Walking on Mars in one of humanity's greatest dreams. Who will be the first to achieve it: USA, Europe, China, a mixed crew or another country?
Who will be the first to send humans to Mars?
The European Union, United States and China are today the three biggest economies in the World and have big ambitions regarding space exploration. Russia has also a big tradition in space missions and is still a fundamental international partner (currently wihout the Soyouz rockets NASA and ESA astronauts would not be able to reach the Internation Space Station). Nevertheless, for economic reasons, it seems unlikely that Russia alone could afford to send a manned program to land on Mars in the near future. Therefore the most likely scenarios involving humans landing in Mars would be:
- An US mission: United States has the most successful space agency (NASA) with impressive achievements such as the Apollo program and the launch of the robotic rover Curiosity. NASA has the biggest budget of all space agencies (17,8 billion USD in 2012) and leads the search of extraterrestrial life.
- A European mission: Europe has also a long tradition of space exploration with ESA. Maybe the most iconic achievements were the Ariane rockets, and more recently, the landing of Philae on a comet. The budget is much lower than NASA (5,5 billion USD in 2013).
- A Chinese mission: China is the most recent contender in the race for space exploration, with CNSA. The Chinese have their own space station (Tiangong 1), have sent rover to the Moon (Chang’e 3) and have ambitions to send manned program to land on the Moon. Their budget is much lower than the other two (1,3 billion USD) but the economy is growing very fast and will likely overcome the US and the European economies in the next few years.
- A mixed international program is also a possibility, especially if it involves Russian FKA (who still has a budget of 5,6 billion USD for space exploration). The International Space Station is a great example of what cooperation can achieve.
- Other countries could also try to send manned program to Mars by their own in the future. In addition to the abovemention Russia, India (space agency ISRO), encouraged by its fast growing economy and the success of its Mars Orbiter Mission, could try to be the first one. Finally we can’t forget about Japan JAXA.
Do you think mankind will ever launched a manned program to land on Mars? Which aerospace agency will achieve this dream?
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Who will be the first to send humans to Mars: United States, Europe or China?
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