12 Jun

A look at the future of NASA & humans in space

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“‘Assuming the ISS [International Space Station] is extended to 2028 and the HSF [human spaceflight] budget is increased up to 5 percent per year (two times the rate of inflation), the earliest a crewed surface mission to Mars is likely to occur will be approximately 2040 to 2050.”

(Via Ariel Waldman » The future of humans in space.)

This, along with many other interesting highlights about the recent and thorough look at the future of NASA manned spaceflight by one of the report’s authors are all at the link above.

Meaty reading, I only had a chance to skim.

21 Feb

Inspiration Mars: WTF?

Universe Today is suggesting, based on some info Jeff Foust dug up, that Dennis Tito is creating Inspiration Mars and plans to use a modified Dragon SpaceX capsule to do a 501 day trip for two people around Mars and back.

501 days in a capsule is… extreme. Here is the capsule in question:

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A year and a half in that?

Or as Karl Schroeder put it on twitter:

“Okay, I’ll say it: going to Mars in 2018: great idea. Spending 500 days in a tiny modified Dragon capsule? Batshit crazy. (Sorry, Elon)”

Agreed.

They need to talk to Bigelow Aerospace about adding an inflatable module to the mission.

I gather we’ll find out sometime next week if this is truly the plan.

24 Jan

Boeing has ideas on how to get to Mars

Nasa Spaceflight has a very in depth look at all the various options Boeing is providing NASA for possible Mars missions. It’s a good look at the technology on the table and in the near future around space access.

Taking into consideration the already-acknowledge difficulties of mounting a crewed mission to Mars – not the least of which being the distance involved, the time to get a crew to Mars and back, and the harsh environment of the inner solar beyond Earth’s protective geomagnetic field – there is another ‘given’ for crewed missions to Mars.

The vehicle that will take us to the Red Planet will have to be constructed on Earth and then assembled in space.

Skillfully, the world’s prominent spacefaring nations have already gained invaluable information and practice in assembling a large Earth-constructed, space-assembled vehicle with NASA, RSA (Russian federal Space Agency), ESA (European Space Agency), CSA (Canadian Space Agency), and JAXA’s (Japan Aerospace and eXploration Agency’s) contributions and missions to the International Space Station .

Taking those lessons learned during construction of the ISS and applying them to the eventual Mars Transfer Vehicle (MTV) will allow all nations involved in what is shaping up to most-certainly be an international effort to land humans on Mars to capitalize on past best practices while still employing new technologies and innovations.