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Author Topic: Mars...the next Fontier?  (Read 19855 times)
Defender
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Mars...the next Fontier?
« on: January 10, 2004, 10:52:53 am »

i hear Bush is trying to set up for a maned Mars project somethime in the future, with a staging area on the moon. are we ready for such a leap? i mean we havent done any moon missions in over 20 years. now all of the sudden, hey lets do Mars! dont get me wrong, im all for the space program, but i didnt know nasa was ready for such a big mission.

i think i heard some where that it would take about 8 months to get to Mars(1year/4months round trip). thats an awlful long time in space. even with an artifical gravity, theres the risk of suns radation possibly giving are Mars crew cancer in the long run. and if we find a way around that, what about water and food. its going to have to be a huge spacecraft. one, i guess, thats built in orbit and not launched from Earth.

so what are your guys thoughts on this?
practical in our day in age? or just a big boast form a president for rehire?

~DEFIANT
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Re: Mars...the next Fontier?
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2004, 10:21:32 pm »

I thought nasa's standpoint was that another manned moon mission would take years to prepare for, so the staging area on the moon doesn't sound likely.  And haven't something like 4 out of the 5 unmanned missions to mars failed?  I'd think sending people would be too risky at this point.
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Chrispy
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Re: Mars...the next Fontier?
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2004, 10:22:04 pm »

also, I have hear people thinking that launching a rocket off the moon may cause problems with the moons orbit.
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Death 999
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Re: Mars...the next Fontier?
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2004, 11:00:24 pm »

That is silly. Seriously.

Well, there are technical advances in rocket science which are coming forward which may make a high-thrust high specific impulse rocket possible. This would make the trip last about 3 weeks instead of 8 months.

Basically, it's to start a partially contained fusion reaction. We can do that on Earth right now... it nets an energy loss, but it gives a lot of thrust. We just need to figure out how to do it with lighter equipment.
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Re: Mars...the next Fontier?
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2004, 03:52:22 am »

Actually, what NASA/Bush were saying was that they would like to possibly set up a moon base...sometime in the next 20+ years. In other words, it might happen in our life time (I'm 22).
The idea of sending people to Mars any time in the next 50 years seems about as likely as warp drive.
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Re: Mars...the next Fontier?
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2004, 04:32:31 am »

Quote
That is silly. Seriously.

Well, there are technical advances in rocket science which are coming forward which may make a high-thrust high specific impulse rocket possible. This would make the trip last about 3 weeks instead of 8 months.

Basically, it's to start a partially contained fusion reaction. We can do that on Earth right now... it nets an energy loss, but it gives a lot of thrust. We just need to figure out how to do it with lighter equipment.


ok... but how do you keep the FRAGILE people inside, from being crushed under such g-force under acceleration?

Quote
Actually, what NASA/Bush were saying was that they would like to possibly set up a moon base...sometime in the next 20+ years. In other words, it might happen in our life time (I'm 22).
The idea of sending people to Mars any time in the next 50 years seems about as likely as warp drive.


warp drive is a working theory. and im not saying this as a star trek fan. but it requires 2 things to work: alot of energy to warp space/time, like say, a matter/anti-matter reaction. and a ship that can withstand the stress.

i agree on that we will not likely see such tech in 50 years let alone our lifetime. but i believe one day we will reach out to the stars.

~DEFIANT

« Last Edit: January 11, 2004, 10:33:06 am by DEFIANT » Logged
Death 999
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Re: Mars...the next Fontier?
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2004, 06:43:04 am »

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ok... but how do you keep the FRAGILE people inside, from being crushed under such g-force under acceleration?



HAHAHAHAHAHA

Even with this high thrust system the acceleration would be like 0.3 Gs. That is quite enough to get you to Mars in a few weeks.
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Re: Mars...the next Fontier?
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2004, 10:35:38 am »

well then... i guess i was misinformed.

~DEFIANT
« Last Edit: January 11, 2004, 10:37:00 am by DEFIANT » Logged
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Re: Mars...the next Frontier?
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2004, 06:35:47 pm »

We have to wait quite a long time to get any progress with the possible manned Mars trip. Problem is that darned 'money'. I guess Bill Gates could set up his own space armada though.

I'm waiting for that event, yes. I'm also waiting for oil to run out. Tongue
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Re: Mars...the next Frontier?
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2004, 10:30:28 pm »

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We have to wait quite a long time to get any progress with the possible manned Mars trip. Problem is that darned 'money'. I guess Bill Gates could set up his own space armada though.

