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#51 2014-11-09 19:22:30

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 16,135

Re: Mars One

Impaler would you happen to have a link to the report?

Its sort of funny that BioSphere2 had the exact oposite problem...thou I am not sure how much decomposition of plant matter changes the values.

I as well am skeptical of a ghost plan with little information other than buzz words.

While the excess oxygen, is a problem it is one that was not a question for the MIT gtoup to plan a resolve in order to not have it as an issue. Sequestor the oxygen that was excess, pump off the excess back to mars atmosphere, store it in tanks or under ground caverns....are just some ways to deal with it.

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#52 2014-11-09 20:41:03

Impaler
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From: South Hill, Virginia
Registered: 2012-05-14
Posts: 286

Re: Mars One

Here is the link http://web.mit.edu/sydneydo/Public/Mars … 0IAC14.pdf

Their are a few obvious 'naive' things done in the MIT study, most consist of not eliminating obvious redundancy between ISS chemical systems and a plant based one.  For example you don't need a Urine processing system when you have a greenhouse, your urine should go strait into the watering system, the plants will then transpire all the water and your air moisture extractors will make all the water the crew needs to drink (but you will need x10 larger extractor).  Also they simulated all plants being started simultaneously in one giant crop as soon as people occupy the habitat, instead crops need to start sequentially so you can get to a steady state in which carbon uptake and carbon release can be in balance, as you can't eat your first crop until it's mature anyways their is no actual delay in your first home-grown meal by doing this. 

As the crops grow you introduce Martian CO2 a bit at a time to maintain carbon for fixation and just bottle and compress a bit of your current atmosphere each time to keep pressure right and replace with a bit of nitrogen which you have brought with you.  The compressed air is now a usable back-up in case of a big leak or it can be used to establish new habitats later, it will be a nice breathable mix of nitrogen and oxygen.  Once your first crop of plants is harvested you collect all the inedible plant mater and dry it in an oven, then instead of introducing outside Martian CO2 to feed the plants carbon you just burn little batches of plant mater in an electric furnace, you can even use the compressed air from earlier to make extra sure you don't over do it with regard to adding too much CO2 at once to the atmosphere at one time.  Put what ever ash is left on your next batch of plants, now your running completely closed loop and you only need ISRU to cover your leakage rate or provide things like fuel for Rovers etc.  This would be better then either the O2 removal suggested by Mars One or the open loop food supply recommended by MIT. 

Obviously it all needs to be tested on the ground, we need to be able to beat the performance of Biosphere 2 (2 years) in a much smaller volume, just drop the silly idea of one crew living in the thing the WHOLE time, rotate people and crunch the math for changes in body mass, we know what the human body is made of and one body is virtually interchangeable with another of the same mass, it's a life-support system test not a psychological isolation test.  When the Russians did Mars 500, no one said their psychological test result was invalid because they weren't drinking recycled urine, a life-support test is no less valid simply because one human body was exchanged for another part way through the test, so long as they use the airlock when they come and go it's just like an EVA.

As for Biosphere 2, I was able to visit it when I lived in Tucson, it's quite an interesting thing.  The root cause of their problem was actually loss of CO2 into curing cement (which for some reason they had failed to seal with a paint or something).  But rather then seeing a loss of CO2 in the atmosphere they were getting a release of Carbon from soil (cause the soil was excessively rich) which balanced it, so the overall effect was a fall in O2 levels.  Because Biosphere didn't introduce outside gas its nearly impossible for they to have experienced an excess of oxygen, at closure the environment contained more carbon (in biomass) then could be oxidized by all the oxygen in the habitat, if plant growth had been excessive they would just deplete the small atmospheric CO2 and stop photosynthesis from lack of carbon.

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#53 2014-11-09 22:33:17

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
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Re: Mars One

Thanks for the link..

Agreeded with the urine processing in that why use energy for a non-energy natural method to reuse the water and greenhouse food growth we need to plant on a menu based food use.

