Author Topic: Four-man mission to Mars? No.  (Read 35718 times)

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Offline stitch

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Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« on: June 04, 2014, 11:29:23 pm »
   I think you would need something more like Christopher Columbus's exploration to the new world (America).  Columbus took three ships and 88 men and was at sea for five weeks before discovering land where food, air, and water were abundant.  If he or his crew needed a breath of fresh air along the way, all they needed to do was walk up on deck.  In addition to the provisions they carried on board, nature provided them with food from the sea and fresh water from the rain.
   By contrast, astronauts traveling to Mars will need to be in space for approximately 2 years round trip.  They will have to breath bottled air every second of the journey.  There will be nowhere to turn for help if their supply of air, food, or water is compromised.  Accordingly, like Columbus, they will need a flotilla of support.  Four astronauts packed into a tin can (like the Apollo astronauts) just won't work for a round trip to Mars - the journey is too long.  If something goes wrong as in the case of Apollo 13, they won't be able to get back to earth in just a few days.  They will need to be equipped to handle every conceivable emergency - including medical emergencies.

   Four astronauts in space for two years is equivalent to 8 man years in space.  Someone is going to get sick or injured. You will not only need a doctor, but a complete medical staff and all the necessary equipment to deal with disease and traumatic injuries.
What if there is a tank explosion (like Apollo 13) and shrapnel crashes through the skull of one of the astronauts?
What if they have a hard landing on the surface and one of the astronauts suffers a punctured lung?
   It would be erroneous to think that under-equipped laymen could be trained to respond adequately to the myriad of emergencies that might occur - and referring to a "CD" with instructions won't help them anymore than any of us have been helped whenever we have tried to diagnose our ailments using the internet.  And if you think that calling physicians on Earth for emergency medical advice will help, don't forget that it may take up to half an hour for a radio signal to get from Mars to Earth and then back again (not to mention the time it would take for physicians on earth to formulate a procedure).  Also, there would need to be many back-and-forth conversations between the astronauts and the physicians.

No.  Four guys in a tin can is totally the wrong scale.  You will need a flotilla with hundreds of support personnel and lots of infrastructure before the first manned landing vehicle descends toward the surface of Mars.
 

Offline retrolefty

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2014, 11:39:27 pm »
I agree. The cost per Kg to lift stuff from our gravity well for all that support material and provisions make no sense at all. And once there what can they accomplish that a dozen of more probe/robots couldn't at less cost with no risk of life. It's just ego wanting to use humans for space exploration at this time until we obtain the tech to make it at least practical. Probes are the way to go for the immediate future, more bang for the buck at least until we get the space elevator functioning.

 

Online EEVblog

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2014, 12:03:31 am »
I disagree.
Read some of the experts on the subject and you'll likely change your mind:

Robert Zubrin proposes a direct mission with a crew of 4 and explains how and why it will work.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Case_for_Mars

Buzz Aldrin proposes a base on Phobos first, with perpetual shuttle cycler trips based on free return courses he has designed that require hardly any fuel to keep going.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_cycler
http://www.amazon.com/Mission-Mars-Vision-Space-Exploration/dp/1426210175

The medical thing is one based on probability risk. You can't design your entire mission and the logistics based on (a calculable probability) of someone getting sick or injured, that's just silly. You can't expect the same level of medical care as you can get here on earth. So you take the risk and design your mission logistics based on the mission requirements, as it should be.

Quote
No.  Four guys in a tin can is totally the wrong scale.  You will need a flotilla with hundreds of support personnel and lots of infrastructure before the first manned landing vehicle descends toward the surface of Mars.

Absolutely need? No. Want, yes.
The mission can be done with 4 people in a (sizable) tin can if that what you desire.

People like the Mars Society have done full scale endurance tests on this, and it's very doable.
http://www.marssociety.org/
« Last Edit: June 05, 2014, 12:08:59 am by EEVblog »
 

Online EEVblog

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2014, 12:07:45 am »
I agree. The cost per Kg to lift stuff from our gravity well for all that support material and provisions make no sense at all. And once there what can they accomplish that a dozen of more probe/robots couldn't at less cost with no risk of life. It's just ego wanting to use humans for space exploration at this time until we obtain the tech to make it at least practical. Probes are the way to go for the immediate future, more bang for the buck at least until we get the space elevator functioning.

I'm glad you're not in charge then :P
We need leaders with vision, not bang-per-buck dicking around.
Humans can do vastly more than in a week on the surface than a fleet of robots can do in a year. You can't beat real-time control and decision making.
This is why Aldrin proposes the Phobos base first, so that humans can man a real-time control link with robots down on the ground. They will assemble the base before humans descend.
Controlling robots from earth is incredibly limiting.
 

Offline ecat

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2014, 12:12:01 am »
Better to just stay here.
It's not like they could be run over by a bus or struck by lightning on a golf course.

Better to do what the vast majority of us do, piss away the minutes of their lives and in the end, when the final tally is in, contribute absolutely nothing.

When did we as a society become so afraid of death that we forgot how to live?
When did the media driven frenzy of public outcry override ambition and endeavour?
At what point did shitting the bed in an old peoples home become the global lifestyle dream?

 

 

Offline mtdoc

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2014, 12:24:24 am »
Agreed that the medical issue is a red herring.  It's no different than mountaineers climbing 8000 meter peaks.  On big mountains, above a certain altitude, there is no expectation of any definitive medical care. A serious injury, appendicitis, etc - you're dead. That's just part of the deal.  Why should space exploration be any different?
 

Online EEVblog

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2014, 12:24:35 am »
Better to just stay here.

Yes, and that is what all the experts who are designing these missions work on.
Although in many cases there is an opportunity to get back if really needed, but it takes a long time. Usually 4-5 years at a minimum.
You'll find no shortage of people willing to die on Mars. Thousands have signed up already:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_One
http://www.mars-one.com
 

Offline retrolefty

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2014, 01:16:23 am »
It's so easy to spend someone else's money, as politicians know well. We will learn more sooner and cheaper continuing using probes. Again what can 4 people accomplish on Mars that many more probes cannot?

 

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2014, 01:33:47 am »
It's so easy to spend someone else's money, as politicians know well. We will learn more sooner and cheaper continuing using probes. Again what can 4 people accomplish on Mars that many more probes cannot?

TONS!
Humans can make decisions on the spot. No need for transmission  delay plus a team  on earth to analyse and decide the best action lest they screw up the robot.
They can walk anywhere at will.
They can do manual labor at will in any location.
They can fix things, use and make tools, and improvise.
They can recognise things and respond in real time.

If you don't understand the limitations that robots on other planets have then you haven't thought about it enough.
Humans are many orders of magnitude more productive, and they can do thing that robots can't. This is not conjecture, it's a proven fact.
 

Offline retrolefty

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2014, 01:46:25 am »
I guess we will have to agree to disagree on this matter. Until our technology and energy sources improves it's my opinion that it is more efficient and more scientific knowledge will be acquired sooner by continuing to use probe tech.

 

Online EEVblog

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #10 on: June 05, 2014, 01:50:12 am »
Until our technology and energy sources improves it's my opinion that it is more efficient and more scientific knowledge will be acquired sooner by continuing to use probe tech.

It's not just about scientific exploration. Think bigger...
 

Online EEVblog

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #11 on: June 05, 2014, 01:55:10 am »
it's my opinion that it is more efficient and more scientific knowledge will be acquired sooner by continuing to use probe tech.

The great thing about facts is that they are true whether or not you believe in them. Humans are just vastly more efficient and better at exploration.
What you are arguing here is for essentially a lower goal for less cost. In that case, well, ok.
 

Offline retrolefty

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #12 on: June 05, 2014, 01:55:43 am »
Until our technology and energy sources improves it's my opinion that it is more efficient and more scientific knowledge will be acquired sooner by continuing to use probe tech.

It's not just about scientific exploration. Think bigger...


All in good time grasshopper.  ;)
 

Online EEVblog

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #13 on: June 05, 2014, 01:57:37 am »
All in good time grasshopper.  ;)

Ah, the old "the next generation will do it" card.  :palm:
 

Offline stitch

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #14 on: June 05, 2014, 01:58:31 am »
Agreed that the medical issue is a red herring.  It's no different than mountaineers climbing 8000 meter peaks.  On big mountains, above a certain altitude, there is no expectation of any definitive medical care. A serious injury, appendicitis, etc - you're dead. That's just part of the deal.  Why should space exploration be any different?
Actually, there is an expectation of definitive care at 8000 meters.  The expectation is that your team (you would have one) can rescue you and either help you down or help you on site until you can get down to a hospital only hours or days away.  Sir Edmudn Hillary and Tenzing Norgay were the first to summit Mount Everest.  Those two guys didn't do it alone.  They were part of a massive support infrastructure.  Here's a quote from Wikipedia:

"They were part of the ninth British expedition to Everest, led by John Hunt. … The Hunt expedition totalled over 400 people, including 362 porters, twenty Sherpa guides and 10,000 lbs of baggage, and like many such expeditions, was a team effort."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edmund_Hillary#1953_Everest_expedition

I think we are talking about the difference between an expedition and a stunt.
 

Offline retrolefty

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #15 on: June 05, 2014, 02:08:56 am »
All in good time grasshopper.  ;)

Ah, the old "the next generation will do it" card.  :palm:

Possibly, but on our shoulders, as we stood on the shoulders of those before us.
 

Online EEVblog

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #16 on: June 05, 2014, 02:19:13 am »
I think we are talking about the difference between an expedition and a stunt.

