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metalAZZman

Manned mission to mars

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OK, I think we've solved the problem of getting there. Now, here's the real question: how do we pay for it?

Bake sale (obviously).

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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?

Good point, I saw the aurora bit on a TV documentary so that would've been a bit of creative embellishment of the truth... :P

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OK, I think we've solved the problem of getting there. Now, here's the real question: how do we pay for it?

The cost of such a mission would be spread out over about ten years, with research and test flights taking up the first eight or so. Given that many plans proposed to go to Mars and return for about $20-50 billion, that's roughly $5 billion a year. While that sounds like an insane amount of money, it's only a bit more than a quarter of NASA's current annual budget.

With international cooperation it could be even easier to cover the cost of the mission, all that stands in the way is politics.

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About the technological assessment: large spaceships as those seen in games or movies aren't researched into,

Because those are fantasy.

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

I suspect you do not speak from experiency in reality.

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Because those are fantasy.

powered flight was a fantasy 150 years ago.

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powered flight was a fantasy 150 years ago.

And that, good sirs and ladies, is not a proper argument.

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And that, good sirs and ladies, is not a proper argument.

that is not an argument, that is a counterargument against declaring something 'just a fantasy' w/o other justification than "it has not been done yet"

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The reason why we don't use huge orbital shipyards to construct interplanetary behemoths is that it would cost so damn much. One of the main reasons we haven't yet been to Mars is that in the late '80's the US government asked NASA for a report on the feasibility of returning permanently to the Moon and then heading onto Mars. This study was written up in the "90-Day Study", and gave an estimated cost of about $500 billion. This plan called for a huge space station to be built in orbit where they could build and repair spacecraft as well as the stuff that the ISS does now. The construction of the station is where the large majority of the cost was estimated to come from. Even the ISS, much smaller than the planned station, has still cost $150 billion.

The government wasn't happy with the huge price tag, and cancelled the plans in favor for the mainly robotic missions we have done since. They thought that any Mars mission would have to be as expensive and grand as the one in the study, so they steered well clear of the idea.

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I think much of the required food/fuel issues could be solved by sending more than one rocket. Once you get past a certain size, launching two things on two rockets is more efficient than launching 1 big thing on one big rocket.

It does mean there is more room for error though. However, I think that doing it like this could mean that the crewed rocket could use more mass for shielding for example.

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One way to raise the money for this would be for America to stop making pennies (Ive never been to america, but I would expect that no one would use them, as no one uses the 10c coins in new zealand, so why would anyone use a 1c coin)..they each cost 1.7 cents to produce, meaning a loss of $1billion per year, this wont do it all, but it will help.

Also the reason I said lead before, was because thats what a guy from nasa said in a video I watched, and I know it works (from personal experience in radiation shielding (this sounds cool, lol, but is kinda an exageration, really, it was maybe a 1 hour experiment with low level gamma radiation, and a maybe 30 year old geiger counter)), and doesnt take up much room (comparatively)...and I didn't even think about water, I might actually go and test that today (I love being able to do this lol)

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powered flight was a fantasy 150 years ago.

That's a bit of a silly argument. Waving a wand around and turning a rat into a goblet is fantasy, does that mean in 150 years we'll all be doing that as well as riding around on broomsticks and fighting dragons?

To quote the original post this was about, "large spaceships as those seen in games or movies aren't researched into", well this isn't true in the context it was intended. People have been studying all sorts of ideas for creating large scale spaceships and we've found that a few ideas are hypothetically maybe possible, but those that are are also extremely expensive and often not practical on any level. Game and movie spaceships almost always have next to no research in their design at all because they're not supposed to be scientific, they're just meant to look cool. Pure fantasy. So studying them is pointless. There are exceptions to the rule, such as the Venture Star from Avatar, which while apparently an overly optimistic estimate of it's potential capabilities, is in fact quite a realistic design. Of course, it is also extremely expensive and relies on the fact that they know there is an abundance of a room temperature superconductor at the target planet to be considered worth it's use.

Edited by Kerbface

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powered flight was a fantasy 150 years ago.

There is a difference between a fantasy and a theoretical possibility. 150 years ago powered flight was the latter. Actually, Roger Bacon predicted powered flight around 1250 (!) in his Epistola de secretis operibus artis et naturae.

As a side note - it has been probably mentioned on this forum multiple times, but I heartily recommend both Rocketpunk Manifesto blog and Project Rho Atomic Rockets website. Both contain great deal of "what ifs" about future of space exploration, feasibility of various theoretical concepts, etc, all supported by some solid research. A must read for those who belive Imperial Star Destroyers would be even remotely practical.

