NASA plans to capture an asteroid from space and make it orbit around the moon through a robotic mission. NASA also plans to send a human team to explore the asteroid by 2025. This would be a capability demonstrator for a future manned mission to Mars in the 2030s to study the possibilities of life having existed on the red planet in the past, when conditions were more suitable for life.
From 2018 onwards, such futuristic missions would be made possible by NASA’s powerful Space Launch System (SLS) rocket. NASA also plans to use the Orion spacecraft for both these missions. The Mars mission will use Orion and an evolved SLS that will be the most powerful launch vehicle ever flown.
‘Mars One’ is a non-profit organization with the aim of establishing a permanent human settlement on Mars through a one-way mission. It plans to use readily available components from global suppliers to enable the human race to set foot quickly on Mars.
The Mars One mission would consist of a cargo mission to prepare the planet for human survival followed by human landings. It has already began selecting astronauts for this program from 2013!