No, that's because they could have such support. Any schmuck can go to the first few base camps.
Everest summit would be a day trip taken by a million tourists a year if it wasn't for the lack of oxygen.
Hilary wasn't such a great example. Better examples would be solo or small group treks to the poles or other remote locations, or early exploratory boat trips. These days recuse is just an EPIRB button away. But before that, it was a rare (and sizable) trip that would take along a full time doctor.
When you go to mars, you simply can't build that level of medical support in place. It would make the entire mission impractical in both cost and logistics.
Any Mars trip or base camp would have to be quite sizable before they consider sending a doctor and proper medical gear.
 

Offline Rigby

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #17 on: June 05, 2014, 02:26:12 am »
The comment highlighted here in yellow states it very well, for me. 

http://www.reddit.com/r/YouShouldKnow/comments/20n1mz/ysk_that_a_newly_announced_measurement_of/cg52uxc
 

Offline mtdoc

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #18 on: June 05, 2014, 02:36:47 am »
A "full time doctor" does little good above a certain altitude where helicopter rescue becomes impossible. Even with the old school style of "siege" mountaineering - large numbers of Sherpa porters, numerous basecamps, etc - an expedition doctor was limited in what they could accomplish.  Even now with the tourist sieges of Everest - medical care or evacuation above a certain altitude is impossible.  I've served as the team physician on a relative small group climb of a 6000 meter peak and even in that case above our high camp - any definitive medical care would have been problematic at best.

This is all just to say that climbing "big mountains" is not unlike a mission to Mars (or even to the ISS or the moon for that matter) in that you just can't expect definitive care for any serious illness or injury.  I don't think the Apollo astronauts or Russian cosmonauts expected it and neither would any modern day astronauts.  IMO it's a silly argument to  make against a manned mission to Mars.
 

Offline ecat

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #19 on: June 05, 2014, 02:37:04 am »
All in good time grasshopper.  ;)

Ah, the old "the next generation will do it" card.  :palm:

Possibly, but on our shoulders, as we stood on the shoulders of those before us.

Fifty years ago we were able to put a man on the moon, could we put a man on the moon tomorrow? No. It would take 5 to 10 years of effort, invention and reinvention to achieve that which in the 1960's took 5 to 10 years.

Many of the giants on whose shoulders you wish to stand are long since dead and with them went much of their knowledge. The Saturn V F1 engine is a perfect example, NASA wants to build a big, efficient rocket engine and where do they start? They start by pulling old F1s out of museums in an effort to reverse engineer and rediscover some of the lost knowledge.

It is impossible to say where we would be today if the backing and momentum behind the Apollo program had been maintained, but before you talk again about efficiency consider the time and money it will take to get those fifty years back. If nothing else the tail is a salient  example of how much can be lost if those in power are not continually pressured to keep things moving forward.
 
 

Online EEVblog

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #20 on: June 05, 2014, 02:47:05 am »
Possibly, but on our shoulders, as we stood on the shoulders of those before us.

our shoulders?
What has our generation done for manned space exploration?
Humans last left earth more than 40 years ago, that's getting closer toward two generations now.
 

Offline stitch

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #21 on: June 05, 2014, 02:48:03 am »
I think we are talking about the difference between an expedition and a stunt.

Hilary wasn't such a great example. Better examples would be solo or small group treks to the poles or other remote locations, or early exploratory boat trips.

Take a look at the Fram.  It is the ship that transported Roald Amundsen to his "final descent" to the South Pole.  Not a tin can.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fram
 

Online EEVblog

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #22 on: June 05, 2014, 02:50:29 am »
It is impossible to say where we would be today if the backing and momentum behind the Apollo program had been maintained

We'd certainly have a permanent colony on Mars.
 

Online EEVblog

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #23 on: June 05, 2014, 02:58:38 am »
Take a look at the Fram.  It is the ship that transported Roald Amundsen to his "final descent" to the South Pole.  Not a tin can.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fram

So what's your point? They had a big ship and could take a doctor? well, great for them.
But in the end those guys went on for weeks without a doctor to reach the poles. Knowing full well they took their chances.
The point here is that it is very routine for lengthy exploratory trips to go without medical support, it's par for the course.
 

Offline retrolefty

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #24 on: June 05, 2014, 03:01:39 am »
Possibly, but on our shoulders, as we stood on the shoulders of those before us.

our shoulders?
What has our generation done for manned space exploration?
Humans last left earth more than 40 years ago, that's getting closer toward two generations now.

"'A civilization grows great when men plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit."
 

Online EEVblog

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #25 on: June 05, 2014, 03:20:12 am »
"'A civilization grows great when men plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit."

That's lovely.
So what has our generation done for future manned space exploration again?
 

Offline retrolefty

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #26 on: June 05, 2014, 03:37:42 am »
"'A civilization grows great when men plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit."

That's lovely.
So what has our generation done for future manned space exploration again?

 Plenty, they have sent probes to all the major planets and their moons, mapping, gaining much knowlege along the way. Your fixation to have 4 people stand on Mars, pick up a few rocks and rocket back is just  crazy.

 Again what would you define as the specific mission goals be for those 4 people that can't better be done with probes and robots much cheaper and much sooner?

 

Offline stitch

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #27 on: June 05, 2014, 04:10:22 am »
Take a look at the Fram.  It is the ship that transported Roald Amundsen to his "final descent" to the South Pole.  Not a tin can.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fram

So what's your point? They had a big ship and could take a doctor? well, great for them.


My point is contingency planning.  It's something that humans do.  A mission to Mars is a massive and respectable goal for humanity.  I'm just saying that, out of respect for the challenges, contingency planning should not be left out of such a massive plan. It seems to me that if the mission is to include only a crew of four, then the only way to do that is to strip away all of the contingency plans and close our minds to anything that might go wrong - hence all of the objections to people like me who try to raise the issue of contingencies. Do you see?
 

Offline SeanB

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #28 on: June 05, 2014, 04:32:25 am »
So train all members to be fair frontline medics. Not an impossible task, pretty much any military has done so, and they are both the first line of care and often the only way to save lives. You can train half to be better than that, or even to be able to do basic surgery, like broken limbs, dental work, appendectomy ( though probably better to whip those out before), and basic nursing and infection control. That, in a population that has been selected for good basic health will cover pretty much every thing aside from stroke and heart attack, and that can also be handled to some extent.

Nothing complex there, it has been done often enough. Those going are well aware that they will die, and they make the choice that they will make a contribution that will be remembered, and then they will have a burial place where no other has ever in human history been buried. You wake up each day on another planet, where no other has ever seen it before. What is bad about that?
 

Online EEVblog

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #29 on: June 05, 2014, 04:56:08 am »
Plenty, they have sent probes to all the major planets and their moons, mapping, gaining much knowledge along the way.

Stuff we could have and should have done in the 1970's after Apollo ended.
But no, the human race has just farted around the edges and lost interest in space.
Those thing only happened by scrapping he bottom of the financial barrel. There has been practically zero leadership or interest in maned space exploration since Apollo.

Quote
Your fixation to have 4 people stand on Mars, pick up a few rocks and rocket back is just  crazy.

I said no such thing. I want a permanent colony on mars, nothing less.
You don't get it. This is not about one trip, get there , get back alive, boast we've done it and then forget about it, like we did with Apollo.
You are fixated on small scale scientific goals. This is MUCH bigger than that.

Quote
Again what would you define as the specific mission goals be for those 4 people that can't better be done with probes and robots much cheaper and much sooner?

They can start building a colony!
You know, stuff you can do once you actually get humans there who can build things.
 

Online EEVblog

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #30 on: June 05, 2014, 05:08:31 am »
My point is contingency planning.  It's something that humans do. 

Yes, and that is something that is done in spades in human space missions.

Quote
A mission to Mars is a massive and respectable goal for humanity.  I'm just saying that, out of respect for the challenges, contingency planning should not be left out of such a massive plan.

It's not. Just your fantasy of having a fully trained doctor along for the ride. That will come in time, but it won't be part of any early missions. Countless people have already looked at this infinitely more than you have and they have arrived at the conclusion that a doctor does not need to be part of any initial exploratory/setup/early trips.

[/quote]
It seems to me that if the mission is to include only a crew of four, then the only way to do that is to strip away all of the contingency plans and close our minds to anything that might go wrong - hence all of the objections to people like me who try to raise the issue of contingencies. Do you see?
[/quote]

Nope.
The 4 number has been carefully arrived at for many reasons, including as a huge part of the contingency planing.
It allows for no more than needed in order to have two teams of two. e.g. No one ever goes alone, only in teams of two, and then you have a backup team.
Two scientists and two engineers makes sense. You have one in each team to meet the scientific goals, and you have one in each team who can fix stuff and solve problems.
A doctor doesn't go along for the ride for the same reason a pilot does not go along for the ride. They are essentially dead weight unless something goes drastically wrong. In which case it's more probably they are all screwed anyway.
Test pilots made sense for the early Apollo missions, because, well, they were test flights in unproven hardware, unproven terrain, unproven flight dynamics, unproven systems etc.
A mars trip is a completely different ballgame.
Perhaps one of the engineers could have test flight experience though, that wouldn't hurt.

 

Offline Bored@Work

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #31 on: June 05, 2014, 05:58:18 am »
My point is contingency planning.  It's something that humans do.
Yes, and the Mission to Mars contingency planning will also happen. It will include answers to such questions as

Who is allowed to pronounce someone dead on board the spacecraft and on Mars? And when?

What to do with a dead body in the tin can?

What to do with someone getting terminal or seriously ill? a) When he/she has massive pain? b) When not? c) Independent of a) and b), when he/she is a massive strain on the performance of the rest of the crew?

Why three, not four, or no body bags are enough to carry to space. Or why some food containers happen to have the proper size, are painted with the national flags of the astronauts and maybe even already have nameplates, and fit through a particular airlock.

Quote
contingency planning should not be left out of such a massive plan.

