mars how will we do it? (archival thread reposting #1)

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What follows is the best copy I can provide of the first thread from the pre-Delete era I've been able to recover. My motives are somewhat self-serving since I made many contributions of my own, and the thread is a favorite of mine: mars how will we do it?<br /><br />But I've resisted the impulse to edit out less-than-brilliant comments made by me, and by others. The goal is to bring back the old material as intact as possible.<br /><br />Once the thread is completely restored, I hope anyone who feels motivated to comment on its subject will post their remarks right here.<br /><br />If you have any URLs for old threads, please PM them to me, and I will see what I can do. My free time, like everyone else's, is limited, but I will try to resurrect interesting threads as time permits. Anyone similarly motivated by a desire to repair some of the damage done to these forums is encouraged to PM me, as well - I can use all the help I can get. : )<br /><br />Comments, questions, criticisms? Send me a Private Message.<br /><br />Otherwise, have fun enjoying the return of an old thread!<br /><br />~Serak the Preparer (Interstellar Culinary Specialist, Retired Pong Champion, Mad Archivist)
 
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getak<br />(Member)<br />10/21/01 02:50 PM<br /><br />i say a strange extreme machined episode where they discussed a plan for going to mars. the plan is that a fuel vehical is launched far in advance to make fuel for a mars return vehical. then a fully fueled mars orbit retuen vehical is sent to orbit mars. then phase two starts. the mars crew launch to mars in an inclatable HAB module and once there they enter the landing vehical, and land. they complete the surface stay and fuel an orbital return vehical, that docks with the earth return vehical and they rocket back to earth orbit, where they then enter a capsule and land in the ocean like apollo. what do you think of this plan? to me it sounds like an apollo waste it all type project. if i had a plan for a mars trip it would go like this:<br /><br />a fuel pod is launched to mar sand lands in the desired landing area, most likely a dry river basin. it makes fuel. then a fuel vehical is launched to mars. it has no engines to get back to earth. the mars crew launches to mars. they dock with the fuel pod and take on fuel from it. now the same ship used to leave earth has the ability to get back. the crew then uses some more fuel also contained in the pod to fuel the mars landing vehical. the lander uses a heat sheild, then a parachute to get to mars. before reaching the greound the retros fire and the parachute is jettissoned. the crew then soft touches. they inflate HAB modules brought in the cargo bay and make a small base just large enough to support the crew of seven. the crew then collects the jettisoned parachutes and packs them into the ship again. (note the heat sheild is never jettisonned.) once the surface stay is complete, they fuel the lander's soft touch engines, and they attach boosters that came with
 
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caper<br />(Member)<br />10/21/01 10:01 PM<br /><br />I am sure you are in the right ball park!!!<br /><br />CAper waiting 4 visitors <img src="/images/icons/laugh.gif" />
 
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getak<br />(Member)<br />10/23/01 07:54 PM<br /><br />i know mine is good, but does anyone want to give some ideas that can be tossed around? like mabe how to decrese mission cost, by say not needing the fuel pod? my plan in earnest only allows for half the launches possible to mars. apollo would have had three missions if earth orbit rondevouse was used.<br /><br />PS the fuel pod could theoreticly be elimonated by storing martian CO2 under high pressure, and passing that throught the NERVA. however by using a molicule of higher density than hydrogen will performance of a nerva be reduced? also how could matian CO2 be lifted from the surface without weight penalties?<br /><br />PS i have ideas of my own, but want to hear what you think first.
 
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pblay<br />(Member)<br />10/24/01 08:26 AM<br /><br />shouldn't depend on trickness like local fuel extraction. That will be important, but only if a regular series of transports start taking place.<br /><br />Apart from anything else the cost in developing the techology is almost bound to be more than the one-off cost of a fuel pod system.
 
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cmd673<br />(Member)<br />10/24/01 09:40 AM<br /><br />Given that only 30% of Mars probes have been successful, I suggest that we send at least two of everything.<br /><br />If you send a return vehicle out ahead of time to manufacture fuel, then send two such vehicles.<br /><br />If you send a crew out in one ship, then send two ships out each half full. If one ship breaks down, the other ship can take the crew from the disabled ship.<br /><br />If both ships break down, you might be able to part-out one ship to fix the other.<br /><br />Etc.<br /><br />Sure this costs more. I think it makes a lot of sense, though.<br /><br />Remember Apollo 13? They had a spare ship to keep them alive when the main ship died.
 
