The distance to Mars is unimaginable to most people. But think about this: a trip to the Red Planet will take an exhausting, mind-numbing six months. And that’s only one way. Between the time spent on Mars and allowing for suitable conditions for the trip back, a mission to Mars will last about two and a half years.
The June issue of IEEE Spectrum features an impressive report on travel to Mars.
“Could China Get to Mars First?” suggests that China’s quickly developing space hardware will allow China to beat the U.S. back to the moon and perhaps even to Mars.
“What to Wear on Mars” gives readers a preview of the sci-fi-esque space suit that may debut on Mars. The clingy, stretchy material of the BioSuit allows for 8 hours of wandering around the Red Planet. Unlike the puffy suits used today, rips are easily repaired and limbs can move more freely. An added bonus: BioSuits costs a tenth of the $20 million price tag of the current suits.
“Space Is Big Business” notes that last year the United States spent four-fifths of the $83 billion 13 countries collectively invested on space. Corporations world-wide spent two dollars for every government dollar. Half of that corporate money went to direct-to-home TV, which depends on satellites in space.
Source: IEEE Spectrum