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How will landing on Mars work?


Mars Landing: Author's Note
Jessika Toothman, Staff Writer
Jessika Toothman, Staff Writer
HowStuffWorks 2009

It makes me sad that in the time since I wrote this article, the Shuttle Program has ended and the Constellation Program has been cancelled. Public and private space exploration is a constantly shifting field of diverse international players, but it's my hope that others will pick the mantle of taking us back to the moon and on to Mars.

I loved writing this article, and reading Robert Zubrin's book in particular. Many people have proposed ways we could conduct manned interplanetary missions, but Zubrin's strategy seemed to me the most elegant and practical. His plan involves using the resources of the Red Planet to fuel a sequence of manned and unmanned missions to build an infrastructure that would allow us to truly explore our celestial neighbor firsthand, while at the same time creating a redundancy in case any equipment or spacecraft malfunctioned.

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