Space News
space history and artifacts articles

Messages
space history discussion forums

Sightings
worldwide astronaut appearances

Resources
selected space history documents

Websites
related space history websites

  collectSPACE: Messages
  Commercial Space - Military Space
  [Discuss] Inspiration Mars crewed Mars flyby (Page 1)

Post New Topic  Post A Reply
profile | register | preferences | faq | search


This topic is 2 pages long:   1  2 
next newest topic | next oldest topic
Author Topic:   [Discuss] Inspiration Mars crewed Mars flyby
Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 29048
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 02-20-2013 05:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Editor's note: To keep the topic Inspiration Mars Foundation manned Mars flyby focused on status updates, feedback and opinions are directed to this thread.

Please use this topic to discuss the Inspiration Mars Foundation and its plans to launch a mission to Mars in 2018.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 29048
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 02-21-2013 07:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Alan Boyle at NBCNews.com points out that while many of the reports surrounding the announcement of the press conference point to a crewed mission, that has yet to be confirmed.
Although a number of reports about the venture suggest that the 2018 mission would involve a human crew, the media advisory doesn't say whether astronauts would be flown. Considering the risks and the relatively short time frame, it seems more likely that the "Mission for America" would be a precursor for human flight, perhaps with animals or plants on board. That wouldn't be surprising: Three years ago, McCallum and Poynter announced plans to put a mini-greenhouse on the moon as part of a Google Lunar X Prize mission.

The manned-vs.-unmanned issue isn't the only question hanging over the media advisory: It's not clear how the project would be financed. It's also not clear what type of spacecraft might be used, although SpaceX instantly comes to mind: Musk has said his company could get humans to Mars in as little as 10 years, and there's been talk that a SpaceX "Red Dragon" capsule could be launched toward Mars as early as 2018 for as little as $400 million.

Do Tito and his friends have a Red Dragon mission on their minds?

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 29048
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 02-21-2013 08:42 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Then again, NewSpace Journal notes that Dennis Tito is slated to deliver a paper entitled, Feasibility Analysis for a Manned Mars Free Return Mission in 2018 at the IEEE Aerospace Conference in Montana next month.
This publication obtained a copy of the paper Tito et al. plan to present at the conference, discussing a crewed free-return Mars mission that would fly by Mars, but not go into orbit around the planet or land on it. This 501-day mission would launch in January 2018, using a modified SpaceX Dragon spacecraft launched on a Falcon Heavy rocket. According to the paper, existing environmental control and life support system (ECLSS) technologies would allow such a spacecraft to support two people for the mission, although in Spartan condition. "Crew comfort is limited to survival needs only. For example, sponge baths are acceptable, with no need for showers," the paper states.

issman1
Member

Posts: 904
From: UK
Registered: Apr 2005

posted 02-22-2013 01:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for issman1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Mr. Tito announces/intimates what one would have hoped of Mr. Obama, Mr. Cameron or Mr. Putin. Makes NASA, ESA and Roscosmos look lost in space.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 29048
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 02-22-2013 01:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Interestingly, what Tito seems to be proposing is a partnership with NASA, as part of the U.S. space agency's exploration program:
Although the IEEE paper casts the "Mission for America" as a private-sector effort, NASA would play a supporting role in technology development. A source who has been told about Tito's plans said the 2018 effort was not meant to provide competition for with NASA's exploration effort, but instead provide support. NASA is working on a long-range program to send astronauts to a near-Earth asteroid in the mid-2020s, and to Mars and its moons in the mid-2030s.

The source was not authorized to speak publicly about Tito's plans, and thus spoke with NBC News on condition of anonymity.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 29048
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 02-26-2013 08:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You can watch the Inspiration Mars press conference live online by registering here. The broadcast begins at 1 p.m. EST (1800 GMT) on Wednesday (Feb. 27).

Madon_space
Member

Posts: 575
From: uk
Registered: Sep 2002

posted 02-27-2013 02:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Madon_space   Click Here to Email Madon_space     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Anybody think this could really happen or do you think this is just a pipe dream and being to ambitious?

Interesting read none-the-less.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 29048
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 02-27-2013 03:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think it's more realistic than some of the asteroid mining and lunar tourism proposals that have been put forth, but it still has a long way to go before becoming a reality.

Tito's ability to raise venture capital notwithstanding, I think financing this venture will be as big a challenge as getting the spacecraft and crew ready for the trip. (Although Tito did say they have funding to hold them through 2014 as of today).

