Before the flight to Mars, NASA will conduct annual manned mission at the Moon

Upcoming space missions to Mars was chained to the lion's share of media attention headlines in recent years, but before you visit the Red Planet, is required to spend a lot more research. And that's why space agency NASA announced plans to send astronauts on a trip around the moon.

Before the flight to Mars, NASA will conduct annual manned mission at the Moon

Last mankind landed on the moon in 1972. However, NASA believes that dolunnaya (that is located between the Earth and the Moon), the orbit can be a great place to build a launching pad for missions to Mars starts in 2030-ies.

Greg Williams, deputy assistant to the head of a department policy planning and NASA, speaking this week at the Summit on issues of human flight to Mars, said that the agency on 2027 planned mission to the moon. To our satellite will send a crew of astronauts, which will orbit the moon for a year.

So long stay in lunar orbit is caused by the need for a minimum of 5 additional missions. Some of them are manned, some autonomous. As part of these flights is scheduled to deliver all the necessary equipment to the satellite's orbit. The list of equipment includes both orbital home station for future Mars crew and the spacecraft Deep Space Transport, the development of which is already underway. In the future, NASA wants to use it to fly to Mars.

"If we are able to conduct the annual manned mission using the Deep Space Transport system, which will be on dolunnoy orbit, we can thoroughly investigate the possibility of sending this thing with people on board the thousand day journey to Mars and back," - said Williams.

Now this lunar mission does not even have an official name. Originally, however, on the sidelines of NASA used the term "test cruise". As a rule, it is used by the Navy, during inspections of new ships.

Previously, NASA has announced that plans to build a lunar orbital station Deep Space Gateway and use it as a launching pad to launch missions in deep space, including missions to Mars. To this end, the agency wants to use the most powerful launch vehicle in the world - Space Launch System (SLS) - with the help of which will be delivery of the necessary equipment. The first launch is planned for next year.

All this equipment, according to Williams, is still being developed, so more detailed details about how astronauts will spend 365 days in orbit of the Moon, yet. Nevertheless, all that will be able to learn during this mission can be very useful when flying to Mars.

It should be noted that scientists still understand the issues of the consequences that can be expected of people on long space flights. Recent studies have shown that even a short flight beyond the Earth's atmosphere can lead to liver disease in mice. In addition, after the 340-day stay US astronaut Scott Kelly aboard the ISS NASA discovered he had some vision problems, bone density, muscle, and sleep disorder. In general, it remains to be done a lot of work before the thousand day trip to Mars could become a safe. It should also be noted that NASA is looking for support from private companies. The preparation and implementation of manned flight could help companies such as SpaceX and Blue Origin.

"We are open for cooperation on travel to Mars. One of the things we will do in the next few years will be to bring together all the ideas and solutions, "- said Williams.

"Right now, the key goal is to find how to work together, under the guidance of NASA, we really will be able to approach these manned missions to Mars" - summed up Williams.