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With the Space Shuttle program ending, what should be the next space exploration goal?

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Posted: Tuesday, September 25, 2012 7:35 am | Updated: 7:37 am, Tue Sep 25, 2012.

Asked by News-Sentinel photographer Ian Jonsson on School Street in Downtown Lodi
Eleanor Flatley Steve Pease Deette Goni Jon Guerzon Marnay Walshin
Pleasanton Modesto Lodi Lodi Lodi
Retired Law enforcement Management analyst Teacher Respiratory therapist
“Try to go to Mars. We need to develop some other kind of shuttle to find out if it is habitable.” “Mars, because it is a little further out. Only six months of travel, and it is reachable with our current technology.” “To explore Mars more fully. We’re there now, so it makes sense to use resources since we’ve made it there.” “More men on the moon. I want more proof, more live footage.” “To save money, or to find resources that could benefit our planet, because it seems like we’re running out of resources.”

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5 comments:

  • daniel hutchins posted at 1:01 pm on Sat, Sep 29, 2012.

    daniel hutchins Posts: 1338

    Steve,
    A massive amount of fuel is required in order to break out of earth orbit, into an earth-mars elliptical transit orbit. In order to launch the minimal amount of mass that is required, multiple launches are required from the surface of earth, and the martian mission must be joined and assembled in earth orbit.
    In all of the following maneuvers, it is necessary to minimize the amount of mass in each step, in order to just make this mission possible with three or four launch missions from the surface of earth:

    After a mother ship is launched from earth and assembled in earth orbit, a rocket must be fired to escape earth orbit, and this is a lot of fuel just for this step right here, and remember on the return, there must be enough remaining fuel for the final maneuvers that are required in order to return home.
    1) The mother ship must carry a re-entry vehicle which must carry enough fuel to drop itself out of the transit orbit, into a Martian orbit, and then 2) separate a smaller landing vehicle which must carry enough fuel to land on Mars.
    In the calculations that were performed, it was concluded to not be possible to carry enough fuel to launch itself back off of the surface of Mars. The fuel must be manufactured out of the Martian atmosphere.

     
  • daniel hutchins posted at 7:51 pm on Fri, Sep 28, 2012.

    daniel hutchins Posts: 1338

    Steve,
    A massive amount of fuel is required in order to break out of earth orbit, into an earth-mars elliptical transit orbit. In order to launch the minimal amount of mass that is required, multiple launches are required from the surface of earth, and the martian mission must be joined and assembled in earth orbit.
    In all of the following maneuvers, it is necessary to minimize the amount of mass in each step, in order to just make this mission possible with three or four launch missions from the surface of earth:

    After a mother ship is launched from earth and assembled in earth orbit, a rocket must be fired to escape earth orbit, and this is a lot of fuel just for this step right here, and remember on the return, there must be enough remaining fuel for the final maneuvers that are required in order to return home.
    1) The mother ship must carry a re-entry vehicle which must carry enough fuel to drop itself out of the transit orbit, into a Martian orbit, and then 2) separate a smaller landing vehicle which must carry enough fuel to land on Mars.
    In the calculations that were performed, it was concluded to not be possible to carry enough fuel to launch itself back off of the surface of Mars. The fuel must be manufactured out of the Martian atmosphere.

     
  • Jerome Kinderman posted at 5:17 am on Fri, Sep 28, 2012.

    Jerome R Kinderman Posts: 2349

    Mr. Guerzon: Back to the moon simply to prove we were already there? Yeah, I think that's worth a few billion dollars.

    Ms. Walshin: To look for resources that are running out? And then what, build a pipeline between Mars and Earth to get it here?

    I suppose these folks need a little latitude regarding their answers. After all, they just represent teachers, therapists, law enforcement types, analysts or just enjoying life large after a lifetime of work who were accosted by some strange dude with a camera probably outside the movie theater. It's likely their eyes hadn't yet adjusted to the sun.

     
  • Steve Schmidt posted at 4:26 pm on Thu, Sep 27, 2012.

    Steve Schmidt Posts: 2289

    Why can't the mother ship insert into Mars orbit? We currently have several satellites in Mars orbit? Use an ion engine and accelerate half the way and decelerate the other half.

     
  • daniel hutchins posted at 9:49 am on Thu, Sep 27, 2012.

    daniel hutchins Posts: 1338

    Go to Mars?
    8 year mission.
    The Earth-Mars interplanetary orbit is 4 years circle.
    The main vehicle cannot be stopped at Mars. A separate vehicle must separate from the mother ship, while the mother ship continues to orbit, and these astronauts won't see their mother ship for another 4 years when it comes back around in the orbit.

     

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