Saturday October 03, 2015

NASA's Mission to Mars

Dr. Newman models her "Bio-suit" spacesuit prototype at MIT.

Dr. Newman models her "Bio-suit" spacesuit prototype at MIT. (MIT News/Donna Coveney)

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This week, with the news full of stories of water on Mars, and a new Hollywood adventure movie set on the Red Planet, we turn our eyes to the fourth rock from the Sun, to find out how and when we might put humans on the Red Planet for real.

NASA's plan is the steady development of the technologies we'll need to get there, and leading that effort is the new Deputy Administrator and second-in-command of NASA, Dr. Dava Newman. Dr. Newman joined NASA from her position as Apollo Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at MIT, where she'd worked on various aspects of space flight for more than two decades. Her best known work is on innovative space suits, well "suited" for work on the Martian surface.

Dr. Newman is enthusiastic and optimistic about NASA's efforts, which will build on its successful robotic missions with the development of new heavy lift rockets, new capsules, space habitats and the myriad of other technologies we'll need to get to Mars.

Related Links

Profile of Dr. Newman from MIT Technology Review
NASA announcement of her appointment as Deputy Administrator
- Dr. Newman's blogs since her appointment
- NASA's Journey to Mars site