Ed Hudgins

From Apollo 11 to Martian Missions

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From Apollo 11 to Martian Missions

By Edward Hudgins

On July 20, 1969 Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin made those historic first footprints on the Moon. But the ensuing decades have been frustrating to those who assumed that Apollo 11 would lead to permanent lunar bases and colonies on Mars.

NASA, a government agency, could not bring down the costs of spaceflight, ensuring that such visionary goals would be multibillion dollar boondoggles.

But today those who want to see Mars become a future human habitat might have their aspirations realized.

The Buzz about Mars

Aldrin’s new book, Mission to Mars, with journalist Leonard David, argues for the Red Planet as the principal target for future explorers. Aldrin, with an astronautics Ph.D. from MIT, has designed an interplanetary “cycler” system. (Aldrin published a first description of the system in my book Space: The Free-Market Frontier.)

A spacecraft would be launched to Mars on a trajectory that would use that planet’s gravity to fling the craft back toward Earth, where it would use Earth’s gravity to fling it back to Mars in a never-ending cycle. (A similar system could be set up with the Moon.) Aldrin still needs to work out how astronauts get on and off the speeding ship at their planet of choice. But hey, he’s a rocket scientist!

Flyby and one-way

Dennis Tito, the first individual to pay for a trip to the International Space Station, founded and is helping to finance Inspiration Mars, a private effort to send a man and a woman on a 501-day flyby mission to the Red Planet, similar to Aldrin’s cycler but with the craft landing back on Earth. To hit the planetary alignments right, the mission must be launched in January 2018.

Dutch entrepreneur Bas Lansdorp has founded Mars One with a plan to send humans on one-way missions to begin colonizing Mars, with the first mission in 2023. He will finance the project in large part as a "global media spectacle."

Making it real

In the past such missions would have been impossible dreams since cost-effective technologies were unavailable. But today private space entrepreneurs are stepping in to make such dreams come true.

For example, Elon Musk’s company SpaceX has already launched three private rockets to berth with the ISS for a fraction of the cost of the NASA Shuttle. He is testing larger rockets that could travel to the planets. Musk’s ultimate goal is Mars and he says he wants to die on the Red Planet—but not on landing!

Robert Bigelow’s company has developed innovative, low-cost inflatable habitat modules that he wants to put into orbit. Bigelow already has launched two one-third size prototypes and NASA will test a full-size module at the ISS in 2015. These modules could serve as habitats for bases on the Moon or Mars.

These are just a few examples of entrepreneurs, inspired by Apollo 11, putting their money and their minds toward other space achievements that will inspire future generations and make us a spacefaring civilization!
----
Hudgins is director of advocacy for The Atlas Society.

For further information:

*Edward Hudgins and William R Thomas, Video: “Crony Capitalism in Space?” June 19, 2013.

*Edward Hudgins, "Neil Armstrong, America Hero.” August 27, 2012.

*Edward Hudgins, “SpaceX’s Entrepreneurial Triumph.” May 25, 2012.

*Edward Hudgins, “When We Walked on the Moon.” July 17, 2009.

*Edward Hudgins, “The Spiritual Significance of Mars.” August 12, 2003.

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Might as well post a photo of me with Buzz Aldrin and Dennis Tito. This was taken around March 2003 after the explosion of the Shuttle Columbia. I was part of a group of space experts met in California to discuss the future of human spaceflight.

Aldrin, Hudgins, Tito photo ed-space-sum12_zps93a2cf5b.jpg

 

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From Apollo 11 to Martian Missions

By Edward Hudgins

On July 20, 1969 Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin made those historic first footprints on the Moon. But the ensuing decades have been frustrating to those who assumed that Apollo 11 would lead to permanent lunar bases and colonies on Mars.

It was never about lunar exploration or martian exploration. It was first and last a pissing contest with the Soviet Union. We peed the farthest. After which the money dried up in Congress.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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From Apollo 11 to Martian Missions

By Edward Hudgins

On July 20, 1969 Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin made those historic first footprints on the Moon. But the ensuing decades have been frustrating to those who assumed that Apollo 11 would lead to permanent lunar bases and colonies on Mars.

It was never about lunar exploration or martian exploration. It was first and last a pissing contest with the Soviet Union. We peed the farthest. After which the money dried up in Congress.

Ba'al Chatzaf

There is actually in an obscure location near Moscow a lunar lander similar to the ones the US used that was never used by the USSR.

