10:43 PM Comment0 Comments

In an exciting new development, NASA is planning ahead (probably the only organization in the United States to do so). NASA has begun funding research into a long-term 100-year program dedicated to deep-space projects. Included in this package is a new but simple proposition that few have even considered to make manned missions to Mars more economically viable.

Long has NASA said they would send men to Mars and return them home safely however few have been able to make such a mission economically viable. What some have suggested is to cut out the return trip, with launching off Mars the most economically and technologically difficult part of the undertaking. Now obviously this isn't press-conference worthy news, because of the inherent commotion it would cause but it is an extremely intriguing idea.

Under this concept one or two astronauts would be sent to the red planet on a one-way ticket, knowing they would never return to Earth. Now one immediately thinks, "suicide mission" however under this concept missions would be sent to resupply the astronaut regularily with the ultimate goal of setting up a self-sufficient base. Eventually more manned missions would follow up, expanding the base and human presence on Mars.

It really seems a promising concept. What's more is it would encourage further action in deep-space.Where, in the Apollo program, astronauts landed on the Moon, went home and then the world largely forgot about space for 40 years, one-way missions to Mars would necessitate further missions and interest in deep space. The proposal has also been made to send astronauts to Mars' moons Phobos and Deimos in the same manner.

Instead of the old barbaric way of NASA, building, conquering, abandoning, this program could be the necessary stepping stone to making humans an inter-stellar species. Instead of abandoning the program in a been-there-done-that fashion, they will build, conquer, pioneer, and... build.

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