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Red Planet Blues

James Oberg takes a sobering look at the prospects and hurdles for a near-term human mission to Mars.

There is a lot of food for thought there, especially concerning areas where we don’t seem to have been doing much in the way of technology development (surface suits and dust mitigation, in particular). As for the other areas, such as zero-gee effects, radiation, and psychological problems with the crew…well, let’s just keep working on better propulsion, so that when the time comes, we can get there and back in such a short time (and using either constant thrust or a rotational tether) that these issues will be minor.

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