NASA Mars Might be Stop for a few Years

One of the next steps for ambitious space agency NASA will send to Mars in 2020 on the new rover. Objective: To collect samples of soil of the Red Planet and return them to Earth. The mission will be the first step towards the further implementation of an ambitious plan to study Mars and is a high priority among the entire scientific community. The problem is that NASA is still no developed a “second step”. To date, the Agency has not yet been invented, how it plans to collect samples from Mars and take them back to Earth.

According to Planetary Society (American non-governmental non-profit organization dedicated to projects in the fields of astronomy, planetary science, space exploration and popularization of science), published an analytical report on the current state of NASA’s Mars Exploration, it can become a very big problem.

NASA Mars might stop for a few years

However, the report, called “Mars Retrograde prospect” quite clearly emerges a gloomy picture of the future of the program under discussion. After the problems with financing, which lasted for the past decade, the program was postponed several times, and some of the planned in the framework of its mission simply canceled. And judging by NASA documents Martian research after 2020, waiting for another pause, as after that date the agency, there are no official plans. Even in the works.

Planetary Society indicates that now is the time to start developing new missions related to our planetary neighbor, if the US does not want to lose sight of Mars for at least several years. To continue the study of the Red Planet will require the creation of a new orbiter, which will provide communications capabilities, as well as equipment, with the help of which you can not only collect, but also bring samples of Mars back to Earth.

And as is usually the mission of this magnitude are developed within a few years, the issue will have to worry about now, in time for the implementation phase in the mid-2020s or even 2030s.

In the meantime, it looks that the new mission might be at all behind. Given the country’s president requested from Congress for NASA budget for 2018, from the agency, no one expects the development of new missions related to Mars. However, in subsequent years, the agency may find it difficult to develop new programs.

According to Space News, over the next five years, the agency will be very limited in the media, while the volume of these funds could not be adjusted to reflect the current level of inflation. From this we can conclude that the development of new space vehicles NASA may have to tighten their belts. And if things do not change in the near future, then, according to the Planetary Society, problem solving issues related to future space exploration of Mars, the country may take several decades.

According to Dreyer, the most important thing at the moment is the development of a new Mars orbiter. Because any running Mars spacecraft must be able to transmit data to Earth. Now circling the Red Planet three NASA orbital system, but only two – Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and Mars Odyssey – can be used for the transmission of radio communications. obsolete equipment.

Both devices are located close to Mars for more than 10 years and has long worked more than planned on their core mission. By the time the Red Planet apparatus for collecting soil samples will be sent these satellites can already be damaged and stop working. Of course, next to Mars are orbiting NASA and other cell phones and other space agencies, but they are mainly designed for scientific work. In addition, their orbit is poorly suited to carry out radio communications gear, noted in the Planetary Society.

This fact is not only about the technology to collect and send samples of Martian soil to Earth, which will require the availability of a reliable channel to send messages. Any spacecraft sent by Mars, will need to have a stable link with the earth. NASA wants to send humans to the Red Planet in 2030-ies, and for the success of the mission agency in any case have to decide on the establishment of a reliable near-Martian communications infrastructure.

Under consideration by the agency are now several new concepts orbiters, however, as indicated by the Planetary Society, the time for decision-making is almost gone.

“Frankly speaking, the development had to start yesterday,” – says Dreyer.

In order to have time to run the machine to the 2022-2024 years, it is necessary to review the agency’s budget for the 2018 fiscal year. Dreyer would like to believe that the US president can persuade Congress to re-return to this subject. The outlook for the development of new missions are still there, but the sooner the question of the necessary funding will be reviewed, the better.

Apart from the new orbiter, NASA needs at least to begin a study on the development of technology that will be used to collect Martian soil samples, says Dreyer. The challenge will also be very difficult. It will require the use of an apparatus which can not only take, but also to fly to Mars. Furthermore, it is necessary to figure out how to transport samples to a technique that lie on the surface.

Now before NASA are equally important issues to be addressed. The agency is still no permanent administrator, and to some extent that’s why the United States is planning to revive the National Space Board to solve existing problems in the space industry. It remains unclear direction of the vector of development, which is going to elect the NASA administration.

It may happen that the agency would refuse to study Mars and switch to something else. The Planetary Society only hope that all these issues will be addressed in the near future, otherwise there is a possibility of losing potential deep space exploration for several years, giving it direction of the space agencies of other countries.

“We just want to warn you that the decision must be taken now, so you do not have to justify their lack of foresight and negligence. At NASA is now really a lot of problems, but this one has the potential to be worn under the most long consequences. “

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