A top NASA official says they don't even have the funding to go to Mars, throwing into question promises by the Trump Administration.
An incredible admission by the head of NASA could throw cold water on plans to colonize Mars in the next few decades. William H. Gerstenmaier, head of human spaceflight at NASA, acknowledged recently that the agency can’t put a date on missions to the Red Planet, because they don’t even have a budget for it.
It’s a stunning admission, especially considering the fact that Vice President Mike Pence said the new budget from the Trump Administration heralded a new era for space exploration at NASA that would make Mars a major priority. However, there is no funding set aside for such a mission in the budget.
“I can’t put a date on humans on Mars, and the reason really is that at the budget levels we described, this roughly 2 percent increase, we don’t have the surface systems available for Mars,” NASA’s William H. Gerstenmaier said according to the Daily Mail. “The entry, descent and landing is a huge challenge for us for Mars. We think an unfuelled mars asset vehicle would weigh around 20 tons, that’s a 20 fold increase on a rover.”