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SA gets $55 mn funding to send humans to Mars

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  31 Dec 2015 12:00 AM GMT

Washington, Dec 30: The Obama administration wants SA to speed up work on sending humans on deep space exploration missions, including Mars, and has instructed the US space agency to spend at least $55 million on a “habitation augmentation module”. According to, the funds will come from the Advanced Exploration Systems programme, part of the exploration research and development line item in the budget that received $350 million in the omnibus bill. “SA shall develop a prototype deep space habitation module within the advanced exploration systems program no later than 2018,” the report states. In the last few months, SA has bolstered the development of a habitation module that could be tested in cislur space (lying between the Earth and the Moon or the Moon’s orbit) in 2020s. The module could then be used for human missions to Mars. Bigelow Aerospace company has also developed a prototype expandable module that will be installed on the Intertiol Space Station (ISS) in early 2016. According to Popular Science, it will be challenging to ensure the module is both lightweight and shields astrouts from radiation. In a small yet significant to send astrouts to Mars, SA engineers have alreadly welded together the first two segments of the Orion crew module that will fly atop SA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket on a mission beyond the far side of the Moon. SLS is one of the most experienced large rocket engines in the world, with more than a million seconds of ground test and flight operations time. When completed, SLS will eble astrouts to begin their journey to explore destitions far into the solar system. (IANS)

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