Rumors about the plans of the United States to land astronauts on Mars in recent decades have not abated for a single moment. Meanwhile, every year in the scientific community, the understanding of the technical complexity and high cost of such a mission has increased. But, perhaps, the main obstacle to landing a man on the Red Planet was the lack of a pronounced need for this. Many experts openly declared: as long as the Earth is not threatened with a mortal danger, people will not actively develop other planets.
Probably, that is why under the previous US President – Barack Obama – scientific priorities were redirected from the issue of deep space exploration to the study of the Earth and space exploration in commercial interests. It is worth saying that during the period when Obama was in power, the NASA budget almost did not jump up. The exception is 2015: then the department’s budget suddenly increased by $ 1.8 billion.
When the president became Donald Trump, many hoped that the priorities would be reviewed. In autumn last year, the new president made it clear that he intended to pay more attention to the development of outer space, with Mars being one of the main goals. Now, apparently, the “Martian” ambitions were sacrificed to less expensive programs, related, in particular, to the development of the Moon. In any case, this is stated in the “Directive No. 1” signed by the president. Now the natural satellite of the Earth is the number one target for the US space agency.
Trump noted that the Moon should become a kind of springboard to fly to Mars. The president added that the development of the satellite will create many new jobs, and the national security of the United States will be strengthened. It is worth mentioning that the document was signed in the 45th anniversary of America’s last mission to the moon, performed within the framework of the Apollo program. Recall, within the framework of this program, the Americans carried out six successful landing of astronauts on the satellite of our planet.
The financial side of the document signed by Donald Trump is still behind the scenes. The president will be able to request funding from Congress in 2018. According to NASA calculations, $ 104 billion will be needed to return the Americans to the Moon. And this amount takes into account only a manned mission with disembarkation without considering the creation of a base. To implement the latter, a much larger amount is required.