Photo of jets.
NASA and DARPA join up to bring life to Mars. Photo by NASA

A recent joint project between NASA and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, has been uncovered. The idea is to create a spaceship able to ferry not only personnel but sufficient supplies for a visit to Mars. The project is being called the Hundred Year Starship. However, there is a significant difference between this project and the Apollo missions. The catch is that the people on this mission won’t come back.

NASA and DARPA will see Mars soon

NASA and DARPA are working together on a project announced at the Long Conversation conference in San Francisco by NASA Ames Research Center’s Pete Worden. The two government agencies have asked for help on the project called the Hundred Year Starship, the Telegraph reports. Getting donations is something the companies are focusing on, and they’re talking to the world’s billionaires. Larry Page, Google co-founder, is one of the people being asked. By next year there should be an initial design. The project is a pretty complicated and lengthy one, unlike the DARPA Challenge. The DARPA Challenge was a race of self-driving cars that they used as a test. The goal of Hundred Year Starship is to come up with a spacecraft that can ferry a crew of astronauts and a large amount of cargo to Mars. However, unlike Apollo 11 or the International Space Station missions, these astronauts aren’t coming back.

Just one way

The distance between Earth and other planets doesn’t lend itself easily to a ferry service. A journey to Mars would take nine months to complete. Those who end up there will have to learn to be self sufficient. The project will cost about $10 billion, NASA estimated, but it currently has only $1 million to spend. To move one pound of equipment in space, according to Fox News, four pounds of fuel are required. Getting to Mars in the first place is difficult enough, and a return journey is that much closer to impossible.

Information from

The Telegraph: http://telegraph.co.uk/science/space/8091965/Nasa-unveils-bold-plans-to-send-humans-one-way-to-Mars-to-colonise-planet.html

Fox News: http://foxnews.com/scitech/2010/10/29/nasa-cover-up-hundred-year-starship/print

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