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Science Forum

  1. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    31 May '13 07:13
    http://edition.cnn.com/2013/05/30/us/mars-radiation/index.html?hpt=hp_c4

    They talk about high levels of radiation on a round trip to Mars which with present technology will take over 500 days round trip.

    However, the article doesn't even mention work being done on much more advanced propulsion systems such as Vasimir which can get you to Mars in a month or less depending on how much power you can generate with either solar cells or atomic reactors, fission or fusion or antimatter, whatever.

    The bottom line is not to forget going to mars but to develop truly advanced propulsion systems that can get us there in a week or so. For instance, the Vasimir with its month long trip to mars is a system that runs 24/7 but at a very low rate of acceleration, like 1/20th of a g, but continuously which ends up being 6 or 7 times faster than chemical rockets in spite of the very low accel, like so low that if you weigh 200 pounds on Earth, you would weigh 10 pounds on the space ship, barely enough to keep you in bed if you are asleep. But with this new data in mind, it is imperative to develop these newer propulsion systems.
  2. 31 May '13 09:23
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    They talk about high levels of radiation on a round trip to Mars which with present technology will take over 500 days round trip.
    I believe the first travellers will be doing a one way trip, and it should not be necessary to do round trips for quite some time. The only real reason for return trips is sample return, and that could be done by robotic spacecraft.
  3. 31 May '13 11:20
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    I believe the first travellers will be doing a one way trip, and it should not be necessary to do round trips for quite some time. The only real reason for return trips is sample return, and that could be done by robotic spacecraft.
    Yea digging up samples for nasa and having little company would be a priority for space travelers. I could see them forsaking mom and pop for such a wonderful life where they could not spend any of their earnings.
  4. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    31 May '13 13:06
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    I believe the first travellers will be doing a one way trip, and it should not be necessary to do round trips for quite some time. The only real reason for return trips is sample return, and that could be done by robotic spacecraft.
    Even a one way trip in present technology will give them potentially life threatening radiation. The only solution, one way or 2 way, is much faster spacecraft. Remember, this is only Mars. Suppose you are planning a trip to Jupiter or Saturn to check out the many moons there. You are talking about a trip of billions of miles. For that you might need craft capable of one g of accel 24/7 and 1 g decel when you are half way there which puts the entire solar system available in one week or so. That may be the ONLY way we can personally visit ANYTHING outside of Mars. Right now the only thing we can even think about is craft powered by something like Vasimir which with any extension of current technology is going to poop out at anything more than 1/20th of a g. If it takes 200 megawatts to get out 1/20th of a g, which is something like what they talk about with Vasimir, then 1 g would take 4 GIGAwatts which might happen in the 22nd century but certainly not in the 21st.