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24-04-2017, 22:40   #1
Fathom
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Mars by 2020?

What would it take? Practically speaking? Space launch system built for Mars. 6-9 months space travel. Can humans do it today? Mars habitat. Food. Faster comms. Escape plan. $2 trillion. Or a time machine?

Your thoughts?
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25-04-2017, 21:28   #2
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Add a Mars (human occupancy) rover to that list of developments. What they now have on Mars are robots.
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26-04-2017, 17:44   #3
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We could go to mars at any time. The major hurdle is money, but if we really had to and could assign the people and funding we could have gone to mars at any stage over the past few years. There just isn't really the will, it's going to be a scientific mission with little monetary value and as with everything these days if you can't make a profit off it nobody is interested in it.

I've been going off the idea of going to mars, it's beginning to seem like a waste of time and resources when more useful space missions could be done for a fraction of the cost and have more long term value, like a moon base, or a bigger better international space station that maybe has room for private citizens/companies to rent rooms, or a mission to asteroids for mining/earth defence.
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26-04-2017, 17:51   #4
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A moonbase would be cheaper, safer, more practical, and imagine how cool it would be to be able to see it from a telescope!
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26-04-2017, 18:57   #5
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I personally don't think Mars is doable in the next ten years as the cost is too high and the technical difficulties while not insurmountable are not as trivial as some people would like you to think. I mean right now we can't get a robot to land on Mars collect some samples and bring them back to Earth. Nobody's going to Mars for another fifteen years or more I think and even then it will take a slow deliberate build up of experience and equipment to achieve. The idea that we can get there just by throwing money at the problem is a fantasy best left in the cinema.
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27-04-2017, 23:56   #6
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Don't forget the golden rule.
Do not develop a new launch system.

Use an existing reliable one. Otherwise you now have two project, a high risk one to develop a better launch system and your other project which is now totally dependent on the high risk project.


SLS is still in development.
Most of the components were flight tested back in the 1980's.



If you want to go to Mars then you have two options.
Option 1 - high risk , dig out the old Saturn V drawings , the only things you change are the alloys and joining processes, and off the shelf electronics. So replace the aluminium with modern aluminium alloys with more lithium or whatnot, carbon fibre is good too. The trick is to make 110% sure you don't reduce stiffness , ie. you are ONLY reducing weight. Joining means no-brainers like stir welding instead of rivets. Use modern flight prove avionics and let LOTS of new graduates go over all the gotcha's.

Option 2 - low risk assemble the Mars craft in orbit from 20 tonne sections. The 20 tonne sections can be launched by Russia, SpaceX, ULA, ESA, Japan , Ukraine, and China. India's launcher has only been tested with two boosters instead of the four needed , so low risk as no new hardware needed. Most of those have also demonstrate docking in space too.

Option 3 - Develop new launch hardware. Don't call us. We'll call you when you get it working.


Note: Use electric propulsion to boost fuel and modules from LEO to GEO /Legrange . This saves a lot of delta V , possibly as much as 50% of the mass you need to get to LEO , so you only need a quick transit to GEO / Legrange for humans to a tested, fuelled spacecraft.


And Mars is just a place to visit and low level colonise, it should not be the main focus for our species. Let's go to the asteroids
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28-04-2017, 01:12   #7
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Let's go to the asteroids
Indeed Capt'n, asteroids may meet mission parameters. Proposed space missions should undergo a cost-benefit analysis, and there should be a clear ROI (Return On Investment), be it potential mineral associated profits or scientific advancements. If interplanetary exploration meets mission parameters, then send robots, not humans, just as they did with Mars.
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28-04-2017, 01:44   #8
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And Mars is just a place to visit and low level colonise, it should not be the main focus for our species. Let's go to the asteroids
Agree. Asteroids now. New OP?
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16-06-2017, 18:02   #9
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Get to the moons of the gas giants as that is where the goldilocks zone will be before we get off this rock the speed they are moving at.

Last edited by Rubecula; 16-06-2017 at 18:03. Reason: spelling
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26-06-2017, 03:43   #10
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Get to the moons of the gas giants as that is where the goldilocks zone will be before we get off this rock the speed they are moving at.
Only Earth exists in "Goldilocks zone" for its solar system. That puts Mars out. Travel to other solar systems? Other Goldilocks zones? Not with today's space travel technology.
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26-06-2017, 15:56   #11
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Only Earth exists in "Goldilocks zone" for its solar system. That puts Mars out. Travel to other solar systems? Other Goldilocks zones? Not with today's space travel technology.
Mars is in the goldilocks zone.

Some of the ice moons of the gas giants sort of create their own type of goldilocks zone in that they have an alternative power source based on the gravitational forces of the gas giant on the moons and aren't as dependant on the sun. They should have ample water available and probably some geothermal events we can tap for heat and power.

They're probably no worse than mars with it's low gravity and not so easy access to water. Just further away.

One thing I wonder about a moon around jupiter. If the moon was tidally locked would there be any gravity bleed from jupiter on the surface of the moon? If I was standing on the far side of the moon would the gravity of the moon be combined with the gravity of jupiter so that you'd feel more gravity on the side of the moon facing away from jupiter?
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26-06-2017, 16:03   #12
 
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Send in the Robots.

Some experients were done showing Potatoes can grow on the red soil, so pack the bots off with a few dozen spuds and a shovel.
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26-06-2017, 18:39   #13
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Mars is in the goldilocks zone.
My error. Thanks for the correction. "Venus and Mars are also in this habitable zone, but aren't currently habitable."
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26-06-2017, 20:44   #14
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One thing I wonder about a moon around jupiter. If the moon was tidally locked would there be any gravity bleed from jupiter on the surface of the moon? If I was standing on the far side of the moon would the gravity of the moon be combined with the gravity of jupiter so that you'd feel more gravity on the side of the moon facing away from jupiter?
Yes, happens here too. You weigh less when the moon is overhead. And when the moon is under you too.
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27-06-2017, 00:34   #15
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as the sunages it gets hotter, and thus the goldilocks zone is slowly moving outward. In the far future it may go out as far as Neptune. By ten though Earth will no longer have any life on it.
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