A manned mission to Mars may be among the greatest technological challenges ever attempted by humankind. To meet such a mission
Manned Mission To Mars Could Drive Change Small Times
Some day soon, members of the American armed forces who have to fight in a sweltering desert climate may wear suits fitted with tiny, lightweight heat pumps to keep them cool. In the future, microreactors the size of a cigarette lighter might run a laptop computer for weeks, instead of using batteries that die in hours. Minuscule medical devices would manufacture chemicals such as insulin right inside the human body. And humans may travel to Mars.
Keeping the load light and cost low will be critical for any future mission to Mars, and researchers say the secrets lie in small tech. MEMS, microsystems and nanotechnology will help solve problems associated with heat, propulsion, communications and electronics – the biggest hitches to pulling off such a mission, say researchers, business leaders and officials with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Although such a trip with astronauts remains at least 20 years away, small tech research and development play a large role in robotic and satellite missions to Mars, Earth’s orbit and other points in space – all of which paves the way for full-fledged spacecraft.