The two chambers of the American Congress have just passed unanimously a text of law which directs the future missions of NASA. Among them, there is in particular a manned trip to Mars in 2033.
The race to Mars is well and truly on and 2030 could well be the decade of all challenges. NASA, of course registered at the start, will not rely this time only on its 19.508 billion dollars in funding. It now has a very clear mandate: to be the first to set foot on Martian soil. The SpaceNews site reports that the Senate and the House of Representatives have unanimously adopted a text which confirms a deadline set for 2033.
To go to Mars, you will have to go there step by step. With this objective, the text naturally calls on the American space agency to continue its efforts in the development of the Orion capsule, for which an experimental flight near the Moon is planned for 2018 and the design of the SLS (Space Launch System) which will be the NASA’s new heavy launcher for all further missions in space. Congress is also asking NASA for a « roadmap » for a first human exploration of the Red Planet, which must be submitted before December 1, 2017.
The bill sets out, among other things, the need “ expand the human presence beyond low Earth orbit and advance to manned missions to Mars in the 2030s « . The objective is more than ever displayed at a time when Russia, China or the United Arab Emirates are also planning future manned missions to the red planet.
Mars, which is at the heart of this project, is nevertheless very well supported. The text of the law deals with several other fascinating subjects from the James Webb space telescope to the Mars 2020 rover, including the follow-up to be given to the international space station or the study of Europa, one of Jupiter’s moons.