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Plan allows for human Mars missions in 2030s
Posted: Wed, Apr 8, 2015, 9:39 AM ET (1339 GMT)
A new proposal discussed at a recent workshop would allow human missions to Mars in the 2030s without a major increase in NASA's budget. The plan, discussed at a workshop in Washington hosted by The Planetary Society, features a series of precursor missions in cislunar space before sending a human mission to orbit Mars in 2033. That would be followed by a "short-stay" landing mission in 2039. The plan, developed internally at JPL, was subjected to a cost analysis by The Aerospace Corporation and found it could fit into NASA's current budget, adjusted for inflation, provided NASA ended its operations of the ISS in 2024 or, at the latest, 2028. The Planetary Society hopes the discussions about the plan lead to action, although most likely not until the next president takes office.
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