Many folks would like to see us back on the Moon and developing its resources.

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Voyage to Mars and back in 501 days. Think about it.

Voyage to Mars has been in the news recently. Send a married couple on a 501 day round trip to Mars and back. Viktor Toth wrote an interesting piece about what it might be like to be that couple.  You might enjoy the read.
- LRK -

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Voyage to Mars »
The recent announcement by Dennis Tito about a manned flyby trip to Mars caught my imagination. Thinking about what such a trip would be like, I began writing a blog entry, but it soon became a bit too long for my blog, so I moved it to my Web site instead. Anyhow, here is the linkhttp://www.vttoth.com/CMS/personal/257.

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Keith Cowing posted an article about the particulars.
- LRK -


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This Is How Dennis Tito Plans To Send People to Mars
  • By Keith Cowing
  • Posted Wednesday, February 27, 2013
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If Dennis Tito has his way, two people will leave our planet in January 2018 and make a trip to Mars and back. Tito will be footing much of the bill himself. This mission won't stop at Mars, but rather, will do a quick flyby.

Unlike the spate of space commerce companies that have flashed on and off the news in recent months, this effort has substantial cash behind it - at the onset. Also, unlike these previously announced efforts, this is not being done by a company that needs to eventually return a profit to its investors. Instead, it is being spearheaded by a non-profit organization, the Inspiration Mars Foundation.

Tito's mission will be facilitated by donors - not investors. And no, he will not be part of the crew.
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Update: this paper is now online at Inspiration Mars Foundation.

The core premise of this initial mission concept is to use an upgraded SpaceX Dragon capsule as the habitable volume for the entire mission. This spacecraft would be launched on a SpaceX Falcon Heavy and follows an optimized free-return trajectory to Mars and back. As outlined in the paper, this conceptual mission would depart Earth on 5 Jan 2018, reach Mars on 20 August 2018, and return to Earth on 21 May 2019. 
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So folks are talking in the press and maybe that will get more folks thinking about going off world.
- LRK -


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Dennis Tito’s mission to Mars: Launching in 2018 for the children (and to beat China)
By Brian Vastag,February 27, 2013


Millionaire space tourist Dennis Tito has a vision to send two Americans to Mars on a high-risk, budget-class, 501-day journey that would — if achieved — smash the barrier to deep space.

The proposed passengers are a middle-aged married couple, handy with tools and not prone to claustrophobia.

The Inspiration Mars Mission for America would launch, by necessity of orbital mechanics, on Jan. 5, 2018.

There is no spaceship yet, and little notion of a budget. There is no funding beyond a two-year research and development commitment by Tito. But the wealthy former rocket scientist and financier has assembled a team of credentialed advisers and plotted a mission that teeters, outside experts say, on the edge of credibility.

“It’s about inspiring the children,” Tito said at a news conference Wednesday to announce the scheme.

Moments earlier, the onetime flier to the international space station — he paid $20 million to go there in 2001 — had lambasted what he characterized as a four-decade stagnation in the U.S. human spaceflight program.

Three years ago, President Obama touted a possible NASA Mars landing in the mid-2030s.

“I’ll be 95 years old,” Tito said. “I don’t want to wait until that time.”

But there will be no landing on Tito’s mission. No footprints and flags in ruddy soil, no rock-grabbing, no search for Martian life.

Eight months after launch, Mars will loom, then vanish in the rearview mirror.

Tito said he will sell media rights. The Mission for America might become the Red Bull Mission to Mars, the Cool Ranch Doritos Mars Shot.

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More info and thoughts from The Economist magazine.
- LRK -

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Martian dreams
Dennis Tito's mission to Mars

HOW times change. In 1952 Wernher von Braun, the ex-Nazi rocket engineer recruited by the Americans after the second world war, published a book called “The Mars Project”. In it, he detailed his plans for the human exploration of Mars. Ten ships, assembled in Earth orbit, would burn 5m tonnes of rocket fuel carrying a crew of 70 to the planet. On arrival, ground crawlers would carry the crew from their polar landing site to the equator, where a permanent base would be built. You can only imagine the price-tag for such a project, but suffice to say that only a superpower could have even dreamed of paying for it.

Six decades later, on February 27th, Dennis Tito, an American investment manager and space enthusiast who, in 2001, became the world’s first space tourist, unveiled his own plan. Inspiration Mars is a more modest affair. If all goes to plan, in January 2018 a single, small spaceship, carrying two crew members, will blast off for a 501-day trip to Mars and back. If it arrives safely, there are no plans to land. Instead, the idea is merely to fly around the planet and then head back to Earth. Unlike von Braun’s project, little government involvement will be necessary. Mr Tito hopes to pay for Inspiration Mars with a mix of his own money, donations from the public and the sale of media rights.

That is not to say that Mr Tito’s plan is timid. On the contrary: it is eye-wateringly (or, as one colleague puts it, “bowel-looseningly”) bold. Although endless studies have been done on how it might be possible to ferry humans to Mars, no one has ever attempted it. Mr Tito’s launch date is fixed, for it is designed to take advantage of a rare period of orbital proximity between Mars and Earth. If he misses his deadline, another opportunity will not present itself until 2031. That gives the team just under five years to design the mission, specify a spacecraft, find a rocket to launch it on, select a crew and carry out all the necessary checks and double-checks. And, without the financial muscle of a nation-state behind him, all this must be done on a budget.

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Well you may have your own thoughts about such a long trip in close quarters. I would think much like the early sailors exploring unknown oceans.  Much risk to be accepted.

Thanks for looking up with me.  
- LRK -
A manned mission to Mars has been the subject of science fiction, engineering and scientific proposals throughout the 20th century and into the 21st century. The plans comprise proposals not only to land on but in the end for settling on and terraforming Mars, while exploiting its moons Phobos and Deimos.

Preliminary work for missions has been undertaken since the 1950s, with planned missions typically taking place 10 to 30 years in the future. The list of manned Mars mission plans in the 20th century shows the various mission proposals that have been put forth by multiple organizations and space agencies in this field of space exploration.

In 2010, a bill was signed in the United States discontinuing plans for a manned mission to the Moon by 2020, and instead, authorizing manned missions to an asteroid in 2025 and to the planet Mars by the 2030s.[1]

In 2012, a private project named Mars One was announced, aiming to establish a settlement on Mars in 2023.[2] 
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Associated Press : Washington, Thu Feb 28 2013, 16:40 hrs -
Wanted: Married couple for maiden voyage to Mars in 2018 -

Second honeymoon on Mars! A married couple is being sought to represent humanity on the first manned mission to Mars to be launched in 2018.

US millionaire tycoon Dennis Tito, who in 2001 became the first space tourist, has launched an ambitious project to send two civilians on a historic 501 days return journey to the Red Planet in January 2018.

Tito has unveiled the plan to launch the first manned mission to Mars in 2018, a voyage that could include an adventurous married crew, 'SPACE.com' reported.


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WHAT THE MIND CAN CONCEIVE, AND BELIEVE, IT WILL ACHIEVE - LRK -

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