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Would You Live on Mars?


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#61 slicer4ever   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3326

Posted 06 December 2012 - 12:18 AM

ok... after all this huge discussion... how many posts!!! are we talking about something serious? or everyone is writing a piece of a scifi novel?

To a degree, while the company claims they want to accomplish it in ~11 years from now, but their's no guarantees it'll happen, check L. Spiro's first post.

Since it televised, they also have an obligation to actually send people to Mars. That will be televised as well.


You are of course entirely right, I forgot about that.

yea, because that should be our sole reason to mistrust these people, because Hollywood conviced us that it'll be all fake in some B-rated 70's movie.

No laws, no government, no taxes.

So go ahead and sue them if you aren't sent what you bought. Let's just hope you're not getting too annoying and too expensive, or someone might just turn off the oxygen tap. No laws, you know...

Dude, they are getting money by advertisements/investors, they are not making money from the people selected for training.

If I wanted it to be like home, I would stay home. Besides, part of the point is to be a part of history. That means not letting those milestones be given to other people. L. Spiro

Yeah, I listed some honorable milestones there. You have this strange notion that if you need something, then there's going to be someone on Earth to Fedex you a care package every time you need it? Have money, will travel? That's not gonna help much if you get brain cancer or lose a leg. Contract a disease? Need a quick blood transfusion? Immediate medical attention will not come to you. Sorry, but I don't think Mars will be ready for civilians during your entire lifetime. And nobody is gonna fax you a nurse to wipe you arse when you get old and weak.


When did he ever say he'd get fedexed something?, perhaps you should double check the usernames of people posting, as you've clearly mixed something up.
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#62 Hodgman   Moderators   -  Reputation: 28510

Posted 06 December 2012 - 12:42 AM

they are getting money by advertisements

Someone mentioned earlier that they would trust a government program over a dodgey TV-based venture in regards to safetey.
However, being the cynic that I am, I would probably have more faith in something funded by corporate advertising budgets! Nations can deal with having heroes die for their country. It's damaging to the programme, but the nation can weather that kind of damage.
On the other hand, imagine if the "Coke rocket" explodes while transmitting the final screams of reality TV participants, or the "Pepsi station" broadcasts asphyxiation or explosive decompression... They'd have just paid billions in order to be known as the snuff TV brand. Those advertisers are paying because people will associate their brands with these events. If the events turn out to be horrible, they'll have caused irreparable harm to their brand, which they can't brush off like a nation can.
Because of that, there's just as much (if not more) incentive to ensure the safety of the "astronauts" as in a NASA programme.

#63 L. Spiro   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 12803

Posted 06 December 2012 - 02:50 AM

So, is it all about making history then?

No but I think I have a way to explain it that can make sense to everyone.

I am very happy working on game engines rather than the games themselves for a number of reasons:
#1: I am creating a foundation off of which others build.
#2: I am motivated by the fact that others will use my code to create their final products, and especially that my code will end up playing an important part in that final product even if no one else can appreciate what and how much that is.
#3: By creating the engine, I have more freedom to explore new technology and new challenges to overcome.


All of these motivational points can be found when thinking about moving to Mars to create a colony. I go there and start creating the foundation for the colony off which others will later build. My foundation will play an important part in the future development on Mars, and freedom to explore and discover, along with new challenges to overcome, are obviously par for the course.
If I were going just to do research and then come back, I would honestly not be interested. Not only does that take away my #1 and #2, it takes away my #4 which does not apply to engine development: Visiting a place just makes me sad when I have to leave. Only by living there can I really be satisfied (assuming I have an interest in that place—many places I would prefer to just visit).
I purposely missed my plane back to America when I visited Thailand because I didn’t want to return back to that same old routine. I wanted to completely refresh my life, and having not yet found a stable job it was a risky move. I am no stranger to taking life-altering risks (as another example, after leaving my first job in Japan finding a new job was not happening. I had enough for one more month of rent and a guaranteed offer in Hong Kong, yet I decided to take the risk and bet all or nothing that I would get a job in that last month), and I am aware of the risks involved in this undertaking.

Then you have the added bonus that everyone dies, but not everyone ends up in history books.
Everyone dies, but not everyone lives…

…on Mars.


In order to stay sane I have had to move to new countries several times, and moving to another planet would be the ultimate refresh. There are no places on this Earth better for me to go than Tokyo so I am pretty-much done refreshing my life as far as Earth goes. But if I am not limited to Earth, the pros for living on Mars far outweigh the cons from my point-of-view.


