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Sigmetnow

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Mars
« on: July 07, 2021, 09:45:41 PM »
It’s time.  Rather than continuing to swamp Astro News, lets give Mars its own thread.

China plans its first crewed mission to Mars in 2033
Quote
BEIJING, June 24 (Reuters) - China aims to send its first crewed mission to Mars in 2033, with regular follow-up flights to follow, under a long-term plan to build a permanently inhabited base on the Red Planet and extract its resources.

The ambitious plan, which will intensify a race with the United States to plant humans on Mars, was disclosed in detail for the first time after China landed a robotic rover on Mars in mid-May in its inaugural mission to the planet.

Crewed launches to Mars are planned for 2033, 2035, 2037, 2041 and beyond, the head of China's main rocket maker, Wang Xiaojun, told a space exploration conference in Russia recently by video link.

Before the crewed missions begin, China will send robots to Mars to study possible sites for the base and to build systems to extract resources there, the official China Space News reported on Wednesday, citing Wang, who is head of the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology.

For human inhabitation on Mars, crews would have to be able to use the planet's resources, such as extracting any water beneath its surface, generating oxygen on-site and producing electricity.

China must also develop technology to fly astronauts back to Earth.

An uncrewed round-trip mission to acquire soil samples from the planet is expected by the end of 2030. read more

The U.S. space agency NASA has been developing technology to get a crew to Mars and back sometime in the 2030s.
China's Mars plan envisages fleets of spacecraft shuttling between Earth and Mars and major development of its resources, Wang said.

To shorten the travel time, spacecraft would have to tap energy released from nuclear reactions in the form of heat and electricity, in addition to traditional chemical propellants, Wang said.

China would have to accomplish round trips with a total flight time of "a few hundred days", he said.

China is also planning to set up a base in the south pole of the Moon and is deploying robotic expeditions to asteroids and Jupiter around 2030.

Last week, China sent three astronauts to an unfinished space station in its first crewed mission since 2016, expanding its growing near-Earth presence and challenging U.S. leadership in orbital space.
https://www.reuters.com/business/aerospace-defense/china-plans-its-first-crewed-mission-mars-2033-2021-06-24/
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Riverside

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Re: Mars
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2021, 01:50:28 AM »
From Sigmetnow's post
"...and extract its resources." and "...envisages fleets of spacecraft shuttling between Earth and Mars and major development of its resources"
Maybe I've missed something along the way, but I'm not aware of any resources on Mars worth extracting and shipping back to earth. Perhaps some unobtainium or maybe di-lithium crystals. ;)
Don't get me wrong, I'm in favor of exploration and the basic science that could be done on Mars.

Sigmetnow

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Re: Mars
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2021, 03:03:55 AM »
From Sigmetnow's post
"...and extract its resources." and "...envisages fleets of spacecraft shuttling between Earth and Mars and major development of its resources"
Maybe I've missed something along the way, but I'm not aware of any resources on Mars worth extracting and shipping back to earth. Perhaps some unobtainium or maybe di-lithium crystals. ;)
Don't get me wrong, I'm in favor of exploration and the basic science that could be done on Mars.

I think they are referring to different things. Extract Mars resources (water, CO2, etc.) to sustain a colony, and have a fleet of ships going back and forth to supply the colony, and have scheduled departures to allow astronauts and eventually colonists to return to earth if they want. Also, to lower costs via spacecraft re-use! Something like a million tons will need to be shipped from Earth to Mars in the early years.  As you say, there won’t be a lot of payload coming back to earth for quite a while… except people, and science. :)
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Mars
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2021, 09:47:19 PM »
—- Mars Helicopter Flight #9
Quote
Eric Berger
Exciting! Here's a processed image of the region NASA's Mars helicopter Ingenuity flew over this weekend. This area, with its rolling dunes, is inaccessible to Perseverance. So were only seeing this thanks to powered flight on another world.

Translated from French:
Color photos taken by the Ingenuity helicopter on its 9th flight have just arrived
 They show the superb dune field of the Séítah region that the rover #Perseverance currently bypasses.
#MarsHelicopter
https://twitter.com/thomas_appere/status/1413212700755337218
⬇️ Image below.

Flight 9 Was a Nail-Biter, but Ingenuity Came Through With Flying Colors
Quote
It has been a week of heightened apprehension on the Mars Helicopter team as we prepared a major flight challenge for Ingenuity. We uplinked instructions for the flight, which occurred Monday, July 5 at 2:03 am PT, and waited nervously for results to arrive from Mars later that morning. The mood in the ground control room was jubilant when we learned that Ingenuity was alive and well after completing a journey spanning 2,051 feet (625 meters) of challenging terrain.

Flight 9 was not like the flights that came before it. It broke our records for flight duration and cruise speed, and it nearly quadrupled the distance flown between two airfields. But what really set the flight apart was the terrain that Ingenuity had to negotiate during its 2 minutes and 46 seconds in the air – an area called “Séítah” that would be difficult to traverse with a ground vehicle like the Perseverance rover. This flight was also explicitly designed to have science value by providing the first close view of major science targets that the rover will not reach for quite some time. 

Flying with our eyes open
In each of its previous flights, Ingenuity hopped from one airfield to another over largely flat terrain. In planning the flights, we even took care to avoid overflying a crater. We began by dipping into what looks like a heavily eroded crater, then continued to descend over sloped and undulating terrain before climbing again to emerge on a flat plain to the southwest.

It may seem strange that the details of the terrain would matter as much as they do for a vehicle that travels through the air. The reason has to do with Ingenuity’s navigation system and what it was originally designed for: a brief technology demonstration at a carefully chosen experimental test site.


Getting ready for a bumpy flight
The assumption about the ground being flat is baked into the design of the algorithm, and there is nothing we can do about that when planning the flights. What we can do is to anticipate the issues that will arise due to this assumption and to mitigate them to the greatest possible extent in terms of how we plan the flights and the parameters we give the software.

We use simulation tools that allow us to study the likely outcome of the flight in detail prior to carrying it out. For Flight 9, a key adaptation of the flight plan was to reduce our speed at the crucial point when we dipped into the crater. Although it came at the cost of extending the flight time, it helped mitigate early heading errors that could grow into a large cross-track position error. We also adjusted some of the detailed parameters of the navigation algorithm that we have not had to touch so far in prior flights. And we carved out a much larger airfield than in prior flights, with a radius of 164 feet (50 meters). We ended up landing approximately 154 feet (47 meters) away from the center of that airfield.

