NASA Is Broke, Mars Mission Is Impossible

Pablo Tucker
July 14, 2017

According to Gerstenmaier, it is simply not possible for NASA to announce a date by which it would be able to send a manned mission to Mars as the agency doesn't have enough money to accomplish the mission.

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. However, NASA recently announced that they won't be able to get humans to Mars due to their current budget.

On March 21, President Donald Trump issued a mandate for the agency to get people to Mars by the 2030s, and within a week, NASA came up with a detailed plan for landing a human on the Red Planet.

Gerstenmaier told the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics that NASA might be interested in another Moon mission instead.

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.

While not citing what exactly has driven such monetary constraints, it would appear to be linked to NASA's planned launch and delivery system - the Space Launch System and Orion capsule - that were recently shown to cost far more per launch than the space agency is comfortable with at $1bn. NASA should get more funding in coming years to sustain the effort, or private with the private sector to work on cheaper solutions to get people to Mars.

The agency, which has successfully sent rovers and landing craft to Mars, may fail to reach the goal of sending humans to the planet within the time it envisioned.

Gerstenmaier also said that NASA is exploring Moon missions, including establishing a base on Earth's satellite. The Space Launch System, supposed to fly only once a year, would cost more than $1 billion.

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