Mars is still the "promised land" for the second human home, but why can't we set foot on it yet?
According to Business Insider, we may have been on Mars 30 years ago. At the height of the Apollo project in the early 1970s, NASA planned its next step to continue exploring the unknown mysteries of the universe.
The plan includes building many space stations, continuing trips to the moon and bringing the first crew to Mars in 1980.
But NASA never brought humans to Mars in the 1980s. 30 years later, this is still a man's dream. But the real reason behind this secret is not necessarily related to technology or innovation. It is really related to politics.
As a government agency, NASA's goals are determined by Executive Branch . Since its founding, NASA has served under 12 US presidents. And it is clear from the beginning that no president will support NASA.
At the end of the Nixon administration (1974), NASA's budget plummeted from 4% of the total Federal budget to less than 1%. The tasks planned for Apollo 18, 19 and 20 are therefore canceled.
At the same time, Nixon pulled NASA's focus away from the moon and Mars, instead he wanted them to target the Earth's low orbit.His "farewell gift" was an effective decision that led to NASA's Space Shuttle Program .
Dr. Peter Diamandis - who was named by Fortune magazine as one of the "50 best leaders in the world" and CEO of XPrize - said: "So the space history after the Apollo era is a chain. Just like President Bush wanted to go to the Moon, the president then wanted to go back to Mars and the next person wanted to cancel all plans. This cannot maintain consistent financial resources to do anything ".
It was not until the Space Shuttle Program was almost "retired" , that a mission of exploring Mars was considered and funded by the US president.
George W. Bush, in 2004, announced: "We will bring NASA a new vision for future exploration. We will build new spacecraft to gain a foothold. new on the Moon ".
As a result, NASA's Constellation program was born. You may have never heard of it because it was canceled a few years later. The mission of this program is to bring the crew to the Moon in 2020 and to Mars in 2030.
By the time Obama was sworn in, the Constellation Program had been delayed in plans and budgets. A year later, Obama canceled 100% of the program's budget.
In 2010, President Obama said: "Everything must be changed. With this project, I will outline it today."
Obama turned NASA's attention away from bringing people to the Moon and Mars and focusing only on every Mars. In the process, he asked Congress to increase NASA's budget to $ 6 billion over the next five years.
As a result, NASA launched the "Journey to Mars" initiative in 2010, with the aim of bringing people into orbit around Mars in the early 2030s. Until recently, NASA has been more or less on track. .
But then, President Trump came to power and he turned his research focus back to the Moon. For NASA, this is not something new, they have learned how to improve the old project to fit into new projects. For example, the developed Orion for Constellation has been redesigned for the "Journey to Mars" program.
Saying anything, NASA could not prevent space policies from changing under US presidents. In addition to NASA, some private companies like SpaceX are also targeting the red planet.