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Trip to Mars anyone?

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#1 neotesla

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 06:50 PM

http://phys.org/news...ouple-mars.html

Get your names in now...

#2 StarWars

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 07:46 PM




Let's go... :grin:

I would think 4 astronauts could make the trip however each should have a scientific background.

Dr of medicine
Electrical engineer
Mechanical engineer
Aerospace engineer

#3 llanitedave

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 10:45 AM

"In space, no one can hear you fight"

#4 RobertED

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 10:52 AM

Hmmmm!....I'm not sure about this!!!! What kind of spacecraft is proposed???? NASA has nothing on the drawingboards, yet???? Right!?!?.... :question:

#5 Jarad

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 12:46 PM

I dunno, no showers for 2 years?

I think that rules me out - I would be a biological weapon after that long with no shower. Not even my wife could put up with me not showering for that long.

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#6 dickbill

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 01:28 PM

If it's for a flyby, no way. If it's a landing, my opinion is the key to a manned landing mission is the availability of a nuclear interplanetary shuttle that could use the martian atmosphere for aerocapture and wait in martian orbit, while on its way back, it would be using chemical or nuclear rocketry to insert into earth orbit.
The martian habitat would be sent previously in an unmamned flight and stay on the martian surface definitively. If methane and oxygen can be made in situ on mars, then only a very light ascend vehicle is necessary to reach the orbiter from the Mars surface and this ascend vehicle should even be send back on the ground to be reused.
But a nuclear interplanetary shuttle with aerobraking capabilities is a big project. It's not just a question of money but of having all the engineering capabilities, and experience. We could have have it by now if it wasn't for the ISS.

#7 sirchz

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 01:55 PM

The risks seem clear. There is a non-negligible chance that whoever goes will not return. Also the possability of long term issues if they do make it back.

What are the possible rewards? Celebrity for those involved, however brief. Very inspirational, and a book & movie would surely follow regardless of the outcome. Is there any scienctific knowledge to be gained (other than sex in zero gravity)? Will there be any lasting benefits?

I'm think this belongs in the unlikely category.
1) Unlikely to happen.
2) If it happens, unlikely to succeed.
3) If it succeeds, unlikely to produce any lasting value.

I hope I'm wrong about all 3.

#8 Glassthrower

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 01:57 PM

I would volunteer if :

1) they would accept me.

2) if I can recover and bring back the Meridiani Planum meteorite from the Martian surface.

3) I also get to keep a small slice of said meteorite. ;)

Sign me up. :)

#9 Pess

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 02:24 PM

Bluntly,

1) We do not posses the technology to maintain uninterrupted life support for that long.

2) We do not posses the practical technology to create a ship that could shield astronauts from radiation during the voyage.

3) The average person eats 5lbs food per day. Multiply that by 4 people for duration of mission. Forget hydroponics.

4) Water is converted to poop & pee. So you need a lot of it. Ask yourself how often a resupply ship goes to the International space station?

Pesse (It would be a one-way mission.) Mist

#10 dickbill

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 04:04 PM

Way too pessimistic.
I say first go faster (go nuclear). 3 months max.
Then eat less during the space trip. Maybe it would be worthy of reconsidering decreased metabolic rates like the torper of hibernating animals. A slowed metabolism along with a quicker trip should protect against decalcification and muscular atrophy as well.
It seemed indeed silly to bring lots of food and water to sustain the intensive weight lifting and bike riding during the trip in space. That's lots of hamburgers to fight bones and muscle loss. And then nothing much is left to eat when they arrive in destination.
Radiations: all sci fi movies show small antiradiation shelters. The entire ship doesn't have to be super protected. The water tanks can make a torus around the shelter etc...
Also, before departure, astronauts can have their bone marrow and blood frozen for further use in case of cancer.
Actually, with a physician onboard and their own frozen blood available, a blood transfusion is possible during the trip.

Notice also that the martian hab has been send months before, it contains food and supply for extra security.

Anyways, the intellectual ressources of the engineers seem unlimited. They can resolve any problems. This way or any other ways. It's just political.

#11 ColoHank

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 05:03 PM

Driving across eastern Colorado and Kansas in my Highlander is an ordeal. Being confined to a space of similar size for month after month after month? Be my guest.

