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Would we be able to send man to mars soon? Or is it impossible?


ThatKerbal
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I'm pretty sure that we have the technology to go to Mars but not the money or political willpower

Exactly.

Our politicans would rather spend billions chaseing goat herders through the ME with drones and spending trillions on half baked social programs.

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Frankly I don't see us getting to Mars much before 2040 perhaps even 2060

In terms of technology, we have probably been in a position to have gone there any time over the last 40 years. Quite simply the money and political will to do it has been the stumbling block every time

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They can think.

Let me reiterate. What could a human do on Mars.. in the field that a rover cannot? .. 10 years from now? Because in that time computers will quadruple ( if not more ) in processing power. True AI won't be achieved by then, but making a curious rover in 2024 will be entirely possible.

We must send humans to Mars. I'm not saying we shouldnt. But only if its to go there and build. Not wave a flag, drive a rover, pick up some rocks and leave. No.. if your going to send humans to Mars they need a proper foundation. All of which can be set by rovers. Habitats with a green house, water drills, power.. all this needs to be setup and running when the first Astronauts get to Mars. Why? So we can STAY.

And all if that needs to be self sufficient. We need to figure out how to use what's on Mars for life support. Meaning.. rovers. Rovers can find underground pockets of water to lay a settlement on. Rovers could drill and tap that water. Rovers can then build a prefab habitat around that. Astronauts get there years later... Ready to roll and there to stay.

I would even go as far as saying rovers could even bury all that for radiation shielding. Or hell even dig tunnels into the side of a mountain. Gravity on Mars is 62% less then Earth. Making such a job very easy. Mining would be a breeze on Mars. ( don't even get me started about the moon lol )

Edited by Motokid600
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Theres still issues that need to be solved before sending men to mars. One of the biggest being bone and muscle loss from zero G.

Bone density loss is probably the real issue out of this pair. When you consider how many martial arts and exercise regimes can produce significant amount of muscle tone and / or bulk without ever going near something as simple as a barbell the whole "we need technology to maintain muscle" argument gets rather rapidly thrown out of the window. Considering the basic level of fitness required to be an astronaut I'd be surprised if most crew members didn't already know this.

Wonder if drugs similar to those used to treat brittle bone disease could be used to cut down on the bone loss? Those particular drugs don't work by causing additional growth of new bone, they leave that to the body and instead interfere with the continual breakdown of bone that the body also undergoes. My money says someone at NASA (or a related agency) has already suggested this and been shot down by some foamingly rabid pencil-pusher.

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Proper exercise is all you need. Granted.. people that have been on Mars for a year returning to Earth would need some rehabilitation. Most likely people returning would have to spend some time in LEO in a centrifuge simulating Earth gravity for said rehab.

The major problem isn't the bone loss its not the muscle loss.. its the heart. Having spent a year on Mars could cause heart failure during reentry.

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Theres still issues that need to be solved before sending men to mars.

There may be issues. There are no issues that cannot be solved by applying today's technology and massive amounts of money. We could have gone to Mars on Apollo or Gemini levels of technology. It would just be insanely expensive to do it.

Let me reiterate. What could a human do on Mars.. in the field that a rover cannot? .. 10 years from now?

Fix the rover when it breaks. Faith 7 was a completely automated craft. It took a thinking, adaptable human to bring it home.

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Faith 7 was launched in 1963. You under estimate the power of the cpu. And I apply much emphasizes on the "10 years from now." Because that's how long it will take if were lucky for something like this to start developing. By then computing tech will have grown a substantial amount. Many time greater then it is today. So you say "Fix the rover when it breaks." Well.. in the future would it be wrong to say the rover could fix itself? And take care of itself? Lets say a wheel starts to act funny. A computer could sense something is wrong before the actual break and deal with the situation however it can.

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And when the part that repairs parts breaks, you write off the machine.

A human, on the other hand, can rewire, rebuild, modify, and jury-rig what he needs. Once we get into the era of reliably self-repairing complex machines, I'll revisit my opinion.

