How could aerospace and industry help get us to Mars?

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Spacebeliever

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Is it feasible that a hypothetical organization with several corporate sponsors could send a probe to Mars and return a sample?Than auction samples to the highest bidder. And if so what could such a probe cost to construct? If moderate national support could somehow be gained, and their corporations and institutions shown to profit, than is it at all feasible that somehow a world wide effort for Mars is accomplished. Under organizational leadership the voyage would likely be less than 400 billion. I no faith in waiting for politicians to get around to it. Would inspiring a Mars goal to space businesses around the world, benefit our economy?
 
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Gravity_Ray

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I like the idea, and you may even want to suggest it to something like the X prize foundation.

http://www.xprize.org/x-prizes/propose-an-x-prize

However, Mars is far away. I mean really far away. I have no faith in politicians either, but this is exactly the kind of place that I want to see NASA tackle (or possibly NASA and an international consortium).

But I doubt there is any private group that can tackle this project, even a hypothetical one.
 
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access

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I can imagine a possible lunar sample return but mars sample return is a long way off.
 
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Polishguy

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Mars is far away, but that shouldn't be a problem for an automated probe! If aerobraking is used, it takes less delta-v to get to Mars than to the moon (returning is a different story, but shouldn't be insurmountable). The question is whether you should go with ISRU fuel or bring your fuel with you. You can make methane with the sabatier reaction, so perhaps that can be done.

As for how to get the samples...

Should we go with a small rover? Like the old Sojourner rover with a drill?
 
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MeteorWayne

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Getting it there is the easy part. Getting it back (with the nonexistant funds) is the hard part....
 
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StarRider1701

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You would have to get there with an orbiter that contains enough fuel for the return flight. Send a probe down with a launcher to return the samples to the orbiter. At this point, it might as well be manned, it likely wouldn't cost much more than what you're sending!

Now is not the time to go to Mars. Right now what funds we do have need to be used building an infrastructure in orbit and on the Moon. With asteroid and lunar mining along with industry and manufacturing capabilities in space, in say 50 years that mission would cost a fraction of what it would right now because much of that big, fancy ship could be built in space. With materials mined in space.

You know "infrastructure"? You have a car. You know the "infrastructure" called roads? Without roads you wouldn't get far in your nice, fancy car. Mars is a great dream. And we wil go there one day. But now is not the time.
 
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