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Forum » SpaceEngine » Science and Astronomy Discussions » Mars One 2023 (The first permanent Human Settlement in Mars)
Mars One 2023
mike4ty4Date: Monday, 06.05.2013, 10:15 | Message # 61
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Quote (robertinventor)
They do that with good reason. Introduce life to Mars and you are now studying a planet that has been contaminated by modern Earth life, and it will be extremely hard to find out if it had life already before you got there, and whether or not you have made the existing life on Mars extinct by introducing modern micro-organisms from Earth.

If anyone thinks it is possible for humans to go to Mars without introducing new organisms to it, reflect that the skin flora alone of a human being has 1000 species in 19 phyla, some not well known yet, and over a trillion individual organisms. Just your skin. More and more species are turning out to be extremophiles, with hidden capabilities, don't need to live in extreme places at all, just capabilities that they have from the past. There is increasing modern evidence that some of these species could survive on some niches on Mars just as it is now without any terraforming of Mars and without any special adapatation of the organism, just transfer the organism to Mars and it could survive and colonize all available niches on the planet quite quickly. That is if the niches exist - but - e.g. thin salty films sub surface (which may well exist in places on Mars), or the water vapor that briefly condenses in evening and morning from the air on Mars - both been shown to be possible habitats or existing modern micro-organisms. And many organisms form spores that are amazingly resistant even to everything that mars can throw at them.

And - the COSPAR guidelines require that Mars be protected in the event of a hard landing. A hard landing on Mars of a human occupied spacecraft would deposit human bodies directly on the surface - immediate huge Mars contamination, hard to see how that could ever be reversed.


Hmm. This contamination issue sounds extremely serious -- do you think it might be that we should never send humans to the Mars surface, except perhaps if we can conclusively rule out the existence of any native life first (which, if it is true, would still be a long ways off), or until terraforming is started, if we decide to go down that route? As it's an unalterable fact that humans are biological. So however you send them, you WILL contaminate Mars. Period. So sending humans to the surface effectively means ending whatever studies one might want to do on a pristine Martian biological environment permanently. So you'd better get all science requiring that done before the first human boot goes on the ground. And if you look at how many decades we've been studying the Earth's environment for, then think about that much time for Mars... and you see that human boots shouldn't be on the ground for a similarly vast amount of time.

Also, you mention orbital colonies -- how much would it cost to build one around Mars? How long would it take? Consider the difficulty and complexity involved in building the ISS, just a few hundred miles over our heads. Now multiply that distance by something in the neighborhood of a million. What would you think of a plan by any entity to get such a base by the year 2045? Do you think any government, or coalition of governments, working with technology available now or that could be developed within that time frame, could pull it off even if private companies couldn't? Would 2045 still be too optimistic? What happens when you throw in political crap? Politics, it seems, at least in a place like the US, tends to impede things more than make them happen. And as far as I can tell, nobody has a serious plan to actually do this orbital colony thing -- right now it seems like it's mostly conjectural and speculative. What would it take to turn that into real plans? How likely is it that it could be done?

I'd also wonder: what about, for a very first mission, to start out with something real simple -- just a "fly-by" of the planet and that's it? This would itself be valuable experience for future missions. Still want some trained personnel on there, but could it potentially be doable in 20 years, perhaps even by a private?

And what about radiation? This seems like a big problem. New research (http://www.kurzweilai.net/cosmic-radiation-found-harmful-to-astronauts-during-space-travel) shows that in addition to the known risks of cancer, radiation may trigger degenerative, irreversible brain disease. What to do about this new wrinkle? This would seem to not only put a "safe" (for some suitable definition of that word) trip out of the reach of privates but out of the reach of our current technological know-how. Someone in an orbital colony on a long-term mission could have a really serious problem here. It's not like the ISS near Earth -- Earth has a magnetic field of useful strength, Mars doesn't. And an orbital colony doesn't even have the help of the thin Martian atmosphere, whatever use that may be.

It'd seem the best bet for orbital colonies would be the two little moons. One could imagine drilling into them to get away from radiation... but how much would it take to launch heavy drilling/digging equipment? Man, with these kind of considerations it'd seem that even a "BetterMarsMission 2048" would still be waaaay too optimistic a timescale. Heck, even without rad. concerns -- consider all the technology that'd be required to extract, process materials from the moons, etc. Suddenly your orbital base faces a challenge WAY bigger than the ISS... and it's about 1,000,000 times further away. That stuff's gotta get to Mars somehow... !!! It seems like it'd be an even bigger technical challenge than landing people on the surface and returning them. How likely is it that it could be done with realistic budgets and a not-too-long-but-not-as-short-as-10-years timescale?

