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Wed Feb 20, 2013, 05:46 PM

Dennis Tito To Announce Private Human Mars Mission

Source: NASA Watch

The Planets are Aligning for a Once-in-a-Generation Space Journey

"The Inspiration Mars Foundation, a newly formed nonprofit organization led by American space traveler and entrepreneur Dennis Tito, invites you to attend a press conference detailing its plans to take advantage of a unique window of opportunity to launch an historic journey to Mars and back in 501 days, starting in January 2018. This "Mission for America" will generate new knowledge, experience and momentum for the next great era of space exploration. It is intended to encourage all Americans to believe again, in doing the hard things that make our nation great, while inspiring youth through Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education and motivation."

Read more: http://nasawatch.com/archives/2013/02/dennis-tito-to.html



Full press release at http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewpr.html?pid=40141

The Planets are Aligning for a Once-in-a-Generation Space Journey

Source: Griffin Communications Group
Posted Wednesday, February 20, 2013

WHAT: The Inspiration Mars Foundation, a newly formed nonprofit organization led by American space traveler and entrepreneur Dennis Tito, invites you to attend a press conference detailing its plans to take advantage of a unique window of opportunity to launch an historic journey to Mars and back in 501 days, starting in January 2018. This "Mission for America" will generate new knowledge, experience and momentum for the next great era of space exploration. It is intended to encourage all Americans to believe again, in doing the hard things that make our nation great, while inspiring youth through Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education and motivation.

The Inspiration Mars Foundation is committed to accelerating America's human exploration of space as a critical catalyst for future growth, national prosperity, new knowledge and global leadership.

WHO:

- Miles O'Brien, moderator

- Dennis Tito, chairman of Inspiration Mars Foundation and the first private space traveler

- Taber MacCallum, chief executive officer and chief technology officer of Paragon Space Development Corporation and crew member for two-year mission in Biosphere 2

- Dr. Jonathan Clark, associate professor of Neurology and Space Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine and space medicine advisor for the National Space Biomedical Research Institute

- Jane Poynter, president and chairwoman of Paragon Space Development Corporation and crew member for two-year mission in Biosphere 2

WHEN:

Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013 at 1 p.m.

- 45-minute press conference, followed by Q&A period

WHERE:

The National Press Club 529 14th St NW, 13th floor Washington D.C.

MEDIA R.S.V.P.:

Space for this event is limited. Please respond to confirm your attendance. If you will not attend, you may transfer your invitation to another colleague. If a photographer or videographer will attend with you, please indicate this in your R.S.V.P. We request that all media R.S.V.P. by Monday, Feb. 25 to Jessica Ballard with Griffin Communications Group at (281) 335-0200 or JBallard@GriffinCG.com.

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Arrow 46 replies Author Time Post
Reply Dennis Tito To Announce Private Human Mars Mission (Original post)
bananas Feb 2013 OP
longship Feb 2013 #1
bananas Feb 2013 #4
longship Feb 2013 #7
bananas Feb 2013 #15
longship Feb 2013 #16
bananas Feb 2013 #24
longship Feb 2013 #25
bananas Feb 2013 #27
Hugin Feb 2013 #38
oNobodyo Feb 2013 #10
longship Feb 2013 #12
oNobodyo Feb 2013 #19
longship Feb 2013 #20
oNobodyo Feb 2013 #22
longship Feb 2013 #23
Volaris Feb 2013 #46
muriel_volestrangler Feb 2013 #17
oNobodyo Feb 2013 #21
muriel_volestrangler Feb 2013 #26
muriel_volestrangler Feb 2013 #2
bananas Feb 2013 #5
bananas Feb 2013 #28
muriel_volestrangler Feb 2013 #29
greiner3 Feb 2013 #3
dipsydoodle Feb 2013 #6
cliffordu Feb 2013 #8
struggle4progress Feb 2013 #9
YOHABLO Feb 2013 #11
derby378 Feb 2013 #13
LongTomH Feb 2013 #31
derby378 Feb 2013 #32
Bucky Feb 2013 #43
derby378 Feb 2013 #45
rustydog Feb 2013 #30
Bucky Feb 2013 #36
pampango Feb 2013 #40
Bucky Feb 2013 #41
skepticscott Feb 2013 #14
randome Feb 2013 #18
undeterred Feb 2013 #33
daleo Feb 2013 #34
Bucky Feb 2013 #35
Sunlei Feb 2013 #37
Hugin Feb 2013 #39
slackmaster Feb 2013 #42
bananas Feb 2013 #44

