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Manned mission to Mars--just thinking out loud

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hornet driver

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It seems to me the largest drawback to a manned Mars mission is the manned part. From the point of view of an outsider looking in, the negative and deleterious effects of zero or low G's on the body needs to be addressed. Loss of vision,loss of muscle, and loss of bone density are only a few of the problems the passengers of such a mission would have to deal with. To my knowledge, the only way to produce some king of gravity would be to accelerate the craft at 1g to the planet and then decelerate at 1g as they arrive--cool idea but no such engine exists today! The other alternative is to have a rotating ring around the ship--hmm, how do you stop the inside ship from rotating? Of course , just a big honkin rotating ring would make sense to make the journey in. The last two options would require assembly in space! The life support systems alone are a huge feat and have to be 100% functional 100% of the time!While exercise curbs some of the negative affects of low g, it does not cure the problem.While there is a coolness factor to a man walking on Mars, to me it just does not make sense!With current technologies we can use robotics to do the job for a hell of a lot less costs and net the same results. Am I off base with my thinking? What are your thoughts on the matter. ---H
 

MClark

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Another problem is radiation when outside the earths magnetic field.
When you get to Mars the first thing you do is dig your own grave.

M
 

SaturnV

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I already wrote somewhere. Without magnetic shield, powerful laser beam and nuclear-powered engine on the ship flight is possible but it is too risky and pointless.Safer will be to cross the Atlantic Ocean on felled tree.There is no risk to stay without air fish I can catch the raft. Only with fresh water could be a problem if it does not rain long time but water is the smallest problem of a long space flight :)
The lack of powerful and reserve for a long time with fuel engine, artificial magnetic field and powerful laser against micrometeorites makes flight completely meaningless.
Not to mention that on the Falcon 9 would not have gone for a billion dollars right now :)
 
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Mushtang

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...accelerate the craft at 1g to the planet and then decelerate at 1g as they arrive
They'd need to begin to "decelerate" close to the halfway point of the trip instead of waiting until they arrive. But that would be a very cool way to get there, and the trip would take days instead of months or years.

The other alternative is to have a rotating ring around the ship--hmm, how do you stop the inside ship from rotating?
No need to stop the inside from rotating that I know of. The biggest problem here is the size of the ring, it would have to be huge in order for it to be practical. A rotating ring the size of the space station wouldn't be big enough, there would be a significant difference in perceived gravity between your head and your feet, which would screw with you as you moved around.

With current technologies we can use robotics to do the job for a hell of a lot less costs and net the same results. Am I off base with my thinking? What are your thoughts on the matter. ---H
That's exactly what a LOT of people were saying about the Apollo Moon missions and if it hadn't been for the Russians, and politics, we wouldn't have gone to the moon when we did and maybe even not by now. Robots and probes can tell us anything a man can, a surveying probe can certainly be built to bring back samples, the Mars Rover Opportunity has been roaming around up there for 11 years doing lots of really cool stuff. A man landing on Mars wouldn't be worth anything... if nobody (or very few) follow. The point is to colonize the planet and get some humans up there permanently, and eventually have a whole other place where the human race thrives. You can't do that until you send the first one.
 

Bat-mite

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That's exactly what a LOT of people were saying about the Apollo Moon missions and if it hadn't been for the Russians, and politics, we wouldn't have gone to the moon when we did and maybe even not by now. Robots and probes can tell us anything a man can, a surveying probe can certainly be built to bring back samples, the Mars Rover Opportunity has been roaming around up there for 11 years doing lots of really cool stuff. A man landing on Mars wouldn't be worth anything... if nobody (or very few) follow. The point is to colonize the planet and get some humans up there permanently, and eventually have a whole other place where the human race thrives. You can't do that until you send the first one.
But that was his point, I think. How do you put a colony where the effects of low G would eventually kill everyone? I'm currently reading "The Martian," and while surviving on Mars seems doable, Weir hasn't mentioned the effects of 0.4g on the human body yet.
 

SaturnV

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How do you put a colony
What colony man? With current rockets and spacecraft to send two people living there is almost a miracle :)
1 000 0000 times easier to do colony in the wild west with horses and carts than with current resources to do colony on Mars :)This is simply ridiculous :)Imagine how much food, water and oxygen will need 2 people for the flight to Mars for six months :) And equipment? And what they will eat on Mars? And oxygen on Mars? With current technology such mission needs at least 20 flights of Saturn V :)
And the astronauts will be worse than prisoners. If they do not die from radiation or not to kill anyone micrometeorites.
 
