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#76 2015-10-14 17:32:05

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 21,926

Re: US public opposed to spending money on human Mars missions

There has been little the several post above with regards to why the "US public opposed to spending money on human Mars missions" , its time for the rhetoric to end and to discuss the topic.....

Thanks

Having been through the Apollo era and such I think most want to know where it will lead once we have spent so much money....how does it benefit the working poor to middle class.....

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#77 2015-10-14 18:04:11

RobertDyck
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From: Winnipeg, Canada
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Posts: 6,509
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Re: US public opposed to spending money on human Mars missions

I read an interview with the CEO and President of Intel (two individuals). They said they developed the 4004 "universal logic unit" for the Saturn V. Today that would be called a 4-bit microcontroller. NASA said thanks, but no. So they improved it; becoming the 8008, an 8-bit processor. NASA still said no. So they reduced the number of support chips necessary, becoming the 8080. That became the first microcomputer, later called a personal computer. That same interview revealed they made a prediction that processors would double in performance every 18 months. They made their own prediction come true. I treat that as a statement of intent, not a prophesy. So today's computers were inspired by the Apollo program, although not a direct spin-off.

NASA developed a means to monitor astronaut health during flight. A doctor couldn't stick a stethoscope on an astronaut's chest, so they developed the ECG (Electrocardogram).

Current research into space greenhouse farming is already being spun off as vertical farming. That is starting to provide fresh vegetables in large cities. For energy purposes, I would prefer ambient light greenhouses on the roof, but what do I know.

The list of spin-offs goes on and on. There aren't as many now because there isn't as much new in space. It's mostly the same-old same-old. One big new thing would be platinum for fuel cell cars. Looks like vehicles are going electric, but hydrogen fuel cells require a thin layer of platinum. Catalytic converts for gasoline cars also uses platinum. Palladium or rhodium can be used instead of platinum; they're platinum group metals. Refineries that "crack" heavy oil to make gasoline also use platinum group metals for the catalyst. Bitumen from tar sands definitely has to be cracked. (Marketing guys now call it "oil sands".) Lots of platinum group metals on metal asteroids.

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#78 2015-10-14 18:29:30

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 21,926

Re: US public opposed to spending money on human Mars missions

The spin off list is large and most people take all of these for granted in everyday life and do not attach there having been developed by space activity.

How do we change that so that they see that its a good investment?

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#79 2015-10-14 20:04:53

Void
Member
Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 3,710

Re: US public opposed to spending money on human Mars missions

Flag me off if you don't want me in this, no problem.

If there is any truth to the theory of cultural cycles as described in the 4th turning, you will find that the latest emerging generation is extremely materialistic, and not spiritual.  So, grand visions will not work, unless it is for a nationalistic vision, and nationalistic visions might be very dangerous just now.  Last time a generation like this was born, they fought and won WWII, and ended up with lots of materials.  They also were the ones who got us to the Moon.  A very few number of the previous baby boom generation were their leaders.
(Not my baby boom generation).

If I understand the situation on Earth, the Oceans are getting fished out, the farmland is OK for now, but the soil is thinning.  Minerals?  Who knows how long.  Fight a big war, and I would really wonder if their would be any significant material goods for the winner anyway.

So in orbit we have Satellites.  There are people already working on mining asteroids with robots, to extract water, for a material service to satellites.  The present generation likes their smart phones.  So in a way that is material goods to them, at least a thread that can be a start.

In this movie;
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Walk_(2015_film)
They start by shooting a thin line from one rooftop to the other, and use that to pull over a rope, and then a cable.

NASA is indeed looking at capturing a boulder off of a asteroid, and putting it into orbit around the Moon.  This of course is fairly wise actually, because it is in line with practice of asteroid mining.  But they also are practicing for Mars.

So, perhaps later, super satellites with in orbit service robots and even some humans.  That is one "Outlet" that can be plugged into.  That implies bringing a propellant material from a non-Earth object into Earth orbit.  That can definitely be sold as hard business I think, no problem.

Then there is Platinum group metals which you guys have mentioned.  Well maybe they will get that going. 

And finally normal metals to build things in orbit.  Maybe super satellites, maybe servicing equipment.

I really don't have to propose this since it is obviously what much of the space industry has in mind.

I really think the Moon will be pulled into the act as well.  It should be at least for Oxygen, and maybe Argon (If available).

Once you do all that, or at least show evidence that things are in motion to bring it forward, then you can try to sell the notion that studying Mars like Antarctica, has basic research value, as in understanding what could happen to Earth.

And probably by then, you will have Elon Musk types doing stuff including making lots of money and also going to Mars.

But you need to focus on material goods.

