Living on Mars

gravywavy
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RE: ... scientifically it

Message 26482 in response to message 26474

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...
scientifically it is a waste of time to have sex if your intent is not to reproduce.
...

:-)

~~gravywavy

gravywavy
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RE: I don't know if, in my

Message 26483 in response to message 26477

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I don't know if, in my lifetime, I'll ever see a better example than what has been accomplished with the Mars rovers. Too bad it's not in the budget to send a couple more that could replace worn parts (e.g., drill bits, batteries), blow dust off solar panels, and even assist in towing a stuck rover out of difficult spot.

There is a European project to Mars to arrive 2013 which will have a much bigger range than the current two rovers. I think we will see orders of magnitude advances in what is done with robots on Mars. Exomars intends to establish a fixed station and a rover vehicle that can cover in a couple of weeks the ground that the current rovers have done in all the time they've been there - and to continue to do so for five years.

Re spares and mutual assistance among rovers - this is simply a cost/benefit thing - at present the benefits are with sending better rovers out next time (learning from the performance of the previous ones) rather than sending out a repair robot. This may change at some future point.

Especially if ESA / NASA get fined for littering (cue background music from Alice's Restaurant)

ESA press release about Exomars here. This programme is supported by 14 of the ESA countries, and at one point was overfunded to the point where the scientists ran out of optional extras listed on the proposal... Don't worry, they have since dreamed up more useful science

See also: Robots in Space Website especially their page on Future Missions. This currently lists three future robotic missions to Mars: Exomars and two US proposals (here's hoping they survive the US budget cuts).

edits: added links

~~gravywavy

Mike Hewson
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RE: I think even if the

Message 26484 in response to message 26478

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I think even if the obvious challenges of living on Mars (oxygen, food, water, energy, shelter)are successfully handled, you will still have the problem of low gravity, which is only 1/3 of earth. Living for an extended period of time there should dramatically weaken the astronaut's muscles, bones etc as they adjust to this environment, making them unfit to come back to earth without serious health problems.


Not withstanding these obvious show-stoppers, I think the real clincher will be how does an individual cope in their mind with being on another planet? All the planning and technology in the world does not get around the difficulty of really extended periods of such physical isolation without hope of reprieve. Submarines can surface, space stations can be evacuated, and even the moon landers came with some auto-return capability. Earth and Mars are on quite different orbits which demands substantial finesse to return at all, much less with 'ready' option.
Do you think that anyone would ( sanely? ) volunteer for a no-return scenario? Would you die on Mars as a deliberate mission strategy or option? I know such peril has and does underly alot of venturous behaviour like exploration, wars, risky sports etc. But as any old soldier will tell you: one's preconceptions transform quickly and radically when the 'metal meets the meat'. Only a truly special subset of our race could do this even half well....

( edit ) To get me to go, I'd definitely demand my own website, TV show and some beer/pizza delivery... :-)

I have made this letter longer than usual because I lack the time to make it shorter. Blaise Pascal

MAGIC Quantum Mechanic
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Well Mike we know just from

Message 26485 in response to message 26484


Well Mike we know just from what we have seen on the shuttles and space station that using a healthy human to start with they can remain that way via food and the methods of exercise they have been testing for decades.

Money is another thing that should not apply since the only real problem is people caring about it and being interested (like back in the 60's)

Money is a funny thing........it is just a method of getting people to do the work to complete the project that was perfected as much as possible to make it happen.

We know it is possible.

And as you know this planet has enough humans that there will be a worthy percentage of people who are so interested in doing things like this that these things can and will be done.