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Mushtang

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But that was his point, I think. How do you put a colony where the effects of low G would eventually kill everyone? I'm currently reading "The Martian," and while surviving on Mars seems doable, Weir hasn't mentioned the effects of 0.4g on the human body yet.
Ahh, I missed that. I thought he was talking about the effect of weightlessness on the trip.

I suppose if living in low gravity wouldn't be possible permanently they'd have to populate the colonies in shifts of a year or two at a time.
 

ThirstyBarbarian

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An alternative to the big ring is a long tether. You could fire the departure stage to get the ship out of earth orbit and on its way to Mars, then disconnect it from the habitation module and run it out on a very long cable, then set the whole thing rotating around the center of gravity. When you get close to Mars, reel in the propulsion stage if it's still needed, or cut it loose.
 

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Surely there must some usable data on that, based on ISS crew over long periods of time. I could see a long-term issue with colonists born/raised on the Mars, perhaps eventually becoming physiologically ill suited to going back to Earth. Mars would have its own human subspecies eventually, assuming they survived long enough...
 

mjennings

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Another big issue is Martian Dust. I knew some people who interned at Glenn, who helped with dust research and at the time the electrostatic charging and general sharpness of the grains made what's in the Mid East look like fluffy pillows. (the Military had all kids of issues with sand especially on Helicopters) I haven't seen anything in years but I'm sure it is still up there on the issue list, but as it is a once we get there not a getting there issue it gets less talk.
 

SaturnV

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Mars would have its own human subspecies eventually, assuming they survived long enough...
This mandatory. Will be with weaker bones and muscles and will hardly be able to resist gravity on earth. I do not know, for me personally more promising is Venus. Naturally after initial colonization of microorganisms there to eliminate the greenhouse effect and increase oxygen. then the monstrous temperatures will drop and the pressure of the atmosphere too. Gravity there is very similar to Earth.There will also oxygen. and tolerable temperatures. Mars will hardly differs from the Мoon.Except that is far away :)Life to live in desert where you can not even walk without a spacesuit I personally do not care :)
 
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Bat-mite

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I highly recommend the novel Man Plus by grand master Frederik Pohl. It's old, but he has a unique idea on how to prepare Mars for colonies. It was followed by a sequel called Mars Plus, but that wasn't as good.
 
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Mushtang

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Another big issue is Martian Dust. I knew some people who interned at Glenn, who helped with dust research and at the time the electrostatic charging and general sharpness of the grains made what's in the Mid East look like fluffy pillows. (the Military had all kids of issues with sand especially on Helicopters) I haven't seen anything in years but I'm sure it is still up there on the issue list, but as it is a once we get there not a getting there issue it gets less talk.
I remember reading about the actual Mars atmosphere vs what was shown in the movie The Martian. In the movie the sand storms were violent and blowing everything over, and they could barely see. In reality there is so little atmosphere the most violent storm would only feel like a light breeze to an astronaut and would never blow over a spacecraft.
 

SaturnV

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I remember reading about the actual Mars atmosphere vs what was shown in the movie The Martian. In the movie the sand storms were violent and blowing everything over, and they could barely see. In reality there is so little atmosphere the most violent storm would only feel like a light breeze to an astronaut and would never blow over a spacecraft.
This is precisely the problem. Practical Mars has almost no atmosphere. This means constantly in a suit under artificial pressure. Otherwise, your blood would instantly boil.Otherwise storms on Mars can only be covered with dust solar panels. nothing else.
 

SaturnV

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If someone thinks so dressed can survive on Mars 10 seconds - is lying.
martian-gallery3-gallery-image.jpg
Here's something close to the truth :)
660_cbd26e541076c3dd996c05e00eae244f.jpg
And just a few days with such a suit as the second dials several years of radiation dose that would take on the Earth. There is nothing stopping cosmic radiation.
Indeed safely on Mars and the Moon can only live deep underground. Or if they are found deposits of lead and each wall has at least 5 inches leaden plate :)
Greenhouses must also be underground. And to illuminate artificially. No potato to survive on Mars as in the movie :)Radiation would fry it :)
Sunlight on Mars is much less. and at night to -150 Celsius. Without powerful nuclear reactor to shine "colony" even 2 people will die from cold :) On the moon missions did work fuel cells. But just a few days :).
 
