It seems that lately everybody wants to go to Mars. NASA is organizing a comprehensive selection process in order to chose the 24 members of a team that will embark on a one-way trip to the red planet. But NASA’s program is only one of the Mars missions set to take place in the 2020’s.
It looks like after the US, Russia, the EU and India, it is now the United Arab Emirates’ turn to go to Mars. In 2020 they are sending a probe to the red planet that is meant to collect extremely comprehensive information on Mars’ atmosphere.
In the promotional video of the mission posted on YouTube, project manager Omran Sharaf said that the aim of their project is to produce the first “truly global picture of the Martian atmosphere”. He explained that theirs is the “first holistic study of the Martian climate and how the layers of its atmosphere fit together.”
The name that they gave to their mission is “Hope”. They feel that it is hope that constitutes the basis of their future endeavors and also what its success would mean to the Arab civilization.
The plan is that their probe be launched in 2020 and after a seven-month journey, reach Mars in 2021. UAE’s probe is about the size of a car and it weighs around 1,500 kilograms. It would leave Earth with enough fuel for the journey and once it gets there, it will rely on three solar panels to produce the energy it will need for its purposes.
The UAE probe will utilize a color camera to get comprehensive photographs of the field and infrared and ultraviolet spectrometers in order to study the Martian climate. It will put great emphasis on temperature patterns and it will analyze ice, dust and water vapor samples.
This will be done in order to create the necessary connections between what the planet has to offer organically, so as to better understand the challenges of living there.
This is why, the UAE mission will procure vital information for NASA’s program, that would be able to get a better image of what to expect from the red planet and therefore, send its 24-member team better equipped for their settlement mission.
Hundreds of thousands of people have applied to take NASA’s challenge of living on Mars. Since the knowledge of physics and astronomy was not on the requirement list, it gave way to more and more people to apply. The strong suits that NASA wanted from its future Martians were mainly physical, meaning stamina and resilience.
The short list came down to about 750 people, from which 44 are Indian. NASA announced that they are pleased about having Indian people shortlisted in the second round. Then it got even shorter in round three, reaching 100 people from all around the world.
One of the three Indians who made the cut is Ritika Singh, the logistics and supply-chain manager of a retail company from Dubai. She is 29 years old and after having traveled all around the world on hiking and mountaineering trips, she decided that the sky will not be her limit and applied for the journey to Mars.
The 24 people whom NASA will select will be trained for nine years and then leave for Mars in 2024 to establish a human colony there. They will have to survive as much as possible on the red planet but they will not be returning home. What NASA is offering is a one-way trip to Mars.
With these programs on the way, it looks like Mars missions will be one of the main themes of the 2020’s. Hopefully, they will lead to a true living alternative for the human race. This would establish much needed stability to the future of our species and give us hope for years and years to come.
Image Source: huffpost.com
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