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Preparing for manned exploration of Mars

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posted on Oct, 30 2006 @ 01:06 PM
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Sooner or later mans quest for knowlege will compel him to start sending manned missions to Mars. There have been various threads discussing the time it will take to get there, the fuel needed, the provisions req'd....ect.

Would it not be practical to begin sending unmanned ships to Mars, stocked with provisions, fuel,....ect. The could be parked in Goesynchronous or Geostationary orbit around the planet. Like a string of pearls around the planet, these depots', equipped with a docking station could provide a base from which a manned mission could deploy. Rather than a complex space station like the one we have now, each depot would simply serve as a wharehouse. This would allow for the manned ship with its occupants to utilize the limited space available on their ship in more creative & productive ways.

A truck traveling from Florida to California doesn't carry all the fuel it needs for the trip there & back, so why should the manned mission to mars do so?

What would the advantages & disadvantages be to this. What drawbacks would rule out such a plan?




[edit on 30-10-2006 by Sparky63]



jra

posted on Oct, 30 2006 @ 03:35 PM
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The only concern that comes to my mind is radiation. At present we don't have anything that blocks radiation 100%. So if these orbiting 'warehouses' are sitting there for a few years. I don't think I'd want to eat or drink any of that food.

It is an interesting idea, but without proper protection, I don't think it will work.



posted on Oct, 30 2006 @ 03:45 PM
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Originally posted by jra
The only concern that comes to my mind is radiation. At present we don't have anything that blocks radiation 100%. So if these orbiting 'warehouses' are sitting there for a few years. I don't think I'd want to eat or drink any of that food.

It is an interesting idea, but without proper protection, I don't think it will work.



Isn't that why they are working on developing nanotechnology? Without it, they can't even make it halfway to Mars, so they are desperately trying to get it done before the mission. All I know is that the nanobots are to help fight disease inside of the astronauts bodies and to keep them safe from harmful space radiation. If this technology can help the crew traveling to Mars, it can do the same for what the OP suggested.



posted on Oct, 30 2006 @ 05:31 PM
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Isn't that why they are working on developing nanotechnology?


My understanding is they have been dreaming about nano for years now. Molecular machines would be absolutely awesome and compltely transform mankind.. not just our space programs.

We can do Mars without Nanotechnology. Although it has been theorized that a mars mission would be approaching the limits of what a human body should be exposed to. I believe astronauts have a maximum number of hours they are allowed up in space for their lifetime.



posted on Oct, 30 2006 @ 08:52 PM
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Radiation shielding would probably be one of the most important considerations.
The aluminum shell used on todays crafts would prove ineffective given the time and duration of exposure. There is currently research into new ways to ward off high energy particles like alpha gamma & beta rays.

A potentially new type of radiation shield relies on electrostatic charge to ward off harmful high-energy particles before they reach a manned spacecraft.

NASA's Robert Youngquist, a physicist who leads the KSC-Applied Physics Lab at Kennedy Space Center in Florida

external source


Youngquist's team envisions a spacecraft equipped with what's called a multipole electrostatic radiation shield, a radiation guard made up of three, electrically charged spheres set in a line along the axis of the ship. The center sphere, set close or even attached to the crew module, would be positively charged, while two outrigger spheres on either side would carry a negative charge. Together, the combination should be enough to repel both high-energy protons and electrons that would otherwise penetrate a spacecraft.
www.space.com...

If this ever proves possible and the radiation hurdle is overcome, I can envision the crew arriving in orbit around the red planet, refueling, stocking up on provisions & gear for their landing & exploration, perhaps even the landing craft.

Mabe the cost would make it impractical but If I was on the mission, I would like to know that I had supplies & provisions waiting for me when I got there, and plenty of fuel for the flight home.


jra

posted on Oct, 31 2006 @ 12:32 AM
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Originally posted by Impreza
Isn't that why they are working on developing nanotechnology? Without it, they can't even make it halfway to Mars, so they are desperately trying to get it done before the mission.


I don't believe that is the reason for developing nanotechnology. And they can make it to Mars without it. Better radiation shielding is still needed, but I've never heard of nanotechnology being involved.



posted on Oct, 31 2006 @ 12:50 AM
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I kinda like the idea of hitching a ride on that passing asteroid and boring into it idea. Would save on fuel, and maybe the asteroid itself would act as shielding I don't know how far off that idea could possibly be but its definitly creative.


Pie



posted on Oct, 31 2006 @ 10:13 AM
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Originally posted by ThePieMaN
I kinda like the idea of hitching a ride on that passing asteroid


That is a very interesting idea! I wish I had thought of that.

Stabilizing the asteroid so that it is not rotating on its axis in 3 directions would be a critical step.
But I dont see any problems with doing that as long as its mass is not too great.

I think Nasa needs to start making some bold plans.

[edit on 31-10-2006 by Sparky63]



posted on Nov, 5 2006 @ 12:19 AM
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Having Cruiser(s) that just do round trips would be an option. Leaving earth and re enrty are making the whole exercise costly in the $ sense and earth years wise.

These cruisers are re staffed/supplied/refuleed by smaller crafts - soyuz type in Near earth orbits?!?!?

There would have to be many Cruiser trips initially just dropping of supplies/smaller crafts/contruction equipment/comms in orbit around mars. Perhaps years worth, then the projects could start.

Along the way to mars, un manned supply crafts can be deployed. Left in key points, in as many usable repeative routes we make take to get to mars over the years... Its all about infrastructure i believe... even before man sets foot on it.




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