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Mars Exploration 2: Manned Missions (Concepts; Preparations; etc.)

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Anonymous

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what'll happen with Mars

I just know that when we sort mars out we will send all our criminals there.

150 years later when they have a tough but peaceful community everyone will wanna live there.

:rolleyes:

am I talking crap or what :confused:
 
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RE: what'll happen with mars

Nah. That already happened. It's called 'Australia'.
 

Pete Younger

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I think that was the point that was being made, tongue in cheek.:rolleyes:
 

rynner2

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http://www3.cosmiverse.com/news/space/space07080202.html

Russia Wants Global Coalition for Manned Mars Mission
July 8, 2002 08:30 CDT

Russia announced an ambitious plan to land humans on Mars by 2014, but admitted it could not make the trip alone. Surprisingly, potential mission partners such as the United States and Europe greeted the invitation to participate with lukewarm enthusiasm.

The Russian plan involves building two spaceships capable of taking a crew to Mars, supporting them on the planet for up to two months, and safely bringing them home safely, according to Nikolai Anfimov, head of the Central Research Institute of Machine-Building. The flight is expected to take about 440 days.

At a cost estimated at $20 billion, the voyage would have to be an international effort, and Russian space officials indicated a willingness to commit to paying 30 percent of the cost. NASA could be expected as a major partner in such a project, but officials there were hesitant to indicate any interest in the Russian proposal at all.

NASA spokeswoman Delores Beasley told the Associated Press Friday the Russians have not sent the agency any formal plan and NASA would not comment on the proposed trip until one is received and studied. Because of demands from Congress to scale back costs, human travel to Mars, while still a goal, has taken a back seat to other more cost effective projects.

One concern NASA has expressed about extended space voyages for humans, such as a mission to Mars, is the health of the astronauts. Deep space radiation and the effects of zero gravity on bone and muscle remain difficult problems for humans who spend long periods of time in space. In its proposal, Russia noted its expertise in space medicine and the record-setting flight of 437 days, held by Russian cosmonaut Valery Polyakov aboard the Mir space station.

The European Space Agency expressed interest in the project but with reservations as well. ESA maintains an office in Russia and a spokesman there said such a trip is a long way off. But, after meeting with Russian officials, the head of the ESA office said it should be a long-term initiative for all of the world's space agencies.

The Russian plan calls for two space launches, the first involving a supply vessel with the launch of the manned spaceship to follow. Six astronauts including a doctor, would make up the crew, three of whom would remain in a near-Mars orbit while three others embarked to the Martian surface for a stay of between 30 and 60 days. A vehicle, similar to the Moonwalker used during the historic 1969 walk on the moon, would be used by the astronauts as a cross-country vehicle.

As early as 1960, Russia set Mars as a goal. However, both during the Soviet regime and since, the efforts have been marked by spectacular failures that have led some space pundits to talk about a Russian "Mars curse."

In 1960 the Soviets launched two unmanned spacecraft four days apart. Both failed to make it as far as Earth's orbit. One resulted in an engine explosion that scattered debris and contamination over the Baikonur launch pad in one of the worst accidents in Soviet space history. The bad luck for Russia continued, and Nov. 16, 1996, the Russians launched an ambitious $300 million spacecraft, Mars 96. It suffered an engine failure right after launch and crashed into the Pacific Ocean.

NASA also has suffered spectacular failure in Mars explorations including the loss of an expensive lander a couple of years ago. However this year's Mars Odyssey so far has been a major success, indeed, it was Odyssey that discovered the water ice beneath the surface that made news just a few weeks ago.

Source: AP; BBC; AFP
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I think this would be a great idea, good for the world both politically and scientifically. But note that "the United States and Europe greeted the invitation to participate with lukewarm enthusiasm". Oh dear.

Sour grapes that it wasn't their idea? Or do they know why we can't go to Mars...? Perhaps this should be in the Conspiracy forum!
 
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Sounds to me like an attempt to improve the cash-flow of the Russian space programme. Good luck to them, though.:)
 

Electric_Monk

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Didn't Russia originally want a Mars mission using an Ion Drive? Or am I mixed up with something else entirely? :)
 
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If they did, then it probably wasn't going to be a manned mission. Those things take a hell of a time to acquire useful delta v. They are good for un-manned probes, as well as potentially being useful for orbit maintainance for earth orbiting satellites. For a manned mission, though, you would probably need something with a bit more "oomph".:)
 

rynner2

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One concern NASA has expressed about extended space voyages for humans, such as a mission to Mars, is the health of the astronauts. Deep space radiation and the effects of zero gravity on bone and muscle remain difficult problems for humans who spend long periods of time in space.
I'm surprised we don't hear much about using rotation to create 'artificial gravity' - remember the Space station in 2001?