Response to bananas (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 06:29 PM

1. Going to Mars is a very tough task.

Even landing safely on Mars is extremely difficult. Getting there alive is likely even more difficult. Just taking along the food and other consumables for a well over one year round trip for the crew is out of our current capabilities.

Plus, you have:

* Solar flares
* Cosmic rays
* Cosmic particles at 25,000 miles per hour.
* Long term exposure to micro gravity
* Psychological stresses from long term isolation.
* Fuel requirements for return trip likely prohibitive.
* Unknown unknowns, not listed above.

I don't see this happening that soon. The space craft would have to be large just to store the consumables and protect the astronauts from the dangers of deep space for well over a year.

We're not talking about living on the ISS, which is still in low Earth orbit and within the protection of the Van Allen belts. And we're not talking a three day trip to the moon. This is an over 500 day trip to Mars and back, where if anything goes wrong, those guys are toast.

I am sure there will plenty of volunteers, and I wish them well. But this is a very tough nut to crack. They ought to send two couples. Interpret that whatever way you want. But sex in microgravity ought to be just grand.

I am for this. I just don't see it happening that soon.

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Response to longship (Reply #1)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 07:03 PM

4. Taber MacCallum and Jane Poynter spent two years in Biosphere 2

and are developing the life-support systems for Bigelow and others.
So they're used to spending a lot of time together.
Maybe they'll be going on this trip to Mars?
If you're right about two couples, maybe Tito and Clark will be the other couple?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jane_Poynter

Jane Poynter

<snip>

Biosphere 2

Poynter is one of eight people who agreed to live sealed in an artificial world for two years. Involved in Biosphere 2 from the start, she managed the design and operation of the farm where the crew grew its food.

Paragon SDC

Poynter is now President and Chairwoman of Paragon Space Development Corporation, which develops technologies for extreme environments (like outer space and under water). While inside Biosphere 2, she co-founded the firm with fellow biospherian, Taber MacCallum, and several aerospace engineers. For four consecutive years, the firm has been named on Inc 500’s list of fastest growing companies, and in 2009 the National Association for Female Executives awarded Jane its Entrepreneur of the Year award. Jane has had experiments in her patented self-sustaining habitats flown on the International Space Station, the Russian Mir Space Station, and the U.S. Space Shuttle.

Other work

Jane also worked with the World Bank on projects to mitigate global climate change and grow crops in drought-stricken Africa and Central America. She is President of Blue Marble Institute, a 501(c)(3) non profit dedicated to leadership in science, sustainability and exploration. She serves on the City of Tucson's Climate Change Committee. Her second book, Champions for Change: Athletes Making A World of Difference is now a middle school program.

<snip>


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taber_MacCallum

Taber MacCallum

<snip>

Paragon SDC

Taber was the Principal Investigator on four microgravity experiments on the Space Shuttle, Mir Space Station and International Space Station using Paragon's patented Autonomous Biological System, a long duration plant and aquatic animal life support system and has supported numerous other biological experiments on the Space Shuttle and International Space Station. He conceived and is presently involved in the design of a Mars space suit portable life support system technology funded by NASA, life support and thermal control systems for commercial manned orbital and suborbital spacecraft, as well as hazardous environment life support technology for U.S. Navy divers. In 2008, Popular Science named MacCallum Inventor of the Year.