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#54 2014-11-10 07:28:57

louis
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From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 4,892

Re: Mars One

Attempting to achieve food self-sufficiency from the get-go is to my mind a waste of time and effort. 

Delivering food supplies to the base should not be problematic in the early stages. You could pre-land a few tonnes of food:  maybe (given a lot could bed delivered as low weight items e.g. dried food stuffs, vitamin pills and highly calorific oils) allowing a little less than a kg per person per day (sol).  So a six person mission would need only about 300kgs per person per annum =  1800 kgs, under two tonnes for a year. 

The base could begin with growing salad vegetables which would be relatively easy - it's already done regularly at Antarctic bases - to supplement the basic diet.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#55 2014-11-10 07:49:01

RobertDyck
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From: Winnipeg, Canada
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Re: Mars One

A few Mars Society members have done serious studies of closed ecological life support systems. One issue is that you can't just provide urine directly to plants. Any farmer will tell you this. Urine is far too concentrated. It will "burn" crops. That's the term, it causes plants to die is such a way they look "burnt". Human urine has too much salt, and urea is so concentrated that it has too much ammonia for plants. Remember, most plants with leaves require nitrate, not ammonia. And urea isn't ammonia; each molecule is two molecules of ammonia bonded with a carbonyl. Ammonia is highly alkali, which causes most of the chemical "burn". So not only does human urine have to be diluted, it has to be broken down by single cell organisms. The GreenCELSS Task Force used a composting toilet, while the BioMars group used a grey water sewage processing system. Both systems use microorganisms to break down urea, and dilute it.

Urea breakdown:
Urea -> ammonia -> nitrite -> nitrate

Biosphere 2: I saw a TV documentary on this. One issue was soil. They built it in a desert, so didn't have rich soil. To reduce cost of trucking in soil, they brought in a bunch of twigs. The idea was decaying twigs would add organic content to desert sand, creating soil. It worked, but they forgot to account for oxygen that soil microorganisms consumed. I'm sure you're right about the concrete, but the soil was another factor.

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#56 2014-11-10 08:24:46

Tom Kalbfus
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Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: Mars One

RobertDyck wrote:

A few Mars Society members have done serious studies of closed ecological life support systems. One issue is that you can't just provide urine directly to plants. Any farmer will tell you this. Urine is far too concentrated. It will "burn" crops. That's the term, it causes plants to die is such a way they look "burnt". Human urine has too much salt, and urea is so concentrated that it has too much ammonia for plants. Remember, most plants with leaves require nitrate, not ammonia. And urea isn't ammonia; each molecule is two molecules of ammonia bonded with a carbonyl. Ammonia is highly alkali, which causes most of the chemical "burn". So not only does human urine have to be diluted, it has to be broken down by single cell organisms. The GreenCELSS Task Force used a composting toilet, while the BioMars group used a grey water sewage processing system. Both systems use microorganisms to break down urea, and dilute it.

Urea breakdown:
Urea -> ammonia -> nitrite -> nitrate

Biosphere 2: I saw a TV documentary on this. One issue was soil. They built it in a desert, so didn't have rich soil. To reduce cost of trucking in soil, they brought in a bunch of twigs. The idea was decaying twigs would add organic content to desert sand, creating soil. It worked, but they forgot to account for oxygen that soil microorganisms consumed. I'm sure you're right about the concrete, but the soil was another factor.

I understand they wasted a lot of acreage on the desert biome, just because the Earth had some desert.

I think NASA should build a base in Antarctica just to study self-sufficiency, lets devote 100% of the effort to see if people there can feed themselves and then see what time they have left to devote to other pursuits. This should give them some idea of how it might be done on Mars.

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#57 2014-11-10 08:37:49

RobertDyck
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From: Winnipeg, Canada
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Re: Mars One

Tom Kalbfus wrote:

I think NASA should build a base in Antarctica just to study self-sufficiency

I have a better idea. Do it on Mars. NOW!