It wasn't a pissing contest. Imagine two ropes hung from a gym ceiling and two guys compete to get to the top first. Sorta like how it started. But once the Apollo rockets started flying, it was all over. They were gigantic. NASA, or somebody, destroyed the blueprints so don't even think about recreating them as such.

The moon and Mars and the asteroid belt--or what have you--you can get there with government money but you can't stay. I knew that over 40 yrs ago--that the moon was a too soon economically a one shot deal. The Europeans came to North America and made money. They stayed, in trade. So far there's no money to be made on or from the moon.

Let's say that there's a lot of gold on the moon. There's a gold rush. 100% American. We go get that gold and bring it back where it's used as money. Prices go through the roof as they absorb all that gold. Like the Spaniards of old the Americans of the moon gold bold will find they have actually destroyed, not created in the aggregate, wealth. Wealth is the creation of goods and services and the use of technology to increase productivity. It is not money. Money is only a temporary store of value (capital). You don't need to go to the moon and get moon gold if you're into this, just be a central banker and print more paper/electronic currency and do the same thing: destroy, not create, wealth. This is also why where the government dishes out money prices tend to go up--to absorb it--especially in medicine and education. So, kids grad today with student loans they can hardly pay off or even discharge in bankruptcy. Back in my day that wasn't the way. You could work your way through. It wasn't easy. I had to deal in a culture that had a military draft. A form of slavery. Debt, too, is slavery. Once they're no longer babies and children, Americans must come to hate their kids. In the 50s and 60s they hated their boys (get rid of them--out of the house), now, both sexes. I guess keeping women in their place back then was enough for the patriarchs.

--Brant

God bless America, land that I love (for I'm a patriarch too)

my way or the highway (but let's call it patriotism)

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All will be forgiven when Mars is used as a staging area for a project to mine the asteroids. Otherwise it is a desert, a bad place to visit and a worse place to live. The Moon is much more useful to us in the shorter run than is Mars.

By the way, Jack Kennedy saw the space race as a pissing contest but he was wise enough to present it as a Glorious Quest.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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Actually, the reason the U.S. government took up the mission of going to the Moon was a three-fer.

First, it was to demonstrate to non-aligned countries as well as some of America’s allies that our open and generally free system was technologically superior to the Soviets. They should hitch their wagons to America. It was for prestige.

Second, while the Moon missions were civilian activities, the U.S. was developing a capacity to dominate the High Frontier for defense purposes, if needed, and developing a lot of duel-use technologies.

Third, going to the Moon was an important scientific endeavor. It was something that a private consortium of universities, National Geographic, and others might have done if they had the money.

As to Baal’s remarks about Mars, I might suggest looking at the scientific information coming from the probes above and on the planet in recent years showing the abundance of water in the regolith. I might suggest looking at the knowledge coming out of those probes that brings us closer to answering one of the greatest scientific questions of all time: whether life arose on a planet other than Earth. I might suggest considering the Inspiration Mars project paper on the habitat issues involved with traveling 500 days to and from the planet. I might suggest looking at the new work done by the Mars One folks—building on Zubrin’s work in The Case for Mars—on settling Mars as the goal, not only doing missions with a return to Earth. I might suggest we should take seriously the fact that Moonwalker Buzz Aldrin as well as a lot of folks with money—Musk, Tito—see Mars as most important target for human attention.

Or I might just say, stop being on old, curmudgeonly grumpy-stomp!

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Actually, the reason the U.S. government took up the mission of going to the Moon was a three-fer.

First, it was to demonstrate to non-aligned countries as well as some of America’s allies that our open and generally free system was technologically superior to the Soviets. They should hitch their wagons to America. It was for prestige.

Second, while the Moon missions were civilian activities, the U.S. was developing a capacity to dominate the High Frontier for defense purposes, if needed, and developing a lot of duel-use technologies.

Third, going to the Moon was an important scientific endeavor. It was something that a private consortium of universities, National Geographic, and others might have done if they had the money.

As to Baal’s remarks about Mars, I might suggest looking at the scientific information coming from the probes above and on the planet in recent years showing the abundance of water in the regolith. I might suggest looking at the knowledge coming out of those probes that brings us closer to answering one of the greatest scientific questions of all time: whether life arose on a planet other than Earth. I might suggest considering the Inspiration Mars project paper on the habitat issues involved with traveling 500 days to and from the planet. I might suggest looking at the new work done by the Mars One folks—building on Zubrin’s work in The Case for Mars—on settling Mars as the goal, not only doing missions with a return to Earth. I might suggest we should take seriously the fact that Moonwalker Buzz Aldrin as well as a lot of folks with money—Musk, Tito—see Mars as most important target for human attention.

