Scientists think a Mars settlement is entirely possible at some point in the future. In November 2015, NASA administrator Charles Bolden confirmed the US space agency’s commitment to reaching Mars by the year 2030. SpaceX founder Elon Musk similarly pledged to reach Mars and even colonuse it. Jeff Bezos also eyed up the potential of sending spacecraft to Mars with his rocket company Blue Origin. But at least one former astronaut doesn’t see that happening any time soon.
Chris Hadfield, who flew to the International Space Station as part of the Canadian Space Agency, believes that technologies for travel to Mars were not yet conceived on the Earth. He doesn’t believe the new rockets being worked on by NASA, SpaceX, or Blue Origin have much chance of fulfilling their stated goals. “Personally, I don’t think any of those three rockets is taking people to Mars,” Hadfield said. The engines that exist on any of those three rockets are blamed first by the former astronaut. SpaceX boss Elon Musk has been very public about the dangers that go along with planning a Mars mission. Heven said that the first travelers to Mars have a “good chance” of dying before ever returning to Earth. Once again, the retired Canadian astronaut is sceptical. “Maybe the work that’s going on with the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer on the space station and in the particle accelerator in CERN and other places is going to show us how we can harness gravity,” he expressed hope.