In the week ahead, Ingenuity will send back color images that Perseverance’s scientists are looking forward to studying. Captured in those images are rock outcrops that show contacts between the major geologic units on Jezero Crater’s floor. They also include a system of fractures the Perseverance team calls “Raised Ridges,” which the rover’s scientists hope to visit in part to investigate whether an ancient subsurface habitat might be preserved there.

Finally, we’re hoping the color images will provide the closest look yet at “Pilot Pinnacle,” a location featuring outcrops that some team members think may record some of the deepest water environments in old Lake Jezero. Given the tight mission schedule, it’s possible that they will not be able to visit these rocks with the rover, so Ingenuity may offer the only opportunity to study these deposits in any detail.
https://mars.nasa.gov/technology/helicopter/status/314/flight-9-was-a-nail-biter-but-ingenuity-came-through-with-flying-colors/

⬇️ This map shows the approximate flight path of NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter during its ninth flight, on July 5. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech.
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Mars
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2021, 03:38:12 PM »
NASA's Mars helicopter nailed its 10th flight — double what engineers had hoped Ingenuity would do
Quote
• NASA's Ingenuity helicopter completed its 10th flight on Mars Saturday.
• That's twice the number of flights that NASA originally planned for the little drone.

Perseverance is combing Jezero Crater in search of potential fossils of ancient alien microbes. Ingenuity's new operations can assist with that mission: The helicopter can scout and map terrain, spot promising areas for study from the air, and fly to spots the rover can't reach.

NASA scientists are particularly curious about "Raised Ridges," since water may have once flowed there. During its ninth flight, Ingenuity also snapped color images of intriguing rock outcrops that Perseverance might examine later.

"We're hoping the color images will provide the closest look yet at 'Pilot Pinnacle,' a location featuring outcrops that some team members think may record some of the deepest water environments in old Lake Jezero," NASA scientists wrote in a recent blog post.

It's possible, though, that Perseverance's tight schedule won't allow it to visit the rocks, "so Ingenuity may offer the only opportunity to study these deposits in any detail," the scientists said. …
https://www.businessinsider.com/nasa-mars-ingenuity-helicopter-10th-flight-2021-7


From the NASA blog:
Aerial Scouting of ‘Raised Ridges’ for Ingenuity’s Flight 10.
Quote
Flight 10 will target an area called the "Raised Ridges" (RR), named for the geographic features that start approximately 164 feet (50 meters) south-by-southwest of our current location. We will be imaging Raised Ridges because it’s an area that Perseverance scientists find intriguing and are considering visiting sometime in the future.

From navigation and performance perspectives, Flight 10 will be our most complex flight to date, with 10 distinct waypoints and a nominal altitude of 40 feet (12 meters). It begins with Ingenuity taking off from its sixth airfield and climbing to the new record height. It will then head south-by-southwest about 165 feet (50 meters), where upon hitting our second waypoint, take our first Return to Earth (RTE) camera image of the Raised Ridges, looking south. Next, we’ll translate sideways to waypoint 3 and take our next RTE image – again looking south at Raised Ridges.

Imagery experts at JPL hope to combine the overlapping data from these two images to generate one stereo image. Flying farther to the west, we’ll try for another stereo pair of images (waypoints 4 and 5), then head northwest for two more sets of stereo pairs at waypoints 6 and 7 as well as 8 and 9. Then, Ingenuity will turn northeast, landing at its seventh airfield – about 310 feet (95 meters) west of airfield 6. Total time in the air is expected to be about 165 seconds. …
https://mars.nasa.gov/technology/helicopter/status/316/aerial-scouting-of-raised-ridges-for-ingenuitys-flight-10/
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Mars
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2021, 02:59:33 AM »
Cool animation of Ingenuity’s 9th flight track, over a detailed Martian surface:
Quote
Simeon Schmauß
Here is a look back at the 9th Flight of #MarsHelicopter
It was the longest flight to date and took Ingenuity over a large dune-covered area called Séítah.
I reconstructed the flight path with photogrammetry from the helicopters NAV images and animated it in @Blender (2x speed)
7/25/21, ➡️ https://twitter.com/stim3on/status/1419414622973616129
 
There are other visualizations in the above Twitter thread, including this super-cool 3D animation:
Quote
Simeon Schmauß
You can also view this flight animation in 3D on @Sketchfab from every angle you want and get a grasp how amazingly Ingenuity navigated over the rough terrain! This even works directly here on Twitter, just tap the play button …!
7/25/21 ➡️ https://twitter.com/stim3on/status/1419414759078834182
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Mars
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2021, 07:03:57 PM »
—- Mars Ingenuity Helicopter: Flight #11
NASA JPL
#MarsHelicopter has safely flown to a new location! Ingenuity climbed to ~12 meters and flew for 130.9 seconds, travelling about 380 meters before landing at a new airfield that will set up a series of future reconnaissance flights to help @NASAPersevere in its search for ancient microbial life.

8/5/21, 12:12 PM https://twitter.com/nasajpl/status/1423316030055600133

North-By-Northwest for Ingenuity’s 11th Flight
Quote
We’re heading northwest for the 11th flight of NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter, which will happen no earlier than Wednesday night, Aug. 4. The mission profile is designed to stay ahead of the rover – supporting its future science goals in the “South Séítah” region, where it will be able to gather aerial imagery in support of future Perseverance Mars rover surface operations in the area.

Here is how we plan to do it: On whatever day the flight takes place, we will start at 12:30 p.m. local Mars time (on Aug. 4, this would be 9:47 p.m. PDT/Aug. 5, 12:47 a.m. EDT). Ingenuity wakes up from its slumber and begins a pre-programmed series of preflight checks. Three minutes later, we’re off – literally – climbing to a height of 39 feet (12 meters), then heading downrange at a speed of 11 mph (5 meters per second).

And while Flight 11 is primarily intended as a transfer flight – moving the helicopter from one place to the other - we’re not letting the opportunity go to waste to take a few images along the way. Ingenuity’s color camera will take multiple photos en route, and then at the end of the flight, near our new airfield, we’ll take two images to make a 3D stereo pair. Flight 11 – from takeoff to landing –- should take about 130 seconds.

As requested by the Perseverance science team, our new base of operations, which is approximately 385 meters (1260 feet) to the northwest of Ingenuity’s current location, will become the staging area for at least one reconnaissance flight of the geologically intriguing South Séítah area.

Wish us luck and see you in South Séítah!
https://mars.nasa.gov/technology/helicopter/status/318/north-by-northwest-for-ingenuitys-11th-flight/
« Last Edit: August 05, 2021, 07:19:43 PM by Sigmetnow »
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Mars
« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2021, 07:16:47 PM »
July 21, 2021
NASA Perseverance Mars Rover to Acquire First Sample
The six-wheeler’s science campaign has laid the groundwork for the mission’s next major milestone.
Quote
NASA is making final preparations for its Perseverance Mars rover to collect its first-ever sample of Martian rock, which future planned missions will transport to Earth. The six-wheeled geologist is searching for a scientifically interesting target in a part of Jezero Crater called the “Cratered Floor Fractured Rough.”

