After America will have returned to the Moon, why won't NASA make a Venus flyby mission with the Orion/SLS before going on to manned flights to Mars?
They are planning crewed missions to Venus (HAVOC) but for the distant future; it seems they want to go to Mars first. It would be much better to test interplanetary travel with the Orion spacecraft to the nearest planet first.
The countless advantages include:
- proximity to planet Earth
- you can abort the journey and return to Earth much easier than during a Mars flight
- the proximity means a faster communication with Houston
- a not as long journey as to planet Mars in preparation for Mars missions
- testing human conditions in interplanetary flight (especially psychology and radiation)
- and a preparation to the already-mentioned HAVOC missions into the Venerean atmosphere
So what do you think, why won't they test the Orion/SLS and the human conditions during a Venus flight first?