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metalAZZman

Manned mission to mars

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Ok so I have been seeing, posts, on these forums, as well as various other websites, with people complaining about why we havn't had a manned mission to mars yet..we got to the moon, in the sixties, in a tin can, surely we can go to mars, we have rovers in mars, why not men, so I would like to say some reasons as to why we aren't there yet, and welcome anyone who can give ideas on how we can get there

Let's begin...

First of all, the trip to mars is approximately 8.5 months i believe, and in order to return, the astronauts must wait there for 26 months for the launch window for a 8.5 month return journey..so whats that?, 33 months?...33 months is a long time to go without food, so of course you must bring food..a lot of food..however, we have the ability to grow our own food while on the way there, and while there, and on the way back, but Im not quite sure how well plants grow in space (They do grow, I think, but I don't know quite how well), but the human body cant survive that well on only plants so you need other nutritional space food (I believe NASA and such know what to eat in space)..but thats still a lot of food...so yea...a BIG rocket is required to carry that amount of food..so thats food sorted.

Now, Radiation...quite a big poblem in space I believe..so as far as I know, the best way to stop radiation deaths, is to have a lead lined room on the ship..easy enough..but lead is heavy...so a big rocket is required yet again.

Next, muscle, and bone decay (or whatever....less dense bones and weak muscles) and other "weightlessness" caused problems...for 33 months is going to be quite bad, we can delay it for a while, but it will inevitably be deadly (or something close to deadly)....:we'll just leave this out of the final story

Fuel...Its somewhat easy enough to have enough fuel to get there..but carrying the fuel to get back is reeeeeeally difficult (This is what you should think hardest about, as solving this problem will get you a nobel prize...or 50 of them)

now due to the fact that its 2:20am I am rather tired, so I will just end this here, with these major issues (worry about the other problems after you've solved these ones)

Now Im going to sit back and watch you argue amongst yourselves (or sensibly collaborate ideas) (I may participate if I find something interesting to comment on, or if when I wake up, I realise I made some stupid mistakes or something)..go!!

(also don't yell at me please, if I got anything wrong ok, Im close enough..lol)

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Mars Direct. N'uff said.

Hmmmm...I wonder where you got that from... :P Unless you actually knew about it before I mentioned it on the Space Shuttle thread, in which case, good thinking!

Next, muscle, and bone decay (or whatever....less dense bones and weak muscles) and other "weightlessness" caused problems...for 33 months is going to be quite bad, we can delay it for a while, but it will inevitably be deadly (or something close to deadly)....:we'll just leave this out of the final story

In the Mars Direct plan they planned to tether the crew module to the spent Mars injection stage, and then spin it around at about 3rpm to simulate gravity. This could be used to acclimatise the crew to Martian gravity before they even got there.

Gravity= Solved

Fuel...Its somewhat easy enough to have enough fuel to get there..but carrying the fuel to get back is reeeeeeally difficult (This is what you should think hardest about, as solving this problem will get you a nobel prize...or 50 of them)

The plan also called for the Earth return craft to be sent out and landed on Mars a few years before the crew launched. It would then produce it's own fuel (methane and oxygen) using a bit of hydrogen that it brought along and the carbon dioxide in Mars' atmosphere. This would also give the crew fuel to drive around a small vehicle on the surface, letting them explore much further. Now... about that Nobel Prize... :wink:

Fuel= Solved

Now, Radiation...quite a big poblem in space I believe..so as far as I know, the best way to stop radiation deaths, is to have a lead lined room on the ship..easy enough..but lead is heavy...so a big rocket is required yet again.

For the entire mission, it was calculated that the radiation exposure would add up to about 55 rem, which would increase the chance of cancer in the body by only 1%. It is still a risk, but compared to the chances of an average person getting cancer (20%) an extra percent isn't too much to worry about.

Radiation= Kinda solved

33 months is a long time to go without food, so of course you must bring food..a lot of food..however, we have the ability to grow our own food while on the way there, and while there, and on the way back, but Im not quite sure how well plants grow in space (They do grow, I think, but I don't know quite how well), but the human body cant survive that well on only plants so you need other nutritional space food (I believe NASA and such know what to eat in space)..but thats still a lot of food...so yea...a BIG rocket is required to carry that amount of food..so thats food sorted.

Food really doesn't take up that much space, especially space food. The food that the crew will eat on the surface could even be dried, like pasta or something, as they can produce lot's of water from the return craft's fuel processor. It is also possible to grow some plants on the surface, but they would need to be in greenhouses because of the low temperatures.

Food= Solved

As you can see, all the major problems have been sorted out, it just needs funding and support from NASA or ESA etc.