Do you believe there could be any prospect for a manned mission by any entity that could be feasibly done with a time frame of 20 years as opposed to 10? How about 30? Orbital base instead of land colony, even w/trained personnel? Odds?


Edited by mike4ty4 - Monday, 06.05.2013, 10:26
 
expandoDate: Saturday, 18.05.2013, 13:49 | Message # 62
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I think it is a scam, they said they received 80,000 applications @ $38?, that is around $3 million they have made.




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HarbingerDawnDate: Saturday, 18.05.2013, 17:34 | Message # 63
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Quote (expando)
I think it is a scam, they said they received 80,000 applications @ $38?, that is around $3 million they have made.

That does not necessarily make it a scam. If they really are trying to go to Mars then they're going to need all the money they can get.





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robertinventorDate: Saturday, 18.05.2013, 23:27 | Message # 64
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First sorry for the delay in reply. Missed notification of your post somehow, and I just noticed it when I got notification of these new posts today.

Quote (mike4ty4)
Hmm. This contamination issue sounds extremely serious -- do you think it might be that we should never send humans to the Mars surface, except perhaps if we can conclusively rule out the existence of any native life first (which, if it is true, would still be a long ways off), or until terraforming is started, if we decide to go down that route? As it's an unalterable fact that humans are biological. So however you send them, you WILL contaminate Mars. Period. So sending humans to the surface effectively means ending whatever studies one might want to do on a pristine Martian biological environment permanently. So you'd better get all science requiring that done before the first human boot goes on the ground. And if you look at how many decades we've been studying the Earth's environment for, then think about that much time for Mars... and you see that human boots shouldn't be on the ground for a similarly vast amount of time.

Yes that is exactly what I think :). At least decades, can't see it happening in less than decades, not if you continue to do the best possible science.

That is, unless technology evolves to the point where we can send humans to the surface without contaminating it. So - spacecraft that are so strong they won't break up on impact. Spacesuits ditto totally flawless so there is no chance of damage. Sterilization techniques that work on the microscopic level (e.g. using nanotechnology?) that can totally scrub the air in the airlock, the astronaut's suits, and the airlock itself, preferably guaranteed 0 spores and no uncultivable archaea.

Or could be - like self contained "minisub" type vehicles, astronauts go to the surface much like going down to the sea bed, again assuming amazingly strong materials (carbon nanotubes?) so that they can do that, and never leave their "sub" but are able to explore by driving and flying around on the surface.

But meanwhile, I think telepresence can create a similar experience to actually being there, and indeed better because of the enhanced vision, and can also e.g. have tiny humaonid avatars to explore small details on the surface as well as full size ones and rovers and spaceship that do suborbital hops around Mars etc.

Quote

Also, you mention orbital colonies -- how much would it cost to build one around Mars? How long would it take? Consider the difficulty and complexity involved in building the ISS, just a few hundred miles over our heads. Now multiply that distance by something in the neighborhood of a million. What would you think of a plan by any entity to get such a base by the year 2045? Do you think any government, or coalition of governments, working with technology available now or that could be developed within that time frame, could pull it off even if private companies couldn't? Would 2045 still be too optimistic? What happens when you throw in political crap? Politics, it seems, at least in a place like the US, tends to impede things more than make them happen. And as far as I can tell, nobody has a serious plan to actually do this orbital colony thing -- right now it seems like it's mostly conjectural and speculative. What would it take to turn that into real plans? How likely is it that it could be done?


Okay first for the cost of actually getting there, in rocket fuel, Mars is quite easy to get to if you go to the Mars orbit rather than the surface. It is actually slightly easier than going to the Moon. So it is not that hard to get reasonably large habitats to Mars orbit.

The big problem actually is the life support. The ISS is not self contained. They keep all the excrement for instance, dried of its moisture, and throw it into the supply spaceship. They can't wash their clothes, and just put those also into the supply ship to be burnt up in the atmosphere when it leaves. Lots of little things like that which you couldn't do on a journey to Mars. Especially, you can't just throw things out of the airlock because if you do they become biohazrds for Mars as they are then in orbits around the sun that have a good chance eventually to impact with Mars. So you will have to keep all that stuff for the entire voyage and take it home with you again at the end. Or else find a way to make it more self contained.

More problematic is the life support itself, the oxygen supply. They have emergency supplies and have had issues with the oxygen and needed to rely on their emergency supplies from time to time. So that of course needs to be 100% failsafe for a Mars mission. Getting there, but I think it would be wise to do long duration flights in Earth or Moon or the L1, L2, L3, L4 etc first before Mars. Or just test your Mars hardware with some close by targets first, much like the earlier tests they did of the Apollo equipment before the Moon landing.

