NASA Admits It Can't Afford To Land Humans On Mars

NASA Mars Mission

Business Image Source NASA The Humans to Mars Summit

Gerstenmaier comments come almost a month after Lt. Gen. Larry James, the deputy director of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said the space agency had its sights set on Mars for the near future.

According to Gerstenmaier, NASA has enough resources to launch a Mars mission, but not enough to actually land it.

On Wednesday, NASA's chief of human spaceflight, William H. Gerstenmaier, announced the agency can not achieve the targeted mission to Mars in the 2030s with the current budget.

NASA has been preparing for a manned mission to planet Mars but the prospect of landing humans on the Red Planet faces financial hurdles.

I can't put a date on humans on Mars, and the reason really is the other piece is, at the budget levels we described, this roughly 2 percent increase, we don't have the surface systems available for Mars.

Manned Mars Mission Mandate Mangled?

"The entry, descent and landing is a huge challenge for us for Mars".

As noted, the SLS rocket and Orion vehicle cost the Agency quite expensive.

As a United States government organization funded by the taxpayers, one would think that NASA is one of the most well-funded bodies in the world.

Gerstenmaier also said that NASA is exploring Moon missions, including establishing a base on Earth's satellite.

In March, the U.S. Congress passed a bill that urges the U.S. space agency to send humans to planet Mars by 2033. Beyond just being a launching pad for further space exploration, the gateway could "support an extensive moon surface program", says Gerstenmaier.

In a recent report outlining his intentions, Mr Musk said if each SpaceX flight carries 100 people and there are 1,000 flights, then "it would take 40-100 years to achieve a fully self-sustaining civilisation on Mars".

That doesn't mean the Mars mission is canceled.

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