NASA Prepares For Mars Mission
Books, films and televisions all demonstrated at some point the human race's fascination with outer space -- including, but not limited to, Earth's neighboring planet, Mars.
The Martian landscape has always been something that modern humans are interested in: from its otherworldly landscape, sulfurous gases and the possibility of a life outside humans' own planet, the thought alone of landing on the Red Planet is enough for most astronauts to go on a certain high: science is that cool.
However, landing on a new planet that so far does not show any signs of having human life can be tricky. That is why, according to The Washington Post, NASA is on a mission to prepare its own scientists for the mission. To do so, the agency set up a landscape expedition to the Mauna Ulu volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii -- which is thought to have a similar landscape to Mars -- as a form of dry run for when humans can make an even greater step for mankind.
BASALT, or Biologic Analog Science Associated With Lava Terrains, is a mission that makes certain discoveries made for putting humans on Mars is worth the expense and risk of sending them there in the first place.
The newspaper noted that while NASA can spend billions of dollars getting its astronauts to space, it does not actually have a plan for what happens when they arrive at their destination. NASA geobiologist Darlene Lim wants to change that. She shared, "When we head out to somewhere like Mars, and we're going to be there for a while . . . we're going to have to look at designing these missions with an inherent component to science."
Perf Science noted that NASA has been aiming to launch a manned mission to the Red Planet in the 2030s, thus the "practice" for the mission. However, it seems that it may not be finished by then, considering the current pace of the program.
Sure, the planet has had scientists outside the Earth's atmosphere for years, but risks are larger and more immense in Mars and help from home is not easy, considering how far away and how expensive it is to get there. That being said, it may take a while before humans can set foot on the Red Planet. But it is never too early to get ready for the adventure that is yet to come.