition of affordability and sustainability.

    Leaders agreed on six core principles:

     

    1)

    Sending humans to Mars is affordable with the right partnerships, commitment to efficiency, constancy of purpose, and policy/budget consistency.

    2)

    Human exploration of Mars is technologically feasible by the 2030s.

    3)

    Mars should be the priority for human space flight over the next two to three decades.

    4)

    Between now and 2030, investments and activities in the human exploration of space must be prioritized in a manner that advances the objective of initial human missions to Mars beginning in the 2030s.

    5)

    Utilizing the International Space Station (ISS) is essential for human missions to deep space.

    6)

    Continuation of robotic precursor missions to Mars throughout the 2020s is essential for the success of human missions to Mars.

     

    “This is no small achievement,” said AAS Executive Director Jim Kirkpatrick. “This is the first time such a diverse group has come together to agree that sending humans to Mars is both a priority and possible.”

    Initiated by the December workshop, working groups will meet regularly in 2014 to develop scenario and cost analyses, Level 0 and Level 1 requirements and strategies for fully utilizing the space station.

    Said Chris Carberry, executive director of Explore Mars, Inc., “Exploration is critical to innovation and the prosperity of the country. We can explore Mars without a major increase in funding so long as we are able to maintain a consistent policy and build strong partnerships. If we are steadfast and united in the cause, we will have the technology and the capability to make Mars a part of our human story.”

    About Explore Mars

    Explore Mars was created to advance the goal of sending humans to Mars within the next two decades. To further that goal, Explore Mars conducts programs and technical challenges to stimulate the development and/or improvement of technologies that will make human Mars missions more efficient and feasible. In addition, to embed the idea of Mars as a habitable planet, Explore Mars challenges educators to use Mars in the classroom as a tool to teach standard STEM curricula. Explore Mars, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation organized in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Donations to Explore Mars are tax-deductible. Contact Explore Mars via its website or email info@ExploreMars.org. For more information about the Humans to Mars Summit to be hosted April 22–24, visit http://h2m2014.exploremars.org/

    About American Astronautical Society (AAS)

    Founded in 1954, the American Astronautical Society is the premier network of current and future space professionals dedicated to advancing all space activities. AAS has long been recognized for the excellence of its national meetings, technical meetings, symposia and publications and for their impact on shaping the U.S. space program. Members have opportunities to meet with leaders in their field and in related disciplines, exchange information and ideas, discuss career aspirations and expand their knowledge and expertise. For more information visit www.astronautical.org.



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