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hornet driver

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Ya know , one other thing to think about is--What if we lost a crew?---Either in transit one way or the other or--most likely-- in descent to the planet surface !!I think it's a good guess that the American public wouldn't stand for it and it would be the end of the manned space program in this country as we know it, what program there is. The worst scenario would be if NASA was at the helm. As a govt. entity, I doubt many lawmakers would jump on board to continue the support of such a high risk program as compared to the shuttle, which had it's detractors, but was held up as a symbol of the country and continued to soldier on for a few more years,primarily since it had missions on the book and there was nothing else out there until we worked out a deal with the Russians. The fact that there was no follow on program ready to go, shows the lack of resolve by our lawmakers.It did however open the door for more efficient private ventures.Those private ventures would likely survive a tragedy better than NASA since the tax paying public doesn't have a dog in the race, although I'm sure the shareholders might say something but risk is the name of that game.
 

SaturnV

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Another big nonsense in the movie is soil from the Martian sand and **** :) few billion years of the earth have lived and died living organisms and plants to be can grow potatoes :) Martian "sand" contains perchlorates :) It found Curiosity :)
 

kyled921

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I think part of the desire is you can perform science at a much faster pace than with robotics. You have to command a robot to perform certain tasks, line-by-line and motion-by-motion. A soil sample the size of a teaspoon could be a multi-hour process between verification of the motions, programming, communication delays, etc. A human on Mars could theoretically sample an area the size of a football field in a probably little over an hour, return to base, and put samples up for analysis (either by team members or later during ETA supply replenishment). In another hour he could do the same. You could effectively cover the robotic duties 100-fold and explore exponentially faster (think Mars-buggy at 5-10 mph with a 1-2 day ECLSS system, that probably 10 Sq. miles or more of ground covered. All the while you could be scouting new areas for future development/survey with support from satellites.

The technical challenges are definitely there, and humans require a lot of "maintenance" the rovers otherwise don't. But I think the science could pay for itself multiple times over compared to a root for the same time frame. Robots/scouts have always been essential to exploration, but sooner or later we need people to move things along at a faster pace, otherwise you'll quickly have one of two outcomes: 1) people lose interest (highly probable with today's society and our slew of other problems) or 2) you outgrow your home and require relocation anyways, in a time crunch, with little working knowledge of how to operate in this new environment.

Definitely not an easy problem.
 

SaturnV

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Ya know , one other thing to think about is--What if we lost a crew?---.
Stopping the shuttle was stupid.Just do not have to travel 6-7 people together.
By road accidents die each year tens of thousands of people.Not to mention that by firearms also killed thousands. But not prohibit neither cars nor guns.
 

SaturnV

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In general topic is uninteresting. Research flight to Mars - possible is now. However, with great strain on resources worldwide. Colonize Mars mission impossible. At least until invents nuclear-powered spacecraft.
 

Zeus-cat

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Stopping the shuttle was stupid.Just do not have to travel 6-7 people together.
By road accidents die each year tens of thousands of people.Not to mention that by firearms also killed thousands. But not prohibit neither cars nor guns.
The shuttle was never very cost effective at what it did. One time rockets would have been less expensive. Costs were the thing that eventually grounded the shuttle.

If we send people into space we will lose a few. Sort of like climbing Mount Everest; the ratio had been approximately one person attempting the climb dies for every 10 that actually reach the summit. I think the ratio is getting better, but that mountain kills a lot of people.
 

