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Manned Mars Mission - Still Waiting.

Nov 6, 2020
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I watched the Apollo missions as a child. In my teens and twenties I watched the space shuttle missions happen as if they had become second nature. But still, I was one of the skeptics. By the 90s, while my friends thought that progress was so aggressive that by the year 2000 we'd be going places in flying cars, I kept telling them that these things don't just happen overnight.

It's not as if the year 2000 was going to be some sort of barrier that we cross and suddenly we're in the future. I kept saying, it's just another year, and just like the 80s brought incremental changes from the 70s and the 90s did the same thing from the 80s. Y2K would not see significant progress either. And I was right. Unfortunately, I was too right because even I did not believe we'd still be just talking about a manned Mars mission in 2020. It's just downright embarrassing now.

With all our computing prowess, the scientists that landed men on the moon would laugh at us. They'd have had a mission to Mars back then if they had our computing power, IMO. Let's GO already!!! Every day that passes and our technology advances brings more and more risk to our survival by keeping all our eggs in one basket. We need a self-sufficient outpost that will assure our survival from ourselves, if nothing more. The world is not getting any safer.
 
Nov 25, 2019
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No. those people who worked on Apollo are still around and would argue with you, or at least ask you to place numbers and data on your claims.

It is fairly easy to put a few guys in a sealed tin-can can have then stay alive inside for a week. It is a LOT harder to keep them alive for two years.

Your first questions are"how big does the tin can need to be and what happens if some part of the tin-can fails? Start with Crew size and then figure on air, water and food. Then look at human psychology. Will they be sane after being inside even a very large capsule-like Crew Dragon for 8 months. My guess is "no".

You are basically going to have to build a space station that can run without re-supply from Earth and send THAT to Mars. But worse, they need backup equipment such that if something fails the mission can still go forward which means the back stuff needs backup stuff. On ISS the "back" o a Soyuz capsule that drops them down to Earth. That can't work n Mars you need something a lot better.

Even people like Elon Mush don't seem to understand. He just said a Mars landing could happen in 2024. Did he not just finish spending 2.4 billion dollars converting an un-manned Cargo-Dragon to a Manned Crew-Dragon? Believe me, converting an unpressurized metal shell nose cone to a manned interplanetary habitat is going to be more work than his cargo to crew dragon conversion.

Has he even done the basic math to see f 4 tons of food, an air tank, and a space toilet fit in the nose cone? I'm kind of joking here because he will need more than just that and it must all be triple-redundant. and he needs time to do a full unmanned test.

My point here is that yes it can be done. But it is so hard and so expensive and for what purpose? JPL is doing good work already with rovers. I'd expect a manned landing in the late 2040s, not the mid 2020s
 
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No. those people who worked on Apollo are still around and would argue with you, or at least ask you to place numbers and data on your claims.
That was 65-55 years ago, my friend. Even the younger, support staff are easily in their 70s-80s by now. The actual scientists who were in their 40s and 50s at the time are long gone. Even most of the young astronauts that went are now either old as dirt or deceased.

It is fairly easy to put a few guys in a sealed tin-can can have then stay alive inside for a week. It is a LOT harder to keep them alive for two years.
You belittle their incredible feat.

Your first questions are"how big does the tin can need to be and what happens if some part of the tin-can fails? Start with Crew size and then figure on air, water and food. Then look at human psychology. Will they be sane after being inside even a very large capsule-like Crew Dragon for 8 months. My guess is "no".
Finally, you come right to my point. Why hasn't rocketry improved in the 80 or so years since the nazis first developed a rocket worthy of reaching space? It does still take months to get to Mars. And I'm guessing that a traveler's psyche is no more fragile as they were on months long voyages over sea that took place hundreds of years ago. But this time they have all sorts of electronic entertainment, music, video, even virtual reality and exercise to help keep them sane.

You are basically going to have to build a space station that can run without re-supply from Earth and send THAT to Mars. But worse, they need backup equipment such that if something fails the mission can still go forward which means the back stuff needs backup stuff. On ISS the "back" o a Soyuz capsule that drops them down to Earth. That can't work n Mars you need something a lot better.
Once again, you make my point precisely! 100 years ago we were flying wood and paper planes. Now we soar through the sky with F-15s, F-22s, MiG-29s and the like. But despite rocketry being 80 years old, the technology is still the same. Still using tin cans strapped to a bomb. Imagine still driving a model-A after all this time. You'd be PISSED!

