- Tapani Hakonen -
A journey to Mars is feasible with the present and past technology using proven techniques
and dividing tasks between various country groups while the supervision is supranational.
The main principle is that the entire service chain is ready before man sets out towards Mars,
which also means inner (electronic) and outer (visual) inspections and tests of devices in
space and in Mars before start. Principles are:
1. The ship is ready in the Earth's orbit beside an international station.
2. Accommodation, food, (water, oxygen), wheel buggies, and similar equipment are ready in Mars.
3. Two return rockets are ready on the surface of Mars filled with fuel and tested.
(My proposal of Mars ship)* (Landing capsule)*
(Mars house)* (Greenhouse)*
(Mars Car)*(Life ?)
(Return rocket)* (Ariane)* (Future speculation)* (My old plan of Mars ship)* (Facts of Mars)
Modest Mars Tour: Get Phobos samples, maybe Deimos and near asteroids
The tour will be made by a vessel with space and equipment
for just one or two people. The vessel consists of a lounge and a
chamber, which in the return time is released and destroyed in the
atmosphere. The main purpose of the trip is to gather the courage to planetary missions.
My proposal of Mars ship
Because the plan of shuttle tank is not available, the next Mars ship plan can be e.g. Ariane 5 basic built ship.
The ship will be collected on International Station ISS, and be included several pieces together: fuel tanks
like oxygen-, hydrogen-, hydratsin-tanks; Landing capsules, the crew capsules and perhaps Mars houses,
Mars cars, Return rockets etc. too - about 10 - 15 pieces, "Murmansk convoy". The balance will be
important. Empty fuel tanks, 4 pieces will be loosed immediately about 15 minutes after the launch near
ISS and fall to the Earth after couple of weeks.
The Mars ship will brake in Mars atmosphere with several carbon fiber drogues and they open one after the
other, until the speed is appropriate, and the ship will be devited on the Mars parking orbit - One part, the
bigger one waits on Mars orbit, and the other pieces land to the Mars surface,
The crew with specimen will return later by Return rocket to the Mars ship on parking orbit. The Mars ship
will leave Mars by non-cryogenic fuels, and the crew and specimen arrive to the Earth by landing capsule
after eight months...
The Mars moon Phobos can be treasure house or a tourist destination for mankind in future.
In the Mars's orbit the crew transfers to a landing capsule which contains, besides the thermal shield and parachutes, a rocket brake for smooth landing. Landing takes place in the vicinity of the dwelling places, which requires high precision, because walking for only one kilometre's distance is painful wearing a pressure suit and with feet weakened by the 9 months' space travel, considering also that the dwelling must be made fit for living during the same day. They remove solar panels and greenhouses from the air locks and connect these up with the Mars house. The first night is spent perhaps relying on the electricity provided by the wheel buggy. The landing capsule must be precisely controllable at the moment of detachment and later, and the wind on the Mars's surface must probably also be considered. The gas jet parting from the edge of the capsule pushes the capsule to the target trajectory once the even braking parachute has opened. The opening times influence on the landing place. Parachutes open automatically.
Calculating the target trajectory of Mars is impossible since estimating the effect of the atmosphere is impossible. The target trajectory has been experimentally created based on the trajectory obtained by dropping an unmanned capsule - which is exactly similar externally and has the same weight - on the Mars's surface in the same circumstances and by registering its trajectory with sensors from point to point down to the end. Test capsules are not useless, because they transport food and will be taken back later.
High precision can take place also with sharp landing angle about 10 - 20 degree and big deceleration even 5 g.
The landing deceleration speed of capsule is perhaps: control speed from the edge 100 m/s, smooth landing speed 100 m/s, rocket brake and
control speed 400 m/s, thermal shield and parahute braking speed 4000 m/s. The final deceleration, 100 m by several
rockets, will be between 5 - 0.4g depending on situation.
But I am worried about safety of landing, because the tree conditions: 1. soft landing 2. the exact location 3. no before training, are difficult simultaneously come true.
An adjustable brake rocket and a cushion ensure a smooth landing. A remote-controlled buggy or one of several buggies by the side of capsule orbit or mopeds in the capsule are used to bring the crew back if it goes far. The wheel buggies and the electronic system have checked that everything is in order before the crew's departure.
The crew will perhaps stay in the Mars house during final landing in the future,
and the Mars landing capsule will not be needed, but the landing capsule to the
Earth will be needed of course.
Dwellings must also be at least two, for safety's sake. The best building shape is probably the igloo shape divided in eight symmetrical rooms with the partition walls supporting the construction. This shape endures well the dropping, and the igloos remain in the vertical position, if the load is placed down in the middle during the flight; sensitive equipment must be extremely well protected. Another good shape might be the tepee shape, as it travels well through the Earth's atmosphere and provides a good place for the navigation equipment and parachutes at its top part. The windows and the air locks are problematic due to their sensitivity to breaking. Small protected windows are required for the journey. When the crew arrives, the protections are removed. A carpet producing solar energy is spread, though there are solar panels ca. 20 m2 on the roof. It is still uncertain whether the house will drop on top of a stone. This uncertainty can be diminished by adding feet to the igloo to provide support for landing. The feet can be later bent. First the crew needs to perform small installation works. These must not be too extensive. A stretching carpet keeps the house sealed even if the double bottom breaks. It should be considered whether the thermal shield could remain as a part of the floor. In case there is reliability over the performance of the houses and cars, the houses can be decentralized far from each other in the vicinity of interesting places even hundreds of kilometres apart and used for living and working for variable times. Dropping tests have been made in the Earth before the departure. A house has been dropped from a helicopter in various positions attempting to control the dropping.
