Before We Can Build Our Martian Empire We Must Figure Out How to Land the Ship
One striking and humbling thing about Curiosity is that this is nothing compared to what will be required if our civilization-scale dreams of human exploration or even settlement of Mars are to come to fruition. Set aside for now all the questions of how humans would live on Mars: even the landing itself has to be figured out. It was a huge achievement to get a one-ton rover onto Mars today. To get humans and all the gear necessary to support them will require a lander that weighs 10 or 20 times as much. NASA says the sky crane won't work for that.
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