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getak<br />(Member)<br />10/24/01 02:12 PM<br /><br />the lander has to support you with plants and such for the surface stay of a duration seen fit. (i do not know how long they should stay, but it should be a long time.) it is possible to carry all the food needed, but that means weight and weight=cost=improbalbility. also two ships seems too much. in the bgining the fuel pod, habitation, and fuel supply vehical all have to be sent, but after that it will die down and costs will reduce. not to mention all the recources needed should come from mars as directly as possibe. EX the zubrin device or CO2 powered NERVA. this is all to save weight.<br /><br />do not forget the all important safety to cost ratio. too much safety, too much cost, too impossible to get through congress. you see what iam saying? keep the ship as light as possible and the needed recources as indigenous as possible. that wil make a great plan.<br /><br />any other suggestions to say alter my mission, or create your own version?
 
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getak<br />(Member)<br />10/28/01 10:56 AM<br /><br />please any ideas? mabe a link to the mars reference mission?
 
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serak_the_preparer<br />(Member)<br />10/29/01 10:45 AM<br /><br />Cmd673 is right - redundancy is required and Mars is particularly unforgiving.<br /><br /><i>International</i><br /><br />The mission will almost certainly be international. The political support at home is probably not there for America to go it alone again to another world. ISS, for better or worse, may become a model or at least a foundation for future international cooperation in big space projects. Going to Mars isn't a 'mission' like sending some people up to a space station or lobbing a payload into orbit. It's a huge project. Apollo and ISS are the only precedents.<br /><br /><i>Staged Project Building Mars Capability</i><br /><br />In going to the Moon, America developed the capability in deliberate logical steps. Mercury gave America experience in putting men into space. Gemini provided indispensable experience in performing docking maneuvers in space, without which the 'returning him safely to the earth' part of Kennedy's speech would not have been possible. Then, and only then, was NASA ready to start Apollo.<br /><br />Then there were 6 unmanned Apollo-Saturn missions, followed by the Apollo 7 flight demonstrating rendezvous capability and stationkeeping, the Apollo 8 manned lunar orbital flight, the Apollo 9 EVA and manned Lem-CSM docking, and the Apollo 10 dress rehearsal in lunar orbit complete with the Lem staged in orbit and brought to within 50,000 feet of the lunar surface.<br /><br /><i>Dress Rehearsals on Earth and the Moon</i><br /><br />Expect a similar approach to the Mars project. Two ships, as Cmd673 proposed, should be sent and tested - first in Earth orbit with Earth itself the target of the first practice landings. The next stage should involve a brief return to the Mo
 
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getak<br />(Member)<br />10/29/01 02:45 PM<br /><br />sorry to say, but baby steps this in depth will<br />get you nowhere fast in congress. you have to have a plan thatis both ambitious and safe at the same time. people will be killed, that<br />is a fact. just keep it to a minimum.<br /><br />also there is no second moon for earth, and if there was it would<br />not be used to test endurence. to test endurence it is called earth orbit,<br />L2 for flare endurence.<br /><br />phoebos base will come after we land and make a small base.<br />something on phoebos will be primarily for fuel making and research<br />of phoebos. just this aspect makes your plan too expensive.<br /><br />sattelites are a good idea<br />the peopultion concept of vasmir will be mini tested in space in 2004<br />nerva has already been made, tested, and ready for space tests.<br /><br />nuclear is the best for a base, but public anti nuke sentiments are not<br />we will most likely be jupped with solar pannels.<br /><br />what do you mean vacume? space is a vacume? how can there be no vacume?<br /><br />i think 2030 will be the time when the mars mission goal is announced,<br />and 2040 we will go. if not sooner, due to somebody getting ahead of us in space.<br /><br />any plans or suggestions to add to my plan? i have yet to get some worth noting.
 
