Nasa outlines manned Mars vision

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holmec

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<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>I fail to understand the need, desire, and expense to go back to the Moon.<p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br /><br />Were not just going to the Moon to test out new tech. We are also going there to study it more in depth. Finish what Apollo started. We just scratched the surface on Geological study on the moon. <br /><br />Mars is not the end of exploration either, its one of many things humans want to do in space. Ultimately we want to colonize space. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p><font color="#0000ff"><em>"SCE to AUX" - John Aaron, curiosity pays off</em></font></p> </div>
 
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one_g

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With reference to the Moon/Mars priorities: is anyone here an astronaut?<br /><br />Unless you, personally, are an astronaut, nothing we do on Mars is going to contribute to getting YOU into space. What we do with the Moon - any infrastructure concerning the Earth-Moon system - just might.
 
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thor06

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vicariously, and I'm taking donations for a virgin galactic ticket. <img src="/images/icons/smile.gif" /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p> <font color="#0000ff">                           www.watchnasatv.com</font></p><p>                          ONE PERCENT FOR NASA! </p> </div>
 
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j05h

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<i>> But there would be much overlap in technology, even some lander technology. EVA suits, pressurized rovers, inflatable habitats, semi-closed life support, surface power systems, all would have applicability to Mars operations. </i><br /><br />This is not entirely true. EVA suits, module insulation and construction will be radically different. Mars' atmosphere is just dense enough to make typical Apollo/Shuttle suits not work. The only power systems with significant cross-over would be solar or nuclear. Local martian ISRU is likely to drive power sources toward biological methane in fuelcells. Rover chasssis for any other planet is likely to be rocker-bogie which is a Mars-rover invention. They have very different chemistries and operating environments. The Moon is a good analog for icy and rocky moon exploration and it's own unique position, but not as much for Mars. <br /><br />Efforts such as the Haughton Crater Project are a better operations analog to Mars exploration, IMHO. Earth in general provides a better Mars analog than the Moon provides.<br /><br />The VSE Lunar goal seems more like a shrug-of-the-shoulders decision. Mars still has a certain giggle factor, NASA has already "done" LEO so the Moon seems like the next goal outward. The problem is that the Moon is resource-poor - making it a materiel importer for the forseeable future. While cis-Mars is further away, there are much more accessible resources. Without those (or asteroidal) volatiles, any serious development of the Moon will prove impossible. Technology from Earth, Water and fuel from cis-Mars and beamed power, hotels, astronomy and later metals from the Moon. Zubrin called it a triangle trade, and it is probably the only way to create a growing in-space economy. Water is the deal breaker and liquid gold of this scenario - even for NASA. Imagine if the US had to import the water and air to McMurdo base.<br /><br /><i>> Understanding human health in long duration low gravity environments. </i> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <div align="center"><em>We need a first generation of pioneers.</em><br /></div> </div>
 
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gunsandrockets

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Sorry JO5H, I don't find your reasoning here at all credible.<br /><br />You seem to want to jump from rat biosats to 'triangle trade' space economics in one big jump and real space flight capability just won't develop that fast. All the intermediate steps such as the NASA lunar base will happen first.<br /><br />Substituting rat biosat data for real human spaceflight experience would never happen. I hope that biosats go forward and I'm sure the data will prove interesting, but you can't design a 900 day Mars mission on just that data! That's the course to disaster.<br /><br />[...there WOULD be much overlap in technology, even some lander technology. EVA suits, pressurized rovers, inflatable habitats, semi-closed life support, surface power systems, all would have applicability to Mars operations.] <br /><br />"This is not entirely true. EVA suits, module insulation and construction will be radically different. Mars' atmosphere is just dense enough to make typical Apollo/Shuttle suits not work", JO5H.<br /><br />I'm sorry, but that is nonsense. Conditions are harsher in LEO and on the Moon than on Mars. The only thing worse is the higher Mars gravity which suits will have to take into account.<br /><br />"The only power systems with significant cross-over would be solar or nuclear", JO5H.<br /><br />Oh, is that all? The main energy source, the biggest development cost and the wellspring from which all Mars surface ops would depend? <br /><br />"Local martian ISRU is likely to drive power sources toward biological methane in fuelcells", JO5H.<br /><br />Biological methane to power Mars surface ops? Seriously?<br /><br />"Rover chasssis for any other planet is likely to be rocker-bogie which is a Mars-rover invention", JO5H.<br /><br />Rocker-bogie suspension is a special case development for slow-crawling unmanned space probes. Rocker-bogie suspension is not specific for Mars, it was just first used on Mars. It's not even relevant to this discussion.<br /><br />"They have very di
 
