Re: [MV] A final space related post from me...

From: Dave Ball (
Date: Sun Feb 02 2003 - 13:30:31 PST

If memory serves me the last two Mars missions both crashed on Mars the
first because of a Lockheed Martin / NASA Inches to millimeters conversion
error and the second because the computer malfunctioned on landing dropping
the Lander a few hundred feet and smash landing on MARS in a pile on debris.
For us to send Humans to Mars we are going to have to figure out how to
spend the Seven month trip getting there staring out of the window and seven
months back doing the same thing and design a orbiter and command module to
do this.
The trip getting there will need to be one of stressful daily physical and
mental exercise otherwise the Astronauts will not be able to walk once they
land on Mars and they will not have enough muscle tone left to get into
there space suits and exit the craft. Weightlessness is a big killer of
Muscle tone and Health.
Because of these living requirements the mother ship will need to a big one
and the rocket to get the mother ship and a Lander away from earth and on
its way to a rendezvous with Mars in its elliptical orbit will need to be a
lot bigger than the Saturn V that lifted the Apollo 11 to the moon which I
believe still holds the record for the largest Rocket successfully launched
into space.
I think the shuttle has gotten us behind in big rocket technology and we
would need to start all over to get to Mars that's were the Russians can
Can you imagine jumping in to your M35 for a seven month drive without
stopping then staying at Disneyland for a week and doing the same seven
month trip to return home now imagine doing that in 0 gravity.
I do not think human space endurance has gotten this far along the Russians
hold all the records and they are far ahead of the US in this area Col. Yuri
V. Romanenko survived almost 11 months in the weightlessness of space in
1986 and I think they hold the 14 month record on Mir. All of these
cosmonauts came home in poor health and needed months of rehab.
The United States will need to team with the Russians to get to MARS in the
Next decade and that will still be an unmanned exploration mission there is
a lot more work that needs to be done before man drives a Rover on Mars.
The biggest hurdle is government commitment to a space program we have as a
country neglected our space programs there is no plans for humans to go
beyond our own planet at present and the Technology and equipment to do so
is not being developed the Space Shuttle is nothing more than a reentry
We would need a compelling reason to drive such a program and unfortunately
it would need to be competitive and military related for our Government to
back such a program. The United States beat the Russians to the moon to
prove JFK's point.... America is the greatest Nation in the world. We have
slacked since. The Chinese are coming up fast and strong they wish to be the
greatest super power on this planet and they are quietly driving in that
direction. Maybe that's were we will get the wind back in our sails we
cannot afford to let them out distance us in space maybe that will be the
next race who knows. We need a President who believes in a strong space
program and a congress and a nation to back him.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Nathan Wilkens" <>
To: "Military Vehicles Mailing List" <>
Sent: Sunday, February 02, 2003 9:00 AM
Subject: [MV] A final space related post from me...

> I just wanted to add a final point to my discussion about NASA's
> underfunding and future...
> Today (Feb 2, 2003), the United States is in a far better position to go
> Mars within 10 years than the US was when Kennedy announced we were going
> the Moon. Our science is far more mature, we know the real risks
> and it would cost far less (in inflation adjusted dollars) to go to Mars
> than we spent on going to the Moon. We are currently in the process of
> sending unmanned rovers to perform basic science (just like when we went
> the Moon) and understand the detailed parameters of a manned Mars mission.
> However, to actually send a manned mission to Mars we still need one
> thing..... someone to say "Let's go!"
> Thanks,
> Nathan Wilkens
> May the Columbia crew find final peace, and their families be comforted..
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