The house, called Vanhala (my home name, ha, ha, ha), painted red with white doors and window jambs, is ready equipped with food supplies, which may not be, however, sufficient for a whole year, but a module containing food must additionally be dropped on the Mars's surface in the vicinity of the dwellings. Its mass depends on the trajectory and time at which it must arrive. Supplies can also be dropped from the Mars ship (cf. test capsule). The amount of tinned and frozen food can be greater than required as it can be used during the following flights.
The house is fitted with two air locks which must be air (nitrogen) sparing. Each air lock can be quick, and only carbon dioxide is discharged. When the inner door is opened or the house is entered from outside, carbon dioxide flows to the air lock from the tank. When the inner door opens, carbon dioxide generates a slight overpressure in the air lock, which keeps the nitrogen of the inside air away from the air lock. This is to ensure that nitrogen is not wasted because nitrogen should make up half of the air. For the same reason, the air lock must be a slightly confined one-person space. The air lock doors should have small windows. Nitrogen is not probably required in the space suits.
Research facilities are located at the top floor of the house. These include a small laboratory for chemistry and biochemistry, computer and data communication equipment, and storage space and cupboards as well as internal air maintenance equipment, while one of the four rooms could be a sleeping room.
In addition to the residential spaces, the first floor includes a hall where the space suits are put on and kept. A second set of space suits is placed in the reserve air lock on the other side of the house. Hygienic procedures must be followed since it is not known how dangerous the Mars dust is. Separated from the hall space, there are a composting toilet and washing rooms as well as spiral stairs leading upstairs.
The Mars house might contain useful plants. Dropping of a highly transparent igloo-shape durable plastic UV resistant greenhouse in the vicinity of the dwellings could be considered, even near the air pipe. A light solution is a small plastic greenhouse, a plastic bag made of highly durable plastic and with a thickness below 1 mm for growing salad and other vegetables. Biological human refuse is put on the bottom of the bag covering it with the Mars's soil partly mixed with the refuse, plant waste from the previous harvest, a small amount of soil brought from the Earth including common earthworms and other decomposers, and topping this all with plants or seeds and adding water on the bottom. The plastic bag is closed and sealed around two nesting pipes with one of the pipes supplying air and the other one discharging air from inside through an active carbon filter. The air lock at the other end of the bag includes two convex inwardly opening doors with valves, the total mass of this being 100 kg when empty. Greenhouses should be of course two, because one is just beginning to grow plants when the offerings of the other are being enjoyed.
This experiment is important also from the scientific point of view. However, each perforation in the Mars house wall creates a certain a risk and the dwelling house must be protected both with an automatic and a manual shutter. Living nutrition cannot be significant at the beginning because growing of plants takes its time. For the oxygen production and elimination of carbon monoxide the greenhouse is a significant help. Also, it should not be forgotten that biological waste must be disposed of, composted or stored in such a way that it does not destroy the research object, i.e. disturb the possible life in Mars. For a single journey to Mars, dropping a large greenhouse in Mars is not worthwhile, but when considered more extensively, the answer is yes. Another disposal method for biological waste could be to bury it in a known location in plastic bags to a sufficient depth in the vicinity of the station. Waste bags will freeze quickly in the slope on the shadow side and will be covered before leaving. Later they will be composted in the greenhouses. If the biological waste would spread, what will be then explored? It is true, though, that intensive UV radiation will destroy all escaping bacteria. Greenhouses will be needed perhaps several: tree, four because different tasks and phases of plants and oxygen security.
Attempts can also be made to cultivate samples collected from the Mars's ground in isolated rows for research purposes. What might be the result is a mystery at least at the moment. It is most likely that nothing grows, but if something does, it will be a huge sensation, which of course will be first doubted.
The waste produced in the Mars ship can be a) flung from the Mars's gravity force field to the outer space b) dropped on the Mars's surface, buried or composted c) brought back to the Earth. The alternative c) is the most expensive for fuel, but also the most ecological and preferable to all.
Life - other research
The most topical research objects at least at this stage are related to life and its existence. The most
promising research objects are however deep under the surface, near the methane and formaldehyde beddings,
not on the Mars's surface. The drill bit must be clean and not too hot, +40°C at the maximum. Even a small
procedure error in searching for life creates a chorus of doubts and no consensus is found in the existence
of life. The scientific demonstration of the existence of life in Mars requires extreme evidences. The Viking
flight in 1976 answered yes and no at the same time to the question of the existence of life. Perhaps the
definition of life should also be changed. I like bacterias can exist Mars. More complicate life must be found
in moon Europa sea (12.) of Jupiter under ice.
The crew must be careful since the life to be found may not be completely harmless. As regards the future of the mankind, the sacrifices used for the flight are most probably not so great, although principles cannot be valued by money.
An important task is to study rocks and ground mechanically. In rear of the Mars car could be some sort of tamper, which would make "Marsquakes" to the ground, and the detectors for the shockwaves are in the vicinity. They send their weak signals wireless to the car, and the informations would be analysed in the Earth together with another informations (i.e. chemical) collected on site in Mars. The landing place must be such that some kind of life can be expected to exist there. One such place is the equator area where water, methane and formaldehyde have been detected, where the terrain is versatile with canyons and river deltas in addition for providing a flat landing place. Water or water ice must be easily available. The exploration of Mars will take over 12 months including investigation of wide areas using an electric car, wheel buggy and moped, taking samples from the surface, and drilling deep to the ground, laboratory tests, discussion of daily topics with the Earth, sending photographs, video films, information, inquiries etc. to the Earth.
