Manned mission to Mars discussed at RPI panel

September 27, 2018 04:07 PM

TROY – It was an evening with trailblazers and space innovators at RPI Wednesday, where a panel of guests discussed the logistics of a manned mission to Mars.  

Dr. Ellen Ochoa, a retired astronaut, was the first Hispanic woman in the world to go into space. She explained that while we have rovers on the red planet now, there are human risks associated with sending people into space.


Difficulties include providing life support, such as oxygen and water, radiation exposure that could cause cancer and creating a rocket and deep space module safe enough to withstand a two-year exploration.

However, Dr. Ochoa says through public and private partnerships, NASA is planning on a manned trip to Mars by 2030.

"Part of it is the challenge of living and working in a microgravity environment and then part of it is being remote, being able to see the earth from space, but really being in your own bubble away from the earth," explained Ochoa.

"We have very motivated, very brilliant students here and they're the ones who will take us to Mars," noted RPI President Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson.

The evening was organized by the National Science and Technology Foundation.


WNYT Staff

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