Chris Hadfield, an ex-astronaut of the Canadian Space Agency, who retired in 2013, predicted that the rockets that are being developed by NASA, SpaceX and Blue Origin would never be successful in landing humans on Mars. He said it is not the technology that is at fault but the safety risks of the mission is too high.
In his statement to Business Insider, he told that he thinks that the likelihood of having regular Mars missions with humans is doubtful. He further mentioned that he guesses that with the existing engines on any of the three rockets it is questionable to reach Mars if ever have to. He said so, as he feels that those are not the practical ways of sending people to the Red Planet as they are not only dangerous but also takes too long.
Chris had three trips to space from 1995 to 2013. In one of his missions to the International Space Station in the year 2001, he was instrumental in installing a mechanical arm on the outside of the station and became the first Canadian to make a spacewalk. His statement came as a surprise, as he has himself in the past undertaken such risks in space.
Hadfield quoted that the technology that was used to take them to moon way back when he was a kid, can also be used now to Mars, but he also mentioned that the majority of the astronauts that were sent on missions that would not make it now. He feels that the currently in development liquid-filled rockets, including the ones of NASA’s Space Launch System and SpaceX’s BFR, will still have potential and unacceptable risks.
He made his comparisons on the prospects as just like using a canoe to try to cross an ocean. He said that more time should be imparted for technological improvements before crossing the oceans that practically lie between Earth and Mars.
He instead tentatively suggested that use of nuclear power, ion propulsion or even manipulating the gravity might be much safer. But these technologies are either highly speculative or maybe still in its earlier developmental stages. While in the meantime, Hadfield had another idea instead of risking human lives – We should send in robots for some time till we learn a more lot better about Mars.