If we take a look at the recent astronomical advancements and what many scientists want, building a little colony on Mars should be a feasible project for the next decades. China now joins the list of countries that are planning such an ambitious task, and there’s no wonder why since Mars is also located in the ‘Goldilocks Zone’ of our Solar System.
Space.com brings the news of China’s plan to send astronauts to Mars and bring them back safely while also establishing a long-term presence on our neighbouring planet. A senior Chinese space industry official revealed the plan at the Global Space Exploration conference from St. Petersburg (Russia).
CALT completed research on mission architecture
Wang Xiaojing is president of the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALT), and he said that comprehensive research for mission architecture was already done.
Chemical rockets would be used for China’s plan to go to Mars. The Mars spacecraft would be constructed in orbit using heavy-lift launchers. Nuclear thermal propulsion would also play a major role, and cargo would fly to the Red Planet separately. A descent and ascent vehicle would be responsible for sending astronauts to and from the planet’s surface.
Elon Musk is also very confident in the chances of humanity to colonize Mars, and he believes that it should be done ASAP. The billionaire said that he is “highly confident” in the chances of SpaceX sending humans to the Red Planet by 2026. He also said that “the important thing is that we establish Mars as a self-sustaining civilization.”
Mars is the only other rocky planet from our Solar System that has any theoretical chances of hosting life forms. Venus and Mercury are the only other rocky planets remaining, but they’re way too hot to support life as we know it.