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Swamprat
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xx The Journey To and Life On
« Thread started on: Sep 17th, 2017, 3:03pm »

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"What’s a future for if not to dream big? ... Setting sail to Mars, putting in place a thriving civilization on that far-off world, is a quest unprecedented in history. It is time to place humankind on that trajectory. I fervently believe it is our rendezvous with destiny.” – Buzz Aldrin, Destination Mars.

Below, take a deep look at humankind’s efforts to step foot on the Red Planet in the 2030s, and read guest essayist Buzz Aldrin’s ideas on how we can accomplish this magnificent feat. Also included is an article by James Dean outlining some of the potential issues in coping with a Mars mission.


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By Buzz Aldrin
September 17, 2017

Having farsighted goals and objectives is a trait of bold space exploration planning.

For my part, over the last 30 years I have been a vocal and global advocate for establishing a permanent human settlement on Mars. Our reach for that world summons the very best of humankind to make this lofty ambition a reality.

Let me detail a blueprint for the red planet, a plan that will get people to Mars by 2039, a plan to create a sustainable path to permanent inhabitation of Mars. No flags, footprints and scurrying back to Earth this time. I call it Cycling Pathways to Occupy Mars, or CPOM for short.

Here is my vision: In 2039 or earlier, I believe we can have one or two Earth-Mars “Cyclers” taking astronauts to Mars on a three-month trip every two or four years. Crews will be transported to the Earth Mars Cycler with a single launch with refueling in Earth orbit. Doing so means that the cost of sending an astronaut to Mars will be an order of magnitude cheaper than the expeditionary architectures so often discussed today.

More to the point: By dramatically lowering the cost of transporting astronauts to Mars, it is, by far, the most sustainable approach to permanent inhabitation of Mars.

LONG-HAUL TRANSPORTATION

To routinely depart Earth, I foresee long-haul transportation systems. These deep space cruisers not only continuously cycle between Earth and the moon but also constantly transfer explorers and settlers between Mars and Earth. A fully reusable lunar and interplanetary system is the best way of transporting people and cargo across the vast vacuum of space.

I call these reusable spacecraft Cyclers because they are put in motion first between Earth and the moon and then between Mars and Earth. Very much like ocean liners, the Cycler system would unendingly glide along predictable pathways, moving people, equipment and other materials to and from Earth over inner solar system mileage.

A sequential buildup of a Full Cycling Network should be put in place, geared to the maturation of moon and Mars activities. What can evolve is having Earth, the moon and Mars forming a celestial triad of worlds. This trio of celestial bodies will become busy hubs for the ebb and flow of people, cargo and commerce traversing the inner solar system.

KEY PRINCIPLES
There are several precepts underlying my CPOM master plan.

First of all, I call for a presidential commitment on the 50th anniversary of the first Apollo landing on the moon in 2019 to achieve a continued occupation on Mars with international crews.

There is need for U.S. leadership to shape a Global Lunar Mars Coalition that embraces major spacefaring nations, including Europe, Russia, India, Japan and China, as well as emerging space actors like the United Arab Emirates, South Korea and Saudi Arabia.

We can afford to go to Mars, but we must have fiscal discipline. That requires focusing our limited resources on only those things that are truly necessary to get to Mars. In my view, we are currently spending more than $6 billion on programs that we do not need to get to Mars.

A key guideline for CPOM is reusability. Every element of the system — from the lunar and planetary landers to habitation systems — is used multiple times for multiple purposes.

Once again, the foundation for human space transportation is the Cycler. The Cycler is an evolutionary spacecraft concept that begins as a commercial Low Earth Orbit Cycler. It replaces the International Space Station and then evolves to house crew and tourists transiting between Earth and the moon, going on from there to provide a habitat in lunar orbit, then supports crew transport outward to Venus, which then leads to the orbiting of the Mars moon Phobos and finally as the permanent crew transport system between Earth and Mars.

TESTING GROUND
Let me underscore another key precept. With mostly international contributions, we need to use the moon to test our systems and operations for Mars. But we need to be clear that anything we use on the moon must be testing Mars operations and systems. We cannot afford to design and test two entirely separate surface architectures — one solely for the moon, one just for Mars.

For example, there’s an important commodity that can be drawn from the moon. That is a commercial supply of lunar propellants. Using rocket fuel from the moon will reduce the cost of transporting cargo to Mars by several factors. Utilizing lunar-based propellants to fuel reusable lunar landers and tankers will revolutionize in-space transportation among Earth, the moon and Mars.

