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 Post subject: Project Deimos - manned Mars expedition study PostPosted: 2012-09-28 12:35pm
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With Curiosity rover making important geological discoveries on Mars, I done some browsing on the internet about Mars in general. While at it, I managed dig up this study called "Project Deimos".

This project, thought up originally by Philip Bono of the Douglas Aircraft Company in 1964 (FYI, they designed and manufactured many space-launch vehicles, like the S-IVB rocket used in the Saturn Rocket system), the idea of the "Deimos Project" was to design a space-mission and vehicle that could reach Mars under one spaceship, similar to the SASSTO (Saturn Applications Single Stage To Orbit) project the same company had came up with earlier, and the thing is said to be a modified ROMBUS (Reusable Orbital Module-Booster & Utility Shuttle) with a habitat ring and a landing module bolted on for good measure.

The Deimos ship could, in the scenario presented in the study, liftoff to Earth orbit with a crew of six in 1986, where it would top off its fuel tanks and then sent off to Mars. Upon reaching the red planet, the landing module, which looked rather like an oversized Apollo command module, would leave the mother ship and land for a twenty day recce of the surface before the crew used the ascent module in the nose of the lander to return to the mother ship and then back to Earth 830 days after departure. The mothership is reusable, by the way.

For more information, here's the entry on Encyclopedia Astronautica:

http://www.astronautix.com/craft/proeimos.htm

And some pictures:

Image

Image

Image

SASSTO and ROMBUS: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Douglas_SASSTO

Naturally, being more than 30 years old and came before even the Moon landings occurred, it never got off the paper. How is it?



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 Post subject: Re: Project Deimos - manned Mars expedition study PostPosted: 2012-09-28 01:29pm
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I can sure as hell you that I would never get into a tiny capsule and flung to another planet as part of something named "Project Terror." I've already seen that movie.



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 Post subject: Re: Project Deimos - manned Mars expedition study PostPosted: 2012-09-29 12:45am
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As a side note you may be interested in this and to where other searches take you.

http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi. ... 007932.pdf



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 Post subject: Re: Project Deimos - manned Mars expedition study PostPosted: 2012-09-29 03:35am
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20 days on the surface? Not even worth the trip.

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 Post subject: Re: Project Deimos - manned Mars expedition study PostPosted: 2012-09-30 03:48am
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It compares very favorably to the duration of the Moon missions. You'd like a longer stay if possible, and frankly most of the mission plans I've heard of give you more than that, so yeah.

This is not a very sophisticated plan; Mars mission plans have been evolving for decades, and there are much better ones in place. Ideas like having an in situ propellant production capability are interesting because they save weight thrown to Mars, for example.

One of the classic, almost stereotyped ideas for doing this is Zubrin's plan, laid out in The Case for Mars.

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 Post subject: Re: Project Deimos - manned Mars expedition study PostPosted: 2012-10-22 03:31am
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The problem with going to Mars is not that of technology: certainly the physics and engineering issues are understood by humanity, at least in broad strokes.

Neither is it a question of money. It is a question of will.

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 Post subject: Re: Project Deimos - manned Mars expedition study PostPosted: 2012-10-22 07:30am
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Emergent56 wrote:
The problem with going to Mars is not that of technology: certainly the physics and engineering issues are understood by humanity, at least in broad strokes.

Neither is it a question of money. It is a question of will.

I don't think "will" is quite the right word, though reluctance to raise taxes for anything other than blowing shit up certainly doesn't help. The problem, I think, is the question of, "What are we going to do when we get there?" There's not a whole lot in the way of scientific research that we can't already do with automated rovers like Curiosity, and we're a long way from being able to contemplate any kind of permanent settlement; we might be able to keep a couple of hundred people alive there for a while, but a self-sustaining colony would require terraforming the place.



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 Post subject: Re: Project Deimos - manned Mars expedition study PostPosted: 2012-10-22 10:18am
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I can see the value of this expedition. Once the mission gets close enough (and is in orbit), your astronauts could control rovers on the planet's surface in real-time. It also avoids some of the difficulties involved in designing a lander that can keep your astronauts alive on the surface for months before lifting off again (at least at first).

It's not as scientifically useful as a manned landing would be, but I'd take it. It might even have other uses, if the engines you develop for that mission can be used for other "inter-planetary" missions (like to the Moon, a near-Earth Asteroid, or even attaching them to a bigger unmanned probes and sending them to the outer solar system).

The downside, of course, is that your astronauts have to spend a huge amount of time in zero gravity. You could try to add rotating segments on a tether (like Zubrin does with Mars Direct), but that adds another layer of complexity.



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 Post subject: Re: Project Deimos - manned Mars expedition study PostPosted: 2012-10-22 01:12pm
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What's the problem with designing a lander which can keep your guys alive for months? Your return vehicle will already have to do that on the outbound and return trip, and the technology isn't fundamentaly different for a ship sitting on the surface.



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 Post subject: Re: Project Deimos - manned Mars expedition study PostPosted: 2012-10-23 12:06am
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Zaune wrote:
Emergent56 wrote:
The problem with going to Mars is not that of technology: certainly the physics and engineering issues are understood by humanity, at least in broad strokes.

