Astronauts getting to Mars is the ‘next big thing’ in space exploration. However, legendary astronaut Chris Hadfield doesn’t believe that NASA, SpaceX or Blue Origin will be able to send humans on the Red Planet. Why is he skeptical?
We Don’t Have the Technology Yet
Mr. Hadfield said that neither big rocket companies have the technology to do it:
“Personally, I don’t think any of those three rockets is taking people to Mars. I don’t think those are a practical way to send people to Mars because they’re dangerous and it takes too long.”
Meanwhile, all three rocket companies have confirmed they’re looking to reach Mars.
NASA planned to reach Mars by 2030 with a manned crew after they send an unmanned rover by 2020. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk wants to send people to Mars and colonize it. And Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin is also thinking of sending a spacecraft to the Red Planet.
But Mr. Hadfield is not yet convinced that even working together, all three companies won’t be able to overcome the dangers of such a mission:
“We could send people to Mars, and decades ago — I mean, the technology that took us to the moon and back when I was just a kid, that technology can take us to Mars, but it would be at significant risk.”
There is a way to get to Mars, but the astronauts have little survival chances, he adds:
“The majority of the astronauts that we send on those missions wouldn’t make it; they’d die. Because the technology is still quite primitive.”
If We Could “Harness Gravity…”
Among the biggest issues in space are radiation, starvation, technical failure and many other issues that could appear in space.
Elon Musk stated a couple of years ago that sending men to Mars is a dangerous task, and fatality is most likely to be part of the mission.
Mr. Hadfield hopes that, if we can harness gravity, there might be a chance to get to Mars in one piece:
“Maybe the work that’s going on with the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer on the space station and in the particle accelerator in CERN and other places is going to show us how we can harness gravity. It sounds outlandish, but we figured out how to harness electricity and what electrons do, and that seemed crazy, and it’s revolutionised life and travel. So who knows?”
Andre Blair s is the lead editor for Advocator.ca. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.) from the School of Public Health, Department of Health Administration, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Andre specializes in environmental health, but writes on a variety of issues.