30 thoughts on “Human Missions To Mars”

  1. I hope some of the paying customers are educating this “huge fan of space exploration” on SpaceX and its entire reason for being. Jeez.

  2. Well it seems NASA [someone at NASA] wants nuclear rocket- and nuclear rocket is somehow needed for Mars exploration.
    One aspect is NASA is not going to do able something like a Saturn V, Shuttle, or SLS program, and for NASA to build a rocket, they “got” to do something like make nuclear rocket.
    They might need a nuclear rocket to explore Jupiter and beyond- and could want Mars Exploration program
    to pay for it.

    If one can refuel a chemical rocket in orbit, then there doesn’t seem to be any need for nuclear rocket.
    But NASA wants to build rockets, and there seems a desire to make a nuclear rocket.

    1. What could be needed are mass drivers- a rocket assist
      type thing.
      And we need to able to launch from the equator.
      And it seems one can marry, mass drivers and launching from oceanic equator.
      Such a thing requires “political power”- but NASA and US govt in general, seems to lack having enough political power.

      It seems if NASA explores and actually finds water lunar -which is very obviously commercial mineable-
      this could allow enough political power to do something.
      And it could be wasted on nuclear rockets.

  3. Buy a ticket on Space-X to a nice holiday at the Luna South Pole Trump Hotel and Casino….

    1. Investors mostly don’t need Congress (that doesn’t really sound right, but lets just let it go for the moment), except for when they can’t compete with private enterprise–especially non-Terrestrial private enterprise.

      There’s more wealth to be had located throughout the solar system.

      They won’t be able to tax more than a minor amount of it.

      The solar system economy can buy way, way more guns.

        1. If large lasers are covered under the 2nd, then defense, launch, and deceleration becomes one installation. Laser assisted rockets are (theoretically) capable of enormous Isp, which is especially interesting for slowing a high speed approach.

  4. Jazz made a mistake by linking to the now defunct Obama era Journey to Mars page.

      1. Yeah. but when is NASA going to send crew to Mars surface?
        Starship maybe the only plan land crew on Mars- and get Mars bases.
        And NASA was saying for many decades they wanted to do this. But NASA never really did anything, to do this.
        Instead, they said they needed a big rocket, and +40 billion dollars later, they got SLS- but it can’t do the job.
        What was needed, is refueling a rocket in orbit.
        One could say, New Glenn is closer to doing it, as compared to SLS. It’s planned to be reusable and it could be refueled in orbit.
        But another thing needed is artificial gravity. [and seems Musk is going in that direction- within about a year.]
        Testing artificial gravity has always been a cheap thing to do, but NASA has never done it- so how you say NASA was actually interested in sending crew to Mars.
        And there could need to be a lot testing of artificial gravity- NASA didn’t begin, and it might take a long time to finish testing it. One can hope it will take less than 1 year, but it could take more than 10 years. It seems simple, but it might not be, as it seems.
        It seems likely we will land crew on the Moon somewhere around 2025, but for various possible reasons, NASA could spend more than 5 years doing stuff on the Moon. And perhaps, within this time, have tested artificial gravity, enough.
        And also by 2025, Starship will have refueled in orbit- maybe even New Glenn has refueled in orbit.
        And once refueling in orbit has worked, one might expect a lot different parties, trying to do it, {even SLS}.

  5. I’ve been inspired to come up with a new architecture for a Mars mission that uses one or more “Martian Gateways”. They won’t need to be very big because they’ll just serve as stopping points between the Earth and Mars, where the crew can dock and do something that they’re supposed to do before undocking and moving on.

    The mass and orbit of the Gateways will be set to match whatever the SLS can hurl with the European upper stage, and they’ll probably be in an orbit that’s out of the ecliptic plane for reasons that NASA will explain in a long press conference about orbital stuff.

    The will probably need to make two stations so a major contractor doesn’t sue for losing the one contract, and to avoid commonality of design so there’s two ways the mission can go wrong instead of just one, so there will be a Boeing Gateway and a Lockheed Martin Gateway. Each will serve a specific and vital purpose that nobody will quite figure out, but NASA will explain how the MacGuffin at each Gateway is not at all like a pointless scavenger hunt to justify their budget.

  6. Who knew that the most fantastic element in ‘The Martian’s’ plot would be that NASA could send an expedition to Mars?

  7. Elon has spoken favorably about NTR. Might NTR be a sellable way to give NASA something useful to do once Starship achieves orbit and hence make SLS unnecessary?

    1. “Elon has spoken favorably about NTR.”

      I thought the problem with Nuclear Thermal Rockets were the question of reusability. How many cycles can you rev up the nuclear rocket almost to the points of melting the fuel elements than powering it back down? Less of an issue perhaps with a typical one opt “flag-and-footprints” type mission (NASA) but would think it would matter if your trying to colonize Mars (Musk). Would think a NER like VASIMR would be more what you would want to wed the Starship/superheavy to. Either that or some sort of Fusion rocket like:
      “Electromagnetically Driven Fusion Propulsion”


  8. This is one of those haphazardly put together articles where someone pulls an isolated statement or assertion from here, there and everywhere (often totally incorrect) without any context, because all of that is mere window dressing for what the author _thinks_ you will find to be their brilliant closing assertions.

    Which turn out to be vacuous except to the habitually ill-informed.

  9. In terms of going to Mars [with crew] it looks like we are in Solar Grand Minimum.
    I don’t think it will have much effect upon global warming but it will increase GCR radiation on people in Space. Radiation levels on ISS and Mars crew.
    And this higher radiation could last for more than two decades.

    1. What could lower radiation in LEO is to not be in a 51 degree inclination.
      This also going effect airliners going over the poles- and seems to me, sub-orbital passenger travel could provide lower radiation levels.

      1. The problem with a lower inclination is the regrettable tendency for tropical launch areas to undergo socialist changes of heart, resulting in nationalization and other arbitrary confiscations.
        Why build an immovable high-tech thing in an area where you’re likely to lose it to the jefe’s nephew?

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