NASA Plans a Manned Flyby of Mars, Mission to Europa

Alcamonic

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Any specific reason as to why they don't try to construct a small base on the moon first? Seems like the most logical step to see if everything works in practice.
 

Vivi22

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Pyrian said:
Not sure what advantage we're getting from a manned mission that never touches down. We could just leave them in the space station for a few years.
A manned fly-by let's them get a proof of concept for dealing with a number of potential issues: feeding them, providing enough air, preventing substantial muscle and bone degeneration, having the ability to actually arrive at Mars and return safely. Probably more things I'm not thinking of right now.

They could test out some of that on the space station, but it really wasn't set up for dealing with all of it. Particularly the issue of muscle and bone loss since astronauts don't stay on the space station for that length of time.

Similarly, we didn't start out by going to the moon and landing on it. There were a number of fly bys first to prove that could be done safely before sending people down.
 

Somethingfake

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rutger5000 said:
thaluikhain said:
Pyrian said:
Not sure what advantage we're getting from a manned mission that never touches down. We could just leave them in the space station for a few years.
Yeah, that seemed a little odd.

OTOH, just a proposal at the mo, we'll see if they cough up the funds to do anything.
What advantage would there be for them to actually touch down? There's nothing of interest for humanity on Mars, these missions are simply preparation in case there ever will be.
What advantage was there for us to land on the moon? There's nothing there as well. It's to learn and discover, that's why.
 

Jeroenr

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Remus said:
Beware any large black monoliths. If found, attempt no landing on Europa. ATTEMPT NO LANDING THERE
O my god, it's full of stars.

2010, has been ages last time i saw that film.

But really, maned flyby of Mars?
Well, a 1,5 year round trip to Mars makes more sense than a indefinite one way trip. (i Guess)
 

iblis666

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god i hope they find a giant radioactive glowing space squid on Europa

Alcamonic said:
Any specific reason as to why they don't try to construct a small base on the moon first? Seems like the most logical step to see if everything works in practice.
i think mostly its about the cost of keeping a running base on the moon, its not like we go there often
 

Xeorm

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Pyrian said:
Not sure what advantage we're getting from a manned mission that never touches down. We could just leave them in the space station for a few years.
Having them in a space station wouldn't really test a lot of the variables, most notably radiation. A space flight, for example, would be direct sunlight for most of the trip, and wouldn't be anywhere near the earth's magnetic field, both of which would not be the case for a space station.

Alcamonic said:
Any specific reason as to why they don't try to construct a small base on the moon first? Seems like the most logical step to see if everything works in practice.
No real point to that I'd think. NASA has already made it to the moon before, so no real need to practice that. Nor is it likely to be that helpful doing one trip around Mars. It'd be a decent idea if we wanted to many future missions, but that's a different idea, and unlikely to be done in the current political climate.
 

The Critic

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Vivi22 said:
They could test out some of that on the space station, but it really wasn't set up for dealing with all of it. Particularly the issue of muscle and bone loss since astronauts don't stay on the space station for that length of time.
Actually, the Russians set the record for that back on the Mir, around 437 days for one person, Valeri Polyakov, with the runner-up record being 379 days. This proposed Mars flyby will still be the longest spaceflight on record by months if and when it happens, but there is some information available already on long-term effects of spaceflight on the human body. You are right, though, the ISS wouldn't be ideal for managing a lot of the experiments that a Mars flyby would do.
 

C14N

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Pyrian said:
Not sure what advantage we're getting from a manned mission that never touches down. We could just leave them in the space station for a few years.
Seems like it's supposed to be a stepping stone. It's easier to to do a flyby than to land but it still represents a huge challenge because of the distance they have to travel. If it works and they can safely get to Mars and back, it opens the way to future landing missions.
 

Drops a Sweet Katana

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Alcamonic said:
Any specific reason as to why they don't try to construct a small base on the moon first? Seems like the most logical step to see if everything works in practice.
There'd be no point. An interplanetary vessel landing on and taking off from the moon as a stop-off point before leaving earth orbit would be too fuel inefficient to justify any kind of surface base. The cost of manning and maintaining one would also make it highly impractical. An orbital refuelling station would be of more use, depending on the size of the vessel, but even then fuel needs to be spent on lunar capture, rendezvousing and lunar escape, meaning a lunar gravity assist would be more prudent. Really, unless we find a new energy source or some other resource on the moon that we couldn't otherwise synthesise or extract from the earth, the moon has very little of value to offer.

Edit: Reread your post, not realising that you were talking about a proof-of-concept type thing. In that case, we can just do isolation tests here on earth. It's safer, cheaper and more practical than sending people to the moon.
 

