In 2057, “We should be celebrating 20 years of man on Mars,” hopes Michael Griffin.The NASA administrator addressed an international astronautics congress in Hyderabad, India on Monday.
A few years back, President Bush announced an ambitious plan to return to the moon by 2020 and use it as a stepping stone for manned missions to Mars and beyond.
“We are looking at the moon and Mars to build a civilisation for tomorrow and after that,” Griffin added in while addressing heads of the world’s space agencies.
NASA’s “Phoenix” spacecraft is scheduled to land on the northern plains of Mars in 2008 and determine whether or not life could be supported on the Red Planet.
The Mars rovers “Opportunity” and “Spirit” have resumed their three year old mission this month after surviving severe dust storms.
Amid a renewal of global interest in space exploration, missions to the moon and Mars are at the top of the agenda for the 2,000 space scientists, astronauts, satellite manufacturers and launchers who gathered in Hyderabad.“As of now, it appears space tourism may be the only way out to make space transportation economical. Though space tourism will generate funds, we have to evolve a mechanism to train the prospective tourists and ensure their safety. We do not, however, regulate space tourism, as there is no such provision in the US Space Act,” Griffin added.
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