Or I might just say, stop being on old, curmudgeonly grumpy-stomp!

You do not want to live on Mars. Ever. No magnetic field. It will never, ever maintain an atmosphere or surface water. The best we could do is construction mostly underground habitats to keep solar radiation from frying our gonads. Mars is a shitty place to visit and a worse place to live.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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Ba'al - The reason Aldrin, Musk, Tito, Zubrin and an army of others disagree with you is that they look at the facts and science involved rather than simply making assertions. Would terraforming be tough? Yup! But I'm confident that humans are up to the task. See you on the Red Planet, maybe with a stopover on the Moon just for fun! :)

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Ba'al - The reason Aldrin, Musk, Tito, Zubrin and an army of others disagree with you is that they look at the facts and science involved rather than simply making assertions. Would terraforming be tough? Yup! But I'm confident that humans are up to the task. See you on the Red Planet, maybe with a stopover on the Moon just for fun! :smile:

Exuuuuuuuuse me. The absence of a Martian Magnetic Field is a big large fact. It is the main reason why Mars is the shit hole it is today.

Don't accuse me assertions. I quote scientific fact. You just don't like the facts I am quoting.

I have forgotten more physics and math than you ever knew in the first place.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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Actually, the reason the U.S. government took up the mission of going to the Moon was a three-fer.

First, it was to demonstrate to non-aligned countries as well as some of America’s allies that our open and generally free system was technologically superior to the Soviets. They should hitch their wagons to America. It was for prestige.

Second, while the Moon missions were civilian activities, the U.S. was developing a capacity to dominate the High Frontier for defense purposes, if needed, and developing a lot of duel-use technologies.

Third, going to the Moon was an important scientific endeavor. It was something that a private consortium of universities, National Geographic, and others might have done if they had the money.

As to Baal’s remarks about Mars, I might suggest looking at the scientific information coming from the probes above and on the planet in recent years showing the abundance of water in the regolith. I might suggest looking at the knowledge coming out of those probes that brings us closer to answering one of the greatest scientific questions of all time: whether life arose on a planet other than Earth. I might suggest considering the Inspiration Mars project paper on the habitat issues involved with traveling 500 days to and from the planet. I might suggest looking at the new work done by the Mars One folks—building on Zubrin’s work in The Case for Mars—on settling Mars as the goal, not only doing missions with a return to Earth. I might suggest we should take seriously the fact that Moonwalker Buzz Aldrin as well as a lot of folks with money—Musk, Tito—see Mars as most important target for human attention.

Or I might just say, stop being on old, curmudgeonly grumpy-stomp!

Dominating the "High Frontier" had nothing to do with the Apollo project.

There is not yet one good reason to go to Mars that isn't some collectivist, government funded project. The fact Ayn Rand went ga ga over Apollo II was for the moon, not Mars. I went bonkers, too. It was great but delimited.

--Brant

the end, not the beginning, of an era

next

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The Moon is a much more useful place to go to. 1. It is closer. The two year trip to mars will wreck the health of the astronauts. We should not even dream of going to mars until we have much better propulsion than burn and cost. 2. The Moon is supportable from eartth. 3. the dark-side of the Moon is fat city for the astronomers. Exactly the right place to put telescopes operating in many spectral bands. 4. The moon may have mineable hydrogen 3 which is the best material to use for controlled fusion. That isotope is the likeliest to fuse with current crunching technologies (magnetic fields and lasers). 5. The Moon has tourist potential which mars does not. 6. The moon is a shallower gravity well than mars. The moon is the place to build our giant space craft. We can ship the pieces there in manageable lots and construct the final product on the moon or in orbit around the moon. 7. the moon is High Ground. The nation that controls the Moon controls the earth. It is a great place from which to throw rocks at Earth.

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The Moon is a much more useful place to go to.

1. It is closer. The two year trip to mars will wreck the health of the astronauts. We should not even dream of going to mars until we have much better propulsion than burn and cost.

2. The Moon is supportable from eartth.

3. the dark-side of the Moon is fat city for the astronomers. Exactly the right place to put telescopes operating in many spectral bands.

4. The moon may have mineable hydrogen 3 which is the best material to use for controlled fusion. That isotope is the likeliest to fuse with current crunching technologies (magnetic fields and lasers).

