Looking for civil debate on Moon vs. Mars

Page 5 - Seeking answers about space? Join the Space community: the premier source of space exploration, innovation, and astronomy news, chronicling (and celebrating) humanity's ongoing expansion across the final frontier.
Status
Not open for further replies.
K

kelvinzero

Guest
In terms of completing a mission, food and air are not too bad. I could live on half a kg of food/day easily enough and thats only 180-ish kg a year. It adds up to a few tons, but at least that gives you something to hide behind if there is a solar flare :)

I definitely agree growing food and recycling air should be a priority though.

Im quite a colonization enthusiast but I notice Im pretty much alone in thinking that missions to the moon or mars have very little to do with learning how to colonize them.

99% of what we have to learn before we can begin considering to colonize another world can and should be done in simulated environments right here on earth, starting today, continuing regardless of the status of VSE or manned spaceflight. In fact we need to do it if we expect to keep living on this planet either as its resources run out and populations continue to increase.

Another way of looking at it is: If we ever do muster the will for manned missions to another world, how long do you think this resolve will last? How long did Apollo last after the first landing was completed? If you are going to go to the moon or mars dramatic colonization-related progress must begin happening immediately, because you have less than half a decade to do something very impressive before the public loses interest again, and it wont come back for at least a generation.
 
E

EarthlingX

Guest
kelvinzero":21333xpw said:
In terms of completing a mission, food and air are not too bad. I could live on half a kg of food/day easily enough and thats only 180-ish kg a year.
This is an old picture i found on my disk :
 
K

kelvinzero

Guest
Well we can save 12.5kg of water right up by sending her without clothes :)

Im not exactly sure what those statistics are for but they certainly suggest that recycling water is important.
It is important right here on earth too!
 
E

EarthlingX

Guest
kelvinzero":142hgrln said:
Well we can save 12.5kg of water right up by sending her without clothes :)

Im not exactly sure what those statistics are for but they certainly suggest that recycling water is important.
It is important right here on earth too!
I guess, don't remember, those numbers are per day needs. I read them, if nothing else, as 'needs' opposed to 'wants', but that's a philosophical thing, that i'm not going into now.
If those numbers are per day (0,84 kg oxygen ) they tell you how much a person needs per year, which would be
37 kg x 365 = 13505 kg total. That is slightly more than your 150 kg assumed :)

I have no serious objection to anything else you wrote, little more mass to hide behind ;) :

kelvinzero":142hgrln said:
In terms of completing a mission, food and air are not too bad. I could live on half a kg of food/day easily enough and thats only 180-ish kg a year. It adds up to a few tons, but at least that gives you something to hide behind if there is a solar flare :)

I definitely agree growing food and recycling air should be a priority though.

Im quite a colonization enthusiast but I notice Im pretty much alone in thinking that missions to the moon or mars have very little to do with learning how to colonize them.

99% of what we have to learn before we can begin considering to colonize another world can and should be done in simulated environments right here on earth, starting today, continuing regardless of the status of VSE or manned spaceflight. In fact we need to do it if we expect to keep living on this planet either as its resources run out and populations continue to increase.
I checked a bit and actually there are many such things either already existing, or getting ready to launch, if you don't count in military simulators, which are quite capable of doing most of what you would need.
Here's something i'm checking atm:
http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewsr.html?pid=32804

Orbiter is another one:
http://orbit.medphys.ucl.ac.uk/download.html

kelvinzero":142hgrln said:
Another way of looking at it is: If we ever do muster the will for manned missions to another world, how long do you think this resolve will last? How long did Apollo last after the first landing was completed? If you are going to go to the moon or mars dramatic colonization-related progress must begin happening immediately, because you have less than half a decade to do something very impressive before the public loses interest again, and it wont come back for at least a generation.
 
K

kelvinzero

Guest
EarthlingX":2ekf2r06 said:
If those numbers are per day (0,84 kg oxygen ) they tell you how much a person needs per year, which would be
37 kg x 365 = 13505 kg total. That is slightly more than your 150 kg assumed :)
Yes, but what I said was still correct, in context. My remark was only addressed specifically to the question of food, in response to bdewoody, in which it was specifically assumed that air and water were recycled:
bdewoody":2ekf2r06 said:
There's been a lot of discussion here about the fuel needed to go to Mars but what about human fuel, ie. food? We can't send a robot to Mars to make the food the astronauts will need to eat while they are there or on the way back. I have a feeling the food needs of a 6 man/woman crew would be huge. You can recycle water and air but unless you take a big storage locker with you the food seems to be the limiting factor here. On nuclear subs that is the limiting factor with their underwater endurance.
I had a look at those links. I think they were flight-simulator-like programs? When I meant simulation of the lunar landscape, what I meant was something a bit more expensive :)
For example, a large simulated lunar enviornment, with simulated lunar regolith actually in vacuum and lit by powerful lights simulating sunlight. This would be for continual trials of ISRU hardware. We should be spending billions on this sort of thing if we ever intend to colonize other worlds. (I saw something from NASA once querying about such a thing)

However there is also a lot that can be done with much smaller budgets when dealing with ISRU rather than manned space flight.