Woody's Workshop

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Watched a show last night.
Some big wig Chinese guy that worked at Ohio IT, had a lot to do with the rovers.
He had been there 20 years. Just went missing.
Found out, he went back to China.
Next thing you know, China's space program is sending men to Mars.
No Rovers, no investigative flights, nothing. Just gunna send men.
They think this Scientist was a Chinese spy for 20 some years.
So...I don't think we have to worry about it.
China is going there first, and if they fail and people parish during the event.
It's on their shoulders, and we can learn from them.
Personally, I feel we are not advanced enough to send men that far.
I'd be putting a way station on the moon first. But that's just me.
 

hornet driver

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It does seem foolish to bypass the Moon and go straight to Mars. It makes more sense to me to work out the bugs on the Moon first. Sure it would cost a ton more money. That's a given. The two are similar enough, you could work out the problems ahead of time. That said , the weigh station idea has some merit. I'm still not sold on putting man on Mars at this time. If we are just dead set on getting there , the orbiting outpost makes the most sense to me. From that position, drones could be deployed to the surface with real time human control. Of course the outpost would have to be large by today's standards and a supply line would have to be worked out. Lack of gravity and radiation would still be unsolved problems though. I dun-know, the more I think about it the more I lean towards autonomous vehicles to do the job.
 

terryg

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The primary reason for the International Space Station was to test the long term effects of residing in space. The results appear to be that long term space habitation is not physically and biologically practical without severe long term effects. Long duration space voyages will not be practical until there are significant fundamental scientific breakthrough's to make them short term trips. Until this time we can do great things with robotics probes. For manned exploration the moon has hardly been touched and there a lot of spectacular area's that could be explored.
 

SaturnV

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The primary reason for the International Space Station was to test the long term effects of residing in space. T
This is not a space man. There is no gravity. But they are protected largely by cosmic radiation by Earth's magnetic field.Long before the international space station was proven that you can spend a few months in weightlessness without serious consequences.International Space Station showed that global cooperation is beneficial to all. And for you and for the Russians and Europeans and Japanese.Honestly tell you I think you yourself would not send a man to Mars. You can . Just will not give that much money :)And even if you give what's the point? Why allow this only their taxpayers? To say only that an American was the first to set foot on Mars? :)Wernher von Braun was a German :) Neil Armstrong - the German-Irish-Scottish descent :)
Musk can not send a man to Mars to live there or to return. He can only send someone to die there. And quickly after landing :)Will die from lack of food, water, oxygen, radiation or a simple disease.Only tank with oxygen only for 2 people for a few months should be several times larger than the rover Curiosity :)
 
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Peartree

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I think that in the next decade or so, robotics will be sufficiently advanced to make humanoid robots whose "senses" will allow humans to pilot them remotely via telepresence so, to the human operator, it will seem as if he/she is actually "there" (wherever "there" is). At that point, the challenge will be to manufacture an orbiting station above Mars similar to ISS (or larger) with artificial gravity and shielding for cosmic radiation. Then the astronauts remain in orbit and the humanoid robots do the exploring.

I recall reading a Science Fiction novel a while back in which there was a permanent colony at one of the Earth/Moon LaGrange points. It was large enough to provide gravity by rotation but was miles large, took decades to construct and the radiation "shielding" was five feet of "dirt" flown "up" from the moon by railgun. Radiation shielding is currently possible, but to do so requires LOTS of mass which costs lots of energy.
 

SaturnV

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I think that in the next decade or so, robotics will be sufficiently advanced to make humanoid robots whose "senses" will allow humans to pilot them remotely via telepresence so,.
Forget man :) Just to Mars from Earth signal will travel at least eight minutes :) For this time (16 minutes in both directions) "smart" robot will destroyed everything :( Do not you see how they manage "Curiosity"? One week for a left turn :) You only need to turn a nut and the robot begins to give signals "irreparable misfortune will destroy myself!" :)
 
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Peartree

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Forget man :) Just to Mars from Earth signal will travel at least eight minutes :) For this time (16 minutes in both directions) "smart" robot will destroyed everything :( Do not you see how they manage "Curiosity"? One week for a left turn :) You only need to turn a nut and the robot begins to give signals "irreparable misfortune will destroy myself!" :)
That's why the humans would be in Mars orbit and not on Earth. The time-lag between orbit and the ground is milli-seconds, not minutes.
 

SaturnV

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That's why the humans would be in Mars orbit and not on Earth. The time-lag between orbit and the ground is milli-seconds, not minutes.
Because Mars has gravity. Once you got until there is nothing to rotate in orbit as you can easily go down below? :) Yes, most of the time will sit under ground. But you can have all the amenities that a narrow and awkward space station can not offer you.In addition, Mars has resources that once you develop a colony can live completely independently, without supplies from Earth :) This is the main idea. If meteor destroy the earth should not perish entire civilization.
 
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