Biosphere 2

Prior to Paragon, he was a founding member of the Biosphere 2 Design, Development, Test and Operations team, and a crew member in the first two-year mission. MacCallum was responsible for the design, implementation and operation of the atmosphere and water management systems as well as the self-contained paperless analytical laboratories for Biosphere 2 that tested air, water, soil and tissue. As a crew member he served as Safety Officer, Assistant Medical Officer and Analytical Chemist, responsible for operation of all the analytical systems and much of the medical analysis and health monitoring systems.

<snip>

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Response to bananas (Reply #4)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 07:33 PM

7. Well, I am not so impressed with biosphere.

It was a good experiment in principle. But they cheated and had to open the environment before they completed their mission. Although one could argue that they learned something from that exercise, one does not have that option on a Mars mission.

A Mars mission is very much beyond what we have ever done before. One of the toughest is even landing on Mars without killing everybody. It's much, much more difficult than landing on the moon.

Two years supply of food for everybody? Figure that one out! Let alone how to launch that much mass to Mars, and bring enough back! And how to shield the astronauts from both cosmic rays and micro meteoroids. That's more mass to launch and bring back.

Just the poop alone presents a big problem when you talk about going to Mars. Of course, they could reprocess it into food like they do urine on the ISS.

And what happens when your six months of Chicken a la King all goes bad. I suppose cannibalism might solve the problem.

Oh! And you also need two years of air to breath, for each and every one of the people going.

It's a very tough job. I don't know how they're gonna do it all that quickly without extraordinary funding.

It took us nearly a decade to get to the moon. Mars is a whole other thing. Even landing on Mars is extremely perilous, much, much more difficult than landing on the moon. If you don't believe me, ask the Russians. Mars has an atmosphere too thin to allow an Apollo like capsule landing, and too dense to allow an easy-peasy airless touchdown like on the moon. Plus, it has twice the gravity of the moon. Again, ask Russia about their record of landing on Mars.

My thinking is that the best project for going to Mars is the other private concern which bills it as a one-way mission, to establish a colony. Every so many years they send a supply ship with more equipment and more settlers. The Mars settlement bootstraps itself. If they want to leave, they'll have to develop a space program of their own, apparently.

It's not exactly ethical, IMHO. But when it was announced last year, many said they would volunteer.

Interesting ethical dilemmas in this enterprise. Eh?

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Response to longship (Reply #7)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 09:10 PM

15. As mentioned downthread, they probably won't land

The ISS has been continually occupied for over 12 years,
we know exactly how much supplies are needed.
Supplies and waste can be used for radiation shielding.

There are two companies which want to start Mars colonies, SpaceX and Mars One.

SpaceX is working on re-usable rockets and landers to lower the costs,
people who want to come back will be able to.
He thinks he can make moving to Mars affordable to the middle class.

Mars One is working on a reality-tv show to finance a Mars colony.

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Response to bananas (Reply #15)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 09:38 PM

16. You are correct, but not complete.

The ISS is still in low Earth orbit. We have no heavy lift booster and only Russia has anything near it in capacity. There is no Saturn V today. It took the better part of a decade to build it in a well-funded era, if you stretch it a bit. The damned thing was fucking 30-some stories tall, almost all of which was dedicated to just getting the fucker out of the Earth's gravity well and launching it to the moon. Blasting off the moon, with no atmosphere and 1/6 Earth's gravity, is easy-peasey compared to getting to Mars, let alone landing and returning.

Mars does not have sufficient atmosphere to allow an Apollo-like landing. It has too much atmosphere, and twice the gravity, to allow a moon-like landing.

Russia has a particularly bad record of attempting a Mars landing. The US record has its failures as well. It isn't like landing on the moon. It's really fucking difficult.

I want people on Mars more than anybody, but we aren't even close to solving the issues to doing such and getting people back alive, let alone leaving them there to deal with things as they are with no rescue other than putative future supply ships.

Mars is a real bitch! I don't think we have the technology to do this by 2018, let alone the next decade. But a Manhattan Project could maybe do it. No hope for that at this time.

Shit! Over half the US thinks the world is less than 10,000 years old! How are you going to sell them on the necessity of space exploration. Fuck! They think Adam and Eve rode vegan velociraptors and Tyrannosaurs.

