DerpenWolf

Is inspiration mars more possible than expected? Also how do you think it should be done?

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There is a huge difference between making footprints and planting a flag, and making a colony that will grow on its own.

Reaching a new place may have taken new technology, as now, but that new place was immediately habitable and livable.

That is not so now, and that is the major difference.

Modern society does have more production capacity, yet that is not sufficient, because the differences are so much greater.

There may be a 1000x the number of people, and per capita the people may be 100x more productive... yet we need more zeros to make up for the greater challenges.

The previous cited examples of past exploration are also not really analagous.

The problem wasn't the technology of the vehicles, it was the knowledge of what was out there.

In the past, they didn't know what was out there, but they'd go out to the limits of what their transportation could achieve - and sometimes they found some new place.

Now its reversed for us: We can see out there.... we know mars is there, we know eris is there. Its not like we needed to fling spacecraft into the void until they happened upon these places. We just don't have a reasonable means to get there.

People never sailed to America before columbus not because the ships weren't capable of it (indeed, viking ships managed it), but because they had no reason to do so, because as far as they knew, there was nothing out there.

For centuries... economics was such that those that had the ships didn't send them out without an idea of how it would benefit them (trade, conquest, etc).

Columbus only came to America because he was stupid and calculated the diameter of the world wrong, and thought it would be more economic to go west to get to India.

People went west on the American frontier, because they knew there were resources ready for the taking, with little investment needed.

Once something was located, the investment was low, and the reward high

Space travel is quite the opposite.

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You can't cite specific examples of where a reason for human colonization is irrelevant to space exploration - if you list them all the list will quickly grow to infinity, and each example will also be irrelevant to all the other human colonization efforts. We conquered the world because we could, and we found reasons at the time. We can conquer the Solar System, and we'll find reasons to do it too.

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Then we are there no megacities in the Sahara Desert?

Didnt there used to be a huge river through there, before the Industrial Revolution?

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I think doing it with 1 person would be better. Less mass, but more importantly, you're IMO more likely to have violence with 2 people cooped up together than 1 person is to have deadly health problems (no one to catch an infection from, etc.)

Other than that, it's ludicrous to think that this could be done in a Dragon, or that you could develop and test a 2-year life-support module for that amount of money.

I don't see why not, actually. If it was 1 person... 500 days at 5kg of supplies/day... that's only 2500kg. And water is dense. You could probably fit it all in. And there are *some* people who would be fine cooped up in a tiny space for 500 days.

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1 person could have psychological problems and destroy the spacecraft from the inside...

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I think that for the reasons of madness prevention, most Mars missions that have been proposed by NASA have on the order of six people.

The Apollo CMP's generally enjoyed their time alone, but, that was only a few days. It would be risky, also sending one person who could have unforseen physical issues, and would have difficulty completing the mission. Several people can help eachother out, swap tasks, and make life interesting. Single man missions do not do that so well.

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People who say Falcon Heavy really need to get back to reality, 14 tonnes is no where near enough for this mission, even 25 ain't enough. This is a 40+ tonne mission.

So we do it in three launches and dock together in LEO. It's not like we haven't done it before. :P

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So we do it in three launches and dock together in LEO. It's not like we haven't done it before. :P

Multiple launches puts enormous logistical strain on a program - any expedition involving an interplanetary stack assembled from several modules will be on the economic scale of International Space Station.

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Multiple launches puts enormous logistical strain on a program - any expedition involving an interplanetary stack assembled from several modules will be on the economic scale of International Space Station.

...that's not exactly a fair comparison- most of the ISS was put up with the Space Shuttle, which was pretty much the most expensive means of getting cargo into space that was ever used. You could launch all three Falcon Heavy launhes for the price of it's theoretical competition, the SLS.

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You couldn't launch 3 Falcon Heavies in short enough timeframe that would prevent boiloff of the upper stage propellant. FH can only launch from KSC Pad 37B.

But most importantly, that sort of mission profile would require a huge investment in time and money to develop the hardware, which would push the project beyond the launch window and way beyond the budget. There is no autonomous docking-capable interplanetary upper stage. There is no hab module compatible with Dragon. There is no reliable 2-year life-support system. Heck, simply developing a toilet for Dragon would cost more than the entire budget for this project.

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Hmm, personally I would say that sailing exploration and exploration in general are in fact comparable in terms of the psychological impact of isolation, stress and risk and the willingness to accept risk from the beginning.

It's not as applicaple in terms of ressource calculations and so on...

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-Heavy lift vehicle that can get everything on a trans-martian orbit

Just my 2-cents: I don't know why people keep demanding Heavy Lift vehicles for a Mars mission.

We could do manned Mars missions with current launch-vehicles. It would just require multiple launches- i.e. you launch the crew compartment on one launch, and the transfer-stage for the crew compartment on another. You can also perform orbital refueling to break it up into even more launches- although that's never been done before for cryogenic propellants (it *HAS* been done with non-cryogenic fuels between a pair of specially-designed unmanned satellites, as a proof-of-concept, however...)

WITHOUT orbital refueling, you can still break up a Mars-orbiter mission as follows:

Launch #1: Mars Return-stage (transfer stage to return from Mars, docks with manned module in Mars orbit)

Launch #2: Mars Return-stage Transfer Stage (carries return-stage to Mars orbit)

Launch #3: Manned Module (carries crew from LEO to Mars orbit and back)

Launch #4: Manned Module Transfer Stage (carries crew from LEO to Mars Orbit)

A "Fylby" mission in the literal sense (free return from Mars to Earth) is actually MORE expensive than a Mars-orbiter mission (one that captures into Mars-orbit and then returns), as it requires you basically launch into a Cycler Trajectory (5 month outbound trip, 15 month return trip), which requires significantly more fuel and prevents you from breaking the mission into multiple smaller launches (to avoid the *ENORMOUS* cost of developing a new Heavy Lift Vehicle) unless you do the following:

(1) Launch the Manned Module into Low Earth Orbit

(2) Launch three transfer stages. Dock all 3 transfer stages with Manned Module (Transfer Stage #1 inline, #'s 2 and 3 side-mounted to Manned Module)

(3) Use Transfer Stage #1 (attached inline) to carry Manned Module to a highly-elliptical orbit around Earth (likely over multiple periapsis-kicks), and detach now-depleted stage.

