Mars 2033, from docu-fiction to the hars reality
The race towards Mars has been taking place for decades, but the goal, to be able to carry a human crew to explore the Red Planet, is still far away, as it shows the continuous skid of the anticipated date for the departure of the first human mission.
The first one who proposed it was Wernher von Braun, the man who developed the Saturn V rocket which carried humans on the Moon, who thought to succeed in sending six men on Mars within the beginning of the Eighties.
The goal: men on Mars between 2024 and 2033
In the following decades the date for the realization of a human outpost on Mars kept on skidding first to 2020, then 2030 and at last to mid Thirties, as President Barack Obama declared in 2010 (while China hopes to launch its own human missions toward Mars between 2040 -2060 and Esa with Aurora programme bucking for a mission in 2033).
Nevertheless, private companies like SpaceX, Boeing or Lockeed Martin entering into the industry could lead to slightly accelerate the times and to launch the first human mission to Mars by 2024-2028.
Serious challenges on the path to mars
The difficulties of the endeavor are tied up not only to the cost, rather to the logistic difficulties, so much relevant that NASA is now planning to enter an “independence from the Earth” phase for its future mission (even if this could mean other decades), to the safe landing and take-off from a planet with consistent mass and rarefied atmosphere which makes it necessary the use of retro-rockets in both the phases (to avoid to crash to the ground like the Schiapparelli probe did) and to health threats, due to the exposure to high-energy cosmic rays and other ionizing radiations as well as to weight loss, prolonged isolation from Earth and contamination with possible Martian microbes, just to remember the main challenges.
National Geographic launches Mars
Despite or perhaps because of these challenges, Mars is a target which fascinates not only science but even the mainstream media, so it’s not surprising that National Geographic has devoted to the race towards Mars a six-part docudrama television miniseries, “Mars”, which blends elements of real interviews with a fictional story of a group of astronauts taking off toward Mars in 2033, with the goal to turn the Red Planet, one day, into the new house of the human kind.
The series, produced by Brian Grazer and Ron Howard, is very thought-provoking, with interviews to American astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, to astronaut Scott Kelly and to visionary entrepreneur Elon Musk, founder and owner of Tesla, SolarCity and the same SpaceX.