Not gonna happen without an extreme cultural change. And I am not sure I want such a drastic break. I would prefer something more gentle, and peaceful.

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Response to longship (Reply #16)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 11:44 PM

24. Don't need a Saturn V

Space Adventures is planning to send three people into lunar orbit in a few years (two paying customers and a soyuz pilot).
http://www.spaceadventures.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=Lunar.Details

You will begin your journey to the far side of the moon by first launching into space aboard a Soyuz spacecraft. A second rocket will launch a Lunar Module comprising of an additional habitation module and a propulsion module. Your spacecraft will rendezvous with this additional system in low-Earth orbit. The engagement of the two will provide your spacecraft with the required propellant to travel to the moon. The propulsion module will fire and you will start your majestic journey around the moon.


Golden Spike will land people on the moon using four launches - the first two send a lander to lunar orbit, the second two send the crew to lunar orbit. They'll use a Dragon capsule and Falcon Heavy rockets, and are having Northrup Grumman build them a lander.



Similarly, you could build the Mars craft out at L2 by sending up a piece at a time.

Or you could build it in LEO, then attach an ion engine, and spiral it out to L2.

Then send the crew to the Mars craft the same way Space Adventures and Golden Spike send people to lunar orbit.

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Response to bananas (Reply #24)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 12:51 AM

25. I love the Lagrangian point solutions!

The interplanetary superhighway!

Before putting people on any planet, we ought to build a permanent outpost at the Earth-Moon L2 point. Energy requirements would be minimal (to keep it there). It is a stable location where we could learn how to build things, even really big things.

It is accessible from Earth, so supply missions would be within reach. And because the Lagrange points are connected, it would form an on ramp to just about any destination in the solar system. As long as you don't mind a long trip. But it wouldn't take a lot of fuel; just time. Maybe we can raise chickens for eggs.

Good eaten, both chickens and eggs. But what will we do for bacon and hash browns?

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Response to longship (Reply #25)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 02:22 PM

27. More details have emerged - 2 person flyby

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=31160.msg1015371#msg1015371

jongoff

Re: Inspiration Mars Foundation Press Conference
« Reply #27 on: Today at 03:14 PM »

As I've mentioned to a few people offline, there's going to be an IEEE paper discussing the mission that will be presented in about two weeks at their aerospace conference. Jeff Foust was able to dig that out and get a copy, and provides some details here:

http://www.newspacejournal.com/2013/02/21/new-insights-on-that-private-crewed-mars-mission/

Key points (that I feel ok sharing since Jeff made them public):

* Two person mission
* Free-return trajectory that flies by Mars
* Launched on a Falcon Heavy
* Modified Dragon spacecraft
* Privately funded, but leveraging NASA expertise in a few key technical areas (TPS and ECLSS)

While I'm not a manned spacecraft guru by any stretch of the imagination, my read of the paper left me feeling pretty confident that the idea was technically feasible (ambitious? yes. balsy? yes. aggressive mass targets? yes. achievable? probably.)

~Jon
« Last Edit: Today at 03:16 PM by jongoff »


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Response to bananas (Reply #24)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 04:27 AM

38. I guess they are planning to do it like the early Polar Expeditions.

Launch multiple supply caches to rendezvous with in-route, at and on Mars. That might work.

Werner Von Braun was a big advocate of a staged approach to a moon landing. However, it was vetoed by DC as taking too long. It was the height of the Space Race, for cryin' out loud!

One of the biggest problems facing an extended trip anywhere in space is the radiation exposure experienced by the crew. It's an unfortunate side-effect of where the Earth is positioned in the Solar System. Once the travelers get to some distance (I personally have no idea what that distance is.) from the center of the Solar System, then the Radiation concerns become secondary to supply issues. Having un-peopled supply ships makes the logistics limited only by your bank account.

SEND A CHIMP1!!!11! Heh, sorry. I couldn't keep my alien typing hand completely under control there.

Anyway, I really don't see any huge obstacles to a flyby mission.


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Response to longship (Reply #1)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 07:54 PM

10. Actually...

It's been technically feasible to do a manned mission to Mars for over 20 years now...

