Discussion in 'Earth Science' started by Syzygys, Oct 17, 2006.
answer to the universe, life, and everything.
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Mars is a next step, however, I think it would make more sence that before we went to mars, we concentrated on the shorter term. Cheap orbital flight needs to take place first. Once that happens, a commercial space race is likely, which would yield a slew of innovations in spaceship design, semi-closed ecologies (for space stations and colonies), and more importantly, get more people the opportunity to go out to space.
When that happens, a mars expedition is only a dream away. If our ability to set up stable semi-closed ecosystems in environments such as mars is perfected, there's no reason that a private group wouldn't decide it'd be fun to start a colony, maybe even declare a new nation-state? That'd DEMAND the superpower(s) to claim martian land too.
Yes I know the UN declares space international territory, but seriously, if one staked out a country independent of earth, what would the UN do? I know it's far fetched, but I'm talking about a timeline of maybe a hundred years or so.
forget cheap orbital flight, its not getting any cheaper... maybe space elevator will do the trick.
...Mars is beautifull
Funny thing about a space elevator. Unless I'm mistaken, and I'm surprised that no one has thought of it before, carbon nanotubes are flammable and conductive enough to be set afire by a lightning strike.
Orbiting heavy loads would already be a lot cheaper if we had mass-produced dumb boosters.
I'm not saying we should stop trying to make the earth a better place. Just that we shouldn't put off space exploration until earth is a utopia. Since it will never be one.
One way to reduce costs to space is to eliminate the need for the rocket to bring 100% of it's oxygen supply. In a stoichiometricly balanced fuel system of a rocket burning H2-O2, the oxygen would make up 88% of the fuel by weight. If one could eliminate most of this, a LOT of downsizing can occur to make launch vehicles lighter, single-stage and more inexpensive.
To date, there have been no air-breathing rockets that have achieved orbital flight. The technology to make such rockets (scram-jets, air liquifiers, etc.) is evolving as we speak. Pulse detonating engines are being developed that rival modern rocketry in terms of efficiency, while at the same time being mechanically simpler, lighter, and more reliable than rocketry turbo-machinery, and capable of working from speeds ranging from zero to mach 4. Scramjets have been succesfully flight tested by the U.S. Air Force and the University of Queensland in Australia. General Electric is developing a line of turbojets that utilize pulse-detonation to improve efficiency.
In the distant future, if fusion were ever made into a workable power source for a small-scale reactor, fusion-thermal air-breathing engines could bring a spacecraft to hypersonic speeds without expending any more fuel than the milligrams of hydrogen consumed in the fusion reactor. It could then superheat hydrogen gas, and propell itself into orbit and maybe beyond with efficiency comparable to fission nuclear-thermal-rocket concepts.
We havn't come close to making spaceflight cheap, we've only had a few decades to scratch the surface.
Famous quote that everybody knows. When they asked Edmund Hillary why he wanted to climb Mt. Everest:
"Because it is there!"
Sorry, but we seem to still be trapped in this gravity well called Earth.
Sorry, but we seem to still be trapped in this gravity well called Earth.
Not quite so. Mars has an atmosphere, but I don't think it's breathable, although at the end of the movie "Total Recall," it became breathable. Or was it all just an implanted dream? The atmosphere may yet another problem though, because of the dust storms.
Mars presents a few properties attractive towards colonization. While a smaller planet, because of the absense of oceans, it actually has about the same land area as Earth, but better connected, a continuous spherical continent. So it could potentially house an enormous world population in a vast planetary global city. The 1/3rd gravity, would allow buildings to be built much taller than on Earth.
We should go to Mars, in the sci-fi movies. We need to "think outside the box."
However, I don't see much use of actually sending humans to Mars. The 1/3rd gravity could be a huge problem for people wanting to later return to Earth. And isn't Mars but a big, very cold rock? What does it have, that we don't have a lot of already, on Earth? It's too far away, and too dangerous to get there. The atmosphere isn't breathable, so the cost of living there would be needlessly high. It would cost too much to move people to Mars. And then the people would just come back to Earth. For quite sometime, it's far cheaper to send robots to scout our Mars for us. Not only do robots not need bulky and costly life-support, but they don't get homesick nor demand a return trip.
It will take allot of energy to take all of the materials up into space to build a space station capable of going to and returning from Mars. Then it will be very expensive as well. Look at the ISS that is being built today. It started over 20 years ago! It still isn't finished and already cost over 100 billion dollars to make it.
I'd suggest making advanced robots or even androids to go to Mars to do the exploration for humans instead. This would give great insight to Mars as well as advance artificial intelligence in robots to help humans explore space SAFELY and without worry of life and for less costs. Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image! Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!
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Instead of Mars we should conquer the oceans. Closer, cheaper, actually doable...
'Should we' is a rather premature question. It's more like 'can we', and at the moment, we don't have the capability.
It's something like a 30month round trip, because of the launch windows to return. Current space endurance records fall very short of that period, the longest single trip so far lasted 438 days, but the entire crew are going to have to beat that by a factor of two!
Plus the simple issue of the amount of supplies needed. Records set in orbit are one thing, where re-supply is possible. Exceeding records in flight, without resupply seems near impossible. Reminds me of a scene from 'Red Dwarf';
Holly: Hope they've got some odds and sods on board, we're short of a few supplies.
Lister: [drinking tea] Like what?
Holly: Cow's milk, ran out of that yonks ago. Fresh and dehydrated.
Lister: What kind of milk are we using now?
Holly: Emergency backup supply. We're on the dog's milk.
Lister: Dog's milk!
Holly: Nothing wrong with dog's milk. Full of goodness, full of vitamins, full of marrowbone jelly. Lasts longer than any other milk, dog's milk.
Holly: No bugger'll drink it. Plus of course the advantage of dog's milk is that when it goes off, it tastes exactly the same as when it's fresh.
Forget returning, make it a one-way trip.
I completely agree. Besides it's the logical next step, short of a Moon base, if we are to expand our presence in the universe and ensure our long term survival.
Realistically speaking, if we never go to Mars, how are we going to find out how it tastes? It might be delicious, but we'll never know.
I volunteer to go to Mars one way trip.
I donate $5 for your tip...
I will pay you to vote for me to go to Mars
I will work for you my all life if you give me guarantee to go to Mars
I don't need tips...I need a ship, life support system on ship, fuel, mars landing vehicle, modular In-seti life support system, couple of suits and I am all yours Mars!
You do know that there is no internet access on Mars?
I dont care
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