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Mars NASA Space Science

Dennis Tito's 2018 Mars Mission To Be Manned 233

Last Thursday, we discussed news that millionaire Dennis Tito was planning a private mission to Mars in 2018, but details were sparse. Now, reader RocketAcademy writes that Tito has provided more information about the tip, and that he intends the mission to be manned: "Dennis Tito, the first citizen space explorer to visit the International Space Station, has created the Inspiration Mars Foundation to raise funds for an even more dramatic mission: a human flyby of the planet Mars. Tito, a former JPL rocket scientist who later founded the investment firm Wilshire Associates, proposes to send two Americans — a man and a woman — on a 501-day roundtrip mission which would launch on January 5, 2018. Technical details of the mission can be found in a feasibility analysis (PDF), which Tito is scheduled to present at the IEEE Aerospace Conference in March. Former NASA flight surgeon Dr. Jonathon Clark, who is developing innovative ways of dealing with radiation exposure during the mission, called the flight 'an Apollo 8 moment for the next generation.'"
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Dennis Tito's 2018 Mars Mission To Be Manned

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  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Wednesday February 27, 2013 @11:24PM (#43030991) Journal

    sorry to burst your cum-bubble, but jizz and vag spoo and sweat dries very quickly. The answer to your bukkake question is that it will be possible at a somewhat greater distance than on earth. the only thing left for you to fantasize about it how the place will *smell* after the mission is done. I find it ridiculous that they talk of sending a middle aged couple because of radiation concerns regarding sperm and egg, plenty of young couple opt to be made sterile by one means or another, tubal ligation or vasectomy or whatever. deep space porn rights could help offset cost of mission.....

    Control of biological...undesireables... is actually a bit tricky in space. Lots of problems that just solve themselves when you have an entire planetary atmosphere to work with just don't when you have a few thousands or tens of thousands of liters of atmosphere along with whatever climate control you packed with it.

    Both Mir and the ISS developed moderately nasty mold problems, and Mir even had a number of horrid water globules [] hiding behind rarely used access panels growing various vile slime.

    It isn't obvious that sexual fluids would be worse than mere sweat(might actually be less troublesome, since there is a strong evolutionary imperative in favor of mechanisms that keep other microorganisms from hijacking our gene transfer mechanism for their own ends); but we know that mere sweat and exhaled water vapor are enough to really gross up the place.

  • by MichaelSmith ( 789609 ) on Wednesday February 27, 2013 @11:47PM (#43031113) Homepage Journal

    I envisage landing at the Hallas low point, for the highest temperatures and highest atmospheric pressure. The crew would dig or drill for water and use photovoltic power to extract oxygen from the water. They may also use oxygen and hydrogen in fuel cells for energy storage. They would land with two years of food, but they would have an inflatible habitat which could be used to grow some food as well.

    One concern is the life of their pressure suits. Lunar fines are very abrasive and Apollo surface suits had a short working life. Martian fines may cause similar problems.

  • by FatLittleMonkey ( 1341387 ) on Thursday February 28, 2013 @01:05AM (#43031467)

    We would learn nothing about Mars that couldn't be done with an unmanned orbiter. We would learn nothing about humans in space that we couldn't learn in Earth orbit.

    We will learn that in 2018 you can buy, privately, enough hardware to fly to Mars.

    Around the same time, there will be a company selling private space stations for less than some people spend on second homes. (Or on racing yachts. Or unstable private artificial islands.) Some billionaires gamble (ie, lose) more each year (for fun) than it will cost to orbit the moon, in a couple of years.

    Tito will spend less than one third of one year's worth of the ISS budget. Or 1/70th of the estimated development cost of the SLS. Or about the same cost as a Shuttle mission (depending on what you count.)

    To fly past Mars. Just because he feels like it.

    Double the cost of this Mars flyby and you could put human boots on Phobos. That's well within the spending power of any modest developing nation. From hardware purchased privately and available to anyone. A basic lunar base for a couple of billion. A flyby of Jupiter for $3-5b.

    The world changed, and the world's national space agencies are still playing with dead rats in the gutter pretending they have a space program.

  • by wisebabo ( 638845 ) on Thursday February 28, 2013 @01:53AM (#43031663) Journal

    Have they done a similar study for a Venus flyby? The launch dates might be more forgiving, the target a bit closer, the trip length might be a shorter and the delta-V requirements a bit less. Most important maybe the earth re-entry requirements would be a little less extreme. It is a 14km/sec aero-capture maneuver prior to re-entry that would, in some scenarios, put the vehicle in an elliptical, battery power only, 10-day trajectory beyond the moon (not to mention abusing the heat shield TWICE) just to reduce G-forces!. And there's only a 6km entry "window" between burn-up and bouncing off the atmosphere on an escape trajectory!

    I mean since this trip is mainly a (very useful) test of long duration deep space flight with very limited "observation" of an already well-studied planet (there are currently three orbiters and two rovers on Mars), does it really matter which planet we flyby? Since the trajectory for this mission already takes it inward almost to Venus' orbit, they will be exposed to the same levels of solar heat (and radiation). Mars is, of course, more relevant for future long term exploration but other than the P.R. value there is not much more that would be gained over going to it versus Venus.

    On the other hand, if somebody forks up the money for this tomorrow, please ignore everything I said. Mars or bust!

"Mach was the greatest intellectual fraud in the last ten years." "What about X?" "I said `intellectual'." ;login, 9/1990