Last September, NASA unveiled their planned rockets to replace both the retired space shuttle and the canceled Ares program. The Space Launch System, or SLS, is again derived from space shuttle technology and even the Heavy Lift version of such lacks the 500ton lifting capacity required to lift the required radiation shield for moon, asteroid and mars missions.
In this video we'll also be looking at what the private sector has proposed. Whilst Boeing and SpaceDev are opting for seven month stays in earth orbit, SpaceX has proposed using their Falcon Heavy to send an unmanned Dragon spacecraft to Mars by 2018. Unlike NASA's alleged unmanned Mars landings, which supposedly used parachutes, the Red Dragon will make a propulsive landing. SpaceX hopes to send humans to Mars within 10 or 20 years from now, but until they can send heavier payloads the radiation will still be a show-stopper.
Personally, although it is doubtful that the radiation issue will be solved within that time period, I for one would like to participate in the Red Dragon mission. Like my Fly Jarrah To The Moon fund raise, traveling aboard SpaceX's mars bound craft will give me first-hand proof as to whether or not the cislunar radiation is survivable.