Trip to Mars

Discussion in 'Playground' started by userlame, Feb 6, 2014.

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  1. userlame

    userlame Member

    Sep 13, 2011
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    I know this is horribly off topic, but I'm hoping there's a few aerospace nerds here to make this worthwhile:

    Mars One project is a not-for-profit aiming to send human beings on a one way trip to Mars to establish a permanent colony. I know this sounds extremely far-fetched, but the mission would be acheivable using current generation technology, given enough funding.

    They are in the process of contracting Lockheed Martin to provide a design study into an unmanned lander mission to perform a few experiments and test 'live' HD video comms with the red planet.

    Since this is a non-commercial venture, they're funding the mission from donations by the interested public. They currently are just over 250k on their latest fundraiser. (see here: Mars One - First Private Mars Mission in 2018 | Indiegogo)

    You can see more about the long term mission here: Mars One The cost of the long term mission will be in the *billions* which I think is highly unlikely to happen, but it's still an interesting project.

    Since this is a forum:

    Would you go on a one way mission to Mars, with no real prospect of coming back?

    Do you think the project is viable?

  2. opusman

    opusman Senior Member

    Jun 27, 2006
    By far the biggest problem with going to Mars is landing a heavy payload on it safely.

    Thin atmosphere means chutes don't slow you down enough. If the craft is small enough then airbags can be used to cushion the landing (the Spirit and Opportunity rovers used this), but that only works up to a certain mass. This is why the Curiosity rover, which weighed almost a ton, used a "sky-crane" system that used retro-rockets to slow the descent and then lowered the payload to the ground on a cable.

    Whether than can be scaled up to land something potentially weighing hundreds of tons is the question - and according to some people in the field, seems pretty unlikely with today's technology.
  3. userlame

    userlame Member

    Sep 13, 2011
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    If you don't care about kicking up a lot of dust, landing on retro-rockets is acceptable. The reason that the rovers have all shied away from this is because the resulting dust cloud can cover solar panels and jam delicate mechanisms. Landing a vehicle full of people on Mars should be doable, just as long as they stay indoors until the dust settles.
  4. samh004

    samh004 Enthusiast

    Apr 1, 2009
    Gold Coast
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    To be honest I would rather see the first "one-way" trip go to the moon, to test out various habitats and all that. When that's successful, we can head further. Plus, I was a big fan of the Bigelow Aerospace designs for space stations, and thought similar could be done on the surface... providing more living area etc.
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  5. Flying Fox

    Flying Fox Established Member

    Jul 13, 2006
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    I would go so long as there was a rule to ensure that people only used the toilets in their own travel class :)

    And, there also should be a rule about the reclining of seats :)
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  6. JohnK

    JohnK Veteran Member

    Mar 22, 2005
    BNE, SYD and CNX
    There is no guarantee the mission would be successful. I wouldn't want to risk it.

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