We’ve been to the Moon, now what?
The Moon never did become a holiday destination, or a stepping stone to the Universe beyond.
Just eight years after Kennedy”s speech, Apollo launched carrying Armstrong and Aldrin into history. Collins manned the spaceship.
Now, entrepreneur Elon Musk is preparing for a Mars landing!
But we have NOT returned to the Moon in 50 years and any Mars project planner should consider to revisit it first.
Travel between Mars and Earth requires them to be suitably positioned in their orbits.
This would mean the Mars astronauts would have to stay on Mars for 6 months before a return trip could begin.
Could the spacemen sustain themselves for half a year? No one knows.
The longest that humans have remained on the lunar surface is 75 hours!
It seems you would have to use the Moon as a jumping off point.
So, we have never returned to the Moon and it would be a must to return if Mars is to be realised.
If we are going to put a footprint on Mars we need to address 3 challenges:
Rockets, Restlessness and Radiation.
Rockets: Going to Mars will be very expensive–100 to 500 billion dollars!
To keep costs down you would need to build reusable rockets.
Restlessness: You would need to put astronauts in isolation for 6 months to see how they would react.
But Musk said he would keep people busy doing tasks.
Radiation: The astronauts and the spaceship would be exposed to solar radiation.
Some say extra spaceship shielding is the answer but this increases weight so fuel consumption goes up and so do costs.
The best solution may be to get to Mars faster! So to minimise radiation exposure–this would mean faster rockets.
Lets return to Elon Musk and his Space X technology company which has the goal of reducing space transportation costs to enable the colonisation of Mars.
Elon Musk is a 48 year old billionaire who wants to reduce the risk of human extinction through over population and climate change by establishing a human colony on Mars by 2050!
By 2022, Musk wants to reach Mars and place power and life support infrastructure for future manned flights. He believes there is water under Mars’ South Pole.
The next step would be a manned mission by 2024.
The plan is to send two cargo ships alongside two crew ships taking the first people to Mars.
The people would set up a propellent plant to make fuel for a return trip.
They also would use solar powered hydroponics to grow food without soil.
Musk wants to visit his Mars colony in his lifetime to check on the project.
He said with this project people will die but ultimately it will be made safe and comfortable!
Is this all a Pipe Dream of Musk’s?
TIME WILL TELL!