As far as "sanely" ........well people tend to have their own version and idea of sanity and I know there are people that would make their purpose in life to do things as *interesting* or *important* (to themselves)

If I was a youngster I would have no problem......well actually now I would have no problem going on that trip to Mars to start the study and future projects and tests to see just what can be done......what would happen.....although I must say dropping the Moon back in the 1970's and not using that as a place to start such testing was a waste of time in answering many questions not to mention moving us 23,300 miles closer

I wouldn't really need the beer or pizza.....but then I would have to bring my favorite food and drink and one of my satellite dishes so I could watch my favorite tv shows (and send back an hour a day via microwave communications for my Mars TV show )

Just think of all the many problems on this planet you could skip over every day (I guess I would have to block the news channel on my satellite dish)

On another note......I was just checking out this quasar info and pics tonight.

Quasars

And watched this again WIMPs versus MaCHOs

That one was made back in 1998 by the UW with a physicist I know named Christopher Stubbs.

Ok......the wife tells me it is bedtime (now could she do that on Mars? )

 

ghstwolf
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RE: But the most

Message 26486 in response to message 26481

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But the most difficult problem for living on Mars is cosmic rays. Firstly you'd get irradiated on the way there. Secondly you'd have to live underground and if you went out for a drive your Mars buggy would need a foot-thick lead roof. There would be very strict limits on the time you could spend unshielded. Thirdly you'd get irradiated on the way home.

Total radiation exposure with any likely shielding on the trip out and back would far exceed the safe lifetime limits currently imposed in the UK for workers on nuke reactors. In this respect the legth of time the trip would take would be a big problem.

Can we use magnetic shielding? Literally projecting a magnetic field around the Mars base to deflect a suitable amount of radiation. I'm picturing a base still largely underground, it is a highly efficient setup, but that we might be able to add a large greenhouse.

A quick check on google has some interesting results about this, looks like I've got some reading to do.


Chipper Q
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RE: RE: But the most

Message 26487 in response to message 26486

Quote:
Quote:


But the most difficult problem for living on Mars is cosmic rays. Firstly you'd get irradiated on the way there. Secondly you'd have to live underground and if you went out for a drive your Mars buggy would need a foot-thick lead roof. There would be very strict limits on the time you could spend unshielded. Thirdly you'd get irradiated on the way home.

Total radiation exposure with any likely shielding on the trip out and back would far exceed the safe lifetime limits currently imposed in the UK for workers on nuke reactors. In this respect the legth of time the trip would take would be a big problem.

Can we use magnetic shielding? Literally projecting a magnetic field around the Mars base to deflect a suitable amount of radiation. I'm picturing a base still largely underground, it is a highly efficient setup, but that we might be able to add a large greenhouse.

A quick check on google has some interesting results about this, looks like I've got some reading to do.

Where did you quote that from?

From this Space.com article it says:

Quote:


An astronaut in a six-month journey to Mars – the time required with conventional propulsion – would be explsed to about 0.3 sieverts, or 0.6 on a round-trip. Eighteen months on the surface (if it takes so long to get there, you might as well stay awhile!) would bring another 0.4 sieverts, for a total exposure of 1 sievert.

Limits set by NASA vary with age and gender but range from 1 to 3 sieverts.

When the Odyssey result was announced, several news reports misrepresented the risk, stating that it might prevent human missions to Mars. Zeitlin allows that it is close to the limits, but he says now, as he did then, that it is a "manageable dose." Further, the limits tend to drop as more is learned about the effects on humans. And, of course, the dose could be lowered with creative shielding technology.

Other interesting ideas in the article too, like surrounding the astronauts with the water they'd need anyway, as scientists have learned that the hydrogen in water is one of the best absorbers of particle radiation...

ghstwolf
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RE: RE: But the most

Message 26488 in response to message 26487

Quote:
Quote:


But the most difficult problem for living on Mars is cosmic rays. Firstly you'd get irradiated on the way there. Secondly you'd have to live underground and if you went out for a drive your Mars buggy would need a foot-thick lead roof. There would be very strict limits on the time you could spend unshielded. Thirdly you'd get irradiated on the way home.

Total radiation exposure with any likely shielding on the trip out and back would far exceed the safe lifetime limits currently imposed in the UK for workers on nuke reactors. In this respect the legth of time the trip would take would be a big problem.

