Sunita Williams part of Nasa project to put man on Mars by 2030

Sunita Williams is among the four astronauts picked by NASA to train for a programme which will one day land an American on Mars.
An-artist-s-impression-of-the-Mars-voyage
An-artist-s-impression-of-the-Mars-voyage
Updated on Jul 11, 2015 07:31 AM IST
Copy Link
Agencies | By, Washington

Indian origin Sunita Williams is among the four astronauts picked by Nasa on Friday to train for a programme which will one day land an American on Mars.

Sunita Williams, Robert Behnken, Eric Boe and Douglas Hurley will train to fly to space on commercial crew vehicles, Nasa said.

“We are on a journey to Mars, and in order to meet our goals for sending American astronauts to the Red Planet in the 2030s we need to be able to focus both on deep space and the groundbreaking work being done on the International Space Station,” said Nasa administrator Charles Bolden.

“These distinguished, veteran astronauts are blazing a new trail - a trail that will one day land them in the history books and Americans on the surface of Mars,” he said.

The commercial crew initiative is part of the agency’s plan to return space launches to US soil. Nasa is working towards a 2017 launch.

Sunita Williams, a US navy captain, is a veteran of two long-duration spaceflights and has spent a total of 322 days in space. She currently holds the record for total cumulative spacewalk time by a female astronaut (50 hours and 40 minutes).

The four astronauts will work closely with the Boeing Company and SpaceX to develop their crew transportation systems and provide crew transportation services to and from the International Space Station (ISS).

Their selection moves the US closer to President Obama's goal of sending astronauts to Mars in the 2030s, said John Holdren, assistant to the President for Science and Technology.

More than 350 American companies in 36 states are working on Launch America, the commercial crew initiative.

“There are real economic benefits to bolstering America’s emerging commercial space market,” Bolden said. “Every dollar we invest in commercial crew is a dollar we invest in ourselves, rather than in the Russian economy.”

It costs $76mn per astronaut to fly on a Russian spacecraft. The average cost on an American-owned aircraft will be $58 million per astronaut, according to reports.

Also read: Scientists come out of Mars-like isolation in Hawaii after 8 months

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close Story
QUICKREADS

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon speaks at a news conference on a proposed second referendum on Scottish independence, at Bute House in Edinburgh, Scotland.

    Scottish first minister Sturgeon calls for fresh independence vote on Oct 2023

    Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said Tuesday that the question to be asked will be the same as that in Scotland's 2014 independence vote: “Should Scotland be an independent country?” Sturgeon, who leads the Scottish National Party and the devolved government in Scotland, has said it's time to revisit the matter because of changes brought about by Brexit. Sturgeon maintains that her party's success in local elections last year gives her a mandate for a fresh referendum.

  • A medical worker takes a swab sample at a nucleic acid testing station, following the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak, in Beijing. (REUTERS)

    Covid: China halves quarantine time for international travellers

    China on Tuesday slashed the length of its mandatory quarantine for inbound international travellers by half - reducing it to a week from 14 days - in the biggest change to its Covid-19 containment policy yet, signalling a gradual reopening of its borders. The country reported one locally transmitted and 21 asymptomatic Covid cases for Monday.

  • Abortion-rights protesters attend a rally following the United States Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, federally protected right to abortion, outside the state capitol.

    Instagram, Facebook delete posts offering abortion pills to US women

    Facebook and Instagram have begun promptly removing posts that offer abortion pills to women who may not be able to access them following a Supreme Court decision that stripped away constitutional protections for the procedure. Such social media posts ostensibly aimed to help women living in states where preexisting laws banning abortion suddenly snapped into effect on Friday. Some even offered to mail the prescriptions to women living in states that now ban the procedure.

  • Passengers, some wearing full personal protective equipment, waiting to be transported by bus to their quarantine hotels, after arriving at Pudong International Airport in Shanghai, in January 2022. (AFP)

    Amid flu outbreak in south China, experts warn of dual risk from influenza and Covid: Report

    A flu outbreak in southern China has led to a shortage of medicines with doctors warning of dual health risks from influenza and sporadic Covid-19 outbreaks, a state media report said on Monday. Weakened herd immunity caused by continuous Covid-19 prevention measures,including lockdowns, may be partly to blame for the abnormal spike in influenza cases at this time of the year, experts said, according to a report in the Global Times.

  • Chinese President Xi Jinping hosts the 14th BRICS Summit via video link from Beijing, Thursday, June 23, 2022. (Li Tao/Xinhua via AP)

    Two new countries apply to join BRICS, will 'add value'. Details inside

    Two new countries - Iran and Argentina - have applied to join the increasingly influential BRICS - Brazi, Russia, India, China and South Africa - grouping, an Iranian official said Monday, according to news agency Reuters. The official said Iran's inclusion in BRICS would result in 'added values for both sides'. Argentina president Alberto Fernandez wrote on Telegram '... Argentina and Iran applied to join the BRICS'.

SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Tuesday, June 28, 2022