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Mission to Mars: A Space Exploration CONTEST

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posted on Apr, 25 2006 @ 02:17 PM
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You guessed it. A contest to see which group of ATSers can best reenact, and hopefully improve (not that that would be any real feat), the movie Mission to Mars!

No, not really... Sorry to disappoint! On a serious note though, the purpose of this contest is short and simple. Design, from the ground up, a mission to Mars. I'd suggest groups of people working together, though lone engineers may fare just as well.

The purpose? To see who, either by themselves or in a team, can design the best mission to Mars.
The budget? Unlimited.
The technology? Unlimited! (Though stone age technology may be a bit hard to use, and is only recommended for the advanced engineer.
)
The crew size? Four to twenty, though more than twenty is allowed. (I'll explain later)
Is there a time limit for the mission? No!
How comprehensive does this have to be? The more the better!

Now, you probably think I'm crazy, but I'm not. Okay, well, I am, but that's beside the point. More on why all the standards are not standard will be explained shortly. Now, moving on...

You're probably asking yourself, "Just what in the dickens am I supposed to do!?" Well here are some basic mission parameters. What you do with them, who knows!?


Budget
Well, you can get ideas from this by looking up budgets from other missions, both manned and not. The budgets are out there, but you get to do that research on your own. Though, if you need to convert a price because of inflation, this inflation calculator may help. Also, here is a foreign currency conversion calculator.

Technology
That's right, I'll say it again. The technological level you can use is unlimited. If you want your crew to be launched to Mars in a hollowed out rock via the Universe's largest trebuchet, so be it. If you want your crew to cruise for 15 minutes to get to Mars via some time/space bending drive, that's okay too. So naturally, everything in between is fine as well.

Crew size
A small crew would be four to six people, a medium sized crew would be seven to twelve people, and a large sized crew would be up to twenty. I said before that anything above that is fine too, but for the purposes of this contest, that would be considered a colony and frowned upon.

Time limit
No, there isn't a time limit on the duration of the mission, but we do want them to come home. If you want them to be at Mars for a day, that's fine. One or two Martian years would be fine as well. Three Martian years and you're looking at being a colony again.

Comprehensiveness
As I said before, the more in depth you go here, the better. There are things to take into consideration, though. Here's a list of problems you may want to solve:

How many go to surface? Stay in orbit?
Scientific purpose
Less or no gravity
Communications
Psychology, health and hygiene
Food storage
Waste storage
Roles of crew
Maintenance
Fuel and proulsion
Radiation and foreign object shielding
Power
Shelter (on Mars)
Landing zones (on Mars)

That's just a base for you to start off of. I can guarantee that there are dozens more problems to be solved. The more of that that's done, the better!

Now, you're probably asking yourself, "Okay, well how do I (or we) win?"

Winning the contest
Well, first you have to formally enter it. Whether you're working on your own or in a group, send me a u2u. If you're in a group, only one person (your group's leader) should send me a u2u. Also, come up with a snazzy title for your group, as that will be your mission title. Once that is done I'll post the group listings into this thread, so you can see who your competition is. Also, to keep group sizes from spiraling into immense sizes, the maximum group size will be four. You have until a week before the contest ending date to submit a formal entry.

From there you have until June 1st, 2006, for your group leader to submit your plans to me, either by u2u or by email at jstpeter@emich.edu . Once a plan is submitted it cannot be edited, changed or retracted. It will then be posted in its own thread, which will be left open for discussion. I'll post them as I receive them, so if you send me yours two weeks before the end date that will give your competition two weeks to review your methods and change thier own. Just something to think about.


Why anonymously? You'll see in a bit.

After all mission plans have been posted I'll review them and give my judgement on a basis of points. (Consider me the Director of NASA.
) Each section that I commented on above has a set number of points. The more points you get for each section, the better. Here's the breakdown of the point system.

Budget: Lowest budget equals ten points, while the highest budget equals zero points. The budgets in the middle will be averaged out.

Technology: Using current techology would get you the most points, that being twenty. Since I have no idea what people may come up with to use as lesser or higher technologies, I cannot say what points will be issued for what. The more obsurd you make it sound, the fewer points though. So, if your universe's largest trebuchet is very convincing while the time/space bending drive is not, you may end up getting more points.

Crew: This, like the technology, is going to be very subjective. The maximum points here will also be twenty. It just depends on how many people you bring along, what thier purpose is, and how well you compensated for thier health, hygeine, and other basic needs.

Time limit: This one will have a maximum points of ten. A shorter mission may be good for keeping people out of the hazards ofbeing away from Earth, but what can be done scientifically? Not much! On the other hand, a longer mission does just the opposite and you run the risk of a high (being more than zero) mortality rate.

Comprehensiveness: This is the big one, worth 50 points. A group of four would have better chances at being more comprehensive than a sole engineer, so I'll also take that into account when judging for this. To keep it short though, the more problems you solve, the better.