It is really difficult to judge the other, more technical factors without knowing what spacecraft and module they are going to use, let alone the selection criteria for their crew (other than being a middle-aged, married heterosexual couple).

Jay Chladek
Member

Posts: 2263
From: Bellevue, NE, USA
Registered: Aug 2007

posted 02-27-2013 10:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Getting the hardware ready is going to be a BIG challenge with a goal of a launch in five years. First, if they plan to use Dragon, it has to be man rated and the work on the Mars flyby version can't get in the way of NASA's needs for their resupply and crew vehicle needs. The launch vehicle's man rated testing will have to be completed as well. If the plan is for a direct return to Earth from space without ending up in a parking orbit first, the craft's heat shield will need to be beefed up. The trans-stage and habitat module hardware will also likely need to be tested in a space environment before taking a trek out to Mars since once they get past the point of no return, it will have to go all the way to Mars before coming back.

Yes, funding will be important (the ole cliche of "No bucks, no Buck Rogers" applies), but there are a lot of hardware milestones that will need to be hit to reach the 2018 target and the odds of them hitting all of them before that date I don't see as very likely even if they had the minimum funding level. In a project like this, cost overruns will almost be inevitable and there is going to come a time when funds might not be forthcoming if cost overruns take place and there isn't much in the way of hardware success to show for it (i.e. why dump more funds into something that could be perceived as a "money pit").

Now if by some combination of luck, fortune and skill this project does come off and hits its launch date, I still have some very huge concerns about what could happen if failure befalls the mission and the crew is lost. Space "tourism" as we know it is still in a very embryonic state. Lots of companies are promising access to space with SpaceX being the only one that seems to be closest to even getting a manned vehicle into orbit (Virgin, XCOR and others still haven't even gotten a paying passenger into sub-orbit, let alone orbit). Now we have an individual asking for A LOT more money to send people a lot further a distance than the relative safety of Earth orbit or even on a flyby of the Moon (a mission proposed by one private company).

Granted, one might compare a project like this to that pioneer spirit of the early 20th Century when men were going to conquer the South Pole, Everest and fly across the Atlantic in stuff they funded on their own. But back then, if failure be-fell an expedition, one might only hear about it in the papers on the back page of interested news agencies weeks or months after it happened. Death was part of what happened and didn't seem as immediate without accompanying footage or audio. That sort of changed when the Hindenberg disaster became the first disaster covered live as it happened (with movie footage coming a few weeks later). After that happened, the pre-war market for rigid airships carrying passengers seemed to dry up as people considered them death traps.

Today with instant media, EVERYONE will hear about it almost as soon as it happens and even if it is being funded by a private group, a lot of hard questions are going to be asked by many individuals and govenment agencies. I'm not saying don't do it as there is a great chance for success and HUGE reward. But failure could mean a real mess for anyone making an attempt after that in a world at large today that doesn't seem to understand that risk is a necessary part of space exploration.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 29048
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 02-27-2013 11:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Jay Chladek:
First, if they plan to use Dragon, it has to be man rated...
"Man rated" is a NASA term, mostly referring to stacks of paperwork being filled out. A private effort like this has no such requirement.

(Elon Musk said the other night on national television that if a stowaway would somehow get aboard one of their cargo flights, s/he would survive the trip to the ISS just fine, so long as nothing happened to the Dragon on the way there.)

quote:
...the craft's heat shield will need to be beefed up. The trans-stage and habitat module hardware will also likely need to be tested in a space environment
Again, you're thinking like this is a NASA mission. Testing is only required if failure is not an option. At today's press conference, it seemed like the team were willing to accept the risk of failure (i.e. loss of crew/loss of vehicle).

Inspiration Mars has a Space Act Agreement to work with Ames Research Center on their heat shield.

quote:
I still have some very huge concerns about what could happen if failure befalls the mission and the crew is lost. Space "tourism" as we know it is still in a very embryonic state.
This isn't space tourism; it's privately-funded exploration. The seats are not for sale and profit is not a consideration.
quote:
Today with instant media, EVERYONE will hear about it almost as soon as it happens and even if it is being funded by a private group, a lot of hard questions are going to be asked by many individuals and government agencies.
Red Bull Stratos could have ended with the live broadcast of Felix Baumgartner plummeting to his death. Since Inspiration Mars seems to be a one-off mission, like Red Bull Stratos, what happens after a success or failure is less of a concern to the organizers.

p51
Member

Posts: 961
From: Olympia, WA, USA
Registered: Sep 2011

posted 02-27-2013 11:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What I don't get with announcements like this and Golden Spike is there are actually people who take them at their word!

