Mars Colony ‘Long Way Down The Road’ For NASA
NASA does not foresee a Martian colony on the Red Planet anytime in the near future.
A colony is “a long way down the road. No one’s thinking of, on the NASA side, like a permanent human base,” said Ben Bussey, the chief exploration scientist in NASA’s Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate.
Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX, has made it clear that he sees a future where a Mars colony is a reality.
SpaceX has taken huge steps towards its goal, conducting tests on reusable rockets, including an attempt to land the first stage of its Falcon 9 rocket back on Earth after being launched.
“On Mars, you can start a self-sustaining civilization and grow it into something really big,” Musk told an audience at the Royal Aeronautical Society in London in November last year.
“The idea here is that you would have your exploration zone that you set up for the first crew,” Bussey added. “And that crew would leave, and then you send another crew at the next good launch opportunity. So it isn’t permanently occupied, but it is visited multiple times.”
Mars One, the Netherlands-based nonprofit is also looking to establish a Red Planet colony. The group aims to land four pioneers on Mars in 2027 and then send more settlers every two years thereafter.