Hope this has answered most of your questions, and not killed the thread too much, more ideas are welcome! :P

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It is possible to go to Mars, jump in your Tardis, go to July 1959 and tell the people that there will be man on the moon in 10 years. You will be laughed at.

Technology made us cars, airplanes, the internet, medicine, houses, everything around us. Sure technology is capable of bringing us to Mars.

The problem is that technology needs money, and politicians rather keep that to themselves...

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I think the problem with the radiation, is not so much the slight overall increase, its more the fact that if a solar flare flares (not sure how to word that), then the radiation from that causes death within a couple days (or somewhere in the order of magnitude), which is disastrous.

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It is possible to go to Mars, jump in your Tardis, go to July 1959 and tell the people that there will be man on the moon in 10 years. You will be laughed at.

Technology made us cars, airplanes, the internet, medicine, houses, everything around us. Sure technology is capable of bringing us to Mars.

The problem is that technology needs money, and politicians rather keep that to themselves...

Politicians are the worst asses anyway, quite straightforward.

About the technological assessment: large spaceships as those seen in games or movies aren't researched into, which is really stupid if I'm honest with you. Today's manned space travel research goes primarily into tiny confined capsules.

It would be much, much better to invest money into massive shipyards which directly blast huge steel constructs into orbit, where they are primarily fueled and head off for the Asteroid Belt (to begin construction of a real space-shipyard which uses the locally available metals both for itself and for the ships it will once commission).

Instead we sit on our very own Earth, constructing oversized ICBMs as means of getting into space, and fighting against each other rather than being a progressive species which aims for the stars. Its shuttering to look at humanity: bureaucracy rules over our resources only to greedily take them (the money) for themselves.

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It would be pretty bad, but the Mars Direct crew module was going to have a "Storm shelter" in the center of the ship to protect the crew from most of the radiation. Still a bit of a problem though.

There are some unrelated plans to use superconducting magnets to create an artificial magnetic shield to shelter a spacecraft, but it would use a serious amount of power and would need something like a small nuclear reactor to power it. On the upside, the spacecraft would have it's own auroras, which would be pretty neat.

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large spaceships as those seen in games or movies aren't researched into, which is really stupid if I'm honest with you. Today's manned space travel research goes primarily into tiny confined capsules.

It would be much, much better to invest money into massive shipyards which directly blast huge steel constructs into orbit...

This is because we just don't have the capability to launch things like that into orbit. The rocket equation is such a harsh mistress that launching anything of moderate size requires a truly titanic rocket. The only concepts we have for viably launching large masses have sat untouched for decades because they're pretty goddamn scary in ways that regular rockets aren't.

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Ok so I have been seeing, posts, on these forums, as well as various other websites, with people complaining about why we havn't had a manned mission to mars yet..we got to the moon, in the sixties, in a tin can, surely we can go to mars, we have rovers in mars, why not men, so I would like to say some reasons as to why we aren't there yet, and welcome anyone who can give ideas on how we can get there

Let's begin...

First of all, the trip to mars is approximately 8.5 months i believe, and in order to return, the astronauts must wait there for 26 months for the launch window for a 8.5 month return journey..so whats that?, 33 months?...33 months is a long time to go without food, so of course you must bring food..a lot of food..however, we have the ability to grow our own food while on the way there, and while there, and on the way back, but Im not quite sure how well plants grow in space (They do grow, I think, but I don't know quite how well), but the human body cant survive that well on only plants so you need other nutritional space food (I believe NASA and such know what to eat in space)..but thats still a lot of food...so yea...a BIG rocket is required to carry that amount of food..so thats food sorted.

Now, Radiation...quite a big poblem in space I believe..so as far as I know, the best way to stop radiation deaths, is to have a lead lined room on the ship..easy enough..but lead is heavy...so a big rocket is required yet again.

Next, muscle, and bone decay (or whatever....less dense bones and weak muscles) and other "weightlessness" caused problems...for 33 months is going to be quite bad, we can delay it for a while, but it will inevitably be deadly (or something close to deadly)....:we'll just leave this out of the final story

Fuel...Its somewhat easy enough to have enough fuel to get there..but carrying the fuel to get back is reeeeeeally difficult (This is what you should think hardest about, as solving this problem will get you a nobel prize...or 50 of them)

now due to the fact that its 2:20am I am rather tired, so I will just end this here, with these major issues (worry about the other problems after you've solved these ones)

Now Im going to sit back and watch you argue amongst yourselves (or sensibly collaborate ideas) (I may participate if I find something interesting to comment on, or if when I wake up, I realise I made some stupid mistakes or something)..go!!

(also don't yell at me please, if I got anything wrong ok, Im close enough..lol)

They could send a refueling station along with the lander, but on seperate rockets

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If there was a craft intended to land and launch from Mars to dock with an orbital craft, what sort of craft would it be and how would it be made?