The new generation will be lefties, like it or not.  The last time the "Hero's" who won WWII and put us on the Moon also set up Unions.

Does it ring a bell that we have a socialist running that seems to be doing good?  Ya buddy that was really smart to bust the unions, real smart you stupid nit-wits.

They also have the characteristic of being very group oriented, and will not tolerate cheaters.

So, that's it.  It's better than Tang anyway.

Last edited by Void (2015-10-14 20:19:42)


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

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#80 2015-10-14 20:20:34

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 21,926

Re: US public opposed to spending money on human Mars missions

What you have described is covered on slide 10 of this  http://spirit.as.utexas.edu/~fiso/telec … -10-15.pdf

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#81 2015-10-14 20:23:06

Void
Member
Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 3,710

Re: US public opposed to spending money on human Mars missions

COOL.  I will look it over in detail.

I also promise I will not get into silly debates about U****S smile


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

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#82 2015-10-14 21:59:39

RobertDyck
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From: Winnipeg, Canada
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Re: US public opposed to spending money on human Mars missions

Void talks about the ability of our planet to support our growing population. We currently have crops with greatly improved yield. Another way to produce more food is automation: big tractors and harvesters instead of doing it by hand. We also have chemical fertilizer, but that has several problems. Manufacturing of chemicals produces pollution, a lot of fertilizer is washed off the land, and soil is becoming less fertile. Top soil is thinning. Sustainable food production is imperative. Unfortunately we have in appropriate solutions like vertical farming. How much energy does that take? Where does the energy come from? A better solution is crop mixtures that sustain soil. Such as tilling unused plant material (straw, etc) back into the soil to compost. Zero till reduced moisture loss, and prevents top soil blowing away in the wind. One technique being developed by a few agricultural research groups is perennial polyculture. "Perennial" means plants that grow multiple seasons, typically multiple years, so you plant only once then harvest year after year. "Polyculture" means growing multiple crops on the same soil, at the same time. Not in rows, not crop rotation, I means all mixed together. You select crops that add to the soil what other deplete, so the crops together are symbiotic. For example, legumes (beans, peas, lentils, etc) add nitrogen to the soil, so you don't need nitrogen fertilizer. The "Land Institute" found this works best with at least 4 crops: one grain that thrives in wet conditions, one grain that thrives in dry, one legume, and one perennial sunflower. At least one grain thrives, no matter what weather conditions are. You get less from each crop per acre, but multiple crops from the same land the same season. Multiple harvests means a more smooth cash flow. Its good for soil. Pests have difficulty because there isn't just one crop, so it reduces pesticide.

Technology for a greenhouse for space can be transferred to Earth. This will result in more recycling, so less depletion of natural resources. More phosphate and potassium fertilizer from manure and compost, rather than mined apatite minerals (phosphate) and potash (potassium). More nitrogen fertilizer from air rather than petroleum chemicals. You can make ammonium nitrate fertilizer from nitrogen, hydrogen, and oxygen, but where do you get the hydrogen? That either takes petroleum or significant electricity. Bacteria can fix nitrogen from air to make fertilizer, and legumes grow some species of that bacteria in nodules in their roots. Some mined apatite for phosphate fertilizer has uranium in it, contaminating soil with uranium. Wikipedia reports tobacco farms in the southeast US are already experiencing uranium contamination.

Mars will need fertilizer to get a greenhouse started. That means some sort apatite mineral, potash, and ammonium nitrate. But once started we should be able to recycle: compost and human waste. The waste water department of my city advertises something they call "night soil". City sewage has toilet paper filtered out, then a settling tank separates liquid from solid, the solid us put in a digester tank where bacteria breaks it down. The final result is "night soil" that can be used to fertilize crops for fodder (animal feed). Manure from livestock can be used to fertilize crops for humans, and "night soil" to fertilize crops for livestock. That reduces the chance to spread disease. A number of years ago there was a big push to build hog barns, but the problem was how to deal with manure. Regulations required they have a contract with a farm to accept that manure before the barn is built, and maximum amount of manure per acre. However, farmers did not apply it correctly, and usually didn't care. They let manure wash into ditches, which drained into rivers, which end up in Lake Winnipeg. Today there is a major problem with eutrophication of Lake Winnipeg. Short term this actually increases certain species of fish, but biologists know it will end with all fish dying. I find it ironic that growing food on Mars will require solving these basic environmental issues.

Last edited by RobertDyck (2015-10-14 22:00:04)

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#83 2015-10-15 03:39:29

martienne
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From: EU
Registered: 2014-03-29
Posts: 146

Re: US public opposed to spending money on human Mars missions

This is a response to Tom Kalbfus' comment to me:

Hey - I think we all know what these people look like. Enough with the picvs.

