The glorious arrival of the Perseverance rover inspires all the Americans, and certainly many more parts of the world. President Biden follows it up by the way of a launch program in order to send Humans on Mars.
Even though the robotic rovers are marvelous, they do not help to resolve the fundamental science-based questions that Mars presents to the human world. This in turn is related to a potential prevalence and variety of life in the cosmos. The early Mars is much similar to the early Earth which is a rocky warm and wet planet with an atmosphere that dominates carbon dioxide. The life of earth began when our planet had abundant water in its liquid form.
Few questions on Mars that mankind thinks for over thousands of years include:
- Is there water available on Mars too?
- If yes, does it have the same DNA-RNA information system as life on Earth or it is something else?
- We are aware of billions of stars that have planets, does it hold true life is found everywhere?
- What is life on Mars? Is it similar to the one on Earth or it is just an example that concludes from an array of possibilities?
It is believed that the answered to these questions can be received if we send humans to Mars.
Fossil hunting is required in order to find out past life evidence. Perseverance will take a shot at Mars; however, humans will do the task much better. This is because humans have the ability to travel far over tough terrain, climb, dig, handle situations with delicate hands, and following intuitions to follow clues. To find extinct life on Mars, nature requires drilling down hundreds of meters to reach subversive water where life might still flourish.
Humans are also very efficient to:
- Bring samples to the earth
- Culture the samples
- Subject them to analysis for better understanding
The abilities mentioned above are light years beyond the ability of robotic rovers.
Some experts believe that sending humans to Mars is a task of the future since we are not capable of such an activity. In reality, the means to complete such a mission is close to hands. To send humans on Mars does not require building a humongous multi-megawatt ion drive science works of fiction spacecraft. While on the flip side, it requires sending a payload of 10 tons or more which poses capabilities to support a small group of people from Earth to Mars. The payload is sent, landed and another comparable payload is sent back to Earth.
Currently operational SpaceX Falcon Heavy can toss a 10-ton grade lander to Mars. NASA SLS and SpaceX Starship are soon to be operational with a capability of a 20 – ton lander. So, with this, we have the loader covered but the lander is the next thing to set focus on.
At present, the Perseverance landing system is capable to deliver 1 ton to the Mar’s surface. In order to begin with human explorations on Mars, a 10 – ton class hander is a must. The following ways demonstrate ways to create such a system:
- Usage of aeroshells
- Uses of parachutes and landing jets
- A miniature version of Starship
The bottom line is that if we can send 1 ton on Mars then 10 tonnes do not seem difficult. It requires pure engineering and not scientific explorations.
Now is the time to act on the plan. There is nothing that is beyond the capability of humans be it technical or financial. Rather than spending time and resources on various expensive space stations in orbits, if a decision to send human life to Mars approves, we may tackle the central challenges human Mars missions face. Joe Biden by embracing it takes the key step to allow America to astonish the world once again with the human capabilities. The pandemic showcases the importance of science in our lives. People are the ultimate resource that is essential in order to meet any challenge the future may bring.