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And when the part that repairs parts breaks, you write off the machine.

A human, on the other hand, can rewire, rebuild, modify, and jury-rig what he needs. Once we get into the era of reliably self-repairing complex machines, I'll revisit my opinion.

So.. what are you saying you'd see humans go to Mars now with our current tech and level of understanding?

To do what? Pick up some rocks? Dig some holes? Wave a flag? "Yay we did it now let's make the six month journey back." ..why?

Edited by Motokid600
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So.. what are you saying you'd see humans go to Mars now with our current tech and level of understanding?

To do what? Pick up some rocks? Dig some holes? Wave a flag? "Yay we did it now let's make the six month journey back." ..why?

"Science isn't about why. It's about why not!" ~Cave Johnson

Joking aside, I think a more realistic Mars mission would consist of several robotic craft that would be launched ahead of the main mission to set up a base camp. Then the astronauts would arrive, finish setup, and live on Mars for the next 1-2 years. Later missions could last even longer, eventually establishing permanently manned outposts.

One of the primary avenues of study that would likely take place while on Mars would be how people react to living on it. Similarly to how the ISS studies humans living in zero-g, Mars would be an excellent testbed for low-g. Not to mention that often the best way to learn how to do something properly is to actually get out there and try to do it.

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NASA definitely has plans, but there are several problems to deal with:

Radiation, we don't have the proper radiation shielding for a year-round trip

Funding, it's why there isn't an outpost on the moon, supposed to be planned for 2018

Crew space, NASA wants to send multiple men, but they would need a large space to move around. Imagine being in a confined space with 3-4 people for one year.

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So.. what are you saying you'd see humans go to Mars now with our current tech and level of understanding?

To do what? Pick up some rocks? Dig some holes? Wave a flag? "Yay we did it now let's make the six month journey back."

A. Yes. You can pick up a lot of rocks and dig a lot of holes during a year long stay. It will make a great comparison to the 0 pounds of rocks brought back from Mars so far. And it will provide a lot of information that we don't have that will make the second landing even better.

B. If not now, then when? If we wait ten years to wait for technology to improve, what do we tell people in ten years, when they want to wait ten years for technology to improve? Columbus could have made it across the Atlantic a lot faster if he had just waited for steamships to be invented. It would be even faster in a 747. (It would be even faster in a sub-orbital ballistic passenger craft that hasn't been invented yet. Which is obviously why no-one ever crosses oceans these days.)

..why?

Because we can. Because we must. Because why not?

We can send rovers. Rovers can start preparing a site, start filling water and oxygen tanks, and creating fuel out of local resources. That's a great idea, and I fully support it. But we do not need to rely only on rovers. We can wait and wait and wait until the technology improves to some arbitrary goal, or we can start doing what we need to with what we have available. While we're working towards that goal, guess what? Technology will continue to improve. We can incorporate those improvements as we work towards the goal.

Or we could just give up. Someone will do it later. There's other stuff we need to do now. Space... exploration... pushing the boundries out ever further? Yeah. It can wait. That's why I drive past an unused Saturn V every day. We've got LEO, and that's good enough.

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We've got LEO, and that's good enough.

To be honest, it pretty much is. Most of what we need to go to space for relates to things here on Earth. That's certainly where the money is.

For science exploration beyond Earth the robots are doing a great job. Manned missions to the rest of the solar system really won't become attractive until we've got decent propulsion. It's a bit of a non-starter with our current propulsion technology. We could go using chemical rockets, but it would be of pretty dubious value IMO.

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It not that they wont. Its just that it wont be till the mid 2020's.

They have a very limited budget. The US government would rather spend the money on bombs, aid to states and groups with dubious motives and half baked welfare systems than spend it on space and since the 70's its budget has gotten smaller and smaller. The average Twinkie eating pop idol watching Merikan just doesn't want there tax money spent on space.

The U.S. government is not a singular entity. It is a giant, multi-headed, out of control beast. You really don't know who is to blame.