This important mission milestone is expected to begin within the next two weeks. Perseverance landed in Jezero Crater Feb. 18, and NASA kicked off the rover mission’s science phase June 1, exploring a 1.5-square-mile (4-square-kilometer) patch of crater floor that may contain Jezero’s deepest and most ancient layers of exposed bedrock.

“When Neil Armstrong took the first sample from the Sea of Tranquility 52 years ago, he began a process that would rewrite what humanity knew about the Moon,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for science at NASA Headquarters. “I have every expectation that Perseverance’s first sample from Jezero Crater, and those that come after, will do the same for Mars. We are on the threshold of a new era of planetary science and discovery.”

It took Armstrong 3 minutes and 35 seconds to collect that first Moon sample. Perseverance will require about 11 days to complete its first sampling, as it must receive its instructions from hundreds of millions of miles away while relying on the most complex and capable, as well as the cleanest, mechanism ever to be sent into space – the Sampling and Caching System.
https://mars.nasa.gov/news/8995/nasa-perseverance-mars-rover-to-acquire-first-sample/

—- News Briefing: Science Results from Perseverance
The team discusses early science results as the rover prepares to collect the first-ever Martian samples for planned return to Earth.
NASA’s Perseverance Mars Rover Team to Discuss Early Science, Sample Collection (News Briefing)
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Mars
« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2021, 02:03:30 AM »
—- Mars:  The Dirt Wars continue
NASA's Perseverance Mars Rover:
Sampling Mars is one of my most complicated tasks. Early pics and data show a successful drill hole, but no sample in the tube–something we’ve never seen in testing on Earth. Mars keeps surprising us. We’re working through this new challenge. More to come.

NASA's Perseverance Team Assessing First Mars Sampling Attempt
The rover continues to explore Jezero Crater while the team assesses today’s activities.
Quote
Perseverance's Drill Hole for First Sample Collection Attempt
Data sent to Earth by NASA's Perseverance rover after its first attempt to collect a rock sample on Mars and seal it in a sample tube indicate that no rock was collected during the initial sampling activity.

The rover carries 43 titanium sample tubes and is exploring Jezero Crater, where it will be gathering samples of rock and regolith (broken rock and dust) for future analysis on Earth.

"While this is not the 'hole-in-one' we hoped for, there is always risk with breaking new ground," said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. "I'm confident we have the right team working this, and we will persevere toward a solution to ensure future success."

Perseverance's Sampling and Caching System uses a hollow coring bit and a percussive drill at the end of its 7-foot-long (2-meter-long) robotic arm to extract samples. Telemetry from the rover indicates that during its first coring attempt, the drill and bit were engaged as planned, and post-coring, the sample tube was processed as intended.
 …
Previous NASA missions on Mars have also encountered surprising rock and regolith properties during sample collection and other activities. In 2008, the Phoenix mission sampled soil that was "sticky" and difficult to move into onboard science instruments, resulting in multiple tries before achieving success. Curiosity has drilled into rocks that turned out to be harder and more brittle than expected. Most recently, the heat probe on the InSight lander, known as the "mole," was unable to penetrate the Martian surface as planned.
https://mars.nasa.gov/news/9007/nasas-perseverance-team-assessing-first-mars-sampling-attempt/

⬇️ This image taken by NASA’s Perseverance rover on Aug. 6, 2021, shows the hole drilled in a Martian rock in preparation for the rover’s first attempt to collect a sample. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech.
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vox_mundi

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Re: Mars
« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2021, 11:27:45 PM »
Want to Pretend to Live On Mars? For a Whole Year? Apply Now
https://phys.org/news/2021-08-mars-year.html



Want to find your inner Matt Damon and spend a year pretending you are isolated on Mars? NASA has a job for you.

To prepare for eventually sending astronauts to Mars, NASA began taking applications Friday for four people to live for a year in Mars Dune Alpha. That's a 1,700-square-foot Martian habitat, created by a 3D-printer, and inside a building at Johnson Space Center in Houston.

The paid volunteers will work a simulated Martian exploration mission complete with spacewalks, limited communications back home, restricted food and resources and equipment failures.

NASA is planning three of these experiments with the first one starting in the fall next year. Food will all be ready-to-eat space food and at the moment there are no windows planned. Some plants will be grown, but not potatoes like in the movie "The Martian." Damon played stranded astronaut Mark Watney, who survived on spuds.

"We want to understand how humans perform in them," said lead scientist Grace Douglas. "We are looking at Mars realistic situations."

The application process opened Friday and they're not seeking just anybody. The requirements are strict, including a master's degree in a science, engineering or math field or pilot experience. Only American citizens or permanent U.S. residents are eligible. Applicants have to be between 30 and 55, in good physical health with no dietary issues and not prone to motion sickness.

https://www.nasa.gov/chapea/participate

... Attitude is key, said Hadfield, who has a novel "The Apollo Murders" coming out in the fall. He said the participants need to be like Damon's Watney character: "Super competent, resourceful and not relying on other people to feel comfortable."

----------------------------------------------



... bring Duct Tape

---------------------------------------------------



American construction 3D printing company ICON has been awarded a subcontract from NASA to deliver a 3D printed habitat, known as Mars Dune Alpha, at NASA’s Johnson Space Center as part of NASA’s Crew Health and Performance Exploration Analog (CHAPEA). ICON’s next-gen Vulcan construction system will complete a 1,700 square-foot structure that will simulate a realistic Mars habitat to support long-duration, exploration-class space missions.



CHAPEA, is a sequence of three one-year Mars surface mission simulations at the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston. The analog missions will provide valuable insights and information to assess NASA’s space food system, as well as physical and behavioral health and performance outcomes for future space missions. NASA will use research from the Mars Dune Alpha simulations to inform risk and resource trades to support crew health and performance for future missions to Mars when astronauts would live and work on the Red planet for long periods of time.

Future space exploration habitats have the potential to be 3D printed with additive construction technology to eliminate the need to launch large quantities of building materials on multiple flights, which would be cost-prohibitive.

