posted on Jul, 1 2008 @ 08:47 PM
Low Orbit, what resources do you propose that NASA harvest, exactly - and how should NASA harvest them, and to what end?
While I agree that the information relayed by the Mars Phoenix Lander will make it easier for astronauts to ultimately live on Mars, these
discoveries will probably not make it any easier OR any cheaper to travel to Mars.
As of today NASA lacks the capacity - inherent in the STS system, contracted EELVs, or foreign launchers - to launch a manned mission to Mars. Heck,
we haven't even been to the moon since 1972.
We have no idea what the first manned Mars mission will look like, or when that mission will be launched, or by who, or when. There are conjectural
missions taking advantage of In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) technologies, which could make the production of breathable air, water for
plants/greenhouses, and propellants (fuel and oxidizer) for Earth Return Vehicles (ERVs) more practical, but most of these ISRU technologies are
conjectural at best; no actual blueprints and few formal plans exist.
In short, it is far too early in the exploration of Mars to answer the questions you are asking.
[edit on 1-7-2008 by PhloydPhan]