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onesmallstep<br />(Member)<br />10/29/01 04:27 PM<br /><br />Your plan seems relatively sound, Getak, but I still prefer Dr. Zubrin's Mars Direct proposal. Firstly, Mars Direct does not require the use of a separate landing vehicle; a crew of four will be able to reach Mars in a single habitation module, and return to earth using an Earth Return Vehicle, which had produced methane/oxygen propellant on the surface. So, you are using two spacecraft instead of three.<br /><br />I also like Mars Direct because it does not require an orbital rendezvous of any kind. The only type of rendezvous is surface rendezvous, which is far easier. If you miss by five feet in an orbital rendezvous, you're &%$#@!ed. But if you miss by five miles in a surface rendezvous, the crew can simply drive their rover to the intended target.<br /><br />If I were to alter Dr. Zubrin's proposal, I would change the crew size from four to six or seven. We need several geologists and biologists to decipher the mysteries nature has placed on Mars. It will also be necessary to have a pilot onboard in case the spacecraft's computer guides the vehicle to an unsuitable landing site. This is exactly what happened on Apollo 11, and it was only through the skill and experience of Armstrong and Aldrin that Eagle was able to touch down safely at Mare Tranquilitatis. Given this, it is more than reasonable to suspect that something similar will happen on the first Mars landing.<br /><br />Then, there is the issue of propulsion. I believe chemical propulsion will be sufficient for both the unmanned Earth Return Vehicle (ERV) and the habitation module, especially since the fuel for the crew's return voyage can be created on the Martian surface. Eventually, however, I think we should consider ion propulsion, si
 
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serak_the_preparer<br />(Member)<br />10/29/01 05:41 PM<br /><br /><i>Mission to Mars: Plans and Concepts for the First Manned Landing.</i> J.E. Oberg (1982). New York: New American Library.<br /><br />James Oberg's New Book: "2001: A Mars Odyssey, Why human exploration of Mars is crucial to humanity's future."<br /><br />Note: China plans lunar landing, Mars expedition indicates 'China's budding space program plans to explore the moon for commercially useful resources and hopes one day to take part in an international expedition to Mars.'<br /><br />Perhaps the scramjets to be tested tomorrow at Woomera will become a key part of an emerging Russo-Australian space-launch partnership? Although Australia is not planning any missions to Mars, its researchers are keen to help other countries with the design of their missions. I do believe CATS will need to be in place for a project to put men on Mars to get off the ground.<br /><br />Aurora Launch (pic)<br /><br />Russia to put man on Mars by 2020? Russia alone could not do it, but Russia has said it wants the United States, Europe a
 
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serak_the_preparer<br />(Member)<br />10/29/01 08:14 PM<br /><br />Note on use of the term 'vacuum:'<br /><br />I wrote 'vacuum' not in reference to the vacuum of space, but in reference to the Apollo program in the context of a larger vision for space. Apollo began with little and left very little behind. The quick-and-dirty approach was taken for speed, sacrificing long-term vision for a short-term goal. A Mars project would require more staging, more infrastructure, and quick-and-dirty would not work. This means that after a Mars project is carried out, other projects should become possible.<br /><br /><i>Cruithne</i><br /><br />From Space.com's article on Cruithne, More Moons Around Earth? It's Not So Loony:<br /><br />'Earth has a second moon, of sorts, and could have many others, according to three astronomers who did calculations to describe orbital motions at gravitational balance points in space that temporarily pull asteroids into bizarre orbits near our planet.<br /><br />The 3-mile-wide (5-km) satellite, which takes 770 years to complete a horseshoe-shaped orbit around Earth, is called Cruithne and will remain in a suspended state around Earth for at least 5,000 years.'<br /><br />Cruithne Orbit (pic)<br /><br />Cruithne is not alone, but has at least two sister 'temporary moons,' formerly designated as Aten asteroids: 1998 UP1 and 2000 PH5.<br /><br />I did put the phrase 'second moon' in quotes for a reason, as Cruithne is not technically a true moon but one of the first to occupy an entirely new category: planetary companion.<br /><br />Some information on Cruithne is availab
 
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serak_the_preparer<br />(Member)<br />03/13/02 11:30 AM<br /><br />That may turn out to be a 'good thing,' since NASA's mission after the end of Apollo has remained largely undefined. With no clear mission, NASA has only been capable of going round and round in orbit. The leadership NASA has needed all along, which should come from Congress and the White House, has not been there since the '70s.<br /><br />On the other hand, the military has a renewed sense of purpose in a post-9/11 world and a global 'war on terrorism.' Also, the military has a renewed interest in space. Both of these developments are strongly linked.<br /><br />The shift from NASA to the Pentagon, for better or for worse, is well underway.<br /><br />Spacelift Washington: Military RLV Needs May Stimulate Commercial Prospects<br /><br /><b>The joint USAF/NASA One Team 120-day study winds down this month at the same time NASA administrator Sean O'Keefe appears to be moving to link DoD RLV interest with the space agency's existing SLI 2nd generation studies, a desire O'Keefe has repeatedly mentioned in public as his leadership of the nation's civil space agenda begins....<br /><br />Currently, development of a new reusable launcher is contained in the NASA Space Launch Initiative program (SLI). The Marshall Spaceflight Center-led team is addressing issues such as lightweight structures, long-life rocket engines, advanced crew systems, life support technology, robotics, advanced flight control technologies, avionics, and new heat shield systems. The program's directives include "great importance placed on promoting space launch opportunities for both government and private sectors," meeting NASA's missions while "impro</b>
 