More than anything the hold ups have been financial and ethical.

I'd guess that the eventual mission will be in 3 basic parts...orbitting a return module around mars, dropping supplies and robotics to set up shelter before arrival and finally humans.

Breaking the human part of the mission down further, I'd guess that they'll use a combination of shielding techniques i.e. electromagnetic, water shielding and composites (possibly using thin films of nanoscale wave guide meta materials).

Also, think about self sealing inflatable modules with an outer shell that hardens when exposed to uv and you have a way to quickly build large scale structure in space...

2018 is a serious possibility.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manned_mission_to_Mars

Just saying...

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Response to oNobodyo (Reply #10)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 08:34 PM

12. Except that the US does not have a heavy lift booster.

That's a huge problem. There is no Saturn V in any country's fleet. Russia has the biggest, currently.

Plus, you still have to account for the Mars gravity well. It's fucking difficult to land on Mars! Ask Russia about that. Shit! Ask the USA about it. Ask any freshman physics student about it. Closer to fucking dangerous than landing on the moon.

How big? You have to take two years supplies for everybody. And it ain't gonna be one person, or two. It's going to be four, at minimum. I guess one could ague for three, but I would bet five before three.

The consumables eat your lunch, so to speak. Food, water (no problem, recycle urine like on the ISS), breathable air (the damned CO2 scrubbers better damned work!), and what about the fucking poop?
Four or five people for the better part of two years? That's a fuck of a lot of poop.

Read about it here, Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void:
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Packing_for_Mars:_The_Curious_Science_of_Life_in_the_Void

Highly recommended. And what the fuck do you do with all that poop? Maybe it will prove to be a good shield for cosmic rays.

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Response to longship (Reply #12)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 10:15 PM

19. Ahem...

"pre-supplied" and a habitat waiting for them when they get there...

On the issue of the heavy lift boosters...

Nasa is planning a newer, more powerful heavy lifter and testing mothballed Saturn V systems...

http://www.space.com/12941-nasa-unveils-giant-rocket-space-launch-system.html

http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/f1_sls.html

"the poop"...can either be vacuum dried to recapture the water and then used as an ejection mass or used to feed a redundant aquaponics system.

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Response to oNobodyo (Reply #19)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 10:39 PM

20. Good. Good!!

I try to keep up but it's difficult. Thanks.

But the Saturn V is not going to work. It's freaking 1960's technology! We have better now, even if it doesn't yet have the lift for interplanetary human occupied space craft. Plus, you can't just throw together a Saturn V, even if you have a forty year old example, or a dozen (which they don't).

The damned thing is not like the little rockets one launched as a teenager. You don't take a forty year old rocket and a forty year old design and just declare, "It worked for the moon 40 years ago. Let's fuckin' go to Mars!"

In my youth, the Everly Brothers had a song that expresses my sentiments about a Mars mission by 2018.."


I'd love it if it happened. But if so, we've got some work to do! There's nothing I would like better.

Except for maybe a permanent human-occupied outpost at a Moon-Earth Lagrange point which would give us a highway to the entire solar system. But I would settle for Mars, in spite the fact that my idea may be easier and, in the long term, more productive.


As always,
Love these discussions!
Thanks!

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Response to longship (Reply #20)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 11:16 PM

22. The reason why...

they've dusted off the old Saturn V systems is because they were not only humungous but they were VERY reliable and since the original engineers aren't really around to work on the new, bigger engines that are planned they'd like see if they can recreate some of the "art" that found the sweet spot that the Saturn V's occupy.

I was one of those people that argued against the Shuttle program and scrapping the Saturn V's...The Shuttle was a boondoggle and found prominence in the NASA budget only because the military wanted specific techologies...The Shuttles never made a lick of sense where it came to space exploration.

Plans have been discussed for bases at all the Lagrange points. I do concur on that but that's yet another discussion

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Response to oNobodyo (Reply #22)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 11:31 PM

23. But the Saturn V is four decades old.

The main engines were great, the largest ever built, even today. But there's no way that the Saturn V will ever be resurrected. Almost none of the original engineers are still alive. All that's left are the design documents, which if they even exist, only provide a path to forty year old tech.

