. All agreed people would eventually be on Mars with regular flights between Earth and the Red Planet being shown by private entrepreneurs such as Elon Musk and his SpaceX.
Musk believes he can land small parties on Mars by the mid-2020s.
The aviation engineer dr. Thomas, Australia's first astronaut in space, said humans would form permanent bases Mars within 50 years.
"We will have colonies on Mars," he said.
Thomas flew in 1996 on the Space Shuttle Endeavor and then spent 141 days in space at the Mir space station, before making his final spaceflight in the Space Shuttle Discovery from 2001 to the Space Station (Space Space Discovery), where he received a 6½ completed hourly spacewalk.
However, he said that humans should never consider Mars as a backup option to Earth.
"Mars is a harsh environment" of NASA – Astronaut told the audience of We will be Martians: Our Future on the Red Planet moderated by Professor Brian Greene.
"There will never be a second Earth he said.
He said that Mars did not give mankind the opportunity to forget about the problems on Earth and focus exclusively on a new settlement on Mars.
"I think that's arrogant Hybris, "he said.
The session looked at the different aspects of a simulated flight to Mars, including the journey itself and the various ways in which a spaceship could return to before the audience saw the Martian craters and cracks – for example five kilometers deep – viewed through 3D glasses.
Geologist Dr. Jon Clarke works on simulated Martian camps in the deserts of Utah and the icy conditions in the Antarctic.  Professor Clarke and Professor Christine Charles talked about how the shortest route to Mars could take "three to four months" if electrical energy were used, but conventional wisdom was for a 16-month round trip.
"They need a lot of fuel to get into space from the Earth's surface," said Professor Charles, adding that future travel may not use conventional rocket flight.
Option was a 36,000-kilometer space elevator that could bring the crews to a lift station that did not need as much fuel to leave the Earth's atmosphere.
] "At the moment, the biggest problem is the leash," she said.
"How to build something that is 36,000 kilometers long."
The concept has already been tested with small prototypes, she said. [19659007 Loading
"We are also (also) testing the concept of one of these electric (plasma propulsion) motors with one of these nano-satellites," she said
Private sector, I really believe that he has a chance to move forward. " However, science could develop the type of hydrogen fuel that could be used for the return from Mars
"We know that there are ice craters on a few deep craters in the Moon," he said ,
"We can break it down and make hydrogen and oxygen that can be used to breathe and fuel
Professor Greene said sending teams with robots is much cheaper than sending space crews with humans.
"We can launch 1000 robots for two astronauts at the same cost as you," Professor Greene asked.
"Why not send robots?"
But Professor Cagle said that robots – even with advances in artificial intelligence – would not be able to work out an objectively
"robots are not curious she said 9659004] "You have that with the people."
Professor Reynolds pointed out that combating boredom on long space flights is an important part of a successful mission to Mars.
Dr. Thomas said this was a very real problem for long space flights.
"In the early days of Russian missions with the two cosmonauts, there was a complete breakdown of crew communications," he said.
"They did not speak and both acted just as if the two were another cosmonaut not even there.
Tony Moore is a senior reporter for the Brisbane Times