L. Spiro

Edited by L. Spiro, 06 December 2012 - 02:54 AM.

It is amazing how often people try to be unique, and yet they are always trying to make others be like them. - L. Spiro 2011
I spent most of my life learning the courage it takes to go out and get what I want. Now that I have it, I am not sure exactly what it is that I want. - L. Spiro 2013
I went to my local Subway once to find some guy yelling at the staff. When someone finally came to take my order and asked, “May I help you?”, I replied, “Yeah, I’ll have one asshole to go.”
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#64 megabaki   Members   -  Reputation: 126

Posted 06 December 2012 - 04:27 AM

I just think this whole thing is too soon, too risky. NASA isn't sending people to Mars. Some Dutch company is.
And their record for sending people/equipment to Mars is ... zero. You might not even survive the trip there.
If you do, you'll have nightmares every night thinking you'll suffocate in your sleep from a lack of air.

#65 L. Spiro   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 12803

Posted 06 December 2012 - 04:57 AM

That is why they spend 10 years sending ships there.
If at the end of it we are not convinced, we back out and take our $200,000-per-year salaries with us.
If they manage to send more than half of the ships there, we go along with the plan in faith, but still knowing the risks that we may die along the way.

In the end it is still our choices.


L. Spiro
It is amazing how often people try to be unique, and yet they are always trying to make others be like them. - L. Spiro 2011
I spent most of my life learning the courage it takes to go out and get what I want. Now that I have it, I am not sure exactly what it is that I want. - L. Spiro 2013
I went to my local Subway once to find some guy yelling at the staff. When someone finally came to take my order and asked, “May I help you?”, I replied, “Yeah, I’ll have one asshole to go.”
L. Spiro Engine: http://lspiroengine.com
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#66 Alpha_ProgDes   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4688

Posted 06 December 2012 - 05:37 AM

I'd move to one of these, after the asteroid-mining business booms so we can build them:
http://www.theatlant...es-future/1085/
http://settlement.ar...70sArt/art.html

IMO, colonising other planets should come after that, as we'd be in a much better position to start a moon/Mars base once an orbital economy is up and running Posted Image


Are you're lying if you say that you wouldn't fight for the Duchy of Zeon and ride around in a DOM.

As far as being the first colonist of Mars.... nah. As far as living on Mars once it was habitable and pretty much like Earth (as far as technology and access), then hell yeah.
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#67 Bubsy   Members   -  Reputation: 407

Posted 06 December 2012 - 06:45 AM

Never ... I can only imagine the amount of homesickness I'd fell, and the worst thing, I'd know that there'd be nothing I could do to make it easier.

#68 szecs   Members   -  Reputation: 2102

Posted 06 December 2012 - 11:36 AM


So, is it all about making history then?

No but I think I have a way to explain it that can make sense to everyone.

I am very happy working on game engines rather than the games themselves for a number of reasons:
#1: I am creating a foundation off of which others build.
#2: I am motivated by the fact that others will use my code to create their final products, and especially that my code will end up playing an important part in that final product even if no one else can appreciate what and how much that is.
#3: By creating the engine, I have more freedom to explore new technology and new challenges to overcome.


All of these motivational points can be found when thinking about moving to Mars to create a colony. I go there and start creating the foundation for the colony off which others will later build. My foundation will play an important part in the future development on Mars, and freedom to explore and discover, along with new challenges to overcome, are obviously par for the course.
If I were going just to do research and then come back, I would honestly not be interested. Not only does that take away my #1 and #2, it takes away my #4 which does not apply to engine development: Visiting a place just makes me sad when I have to leave. Only by living there can I really be satisfied (assuming I have an interest in that place—many places I would prefer to just visit).
I purposely missed my plane back to America when I visited Thailand because I didn’t want to return back to that same old routine. I wanted to completely refresh my life, and having not yet found a stable job it was a risky move. I am no stranger to taking life-altering risks (as another example, after leaving my first job in Japan finding a new job was not happening. I had enough for one more month of rent and a guaranteed offer in Hong Kong, yet I decided to take the risk and bet all or nothing that I would get a job in that last month), and I am aware of the risks involved in this undertaking.

Then you have the added bonus that everyone dies, but not everyone ends up in history books.
Everyone dies, but not everyone lives…

…on Mars.