For a Mars mission, it might be possible to separate the crew accommodation from the rest of the craft, attached by a cable, and have the whole shebang rotate. For course corrections and manouevring at either end of the voyage the rotation would be stopped and the astronauts would be in free fall again, but for most of the voyage they could be 'under gravity'.

This would be more tricky if some form of continuous propulsion was in use as well a chemical rockets for the major delta-V, but if long periods of weightlessness are such a problem, why not find a technical solution instead of making excuses?

Dan Dare rynner
 

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Yeah, people seem to like the idea of centrifugal gravity or whatever they call it currently. 2001: A Space Oddesey (with the correct spelling) had it, and Red Planet too (although most of the physics in that film were nonsense :) ). They could even fit the spinning bits onto a larger stationary thing with the sensors/engines on if they were worried about slight adjustments while in motion, but from what I've heard the main issue is that it would be quite expensive, since the space ship would be a bit larger, need to be assembled in space and be able to take the stress of its own centrifugal forces :)
 

river_styx

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Pardon my lack of knowledge but once you start this thing spinning how are you going to stop it and what happens if you encounter a gravity force pulling the spacecraft in the opposite direction?
 

rynner2

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You'd stop the thing spinning the same way you started it, probably by means of small thrusters.

As for a gravity force pulling in the opposite direction (to what?), it would pull on all parts of the spacecraft equally, so the craft would still be in free fall. The whole solar system is subject to the sun's gravity (and that of the planets, to a much smaller degree) and anything moving freely within this gravity field is in 'free fall'.

Free fall is no problem - if you fall off a tall building you'll be quite alright....

... it's only hitting the ground that causes problems (rather like driving your car into a concrete block)! :D
 

river_styx

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rynner said:
As for a gravity force pulling in the opposite direction (to what?),
I don't know. Say if you're spinning in a anti-clockwise direction and something starts pulling your little craft in a clockwise direction...wouldn't it be ripped in different directions? Or would it just start spinning in the opposite direction? And if so wouldn't that affect the course of direction?
 

rynner2

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River_Styx said:
I don't know. Say if you're spinning in a anti-clockwise direction and something starts pulling your little craft in a clockwise direction...wouldn't it be ripped in different directions? Or would it just start spinning in the opposite direction? And if so wouldn't that affect the course of direction?
Can't happen, Styx, unless you're very close to a Black Hole - and we don't think there are any of those between Earth and Mars orbits! (Their gravitational effects would have been detected long ago, even if there were none of the usual associated 'fireworks'.)
 
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The main problem with the generation of "gravity" by spinning the ship/station is the coriolis force. Basically in a rotating reference frame, a moving object picks up a force perpendicular to the direction of motion. (It's this that gives us swirly weather systems, but not swirling water down plug holes. ;) )

I can't remember the numbers, but I recall that for any plausible size of spaceship that we are likely to build in the nearish future, these additional forces would be sufficient to induce serious queasiness in the crew. They would be better off living with weightlessness. (Though they *would* have to probably use one of those bungie treadmills to do some exercise and retain bone mass.)
 

river_styx

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I always enjoy the way that before something goes wrong somebody says it can't happen....it gives me a warm fuzzy feeling inside.
This is also the universe where black holes don't move about I take it? Mind you if that happens we're all pretty much fucked anyway.
 

rynner2

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Fortis said:
The main problem with the generation of "gravity" by spinning the ship/station is the coriolis force....

I can't remember the numbers, but I recall that for any plausible size of spaceship that we are likely to build in the nearish future, these additional forces would be sufficient to induce serious queasiness in the crew. They would be better off living with weightlessness.
Against that, a lot of people suffer 'space sickness' in free-fall anyway.

I haven't come across the idea of Coriolis induced queasiness before, although I did once write an article examining how Coriolis forces might affect Olympic style events in a rotating O'Neill habitat. One feature that emerged was that for an ornamental fountain firing a jet of water straight 'up' (ie towards the axis), the jet would curve over and land at a distance from the fountain! (I was thinking of a big fountain, like the one in the lake at Geneva - for small ones the effect would barely be detectable.)

These effects can be reduced by increasing the radius of rotation - in the example of an accommodation module separated from the rest of the ship on a cable this just requires a longer cable. Also it might not be necessary to use full Earth gravity to reduce the known physiological problems with zero-g. Perhaps a level halfway between that of Mars and Earth would suffice (ie about two thirds g). This would also help pre-adapt the landing party, and re-adapt them towards Earth g on the return trip.
 

river_styx

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Isn't that the same kind of thing that causes travel sickness?
 

mejane

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Why would two modules need to be separated by a cable? (which would surely increase the chances of being hit by microscopic but fast & therefore potentially lethal dust). Why not just rotate the entire spaceship?

As for eliminating the spin, how will it be induced in the first place?

