"If we start now, in 25 years we might have these technologies available to help us and protect us from these long transit times," said former NASA astronaut Tim Jones
NASA officials said on Tuesday that despite numerous challenges, including deadly radiation from the cosmos, potential vision loss and atrophying bones, they believe they’ll be able to put humans on Mars within the next 25 years.
“The cost of solving those means that under current budgets, or slightly expanded budgets, it’s going to take about 25 years to solve those,” said former NASA astronaut Tom Jones, according to Al Jazeera.
Jones added that one way to reduce the risk of the extreme toll a 225 million kilometer-trip would take on the human body, is to make the travel there even shorter. The trip currently takes nine months.
Nuclear propulsion systems could help with this by producing electricity on the flight.
“If we start now, in 25 years we might have these technologies available to help us and protect us from these long transit times,” he said.
According to the Great Lakes Ledger, a trip to Mars today would give an astronaut as much radiation as they’re expected to receive over their entire career.
NASA also announced on Tuesday that the Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) lander is scheduled to touch down on Mars on November 26. It will dig deep into the soil and will become the first spacecraft to study Mars’ deep interior.
“Its data also will help scientists understand the formation of all rocky worlds, including our own,” they wrote in a press release.