Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Plans to build budget trip to Mars

NASA is working with private industry to go well beyond simply supplying ferry flights to the International Space Station, but to Mars on the cheap.

Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX, is preparing to launch its second test Dragon capsule on 30 November with the intention of docking it at the space station.

In addition to carrying cargo to and from the station, SpaceX plans to upgrade the Dragon to fly people into space and to one day land it on Mars.

"We figured out that for a pretty low cost, a Dragon capsule on a Falcon Heavy (rocket) could go to Mars for hundreds of millions of dollars, not billions," says Pete Worden, director of NASA's Ames Research Center, speaking at the NewSpace 2011 commercial space conference last weekend.

The mission, informally known as Red Dragon, would follow NASA's upcoming US$2.5 billion (AU$2.3 billion) Mars Science Laboratory, which is due to launch in November and arrive on Mars next August. Its goal is to determine if the red planet is, or ever was, suitable for microbial life.

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1 comment:

Joseph said...

.Have you heard of this free energy researcher called mehran keshe who is a nuclear engineer who has developed a plasma reactor which can provide antigravity lift. he has a prototype that has achieved lift. Website is , , . He is going to demonstrate his technology at Elektor live here in Netherlands . Fascinating technology. He plans trips to the moan and Mars by 2014 for 19000 and 50000 Euros.