Explore Mars, Inc. is pleased to present the 2016 Humans to Mars Report. As stated in our premiere issue in 2015, this annual publication provides a snapshot of current progress in mission architectures, science, policy, international engagement, human factors, and public perception regarding human missions to Mars, and highlights progress and challenges from year to year. By doing so, this report provides stakeholders and policy makers with a resource to help them make decisions based on the most current information rather than on outdated sources, speculation, and occasional misinformation.
The Humans to Mars Report is not advocating any particular approach for sending humans to Mars. To be clear, this report will not include speculation or rumor about future architecture, unless actually impacting public perception and policy decisions. Instead, we report on current official progress and viable approaches, as well as on relevant technologies and capabilities, that are in the public domain and thus are subject to critical review and analysis.
As highlighted in this report, there have been significant developments since the premiere issue was released. Mars has been in the news regularly and the United States has embraced Mars as the goal for human space flight more than ever before. For example, in October 2015 NASA began the process of assessing potential candidate human landing sites on Mars for the first time.
However, much additional progress is needed and greater urgency is required to achieve the goal of landing humans on Mars. The greatest threat to mission success is complacency and delay. More clarity is required about the intermediate steps that will be needed for human landings on Mars. This historic goal has become far more realistic than ever before. We believe that the Humans to Mars Report will help to enable a human presence on Mars beginning in the early 2030s.