To catch up on my previous Mars posts click on Gravity Defiance: Mars
Aside from the preposterous idea of living on Mars, the main obstacle is in how to get there, and the many various tests that still need to be carried out. There are a few agencies that are currently working on it, but SpaceX and NASA stand out the most right now. Virgin Galactic was supposed get in on the space race, but they have seem to have fallen off somewhere. Jeff Bezos has contributed to the race by inventing the reusable rocket. There are at least a couple other agencies that are in the race as well.
NASA has limited tax payer money, so they are looking at an approach that’s more practical like sending robots, extensive testing, and a more conservative target goal for sending people to Mars (2040). At this time I don’t support taking anymore tax money from hard working citizens, to bolster them, but I would reconsider that at a later time when our economy is better. NASA has been a major player in the game, and given that our economy is taking off, and jobs are coming back, the idea of supporting NASA should become more attractive as time goes on, and they are a major player in the space race.
SpaceX has more resources to work with since they’re a rich private enterprise with a good following of support from other companies, and Elon Musk claims he will be ready to go in (I think) 2024, but is subject to change. That would simply be one of the greatest achievements in history if done in that timeframe, which is why I think it’s important to support capitalism, and support politicians that reject socialistic left leaning agenda. We need businesses to thrive, not government agencies.
So with that said, let’s talk space flight, and current relevant testing that will take us beyond the stars. The main problem with space flight is that space has little resistance, so jets don’t work very well since there is nothing to push off of, so traveling to Mars will mean a fast take off from Earth. I’ve talked about the Em-drive before, but that is still being tested, and very much in it’s infancy if at all. Other obstacles to space flight is gravity from large bodies in space, so part of traveling involves waiting for the right time to go. The when and how depends on who you talk to you. Difference agencies have different views on when and how they want to launch, how long of a trip, and the numbers are always subject to change, but lets just say it takes approx. between 16 and 20 months round trip. I think most of us were hoping our technology would be better than that by now, but that hasn’t happened, however there is still time before 2024 (SpaceX target date), or 2040 (NASA’s target date) to change that. There is extensive testing being done to help alleviate the stress of being trapped in a box for many months at a time, but I support the idea of just going to sleep for the duration of the trip, so whoever they pick to go should be those kinds of people who can fall asleep at will. I am not one of them, I am lucky to sleep at all, and I am pretty jealous of who can. Maybe God didn’t give me that gift , because I would just fall asleep, and not wake up anymore, especially during left wing presidential tenures. Radiation is an issue as well, but I don’t see that as being a major problem. I’m certain the technology already exists.
Let me take a break for a moment to tell you my idea for deep space exploration..
I think we should think smaller, kind of like the David and Goliath story. We need to think very small, and make up for it by connecting many small three or four foot sized synchronized spacecraft together into a space train. In the early old west days we had to travel through the desert in what was called a wagon train. So that’s my reasoning here. Send the spacecrafts connected together for deep space exploration. The ships need to carry HD cameras, solar power and fuel, and of course whatever else can pack into it that would be useful like long range testing equipment for example. They need to be built in a way that if one of the craft crashes or breaks, the other ones will continue on. I think I will explore this topic more in another blog later on.
Now back to Mars…
Nasa has a great spacecraft for long term travel called Orion. It has been through an unmanned test already, and is really impressive. It has 3 modules, a central crew module, a service module, and a launch abort module. The launch abort option will save lives in case of immediate danger. When they go to Mars, they are planning on adding another module called a habitat module, which I am very curious about. I am imagining some kind of garden/air module, but I don’t know for sure. 2019 is the target date for more unmanned testing.
Buzz Aldrin had an idea of creating a cycle of spacecraft that would just continually go back and forth to Mars, and that’s been an idea brewing for a long time. It involves hitchhiking along gravitational orbital patterns of Earth and Mars for “free”, and uses a taxi like system. I’m not sure if that’s actually being considered just yet.
The latest from Elon Musk is that the building of the BFR (Big Falcon Rocket) has begun, and has decided on using liquid oxygen and methane as fuel, because co2 and water which is found in ample supply on Mars, can be converted over. According to Elon they are already far along in designing a system that will convert resources found on Mars to fuel and it’s called in-situ resource utilization or ISRU. I don’t speak alien, so I have no idea what that is, but you can find all my references at the bottom of my blog for more info.
Elon plans on using the BFR for travel on earth as well, but I guess the question that comes to mind is: When will the space age start taking shape and become a reality? Right now it’s just the waiting game still. Musk has plans of using the BFR to send cargo to Mars in 2022, and in my opinion, when that takes place, that’s a good start to things. He was supposed to use the Falcon Heavy to send cargo to Mars, but he appears to have changed his mind, so we never know exactly how things will turn out, but it’s fun to keep up with it all. I love it!
Stay tuned for my next blog about when people touch down on Mars for the first time, and terraformation which is really fun to explore!