• Hi Guest! Forum rules have been updated. All users please read here.

The Race to Mars....will it happen?

shivering

ACCESS: Confidential
Joined
Jul 16, 2006
Messages
67
Reaction score
1
With the discovery of seasonal methane plumes on Mars and the possibility
of life or volcanic activity....will there be a new drive to send human beings
to Mars (perhaps to get deeper core samples or investigate the seasons in
greater detail)? Any designs, information or opinions welcome. :)

Personally speaking, my wife (a molecular biologist) and I were quite excited
by the possible implications of the NASA findings presented at the press conference
(just wish we could have seen it....Swedish television only mentioned it in passing).
 

Orionblamblam

ACCESS: Above Top Secret
Top Contributor
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2006
Messages
8,126
Reaction score
1,662
Website
www.aerospaceprojectsreview.com
shivering said:
With the discovery of seasonal methane plumes on Mars and the possibility
of life or volcanic activity....will there be a new drive to send human beings
to Mars


Not in the US. Maybe China or India still have some life left in 'em.
 

airrocket

Dreams To Reality
Joined
Mar 3, 2008
Messages
290
Reaction score
11
Website
RetroFlight.com
I doubt we (baby boomers) ever live to see manned Mars mission. It'll take several generations just to pay off our current ever expanding national bail-out debt. Unless we discover life on mars that has some cash to spend. Or we Americans learn to live within our means and take bumps as they come I’d venture some other more savings based culture will be first to Mars. China???? Not so sure without us they seem stymied as well.
 

Justo Miranda

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Dec 2, 2007
Messages
4,762
Reaction score
3,418
Website
www.amazon.com
There are just two possibilities that could seriously reactivate a manned flight to Mars,
- The discovery of new propulsion technologies capable of making the trip in a shorter time
- The discovery of a good reason to go (two examples come to my mind)
- The discovery of ruins or artifacts from a Martian civilization.
- The discovery of a non-terrestrial form of life.
I must say that if earth can be impacted by meteorites coming from Mars, likewise bacteria of terrestrial origin might have travelled to Mars in the same way.
All known life forms share the common feature of deflecting polarized light in the same direction, if another life form be found that makes it differently, we will see a multiracial crew sharing the available space within a thin during two years!
I see that all opinions have been pessimist so far.
I personally believe that methane comes from old comet (Oort class) impacts, possibly liberated with season change warming or by small meteorite impacts.
I have always believed that Kennedy´s space program was a mistake and that the Dyna Soar was the right way to do things.
At the end, the huge expenses incurred by the Apollo Project created a strong rejecting feeling against science and technology, currently at its peak.
We will be having a new Kennedy now. Wait and see.
 

Orionblamblam

ACCESS: Above Top Secret
Top Contributor
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2006
Messages
8,126
Reaction score
1,662
Website
www.aerospaceprojectsreview.com
Justo Miranda said:
There are just two possibilities that could seriously reactivate a manned flight to Mars,
....
- The discovery of a non-terrestrial form of life.

Finding extant life on Mars would be one of the more effective ways to make sure that an American manned mission doesn't happen.
1) The enviroweenies and greepissers would be up in arms about messing with the Martian ecology
2) The panicmongers woudl freak out about the possibility of the astronauts returnign a Martian plague to Earth.
3) NASA currently has to go to insane degrees to assure that its Mars probes are sterile. Imagine doing that with humans and food going to Mars.

My hope would be that if one of the rovers finds a confirmed case of current life on Mars that the onboard thermonuclear device immediately goes off before the news can be reported.
 

Michel Van

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2007
Messages
4,969
Reaction score
1,326
Orionblamblam said:
3) NASA currently has to go to insane degrees to assure that its Mars probes are sterile. Imagine doing that with humans and food going to Mars.