(4) Use Transfer Stages #'s 2 and 3 to carry Manned Module to an Aldrin Cycler-orbit (basically, an orbit that will pass by Mars after 5 months and return to Earth after 20 total months) via a burn at the next Earth periapsis...

The Aldrin-Cycler orbit requires significantly more (50-70% more) Delta-V in Earth orbit to place the Manned Module on the cycler-orbit in the first place compared to a typical Mars Transfer Orbit (one with an apoapsis that just barely reaches Mars, where the Manned Module captures into orbit...), but benefits from not needing to perform a return or capture-burn around Mars, thus reducing the total mission Delta-V requirement.

There may be a third option, one that allows for a Mars Flyby and Earth-return WITHOUT utilizing an Aldrin Cycler or Venus-crossing orbit, but if there is, it would require a number of adjustment burns outside of Earth's sphere of influence- it would NOT be a simple free-return trajectory in the sense we make them around the Moon...

Regards,

Northstar

Edited by Northstar1989

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What kind of tonnage are we talking for a Mars mission in one launch? Maybe a second for the crew.

A Destiny or DOS size module should be enough space for one to three pilots for a 501 day flyby expedition. Plus an MPLM/ATV size module stuffed with supplies brings the mass to about 60mt. It will probably be at least a little more massive than that, to account for radiation shielding. Orion on the front brings it to around 60mt. Where it gets tricky is what rocket stage to push those sixty tons. For a quoted C3 of 38.8km^2/s^2 you'll need a Delta vee of 4.86km/s from LEO. Assuming an optimally-performing cryogenic rocket stage with 10mt dry mass, the total stack unacceptably massive - over 200mt.

But maybe I'm overestimating how much supply mass you need. Maybe for one pilot you only need something like Enhanced Cygnus, plus Destiny/DOS-alike, plus Orion for a total mass of just about 45mt. That cuts IMLEO to 160mt. Still out of reach even for the biggest-block System, but Raptor BFR with O2/H2 upper stage might manage it!

Or Block II System, if you launch the Orion on Block I first, and the rest next.

Edited by Kibble
multiple launch option thing

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Multiple launches puts enormous logistical strain on a program - any expedition involving an interplanetary stack assembled from several modules will be on the economic scale of International Space Station.

We're going to ANOTHER PLANET. If it costs as much as the ISS, that's fifteen days of US government expenditure. How is that too much?

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What about a ship constructed in orbit? If you mined the moon, which is a feat on its own, you could build ships from a common and heat resistant material on the moon I.e. Molybdenum.

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What about a ship constructed in orbit? If you mined the moon, which is a feat on its own, you could build ships from a common and heat resistant material on the moon I.e. Molybdenum.

Supposedly a company wants to make a kevlar lunar space elevator in 2020... so that might be possible by 2030.

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Supposedly a company wants to make a kevlar lunar space elevator in 2020... so that might be possible by 2030.

I would like to see that happen. But that seems a pretty big proposition to have going even in fifteen years, without some serious work underway already.

Tommygun: Yes. Hideously expensive indeed. Perhaps some assembly would be possible (a couple SLS launches for example), but full construction sounds rather impractical. Building the infrastructure for proper orbital/lunar/lunar orbital construction will be a huge undertaking in itself, and will probably take years of testing, developing, and rebuilding to make it reliable enough to build manned spacecraft. Plus, then you still have to send people there....

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1 person could have psychological problems and destroy the spacecraft from the inside...

Some people, maybe even most, sure. But there are people who would be just fine (especially given modern entertainment). Human psychology is pretty variable, and hermits exist.

Then we are there no megacities in the Sahara Desert?

It's not analogous. The Sahara is extremely politically difficult, and there isn't a "dream" attached like Mars. (And no Elon Musk type figure pushing it.)

If Mars is colonized, it won't be for resources - shipping resources across space doesn't work anyway. But a Mars colony would attach the kind of people that would make it an innovation hotbed, IMO. And information is cheap to send between planets ;)

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Actually, molybdenum is very common on the moon, a Russian space probe found it completely pure when it picked up a moon rock. Even if it is not found pure the most common form is molybdenum trisulfide which is incredibly easy to reprocess,

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It's not analogous. The Sahara is extremely...

Your right, its not analagous.. it would be much much easier to colonize.

Mars as a hotbed of innovation... lol

The Cons stack up in obscene amounts...

And the only pro's are assertions of vague benefits....

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Your right, its not analagous.. it would be much much easier to colonize.

Mars as a hotbed of innovation... lol

The Cons stack up in obscene amounts...

And the only pro's are assertions of vague benefits....

There is one overwelming pro to developing a self-sustaining presence on another world- making it significantly harder to kill off the human species.

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Everybody seems so obsessed with finding one extant practical reason to expand human settlement to space - but that's one of the things that makes Homo Sapiens special! All other terrestrial life forms stay in their safe, practical, little habitats doing practical life tasks until evolutionary pressure forces them to change. Humans make art, push social progressivism, and explore outer space. We don't need to do these things for the species to survive or thrive, but we do them anyway.

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