|Description||How to Plan for the Perfect Mars Mission?
Going to Mars has been one of the biggest dreams of mankind. For centuries, mankind has looked upon the Red Planet with envy, while thinking that it contains a civilization of living beings much like Earth. In fact, until the Pathfinder mission, many people were convinced that Mars contained a much more advanced civilization as compared to Earth. In fact, there were many exposes and scientific papers written on the political structure of the Martian society. However, now we know for sure that no civilization lives on Mars and even the possibility of bacteria or any other non-sentient organism living on Mars is slim if not nonexistent. Even so, this does not change the fact that sending men to Mars is a viable mission for the future of Earth and for the advancement of space exploration. Mars is the only planet in the solar system that has a viable atmosphere that is susceptible to Terraforming techniques within the reach of our technology. It is a planet that is nearby the general location of Earth and unlike Venus, its atmosphere as well as its surface temperature is more tolerable. Hence, due to this, going to Mars would be a viable and doable mission. Since the Space Exploration Initiative in 1981, Mars has continued to be an attractive mission and as a result both Americans as well as Russians have made plans to go to Mars with a manned flight. However, while this was a matter of prestige for both sides during the Cold war, it has become somewhat of a less important objective after the Cold war has ended.
One of the biggest obstacles in front of a Mars mission is the phenomenal cost associated with it. According to the latest NASA estimates, a viable Mars mission would cost somewhere around 450 billion to 500 billion US dollars. Even though, the overall world expenditure on defense is almost twice this amount, spending 450 billion dollars for a Mars mission doesn’t seem possible with the various global economic worries that seem to be plaguing our world economy. One way to make Mars mission viable would be to create a longer mission in which the astronauts and the scientists would stay there for nearly a year. Most calculations predict that such a mission would be around 800 to 950 days with the trip times involved. On Martian surface, a standard mini nuclear reactor can be used to provide electricity to the Mars compound and a chemical reactor can be used to separate Carbon dioxide to oxygen and carbon, in which the carbon can then be used to fuse with hydrogen in order to create Methane. In addition, Methane would then be used as a source of fuel for the outpost as well as for the return leg of the mission. Moreover, the recent findings of Mars in the Martian atmosphere suggest that water can be used and electrolyzed to create oxygen and hydrogen. The oxygen would serve as a life support as well as an oxidizer, while the hydrogen can be used as a fuel as well as a source of energy for the Martian outpost. Moreover, the cost of such as mission could be shared by USA, Russia, European Union and Japan; since such a mission would be for the advancement of mankind. In addition, the small outpost created can remain on Mars for other missions in the future and this can really create an opportunity to create a stepping stone to the stars.
|Created||5 Apr 2021|
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