Your criticism against China - Kettle, pot, black....
Also; your insights into political science are seriously lacking. The Chinese communist PARTY rules, not the secretary. Its secretary is a figure head with a marginally higher level of influence than the other members. But he needs the support of a a number of other key figures and the rest of the party. China recently has appointed civil servants as party secretaries, essentially. Taking policy decisions is done by committee not by one person.

Hitler and Stalin - seriously?

Stalin - You've got only the Western propaganda version. Most people in the USSR at the time had no beef with him. Granted absolutely, some citizens were unlucky by belonging to some ethnic group that came under wholesale suspicion due to the ongoing war (Volga Germans, Koreans etc). Some regular people wrote or said things that ended up costing them dearly. Some Baltic people still nurse the grudges of their great grandparents who spent a few miserable years in Siberia. But 99% were either with the programme or kept their mouths shut and had no problems with the gov't.

You can find literally millions in Russia who still like him, or young people who look back on him as a hero - despite having heard all the dirty on him, most of which they deny.

That is their prerogative! He defeated Hitler whose armies slaughtered 26 million Soviets. He is responsible for the beautiful reconstruction of some very stunning looking cities in the ex USSR area. He presided over fantastic construction projects that are still in use. 
Stalin recently nearly won a TV competition for "most popular Russian through the ages", even though he's ethnically not Russian but Georgian. The TV company had to rig the competition to prevent him from winning because it would have been an international scandal. I think he came second.

I do not share the positive view but I think you should leave it to the Russians and Soviets to judge him (and many do, many hate him). Either way, it's got nothing to do with you - and YES I'd prefer him over the US. Modern USA ruthless, cold, extremely dangerous and much more devious with its propaganda than even the Nazis. Certainly more than the Soviets. Look what the US has done to the Middle East, to North Africa, to Indochina.

Hitler - Well, I fall into the category of Hitler's ideal human female, so I personally wouldn't have any trouble from him, I believe. I don't agree with his racial views or with the wars he started, but the discussion is hypothetical. He's long gone. Either way - the Soviets would have got him eventually anyway! It just happened a bit faster with the USA attacking from the other direction. I am no longer convinced that was for the best. We are still under US occupation as a result. After the war, the era of US influence spread the junk culture that's all but knocked out our own and replaced it with lowest common denominator garbage and some values that may well be the undoing of our continent as we know it.

Well, you asked for it, there you have it. People like you really set me off.

And to the person who accused me of propaganda:
Fine - but you've had Tom Kalbfus as a member since 2006. He has written thousands of posts, many of them to promote his political views. Can you stomach a few posts that give the other side of the argument?

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#84 2015-10-15 04:53:15

Terraformer
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From: Logres
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 3,356
Website

Re: US public opposed to spending money on human Mars missions

So, you're saying China hasn't changed at all in the last 5000 years? It's still run by the civil service, it doesn't matter who the emperor is?

Void, the generation that's emerging is the *3rd* after the WWII one, not the 4th, regardless of what the authors seem to think... certainly, we're not particularly materialistic (well, not yet), and also not particularly left wing (at least in the UK), despite what those on the left like to think.

After the war, the era of US influence spread the junk culture that's all but knocked out our own and replaced it with lowest common denominator garbage and some values that may well be the undoing of our continent as we know it.

Given that the continent was aflame twice in the first half of the 20th century, it's very hard to see how America could wreck Europe any more than Europeans have already managed to themselves...


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

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#85 2015-10-15 05:06:42

martienne
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From: EU
Registered: 2014-03-29
Posts: 146

Re: US public opposed to spending money on human Mars missions

Terraformer wrote:

So, you're saying China hasn't changed at all in the last 5000 years? It's still run by the civil service, it doesn't matter who the emperor is?

Void, the generation that's emerging is the *3rd* after the WWII one, not the 4th, regardless of what the authors seem to think... certainly, we're not particularly materialistic (well, not yet), and also not particularly left wing (at least in the UK), despite what those on the left like to think.

After the war, the era of US influence spread the junk culture that's all but knocked out our own and replaced it with lowest common denominator garbage and some values that may well be the undoing of our continent as we know it.

Given that the continent was aflame twice in the first half of the 20th century, it's very hard to see how America could wreck Europe any more than Europeans have already managed to themselves...

Re the question about the Chinese Emperor; no - he was considered divine, so his word was law. But he was done away with almost a century ago.  Mao ended up with almost the same  near divine status (partly it's culture in East Asia - compare with other contries). This was contrary to traditional communist ideals of course.