I'm waiting for that event, yes. I'm also waiting for oil to run out. Tongue


Money and modivation. I mean, you go to and investor and say, "Will you back a manned expedition to Mars," and they'll say, "What's in it for me?" "Uh, well, um. It would be really cool!"

There's nothing in space for us, peoples. As far as we can see it's pretty bleak out there. We need something or someone out there to go for. And if there are alien life forms out there, and I'm not saying there isn't, they've been pretty quiet about answering our calls.

Then again, maybe they're not getting out for the same reason.
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Re: Mars...the next Frontier?
« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2004, 01:31:08 am »

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Money and modivation. I mean, you go to and investor and say, "Will you back a manned expedition to Mars," and they'll say, "What's in it for me?" "Uh, well, um. It would be really cool!"

There's nothing in space for us, peoples. As far as we can see it's pretty bleak out there. We need something or someone out there to go for. And if there are alien life forms out there, and I'm not saying there isn't, they've been pretty quiet about answering our calls.

Then again, maybe they're not getting out for the same reason.


There are many things out there!
First, minirals. Planets that no one used its minirals for over billions of years.... there will be plenty of it there.
Second, new place to live. If you didn't notice it, it is getting a little bit over-populated here...
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Re: Mars...the next Frontier?
« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2004, 03:00:13 pm »

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... If you didn't notice it, it is getting a little bit over-populated here...


Reeeeaaaally? Ever been to Wyoming? Nevada? Canada?

On the flip side I've been to the overpopulated areas of the world, too. Yeah it's crowded. But statisticaly, there's enough habitable land on the earth for every human being to have some obseenly large plot all to themselves. (Somewhere there's an actual number and coorsponding unit for "some sbseenly large plot." I just don't know it off the top of my head.) So, in reality it doesn't have to be.

Believe it or not, the only reason it's getting croweded down here is because people keep crowding into these tiny areas, then drawing a border around them and not letting themselves out. India, Japan (and even Japan has some pretty sparce lands), Singapore, New York. Humans don't obey the law of osmosis. If we did, you'd see your argument is way off.

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Re: Mars...the next Fontier?
« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2004, 08:44:20 pm »

What I'd say we want out of a space program is improved asteroid detection. In 1900 or so, a medium asteroid fell in Tunguska, Siberia. Trees were knocked down as far as a thousand miles away. If an asteroid like that fell within 100 miles of a city, today, it would be the worst natural disaster ever. Detecting and deflecting these is pretty important.

After that, there are a lot of physics questions which can most easily be answered by astronomical observation. The best place for that is space, and better yet the opposite side of the moon (so we don't have all that interference from Earth). Fortunately, this is comparatively easily done.

Also, if we get the ability to move large heavy objects up into space, then we can begin putting solar collectors up there. That will have a definite positive impact.

In the longer run, we'll want to explore, see what (or who) is out there.

As far as population pressure is concerned, no foreseeable technology will allow that to be solved by emigration from Earth. Consider that our current technology allows for about $2 million per person launched into space. Of course, these people aren't colonizing, they're going up for a few days. Heck, suppose we have space elevators so the launch cost is minimal. We still need to build all that life support equipment, which must last a lifetime (or within 30 minutes of the end of one). Considering how the space station is leaking air, this is clearly not something we have mastered. So, as an unbelieveably optimistic assessment, suppose it costs $20,000,000 per person.
Now, also suppose we wanted to launch ten million people into space each year. This is about one seventh our annual population growth. This would cost $200 trillion.

Right.

Instead, we could try social efforts to improve the degree to which women can control the number of children they have (take, for example, Nigeria, where the average number of children per women is 7, but the average desired number is 2.3, which is around replacement rate). More effective, and about 200,000 times cheaper.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2004, 08:48:18 pm by Death_999 » Logged
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Re: Mars...the next Fontier?
« Reply #13 on: January 13, 2004, 11:47:16 pm »

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Now, also suppose we wanted to launch ten million people into space each year. This is about one seventh our annual population growth. This would cost $200 trillion.

I don't mean this as a refutation to your argument, but as technology grows, it become cheaper. If we were to start a concerted effort to take people into space to live there, the cost might initally be $20,000,000 per person, but as time went on and demand for space living grew, the cost would come down.

But I realize that's not your point.
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Re: Mars...the next Fontier?
« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2004, 02:16:37 am »

I know, let's get the government to launch condemned convicts into space for the missions. They offer the family the chance to pay the government 2 million dollars to let the person go back to prison instead of being rocketed to oblivion, and then we've got the money to ship those that we _really_ want out there. Clean out the prison system (those who don't pay), get some extra cash on the side...hey, why not?
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