go to Mars, but .... don't come back

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noth
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go to Mars, but .... don't come back

Post by noth »

Can we afford to return those going to Mars back to Earth? The cost of a return trip would be colossal

Lord Rees, astrophysicist and Astronomer Royal says in yesterday's ""Eureka" THE TIMES magazine, that "A Martian base would develop more quickly if those constructing it were content with a one-way ticket. Indeed if the first settlers were asked "Is it worth BILLIONS to bring you home?" not even the most self-regarding could answer "Yes"

So says Lord Rees on page 17 of yesterday's TIMES magazine, do you agree with him?
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Re: go to Mars, but .... don't come back

Post by Techie-Micheal »

Why are we looking to spend billions to go to another planet when we can't spend billions on getting people jobs and feeding them? That's what I think.
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Re: go to Mars, but .... don't come back

Post by Phil »

Techie-Micheal wrote:Why are we looking to spend billions to go to another planet when we can't spend billions on getting people jobs and feeding them? That's what I think.
Because nothing would never happen if we waited to solve all of society's problems first. ;)

That being said, there is no stipulation anywhere in noth's remarks that indicate such a venture would need to be publicly funded; in fact, there are already private companies who have clearly defined putting a man on Mars as their long-term goal (SpaceX comes to mind). With regard to "why?", NASA has conducted several examinations into reasoning behind its desire to see Mars explored in the future (and the feasibility thereof, of course)--here's one of the numerous should you be interested in some light reading.

Regardless, that's all quite outside the scope of this topic ;)

On the matter at hand: yes, I agree with Lord Rees' assessment; there is very little way to justify a return trip from Mars should it truly cost billions more. Until a more viable, two-way transportation method is developed, it seems to stand to reason that the first Mars explorers should, unfortunately, be content with a one-way trip.
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Re: go to Mars, but .... don't come back

Post by Darth Wong »

The fact that some company makes bold claims on its website does not mean it would seriously fund a trip to Mars. There is no conceivable profit to be made in such an outlandishly expensive and difficult venture.

Like it or not, massive projects like this are inherently the domain of the state. Private corporations are just now reaching into space and attempting to emulate what governments did in the 1950s and 1960s. More importantly, these tentative steps are only intended to go as far as a tangible market can be projected, which is how business always operates.
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Re: go to Mars, but .... don't come back

Post by Lumpy Burgertushie »

Well, I don't know if SpaceX will make that goal or not. However, I do know that they are testing rockets all the time. I live about 20 miles away from their testing facility. At least once a week they are firing rockets that sometimes shake the house and drown out the TV.

There was one time last year, before we knew where they were, that they did a big test and we thought maybe a bomb had been dropped. The noise was extremely loud and the glow in the sky lasted for some time. It was about 10 p.m. and the news had nothing about it. Finally about an hour later the TV news came on and told us what it was.
Was really kind of scary at first.

Here's a question, would you make that trip to Mars even if you knew it was a one way trip?
I would. I am 60 years old and would go in a heartbeat if I could.

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Re: go to Mars, but .... don't come back

Post by Darth Wong »

Lumpy Burgertushie wrote:Well, I don't know if SpaceX will make that goal or not. However, I do know that they are testing rockets all the time. I live about 20 miles away from their testing facility. At least once a week they are firing rockets that sometimes shake the house and drown out the TV.

There was one time last year, before we knew where they were, that they did a big test and we thought maybe a bomb had been dropped. The noise was extremely loud and the glow in the sky lasted for some time. It was about 10 p.m. and the news had nothing about it. Finally about an hour later the TV news came on and told us what it was.
Was really kind of scary at first.
Oh, I'm sure they're doing really interesting stuff. But we need to put this in perspective. More than 40 years ago, NASA landed men on the Moon and brought them back again, alive. This is a far more difficult feat than putting a satellite into orbit or sending a wealthy passenger on a low-orbital joyride: the original Saturn V rocket carried so much high-energy fuel that its chemical potential energy exceeded the yield of the Hiroshima bomb. And when you think about the sheer difficulty and danger of sending a man to Mars, it makes a Moon trip look like a Sunday drive. The Moon is only 360,000 to 400,000 km away. Mars is between 55 million and 400 million km away, meaning that a trip to Mars is between 140 and 1100 times farther away. Of course, you could point out that you're just coasting the whole way, but the problem is keeping astronauts alive for such a long time, not to mention the incredibly small margin of error when the distances are so great.

But of course, it gets worse: the Moon has a mass of only 7.35E22 kg. Mars has a mass of 6.42E23 kg, meaning that it is nearly nine times more massive than the Moon. This means its gravity is much stronger, which means it is far more difficult to land on Mars and then take off again. They say that flying is easy but landing is the hard part. What they forget is that when you're talking about space travel, even landing is easy compared to the task of escaping the planet's gravity again. You need a lot of fuel to punch your way out of a large gravity well, and it's going to be hard to find fuel on Mars.
Here's a question, would you make that trip to Mars even if you knew it was a one way trip?
I would. I am 60 years old and would go in a heartbeat if I could.

robert
No way. I'm 41 years old, which might seem ancient to some of the people on this forum, but I've still got too much living to do. I still want to see my sons graduate school and get married and have kids of their own. I still want to see Paris and London and St Petersburg. I might risk my life to see the Earth from space, but a Mars shot is beyond risk. It's more like adventure-suicide.
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Re: go to Mars, but .... don't come back

Post by lukair »

Techie-Micheal wrote:Why are we looking to spend billions to go to another planet when we can't spend billions on getting people jobs and feeding them? That's what I think.
Same here.