Instead my comments refer to the secretaries of the Chinese Communist Party - in modern times. Let's say, Deng Xiao Ping and onwards.

Re the US influence after the war:
Your comparison was apples with pears!

Just because we ourselves messed up with the War, doesn't in any way give that we need to become Big Mac-eating, Coca-Cola drinking, Rock'n rolling fans of multiculturalism, pride parades, violent & vulgar TV programs and whatever else is pouring in from across the Atlantic. It's killed our national souls. If you are British - just look at your own country. 

And if you look at the countries that only got under US influence recently (90s) they have a great deal more left of their own culture. Their kids don't swear in US English and they are not themselves instantly jumping on the latest politically correct concept that becomes popular with American hipsters.

It's becoming increasingly clear to me that the American influence has become extremely damaging to Europe. I don't want to be horrible about it because I know that most of the people here are North Americans and I absolutely don't blame any of them personally for my grudges. But I think most Europeans will know where I am coming from on this, even if you personally happen to love Starbucks and the latest US indie band.

Last edited by martienne (2015-10-15 05:13:57)

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#86 2015-10-15 06:39:08

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

Re: US public opposed to spending money on human Mars missions

martienne wrote:

This is a response to Tom Kalbfus' comment to me:

Hey - I think we all know what these people look like. Enough with the picvs.

Your criticism against China - Kettle, pot, black....
Also; your insights into political science are seriously lacking. The Chinese communist PARTY rules, not the secretary. Its secretary is a figure head with a marginally higher level of influence than the other members. But he needs the support of a a number of other key figures and the rest of the party. China recently has appointed civil servants as party secretaries, essentially. Taking policy decisions is done by committee not by one person.

The Communist Party is simply a mechanism to keep one man in power whoever that man happens to be, it has basically replaced the divine right of kings or the divinity of the Chinese Emperor as justification to rule without the input of those ruled. The Communist Party in China is basically an unofficial aristocracy that benefits from the undemocratic rule of China, they get to spend the resources of hard working Chinese Proles without having to listen to them, their chief executive, who's job it is to keep the Communist Party in its commanding rule is their to make the executive decisions required to keep the Communist Party in control against the will of the majority of people, through fear and intimidation.

martienne wrote:

Hitler and Stalin - seriously?

Stalin - You've got only the Western propaganda version. Most people in the USSR at the time had no beef with him. Granted absolutely, some citizens were unlucky by belonging to some ethnic group that came under wholesale suspicion due to the ongoing war (Volga Germans, Koreans etc). Some regular people wrote or said things that ended up costing them dearly. Some Baltic people still nurse the grudges of their great grandparents who spent a few miserable years in Siberia. But 99% were either with the programme or kept their mouths shut and had no problems with the gov't.

If they had no problems with that government, they would not be afraid of it, it is fear that keeps their mouths shut, people who complain about that government end up dead, is that the sort of government that you wish to live under? You are assuming that you will always be in total agreement with that government, and that there is zero change of that government ever doing anything that you wouldn't like. Seems to me that if you wouldn't mind the oppression of Joseph Stalin, then you wouldn't mind much the less oppressive hegemony of the United States, after all the United States ran no gulags in Siberia.

martienne wrote:

Just because we ourselves messed up with the War, doesn't in any way give that we need to become Big Mac-eating, Coca-Cola drinking, Rock'n rolling fans of multiculturalism, pride parades, violent & vulgar TV programs and whatever else is pouring in from across the Atlantic. It's killed our national souls. If you are British - just look at your own country.

Which would you rather have, a Big Mac or rice in a bowl with flies in it? No one gets forced to eat a Big Mac, but in Communist countries because of their economic policies, all that many people can afford is a bowl of rice and sometimes not even that! China has long since ceased to be a strict Communist society like North Korea still is today, but they still keep their elites in power and still use fear and intimidation to stay in power, but the requirements of Capitalism are that they hold less tightly to that power, people need to reap the rewards of their success to be motivated to produce, Communism has only threats of death and imprisonment to offer for nonperformance, that is why it doesn't work as a mode of production.

martienne wrote:

And if you look at the countries that only got under US influence recently (90s) they have a great deal more left of their own culture. Their kids don't swear in US English and they are not themselves instantly jumping on the latest politically correct concept that becomes popular with American hipsters.

You seem to be. One of the latest trends of the hip culture is Anti-Americanism, and you seem to be an advid follower of that trend, it is hip to criticize McDonalds and the excesses of Capitalism or American domination, you are simply following the trends of those left wing hipsters you are talking about!