My bottom line: Putting in place sustainable permanence through cycling pathways reduces the cost of sending crews to Mars by an order of magnitude over traditional expeditionary means.

This approach to Mars inhabitation is outbound-biased. All of the people who transit to Mars will remain there for the rest of their lives. This requires very different thinking about how we live and work on Mars.

MARTIAN LIFESTYLE
My bridge-building plan that links Earth, the moon and Mars will not come about easily. A major challenge that must be faced early on in occupying the Red Planet is how best to make it selfsufficient. Shipping to Mars the resources to reliably support a human stay on Mars is prohibitively expensive. We need to “live off the land” by using local resources on Mars, its water, soil and other assets, some of which, I am positive, have yet to be identified.

We can’t fool ourselves. A sustainable civilization on Mars is extraordinarily complex. There’s need to think through almost every aspect of human society and scope it for another planet. Furthermore, we cannot ignore the problems of mental and social health of those pioneering inhabitants of Mars.

Creating a “lifestyle” on Mars demands space transportation, power production and food supplies, and relying on construction materials on that world. I envision that the society on Mars begins as Earth’s most international endeavor ever conceived.

Yes, achieving over the next decades the scientific and technological wherewithal to facilitate and sustain the arrival of humans on Mars is indeed intimidating … but what’s a future for if not to dream big?

To occupy Mars is a task like no other. This enterprise can unite the great nations of the world in a purely peaceful and cooperative way.

Setting sail to Mars, putting in place a thriving civilization on that far-off world, is a quest unprecedented in history. It is time to place humankind on that trajectory. I fervently believe it is our rendezvous with destiny.

Apollo 11 moonwalker Buzz Aldrin is an international advocate of space science and planetary exploration. Aldrin and co-author Leonard David wrote “Mission to Mars — My Vision for Space Exploration,” published in 2013. Aldrin’s latest children’s book, “Welcome to Mars: Making a Home on the Red Planet,” co-authored with Marianne Dyson, was published in September 2014. Aldrin and Ken Abraham’s book, “No Dream Is Too High: Life Lessons From a Man Who Walked on the Moon,” was released in April 2015.

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« Reply #1 on: Sep 17th, 2017, 3:08pm »

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CONQUERING THE MIND ON MARS

The human psyche might be the toughest challenge for a successful Mars mission

JAMES DEAN FLORIDA TODAY
9/17/17

Earth is so far away, you can see it only as a speck of light in the sky. A reply to your urgent message home won’t arrive for more than 40 minutes. And one of the handful of crewmates sharing your cramped living quarters for more than a year is starting to get on your nerves. Welcome to the first outpost on Mars.

It’s the destination NASA and private company SpaceX want humans to reach in the next couple of decades — for the government, a small exploratory crew, and for Elon Musk, the first 100 settlers establishing a colony. Simply getting people to the red planet, where only robots have roamed, will be a monumental challenge. Rockets, spaceships, landers and habitats will take years and billions of dollars to develop.

While engineers focus on that important technical work, researchers also are studying how explorers or settlers will cope emotionally and socially during a multiyear space expedition far more distant than any yet.

NASA’s longest stay on the lunar surface was about three days, and on the International Space Station nearly a year.

A mission to Mars — 140 million miles from Earth, on average — involves journeys of more than six months there and back and a minimum stay longer than a year.

“Psychology turns out to be one of the key issues that nobody has been really thinking about,” said Andy Aldrin, director of Florida Institute of Technology’s Buzz Aldrin Space Institute, which hosted a workshop on the subject recently at Kennedy Space Center. “What we are talking about is people on another planet forever. That presents a whole bunch of psychological issues that we don’t have any way of really thinking about.”

Many will be positive: pride in a pioneering mission, a spirit of adventure and scientific discovery, and satisfaction in achieving something great.

But from Skylab to Mir to the ISS, experience living for long periods in low Earth orbit has shown that even elite, highly trained astronauts confront stress in such extreme environments. Mars will be much more extreme.

“It’s really different going to the space station versus being the first people to go to Mars for such an extended period of time,” said Jessica Wildman, an assistant professor in Florida Tech’s School of Psychology who has researched team dynamics and “self-maintenance” for NASA. “We’re anticipating that the stressors will be stronger.”

EARTH AS A STAR
If life in microgravity gets stressful, International Space Station astronauts often retreat to the outpost’s windowed Cupola.

Gazing down at the Earth spinning 250 miles below helps them to relax, recharge their spirits and reconnect with home.

That outlet won’t be available on Mars, and no one knows the consequences.