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#58 2014-11-10 13:21:25

louis
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From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 4,892

Re: Mars One

Creating closed ecological systems is not helpful. There is no reason why the Mars Hab has to be closed.  We can import gases and materials and vent them off/dispose of them as well.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#59 2014-11-10 16:32:30

GW Johnson
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From: McGregor, Texas USA
Registered: 2011-12-04
Posts: 3,643
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Re: Mars One

Free oxygen is too valuable to waste on Mars.  Take a machine similar to home oxygen equipment to concentrate the O2 into a closed but room pressure space as near-100% O2,  and suck on that with a fairly conventional air-compressor-like machine to compress the O2 into high-pressure bottles for storage / use later.  Believe me,  it'll find good uses.

I think the first mission should erect some sort of base habitat building to be left on Mars,  plus any greenhouses or other facilities where ISRU or gardening are to be attempted.  That mission should have all the supplies it needs from Earth on that mission,  no matter whether every single ISRU or garden experiment is a failure.  Not to do that is unethical in the extreme.

That mini-base should be left running on automatic when the crew returns home,  sending data,  and waiting for "mission number two" to come and utilize it,  whoever that might be.  The easiest habitat building is an inflatable buried under regolith with a bulldozer.  Greenhouses might not be so easy. 

GW


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

"There is nothing as expensive as a dead crew,  especially one dead from a bad management decision"

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#60 2014-11-10 16:36:37

RobertDyck
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From: Winnipeg, Canada
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Posts: 5,789
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Re: Mars One

Collecting CO2 from Mars atmosphere is fairly straight-forward. At night it's so cold it's almost enough to freeze as dry ice. MACDOF is designed to chill Mars atmosphere those last few degrees each night so it does form a block of dry ice. Then seal, and warm to sublimate during the day. This self-pressurizes. And isolates CO2. Robert Zubrin and his company designed that.

I gave a presentation at a Mars Society convention on harvesting other gasses from Mars atmosphere. Other gasses require a lot more power; primarily for the pump to pressurize. It was written as PowerPoint slides with notes. The following link is that PowerPoint converted to a Word document. It isn't pretty, hasn't been formatted as a paper for publication, just slides with presentation notes. And I still have the spreadsheet that I used to calculate the numbers.
ISRU Atmosphere Harvesting

My point is you want to keep life support as closed as possible. It doesn't have to be completely closed. In fact non-food crops will consume CO2, and produce excess oxygen. Whether you grow wood, bamboo, hemp, or cotton, anything not eaten or decomposed, will fix carbon. As long as that carbon is not burned, it produces excess oxygen. Food crops will produce non-edible plant matter, but that can be composted to become fertilizer. But composting takes time, so initially the greenhouse will produce copious quantities of excess oxygen. So it can't be completely closed, but should be as much as possible to reduce power.

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#61 2014-11-11 20:47:17

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 16,135

Re: Mars One

More from the MIT researchers which have developed a detailed analysis tool that has assessed the feasibility of the proposed Mars One mission A One Way Trip to Mars. They have concluded that new technologies will be needed.

They feel that Technology challenges in several areas, including locally grown crops and water extraction from Mars' soil.

Logistical issues were also discovered in the area of spare-parts resupply. Researchers determined that, as the colony grows, spare parts would quickly dominate future deliveries to Mars, possibly requiring up to 62% of payloads from Earth.

The Mars One plan calls for six Falcon Heavy vehicles to provide initial supplies before the astronauts' arrival.

The MIT assessment determined that the number might be closer to 15 Heavy vehicles.

Plan A is crew of four 2018 mission would have a duration of 501 days and include a free-return trajectory.
Quick, free-return orbit opportunities occur twice every 15 years.

Tito's "Plan B" alternative involves a mission beginning in 2021, but would be 88 days longer in duration.