Also you need to have a centrifuge or something similar to preserve the health of the astronauts. There is a spaceship design nautilus X for that. I think would be wise to have that technology tested and working before sending a large expedition to Mars. There are ideas to first send a centrifuge style module to the ISS. It would give close to Earth gravity (or optionally lower levels of gravity) for the crew sleeping quarters only, but that's probably enough to deal with the issues, particularly rapid bone loss, which you get in long space flights, equivalent to decades of aging on Earth.

It is okay if some adventurer like Dennis Tito wants to do a flight to Mars knowing the dangers, very perilous mission but done with eyes wide open. But I on't think that is a good model for scientific investigation and a longer duration stay there, and think he might well die in the attempt personally.

For the gravity issue, since the journey time out and back isn't so bad, same as a long duration flight on the ISS, if you can break it up with artificial gravity in Mars orbit that can deal with that issue in a way that only uses existing technology.

That is the idea of the HERRO mission. They go to Mars and then set the spacecraft spinning at a rate sufficient to generate Mars gravity. To help with that they keep the rocket they used for the voyage to Mars attached to their spaceship making a long spaceship that can be set spinning at quite a slow rate and still generate reasonable amount of artificial gravity. Would simulate Mars gravity to help with the telepresence of rovers on Mars.

That could be launched as soon as we have sorted out the long term environment control, gone beyond the ISS. A lot of the development for that could be done on Earth, in sealed chambers on Earth, though you'd surely want to test it in space long duration before going to Mars.

Quote

I'd also wonder: what about, for a very first mission, to start out with something real simple -- just a "fly-by" of the planet and that's it? This would itself be valuable experience for future missions. Still want some trained personnel on there, but could it potentially be doable in 20 years, perhaps even by a private?

Oh yes, well doable. Could do that right now with enough finance, though for safety reasons, it would be best to do a test of the long duration equipment closer to home first. They could have done that with the Apollo era technology as far as getting there though they would probably have failed because of atmosphere recycling issues.

That is the NASA plan actually, to start with longer duration flights to e.g. capture an asteroid, first.

Though, actually the flyby itself - it only gives you a few hours on Mars. I suppose a scientist could do a lot on Mars carrying out experiments on the surface and guiding a telepresence rover sent there in advance, it's often said that a scientist could do in a few minutes what the current rovers do in weeks, because of the light speed time delay issues - this could be a chance to test that and see if it is true :). With a rover powerful enough so you can drive it around quickly just as you do on Earth.

But there is another plan, which is like the flyby, but longer duration at Mars. It is very clever. When the spacecraft arrives on Mars, it gets deflected by the gravity into an orbit that is just like the Mars orbit around the sun, but slightly longer duration. This means for the next few months it shadows Mars almost exactly and spends quite a lot of time close enough to Mars for telepresence activiites.

Then at the end of that it comes close to Mars again and is deflected again by just enough to send it back to Earth again. This is after a year spent in close vicinity of Mars.

It is Zubrin's Athena double flyby misison. For more about that and some other proposals see this link:

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

Quote

And what about radiation? This seems like a big problem. New research (http://www.kurzweilai.net/cosmic-radiation-found-harmful-to-astronauts-during-space-travel) shows that in addition to the known risks of cancer, radiation may trigger degenerative, irreversible brain disease. What to do about this new wrinkle? This would seem to not only put a "safe" (for some suitable definition of that word) trip out of the reach of privates but out of the reach of our current technological know-how. Someone in an orbital colony on a long-term mission could have a really serious problem here. It's not like the ISS near Earth -- Earth has a magnetic field of useful strength, Mars doesn't. And an orbital colony doesn't even have the help of the thin Martian atmosphere, whatever use that may be.

Radiation isn't as hard to deal with as sometimes thought. The solar storms are the worst, you need a solar storm shelter. The thing is water is good at shielding from it, and for missions of a few years, then a few cm of water should do fine. That is still a lot of water, but you don't need to shield the entire ship. If you shield the sleeping quarters of the astronauts, which also double up as a shelter in case of a solar storm, that is enough. So the Mars plans tend to do that. Water is something you have with you anyway.

Longer term, you can hope to mine it from Deimos (possibly depending on its composition, more research is needed) or get it sent from Earth orbit from the space mining there e.g. from the asteroid that NASA plan to capture and put into the L1 position near Earth or the commercial space mining companies that may be active by then.

You can also use rocket fuel.

