A human mission to Mars has been the subject of science fiction, aerospace engineering and scientific proposals since the 20th century. Plans include landing on Mars for exploration at a minimum, with the possibility of sending settlers and terraforming the planet or exploring its moons Phobos and Deimos also considered.
The exploration of Mars has been a goal of national space programs for decades. Conceptual work for missions that would involve human explorers has been ongoing since the 1950s, with planned missions typically being stated as taking place anywhere between 10 and 30 years from the time they are drafted. The list of crewed Mars mission plans shows the various mission proposals that have been put forth by multiple organizations and space agencies in this field of space exploration. Plans have varied from scientific expeditions, in which a small group (between two and eight astronauts) would visit Mars for a period of a few weeks or year, to the permanent colonization of Mars.
Mars Base Camp (MBC) is a US spacecraft concept that proposes to send astronauts to Mars orbit as early as 2028. The vehicle concept, developed by Lockheed Martin, would utilize both future and heritage technology as well as the Orion spacecraft built by NASA.
Artist impression of the Deep Space Transport, about to dock with the Lunar Gateway
Deep Space Transport
The ‘Deep Space Transport (DST), also called Mars Transit Vehicle, is a crewed interplanetary spacecraft concept by NASA to support science exploration missions to Mars of up to 1,000 days.It would be composed of two elements: an Orion capsule and a propelled habitation module. As of April 2018, the DST is still a concept to be studied, and NASA has not officially proposed the project in an annual U.S. federal government budget cycle.
The DST vehicle would depart and return from the Lunar Gateway to be serviced and reused for a new Mars mission.
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