Some long-term research equipment is left in Mars for sending information to the Earth. These could be seismic, meteorological and astronomical equipment and chemical "detector noses".
A small but representative sample weighing less than 1 kg could by sent to the Earth, e.g. to Australia, immediately during the first week as "express mail" using a small two-phase rocket weighing less than one ton, which has been delivered to Mars as a "freeloader" with some device.
Energy, water, oxygen and hydrogen
A couple of small solar power plants are located nearby generating e.g. liquid hydrogen and oxygen from the water ice to be stored in the vacuum flasks. It is known that good water ice exists in Mars, but can it be found near the tropics and is it fairly easily available? Providing a relatively large stock of water ice under a fabric is one of the first tasks. The hundred square meter carpet generating solar energy must be cleaned from dust every now and then.
Probably the slightly soiled ice will be put in a hundred litre pressure vessel closing the threaded cover. Electricity melts the ice and the gravel goes down to the bottom. Service water is filtered and ozonized. Part of the water is dispersed to hydrogen and oxygen by means of electricity. Another part of the water must be released or saved as extra blast gas to be mixed with the rocket fuel or for the metal deoxidation, but part of it is liquefied in the same way as oxygen and is placed in large vacuum flasks to be used for the car, buggy and night-time energy production.
A very demanding task is a construction of a reliable and sufficiently efficient "ice production plant". I think it would be advisable to integrate into one item 1) ice melting, 2) cleaning of generating water, 3) dispersion of water to hydrogen and oxygen, 4) liquefaction of hydrogen and oxygen, and 5) bottling in vacuum flasks, perhaps also the 6) fuel cell. The mass of the ice processing plant is a couple of hundreds of kilograms and requires much electricity, and the efficiency ratio is not necessarily high especially as regards liquefaction. Lost heat from liquefaction can be utilized for ice melting and possibly for heating the dwelling. The equipment is advisable to locate on the shadow side of the house behind a foil shelter beside the ice stack, in particular the liquefaction and bottling section, while the equipment gets its energy supply from the sunny side of the house by the solar cells. The module must be tested in many ways in the Earth before the delivery for example by dropping tests, and at least two modules must be sent, since it is vital that this equipment operates well at all times.
A pressurized car accommodates the whole group and it can be even used for spending the night and living during longer provincial trips in Mars. Extra beds can be turned aside or removed to create more space. Perhaps it would be practical to keep the car under pressure only during the nights. The door opens inward and there is of course an emergency exit. The car is fitted with drilling equipment including a front bucket and trailer or two trailers. The another trailer has Dewar vessel for 1300 kg liquid oxygen e.g. for the return rocket and a cover against the sun. In addition, the car contains several automatic, extremely sensitive measuring devices exploring continuously the environment, such as earth radar and neutron, gamma absorption and magnetometers. The car is virtually a semiautomatic laboratory measuring the underlying ground with its multiple sensitive gauges and taking gas from above for the measurement of atmospheric changes almost with molecular precision, and all this is registered on the map by the devices. Sensitive detectors of methane and other central organic molecules must be developed: formaldehyde, ammonia, ethanol, methanol, etc. since drillings are carried out in the bedding areas of these gases. When the opportunity rises, and in fact at most times, the data stream goes directly to the Earth for the analysis of scientists, and international discussion can be maintained almost in real-time and decisions, even fast, can be made on the additional exploration of the area. Videos are also sent in real-time as well as thermographic image.
The car must have four-wheel drive and large low-pressure tyres, large ground clearance, wide shaft width, front
suspension control, while a power of 15 kW is sufficient due to the lower gravity force and absence of air resistance.
The mass should be 3 tons without the bucket and trailer, it should have two fuel cells of different sizes, two
adjacently located fuel tanks on the body roof, electric motor drive in each wheel, separate motors for drilling
and bucket handling. The equipment also includes an electric chain saw with diamond drill bits. A shovel and
friction chains must be taken with when setting out for exploration trips and the possibility of return must be
ensured before entering any of the undoubtedly interesting canyons. The car is electronically controlled and can
also be remotely controlled via a monitor. Mechanical control is also possible from the asymmetric nose. The car
is very asymmetric also in other respects, because the door, drilling equipment and mechanical control are located
on the right hand side, while the internal control, the nose and the included fuel cells as well as the spare tyre
at the rear are placed on the left hand side. The car can be used for taking people from the landing site, for
example. Depending on the conditions, the drive speed in Mars could be 40 km/h and the fuel could be sufficient
for 2000 km.
Another type of cars (See picture above) will move with big lithium-silicon nanowires batteries, and a large solar carpet on the body roof can spread on the Mars's surface when the car will stopped.
When the return date is due, the crew selects the better from the two return rocket candidates, returns to the ship rotating Mars, transfers the research samples to the ship, and activates the power equipment for ten minutes. The launching push from the Mars's orbit is a demanding task. The following three parameters must have been successfully selected: correct moment of launching, correct direction and correct speed. Especially the direction must be precise and it requires versatile computing. Possibly the direction can be constant during firing and oriented towards a certain aster. The direction is maintained by the automatic system, but it must be controlled and adjusted if necessary. The trajectory must of course be corrected in the same way as during the outward journey, but if the launch is successful, only slight trajectory correction manoeuvres are required. Instead, driving towards an incorrect direction is fatal. A deviation exceeding five degrees is difficult to correct. Both the outward and the return journey take about eight months, but the return can be even faster depending on the fuel resources.
