27 July 2013
[[ “Scientists at Imperial College London have designed a concept mission to land astronauts on Mars.
The plan envisages a three-person crew journeying to Mars aboard a small two-part craft.
The craft would rotate to generate artificial gravity and use a heat shield to protect itself against solar flares.
The crew would then return to Martian orbit in a pre-sent craft fuelled using ice from beneath the planet’s surface.
The concept, developed in conjunction with the BBC, is intended to spark further debate about the technical obstacles and risks that would have to be overcome in order to put humans on Mars.” ]]
It is a good thing that Earth’s space program is made up of organizations from many nations because landing humans on Mars and later (probably much later) establishing a permanent presence will require vast amounts of money, planning, MONEY, engineering, and MORE MONEY in order to make it happen. For many years, the space program in general, and manned missions in particular have been dominated by the U.S. of A and Russia. Now there are major efforts being done by European nations, Japan, China, and India.
There are also major non-governmental organizations getting into the act now, and once someone discovers a way to make money mining asteroids, moons, and/or other planets, the space exploration effort will blossom into an industry that will probably surpass anything we can imagine at this time.
The plan for initial landing(s) of astronauts on Mars shown in the BBC present is probably as good a plan as any. Time will tell.
The colonization of Mars is a different story. The best detailed projection I have seen regarding permanent settlements on Mars the one presented in Kim Stanley Robinson’s trilogy: “Red Mars”, “Green Mars”, and “Blue Mars”. These three novels are, of course, science fiction, but Mr Robinson did his homework. For anyone who has not yet read these books, and who has an interested in space travel and the colonization of Mars, and possibly other planets and moons in our solar system, beg, borrow, or steal copies of the books and enjoy a memorable journey.
I have read all three books three times, and will probably enjoy reading them again sometime soon.
- UK team designs human mission to Mars (indiavision.com)
- How to put a human on Mars: Exploring Mars (arunbabyveranakunnel.wordpress.com)
- A new model for putting humans on Mars and getting them back again (geek.com)