“NASA Reveals Early Plans to Send Two Astronauts to Surface of Mars”

“During a high-level talk on NASA’s objectives for human space exploration, we got an early glimpse of what a 30 day crewed mission to the surface of Mars could eventually look like.

It’s an exciting prospect that, while many years if not decades away, shows the agency’s commitment to fulfilling humanity’s dreams of setting foot on the Red Planet for the first time in history.

NASA director of space architectures Kurt “Spuds” Vogel outlined what such a mission could entail. The agency is envisioning a habitat spacecraft to make the months long journey there, which uses a hybrid rocket stage that combines chemical and electric propulsion.

Two crew would remain in orbit while a further two would visit the surface of Mars. The latter would have access to supplies sent to the surface beforehand via a 25-ton Mars lander, providing surface power and mobility, as well as a fueled up pre-deployed crew ascent vehicle to get them both back into orbit later.

To actually spend up to an Earth month on the desolate Martian surface, Vogel suggests the two crew members could live inside a pressurized rover that would provide habitation and allow them to complete scientific objectives as well.

“Our assumption here is the crew will be deconditioned,” Vogel said during the talk, “and we’ll need as much time to adapt to the partial gravity.”

Gravity on Mars is only roughly a third of that on Earth.

“So we want to maximize the science so we allow them to drive around before they become conditioned enough to get in the space suits and walk and maximize that science in 30 days,” he added.”

NASA Reveals Early Plans to Send Two Astronauts to Surface of Mars (futurism.com)

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11 Responses to “NASA Reveals Early Plans to Send Two Astronauts to Surface of Mars”

  1. Sam says:

    ‘Something weird’ is going with our universe: Hubble detects changes in the rate of expansion that cannot be explained by current physics


    Can’t wait to see Webb get going later this summer. There’s going to be some surprises.

  2. Barbara Ann says:

    What jumped out of this article for me was “Two crew would remain in orbit..”

    That’s a big ask. Its’ one thing to be the guy-who-doesn’t-get-to-walk-on-the-surface on an 8 day mission (Collins on Apollo 11) but quite another on a 2 year trip to Mars and back. The article doesn’t explain why this is necessary for the mission and it seems highly counterintuitive to send all the kit to keep 4 alive for 2 years and only land 2. Can anyone explain why the manned orbital crew is needed?

  3. Fourth and Long says:

    The aliens will see them and radio back to headquarters: Life on Mars observed. Repeat. Life on Mars. Over an doubt.

  4. Fourth and Long says:

    Um — anyone make the connection between US Senator and former Presidential candidate and Governor of Massachusetts Mitt Romney publishing an opinion piece in the Knew Orc Times the other day (dby) about it being time to prepare a response in case Putin uses a nuke and Mars being the god of war and an anagram for Arms? (Referencing the Nasa story posted here). Didn’t think so.

    For extra excitement, Poland and Ukraine have essentially dissolved distinctions between their respective citizenships letting, for example, Polish citizens become various things such as Judges, police officers etc in Ukraine. And two – 2 – battalions of “Polish” soldiers are reported to already be in Dniepropetrovsk i.e. smack dab in the center of Ukraine, presumably on their merry way to points yeast.

    The esteemed Senator Romney reasoned as follows if memory serves: Putin has demonstrated recklessness already. Using a WMD would be reckless, admittedly. Therefore don’t assume he won’t resort to a reckless activity in the future.

    I’m fresh out of jokes except for one involving an anagram for the name of a religion, but that would possibly outrage some very distinguished people, so, …

  5. TTG says:

    I still have a copy of “The Mars One Crew Manual” published in 1985. I bought the paperback edition for the boys, but also for myself. The book envisioned an 11 man/woman crew on a 2 year journey to Mars and back with only 30 days on the surface of Mars. The Mars spacecraft looked like a space station constructed of multiple modules brought to space by multiple Space Shuttle and USSR rocket flights. The Mars lander would bring 4 astronauts to the surface and back again. Prior to the manned landing, the Mars One craft would deploy a rover to the surface and a robotic aircraft. The book is still an interesting read.

    I haven’t watched the video in the article yet. Maybe it explains why the Mars crew is only 4 with only two going to the Mars surface. With the state of robotics today and in the future, I see no reason to deprive two astronauts of a Mars landing just to babysit the mothership. I do like the idea of a larger space station like mothership with a much larger crew. Two years in a small ship is sure to result in some mean cases of cabin fever.


    • Bill Roche says:

      Hot damn, after’n a year or so that woman looked damn good t’me. So’s I toll her, en you know, now I’m in the slammer ‘en she don’t look hot so nomore.

      Mark my words, we’ll read this in the news.

    • Barbara Ann says:


      Re the linked NASA video – maybe the answer is in there, but I only managed to suffer the first 5 minutes. Boy is that some of the most turgid corporate boilerplate I’ve ever seen. Only NASA can make space exploration dull. Give me a Musk presentation every time. Also, if I had to share a space capsule with “Spuds” Vogel for 2 years only one of us would come out alive. I guess I’m not astronaut material.

      • TTG says:

        Barbara Ann,

        Holy moly! I guess NASA needs people like that, but for god’s sake, why put them in a presentation? It reminded me of a presentation by General Thurmond in Building 4 on Fort Benning. About the third time he said “fungible envelope,” three of us young captains got up and walked out. We lucked out and got our first ride in the new Blackhawk which happened to be sitting in front of the building. Still don’t know what a fungible envelope is.

        What I found interesting in the 30+ minute snooze fest was the plan to land the two astronauts on the surface sitting in the Mars explorer. Isn’t that the part of all Mars missions that’s called the ten minutes of terror? The astronauts then putter around the surface in the explorer for a while until they acclimate to the Mars gravity. How could Spuds and his buddy manage to make that part boring?

  6. Fourth and Long says:

    Need more clues to today’s puzzle. (I am enchanted to discover that Colonel Lang is a fan, but not surprised).

    See above for Mars, Arms, god of War.

    Now it appears it’s 2 (or half) to land. And 2 (or the remaining half) to orbit.

    Orbit might reference an Orb other than a sphere, or say a crown for example but probably not.

  7. ked says:

    Col. Lang – status briefing today (great shot of Artemis);

    an interesting comparison of Artemis SLS & Saturn 5 (for those of us who grew up when we went from Redstone > Atlas > Titan > Saturn moon-landing in a decade);

    also interesting : how the systems architecture of manned space exploration has extended the design von Braun & team devised 70 yrs ago.

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