Seriously, if the President tomorrow gave the nation a "JFK at Rice University" challenge to just fly a crew to Mars orbit and return by the end of the decade (which is giving an extra two years from this deadline), people at JSC and the HQ in DC would the next morning be asking, "Is the man out of his [bleep]ing mind?" I had a long discussion with a couple of friends at JSC when I was there in September and we talked about these private companies and their nutty promises. I was told in no uncertain terms that NASA couldn't likely land a man on the Moon for several years even if the budget was unlimited and the nation was fully behind it (neither of which is going to happen anytime soon).

So just accept that a private company with no financing is going to fly a crew to MARS in less than 5 years?

Really, there can't possibly be anyone here who believes that's gonna happen.

When did it become a normal operating business model for someone to announce an insane plan and a timeframe that is even crazier timeframe with no description of how they're even going to pay for it (never mind the technology part)? It was so tough to sit through the asteroid mining announcement in Seattle last year without busting out laughing. And that sounded downright reasonable compared to this.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 29048
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 02-27-2013 11:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by p51:
...with no description of how they're even going to pay for it
Tito addressed the sources for funding during the press conference, citing private donations, commercial endorsements, data sales, and in-kind support. He is also giving an undisclosed amount of his own money toward the project.

They are funded, as of today, through the end of 2014. That doesn't mean hurdles don't exist, but to Inspiration Mars' credit, they didn't walk into the room today with empty pockets.

As for NASA, as a federal agency it cannot accept the same risks as a private effort. It would need to build backup systems and fly test flights before ever green-lighting a manned launch.

arjuna
unregistered
posted 02-28-2013 12:11 AM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I would agree that this project is, to say the least, a long-shot both literally and figuratively, but there's a difference between being skeptical and being negative. Perhaps the latter is why we haven't done anything new that's especially exciting in manned spaceflight in several decades.

I have been highly skeptical of Zubrin's Mars proposals, since it seems blindingly obvious that, among other things, we do not know how to construct a closed-loop life support system that would be required for a long-duration (landing) mission. (To say nothing of the required ISRU technology, radiation shielding and other medical issues that go along with such a mission.)

Inspiration Mars is a little different than other projects (the gamut from Virgin Galactic to SpaceX to Golden Spike etc) in that there is a definite drop-dead schedule they have to hit. The others can fall behind schedule but still succeed. But it's important to distinguish levels of credibility based on the personnel and/or financiers of various projects. Suffice to say that some have more than others.

So color me skeptical but also wishing the folks at Inspiration Mars - and Planetary Resources and all the others - the best and I hope they succeed against long odds. I will be rooting for them even while having realistic expectations. It's not completely out of the realm of possibility, and if one doesn't strive for something greater, well - you're pretty stuck in a rut and deserve to be.

Technical point about heat shields and reentry speeds (with the caveat that I am no thermodynamics engineer). According to their paper the project designers acknowledge the technical challenge and the current uncertainty. But they note that PICA material has already proved successful at a reentry speed of 12.5 km/s and a newer PICA-X material may have higher thermal load capacity than that. The IM mission would have a projected reentry speed of 14.3 km/s. Assume nothing, but the point is that this aspect of the challenge is not completely unrealistic.

Greggy_D
Member

Posts: 711
From: Michigan
Registered: Jul 2006

posted 02-28-2013 05:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Greggy_D   Click Here to Email Greggy_D     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This will never happen in 5 years.

mark plas
Member

Posts: 366
From: the Netherlands
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 02-28-2013 07:17 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for mark plas   Click Here to Email mark plas     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Funny I thought this post would have exploded by now. Isn't this what we were waiting for? I say go Tito!!

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 29048
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 02-28-2013 08:32 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Greggy_D:
This will never happen in 5 years.
Well, sure, that's a lot easier to say than "how can we make this happen in five years?"

I don't think anyone is under the illusion that this mission will be easy to pull off. In fact, it may be impossible.

But space enthusiasts have bemoaned the lack of a deep space mission with a clear goal and set deadline for years. Now that one has been proposed and has the backing of individuals and companies with a record of successful endeavors, why immediately write them off?

