Humans first left Earth 59 years ago, landing on the moon nine years later. Since then, we’ve orbited the Earth, sent rovers to Mars, and sent people to live on the international space station. And it won’t be too long before we make the journey to Mars to begin our extraterrestrial colonization.
Wendy Lawrence is a former NASA astronaut who’s contributed to the collective knowledge that’ll make the journey to Mars possible. She’s also a retired U.S. Navy captain, a former helicopter pilot, and an engineer.
She shares what, so far, has made the journey to Mars impossible: "There’s a type of radiation called galactic cosmic radiation that is very, very difficult to protect the astronauts from. And to effectively shield your spacecraft from that — that’s the technical challenge that still hasn’t quite been solved … "
On whether exercises meant to keep up an astronaut's bone density and muscle with Mars' low level of gravity, Lawrence says: "Will that help? Absolutely. Is it going to be enough? That's still an unknown."
There are still many unknowns.
Lawrence will be in Milwaukee Sunday to talk about her career as part of a three-day-long event — the "Under One Moon Festival" in the Third Ward.