The Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL), a research and development centre of the US space agency NASA, is working hard on a manned mission to the Mars by 2020, a top official and a scientist of JPL said here today.
Larry James, Deputy Director, Jet Propulsion Lab, also said that it was also working on how to deflect an asteroid in a path of collision with the Earth.
Dr James delivered a lecture on ‘JPL: Exploring Our World, The Solar System And The Universe’, organised by the US Consulate here.
Speaking about asteroids and near earth objects which can crash into the Earth, James said NASA was exploring how the orbit of an asteroid can be altered by sending a spacecraft.
Search for water on the Mars will continue, but the biggest challenge before the scientists will be to put an astronaut on the red planet, he said.
US space scientists were collaborating with Indian space agency ISRO for some of these projects, he said.
Later, James inaugurated a 3D Universe facility at the BM Birla Science Centre here.