Close
Date TimeJune 17, 2018
VoiceChris Hadfield, a former Astronaut, recently spoke to Business Insider about his new online course on space exploration.
When asked about the future space vehicles of NASA, SpaceX, and Blue Origin, Hadfield said, "I don't think any of those three rockets is taking people to Mars."
Hadfield said we'd need some "outlandish" new space-travel technologies if we want to get to and from Mars practically.
Astronaut Chris Hadfield says the rockets from NASA, SpaceX, and Blue Origin wont take people to Mars
Chris Hadfield, perhaps most widely known for his zero-gravity guitar playing, has seen an impressive amount of space travel.
Between his first spaceflight in 1995, his second in 2001, and a third in 2013, Hadfield has flown inside NASA space shuttles, a Russian Soyuz spacecraft, and the International Space Station.
Hadfield, who's now retired, shares his expertise about rockets, spaceships, spacewalking, and Mars exploration in a new web course on the online platform MasterClass.
To follow up on those lessons, we asked Hadfield what he thinks about the future rocket ships of three major players in the new space race: NASA's Space Launch System, SpaceX's Big Falcon Rocket, and Blue Origin's New Glenn rocket.
His response isn't encouraging to those who'd like to see boots on Martian ground within the next decade or two, let alone have people settle on the red planet.
"Personally, I don't think any of those three rockets is taking people to Mars," Hadfield told Business Insider. "I don't think those are a practical way to send people to Mars because they're dangerous and it takes too long."

'The majority of the astronauts that we send wouldn't make it'
Astronaut Chris Hadfield says the rockets from NASA, SpaceX, and Blue Origin wont take people to Mars
Hadfield's stance stems from the fact that all three rocket systems rely on similar fuels (plus oxygen) to lift off Earth and propel the ship through space.
"My guess is we will never go to Mars with the engines that exist on any of those three rockets unless we truly have to," he said.
NASA's Space Launch System, expected to debut in the 2020s, will power its engines with a combination of liquid hydrogen and solid chemical fuels. Blue Origin, the rocket company founded by Jeff Bezos, is also looking to use liquid hydrogen. SpaceX, founded by Elon Musk, is staking its future on burning liquid methane, which the company believes it can generate on the Martian surface.
Like other experts, Hadfield doesn't doubt that any of the vehicles could actually get to Mars — his issue is about the safety of any humans on board. Explosions, radiation, starvation, and other problems would constantly threaten a mission.
"We could send people to Mars, and decades ago — I mean, the technology that took us to the moon and back when I was just a kid, that technology can take us to Mars, but it would be at significant risk," he said. "The majority of the astronauts that we send on those missions wouldn't make it; they'd die. Because the technology is still quite primitive."
Rocket makers aren't unaware of the challenges. NASA was founded with the understanding that spaceflight is an inherently risky enterprise, and it has lived through painful examples. And Musk has repeatedly said people will probably die on his company's future voyages to Mars.
"The first journey to Mars is going to be really very dangerous," Musk said in 2016. "The risk of fatality will be high. There's just no way around it."
But Hadfield believes those risks mean we should instead be patient and slowly build up to the goal of putting humans on Mars.
"You really have to answer the question why," he said. "Why are we going? Why wouldn't we just send robots for quite a while until we learn a lot more about Mars?"

Crossing the vast ocean between Earth and Mars
Astronaut Chris Hadfield says the rockets from NASA, SpaceX, and Blue Origin wont take people to Mars
Hadfield said the rocket ships currently being developed will be key stepping stones in the quest to explore our solar system.
But he added that using those vessels to shuttle people 140 million miles to Mars — even with new materials and computer automation— would be akin to crossing a giant ocean in a canoe or paddle boat.
"We're sort of like those early sailing ships, in that we don't even know what we don't know yet," he said, referring to the historic voyages of Columbus, Magellan, and Cook. "I think we need some more improvements in technology before we'll cross the oceans that are between us and Mars in any sort of practical way."
Hadfield said he doesn't know what those technologies might be, though he noted recent advancements in ion propulsion and NASA's resurgent interest in nuclear reactors. There could even one day be breakthroughs in investigations of dark matter and dark energy that would help this effort.
