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Author Topic: Is manned exploration of Mars sensible in the near future?  (Read 942 times)

Offline Atomic-S

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NASA is currently working on components designed to put humans in deep space, particularly Mars. However, a manned mission to Mars under anything resembling present conditions would run into the difficulty that there is virtually no infrastructure there, as well as an environment that does not lend itself to primitive camping, severely limiting what humans could do once they got there. But for a journey of that distance and cost, one would expect that there ought to  be a significant accomplishment possible.  Thus, it seems that before astronauts to to Mars, there needs to be some preliminary work to create some minimal support facilities. That work, of course, would have to be done by unmanned equipment possibly involving robots, although some types of facilities would require not much more than simply landing them. In view of these things, what is the earliest date that human expeditions to Mars having significantly productive potential might actually be possible?


Offline chris

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Offline evan_au

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Quote from: Atomic-S
human expeditions to Mars having significantly productive potential..
Just surviving on Mars for an extended period would have considerable psychological productivity for the space program.

The main problem is not actually getting there - it is getting enough fuel there to make a return journey.

That's why one team is promoting a "one-way" trip to Mars. With regular supply ships, humans could survive until the first serious accident, or the first failed supply shipment.

Some of the techniques that could make a return journey practical might include:
- a spaceship in a permanent orbit between Earth and Mars
- rockets with an ion drive and nuclear power plant
- manufacture of fuel from water in Mars' crust

All of these would take years to develop.

Offline syhprum

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When they are in a reasonable enviroment humans are probably better at gathering scientific data than robots but this would not be the case on Mars people there would have to spend 99% of their energies just to survive.
Better stick to robots!

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