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The only concepts we have for viably launching large masses have sat untouched for decades because they're pretty goddamn scary in ways that regular rockets aren't.

= we are a species of cowards.

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When designing a space mission, you need to work from top to bottom.

1) First a bare bones orbital capsule capable of rendez-vous and docking from low Mars orbit (LMO) to the Mars Transfer Vehicle (MTV). This would probably weigh between 5 and 10 tons.

1) First the Mars ascent stage. Launching from Mars would be only slightly easier than launching from Earth. A manned launcher would probably need to be half the size of a manned LEO launcher like Soyuz or the Saturn 1B. Something in the order of 100-150 tons might be capable of launching a 10 ton spacecraft to LMO.

2) A Mars landing stage will need to land that 150 ton launcher safely on the ground. I'm guessing it would need a heatshield and LOTS of retro rockets. Parachutes wouldn't be practical for something this size. It would need to be at least as big as the ascent stage, if not bigger. Lets count 300 tons for whole lander.

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= we are a species of cowards.

And I'm glad we are. At least we're alive, maybe not on Mars, but alive.

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And I'm glad we are. At least we're alive, maybe not on Mars, but alive.

there are more efficient ways how to stay alive than cowardness :wink:

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You wouldn't do ONE huge rocket! That thing would look like a couple Saturn-V's taped together! (Even though I love the thought of that :rolleyes:) This Interplanetary Craft would be assembled in LEO. Here's what it looks like just to do an unmanned FLYBY of the Moon.

Take a look on Youtube, there are plenty of videos in regards to the Orion Spacecraft heading to Mars.

Edited by drewbdoo2
To include more information

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It would be pretty bad, but the Mars Direct crew module was going to have a "Storm shelter" in the center of the ship to protect the crew from most of the radiation. Still a bit of a problem though.

There are some unrelated plans to use superconducting magnets to create an artificial magnetic shield to shelter a spacecraft, but it would use a serious amount of power and would need something like a small nuclear reactor to power it. On the upside, the spacecraft would have it's own auroras, which would be pretty neat.

I doubt the self-generated Auroras, since those are atmospheric particles getting ionized by radiation. Your spacecraft has no external atmosphere, right? But other than that, yeah, solar storms can kill people, but that is solved by putting mass (it pretty much doesn't matter what kind of mass, just the weight, so don't obsess with lead) between you and the radiation.

The magnetic shielding is a much more exotic and less explored idea, and IMO a dead end: you end up taking up more mass with the powerplant than with a radiation shelter, and you still have no protection against neutron radiation (which is the one produced by, among others, the nuclear reactor powering the shielding)

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When designing a space mission, you need to work from top to bottom.

1) First a bare bones orbital capsule capable of rendez-vous and docking from low Mars orbit (LMO) to the Mars Transfer Vehicle (MTV). This would probably weigh between 5 and 10 tons.

1) First the Mars ascent stage. Launching from Mars would be only slightly easier than launching from Earth. A manned launcher would probably need to be half the size of a manned LEO launcher like Soyuz or the Saturn 1B. Something in the order of 100-150 tons might be capable of launching a 10 ton spacecraft to LMO.

2) A Mars landing stage will need to land that 150 ton launcher safely on the ground. I'm guessing it would need a heatshield and LOTS of retro rockets. Parachutes wouldn't be practical for something this size. It would need to be at least as big as the ascent stage, if not bigger. Lets count 300 tons for whole lander.

Wow, that is a worst case, right? I mean, most Nasa studies put it between 50-100mT at entry (depending on what it exactly is i.e., Mars Direct's ERV, DRM's MAV, etc). The ascent capsule is usually closer to 25mT, propulsion included.

Rune. I you want sources, I recommend Encyclopedia Astronautica. (That's the entry on NASA's Mars Excursion Vehicle, a 1967 study on Mars missions, <50mT)

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I doubt the self-generated Auroras, since those are atmospheric particles getting ionized by radiation. Your spacecraft has no external atmosphere, right? But other than that, yeah, solar storms can kill people, but that is solved by putting mass (it pretty much doesn't matter what kind of mass, just the weight, so don't obsess with lead) between you and the radiation.

The magnetic shielding is a much more exotic and less explored idea, and IMO a dead end: you end up taking up more mass with the powerplant than with a radiation shelter, and you still have no protection against neutron radiation (which is the one produced by, among others, the nuclear reactor powering the shielding)

Since water is a great shield against radiation, would it be plausible just to have some sort of inflatable bladder in the walls of the chamber that can be filled up with the water already being used on the rest of the ship when needed, meaning only the door would need shielding? Or would that make the water permanently undrinkable? I saw that XKCD thing about being able to swim in a nuclear reactor tank so I thought the radiation might only be a temporary thing.

