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Mars Now - Third Alternative To NASAs Mars Who Knows When Program

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  1. May 15, 2010 #1
    Mars Now -- Third Alternative To NASAs Mars "Who Knows When" Program

    My main objective, using current state of technology, is to safely get men and women to Mars and back to earth without having to utter the phrase "People Will Certainly Die" as NASA does. To achieve this I would freeze all of the frivolous programs NASA has going to date this should free up lots of money; this means no space telescope, no going back to moon, etc...

    One of the dangers of landing on mars is missing the supply hut during landing. Therefore, I propose to land multiple supply huts within the radius of the area designated for exploration. These supply huts will contain water, food, fuel and oxygen. Also they will there will be companion science lab and living huts. That's 3pair tuples, repeated enough times to insure space questers have good chance of landing near supplies and science ordnances.

    Actually, the supply huts would make the water, lots of water for drinking, washing, and to provide solvent for running experiments. This can be made from atmosphere of mars itself. It will have ability to produce 300 gallons per day. The hydrogen component from Mars is a problem yet to be engineered a solution.

    Science hut will consist of lab and field equipment to perform meaningful research and exploration on Mars.

    The Living hut will be yet another module that will provide living quarters , mess hall, etc...

    The 3 pair modular tuples will be launch together and replicated 3 times at least so the space questers have high chances of landing near one of them.

    There will also be terrain vehicles flown separately as well the vehicles can autonomously drive themselves to whatever point the crew lands so accuracy there is not as important.

    I have more ideas for my Mars Now mission and will update later. However, for "Mars Now" to work there will be no moon landings (been there already and there was nothing exciting about it). Also, money used to go to the moon can be used to build better Mars program.

    Well, I have homework to do but I will expand on my "Mars Now Mission" soon going into more details and then into some of the software, robotics etc...
     
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  3. May 15, 2010 #2

    Evo

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    Re: Mars Now -- Third Alternative To NASAs Mars "Who Knows When" Program

    Why do we need to send humans to Mars? What would be the benefit?
     
  4. May 15, 2010 #3
    Re: Mars Now -- Third Alternative To NASAs Mars "Who Knows When" Program

    more chocolate
     
  5. May 15, 2010 #4
    Re: Mars Now -- Third Alternative To NASAs Mars "Who Knows When" Program

    Well, actually, i'd prefer not to send people to Mars however NASA wants to do so because they feel it will keeps the public attention and keep them funded. So, I am thinking of ways of doing it to reduce the risk of life because I have a deep respect and appreciation for life. It's as simple as that.
     
  6. May 15, 2010 #5

    russ_watters

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    Re: Mars Now -- Third Alternative To NASAs Mars "Who Knows When" Program

    I agree with EVo's questioning of the main premise, but also:
    No, we are capable of landing a spacecraft on a dime when the need exists. At least one of the Apollo landings occurred near an earlier probe for the purpose of inspecting it.

    [edit] Oh, it was Apollo 12: only the second time we landed humans on another world, it was a rendesvous with another craft: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apollo_12#Mission_parameters
     
  7. May 15, 2010 #6

    cronxeh

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    Re: Mars Now -- Third Alternative To NASAs Mars "Who Knows When" Program

    Because it is the man's purpose in life - to explore and conquer, and its also something to pass time with :tongue2:

    Also, remember who brought you the Space Pen?

    And another thing. Its time to take the money away from boys (financial sector) and give it to real men (science and engineering). Enough with those bailouts already. The people that work in the financial sector do not create 'wealth'. They are simply reselling what others made. The only actual value is created by engineers who make things, and its impossible to know what needs to be made until you've encountered a problem like getting to Mars.

    Mars expedition requires air filtration systems, recycling, fuel from human excrement, all to highest standard and efficiency. Not to mention purification systems, genetically modified seeds that grow in most inhospitable conditions. All these things are useful on Earth as well. Radiation shielding, materials science, portable scanners, long range communication systems, high speed inter planetary Internet, the list goes on, and only limited by what we've already encountered.

    Perhaps we'll find microbes there - makes us feel better about our own evolutionary stage, or perhaps we find water on Mars, could be turned into a backup 'Earth' in case we get hit by a meteor. You can't put a price on survival from extinction of entire civilization, all we've accomplished and will accomplish just by overcoming the 'how much will it cost?' factor. It costs us nothing to get to Mars compared to what it buys us - an accomplishment of a lifetime.

    "In March 2007, NASA announced that the volume of water ice in the south polar ice cap, if melted, would be sufficient to cover the entire planetary surface to a depth of 11 meters" - out of Wikipedia.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2010
  8. May 15, 2010 #7
    Re: Mars Now -- Third Alternative To NASAs Mars "Who Knows When" Program

    Hmmm, I don't think so; Mars has atmosphere therefore significant drift can occur. I have dropped my Mars Future idea with cool spaceship to for Mars Now Mission. Also, I have never heard of pin-point landing on Mars so it is imperative to livelihood of crew to be near supplies else they could die within minutes of landing. Thus, I proposed to over engineer this aspect with duplication of supply huts. Also, the scientist from travel from one modular installation to the next whichever is nearest field work.

