A Caltech Library Service

Humans to Mars: A feasibility and cost–benefit analysis

Ehlmann, Bethany L. and Chowdhury, Jeeshan and Marzullo, Timothy C. and Collins, R. Eric and Litzenberger, Julie and Ibsen, Stuart and Krauser, Wendy R. and DeKock, Brandon and Hannon, Michael and Kinnevan, Jessica and Shepard, Rebekah and Grant, F. Dougals (2005) Humans to Mars: A feasibility and cost–benefit analysis. Acta Astronautica, 56 (9-12). pp. 851-858. ISSN 0094-5765. doi:10.1016/j.actaastro.2005.01.010.

Full text is not posted in this repository. Consult Related URLs below.

Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


Mars is a compelling astrobiological target, and ahuman mission would provide an opportunity to collect immense amounts of scientific data. Exploration alone, however, cannot justify the increased risk. Instead, three factors drive ahuman mission: economics, education, and exploration. Ahuman mission has a unique potential to inspire the next generation of young people to enter critically needed science and engineering disciplines. A mission is economically feasible, and the research and development program put in place for ahuman mission would propel growth in related high-technology industries. The main hurdles are human physiological responses to 1–2 years of radiation and microgravity exposure. However, enabling technologies are sufficiently mature in these areas that they can be developed within a few decade timescale. Hence, the decision of whether or not to undertake ahuman mission to Mars is a political decision, and thus, educational and economic benefits are the crucial factors.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Ehlmann, Bethany L.0000-0002-2745-3240
Additional Information:© 2005 Elsevier Ltd. Available online 8 March 2005. We thank the staff of the Astrobiology Academy D. O’Handley, D. Lamb, and E. Schaller for their guidance during our research and initial manuscript development. The comments of R. Zimmerman were also invaluable. We are grateful to NASA and our respective state space grants for support during this project.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Subject Keywords: Mars; Human; Mission; Feasibility; Technical; Political
Issue or Number:9-12
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20121016-134909438
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Bethany L. Ehlmann, Jeeshan Chowdhury, Timothy C. Marzullo, R. Eric Collins, Julie Litzenberger, Stuart Ibsen, Wendy R. Krauser, Brandon DeKock, Michael Hannon, Jessica Kinnevan, Rebekah Shepard, F. Douglas Grant, Humans to Mars: A feasibility and cost–benefit analysis, Acta Astronautica, Volume 56, Issues 9–12, May–June 2005, Pages 851-858, ISSN 0094-5765, 10.1016/j.actaastro.2005.01.010. (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:34929
Deposited On:16 Oct 2012 21:16
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 23:11

Repository Staff Only: item control page