Astronaut Chris Hadfield claims we could have reached Mars decades ago

Astronaut Chris Hadfield said we could have reached Mars years ago if we wanted to take the risk.
By Tyler MacDonald | Jul 09, 2018
Could we have already traveled to Mars? According to astronaut Chris Hadfield, we could have "decades ago," but the missions would have been deadly due to spaceship and rocket technologies at the times.

"We could send people to Mars decades ago," Hadfield said. "The technology that took us to the moon and back when I was just a kid that technology can take us to Mars."

Astronauts have been trying to plan a Mars mission as early as 1952, which is more than 15 years before the first Apollo mission. But as Hadfield says, just because we have the ability to go, doesn't mean we should.

"The majority of the astronauts that we send on those missions wouldn't make it," he said. "They'd die."

"Mars is further away that most people think," he added. In fact the Red Planet is approximately 600 times as far as the moon, and a round-trip journey would take about 500 days.

Hadfield also compared current Mars exploration plans to the early ocean missions by ship.

"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," he said. "They only came back with like 15 or 18 people and one out of the five ships."

"Burning chemical rockets is the equivalent of using a sailboat or a peddle boat to try and travel around the world," he added.

According to Hadfield, NASA's Space Launch System, Blue Origin's New Glenn rocket, or SpaceX's Big Falcon Rocket won't be as successful as we want because they plan to use fuel to propel themselves.

"My guess is we will never go to Mars with the engines that exist on any of those three rockets unless we truly have to," he said. "I don't think those are a practical way to send people to Mars because they're dangerous and it takes too long, and it therefore exposes us to a risk for a long time."


We are dedicated to maintaining a respectful community that actively engages in lively discussions about news stories and blog posts. Please keep the following in mind when writing your comments.