not sure if HT but - going to mars?

Discussion in 'Highly Technical' started by tommo123, Nov 28, 2012.

  1. tommo123

    tommo123 Platinum Member

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    this could be political as well i guess.

    watching a BBC show (dara o briains science club) and the latest ep is about space. at one point it mentions the only reason man went to the moon was to outdo the russians and that will doesn't exist anymore in the west - but, the chinese might do it in the near future to outdo the us.

    could we then be looking at another space race? is it wrong that i'm hoping for that to happen as it would benefit us all no? new tech, science, knowledge.

    the other part was that due to the "rocket equation" that a return mission is impractical without a new type of propulsion but a one way mission is doable. are we likely to see people volunteer to go and set up a colony permanently? dismantle the craft and live there? expand as new people arrive?

    that i'm not sure about. i mean when people left for "the new world" there wasn't that much of a difference in living standards and people were used to working much harder (manual labour). i can't see that pioneering spirit in the gen pop - maybe in the science circles? a geologist who'd love to study martian soil/rock etc?

    -------

    also

    trying to prevent muscle and bone loss in space. i might be looking at it from the wrong angle but bodybuilders use drugs/steroids/HGH etc to prevent muscle loss while cutting to keep muscle mass - do astronauts to anything similar? i mean finding whatever mechanism is responsible for the deterioration (dystrophy?) and preventing it would be better than the whole space treadmill thing surely?
     
    #1 tommo123, Nov 28, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2012
  2. jibberegg

    jibberegg Member

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    The race to the moon was indeed highly political. Spending a similar amount of GDP is not currently feasible, but that can change in the future. You only had to listen to some of the themes from the recent Presidential Elections to see that China looms large on the political landscape.

    As far as propulsion goes, landing on Mars and then returning is indeed a tall order with current rocket tech. Creating extraterrestrial fuel sources (e.g. on the moon, or boosting it up to an orbiting refuelling rig) would help due to the advantage of not having the rocket drag it up the gravity well of Earth. Cost is obviously the reason this hasn't happened yet. Political will or much more advanced technology are both solutions, but neither are happening in the next 5-10years.

    As far as muscle goes on space journeys; using weights in a weightless environment is counter-productive. What you can do instead is use resistance training. Imagine a thick rubber band and pulling that apart. This is currently in use on space station.

    Hope this helps!
    Sources:
    http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/RL34645.pdf
    http://www.space.com/12560-nasa-space-gas-station-contracts.html
    http://www.bsu.edu/news/article/0,1370,-1019-24016,00.html
     
  3. PandaBear

    PandaBear Golden Member

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    Political indeed, and unless we are at war with China I don't see a reason to outdo them even if they go to Mars on their dime.

    Now about one way trip, I'd imagine a lot of older people will want to go there even if they were to stay there forever afterward. And I'd imagine by impossible to do round trip that just means we need to send many unmanned trips there to load up enough fuel for a return trip. Maybe we need 10 fuel rockets and 1 return vehicle cargo rocket, then 1 single rocket for the destination bound human vehicle.

    If you do not need to worry about doing it all in one shot, you open up a lot of opportunity for efficiency gain.
     
  4. tommo123

    tommo123 Platinum Member

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    if they wen't to mars, wouldn't the advancements put them ahead of the US in some ways? i mean, they could put people on there (possibly not of their free will - eek) if needs be.

    the chinese are spending a metric f-ton of money building ghost cities to show off to the world. if they spent that money instead on building an actual moon base and use that as a launch pad to go to the moon they would own the worlds attention for aaaages.

    side note - 3D printers, the show i watched said they'd be userful on the moon as in theory you could use the soil as the "toner" or whatever the powder in those things is called.

    i really wan't another 60's era. not the cold war, but that huge competitive spirit between superpowers that launch us all forward technologically like the space race did. if that happened, couldn't we have people living in domes on mars within a century? total recall style?
     
  5. rollins

    rollins Junior Member

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    Personally I wish NASA would focus less on Mars and more on the other planets and moons in our solar system. Four rovers have been to Mars and whilst it's great to see Mars in high definition and learn more about it there's moons and planets that we know hardly anything about.
     
  6. Agent11

    Agent11 Diamond Member

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    We should be going to vesta.
     
  7. JTsyo

    JTsyo Lifer

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    Suicide missions to Mars would not be good PR for the space program. I don't see NASA sending anyone there they can't bring back with a high level of confidence.

    There isn't much to gain by sending people over to Mars other than the PR. It's better to hold off until we have the proper technology to do it. From what I've seen of China's tech, they are good at catching up but when is the last time you seen them actually surpass other nations in technology? With a space program there isn't much margin for error and failure is very public.