In order to stay sane I have had to move to new countries several times, and moving to another planet would be the ultimate refresh. There are no places on this Earth better for me to go than Tokyo so I am pretty-much done refreshing my life as far as Earth goes. But if I am not limited to Earth, the pros for living on Mars far outweigh the cons from my point-of-view.


L. Spiro

I understand. I went to Finland just to be there. I wanted to be a lumberjack or deer shepherd. I could have easily find a well paid job in my home country, I didn't have anything in Finland (no friends, relatives). It didn't work out in Hungary, back to home again.

I think I understand you, I am a bit same, but I want to make history on Earth (adventure, epicness, all that shit) and I prefer the fantasy line to the sci-fi line. But I also feel that this ambition is not really a good thing. And I also think you haven't been to all places on Earth. Maybe you could try to live in a desert. Just to "practice". I'm serious. Why wait for some program? I think it should be doable to do it on your own, maybe you could find other people who would be interested.

Edited by szecs, 06 December 2012 - 11:37 AM.


#69 kseh   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1956

Posted 06 December 2012 - 02:21 PM

L. Spiro, I wish you the best of luck. I'd love to see the endeavour succeed and it'd be cool to claim a brush with fame.

But I will be honest, because you seem to try to be for others,

I didn’t want to return back to that same old routine.
...
In order to stay sane I have had to move to new countries several times,


This doesn't give me hope that you'd be selected. If you're the sort of person that gets tired of the project you're working on or the place you live in, how are you going to do in a place that will effectively limit your movements like a prison would with literally no hope of leaving? At least, find out if that trait is going to be something that works for you as a selling point or if will it work against you.

Even though you would be in an exciting place forging an unprecedented path for future generations, do you think you'd be able to handle an indefinite monotonous routine? The answer has to be, "Yes". Not, "I think so."

Again, I wish you luck and hope you succeed. Even if you're not one of the first 4, the first 50, or 1000 or getting selected at any point would still be historic and worth working towards.

#70 L. Spiro   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 12803

Posted 06 December 2012 - 03:38 PM

Maybe you could try to live in a desert. Just to "practice". I'm serious. Why wait for some program? I think it should be doable to do it on your own, maybe you could find other people who would be interested.

That is part of the training, actually. Every 2 years each team spends 3 months in the desert and uses a Mars suit to go outside of the camp. The point is of course to test how well you handle being isolated with a small group of people long-term, but just the fact that I would be exploring new territory for myself would be exciting too.


This doesn't give me hope that you'd be selected. If you're the sort of person that gets tired of the project you're working on or the place you live in, how are you going to do in a place that will effectively limit your movements like a prison would with literally no hope of leaving?

I thought about that too, but I am positive it would not be a problem. Basically I considered Tokyo to be my final destination and I have been fine with that. Compared to living on a new planet it was a fairly small change in my life, but I found ways to keep it fresh by doing many different things such as acting on Japanese TV etc.

But I still feel the same gravity, I still see the same moon, my diet only changed a little, etc.
I was fine with such a small change in my life as long as I thought there was nothing above it—no cooler and more exotic place to be.
Likewise I understand that Mars would be my final destination, but the amount of change would be so huge that it would satisfy me for life, and just as with Tokyo I would be happy to stay there as long as I never felt there was a cooler place to be. For me the only better place to be would be aboard a starship like in Star Trek, but that one I seriously doubt will happen in my time, so, just as I once considered Tokyo to be my final destination, I would consider Mars to be my final destination, and be fine with that.


L. Spiro
It is amazing how often people try to be unique, and yet they are always trying to make others be like them. - L. Spiro 2011
I spent most of my life learning the courage it takes to go out and get what I want. Now that I have it, I am not sure exactly what it is that I want. - L. Spiro 2013
I went to my local Subway once to find some guy yelling at the staff. When someone finally came to take my order and asked, “May I help you?”, I replied, “Yeah, I’ll have one asshole to go.”
L. Spiro Engine: http://lspiroengine.com
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#71 Alpha_ProgDes   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4688

Posted 07 December 2012 - 08:09 PM

@Spiro: Wouldn't living on a barren wasteland lose its luster after a few months? I mean there's nothing there. Sands and rocks. Unless you're the nature, rock-climbing type. I don't see Mars having a lot of interesting things to keep one busy or fascinated.
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#72 Olof Hedman   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2689

Posted 08 December 2012 - 03:28 AM

Yeah, living on mars within the next few decades would probably be a lot more like living in a tent in a desert, then close to anything star trek.
Except the tent would likely have more conveniences, like (realtime) internet and access to health care. And breathable air outside.
And you won't have global months long dust storms that will kill you if you go outside, and in the meantime clogs all your equipment.