Where did you quote that from?

That was from gravywavy (post 29051 earlier in the thread).

Quote:

From this Space.com article it says:
Quote:


An astronaut in a six-month journey to Mars – the time required with conventional propulsion – would be explsed to about 0.3 sieverts, or 0.6 on a round-trip. Eighteen months on the surface (if it takes so long to get there, you might as well stay awhile!) would bring another 0.4 sieverts, for a total exposure of 1 sievert.

Limits set by NASA vary with age and gender but range from 1 to 3 sieverts.


That could represent 2 different standards, and certainly the more we can drop exposure the better off we are. I'd like to think the goal would be longer missions, but I do understand this is just a first step.
Quote:

Other interesting ideas in the article too, like surrounding the astronauts with the water they'd need anyway, as scientists have learned that the hydrogen in water is one of the best absorbers of particle radiation...

Certainly a cool idea, who ever went up would need it anyway. Integrated properly, it could also help to stablize the temperature and a portion could be used as a CO2 scrubber (ie isolated tanks with algee to produce O2). Hell if we could balance the reactions properly, it would make a great loop for the fuelcell, requiring very few resupplies.


Chipper Q
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The article I linked to was

The article I linked to was from '04, so maybe it's a bit dated; also different standards is a good question. I apparently missed half a thread of new posts in my haste; thanks for the Robots in Space link, gravywavy!

I don't think this exists just yet, but what about an aerogel composite with embedded high-temp superconductors, so as to deflect dangerous radiation with strong magnetic fields?

tullio
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RE: The article I linked to

Message 26490 in response to message 26489

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The article I linked to was from '04, so maybe it's a bit dated; also different standards is a good question. I apparently missed half a thread of new posts in my haste; thanks for the Robots in Space link, gravywavy!


But Chipper, what about the dynamics of a manned mission to Mars? I read that Von Braun calculated in 370000 metric tons the payload to be lifted into Earth orbit in order to assemble a Mars vehicle capable of going there and getting back with its crew. Has anybody redone this calculation?
To give an idea of the dynamics involved, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, just arrived in a highly elliptical Mars orbit, will spend the next six months in aerobraking maneuvers in order to change it into a circular orbit. This has allowed a great fuel economy and a smaller load at launch.Would this be possible for a manned vehicle? I think not.
Tullio

Mike Hewson
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RE: Can we use magnetic

Message 26491 in response to message 26486

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Can we use magnetic shielding? Literally projecting a magnetic field around the Mars base to deflect a suitable amount of radiation.


Quite right. You can't exclude the inbound charges from a given volume, but you can deflect. The idea is to setup a bar-magnet type of field, somewhat like the Earth's, to guide away the high velocity charged particles. It's the heavy positive ions which do the most damage. The areas at the 'poles' of that field, like the Earth, are going to be the easiest to penetrate, so you then place the heaviest shielding of whatever variety there.
Even better is to go underground. It's not much of a view of course - you could stay on Earth for that - but you would limit exposure to expeditions from that base. One idea is place your camp at the bottom of a not-too-high cliff. Gently topple earth ( soil? mars? ) down onto the top of it, and slowly cover it up - with some portal of access of course. Recall that Mars local gravity field is about 1/3 of that on Earth. With a suitably aligned magnetic field, the cliff, the heap, and stategically placed shielding I think you could get reasonable protection for a long stint.
If you could actually mine the iron that we know is in the soil, to a metallic form, then you could form it into suitable shapes. By heating the iron bars, exposing it while hot to a strong magnet field and then during cooling it will retain the magnetisation. Lay these 'bricks' in a suitable fashion and you have a no-maintainence bar magnet. Live inside the structure that you built with these bricks. Put alot of bricks at the vunerable poles, because magnetic or not the iron is dense enough to stop of alot of radiation.
Cheers, Mike. :-)

I have made this letter longer than usual because I lack the time to make it shorter. Blaise Pascal

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