DailyDirt: How Can We Get To Mars?

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

We already have a bunch of robots exploring various aspects of Mars, but even though we're not running out of things that bots can do in space, it would be nice to get astronauts walking on another planet someday. We could go back to the moon, but Mars is a more ambitious and noteworthy goal. Getting to Mars safely is a challenge because it'll take several weeks (at least) to get there, and no one has ever tested radiation shielding on such a long trip in open space. Still, it should be possible if we're committed to doing it. Here are just a few baby steps towards making a trip to Mars happen. If you'd like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post via StumbleUpon.
Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Filed Under: hi-seas, induced therapeutic hypothermia, manned missions, mars, martha lenio, space, space exploration
Companies: nasa


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Thread


  • icon
    Mason Wheeler (profile), 21 Oct 2014 @ 5:31pm

    Science fiction often points to hibernation as a way to avoid the boredom of space travel, so it only makes sense to actually see if such a medical procedure is feasible.

    ...or they could try the time-honored, tested and true remedy to avoid boredom: entertainment! No medical procedures necessary.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Oct 2014 @ 5:41pm

    It's interesting to see the focus on these concepts for crew stasis, but I can't help be reminded by this...

    http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=4185

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Oct 2014 @ 6:15pm

    Sensors that can detect psychological issues? Could we get some of those for politicians, CEOs, and police officers?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Oct 2014 @ 6:55pm

    several weeks (at least)

    "Getting to Mars safely is a challenge because it'll take several weeks (at least) to get there"

    To get to Mars in "several weeks" would require a propulsion system with considerably more punch than standard fuel-oxidizer type rocket engines. Current estimates range from 7 to 9 months in space flight to reach Mars. Both legs of the trip would require waiting for the planet's orbits to align correctly before launching. (and if you miss it, it's another two year wait until the next launch window.)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 21 Oct 2014 @ 9:01pm

      Re: several weeks (at least)

      While it's very clear that chemical propulsion is rather inadequate for a trip to mars (for two reasons -- they're very slow, as you point out, and you need to take quite a bit of fuel with you), there are two technologies right now that could get people to mars in about two months: ion propulsion and nuclear thermal propulsion.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anon, 22 Oct 2014 @ 8:41am

        Re: Re: several weeks (at least)

        Or we could just stop suppressing the discoveries of Dr. Thomas Townsend Brown.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          RonKaminsky (profile), 22 Oct 2014 @ 12:53pm

          Re: Re: Re: several weeks (at least)

          > Or we could just stop suppressing the discoveries of Dr. Thomas Townsend Brown.

          You don't understand! If we (you know, those of us really in charge) shut off the Brown effect suppression field, terrorists will be able to block the gravity of the Sun, sending the Earth spinning out of its orbit and killing us all!

          /sarc

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Oct 2014 @ 11:57am

    They Just Need Gaming Servers on Board

    I know that if I was put on a mission to Mars, I would be totally happy with a World of Warcraft Private Server to toodle around in just to kill time on the trip.

    I know people have been killing time for 10 years now on that game. haha. (Can't poke too much fun since it's been 6 years myself.)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 22 Oct 2014 @ 12:02pm

      Re: They Just Need Gaming Servers on Board

      Never having played WoW, I could be way offbase with this -- but isn't the primary attraction of the game that you're playing against many other human beings? A private server where it's just you (or maybe a couple of fellow travelers) seems like it would get boring really quickly.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    RonKaminsky (profile), 22 Oct 2014 @ 1:11pm

    Moon first, please...

    I find the preoccupation with Mars as a place for human settlement silly. It seems obvious to me that we'd be much better off using the Moon as a site for improving our technical ability to make robots which could be useful (and probably essential) to "break ground" before sending humans (since neither Mars nor the Moon have strong enough magnetic fields for radiation shielding, the only way for humans to survive there for long periods is to stay deep underground most of the time).

    Mars has the advantage of having an atmosphere and (probably more) water, but it is just too cold and too far away from the Sun. Temperatures in the shade there are approximately the temperature of dry ice.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Close

Add A Reply

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat

Warning: include(/home/beta6/deploy/itasca_20201215-3691-c395/includes/right_column/rc_promo_discord_chat.inc): failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /home/beta6/deploy/itasca_20201215-3691-c395/includes/right_column/rc_module_promo.inc on line 8

Warning: include(): Failed opening '/home/beta6/deploy/itasca_20201215-3691-c395/includes/right_column/rc_promo_discord_chat.inc' for inclusion (include_path='.:/usr/share/pear:/home/beta6/deploy/itasca_20201215-3691-c395:/home/beta6/deploy/itasca_20201215-3691-c395/..') in /home/beta6/deploy/itasca_20201215-3691-c395/includes/right_column/rc_module_promo.inc on line 8
Recent Stories
.

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it
Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.