A manned exploration to Mars will be a possibility in another 20 years, according to NASA and other space agencies.
The mission of sending man to the Red Planet will be a focus of discussion at the "Humans 2 Mars Summit" in Washington DC on Monday. Top officials from space agencies, government officials, astronauts including Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the moon, are due to meet at the conference to discuss the latest exploration projects to Mars.
Recently, man has showed a renewed interest in reaching Mars and several exploration initiatives have been launched with an aim to reach the neighbouring planet.
A recent survey conducted by Explore Mars and Boeing revealed that 71 percent of Americans believed that sending people to Mars will be possible by 2033. "If we started today, it's possible to land on Mars in 20 years," professor G Scott Hubbard of Stanford University told AAP.
But a major hurdle in the mission is the lack of finance allotted to the exploration projects.
Presently, NASA is entitled to a meagre 0.5 percent of the US federal budget, which is way lower than four percent allotted for the Apollo mission.
The survey also revealed that 75 percent of people said NASA's budget should be doubled to one percent for such missions.
"It doesn't require miracles, it requires money and a plan to address the technological engineering challenges," said Hubbard.
The ongoing Mar's Curiosity mission which cost $2.5 billion dollars is expected to last two years during which the rover will collect and analyze various samples from the Martian environment.
NASA is also preparing for another mission which would study Mar's upper atmosphere.Recently, the space agency, in a bid to raise public awareness of the mission, sought the public to submit personnel messages, out of which the best three will be carried in Mars-bound aircraft.