5. The Moon has tourist potential which mars does not.

6. The moon is a shallower gravity well than mars. The moon is the place to build our giant space craft. We can ship the pieces there in manageable lots and construct the final product on the moon or in orbit around the moon.

7. the moon is Hight Ground. The nation that controls the Moon controls the earth. It is a great place from which to throw rocks at Earth.

Heinlein wrote a short story about nuclear rockets on the moon taken over by a mad officer who wanted to bombard earth with them.The hero destroyed the warheads but died of radiation poisoning. The whole planet mourned for days as his body was carried back to earth for burial.

We now know the light atmosphere of Mars is mostly carbon dioxide. That's not much better than a vacuum.

Private enterprise will probably get us back on the moon late this century if there's money to be made.

Picture a gigantic cylinder rotating on its long axis creating an artificial gravity comparable to earth's. It is lined with moon rocks to filter out excess radiation and inside lives Ed Hudgins and his family and hundreds of thousands others who watch earth get clobbered with a giant asteroid wiping out all its complex life. When you see him building his space ark get a mob up and go invite him to stick around.

--Brant

envy evil

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Ba’al – The folks investing billions of dollars and years of time in Mars missions and settlements know more about the various sciences—physics, biology, geology—than you and me combined.

On the lack of a magnetic field, the UV radiation problem would not be simple to solve—nothing about terraforming is “simply.” But CO2 in the atmosphere would block out a lot of UV. The trick would be to free up nitrogen from the rocks as well as other elements to create an ozone layer, which would block out potential deadly UV in higher rangers.

But seriously, if you know so much more than all the folks working on this problem, present a paper at a Mars Society conference or in any of the other forums dedicated to Martian missions and settlement. These forums welcome serious discussion and dissent. Otherwise your assertions simply ring hollow in a little corner of the internet.

Brant - On dominating the High Frontier, recent historical research suggests that Eisenhower didn’t push to have America get a satellite in orbit first because we wanted the Soviets to fly one over U.S. territory first and thus to establish an open sky principle that would mean that America would fly its satellites over Soviet territory. He thought that in the long term we’d have more to gain than the Soviets.

America’s early human space flight mission did have as one of the benefits a capacity to work in and dominate the High Frontier if necessary. But by the time of the Moon landings it was clear that such efforts contributed little to national defense, so there wasn’t much resistant from defense types to eliminating future lunar missions.

As to non-collectivist reasons for going to Mars, I don’t see how private parties that want to put their own money and efforts into missions to the Red Planet and settling it are anything but individualistic.

Ad Ares!

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P.S. - As I wrote in my piece my piece The Spiritual Significance of Mars, "In 2002, the British astronomer royal Martin Rees lamented the possibility that private companies would get to the Red Planet before governments and make it into another Wild West. Let's hope so! The spirit of pioneers who settled America is just what will be needed to settle Mars."

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Ba’al – The folks investing billions of dollars and years of time in Mars missions and settlements know more about the various sciences—physics, biology, geology—than you and me combined.

The lack of a magnetic field is a measured observed FACT. Loosing its magnetic field and being open to radiation by charged particles from the Sun is why Mars is the desert it is today. These are not conjectures. These are scientifically established facts about mars.

The only possible reason for putting up with the extremes of Mars is to set up a home base for mining the asteroid belt. There is nothing else useful about Mars which could not be obtained from the Moon. The Moon has a Darfkside which makes it fat city for the astronomers. The Moon may have isotopes of helium and hydrogen that make them fit for fusion reactions and (pay attention now) the Moon is the High Ground. It is a great place from which to rain down rocks onto the earth.

"Helium-3 (He-3) is a light, non-radioactive isotope of helium with two protons and one neutron. It is rare on Earth, and it is sought for use in nuclear fusion research. The abundance of helium-3 is thought to be greater on the Moon (embedded in the upper layer of regolith by the solar wind over billions of years),[1] though still low in quantity (28 ppm of lunar regolith is helium-4and from one ppb to 50 ppb is helium-3),[2][3] and the solar system's gas giants (left over from the original solar nebula)."

The Moon is closer, more manageable and a shallower gravity well than Mars. It is a great place to build and launch star-ships.

The Moon is a better deal economically and scientifically and..... militarily. Just pray the Chinese do not set up mass drivers on the Moon before we do or we will all have to learn Manderin very quickly.

