Skip to comments.Cashing in on Mars
Posted on 03/09/2006 7:43:59 PM PST by KevinDavis
(Business 2.0 Magazine) - Attention, people of Earth: We are going to Mars. This is no sci-fi fantasy; for the past two years, NASA has been gearing up to meet the Bush administration's goal of landing humans on Mars by around 2030. The agency plans to set up a base on the Moon by 2020 to act as a staging area; that effort alone is projected to cost at least $104 billion. Throw in the round-trip voyage to Mars, and John Edwards, space systems analyst at Forecast International, estimates that the total cost of the program will top $400 billion--making it history's largest government-backed science project.
Money is already being spent: NASA's 2006 budget allocates $16.4 billion, much of it for the development of a new spacecraft, called the crew exploration vehicle, that will replace the trouble-plagued space shuttle and carry humans "to the Moon, Mars, and worlds beyond." The candidates to design and build the CEV are familiar names--Lockheed Martin (Research) and a combined Northrop Grumman (Research)/Boeing (Research) team are the leading contenders right now--but NASA's multibillion-dollar shopping spree will create unprecedented opportunities for companies that haven't traditionally been involved in spaceflight. For example, heavy-equipment manufacturer Caterpillar (Research) has worked with the space agency to develop "regolith-handling" construction machinery. ("Regolith" is the geologists' term for extraterrestrial dirt.) Hundreds more contracts will be signed in the decades ahead as the space agency seeks to address the basic needs of deep-space astronauts--oxygen to breathe, food to eat, fuel to burn, and communications networks to stay in touch. These three companies are already positioning themselves to secure a lucrative spot on the launchpad.
(Excerpt) Read more at money.cnn.com ...
The NASA program is the law of the land. Contracts are being let, more every day. It's not too late to get on the list.
I want to see the Moon Cat
Think it will be diesel?
AMEE... now that is one sexy 'droid!
dunno - if they can use bottled oxygen and keep the manifold sealed, yet allow exhaust to be emitted... ?
probably electric, don't'cha think?
in any case, the Little Green Rachael Corries up there had better mind their manners!
More annoying drug stores on every crater.
Has to be nuke if they expect to move some serious regolith. It will be tough to get 8000 horsepower from a bank of solar cells and even then they will run over their extension cord.
plutonium decay, or a hot core?
US Navy nuclear submarine technology.
bubblehead nuc's use passive convection of seawater for cooling the core...
Bono Manned Mars Vehicle
Credit: © Mark Wade
Class: Manned. Type: Mars Expedition. Destination: Mars. Nation: USA. Manufacturer: Boeing.
In 1960 Philip Bono, then working at Boeing, proposed a single-launch Mars manned expedition. Bono's scenario was the classic trade-off of weight for risk. However it was feasible, and showed that Mars expeditions need not be assembled by multiple launches in earth orbit.
The mission profile was as follows:
* The launch vehicle consists of seven identical Lox/LH2 plug nuzzle boosters. Each module is 8.3 m in diameter and has a thrust of 6700 kN. At the moment of lift-off, on 3 May 1971, the booster is 76 m tall, 25 m in diameter, and has a mass of 3800 tonnes. Through the use of cross-plumbing, all seven modules fire at lift-off, fed from four of the outlying tanks. These four are jettisoned at propellant exhaustion at 60 km altitude. The three remaining engines are fed from the remaining two outer modules. These fire until the propellant is exhausted at 107 km altitude. Finally the core engine fires, using its own propellant, until it has placed the spacecraft on a transMars trajectory.
* The 8-man spacecraft consists of a delta-winged glider, 38 m long and with a wingspan of 29 m. Aft of this is a combined living module and rocket stage, 14 m long and 8.3 m in diameter. After separation of the third stage, a 16 m diameter antenna is deployed. Power is provided by a nuclear reactor in the nose of the glider.
* The spacecraft arrives at Mars on 17 January 1972. As it nears the planet, 9.4 tonnes of trash and sewage is jettisoned. The glider separates from the living module and heads for the Martian atmosphere. The living module brakes into Martian orbit on autopilot.
* Bono assumed an atmospheric pressure of 80 bar in designing the glider (about ten times greater than the value revealed years later by Mariner 4). After re-entry, the glider is slowed by a drag brake, then finally conducts a vertical landing from 600 m altitude using rocket engines.
* After landing, as in Von Braun's scenarios, the crew sets up a base camp. A 2000 kg manned rover emerges. It is used to drag the nuclear reactor a kilometre away from the glider. A 6 m diameter inflating dome provides crew quarters. The 8 men have 479 days to explore the surface.
* To prepare for departure, the crew have to return the reactor to the glider's nose, then pivot the landing engines so that they point aft. The glider is angled up, 15 degrees from the vertical. The forward portion makes a zero-zero lift-off on rocket thrust, flying away from the aft portion and landing skids.
* The glider docks with the living module which has been waiting, vacant, in Mars orbit for 16 months. The living module's rockets are fired and the spacecraft heads back toward earth on 21 May 1973.
* The spacecraft arrives at earth on 24 January 1974. The crew enters the glider and the living module and reactor are jettisoned, to either continue in solar orbit, or burn up in the earth's atmosphere. The glider makes a direct re-entry into the atmosphere, and lands on its skids at a desert strip in the United States.
Bono Manned Mars Vehicle Mission Summary:
* Summary: First serious single-launch Mars expedition design
* Propulsion: LOX/LH2
* Braking at Mars: aerodynamic
* Mission Type: conjuction
* Split or All-Up: all up
* ISRU: no ISRU
* Launch Year: 1971
* Crew: 8
* Mars Surface payload-tonnes: 480
* Outbound time-days: 259
* Mars Stay Time-days: 490
* Return Time-days: 248
* Total Mission Time-days: 997
* Total Payload Required in Low Earth Orbit-tonnes: 800
* Total Propellant Required-tonnes: 500
* Propellant Fraction: 0.62
* Mass per crew-tonnes: 100
* Launch Vehicle Payload to LEO-tonnes: 800
* Number of Launches Required to Assemble Payload in Low Earth Orbit: 1
* Launch Vehicle: Bono HLV
see 16 when you get back
Now tell me what keeps it from burning up???????????
Good old 1950's asbestos, I suppose.
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