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One-Way, One-Person Mission to Mars. Who's in?


Hykos
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http://www.universetoday.com/2008/03/04/a-...ission-to-mars/

 

[...]“When we eliminate the need to launch off Mars, we remove the mission’s most daunting obstacle,” said McLane. And because of a small crew size, the spacecraft could be smaller and the need for consumables and supplies would be decreased, making the mission cheaper and less complicated.

 

While some might classify this as a suicide mission, McLane feels the concept is completely logical. [...]

 

 

Would you go to Mars by yourself to be known as the first human ever to travel to, and then die on, Mars?

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If there was a positive way to land on the surface and plant the American flag followed by some kind of suicide pill that was painless and quick. I'd say there would be a good chance i'd go. To be part of a monumental historical event such as this i'd gladly accept.

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I'd think long and hard about it, and I'd lean heavily toward doing this. I don't think that the American public would accept the idea though.

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No. If we have to try and make the mission less complicated by allowing someone to die, we're not ready for it. Giving your life for a heroic cause (to save another, for example) is one thing, to do it to say "FIRST!" is just odd...to me at least.

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not a chance.

 

if they could guarantee me a one-room mars-proof tent with an internet connection, and let me take bridget... then maybe

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i just have the feeling it would be one of those things you would convince yourself to do, and then somewhere near our moon you would start thinking to yourself, "damn, i'm sitting on top of a few thousand lbs of rocket fuel hurtling towards an empty planet where i'm going to die"

 

and then youd just be depressed

 

and barring a suicide pill and not crashing before you land...you're either going to die of starvation or asphyxiation...both of which are rather painful i'm told.

 

also i dont think the public would look on this very well. you might be first, but everybody would say you were stupid/the mission designer is crazy/etc.

Edited by Ryee

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not a chance.

 

if they could guarantee me a one-room mars-proof tent with an internet connection, and let me take bridget... then maybe

 

not too attached to that new dog yet I see

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6 months alone in a spacecraft = insanity. After that insanity you would prob die from hypoxia, malnutrition, and/or dehydration. Either way your death is gonna suck.

 

So that would be a NO.

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:scratches head:

:draws some pictures:

:does some math:

 

So, in a rough approximation Earth's orbit around the sun is almost circular (it's well-known to be elliptical, but the foci of the ellipse are very close, and it only complicates the math for minor gains in accuracy).

 

That being said, the radius of the Earth's orbit around the sun is 150,000,000 kilometers (km) or 1 astronomical unit (AU). Also, Earth's period (time it takes to complete one orbit around the sun) is 1 year (yr).

 

For Mars, on a circular orbit, its radius is 228,553,650 km, or 1.523691 AU. Its period is 1.8822 yr (from an earth perspective).

 

To launch a rocket to Mars, there needs to be a transfer orbit--an ellipse with perihelion (point closest to the sun) at Earth, and aphelion (point most distant from the sun) at Mars.

 

Kepler's Third Law states that for all bodies orbiting the sun (including our rocket to Mars), T^2/A^3 = 1 (T = period, A = semi major axis) when the units of T and A are years and astronomical units (if you use other units, T^2/A^3 = some other constant, which must be derived).

 

So we know how to find A in this equation. The major axis of the transit orbit should be the radius of the Earth from the sun + radius of Mars from the sun. From above,

 

Major Axis = Rearth + Rmars = 1 AU + 1.523691 AU = 2.523691 AU. So, the semi major axis is,

.5A = 1.2618455 AU. So, letting A = 1.2618455 AU,

 

A^3 = (1.2618455)^3 = 2.00918, which means, from Keplers Third Law,

T^2 = 2.00918, implying

T = 1.417454 years.

 

However, T is a period (trip from point A, to B, then back to A), but we're only interested in how long it takes to get to B from A. So dividing our T in half, the approximate transit time to Mars is

 

:drum roll:

 

.708727 years, or about 8.5 months.

