WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Sending humans to Mars is possible but requires collaborative expertise and cooperation by all countries, US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) experts at the Humans to Mars Summit 2015 held in Washington, DC told Sputnik.
“We’re working internationally today… We’re not going to do this as a single nation,” NASA’s Human Exploration and Mission Directorate Associate Administrator William Gerstenmaier told Sputnik on Tuesday. “We’re going to have to go to the private sector as well. We’re going to do this together.”
The Summit, held by non-profit organization Explore Mars at the George Washington University on May 5-7, aims to provide updates on the Humans to Mars project’s progress toward sending humans to red planet.
“The whole point is to go from one planet to another planet. We want to be as inclusive as possible,” Grunsfeld told Sputnik.
The project will be funded by private companies, calling on engineers and scientists from around the world to join the mission, according to the experts.
“Research and development is usually government funded,” NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate Associate Administrator Steve Jurczyk told Sputnik. “That’s not the case today. The majority of RD is funded by the private sector, not government. We need all the talented people to do it.”
Experts stressed that they will cooperate with Russia on the Mars mission, but will abide by US laws in the process. The US National Defense Authorization Act for 2015 bans purchasing and using Russian-made rocket launchers.
“For us [Explore Mars], working with Russia is not a problem,” Human Explore Mars Project Director Artemis Westenberg told Sputnik. “Of course, as Explore Mars is established in Beverly, Massachusetts, as a not for profit company, we do have to adhere to American law.”
Mars One said it plans to send scientists, astronauts, biologists and planetary scientists to colonize the planet as well as search for signs of life or ancient life on Mars, experts said.