Ba'al Chat

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Ba’al – I don’t deny the current state of Mars, re. the radiation problem, CO2 atmosphere, etc. What I deny is your certainty that the planet can never be terraformed to make it another habitat for humanity. Note: habitat for humanity. Not just a planet to exploit in order to benefit humans on Earth, though as you suggest it could serve as a base for asteroid mining.

Yes, the helium 3 on the Moon is valuable and nearby; there are entrepreneurs aiming to exploit it and they’ll certainly do so before Mars is terraformed or, I would conjecture, before asteroids are mined.

I look forward to your “impossible to terraform Mars” paper at a future conference or in a journal. But make sure you read the literature on the subject and address specifically the details of the arguments concerning how an atmosphere could be created, how the radiation problem could be dealt with, etc. Otherwise readers will infer that you yourself contain a mixture of about three-quarters nitrogen, one-quarter oxygen plus traces of other elements and molecules at an elevated temperature. :smile:

Ad Luna!

As Ares!

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You can terrraform Mars all you want but the low gravity will make living there a one-way trip except for relatively short stays. The Earth itself is the Garden of Eden and gravity the sword that will keep the Martians out.

Mining asteroids? We don't have enough stuff here already? Go mine a landfill.

--Brant

it's between the Earth and the moon but not soon

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Ba’al – I don’t deny the current state of Mars, re. the radiation problem, CO2 atmosphere, etc. What I deny is your certainty that the planet can never be terraformed to make it another habitat for humanity. Note: habitat for humanity. Not just a planet to exploit in order to benefit humans on Earth, though as you suggest it could serve as a base for asteroid mining.

Yes, the helium 3 on the Moon is valuable and nearby; there are entrepreneurs aiming to exploit it and they’ll certainly do so before Mars is terraformed or, I would conjecture, before asteroids are mined.

I look forward to your “impossible to terraform Mars” paper at a future conference or in a journal. But make sure you read the literature on the subject and address specifically the details of the arguments concerning how an atmosphere could be created, how the radiation problem could be dealt with, etc. Otherwise readers will infer that you yourself contain a mixture of about three-quarters nitrogen, one-quarter oxygen plus traces of other elements and molecules at an elevated temperature. :smile:

Ad Luna!

As Ares!

Never is a long time. Given the technology we -do have- and the technology given the state of physics which is what we -do know- about the Cosmos we don't have the means for making Mars any more than a Hobbit Hole for people who want to move out there and live underground like moles.

The solar radiation impacting the planet is real and will kill anyone on the surface unprotected. Even if we could make an atmosphere the low gravity of the planet and the lack of a magnetic field to shield against cosmic rays and charged particles from the sun would blast the atmosphere off under 10,000 years. We have not got the foggiest notion of how to get the inside of Mars to a molten state so it can generate a magnetic field such as we have.

Mars is a looser without a mazoozer. It is a great place for humans to go to die. A few years in the low gravitation of the planet will render any surviving humans unfit to ever go home again. Raising new generations on mars means we will be producing a race of Hobbits to live underground in that Shitty Shire. Who needs it? What benefits will obtain by setting up a human dynasty on Mars? Why not learn to treat our own Earth well enough so it will suit humans for the next 10 to 50 million years. By the way that would be a near survival record for a mammalian species.

The longest lived biota on this planet are insects and bacteria. Mammals do not do all that well. The latter day survivors of the age of reptiles which include the birds (birds are what dinosaurs became) are managing to hold on also.

At best Mars is a temporary Hooverville until we can invent (if we ever do) a technology that makes us into star-hoppers. Mars will be a barrio made of domes and technologically advanced tin cans. That will have to do until we can look for a planet around another sun that is Earth like.

In the immediate future the Moon is a better investment than Mars for the reasons I have stated. If "adventurers" like Robert Zubin want people to go to mars so badly let them raise the capital to send humans on a one way trip. We shall see how successful they are. In the mean time, I say to Zubin and his ilk, keep your hands out of my pocket and out of my bank account

Ba'al Chatzaf

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Oh wow! With all that time I spent writing about private individuals putting their own private money into privately-funded trips to Mars (and the Moon!), I missed the parts where I endorsing those private parties putting their hands in your pocket and your bank account. Please include the citation in your conference paper on Mars. I've very curious to read what I said! :)

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The gravity problem might be solvable by the presence of an orbiting space station generating artificial gravity. Martians could shuttle back and forth to keep their earth-legs.

--Brant

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The gravity problem might be solvable by the presence of an orbiting space station generating artificial gravity. Martians could shuttle back and forth to keep their earth-legs.