I think I would be really annoyed after a few weeks with all the red dust finding its way into every crevice... Not to mention the long term health risks of breathing it.
And also very much long to see something... thats not another red rock... :)

You have an urge to "keep things fresh" even in Tokyo. are you really sure you wont feel this urge after a few months where-ever you might be? Those urges are usually a lot more about your personality, then it has to do with any location.
And going to Mars severely limits your options of "keeping things fresh" in the future.

It's of course very admirable to be a pioneer, and I really believe that the way forward for humanity is out into space.
I'm a bit worried though that this Dutch company is rushing things, for the sake of fame and cash.
Sending a couple of people to a tent on Mars just because you can seems a bit cruel to me.

I too think that you should start with orbital bases, get some kind of economy running, find fuel to mine, and make it feasible to shuttle people back and forth before starting to do surface bases for humans.
All of that can be done with robotic drones, without having to risk human lives just because someone wants to be famous.

Edited by Olof Hedman, 08 December 2012 - 03:30 AM.


#73 Art Whiz   Members   -  Reputation: 193

Posted 08 December 2012 - 11:58 AM

This is a very interesting topic, Spiro, even though I don't buy that "worldwide lottery to select 40 people". It's only logical that people who are perfectly healthy and incredibly smart to be chosen first. It's easy to talk about building your own self-sufficient colony but it's harder to apply the knowledge needed to actually do it. Also, because supplies are not guaranteed, the people living inside the colony need to be extremely smart scientists to make their own materials, based on what they have available on the surface of Mars.

Build your own rocket? Com'on! NASA is still having trouble with their missiles, and they have an army or scientists. No high-speed Internet? That would not a problem for me; as long as there's still some sort of occasional communications means to Earth. I have on my hard drives thousands of books to keep me busy and will learn lots of new skills that would push away the boredom. I would also need my copy of Fallout 3 with me. After all, Mars is just a big really big wasteland. LoL!

Seriously now, a trip to Mars and the perspective of no return feel like a buzz killer to me. It would be a very dangerous thing to do... Imagine you and the other colonists would get really sick, like contracting an epidemic or something. There's no hospital around for millions of miles. What then? Also, provided that every member has a precise role in the community, if something happens to him/her, then everything goes to hell. For this very reason, I think it's important that the future colonists be trained in multiple fields of work.

[...]everyone dies, but not everyone ends up in history books. Everyone dies, but not everyone lives...

Whether or not you're going, you would have to be completely sure that this is what you really want in life and that you're ready to support the consequences of your choice. If ending in history books is your dream, then that's fine. If it's being the first human to land on Mars, it's fine again. But going to Mars because "not everyone lives" would be wrong. There are still lots of things to be done down here on Earth. You just don't know it yet.

I find the whole notion of starting up a civilization from scratch very interesting and it is something I've dreamed to do since I was a little boy, after reading Asimov's Foundation series. So, yeah, I'll definitely go! As for people who say "why don't you go live in the desert for a while", seriously? How is that similar to building a colony? The complicated relationships between people, the high-tech equipment, the undergoing science experiments... you're missing the point people!

Anyway, here's a question for you, Spiro: Why not go to the Moon first, establish a base there and gathering whatever knowledge is needed for the future pioneers of space to go live on Mars later on? Again, great topic. Thanks for that! ;)

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#74 Oberon_Command   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1814

Posted 08 December 2012 - 08:37 PM

Build your own rocket? Com'on! NASA is still having trouble with their missiles, and they have an army or scientists.



Rocket building/design is no longer NASA's expertise and has not been for a long time. Most of the US's rocket design experience and knowledge is now in industry, particularly at aerospace giants like Boeing and Lockheed Martin (whence came ULA, the company that currently handles the Atlas and Delta rocket families) and smaller players like Orbital and SpaceX. In fact, the only currently flying (ie. in service) US rockets are now built and flown by private industry. Last time I looked at this, it was SpaceX that was to be the launch vehicle and possibly the spacecraft contractor for Mars One, assuming the Mars One actually ends up getting something off the ground.

Why not go to the Moon first, establish a base there and gathering whatever knowledge is needed for the future pioneers of space to go live on Mars later on?


