- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 25, 2013

Scientists at London’s Imperial College say they’ve mapped out the means of landing a three-person crew of astronauts on Mars — but that they’re still a far cry from moving the plan from its concept stage to implementation.

Their scenario includes a three-person crew aboard a two-part spacecraft that can generate artificial gravity and shield itself from solar flares with a sturdy heat shield, BBC reported. The scientists also envision the crew returning from Mars via another craft, fueled by ice from the planet’s surface.

The concept plan was aimed at generating debate abut the possibilities, BBC reported.

“Every part of this mission scenario has been demonstrated one way or the other,” said Professor Tom Pike, who headed up the design team, BBC reported. “There are big, big jumps between a demonstration at one level and putting together the engineering systems for a mission, but they are engineering challenges. They are not fundamentally about making new discoveries.”

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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