I understand that the most awesome exhibit at Cape Canaveral is the Saturn V on display. It was undoubtedly one of human-kind's greatest technological achievements. Fucking 30+ stories tall! A god damned sky scraper that launches into space.

Nobody has that now. Not even NASA. It will take years to do it again. And that's the only way it can be done. The Saturn V is dead. Wish we were using its offspring now. Regretfully, that isn't so.

We can learn by the Saturn V, but we cannot, and should not, reproduce it. That's what science is about.

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Response to oNobodyo (Reply #19)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 11:03 PM

46. I agree with pre-supplied...

add self-assembling to that list, and combine it with about a dozen smaller "parts" launches form earth, and you've got a Mars trip in the bag=)
If China decided to make the announcement that they wanted to beat us to the punch, we would be launching the first pieces of this in 6 months.
It won't take a decade to do this, it will take MOTIVATION.

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Response to oNobodyo (Reply #10)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 09:57 PM

17. "robotics to set up shelter" is not something that's been available for 20 years

Think of the current capability of Curiosity. Think that it was cutting edge stuff to land a rover of that size on Mars. You think they can land robots that can set up shelters, and rockets capable of carrying humans off Mars again, within 5 years?

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #17)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 10:58 PM

21. yeap...

The idea of prepositioning supplies was the crux of the argument of whether it was possible or not.

The "cutting edge" part of landing something the size of Curiosity was not just that it was big but that it was also a lot more delicate than landing bulk supplies, which we could've probably managed since the 60's.

You don't need robots the scale or complexity of a Curiosity to set up shelters but if lets say the correct tools were sent, Curiosity could be retasked to do an awful lot more than it's present mission specs and it's already there...lol

You wouldn't be using "rockets" in the classical sense to carry humans to Mars anyway, you'd be using solar sails and/or electric propulsion...neither of which are "cutting edge"

And if as I suggested above they use inflatable construction techniques as is planned for expanding the ISS construction could begin around 2014.

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Response to oNobodyo (Reply #21)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 06:32 AM

26. Solar sails and electric propulsion have never carried anything as large as a human capsule

and the time both would take to get something to Mars (because of gradual acceleration) means you need a larger life support system for the extended length of time. It's untried; certainly not something that's been around for 20 years. But what you need to get off Mars is a chemical rocket. Nothing else will do to get you out of the gravity well into an orbit. And that large piece of equipment has to be delivered to the surface in one piece, suitable for a takeoff many days later, without a ground crew. Even if you manufacture the fuel on Mars (which many suggest - but that's new technology too), you're still landing objects many times larger than Curiosity; the care that was needed for Curiosity would be need for them too. The astronauts' lives would depend on them.

Robots that could set up shelter on rough ground, without real-time earth control, would have to be far more complicated than Curiosity. Curiosity just has to navigate, and use a few very simple tools - a laser, a drill. You're talking about actions that no independent robot ever tries on Earth - effectively surveying a suitable site, perhaps have to level sections of it, construction from parts ... . No, Curiosity could not be retasked to build shelters. It cannot manipulate the large items that would be involved.

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 06:33 PM

2. Sounds like the people wouldn't land

because getting a human-carrying landing craft there and back again would technologically incredible.

I have some questions about this; the most efficient Hohmann transfer orbit takes 251 days to get from Earth to Mars (they used it for Curiosity), and Earth and Mars aren't in the right position to do one there and then come straight back in the same Hohmann transfer orbit (which would requite the Earth to be back in the same place the 501 days later, but that isn't a whole number of Earth years (heh, I want to put 'your' in front of that ... ). You can get there (or back) faster, but it takes more fuel.