"Maybe the work that's going on with the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer on the space station, and in the particle accelerator in CERN, and other places ... is going to show us how we can harness gravity," he said. "It sounds outlandish, but we figured out how to harness electricity and what electrons do, and that seemed crazy and it's revolutionized life and travel. So who knows?"

Related Stories
Hubble telescope mother Nancy Grace Roman diesHubble telescope 'mother' Nancy Grace Roman dies
SpaceX and Boeing commercial crew capsule test dates slip yet againSpaceX and Boeing commercial crew capsule test dates slip yet again
NASA delivers clearest view yet of space snowman Ultima ThuleNASA delivers clearest view yet of space snowman Ultima Thule
This Awesome Shot of Earth Was Taken From 70M Miles AwayThis Awesome Shot of Earth Was Taken From 70M Miles Away
Cardi B returns to Instagram and announces new single featuring Bruno MarsCardi B returns to Instagram and announces new single featuring Bruno Mars
Former Labour MP Fiona Onasanya jailed in speeding caseFormer Labour MP Fiona Onasanya jailed in speeding case
US, China to Share, Publicly Release Data From Dark Side of the Moon - NASAUS, China to Share, Publicly Release Data From Dark Side of the Moon - NASA
SpaceX will lay off 10 percent of its staff to fund projectsSpaceX will lay off 10 percent of its staff to fund projects
NASA astronaut Mark Kelly launches Senate campaignNASA astronaut Mark Kelly launches Senate campaign
NASA lost contact with two mini Mars spacecraft and they dont know exactly whyNASA lost contact with two mini Mars spacecraft and they don't know exactly why
News Trends
Payless is closing all its 2,100 US storesPayless is closing all its 2,100 US stores
‘Downfall’ star Bruno Ganz dead at 77‘Downfall’ star Bruno Ganz dead at 77
Kusal Perera heroics lead Sri Lanka to remarkable Test win in South AfricaKusal Perera heroics lead Sri Lanka to remarkable Test win in South Africa
Ashley Cole goal celebration: This is what Derby star really cared about when scoringAshley Cole goal celebration: This is what Derby star really cared about when scoring
Jet carrying Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox Makes Emergency LandingJet carrying Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox Makes Emergency Landing
Colin Kaepernick reaches settlement with NFL over kneeling protest falloutColin Kaepernick reaches settlement with NFL over kneeling protest fallout
Streaming recommendations: The Umbrella Academy and Lorena, both arriving FridayStreaming recommendations: The Umbrella Academy and Lorena, both arriving Friday
Aurora shooting: sacked employee kills five in Illinois warehouseAurora shooting: sacked employee kills five in Illinois warehouse
By any measure, Winx is streets aheadBy any measure, Winx is streets ahead
Watch: Trump gives Rose Garden speech after vowing to declare national emergencyWatch: Trump gives Rose Garden speech after vowing to declare national emergency
Leaders
Donald-TrumpDonald Trump
45th President of the United States of America
Mike-PenceMike Pence
Vice President of the United States
Theresa-MayTheresa May
British Prime Minister
Angela-MerkelAngela Merkel
Chancellor of Germany
Emmanuel-MacronEmmanuel Macron
President of France
Justin-TrudeauJustin Trudeau
Prime Minister of Canada
Nancy-PelosiNancy Pelosi
Speaker of the United States House of Representatives
Barack-ObamaBarack Obama
44th U.S. President
Vladimir-PutinVladimir Putin
Russian President
Shinzo-AbeShinzō Abe
Prime Minister of Japan
Related Stories
Hubble telescope mother Nancy Grace Roman diesHubble telescope 'mother' Nancy Grace Roman dies
SpaceX and Boeing commercial crew capsule test dates slip yet againSpaceX and Boeing commercial crew capsule test dates slip yet again
NASA delivers clearest view yet of space snowman Ultima ThuleNASA delivers clearest view yet of space snowman Ultima Thule
This Awesome Shot of Earth Was Taken From 70M Miles AwayThis Awesome Shot of Earth Was Taken From 70M Miles Away
Cardi B returns to Instagram and announces new single featuring Bruno MarsCardi B returns to Instagram and announces new single featuring Bruno Mars
Former Labour MP Fiona Onasanya jailed in speeding caseFormer Labour MP Fiona Onasanya jailed in speeding case