Even people like Elon Mush don't seem to understand. He just said a Mars landing could happen in 2024. Did he not just finish spending 2.4 billion dollars converting an un-manned Cargo-Dragon to a Manned Crew-Dragon? Believe me, converting an unpressurized metal shell nose cone to a manned interplanetary habitat is going to be more work than his cargo to crew dragon conversion.
That work should have started a long time ago.

Has he even done the basic math to see f 4 tons of food, an air tank, and a space toilet fit in the nose cone? I'm kind of joking here because he will need more than just that and it must all be triple-redundant. and he needs time to do a full unmanned test.

My point here is that yes it can be done. But it is so hard and so expensive and for what purpose? JPL is doing good work already with rovers. I'd expect a manned landing in the late 2040s, not the mid 2020s
I guesstimate you have been waiting for this to happen no more than since the turn of the century. The rest of us have been waiting far longer. And you've made the point of my thread over and over again. While you focused on why we haven't done it yet, how hard it is, you missed that fact that I was pointing out the very same thing. As for the purpose, please re-read the last paragraph of my OP. :)
 
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Wolfshadw

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IMO. Let's GO already!!!
Sounds Great! Where should the various space agencies send the bill?

Crewed Mars Mission plans HAVE been around since before the days of the US Mercury project. (Von Braun's The Mars Project) If public interest and finances had remained at high levels, we probably would have gotten there by the late 80s/early 90s.

However, you need to remember that the real reason for landing on the Moon was little more than propaganda. Once the "Space Race" was over, there wasn't any real reason to keep spending billions of dollars on manned space projects outside of low Earth orbit (LEO).

-Wolf sends
 
Nov 6, 2020
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Sounds Great! Where should the various space agencies send the bill?

Crewed Mars Mission plans HAVE been around since before the days of the US Mercury project. (Von Braun's The Mars Project) If public interest and finances had remained at high levels, we probably would have gotten there by the late 80s/early 90s.

However, you need to remember that the real reason for landing on the Moon was little more than propaganda. Once the "Space Race" was over, there wasn't any real reason to keep spending billions of dollars on manned space projects outside of low Earth orbit (LEO).

-Wolf sends
Really? Is that what you believe? That there isn't the money?

3 Trillion was just spent on the CARES Act without blinking an eye. And they're looking to spend more. I'd send the bill to all the governments who want a piece of Mars. If you provide a way, they'll provide the funds. That's the least of the problems associated with Mars. Remember, that STS wasn't cheap either. While it was comparatively less expensive then the money they threw at Apollo for a "space race", it also proves that when a government wants to throw money away, it can and does quite frequently.

IMO, with the problems facing us (whether we like it or not Climate Change is happening and there's nothing anyone can do about it because it's too late to stop. You're never going to convince China, India, Africa, etc., to not continue to industrialize as we did. Nuclear proliferation is also very real, it's only a matter of time until nations and terrorist groups that think war is a way of life have them. And there is a conflict coming with China and the west that will go beyond a "cold war" ), I believe a self sufficient human population off planet is something worth investing in. The Chinese are. They're catching up fast in the "space race" and they will be on Mars, funds notwithstanding.

Lastly, governments have never solved anything. History has proven, and governments have acknowledged (even socialist countries have opened their markets to free enterprise) that free enterprise is the way to go. SpaceX, with their reusable systems, is about to start making more money than any company and perhaps any country in history. I know they get subsidized, for now, but it's only just begun. When they can send something up to low Earth orbit for a 10th of the cost as anyone else, they'll have all the business they can handle. They are going to Mars despite what you or I or anyone else thinks. :)

And I reiterate; my problem is not with the why or how but the when. It's been 55 years - or so- since Apollo! We could have done a lay-away plan :D and gotten there by now if funding is your only point!
 
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Nov 17, 2020
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I watched the Apollo missions as a child. In my teens and twenties I watched the space shuttle missions happen as if they had become second nature. But still, I was one of the skeptics. By the 90s, while my friends thought that progress was so aggressive that by the year 2000 we'd be going places in flying cars, I kept telling them that these things don't just happen overnight.