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#62 2015-01-24 21:38:33

SpaceNut
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#63 2015-01-25 18:02:31

louis
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From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 4,892

Re: Mars One

RobertDyck wrote:

Collecting CO2 from Mars atmosphere is fairly straight-forward. At night it's so cold it's almost enough to freeze as dry ice. MACDOF is designed to chill Mars atmosphere those last few degrees each night so it does form a block of dry ice. Then seal, and warm to sublimate during the day. This self-pressurizes. And isolates CO2. Robert Zubrin and his company designed that.

I gave a presentation at a Mars Society convention on harvesting other gasses from Mars atmosphere. Other gasses require a lot more power; primarily for the pump to pressurize. It was written as PowerPoint slides with notes. The following link is that PowerPoint converted to a Word document. It isn't pretty, hasn't been formatted as a paper for publication, just slides with presentation notes. And I still have the spreadsheet that I used to calculate the numbers.
ISRU Atmosphere Harvesting

My point is you want to keep life support as closed as possible. It doesn't have to be completely closed. In fact non-food crops will consume CO2, and produce excess oxygen. Whether you grow wood, bamboo, hemp, or cotton, anything not eaten or decomposed, will fix carbon. As long as that carbon is not burned, it produces excess oxygen. Food crops will produce non-edible plant matter, but that can be composted to become fertilizer. But composting takes time, so initially the greenhouse will produce copious quantities of excess oxygen. So it can't be completely closed, but should be as much as possible to reduce power.


"To reduce power" - but is power a real problem?   I think domestically we each use about 1 kW per hour in our homes on average ...that's 6 Kws per hour for a six person mission or 144 KwHs per day. Remember though we do lots of things we won't need to do on Mars. We won't need to use hair dryers or watch very large TV screens or use energy-thirsty washing machines.  We will need to heat our homes, but equally we will be living in the best insulated habs in the solar system!  So a lot of our earthbound energy usage could be converted into energy work in farm habs etc.




Maybe you would need something like 700 sq. metres of PV panelling, or 26 metres by 26 metres.  You'll probably need a margin of safety for dust storm conditions. Remember, as well you can send the


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#64 2015-01-25 20:38:04

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
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Re: Mars One

This power is no issue has been suggested before but I think that its going to depend on what choices are made for each leg of the mission to Mars.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electrical … ce_Station

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Integrated … subsystems

361036main_iss-arrays-xltn.jpg

Two blankets of solar cells make up a solar array wing, or SAW. Each wing is 115 feet long by 38 feet wide. Each SAW weighs more than 2,400 pounds and uses 32,800 solar array cells. Altogether, the four sets of arrays can generate 84 to 120 kilowatts of electricity. The solar arrays produce more power than the station needs at one time for station systems and experiments. When the station is in sunlight, about 60 percent of the electricity that the solar arrays generate is used to charge the station's batteries. The battery charge/discharge units (BCDUs) regulate the amount of charge put into the battery. Each BCDU can regulate discharge current from two battery ORUs, and can provide up to 6.6 kW to the Space Station. During insolation, the BCDU provides charge current to the batteries and controls the amount of battery overcharge. Each day, the BCDU and batteries undergo sixteen charge/discharge cycles. The Space Station has 24 BCDUs, each weighing 100 kg. Each battery assembly consist of 38 lightweight Nickel Hydrogen cells and associated electrical and mechanical equipment. Each battery assembly has a nameplate capacity of 81 A·hr and 4 kW·hr. This power is fed to the ISS via the BCDU and DCSU respectively. The batteries have a design life of 6.5 years and can exceed 38,000 charge/discharge cycles at 35% depth of discharge. Each battery measures 40” by 36” by 18” and weighs 375 pounds.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Truss_breakdown.png

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Elect … bution.png

Sure seems like to get the power that we need is going to be quite massive.....

