The first "Martians" from NASA will be very hard


2017-04-27 14:30:10




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The first

For Years, NASA promises to send people to Mars on their huge new rocket the Space Launch System (SLS) and the new spacecraft "Orion". However, approximately the same amount of time from the Agency could not obtain details about how it plans to use the missile and space equipment worth 40 billion dollars and make something that nobody never done. Not clarified the situation even after the publication of the 36-page report of NASA's exploration of Mars in October 2015. And now it is finally the day when this project began to emerge specific numbers and dates.

It all Started from March 21, when the American President Donald trump has signed a decree according to which NASA should deliver humans to Mars by 2033. A week later the space Agency has published the most detailed report on the issues of sending humans to Mars.

It Should be noted that the report is clearly not designed for people with claustrophobia and nervous. Astronauts who agree will go to the red planet, will have to spend locked up aboard "tin cans" 3 long years without having any chances of an emergency termination of the mission as soon as the camera crosses the orbit of the moon. Moreover, the plan involves only the orbit of Mars. Landing on the surface of our neighbor is not planned.

At least it becomes clear from the document submitted by William Gerstenmaier, the Deputy head of NASA on issues of manned space operations. The report, Gerstenmaier spoke at a meeting of the Advisory Council's space Agency March 28.

"NASA continues to take active steps in deep space exploration. The moon is scheduled to begin construction and testing of the systems necessary for future and more ambitious missions in deep space, including manned flight to Mars" — the American space Agency in a press release.

the Artistic representation of a lunar orbital station NASA Deep Space Gateway (left)

The Publication Ars Technica has reviewed this document and decided to give brief extracts from it. Thus, the program of Gerstenmaier on the question of a manned mission to Mars consists of five stages:


Phase 0

Includes the use of the International space station "as a test platform for validation and demonstration of key technologies research operations, as well as attracting the interest of commercial use" from companies like SpaceX, Boeing, Orbital ATK and other. Currently the program is in this phase.


Phase 1

The six space launches in the period from 2018 to 2025. First, NASA must conduct the inaugural launch of SLS (booster with a height of 98 meters, which will be a modern replacement of heavy rocket "Saturn-5", used in space missions "Apollo" for delivery of astronauts to the moon). Considering that the first launch of SLS is planned also conducting the first field tests of the spacecraft "Orion", the Agency plans to carry out after that five additional launches of the SLS.

One in five of these launches will launch for a space mission Europa Clipper – sending a space probe to Jupiter. The unit will study the gas giant and its icy moon with a hidden under the ice of the ocean, where it is assumed the existence of extraterrestrial life.

In the four remaining launches will be delivered to orbit the moon parts of a new space station Deep Space Gateway (DSG). Assistance in the installation and maintenance of the station will be carried out by crews of astronauts to four.

"For the station DSG considered the possibility of its translation in a fully Autonomous, robotic mode of operation and manned. In the latter case, the station can be used in manned missions to the surface of the moon, and in the framework of orbital support for other missions within the Solar system," — shares of Gerstenmaier in a press release.


Phase 2

the Artistic representation of the transport of the spacecraft NASA's Deep Space Transport (right)

Phase 2 will be completed construction of a lunar orbital space station and launch vehicle spacecraft Deep Space Transport (DST) by 2027. Then, in the years 2028-2029 four astronauts-the lucky winner will proceed to the fulfillment of the mission for a long (up to 400 days) stay at the station, while in the 41-ton residential orbital lunar module. The purpose of their mission will be to verify that all systems DST.


Phase 3

Phase 3 will begin around 2030, taking into account that the crew of the lunar station and transport spacecraft DST will not have any problems requiring changes in the set plan. After that will be performed two more missile launch vehicle SLS. In the first run on a lunar station will be delivered to the new provisions and fuel. In the second case the four astronauts. The first Mars crew.

As part of their two-three year flight to the red planet, "is likely to be made gravity-assist maneuver with Venus, followed by a short-term presence in orbit of Mars." In this case, "after the release of circumlunar space, the crew can never hope to have the abort the mission and an emergency return home," adds the publication Ars Technica.


Phase 4

The Implementation of "Phase 4" is scheduled after 2033 and at the moment due to very vague. It is that it is possible to allocate "the design and implementation of robotic missions" to deliver infrastructure, equipment and provisions onto the surface of the red planet, well, actually "the first manned landing on Mars."


Whose boots first set foot on the surface of Mars?

All this, of course, sounds very interesting. Sounds so good, too. Especially given the severely reduced budget allocated to the aerospace Agency of the U.S. Congress. It is worth mentioning that the total cost of all missions "Apollo" have cost the country more than 4 percent of the total U.S. budget. Today it would be about half a percent. But that's the Moon. And we're talking about Mars. And not only about Mars, but also on the construction of a lunar orbital station, which will be sent to the red planet.

Even if NASA will really be able to implement this project, the Agency may face competition from private companies, which it is, by the way, writes the partners. Who knows, maybe private aerospace sector, the U.S. will even be able to overtake NASA as part of the missions to Mars. And this already has some preconditions.

Elon Musk, the founder of the aerospace company SpaceX, has recently told of plans to send humans to Mars by 2022. The Boeing company, which is a direct competitor of SpaceX, is also aimed at the Red planet. Musk, in turn, said that is not worried about this, because it is "only" in the colonization of Mars and the protection of mankind from possible extinction on Earth as a result of self-destruction or some fallen giant asteroid.

"the Desire to explore Mars expressed from several parties. That's good. It is very good. In this case it would be useful to have a spare or alternative plan" — said Musk in August 2016.



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