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Do you think humans will walk on Mars in your lifetime?

23 replies

BernadetteRostankowskiWolowitz · 14/09/2020 20:30

I love The Martian (movie) and have just finished S1 of Away.

Dh and I were discussing how momentous it would be to witness humans walking on Mars in our lifetime.

Obviously I'd prioritise the wellness of Earth and all its occupants over any future space exploration, but I don't think it works like that.

Do you think we would all get a day off (emergency services aside) to watch?

OP posts:
Tempusfudgeit · 14/09/2020 20:44

If I'm lucky enough to have 40-50 years left of my lifetime, then yes. Exciting news from Venus today!

peakotter · 14/09/2020 20:50

I really hope not.

Getting to Mars is easy. Getting back is a nightmare. There would be people willing to go and die there but I doubt any government would pay for that. Robotic exploration is so much more sensible and the preferred choice of the vast majority of scientists.

On the other hand if egotistic nationalistic governments hijack scientific budgets for proverbial penis-waving then it may happen. Or Elon Musk. But it won’t be humanity’s finest moment and I for one will be in mourning for our collective wisdom.

GainingKnowledge · 14/09/2020 22:42

I would say so. NASA are already planning on returning to the moon in the next few years and a lot of what they are doing as part of that mission is ultimately building up to a mission to Mars.

The biggest challenge is how long it'll take to get there (6 months I think) and how to ensure they have enough food, water, oxygen and can manage waste etc.

BernadetteRostankowskiWolowitz · 14/09/2020 22:47

How long does it take to get to the moon?

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Craftycorvid · 14/09/2020 22:51

I’m not sure humans will continue to walk on earth in my lifetime at this rate, never mind Mars! Confused

Finfintytint · 14/09/2020 22:52

It’s a God Awful small affair....

VaggieMight · 14/09/2020 22:56

The moon landing was a political competition and the countries involved spent $$$. I don't think there's the same zeal for getting to Mars.

I don't care for any further space exploration. It would be better to focus on sorting out our own planet before shooting out more space debris.

AfterSchoolWorry · 14/09/2020 22:57

I don't think so.

thenightsky · 14/09/2020 23:16

I do hope so, but I'm old, so I doubt it. Sad

Brahumbug · 15/09/2020 07:45

Getting to Mars is all about having the the political will to spend the money. NASA was originally planning a mission to Mars for around 1980, but budget cuts ended that. They even had the propulsion system sorted, the NERVA thermal nuclear engine. If the Chinese look like getting there first, then watch the demand from the US Senate grow and the money being suddenly available.

WhoWouldHaveThoughtThat · 15/09/2020 07:49

I think the effort should go into sorting out our current planet before we go off and bugger up another one. Hmm

Pelleas · 15/09/2020 07:51


It’s a God Awful small affair....


I doubt it but I don't see myself being (or desire to be) particularly long-lived.
IDontLikeZombies · 15/09/2020 08:05

I'm with *Crafty", looking at the gross stupidity with which we're handling the crises we've got ourselves into now I'd be surprised if there were a lot of us left to go to Mars.

IamTomHanks · 15/09/2020 08:08

Nasa has planned a Mars mission for 2030....So yes... Do people not read the news?

peakotter · 15/09/2020 11:33

@IamTomHanks that’s interesting but not quite what the article says.

“ NASA is developing the capabilities needed to send humans to an asteroid by 2025 and Mars in the 2030s ”

So they will possibly have the capability by the end of 2039. Whether they send them or not is another matter. And “to Mars” doesn’t necessarily mean walking on the surface.

I used to work in a closely related field and know how the PR spin works. It always sells (to politicians or the public) to talk about human exploration or aliens. In reality the scientists behind it are interested in other things than planting a flag. Understanding how humans could live in space and the geology of mars is far more interesting.

The big problem with getting to Mars is having enough fuel to leave the surface and get back. Martian orbit is a possibility but I can’t see the scientific benefit of sending people when robotics and AI will advance significantly in the next decade or two.

Heffalooomia · 15/09/2020 11:35

I think robotic missions to other planets are much more likely I think we will be able to have virtual tours
UFOs that we see .....those are robot probes from other civilizations investigating us, we will do the same, it's a natural progression

hoping4onlychild · 15/09/2020 11:36

Is it bad that I have more confidence in our ability to go to mars/colonize another planet than sort out climate change?

GainingKnowledge · 15/09/2020 14:47

Just had a look and it took just over 2 days (51 hours and 49 minutes) to get to the lunar orbit on Apollo 11. It was almost 110 hours into the mission that the "One small step for man" speech was made.

peakotter · 15/09/2020 15:59

Time is not the biggest issue. The mars rover took about 260 days using a slingshot method. Living there will be tough but people have already experimented for decades by living in domes in the desert and reusing air etc.

The biggest problem is getting home. Carrying enough fuel to lift off from Mars’ gravity is very very difficult. Sending people with no way to get back wouldn’t be good politically.

2tired2bewitty · 15/09/2020 16:07

Dd1 plans to be amongst the first colonisers of Mars, and then when they’ve got a sustainable society running to open the first theatre on Mars Grin

If you like Martian stories I highly recommend the Red, Green and Blue Mars books by Kim Stanley Robinson which detail a new Martian society from first arrival to fully terraformed earth2.

corythatwas · 15/09/2020 16:23

I think the effort should go into sorting out our current planet before we go off and bugger up another one.

This. Very much this.

Moondust001 · 15/09/2020 16:31

The way things are at the moment, I volunteer to go. Now. Send me with a full kindle and I won't be worried about coming back.

notimagain · 15/09/2020 17:17

Roughly two and a half days to get to the Moon on the sort of trajectories Apollo used. The shortest round trip for a landing mission was Apollo 11 with just over 8 days.

Mars is a completely different proposition - about 6 months outbound at best and because of it independently orbiting the Sun (unlike the Moon which of course is always in orbit around the Earth) there would almost certainly need to be some time spent at or near Mars, waiting for the Earth to get into position for the return..end result is bound to be a mission of well over a year, perhaps nearly two or even more ..and that brings into play all the potentially nasty medical and psychological effects of longterm space flight.

I think it will happen in the next 10-30 years but I'd not pin my hope of a definite date - and I'd ignore any press releases...Just after Apollo 11 I remember NASA were promising a man on Mars in the early 80s , using Nuclear propulsion......

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