Since the journey takes almost three years, the crew must be carefully selected for ensuring a good working environment. The crew should comprise women, humoristic persons, large-minded, precise, humourless persons, and even a pet. The group should include experienced space pilots, a top-class biochemist/biologist, a master-level mechanic who is familiar with the operation of each particular device and knows how to replace and repair parts, a navigator/astronomer, and a geologist. A doctor with extensive knowhow is probably also needed. However, above all the persons are multi-skilled experts competent in many sectors of the flight. They are in good health and physical condition and can control themselves. They have been trained in co-operation for years. Frustration will be expensive: the atmosphere must remain positive and sense of humour must be maintained. The number of crew must be limited to the requirement, yet sufficient to guarantee successful research and return home. Naturally the crew must be balanced based on the developer countries.
More people can participate in the later journeys. It could be considered to have several research groups who disembark in various parts of Mars and have their own houses, cars, and return rockets, leaving towards the Earth at the same time with the Mars ship. Capsules required for landing must be multiple, while the Mars ship is shared for the outward and return journey.
Return rocket (from the Mars's surface to its orbit)
What is new? The novelties include the Mars car and the return rocket from the Mars's surface to its orbit. It must be a lot more efficient than the return rocket to the Moon's orbit from the Moon, yet weaker than the rockets from the Earth to the Earth's orbit. The return rocket has a more powerful motor and higher amount of fuel compared to the Moon's return rocket. A one-phase rocket using solid fuel may be just enough. Technically, it is not quite sufficient, because a small liquid driven power plant is required, which can be diversely used when driving back to the ship while the "gunpowder rocket" thumps back to the Mars's surface causing a Mars quake, which is accurately registered by seismographs.
The return rocket does not have much space for the crew: five persons, a few square meters, a few hundred kilograms
of samples, a vacuum inside. The return rockets and dwelling units for the crew have been taken to Mars possibly
using a similar bouncing method as the two Mars buggies, which one, Opportunity is still creeping there at the time
now 2011 since 2004 about 30 km. Since August 2012 Curiocity has come in Mars too.
The protective cushions are more robust and as the lotus opens and the protections are removed, the 7-ton rocket remains in the vertical position waiting for the launch firing.
After leaving the launcher, the control jets immediately start turning the return rocket towards the orbit. The control is semiautomatic. The travel is slightly stabilized by the small wings, but their most important purpose is to orient the downwardly dive and to generate an appropriate Mars quake for the seismographs that have been left there for research purposes. A disposable device can in this way be utilized for analyzing the internal structure of Mars. The crew capsule continues its travel towards the air lock of the large ship rotating first around the ship for checking the condition of primarily the rocket power plants: to see if they are sound, because something can be done if everything is not in order.
With a small rocket in his hand, in fact a large liquid gas burner with a shaft, the pilot directs the tip of the return rocket to the air lock, fastens a rope to the door side of the Mars ship, and the preparations for the return home can start in the large Mars ship. Another type of return rocket is a liquid rocket, which is delivered to Mars empty and filled there with hydrogen and oxygen before the departure. The advantage is a light load to Mars, only a few tons, but the risk is sensitivity to damaging or crashing, at the moment of hitting Mars as well as uncertainties related to the production of fuel, especially hydrogen, and its preservability. The situation could be improved by taking with over one ton of propane and filling only four to five tons of liquid oxygen at the destination.
One solution is to deliver to Mars both rocket types, the liquid rocket and the gunpowder rocket, and leave using the better of these two. In my view the gunpowder rocket is more reliable, resists better to dropping and launching requires fewer operations. And if the oxidizer is ready, too, the launch can take place in few minutes! The return rocket must of course meet the ship in the orbit of Mars. Therefore the moment of launching from the Mars's surface must be exactly correct, precision one second. When leaving from the Earth, no-one knows what the situation is in Mars after two years: there are both the unknown conditions and chance.
Landing on Earth
Landing on Earth takes place with a similar US capsule as the return from the Moon at its
time by sharp angle 5 degrees. The thermal shield of the capsule is thicker than at that
time, and braking takes 30 seconds longer. Theoretical difference between Mars and Moon
return velocities is 11500m/s-10800m/s = 700m/s. The samples have been transferred to
the capsule and the crew boards the capsule at least ten hours before arriving in the atmos-
phere because precise aiming. After braking the capsule lands in the sea using parachutes,
and the celebration can start.
Physical conditions for the Journey to Mars
Carrier rockets of the present size require several flights to the international space station in the Earth's orbit where the Mars ship would then be assembled. In addition to food and other supplies that must be carried along, the ship needs rocket power for the start kick-off. Liquids are probably easier to handle at the international station than solid items. At the moment of departure the ship mass is 200 tons, including 150 tons of driving agents, para-hydrogen and oxygen, or 200 tons of methane and oxygen, while the total amount returned back to the Earth's atmosphere is only 40-50 tons. Over 10 tons have been consumed as food, oxygen, water, landing module, etc. Rescuing the ship to the Earth's orbit by atmospheric braking could be tested using the thermal shield although the crew returns to the Earth with the capsule. Braking would probably take place in several parts, perhaps over months, such that the ship touches the upper part of the atmosphere a little at a time and finally blows out perhaps the rest of the gas positioning itself beside the space station for a new loading.
Calculation 1: The speed of hydrogen combustion gases is 4.4 km/s and the space launching mass in the
Earth's orbit is 200 t.
From Earth to Mars 3.5 km/s : => 3.5 km/s = -4.4 km/s* ln( x/200t) => x = 90t mass when arriving in the Mars's atmosphere.
From Mars to Earth 2.0 km/s:=> 2 km/s = -4.4 km/s* ln( y/80t) => y = 50t mass when arriving in the Earth's atmosphere. The driving agent amount of 150 tons is well sufficient even if evaporation occurs.