MetalMagpie

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Alleged_Alec said:
Ouch. 19 months in space. I really hope they'll have some form of artificial gravity on those ships. I don't want to know what would happen to your bones if they don't have that...
Astronauts on the ISS do regular exercise including running on treadmills (held down by straps so they can actually run) to keep up their muscle tone.

As far as I know, we're still a little way off artificial gravity.
 

rutger5000

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Somethingfake said:
rutger5000 said:
thaluikhain said:
Pyrian said:
Not sure what advantage we're getting from a manned mission that never touches down. We could just leave them in the space station for a few years.
Yeah, that seemed a little odd.

OTOH, just a proposal at the mo, we'll see if they cough up the funds to do anything.
What advantage would there be for them to actually touch down? There's nothing of interest for humanity on Mars, these missions are simply preparation in case there ever will be.
What advantage was there for us to land on the moon? There's nothing there as well. It's to learn and discover, that's why.
Please the Moonlandings were nothing more than an last attempt to beat the Russians in anything space related. Sure the US learned from it, and sure there was significant spin off. But it taught you nothing you next to couldn't have learned by putting a space station in orbit larger than SkyLab and doing it sooner. Which admittedly would have similar costs, but it would have been much more useful.
 

Somethingfake

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rutger5000 said:
Somethingfake said:
rutger5000 said:
thaluikhain said:
Pyrian said:
Not sure what advantage we're getting from a manned mission that never touches down. We could just leave them in the space station for a few years.
Yeah, that seemed a little odd.

OTOH, just a proposal at the mo, we'll see if they cough up the funds to do anything.
What advantage would there be for them to actually touch down? There's nothing of interest for humanity on Mars, these missions are simply preparation in case there ever will be.
What advantage was there for us to land on the moon? There's nothing there as well. It's to learn and discover, that's why.
Please the Moonlandings were nothing more than an last attempt to beat the Russians in anything space related. Sure the US learned from it, and sure there was significant spin off. But it taught you nothing you next to couldn't have learned by putting a space station in orbit larger than SkyLab and doing it sooner. Which admittedly would have similar costs, but it would have been much more useful.
So there's no point going anywhere if we can do it here? Hmm didn't know we can explore other planets/moons by sitting around on Earth. My education continues. How are we to visit the moon/Mars/planets in the solar system if we camp LEO?

And whilst the moon landings were politically motivated, good came from it. The inspiration and excitement that drove people to become astronauts/scientists still has impact today.

Captcha sold out? Showing a picture of pepsi max and the pepsi slogan. For shame.
 

HardkorSB

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I wonder when will this be cancelled.
My guess is that first it's going to be postponed.
 

Terminal Blue

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Pyrian said:
Not sure what advantage we're getting from a manned mission that never touches down.
Honestly, not sure what advantage we're getting from a manned mission full stop.

But the warm, fuzzy, human part of me thinks that if this is something people care enough about that they will willingly expose themselves to cosmic radiation for two years then it is worth something. Even if that something is symbolic.
 

Frezzato

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Damn, I wonder what a stack of dehydrated food for one person over 19 months looks like. I would definitely be sick of rehydrated shrimp cocktail by that point. And it blows my mind that NASA can extract water from air [http://science1.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2000/ast02nov_1/], albeit in small quantities. It'll be necessary for the trip I'm sure, as well as recycling urine.

Oh well, I guess sending robots [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ZeYYyotOTk] wasn't an option, eh, Discovery Channel?
 

rutger5000

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Somethingfake said:
rutger5000 said:
Somethingfake said:
rutger5000 said:
thaluikhain said:
Pyrian said:
Not sure what advantage we're getting from a manned mission that never touches down. We could just leave them in the space station for a few years.
Yeah, that seemed a little odd.

OTOH, just a proposal at the mo, we'll see if they cough up the funds to do anything.
What advantage would there be for them to actually touch down? There's nothing of interest for humanity on Mars, these missions are simply preparation in case there ever will be.
What advantage was there for us to land on the moon? There's nothing there as well. It's to learn and discover, that's why.
Please the Moonlandings were nothing more than an last attempt to beat the Russians in anything space related. Sure the US learned from it, and sure there was significant spin off. But it taught you nothing you next to couldn't have learned by putting a space station in orbit larger than SkyLab and doing it sooner. Which admittedly would have similar costs, but it would have been much more useful.
So there's no point going anywhere if we can do it here? Hmm didn't know we can explore other planets/moons by sitting around on Earth. My education continues. How are we to visit the moon/Mars/planets in the solar system if we camp LEO?

And whilst the moon landings were politically motivated, good came from it. The inspiration and excitement that drove people to become astronauts/scientists still has impact today.