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#65 2015-01-26 09:28:46

louis
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From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 4,892

Re: Mars One

SpaceNut wrote:

This power is no issue has been suggested before but I think that its going to depend on what choices are made for each leg of the mission to Mars.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electrical … ce_Station

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Integrated … subsystems

http://www.nasa.gov/images/content/3610 … s-xltn.jpg

Two blankets of solar cells make up a solar array wing, or SAW. Each wing is 115 feet long by 38 feet wide. Each SAW weighs more than 2,400 pounds and uses 32,800 solar array cells. Altogether, the four sets of arrays can generate 84 to 120 kilowatts of electricity. The solar arrays produce more power than the station needs at one time for station systems and experiments. When the station is in sunlight, about 60 percent of the electricity that the solar arrays generate is used to charge the station's batteries. The battery charge/discharge units (BCDUs) regulate the amount of charge put into the battery. Each BCDU can regulate discharge current from two battery ORUs, and can provide up to 6.6 kW to the Space Station. During insolation, the BCDU provides charge current to the batteries and controls the amount of battery overcharge. Each day, the BCDU and batteries undergo sixteen charge/discharge cycles. The Space Station has 24 BCDUs, each weighing 100 kg. Each battery assembly consist of 38 lightweight Nickel Hydrogen cells and associated electrical and mechanical equipment. Each battery assembly has a nameplate capacity of 81 A·hr and 4 kW·hr. This power is fed to the ISS via the BCDU and DCSU respectively. The batteries have a design life of 6.5 years and can exceed 38,000 charge/discharge cycles at 35% depth of discharge. Each battery measures 40” by 36” by 18” and weighs 375 pounds.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Truss_breakdown.png

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Elect … bution.png

Sure seems like to get the power that we need is going to be quite massive.....

A few points:

1.  I think the mass of the ISS's SAWs would be much greater than the equivalent required on Mars.  PV panelling can be much more lightweight on Mars because the ground can keep it in position i.e. they don't have to be part of rigid fixed wing structure. 

2.  Battery technology has moved on a lot since the batteries were installed on the ISS. So again the batteries should be much lighter.

3.  We can use solar concentrators on Mars - that would be difficult in ISS orbit.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#66 2015-02-19 21:39:46

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 16,135

Re: Mars One

Status updates on how the would be astronaut count is progressing down towards that magical number for the mission.

It was only last year May 5 that the list of Mars colonisation hopefuls has been whittled down to 706.

Long time friend posted this elsewhere:

Mars One has whittled the number of candidates down to 100; 50 males and 50 females. smile
[See THIS SITE.]

39 are from the Americas (31 U.S. citizens), 31 are from Europe, 16 from Asia, and the remaining 14 candidates come equally from Africa and Australia.
I'm particularly pleased to see such a relatively large contingent from my own country. smile

Eventually, Mars One intends to select 24 astronauts (six four-person teams), who will become full-time employees of the organization and prepare for the Mars colonization mission.

::: EDIT :::
Whoa Nellie!
Hold the phone! smile
I only just found out that one of the 7 Australians who made the last 100 candidates is actually from Cairns, my home.

He's a man of German origins called Gunnar Prehl, a 41-year-old cook(!).

6132378-3x2-340x227.jpg

I'm not sure I would have short-listed a cook for the trip, although I enjoy good food as much as the next person. B)
I always imagined the people chosen would be polymaths, like pilot/engineers or geologist/medics, etc. - in order to cram as much expertise into the group as possible.
But then maybe this man has other highly valued talents, including a knack for practical things and a very mature, agreeable, and stable personality.

BTW, I also noted that the age range of the last 100 left in the race goes up as high as 60 years old. That means the first 4 people to Mars might include a 70-year-old.:huh:
I'm not sure if this is wise either.
But then, what do I know.

[See THIS SITE for details.]

