[ExI] one way ticket to mars

Eugen Leitl eugen at leitl.org
Tue Apr 23 14:44:37 UTC 2013

On Tue, Apr 23, 2013 at 07:16:45AM -0700, spike wrote:

> >...Novel propulsion seems to make travel in 30-40 days feasible...
> Disagree.  The only thing we have even vaguely plausible for a non-Hohmann
> transfer orbit is fission nuclear, assuming any reasonable extrapolation of

Do you disagree that 
is a near-future technology?

> today's tech.  Nuclear is better, but not enough better to give us fast
> rides.  I argued 20 years ago that a really good alternative is really not
> on our horizon.  That was not popular, but turned out to be right.  It is
> farther away today than it was then.  It's chemical rockets for us, and 8
> months trip to Mars, any time in the next 50-ish years.  Damn.  {8-[

I don't expect that's going to happen with manned missions.
Machines are patient, people are not. 
> >... and return is even easier (chemical rocket launch from Mars, and
> aerobraking
> reentry) so even less need for one-way.
> _______________________________________________
> I hope you are right.  I am betting on semi-autonomous 3D printers and
> assemblers (not nano) building a habitat ahead of the astronauts.

There has been considerable progress with lunar regolith simulant
lately http://news.wsu.edu/pages/publications.asp?Action=Detail&PublicationID=34094

There's an actual project to build an inflatable module with
meteorite/radiation shield printed from regolith.

Plus, with electrostatic and magnetic separation dry processes
are not much of a limitation.

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