space exploration

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

Purdue University students trying to validate a plan from entrepreneur Elon Musk say Musk’s idea to send a million people to Mars over the next century likely won’t work out.

The aeronautical and astronautical engineering students announced their findings Tuesday to former astronaut Buzz Aldrin and his son Andrew, who’d served as “customers” for the project.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

There are a couple different types of pull that are critical to a Mars travel project a group of Purdue aeronautics students is crafting. One is gravitational – tugging spacecraft in a continuous elliptical orbit around the sun so they don’t have to be wastefully launched from earth every time. It’s a model that uses a craft called a “cycler” – and that’s where the other pull comes in.

NASA / http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/multimedia/images/?ImageID=6177

The United States needs to spend more – a lot more – on space flight if astronauts are ever going to land on Mars.

That’s the finding of a report issued by a committee co-chaired by Purdue President Mitch Daniels. Daniels says while the reasons to go to space have changed in the past 60 years, the need to go remains.