Press Release

Building a Human Outpost on Mars Offers Challenges

By SpaceRef Editor
May 5, 2005
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Human missions to Mars will be much more difficult than missions to the moon. Round trip human missions to Mars will require about two years to complete, compared with the eight-day Apollo missions to the moon.

Because humans will likely stay on Mars for much longer than they did on the moon, the development of the infrastructure required for a scientific outpost that can sustain humans for long periods of time is critical.

Robert L. Ash, professor of aerospace engineering at Old Dominion University (ODU), will speak on “Challenges of Building a Human Outpost on Mars” at a colloquium at 2 p.m., Thursday, May 5, at NASA Langley’s H.J.E. Reid Conference Center.

Media Briefing: A media briefing will be held at 1:15 p.m. at the H.J.E. Reid Conference Center, 14 Langley Blvd., NASA Langley Research Center. Interested media should contact Kimberly W. Land at (757) 864-9885 or (757) 344-8611 (mobile) to arrange for credentials and escort on Center.

Ash will discuss the challenges of sustaining a 25- to 30-year exploration program that includes human missions to Mars. He will also share our what we currently know about using local planetary resources and describe a strategy for establishing and sustaining a Martian outpost.

A member of the ODU faculty since 1967, Ash served as department chairman, acting dean of engineering and chief research officer. He was designated an Eminent Scholar in 1987 and received the Pletta Medal as Outstanding Engineering Faculty Member in Virginia in 1993. Ash currently serves on National Research Council panel that is reviewing elements of NASA’s Exploration Roadmap and is the author or co-author of more than two dozen publications on the utilization of extraterrestrial resources.

SpaceRef staff editor.