|By Le Williams | 2 years ago|
Retired astronaut Chris Hadfield recently shared his expertise about Mars exploration in a new web course on the online platform MasterClass, in demoting the possibilities for humans to visit Mars in 2020.
“Personally, I don’t think any of those three rockets is taking people to Mars,” Hadfield told Business Insider. ” I don’t think those are a practical way to send people to Mars because they’re dangerous and it takes too long.”
He adds, “The majority of the astronauts that we send wouldn’t make it.”
Hadfield’s stance stems from the fact that all three rocket systems rely on similar fuels (plus oxygen) to lift off Earth and propel their ships through space.
“My guess is we will never go to Mars with the engines that exist on any of those three rockets unless we truly have to,” he said.
NASA’s Space Launch System, which is slated to debut in the 2020s, will power its engines with a combination of liquid hydrogen and solid chemical fuels.
Blue Origin, the rocket company founded by Jeff Bezos, is also looking to use liquid hydrogen. SpaceX, founded by Elon Musk, is staking its future on burning liquid methane, which the company believes it can generate on the Martian surface.
Notably, NASA was founded with the understanding that spaceflight is an inherently risky enterprise and has lived through painful examples.
“The first journey to Mars is going to be really very dangerous,” Musk said in 2016. “The risk of fatality will be high. There’s just no way around it.”