NASA plans to send crewed trips to Mars, the agency announced Wednesday.

The space agency released a list of top objectives for a 30-day two-person trip to Mars's surface and asked for feedback on its ideas on Tuesday.

"These objectives will move us toward our first analog Mars mission with crew in space and prepare us for the first human mission to the surface of the Red Planet," said Jim Free, associate administrator for the Exploration Systems Development Mission Directorate, in a press statement. "After reviewing feedback on the objectives, we will work with our partners to discuss input and finalize our framework this fall."


The 50 listed objectives fall under the categories of transportation, habitation, infrastructure, operations, and science and include goals such as the development of systems that will allow crew members to "live, operate, and explore on the Martian surface to address key questions with respect to science and resources."

A large part of these objectives includes the development of resources and headquarters on the moon to use as a launching point. These include establishing power, communication, "autonomous construction," and other resources on the moon in hopes of establishing a "robust lunar economy without NASA as the sole user while accomplishing Mars testing and science objectives." These developments could offer a framework for replication on Mars.

One barrier that researchers are attempting to combat is the long-term effects of microgravity on the body. Astronauts would have to spend an estimated 500 days traveling to Mars without any gravity, which would have significant effects on muscles. Mars's gravity is only a third of the Earth's.

One proposed solution for combating microgravity would be the use of pressurized rovers while on Mars.

"We want to maximize the science so we allow them to drive around before they become conditioned enough to get in the spacesuits and walk and maximize that science in 30 days," Kurt Vogel, NASA director of space architectures, said in a video released alongside the objectives.


The objectives also include several science-focused elements, including observing the effects of "space weather phenomena," understanding the impact of microgravity on human muscles over extended periods, and gathering data and samples from the moon and Mars.

NASA plans to send human-crewed flights to Mars by the late 2030s or early 2040s, assuming funding can be secured. The agency hopes to get feedback on its objectives from the public, as well as host workshops with stakeholders. Public comments will be accepted online until June 3.