I'd think doing this in 5 years' time sounds too ambitious.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #2)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 07:14 PM

5. They probably won't land on Mars, they might dock with Phobos or Deimos

Sounds like they'll do an opposition-class mission:
http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/mars/marsprof.html

1) The Short-Stay Mission - often referred to as an opposition-class mission, this mission profile provides Mars stay times of 30 to 90 days with a round trip total time of 400 to 650 days. This mission class requires a large amount of energy to be expended in transit, even after taking advantage of either a Venus swingby (on either the inbound or outbound leg) or a deep space propulsive maneuver in order to limit Mars and Earth entry speeds.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #2)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 02:23 PM

28. More details have emerged - 2 person flyby

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=31160.msg1015371#msg1015371

jongoff

Re: Inspiration Mars Foundation Press Conference
« Reply #27 on: Today at 03:14 PM »

As I've mentioned to a few people offline, there's going to be an IEEE paper discussing the mission that will be presented in about two weeks at their aerospace conference. Jeff Foust was able to dig that out and get a copy, and provides some details here:

http://www.newspacejournal.com/2013/02/21/new-insights-on-that-private-crewed-mars-mission/

Key points (that I feel ok sharing since Jeff made them public):

* Two person mission
* Free-return trajectory that flies by Mars
* Launched on a Falcon Heavy
* Modified Dragon spacecraft
* Privately funded, but leveraging NASA expertise in a few key technical areas (TPS and ECLSS)

While I'm not a manned spacecraft guru by any stretch of the imagination, my read of the paper left me feeling pretty confident that the idea was technically feasible (ambitious? yes. balsy? yes. aggressive mass targets? yes. achievable? probably.)

~Jon
« Last Edit: Today at 03:16 PM by jongoff »


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Response to bananas (Reply #28)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 02:33 PM

29. A fly-by would mean there's relatively little to do at Mars

It would, I'd think, be a relatively swift encounter. So it's more an exercise in surviving in deep space for 500 days, with the supply and health issues to examine, and the chance to get the 'first at Mars' record.

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 06:50 PM

3. Where do I sign up????????????

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 07:17 PM

6. I did manage five on a mission long ways back.

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 07:48 PM

8. Shit. Just my booze allowance means no one else eats......

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 07:48 PM

9. It ain't gonna happen in the next five years.

If you want to experience the trip, grab four friends and figure out how to live with them in a space the size of a minivan for a year and a half. For extra realism, insulate the bus really well, add some heaters, and bury it a few feet under the ice in antarctica, cuz you're gonna see hardly anything most of the time, and you're gonna be stuck in close quarters with a few people hoping like crazy nothing goes wrong

Phoning home or mission control won't be much fun either: at best, you're gonna have about a nine minute lag between the time you say anything and the time you get a response:

Hi, honey! How are you?
**nine-minute-gap**
OK, I guess! (*bzzt!! spfzzz!!*) in jail and (*spft!! bpzzz!!*) but (*bzzl!! bpfft!!*) think?

or

Yo! mission control! The fuckin cabin lights started smoking and then the ventilation system went out
**nine-minute-gap**
Could you repeat that?


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Response to bananas (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 08:15 PM

11. So do they get land rights like the pioneers? They'll privatize Mars now.

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Response to YOHABLO (Reply #11)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 08:37 PM

13. In the future, Mars will most likely be the first terraforming project

Venus may have gravity similar to ours, but trying to reverse a runaway greenhouse effect, transform such a hostile and dense atmosphere, and banish those sulfuric acid clouds may be biting off more than a half-dozen Earths could chew.

So there's the issue with Mars. Private property is just the beginning; would any colonies on Mars stay loyal to their benefactors on Earth, or would they declare their independence and try to make it on their own? Heady stuff to discuss, so we might as well consider the possibilities here and now.

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Response to derby378 (Reply #13)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 05:35 PM

31. That was the theme of Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars trilogy

The Mars Trilogy concerns the settlement and eventual terraforming of Mars. A major theme in the book is the revolt against control by Terran corporations and the building of a planetary government. The Mars trilogy is one of the best examples of political science fiction in the last few decades.







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Response to LongTomH (Reply #31)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 07:46 PM

32. I may have to check those books out

Thanks for the tip!