Also - you can send a habitat to Mars in advance of the crewed journey. That is what I would do, wouldn't add much to the expense if the R&D of the spacecraft is the major cost factor. Send a duplicate of your ship to Mars without any crew in it. This will test a lot of the systems. Also means at the destination you have a "lifeboat" and you can fill it instead of crew, with replacement parts, extra water and fuel, and of course it has all the supplies the crew would normally use up on a voyage as well, unused. Then you have double the living space when there, a lifeboat to take you back if something goes wrong with your own spacecraft, or can be canabalised for spare parts if both spaceships fail, repair one from the other.

Quote

It'd seem the best bet for orbital colonies would be the two little moons. One could imagine drilling into them to get away from radiation... but how much would it take to launch heavy drilling/digging equipment? Man, with these kind of considerations it'd seem that even a "BetterMarsMission 2048" would still be waaaay too optimistic a timescale. Heck, even without rad. concerns -- consider all the technology that'd be required to extract, process materials from the moons, etc. Suddenly your orbital base faces a challenge WAY bigger than the ISS... and it's about 1,000,000 times further away. That stuff's gotta get to Mars somehow... !!! It seems like it'd be an even bigger technical challenge than landing people on the surface and returning them. How likely is it that it could be done with realistic budgets and a not-too-long-but-not-as-short-as-10-years timescale?


Yes that is possible too. The distance isn't really a problem as far as cost. It does mean you need highly trained people on board simply because of the difficulty of comnunicating issues with Earth with 40 minute round trip delays. As the missions get larger though, by the time you have e.g. a dozen or a couple of dozen people there, you will need gardeners, doctors, programmers, biologists (even in the earlier missions hopefully at least one exobiologist ideally also trained as an astronaut too), geologists, etc. Also people who are good at driving things on the surface.

As it gets larger eventually also people who are good at mining Deimos, people on board with other roles like good cooks, artists in residence, composers in residence, musicians etc. I do very much hope we get more people with more diverse abilities. A bit like the Commander Hadfield who gave his own unique perspectives from the ISS and brought a new perspective and ideas to so many people - I think that is as valuable as the science actually, but the science can't be ignored in a place as technologically demanding and scientifically interesting as space and Mars orbit.

Quote

Do you believe there could be any prospect for a manned mission by any entity that could be feasibly done with a time frame of 20 years as opposed to 10? How about 30? Orbital base instead of land colony, even w/trained personnel? Odds?

Yes I think well possible. With enough finance maybe even within 10 years for first orbital visits to Mars and flyby, don't see why not. Probably more like 20 given the cancellations etc. likely to happen. Just a guess.

Just giving my own POV. Not got any privileged access to the future :).


Edited by robertinventor - Saturday, 18.05.2013, 23:34
 
WatsisnameDate: Sunday, 19.05.2013, 00:50 | Message # 65
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Quote (robertinventor)
Okay first for the cost of actually getting there, in rocket fuel, Mars is quite easy to get to if you go to the Mars orbit rather than the surface. It is actually slightly easier than going to the Moon. So it is not that hard to get reasonably large habitats to Mars orbit.


The cost is actually rather enormous...

We did not send large habitats to the Moon and doing so wold not be cheap. The delta-v required to get into orbit around Mars is not less than landing on the Moon unless you allow for aerobraking, which for a large habitat is not going to be very practical.

Whoops, you're right; I was looking at the wrong numbers. LEO to LMO is actually very slightly cheaper than LEO to lunar surface. Sorry about that.







Edited by Watsisname - Sunday, 19.05.2013, 01:23
 
robertinventorDate: Sunday, 19.05.2013, 01:22 | Message # 66
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The cost is actually rather enormous...

We did not send large habitats to the Moon and doing so wold not be cheap. The delta-v required to get into orbit around Mars is not less than landing on the Moon unless you allow for aerobraking, which for a large habitat is not going to be very practical.


First on the delta v I use the figures here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delta-v_budget

So, delta v from LEO to Mars capture orbit is 5.2

From LEO to Moon it is 5.93

If you went to low Mars orbit then that adds another 1.4 and so does take you over the Moon at 6.6.

Do say if there is anything I'm missing here with these figures. But I expect it is just because you are thinking in terms of low Mars orbit and I was less ambitious for the first missions to Mars.

For these early missions was just thinking in terms of a Mars capture orbit, one that takes you close to the Mars surface for enough time to be useful for telepresence.

On cost, it depends what you mean by enormous, and what size of habitat. Yes agree it would be a major budget thing at least at current levels. Billions surely.

I meant feasible as a major program. But no way as expensive as a landing on the Mars surface by humans which I think would be an order of magnitude more expensive again. So relative to a Mars surface mission, not that hard to get to. Also relative to e.g. lunar colonies, then comparable.