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R1

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$29 billion is planned to go to the shuttle and space station from '08 to 2012 alone.<br /><br />http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/168656main_FY08_budget_presentation.pdf<br /><br /><br />Isn't there a cheaper way to send subsequent station modules up in a rocket, and park the shuttles?<br /><br />Otherwise, if Nasa's yearly budget could be around 22 billion/yr, it would be 440 billion in 22 years, or<br />around the year 2029<br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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qso1

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One_G:<br />Unless you, personally, are an astronaut, nothing we do on Mars is going to contribute to getting YOU into space. What we do with the Moon - any infrastructure concerning the Earth-Moon system - just might.<br /><br />Me:<br />Going to mars to study possible microbiological organisms if discovered...might also get anyone who is an astronaut, and exobiologist to mars. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><strong>My borrowed quote for the time being:</strong></p><p><em>There are three kinds of people in life. Those who make it happen, those who watch it happen...and those who do not know what happened.</em></p> </div>
 
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qso1

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John1R:<br />Isn't there a cheaper way to send subsequent station modules up in a rocket, and park the shuttles?<br /><br />Me:<br />It theoretically would have been cheaper to use HLLVs to launch modules to the ISS but now...with the whole logistical support largely shuttle based, it would probably be more expensive to go through the trouble to launch modules on ELVs, especially modules already largely ready to launch. The budget you mentioned is about average or slightly above average BTW. 2008-12 would be a four year cycle and works out to $7.25B annually or slightly above the last HSF budget I saw.<br /><br />The years 2011 and 12 may well be shutdown appropriations for both programs but more likely shuttle since shuttle is to be retired in 2010 if retirement goes to plan but in any case. I do not expect shuttle will still be operating in 2029. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><strong>My borrowed quote for the time being:</strong></p><p><em>There are three kinds of people in life. Those who make it happen, those who watch it happen...and those who do not know what happened.</em></p> </div>
 
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R1

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qso1 you're right, the allotments for the shuttle will diminish, with only a small portion left for the ISS.<br /><br />Then starting in 2011 and 2012, approximately 50% of each year's total budget will go to exploration systems.<br /><br /><br /><br />alokmohan, yes, I think going to Mars shortly after the moon is what the presidential mandate called for.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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qso1

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alokmohan:<br />We are shortly going to mars then?What is the position?<br /><br />Me:<br />The Bush plan calls for going to mars sometime after 2020 utilizing much of the Constellation hardware where practical. However, the details are still lacking and thats in part because its too early to know for sure how we will go to mars or at this point if we will go.<br /><br />If the Democrats get the Whitehouse in 08...and this is not to be anti Dem...I'm not crazy about either party but the Dems have not shown much enthusiasm for humans spaceflight since Apollo. There are some key Dems who have suggested support such as Barbara Mikusulski so I guess we will have to wait and see. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><strong>My borrowed quote for the time being:</strong></p><p><em>There are three kinds of people in life. Those who make it happen, those who watch it happen...and those who do not know what happened.</em></p> </div>
 
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j05h

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<i>> You seem to want to jump from rat biosats to 'triangle trade' space economics in one big jump and real space flight capability just won't develop that fast. All the intermediate steps such as the NASA lunar base will happen first. </i><br /><br />First, the biosat is the cheapest, fastest turn-around method to get useful data on various G levels. I'm advocating the fastest route to sustained space development, whatever that route is. Triangle trade is a very powerful concept, since it is both vendor neutral and broader-supported than trading with a single partner. It could be done with robots on Phobos or a comet, but the Moon is bone dry and will need external volatiles. The NASA base is pretty minimal and even it will be severely hampered by access to volatiles. Sucks to have a moon base and no water. <br /><br />Also, if the rest of the space agencies follow NASA's timetable for exploration, the first boots on Mars are going to be private adventurers. The tech and products will be available before the political will - perhaps a Musk-Branson-NationalGeographic mission?<br /><br /><i>> I hope that biosats go forward and I'm sure the data will prove interesting, but you can't design a 900 day Mars mission on just that data! That's the course to disaster. </i><br /><br />Actually, according to Dr. Burton Lee, that data would most likely answer all the needed questions about Mars-level gravity. There are much larger issues to be dealt with and the rat biosat is a very simple proof, compared with setting up shop on the very different Moon. It has been suggested before that .38G may not be a problem but .12 will be for bone density and muscle issues.<br /><br /><i>> I'm sorry, but that is nonsense. Conditions are harsher in LEO and on the Moon than on Mars. The only thing worse is the higher Mars gravity which suits will have to take into account. </i><br /><br />You, sir, are incorrect. I said "radically different" not "harsher". You would quickly sweat to death in a <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <div align="center"><em>We need a first generation of pioneers.</em><br /></div> </div>
 
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baktothemoon

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>I've read somewhere that Senator Clinton is supportive of the Moon-Mars Initiative. <br />As she's almost sure to be the democrat candidate, it should secure our position on this side of politics.<br /><br />Oh no, it was posted here a few weeks ago that she wants nasa to focus on Earth science first and foremost, studying climate, global warming etc. She basically said that she has almost no support for going to moon or mars. Obama's even worse, voting dem is looking pretty bleak space-wise.
 
