Author Topic: Four-man mission to Mars? No.  (Read 36528 times)

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Offline stitch

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #75 on: October 02, 2014, 12:38:42 am »
Why go?  Because it is there.

I don't remember the rover looking at a hill and asking, "What the hell is that?" and then going over to check it out. 

Lofty aspirations by dreamers are all good, crusader66.  I support dreamers.  But I also support those who look at things realistically.

Think about it.  Responsible people (like those from NASA) have not committed any funds to a manned mission to Mars.  There must be a reason.  These people aren't stupid.  My guess is that they started to pencil-out the costs but put their pencils down after only a few minutes.  They know something.  You can too.  Just follow the money, Grasshopper.  It will guide you to the truth … probes and rovers.
 

Offline HackedFridgeMagnet

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #76 on: October 02, 2014, 01:10:39 am »
 

Offline Rigby

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #77 on: October 02, 2014, 01:55:54 am »
Imagine you're an early homosapien, and you're in Africa.  You wake up one day, you don't remember anything.  You only know you're hungry. 

After a few months you've carved out a meager existence for yourself.  You know how to hunt, forage, etc.  You are in contact with no one anywhere else.  You've neither seen nor heard evidence of anyone else.

Do you just stand there, stay in your little comfort zone, or do you start exploring?  What's over that hill?  What's that smell on the wind coming from?

Now imagine you're on earth, in present day, except now you're a species--the entire human race. You've carved out a good little thing here on this rock, and you can see other nearby rocks.

Do you just sit here in your comfort zone or do you go exploring?
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #78 on: October 02, 2014, 02:03:00 am »
Think about it.  Responsible people (like those from NASA) have not committed any funds to a manned mission to Mars.  There must be a reason.  These people aren't stupid.  My guess is that they started to pencil-out the costs but put their pencils down after only a few minutes.  They know something. 

Yes, they know they don't get enough money to do it.



and

 

Offline stitch

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #79 on: October 02, 2014, 02:28:52 am »
Do you just sit here in your comfort zone or do you go exploring?

You go exploring.
 

Offline stitch

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #80 on: October 02, 2014, 02:41:24 am »
Think about it.  Responsible people (like those from NASA) have not committed any funds to a manned mission to Mars.  There must be a reason.  These people aren't stupid.  My guess is that they started to pencil-out the costs but put their pencils down after only a few minutes.  They know something. 

Yes, they know they don't get enough money to do it.


... and they don't get enough money to do it because the smart money says go with the probes for now.  So that's why you see probes and not manned missions.
 

Offline stitch

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #81 on: October 02, 2014, 02:55:47 am »
Someone agrees with this.

http://aeon.co/magazine/technology/the-elon-musk-interview-on-mars/

Contained in the article is the following quote:
"Five hundred million years from now, the Sun won’t be much larger than it is today but it will be swollen enough to start scorching the food chain."

We've got time.
 

Offline Rigby

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #82 on: October 02, 2014, 03:08:55 am »
Do you just sit here in your comfort zone or do you go exploring?

You go exploring.
+1 damn right you do.  You don't take unreasonable risks and you don't run before you walk, but you go explore.  You migrate, you colonize, you diversify.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #83 on: October 02, 2014, 03:23:12 am »
... and they don't get enough money to do it because the smart money says go with the probes for now.  So that's why you see probes and not manned missions.

That's not how it works.
The government don't give a toss about space research or exploration. NASA begs for money, the government grudgingly gives them something to keep up public appearances that they care or understand, and then NASA decides what to do with what little money they have.
 

Offline stitch

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #84 on: October 02, 2014, 04:00:50 am »
... and they don't get enough money to do it because the smart money says go with the probes for now.  So that's why you see probes and not manned missions.

Quote
The government don't give a toss about space research or exploration.

Yes they do.  The government created NASA.
Quote
NASA begs for money ... then NASA decides what to do with what little money they have.
That's correct.  So NASA has wisely decided to go with probes because there is no other choice.   Mars is too far and the costs are too great.  We must face a hard truth here.  At this point in the forward march of humanity, the forces of the universe have overpowered man's ability to penetrate it.  We tried to populate space, but we got bounced back.  The space shuttle fell back to earth and the International Space Station goes round-and-round in circles.  Mankind made it to the Moon, but has been retreating ever since - not because we don't want to go forward, not because of politics, but because the insurmountable challenges of penetrating the hostility and enormous distances of space are simply too great ... for now.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #85 on: October 02, 2014, 04:55:21 am »
That's correct.  So NASA has wisely decided to go with probes because there is no other choice.   Mars is too far and the costs are too great.  We must face a hard truth here. 