With regard to travel/space sickness, I think this is something to do with the brain not being able to cope with constantly changing perspectives... nothing to do with Coriolis (or toilets ;) )

Getting back to the original question, yes!!!! This would be a great idea which could stop, at least for a while, the "my god is better than than your god - even if we agree it's the same god" nonsense.

We humans seem to need something to aim for.. pity the poor Martians though .:p

Jane
 

river_styx

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starting it is the easy part but I'm still not convinced that you'll ever be able to stop the damn thing spinning,
You're going to have so many different thrusters slowing it down, rotating it, altering direction and you have to get it through the asteroid belt....Think I'll be waiting for the next bus thankyou.
 

rynner2

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It takes the same energy to start something spinning as to stop it.

As for the asteroid belt - No Problemo! It's way OUTSIDE the orbit of Mars.


As for Why A Cable? Because that's the cheapest way of getting a big radius of rotation, which reduces the problems mentioned in other posts. Why have a ship a kilometre wide when a 1 km cable can do the job?
 

river_styx

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A new thought has occurred to me. If we're generating gravity then obviously we'll be attracting all those lovely, teeny, tiny bits of rock and other space junk that's zipping along at supersonic speed.
Lucky that most of the gases will be inert though so at least we won't combust on contact with the atmosphere.
 

rynner2

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No, we're not generating gravity - it just feels like gravity inside a rotating capsule. This is the same phenomenon that sticks all your laundry to the drum of the spin drier - in fact the spin drier works by effectively making all the wet washing feel many times heavier so that it squeezes out the water.

But your spin drier does not attract things to it from outside the drum, just as a rotating spacecraft would not attract space debris to itself by virtue of its rotation.

To get technical, anything rotating, like a conker on a string, is subject to an inward acceleration (caused by the tension in the string - if you let go of the string, the conker flies off in a straight line). Similarly, planets are held in their orbits by the inward gravitational force of the sun.

It was Einstein's realisation that acceleration and gravity are equivalent that led to his General Theory of Relativity (as opposed to his Special Theory, which came earlier) - but I'm not going any further down that road here!
 

river_styx

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So if your cable breaks then your ship is going to be thrown off into space...even better.

Sign me up!

I was wondering who it was that came up with the General Theory of Relativity and now I know.
Now if only someone could tell me who this Stephen Hawkings fella is that I've been hearing so much about.
 

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Perhaps a project like a manned Mars mission might have greater chances of success if the ship was built and launched in space. Many projects fail at launching. Beyond that, god help 'em!
I personally would love to see a man (let's face it, they're unlikely to send women:mad: ) get to Mars in my life-time. I wasn't around for the moon landings:(
 
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While Googleing to see if I could dig out the numbers for the impact of coriolis forces I came across this on Space Daily.
(http://www.spacedaily.com/news/mars-base-01d.html)


An experiment conducted at Pioneer Astronautics for the Mars Society has demonstrated that the Coriolis forces that mice will be exposed to during the Translife Mission will not be excessive.
Coriolis forces are a secondary byproduct of rotating artificial gravity systems. It has long been argued by advocates of zero-gravity space travel that such forces would prove disorienting to astronauts, especially at rotation rates above 4 revolutions per minute.

The Mars Society's Translife Mission will place a group of mice in low Earth orbit for about 50 days in a rotating spacecraft that will supply them with artificial gravity at Mars levels, 38% that of the Earth. During this time, the mice will be allowed to reproduce and the young will grow up in Martian gravity.

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In order to keep the size of the Translife spacecraft small, however, the rotation rate must be high. In particular, for the 1 m diameter capsule currently under consideration, the rotation rate must be about 25 rpm. This has caused some to raise concerns that the Coriolis forces would be so excessive as to disorient the mice and ruin the experiment.

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Commenting on the experiment, Mars Society president Dr. Robert Zubrin said; "These results clearly show that the concerns raised by zero-gravity spaceflight advocates over Coriolis forces have been greatly overdrawn. They show that small low-cost long-duration artificial gravity experiments with mammals are completely feasible.


So it looks as if my concerns may have just evapourated.
:eek:
 

rynner2

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Good link, Fortis.

Right, Mars, here we come!

Dan Dare Rynner
 

Electric_Monk

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Now to build our own space ship out of scrap metal and old PCs...

:D
 

rynner2

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We'll probably have more success than building our own website!
 

Electric_Monk

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I've daydreamed about building a home-made space program from old scrap for a long time, but I think it'd take a lot more than me, a soldering iron, some old PCs and a welding torch to do it. A lot of design to start with :)
 
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River_Styx said:
This is also the universe where black holes don't move about I take it? Mind you if that happens we're all pretty much fucked anyway.
If there was a blackhole between here and Mars, we'd be dead by now and our solar system would be an intense gamma burp...
 
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