Calculation 2: According to my calculation, when using a fuel pair of oxygen-methane or oxygen-propane
the ship's launching mass should be 250 tons.
The speed of combustion gases is 3.8 km/s => 3.5 km/s = -3.8 km/s* ln( x/250t) => x = 100 tons in Mars.
From Mars to Earth 2.0 km/s : => 2 km/s = -3.8 km/s* ln( x/90t) => x = 53t in the Earth's atmosphere. Liquid methane and propane are certainly easier to handle compared to liquid hydrogen. The preservability of liquid methane at the distance of Mars is much better and for propane it is even better than for hydrogen, and they require a much smaller volume. More transportation capacity from the Earth to the station is required.
Calculation 3: The best liquid driving agents preservable at the room temperature mean a launching mass
The speed of combustion gases 2.8 km/s => 5.5 km/s = -2.8 km/s* ln( x/400t) => x = 55t back to Earth. The relief in Mars is not considered in this calculation either.
In my view these calculations seem to be favourable to the fuel pair propane-oxygen. Advantageous in the calculations is also the solution in which the pair hydrogen-oxygen is used when leaving from the Earth, whereas the pair propane-oxygen is used when leaving from Mars; however, hydrogen processing is difficult at the space station and evaporation is high.
We will need fuels this quantity in the theory but in the reality more. On the one hand the right directed oval orbit will save fuels near Mars about 1 km/s, which means fuels of the room temperature, non-cryogenic fuels.
My favorite fuels of Mars ship are at the beginning of the journey hydrogen-oxygen and leaving Mars non-cryogenic fuel(s) and Return rocket propane-oxygen
A person needs 500 grams daily food products and 1000 grams of oxygen per day. It is in the year a total of about 550 kilograms per person. Travel to Mars will be less than three years. A person needs to be about 1700 kg in total these. Five passengers will need food and oxygen about 8500 kg.
Water is also needed. Amount of water that can not currently be estimated, but it will definitely recycle
and will be part of the dissolution of hydrogen peroxide. It will be perhaps available for long manned space journeys because
it has both oxygen without high pressure and has water too, but hydrogen perokside (H2O2) is dangerous to use
at a concentration of 100% (47%O, 53%Water).
The researchers will stay on the surface of Mars for about one year. The greenhouse will produce food and oxygen some and water must come from nature.
Depending on the coalition, the division of works could be as follows: French Ariadne 5 rockets would deliver the equipment to Mars, the Brits would make perhaps the return rockets, other Europeans and Eastern Asians would construct the dwellings and other equipment in Mars. The Americans would deliver the bloom for the large ship including power plants, transporting the crew and possibly a separate launching power plant in a second flight. They would also deliver landing modules and provide the space suits. Possibly some flights would be required if the crew leaving for Mars were delivered to the station with Russian ships just before leaving to Mars.
The Russians would deliver the liquids and other accessories to the international station with unmanned ships, 150-200 tons in total. Sturdy temporary chucks for the liquid oxygen or hydrogen or methane are placed on the outer flank of the Mars ship, in the shadow of the station, allowing smooth and quick refuelling. Within the fuel tank coming from the Earth, there is a flexible "shirt", which is compressed with the pressure gas to make the fuel flow quickly to the tank in the Mars ship through a pipe while the next ship is waiting for its turn. Ships arrive at an hour's interval for refuelling so that there is no time for evaporation and the journey can be promptly started. Due to the trajectory of the station, during several days, several rockets must be sent each day, because the launching window is open only one hour per day. One has to be prepared to send more fuel if something happens. A whole forest of rockets (10 - 20 flights with propane/oxygen fuels, first propane) grows in the cold Plesetski and Baikonur in a wide area and the rockets start off one after another with a very cold fuel tank at the tip.
The limits of the project are indicative only as everybody will help each other and testing is common. The construction stage would last six years, testing two years, and two years would be left in reserve.
Coalition and costs: "Peace march to Mars"
The journey may be expensive or inexpensive. The author favours an inexpensive method in which existing technique
and experiences are utilized as far as possible and projects are subordinated to competition in the same way as
in the European Union, avoiding thus favourite companies in advance. In my opinion, five persons from the
countries that have paid the ticket would participate in the journey. In addition to the equipment already
sent and the experiences, the price for one ticket for the first flight would be about four billion Euros, and prices (2011) may be...
Russia: Fuels for Mars ship - 4 000 milj. Euros => 1 ticket
USA: Shuttles tank rusting, landing capsules, suits etc.- 8 000 milj. Euros => 2 tickets
EU: Mars surface houses, return rockets, cars etc.- 8 000 milj. Euros => 2 tickets
Other plans mean that the price of Mars journey costs at least ten times compared to my plan, but they build all from very beginning to end, and they will not brake in Mars atmosphere.
Other countries will get national prestige, but the results of journey will radiate to the whole world. In my view the leaving counties could be: United States, Russia and EU. In case the countries do not participate, countries from the Far East like China, Japan and India could come along, but the non-attendance of especially the United States, would be irreplaceable in this plan. This is why the captain of the journey is American because they have yet best "Know How" today. If five travellers are not enough, the sixth will come from the Far East. Company sponsoring will be limitedly allowed. Sponsoring would be either money or a development investment, or expertise. As compensation, the company could use the results in advertising. The leaving countries will of course put the equipment under competition and order them from the companies, but if the companies are paid full compensation, advertising is not allowed.