    Also, when it comes to Mars the Moon landings are not relevant because ballistic parameters are different. And the lunar lander was a scantly cladded vehicle but a Mars Landing Vehicle would be quite bulky and massive in comparison; the moon has no atmosphere and tiny gravity. You are comparing the apples to the oranges.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2010
  9. May 15, 2010 #8
    Re: Mars Now -- Third Alternative To NASAs Mars "Who Knows When" Program

    Yes, I will add more to my Mars Now Mission when I get more time. Mars has Lots of Oxygen so air recycling can be kept to minimum. Devices will launched ahead of time to generate oxygen from atmosphere. My main problem is getting Hydrogen from Mars so it does not have to be carried there. And todays technology does not allow landing people near poles to extract from water ice. That resource is just unavailable.

    Seeding Mars would not be viable because it is such an extreme environment I doubt you could eat anything grown there. Internet and high speed communications system is not doable because governments will not dedicate the resources to develop such technologies unless it can be shown it could be used to kill people then the usa would invest in it for its army. Also, this is Mars Now, not Mars Tomorrow.

    Radiation, I am thinking about typical and atypical shielding. First, I would use water, created their on mars. Second line of defense would be Martian mud. Inflatable balloons will be filled with Martian sludge made from crushed rocks and water. The balloons will cover exterior of Habitat canisters.

    SIDE BAR:
    My main purpose in life to is make the lives of those that come after me better through advanced, and impractical in some cases, application of science; though ideas are impractical until someone creates it. Like the physicist in the days of Wright Brothers THOUGHT powered aircraft violated the laws of physics; i'm quite sure if many of the people here were around then they'd happily and ignorantly agree. I am not into conquering because war violates one of my golden rules; Always Respect and cultivate life not destroy it.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2010
  10. May 15, 2010 #9

    cronxeh

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    Re: Mars Now -- Third Alternative To NASAs Mars "Who Knows When" Program

    Stick to the homework for now :biggrin:
     
  11. May 15, 2010 #10

    SpaceTiger

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    Re: Mars Now -- Third Alternative To NASAs Mars "Who Knows When" Program

    I would happily pay the extra taxes it would take to make this happen, but dumping serious science (like space telescopes) to pay for it seems pretty silly to me.
     
  12. May 16, 2010 #11

    russ_watters

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    Re: Mars Now -- Third Alternative To NASAs Mars "Who Knows When" Program

    What "drift"? It's not like we would drop the spacecraft toward the planet on a ballistic trajectory and hope they would land near where we aim. They would be under control: steered.
    With all due respect, you really don't have a clue what you are talking about. None of that makes any sense.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2010
  13. May 16, 2010 #12

    cronxeh

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    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2017
  14. May 16, 2010 #13

    D H

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    Re: Mars Now -- Third Alternative To NASAs Mars "Who Knows When" Program

    On Mars? If by landing on a dime you mean a dime placed on a map of Mars that is one or two foot wide, then yes, we can land on a dime on Mars. The landing footprints of the vehicles sent to Mars to date have been hundreds of kilometers long. The best so far have been the rovers whose landing footprint was a 63 km × 9 km ellipse (3σ). NASA's next mission to Mars, the Mars Science Laboratory (Curiosity) will be the first vehicle to ever make a precision landing on Mars. Here, "precision landing" means a landing footprint that is a mere 5 to 10 km long.

    Precision landing remains one of many risk areas (low technology readiness level) related to a human mission to Mars. NASA would need to reduce that 5-10 km uncertainty in the MSL landing footprint by more than two orders of magnitude to make a human mission to Mars an acceptable risk.
     
  15. May 16, 2010 #14

    Garth

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    Re: Mars Now -- Third Alternative To NASAs Mars "Who Knows When" Program

    My thoughts exactly!

    Welcome back ST! How are you doing?

    Garth
     
  16. May 16, 2010 #15

    SpaceTiger

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    Re: Mars Now -- Third Alternative To NASAs Mars "Who Knows When" Program

    I'm doing just fine, thanks Garth! Getting married, changing jobs, buying a house... you know, the usual stuff. :)
     
  17. May 16, 2010 #16

    russ_watters

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    Re: Mars Now -- Third Alternative To NASAs Mars "Who Knows When" Program

    I didn't say we've done it yet, I just said we can. AFAIK, the rovers were just dropped-in unguided on a ballistic trajectory: they had no ability to steer themselves to a landing site. So why compare them with a spacecraft that would be steered?
    Why is it possible to do it on the moon (and Earth, of course), but not possible to do it on Mars?
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2010
  18. May 16, 2010 #17

    cronxeh

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    Re: Mars Now -- Third Alternative To NASAs Mars "Who Knows When" Program

    Landing footprints apply only to unguided landings. We have the technology to land to any location on Mars if we had a manned spacecraft mission. First the big mother ship takes the entire mission payload from Earth to Mars orbit, then smaller shuttle would detach and enter the atmosphere and land on any location. Doing it any other way is a suicide mission.
     