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robcflores<br />(Member)<br />03/13/02 01:57 PM<br /><br />I just don't see NASA being able to sell or pull<br />something like this off. It would take innovative<br />ship design, nearly flawless machinery & a large<br />budget, None of which is NASA anymore.<br />The diffiulty level is magnitudes greater than<br />that of going to the moon. I would say that<br />the leap from Gemini Orbital Rendezvous to Apollo<br />Moon Landing is much smaller in comparison. Consider the RAW FACTS:<br />A Lunar Mission lasts 10 days or so. A Mars Mission will last 400+ days atleast The only example of prolonged life support machinery (ISS & MIR) shows that It takes constant fidgeting to keep a "SHIP" from falling appart. You need a<br />crew of 3 Just for ship maintenance, so the survey<br />team is what two?...come all that way for that?<br />There is no evidence after all that Space Medicine reasearch that after 200+ days your Astronauts wont be a Physical mess once they get to the red planet. I have not seen ANY nasa ideas<br />to get around this problem.<br />How are you going to justify the cost if in ten years folks are downloading new exporation video LIVE from rover probes planned for the future. Yes it would help to wait and spend some<br />money propulsion research & Life Support improvements, but after a point these programs degenerate into a bureaucratic black hole if something production isn't demanded of them.<br />Bottom Line 2035 earliest, for the USA.<br />There is one wild card. A country could just send<br />ONE astronaut for a shorter duration flight if<br />they sent a really light Ship and not much in the<br />way of science capability. Heck maybe even a back<br />pack ascent and descent Vehicle. We would never do this as it is TOO cheap and dangerous, but<</safety_wrapper>
 
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majestic_007<br />(Member)<br />03/13/02 02:25 PM<br /><br />No country would send one astronaut on a ship to mars.....what the hell are you talking about?! Do you honestly think that one country is going to send a vehicle to mars without carrying out a scientific mission on the surface!<br /><br />Also, if its too cheap and dangerous for NASA to send men to mars, then why would China do it?<br />They may be ambitious, but they are not stupid.<br /><br />2035 for the USA?! The USA dont have the funding to pull that off (like you so rightly said). If anyone goes to mars, it will require the funding of more than one space agency. I'm afraid that the USA have had their moment of glory with Apollo. Don't be expecting any similar success on their own.
 
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clawdaddy<br />(Member)<br />03/14/02 05:38 AM<br /><br />With tickets in hand, I go to the spaceport to begin the first leg of my journey. They check my luggage and I board fancy plane/orbiter that whisks me away to a giant centrifugal station in an mere minutes. I again produce tickets and shuffle aboard an interplanetary transit vessel. In the four days that it takes to get to Mars, the travel company keep its guests oppucpied with dozens of social and personal interactive activities. Hell, there may even be some cash left to play some of the slots.<br /><br />As the cruise ship approaches Mars, I find a planet that is not as red as it is today. Terraforming algae are hard at work making a thicker oxygen atmosphere and turning the landscapes green. While it's fars from a comfortable environment, some low altitude areas afford the adventurer to wear only a breathing apparatus , lots of clothes, and lots of sunblock.<br />The ship docks with a similar spinning mammoth in Mars orbit and grab a room for the night. The next morning finds me deplaning on the Martian surface. The resort is is located near that great canyon with daily shuttle service to Olympus Mons and the Face On Mars. The buildings and vehicles are as robust as one would expect to see in present day Anarctica.<br /><br />I could probably take a day cruise over the Martian terrain, but I think my first stop would be the bottom of the canyon where I could doff the pressure suits and experience Mars weather. After seven days, I repeat the journey in reverse to head home for Earth.<br /><br />I'm gonna say that this scenario will not be possible for at least another 200 years. If I am extremely fortunate, I will make it to some orbiting descendant of the I.S.S. In either case, it's gonna to cost a lot of
 
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quasar2<br />(Member)<br />03/14/02 07:17 AM<br /><br />international mission = internatinal space agency. thank you serak for cruithne, i couldn`t remem the name. any mars direct ideas are wasteful. we must keep in mind that the more staging we do the more versatile future missions would be. although some would have us do direct as showplace/incentive/etc., that`s not how things are done in the real world. in fact there could have been even more staging than was done for the manned moon missions.
 