Life in Mars Dune Alpha will resemble the expected experience for those living in a future Mars surface habitat. Designed by BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group, the layout of the innovative structure is organized in a gradient of privacy. Four private crew quarters will be located on one end of the habitat; dedicated workstations, medical stations and food-growing stations are located on the opposite end, with shared living spaces found in between. Varying ceiling heights vertically segmented by an arching shell structure accentuate the unique experience of each area to avoid spatial monotony and crewmember fatigue. A mix of fixed and movable furniture will allow crew members to reorganize the habitat according to their daily needs, as will the customizable lighting, temperature, and sound control – helping regulate the daily routine, circadian rhythm, and overall well being of the crew.

... Today, NASA has begun its recruitment for the long-duration Mars mission analog study inside the 3D printed habitat. Applications to participate as crew are being accepted through mid-September 2021 for the one-year analog mission that starts in Fall 2022.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2021, 01:25:18 AM by vox_mundi »
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vox_mundi

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Re: Mars
« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2021, 01:32:14 AM »
JPL's Plan For The Next Mars Helicopter
https://spectrum.ieee.org/the-next-mars-helicopter

After Ingenuity's success, JPL wants to go much, much bigger



... It turns out NASA has been thinking about this since long before Ingenuity landed on Mars. About three years ago, as Ingenuity's design and testing phase was mostly over and the Perseverance rover was getting closer to launch, roboticists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), NASA Ames Research Center, and AeroVironment (a company that helped to develop Ingenuity) got together and began to sketch out what a next generation Mars helicopter might look like. How would a Martian helicopter effectively scale up? What kinds of science instruments could it carry? What missions could only be done with such a helicopter?

The result was the Mars Science Helicopter (MSH), a 30-kilogram hexacopter able to do unique science on the Martian surface without requiring rover support.

https://www-robotics.jpl.nasa.gov/tasks/showTask.cfm?FuseAction=showTask&TaskID=353&tdaID=700145

The first element in JPL's design approach was to provide as many options as possible to the scientific community, explains J. (Bob) Balaram, Ingenuity Chief Engineer at JPL and one of the authors of a white paper on the Mars Science Helicopter.

https://mepag.jpl.nasa.gov/reports/decadal2023-2032/MSH_whitepaper_draft_final%20copy.pdf

That meant thinking about all kinds of different vehicle sizes and mission architectures. "Ingenuity could be scaled both up and down," Balaram tells us. "We could make it even smaller, into a scout. Or, we could scale it up into a full-size standalone helicopter. And there are things in between, maybe something in the 5kg class, where it's taking samples from distant sites and bringing them back to a lander for analysis." JPL presented this menu of Mars helicopter options to planetary scientists, asking them to imagine what kinds of new research might be possible with each platform. And there's a lot to imagine.

Here are examples of some of the ways in which scientists have been thinking big, in the form of two potential missions for a future Mars Science Helicopter. ...

Mawrth Vallis: Searching for Life at Inaccessible Sites



Milankovič Crater: Mapping Subsurface Water Ice



... The current MSH concept has a mass of about 31 kg and a total diameter of just over four meters, with six rotors each sporting a quartet of 0.64 meter blades. The payload of 5 kg gives MSH what Balaram calls a very attractive sweet spot for science instruments. MSH would have a top speed of about 30 m/s, a five minute hover time, or a range of up to 10km per flight, and a solar cell on top of the vehicle would be able to recharge MSH's batteries over the course of one Martian day. This kind of range and speed means that MSH could cover as much ground in a few days as a rover like Curiosity has covered in years
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NeilT

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Re: Mars
« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2021, 03:21:50 PM »
By the time they have finished designing and building it, SpaceX will have landed half a dozen Starships on Mars with 50T of cargo....

Plenty of scope for other rovers/copters and even people... 8) 8)
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vox_mundi

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Re: Mars
« Reply #12 on: August 17, 2021, 01:32:42 PM »
NASA Mars helicopter nails 12th flight, scouts ahead for Perseverance rover
https://mobile.twitter.com/NASAJPL/status/1427493737219776521

https://mars.nasa.gov/technology/helicopter/status/321/better-by-the-dozen-ingenuity-takes-on-flight-12/



During the flight, Ingenuity climbed to an altitude of 32.8 feet and flew for a total of 169 seconds. It traveled 1476 feet round-trip scouting the South Seitah region for the Perseverance rover team.
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Mars
« Reply #13 on: August 17, 2021, 08:28:18 PM »
After a dozen flights, NASA’s chopper has yet to come a cropper
by Eric Berger
Quote

Ingenuity has proven to be a tremendous achievement. For the NASA helicopter team, a single flight would have meant success, and they hoped to perhaps complete three or four before losing Ingenuity. It has now flown a dozen missions and logged 22 minutes in the thin atmosphere above the surface of Mars.

A little more than a century ago, humans flew a powered aircraft above Earth's surface for the first time at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Ingenuity carries a piece of fabric from the 1903 Wright Flyer. On what world, in which solar system, will a piece of Ingenuity fly a century from now?
https://arstechnica.com/science/2021/08/after-a-dozen-flights-nasas-chopper-has-yet-to-come-a-cropper/?comments=1
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Tor Bejnar

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Re: Mars
« Reply #14 on: August 17, 2021, 08:58:53 PM »
I know Perseverance does not have photovoltaic cells, but if it did, would Ingenuity be able to blow dust off of them?

I still think the old rovers should have taken a dust broom with them for the purpose!
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gerontocrat

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Re: Mars
« Reply #15 on: August 17, 2021, 09:20:50 PM »
By the time they have finished designing and building it, SpaceX will have landed half a dozen Starships on Mars with 50T of cargo....

Plenty of scope for other rovers/copters and even people... 8) 8)
NASA has a copter on Mars.
NASA has a rover on mars.

Musk has yet to get to the moon.
Musk has not yet got a vehicle to get to Mars.

If he does get there, much of the science and knowledge of how to get there, the surface, geology, climate etc of Mars will be from NASA.

Musk is very good at finding new ways of applying science, but without NASA much of the science would not exist. And a few astronauts died in the process.
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vox_mundi

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Re: Mars
« Reply #16 on: August 17, 2021, 09:40:04 PM »
Quote
... Musk has not yet got a vehicle to get to Mars.



... it orbits from time to time
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Re: Mars
« Reply #17 on: August 18, 2021, 02:21:42 AM »

Musk has not yet got a vehicle to get to Mars.

If he does get there, much of the science and knowledge of how to get there, the surface, geology, climate etc of Mars will be from NASA.

Musk is very appreciative of NASA — whose faith in his company literally saved SpaceX in its early days.  No joke, his password back then was “ILOVENASA”.