Last edited by Tom Kalbfus (2015-10-15 06:54:10)

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#87 2015-10-15 07:05:41

Terraformer
Member
From: Logres
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 3,356
Website

Re: US public opposed to spending money on human Mars missions

martienne,

I'm actually Anglo-American (including Italian and French-Canadian on the American side), born and raised in England to an American (Yankee) father and a British (Welsh... well, Anglo-Welsh raised in Wales) mother. People complain about Americanisation occasionally, but it's not really a big issue, because America (and Canada, Australia, and New Zealand) are pretty much British anyway, and the flow goes in both directions. But you Europeans have clearly demonstrated an inability to run your own affairs, hence why we want to get out of our unfortunate arranged marriage with you... tongue

If people didn't want American culture, they wouldn't take it. Don't try to blame America for Europeans wanting Big Macs, Starbucks, and iPhones, listening to American musicians, and watching American shows. People like Anglicised culture, which is why it's so successful.

As for Pride Parades, aren't they a British invention?


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

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#88 2015-10-15 07:25:12

martienne
Member
From: EU
Registered: 2014-03-29
Posts: 146

Re: US public opposed to spending money on human Mars missions

Sorry, i've said what I have to said about this, and then some. Sorry to be ranting.
Frankly it's Tom Kalbfus that sets me off, but that's no excuse to be a broken record.
I think my position on these things are pretty clear.

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#89 2015-10-15 09:50:26

GW Johnson
Member
From: McGregor, Texas USA
Registered: 2011-12-04
Posts: 4,367
Website

Re: US public opposed to spending money on human Mars missions

Martienne: 

Not all Americans are the same.  While I disagree with much of your political observations,  I also disagree with much of Tom's.  Don't use him as the filter by which you judge an entire society. 

I think the politics-of-money that has crippled US manned spaceflight for a generation is also present around the planet in one form or another.  I do think the net effect of this is that there will be one,  and only one,  government-sponsored "exploration" trip to Mars.  So if we do a fly-by or a moons-only visit,  I think it unlikely men will land there this century,  regardless what the various space agencies say. 

The risk is also extremely high that this government-sponsored trip will devolve into another flags-and-footprints stunt,  like Apollo on the moon proved to be.  I don't care which government might do this,  they all fall prey to this kind of egregious mismanagement,  because of whatever style of politics exists in their societies.  It is inherent. 

That being the case,  the Mars mission architecture and trip objectives need to come from outside the stultified halls of (any) government.  And what gets accomplished on the trip needs to plant the lure that will draw subsequent privately-sponsored expeditions.  Like some sort of ISPP/ISRU base left operating at a site with relatively easy resources to recover. 

Getting the costs down enough,  that such a mission "sneaks by" the politics-of-money naysayers,  is rather important.  That's why I myself focus so much on reusable hardware that can be used for subsequent missions to anywhere,  thus amortizing costs over multiple mission programs over multiple decades. 

And there are lots of worthy ones:  main belt asteroids,  NEO asteroids,  stations at the L-points,  Venus,  and Mercury,  as well as Mars.  The same kind of vehicle can take men to any of those destinations.  Why build it more than once?

We'll need hotter propulsion and better radiation shielding to take on the outer planets and their moons.  But what I have been looking at will work anywhere in the inner solar system,  from the main belt inward. 

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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#90 2015-10-15 10:24:56

Terraformer
Member
From: Logres
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 3,356
Website

Re: US public opposed to spending money on human Mars missions

Agreed. The first mission needs to leave us with a working base and a reusable transfer vehicle. Ideally, the next mission would just require flying the crew and a few provisions up and setting off, though if the farm doesn't work as planned and we don't have orbital refuelling, it'll cost more.

Establishing the base on the first mission will require a long, conjunction class mission, since you have to allocate enough time (staging from Phobos?) to find the right location. Perhaps robotic landers could get it down to a shortlist of 20, then small manned landings get to a final list of 5, which will be studied in more detail before we land the equipment and establish a base?

I know some people will want them to focus entirely on exploring Mars (though they would have already done far more than robots have just in scouting a location), but I think the first mission should be focused on establishing ISRU. The (much cheaper) follow up mission can devote far more time to science, as well as expanding the base to take more people. If everything is going near-perfect when it comes to leaving, maybe half the crew could stay behind to ensure permanent occupation...

Given that it's very likely to cost far less to make a second base once the equipment for the first one is already on Mars, co-operation, even temporary, is in everyone's best interest. Say we can make 80% of the new bases from in-situ resources, it takes 100 tonnes of equipment for the initial base (20 tonnes for each additional one) and the US, China, Russia, ESA, and a hypothetical Commonwealth Space Agency (composed of Britain, Australia, and Canada) want Mars bases. They could either go solo, and send a total of 500 tonnes to Mars; or they could co-operate, establish an international base for 100 tonnes, and then get their own bases by sending an additional 100 tonnes altogether, saving 60% of the mass. The initial base could even include corporate partners such as SpaceX and Bigelow.