Who says it will be left out? It will just happen on another level. It will include treating of dead bodies. It will include suicide pills, who is allowed to administer them, and when. It will include plans of what parts of the mission can still be performed with three, two, one person only. The answer to many issues and the default answers to the issues not mentioned in the manual will be "then you are dead, bad luck". They will probably also use some plans from the Apollo days. E.g. if something goes seriously wrong ground control will stop all communication.

Every astronaut will know the rules and procedures by heart. They will know their chance to arrive alive on Mars are x% << 100%. The public will probably just know half of the plans or just doesn't want to know.
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Offline mtdoc

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #32 on: June 05, 2014, 06:45:31 pm »
I'm not sure  why there seems to be this obsession about dead bodies, etc.  Excluding the obvious risks of catastrophic mission related failures (ala the Challenger disaster, etc) the probability that young, healthy astronauts are going to become seriously ill or injured and die during a Mars mission is not high. Not zero of course - but not high.

There seems to be an over estimation what a "fully trained doctor" could do on a Mars mission - even if they were there.  Most life threatening illnesses or injuries could not be adequately treated due to lack of needed equipment, support staff, etc.  Doctor aboard or not - a serious head injury, ruptured appendix, etc is likely to result in a dead astronaut.

There are some things of course were an experienced physician with the right medications available could make a big difference - but those kind of life threatening illnesses are less likely in  young healthy astronauts. And sorry Dave - Watson or any similar artificial intelligence is not going to substitute in those situations.  They can be helpful when no doctor is aboard ( I believe the Navy uses such a system on nuclear subs) but they are no more a substitute for an experienced physician than an autorouter is for an experienced PCB designer. ;) .

No need for a doctor to pronounce someone dead. I can teach anyone in about 5 minutes how to do that.

What to do with a dead body - Eject it into space - what else.  No different than a burial at sea...

« Last Edit: June 05, 2014, 06:47:04 pm by mtdoc »
 

Offline Lightages

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #33 on: June 05, 2014, 09:39:44 pm »
Jumping into the conversation very late......

A mission to Mars will likely be a suicide mission. Just out of pure luck, when "we" went to the moon there were no strong solar flares. We do not have a good technology to protect humans from this kind of radiation yet. We are not even sure what the long term effects would be just from the normal radiation and solar wind on a 2 year journey. The only long term experience we have off the Earth has ben inside the protection of the Earth's magnetic field.

IMHO, the best strategy to get to Mars, and maybe return, is to send automated factories to Mars first and wait till they have produced all the oxygen, water, and rocket fuel needed for a return to the Earth. Then send the first craft to Mars with only that needed to get to Mars. What is needed to survive should already be there.

If anyone actually makes it to Mars instead of dying from radiation exposure on the way there then they will need to get digging down 20 or 30 meters to get below the surface to protect them from meteorites and radiation. Maybe the automated factories could also include digging robots to get this done ahead of time.

In the end I believe none of this will happen. The amount of money and time needed is beyond the scope of what any politician can do or would want to commit to. The next politician in line will just cut the project. This kind of thing has happened over and over again to scientific funding. Unless someone like Bill Gates decides to dump his whole fortune into this kind of project, private funding will always fall short.

Is a doctor needed on a trip? No. Everyone on the mission should have first responder and wilderness first aid training and anything beyond that will have to be done by instruction from the Earth. If you can find a medical doctor who also happens to be a mechanical engineer, electrical engineer and a chemist then all the better!

Who should go? People who are 40- 50 in age, who have had their children and who have had the time to learn the things needed to survive away from any help at all.

I agree that without all the steps in place that I have mentioned, a trip to Mars will just be a stunt. Would I go? YES!
 

Offline stitch

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #34 on: June 05, 2014, 11:17:16 pm »

It's not. Just your fantasy of having a fully trained doctor along for the ride.

If you re-read my original post, you will be reminded that I don't advocate adding "a doctor".  In keeping with my belief that this need be a massive and respectable mission, I advocate much more than that.  Here's what I said:

"You will not only need a doctor, but a complete medical staff and all the necessary equipment to deal with disease and traumatic injuries."
"You will need a flotilla with hundreds of support personnel and lots of infrastructure before the first manned landing vehicle descends toward the surface of Mars."
 

Offline stitch

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #35 on: June 05, 2014, 11:23:53 pm »


IMHO, the best strategy to get to Mars, and maybe return, is to send automated factories to Mars first and wait till they have produced all the oxygen, water, and rocket fuel needed for a return to the Earth. Then send the first craft to Mars with only that needed to get to Mars. What is needed to survive should already be there.

I agree that without all the steps in place that I have mentioned, a trip to Mars will just be a stunt. Would I go? YES!

Yes. An patient long-term approach like that is sound and respectable.  That is the kind of approach that will attract investors, public officials, and the greater scientific community.  People who hold executive positions won't want to sign their name to a one-chance stunt.
 

Offline stitch

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #36 on: June 05, 2014, 11:32:25 pm »

What to do with a dead body in the tin can?


O.K. so we've acknowledged that someone might die.  But if you took only the number of crew that you needed (no contingency after that), and you just lost one, isn't the mission due to fail by definition?
 

Offline Br0ski

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #37 on: June 05, 2014, 11:34:23 pm »
1 man and 3 women (all McGuyver types) all 6 months pregnant = 7 people.
The start of the population.
1 woman dies, not a bad loss taken.
You really should factor this into the equation.
Especially if it's a 1-way mission.

and I would suggest launching from the ISS.

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Offline Legit-Design

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #38 on: June 06, 2014, 12:15:56 am »
1 man and 3 women (all McGuyver types) all 6 months pregnant = 7 people.
The start of the population.
1 woman dies, not a bad loss taken.
You really should factor this into the equation.
Especially if it's a 1-way mission.

Get women that are deemed to be fertile, OCTOMOM, just pump the mothers full of medicine to increase chance of multiples. So two moms 8 babies each or maybe more? And for enough variance use two couples. In many countries it was illegal for cousins to get married and then the law changed, but parents still take increased risk of children getting hereditary disease. Only one baby from one mother is so old fashioned.
 

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #39 on: June 06, 2014, 12:41:05 am »
There are some things of course were an experienced physician with the right medications available could make a big difference - but those kind of life threatening illnesses are less likely in  young healthy astronauts. And sorry Dave - Watson or any similar artificial intelligence is not going to substitute in those situations.  They can be helpful when no doctor is aboard ( I believe the Navy uses such a system on nuclear subs) but they are no more a substitute for an experienced physician than an autorouter is for an experienced PCB designer. ;) .

Of course. I never meant to imply otherwise. But on such a mission like this, you do have a (delayed) contact with earth which would be sufficient, and as a backup in case comms is lost, the (somewhat) trained and designated medic on board would have some sort of medical checklist/database system as a backup that would likely cover most things with a cupboard full of drugs. And the combination of those three things is enough for the early mars missions.
Without proper ground based facilities, the realistic window of where a real doctor on board would be life saving over a non-doctor would be quite small I suspect.
And you'd also have to somewhat morbidly (but realistically) ask if they are worth saving in some cases.
e.g. if a doctor could save someones life, but then they'd be a burden for the whole trip, that could endanger the mission and the lives of the others.
But the point is moot, because a doctor isn't going, unless they happen to also match all the other requirements and then that's a bonus.

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What to do with a dead body - Eject it into space - what else.  No different than a burial at sea...

Yep. You wouldn't store it.
 

Online EEVblog

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #40 on: June 06, 2014, 12:54:23 am »
A mission to Mars will likely be a suicide mission.

So is life.

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Just out of pure luck, when "we" went to the moon there were no strong solar flares. We do not have a good technology to protect humans from this kind of radiation yet. We are not even sure what the long term effects would be just from the normal radiation and solar wind on a 2 year journey.

In the two years, and the shorter term, basically nothing.
They would have warning of solar flares, and can shelter in a small shielded room till it's over.

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IMHO, the best strategy to get to Mars, and maybe return, is to send automated factories to Mars first and wait till they have produced all the oxygen, water, and rocket fuel needed for a return to the Earth. Then send the first craft to Mars with only that needed to get to Mars. What is needed to survive should already be there.

That is precisely what Zubrin's Mars Direct program proposes. I recommend the book, it's a good read.

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If anyone actually makes it to Mars instead of dying from radiation exposure on the way there then they will need to get digging down 20 or 30 meters to get below the surface to protect them from meteorites and radiation. Maybe the automated factories could also include digging robots to get this done ahead of time.

Not that deep actually.
The radiation thing is also somewhat overrated. It's based on the whole percentage of getting cancer later in life thing, and this is generally based on very conservative figures. Yes, gross solar fares could give quite bad (perhaps deadly) radiation poising, but like I said they can detect and shelter from these.

Aldrin's Mars Cycler system involves ships that can have very thick radiation shielding, rendering the travel radiation question moot.

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In the end I believe none of this will happen. The amount of money and time needed is beyond the scope of what any politician can do or would want to commit to.

Rubbish. They just have to triple the NASA budget. Chump change. Just build a few less bombers and subs.

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Who should go? People who are 40- 50 in age, who have had their children and who have had the time to learn the things needed to survive away from any help at all.

Also, IME (and almost certainly very controversially), if we are going there start a new colony, then we should leave as much silly ancient human baggage behind as possible.
If I was in charge, I'd only let atheists/non-religious go. - Flame away!  :scared:
 

Online EEVblog

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #41 on: June 06, 2014, 12:56:28 am »
If you re-read my original post, you will be reminded that I don't advocate adding "a doctor".  In keeping with my belief that this need be a massive and respectable mission, I advocate much more than that.  Here's what I said:
"You will not only need a doctor, but a complete medical staff and all the necessary equipment to deal with disease and traumatic injuries."
"You will need a flotilla with hundreds of support personnel and lots of infrastructure before the first manned landing vehicle descends toward the surface of Mars."