 

The reason we choose to use transfer orbits is that if we just picked any old time to fire a rocket, theres a hugel likelihood that, because of Earth's gravity pulling on the ship as it leaves the planet, the sun's gravity over all things in the solar system, etc., the rocket will simply miss Mars completely (can't steer a rocket too much...i.e., turn it around if you're going the wrong way).

 

ANYWAYS, this math expedition was inspired by the comment above me (6 months). Rockets (not space ships, which have steering) rely more on timing of orbits and less on how fast we can make them go. At their closest points together (conjunction), Earth and Mars are separated by about 56,000,000 miles. Modern rockets travel at about 17500 mph, meaning a straight shot (which is not feasible for the reasons above) would take about 3200 hours, or 133 days...considerably shorter than the 8.5 month transit orbit.

 

But yeah...can you tell I'm bored at work?

Edited by Ryee

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:scratches head:

:draws some pictures:

:does some math:

 

So, in a rough approximation Earth's orbit around the sun is almost circular (it's well-known to be elliptical, but the foci of the ellipse are very close, and it only complicates the math for minor gains in accuracy).

 

That being said, the radius of the Earth's orbit around the sun is 150,000,000 kilometers (km) or 1 astronomical unit (AU). Also, Earth's period (time it takes to complete one orbit around the sun) is 1 year (yr).

 

For Mars, on a circular orbit, its radius is 228,BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH

 

sorry, TLDR :)

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Major Axis = Rearth + Rmars = 1 AU + 1.523691 AU = 2.523691 AU. So, the semi major axis is,

.5A = 1.2618455 AU. So, letting A = 1.2618455 AU,

 

A^3 = (1.2618455)^3 = 2.00918, which means, from Keplers Third Law,

T^2 = 2.00918, implying

T = 1.417454 years.

 

However, T is a period (trip from point A, to B, then back to A), but we're only interested in how long it takes to get to B from A. So dividing our T in half, the approximate transit time to Mars is

 

:drum roll:

 

.708727 years, or about 8.5 months.

 

brain.. it.. it hurts!

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brain.. it.. it hurts!

 

You bothered reading that? I started and just figured.. eh, skipped it.

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Where do I sign up?!

 

I'd definitely do it. Whats to say you aren't going to die alone from starvation while in a fiery explosion anyways?

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I don't see why people would be against the idea. If one day you turned on CNN and you hear "NASA announced today that it will be sending a volunteer astronaut on an 8 month trip to mars. He will arrive to an already established colony, and remain, possibly, for the rest of his life. During his time there he will be able to conduct experiments and gather results never before possible, vastly expanding the human understanding of the universe. He will also, of course, bring the human race that next giant leap as the first man ever to set foot on another planet."

 

Why would you jump up and declare it an absurd idea?

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It wasn't my impression from reading the original article that Mars would have a pre-established colony on it.

 

The idea of creating a live-able habitat on Mars is not out of the realm of possibility, but it would be a lot of work, and considering how slowly we are building the space station, just doesn't seem like it would happen any time in the future. Just finding a way to have a continuous oxygen supply for the little volunteer would require tons of missions.

 

I understood the article to be more of a...send a man there, let him do some experiments and collect data, and live off of whatever food/water/air you send with him, but there are no intentions to keep dumping millions of dollars in missions to keep him going.

 

I mean, they could just drop crap off to him, but it would be a very...rough lifestyle to say the least, and playing the game of "do I have enough air to breathe for the next 8 months" every 8 months would be difficult. One false drop or missed launch window...and he's dead.

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"NASA announced today that it will be sending a volunteer astronaut on an 8 month trip to mars. He will arrive to an already established colony, and remain, possibly, for the rest of his life. During his time there he will be able to conduct experiments and gather results never before possible, vastly expanding the human understanding of the universe. He will also, of course, bring the human race that next giant leap as the first man ever to set foot on another planet."

 

If he will be the first man to set foot on another planet how can there be an already established colony? What will he experiment on and how? Honestly, the idea just seems to be full of holes and contradictions.

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