NASA conducted the first fly-by of MArs in 1965. The Mariner 4 orbited the Red Planet sending back photos as well as measuring factors of Space for future missions. Communications with the satellite ceased on the winter solstice of 1967, however the US space agency continued to explore the distant planet with unmanned robots. At present five spacecrafts conduct experiments both in space and on the surface of the fourth planet from the Sun.
A manned trip planned for 2020 has been pushed back to 2030 by NASA, while MARS ONE, a private space enterprise, announced its intent to land a man on the planet in 2023.
Every two years the proximity of Mars and Earth shorten the round-trip journey to 450 days, requiring half the energy of a longer trip. A major challenge to this voyage is the stress on the crew having to live in cramped quarters for over a year and the tedium of never seeming to get anywhere.
“The monotony of going to Mars and coming back again is something that will need to be addressed in the future. You don’t want your crew hanging around doing nothing,” said the man in charge of the mission. The pseudo-astronauts slept even more on the ‘return leg’
Russian scientists discovered that more than half crew members suffered from insomnia on this trip to nowhere.
I know the feeling.
After I eat garlic, I can’t sleep, but not sleeping for weeks on end in Space would drive people crazy and crazy is never good when you have nowhere to run.