That's not helping your case!
What you are proposing is completely impractical and is not even considered an option in the least by any expert seriously studying and planning mars missions.
Personally I think there should be starships the size of cruise liners with fully equipped gyms on board, doctors, dentists, physio's, and maids for the turn-down service. But it ain't going to happen.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2014, 12:59:59 am by EEVblog »
 

Offline stitch

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #42 on: June 06, 2014, 12:57:02 am »
You'll find no shortage of people willing to die on Mars. Thousands have signed up already:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_One
http://www.mars-one.com

But where did they go to sign up?  Did they do it online?  I can't find a street address for them.
 

Offline retrolefty

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #43 on: June 06, 2014, 01:05:06 am »
Quote
Rubbish. They just have to triple the NASA budget. Chump change. Just build a few less bombers and subs.

Your sure generous with my taxes, where is you share?
 

Offline stitch

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #44 on: June 06, 2014, 01:07:08 am »
If you re-read my original post, you will be reminded that I don't advocate adding "a doctor".  In keeping with my belief that this need be a massive and respectable mission, I advocate much more than that.  Here's what I said:
"You will not only need a doctor, but a complete medical staff and all the necessary equipment to deal with disease and traumatic injuries."
"You will need a flotilla with hundreds of support personnel and lots of infrastructure before the first manned landing vehicle descends toward the surface of Mars."

That's not helping your case!
What you are proposing is completely impractical and is not even considered an option in the least by any expert seriously studying and planning mars missions.
Personally I think there should be starships the size of cruise liners with fully equipped gyms on board, doctors, dentists, physio's, and maids for the turn-down service. But it ain't going to happen.

Yes, you are exactly correct.  That's what I've been trying to say from the very beginning.  Sending humans to Mars with existing propulsion methods will take too long.  It is just too far.  The right answer for our generation is more like retrolefty and Carl Sagan have been advocating ... robots.
 

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #45 on: June 06, 2014, 01:07:24 am »
O.K. so we've acknowledged that someone might die.  But if you took only the number of crew that you needed (no contingency after that), and you just lost one, isn't the mission due to fail by definition?

Of course not. As I said, they don't take just the minimum crew, the minimum includes a contingency backup pair.
In theory two people are required to complete any mission goals.
A scientist to do science stuff, and an engineer to fix stuff and solve problems and help out.
The 2nd pair is a backup so they always stay behind in the station when the others go out.
If you lose one, you have just lost your scientist or engineer backup. That's not a show stopper.

And it's not just people backup. Read Zubrin's Mars Direct plan, it also includes backups in ground hubs, ships mid flight etc. Everything is backed up, not just the crew.
 

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #46 on: June 06, 2014, 01:10:42 am »
Yes, you are exactly correct.  That's what I've been trying to say from the very beginning.  Sending humans to Mars with existing propulsion methods will take too long.  It is just too far.

No.
And every expert on the subject thinks you are wrong too.
Like I've said, long term habs are pretty well proven. Long term space flight (and psychology) is fairly well proven.
All you need is the money and the people willing to do it. Neither is hard to get if you try.
 

Offline retrolefty

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #47 on: June 06, 2014, 01:12:19 am »
O.K. so we've acknowledged that someone might die.  But if you took only the number of crew that you needed (no contingency after that), and you just lost one, isn't the mission due to fail by definition?

Of course not. As I said, they don't take just the minimum crew, the minimum includes a contingency backup pair.
In theory two people are required to complete any mission goals.
A scientist to do science stuff, and an engineer to fix stuff and solve problems and help out.
The 2nd pair is a backup so they always stay behind in the station when the others go out.
If you lose one, you have just lost your scientist or engineer backup. That's not a show stopper.

And it's not just people backup. Read Zubrin's Mars Direct plan, it also includes backups in ground hubs, ships mid flight etc. Everything is backed up, not just the crew.

 I still want to know what the mission objectives for these 4 people to accomplish? What are the mission goals, payload, objectives?
 

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #48 on: June 06, 2014, 02:01:28 am »
I still want to know what the mission objectives for these 4 people to accomplish? What are the mission goals, payload, objectives?

To boldly go where no man has gone before.
Depends on who you ask and who's be in charge of it. But the main goal would be to get real eyeballs there so that we can search, dig, explore, and you know, expand the human race beyond earth. Small stuff like that. That's why you send a scientist, once they get there they will no doubt find interesting stuff to explore. There would be a key basic goal like searching for previous life, but beyond that, it's the stuff you don't know about yet that is the most interesting.
The unique part about sending humans is the ability to explore instantly and in real time.
The plan would include rovers too, so that they can explore the surface far from base camp.
Humans can literally do more exploring in a few days than any rover could in it's entire mission. You vastly overrate the ability of robots on another planet. They are extremely limited.

And quite frankly, I think one of the main goals would be not the trip itself, but the public's reaction to it. It would get people interested in and talking about science and exploration again. Finally something bigger than our same old piss-ant petty problems back home. That alone is priceless.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2014, 02:13:27 am by EEVblog »
 

Offline mtdoc

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #49 on: June 06, 2014, 02:38:28 am »

And quite frankly, I think one of the main goals would be not the trip itself, but the public's reaction to it. It would get people interested in and talking about science and exploration again. Finally something bigger than our same old piss-ant petty problems back home. That alone is priceless.

Dave,

I admire your enthusiasm and idealism. I agree with you about the feasibility and approach to a Mars mission.

But...  I'm afraid the era of such high minded goals for human society has passed.   We could do it but we won't.

The money and resources needed to accomplish this task will not be made available.  We have no leaders who are willing or able to take us there. If one arose and dare try - they would not last long. Too many of us have been indoctrinated with the post Reagan/Thatcher short term greed and me first ideology sung to the tune of "not with my tax dollars..."

We're in a different world than the 1960s. The corporations (and their sock puppet politicians and military muscle) will not allow us to go there unless short term profits are to be had.  A space shuttle and space station to further ability to place and maintain satellites - sure - but a trip to Mars - I'm afraid not.

Sorry for the downer perspective... :'(
 

Offline Bored@Work

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #50 on: June 06, 2014, 04:45:12 am »
What to do with a dead body - Eject it into space - what else. 

A waste of fertilizer.
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Offline Lightages

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #51 on: June 06, 2014, 04:48:00 am »
Radiation protection in interplanetary space is not a trivial thing. Any shielded room will add huge amounts of mass. It is still not clear what is needed.

Digging below the surface of Mars is not just to protect from radiation. Meteors basically have no problem making it to the surface and you will need a lot of soil above you to protect from bigger ones that might make it down. When I say bigger ones I mean things the size of a small rock that would just burn up harmlessly in our upper atmosphere.

The money spent on Earth killing people is most certainly a huge amount. Getting politicians to go along with using this money for space instead of paranoia and for more than the ten year we will need to make it work is harder than getting to Mars IMHO.

As far as sending only atheists, I am all for that. I would actually like to buy an island and make an atheist country too. The problem with trying to push too many frontiers and alienating the public will surely make sure the politicians oppose any funding like that.

If we discovered a huge asteroid on its way to hit the Earth in 20 years and it would wipe out all life, I bet even the most opposed to going to Mars would be climbing over each other to get on the space craft. Maybe we need to find that killer asteroid so we can convince people that getting off this planet and spreading out is a good idea!

Actually, here is a cool concept:


And again, whatever the plan, I would sign up to go!

« Last Edit: June 06, 2014, 08:49:11 pm by Lightages »
 

Online Jeroen3

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #52 on: June 06, 2014, 09:11:27 am »
But...  I'm afraid the era of such high minded goals for human society has passed.   We could do it but we won't.
First there needs to be a motivator. Such as a new cold war space race or a financial profit on exotic mars-oil. Or maybe a killer asteroid, but is mars the best choice in that case?

Before any of that, nobody is going to anywhere apart from small robots funded by scientists.

The radiation is an issue, but not a direct life threatening situation. You'd just die younger due to cancer.
 

Online EEVblog

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #53 on: June 06, 2014, 10:08:04 am »
But...  I'm afraid the era of such high minded goals for human society has passed.   We could do it but we won't.

Not with people with attitudes like that. Thankfully you don't get a say in it.
So what's your grand plan to get society excited about something again? You know, the stuff that makes us uniquely human.
Or should we just sit here and mope on forums?
If governments won't do it, private enterprise will.
A trip could probably be funded by media and sponsorship rights alone from someone cluey enough. And there are plenty of people working on that right now.
You will be proven wrong.

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The money and resources needed to accomplish this task will not be made available.

You can read see the future can you?

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  We have no leaders who are willing or able to take us there.

Leader typically change every 4 or 8 years or so.

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If one arose and dare try - they would not last long.

Wanna bet.

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We're in a different world than the 1960s. The corporations (and their sock puppet politicians and military muscle) will not allow us to go there unless short term profits are to be had. 

They don't have a say in it if you have a leader with big enough balls.

Quote
Sorry for the downer perspective... :'(

It's ok to be wrong  ;D
 

Online EEVblog

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #54 on: June 06, 2014, 10:11:39 am »
What to do with a dead body - Eject it into space - what else. 
A waste of fertilizer.

Actually, on second thought it would be better to use it as a science experiment. Decompression to space or mars atmosphere etc. Could learn a lot.
 

Offline HackedFridgeMagnet

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #55 on: June 06, 2014, 12:26:40 pm »
We need to start building the "B" Ark like the Golgafrinchams in Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.