The following Mars flights will be made separated by several years to have time to analyze the results of the previous flight and properly activate the questions aroused. The moon flights of USA in the 70's were made at too fast a pace and therefore the results provided by the flights did not correspond to the resources invested in them, leaving out many unsolved questions. From the point of view of the research, Mars flights must be made at few years' interval to make the most of them. The launching rockets and dwellings do not suffer from ageing in Mars. Research equipment, such as a couple of seismographs, should be left in Mars so that the collection of scientific information could continue even after the departure.
Before the first flight we should collect different comments and ideas of Mars. Questions:
- What must and can be explored (study), and
- what instruments and methods are then needed?
- What scientific instruments must be left in Mars?
- Can samples be dangerous for people in Eart?
- Ethics problems of Mars flights?
- The money?
- The first landing place?
- Can the necessary water ice or water be found for example near the place 292o;12oS - Valles Marineris? Landing place ?
- Dangerous solar discharge?
The radiation shield for protecting against a solar discharge is somewhere in the middle of the items, protected by the water inside toroidal tank and food, fuel, oxygen, hydrogen peroxide supplies. Radiation danger of a long-term way are not well known. Its intensity varies from the sun beat. Possible to protect a heavy helmet, as it does not press the space, and some kind of armor to protect the body temporarily. Radiation can not be completely eliminated, but Martian surface radiation is probably lower. Radiation intensity from the Milky Way is much lower but harder and difficult to prevent.
In my view the greatest risk factor is pressurization and oxygen supply during the daily routines. The space suit must always be put on extremely carefully, and the air lock doors must close perfectly regardless of the accessing dust and sand. Oxygen supply must always be ensured. The dwelling must have two air locks: if one gets damaged, the other one will work. The alarm must operate although the pressure goes down only slowly. The leak warning must consider the variations of temperature as well. The alarm device in the suit measures the average pressure during a few minutes calculating leakage based on that.
Both the return rockets and the Mars houses and cars are sent to the Mars's surface directly from the Earth. The operation of the stopping rockets must be made precise so that the delivery (buggy, return rocket, house, car, ice processing equipment ...) will settle smoothly on the surface of Mars. This is probably not completely achieved but it is the target. A smooth landing requires that the radar and the number, positions (lateral movement) and timings of various stopping rockets are made compatible by means of artificial intelligence. All rockets will not explode at the same time, some perhaps not at all. The best result for successful deliveries would be achieved if the delivery could be controlled from a relatively close distance at correct time from a display, but it is questionable if this is possible for the first flight?
A certain type of problem is the bringing together of dropped items on a good base. This might be successfully carried out by drawing on the lines in the same way as a parachutist does. Two crossing cords of a round 8-cord parachute are hydraulically drawn and released. Once the large parachute has opened, the cords are automatically drawn so that the device being dropped will hover towards the radio signal. Near the Mars's surface artificial intelligence searches for a "clean" place and draws the cords towards it. When the altitude is suitable, it launches braking rockets and the device will drop softly on the cushion. When using a traditionally looking round parachute, soaring is reduced (1:2) but better controllable than the flight of an actual soaring parachute, which has a high soaring factor (5:1). Reduced soaring is sufficient if the orientation is initially precise. The buggy that has been dropped down first has sought for a plane stoneless area from an otherwise interesting area from behind the tropic, where the necessary water ice can be found from the shadow side. The most interesting places also as regards the research are found from the ravine bottoms and walls. The buggy has studied the water ice reserves and their availability. This buggy transmits a directing signal functioning as a convener.
The buggy is very similar to the buggies creeping currently in Mars: a large solar panel, large modern lithium-silicon nanowires batteries, both remote and mechanical control on the top of the unit, two cameras one of which displays panorama, and a grasping organ or "arm". Grasping organs are needed for example when checking if the device left under the parachute is in condition. The buggy resembles slightly the lift trucks used in the Earth. Additional properties will possibly be required from the buggy: drilling capability, more "senses", such as an ice sense detecting the ice quantity and quality under the buggy. The solar panel area can possibly be doubled in Mars, but it should be born in mind that the main task of the buggy is to check the condition of dropped constructions and, if required, to guide and transport the arriving crew to the "Mars home". The buggy arrives first in the prospected area to search for a smooth landing site; possibly it detects an ice deposit and positions itself on top of it functioning as a beacon to allow programming the other arriving equipment more accurately. In order to be immediately and always ready for use, it is driven by batteries. The mass is 200-500 kg.
A Mars moped could be useful to some extent: it could be a conventional moped type with large wheels. It would have a lithium-silicon nanowires battery (10 kg) instead of the fuel tank, an electric motor of less than 1 kW, charge meter, variator gear, mass 30-50 kg, charging brake and a conventional one, an electric drill on the rack for sampling, with a penetration depth of one meter. A moped is a very dangerous, but efficient vehicle. Falling over means a certain death, because a sharp stone will then cut the suit open. On the other hand, a moped is efficient for exploring the near area (~ 100km). It is agile and speedy, it can go to difficult canyons for taking a sample from places where this would otherwise be impossible.
Should we make a trial journey or just go directly?
If a trial journey is made around Mars before landing on the planet, droppings can be controlled in real-time from the Mars's orbit for the first landing. In this case the Mars "courtyard" can be planned by human hands. The density of the courtyard depends on the amount of stones, because landing is quite a violent event potentially damaging the nearby constructions. In the worst case the constructions must be hundreds of metres apart from each other. The distance between the dwelling houses should be moderate, but the return rockets must be located further away, several kilometres from the courtyard. A trial journey requires a lot of time and resources due to the orbits of the Earth and Mars and is frustrating.