Of course a company which has not yet been to Mars will take advantage of the knowledge of an organization — one it works closely with — that has already been there.  It’s mutually beneficial:  SpaceX has the hardware and software; NASA has the data.  SpaceX is building what NASA needs to further its reach into space, much faster, and much cheaper, than the boondoggle SLS Space Launch System NASA is currently dependent upon, which can manage only one launch a year (maybe two) for $1Billion each, and whose grand goal is a Mars human flyby in 2033.  SpaceX is working towards humans on the surface of Mars before the end of this decade.
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Mars
« Reply #18 on: August 18, 2021, 02:35:24 AM »
I know Perseverance does not have photovoltaic cells, but if it did, would Ingenuity be able to blow dust off of them?

I still think the old rovers should have taken a dust broom with them for the purpose!

I don’t think they would risk operating the helicopter so close to the rover.  (And remember, any flight has to be entirely programmed ahead of time.) But:

NASA's InSight Mars Lander Gets a Power Boost
Quote
InSight's Robotic Arm Trickles Sand in the Wind:
NASA’s InSight lander cleaned a bit of dust from one of its solar panels by trickling sand in the wind on May 22, 2021, the 884th Martian day, or sol, of the mission. As the sand blew over the panel, it picking up some dust as it went, resulting in a boost to InSight’s power. The lander has been experiencing declining power as dust accumulated on its solar panels and Mars gets farther from the Sun. Later this summer, InSight’s science instruments will be switched off to conserve power; this light cleaning of its solar panel will add helpful margin to the lander’s power reserves.

The spacecraft successfully cleared some dust off its solar panels, helping to raise its energy and delay when it will need to switch off its science instruments. …
https://mars.nasa.gov/news/8959/nasas-insight-mars-lander-gets-a-power-boost/
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FishOutofWater

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Re: Mars
« Reply #19 on: August 18, 2021, 02:54:37 AM »
Well, Musk has sent a Tesla car hurtling towards the edge of the solar system.

What's wrong with this picture?

gerontocrat

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Re: Mars
« Reply #20 on: August 18, 2021, 10:31:45 AM »
A bit of practical science from NASA.

Why NASA’s Mars rover failed to get a core
NASA’s Perseverance rover couldn’t get to grips with a coveted first rock-core sample from Mars because the stone was too crumbly. An attempt earlier this month failed to snag a core: the rover pulverized the rock and dropped the fragments, says NASA. Perseverance will roll onwards to try to collect another type of rock that is more like those that it practised with on Earth. “This is just another reminder that there are still a lot of unknowns about Mars,” says planetary scientist Meenakshi Wadhwa. “This planet still has the capacity to surprise us when we least expect it.”
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kassy

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Re: Mars
« Reply #21 on: August 18, 2021, 03:47:34 PM »
Well, Musk has sent a Tesla car hurtling towards the edge of the solar system.

What's wrong with this picture?

Tires in space...this will cause some headscratching if some alien later finds it.  ;)
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Mars
« Reply #22 on: August 18, 2021, 04:20:36 PM »
Why NASA’s Mars rover failed to get a core
NASA’s Perseverance rover couldn’t get to grips with a coveted first rock-core sample from Mars because the stone was too crumbly. An attempt earlier this month failed to snag a core: the rover pulverized the rock and dropped the fragments, says NASA. …

Next rover needs a collection system where gravity will work for it, not against it. Scooping works. ;)
We’ve found the flaw in Percy’s “bottom, up” collection and storage system. :'(
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Mars
« Reply #23 on: August 18, 2021, 04:30:10 PM »
On August 6, 2012 – NASA's Curiosity rover lands on the surface of Mars.
https://twitter.com/engineers_feed/status/1423735635576197120
 ⬇️ Image below. Click to embiggen.

“How Mars Curiosity takes a selfie”
➡️ youtu.be/L_ii2GABPao
1 minute: A brief overview of Mars photo stitching.
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vox_mundi

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Re: Mars
« Reply #24 on: August 18, 2021, 04:34:18 PM »
Well, Musk has sent a Tesla car hurtling towards the edge of the solar system.

What's wrong with this picture?

Tires in space...this will cause some headscratching if some alien later finds it.  ;)

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elon_Musk's_Tesla_Roadster#Trajectory

... Musk had originally speculated that the car could drift in space for a billion years.[13] According to chemist William Carroll, solar radiation, cosmic radiation, and micrometeoroid impacts will structurally damage the car over time. Radiation will eventually break down any material with carbon–carbon bonds, including carbon fiber parts. Tires, paint, plastic and leather might last only about a year, while carbon fiber parts will last considerably longer. Eventually, only the aluminum frame, inert metals, and glass not shattered by meteoroids will remain.[75]
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Re: Mars
« Reply #25 on: August 18, 2021, 04:41:43 PM »
Starman must be sad about the car.
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Re: Mars
« Reply #26 on: August 18, 2021, 07:32:56 PM »
Why did they not slam in an extra battery pack and some extra cams for science. Would watch the time lapse...
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Re: Mars
« Reply #27 on: August 18, 2021, 07:52:20 PM »
All out of plutonium-238
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Re: Mars
« Reply #28 on: August 18, 2021, 09:57:41 PM »
0 Kelvin and hard radiation outside the van allen belt tends to screw with any tech not specifically designed for it.  Now a few solar panels with space certified battery backup and radiation hardened camera's....  Might have been fun.

But it wasn't the point.  The point was to be totally off the wall with the test launch and to generate a story for  "citizen news".  I guess they hit the goal.

Although the first Outer Space travelling webcam is, I think, an opportunity missed.
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Mars
« Reply #29 on: August 19, 2021, 09:53:21 PM »
Japan aims to bring back soil samples from Mars moon by 2029
Quote
Japanese space agency scientists said Thursday they plan to bring soil samples back from the Mars region ahead of the United States and China, which started Mars missions last year, in hopes of finding clues to the planet's origin and traces of possible life.
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA, plans to launch an explorer in 2024 to land on Phobos, a Martian moon, to collect 10 grams (0.35 ounce) of soil and bring it back to Earth in 2029.

The rapid return trip is expected to put Japan ahead of the United States and China in bringing back samples from the Martian region despite starting later, project manager Yasuhiro Kawakatsu said in an online news conference. …
https://phys.org/news/2021-08-japan-aims-soil-samples-mars.html
——
Quote
Eric Berger:
Epic, if it happens.
< Whats so special about this particular space rock?
<< It's the closest moon to mars, tidal locked and goes around mars once in 7h39. These feats make it a perfect steppin' stone to and from mars. It also has a woopin' crater, so it's not boring.
8/19/21  https://twitter.com/spammingeddie/status/1428426707858563085
⬇️ Image below.
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Mars
« Reply #30 on: August 21, 2021, 04:05:50 PM »
I know Perseverance does not have photovoltaic cells, but if it did, would Ingenuity be able to blow dust off of them?

