According to Chris Hadfield, NASA could have sent humans to Mars in the 60s, but it had a good reason not to do that. As Mr. Hadfield stated, NASA estimated that the risk of death was too high for a mission to Mars.
Also, Hadfield, the ex-commander of the ISS, said that there’s no need for new technologies to put men on Mars, as the same technology that flew humans to the Moon is capable of successfully carrying out a mission to Mars. “The technology that took us to the moon and back when I was just a kid – that technology can take us to Mars,” said Chris Hadfield.
Accordingly, Hadfield is sure that the same technology used for the Apollo missions can also help humans go to Mars.
NASA could have sent humans to Mars in the 60s, but it was too risky
But there’s a problem, according to the ex-astronaut. Namely, the journey to Mars would take too long with an Apollo-like technology, so the risk of death is too high. NASA conducted tests in the 60s and estimated that.
“The majority of the astronauts that we send on those missions wouldn’t make it. They’d die. Mars is further away than most people think,” explained Chris Hadfield.
And he’s right on that because the distance between Earth and Mars is by 600 times bigger than the Earth-Moon distance. Plus, the astronaut participating in such a mission to Mars would be exposed to cosmic radiations.
“Magellan, when he launched in 1519, they launched with five ships and 250 people to try and just go around the world once, and almost everybody died. They only came back with like 15 or 18 people and one out of the five ships,” said Hadfield comparing a potential mission to Mars to the Magellan’s journey around the world.