  19. May 16, 2010 #18

    D H

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    Re: Mars Now -- Third Alternative To NASAs Mars "Who Knows When" Program

    Come on, Russ. Where's your inner engineer? We can't say we can do it until we have done it. We engineers are supposed to be Missourans at heart: "Show me!" Up until a capability has been demonstrated point its just a bunch of scientists yammering -- or something at a low technology readiness level (same thing). Precision landing on Mars (if you want to call a 5-10 km long footprint "precise") is at TRL 6. The Mars Science Laboratory will bring it to TRL 8. Pinpoint landing on Mars, 100 meters or less, is way, way down there on the TRL scale. TRL 2, maybe.

    There are several reasons, none of them insurmountable. Some are
    • The initial state uncertainty at the onset of the entry, descent, and landing phase is much lower for landing on the Moon than it is for landing on Mars.
    • There are no state updates from the outside for landing on Mars. The vehicle is on its own. Round-trip comm link time for Mars is 40 minutes, a few seconds for the Moon. Earth-based navigation greatly reduces the uncertainty in the navigated state for landings on the Moon. This capability played a big part in those Apollo precision landings.
    • Mars has an atmosphere. The Moon doesn't. This makes for a significant process noise for landing on Mars that simply is not present in landings on the Moon.
    • We don't have a particularly good model of Mars' atmosphere (yet). That process noise is rather large.
    • Mars' atmosphere is rather thin. It's hard to use it for control.
    • We don't have a good gravity model of Mars (yet). This is one of the leading contributors to the uncertainty in the navigated state.
    • We don't have precise maps of Mars (yet). This leads to map tie errors that remain on the order of a kilometer or so for Mars.
    • The Apollo 12 landing was done with human eyes. Automated hazard avoidance remains a hard problem. (Automated hazard avoidance is an issue distinct from precision/pinpoint landing.)
     
  20. May 16, 2010 #19

    D H

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    Re: Mars Now -- Third Alternative To NASAs Mars "Who Knows When" Program

    The Phoenix lander was a controlled landing. It's landing footprint was 90 km long or so -- and that was the uncertainty at entry interface. The mission uncertainty was 150 km or so. The Mars Science Lab will be a controlled landing, and its uncertainty at EI is 5-10 km, 20-40 km mission.

    No, we don't.
     
  21. May 16, 2010 #20

    cronxeh

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    Re: Mars Now -- Third Alternative To NASAs Mars "Who Knows When" Program

    Ok again manned means there is a human in there who flies an aircraft, we have it right now and I'm certain Cape Canaveral in Florida is not 90 km long.
     
  22. May 16, 2010 #21
    Re: Mars Now -- Third Alternative To NASAs Mars "Who Knows When" Program

    I have to say I disagree with Evo and russ's posts. There would potentially be new technology coming from a mission to Mars. It'd be good for science in all fields I think. All that is small stuff compared to saying WE DID IT!

    I mean like really you are going to say that it wouldn't be amazing if we landed a man on Mars? If that happend within my lifetime it'd probably be one of Mans greatest accomplishments in my lifetime.

    I hate how people say we can spend the money better here on Earth, I highly doubt that. The amount of coruption here on this planet is insane, giving people more money to 'do good' with it clearly doesn't have 'good' outcomes the majority of the time. It'd be great if we could find a way to feed the world but that doesn't mean that it wouldn't be equally as great if we went to Mars.

    I can say that I would love to see poverty and hunger ended on our entire planet for all people but that doesn't mean I can't say that I'd love to see humans go to Mars.
     
  23. May 16, 2010 #22

    D H

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    Re: Mars Now -- Third Alternative To NASAs Mars "Who Knows When" Program

    Big difference there.
    • The Shuttle's state uncertainty prior to the deorbit burn is very, very small compared to the state uncertainty prior to the Mars injection burn.
    • The Shuttle uses military-grade GPS augmented with ground sitings. There is no Mars GPS (yet).
    • The Shuttle's deorbit burn is tiny compared to that needed to slow a vehicle that makes a entry into Mars' atmosphere directly from hyperbolic orbital speeds. This makes for a much larger plant noise in a Martian entry compared to reentry from low Earth orbit.
    • We have an extremely good model of the Earth's gravity field. The best Mars gravity model is lousy in comparison.
    • Comm with the Shuttle is nearly continuous. There is no comm with a Mars lander during Mars entry, descent, and landing.
    • Once the Shuttle slows down below transsonic speeds, multiple ground stations provide azimuth, elevation, range, and range rate readings. The Shuttle's state uncertainty is near zero by the time it drops into the subsonic range. There are no ground stations or beacons on Mars (yet).
     