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quasar2<br />(Member)<br />03/19/02 05:26 PM<br /><br />do people honestly think that we wouldn`t do a manned mars flyby 1st? such thinking is inherently dangerous.
 
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serak_the_preparer<br />(Member)<br />04/12/02 02:34 AM<br /><br />Aerojet Validates Unique Tri-Fluid Injector for Air Force Advanced Reusable Rocket Engine<br /><br /><i>Aerojet successfully validated its design of a revolutionary tri-fluid propellant injector for non-toxic hydrogen peroxide engines. The injector is a component of the Advanced Reusable Rocket Engine that Aerojet is developing for the Air Force's Space Maneuver Vehicle....<br /><br />What makes the tri-fluid injector unique is that decomposed peroxide, used to drive the turbopump, is exhausted into the tri-fluid injector to ignite the engine's hydrogen peroxide and jet fuel propellants. This creates a closed- cycle engine system that does not dump propellants overboard like a typical gas generator cycle engine. The result is higher performance and a wider range of throttleability....<br /><br />The Air Force's Space Maneuver Vehicle is an unmanned space vehicle envisioned as a reusable satellite bus. The ARRE also has applications on the Space Launch Initiative, NASA's effort to develop technologies for a second-generation reusable launch vehicle....</i><br /><br />And Mars continues to intrigue: Two Old Mars Volcanoes Hint At Possibility Of Life. Old article, but still interesting.<br /><br /><i>Two of the oldest volcanoes on Mars, which have been active for 3.5 billion years, are providing clues to the possibility of life on the planet, according to preliminary analysis by University at Buffalo geologists of new data from the Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) and the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA), currently orbiting the planet....<br /><br />Locate</i>
 
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hillbillyhobo<br />(Member)<br />04/12/02 04:28 AM<br /><br />I dont know about you all but the easy way to get to Mars is to just fill up your darn gas tank and go. How stupid can you be? You from Arkansas or something?<br /><br />My old Chevy's got a few miles but she sure as hell will make it there before your pretty little space shuttle will. And make it there on one tank full too.<br /><br />You boys from MIT better just go back and realize that there aint perfection in your job. My truck wins hands down partners. Time to go fishin.
 
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serak_the_preparer<br />(Member)<br />09/13/02 03:24 PM<br /><br />Looking back at my first post to this thread, I must agree with Getak. Way too optimistic. Congress would not approve anything so ambitious.<br /><br />I don't think Mars will actually happen the way I described it back then. There will most likely not be anything like an overly elaborate - and overly expensive - premeditated assault.<br /><br />But I also think Quasar2 is right that a dry run, probably in the form of a flyby, would be made and that the attempt would involve more than one player.<br /><br />Perhaps some of the infrastructure, and some of the stages, for the expensive elaborate mission will already be in place when the attempt is made? Maybe the manned assault on Mars will evolve, rather than be planned all at once?<br /><br />Who knows how it might happen...?<br /><br />Mars could resemble Wild West, says scientist<br /><br /><i>"If they were governmental or international (expeditions), Antarctic-style restraint might be feasible. On the other hand, if the explorers were privately funded adventurers of free-enterprise, even anarchic disposition, the Wild West model would be more likely to prevail," </i>[Sir Martin Rees of the Institute of Astronomy]<i> said.</i>
 
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john316<br />(Member)<br />09/14/02 02:40 PM<br /><br />I think the trip there will be nuclear.<br /><br />The ascent and decent craft will be reusable and can even be checked out/refurbished on station. Perhaps a DC-X type of craft or variant.<br /><br />I dont see a slow boat to mars approach. Bush said he wants the push down with nuclear power in one form or another.<br /><br />I think the nuclear option is the by far better way to get there.....<br /><br />We should take the "Build a big system ship Approach" just like in the movie "2001: Space Odyssey".<br /><br />Nuclear Power until something else faster comes along.<br /><br /><img src="/images/icons/smile.gif" />
 
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