We will build the other ones later.

http://www.geoffwilkins.net/fragments/Adams.htm
 

Offline stitch

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #56 on: June 06, 2014, 04:23:32 pm »
The money and resources needed to accomplish this task will not be made available.
That's correct.  A full scale expedition to Mars would be way too costly.  And the only kind of people who believe in the 4-man stunt are dreamers, "experts" selling a book, and dot com posers with no known physical address.  So we are where we are, right where Carl Sagan said we should be … robots.
 

Offline Rigby

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #57 on: June 06, 2014, 04:51:11 pm »
The money and resources needed to accomplish this task will not be made available.
That's correct.  A full scale expedition to Mars would be way too costly.  And the only kind of people who believe in the 4-man stunt are dreamers, "experts" selling a book, and dot com posers with no known physical address.  So we are where we are, right where Carl Sagan said we should be … robots.

Robots are very effective and they have a very good price -> performance ratio, definitely.  Mankind will send itself to other planets and establish bases/colonies on those planets in the not too distant future, though.  Saying "what we're doing is good enough" with something like space exploration is a red flag, to me.  Once we lose the impetus to send ourselves further, and to learn more, we're dead as a species.
 

Offline stitch

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #58 on: June 06, 2014, 04:58:54 pm »
The money and resources needed to accomplish this task will not be made available.
That's correct.  A full scale expedition to Mars would be way too costly.  And the only kind of people who believe in the 4-man stunt are dreamers, "experts" selling a book, and dot com posers with no known physical address.  So we are where we are, right where Carl Sagan said we should be … robots.
Dreamers are good, however.  We need them.  Just don't let them handle the money.
 

Offline retrolefty

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #59 on: June 06, 2014, 05:43:05 pm »
The money and resources needed to accomplish this task will not be made available.
That's correct.  A full scale expedition to Mars would be way too costly.  And the only kind of people who believe in the 4-man stunt are dreamers, "experts" selling a book, and dot com posers with no known physical address.  So we are where we are, right where Carl Sagan said we should be … robots.
Dreamers are good, however.  We need them.  Just don't let them handle the money.

 Especially if it's not their own money.  ;)
 

Offline mtdoc

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #60 on: June 07, 2014, 02:53:56 am »
But...  I'm afraid the era of such high minded goals for human society has passed.   We could do it but we won't.

Not with people with attitudes like that.
Shoot the messenger, huh?

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So what's your grand plan to get society excited about something again?
  Don't have one. Don't want one. 

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You know, the stuff that makes us uniquely human. 

Or should we just sit here and mope on forums?

OK, so my only choices are expecting a manned mission to mars or being in-human and moping on forums?  Well that sucks.

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If governments won't do it, private enterprise will.


Only if there's a profit in it.  I don't see it.

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You can read see the future can you?

Well, no of course I can't and neither can you. These are only probabilities and opinions.  I think it is a low probability that there will ever be a manned Mars mission (not that I'm happy about that) and you think it's a high probability.  Viva la difference!  :) 

Quote
Quote
  We have no leaders who are willing or able to take us there.

Leader typically change every 4 or 8 years or so.

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If one arose and dare try - they would not last long.

Wanna bet.

Quote
We're in a different world than the 1960s. The corporations (and their sock puppet politicians and military muscle) will not allow us to go there unless short term profits are to be had. 

They don't have a say in it if you have a leader with big enough balls.

Tell that to the Kenedeys....

Quote
Quote
Sorry for the downer perspective... :'(

It's ok to be wrong  ;D

Yes, it is.

Look - I have 2 young boys (who are not much older than Sagan).  I would love for them to live in a world with a sustainable population and a steady state economy powered by clean, renewable energy and full of high tech gadgetry and manned missions to Mars. But unfortunately I see the likelyhood of that happening having about the same probability as a world full of rainbows powered by unicorn farts.

I sincerely hope I'm wrong. :)
 

Online EEVblog

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #61 on: June 07, 2014, 03:21:13 am »
Well, no of course I can't and neither can you. These are only probabilities and opinions.  I think it is a low probability that there will ever be a manned Mars mission (not that I'm happy about that) and you think it's a high probability.  Viva la difference!  :) 

Ah, the classic argument of assuming that both points of view have equal merit, they don't.
You see, there are several counties, space agencies, and private corporations working on manned mars missions. And there is growing consensus in the space community that it's not only viable, but it's going to happen. It's "the vibe" (aussie joke). A lot of money and time is being invested in this. So if you actually look at it, there is a lot of evidence there that it's more likely than not going to happen.
To bet against it happening in our lifetime are I think are very long odds indeed.

What do you think are the odds are manned missions back to the moon? And if that happens, does that improve the chances of a manned mars mission?

 

Offline retrolefty

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #62 on: June 07, 2014, 03:28:59 am »
Well, no of course I can't and neither can you. These are only probabilities and opinions.  I think it is a low probability that there will ever be a manned Mars mission (not that I'm happy about that) and you think it's a high probability.  Viva la difference!  :) 

Ah, the classic argument of assuming that both points of view have equal merit, they don't.
You see, there are several counties, space agencies, and private corporations working on manned mars missions. And there is growing consensus in the space community that it's not only viable, but it's going to happen. It's "the vibe" (aussie joke). A lot of money and time is being invested in this. So if you actually look at it, there is a lot of evidence there that it's more likely than not going to happen.
To bet against it happening in our lifetime are I think are very long odds indeed.

What do you think are the odds are manned missions back to the moon? And if that happens, does that improve the chances of a manned mars mission?

 I think the Chinese will go to the moon within the next decade or so, as a national ego thing. But a mars mission is still way off in the future in my opinion.

 

 

Offline mtdoc

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #63 on: June 07, 2014, 04:02:39 am »

You see, there are several counties, space agencies, and private corporations working on manned mars missions. And there is growing consensus in the space community that it's not only viable, but it's going to happen. It's "the vibe" (aussie joke). A lot of money and time is being invested in this. So if you actually look at it, there is a lot of evidence there that it's more likely than not going to happen.
To bet against it happening in our lifetime are I think are very long odds indeed.

What do you think are the odds are manned missions back to the moon? And if that happens, does that improve the chances of a manned mars mission?

Well I'm sure you know a lot more about the current state of manned Mars mission R and D than I do. I do remember back in the 1990's when I lived in the San Francisco Bay area, I had 2 friends who worked for Nasa/JPL. One was activey involved in Mars mission work. They were really excited about it at the time - so I only can imagine the progress and large numbers of enthusiastic engineers working on it now.  I do think it is technically possible and very achievable. But I think there's a huge difference between the R and D costs and the actual resources required to do it, between what's possible and what's likely.  I just don't see it happening.

Odds of new manned missions to the moon?  Low, I suspect but more likely than Mars. Yeah maybe China will do it.

The problem is that the USA is an empire in decline. We can't even keep our roads and bridges in good repair.  China would like to be next in the global empire line.  IMO they are making a big mistake in trying to mimic the Wests approach to rapid industrialization - they're too late to the party. The easy resources are gone. They're getting all the problems (ie pollution, urban slums) and will see little of the benefits.  But a trip to the moon - sure - they may try it as a national morale booster.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2014, 04:04:50 am by mtdoc »
 

Offline lewis

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #64 on: June 12, 2014, 07:10:06 pm »
Forget Mars, Alpha Centauri is where it's at.

Check this out - the warp drive might actually be possible. Not only possible, but practical. Now THAT'S a vision for mankind.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2014/06/11/this-is-the-amazing-design-for-nasas-star-trek-style-space-ship-the-ixs-enterprise/
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Offline mtdoc

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #65 on: June 12, 2014, 07:31:20 pm »
Forget Mars, Alpha Centauri is where it's at.

Check this out - the warp drive might actually be possible. Not only possible, but practical. Now THAT'S a vision for mankind.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2014/06/11/this-is-the-amazing-design-for-nasas-star-trek-style-space-ship-the-ixs-enterprise/

Pretty cool to fantasize about but..

Quote
Essentially, the empty space behind a starship would be made to expand rapidly, pushing the craft in a forward direction — passengers would perceive it as movement despite the complete lack of acceleration.
 
White speculates that such a drive could result in “speeds” that could take a spacecraft to Alpha Centauri in a mere two weeks — even though the system is 4.3 light-years away.

Remember..

 

Offline lewis

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #66 on: June 12, 2014, 09:17:28 pm »
Not that I pretend to understand it, but apparently nothing can move faster than the speed of light through space. But there's nothing stopping space itself moving faster than light. This explains why the universe is bigger than 13.7 billion light years in radius.

More interesting stuff here:

« Last Edit: June 12, 2014, 09:28:59 pm by lewis »
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Offline mtdoc

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #67 on: June 12, 2014, 09:44:43 pm »
Pretty cool. But I don't think that helps us get to Alpha Centauri.

For an explanation of Relativity. Nothing beats Marylin Monroe...

« Last Edit: June 12, 2014, 09:46:41 pm by mtdoc »
 

Offline rob77

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #68 on: June 12, 2014, 10:36:16 pm »
Not that I pretend to understand it, but apparently nothing can move faster than the speed of light through space. But there's nothing stopping space itself moving faster than light. This explains why the universe is bigger than 13.7 billion light years in radius.

More interesting stuff here:


the other explanation could be:  we're just wrong :D
 

Offline stitch

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #69 on: June 13, 2014, 03:53:35 am »
Forget Mars, Alpha Centauri is where it's at.

Check this out - the warp drive might actually be possible. Not only possible, but practical. Now THAT'S a vision for mankind.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2014/06/11/this-is-the-amazing-design-for-nasas-star-trek-style-space-ship-the-ixs-enterprise/

Great concept art - probably mostly done in 3D Modeling programs then finished in Photoshop.  Makes you think that they actually built it. 
 

Offline gildasd

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #70 on: June 19, 2014, 10:11:31 pm »
All this number crunching is really neat and all.