What knowledge exactly are you proposing to get from a lunar colony that would be applicable to a Martian colony? I doubt re-purposing hardware would be effective. Lunar and Martian colonies might have superficial similarities, but the actual engineering is likely to be very different, as Luna and Mars are rather different places. Martian hardware would have to be designed to cope with an atmosphere and the periodic dust storms that happen on that planet, for one thing, while lunar hardware would have to take into account the 15-day lunar night and the lack of a protective atmosphere and magnetic field.

Edited by Oberon_Command, 08 December 2012 - 08:39 PM.


#75 Art Whiz   Members   -  Reputation: 193

Posted 08 December 2012 - 09:55 PM

We are talking about rockets capable of covering vast distances of space, not orbital rockets. I can't recal the last time when private contractors have sent a rocket to the Moon. Do you?

As for what we can learn about living on the Moon, well... living is space of course. The harsh conditions, the obstacles the colonists might face down there, how to create a long-term self-sustaining environment. Yes, I know we have the ISS, but I think that living on the surface of a planet/moon is going to be very different. Also, if missions to the Moon were successful, then we gain the confidence that we need; then we know we can do this, we are motivated towards embarking on what can be a one-way trip.

Anyway, the Moon is closer. Embarking head forward on a journey toward Mars feels to me a little bit like Sunshine - a desparate attempt that has slim chances of success. I'm just saying; I would still go to the Mars if given the opportunity... Posted Image

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#76 L. Spiro   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 12803

Posted 08 December 2012 - 09:57 PM

@Spiro: Wouldn't living on a barren wasteland lose its luster after a few months? I mean there's nothing there. Sands and rocks. Unless you're the nature, rock-climbing type. I don't see Mars having a lot of interesting things to keep one busy or fascinated.

The struggle for survival and building the foundation for future colonists are what make it interesting. The scenery, red skies, 2 moons, and gravity will lengthen my interest in the place but will eventually lose luster. But every 2 years new people will come. That keeps it more interesting, and who knows what discoveries are to be made.
There are also many other things to do to keep myself entertained. My mother praised my ability to find ways to entertain myself as a child. But who knows. That is why we train in the desert for months at a time.


Yeah, living on mars within the next few decades would probably be a lot more like living in a tent in a desert, then close to anything star trek.
Except the tent would likely have more conveniences, like (realtime) internet and access to health care. And breathable air outside.
And you won't have global months long dust storms that will kill you if you go outside, and in the meantime clogs all your equipment.

Just because it is nothing like Star Trek does not make it less appealing to me. After all I am quite happy in Tokyo so far. It isn’t about the amenities of life, it is about living on a new world.


You have an urge to "keep things fresh" even in Tokyo. are you really sure you wont feel this urge after a few months where-ever you might be? Those urges are usually a lot more about your personality, then it has to do with any location.
And going to Mars severely limits your options of "keeping things fresh" in the future.

We will see on the training missions, although living in the desert does not have the same appeal as living on a new world.

I too think that you should start with orbital bases, get some kind of economy running, find fuel to mine, and make it feasible to shuttle people back and forth before starting to do surface bases for humans.

I don’t really have a choice. I don’t see any orbital bases being set up, nor do I see any better chance of myself getting into space than this, period. I only have a shot at this just because of how it is set up.






It's easy to talk about building your own self-sufficient colony but it's harder to apply the knowledge needed to actually do it. Also, because supplies are not guaranteed, the people living inside the colony need to be extremely smart scientists to make their own materials, based on what they have available on the surface of Mars.[/font]

The challenge makes it fun.

Imagine you and the other colonists would get really sick, like contracting an epidemic or something. There's no hospital around for millions of miles. What then? Also, provided that every member has a precise role in the community, if something happens to him/her, then everything goes to hell. For this very reason, I think it's important that the future colonists be trained in multiple fields of work.

2 people are trained heavily in engineering (I am already an engineer), 2 in medical science, and all will have basic first-aide training.



L. Spiro
It is amazing how often people try to be unique, and yet they are always trying to make others be like them. - L. Spiro 2011
I spent most of my life learning the courage it takes to go out and get what I want. Now that I have it, I am not sure exactly what it is that I want. - L. Spiro 2013
I went to my local Subway once to find some guy yelling at the staff. When someone finally came to take my order and asked, “May I help you?”, I replied, “Yeah, I’ll have one asshole to go.”
L. Spiro Engine: http://lspiroengine.com
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#77 L. Spiro   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 12803

Posted 08 December 2012 - 10:00 PM

Also, if missions to the Moon were successful, then we gain the confidence that we need; then we know we can do this, we are motivated towards embarking on what can be a one-way trip.

