"Going to Mars is doable," NASA astronaut Scott Kelly told reporters after his 340-day mission in space. Scientists are studying physiological and medical test data from Kelly's stay on the International Space Station to help determine the possibilities and requirements for sending humans to Mars. Kelly said a mission would require a robust life-support system, protection from radiation and a propulsion system that reduces the trip time.
Class discussion: What are the biggest hazards for people spending a long time in space? Should we send people to Mars? Why or why not? Would you want to go? When do you think a manned mission to Mars could take place? Should such a mission involve many nations sharing the costs, risks and discoveries? Could nations set aside their rivalries to mount space missions? What could manned missions do that unmanned missions can't? Are robots much better suited to space exploration than people?