#12 dickbill

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 05:39 PM

Sure it's a bit crampy, but it's no worse than a trip in the Santa Maria with a lot of sweaty sailors eager to find gold and diamonds.

#13 Jay_Bird

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 06:32 PM

Another site, maybe BBC, had more details about this, it's not a landing.

2 people, flyby or orbit, and return.

Applying ISS technology that already makes today's coffee from yesterday's coffee

risky and ambitious, but not outrageous.

Wonder if some artificial gravity can be incorporated - that would seem prudent based on ISS experience.

#14 Matthew Ota

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 11:48 AM

I try to be optomistic about this proposal. NASA has nothing to do with it as it is a private venture.

It will take a very special couple to be able to do this. I would like to see it succeed.

#15 Rick Woods

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 09:09 PM

The birth of the 150,000,000-mile-high club!
Very exclusive.

#16 neotesla

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 07:56 PM

To add a unusual twist to this story... Radiation shielding has been an issue, the current idea is to use fecal material as a barrier.

http://www.newscient...onaut-poo-as...

#17 wirenut

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 08:49 PM

My wife's only willing to sign up if she can be sedated during take-off,landing and anytime she sees fit. I think that counts us out.

#18 FirstSight

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 09:18 AM

A further caveat to this "only a flyby" aspect of the mission is that apparently the optimal timing and path for minimizing the voyage's duration and fuel requirements will require that closest approach occur at an angle where the majority of the planet will present its "night-side" face to the passing craft. To me, this is analogous to trying to fit a marathon car road trip from the east coast to the Grand Canyon and back in a long weeked, and only arriving right as it's getting dark and having to leave before sunrise in order to make it back in time for work Monday morning. The destination might otherwise be abundantly worth the expense, time, and effort required, but under the circumstances hardly worthwhile simply to be able to say "we've been there".

#19 Pess

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 03:04 PM

Cosmic radiation isn't the only thing you have to bother with. You have the threat of solar flares as well. These would take more than a poo-poo shield.

It would require some sort of internal, heavily shielded room or box enclosure to wait out the storm.

But that's not the biggest problem. You have to recycle EVERYTHING with 100% non-failure rate for mission duration.

Try and invent a system to keep a gerbil alive without ANY intervention for a year.

I think we are a long ways from such systems right now...

Pesse (Long trip just to look out the windows of a sight-seeing bus) Mist

#20 llanitedave

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 04:22 PM

Try and invent a system to keep a gerbil alive without ANY intervention for a year.


Arguably, it would be easier to keep humans alive for long periods than gerbils, since humans provide their own interventions.

That said, it still doesn't strike me as the most pleasant of travel arrangements.

#21 dickbill

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 06:14 PM

Yes, lots of problems. They thought a Heavy launcher was the key, but nuclear propulsion(s) seems at least as important and has to come back.

Actually, medium size launchers could be used to assemble a nuclear space ship with a few lauch. Isn't ArianeV heavy capable of ~30 tons in LEO?
Three launches make almost for a 100 t, that's not too bad

#22 neotesla

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 06:16 PM

One must remember that the first manned trips to the moon were flybys as well...

#23 FirstSight

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 09:12 AM


Try and invent a system to keep a gerbil alive without ANY intervention for a year.


Arguably, it would be easier to keep humans alive for long periods than gerbils, since humans provide their own interventions.


Problem: There's no Home Depot on the way to Mars to go buy more duck tape, pvc pipe, or wire you might need for "interventions". No all-night grocery stores either.

#24 ColoHank

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 10:44 AM

One must remember that the first manned trips to the moon were flybys as well...



One must also remember that the first manned trip to the Moon, including twenty orbits of that body, took less than a week. The Apollo 11 mission took only eight days. A flyby around Mars would take...how long?

While I recognize that our technology to guide and perhaps propel spacecraft has improved over the years, a human's ability to endure prolonged missions has not. We'd be the weak link in such an endeavor and the most likely to break.

The bottom line, I think, is that it's a whole lot easier to imagine sending someone to Mars than it would be to actually do it. A whole lot cheaper, too. Perhaps we should be content to know that we alone can fashion ever more sophisticated robots to do the dirty work.

#25 Rick Woods

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 02:43 PM

Still... if there are two people prepared to try it, and a vehicle available capable of the journey, what the heck - I'd love to see it happen, and find out what the results were.

Someone has to be first, right?






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