With the group raising its own funds for the mission:

Yes, the reality T.V. show has to raise $6 billion, according to the mission planners. I'm not sure if that's even possible. :huh:

And I hope their plans include PLENTY of supplies in situ on Mars before the people arrive. I was thinking about what life will be like for them there, cooped up inside relatively small living areas indefinitely, and it struck me how important access to the open spaces outside the habs will become.

Each individual will be wanting to use their spacesuit frequently for walks out on the surface, which means lots of wear and tear on the boots, gloves, and even the material itself.
I wonder how many suits each person will actually have available to them? :huh:
Will the suits have to be tailor-made to each one's measurements or will there be at least some degree of interchangeability possible?

The amount of damage the Martian regolith has done to the wheels of the Curiosity rover should be taken as a warning that the environment is very unforgiving, even for objects made of metal.
Cloth and rubber will likely wear very quickly and no doubt the intense U.V. light will just add to the rate of deterioration.
New suits will surely be needed regularly.

It seems to me a lot of the $6 billion will be required just for resupplying and re-equipping the bases as time goes by.
If the public tires of seeing the colonists on television, which experience tells us can happen relatively quickly (refer back to the swift decline in public interest in the moon landings in the early 70s), then the money supply would simply dry up as a result. :unsure:
And then the colonists would be truly alone ... a very long way from home.

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#67 2015-02-19 21:44:32

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 16,135

Re: Mars One

The spacetoday net site has the stories of most of the selection from there respective nations for those that would like to know whom is still in the running.

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#68 2015-02-20 06:56:12

Void
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Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 3,011

Re: Mars One

I have been told that cooking is at the heart of civilization.  He probably would be a stabilizer socially, and if he has gone to the effort of learning how to precisely do various cooking items, he would likely be very trainable.


I like people who criticize angels dancing on a pinhead.  I also like it when angels dance on my pinhead.

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#69 2015-02-21 18:30:56

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 16,135

Re: Mars One

What nuts did they interview for this story as I would jump fpr the chance to go : Most Americans Would Reject a Free Trip to Space

If you were offered a free trip, you’d take it, right?

According to a December poll conducted by Monmouth University, three in four Americans would decline if the trip involved a rocket and the destination was outer space. Of the 1,008 U.S. adults polled, only 28 percent said they were interested in personally traveling to space.

The poll offered little insight into why Americans don’t want to partake in a space mission, but Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth Polling Institute, said in a press release: “Interestingly, this reluctance is similar to the public mood in the 1960s,” around the time of the so-called space race.

He notes that a Gallup poll from 1966 found that 80 percent of respondents weren’t interested in traveling to the moon.

Murray also said that “America is still fascinated by the prospects of space exploration,” but people “balk at the price tag.”

In 1967, 57 percent of the American public felt that the space program wasn’t worth its $4 billion annual cost. As Vice’s Ben Richmond notes, adjusted for inflation that’s more than $28 billion today. (In fact, NASA now receives around $18 billion a year.) 

When asked in December, 51 percent of respondents agreed that increasing spending on the space program would be a good investment, whereas 43 percent opposed. However, when asked if they were in favor of allocating billions of dollars to sending astronauts to places like the moon or Mars, only 42 percent were in favor and 50 percent were against.

Houston, you may have a problem.

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#70 2015-02-21 18:51:51

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
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Posts: 16,135

Re: Mars One

This link has the questions that might have been asked for the poll: Would you accept a free ride into Space

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#71 2015-03-07 22:31:48

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
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Posts: 16,135

Re: Mars One

Was reminded that Mars One Timeline may need realigning if no ships are made available to get a crew to Mars.

The 2015 indicates that the crew starts training.

Selected candidates enter full-time training
Groups selected from the first batch of applicants begin training. This training will continue until the launch in 2024. The group's ability to deal with prolonged periods of time in a remote location is the most important part of their training. They learn to repair components of the habitat and rover, train in medical procedures and learn to grow their own food in the habitat.

