Earth has its sights set on Mars, but not everyone is aware of the difficulties involved. One of them is StanleyLove, astronaut of the POT, which referred to the plans of Elon Musk to colonize the red planet.
“I think it would be horrible” launched the 57-year-old American, and NASA astronaut since 1998, with more than 300 hours of presence in space.
Love has been, in the last decade, opposed to the idea of reaching Mars, due to the difficulty involved. He several times he has said: “There is no planet B. Earth is our planet”.
Now it was back to plan, this time in an interview with The Sun.
The vision of Elon Musk’s projects to go to Mars
“Do I think it is possible (to get to Mars)? Yes. I think that would be nice? No. I think it would be horrible.”
And he gave as an example a camp in one of the most challenging climates on our planet, that of Antarctica.
“We were in a camp, living in little tents on the Antarctic ice sheet, eight thousand feet above sea level, and we had all the food you could want. Huge boxes of really good food. Food is important on an expedition like that.”
Love and his team waited for a plane to arrive with new supplies. But the surprise they got was devastating.
“They took a lot of rubbish and They brought us three small apples with worms the size of a ping pong ball. There were eight of us and we carefully distributed those apples, so that everyone got exactly three-eighths.”
Here comes the comparison with the red planet: “It will be a long time before Mars will be able to produce even a small apple with worms. about the size of a ping pong ball. Much less a nectarine. Much less a day at the beach.”
With this, Love warns about the enormous difficulty of colonizing an inhospitable planet like Mars.
“It’s not a picnic. When people live in Antarctica for long periods of time, I think it will be the same as Mars. I don’t think people are going to like it.”
Elon Musk indicates that the first human colony on Mars should be there by the year 2050. What does Love think about it?
That was all his answer.
The Artemis Program from the perspective of Stanley Love, NASA astronaut
Sees it also spoke about the Artemis Program, that seeks to put the first woman and the next man on the Moon. The NASA had to suspend the first two attempts of the Artemis I Mission, to carry the Space Launch System megarocket and the Orion spacecraft into lunar orbit, with dummies to assess the effects of radiation.
The astronaut considers that the most important thing will be the evaluation of the thermal shield of the Orion spacecraft. “That’s why we’re flying it. Everything else is gravy.”
“We have not built a great heat shield that can withstand the re-entry temperatures you get when you hit the atmosphere after falling from the Moon, and we really want to make sure it works.”
“That is the key piece of technology that allows the rest of the Artemis Program to happen. Now we are going to take data from thousands of parameters,” said Love.
The experienced astronaut told a story about a heat shield sent to Jupiter. “Jupiter’s incoming speed is about four or five times the incoming speed coming back from the Moon to Earth. However, if the heat shield fails and the capsule burns up, then we’re back to the drawing board and Artemis II will lag substantially, having to do another flight test.”
“I hope that doesn’t happen.”