Edited by aandred
Poor, poor English

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There is a difference between a fantasy and a theoretical possibility. 150 years ago powered flight was the latter. Actually, Roger Bacon predicted powered flight around 1250 (!) in his Epistola de secretis operibus artis et naturae.

As a side note - it has been probably mentioned on this forum multiple times, but I heartily recommend both Rocketpunk Manifesto blog and Project Rho Atomic Rockets website. Both contain great deal of "what ifs" about future of space exploration, feasibility of various theoretical concepts, etc, all supported by some solid research. A must read for those who belive Imperial Star Destroyers would be even remotely practical.

150 years ago they had enough knowledge to understand that the problem with powered flight was TWR, you needed an light and strong engine in an airplane. This was solved then the gasoline engine was getting good enough.

Main issue with space is mostly the huge launch cost, but also the lack of interest. Satellites are useful and is doable with current launchers. Everything else is pure science and have limited budgets.

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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.

Because those are fantasy.
powered flight was a fantasy 150 years ago.
That's a bit of a silly argument. Waving a wand around and turning a rat into a goblet is fantasy, does that mean in 150 years we'll all be doing that as well as riding around on broomsticks and fighting dragons?
There is a difference between a fantasy and a theoretical possibility. 150 years ago powered flight was the latter. Actually, Roger Bacon predicted powered flight around 1250 (!) in his Epistola de secretis operibus artis et naturae.

Are you suggesting that large ships as physically impossible as magic wands ? Wanna see where you or somebody else derived that the upper limit of physically possible spaceship size is a few dozen meter or so...

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Um guys on the "earth to mars" issue. Have you all forgotten the Variable Specifc Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket? The VASMIR is estimated to give a 39 day transite time. That's fast enough for astronauts to make a 5-month round trip. Sure there are a lot of things to still be ironed out with the design but its the best we got. And the most effiecant we got.

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Are you suggesting that large ships as physically impossible as magic wands ? Wanna see where you or somebody else derived that the upper limit of physically possible spaceship size is a few dozen meter or so...

The original quote was "large spaceships as those seen in games or movies aren't researched into". As mentioned, larger ships than those available today have been researched, but ships from games and movies are usually pure fantasy. This has already been explained in previous answers which you are partially quoting.

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Um guys on the "earth to mars" issue. Have you all forgotten the Variable Specifc Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket? The VASMIR is estimated to give a 39 day transite time. That's fast enough for astronauts to make a 5-month round trip. Sure there are a lot of things to still be ironed out with the design but its the best we got. And the most effiecant we got.

VASIMR sounds great, but I kind of doubt it will ever be getting us to Mars in 39 days. The reason why is that the 39 day VASIMR requires a 200MW(electric) power source. For the 39 day scenario this kind of power is not achievable with anything like current technology in terms of solar. It is certainly more possible with nuclear reactors but 200MW is 33,000 times more powerful than any space nuclear reactor ever flown, the Soviet era Topaz reactors. The biggest American space nuclear reactor was SNAP-10 and that one only managed 500W(electric). I think that the 39 days claim also assumes reactor power to weight ratios far in excess of anything achieved so far. I think a 200MW space nuclear reactor is doable with lots of research and development work, but unfortunately none of this is currently being funded. Since Frank Chang Diaz is a rocket scientist I'm sure he is well aware of this, but it seems like he is making a pitch for a much smaller 1MW solar (this would still be a football field sized array) VASIMR cis-lunar cargo ferry; not very fast, but efficient at transferring big payloads. Without a power source VASIMR is not going to get us to Mars. IMO it is a better idea to resurrect NERVA...

Edited by architeuthis

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We HAVE successfully cryogenically frozen a dog and have taken it back out. I imagine cryo-stasis may be an option, if we can automate the insertion and recovery process. Or perhaps we do it like in 2001, with a doctor/nurse staying out. It would still drastically cut down food requirements, provided the controversialness of such things as cryogenic freezing do not get in the way.

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We HAVE successfully cryogenically frozen a dog and have taken it back out. I imagine cryo-stasis may be an option, if we can automate the insertion and recovery process. Or perhaps we do it like in 2001, with a doctor/nurse staying out. It would still drastically cut down food requirements, provided the controversialness of such things as cryogenic freezing do not get in the way.

I'm sorry but [Citation Needed]

this is what i found http://www.alcor.org/FAQs/faq02.html#revived

Q: Has an animal ever been cryopreserved and revived?