--Brant

There are inertial forces like "centrifugal force" but that is not gravity. Gravity is the curvature of the space-time manifold caused (somehow) by the presence of matter or energy. As one physicist (John Wheeler) once quipped "matter tells space-time how to bend and space-time tells matter how to move".

If space ships could be constructed with a rotating section producing "centrifugal force" the persons riding inside would experience a force somewhat similar to gravitation and could maintain their bone strength. Or if a spaceship could be linearly accelerated (up to the mid point of the trip) then linearly decelerated the accelerations would produce the equivalent of gravitation.

see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artificial_gravity

Ba'al Chatzaf

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Brant - There have been five astronauts who spent over 300 days in an orbiting space station, about the time of a one-way trip to Mars. The longest stay was 437 days. Bone depletion was always a problem but they survived okay. Lots of working out on exercise equipment was essential.

Some sort of simulated gravity with a rotating spacecraft on the way to and from Mars would be the best. Whether it is financially doable in early privately-funded flights is questionable. The Inspiration Mars mission, planned for five years from now, will probably be the first to carry humans to Mars, in a 500 day flyby mission. But they're still working on what sort of craft they'll send. It would be neat if they could use a Bigelow habitat module with engines fixed to the rear to propel it to Mars and small thrusters on the habitat module itself to give it a spin during most of the journey!

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Brant - There have been five astronauts who spent over 300 days in an orbiting space station, about the time of a one-way trip to Mars. The longest stay was 437 days. Bone depletion was always a problem but they survived okay. Lots of working out on exercise equipment was essential.

Some sort of simulated gravity with a rotating spacecraft on the way to and from Mars would be the best. Whether it is financially doable in early privately-funded flights is questionable. The Inspiration Mars mission, planned for five years from now, will probably be the first to carry humans to Mars, in a 500 day flyby mission. But they're still working on what sort of craft they'll send. It would be neat if they could use a Bigelow habitat module with engines fixed to the rear to propel it to Mars and small thrusters on the habitat module itself to give it a spin during most of the journey!

Given our current propulsion systems (basically rockets of the same sort the Chinese invented about 1500 years ago) it would be nearly impossible to rig a centrifugal drum in the vessel to service a crew for a Mars expedition. That would be anywhere from 5 to 10 crew persons. It is just too massive.

Right now our propulsion technology is sufficient to place people on the Moon.

Mars will just have to wait until we get a better way of propelling a vessel from Here to There.

In the longer run a series of expeditions to Mars is not nearly as good an investment as in establishing habitats on the Lunar surface. I have already given a number of reasons why the Moon should be our first stop in space.

If I had a choice of investing my money in a long term Lunar enterprise and a long term Mars enterprise, I would choose the Moon. It is likelier to succeed and pay back some of the front end money. In addition the possibilities of tourism on the Moon is much more promising that tourism on Mars. A rich earthling is more likely to spend a million bucks on a three day trip to the Moon followed (say) by a month's stay and a three day return. He will live to tell his grandchildren about it. The same trip to Mar which involves three years of interplanetary travel most of which is beyond any range of aid should something really bad happen is likely to kill or cripple the traveler. Any expeditions to Mars are likely to be one way. The traveler goes there and he lives there and then he dies there.

Mars is a very poor business prospect compared to setting up shop on the Moon. Which we should have done in the first place except getting to the Moon was really part of a pissing contest between the U.S and the U.S.S.R.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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The gravity problem might be solvable by the presence of an orbiting space station generating artificial gravity. Martians could shuttle back and forth to keep their earth-legs.

--Brant

There are inertial forces like "centrifugal force" but that is not gravity. Gravity is the curvature of the space-time manifold caused (somehow) by the presence of matter or energy. As one physicist (John Wheeler) once quipped "matter tells space-time how to bend and space-time tells matter how to move".

If space ships could be constructed with a rotating section producing "centrifugal force" the persons riding inside would experience a force somewhat similar to gravitation and could maintain their bone strength. Or if a spaceship could be linearly accelerated (up to the mid point of the trip) then linearly decelerated the accelerations would produce the equivalent of gravitation.

see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artificial_gravity

Ba'al Chatzaf

Given the difficulties of terraforming most planets, I foresee giant, rotating space stations orbiting other planets or moons including but not limited to Mars. The space stations would maintain an Earth-like environment and be the permanent homes of their inhabitants and the planets would serve as sources of raw materials that would be recovered by human and/or robotic miners that would descend to the surfaces of the planets temporarily.

Darrell

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