And let's say Inspiration Mars does fail to launch in five years. The development effort should still deliver a more sustainable environmental and life support system than what we have now — a good asset to have for future deep space missions, regardless the destination or timeline.

dabolton
Member

Posts: 276
From: Minooka IL, US
Registered: Jan 2009

posted 02-28-2013 08:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for dabolton   Click Here to Email dabolton     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
They have indicated an interest in a married couple to take the flight. How many young, married, flight-experienced couples do we have in the Astronaut Corps right now that could opt-in?
  • Walker/Thomas
  • McArthur/Behnken
  • Nyburg/Hurley
  • or any Russian couples.

cspg
Member

Posts: 4476
From: Geneva, Switzerland
Registered: May 2006

posted 02-28-2013 08:59 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
So the crew is a married couple... I guess that makes sense because what's out there to do for 501 days inside a capsule/module? There's nothing to do, let alone to see.

It's long, long trip... and let's not talk about exploration as there are already probes orbiting and on the ground. Scientific research, maybe, as the crew will serve as guinea pigs.

Maybe they can conceive a child during the trip?

dabolton
Member

Posts: 276
From: Minooka IL, US
Registered: Jan 2009

posted 02-28-2013 09:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for dabolton   Click Here to Email dabolton     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Considering the human gestation period of 280 days is well within 501 day mission window, I'm sure that is a medical situation they would strenuously try to prevent. If the female is of child bearing age, she would surely have non-removable birth control like in her arm, like deprovera.

bwhite1976
Member

Posts: 186
From: belleville, IL USA
Registered: Jun 2011

posted 02-28-2013 09:33 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for bwhite1976   Click Here to Email bwhite1976     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Why the need for a married couple? I am sure there are studies that indicate this alleviates loneliness, depression ect. on long duration missions, but why not just pick the two best humans you can find? Why limit your selection by the prerequisite of finding a suitable couple?

Greggy_D
Member

Posts: 711
From: Michigan
Registered: Jul 2006

posted 02-28-2013 09:40 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Greggy_D   Click Here to Email Greggy_D     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
...why immediately write them off?
Robert, it is not a matter of writing them off or not being supportive. I hope they succeed, but the realist side of me says that timeframe is impossible.

At Spacefest in 2009, Rick Searfoss gave his talk about XCOR and how they would be flying passengers in five years. Now, I'm used to hearing that "five year" timeframe from vendors (especially in the IT field), so I questioned him directly about it. Well, here we are four years after Spacefest and XCOR still hasn't even flown a test vehicle into space.

I'm not knocking Tito or his organization. I just don't think five years is a realistic number for many of the reasons that Jay detailed above.

p51
Member

Posts: 961
From: Olympia, WA, USA
Registered: Sep 2011

posted 02-28-2013 11:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Greggy_D:
It is not a matter of writing them off or not being supportive. I hope they succeed, but the realist side of me says that timeframe is impossible.
I agree.

It's been mentioned that we space fans bemoan (I love that word) a clear goal in space. I'd have to change that to a realistic goal in space.

This ain't it.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 29048
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 02-28-2013 11:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by dabolton:
or any Russian couples.
Inspiration Mars is limiting the crew to U.S. citizens.

As for flight experience, that may be less important than having a strong inclination for mechanics and engineering. The Inspiration Mars team likened the spacecraft they will fly to a '55 Chevy: the crew will be taking it apart and building it up again throughout the mission. They are going to forgo a lot of the automation present in the space station's systems to keep things simple.

quote:
If the female is of child bearing age, she would surely have non-removable birth control like in her arm, like deprovera.
I would not be surprised if a hysterectomy/vasectomy was required of the crew.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 29048
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 02-28-2013 12:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Greggy_D:
Well, here we are four years after Spacefest and XCOR still hasn't even flown a test vehicle into space.
The difference may be the hard deadline. XCOR can slip their target dates with no drastic effects, while any slip would mean Inspiration Mars having to wait until 2031. Hard deadlines can be powerful motivators.

(The deadline will also allow Inspiration Mars to judge the feasibility of their plan at least a few times before they reach Jan. 5, 2018, giving them a go/no go review opportunity that other efforts lack.)

fredtrav
Member

Posts: 1054
From: Birmingham AL USA
Registered: Aug 2010

posted 02-28-2013 01:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for fredtrav   Click Here to Email fredtrav     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I applaud the effort. While I am skeptical that it can be done in 5 years, I am also hopeful they can succeed. We went from nothing to the moon in 10 years. We had no real space technology to speak of when Gemini started in 1959 (actually late 58 to be totally accurate) and we were on the moon 10 years later.