US, China to Share, Publicly Release Data From Dark Side of the Moon - NASAUS, China to Share, Publicly Release Data From Dark Side of the Moon - NASA
SpaceX will lay off 10 percent of its staff to fund projectsSpaceX will lay off 10 percent of its staff to fund projects
NASA astronaut Mark Kelly launches Senate campaignNASA astronaut Mark Kelly launches Senate campaign
NASA lost contact with two mini Mars spacecraft and they dont know exactly whyNASA lost contact with two mini Mars spacecraft and they don't know exactly why
News Trends
Payless is closing all its 2,100 US storesPayless is closing all its 2,100 US stores
‘Downfall’ star Bruno Ganz dead at 77‘Downfall’ star Bruno Ganz dead at 77
Kusal Perera heroics lead Sri Lanka to remarkable Test win in South AfricaKusal Perera heroics lead Sri Lanka to remarkable Test win in South Africa
Ashley Cole goal celebration: This is what Derby star really cared about when scoringAshley Cole goal celebration: This is what Derby star really cared about when scoring
Jet carrying Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox Makes Emergency LandingJet carrying Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox Makes Emergency Landing
Colin Kaepernick reaches settlement with NFL over kneeling protest falloutColin Kaepernick reaches settlement with NFL over kneeling protest fallout
Streaming recommendations: The Umbrella Academy and Lorena, both arriving FridayStreaming recommendations: The Umbrella Academy and Lorena, both arriving Friday
Aurora shooting: sacked employee kills five in Illinois warehouseAurora shooting: sacked employee kills five in Illinois warehouse
By any measure, Winx is streets aheadBy any measure, Winx is streets ahead
Watch: Trump gives Rose Garden speech after vowing to declare national emergencyWatch: Trump gives Rose Garden speech after vowing to declare national emergency
Leaders
Donald-TrumpDonald Trump
45th President of the United States of America
Mike-PenceMike Pence
Vice President of the United States
Theresa-MayTheresa May
British Prime Minister
Angela-MerkelAngela Merkel
Chancellor of Germany
Emmanuel-MacronEmmanuel Macron
President of France
Justin-TrudeauJustin Trudeau
Prime Minister of Canada
Nancy-PelosiNancy Pelosi
Speaker of the United States House of Representatives
Barack-ObamaBarack Obama
44th U.S. President
Vladimir-PutinVladimir Putin
Russian President
Shinzo-AbeShinzō Abe
Prime Minister of Japan
Audi CEO Arrested In Germany Over Diesel Scandal
Meghan Markle's dad reveals warning to Harry as he breaks silence in tell-all interview
White House adviser Kellyanne Conway says ‘nobody likes’ family separation policy
Egypt goalkeeper declines beer-sponsored World Cup award
Elon Musk shows off new Tesla production line — and it's in a tent
Google to invest $550 million in Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com
Gunman wounds 2, is fatally shot by bystander at Walmart store
Japan quake kills 3
Ex-Trump operative met with Russian 'offering Clinton dirt for $2M'
Switzerland’s Zuber heads controversial equaliser to deny Brazil victory
Everything you need to know about the final round of the US Open
Mexico stun defending champs Germany
Why Germany will beat Mexico
New Jersey arts festival shooting leaves 20 injured, 1 suspect dead, officials say
Mars will come closer to Earth in the coming weeks than it has been in 15 years — here's how to see it
Greece and Macedonia sign deal on name change
Tesla goes up in flames in video captured by actor Mary McCormack
Two Kansas deputies shot and killed by inmate while escorting him to court, authorities say
Beyoncé and Jay-Z drop joint album
17 dead after Venezuela nightclub violence
Pope: Abortion is ‘white glove’ equivalent to Nazi crimes
Messi misses penalty, Iceland holds Argentina to 1-1 draw
Angelina Jolie visits war-torn Mosul one year after its liberation from ISIS
Taxi hits pedestrians in Moscow amid World Cup festivities
SHOCKING images of MONSTER black hole’s super powerful jet ripping a star apart
Elizabeth Holmes indicted on wire fraud charges, steps down from Theranos
Tory MP Christopher Chope blocks progress of upskirting bill
'Dubai in Paris': French climate protesters fight plans for €3bn theme park
NASA’s record-breaking spacewoman retires as astronaut
Kim Kardashian West on running for public office: 'Never say never'
Woman says Neil Armstrong gave her moon dust. She's suing NASA to keep it.