I still think the old rovers should have taken a dust broom with them for the purpose!

I don’t think they would risk operating the helicopter so close to the rover.  (And remember, any flight has to be entirely programmed ahead of time.) But:

NASA’s InSight lander cleaned a bit of dust from one of its solar panels by trickling sand in the wind on May 22, 2021, the 884th Martian day, or sol, of the mission. As the sand blew over the panel, it picking up some dust as it went, resulting in a boost to InSight’s power. …

Future Mars rovers will be accompanied by a helicopter, an android robot, and a tool kit (with air compressor and feather duster ;) ).

Quote
< Is this [Tesla Bot] going to be mass produced and sent to Mars?
[⬇️ First image below; click to embiggen.]

Elon Musk
Hopefully.
8/21/21 https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1428951783615864835
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Re: Mars
« Reply #31 on: August 21, 2021, 04:18:48 PM »
Quote
I've just about had enough of you. Go that way. You'll be malfunctioning within a day, you near-sighted scrap pile. And don't let me catch you following me begging for help because you won't get it.

gerontocrat

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Re: Mars
« Reply #32 on: August 21, 2021, 05:25:07 PM »
Tesla Robot to human...

Quote
I've just about had enough of you. Go that way. You'll be malfunctioning within a day, you near-sighted useless pile of poorly constructed organic matter. And don't let me catch you following me begging for help because you won't get it.
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Re: Mars
« Reply #33 on: August 21, 2021, 05:58:20 PM »
If this is where the Mars comment on Covid came from... as soon as you put a human on Mars you have bacteria on the planet but you have no context. On Earth there are relations between what you eat and what you have have in the gut. More worrysome what would you eat on Mars anyway?
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Re: Mars
« Reply #34 on: August 21, 2021, 06:09:50 PM »
Quote
... More worrysome what would you eat on Mars anyway?

... Not much ...

-------------------------------

If humans ever do colonize Mars, producing food will be a difficult task. Besides the obvious challenges of providing water, sunlight and nutrients for plants to grow, Martian farmers will also have to content with damage by cosmic rays – according to researchers in the Netherlands.

Although Earth is also constantly bombarded by cosmic rays, ground-level radiation on Mars is about 17 times higher. Now, Nyncke Tack and colleagues at Wageningen University and the Research and the Reactor Institute Delft have studied how this radiation affects plants.

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fspas.2021.665649/full

The team irradiated cress and rye plants with five specially-designed cobalt-60 radiation sources to simulate the radiation levels caused by cosmic rays on Mars. They observed multiple negative effects on the plants including brown leaves and dwarfed growth. In addition, after 28 days the harvest yield was smaller than in the non-radiated control group.

While the cobalt-60 sources only emitted gamma rays, plants on Mars would be subject to several different types of radiation, which could each affect the plants differently. Nevertheless, the team was able to conclude that crops would struggle with the effects of cosmic rays on Mars.

They describe their experiment in Frontiers in Astronomy and Space Science and there is lots more about growing food on Mars in this Physics World article, “Rocket for rocketeers”.

https://physicsworld.com/a/rocket-for-rocketeers/
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solartim27

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Re: Mars
« Reply #35 on: August 21, 2021, 06:33:07 PM »
We might have a good base of research already, it is how GMO used to be created.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atomic_gardening
FNORD

gerontocrat

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Re: Mars
« Reply #36 on: August 21, 2021, 06:43:41 PM »
If this is where the Mars comment on Covid came from...

"war of the worlds" H.G. Wells at the end of the book.
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Mars
« Reply #37 on: August 21, 2021, 08:01:23 PM »
Crops can be grown inside and underground using LED lights and very little water, like vertical farming methods on earth.  For radiation and climate control, expect electric tunnel boring machines from The Boring Company to be high on the payload list once construction of permanent settlements begins.

In the meantime, each Starship’s 1000 cubic meters of pressurized payload space can hold a lot of meals-ready-to-eat — and food in freezers.

—-
Edit: news here on the latest-generation TBM from TBC:
https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,2000.msg319776.html#msg319776
« Last Edit: August 21, 2021, 11:30:44 PM by Sigmetnow »
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gerontocrat

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Re: Mars
« Reply #38 on: August 21, 2021, 08:06:59 PM »
We might have a good base of research already, it is how GMO used to be created.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atomic_gardening
Quote
In an individual weighing 70kg, the human gut microbiota gathers more than 100 trillion microorganisms and weighs about 200g (equivalent to a medium-sized mango). There are 150/200 times more genes in this individual's microbiota than in all of their cells put together

Living on Earth one way or another provides the micro-biota that a human needs in its gut.
A bacteria-free or sterile environment on Mars is, I suspect,  not viable for a long-term. i.e. permanent, human presence on a bacteria-free planet.
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Mars
« Reply #39 on: August 21, 2021, 08:10:29 PM »

Living on Earth one way or another provides the micro-biota that a human needs in its gut.
A bacteria-free or sterile environment on Mars is, I suspect,  not viable for a long-term. i.e. permanent, human presence on a bacteria-free planet.

Human crew quarters will hardly be sterile.  The International Space Station certainly isn’t. 
Needing to wear a space suit any time one leaves the crew quarters will minimize (but not eliminate) planetary contamination.

Decontamination procedures incorporated into airlocks is likely.
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Mars
« Reply #40 on: August 21, 2021, 08:15:11 PM »
So I came here to post this: ;)

ExoMars 2022 mission in final testing, ESA & Roscosmos prepare for approaching launch
August 21, 2021
Quote
The European Space Agency (ESA) and Roscosmos are preparing for the 2022 launch of the next mission in their joint ExoMars program, which is currently undergoing final testing before shipment to Kazakhstan for a launch in September next year.

The 2022 astrobiology mission will see the long-awaited Rosalind Franklin rover land on Mars with the help of the Russian Kazachok lander. The lander will also perform experiments on the Martian surface after deploying Rosalind Franklin as the two craft work together to search for signs of past life on the Red Planet. …
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2021/08/exomars-2022-update/
⬇️ Image below.

Of the many instruments on board, there is: “Dust Suite” — dust particle size, impact, and atmospheric charging instrument suite.

======

Edit: And China’s rover is still in good shape after 90 days on Mars

China's Mars rover soldiers on after completing program
Quote
China's Zhurong Mars rover is soldiering on after completing its initial program to explore the red planet and search for frozen water that could provide clues as to whether it once supported life.

China's National Space Administration said on its website Friday that Zhurong completed its 90-day program on Aug. 15 and was in excellent technical condition and fully charged.