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

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#91 2015-10-15 11:38:13

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

Re: US public opposed to spending money on human Mars missions

martienne wrote:

Sorry, i've said what I have to said about this, and then some. Sorry to be ranting.
Frankly it's Tom Kalbfus that sets me off, but that's no excuse to be a broken record.
I think my position on these things are pretty clear.

I don't know, your the one who dug up that post I made from 2007 about Communism and Star Trek, all I have done since is respond to your verbal attacks on my country, and I don't know what your country is, so I think its quite unfair! It seems you are motivated primary by envy of the United States, envy that your country isn't a superpower and my country is and it is doing all kinds of things in space. You know Europe collectively could easily afford to do all the things the United States is doing, yet it doesn't. Europe is full of advanced First World economies that could easily afford to do what NASA is doing, your attacks on the United States don't elevate what your country is doing, I'm sorry, but that is just the way it is. I'm proud to be an American and if that offends you, then too bad! Try to do something that elevates your country rather than trying to tak down my country's accomplishments, you are so negative and negativity doesn't get us anywhere!

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#92 2015-10-15 11:51:38

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

Re: US public opposed to spending money on human Mars missions

GWJohnson wrote:

Martienne: 

Not all Americans are the same.  While I disagree with much of your political observations,  I also disagree with much of Tom's.  Don't use him as the filter by which you judge an entire society. 

I think the politics-of-money that has crippled US manned spaceflight for a generation is also present around the planet in one form or another.  I do think the net effect of this is that there will be one,  and only one,  government-sponsored "exploration" trip to Mars.  So if we do a fly-by or a moons-only visit,  I think it unlikely men will land there this century,  regardless what the various space agencies say.

What century do you think were living in? I believe this century has 85 years left to go, and you are saying we will accomplish nothing in them? Maybe so if Martienne's "Communist utopia" is achieved.

What have I done? All I have done is respond to Martienne blaming all the world's ills on my country, and if I weren't an American citizen, she probably wouldn't have a problem with me.
You are quite correct about money driving politics, most of the politics has to do with political contributors scheming for ways to get the most taxpayer dollars into their pockets with the least effort on their part. Space Travel isn't easy, which is why most of the political donor class isn't in favor of it, they'd much rather get taxpayer money for doing nothing rather than build expensive spaceships. Paper studies is a great way for them to raise revenue, they can look like they are working on some long term project, and they can do that for a decade or so, until people start wondering what they have to show for all those years of them feeding at the taxpayer trough. There were lots of lovely illustrations of O'Neill colonies which were produced in the 1970s, when NASA didn't have much else to do, I'll bet you there were some artists who made a nice living making those paintings and illustrations. It was all pie in the sky of course.

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#93 2015-10-15 12:28:15

martienne
Member
From: EU
Registered: 2014-03-29
Posts: 146

Re: US public opposed to spending money on human Mars missions

I appreciate GW Johnson's post and totally agree that the "internationalist" approach to any space venture is preferable!

It almost goes without saying that this is a more efficient use of money, resources and time, like Terraformer says.

I think we are all worried though, that the countries that have the know-how and means are poles apart, look at each other with suspicion and rarely agree on anything.

That leaves the crowd funded / reality soap / ad-driven approach of MarsOne which I think nobody really thinks is feasible.

Alternatively the corporation conglomerate approach which is also unlikely since it wouldn't generate immediate profits. It's also an unappealing idea to most for the first mission to another planet, to be corporate branded.

So it's with sadness that I say, like GW, that it's not looking good for Mars within our lifetimes right now. I mean, we don't just want to see it - we want to follow it for decades, as the base becomes a permanent settlement...

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#94 2015-10-15 13:03:35

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

Re: US public opposed to spending money on human Mars missions

martienne wrote:

I appreciate GW Johnson's post and totally agree that the "internationalist" approach to any space venture is preferable!

Do you know what an "Internationalist Approach" is? Its when the United States pays for the Mission and everybody else gets a free ride into orbit!

martienne wrote:

I think we are all worried though, that the countries that have the know-how and means are poles apart, look at each other with suspicion and rarely agree on anything.

Not really, you don't need to be a trouble maker to have useful skills. The Russians are trouble! Would rather have the Japanese.

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#95 2015-10-15 13:24:44

RobertDyck
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From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 6,509
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Re: US public opposed to spending money on human Mars missions

Tom Kalbfus wrote:

Do you know what an "Internationalist Approach" is? Its when the United States pays for the Mission and everybody else gets a free ride into orbit!

