7 October 2013
The latest version of the Space Launch System (SLS) Concept of Operations (Con Ops) presentation shows NASA is considering multiple SLS launches, including nuclear stages, to conduct a mission to Mars. However it presents NASA with a challenge to plan for such a long-term mission when the agency is provided with short-term budgets. The U.S.’ ace in the hole may be Elon Musk, who with SpaceX is likely to reach Mars first. There could ultimately be a level of cooperation between NASA and SpaceX, but either way, any plan for Mars is certain to go through more revisions. (Image Credit: NASA)
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