“What effect is it going to have for folks who do these long-duration exploration missions to not see Earth?” said Wendy Bedwell, president of Tampa-based PACE Consulting Solutions, who performs NASAfunded research on crews simulating Mars missions. “What happens when home is a speck in sky?”

Unlike many other mission conditions, the “Earth as a star” or “Earth out of view” phenomenon can’t be simulated. But it may be significant.

To date, astronauts report feeling profoundly changed by seeing Earth as a blue marble floating in space, by seeing the fragility of the environment and atmosphere that sustain all life as we know it. For some, their spirituality is strengthened.

“This has a lot of ramifications in terms of living on Mars, where Earth is not such a big, beautiful ball; it’s this little, insignificant dot,” said Nick Kanas, professor emeritus at the University of California at San Francisco and author of “Humans in Space: The Psychological Hurdles.”

CONFINEMENT
With a living area equivalent to a sixbedroom home, the International Space Station is substantially roomier than early Mars habitats might be.

But living there still isn’t easy, said former NASA astronaut Scott Kelly, one of only two people who have lived on the station for nearly a year — twice as long as a typical mission.

“There’s no sun, wind, rain,” Kelly recalled during a recent appearance at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex promoting its “Summer of Mars” campaign.

“You can’t get away. You can’t call Uber.”

Every nook of the station is crammed with hardware, supplies and even trash. One astronaut described it to a researcher as resembling “Walmart after an earthquake.”

Mars explorers occasionally will get outside and leave boot prints or rover tracks on the surface, but spacewalks are not likely to be frequent or for pleasure.

Aspiring space explorers, often adventurous lovers of the outdoors, must understand the constraints.

SOCIAL ISOLATION
Had a rough day at work? You can go home and vent to friends or family.

Mars explorers, perhaps six or fewer on the first expedition, won’t have that luxury. They’ll be together all day, every day, for at least two or three years.

Normal conversation with family or Mission Control won’t be possible. Any communication will take more than 20 minutes to travel each way when the planets are farthest apart from each other, on opposite sides of the sun.

“If all your real-time communication is just with the six people that are physically with you, that’s pretty limiting in terms of your social circle,” Wildman said. “How do you vent when the people you want to vent about are the people you have to vent to?”

MONOTONY
It’s the greatest adventure imaginable — extending humanity’s presence to another planet. Could one possibly be bored?

In reality, systems are mostly automated and may be controlled remotely from Earth. Much of the routine work involves not trailblazing but science experiments, equipment maintenance and chores, like cleaning a bathroom or preparing meals.

That mismatch between expectations and reality can be jarring.

“I’m colonizing Mars, but really minute by minute, I’m going through this schedule of mundane activities, and that feels strange,” Wildman said.

Mission planners will need to think carefully about how to keep crews entertained.

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THIRD-QUARTER EFFECT
Halfway through a marathon mission, it hits you: There’s still another half to go.

Antarctic expeditions have exhibited this “third-quarter effect,” in which crew members might feel depressed or anxious, or tensions between crew members could rise just after the halfway point.

Kanas, who has studied Mir and ISS astronauts and cosmonauts, hasn’t found the effect consistently in spaceflight, but Bedwell has at the simulated Mars habitat 8,200 feet up on Hawaii’s Mauna Loa volcano.

Asked after an eight-month mission there if they could have lasted longer, participants all said no.

“Had it been longer, that could have been a real issue,” she said.

FRESH FOOD
Astronauts eat shelf-stabilized food from pouches and cans every meal.

NASA is experimenting with growing crops that could supplement deep space explorers’ diets with fresh food and nutrients.

In a small growth chamber on the ISS called Veggie, astronauts have grown heads of red romaine lettuce, zinnia flowers and, most recently, Chinese cabbage.

Besides the occasional crunch of a fresh lettuce leaf, astronauts report that they enjoy taking care of the plants.

“There’s lots of feedback from the astronauts that they love to have the plants; they like to tend them; they like seeing living things,” said Ray Wheeler, a NASA plant physiologist at KSC. “To provide these supplemental foods, we think, is very important in terms of the nutrition, but also in terms of human well-being.”

GETTING ALONG
When hardware breaks or emergencies happen, astronauts are highly trained to react and solve problems together. Overcoming such challenges can be a positive bonding experience.

But during routine, day-to-day activities, small personality conflicts can prove more problematic.

“We have many, many stories of little irks, cultural misunderstandings that led to frustration, and those actually cause bigger problems,” Wildman said.

One example: An ISS astronaut described tension that built up over dinners, which one crew member saw as a chatty social time, while another just wanted to eat quietly. In another case, crewmates from different countries disagreed on how to report a problem to the ground.

