When will humans reach Mars? Astronaut Chris Hadfield reveals all

17 April 2021, 20:00

By Fiona Jones

Much-loved astronaut Chris Hadfield reveals when humans will reach Mars, as he joined Ruth Davidson on her LBC podcast, An Inconvenient Ruth.

"Do you think we will be able to get a human on Mars any time within my child's lifetime?" Ruth asked.

"This is the first time in history that we have actually built the technology that gives us another choice. It's still early and it seems crazy and fanciful, sort of like sailing the Atlantic in 1492, or trying to fly an aeroplane in 1903. It seems crazy.

"Once you've done something and got the technology good enough, suddenly everyone's like 'of course we did that.'"

Mr Hadfield told LBC what drives both Amazon's Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk to achieve further space exploration: "Jeff thinks earth and moon should be part of one combined economic system so we should have permanent settlements on the moon, robotic and eventually people to take advantage of the mineral wealth that exists there but also maybe to do processing there.

"The moon has no life and no atmosphere so you can do stuff."

He continued: "Elon is even looking further out and going Mars has water, Mars has more heat...it's not easy to live there but it's easier than the moon.

"It's still a long way away, our rockets aren't good enough yet. But both of them have those as their long term objectives."

Chris Hadfield reflected that when he was born no one had flown in space "and yet we've had people living on the Space Station continuously from 15 different countries for the past 20 and a half years."

"This is happening fast. So for you to say do you think it's possible to get people on Mars, well of course it is. It's just a question of are our rocket ships good enough yet, do we have the various technologies to allow us to live in those places yet, and can we make it safe enough so it becomes cheap enough so it becomes a viable choice?

"It just seems crazy because it's all so new."

He told Ruth we should consider exploration to Mars and outsourcing to the moon as part of humanity's future.

You can listen to LBC's exclusive podcast An Inconvenient Ruth here or on Global Player.

Watch this fascinating moment above.