by Kevin Yuan and Andrew Webster
When Earth could no longer satisfy human’s curiosity, people started aiming to the world outside. After the first successful space orbital launch on 4 October 1957, no way could stop human from exploring space. On 12 April 1961,spacecraft Vostok 1, carrying 27 year old cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, was launched to space and completed first human spaceflight. On 20 July 1969, through televisions, people around the globe watched Neil Armstrong stepped out Apollo 11 and took “one small step for a man, [but] one giant leap for mankind”. On November 1998, International Space Station was launched into space, representing the era of exponential increase of scientific space researches. After eighteen years of developing space technology, today, a new task of further space exploration has come. A task, sending man 400 million kilometers away from earth to Mars, is preparing by NASA.
Founder of Tesla Motor has plans of humans going to the red planet. His space transport company has teamed up with NASA and SpaceX to send the first commercial mission to Mars as early as 2018. The space ship will be called the Red Dragon. It will measure 20 feet and 12 feet wide. It will not carry astronauts, but rather serve as a showcase for new capsules to reach long parts of the solar system. This isn’t the first time NASA has sent things to space. As they have sent orbiters, landers and rovers to increase our knowledge on the planet, as well as inspire the future generation of explorers.
Musk has already planned to share SpacesX’s idea at the 67th International Astronautical Congress in Mexico. “SpaceX is planning to send Dragons to Mars as early as 2018”, the company said on its Facebook page. Elon Musk hasn’t revealed anything ahead of Congress meeting later in the year. Nasa is no stranger to space traveling. According to spaceflightnow.com, NASA is the only space agency to successfully land a spacecraft on the red planet and return useful data”. NASA will provide technical assistance to SpaceX in the Red Dragon. No funds between them will be exchanged. SpaceX and NASA signed the agreement for the operation earlier this week.