Deep space exploration offers the most profound opportunity for the expansion of humanity and our understanding of the Universe, but remains extremely challenging.
Progress will continue to be paced by uncrewed missions followed up by crewed missions to ever further destinations. Major space powers continue to invest in crewed deep space exploration as an important national strategy.

An improved model based on previous work is developed, which projects the earliest possible launch dates for human-crewed missions from cis-lunar space to selected destinations in the Solar System and beyond based on NASA’s historic budget trend and overall development trends of deep space exploration research.

The purpose of the analysis is to provide a projected timeframe for crewed missions beyond Mars. Our findings suggest the first human missions from a spacefaring nation or international collaboration to the Asteroid Belt and Jovian System could be scheduled as soon as ~2071 to ~2087 and ~2101 to ~2121, respectively, while a launch to the Saturn System may occur by the year ~2132, with an uncertainty window of ~2129 to ~2153.

Philip E. Rosen, Dan Zhang, Jonathan H. Jiang, Leopold Van Ijzendoorn, Kristen A. Fahy, Zong-Hong Zhu

Comments: 10 pages, 5 figures
Subjects: Popular Physics (physics.pop-ph); Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP); Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM); Physics and Society (physics.soc-ph)
Cite as: arXiv:2205.08061 [physics.pop-ph] (or arXiv:2205.08061v1 [physics.pop-ph] for this version)
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Submission history
From: Jonathan Jiang
[v1] Tue, 17 May 2022 02:28:29 UTC (610 KB)