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Goal 4: Prepare for the Human Exploration of Mars
NASA ^ | circa 2005

Posted on 05/02/2006 9:32:57 AM PDT by SunkenCiv

"With eagle-eye vision, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter will home in on rocks the size of 3-4 feet. With this capability, mission planners will identify the most promising locales for scientific study and know, too, which are safe and which might be hazardous to future landers carrying humans."

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TOPICS: Science; Travel
KEYWORDS: mars; space
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Goal 4: Prepare for the Human Exploration of Mars

Eventually, humans will most likely journey to Mars. Getting astronauts to the Martian surface and returning them safely to Earth, however, is an extremely difficult engineering challenge. A thorough understanding of the Martian environment is critical to the safe operation of equipment and to human health, so the Mars Exploration Program will begin to look at these challenges in the coming decade.

Astronaut Safety in the Hostile Martian Environment

Piloted Mission: Human Exploration The safety of astronauts is of paramount importance to NASA. Mars lacks an ozone layer, which on Earth shields us from lethal doses of solar ultraviolet radiation. We do not have good information about the amount of ultraviolet radiation that reaches the Martian surface.

A more detailed understanding of the radiation environment will provide the information necessary to assess the effects of UV radiation on astronauts, as well as help engineers design protective space suits and habitats.

We do know that the Martian soil contains "superoxides." In the presence of ultraviolet radiation, superoxides break down organic molecules. While superoxides' effect on astronauts is probably not serious, their impact and that of any other unique chemical aspects of the Martian soil must be assessed before human exploration of Mars can begin.

Robotic Spacecraft Will Pave the Way for Human Exploration of Mars

Accessing Water Resources for Human Outposts on Mars To pave the way for human exploration, 2001 Mars Odyssey will begin to analyze the radiation environment on Mars. This mission and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter will continue to search for water resources that, if discovered, could be used to support future human explorers. Eventually, robotic spacecraft, rovers, and drills could be used to access water resources in advance of, and during, human exploration.

Advanced entry, descent and landing techniques that reduce the G-forces on landers will also be developed for spacecraft and astronaut safety.

While robotic exploration will pave the way for the long-term possibility of human missions to Mars, much of the necessary scientific and technological work for this goal is carried out by NASA's Johnson Space Center. For more information about eventual human missions to the Red Planet, visit NASA's Human Spaceflight Web section on Mars Exploration and Beyond.

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1 posted on 05/02/2006 9:33:00 AM PDT by SunkenCiv
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2 posted on 05/02/2006 9:33:37 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (
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To: SunkenCiv

I can't wait for us to go to MArs. The US, society, mankind needs this to happen. I look at photos and old video of how the whole world no matter our differences were so captivated when we went to the moon. I would like to have a experience like that to be a part of before I die. I bet it was incredible back then.

3 posted on 05/02/2006 9:36:39 AM PDT by catholicfreeper
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NASA Reveals New Plan for the Moon, Mars & Outward | 9/26/02 | Leonard David
Posted on 09/26/2002 7:36:29 PM EDT by Brett66

Should Mars be Human Space Flight Objective? | 10/24/03
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President Bush Announces New Vision For Space Exploration Program
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NASA Budget (15 year plan)
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Posted on 01/16/2004 9:03:50 AM EST by The_Victor

"New Space Exploration Vision" Distributed to NASA Employees 16 Jan 2004
Mars Today | January 22, 2004
Posted on 01/22/2004 4:23:35 PM EST by demlosers

Mars Master Plan: NASA Outlines New Approach | 5/20/05 | Leaonard Davis
Posted on 05/20/2005 11:41:38 AM EDT by NormsRevenge

U.S. Planning Base on Moon To Prepare for Trip to Mars
Washington Post | March 26, 2006 | Guy Gugliotta
Posted on 03/26/2006 1:58:20 AM EST by West Coast Conservative

4 posted on 05/02/2006 9:38:58 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (
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To: catholicfreeper; KevinDavis

I'll never forget watching the message "FIRST LIVE PICTURES FROM THE MOON" ("MOON" was flashing), and having it explained by the newscaster that what we were seeing was the back side of the ladder. Then it was announced that the EVA would be earlier than planned. And mind you, nothing was happening on the black and white screen, but I was transfixed. I know the rest of my family was there, but I don't have any idea what they were doing, because I was staring at the screen. After a long while, a shape that was Neil Armstrong in a space suit could be seen, then he, well, you've no doubt seen all of that. :')

The amazing thing is how well the astronauts trained, such that they so seldom betrayed any excitement. But Buzz Aldrin claimed later that he was the first human ever to wet his pants on the Moon. Got to love that guy.

5 posted on 05/02/2006 9:44:15 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (
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this is what I used to search, "prepare for the human exploration of mars":
my apologies if this is a duplicate topic.
6 posted on 05/02/2006 9:46:03 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (
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