Monday, November 21, 2011

How To Land People on Mars: The Problem With Landing Humans on Mars and How to Fix It, a 2032 Voyage Worth the Trip?

""“People come along with a fair amount of baggage: water, food, air, power supplies,” said NASA engineer Robert Manning.

NASA currently estimates it will require bringing anywhere from 40 to 80 tons of stuff to the surface of Mars to keep humans alive for even a day. Yet the agency only has the ability to land one ton at a time, and even then precariously.

“We’re not going to sent 80 spacecraft to Mars,” said engineer Bobby Braun. Instead, the agency needs to start making low-level investments in the technologies needed to land large payloads, he said.

While the timeline for sending humans to Mars is uncertain, some NASA plans state that the agency is looking for a manned landing to the Red Planet in 2032. Furthermore, other large-scale missions such as a Mars Sample Return may need to land vehicles larger than Mars Science Laboratory by the next decade.

Developing the technologies required to achieve these landings will require significant amounts of time, so the agency must start research now if it wants to accomplish its goals. Determining the best technology for the job is the agency’s most pressing task.

“For each of these technologies, we need to prove either that it will work or that it won’t,” said NASA engineer Michael Wright. "If we prove that it works then we set it aside, but if it doesn’t work, then we need a new plan.”""

*Old Technology
*Problem With Parachutes
*Inflatables in Space
*Hitting the Atmosphere
*Supersonic Retropropulsion

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