Really?
260px-Soyuz_TMA-7_spacecraft2edit1.jpg

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#96 2015-10-15 13:30:43

Void
Member
Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 3,710

Re: US public opposed to spending money on human Mars missions

Spacenut, thanks for the pdf, I have studied it over lunch, and saved a copy for future reference.


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

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#97 2015-10-15 14:05:04

GW Johnson
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From: McGregor, Texas USA
Registered: 2011-12-04
Posts: 4,367
Website

Re: US public opposed to spending money on human Mars missions

The architecture that I tend to favor is a multi-ship expedition assembled and sent in stages from low Earth orbit,  to low Mars orbit.  Transit times could be a little shorter at the cost of larger ships,  but I based my estimates on min energy Hohmann transfer,  for a nominal 8.5 months one way.  There would be a little over a year spent at Mars,  followed by a similar transit back to full recovery in low Earth orbit. 

The first 6 months at Mars are spent based from low Mars orbit,  visiting multiple sites for something like 2 or 3 weeks at a time,  “camping-out” staying in the lander.  Half the crew (3) goes down,  the other half (the other 3) watches over them while doing science from orbit (in the spinning transport for gravity).  They alternate roles from site to site. 

I send no less than 3 reusable landers,  so that there is always a rescue bird available,  even if one is lost.  I can get a reusable 1-stage design out of plain old kerolox or MMH-NTO technology.  Heat shield diameter is around 15 m or so,  though,  for a multi-deck,  more-or-less conical spacecraft.

The second 6 months or so at Mars,  everybody takes all the landers down to the best site,  whichever one proves to be “best”.  There they establish the “real” ISRU and ISPP base,  that will be left running on automatic when the crew comes home.   

These things are tried at every site they visit,  but as I have repeatedly warned,  “all sites are different”.  All the stuff we bring won’t work “right” at every site!  (Murphy’s Law.)  Plus,  you’re looking for easily-mined fresh water as underground ice,  as your most precious resource that you seek.  Lots of what we find looks like it will be salty,  and likely by some rather poisonous salts (perchlorates).  That kind of water resource is very hard to purify for human consumption or for agriculture. 

So,  if you find a site with a massive buried freshwater glacier,  that is by far the preferred site,  no matter what other considerations there might be.  You won’t know until you go there and drill deep (10’s to 100’s of meters,  not cm)!  Maybe even a km or two. 

Any ISPP that actually works at a usable production rate can fuel the landers for suborbital hops to yet other sites during the second 6 months.  But you must plan on propellant from Earth to visit at least 6 sites during the first 6 months.  That means refueling from low Mars orbit the first 6 months,  while you are examining multiple sites.

When it’s time to go home,  you leave the base running at that best site where you built it,  and go back to low Mars orbit.  Park all the landers and leftover propellant in a higher Mars orbit,  so that subsequent expeditions can use them,  even decades later.  Then bring your manned ship home to Earth orbit (so it can be used again,  too). 

Coming home from LEO instead of free return makes the entry a 4 gee item instead of a 12-15 gee item.  You only do the high-gee free return if forced to “bail out” by some disaster. 

I’m going to guess (guess !!!) that 0.38 gee on Mars will prove to be mildly therapeutic as regards microgravity diseases,  but not enough to maintain full health against the need for a 15 gee free return.  So the manned orbit-to-orbit transport needs to provide one gee spin gravity both ways.  Architectures that fail to do so risk killing the crew upon arrival home. 

Besides,  you can vary the spin rate on the way home,  starting at 0.38 gee,  and working your way up to 1 full gee during the months of the transit home.  The crew can be fully fit on arrival home,  no matter what.  The only lasting effect would be cosmic ray exposure.  Even that should meet current exposure standards for astronauts,  even in a peak year. 

The structure of the ship provides a very-few-% shielding (1-5% perhaps).  Plus,  even in orbit at Mars,  exposure is at least halved by the adjacent planet-as-shield.  Standards say max 50 REM in any one year;  at solar minimum,  the GCR annual rate is 60 REM.  At solar max,  it’s nearer only 24-25 REM.  Worst case is a mission centered on solar minimum.  They might violate the standards a tad,  but not by very much.  So,  don’t fly that crew outside the Van Allen belts a second time.

I had all this worked out at one time with an orbital transport under 900 tons,  and each of 3 landers pushing propellant supplies under 600 tons.  That’s a total of about 2700 tons to send to Mars.  Launched by the likes of Atlas-5 and Falcon-9 (and/or Falcon-Heavy) at no more than $5M/ton ($2M with –Heavy),  that’s around $13B launch cost.  A well-run program should have around 20% launch costs. 