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tanstaafl76

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Al Gore needs fodder for his next book afterall, and I don't think he'll be writing about Mars <br /><br />Bottom line is we could be on the surface of Mars in 5 years if we had to, but there's just no sense of urgency about it. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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richalex

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<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>Triangle trade is a very powerful concept, since it is both vendor neutral and broader-supported than trading with a single partner. It could be done with robots on Phobos or a comet, but the Moon is bone dry and will need external volatiles.<p><hr /></p></p></blockquote>What makes you think that Phobos has water but our Moon does not? We have at least as much reason, if not more, to expect water on Moon as on Phobos. <br /><br /><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>Actually, according to Dr. Burton Lee, that data would most likely answer all the needed questions about Mars-level gravity.<p><hr /></p></p></blockquote>Do you have a reference for this? <br /><br /><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>There are much larger issues to be dealt with and the rat biosat is a very simple proof, compared with setting up shop on the very different Moon.<p><hr /></p></p></blockquote>Rat studies are always general when applied to human application, not specific. Humans and rats have very different physiologies, enough so that what may be lethal in one might have little effect in the other. <br /><br /><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>You would quickly sweat to death in an Apollo/Shuttle type suit on Mars - the vaccuum-insulation doesn't work on Mars and those suits couldn't radiate heat fast enough.<p><hr /></p></p></blockquote>Quickly? How do astronauts survive in them while on Earth (or, for that matter, while inside the atmosphere of a space shuttle)? <br /><br />
 
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j05h

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<i>> What makes you think that Phobos has water but our Moon does not? We have at least as much reason, if not more, to expect water on Moon as on Phobos.</i><br /><br />I am 50/50 on Phobos having lots of water. I really, really hope Phobos or Deimos does - they are energetically some of the easiest bodies to reach in the solar system. Even if the moons do not, we know for a fact that Mars has lots of water. Earth's Moon is lacking in volatiles. Luna, at best, has rock-hard ice patches in shadowed polar craters, but that could just as easily be a hydrogen-rich mineral.<br /><br /><i>> Do you have a reference for this? </i><br /><br />Sorry, conversation at last year's Cyberposium 12 at Harvard. He indicated that the Mars Biosat would provide confidence in Mars-G levels. Regardless, it is the cheapest way to test Mars-G.<br /><br /><i>> Rat studies are always general when applied to human application, not specific. Humans and rats have very different physiologies, enough so that what may be lethal in one might have little effect in the other.</i><br /><br />Sure, except that they are also great for medical research. We don't know what Mars-G will do to us, but rat-biosat research would help fill in some of those holes, at the least.<br /><br /><i>> Quickly? How do astronauts survive in them while on Earth (or, for that matter, while inside the atmosphere of a space shuttle)?</i><br /><br />They survive by being plugged into bigger machinery than the PLSS. <br /><br />Most Mars suit proposals involve something closer to SCUBA or SCUBA-rebreather air. Thermal control would be by unzipping/removing an overlayer. It's much different from current/traditional spacesuits. <br /><br />Mars and the Moon are as different as Earth and Mars. Nothing compares to ground-truth.<br /><br />Josh<br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <div align="center"><em>We need a first generation of pioneers.</em><br /></div> </div>
 
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richalex

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Well, FWIW (maybe not much), I would like to see us develop Moon quite a bit more, instead of ignoring it. Whether manned or not, Moon offers us a lot of opportunities right in our neighborhood (less than a week's trip by rocket, or 3 seconds by light). It *might* even have water on it, but we won't know if we don't look for it. If it does, then that would be a huge advantage for us. <br /><br />Mars could eventually support a lot of commercial uses, but its remoteness is going to be an impediment until we develop much faster transportation. <br /><br />I would rather see us develop Moon than try to put a man on Mars.
 