One way to go to Mars is all at once, i.e. the Mars return rockets, buggies, car, dwellings and the Mars ship will arrive in Mars almost simultaneously, the Mars ship arriving first in the Mars's orbit and controlling the landing in real-time with less than a second's delay from the display in the following order: buggies, return rockets, dwellings, cars, ice processing, etc. After this the buggy checks that everything is sound under the parachutes and the operation is checked by the electronics. The crew, together with the earth station, votes on whether to land or not and if the majority supports landing, they land down to Mars after preparing it in the orbit for almost a month. If something goes badly wrong, the ship returns without landing in Mars, but possibly, but not necessarily, the crew would have to spend over a year in the ship before the fuel-saving return window opens.
The first journey can be a short trip around Mars in the early fuel-saving return window - will take time couple weeks in the Mars's orbit leaving robots to Mars's surface, so that the crew will controll researchs in real-time. A little rocket will bring the specimen up to the ship. This journey is sheaper and more secure, but the results are simply. The whole trip from the Earth to the Earth takes two years.
Shuttle was a good base after all!
Although shuttles of USA have turned out to be an expensive and difficult solution to the "four-piece problem", they should not be completely abandoned when developing the next generation of space air crafts, but at least one should be put in "naphthaline" for a sudden use. Here a sudden use are the Mars flights using the gigantic tank of the shuttle. It could probably be used several times during the Mars flights, possibly also for flights around the Moon, for which it is too large, unless a longer time is spent in the Moon's orbit or if a larger group of people participate in the flight. Possible could also be a flight around the Venus, when the ship's surface is painted white; however, most asteroids are probably too far and it is not possible to brake when approaching them; however, in preventing the danger of asteroids and comets, this ship could be efficiently involved. Journeys to the points of the Lagrange can take place for installation and repairing instruments. The most revolutionary is the unmanned refilling of the ship in the Earth's orbit and the durable serial production, which the Russians can do well thanks to the genius of the deceased Koroljov, as well as braking in the atmospheres. The another famous man is von Braun, the man behind V2 and USA´s flights to Moon. Going further requires nuclear power and particularly the fusion.
In my view, the above described Mars flight can be implemented in ten years from the implementation decision. The mutual position of the Earth and Mars at the specific point of time must of course be also considered.
Further speculations over a continuous use of a giant tank are also possible. If the thermal shield of the tank can be used several times so that it can be used for braking in the atmospheres of both Mars and the Earth and repeatedly, it can be made into a continually transporting ship between the low orbits of the planets. This kind of line ship would save costs remarkably and would open a space of possibility for vast future scenarios. The return rocket from Mars can also be changed into an oxygen-hydrogen rocket in the far future, one that uses the Mars ice as fuel and returns to the Mars's surface several times using a thermal shield and a parachute. This rocket could even take the fuel to the Mars's orbit for the return flight of a large ship.
The tourism in Mars is a matter of future, the end of this century at the earliest; then wealthy tourists could visit Mars. Permanent residents would earn their living from tourism. It is difficult to believe that such natural resources could be found there that would be worthwhile bringing to the Earth. The price per kilogram of the imported material should be higher than that of gold at least at the beginning: rare elements, diamonds, or similar. However, I believe that something else valuable besides information can be found from Mars.
The Mars moons especially Phobos whereas can be treasure house
for mankind in future. There besides iron and nickel heavy metals
like gold, platinum, osmium, iridium, rare earth elements and perhaps
diamonds, must be more than in big planets, because they have not
mixed and sank. Metals are like raisins in bun. The bombings of me-
teors have brought the metals long since, and perhaps 2He3 by solar
wind in ashes. The import to Eart is relatively easy because the brake
and acceleration near Mars and weak gravity of Phobos. The quarry
and import can pollute the space around Mars.
I don't believe that cultivation in Mars could be possible, even in the long-term, but greenhouses will be present. In fact, transparent greenhouses will produce better than in the Earth, because the sun is shining every day from the bright sky and the heat under the films is also moderate - the upper film UV-protecting, the inner IR-reflecting. The power from the sun is 500-700 W/m2 perpendicularly. The air pressure is so high that the micro meteorites will not pierce the film and enough against solar discharge and on the other hand, the air pressure is so low that the wind will not rip and tear the thick film, and the pressure inside the food producing greenhouses (0,1b, and CO2 10%) can be even much lower than in the residential spaces (0,4b - 0,5b). Large greenhouses can be easily constructed, even parks could be designed, as long as attention is paid to the UV protection, appropriate fertilizing, temperature, moisture, carbon dioxide amount and blowing off dust from the film. The production is good between the tropics, but can good water sources be found there?
Dust storms, which are said to obscure the sun, occasionally occur in Mars. The degree of darkness and duration of them has remained unclear to the author. If the surface cannot be seen from above, it does not necessarily mean that the surface would be dark. It is true that when one is in bright light and looks at a less bright object, the difference of lightness becomes emphasized. If it is dark on the surface, the energy production is interrupted and the vegetation withers and can die. One can be prepared for this by storing oxygen and hydrogen to be able to illuminate and heat, but this of course requires resourcing. In any case, the energy consumption should be limited in this situation to the most essential, and the harvesting season must be before the dust storm.
Pressurized constructions will gradually unite into population centres along the gateways, and versatile social life will start. At the later stages, most of the constructions will have been dug in the Mars ground inside a suitable hill, and correctly dimensioned blowable walls made of durable reinforced plastic will have been glued onto smoothed-out stone walls where the "machine mole" will excavate and smooth out more and more pathways and rooms. Mars can become the refuge of the human being because of the climate change. There is a great demand for good quality plastic film.