It said it would continue to explore the area known as Utopia Planitia where it landed on May 14. Zhurong has been consistently sending back photos and data via the Tianwen-1 orbiter that crosses over it once a day.

After the United States, China is the second country to land and sustainably operate a spacecraft on Mars, where days are 40 minutes longer than on Earth. …
https://phys.org/news/2021-08-china-mars-rover-soldiers.html

—-
Image below:  the long-awaited ESA Rosalind Franklin rover and the Russian Kazachok lander, now in final testing.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2021, 08:57:22 PM by Sigmetnow »
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kassy

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Re: Mars
« Reply #41 on: August 22, 2021, 05:48:53 PM »
If this is where the Mars comment on Covid came from...

"war of the worlds" H.G. Wells at the end of the book.

Thanks! Now i feel a bit dumb but then again it´s ages since i read that.

Living on Earth one way or another provides the micro-biota that a human needs in its gut.
A bacteria-free or sterile environment on Mars is, I suspect,  not viable for a long-term. i.e. permanent, human presence on a bacteria-free planet.


Changes of diet change the gut biota and it´s balance. The problem is that you would have to live there with very limited inputs. For the veggies you grow you will need some soil for micronutrients because we need those long term. If you are smart you also grow some plants to make more soil but then you need a bunch of soil critters to and something to pollinate. Ignoring that which plants would you take?

Then you can´t go out and catch a fish or shoot some deer.
Or provided they launch along a couple of tons of Big Macs (because they are resistant to cosmic radiation too) you still can´t get a burger from Wendy´s.

I am not sure what a multiyear astronaut food diet does to the microbiome but it must change over time if you never get to munch leafy greens or fresh fruit. I don´t think they ever tested that on those closed colony tests. The problem is not so much the sterility around but the amount of things you actually would want to take along.

Besides the food being boring you would life in cubicles only. There would be no trees to walk among or birds to hear sing. Maybe you can build it all indoors but that would be a huge project.

Will be a while before we join our Mars Rovers.
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vox_mundi

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Re: Mars
« Reply #42 on: August 22, 2021, 06:09:49 PM »
Quote
Besides the food being boring you would life in cubicles only. There would be no trees to walk among or birds to hear sing. Maybe you can build it all indoors but that would be a huge project.

Birds? Trees? - Virtual Reality?

Of course you could VR the whole trip


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kassy

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Re: Mars
« Reply #43 on: August 22, 2021, 06:49:58 PM »
And then run it in real time to annoy people.  :)
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Mars
« Reply #44 on: August 23, 2021, 04:04:42 AM »
Living on Earth one way or another provides the micro-biota that a human needs in its gut.
A bacteria-free or sterile environment on Mars is, I suspect,  not viable for a long-term. i.e. permanent, human presence on a bacteria-free planet.


Changes of diet change the gut biota and it´s balance. The problem is that you would have to live there with very limited inputs. For the veggies you grow you will need some soil for micronutrients because we need those long term. If you are smart you also grow some plants to make more soil but then you need a bunch of soil critters to and something to pollinate. Ignoring that which plants would you take?

Then you can´t go out and catch a fish or shoot some deer.
Or provided they launch along a couple of tons of Big Macs (because they are resistant to cosmic radiation too) you still can´t get a burger from Wendy´s.

I am not sure what a multiyear astronaut food diet does to the microbiome but it must change over time if you never get to munch leafy greens or fresh fruit. I don´t think they ever tested that on those closed colony tests. The problem is not so much the sterility around but the amount of things you actually would want to take along.

Besides the food being boring you would life in cubicles only. There would be no trees to walk among or birds to hear sing. Maybe you can build it all indoors but that would be a huge project.

Will be a while before we join our Mars Rovers.


Of course the colony will have pizza makers and ‘burger joints — maybe even a Wendy’s! (they’ll likely be veggie burgers or cultured meat, though).  As the colony grows, there will be earth companies vying to be the provider for food and appliances redesigned for safe use on Mars.  And there will be Mars colonists whose job is to help serve food (for the social benefits) and service the tech.  The eventual goal is to have a self-sustaining colony that could survive even if totally cut off from earth (about a million people, Musk thinks).

The first Starships that carry early astronauts to Mars will have ovens for use on-board during the journey; or in any case, for use once they’re back in gravity on the surface of Mars. (Crumbs are a problem in space. But connecting two ships and slowly spinning them to create an artificial gravity during the trip is a possibility.)  Starship has an amount of interior pressurized space equivalent to the entire International Space Station, so there’s plenty of room.  It will serve as the astronaut’s habitat once they land until more permanent structures are built.

It’s hard to overstate the incredible possibilities that Starship will offer, with each ship being able to transport 100 or 150 tons to the surface of Mars — and several Starships will be on each mission.  Appliances to outfit shelters as they are built will be part of the cargo; food and food prep has always been and will continue to be a top priority for astronaut well-being.

Dragon Crew-1 astronaut Victor Glover was part of an experiment that included eating extra fruits and vegetables in his diet during his six-month stay aboard the ISS.  The food in the space station is not just MREs — the recent Cygnus cargo ship included a pizza kit and cheese smorgasbord along with the usual fresh fruit and veggies.

Experiments have been ongoing for years on the ISS, learning what food is best to grow in space and how best to grow it.  But hey, now you know that, if needed, a few tons of rich earth soil could make the trip to Mars as a starter batch inside the habitat.

“No trees or birds…” 
1) Clearly you are not the adventurer type.  Exploring A DIFFERENT FREAKING PLANET is an opportunity thousands of people are spending their lives preparing for, right now.  “Humanity’s greatest challenge” is not a walk in the park….

2) Trees, grass and flowers, along with food crops, will eventually be planted in garden spaces inside the colony habitat.  Probably butterflies and bees to help with pollination, and to serve as early warning systems for the biome.  Some pets, eventually.  (The ISS has already had all sorts of critters on board, testing gene therapies for muscle wasting and such that will help back on earth as well as future astronauts.).  The latest TBC boring machine is designed to construct tunnels at a rate of greater than a mile a week. Future astros can keep those jogging shoes handy!