I mean, shouldn't we first take care of the problems here, before we spend so much money on some "quirk" of a few guys?

Or maybe they want to do a real-life Total Recall?
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Re: go to Mars, but .... don't come back

Post by noth »

the simple fact is that if humans are based on two planets rather than one, the likelyhood of some dinosaur extinction like disaster, wiping out humans from the face of the planet is then HALVED! :P TRUE? OR FALSE?
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Re: go to Mars, but .... don't come back

Post by Lumpy Burgertushie »

noth wrote:the simple fact is that if humans are based on two planets rather than one, the likelyhood of some dinosaur extinction like disaster, wiping out humans from the face of the planet is then HALVED! :P TRUE? OR FALSE?
that's one reason to do it.
another reason is just to see if we can.

I know, at 60 I don't have as much time left as younger people do. However, I spent my whole life reading/watching scifi.
The chance to see another world, no matter how dangerous, would be too hard to resist for me and many others. Unfortunately, only the rich will be able to go when the time comes.
I disagree that only the "state" can afford this. The "state" can no longer afford it at all. Only private enterprise could possibly do this anymore. Eventually, the majority of the world will be on some type of free enterprise/capitalistic type of system and somebody some where will figure out how to make a profit off of a trip to Mars. Then it will happen for sure.

There will be no limit to the number of "volunteers" for the trip(s).


It may be closer than you think:
http://youtu.be/nHg2vks7vy4

robert
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Re: go to Mars, but .... don't come back

Post by Darth Wong »

Lumpy Burgertushie wrote:I disagree that only the "state" can afford this. The "state" can no longer afford it at all. Only private enterprise could possibly do this anymore.
The state has larger resources than private enterprise. Just look at the Iraq War: America spent several trillion dollars on that. What private corporation could even begin to approach those kinds of resources?
Eventually, the majority of the world will be on some type of free enterprise/capitalistic type of system and somebody some where will figure out how to make a profit off of a trip to Mars. Then it will happen for sure.
Capitalism is not magic. It has its own rules, and those rules do not allow you to arbitrarily declare that anything you want will suddenly become profitable. There are certain activities which are simply not profitable by their nature, and which corporations will never do. In fact, even Adam Smith, the patron saint of capitalism, defined numerous conditions in which only government could possibly get the job done (he was also a big fan of heavy government regulation, since he recognized that businessmen will always conspire to screw consumers if no one stands in their way).
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Re: go to Mars, but .... don't come back

Post by BikerChapterOnline »

A trip to mars is actually useless. In fact the sun won't keep increasing his size (which causes the burn of the earth) anytime soon.
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Re: go to Mars, but .... don't come back

Post by Lumpy Burgertushie »

BikerChapterOnline wrote:A trip to mars is actually useless. In fact the sun won't keep increasing his size (which causes the burn of the earth) anytime soon.
what?


robert
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Re: go to Mars, but .... don't come back

Post by Sajaki »

BikerChapterOnline wrote:In fact the sun won't keep increasing his size (which causes the burn of the earth) anytime soon.
lol.. the sun will become a red giant in only about 4-5 billion years from now.
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Re: go to Mars, but .... don't come back

Post by noth »

yeah but before that happens :what about a REALITY TV SHOW? on MARS?
click on the image for the source Article
Dutch company Mars-One says it's won enough sponsorship money to create a reality TV show which it hopes will in turn fund a manned trip to Mars.
Image 6 bedroom house
The company hopes to use robots to build a habitable outpost between 2016 and 2020, and to land the first humans three years later. The project will need only existing technologies, it says.

"Receipt of initial sponsorship marks the next step to humans setting foot on Mars," says Bas Lansdorp, founder and President of Mars-One.

"A little more than a year ago we embarked down this path, calling upon industry experts to share in our bold dream. Today, we have moved from a technical plan into the first stage of funding, giving our dream a foundation in reality."

Self-funded for the prior eighteen months, Mars-One says it's already completed the initial technical development. Late this year and early next, it will fill out its technical and management staff. The new sponsorship funds will be used mainly to finance conceptual design studies provided by aerospace suppliers.

What really sets the project apart from the rest is the way the company hopes to raise the necessary $6 billion it reckons it needs to put the first people on Mars.

It plans to start selecting a 40-strong potential crew next year, and televise the whole procedure. They'll need to be rather more committed than your average Big Brother participant: there are no plans to bring the settlers back.
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Re: go to Mars, but .... don't come back

Post by Cpt. Blackbeard »

I have to agree that there is no viable way to make a profit from Mars at this point in time, space travel must become faster, cheaper and easier first. And what happens to these colonists when they get older? Most Seniors have several prescriptions to fill regularly and eventually you'll be unable to take care of yourself, where are the Pharmacies and retirement homes? I think we are AT LEAST Decades away from being ready to establish a Colony on Mars.
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