I have a big problem with this thread in general however, and that is :

Shouldn't we be more worried about giving everyone access to toilets and running water on this planet before we worry about going to another? There is somewhere in the neighborhood of 2.5 billion people on this planet that do not have access to a toilet. That is disturbing. I wonder why there is so much discontent and war in the world today?

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Shouldn't we be more worried about giving everyone access to toilets and running water on this planet before we worry about going to another?

Of course, but I disagree that's it's spending on space in particular that's preventing this from happening.

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Shouldn't we be more worried about giving everyone access to toilets and running water on this planet before we worry about going to another?

Keep in mind that once asteroid mining starts up (and it will hopefully do so in the next 10-20 years), we'll likely see a sudden drop in the cost of many raw building materials. This will, in turn, allow for the cheaper construction of toilets for everyone.

Plus if we spend all our time and resources trying to achieve equal living conditions on this planet and end up getting hit by an extinction-level NEO because we weren't prepared for it, then would we really have accomplished anything?

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Shouldn't we be more worried about giving everyone access to toilets and running water on this planet before we worry about going to another? There is somewhere in the neighborhood of 2.5 billion people on this planet that do not have access to a toilet. That is disturbing.

Yes, so what is the plan to fix it? What's the ETA on getting everybody on Earth fixed up so that we can move on to other projects? And if you're that disturbed by it, why are you posting it to a video game forum instead of laying sewer lines for people who have never even heard of the internet?

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[quote name=Thrfoot;909808

Joking aside' date=' I think a more realistic Mars mission would consist of several robotic craft that would be launched ahead of the main mission to set up a base camp. Then the astronauts would arrive, finish setup, and live on Mars for the next 1-2 years. Later missions could last even longer, eventually establishing permanently manned outposts.

That's almost word for word what MarsOne is planning. Sending teams of 2 every 2 years after the first people.

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Actually, I believe it would be teams of four, but your point still stands. I remember seeing something a little while ago, and it went very similarly to this:

"You know how much funding the US military gets each year? Several hundred Billion American dollars. Do you know what NASA's yearly budget is? About 15 billion. So stop complaining about how space is wasting your taxpayer dollars."

JFK:

"We choose to go, not because it is easy, but because it is hard."

Simply, I believe that yes, in the next decade or so, humanity will go to mars. The trip there is around the same as a stay on the ISS. All of the water you would need to carry could be used as radiation shielding. With the SLS we could easily assemble a ship that dwarfs Copernicus, in an equal number of launches, to go to mars, and with that lifting capability we would be fully capable of sending probes directly to other planets. (Not that we would want to. It would be ridiculously expensive, and be the rough equivalent of putting a probe on a Vega, and putting that on top of an SLS.) Not only that, but we would go because of one of the major reasons that drives humanity. Because we can. And these missions would be doing exactly what other people have mentioned, surveying, SCIENCEing, and understanding interplanetary travel better, along with developing improved capabilities to cope and live on other worlds. Our best hope for this lies with SpaceX and Elon Musk. Elon wants to retire on mars, so in the end I expect he will get there, whether or not MarsONE makes it. And, everything they are doing is for this goal. With SpaceX and the SLS we would be able to go forth and truly expand. The technology for all of this exists, or is in development as we speak. IMHO, it is not a matter of if, it is a matter of when.

Edited by Deathsoul097
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I foresee an international effort for Mars exploration. ESA has been making some awesome progress in all areas. China now wants a piece of the pie, and they are proving to have much tenacity with their recent missions. India just sent their first orbiter to Mars. Space X is an American catalyst for this mission, for our country. But right now MarsOne is the most promising proposed and thought-out plan, and that's being headed by a private European company, opening up contracts for different parts of the mission to whoever wants to tackle it.

And to whoever complained about money wasted on a space program, countless technologies and conveniences you use everyday have derived from space exploration research. Start reading up on it, it's fascinating. If we can learn how to survive on a barren hostile planet, we can apply those breakthroughs to our own planet. Example, of we can have a robotic tended garden/farm on Mars, we can literally grow crops on any square foot of land on our Earth.

Edited by RedKosmos
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