However, in the maritime sector the crew sizing is done in a very different way.
The IMO rules (International Maritime Organization) are based on a worst case scenario:
Why? Because the bean counters will tell you that you can run a 150m plus ship with 4 or 5 crew (equivalent to a 2 person Mars crew).

But what happens when the shit hits the warp drive? Because, whatever probabilities tell you, it always will. Murphy ALWAYS wins.

IMO crew numbers are based on the minimal team size needed to save the ship/and or the crew. And thus you need 17 to 30 men (depending on ship type) on board.
But they don't just stand around waiting for a container to burn or the deck officers to get food poisoning from frozen lobster, they are used to do maintenance that avoid costly time in dry dock.
And in any case, the cost of the crew is but a rounding error of the cost of fuel and lubricants.

So for a trip to Mars, the same idea would be true. How many men do you need to do a 2 team emergency repair? 3, 4 even 5? Well that's your crew and they represent an insignificant amount of weight to put in orbit compared to the weight of the fuel to get them there.

So effort should be focused on getting fuel in space cheaper and using it more efficiently rather than cutting the crew leaving it unable to react to an emergency.
And if you got more crew hanging around, well, do MORE science.

Disclaimer - I sometimes brainstorm silly ideas for Copenhagen Suborbital.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2014, 10:26:36 pm by gildasd »
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Offline gildasd

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #71 on: June 20, 2014, 09:27:31 am »
Reading the X15 data...

It's amazing how close and FAST the US airforce was to building a fully reusable SPACEfrickingPLANE before the politicians, MBA's and other meeting/useless paperwork/buttcovering addicted bureaucratic dickheads got in the way.

The design were tooling up a bigger fuel load X15 with Ramjets (for the atmospheric acceleration phase) that was going to go suborbital.
Basically do the same thing as the  Alan Shepard hop, but with a SPACEfrickingPLANE!!!

Was the X15 project expensive? Yes, but got a lot more done in much less time AND money than what NASA has done since.

How has the X15 project evolved in the 44 years since? A bloody hardly working RC model on the end of a Pegasus rocket. Pathetic. Billions just for that.
But I bet it followed all the design management phases taught in all MBA courses. Oh golly gee.


Want to go to space? Simple, fire all the managers.

http://history.nasa.gov/x15conf/toc.html
http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/tu2000.htm
« Last Edit: June 20, 2014, 09:52:54 am by gildasd »
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Offline TimMcDonald

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #72 on: June 22, 2014, 10:54:15 pm »
Mars is certainly a touch stone the idea of people on another planet is neat but the real goal should be working to assure the survival of the human race in the event of a catastrophic event on Earth or in our solar system. Finding a way to support Human life outside of our Magnetosphere and creating an infrastructure off planet that can support further exploration and colonization regardless of what happens on Earth or Mars should be the goal. Colonies on phobos and the moon would achieve and prove more than colonizing mars. 

The first thing we should do is lick the radiation issues a habitat outside of the earths magnetosphere that can support multiple generations of life should be a top priority. The earths magnetosphere the great protector is a measly fraction of a gauss so creating an artificial magnetosphere thousands of time stronger should be achievable. As for the shielding afforded us by atmosphere,  the amount of air in the half square meter above your head is approximately a ton to achieve the same with water would require about 30 feet of water. These specs seem achievable and would achieve more than colonizing mars would.

I wonder how safe the lagrange points are? Placing space stations at major lagrange points might be the way to go. Meteor strikes are certainly a threat but there are many scenarios that could create apocalyptic conditions on Earth and Mars simultaneously so spreading ourselves far and wide and identifying the safest spots in the solar should be a priority.
 

Offline TimMcDonald

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #73 on: June 22, 2014, 10:57:48 pm »
As far as crew sizes go I will take a few top notch generalists, expert systems and extensive libraries over a throng of specialist any day.
 

Offline crusader66

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #74 on: October 01, 2014, 09:19:02 pm »
What a great discussion and too bad it is tucked in a far away corner of the forum.  Dave's enthusiasm for exploration is inspiring and necessary and it is a shame that more humans have lost this.  I am commenting because I think this is a fascinating topic and am hoping my 3-month-late response will bring the discussion back to life.  A few more thoughts.

Why go?  Because it is there.

Why are human explorers better than probes and rovers?  Because 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. 

Will people die?  Yes, but at least it is for something that might be spectacular. 
 

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?
 

Online 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.
 

Online 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.
 

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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 »
 

Offline 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.
 

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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."
 

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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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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #100 on: October 09, 2014, 03:38:41 am »
For now, we can direct our limited resources elsewhere - like towards a better propulsion system which will shorten time in space.

They aren't mutually exclusive.
 

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #101 on: October 09, 2014, 03:41:40 am »
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."

Repeating that doesn't make it right  :P
In fact it's demonstrably false. We could put humans on mars in a decade if we had the desire and budget.
Want proof?
Going to the moon was a gigantic leap of engineering and science faith at the time the call was made.
We didn't know if we could dock in space, navigate and work in space, survive the radiation, the moon and it's composition, have the rocket technology, have the computer and navigation technology required etc. And I could probably throw dozens of more thing into the mix of what we didn't know was possible.
Yet we did it, in under 10 years.

Now we know we can do all that stuff, and we know a ton about Mars and it's composition, and we have landed things on mars and other foreign bodies, and we have an infinite more computing and technology progress since Apollo. Various teams have prototypes running of Mars habitats and self sustaining technology etc.
We have long endurance space flight down pat. Ok, not so great for human health without artificial gravity, but that's beside the point.

And you seriously think we have "insurmountable challenges of penetrating the hostility and enormous distances of space are simply too great" ?
Apollo has to be an order or magnitude more complex than pulling off a Mars trip.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2014, 03:50:59 am by EEVblog »
 

Offline stitch

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #102 on: October 09, 2014, 04:12:44 am »
The point is once you have a human on board, that changes the game entirely.

Yes.  Here are some of the changes:
Kleenex
Toilet Paper
Socks
Underwear
Pajamas
Towels
… what am I leaving out?
 

Offline stitch

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #103 on: October 09, 2014, 04:20:52 am »
And you seriously think we have "insurmountable challenges of penetrating the hostility and enormous distances of space are simply too great" ?

Yes. For now.
 

Offline Rigby

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #104 on: October 09, 2014, 08:13:30 am »
You keep saying "for now" as if it is some capitulation that makes the rest of what you're saying palatable, or something.

I think you're just more interested in space tech than space exploration.  That's perfectly fine, just say THAT, if that's what you mean.

We can focus on more than one thing.  The budget limitations I was speaking of overcoming won't get us anywhere useful except working on multiple research and experimentation topics simultaneously.  It won't get better equipment into space, it will get us learning from our mistakes a LOT more quickly.

Dave is right about what we can do in a decade.  The original Gemini missions were purely a proving ground for the unknown quantities that are now known quantities.  Can people survive in 0G, what toll if any does microgravity have on the human body, can we dock vehicles reliably, can we get there and back reliably, can we do all the necessary stuff in order to "land a man on the moon, and return him safely to the earth" reliably?

That stuff is all proven and shaves years off of what we'd need to do to regain a presence on other planets and/or moons.

Yes, rocket tech is definitely part of it, and research proceeds in that area today.  How many more things could be tried and proven (or disproven) if budget was not an issue?  How much faster could research projects and trials be completed and advanced to next stages if there were 10x as many people on 10x as many projects?  OF COURSE more budget will help speed things up, and I think we would discover things we weren't expecting to discover if we branched out a bit and worked on research topics that weren't rigged to win from the start.

Right now, because of budgeting, only the MOST promising technologies see any real attention.  We can learn things from the less promising endeavors, too, and that is what really saddens me about current research.  I am not saying that we should throw a bunch of science to the wall and see what sticks, but I think we could be a little looser with what we pay serious attention to in the hope of stumbling across some advancement or discovery that would not have been found had we stuck only to the conventional stuff.

It is a travesty how little the US spends on space in comparison to how much we spend on war.  We talk the talk of returning to manufacturing, engineering, innovation, yet we throw so much money away on war.  Take half of what we spend on war, give it to NASA.  Take the other half and pay for college for everyone that wants to study science or engineering.  Give any leftovers back to the general fund.  Then just sit back and watch lots and lots of things (economy, business growth, GDP, education, sudden surge of tech innovation, etc.) improve.  EVERYTHING will improve in the long term.  Every. Thing.
 

Offline rob77

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #105 on: October 09, 2014, 08:20:14 am »
The point is once you have a human on board, that changes the game entirely.

Yes.  Here are some of the changes:
Kleenex
Toilet Paper
Socks
Underwear
Pajamas
Towels
… what am I leaving out?

breathable air
carbon dioxide removal
fresh oxygen supply for breathing
drinking water
water recycling
food (lot's of food for a trip to mars)
waste collection (lot's of shit produced during that trip)
.....
and a shitload of others ;)

it's really freaking complicated once you have to provide life support in a harsh environment.
 

Offline Rigby

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #106 on: October 09, 2014, 03:05:53 pm »
Those are all solveable, and actually SOLVED problems...  Not sure what you're getting at, really. 

The ISS gets resupplied, and unmanned resupply ships could be sent to Mars.  Could be sent to a ship in transit to Mars. 

There's nothing about any of that that would necessarily rule out a manned mission...

If I'm not seeing your point, please restate it.
 

Offline coppice

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #107 on: October 09, 2014, 04:10:08 pm »
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.
The Apollo 13 crew didn't save the mission. They saved themselves. They couldn't save the mission, because getting rock back to the Earth *was* the major part of the mission.
 

Offline stitch

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #108 on: October 09, 2014, 04:46:24 pm »
You keep saying "for now" as if it is some capitulation that makes the rest of what you're saying palatable, or something.