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Response to derby378 (Reply #13)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 06:46 PM

43. Unless they can rig up a magnetosphere for either planet it's pointless.

Spending a year or three under solar bombardment without a break is a good recipe for cancer. Only two celestial bodies in the Solar system have magnetic belts to drive off solar radiation--Earth and one of Saturns's moons. Without that umbrella, visiting is a death sentence.

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Response to Bucky (Reply #43)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 10:33 AM

45. For that, you'll either need an active planetary core or a STAR WARS-type magnetic field

Either one is going to be a bear to design and implement, at least the first time around.

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Response to YOHABLO (Reply #11)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 08:26 PM

30. Do a columbus and plant your flag claiming the planet for your company

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Response to YOHABLO (Reply #11)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 03:52 AM

36. Not a bad incentive. Maybe the UN could put down rules.

The UN could specify land claim sizes and occupancy rules. Maybe they could drag out the old Principle of Effectivity laws from the Berlin Congo Conference of 1884 and adapt them (if you can hold it and you can run it, it's yours). On the other hand, I wouldn't get too excited about colonizing Mars. Something tells me that even a couple of years living in 25% of the gravity our bodies are designed for would leave our bones pretty fucked up. Returning to Earth would probably be impossible, unless you wanted to feel your legs snapping every time you jogged down a flight of stairs

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Response to Bucky (Reply #36)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 06:27 AM

40. Some kind of 'global government' will be needed to set rules if we do start colonizing other

planets. Otherwise, it will be whoever has the most guns (designed to work on Mars, let's say) that will set the rules (which is how 'colonizing' has always worked on Earth). We can't rely on individual countries to govern the colonization of other planets.

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Response to pampango (Reply #40)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 06:40 PM

41. The more I think about it, the more I expect the UN not to be involved in such a process.

I doubt it's feasible at all, seeing how it'd be unworthwhile colonization would be, given the health damage the low G environment will visit on all Martian residents. But, still, colonization of Mars, to whatever extent it happens, will be the result of treaties among the nations able to go there. Mars is an 18 month round trip at minimum. The layover inbetween going and coming would have to be at least a year to even be worth the effort. 2-3 years in zero-to-low G does ugly things to bones and cartiledge.

Given the cost in health and personnel, I don't see an argument to induce the countries that expend treasure, blood, hours, and technical know-how to get to Mars to simultaneously hand over freebies to those that don't contribute. I mean, in the abstract it might seem fair and humanitarian to share the spoils. But what authority would there be to induce the ones with their feet in the Dusty Red Door to share with those who can't even reach the first step?

Expect instead for treaties among the explorers to hash out the details of who owns what chunks of the 4th Rock. Anything the UN might try to exert its authority over the process would result in Security Council vetoes from the interested parties. Don't forget that NASA, the CNSA, and Roscosmos each happens to hold UNSC vetoes... and the ESA holds two.

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 08:50 PM

14. There's justified optimism

and then there's giddy tomfoolery. Thinking you're going to have a private, manned mission to Mars ready to go in five years is the latter. Even if they don't land on the surface, the technological problems are not close to being solved, at least not if you intend that the crew come back alive.

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Response to skepticscott (Reply #14)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 10:11 PM

18. Well, if you throw enough money at a problem...

Didn't you see the last Aliens movie?

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 09:35 PM

33. Tito Jackson?

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 06:32 PM

34. Never happen in five years

Might be some money in it for someone, though.

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 03:43 AM

35. "Space for this event is limited."

Hmmm

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 04:13 AM

37. So very cool trip to Mars, though I wish they would set-up on the floor of our Oceans first.

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 04:40 AM

39. I'll say it again... It's time to Man-up and send a Chimp!



Couldn't resist.

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 06:45 PM

42. There's a country in North Africa where a bunch of people would like to send their President to Mars

 

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Response to slackmaster (Reply #42)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 08:10 PM

44. rofl!

According to a description of the plan on the group’s Facebook page, it is a “popular campaign to send Morsi behind the sun,” which is a play on an Arabic expression that means “to make someone disappear.”


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