It's not as if the year 2000 was going to be some sort of barrier that we cross and suddenly we're in the future. I kept saying, it's just another year, and just like the 80s brought incremental changes from the 70s and the 90s did the same thing from the 80s. Y2K would not see significant progress either. And I was right. Unfortunately, I was too right because even I did not believe we'd still be just talking about a manned Mars mission in 2020. It's just downright embarrassing now.

With all our computing prowess, the scientists that landed men on the moon would laugh at us. They'd have had a mission to Mars back then if they had our computing power, IMO. Let's GO already!!! Every day that passes and our technolone. advances brings more and more risk to our survival by keeping all our eggs in one basket. We need a self-sufficient outpost that will assure our survival from ourselves, if nothing more. The world is not getting any safer.
Our risk of Staying Alive by going to Mars could have a backlash effect on Humanity. We don't know what kind of bacteria is over there. That's what could have killed the population on Mars out if there ever was one. It is probably undetectable by our equipment and if those spacecraft come back to earth they're going to spread and kill all of us
 

Wolfshadw

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Apr 1, 2020
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Our risk of Staying Alive by going to Mars could have a backlash effect on Humanity. We don't know what kind of bacteria is over there. That's what could have killed the population on Mars out if there ever was one. It is probably undetectable by our equipment and if those spacecraft come back to earth they're going to spread and kill all of us
Mars samples have already be found on Earth. We already know bacteria can survive re-entry through our atmosphere. If there ever was a civilization on Mars, they would have likely been immune to most infectious entities just as we've become mostly immune to those on Earth.

-Wolf sends
 

Wolfshadw

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Apr 1, 2020
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Really? Is that what you believe? That there isn't the money?

3 Trillion was just spent on the CARES Act without blinking an eye. And they're looking to spend more. I'd send the bill to all the governments who want a piece of Mars. If you provide a way, they'll provide the funds. That's the least of the problems associated with Mars. Remember, that STS wasn't cheap either. While it was comparatively less expensive then the money they threw at Apollo for a "space race", it also proves that when a government wants to throw money away, it can and does quite frequently.

IMO, with the problems facing us (whether we like it or not Climate Change is happening and there's nothing anyone can do about it because it's too late to stop. You're never going to convince China, India, Africa, etc., to not continue to industrialize as we did. Nuclear proliferation is also very real, it's only a matter of time until nations and terrorist groups that think war is a way of life have them. And there is a conflict coming with China and the west that will go beyond a "cold war" ), I believe a self sufficient human population off planet is something worth investing in. The Chinese are. They're catching up fast in the "space race" and they will be on Mars, funds notwithstanding.

Lastly, governments have never solved anything. History has proven, and governments have acknowledged (even socialist countries have opened their markets to free enterprise) that free enterprise is the way to go. SpaceX, with their reusable systems, is about to start making more money than any company and perhaps any country in history. I know they get subsidized, for now, but it's only just begun. When they can send something up to low Earth orbit for a 10th of the cost as anyone else, they'll have all the business they can handle. They are going to Mars despite what you or I or anyone else thinks. :)

And I reiterate; my problem is not with the why or how but the when. It's been 55 years - or so- since Apollo! We could have done a lay-away plan :D and gotten there by now if funding is your only point!
There's plenty of money; just not enough public support. Most people just don't care and don't believe any planetary crisis isn't going to happen in their lifetime. Yes, it's been around 50 years since the Apollo landings and as I've already said, if there were public interest in continuing, we'd have been on Mars in the late 80s or early 90s.

Governments may not solve many things, but they do decide what to pay for (and the people are paying for it). If you push a program that the public doesn't want to pay for, you're on your way out of office. THAT is why we haven't returned to the Moon, let alone go to Mars. As for the CARES act, that money didn't just come from nowhere. It's called National Debt.

Finally, I doubt any private firm has had anywhere near the funds necessary for such a project until the last half decade. You're asking why we haven't do so. The answer is until recently, no one since Apollo has wanted to pay for it. The technology has been there for decades (if untested).
 
Nov 17, 2020
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Mars samples have already be found on Earth. We already know bacteria can survive re-entry through our atmosphere. If there ever was a civilization on Mars, they would have likely been immune to most infectious entities just as we've become mostly immune to those on Earth.

-Wolf sends
What makes you think those samples Are from Mars?
 