Every group spends several months of each training year in the analogue outpost to prepare for their mission to Mars. The first outpost simulation, a Mars-like terrain that is relatively easy to reach will be chosen. A second training outpost will be located at a more remote environment like the Arctic desert.

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#72 2015-03-08 17:31:27

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 16,135

Re: Mars One

Chris Johnson: We got a long way to go and a short time to live there

The Dutch nonprofit Mars One plans to send humans on a one-way trip to the Red Planet beginning in 2024. They plan to send crews of four people every couple of years in an effort to colonize Mars.

There's a catch, of course. A recent study by MIT found that, given current technology, the explorers would likely survive only about 68 days on Mars if they survive the seven-month trip there -- 71 days if Mars has no McDonald's.

Despite those scary numbers, more than 200,000 people applied to go on this one-way trip to Mars. From that, they whittled it down to 100,000 and then whittled it down to 100, which will later be whittled down to 24.

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#73 2015-03-09 09:05:20

GW Johnson
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From: McGregor, Texas USA
Registered: 2011-12-04
Posts: 3,643
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Re: Mars One

I don't know anything about any MIT study (68 days).  But,  there are short-term and long-term survival issues.  In the short term,  they'll live as long as the food,  water,  and oxygen hold out.  That could be for months to a year or so,  given regular supply shipments from Earth.  And that's where it'll fail:  shipments from Earth will stop,  or never take place.  Precisely because they're expensive.  I'd hazard the guess that's what the 68 day figure really represents:  supplies run out,  no more coming. 

Self-supporting colony?  Nonsense.  Especially with a minimal-budget operation like this (it's a non-profit,  after all).  We cannot even run a closed-cycle ecology here on Earth successfully where conditions are far less lethal.  What makes you think a greenhouse will work "first time up" on Mars,  where conditions are so much more lethal?

Longer-term,  assuming that the supply problem is licked:  it'll be health issues attrition that gets them,  plus accidents.  There will be health issues from radiation and from low gravity,  plus the effects of breathing gases different from air for long periods of time.  These may or not be significant,  compared to accident and ordinary diseases,  we just don't really know yet.  What happens after your only medical doctor dies in a space suit accident?  There's no back-up.  That's the problem you inherently have with small colony populations.

IMHO,  we should be looking at bases manned intermittently for relatively short periods,  not colonization.  Use the bases to figure out how to really live off the land.  Then do the colony,  and do it in a big way,  so that the no-back-up problem of a small population doesn't bite you. 

GW


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

"There is nothing as expensive as a dead crew,  especially one dead from a bad management decision"

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#74 2015-03-09 09:25:04

RobS
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From: South Bend, IN
Registered: 2002-01-15
Posts: 1,701
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Re: Mars One

Any crew--even a temporary crew--needs to arrive with two cycles of food and supplies, in case they have major equipment failure and are unable to depart when their launch window opens. When a new crew arrives, their two cycles of food and supplies need already to be there and confirmed and the supplies that arrive with or after them (a slow Hohmann trajectory will get to Mars 2 or so months after the astronauts) needs to be the back up supplies for the NEXT crew.

Ad Astra, the very nice magazine of the National Space Society, has a good article on reducing the risks of long-duration spaceflight. It says that, based on experience with Antarctic winter-over, submarine crews, and aviation experience, there is a 6% chance of an injury requiring an emergency room visit per person per year. That translates into almost one medical emergency for a six-person crew every 2-year launch cycle. There's a 2% chance of an emergency requiring the equivalent of an intensive care facility per person per year; that's once every three launch cycles for a six-person crew. And there's a 0.4% chance of death per per person per year, or once every 5 ICU-equivalent situations. That's one death every 160 person-years.

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#75 2015-03-09 17:37:37

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 16,135

Re: Mars One

I read somewhere that a mars window of opportunity is about 2 months either side of optimal but I think this is dependant on fuel and payload margins for the maximum launch payload.

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