At Mars then yes I agree, definitely don't want to do aerocapture. Not just for practicality. Also because a Mars flyby is a category III risk n COSPAR. You don't want even a small risk that if you misjudge it then the spacecraft with humans aboard crashes into Mars. So you want to keep well away from the planet's atmosphere.

For the HERRO mission then they used a slowly precessing nearly sun synchronous Molinya orbit, it's one of the most carefully thought out mission studies, of course not in the detail of some of the others, but reasonably detailed. Because the orbit is so elongated it doesn't need nearly so much delta v to get into it. So it is a good one for first missions. It spends enough time close to Mars to be fine for telepresence, and can be arranged so both sides of Mars are accessible during close flybys.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki....resence

The Zubrin double athena flyby is one that uses even less delta v and useful for a proof of concept of the telepresence on Mars, would find out in practise how useful it is and how much science you can get done that way.

Also for large habitats, I expect that you would send lots of smaller ones and join them together rather than send as one big habitat in one go.

Hopefully this makes it a bit clearer :).
 
WatsisnameDate: Sunday, 19.05.2013, 01:25 | Message # 67
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You were right. I edited my post. smile




 
robertinventorDate: Sunday, 19.05.2013, 02:33 | Message # 68
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ou were right. I edited my post.


Okay, great, thanks!
 
HandbananaDate: Wednesday, 18.02.2015, 05:20 | Message # 69
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This week, Mars One announced that they have selected 100 potential candidates for their proposed trip to Mars. You can call me a pessimist all you want, but I think this project is a waste of time. It has no developed plan, an unstable budget, overly-optimistic claims for when they expect to begin sending humans to Mars (Early 2020's? Give me a break...), very few aerospace professionals within the organization, and overall obliviousness to the reality of space exploration.

Now, despite my rant, I know that I'm no expert myself. Do any of you have the same expectations, or do you have another side that you would share?





Tonight... you.
 
WillocrispDate: Wednesday, 18.02.2015, 06:55 | Message # 70
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I agree with you. I mean, in reality, the only thing Mars One needs is the money. Once they have that; they can build whatever they want to get humans to Mars. However, the difference with Mars One is that they are in it for the publicity. Their concern isn't whether the people they send live or die, it's just so they can get to Mars first.

They see it as a race. I'm sure tons of people will go knowing they wont last the journey there or even more than a day on the planet.

If Mars One happens, it's a testing ground. The people to go will be the first test subjects who will ultimately meet their death due to lack of preparedness.
 
WatsisnameDate: Wednesday, 18.02.2015, 07:47 | Message # 71
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We had a thread about Mars One a while back and, yeah, general consensus was pretty unfavorable.




 
Tank7Date: Wednesday, 18.02.2015, 14:21 | Message # 72
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Total agreement here, I can't believe the plan doesn't call for a return vehicle to be parked there for them in case of colony's life support malfunction, or if it turns out they simply can't find enough ice to replenish the water they need, or if one of over-9000 other things goes wrong. It's such a death warrant, but I guess some people are willing to do it no matter what.
 
giftDate: Thursday, 19.02.2015, 03:05 | Message # 73
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Should the moon be the one to be colonized first?
 
WatsisnameDate: Thursday, 19.02.2015, 04:49 | Message # 74
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I think so, even if just for reasons of proximity. We have yet to attempt manned interplanetary travel or colonization. Aiming for Mars first invokes both challenges and therefore more potential failure modes, many of which may be unforeseen.

In space exploration it is better to instead solve problems more slowly and sequentially. We had a mission which just orbited the Moon before we had one that tried landing on it, and we mucked around in LEO a lot, before going to the Moon. Same idea here. Figure out and practice with technologies and techniques for colonizing a nearby body, and then once you're good at that, figure out how to do it farther away with long-term human space-flight. Nature provided us with a close neighbor, so why not use it? smile





 
SpaceEngineerDate: Thursday, 19.02.2015, 08:16 | Message # 75
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We even can't create an isolated habitat for now. ISS cannot survive without resupply from Earth, Apollo ships had limited resources, the Biosphere 2 experiment failed. We must starting from the Earth, repeat the Biosphere experiment taking into account all mistakes. We must make a small-scale habitats for ships which could survive for many years without resupply. This is important if we want have ability to rescue astronauts from Mars if something goes wrong (2 years for the next launch window!). Sending them to Mars for a death is a nonsense.




 
Forum » SpaceEngine » Science and Astronomy Discussions » Mars One 2023 (The first permanent Human Settlement in Mars)
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