Nasa plans Mars colonies by 2030s
Humans will be living and working on Mars in colonies independent of Earth by the 2030s, claims Nasa.
The US space organisation yesterday released its plan for establishing permanent settlements on the Red Planet, setting out in detail how it aims to create "deep-space habitation facilities" to act as stepping stones to Mars.
In a report entitled 'Journey to Mars', Nasa said the mission was a "historic pioneering endeavour" similar to the settlers in the US and the Moon landing.
"Like the Apollo programme, we embark on this journey for all humanity," the report states.
"Unlike Apollo, we will be going to stay. Efforts made today and in the next decade will lay the foundation for an Earth independent, sustained presence in deep space. Living and working in space requires accepting risk and the journey is worth the risk."
Nasa has divided the challenge of getting to Mars into three stages; Earth reliant, proving ground and Earth independent.
It is gathering information from experiments aboard the International Space Station, so that crews can live in deep space without health problems from radiation and the effects of micro-gravity.