Nasa says not enough funding to land humans on Mars


The space agency's Mars mission calls for astronauts to actually set foot on the Red Planet by the end of the 2030s, despite the fact that funding for this huge initiative has never really matched the ambition.

This month, movements of the planets will put Mars nearly directly behind the sun, from Earth's perspective, causing curtailed communications between Earth and Mars.

The agency has landed several unmanned exploratory vehicles on Mars, with the most recent one - the Curiosity rover, which landed in August 2012 -costing an estimated $2.5 billion.

NASA revealed yesterday that this year's moratorium will be happening from July 22 to August 1 while also stating that this moratorium is out of caution.

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The phenomenon, known as a solar conjunction, happens every 26 months and blocks the path of radio waves between Mars and Earth, severely curtailing communications. During most solar conjunctions, including this year's, Mars does not go directly behind the sun. Over this period, the two planets are temporarily invisible to each other as the sun obscures their views. The sun's corona, which always extends far from the surface of the sun, becomes visible during total eclipses. This particular positioning of Mars in our sky is a conjunction, and, around every Mars conjunction with the sun, NASA has a moratorium on sending commands to its Mars spacecraft. "Orbiters will be making their science observations and transmitting data".

According to Futurism, Musk had recently announced that he may be giving an update on SpaceX's planned Mars mission in September, as part of his appearance at the International Astronautical Congress.

Edwards said, "All of these spacecraft are now veterans of conjunction. We know what to expect", Edwards said. A higher budget would ease the agency's troubles but only to a limited extent because there are technologies that need to be developed to make human exploration - or even landing - on Mars possible.