My hope would be that if one of the rovers finds a confirmed case of current life on Mars that the onboard thermonuclear device immediately goes off before the news can be reported.

best example is Surveyor 3 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surveyor_3
landed 20 April 1967 on moon, in 1969 Apollo 12 astronaut take piece back to Earth
in TV camera they found common bacterium, Streptococcus mitis alive after 2 year space
(now this is question http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reports_of_Streptococcus_mitis_on_the_moon)
but NASA began to adopt strict abiotic procedures for space probes to prevent contamination.

however after some source, the USSR dint do that to there space probe
so its possibly that MARS 2, 3, 6 have contaminate The Planet Mars !

that's gonna be a cosmic Joke
NASA rover "Mars Science Laboratory" finds life on Mars
they do Sample return mission to get it (Probe lands in Utah !)
2) The panicmongers would freak out about the possibility of the astronauts returning a Martian plague to Earth.
and in a high techlabor like Andromeda they find only Streptococcus mitis...
LOL
 

CFE

ACCESS: Secret
Joined
Sep 1, 2007
Messages
259
Reaction score
3
Humans to Mars won't happen until society is ready to put nuclear reactors into space. Going on chemical propulsion alone will be too heavy and too costly to launch.
 

Michel Van

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2007
Messages
4,969
Reaction score
1,326
Nuclear Power Space ships are better for marsflights

some examples

NME 1971 - 1900 tons chemical multistage, mission time 570 days
IMIS 1968 - 1226 tons with multistage NTR, mission time 460 days
if you use NTR in combination with Ionnengine its reduce more time and mass
GEM 1967 - 682 tons, multistage, mission time 450 days

that's with solid nuclear fuel, if you use Gaseous nuclear fuel
you get mission times of 80 days !
but today no one has build a reactor core for that in U.S.

it gonna be Chines, India or Russia how build nuclear reactors for Deep space

and U.S.A ?
there proposal for Chemical mission with
Aerocapture: with fat heat shield and to high G forces for crew after months of Weightlessness.
Split mission: return fuel and Lander are already in Mars orbit.
ISRU: propellant generated on Mars from the atmosphere.
those "support" makes the Mission to complex

links to examples
http://www.astronautix.com/craft/nasn1971.htm
http://www.astronautix.com/craft/imis1968.htm
http://beyondapollo.blogspot.com/2010/01/to-mars-in-30-days-by-gas-core-nuclear.html
http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,5107.0.html
 

CFE

ACCESS: Secret
Joined
Sep 1, 2007
Messages
259
Reaction score
3
There are times when I think IMIS is still the most realistic plan for Humans-to-Mars, even after 40 years of post-IMIS design studies. At least IMIS doesn't require a dozen Ares V launches per mission; nor does it suffer from the unrealistic optimism of Mars Direct.
 

Kevin Renner

ACCESS: Confidential
Joined
Nov 6, 2007
Messages
98
Reaction score
7
Any manned Martian exploration will require both new technologies and living off of the land. The very idea of hauling everything with you is ludicrous. New technologies needed are in propulsion, shielding, spacesuit design, life support and tele-presence. Propulsion will require nuclear, either fission or fusion. And if it's fusion it will have to be something along the lines of Bussard's Polywell or some other non-Tokamak approach. Shielding will need to be some sort of powered magnetic system. Systems using magnetic fields have been proposed for shielding a lunar base. Spacesuit design has to simpler and less cumbersome. IMO the Mechanical Countermeasure type has the most potential. Life support, simpler and more reliable. Tele-presence would allow an individual in orbit or say a habitat on Phobos to operate probes in real time. Now if we could build a humaniod shaped robot operated by tel-presence we most likely would never really need to set foot on Mars

http://www.newmars.com/forums/index.php?sid=f072bcd7f21c66b4b4840b03269fcbc0

http://www.talk-polywell.org/bb/index.php?sid=e0a804d993ab0bba82a9628f9bfdb17b
 

airrocket

Dreams To Reality
Joined
Mar 3, 2008
Messages
290
Reaction score
11
Website
RetroFlight.com
It appears that moment of exploration opportunity has escaped us for now. It was very close in the late 60's as all the pieces of the puzzle began to come together. We had the will, infrastructure and technology in place in the Apollo era but failed to seize the moment. But with Apollo 11 the race it seems was over. Soon after history and events conspired to lead us down a different path. We chose to allow that will of exploration to wane and to abandon our infrastructure, to simply abandon in place and walk away. As a result today we are much farther away from such a journey than we we're in 1969. We had the chance to go and blew it. Who knows how long or how many generations it will be until that door of opportunity opens again? As for the race without any prize or motivation there are no contenders so its over...for now anyway.
 

royabulgaf

ACCESS: Top Secret
Joined
Dec 29, 2008
Messages
515
Reaction score
94
It appears that moment of exploration opportunity has escaped us for now. It was very close in the late 60's as all the pieces of the puzzle began to come together. We had the will, infrastructure and technology in place in the Apollo era but failed to seize the moment. But with Apollo 11 the race ... we are much farther away from such a journey than we we're in 1969. We had the chance to go and blew it. Who knows how long or how many generations it will be until that door of opportunity opens again?