  24. May 16, 2010 #23

    cronxeh

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    Re: Mars Now -- Third Alternative To NASAs Mars "Who Knows When" Program

    Hold on this issue is easily solved with beacons. First you approach Mars with the mothership, deploy satellites for guidance above the spot you are trying to reach, and launch a beacon onto the landing zone. Once the beacon is in place, enter the atmosphere. This scenario is ridiculously more complicated than it needs to be.

    The simplest scenario is to have the mothership in geostationary orbit directly above the landing zone and have the shuttle spiral down into the atmosphere. Easy landing, easy takeoff. Or perhaps not so easy, but nonetheless within the reach of possibility.

    Its Mars we talking about, it doesn't even have a magnetic field. Atmosphere of 92% carbon dioxide, and only 37% of Earth's gravity. Almost no atmospheric pressure, and certainly the 'burn' in carbon dioxide rich atmosphere has a different meaning. How hard can it really be to land on an ice cap on another planet :rolleyes:

    In any event, just by thinking about this problem we can already invent better technologies for guidance. Atomic clocks, faster navigational computation for triangulation, etc all for building satellite guidance system.
     
  25. May 16, 2010 #24

    Evo

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    Re: Mars Now -- Third Alternative To NASAs Mars "Who Knows When" Program

    My question is what long term benefits are we expecting here? Is it to gain knowledge towards a future goal of leaving the galaxy? Or is it just to be a dumping ground to ease overpopulation here?

    Predictions based on the sun becoming a red giant, the earth will be uninhabitable within a billion years. I'm sure there is an equally dire furure for Mars. And if I'm not mistaken, The milky Way is due to collide with Andromeda in about 5 billion years.

    WB SpaceTiger!!. I'd like to hear your thoughts.
     
  26. May 16, 2010 #25

    D H

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    Re: Mars Now -- Third Alternative To NASAs Mars "Who Knows When" Program

    No, your scenario is ridiculously more simplistic than reality.

    Think of it this way: Would NASA be bragging that the upcoming Mars Science Lab mission is the first precision landing mission on Mars ever, with "precision landing" means an error of only 5 to 10 kilometers downrange, if this scenario is ridiculously more complicated than it needs to be?

    A vehicle that is going to land from space is going to land somewhere. There is no turning around after performing atmospheric entry burn. It is a point of no return. There is no going back, and there is limited ability to control where the landing will occur.

    Think of the Shuttle. Once it has performed its deorbit burn and entered the atmosphere the Shuttle will land somewhere. If it aims for Florida it is going to land somewhere near Florida. Landings in Hawaii or Spain are out of the picture. The Shuttle has limited control authority. A vehicle landing on Mars has much, much less control authority than does the Shuttle. Our atmosphere is thick. Mars' atmosphere is anything but.

    At any point along the descent trajectory there is a modeled uncertainty and an unknown error in the vehicle's navigated state. Seeing a crater or sensing a beacon at a location other than expected can give the vehicle a better idea of where it is. (These are called state updates. Without such state updates the state uncertainty and state error can only grow.) Because the vehicle has limited control authority, only some of that error/uncertainty can be removed prior to landing even if the measurements have zero error associated with them.

    That measurement will itself erroneous (all real measurements are somewhat erroneous). Failing to properly model the error in the measurement may mean the vehicle's navigated state is now wrong; the true state is no longer within the navigated state plus or minus the nav uncertainty. This is an unforgivable error on the part of the nav system designers. They always design the system so that every measurement is taken with a grain of salt.

    Now let's look at your beacons. What, exactly, does releasing a beacon from the mother ship accomplish? Visual navigation (e.g., looking at craters) provide meaningful measures. You know where the craters are to within map accuracy. If you don't know the location of the beacon to a similar degree of accuracy that beacon on the surface is pretty much useless.

    One beacon is pretty much worthless, anyhow. A slew of beacons spread out on the planet's surface are what is needed. That way the beacons can be used for triangulation. Assuming, that is, that the beacons locations are precisely known ahead of time. One beacon right at the landing site, even if the location is well known, is pretty much worthless. By analogy, think of driving down a country road. Right after rounding a curve a deer jumps onto the road and freezes. You do not have the control authority (braking power) to stop in time. You are going to hit that deer.

    That one beacon is like the deer. The beacon will come into the field of view too late. The vehicle's limited control authority will not give the vehicle enough time to correct the error in the vehicle's state. The vehicle will miss the landing site; all the beacon will do is tell the vehicle by how much it has missed the site.
     
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