Space enthusiasts will agree that the 1960s saw more space activity that we are likely to see in this and the next decade. This resulted from the competition between the United States and the defunct Soviet Union (USSR). However, we will probably see more countries joining the race to Mars, the moon, and other space bodies in 2020 and beyond.
And while going to the moon is not as easy as enrolling in an online casino, countries are putting every effort to find out what the moon and planet mars hold. China, Europe, India, United Arab Emirates, Russia, and the US are part of the countries that have shown interest in the Moon and planet Mars, and you can expect space missions from these countries.
The Future is Bright
While some previous missions have failed, these countries are leveraging the experiences from such failures and the advancement in technology to land crewless space ships on the Moon and eventually send humans to planet Mars.
However, many issues need to be addressed before we can fully explore Mars. For instance, it is estimated that astronauts would need about two years on Mars if they were to conduct any fruitful experiments. This calls for mechanisms to protect them from lunar radiations. Again, how will astronauts conduct experiments with inflated hand gloves? And can we take plants from our ecosystem to Mars?
The US is first sending robots to Mars to scoop samples in a bid to learn if the planet ever had life support. On another end, China plans to collect samples of lunar soil and bring them back for further studies. If the mission succeeds, China will join the defunct USSR and the US as the only countries to have achieved this feat.
However, China seems to plan more than just getting samples. This is because the Change 5 mission will involve complex manoeuvres and several dockings that scientists say could be preparations for safely landing humans on Mars.
From The Private Sector
On another edge, American billionaire and space entrepreneur Elon Musk believes that humans will likely land on the Moon earlier than you can think of. As the CEO of SpaceX, a spaceship manufacturing company, he has been pushing the conversation of the possibility of landing on the red planet.
Like the US, India has its eyes on Mars, and it will be interesting to see other world powers like Israel and individual European countries join in. Notably, the UAE has already joined the race to Mars, and the country will mark 50 years since its founding by having its very first spacecraft orbiting Mars.
Meanwhile, NASA is planning to have the first woman and another man on the moon by 2024. The astronauts on this mission will then be sent to Mars from the Moon early in the next decade. Experts have expressed confidence that such an approach will have higher chances of success than sending them directly from the earth.
The bottom line of invading Mars and the Moon will come from discoveries of utilising technology to generate oxygen and convert matter on Mars and the Moon to water.