A: Small roundworms (nematodes) and possibly some insects can survive temperatures below -100°C. However, since scientists are still struggling to cryopreserve many individual organs, it should be obvious that no large animal has ever been cryopreserved and revived. Such an achievement is still likely decades in the future.

Frogs, turtles, and some other animals can survive "freezing" at temperatures a few degrees below 0°C. These animals are frozen in the sense that significant fractions of their body water converts to ice. However they are not truly cryopreserved. The fluid between ice crystals is still liquid, chemistry is slowed, not stopped, and the state can only be sustained for a few months. If these animals were cooled to temperatures required for true long-term stability (i.e. below the glass transition temperature) they would not survive.

Edited by Tangent

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Going to mars with both chemical and NTR rockets is perfectly possible but starting manned program to mars require more money (still not much vs money that military projects spend every year) and public support witch both lack today.

Also "mars to stay" aren't really bad idea after all - flying all the way to mars only to go back in closest launch window is a waste, but permanent "colony" will require also much more launches before initial mission, so most base components will be waiting for assembly (or first stage of assembly will start using heavy rover) when initial crew will be launched - people can bear living in small space in short term mission but, Mars One idea to send people to live in small thin-can and make them wait for next modules (with people too so, not add up too much space) is at least concerning :/.

Also I believe that inflatable modules are the future building bricks of both mars and lunar habitats.

cameronmars.jpg

EDIT_1: shorter travel time require larger ÃŽâ€V with reduce payload size (not viable for cargo missions) and also add danger of overshooting the mars and be the furthest from earth coffin record holder (no free return).

EDIT_2: about hibernation... I think that cryostasis is a pure fantasy for now, but ability of hibernating humans (like bears do) become very promising recently.

If successful, it could reduce life support needs and nearly stop bone and muscle loss (larger concern than radiation) during duration of flight, but I guess that still some very "lucky" man (or two) will must stay without hibernation for 7-8 months :P.

Similar technology could help sick people ,so they would reduce strength loss (shorter rehabilitation) when pinned to bed for long time or people in deep trauma (serious cases, soldiers with heavy wounds and transport between hospitals) to extend time of possible transport or reduce damage over time.

Also overly fat people could use hibernation therapy (you burn body fat during the process) to lost body weight \o/.

Edited by karolus10

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As much as I enjoy reading about various manned Mars mission plans, rationally I think robotic exploration is really the way to go in the near future (perhaps until 2050). We could do a lot more science at a much smaller cost with robotic missions. With manned missions, the vast majority of the mass sent to Mars are to simply to keep astronauts alive. There is also the strong concern about bio-contamination before we figured out if Mars has / had indigenous life forms - with manned missions bio-contamination is almost unavoidable. Thus for Mars I think we should really focus on developing a cheap & robust sample return mission architecture and execute several such missions to return samples from multiple sites (including subsurface). Not nearly as exciting (for the public) as landing people on Mars, but far more effective & realistic.

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Robotic Rovers and all variety of automated vehicles are the future of space exploration, even in missions with people on site, many jobs can be done by telepresence, so robotic rovers will be more used than now.

Also it will be largest fail in human history when people would land to set up their first base and soon after figure out that this is wrong place for the outpost...

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The original quote was "large spaceships as those seen in games or movies aren't researched into". As mentioned, larger ships than those available today have been researched, but ships from games and movies are usually pure fantasy. This has already been explained in previous answers which you are partially quoting.

.

Maybe I've just misread the original post, thinking it was just about the size, not the other wacky stuff, which, I agree, it is impossible to begin with.

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You just need to trick the pentagon into thinking there is a tactical advantage of having a military base on Mars, and we'll be there in 5 years.

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Large ships are just a expensive, white elephant that serves no scientific purpose at all. Habitation Modules and ERC are the way to go.

Karolus10: Double posting, second post has been removed and merged bellow - please using "Edit Post option", thank You.

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Robotic Rovers and all variety of automated vehicles are the future of space exploration, even in missions with people on site, many jobs can be done by telepresence, so robotic rovers will be more used than now.

Also it will be largest fail in human history when people would land to set up their first base and soon after figure out that this is wrong place for the outpost...

I agree. Personally, I support the idea of using a base on Deimnos, to control robotic exploration on Mars. This is already a planned mission proposed by Lockheed, and chances are in its favor that it will happen. Mission date is around 2035, I believe. Won't find much on it online.

Sastifies the public with a interplanetary base, and keeps dem rovers rolling.

Edited by karolus10

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