Nov 6, 2020
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There's plenty of money; just not enough public support. Most people just don't care and don't believe any planetary crisis isn't going to happen in their lifetime. Yes, it's been around 50 years since the Apollo landings and as I've already said, if there were public interest in continuing, we'd have been on Mars in the late 80s or early 90s.

Governments may not solve many things, but they do decide what to pay for (and the people are paying for it). If you push a program that the public doesn't want to pay for, you're on your way out of office. THAT is why we haven't returned to the Moon, let alone go to Mars. As for the CARES act, that money didn't just come from nowhere. It's called National Debt.

Finally, I doubt any private firm has had anywhere near the funds necessary for such a project until the last half decade. You're asking why we haven't do so. The answer is until recently, no one since Apollo has wanted to pay for it. The technology has been there for decades (if untested).
So in your first reply you ask where we send the bill to. Now you claim there is no public interest when the "science" side just won a national election based on fear of climate change and a party that wants to add to the "national debt" as if it doesn't exist.

Come on, man. The public follows their leaders like a bunch of rock stars. This isn't about public interest. If the government says we should be interested in Mars then that's what the public interest will be. It's how it's always been. All they have to do is get the state run media to push the narrative and make a few speeches and everyone believes it. What choice do people have when they (the politicians and media) are supposed to be the experts? And they usually have the scientific community (also mainly funded by the government through universities) on their side. So when the government, media, and scientists say we need to go to Mars because we are in danger of extinction - the public interest will be there.

The money is there - plenty of it. We throw it away like water - no, water is precious, we throw it away like garbage. We fund so much worthless garbage out there in this country and many others - it really makes no sense how we just let them lead us around like idiots, believing everything they say over and over again - and they always promise the same things. It's really kinda funny. Yeah, we could have been on Mars long ago, you're right. But there's too much money to be made by the political and elite classes to do anything in a timely manner for the general public. It always takes decades, while they are all rich beyond imagining.

The general public is not that smart. College educated or not. People are brain-washed to believe what they hear by the "experts". Unfortunately, the experts are in on the game.
 
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Our risk of Staying Alive by going to Mars could have a backlash effect on Humanity. We don't know what kind of bacteria is over there. That's what could have killed the population on Mars out if there ever was one. It is probably undetectable by our equipment and if those spacecraft come back to earth they're going to spread and kill all of us
Since the very beginning of our forays into space, the number one priority has been to control contamination. I believe the scientists involved are aware of your worries and will do their best to control any spread. We will all die here on Earth, doomed to extinction if we do not move forward. Yeah, we might die from contamination from Mars. But we will die by staying put. The same worries have been around since the first sailing ships that sailed into the unknown. Fortune favors the bold.
 

Wolfshadw

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So in your first reply you ask where we send the bill to
That was intended to mean what is your address so they know where to send the bill to. I didn't actually want to know your address.

Come on, man. The public follows their leaders like a bunch of rock stars.
Not entirely true, but close enough. At least until someone says those two magic words, "Raise Taxes". No matter what the reason, there's no other sure-fire way to kill your political career than to suggest raising taxes (even to save the human race).

So when the government, media, and scientists say we need to go to Mars because we are in danger of extinction - the public interest will be there.
Absolutely! But there is no threat that endangers us... TODAY. Yes, I believe that global warming is a serious threat to the planet, and yes, I believe that we should be working out a plan to make us an interplanetary species, but the worst effects of global warming probably won't come into play for another 50 years. By that time about 60% of the current voting age population we be dead.

The general public is not that smart. College educated or not.
People are smart. Society in general has a hard time counting to one. Until an actual threat is dropping on their heads, there's no need for lunar/mars colonization and we should be paying for better schools, health care, national security, etc.... On the flip side of that coin, when a real threat is identified and imminent, these same people will scream, "Why didn't you do something before now???"

-Wolf sends
 
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That was intended to mean what is your address so they know where to send the bill to. I didn't actually want to know your address.


Not entirely true, but close enough. At least until someone says those two magic words, "Raise Taxes". No matter what the reason, there's no other sure-fire way to kill your political career than to suggest raising taxes (even to save the human race).


Absolutely! But there is no threat that endangers us... TODAY. Yes, I believe that global warming is a serious threat to the planet, and yes, I believe that we should be working out a plan to make us an interplanetary species, but the worst effects of global warming probably won't come into play for another 50 years. By that time about 60% of the current voting age population we be dead.


