Robotics Engineers Explain Roadmap for Crewed Mars Mission

Artist's rendition of astronauts on Mars. (Credits: NASA).

Damon Landau and Nathan Strange, robotics engineers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, recently published a proposal in Scientific American for achieving quick and cost-effective crewed missions to Mars.

The idea began in reaction to the 2009 Augustine Commission’s declaration that NASA’s human exploration program was unsustainable. Landau, Strange, and a small group of “robotic space exploration geeks,” got together to brainstorm methods to create a human exploration roadmap based on their robotic experience.   

“The greatest barriers to space exploration are not technical but a matter of figuring out how to do more with less,” stated Landau and Strange in their article. In the video below, they explain their incremental development plan that would enable NASA to begin a new phase in space exploration.



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Merryl Azriel

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Having wandered into professional writing and editing after a decade in engineering, science, and management, Merryl now enjoys reintegrating the dichotomy by bringing space technology and policy within reach of an interested public. After three years as Space Safety Magazine’s Managing Editor, Merryl semi-retired to Visiting Contributor and manager of the campaign to bring the International Space Station collaboration to the attention of the Nobel Peace Prize committee. She keeps her pencil sharp as Proposal Manager for U.S. government contractor CSRA.

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