NASA and other aerospace companies are rushing to take humans to Mars. However, one former space traveler put a damper on the mission.
Enter Chris Hadfield
One person who does not believe that humans are not ready to visit the fourth planet is retired Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield. Hadfield, who has the distinguished privilege of being the very first Canadian astronaut to walk in space, stated that NASA and aerospace companies such as SpaceX and Blue Origin might not be able to deliver humans safely to Mars. The MasterClass professor believed that Blue Origin's New Glenn, SpaceX's Big Falcon Rocket, and the space agency's Space Launch System were capable of the dangerous mission.
He noted that neither rocket could take humankind into deep space. Hadfield added that people could not handle the long distance between Earth and the red planet. He also cautioned that space travel is treacherous and that some people might not be able to survive the journey.
While Hadfield believes that the three space transportation groups could get to Mars, he is more concerned with the astronauts' well-being. Hadfield noted that the developing rockets such as NASA's Space Launch System and Space X's Big Falcon Rocket could still pose a risk due to yet to be discovered safety concerns. Hadfield advised that until the aerospace specialists conclude finetuning the rockets, they should continue to be safe, use familiar options, and not put human lives on the line.
"Why wouldn't we just sent robots for a while until we learn a lot more about Mars?" said Hadfield to Business Insider.
He also compared the interplanetary travel to the impossible task of using a canoe to travel the ocean. Hadfield also advised that the space transportation groups looked at other options that could make space travel safer. He cautiously suggested that they look at alternatives such as nuclear power or ion propulsion to power their ships.
Several NASA leaders met with members of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee on Capitol Hill on June 14. The committee members were unhappy with the space agency after the Government Accountability Office released a scathing report that mentioned NASA was falling behind in completing projects.
The significant projects that caused NASA to fall back were the Orion Crew Vehicle, the James Webb Space Telescope, the Space Launch System, and the Commercial Crew Program. The NASA leaders countered that the space agency faced numerous challenges such as high project manager turnovers and funding instability.
Axiom Space just announced that it would open the first commercial space station in 2022. The price of a vacation in space is $55 million. Tourists would need to train at the Johnson Space Center for 15 weeks before taking a SpaceX rocket to the station.
SpaceX is looking to hire more than 500 people to join their workforce. Most of the jobs that the aerospace company has available are in the engineering, operations, and manufacturing departments. Software engineers must have backgrounds in either computer science, math, physics, and either a computer or electrical engineering to apply.
Tech Times contacted both Blue Origin and SpaceX for a comment on this story.