Humans May Be Orbiting Mars by 2028

Patti MayonnaiseMay 20, 20161,253 Views
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Adventures on the Red Planet may be closer than previously thought. An American global aerospace company, Lockheed Martin plans to make a proposal today for a crewed mission to Mars. With the Humans to Mars conference commencing in Washington D.C. today, Lockheed Martin will be announcing a unique proposal to train a crew of six to orbit our neighboring planet by the year 2028.

The crew would man a spacecraft called “Mars Base Camp” as it orbits for approximately 10 to 11 months. This would be the initial step necessary for our dreams of exploring deep space. As the primary contractor in the construction of the Orion crew capsule and the Space Launch System, Lockheed Martin is already famously involved in NASA’s efforts to trek to Mars.


Photo Courtesy of PopSci,com

Photo Courtesy of PopSci,com



In fact, an un-crewed test mission for these technologies is already scheduled for 2018 with a manned mission set to follow by 2023. So far, there are no concrete plans after these two test missions though. Lockheed Martin’s chief technologist for civil space exploration, Tony Antonelli recanted, “We think that orbiting Mars is a necessary precursor to landing humans on the surface. NASA has that in their plans, and we’re coloring in the details.”






Though Mars Base Camp doesn’t signify a basic precursor, it is still a ground breaking mission. To maintain a crewed vessel in Mars’ orbit could lead to astounding scientific achievements. Aside from exploring the moons of the Red Planet, astronauts could also teleoperate rovers planted on the surface while in orbit, locate potential landing sites for the future and even provide incredible insights into our closest planetary neighbor.


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Lockheed’s proposed spacecraft concept will need to be assembled in stages on our Moon’s surface. The vision consists of a number of large habitats, laboratory modules and 2 Orion capsules for propelling craft to Mars. Most of the portions of Mars Base Camp are comprised of near-term technologies which have either already tested well or soon will.

“All of these pieces exist today, they’re not brand new. We’re taking advantage of what we’ve already got,” Antonelli says. The aerospace company’s plan comes behind the recent SpaceX announcement of a hopeful mission to Mars by 2018. As the private sector begins entering the arena, our race to Mars has definitely started with a bang.



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