No, it's not too expensive, we just chose not to go, and spend our money on other stuff, usually pissed down the drain on war stuff and/or given to the bankers.
Buy "our" I of course mean the US taxpayer, which isn't me.
The bank bailout alone is more than NASA has ever gotten over it's entire history, and that includes the moon landings etc. And the US barely batted an eyelid at that.

Quote
At this point in the forward march of humanity, the forces of the universe have overpowered man's ability to penetrate it.  We tried to populate space, but we got bounced back.  The space shuttle fell back to earth and the International Space Station goes round-and-round in circles.  Mankind made it to the Moon, but has been retreating ever since - not because we don't want to go forward, not because of politics, but because the insurmountable challenges of penetrating the hostility and enormous distances of space are simply too great ... for now.

Demonstrably false.
The sole reason why we haven't colonised the moon by now is that we didn't want to. Mars is just an extended version of that that wold have come naturally with time.
The tools, the technology, and the plans are in place right now to get to and stay on Mars, all it needs if the money and the desire. Plenty of groups have been researching this for many decades.
You can argue semantics like it's dangerous, the technology isn't optimum or efficinet, people will die, it'll be a horrible existence there etc, but that's no different to what new colonisers haven't experienced before in our history. Fact is, it's possible.
 

Offline mtdoc

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #86 on: October 02, 2014, 06:07:08 am »
Someone agrees with this.

http://aeon.co/magazine/technology/the-elon-musk-interview-on-mars/

Nice interview with Musk. I'm a huge fan and agree with him that without colonization of space there is no assurance that humans will not be extinct in the not-too-distant future.

It's a Wump World after all.

But the window of opportunity has passed. Political will and the realities of the allocation of dwindling resources (especially energy) means it ain't gonna happen. Not because we couldn't have but because we didn't. Not because we can't but because we won't. 

Of course if some un-forseen breakthrough happens - cold fusion, dilithium powered warp drives,  etc.  then all bets are off...
 

Offline stitch

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #87 on: October 02, 2014, 04:53:46 pm »
The sole reason why we haven't colonised the moon by now is that we didn't want to.
That's right.
Quote
Mars is just an extended version of that that wold have come naturally with time.
It will come with time.  We just need a little more time.  Til then, probes will do just fine.

Quote
The tools, the technology, and the plans are in place right now to get to and stay on Mars, all it needs if the money and the desire.
Fine. Good.  But it is the people, speaking through their duly elected representatives, that don't have the desire.  And they don't have the desire because the costs are too high compared to probes.
 

Offline stitch

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #88 on: October 02, 2014, 05:12:33 pm »
Of course if some un-forseen breakthrough happens - cold fusion, dilithium powered warp drives,  etc.  then all bets are off...
Bullseye! So let's allocate our limited resources to research that will lead us to that next breakthrough.  And let's not waste money on short term "feel goods" that pretty much dead-end with Mars.  After all, even if you do get men to Mars using "old-fashioned" rocket power, you can't go much further.  You can't get them to distant galaxies.
 

Offline Wytnucls

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #89 on: October 03, 2014, 04:14:10 pm »
Since a mission to Mars will be fraught with danger and the early explorers will most likely be on a one-way trip, perhaps it would be wise to offer the moon landing deniers the first Mars spacesuits.
They should leap at the chance of being part of another deceiving Hollywood production.
Calling Messrs. Allen, Fetzer, Sibrel....
 

Offline stitch

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #90 on: October 04, 2014, 09:52:25 pm »
Successes such as Spirit, Opportunity, and Curiosity make Mars seem easy.
But to be realistic, we should also be mindful of the many failures along the way:

FAILURE 1962 -  Mars 1(Soviet) - Communications failed en route

FAILURE 1971 - Mars 2 and Mars 3 (Soviet) - Failure upon landing.

FAILURE 1973 - Mars 6 (Soviet) - All contact lost during landing preparation.

FAILURE 1974 - Mars 7 (Soviet) - Missed the planet.

FAILURE 1988 - Phobos 1 (Soviet) - Lost en route.

FAILURE 1988 - Phobos 2 (Soviet) - Lost en route.

FAILURE 1993 - Mars Observer (U.S.A.) - Communication lost prior to orbital insertion.

FAILURE 1999 - Mars Polar Lander (U.S.A.) - Communication lost, presumed crash landing.