When I say "for now" I mean until we develop the technology (and we will) to shorten time in space via better propulsion or even time travel. 
 

Offline stitch

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #109 on: October 09, 2014, 05:26:04 pm »
I think you're just more interested in space tech than space exploration.  That's perfectly fine, just say THAT, if that's what you mean.


I'm very interested in space exploration. That's why I spoke up on this forum originally. What I oppose is diverting funds away from the successful path of space exploration that we are currently pursuing using probes.  While the dreamers are befuddling themselves over how to do an old-school stuffing of flesh and blood into a tin can and keeping it alive for two years just to say "we did it", the rest of us are supporting the steady stream of relatively low cost probes that are actually delivering results - and we resist those who are quick to talk about their dreams, but never say anything about the costs.
 

Offline stitch

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #110 on: October 09, 2014, 05:40:43 pm »
The ISS gets resupplied, and unmanned resupply ships could be sent to Mars.  Could be sent to a ship in transit to Mars. 
If I'm not seeing your point, please restate it.

That is my point.  You're gonna need a bigger boat.  As I said in my original post, like Christopher Columbus, you're gonna need a fleet ... just to keep the flesh and blood alive.  Now ... show me the money.  Then, please list all of the exploration you can't do because you spent so much money on the fleet.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2014, 06:35:13 pm by stitch »
 

Offline rob77

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #111 on: October 09, 2014, 05:52:59 pm »
Those are all solveable, and actually SOLVED problems...  Not sure what you're getting at, really. 

The ISS gets resupplied, and unmanned resupply ships could be sent to Mars.  Could be sent to a ship in transit to Mars. 

There's nothing about any of that that would necessarily rule out a manned mission...

If I'm not seeing your point, please restate it.

sorry to say this, but especially the part:
Quote
Could be sent to a ship in transit to Mars.
of you post is extremely funny  :-DD apparently you know literally NOTHING about orbital mechanics and transfer orbits ;)
 

Offline stitch

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #112 on: October 09, 2014, 06:01:36 pm »
The point is once you have a human on board, that changes the game entirely.

Yes.  Here are some of the changes:
Kleenex
Toilet Paper
Socks
Underwear
Pajamas
Towels
… what am I leaving out?

breathable air
carbon dioxide removal
fresh oxygen supply for breathing
drinking water
water recycling
food (lot's of food for a trip to mars)
waste collection (lot's of shit produced during that trip)
.....
and a shitload of others ;)

it's really freaking complicated once you have to provide life support in a harsh environment.

Thank you!
 

Offline Rigby

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #113 on: October 09, 2014, 10:40:44 pm »
Those are all solveable, and actually SOLVED problems...  Not sure what you're getting at, really. 

The ISS gets resupplied, and unmanned resupply ships could be sent to Mars.  Could be sent to a ship in transit to Mars. 

There's nothing about any of that that would necessarily rule out a manned mission...

If I'm not seeing your point, please restate it.

sorry to say this, but especially the part:
Quote
Could be sent to a ship in transit to Mars.
of you post is extremely funny  :-DD apparently you know literally NOTHING about orbital mechanics and transfer orbits ;)
You have no idea what I know about orbital mechanics, and you seem to bring it up specifically to attack. 

I will bite, however.

So there are good times to launch a ship to mars and there are bad times.  You also want resupply ships, if you employ them, to arrive at regular intervals, potentially during the trip as well as after landing.  So, since the time to actually reach mars depends heavily on where the earth and mars are in their orbits at launch time, resupply ships can't be launched at regular intervals AND arrive at regular intervals. 

I don't know a lot about orbital mechanics, true.  HUGE thanks for pointing that out, by the way.  That must have taken a lot of courage and bravery.  Major life goal completed there, for you, potentially. Bravo.

I do know that there are complications to delivering things from a moving planet, to a moving planet, at specific, regular intercals, and that launch windows are finite things for a given flight plan.  Ships can travel at different speeds and one ship can overtake another safely.  They might move at different speeds so that they can launch during windows that fit specific arrival times, and arrive when needed.

I'm not sure what you wanted from me with that comment, but I wanted to explain my thinking.

Please remember to take advantage of my ignorance and point out every flaw in my logic.  I expect nothing less. 

We can land a spaceship on a specific effing asteroid.  If we can do that, we can rendezvous a supply vessel and a manned ship, in flight.

Have a lovely [your current time period.]
« Last Edit: October 09, 2014, 10:54:47 pm by Rigby »
 

Offline rob77

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #114 on: October 11, 2014, 04:40:02 am »
Those are all solveable, and actually SOLVED problems...  Not sure what you're getting at, really. 

The ISS gets resupplied, and unmanned resupply ships could be sent to Mars.  Could be sent to a ship in transit to Mars. 

There's nothing about any of that that would necessarily rule out a manned mission...

If I'm not seeing your point, please restate it.

sorry to say this, but especially the part:
Quote
Could be sent to a ship in transit to Mars.
of you post is extremely funny  :-DD apparently you know literally NOTHING about orbital mechanics and transfer orbits ;)
You have no idea what I know about orbital mechanics, and you seem to bring it up specifically to attack. 

I will bite, however.

So there are good times to launch a ship to mars and there are bad times.  You also want resupply ships, if you employ them, to arrive at regular intervals, potentially during the trip as well as after landing.  So, since the time to actually reach mars depends heavily on where the earth and mars are in their orbits at launch time, resupply ships can't be launched at regular intervals AND arrive at regular intervals. 

I don't know a lot about orbital mechanics, true.  HUGE thanks for pointing that out, by the way.  That must have taken a lot of courage and bravery.  Major life goal completed there, for you, potentially. Bravo.

I do know that there are complications to delivering things from a moving planet, to a moving planet, at specific, regular intercals, and that launch windows are finite things for a given flight plan.  Ships can travel at different speeds and one ship can overtake another safely.  They might move at different speeds so that they can launch during windows that fit specific arrival times, and arrive when needed.

I'm not sure what you wanted from me with that comment, but I wanted to explain my thinking.

Please remember to take advantage of my ignorance and point out every flaw in my logic.  I expect nothing less. 

We can land a spaceship on a specific effing asteroid.  If we can do that, we can rendezvous a supply vessel and a manned ship, in flight.

Have a lovely [your current time period.]

my point was mainly that it's impossible to re-supply a ship in flight to mars - and that was your statement exactly ;)
of course it's possible to send supplies first and then the human crew and later on send supplies again during the next opportunity for a flight to Mars, but there is  no way to resupply a ship in flight to mars. in fact you would have to fly to Mars with something comparable in size to half of the ISS , or the size of older MIR space stations in order to provide life support for more than 8  months without resupply.

and regarding the different speeds for spacecrafts... there is a practical limit - the amount of fuel vs. mass - so it's always the escape velocity + the necessary delta-V for the task to save as much as possible. doesn't matter whether it's a flight to mars or moon or whatever other flight.
 

Offline Rigby

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #115 on: October 11, 2014, 03:44:38 pm »
Right about the escape velocity.  You don't have to launch from earth though.
 

Offline stitch

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #116 on: October 11, 2014, 05:04:33 pm »
Right about the escape velocity.
Don't forget about deceleration when you get to Mars.  In addition to hurling a huge mass of life support to Mars, you also have to hurl a huge mass of fuel and engines to bring the huge mass of life support to a dead stop.
 

Offline SeanB

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #117 on: October 11, 2014, 05:31:15 pm »
Launching from orbit merely decreases the mass that you are carrying along as used propellant holding. You still need to lift all the fuel up a gravity well and get it to 12km/s, then use a little in orbital manoeuvring and in holding while waiting for the main crewed vehicle to get there.

So you launch eg 5 Arianne 9 rockets into LEO, all into the same orbital plane and then use the second stage engines and reaction control to get them into a close constellation, and still have about 20% of each fuel load in tankage, and then have a third stage that is mostly supplies in containers that will be strapped to the transfer vehicle. Then launch your crewed vehicle to achieve the same orbit with enough fuel to either abort back or go for matching. then the difficult task of catching each stage, coupling to it, firing ullage motors to allow the fuel to flow via a pump,and transferring supplies to get a fully fuelled transfer vehicle. Each depleted tank must then have enough fuel to deorbit safely. Once this is done then you will have your Mars vehicle with a full fuel and supplied load.
 

Offline HackedFridgeMagnet

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #118 on: October 11, 2014, 11:37:27 pm »
I heard this game is good for learning about space trajectory plotting. Haven't played it though. There is a demo.

https://kerbalspaceprogram.com/about.php
 

Offline Alex Eisenhut

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #119 on: October 30, 2014, 11:12:21 am »


Blue circle = Earth.
Moon = d

ISS = a

Just saying.
 

Offline Alex Eisenhut

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #120 on: October 30, 2014, 03:29:50 pm »


Blue circle = Earth.
Moon = d

ISS = a

Just saying.

http://www.distancetomars.com/

Any questions?
 

Offline HackedFridgeMagnet

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #121 on: October 30, 2014, 09:08:28 pm »
Quote
Any questions?

whats b, c and e?
 

Offline Alex Eisenhut

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #122 on: October 30, 2014, 09:10:47 pm »
 

Offline atferrari

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #123 on: October 30, 2014, 10:02:44 pm »
In voyage not to Mars but from Canada to Italy, two days before crossing Gibraltar strait, I got my left ear infected with the added bonus of a horrible pain. No nurse nor doctor on board.

In 40 hours I lost my hearing capability thus nowadays I can perceive just noise (if strong, I cannot avoid the pain it causes).

The otolaryngologist at Ravenna confirmed that the nerve had died.

The sole time in 17 years at sea I suffered a serious disease.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2014, 10:05:58 pm by atferrari »
Agustín Tomás
In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, however, there is.
 