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tanstaafl76

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<br />Perhaps we should settle the entire moon so they can lob rocks at us<br /><br />/heinlein<br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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webtaz99

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<img src="/images/icons/rolleyes.gif" /> They were convicts, not colonists. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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jsmoody

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Sorry, but I really think that the Moon/Mars Initiative is ridiculous. Why spend trillions (yes, it would be trillions, not billions) on MANNED missions? We've already seen cuts and cancellations of valuable scientific robotic missions because of this nonsense. The robots are doing a WONDERFUL job of exploration for a tiny fraction of the cost of sending humans. Plus, with present technology, it would be impossible to get an astronaut to Mars and back alive because of the hard radiation. So far no practical sheilding is available except for several inches of lead and we know that won't happen.<br /><br />Let's let the robots continue their great work. Then send humans when we have the technology and it's cheaper and safer. There's just no justifyable reason to send humans, even to the Moon at the present time or even the near future. <br /><br />I remember the Apollo missions. Everyone was thrilled about them. Until we realized that all they were doing was hopping around and bringing back a few hundred pounds of rocks. The public got bored with rocks. Ho hum....no Moon babes, no creeping slime molds, just rocks...ok, cut the funding. No more rock hunting trips. Been there, done that.<br /><br />It would be the same thing all over again. Congress will never fund such an expensive, dangerous boondogggle and I don't blame them. I hope they have better sense than that.<br /><br />I'm all for space exploration, it's the destiny of mankind to go out into space. But until we have better, safer, more economical means to get there I don't think we should concentrate on manned missions other than Earth orbit. <br /><br />I think people need to THINK about what would be required. The cost in fuel to get us to Mars and back, the TONS and TONS of material that would be needed, food, water, climate control, electronics, radiation shielding, toilets and other hygienic facilities, exercise equipment, etc. etc. The average human eats 6 or 7 hundred pounds of food a year. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> No amount of belief makes something a fact" - James Randi </div>
 
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jsmoody

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Water, polyethylene or a magnetic shield?<br /><br />Water would work you used enough, a couple of hundred TONS maybe...polyethelene? I don't think so. Magnetic shield? A big power drain.<br /><br />Christopher Columbus had air to breathe and didn't have to worry about hard radiation.<br /><br />They can also die crossing the road. <br />Sorry, that's just ludicrous. So we spend a couple of trillion dollars just to have the people die? Get real. (It doesn't cost a couple of trillion dollars to cross the street.)<br /><br />The Alaska purchase was dirt cheap! I don't know about the Louisana purchase but we OWNED the land after that and it had good air and water and crop land. We won't own mars. And there's no good science that can't be done by a robot. <br /><br />Sorry, I can't see paying trillions of dollars for Buck Rogers show-off enterprises. That's what Apollo was for the most part. Just grandstanding show-off with little payback in real science. Buck Rogers. Cowboys to the Moon!<br /><br />Sorry, but I don't want to see us pay trillions of dollars so someone can get a joy ride to Mars.<br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> No amount of belief makes something a fact" - James Randi </div>
 
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phaze

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I heard that if a Republican is elected we'll all have our own spacecraft within 4 years and be able to fly to Mars on our own... but if a Democrat is elected they'll give all the NASA money to homeless and illegal aliens.<br /><br />It's what I heard... on this board.
 
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gunsandrockets

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<Sorry, but I don't want to see us pay trillions of dollars so someone can get a joy ride to Mars.><br /><br /><br />Boy howdy, do you have a lot of catching up to do. I recommend you start by reading Robert Zubrin's book, "The Case for Mars."
 
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qso1

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jsmoody:<br />Sorry, but I don't want to see us pay trillions of dollars so someone can get a joy ride to Mars.<br /><br />Me:<br />Do some basic homework before throwing out figures like this.<br /><br />We have not spent trillions of dollars on NASA since it came into existence. The entire NASA, NASA unmanned programs, aeronautical research, humans in space from Mercury to Apollo. Non of that even came close to a trillion dollars from 1958 to 2007. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><strong>My borrowed quote for the time being:</strong></p><p><em>There are three kinds of people in life. Those who make it happen, those who watch it happen...and those who do not know what happened.</em></p> </div>
 
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jsmoody

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I have researched it. Experts quote figures from a few hundre billion to over a trillion dollars. If experience is any indication, everything is always greatly over budget. But even for a few hundred billion, do we want to send a few cowboys on a gee-whiz joyride they might not come back from for a small scientific payoff at the expense of robotic missions that accomplish a great amount of scientific return? And it would be a one shot deal anyway, or do you suggest we continue to send lots of missions for hundreds of billions of dollars a shot? Utterly ridiculous. Let the robots do it. They're doing a wonderful job a very tiny fraction of the cost. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> No amount of belief makes something a fact" - James Randi </div>
 
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