We’ve had a continual presence on the ISS for 20 years now, learning about living and working in space.  Mars, with its gravity, an atmosphere of sorts, and plenty of surface to spread out on, in some ways will be easier, and, due to distance, in some ways harder.  But many relish the challenge, and even those who will never leave earth want to make it possible for those who will.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2021, 04:34:25 AM by Sigmetnow »
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Mars
« Reply #45 on: August 23, 2021, 12:49:53 PM »
Astronauts Grow Salad Greens, Eat Fresh Food in Space
https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/astronauts-grow-salad-greens-eat-fresh-food-in-space-a-nasa-first/
 
'Bake In Space': Experiment to test baking crumb-free bread on space station | collectSPACE
http://www.collectspace.com/news/news-061217a-bake-in-space-station-bread.html

Ice cream for ISS: Frozen dessert flying on station-bound SpaceX Dragon | collectSPACE
http://www.collectspace.com/news/news-100612a.html

What's on the Menu? Recipes from the ISS | National Air and Space Museum
Quote
Astronauts typically turn to tortillas as a substitute for bread, because it doesn’t leave crumbs behind when you bite into it. So, tortillas can be used for any number of creative uses: breakfast burritos or peanut butter and jelly wraps, for example, are popular workarounds. While aboard the ISS in 2015,  American astronaut Terry Virts created his own “space cheeseburger” on a tortilla wrap, made of beef paddies, cheese, tomato paste, and Russian mustard.
https://airandspace.si.edu/stories/editorial/whats-menu-recipes-iss

Eating in Space | NASA
https://www.nasa.gov/audience/foreducators/stem-on-station/ditl_eating
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Mars
« Reply #46 on: August 24, 2021, 01:57:02 AM »
—- Why go to Mars?
Quote
< Why going to Mars and making life multi-planetary is important:
1. To learn about the nature of life and consciousness.
2. To organize society by setting challenging and inspirational goals.
3. To do something that future societies will consider significant.

Elon Musk
To extend the light of consciousness
8/23/21 https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1429895284893503507
 
< Would it be a first step in moving Humans to become a Type 2 civilisation ? Side step Type 1 ?
Elon Musk
There is a profound difference between single-planet & multiplanet species.
If we are able to visit other stars one day, we may discover many long-dead single-planet civilizations.

8/23/21, 4:02 PM. https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1429896772055289869

< Should we be nervous that you are building rockets, an army of robots, and say English will end?
Elon Musk
It’s basically the plot of Fallout: New Vegas
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1429896986405195810.

More at https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,2582.msg319947.html#msg319947
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vox_mundi

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Re: Mars
« Reply #47 on: August 26, 2021, 03:21:33 PM »
Manned Mars Mission Viable If It Doesn't Exceed Four Years, Concludes International Research Team
https://phys.org/news/2021-08-mars-mission-viable-doesnt-years.html

Sending human travelers to Mars would require scientists and engineers to overcome a range of technological and safety obstacles. One of them is the grave risk posed by particle radiation from the sun, distant stars and galaxies.

Answering two key questions would go a long way toward overcoming that hurdle: Would particle radiation pose too grave a threat to human life throughout a round trip to the red planet? And, could the very timing of a mission to Mars help shield astronauts and the spacecraft from the radiation?

In a new article published in the peer-reviewed journal Space Weather, an international team of space scientists, including researchers from UCLA, answers those two questions with a "no" and a "yes."

That is, humans should be able to safely travel to and from Mars, provided that the spacecraft has sufficient shielding and the round trip is shorter than approximately four years. And the timing of a human mission to Mars would indeed make a difference: The scientists determined that the best time for a flight to leave Earth would be when solar activity is at its peak, known as the solar maximum.

The scientists' calculations demonstrate that it would be possible to shield a Mars-bound spacecraft from energetic particles from the sun because, during solar maximum, the most dangerous and energetic particles from distant galaxies are deflected by the enhanced solar activity.

M.I. Dobynde et al, Beating 1 Sievert: Optimal Radiation Shielding of Astronauts on a Mission to Mars, Space Weather (2021)
https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2021SW002749
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Mars
« Reply #48 on: August 27, 2021, 03:48:04 PM »
“Instead of spending $800 million for a 95% chance of success, can we spend $80 million for an 80% chance?”

NASA Will be Sending two More Missions to Mars in 2024, Costing Just $80 Million
Quote
One of the biggest ongoing changes in space exploration is the introduction of commercial methods into the field.  Commercial launch providers like RocketLab and SpaceX have fundamentally changed the way the industry does business.  Now researchers are taking their “move fast and break things” approach to another part of the industry – actual mission design.  

One of a trio of missions that will attempt to lower a mission’s cost to launch by a factor of 10 is led by researchers at UC Berkeley.  Known as the Escape and Plasma Acceleration and Dynamics Explorers (ESCAPADE), the mission will consist of twin satellites, known as “Blue” and “Gold” after UC Berkeley’s colors.  Their primary mission will be to monitor Mars, watching for its atmosphere and how the planet is affected by the solar wind. One of the most intriguing things about the project is that it should cost only around $80 million from start to data collection in Mars orbit.

Various factors enable such a dramatic price drop from the $800 million that such a mission would typically cost using traditional satellite development methods.  One large cost savings is high-risk tolerance.  Dr. Robert Lillis, an associate director at UC Berkeley’s Space Sciences Laboratory, puts it plaintively: “Instead of spending $800 million for a 95% chance of success, can we spend $80 million for an 80% chance?”

Such risk tolerance has been rare in the space industry in the past. Still, it has slowly grown in acceptance as SpaceX and its competitors literally blow through rocket prototypes regularly.  One of those competitors is RocketLab, which has begun collaborating with the ESCAPADE team to help develop the program further. …
https://www.universetoday.com/152336/nasa-will-be-sending-two-more-missions-to-mars-in-2024-costing-just-80-million/

From the article:
Why Did Mars Lose Its Atmosphere? And How Can We Get It Back? - Universe Today
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Mars
« Reply #49 on: August 28, 2021, 06:16:19 PM »
“Space Food”. Not just Power Bars anymore.
 
I tried the French space food that launched with SpaceX's latest astronaut crew, and it was better than I expected
Quote
… But some space food is getting better. Astronaut Thomas Pesquet launched to the ISS in April with some specially commissioned French meals in tow.

I tried those dishes myself after Gategroup sent me packets from the same batch that launched aboard Crew Dragon.

On the ISS, astronauts slip the pouches between two hot plates to warm them up. I dropped mine in hot water for about seven minutes each.

The pouches go through a sterilization machine with high temperatures and high pressure. That affects the flavor, but it makes the food safe to store at room temperature for up to two years.

First up: beef bourguignon. The beef was shredded finely and accompanied by bacon, mushrooms, and glazed onions. …

Next dish: risotto with Périgord black truffle. Traditional risotto is made with arborio rice, but Adamski used a firm wheat grain called einkorn. …

Finally, it's dessert time. The crêpe Suzette with orange zest was flambéed in Grand Marinier. It was very orange-y. …


Overall… the space food impressed me.

It was better than some frozen dinners I've had here on Earth.
https://www.businessinsider.com/taste-test-space-food-launched-with-spacex-astronaut-crew-2021-8
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