Human Missions to Mars - Research Article from Macmillan Science Library: Space Sciences

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Human Missions to Mars

Human flights to Mars will likely be the next major milestone in humankind's expansion into the solar system. Solving the complex problems of Mars' origin and history, such as whether life ever existed there, is likely to require direct scientific exploration by humans. However, sending humans to Mars will not be easy.

Mission Planning

Much of the mission planning for human exploration missions deals with finding appropriate trajectories for the trips out to Mars and back to Earth. Earth revolves around the Sun about twice as fast as Mars does. A spacecraft launched from Earth must "lead" Mars, aiming at the place where that planet will be in 5 to 9 months. Opportunities to do this only occur at 26-month intervals. By the time a spacecraft arrives at Mars, Earth has moved and it is necessary to wait for...

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This section contains 1,172 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Human Missions to Mars Encyclopedia Article
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Human Missions to Mars from Macmillan. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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