FAILURE 2003 - Nozomi - Japan Mars Orbiter (Japan) - Communication lost.

The above list summarizes only the failures that came after leaving Earth orbit.  For a complete list of failures and successes, see the link below.  The overall success rate from launch to landing is about 50%.  It gets better if you only look at the missions since the year 2000.  Within that time frame, the success rate is about 80% - one way.

http://mars.nasa.gov/programmissions/missions/log/
« Last Edit: October 04, 2014, 10:01:15 pm by stitch »
 

Online rdl

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #91 on: October 07, 2014, 05:58:27 pm »
Successes such as Spirit, Opportunity, and Curiosity make Mars seem easy.
But to be realistic, we should also be mindful of the many failures along the way:
...
 The overall success rate from launch to landing is about 50%.  It gets better if you only look at the missions since the year 2000.  Within that time frame, the success rate is about 80% - one way.

I guess flying in space has a learning curve. I wonder why that is? Surely nothing else does.
 

Offline stitch

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #92 on: October 08, 2014, 08:26:45 pm »
I guess flying in space has a learning curve.

Yes.  Mars has been a 50+ year learning curve.  Steady as she goes.
 

Offline Rigby

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #93 on: October 08, 2014, 11:47:41 pm »
Not a learning curve as much as a cost compromise curve.  If budgets were larger by an order of magnitude, success rates would necessarily improve, I think.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #94 on: October 08, 2014, 11:53:31 pm »
And a good lot of those missions might well have succeeded had there been a human on board who could react and do stuff. Just look at many of the Mercury/Gemini/Apollo and following missions and you'll see that humans saved the day many times.
 

Offline stitch

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #95 on: October 09, 2014, 02:18:29 am »
And a good lot of those missions might well have succeeded had there been a human on board who could react and do stuff. Just look at many of the Mercury/Gemini/Apollo and following missions and you'll see that humans saved the day many times.

True but … wait a minute … I thought the basic 4-man "Mars or Bust" mission doesn't call for a pilot on board.
 

Offline Rigby

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #96 on: October 09, 2014, 02:31:38 am »
Well, are you arguing against the 4-man "mars or bust" mission, or all manned missions out of orbit?  Sometimes it sounds like you're against one, sometimes another.

Just wanna clarify.

I think a stance against all manned missions is an indefensible position.  We could easily pull it together in a decade to make that happen safely given sufficient budget.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2014, 02:33:49 am by Rigby »
 

Offline coppice

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #97 on: October 09, 2014, 02:48:50 am »
Not a learning curve as much as a cost compromise curve.  If budgets were larger by an order of magnitude, success rates would necessarily improve, I think.
Can you quote examples to support that idea? I think the experience of most engineers is that throwing money at a problem leads to a lack of focus, a lot of parasites clinging on, and greater failure. There was clearly enough funding to get several times as many probes launched as probes which arrived safely at Mars. That doesn't sound like there was serious resource starvation, although funding since the end of the cold war has been rather erratic.
 

Offline stitch

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #98 on: October 09, 2014, 03:18:10 am »
Well, are you arguing against the 4-man "mars or bust" mission, or all manned missions out of orbit?  Sometimes it sounds like you're against one, sometimes another.

I know it sounds a little uncomfortable, but I'm arguing against both … for now.
For now, we can direct our limited resources elsewhere - like towards a better propulsion system which will shorten time in space.  Overall, I'm a big believer in manned space exploration, it just doesn't need to all be done in my life time.  Here's something I posted earlier:

"We must face a hard truth here.  At this point in the forward march of humanity, the forces of the universe have overpowered man's ability to penetrate it.  We tried to populate space, but we got bounced back.  The space shuttle fell back to earth and the International Space Station goes round-and-round in circles.  Mankind made it to the Moon, but has been retreating ever since - not because we don't want to go forward, not because of politics, but because the insurmountable challenges of penetrating the hostility and enormous distances of space are simply too great ... for now."
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #99 on: October 09, 2014, 03:37:53 am »
True but … wait a minute … I thought the basic 4-man "Mars or Bust" mission doesn't call for a pilot on board.

Correct, but that has little to do with it.
All the people will be trained on the systems, and to make repairs/mods, navigate etc. They have many years to train for this full time.
Plus they will be in touch with earth (with delay).
The point is once you have a human on board, that changes the game entirely.
Remember, humans have a 100% success rate attempting to land on a foreign object in space, save for Apollo 13 which blew up half way there, and the humans saved that mission. In fact, they could have continued and landed on the moon if they didn't care about getting back.
 


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