Experts at Airventure Discuss Mission to Mars

By Evan Kruegel, Local 5 News

Published 07/28 2014 08:33PM

Updated 07/28 2014 10:28PM

Charlie Precourt has spent nearly 1,000 hours in outer space, but back home on Earth the former astronaut is working on another mission - A manned trips to Mars.

        "It's just so inspiring to think we had the capability to put me and my astronaut crew that far into space," he says. "How much more inspiring it will be to be able to go beyond the moons orbit and then to Mars."

Precourt's company is designing the launch mechanism for the flight, showcased at an exhibit inside Airventure. It's all part of a launch planned for the early 2030's.

        "It sounds far away," says Lockheed Martin Engineer Larry Price. "But building a machine of this kind of complexity takes some time to do."

This afternoon, a panel of experts answered questions from a crowd filled with aviation experts.

        "It's fun to talk to people like this because they're interested," says Price. "They understand what we're doing."

Topics included the price, time, and physical logistics behind the 3-year journey.

        "It would have to be totally self sufficient," says Precourt. "While simultaneously being able to maintain their health, protect from radiation, and oh by the way be productive while they're out there and conduct valid research."

Panel members say the project is far bigger than the race to the moon - After all, this mission could have long term impacts on human kind.

        "The whole Apollo program was designed around a single mission: Go to the moon, and bring man safely back," says Price. "But really dead ended at that point. This program is designed to continue."

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