Posible sites for the first human outpost on Mars have been discussed in a recent workshop.
(Mirror Daily, United States) – NASA announces exciting new details about Mars and the future expeditions that are being planned for the red planet. NASA’s MAVEN mission began in 2013 and was started in order to better analyze the planet’s characteristics and gather information regarding Mars’ atmosphere, water content and climate conditions.
The MAVEN spacecraft has been sending back valuable information about Mars and NASA scientists are using the new findings in order to better prepare for future exploration missions that are set to take place on the planet.
One of the most debated missions to be planned for exploring the red planet is Mars One, which will concentrate its efforts on establishing the first human colony on the planet, in order to allow for human exploration of its climate, potential signs of life and specificities.
Scientists recently discussed details about a possible first exploration of Mars’ surface by humans at the First Landing Site/Exploration Zone Workshop for Human Missions to the Surface of Mars, an event which took place at the end of October. Engineers and scientists concluded that the optimal crewed site should be both high in scientific value and offer enough natural resources to aid expeditionary crews in sustaining themselves.
The workshop took place over a 3 day period in which 175 specialists participated live and 280 more joined the conferences via the internet. The researchers joined resources in order to help answer a vital question regarding the exploration: which would be the ideal site for the first human explorers on Mars to set camp in the upcoming mission?
The scientists and engineers that participated in the event looked at over 50 areas that were considered to be viable landing sites. The potential sites had to meet several standards previously set by NASA. In order for an outpost to be positioned in an area, it had to be surrounded by and exploration zone wider than 60 miles. Up to five landings at the specific touchdown zone would then allow would permit a four- to six-person crew to carry out tasks and expeditions lasting 500 Martian days each.
Vital aspects of choosing a landing site are ensuring safety during landing and the performing of operations as well as the ability to conduct research and gain access to the local resources to help sustain the human explorers.
Although it is too early to predict where exactly the first astronauts will land on Mars more than 20 years from now, the list of potential landing sites is already being studied in order to identify the best place possible for what will hopefully be the first human outpost on the red planet.
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