Researchers will have to spend another 15 years to fine-tune medical technologies for a human flight to Mars, said Vice President of the Russian Academy of Sciences Anatoly Grigoryev, who is a winner of the Russian state prize for achievements in science and technology.
"The basic elements are clear, but something else also needs to be done. This work is underway and good results have been achieved which inspires the confidence that if the task is set to fly to Mars and to design an engine for it, we will manage to get it into shape in 10-15 years," Grigoryev said in an interview on Tuesday.
He said radiation and proton protection should be created against solar flares.
"Without such protection no long-duration flight can be performed. One cannot imagine a year without a solar flare," he said.
Grigoryev also said that this time will be needed for work in space medicine alone.
"Medicine is just one component, a small element. Meanwhile, we need to prepare a carrier - a spacecraft - and many other things," he said.
He said the program for a long-duration human flight to Mars will only be feasible if the government makes the relevant decision.
"One can't just fly with a wave of a wand. We need a program, willingness and cooperation between many countries. A relevant decision should be made, by the UN, for instance - not only because this involves much spending, but because this is important," Grigoryev said.
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