Fire ravages Glasgow School of Art's Mackintosh building -- again
Chris Hardwick Under Fire as Ex-Girlfriend Alleges Abuse, Blacklisting
Time Warner unveils its new name: WarnerMedia
Brilliant Ronaldo rescues Portugal in thriller
Aziz Bouhaddouz own goal in added time hands Iran win against Morocco
Trump praises Kim on Fox & Friends: 'I want my people to do the same'
Oprah Winfrey to create new TV shows for Apple
Cristiano Ronaldo pays $21.7 million to avoid jail time in tax fraud case
Natalie Portman slights former Harvard classmate Jared Kushner: He's a 'super villain'
Australian comedian raped and murdered
Judge sends Manafort to jail, pending trial
Fox Apologizes for Robbie Williams' Obscene Gesture at World Cup
Christina Aguilera: Liberation review – #MeToo makeover hits high and low notes
Incredibles 2 is dream job for Sophia Bush
Sanders uses Bible to defend Trump's separation of children from families at border
How Mohamed Salah managed the impossible: to unite Egypt
Trump up for Nobel Peace Prize after Kim summit
French President Emmanuel Macron takes heat over new dishes
Chrissy Teigen celebrates Trump’s birthday with $288,000 donation to ACLU
'But my emails': Hillary Clinton claps back after report reveals Comey used Gmail
Two adults, two children shot in Westminster; suspect in custody
Late-Night Hosts Imagine How Trump Celebrated His Birthday
Stephen Colbert Offers Scathing Takedown Of Trump’s Immigration Policy
Trump approves tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods
Grenfell Tower fire: thousands attend silent march one year on
New York attorney general sues Trump foundation over self-dealing
Ellen DeGeneres Sets First Stand-Up Tour in 15 Years
Nicole Kidman Inks First-Look Film, TV Deal at Amazon
Trump returns salute of North Korean general at summit, state media footage reveals
Russia open World Cup with thumping win over Saudi Arabia
Meghan Markle, Queen Elizabeth step out for first royal engagement together
Russia World Cup to generate a staggering $6 billion for FIFA
Fashion’s first 11: which is the most stylish World Cup kit?
Sarah Sanders and Raj Shah ‘planning to LEAVE’ White House in HUGE BLOW to Trump
Where do we stand a year after the Grenfell Tower fire?
NYPD develops cards for deaf and hard of hearing motorists to ease communication
Chicago mayor wants Elon Musk to build high-speed transit linking O'Hare and downtown
Anne Donovan, Olympic gold medalist, basketball Hall of Famer, dies at 56
British political operatives met with Russian ambassador days after Trump visit
‘Wonder Woman 1984’ First Image Reveals Chris Pine’s Return
Michael Cohen is expected to split with legal team. Will he cooperate with prosecutors?