I dunno. I think in terms of 60s technology it would be a bridge too far. The price would go up and up, with no end in sight. The vast improvement in electronic miniturization and bandwidth made unmanned space exploration well within any acceptable budget. Mars isn't going anywhere. We have a chance to do unmanned exploration and find out what there is that is worth looking at. I do not forsee a manned expedition to Mars unless space travel becomes vastly cheaper and faster, unless unmanned exploration shows the unequivocal presence of life.
 

mz

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
May 28, 2007
Messages
676
Reaction score
12
Apollo was unsustainable anyway since it required so much workforce and thus money. STS is barely sustainable, leaving little money for substantial new developments. Just throwing more money to keep larger armies operating the current paradigm of space launch is not going to work. There will not be large scale space activities until space launch becomes routine. It is still in the unreliable, unsafe, expensive, and delay prone experimental phase. It doesn't need to reach airline levels but 98% reliability just sucks.
In the least, if you have decent RLV:s that can fly tens of times per year, every craft would on average live only a few years before being destroyed in an accident - it could never be sustainable.
NASA is still stuck in the Apollo mindset, just like Wernher von Braun warned. A narrow minded unlimited cash crash program where the government specifies everything. Afterwards everybody wonders what should be done with all the monuments that were built. The cash isn't unlimited anymore so you can only scrap them. Are you any better off compared to when you started?

What if you hadn't built such teraprojects in the beginning? Instead you could have developed and experimented with technology that would substantially lower the cost of space access (stuff like engine tech that doesn't have to be disassembled between uses. or multi use heat shield materials), then create a healthy sustainable small scale industry (perhaps suborbital) which could go through multiple generations of operationally improved craft. Small scale is essential to provide multiple paths and multiple generations with low cost. As you certainly don't always know in the drawing board what works out in real life, you build many vehicle generations and try many parallel things that are proved in operations, and each one is improved from the lessons learned, providing more value for less cost, often through things like better reliability and maintainability, not necessarily performance.
And then finally expand to real spacefaring.

It's a long road, but it's faster when you compare it to trying to continually leapfrog and abort, wasting billions every time and then starting from scratch again with new managers. X-30, X-33, you name it.

But rational discussion about space strategies is really hard, the Apollo legacy is just too strong emotionally. Large cathedral like rockets launched a few times per year capture the imagination but are ultimately the antithesis of sustainable spacefaring (which ultimately aims to colonization).
 

OM

ACCESS: Top Secret
Joined
Jun 22, 2008
Messages
752
Reaction score
21
Website
www.io.com
It's a long road, but it's faster when you compare it to trying to continually leapfrog and abort, wasting billions every time and then starting from scratch again with new managers. X-30, X-33, you name it.

...One thing to consider is that the leaps between the frogs is so long that the reason you start from scratch with new managers is that the old ones have either moved on, retired or just flat up and died.
 

Grey Havoc

The path not taken.
Senior Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2009
Messages
14,499
Reaction score
4,244
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/mar/30/obama-shoots-down-mars-exploration/
 

blackstar

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2008
Messages
1,816
Reaction score
270
These kind of polls are meaningless. Public opinion polls on space subjects are notoriously all over the map. For starters, a majority of the American public doesn't even support space exploration and never did. And civil space is often at the top of the list of things that people say should be cut when money is short, right up there with foreign aid. But the public has no sense of what the United States actually spends on civil space, and when polled, they indicate that they think it is about a third as much as the military budget, or over $200 billion (compared to about $17+ billion).

But ultimately there is no indication that the public votes based upon these views. It just doesn't matter.
 

luke strawwalker

I really should change my personal text
Joined
Nov 28, 2012
Messages
41
Reaction score
0
Not to mention, that you can pretty much get whatever poll result you're looking for through cherry-picking your respondants and through careful phrasing of your questions and choices...

Later! OL JR :)
 

Similar threads

Top