Anyone can get along for a while, Kanas said. “After about six weeks, the jokes aren’t so funny, the tension increases, and then you’re really in business in terms of what you’re going to see in terms of studying long-term psychosocial effects,” he said.

Bedwell, who studies crews simulating Mars missions at the Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation, or HI-SEAS, said the same annoyances that might cause a marital spat — the toothpaste cap not screwed on properly — crop up in the 1,200-square-foot habitat that offers almost no privacy.

“You can imagine an isolated and confined environment is sort of like a pressure cooker, that all the little things that occur normally bubble up much more quickly,” she said.

Despite such inevitable conflicts, Bedwell said, crews’ commitment to completing missions lasting six months to a year has never faltered.

AUTONOMY
Even short communication delays of less than a minute can cause frustration and lower morale, researchers have found.

Delays on Mars will be much longer, lasting between four and 24 minutes. That will fundamentally change the crew’s relationship to home and Mission Control, requiring astronauts to work more independently and operate with less support.

The balance of control between ground teams and space crews can be tricky. In 1973, Skylab 4 astronauts led a “mutiny in space,” officially called an unplanned day off, during which they refused to talk with the ground.

EARTH, WE HAVE A PROBLEM
If a life-or-death crisis strikes, the fate of a Mars crew won’t be left solely in Mission Control’s hands, as during the “successful failure” of Apollo 13.

The entire world will be engaged, and properly harnessing modern networking and crowdsourcing technologies may solve problems that a small group could not, said Vas Taras, associate professor of management at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

“A mission like this will have probably the biggest support base,” he said. “We will have, obviously, the experts who work for the mission, but also millions of people who will be willing to help. That presents huge challenges but also wonderful opportunities.”

Welcome to the team.

COMING HOME
Adjusting to life back on Earth after extended periods in low gravity is physically challenging.

Explorers returning from Mars will be hailed as global celebrities, like the first astronauts and Apollo moonwalkers, adding to the challenge of reintegrating back to their old lives.

So why worry about these social issues before the rockets and spaceships are even ready?

As Andy Aldrin said one researcher put it, we’re not really sending a spacecraft to Mars. “We’re even not sending a person to Mars,” he said. “Ultimately, you’re sending a 6-pound brain.”

Like tests of new technology, studies of behavior and team dynamics are about reducing risks on dangerous and expensive deep space missions.

“Interpersonal implosions are a low probability but hugely problematic if they do happen,” Wildman said. “The goal is to select and train crews so that maybe you never have the problem.”

The crews selected for a Mars mission will be extraordinary, said Wheeler, the plant physiologist. “But anything you can do to keep their well-being and performance factors at a higher level, I think is critical,” he said.

Scientists and mission planners today rely on a variety of analogs, or simulated missions like HI-SEAS, to learn what issues are likely to arise and how to mitigate them.

At HI-SEAS, one of the best analogs available on the ground, Bedwell said even crews who were glad their missions were over remained optimistic about the prospects for one day exploring Mars.

“Almost all of them say, ‘Absolutely, I’d go tomorrow,’ ” she said. “So even though it was difficult, the benefits far outweighed anything they experienced.”

SOURCE: USA Today

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« Reply #3 on: Sep 18th, 2017, 2:09pm »

Got to ask this, and I appreciate that it may be misconstrued by some.

When the time comes to select the crew to to to Mars, will any Muslim members be included ?

Anyone who reads the news can see why I ask this.

Particularly from the interpersonal perspective.

I know it may be difficult to say to any believers in Islam who may apply, 'sorry, but we don't trust you'. But maybe it will be the safe way to go.

Perhaps everyone should read 'Red Mars' by Kim Stanley Robinson, to get a taste for what could happen.

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« Reply #4 on: Sep 29th, 2017, 09:43am »

Elon Musk Wants Giant SpaceX Spaceship to Fly People to Mars by 2024

https://www.space.com/38313-elon-musk-spacex-fly-people-to-mars-2024.html

Lockheed Martin unveils reusable water-powered Mars lander

https://phys.org/news/2017-09-lockheed-martin-unveils-reusable-water-powered.html
« Last Edit: Sep 29th, 2017, 11:18am by Cliff-67 » User IP Logged

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xx Re: The Journey To and Life On
« Reply #5 on: Oct 1st, 2017, 08:56am »

on Sep 29th, 2017, 09:43am, Cliff-67 wrote:
Elon Musk Wants Giant SpaceX Spaceship to Fly People to Mars by 2024

https://www.space.com/38313-elon-musk-spacex-fly-people-to-mars-2024.html




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