We now have proven (to a degree) technology, far better computer systems, and more experienced engineers/technicians. There will of course be a lot of technical challenges to overcome. Being a private enterprise, they can do things faster, cut through red tape, and just might possibly have a chance. They know when they must leave, that is a hard and fast time frame. Even if they do not make it, they will advance long range mission planning and technology. They have the money for a couple of years so lets see what they can do with it.

arjuna
unregistered
posted 02-28-2013 03:05 PM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
As for flight experience, that may be less important than having a strong inclination for mechanics and engineering.
Taber MacCallum and Jane Poynter would seem to fit all the criteria.
  1. They are engineers who co-founded and run Paragon Space Development Corporation which designs and builds spacecraft environment and life support systems and is one of the key players in the project.

  2. They're not only married but also business partners, and are both middle-aged (a key criteria to mitigate radiation exposure risk).

  3. They both were participants in Biosphere 2, and so have demonstrated ability to live in an isolated, technically challenging environment.

  4. They've thrown their hat into the ring.

gliderpilotuk
Member

Posts: 3142
From: London, UK
Registered: Feb 2002

posted 03-01-2013 04:56 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for gliderpilotuk   Click Here to Email gliderpilotuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As one of the papers said: "Scientifically, the 501-day mission will accomplish next to nothing." So it's a big spend to test human endurance and psychology in a budget, rush-built spacecraft that's somewhat more spartan than Mars 500. Maybe Red Bull will sponsor it

robsouth
Member

Posts: 642
From: West Midlands, UK
Registered: Jun 2005

posted 03-01-2013 07:26 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for robsouth     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Anyone that has followed manned space travel since the early 80's has seen many, many ideas for independant ventures come to nothing.

Look at all the plans floating around just before the shuttle ended and look at what has actually happened.

From now until 2018 we do not have the overall capability to send a manned mission to Mars so IMO we should add this to the long list of pipe dreams that never will happen.

Sorry to be so sceptical but 32 years of getting excited about grand announcements about space ventures, including two presidential return to the moon programs, that come to nothing means that I will believe it when I see it.

Having said that, I would love to be proved wrong and for this mission to take place.

Ross
Member

Posts: 390
From: Australia
Registered: Jul 2003

posted 03-01-2013 07:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ross   Click Here to Email Ross     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Sorry to be negative but it won't happen. Even if the problem of funding is solved and a spacecraft that can reach Mars is built (none exist today), there are far greater problems. As has been pointed out in Spaceflight magazine the problem of living in zero-G for 501 days has not been solved (that is significantly higher than has been done so far and a lot more research is require). A potentially bigger problem is radiation. No presently designed or seriously proposed spacecraft is suitable and there is no agreement on a shielding method. And what do you shield against? Expected radiation during a low sunspot period or a high sunspot period. And what about the rare but quite possible major bursts. There many other 'human' problems that require far more research before committing a crew to the dangers. The last thing the manned space program needs is a crew returning to Earth with radiation poisoning, serious physical problems or even serious mental difficulties. That could set back the program for decades.

An unmanned trip, yes, but probably not by 2018. A manned trip. No way before the mid 2020s and probably the 2030s.

Hart Sastrowardoyo
Member

Posts: 2380
From: Toms River, NJ,USA
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 03-01-2013 08:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA proposed in the late '60s a manned flyby of Venus for the mid-'70s. How is this different than Inspiration Mars' proposal? NASA didn't have all the answers then.

If Inspiration Mars wants to assume the risks of a manned Mars flyby, let them.

Tykeanaut
Member

Posts: 1804
From: Worcestershire, England, UK.
Registered: Apr 2008

posted 03-01-2013 08:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tykeanaut   Click Here to Email Tykeanaut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
While it would inspirational, if it doesn't land what scientific value would there be?

Hart Sastrowardoyo
Member

Posts: 2380
From: Toms River, NJ,USA
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 03-01-2013 08:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by dabolton:
How many young, married, flight-experienced couples do we have in the Astronaut Corps right now that could opt-in?
Suni Williams said she'd like to go. And her husband has some flight experience, if Wikipedia is to be believed - her husband flew helicopters. Of course, she'd have to leave her dog behind...