Neither is it a question of money. It is a question of will.

I don't think "will" is quite the right word, though reluctance to raise taxes for anything other than blowing shit up certainly doesn't help. The problem, I think, is the question of, "What are we going to do when we get there?" There's not a whole lot in the way of scientific research that we can't already do with automated rovers like Curiosity, and we're a long way from being able to contemplate any kind of permanent settlement; we might be able to keep a couple of hundred people alive there for a while, but a self-sustaining colony would require terraforming the place.


Define "self-sustaining"?

Biosphere experiments already can last for years, and they have no terraforming and are purely self-contained.

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 Post subject: Re: Project Deimos - manned Mars expedition study PostPosted: 2012-10-23 04:08am
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Emergent56 wrote:
Define "self-sustaining"?

Biosphere experiments already can last for years, and they have no terraforming and are purely self-contained.

The ability to feed the population without relying on any equipment that can't be manufactured locally, for a start. We might at some unspecified time in the future have 3D printing technology that could bootstrap a Mars-based manufacturing industry from a single landing, but currently that's even more pure sci-fi than terraforming, and some materials -plastics, for example- are going to be unobtainable except by shipment from Earth because the necessary precursors aren't there. Hydroponics don't scale up too well anyway, even when all the parts and tools you need can be obtained locally.



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-- (Terry Pratchett, Small Gods)


Replace "ginger" with "n*gger," and suddenly it become a lot less funny, doesn't it?
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 Post subject: Re: Project Deimos - manned Mars expedition study PostPosted: 2012-10-23 11:40am
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On this definition no real-world country is self-sustaining.

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 Post subject: Re: Project Deimos - manned Mars expedition study PostPosted: 2012-10-23 09:47pm
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Maybe, but countries here on Earth don't have to import replacement parts from the next planet over, do they?



There are hardly any excesses of the most crazed psychopath that cannot easily be duplicated by a normal kindly family man who just comes in to work every day and has a job to do.
-- (Terry Pratchett, Small Gods)


Replace "ginger" with "n*gger," and suddenly it become a lot less funny, doesn't it?
-- fgalkin


The Gorgon's Mirror, featuring published work by me!

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 Post subject: Re: Project Deimos - manned Mars expedition study PostPosted: 2012-10-24 09:11am
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The point is, 'self-sustainability' is not a yes-no proposition.

Imagine - as a thoguht experiment - a Mars colony requiring replacement parts once per week. Clearly this would be completely untenable.

But a Mars colony that required shipments of supplies, say, once every year or every two years would be far more tenable.

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 Post subject: Re: Project Deimos - manned Mars expedition study PostPosted: 2012-10-26 03:46pm
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Complete sulf-sustainability, however, is, which is what I assume to be the default when I hear self-sustainable without any such qualifiers as 'mostly', largely', 'somewhat' etc.
And I don't know if even yearly supply runs would be possible (at least not with curren't/near-future tecgnology) due to the pesky lauch window issue.



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 Post subject: Re: Project Deimos - manned Mars expedition study PostPosted: 2012-10-26 11:56pm
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Batman wrote:
Complete self-sustainability, however, is, which is what I assume to be the default when I hear self-sustainable without any such qualifiers as 'mostly', largely', 'somewhat' etc.
And I don't know if even yearly supply runs would be possible (at least not with current/near-future technology) due to the pesky launch window issue.

And annual supply runs would only be adequate so long as vitally important components don't need replacing other than at predictable intervals from regular wear and tear; no accidents, no quality-control lapses and no human error.



There are hardly any excesses of the most crazed psychopath that cannot easily be duplicated by a normal kindly family man who just comes in to work every day and has a job to do.
-- (Terry Pratchett, Small Gods)


Replace "ginger" with "n*gger," and suddenly it become a lot less funny, doesn't it?
-- fgalkin


The Gorgon's Mirror, featuring published work by me!

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 Post subject: Re: Project Deimos - manned Mars expedition study PostPosted: 2012-10-27 02:28am
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You could just send more in the supply runs- stockpiles of spare parts and so on.

It'd be a good idea to send a lot of machinery that can be used profitably in pairs when both are running, but that in an emergency lets you cannibalize one for spare parts to keep the other running.

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 Post subject: Re: Project Deimos - manned Mars expedition study PostPosted: 2012-10-27 03:48am
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Zaune wrote:
And annual supply runs would only be adequate so long as vitally important components don't need replacing other than at predictable intervals from regular wear and tear; no accidents, no quality-control lapses and no human error.


Yeah, we totally can't plan for that. Nobody ever managed to last a year or more without resupply because human error and acts of God inevitably ruin supplies! :D

Except ships routinely did just that, they just kept more spares than they expect to need. They still do, although resupply is a simpler matter nowadays.



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JULY 20TH 1969 - The day the entire world was looking up

It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn't feel like a giant. I felt very, very small.
- NEIL ARMSTRONG, MISSION COMMANDER, APOLLO 11

Signature dedicated to the greatest achievement of mankind.

MILDLY DERANGED PHYSICIST does not mind BREAKING the SOUND BARRIER, because it is INSURED. - Simon_Jester considering the problems of hypersonic flight for Team L.A.M.E.

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