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Manned Mars Mission In 2014?

michael posted more than 14 years ago | from the opportunity-knocks dept.

Space 17

simonj writes: "BBC News Online carried a report that, according to an American academic, the best time for a manned Mars mission will be in 2014. Apparently, Earth, Mars and Venus will be in alignment, allowing a gravitational slingshot manoeuvre."

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NASA isn't the only one... (1)

doobie (2546) | more than 14 years ago | (#857218)

NASA isn't the only one planning Moon/Mars missions, I think that a mission to either one will be better played out if it were in the commercial sector. NASA will only use it as a strategic measure, and will never be able to do it in there budget. There are a lot of small/medium/large start-ups whose goal is manned missions to the moon or Mars, I think those will be more successful than a NASA mission

Re:why wait? (2)

SEE (7681) | more than 14 years ago | (#857219)

A Mars vehicle would be built for the trip, in Earth orbit

Only if NASA decides to use the $450 billion 1989 SEI plan instead of the more recent $50 billion modified Mars Direct plan.

Steven E. Ehrbar

Re:why wait? (2)

Bearpaw (13080) | more than 14 years ago | (#857220)

OK, I understand the trip will be faster then, but it kinda defeats the purpose waiting 14 years, doesn't it?

Nope. The point of making the trip shorter isn't (necessarily) to get there sooner, it's to make the trip itself shorter. The less time it takes you to get there, the less resources you need to take with you. (Or, the longer the time you can actually spend on Mars, exploring.)

Also, the less time people spend in transition, the less stress they'll take on their physiological and psychological health.

Big enought budget? (1)

Mario B (22319) | more than 14 years ago | (#857221)

Let's hope Congress will stop cutting in the funding of NASA to allow that. A lot of new systems will need to be developed and tested to allow that to happen. Let's hope NASA will have enought money left to invest in this great "adventure". Private funding sure would help... But that's still a few years down the road and a lot of things might happen during that time.

While at Venus, pick us up some Women! /s/ MarsMen (1)

Cy Guy (56083) | more than 14 years ago | (#857222)

After all Men are fom Mars and Women are from Venus. A quick stop by Venus on the way to Mars can be used to help balance out this gender inequity.

While on the topic, I just wanted to encourage more women to get invlolved in Space sciences and science in general. Space is a great equalizer for the sexes since women are typically smaller and weigh less than men, and in a weightless (or low G) environment, any differerences in physical strength become inconsequential.

Dawning? (1)

heliocentric (74613) | more than 14 years ago | (#857223)

Will this be the dawning of the age of aquarius?

Oh wait... you didn't say that Jupiter would align with mars... sorry.

Also known as the... (1)

jon_c (100593) | more than 14 years ago | (#857224)

Wily Coyote Sling Shot Maneuver

beepbeep

Retarded! (1)

superdan2k (135614) | more than 14 years ago | (#857225)

Obviously, this guy subscribes to the "big dumb" mission plan. A gravity slingshot around Venus is *not* needed for a manned Mars mission. Read Zubrin's book about the Mars Direct [marsdirect.org] plan. Get a clue. This plan is the only way a manned Mars mission will ever happen.

Re:why wait? (1)

Louis_Wu (137951) | more than 14 years ago | (#857226)

The article states further on that the space shuttle could return to earth even if the main engine was inoperable. If I understood it correctly, the shuttle would "slingshot" aroud Mars to Venus, then "slingshot" around Venus to Earth.
The space shuttle wasn't mentioned in the article, and it isn't a good vehicle for inter-planetary travel. A Mars vehicle would be built for the trip, in Earth orbit. You probably knew that, and just used the first craft that popped into your head, but I thought I'd be redundant and say it anyway.

Louis Wu

"Where do you want to go ...

Re:why wait? (1)

danderson (157560) | more than 14 years ago | (#857227)

Actually, according to the article:
the position of the planets will provide an escape route back to Earth in the event of an accident.

The article states further on that the space shuttle could return to earth even if the main engine was inoperable. If I understood it correctly, the shuttle would "slingshot" aroud Mars to Venus, then "slingshot" around Venus to Earth.

Re:why wait? (1)

danderson (157560) | more than 14 years ago | (#857228)

You probably knew that, and just used the first craft that popped into your head

Yeah, that's just about what happened. Thanks for pointing it out in a nice manner, rather than flaming me over it.

Re:I'm already in training for a Mars mission (1)

aarcher (158312) | more than 14 years ago | (#857229)

they could even freeze you, like in 2010, so then
you wouldnt have to eat out of a vending
machine, you could just suck on slop after
you woke up.
:)
"He who controls the spice, controls the Universe!"

why wait? (1)

.sig (180877) | more than 14 years ago | (#857230)

OK, I understand the trip will be faster then, but it kinda defeats the purpose waiting 14 years, doesn't it? If we sent someone now, he'd be there a lot sooner than 2014. The only way we're evey going to get off the planet is if we just start sending people out there (and leaving them there...)
Theoretically we could have colonized the moon by now. We have the technology, but since we can't guarentee that it's bee 100% safe, it's not going to happen. I'll go....

Re:why wait? (1)

.sig (180877) | more than 14 years ago | (#857231)

Yeah, I know, but it just seems kinda sad that we need competion to getthings done. One of my best college term papers was about the advancements in technology made during WWII. Things have gotten much better lately, but even still most of our greatest achievement, even the computres we use today, came about through one person wanting to kill another. Kinda says something about the human race, doesen't it?

Join NASA, see the world... (3)

Fruny (194844) | more than 14 years ago | (#857232)

Dear mom,

I write you this letter while I'm on my way towards Venus. We decided that since our stay on Mars has been shortened, we could afford a quick trip there. Well, I'm not sure the boss will approuve our touring, and he might deduct it from our vacation time. We've also been told by locals that Neptune was nice this time of the year.

Your loving son.

PS. If I can manage to buy postcards, I'll send you one.

I'm already in training for a Mars mission (5)

Hairy_Potter (219096) | more than 14 years ago | (#857233)

I spend over 8 hours a day in a small cubicle, getting all my social interaction fromn a computer, and eating from a vending machine.

3 years in a telephone booth to Mars and back? No problem.

Lunar Anniversary (1)

metoc (224422) | more than 14 years ago | (#857234)

A mission in 2014 would mean that their would be a human on Mars during the 50th of a man on the moon. Sounds more like wishfull PR. Doubtful all the tech will be in place by 2010, leaving only 4 years to build, test & train. We'll be lucky if the space station is fully operational by then.
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