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#MarsMonday: History’s Mars Exploration Concepts

December 14th, 2015

For #MarsMonday, let’s take a look back at the old plans for exploring the red planet that led to our current mission concepts.

The Mars Project was developed by Werhner von Braun in 1948 and outlines a 70-crew mission that would be launched in 1965. Spending almost a year and a half on the surface, The Mars Project would have involved an ice landing using skis and a 6,500 kilometer overland journey for the crew.

200px-WernherVonBraunDasMarsprojekt

TMK was the name of a proposed Russian spacecraft that would have taken a crew of three cosmonauts on a flyby mission to Mars to drop off robotic landers. The voyage would have taken a little over three years.

USSR_TMK_flyby_1961

Mars Direct is still regarded as one of the most tenable plans for the human exploration of Mars–utilizing a three-component system of vehicles and a habitation unit, Mars Direct proposed a crew of four that would spend months on the surface and return when a conjunction of Earth and Mars would make the travel time more bearable.

mars-direct

(Credit: The Mars Society)

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