Sending Humans to Mars Has Never Been Closer - NASA

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Sending Humans to Mars on track for 2030

Last Wednesday,, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Administrator Charles Bolden stressed NASA's commitment to sending humans to Mars. 

In a meeting at the Center for American Progress in Washington, DC, Bolden stressed that US President Barack Obama remains committed to sending humans to Mars and that NASA's deadline for making that happen is 2030.

As Bolden stressed to the crowd:

We're closer to sending human beings to the Red Planet than ever before in human history.
Curiosity Landing a precursor to sending humans to Mars

To help prepare for that mission , Bolden explained, NASA has developed a long term strategy that ws recently laid out in their Journey to Mars report.  And, as part of that strategy, they plan to send an unmanned lander and rover module in 2020.

In his statements to the press gathering, Bolden commented that NASA will send a ...

new rover to the red planet in 2020 that will help us prepare for [a] human mission.

This particular unmanned mission would include a sample return capability.  The rover will be designed to collect rocks and geological samples and send them back to Earth for direct scientific examination.

Bolden also said that when the 2030 manned mission arrives on the Martian surface, the astronauts will not have to build their own base because it will have already been constructed underground for them by robots sent in advance -- a human and robot collaboration.

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As he pointed out:

We are going to send a team of robots in. We will send the robotic precursors in. ... That's what I mean about collaboration between humans and robotic technology.

An underground base on Mars would have many advantages over one constructed on the planet's surface, Bolden added. The most important of which would be for shielding against harsh radiation.

I think we will probably live under ground for the most part. It gets rid of the need for above ground shielding.

Never before have we closer to sending humans to Mars. 

We can hardly wait.

What do you think? Will NASA reach the goal of sending humans to Mars by 2030? Share your thoughts in the comments below.​

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