That says we can send 6 men to Mars for a year on-site to establish a small base (and leave it running on automatic) for something in the neighborhood of $65B,  excluding lander development and hardware prove-out (say another $10B at worst). 

$75B.  That’s a far cry from an Apollo-style flag-and-footprints stunt for 0.5 to 1.0 $T (more likely way far over $1.0 T)  as proposed by NASA and “big space” in their “90-day report”. 

The wrong people have been in charge of this,  as I said before.

The architecture and mission objectives need to come from outside NASA or ESA or JAXA or Roscosmos,  or any of the “usual crowd”.  Otherwise,  even the youngest of us will never live to see a man upon Mars.  Cassandra has spoken.

I’m now 65 years old.  When I was young,  the Mars mission was planned for 1983,  and I did everything I could to be on it.  But the possibilities got cut out from under me when Apollo (and all manned flight outside LEO !!!!) was cancelled in the middle of the planned moon landings back in 1972.  That also killed the NERVA nuclear rocket we were going to use for the Mars trip,  too.  And NASA had already killed the USAF Orion nuke explosion drive as a competitor to NERVA,  instead of treating it as the complement that it really was. 

Watching the space shuttle and Hubble and ISS all these years has been marvelous,  yes.  But it’s not the same as watching men walk on other worlds. 

My expectations were set by the transition from rocket X-planes (the Bell X-2 and Douglas D-558-2 Skyrocket were still testing when I was a boy in the early 50’s) to man-on-the-moon (Apollo ca. 1970).  The last half century has been extremely disappointing to me,  personally. 

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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#98 2015-10-15 14:10:46

Terraformer
Member
From: Logres
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 3,356
Website

Re: US public opposed to spending money on human Mars missions

Sorry Robert, but one of the drawbacks of this forum software is that it doesn't allow one to like posts.

martienne, as someone is is almost, but not quite, an anarchist (I want strictly limited - as in, only sovereign within the city itself - city states where people can choose exile as punishment for non-violent crimes, and where new ones can be built by anyone), I would actually prefer to have SpaceX and Bigelow's logos on the side of the ship than I would an American, Russian, Chinese etc flag. It would be even better, though, if it was an internationally crowdfunded venture - which, if costs drop low enough due to the technology maturing and orbital few depots, would become very much feasible, especially since SpaceX would do it at cost or even less (this is, after all, the primary reason for its existence). If you needed to, you could probably get the engineers you need to work pro bono, and it wouldn't be difficult at all to find people willing to overwinter at Mars to keep the base manned.

Hmmm. Could one percent of the richest billion be persuaded to part with $10 a month to establish a Martian base? If everything else is mature, that might be enough.


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

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#99 2015-10-15 15:33:31

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

Re: US public opposed to spending money on human Mars missions

RobertDyck wrote:
Tom Kalbfus wrote:

Do you know what an "Internationalist Approach" is? Its when the United States pays for the Mission and everybody else gets a free ride into orbit!

Really?
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/ … 2edit1.jpg

Interesting that the Russian Space Program was build with stolen American technology. The Russians really were copycats, they stole from the Germans after World War II, and their spies got some technologies from the US, they reverse engineered the B29 bomber and build their own Russian version. The Soviet Rockets used a lot of American technology, they had American computers and the rocket engines were designed in the West as well. That's what I heard.

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#100 2015-10-15 15:37:04

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

Re: US public opposed to spending money on human Mars missions

Terraformer wrote:

Sorry Robert, but one of the drawbacks of this forum software is that it doesn't allow one to like posts.

martienne, as someone is is almost, but not quite, an anarchist (I want strictly limited - as in, only sovereign within the city itself - city states where people can choose exile as punishment for non-violent crimes, and where new ones can be built by anyone), I would actually prefer to have SpaceX and Bigelow's logos on the side of the ship than I would an American, Russian, Chinese etc flag. It would be even better, though, if it was an internationally crowdfunded venture - which, if costs drop low enough due to the technology maturing and orbital few depots, would become very much feasible, especially since SpaceX would do it at cost or even less (this is, after all, the primary reason for its existence). If you needed to, you could probably get the engineers you need to work pro bono, and it wouldn't be difficult at all to find people willing to overwinter at Mars to keep the base manned.

Hmmm. Could one percent of the richest billion be persuaded to part with $10 a month to establish a Martian base? If everything else is mature, that might be enough.

SpaceX and Bigalow are still American companies, whatever they produce is still American, it doesn't have to be a product of the US Government. I checked, they are both American companies.
http://bigelowaerospace.com/about/

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