Hart Sastrowardoyo
Member

Posts: 2380
From: Toms River, NJ,USA
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 03-01-2013 08:41 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Tykeanaut:
While it would inspirational, if it doesn't land what scientific value would there be?
Then what was the scientific value of Apollo 8?

Jay Chladek
Member

Posts: 2263
From: Bellevue, NE, USA
Registered: Aug 2007

posted 03-01-2013 09:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Robert, man rating a launch vehicle and a spacecraft may be considered a paperwork thing which might not necessarily apply to a commercial effort EXCEPT for one thing, where is the launch vehicle going to fly from?

If it is going to fly from CCAFS or even KSC, one figures it is going to have to meet the criteria for that launch facility. There are other possible launch sites around the world I suppose (the ESA facility in French Guyana perhaps), but it would take a certain amount of infrastructure to be built up to support such operations and the governing agencies/companies for those facilities would have to sign off on such a project as well. That I interpret to mean they would have a say in certain elements of the project as they would have a certain amount of veto power in what flies or doesn't fly from their facilities.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 29048
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 03-01-2013 10:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Tykeanaut:
While it would inspirational, if it doesn't land what scientific value would there be?
Dennis Tito spoke about this in his interview with SPACE.com:
At first, I thought this is not a science mission. This is for inspiration; it's a test flight to show we can get there. You're going to learn a lot about the engineering problems.

But then as I started learning more about the life sciences, apparently [the benefits] are huge. There hasn't been really any information on human behavior in this kind of environment. The impact of radiation, the isolation — the academics are all very excited. It'd be a huge scientific value in the life sciences.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 29048
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 03-01-2013 10:17 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Jay Chladek:
...they would have a certain amount of veto power in what flies or doesn't fly from their facilities.
The FAA has already ruled on this and Congress has passed legislation: commercial spacecraft operators are only responsible for the welfare of uninvolved third parties (e.g. the safety of spectators and populations under the flight path). So long as they can meet range safety issues, the Air Force or NASA has no say on the safety of the crew.

Tykeanaut
Member

Posts: 1804
From: Worcestershire, England, UK.
Registered: Apr 2008

posted 03-01-2013 01:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tykeanaut   Click Here to Email Tykeanaut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Apollo 8 mission was part of a specifically laid out goal. As far as I'm aware this is a one-off with no plans for a follow-up landing mission?

Hart Sastrowardoyo
Member

Posts: 2380
From: Toms River, NJ,USA
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 03-01-2013 06:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Throw in Cady Coleman who also says she wants to go to Mars.

Prospero
Member

Posts: 90
From: Manchester, UK
Registered: Mar 2006

posted 03-02-2013 08:46 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Prospero     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was pretty skeptical of this when I first heard about it, but two things make me think that this just might happen.

First, Dennis Tito has committed to fund it for the first couple of years, which should hopefully be enough time for them to work on the life support system and decide if it's a "go" mission from that angle. Life support seems to be the biggest "if" in this mission.

Second, the fact that they *have* to be flight-ready by January 2018 could be a help. I know that sound paradoxical, but it means that there's going to be a lot less tolerance for waste and delays than if it was a mission that could be done anytime. Too many space ventures experience delays that get longer and longer until they end up stalling out completely.

Apart from life support, the other big "if" at the moment seems to be the vehicle. A lot of people seem to be assuming that a modified Dragon will be used, and it's an obvious choice, but Inspiration Mars haven't committed to anything yet. I don't know what their current status is - they seem to have gone quiet lately - but it struck me that one of Excalibur Almaz's spacecraft could be a good choice for an interplanetary vehicle. That's *if* it can stand up to 501 days space soak and *if* the heat sheild can be beefed up enough - of course both those "ifs" also apply to the Dragon capsule.

jiffyq58
Member

Posts: 153
From: Durham, NC, USA
Registered: Jun 2011

posted 03-02-2013 09:36 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for jiffyq58   Click Here to Email jiffyq58     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Can someone explain to someone like me who is not an expert on planetary orbits and launch cycles why there is such a big launch window gap between 2018 and 2031? I thought we had a good launch window to Mars every two years. What is different about the period between 2018 and 2031?


This topic is 2 pages long:   1  2 

All times are CT (US)

next newest topic | next oldest topic

Administrative Options: Close Topic | Archive/Move | Delete Topic
Post New Topic  Post A Reply
Hop to:

Contact Us | The Source for Space History & Artifacts

Copyright 1999-2014 collectSPACE.com All rights reserved.


Ultimate Bulletin Board 5.47a





advertisement