There have actually been a number of interesting experiments going on in various related fields. Im certainly not saying it is dead! However I get the impression that far more money and attention is given to manned spaceflight, and that most people see landing humans on the moon or mars is the first step to colonizing these worlds. Instead it may eat up all the money that should be going to the technologies such as recycling and ISRU, that could actually enable people on the moon or mars to do more that walk round a bit and then come home.
 
S

scottb50

Guest
For example, a large simulated lunar environment, with simulated lunar regolith actually in vacuum and lit by powerful lights simulating sunlight. This would be for continual trials of ISRU hardware. We should be spending billions on this sort of thing if we ever intend to colonize other worlds. (I saw something from NASA once querying about such a thing)

While simulations, like the Rover crews use to test out new ways of doing things make a lot of sense the fact is both the moon and Mars have been proven to be capable of human visitation. With humans on Mars Spirit could be pulled out in a few minutes and sent on it's way. Everything done by the Rovers, to date, could have been done in days or a few weeks, with humans.

Questioning whether humans can survive can be debated continually, but people were on the moon and Mars, while not much more hospitable is less severe. Asteroids and Comets are comparable to the moon in conditions so it is obvious there is no physical factor that can stop humans from living on and exploring these worlds.

It's like the ISS, crews live there for extended periods and, to my knowledge, no long-term adverse effects have been seen, it's like a never ending experiment, maybe nothing happened this time, but we better try something else to be sure, when that works try something else and on and on.

In my opinion there is no technical or human reason people could not return to the moon, explore asteroids and Comets or Mars right now.
 
K

kelvinzero

Guest
scottb50":1yjn636s said:
In my opinion there is no technical or human reason people could not return to the moon, explore asteroids and Comets or Mars right now.
I would agree with that.

My point was that the manned exploration of these bodies would get us very little closer to being able to colonize or industrialize them, in fact it may suck up all the money that could have been spent solving the problems we actually need to solve, such as closed loop life support, ISRU and small scale manufacturing technology.
 
S

scottb50

Guest
[

My point was that the manned exploration of these bodies would get us very little closer to being able to colonize or industrialize them, in fact it may suck up all the money that could have been spent solving the problems we actually need to solve, such as closed loop life support, ISRU and small scale manufacturing technology.[/quote]

I would say it's the only way to get closer to being able to colonize or industrialize. Though I think both of those goals are well beyond the technology we have today. The best way to solve the problems you mention is to actually put them to use, simulations are fine but there's always things that pop up unexpectedly.

Until resources can be found and exploited even small scale manufacturing can't even be considered, finding those resources can be done and once they are defined exploiting them can done. The biggest problem I see in Zubrins plans are it reaches way to far, it very well could work, but to send unproven equipment and expect it to work out of the box is pretty ridiculous.
 
K

kelvinzero

Guest
scottb50":5kqn4bmp said:
I would say it's the only way to get closer to being able to colonize or industrialize. Though I think both of those goals are well beyond the technology we have today. The best way to solve the problems you mention is to actually put them to use, simulations are fine but there's always things that pop up unexpectedly.
In the words of Kryten:
"A superlative suggestion sir, with only two drawbacks: one, we don't have any defensive shields and two, we don't have any defensive shields. I know that, technically, that's only one drawback, but it was such a big one I thought I'd mention it twice"

Moving any given experiment to mars will make it cost a thousand times as much.
Moving any given experiment to mars will make it cost a thousand times as much.

For one man-year of experimentation on mars, you could fund a thousand man-years on earth. In fact probably much more.

but to send unproven equipment and expect it to work out of the box is pretty ridiculous.
Unfortunately, that is the way it has to work in manned space exploration.
Unfortunately, that is the way it has to work in manned space exploration.

Take for example the apollo spacesuits. We had to be very confident that they would work before ever setting foot on the moon. Yes you will learn a few things, such as how annoying the lunar dust can be, but you have to do the first 99.9% of the work on your suit, in simulations at home, before you can possibly trust it to a mission on the moon.

Until resources can be found and exploited even small scale manufacturing can't even be considered, finding those resources can be done and once they are defined exploiting them can done.
The primary two resources will be very easy to find. They are CO2 and H2O. Some nitrogen is also available. Apparently iron meteor rocks can also be easily found just lying on the ground. I expect glass is also easy. Air. Food. Plastics. Iron. Glass.

More elaborate materials and larger amounts are not of any immediate concern. You can't exploit those until you have a massive infrastructure. That comes after you have towns. Plenty of time to explore once you have got the basics of processing atmosphere and ice into the bulk of your food and plastics, and have great confidence that this machinery will only suffer repairable breakdowns.

We can prove this at home a 1000 times cheaper and get it 99.9%right, right here at home. What is more, we can and should start right now, independent of any discussion of when America will become motivated enough to build big rockets. There is no reason to wait. It will create the best argument to go.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS

Latest posts