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #124 on: October 30, 2014, 10:58:47 pm »
Don't understand that bullshit about doctors. Well, of course there is a risk that someone gets sick, but:
1. Space crew members are selected very seriously so only healthiest will pass.
2. They definitely will receive medical training, and will have remote support from experienced doctors on earth. So unless they need surgeon, there is no real use of doctor on board. As medical capabilities will be limited anyway (medicine, medical equipment), I don't see any real advantage what real doctor could give.
3. There will not be any other infections rather than those which could be taken on board before the start. -> look look paragraph 1. Therefore someone cannot catch flu, hepatitis or whatever unless it was already there.
4. Of course serious disinfection/inspection will be made so no pathological bacteria/viruses pass on board.

Therefore unless someone gets very seriously injured (where?), I don't see real problem. You know, even nowadays there are hermits and tribes who live for decades in the wood, mountains or name it. They do not have any modern technology, medical care, any medicine, nothing, yet they manage to survive somehow. Only very serious issue is absence of earth gravity which of course negatively impacts men's health.
 

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #125 on: October 30, 2014, 11:06:37 pm »
http://www.distancetomars.com/
Any questions?

Yes, what is your point?
it's not the distance, it's the time required.
A typical mars trip is in the order of 400days return. 245 days return is possible.
There is nothing really unusual here when you compare it with ocean voyages of previous centuries.
It is certainly not a stretch of the imagine to think these durations trips are not easily possible, we just have to decide to do it.
 

Online EEVblog

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #126 on: October 30, 2014, 11:13:50 pm »
Don't understand that bullshit about doctors. Well, of course there is a risk that someone gets sick, but:
1. Space crew members are selected very seriously so only healthiest will pass.
2. They definitely will receive medical training, and will have remote support from experienced doctors on earth. So unless they need surgeon, there is no real use of doctor on board.

Yes. The medical excuse is a huge red herring.
It has nothing to do with whether or not the trip is possible.
It's just yet another detail that has to be considered, along with crew psychology, exercise etc.

Quote
3. There will not be any other infections rather than those which could be taken on board before the start. -> look look paragraph 1. Therefore someone cannot catch flu, hepatitis or whatever unless it was already there.
4. Of course serious disinfection/inspection will be made so no pathological bacteria/viruses pass on board.

They could indeed be healthier and better off than us.
Us poor schmucks here on earth in the general population have to chance infections, transmitted things,  food poisoning among others things daily.

Quote
Only very serious issue is absence of earth gravity which of course negatively impacts men's health.

Any Mars trip would include artificial gravity. Usually by the rotating tethered sling idea.
 

Offline stitch

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #127 on: October 31, 2014, 12:41:02 am »
Don't understand that bullshit about doctors ...Therefore unless someone gets very seriously injured (where?), I don't see real problem.
shrapnel from an oxygen tank explosion as in Apollo 13 April 14, 1970,
burn from an onboard fire as in Mir Space Station February 24, 1997,
chemical burn,
electrical burn,
inhalation of toxic emissions,
broken bone during crash landing,
hypoxia,
frostbite,
systemic hypothermia,
rapid depressurization,
food poisoning,
rockpick through foot,
rockdrill through hand ...

Hey, we're only talking about prospecting, mining, and exploring a hostile planet millions of miles from Earth.  What could possibly go wrong?
 

Online wraper

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #128 on: October 31, 2014, 12:48:28 am »
Don't understand that bullshit about doctors ...Therefore unless someone gets very seriously injured (where?), I don't see real problem.
shrapnel from an oxygen tank explosion as in Apollo 13 April 14, 1970,
burn from an onboard fire as in Mir Space Station February 24, 1997,
chemical burn,
electrical burn,
inhalation of toxic emissions,
broken bone during crash landing,
hypoxia,
frostbite,
systemic hypothermia,
rapid depressurization,
food poisoning,
rockpick through foot,
rockdrill through hand ...

Hey, we're only talking about prospecting, mining, and exploring a hostile planet millions of miles from Earth.  What could possibly go wrong?
More than 2/3 of that = instant death  :-DD as any drill in limbs = depressurization. Or do they rockdrill their Mars base  :scared:.
 

Offline vk6zgo

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #129 on: October 31, 2014, 02:19:55 am »
Quote
Any questions?

whats b, c and e?

OK that right there was hilarious!

http://physics.ucsd.edu/do-the-math/2011/10/why-not-space/

Well,it would have been hilarious,if you had posted that link instead of the silly "pixel" one!

Actually,the survey really only shows the abysmal ignorance of the 18-22 year age group!

Greybeards have a pretty good idea of the relative distances,as we were around for Apollo,& usually take a bit of interest in the unmanned Mars probes.

If you ever look for Mars in the night sky,it is immediately obvious that it is a hell of a long way away!
 

Offline stitch

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #130 on: October 31, 2014, 02:29:03 am »
2. They definitely will receive medical training, and will have remote support from experienced doctors on earth.

So let me see if I've got this right.

Suddenly one evening while Dave and Chris are relaxing in their base craft, Chris grabs his stomach and begins writhing in pain.  Dave rushes to his side and helps him lie down.  Next he gets a glass of water for Chris to drink (he's  seen that done in movies many times).  Dave takes Chris's vital signs (as he was trained to do) then radios them back to Earth along with a verbal report of Chris's symptoms.

While waiting for the radio signal to travel the distance from Mars to Earth then back again, Dave gives Chris a little more water and searches through the medical database to find out what he should do.  But he is interrupted when Chris begins to vomit.  Before the communication from Earth can arrive, Chris has turned blue, stopped breathing, and died. 

Just as Dave is breaking out a body bag, the response from earth arrives - 32 minutes from when it was sent.  It reads,
"Message received.  We're working on it.  Whatever you do, don't let him lie down, and for God's sake, don't give him anything to drink".

Is that what you mean when you say, "remote support from experienced doctors on earth"?
 

Online EEVblog

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #131 on: October 31, 2014, 03:25:22 am »
shrapnel from an oxygen tank explosion as in Apollo 13 April 14, 1970,
burn from an onboard fire as in Mir Space Station February 24, 1997,
chemical burn,
electrical burn,
inhalation of toxic emissions,
broken bone during crash landing,
hypoxia,
frostbite,
systemic hypothermia,
rapid depressurization,
food poisoning,
rockpick through foot,
rockdrill through hand ...
Hey, we're only talking about prospecting, mining, and exploring a hostile planet millions of miles from Earth.  What could possibly go wrong?

Sure, but you are failing to understand how little mission value a real doctor would add in such scenarios over a scientist/engineer (the ones usually slated to be picked for a mars mission) who has spent many years also training for medical response.
It's not like they would send a party to mars without the crew having quite extensive medical training as well.
 

Online EEVblog

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #132 on: October 31, 2014, 03:32:27 am »
While waiting for the radio signal to travel the distance from Mars to Earth then back again, Dave gives Chris a little more water and searches through the medical database to find out what he should do.  But he is interrupted when Chris begins to vomit.  Before the communication from Earth can arrive, Chris has turned blue, stopped breathing, and died. 

Too bad for Chris  ;D
The brown proverbial stuff happens.
So you are asserting that a fully trained and decades experienced practicing (perhaps trauma emergency response) doctor is an absolute must on a mission?
What if that doctor gets in trouble and isn't able to self-doctor? (see, I can play the thought experiment game too  ;D )

BTW, searching through a medical database could conceivably take a minute or two, in addition to the extensive medical training I would have gotten before I left. But now we are playing semantics.

 

Offline mtdoc

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #133 on: October 31, 2014, 03:52:25 am »

Sure, but you are failing to understand how little mission value a real doctor would add in such scenarios over a scientist/engineer (the ones usually slated to be picked for a mars mission) who has spent many years also training for medical response.
It's not like they would send a party to mars without the crew having quite extensive medical training as well.

No reason for it to be either/or. There are plenty of physicians who are also engineers and even more physician scientists . Many examples of these have already been on space missions.
 

Online EEVblog

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #134 on: October 31, 2014, 05:51:45 am »
No reason for it to be either/or. There are plenty of physicians who are also engineers and even more physician scientists . Many examples of these have already been on space missions.

Sure, and I have explained before how that being a physician might indeed be a positive thing on a mars resume.
But we are talking about it being compulsory for at least one crew member. I (and many experts who have investigated such things extensively) argue that it's not a requirement.
 

Online wraper

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #135 on: October 31, 2014, 01:22:04 pm »
Well, I guess then Mars mission is impossible without housemaid, fitness instructor and personal massagist. Otherwise conditions would be completely unbearable and too dangerous for pure engineer/scientist folks  :).
 

Offline stitch

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #136 on: October 31, 2014, 05:39:43 pm »
So you are asserting that a fully trained and decades experienced practicing (perhaps trauma emergency response) doctor is an absolute must on a mission?
Yes. Two of them.  And a general practitioner.  I would also throw in a couple of nurses, a medical suite, a galley, a cook, a warehouse, a recreation room with a ping pong table, and anything else that you might find on a submarine and the submarine's parent fleet, because that is the best example of what you would need in order the get humans to the surface of Mars and sustain them throughout the duration of the mission.

Four one-chance yahoos in a tin can without a pilot?  No.
 

Offline stitch

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #137 on: October 31, 2014, 06:21:22 pm »
Well, I guess then Mars mission is impossible without housemaid, fitness instructor and personal massagist. Otherwise conditions would be completely unbearable and too dangerous for pure engineer/scientist folks  :).

Yes.  Hyperbole aside, that's pretty much right.
 

Online wraper

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Re: Four-man mission to Mars? No.
« Reply #138 on: October 31, 2014, 10:33:01 pm »
This tread really reminds me about Weird Al
 


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