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Since water is a great shield against radiation, would it be plausible just to have some sort of inflatable bladder in the walls of the chamber that can be filled up with the water already being used on the rest of the ship when needed, meaning only the door would need shielding? Or would that make the water permanently undrinkable? I saw that XKCD thing about being able to swim in a nuclear reactor tank so I thought the radiation might only be a temporary thing.

Sir, you have just independently re-discovered the currently accepted best method. :)

You also use other mission consumables (like food), but water is the best because you recycle it (so you shielding doesn't get thinner with time). And when hit by radiation, neither hydrogen nor oxygen turn into dangerous isotopes (they don't turn radioactive, in layman's terms). Just make sure it stays distilled pure water, any metal impurities on it will turn into nasty stuff.

Rune. Nothing new under the sky.

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Not that people are too afraid to die now, it's because of power, money and reputation, we are also more "civilized" now, we are at peacetime, one of the most if not the most peaceful times in human history, anything that can lead to death of another human being is being frowned upon, crime, war, accidents, etc

They can't send VERY dangerous or one-way missions to mars because majority of the people would get angry, protest, retaliate, cry, react, etc. Corporations and Governments will fall if the people hate them, they would lose power. That's why if you're going to mars, you have to do it with the least possible risk in the eyes of many, the astronauts have to survive. Which is much, much harder to do. look at Apollo 1 and the two Space Shuttle Disasters, It almost stopped us from going to the moon and continuing the STS program.

Money is another problem, the Apollo programs were scrapped because of budget concerns, money is just an illusion created by man to regulate and control the majority of the people, We have the manpower, We have the resources, We have the technology, We already have it all, but most people likes to add an imaginary thing called "money" to limit their capabilities

Corporations and Countries obviously could have sent people to mars in the 70s, but they didn't, for those reasons. Our civilization is built on greediness.

During the times when we explored the earth, many people have died exploring them, Magellan's expedition circumnavigated the world in three years, he died while doing it, but his expedition still suceeded and he became part of history.

Now, we want to explore the universe without even dying. that's pretty hard

Edited by lyndonguitar

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Sir, you have just independently re-discovered the currently accepted best method. :)

You also use other mission consumables (like food), but water is the best because you recycle it (so you shielding doesn't get thinner with time). And when hit by radiation, neither hydrogen nor oxygen turn into dangerous isotopes (they don't turn radioactive, in layman's terms). Just make sure it stays distilled pure water, any metal impurities on it will turn into nasty stuff.

Rune. Nothing new under the sky.

Well I guess that makes it easy, so why are people so worried about making heavy radiation shielding?

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If there was a craft intended to land and launch from Mars to dock with an orbital craft, what sort of craft would it be and how would it be made?

Just wanted to ask this again since people seem to not have noticed it.

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Well I guess that makes it easy, so why are people so worried about making heavy radiation shielding?

Well, simple doesn't mean easy. On the one hand, the fact that the mass is water doesn't mean you need any less mass, even though you use it for other ends (the astronauts can probably take as many showers as the recycling system can process). And second, nobody is 100% sure of how much is enough. On the one hand, there is the people that say that if you try this at a solar minimum, there is a good chance you can just brave it out without any shielding (close to the maximum career limits for astronauts, though). And on the other extreme, 10-20mT of shielding per square meter will let you have radiation levels lower then Earth's surface in the middle of a solar flare (useful for colonies making babies). An infinite range between those two, so pick how much you want. But a decent one is on the tens of tons order of magnitude, for small crews that can hang in a very tight place.

Just wanted to ask this again since people seem to not have noticed it.

It's just what Nibb31 and I were discussing, Mars landers and their weights. I already linked to one, but there have been dozens of proposed landers: NASA's Design Reference Missions usually sketch one, and there are plenty of other alternatives. If you want to go old school, Von Braun's winged landers (which are based on erroneous parameters for Mars' atmosphere) are very "Buck "Rogers". Mars direct goes one step (or several) further and lands the Earth Return Vehicle to fuel it with ISRU.

Rune. But that's a tin can without radiation shelter to brave the 8 month journey in, IMO.

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It's just what Nibb31 and I were discussing, Mars landers and their weights. I already linked to one, but there have been dozens of proposed landers: NASA's Design Reference Missions usually sketch one, and there are plenty of other alternatives. If you want to go old school, Von Braun's winged landers (which are based on erroneous parameters for Mars' atmosphere) are very "Buck "Rogers". Mars direct goes one step (or several) further and lands the Earth Return Vehicle to fuel it with ISRU.

Oh yeah, sorry, I must have missed that. I'll have a read of that link.

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