For one thing, humans will be able to make quicker decisions, without having to rely on commands from scientists on Earth, like robots do. What can take a rover days and weeks to analyze, a person can study in just hours. In addition, humans will be able to move around the planet much faster than a robot can. The Curiosity rover, which is currently exploring Mars, can only travel about the length of a football field in one day.
However, getting humans to Mars and keeping them safe will require advances in technology. Not only is Mars very far away, it also lacks breathable air, usable water, and protection from the sun. A round-trip to Mars takes about 18 months, and there isn’t enough room on current spacecraft to carry all the food, water, and other items humans would need to survive. That’s why NASA is looking for ways to utilize the Martian soil, water, and other resources.
Exploring space is beneficial for all of us. At NASA, we’re confident that one day humans will be able to travel to Mars, live and work there, and return safely to Earth. It’s just a matter of time. Will you be one of the astronauts to explore Mars?
Chief Scientist, NASA