People are smart. Society in general has a hard time counting to one. Until an actual threat is dropping on their heads, there's no need for lunar/mars colonization and we should be paying for better schools, health care, national security, etc.... On the flip side of that coin, when a real threat is identified and imminent, these same people will scream, "Why didn't you do something before now???"

-Wolf sends
I never planned on revealing my address. I knew perfectly well what you meant. My point is that now that we've established that the money exists without having to use my own massive store ;) , you've move onto other objections. But ok, irrelevant.

" there's no other sure-fire way to kill your political career than to suggest raising taxes (even to save the human race)." Joe Biden promised to raise everyone's taxes - guess who's president elect?

I put the fault of not already being on Mars squarely on the government's shoulders. They wanted to move away from government funded space exploration because there's no money in that for them. So they used the excuse that free enterprise will do it faster and cheaper. While free enterprise will do it cheaper in the long run, they did not do it faster by a long shot.

Anyways, we're not disagreeing on much. Cheers!:beermug:
 
Oct 21, 2019
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Has he even done the basic math to see f 4 tons of food, an air tank, and a space toilet fit in the nose cone? I'm kind of joking here because he will need more than just that and it must all be triple-redundant. and he needs time to do a full unmanned test.

The requirements for food, air etc on a manned Mars mission can be greatly reduced by halving the time it takes to reach Mars, which can be achieved if nuclear thermal rocket technology (successfully demonstrated in the 1960s) is used rather than conventional chemical rocket propulsion. Reducing the transit time to Mars also reduces the deleterious effects of radiation exposure and prolonged zero-g environment (although personally I'd prefer any Mars mission vehicle to incorporate rotation to provide artificial gravity).
 
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Mar 25, 2021
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well, people have withstood 11 months in zero gravity without any deleterious effect so a mission to Mars with cutting time down to 4 months looks feasible . In any case you could have a centrifuge to mimic earth gravitation that astronauts could spend an hour a day in. Also as Mars gravity is 40% that of Earth there will be less power needed to escape Mars gravity for return journey so forget the one way ticket
 
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Regarding space ship to Mars it would be best to build the whole ship on earth including this centrifuge mentioned and then assembled outside earths gravity by the space station It would then be less traumatic to blast off to Mars They should be thinking about nuclear propulsion as opposed to chemical because journeys to Proxima Centauris will have to be by nuclear
 
Nov 25, 2019
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The requirements for food, air etc on a manned Mars mission can be greatly reduced by halving the time it takes to reach Mars, which can be achieved if nuclear thermal rocket technology (successfully demonstrated in the 1960s) is used rather than conventional chemical rocket propulsion. Reducing the transit time to Mars also reduces the deleterious effects of radiation exposure and prolonged zero-g environment (although personally I'd prefer any Mars mission vehicle to incorporate rotation to provide artificial gravity).
Yes, nuclear power would solve many problems. But Starship uses Raptor engines. The problem with Nuclear is that SpaceX can not afford them. To run a nuclear engine project you need a Treasury Department that can literally print money.

But even with unlimited Funds you could not use the engines for any spacecraft that would ever attempt a landing on Earth.

The far cheaper method is to accept the long trip time and pre-position supplies on a space station that orbits Mars. Even if you have to send two cargo ships for each crewed ship, it is still cheaper than a nuclear engine.
 
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Yes, nuclear power would solve many problems. But Starship uses Raptor engines. The problem with Nuclear is that SpaceX can not afford them. To run a nuclear engine project you need a Treasury Department that can literally print money.

But even with unlimited Funds you could not use the engines for any spacecraft that would ever attempt a landing on Earth.

The far cheaper method is to accept the long trip time and pre-position supplies on a space station that orbits Mars. Even if you have to send two cargo ships for each crewed ship, it is still cheaper than a nuclear engine.
I don't think designing and building a new nuclear thermal rocket would necessarily be all that much more expensive than designing and building a new chemical rocket, all of the design and materials problems were overcome and successful practical demonstrations were performed back in the 1960s (NERVA etc). What might constrain SpaceX in developing and building a nuclear thermal rocket is probably the administrative requirements to liase with and have oversight from the Department of Energy.

I think if the US does build a nuclear thermal rocket for the journey to Mars at least in the first instance it would have to be NASA led.
 

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