Stephen Hawking's voice to be beamed into black hole while his ashes are interred at Westminster Abbey
Antarctic ice melting faster than ever, studies show
Nicki Minaj Says Being Single Made Her Music Better
Germany fines VW $1.2 billion over diesel scandal
World Cup: More than 1,200 UK football hooligans blocked from flying to Russia
Italy summons French ambassador in row over migrant rescue boat
U.S., Mexico and Canada to Host 2026 Soccer World Cup
Late-Night TV's Comedy King Is Not Who You Think
Kim Jong-un hailed victor in 'meeting of century' by North Korean media
Two women get kicked out of Uber after kiss
Elon Musk, in Search of Profit, Cuts Tesla's Work Force
Late-Night Sounds Off on Trump's Historic Meeting With Kim Jong-un
Angelina Jolie required to give Brad Pitt more access to their kids
ZTE stock plummets 40% after US ban
AT&T bid for CNN's parent company approved
The Switch is getting some cool local multiplayer indie games
Armed man takes hostages in Paris
Iran says it can't remain in nuclear deal without benefits
Hilary Duff Looks Back at Past Fashion Choices on 'The Late Late Show'
The two really important people at the summit (beside Trump and Kim)
US to suspend military exercises with South Korea, Trump says
Obama's shock presidential intervention: Barack has eyes on 2020 race
11 dead as boats collide in Russian city hosting World Cup
Trump Played Kim Jong Un This Crazily Intense Video at Meeting
Ariana Grande & Pete Davidson's Relationship 'Moving a Million Miles a Minute'
New Look slashes prices amid sharp fall in annual sales
Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner made over $82m outside White House roles
WATCH: Peculiar moment Trump shows off his $1.6million BEAST to Kim Jong-un at summit
Trump pledges security guarantees to NKorea after summit
The Latest: Pompeo updates Japan, South Korea after summit
Jimmy Kimmel Teases "Blobfish Basketball Classic" Charity Game Against Ted Cruz
Trevor Noah Reveals The Real Reason Jon Stewart Left ‘The Daily Show’
READ: Full text of Trump-Kim signed statement
PICTURE SPECIAL: How Trump met Kim
Dennis Rodman gets emotional discussing Trump and Kim
Millicent Fawcett: Who was the tireless suffragist and how did she change women's voting rights forever?
Square Enix's E3 showcase was a bust
Former NBA star Dennis Rodman arrives in Singapore ahead of Trump-Kim summit
A sexy walk is as important to a woman's attractiveness as her body shape, British study claims
Theresa May says G7 summit with Donald Trump was 'difficult'
Peace talks between Russia, Ukraine get underway in Berlin
Kim Jong Un's sister arrives in Singapore in separate plane from North Korean leader
Could humans live on Mars? 'Absolutely,' a NASA expert says
Jane Fonda to Receive Career Honor at Lyon's Lumiere Festival
Spain offers to take migrant ship after Italy's populists turn it away
IHOP becomes IHOb, with 'b' for burgers
Chloe Ayling kidnapper sentenced to 16 years in prison
Kendall Jenner makes Trump joke during 'Celebrity Family Feud'
Airman with top-secret clearance, who disappeared in 1983, is discovered living in California
Top attractions in Moscow: The best things to do in Russia's capital
Trump told Macron EU worse than China on trade
Jackson Odell (of 'The Goldbergs') dies at 20; coroner investigating
Opera Omaha is making a name for itself with festivals, productions
North Korea hails 'new era' of relations with US ahead of Trump-Kim summit
Microsoft's E3 2018 conference shows that Xbox is (sort of) back
Here Are The 2018 Tony Award Winners
Nadal wins 11th French Open title by beating Thiem in 3 sets
Vince Vaughn arrested in California on DUI, resisting arrest charges
The end of net neutrality has arrived
Women march across UK to celebrate 100 years of female suffrage
Trump arrives in Singapore ahead of historic North Korea summit
Trump's top economic aide on Trudeau: 'It was a betrayal'
Arron Banks ‘met with Russian officials multiple times before Brexit vote’
Donald Trump REFUSES to sign G7 agreement before BLASTING Theresa May and Justin Trudeau
Stephen Colbert Hits Back at "Hateful Dweebs" Who Harassed 'Star Wars' Actress
Kim Jong Un arrives in Singapore for historic summit
Canadian GP: Vettel beats Bottas, Verstappen to pole
Sea of Solitude's haunting trailer is about humans who turn into monsters
