Calls have been made to NASA urging it to send humans to Mars, arguing that humans can perform tasks in hours that take robots years to complete. The Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group (MEPAG) suggests that it is time for direct human exploration of the Red Planet rather than relying solely on Mars rovers and robotics for data collection.
According to a report from the Daily Star, the Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group is pressuring NASA to speed up sending humans to Mars. They argued that despite the presence of robots on Mars, their slow data processing capacity causes setbacks. Bruce Jackowski, the principal investigator, emphasized to Space.com that despite the significant attention paid to Mars missions, scientific progress has not reached the level to send humans to explore Mars.
Bruce Jakosky told Space.com that while a lot of attention is paid to planning human trips to Mars, not enough attention is paid to scientific exploration. Jakosky, who is a senior research scientist, suggested that improving missions to Mars could make research progress faster.
In his criticism of the upcoming Artemis missions, Bruce Jakosky commented on the projects planned by NASA to bring astronauts closer to Mars. Jakosky suggested that the current Artemis missions lack effective collaboration and proposed sending teams to Mars sooner rather than later.
He also said that sending astronauts facilitates collaboration between science and engineering. According to him, EVA’s human activity can speed up time-consuming data processing tasks for rovers. Jakosky urged NASA to consider including astronauts in plans such as the Moon Mission to Mars.
Jakosky highlighted the efficiency of human beings during extravehicular activities (EVA). He emphasized that astronauts can complete data acquisition and sample collection in a matter of hours, tasks that have taken rovers years to accomplish. As NASA’s Moon-Mars initiative advances, Jakosky emphasized the importance of considering developing instruments and supporting technologies now to prepare astronauts to perform exceptional science on Mars.
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first published: February 9, 2024, 11:00 IST
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