When the BBC starts making interactive sites ( http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-23349496 ), you know something is a hot topic, so read on… Scientists at Imperial College London have designed a concept mission to land astronauts on Mars.
It would entail a craft existing of two parts: the Martian lander with a heat shield, in which the crew would also ascent into Earth orbit, and a cylindrical craft split into three floors. Travelling through space for long durations brings up major issues, perhaps the most important one being the muscle and bone wastage that weightlessness causes, which would render astronauts unable to walk upon arrival at their destination. To prevent this, the team explains that the two parts would, once in space, unwind from eachother on a steel cable. Short truster bursts would then set in motion the rotation needed to generate artificial gravity similar to Earth’s.
Aside from the deconditioning of the human body, another cause for concern is solar and cosmic radiation. Several solutions are proposed, including running water within the shell of the cruise craft to absorb the radtiation, while another solution would mean fitting superconducting magnets to the craft that would generate a magnetosphere similar to Earth’s.
You can read the full article here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-22952441
As more prominent organisations start to report of the possibilities of the first human visit to Mars, and the race to launch paying customers into space is heating up. But colonizing another planet, can you imagine? We already introduced the Inspiration Mars Foundation, headed up by business tycoon Dennis Tito. Another project out there is the Dutch Mars One which will be looking to establish a permanent human settlement on Mars in 2023 – talk about being ambitious! And then of course there is billionaire inventor Elon Musk of SpaceX who has also plans to visit the Red Planet, possibly permanently.
We might see the day when we will look up at the sky, and see our second home, like a red dot in a vast ocean of space. It might make us redefine our place in the universe… who knows.