'We are ready' Putin warns Russia is prepared for meeting with Trump in AUSTRIA
Tommy Robinson march: Five police officers injured as London rally spirals out of control
Holocaust survivor Gena Turgel, consoler of Anne Frank, dies
German Chancellor Merkel's stare down photo sums up Trump's time at G-7
Trump calls for elimination of tariffs, end to US being world's 'piggy bank'
Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un’s rocky road to Singapore – video explainer
Merkel proposes trade dispute body as G7 summit begins
Meghan Markle attends annual Trooping the Colour parade, makes Buckingham Palace balcony debut
Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain: How the press can cover suicide without creating a 'contagion'
200,000 trillion calculations per second: U.S. launches the world’s most powerful supercomputer
Kevin Durant wins Finals MVP for second consecutive year
Jimmy Kimmel, Ryan Gosling Travel to Space to Celebrate 'First Man' Trailer Release
MSNBC Host Asks If Silent Ivanka And Melania Trump ‘Dead Inside’
Trump could handle Brexit better than May, Boris hints
Actress Emma Thompson made a dame in Queen's birthday honors list
Plane's emergency highway landing
Conservative commentator Charles Krauthammer announces he has cancer, weeks left to live
China stole sensitive U.S. navy data on submarine warfare, officials say
Ex-Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort, Russian associate hit with obstruction charges
Michelle Wolf Defends Monica Lewinsky, Slams Media for "High Horse" Coverage of Recent Clinton Comment
Hilary Duff shares pregnancy news
David Beckham endorses North America World Cup bid
The Washington Capitals, After Years of Frustration, Win the Stanley Cup
Soyuz capsule with 3 astronauts docks with space station
Trump says Russia should be reinstated in group of leading industrialized nations
CNN's Anthony Bourdain dead at 61
Stormy Daniels releases new perfume called Truth
Pippa Middleton confirms pregnancy and reveals she escaped morning sickness unlike her sister Kate
Trump to leave G-7 summit early amid feud with world leaders, calls Trudeau 'so indignant'
Stephen Colbert’s Latest Trump Joke May Have Been Censored By CBS
Kim Kardashian shares the joy of how she called Alice Johnson in prison to tell her she would be freed
Jack Ma's online payments giant just raised $14 billion
Liverpool set to complete £53m signing of Nabil Fekir from Lyon
Trump says outcome of summit with Kim Jong Un depends on ‘attitude,’ less on preparation
MIT scientists created an AI-powered 'psychopath' named Norman
Lady Gaga steps into the spotlight in the 'A Star is Born' trailer
NASA's Curiosity rover finds organic matter on Mars
Car RAMS into US Embassy in Seoul 'driven by North Korean defector screaming 'help me!''
Britain now the enemy? Brussels boots out UK military – 'UK no place in defence of Europe'
No, Mr. Trump, Canada did not burn down the White House in the War of 1812
‘You Did It’: Alice Johnson Thanks Kim Kardashian For Never Giving Up On Her
Time Magazine’s Latest Cover Features Trump As ‘King Me’
Kate Spade's husband says she battled demons but death was complete shock
Giuliani defends comments about Stormy Daniels' credibility
Virginia Apgar: Who is the Dr who saved millions of babies and who Google is celebrating?
UK Supreme Court criticizes Northern Ireland abortion laws
David Davis urged not to resign over Brexit backstop
Peter Stringfellow's life in pictures: Nightclub tycoon who was a magnet for celebrities
Jimmy Kimmel Finds First Lady To Be A Little Stiff
Colbert Has A Hilariously Awful List Of People Trump Could Pardon Next
Trevor Noah: What If Facebook Was A Physical Place?
Samantha Bee Apologizes On-Air For Calling Ivanka Trump An Epithet
Australian news crew mugged while filming on London street
EU to hit US with $3.3B in retaliatory tariffs in July
Amid rumors, Melania Trump makes first public appearance in nearly a month
GOP Senate report says Obama officials gave Iran access to US financial system
About 100 firefighters tackle blaze at London hotel
Trump commutes woman's life sentence after Kim Kardashian West's plea
Voters oust California judge in Brock Turner sexual assault case
Kellyanne Conway comes unglued on CNN host, and says calling out Trump’s lies hurts his ratings
Close