Captcha sold out? Showing a picture of pepsi max and the pepsi slogan. For shame.
You learn something new everyday :) Though I'm honestly a bit surprised that you weren't aware that you can learn a lot about the universe, without actually having to go to the place you wish to learn about. In fact almost everything we've learned about our solar system, we learned on earth. We've done so with use of very special equipment, perhaps you've heard about it before, they're called telescopes.
Sorry for being snarky but you started it.
My point is that it is currently almost useless to visit the moon/Mars/Planents. The only reason we should try it near future, is to get some practice in case we ever find something of interest on them.
 

Somethingfake

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rutger5000 said:
Somethingfake said:
rutger5000 said:
Somethingfake said:
rutger5000 said:
thaluikhain said:
Pyrian said:
Not sure what advantage we're getting from a manned mission that never touches down. We could just leave them in the space station for a few years.
Yeah, that seemed a little odd.

OTOH, just a proposal at the mo, we'll see if they cough up the funds to do anything.
What advantage would there be for them to actually touch down? There's nothing of interest for humanity on Mars, these missions are simply preparation in case there ever will be.
What advantage was there for us to land on the moon? There's nothing there as well. It's to learn and discover, that's why.
Please the Moonlandings were nothing more than an last attempt to beat the Russians in anything space related. Sure the US learned from it, and sure there was significant spin off. But it taught you nothing you next to couldn't have learned by putting a space station in orbit larger than SkyLab and doing it sooner. Which admittedly would have similar costs, but it would have been much more useful.
If I couldn't handle snark, I wouldn't be dishing it out.

So there's no point going anywhere if we can do it here? Hmm didn't know we can explore other planets/moons by sitting around on Earth. My education continues. How are we to visit the moon/Mars/planets in the solar system if we camp LEO?

And whilst the moon landings were politically motivated, good came from it. The inspiration and excitement that drove people to become astronauts/scientists still has impact today.

Captcha sold out? Showing a picture of pepsi max and the pepsi slogan. For shame.
You learn something new everyday :) Though I'm honestly a bit surprised that you weren't aware that you can learn a lot about the universe, without actually having to go to the place you wish to learn about. In fact almost everything we've learned about our solar system, we learned on earth. We've done so with use of very special equipment, perhaps you've heard about it before, they're called telescopes.
Sorry for being snarky but you started it.
My point is that it is currently almost useless to visit the moon/Mars/Planents. The only reason we should try it near future, is to get some practice in case we ever find something of interest on them.
 

FalloutJack

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Racecarlock said:
NASA: "We landed on the moon, *****. Move aside, spacex. We got this."

Oh man I love nasa. They are easily one of the most badass science organizations on the planet, coming ahead of CERN and just behind whoever the hell makes lasers that burn things.
Funny, I heard lasers actually make things explode.

So, on the one hand, we've got a Mission To Mars going on, and on the other, we've got a flipping Space Odyssey. WHEN will we boldly go where no man has gone before?!
 

Alleged_Alec

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MetalMagpie said:
Alleged_Alec said:
Ouch. 19 months in space. I really hope they'll have some form of artificial gravity on those ships. I don't want to know what would happen to your bones if they don't have that...
Astronauts on the ISS do regular exercise including running on treadmills (held down by straps so they can actually run) to keep up their muscle tone.

As far as I know, we're still a little way off artificial gravity.
Not really. As long as you have a rotating crew section, you have artificial gravity. You don't need science-fiction like stuff. Just place some high ISP, low impulse engines on the ship in a way which would impart rotation when fired, and after making the burn for Mars, fire those engines until you have the proper amount of simulated gravity.
 

MetalMagpie

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Alleged_Alec said:
MetalMagpie said:
Alleged_Alec said:
Ouch. 19 months in space. I really hope they'll have some form of artificial gravity on those ships. I don't want to know what would happen to your bones if they don't have that...
Astronauts on the ISS do regular exercise including running on treadmills (held down by straps so they can actually run) to keep up their muscle tone.

As far as I know, we're still a little way off artificial gravity.
Not really. As long as you have a rotating crew section, you have artificial gravity. You don't need science-fiction like stuff. Just place some high ISP, low impulse engines on the ship in a way which would impart rotation when fired, and after making the burn for Mars, fire those engines until you have the proper amount of simulated gravity.
I've heard that idea proposed before but I thought it wasn't especially practical. Unless the ship is very very large, you end up with noticeably different "gravity" between your head and your feet, which means all the blood gets pulled away from your brain. Which isn't ideal.

Strapping astronauts to a treadmill is still probably a more reliable solution to the problem.