[edit on 4/25/2006 by cmdrkeenkid]




posted on Apr, 25 2006 @ 02:19 PM
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Now, you may think that that's a lot of judging to be done, but that's only the first stage! Before the contest begins (read before I posted this) I've selected a panel of anonymous judges (myself not included) that will judge each entry. (Sort of like a plan going before Congress.
) They won't judge it to the same standards I have for my judgings, as some of them have little to no knowledge of space exploration. Others though, are regular contributors to the Space Exploration Forum. This way we get a wide ranging and (hopefully) unbiased result. The judges then send me thier verdicts, giving it a
or a
and some commentary, which I'll then post the highlights of. Each
review earns a mission plan three points, while each
review only earns one point. This way, a team that solved a lot of problems, but sucked at presenting them still has a fighting chance. Also, if there happens to be a tie in my part of the judging this will serve as the tie breaker. If the tie continues, I'll think of a solution to that when it comes.

Now, the winner can be declared! That's right, the team with the highest point count wins.

"Okay, so what can we win?"

Prizes
First prize: 10,000 ATS points per person.
Second prize: 5,000 ATS points per person.
Third prize: 2,500 ATS points per person.
Everyone's prize: A great learning experience!


There are no wrong answers here, but only several ways of getting right ones. Good luck everyone!



posted on Apr, 25 2006 @ 02:39 PM
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Please feel free to use this thread for discussion, questions, comments, team organization, or whatever for the contest.

Though please try and not mention your team/mission name in this thread or elsewhere on ATS, as it would kind of ruin the anonymity of it all.



posted on Apr, 25 2006 @ 07:22 PM
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One simple method and one method only.

A giant slingshot.

Shattered OUT...



posted on Apr, 26 2006 @ 08:44 AM
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lol.

Anyways, it does sound mighty intresting. I'd love to design, from tea top to bell bottom, a space mission. That soft of stuff has always intrested me. I like the idea of designing it all. It'd be great fun.

Now, next contest; 'Black Project: Design a SECRET GOVERNMENT PROGRAM!'

Uhh, Rocks out?

[edit on 26/4/2006 by watch_the_rocks]



posted on Apr, 27 2006 @ 07:05 AM
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Simply put...

Oh... yes...


ORDER OF TRUTH! ASSEMBLE! (If you were a member of the Order, please U2U me if you see this post about Mission: Fantasy I... or any other name should we wish to change it)


jra

posted on Apr, 29 2006 @ 08:47 PM
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This sounds fun. I have some ideas. I suck at coming up with snazzy names/titles though.



posted on Apr, 29 2006 @ 08:51 PM
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How about Operation Wombat?


First thing that came to mind. Sorry. The judges and I are all very excited for what you're going to come up with!


jra

posted on Apr, 29 2006 @ 09:42 PM
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Me too... I just hope I can actually manage to complete something by the due date


"Operation Wombat" was a tempting name, but I think I'll stick with the one I picked.



posted on Apr, 30 2006 @ 12:41 AM
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Competition is heating up...

A few teams have formally entered, some talking tough! This looks to be a good run on this contest. Now the rest of you folks, get crackin' on a plan!



posted on Apr, 30 2006 @ 11:19 AM
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First it must involve stock pileing the moon full of MREs and water (he he he my secret weapon), along with guarded logistic relays from the moon in caravan or train formation to MARS. Other supplies such as parts, fuels, batteries etc.

Celestia is a very good space sim program, and it's companion for add ons. The sim has movie mode, havn't used it yet, but I get that one can make movies.
Celestia:
www.shatters.net...
Add ons:
www.celestiamotherlode.net...

Will add more visual intoxication,
yes it will.

This program link can also be found in the 16th B day thread for Hubble.
Enjoy, and your welcome.

Oh and before I forget, a "terra formed Mars" can be downloaded for use on the Celestia program.


Rock on party time, ATS's world!

[edit on 30-4-2006 by ADVISOR]


jra

posted on May, 3 2006 @ 05:23 PM
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Why is this thread near the top of the page and says cmdrkeenkid was the last poster, yet I don't see any other posts after ADVISOR's? Just want to make sure i'm not missing out on anything.



posted on May, 3 2006 @ 05:40 PM
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No, I'm jut bumping it once it gets down aways... If I top it some people may think it's just one of the others, plus this way it'll keep showing up at the top of peoples MyATS and MyNew.



posted on May, 3 2006 @ 06:00 PM
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A clever strategem.

By the way, everyone else in the contest, "Let's keep this anonymous" is going to "pnwed" you! (That's right, I'm the trash talker!)

EDIT: Now now, the judges arn't supposed to know who's who.


[edit on 5/3/2006 by cmdrkeenkid]



posted on May, 5 2006 @ 09:15 PM
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20 Days left to get in on this!!

Just a heads up. So far there are only a handful of entries! Let's get some more in!


[edit on 5/5/2006 by cmdrkeenkid]



posted on May, 7 2006 @ 12:29 AM
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hi I'm new to this forum I want to join this contest but I don't have enough points to send you an u2u



posted on May, 7 2006 @ 08:53 AM
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Great!

You can email me at jstpeter@emich.edu as well.



posted on May, 15 2006 @ 10:15 AM
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10 DAYS LEFT!!


jra

posted on May, 16 2006 @ 03:55 PM
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damn time flies... I really aught to get ass in gear and work on this more



posted on May, 17 2006 @ 10:49 AM
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The first entry is in! CONTEST: Mars exo 2000

All entries will be preceded with the "CONTEST:" so as to make the threads more easily identifiable.

[edit on 5/17/2006 by cmdrkeenkid]





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