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NASA: We're sending humans to Mars!

  1. Dec 2, 2014 #1
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 2, 2014 #2
    I can't wait for the day that this actually happens. My family won't care but I sure will. What a time to be alive :)
     
  4. Dec 2, 2014 #3

    Ken G

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  5. Dec 2, 2014 #4

    SteamKing

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  6. Dec 3, 2014 #5

    Drakkith

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    I guess we'll see what happens over the coming years. :)
    It's be great to see people land on Mars in my lifetime. Preferably before I'm 50.
     
  7. Dec 3, 2014 #6

    Ken G

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    I hate to be a nay-sayer, but it took 22 years to launch the JWST, if it does fly in 2018 as planned, and that's an Earth orbiting satellite with no people on it. The budgetary environment has never been worse at any time in NASA history, it's not clear the scientific value in putting people on Mars in the first place, and there are a huge number of hurdles to get over. I have to think the 2030 timetable is pure wishful thinking, it doesn't even sound the least bit plausible to me. I'd like to be wrong, it would be great to see humans on Mars, but it would be lousy to see dead humans orbiting in the solar system for centuries. In my opinion, the first human on Mars will have to fund the trip themself, and will plan on a one-way trip. It seems like a generally better way to go would be to send advanced virtual reality hardware, and bring the experience of being on Mars back to Earth remotely. I'd rather know the timetable on that.
     
  8. Dec 3, 2014 #7

    Vanadium 50

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    NASA knows "No bucks without Buck Rogers". This whole thing looks like a Gruberesque attempt to improve NASA's dire budgetary situation.
     
  9. Dec 3, 2014 #8

    OmCheeto

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    I was 2 years old when Gagarin became the first Earthing in space.
    I would prefer they make it to Mars before I'm 100.

    Hmmm... Have you ever seen the 1964 version of "First Men in the Moon". The final scene is of a very old man looking through a telescope at the moon.

    2014.12.02.2322.fmitm.nasty.cold.jpg

    Perhaps by the time I'm 100, I'll have purchased a telescope, and will find Mars, and make a joke about one of the astronauts having a nasty cold. :)



    Ha! It's been a while since I've seen the movie. Watching the trailer, at about t=1:45, you'll see a long tunnel. Just a couple of weeks ago, I was thinking we should first set up a colony on the moon, excavate a really long linear tunnel, and build a rail gun to propel ships to the planets. I wonder if I got the idea from the movie?

    Someone get me Elon Musk's phone number! :D
     
  10. Dec 3, 2014 #9

    SteamKing

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    You're right about this. This whole thing smells of a PR stunt, or a "Look! A squirrel!" kind of misdirection. I wonder when the other shoe is going to drop.
     
  11. Dec 3, 2014 #10
    No matter what they are trying to get from this, I am still hyped. If the schedule works as planned and they launch the mission by the mid-2030's, then I would only be pushing my late 30's to early 40's. A perfect age for me to join this project ;)
     
  12. Dec 3, 2014 #11

    Chronos

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    Call me a skeptic, sounds like a pipe dream without even a pipe.
     
  13. Dec 3, 2014 #12
    To put men on Mars by 2030 probably is a pipe dream but that doesn't mean that developing continued funding for a new generation of human carrying capsules isn't required right now if we are going to make it before ~2060. We presently don't have reliable capsules, even for Moon landings, IMHO and that includes the Apollo capsules which don't lend themselves to simple upgrading.

    For some reason going back to the Moon doesn't generate the public hoopla like going to Mars does. Perhaps it's that jaded "been there, done that" viewpoint. So I think it was smart of NASA to bill it as a Mars device that maybe, just maybe, will be required to return humans to the Moon say in 3-4 years as a "qualifying test". That would be wise on several levels.
     
  14. Dec 3, 2014 #13

    SteamKing

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    I think I see the reason a Mars mission has been bandied about this week. The first test flight of the new Orion spacecraft is set to launch tomorrow morning (Dec. 4, 2014 @ 0705 EST):

    http://www.wired.com/2014/12/nasa-orion-spacecraft-test-flight/

    Orion is intended to be the manned craft which follows the Space Shuttle, to allow the US a way back into space flight without relying on Russian rockets:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orion_(spacecraft)
     
  15. Dec 3, 2014 #14

    phinds

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    I couldn't agree more, sadly.
     
  16. Dec 3, 2014 #15

    Chronos

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    I'll take a manned mars mission seriously when we have an established moon base. It makes no sense without that first step.
     
  17. Dec 3, 2014 #16

    Bystander

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    What's the rate at the moment? $/kg to earth orbit? ~3k? And how much mass/person (food, water, oxygen) for how long? To Mars?
     
  18. Dec 4, 2014 #17
  19. Dec 4, 2014 #18

    OmCheeto

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    It sounds like we have some agreement then. Back to the moon. :)

    I just did some preliminary calculations on my moon based rail gun.
    A 550 MW solar array* would generate enough power in 100 minutes to propel a Greyhound bus to Mars in only 12 weeks.

    I'm currently ignoring the engineering problems involved with boring a tunnel from one side of the moon to the other. (3500 kilometers!)
    I'll leave that to Christopher Nolan. :rolleyes:

    Speaking of Christophers, Chris Hadfield appears to have some reservations. But he's a Canuck. What the heck do they know?

    On the other hand, isn't MIT a reputable institution?
    [ref]

    oo)


    *I'm currently bashing a bunch of people on FB, regarding the world's largest solar farm, which has an output of 550 MW.
     
  20. Dec 4, 2014 #19

    SteamKing

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    You'd think so, but apparently they employ some shady professors like Jonathan Gruber, who, although he maintains a lucrative consulting practice, his clients never heard of.
     
  21. Dec 4, 2014 #20

    marcus

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    I think Ceres would be a better place to go, expected to have a thick mantel that is largely water ice. Nearly 1000 km diameter.
    Humans could tunnel into the ice and make an underground habitat, safe from vacuum, radiation, space debris.
    More interesting place than Mars. Dawn spacecraft is following Ceres along its orbit, gradually catching up with solar powered ion thrusters.
    If successful should arrive at Ceres spring 2015, i.e. in a few months.

    I favor robotic space exploration over human, as a general rule, but if humans are to colonize any time soon, don't bother with Moon or Mars, make it somewhere nice and icy.
    http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov/orbits/fulltraj.jpg [Broken]
    You can see on the full trajectory map that the craft is now within 0.007409 AU of Ceres. the two dots are barely separable on the map. Here are some images from the craft's perspective.
    http://dawn.jpl.nasa.gov/mission/live_shots.asp
    I guess 0.007 AU is around a million km.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
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