As we know there are manned mission plans to go to Mars and people has been in the Moon already. Has there ever been manned mission plans by any Space Agency, to go to a solar system object other than the Moon and Mars, such as Ceres or an asteroid?

  • $\begingroup$ By the way, Ceres is the largest object in the main asteroid belt. So Ceres is an asteroid too but a very large one. $\endgroup$ – Uwe Feb 13 at 23:08
  • $\begingroup$ The Asteroid Redirect Crewed Mission kind of counts, though IIRC humans wouldn't have gone farther than lunar orbit. $\endgroup$ – DylanSp Feb 14 at 13:43

Yes, NASA did consider a crewed flyby of Venus using Saturn/Apollo hardware. This is discussed in another QA on this site.

There wasn't much point in doing it, as it would have been several months of flight for a very brief approach to Venus, in which the crew couldn't do much that a robot couldn't do much more cheaply and safely.

  • $\begingroup$ There was enough storage for food, CO2 scrubber cartridges and waste during several months? All that in the very small Apollo CM? $\endgroup$ – Uwe Feb 13 at 23:44
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    $\begingroup$ @Uwe it's all here ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19790072165.pdf Looks like there was a crewed volume at the top of the 3rd stage where the LM went on lunar missions. The CSM turned around and docked with that volume. $\endgroup$ – Organic Marble Feb 13 at 23:46
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    $\begingroup$ @OrganicMarble Thanks for the Pdf. So an extra habitat and solar cells should be used. $\endgroup$ – Uwe Feb 13 at 23:52
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    $\begingroup$ Not just the "adapter" volume, but the entire volume of the S-IVB hydrogen tank, after the TVI, would be available. $\endgroup$ – Russell Borogove Feb 13 at 23:53
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    $\begingroup$ @RussellBorogove Just make sure you vent it properly. 🤣 $\endgroup$ – ceejayoz Feb 14 at 15:52

Before cancelation of Constellation program in 2009 one of planned missions was manned asteroid landing and return. The same Orion spacecraft and Altair lander would be used as for the Moon.


Also manned landing on Phobos qualifies, I think. It should be easier than landing on Mars surface (with return, of course). There is no atmospheric entry problem. Also Phobos-landing craft does not need a lot of propellant/several stages for return.



I am not sure if this reaches the level you considered of "plans" but NASA had the HOPE (Human Outer Planets Exploration) studies, which involved flying a beautiful nuclear-powered ship to Callisto.



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