My old plan of Mars ship
The ship in the Earth's orbit refers to a modified large shuttle tank of USA, which has been equipped with rooms, small windows, air locks, fixed furniture, and thermal shield already in the Earth. The tank has not been detached from the shuttle in the atmosphere but has been taken empty of fuel beside an international station for transferring the equipment required for the return journey, dwelling, living, and exploration, including two modules for landing, one for landing in Mars and the other for returning to the Earth. The shuttle tank weighs 5-10 tons more than the presently used, primarily due to the convex partition walls, thin thermal shield and rocket power plant; thus the number of items required for fitting and furnishing must be limited for this shuttle flight. However, the installation can be started. At the station, energy-producing solar panels and antennas are attached to the top part of the ship. Equipping the ship at the station takes 9 - 12 months. The rear part of the completely equipped ship houses the rocket power plants, at least three, while the fuel is inside the ship for providing the required "kick-off" for the Mars flight. The power plants must be examined to verify whether they can resist the heat generated by braking in Mars and additionally two firings, or whether they have to be replaced. Important is a reliable ignition. The ship is controlled by choke valves that turn restrictedly in the fuel flow, and the ship departs when the safety valve and a quick-adjusting main valve are opened. Another solution is one strong engine (500 - 1000 kN. See picture Mars ship) and controlled with the gas jets at the tip (hydratsin as fuel). The kick-off from the Earth's orbit takes less than half an hour.
The fuels required by the Mars ship are preoccupying the author. Is it necessary to use less powerful fuels, which remain liquid at normal temperatures, or can a stronger oxidant, liquid oxygen, be used, or could even liquid hydrogen be used? The problem lies in the preservability of these fuels. When stored in a large, almost immobile, weightless and well isolated tank, their preservability is probably good, since liquids will float surrounded bay gases at the centre of the tank until a movement occurs. Storing is disturbed by the fact that the ship must rotate slowly for the heat distribution, one rotation per hour, for example. Volatile liquid oxygen could probably be used as breathing oxygen. Further concerns are whether the same fuels and the same tanks with fewer partition walls are used when departing from the orbits of both the Earth and Mars.
The shuttle tank is large, housing a room and pastimes for each traveller as well as common rooms and extensive food supplies: food, water and oxygen in a large vacuum flask. The radiation shield for protecting against a solar discharge is somewhere in the middle of the items, protected by the water tanks and food supplies. The temperature is adjusted by means of the ship's position relative to the sun: near the Earth the ship shows the sun a small surface, whereas near Mars the surface facing the sun is large. The tip of the ship is towards the sun with the thermal shield usually in the shadow of a foil, while the rear part is painted white, which facilitates keeping the fuels in liquid form. The journey to Mars takes probably less than 9 months and the return flight about the same. When arriving in Mars, the ship brakes in the Mars's atmosphere and remains circulating Mars. A certain type of thermal shield for braking is present at the blunt end of the ship. The thermal shield does not contain the same type of foam as the other parts of the ship, but perhaps coal, asbestos, or glass or metal foam. I like in this case mats of asbestos. Mars ship can have perhaps heat-resistant parachutes too.
The ship does not dive into the atmosphere like a stone, but the depth of the dive can be slightly controlled with the gas jets at the tip. The thermal shield is hot only for a short period at a time and will not have time to heat the fuel, which has been allowed to cool down further from the boiling point already in advance; oxygen below -200°C. Fuels remain liquid in the vicinity of Mars, although Mars radiates heat. The ship rotates slowly in the direction of Mars's ecliptic so that the semi-open rear part protected by the foil remains cold, as thermal radiation from the sun cannot reach it, nor is the radiation reflected from Mars, but heat is removed. When approaching the moment of departure the temperature of the liquid oxygen should probably be raised again. The element with the lowest boiling point, probably liquid oxygen, is placed furthest back in the rear part, in the vicinity of the thermal shield. The kick-off from the Mars's orbit to the Earth is only 2 km/s so that the resources required for it can be carried along from the very beginning. It is possible to manage even with less than that if the ship's trajectory is left oval while attempting to rotate the perigee favourable for the return, which can be done for example by selecting a correct approaching method to Mars and by flying to the atmosphere several times as appropriate. It takes more time. Great changes can be made in the trajectory with small control manoeuvres. In this case, the takeoff from Mars to return to the ship correspondingly requires a more efficient return rocket. A good trajectory might be a trajectory whose distances are between 300- 6000 km from Mars. (Orbits) The ship is one link between Earth and Marshouse and works remote control on the time of Marsjourney. A pair of persons will stay in Mars ship on the time of Marsjourney, if they will have to do about with security, research and if they will have places in the return capsule.
Protecting research is the most important
Visit on Mars seems to be very technical, what it is, but its effect on culture is a huge, multi-layered.
In addition to the importance of finding life in the culture, the people will have a new place in the universe of content.
In my opinion the major part of Mars must be left under protection, a part even unexplored for a long time. The concrete benefit will come indirectly through the science. The most valuable thing in the world is positive information, fact. The significance of Mars flights for the technological development in many fields should not be forgotten either. For the media, a Mars flight would mean enormous content production from various points of view for many years. Nationally, excitement is roused by how the country's own astronaut or cosmonaut manages and works in the Mars flight - compared to which all these expedition Robinson reality shows are just child's play.
The purpose of this discussion is to emphasize the first visit and generally the scientific research of Mars, in which even the media is made to reinforce this objective. During the following exploration flights, it is possible to use the equipment and experiences from the first flight so that the journeys can be made with lower costs.
Wikipedia: Valles Marineris
Kuun elämäkerta, David Whitehouse;
Kohti tähtiä, Westman - Oja;
Classical dynamics, Marion - Thornton;
Mars - myytistä maisemaksi, Markus Hotakainen
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