NASA, Mars One, or SpaceX: Who Has the Best Chance of Getting to Mars?

Who has the best chance of success for reaching Mars by 2030? Government-funded programs or private organizations?

NPR's Nell Greenfieldboyce wants to give people a dose of reality when it comes to the Mars mission. The finalists in the Mars One pool have been whittled down to 100 colonist hopefuls, but Mary Lynne Dittmar, an aerospace consultant, says:


"The distances that are involved and the complexities that are involved in going and staying there are really enormous."

In Dittmar's interview with NPR, she lists all the cards stacked against the Mars mission, like supplying enough oxygen and food, landing on a planet with such a thin atmosphere, coping with the cancerous radiation and dust, and so on. But Bas Lansdorp, Mars One's CEO, isn't planning for launch tomorrow. The group's mission date falls on the year 2025, just five years ahead of NASA's own stated goal to get a colony on Mars.

When it comes to the most likely to succeed, Robert Zubrin, an aerospace engineer who heads the Mars Society, isn't placing his bets on NASA or Mars One, but SpaceX, founded by Elon Musk, shows the most promise.

"He developed spacecraft for one-tenth the cost and one-third the time that NASA and the aerospace major companies have done."

So far, Musk has the proof, where Mars One has only marketing, and the funds, where NASA has been prone to government budget cuts. He's said he expects SpaceX to be Mars-ready in 10 to 20 years — a timeline that seems to mirror NASA's own expectations of when we'll get to the Red Planet. Only time will tell.

For Neil deGrasse Tyson, there's a lot of delusional thinking when it comes to commercial space flight. Using history to draw his conclusions, Tyson doesn't see a privatized flight being first — there's too much risk and no reward.

Read more about the race to Mars at NPR.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Can the keto diet help treat depression? Here’s what the science says so far

A growing body of research shows promising signs that the keto diet might be able to improve mental health.

Public Domain
Mind & Brain
  • The keto diet is known to be an effective tool for weight loss, however its effects on mental health remain largely unclear.
  • Recent studies suggests that the keto diet might be an effective tool for treating depression, and clearing up so-called "brain fog," though scientists caution more research is necessary before it can be recommended as a treatment.
  • Any experiments with the keto diet are best done in conjunction with a doctor, considering some people face problems when transitioning to the low-carb diet.
Keep reading Show less

Steven Pinker's 13 rules for writing better

The Harvard psychologist loves reading authors' rules for writing. Here are his own.

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 21: Steven Pinker speaks onstage during OZY Fest 2018 at Rumsey Playfield, Central Park on July 21, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images for Ozy Media)
Personal Growth
  • Steven Pinker is many things: linguist, psychologist, optimist, Harvard professor, and author.
  • When it comes to writing, he's a student and a teacher.
  • Here's are his 13 rules for writing better, more simply, and more clearly.
Keep reading Show less

Want to age gracefully? A new study says live meaningfully

Thinking your life is worthwhile is correlated with a variety of positive outcomes.

YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP/Getty Images
Surprising Science
  • A new study finds that adults who feel their lives are meaningful have better health and life outcomes.
  • Adults who felt their lives were worthwhile tended to be more social and had healthier habits.
  • The findings could be used to help improve the health of older adults.
Keep reading Show less