They will send 8 or so ships to Mars before any humans go there, the plan being partly to deliver supplies but also to practice the travel and landing procedures.


L. Spiro
It is amazing how often people try to be unique, and yet they are always trying to make others be like them. - L. Spiro 2011
I spent most of my life learning the courage it takes to go out and get what I want. Now that I have it, I am not sure exactly what it is that I want. - L. Spiro 2013
I went to my local Subway once to find some guy yelling at the staff. When someone finally came to take my order and asked, “May I help you?”, I replied, “Yeah, I’ll have one asshole to go.”
L. Spiro Engine: http://lspiroengine.com
L. Spiro Engine Forums: http://lspiroengine.com/forums

#78 Bacterius   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 8287

Posted 08 December 2012 - 10:08 PM

Yeah, living on mars within the next few decades would probably be a lot more like living in a tent in a desert, then close to anything star trek.
Except the tent would likely have more conveniences, like (realtime) internet and access to health care. And breathable air outside.
And you won't have global months long dust storms that will kill you if you go outside, and in the meantime clogs all your equipment.

Unless there are some very significant theoretical and engineering advances in physics in the next few decades, you won't be seeing realtime internet on Mars anytime soon. The speed of light average roundtrip from Mars to Earth is about 25 minutes. But there's always hope! It would be kind of cool to create an artificial atmosphere on Mars :)

Edited by Bacterius, 08 December 2012 - 10:09 PM.

The slowsort algorithm is a perfect illustration of the multiply and surrender paradigm, which is perhaps the single most important paradigm in the development of reluctant algorithms. The basic multiply and surrender strategy consists in replacing the problem at hand by two or more subproblems, each slightly simpler than the original, and continue multiplying subproblems and subsubproblems recursively in this fashion as long as possible. At some point the subproblems will all become so simple that their solution can no longer be postponed, and we will have to surrender. Experience shows that, in most cases, by the time this point is reached the total work will be substantially higher than what could have been wasted by a more direct approach.

 

- Pessimal Algorithms and Simplexity Analysis


#79 Oberon_Command   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1814

Posted 08 December 2012 - 10:24 PM

We are talking about rockets capable of covering vast distances of space, not orbital rockets. I can't recal the last time when private contractors have sent a rocket to the Moon. Do you?



Are we talking about "rockets" ie. launch vehicles or spacecraft? If you're just talking about the rocket (which I was, since that was the term used), anything that was launched to the moon or beyond on an Atlas V was technically launched by a private contractor - ULA. That includes the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (Mars), New Horizons (Pluto), Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter/LCROSS (Moon, and the rocket's Centaur stage was intentionally crashed into the moon on that mission, so the rocket literally went to the moon), Juno (Jupiter), and Mars Science Laboratory (Mars). So yes, private contractors HAVE sent spacecraft beyond low Earth orbit, though as far as I know they have yet to build such a spacecraft for anyone but NASA. Granted that these are uncrewed spacecraft, and crewed space missions beyond low Earth orbit are likely to need multiple launches and/or in-space refuelling, at least with currently-flying LVs, but as far as the rocket itself is concerned, crewed spacecraft are just spacecraft with unusual operational constraints; as far as the launch vehicle is concerned, they're just payloads that need to be put into a particular orbit at a particular time by the rocket.

Furthermore, private contractors built a lot of the exploration hardware used in the Apollo program, too. The Apollo spacecraft itself, for instance, was built by North American Aviation. IIRC NAA was also the prime contractor for the second stage of the Saturn V rocket, too, while Northrop Grumman was the prime contractor for the lunar module.

Edited by Oberon_Command, 08 December 2012 - 10:28 PM.


#80 Luckless   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1732

Posted 08 December 2012 - 10:58 PM

Biggest reason to want moon bases before going to Mars would be:
A) Providing a Staging area to construct and launch vehicles large enough for manned missions to Mars.
B) Providing a proving ground for long term colonial techs. Proving key things such as life support systems such as water and O2 recycling work reliably with no outside influence, and the farming practices for food production hold sound in the long term. Yes, there are different challenges, but there is still a fair bit of cross over. (Not to mention that long term effects of low gravity environments would likely be accelerated on the Moon as compared to on Mars, so good to know before hand.)
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