Zahaan Bharmal / The Guardian
Earlier this month, a group of 60 prominent scientists and engineers met behind closed doors at the University of Boulder Colorado. Their agenda: Mars colonisation.
Organised by Elon Musk’s SpaceX and attended by members of Nasa’s Mars exploration programme, the goal of this inaugural “Mars workshop” was to begin formulating concrete plans for landing, building and sustaining a human colony on Mars within the next 40 to 100 years.
This workshop signals the growing momentum and reality behind plans to actually send humans to Mars. But while SpaceX and partners ask whether we could live there, others still ask whether we should.
Robert Z. Pearlman / Space.com
HOUSTON — Jim Bridenstine wants to make sure that there is never another day when humans are not in space.
“In fact,” the NASA administrator said, “we want lots of humans in space.”
Bridenstine, who became the space agency’s chief in April, recently sat down with Space.com and other reporters during a visit to the Johnson Space Center in Houston, during which he shared what he saw as his priority for NASA going forward. [These 9 Astronauts Will Fly the 1st Flights on SpaceX and Boeing Spaceships]
“When you look back at history, look back at the end of the Apollo program, 1972 when we didn’t go back to the moon… you look back and there was a period of time there after Apollo and before the space shuttles when we had a gap of human spaceflight capability,” Bridenstine said. “And then you go forward and look at the retirement of the space shuttles in 2011, and now we’re getting to the point where we’re ready to fly commercial crew. We’ve got a gap of about eight years in our ability to fly crew into space.