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Old 05-31-2016, 07:27 PM #81
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Default Re: Interstellar Space Travel

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They have slowly been solving these problems over the years. This is why a manned space program is important, they figure out the problems and eventually find ways to deal with them. On Mars they will need greenhouses to grow their own food and a way to purify and recycle the water. It will be a really big project, and successful or not there will be much learned from the first attempt.

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Understood
But a one way mission?


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Old 05-31-2016, 07:53 PM #82
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Default Re: Interstellar Space Travel

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Understood
But a one way mission?
It's too far and too expensive to be going back and forth. In time that will change. Remember also that it currently takes a minimum of 6 months to get there, Mars is also 1/3rd gravity, not easy to adjust back to 3 times gravity again. The astronauts from the ISS can't even walk when they get back. There are more problems than most people are aware of.

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Old 05-31-2016, 08:02 PM #83
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Default Re: Interstellar Space Travel

$$$

Look at the ground support, and resources required to just get up into space from earth. For a return trip to be feasible you would need to essentially recreate that kind of operation on Mars itself.

Since that's not possible, it means putting a return capable vehicle there to begin with, which would also be very expensive. Mars gravity is much lower, but it would still present a problem.

At the very least a lander capable of getting back into orbit is needed, which would still be extremely problematic.

Even testing soil, and so on, is far cheaper to do by way of sending the equipment there, than having to work out a way to send it back to earth.

It's also a very long trip, with set launch windows which cannot be avoided, which stretch the trip duration. Even accounting for that, the astronauts would also experience other problems, after years in relatively low gravity, so after years in space they may only be able to come back to earth to face years in a wheelchair.
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Old 05-31-2016, 08:21 PM #84
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Default Re: Interstellar Space Travel

Mars one will never work, they will not be able to raise enough money using the methods they proposed (TV revenue mainly). But right now on the ISS they just installed the first inflatable module called BEAM. They are hoping it will stand up well to the conditions of space and if it does we might use this technology for going to the moon or mars. Expandable habitats weigh much less and take up less space inside a rocket, but once they expand they provide a way larger and more comfortable living space for astronauts compared to rigid modules. Of course, they're no good if they pop. I think that's your greenhouse solution right there

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Old 05-31-2016, 08:26 PM #85
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Default Re: Interstellar Space Travel

Aren't micro meteorites common? Guess every astronaut needs a bicycle pump and innertube repair kit handy...lol
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Old 05-31-2016, 08:36 PM #86
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Default Re: Interstellar Space Travel

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The first Apollo moon mission cost more than that, and that was in 1960's dollars. I am guessing more like half a trillion in today's dollars would get it done.

I do think a moon colony is a good idea, there's probaly stuff we can mine there, it might be possible to make it pay for itself.

Alan
No doubt a Mars program would at least be in the hundreds of billions, but a single one-way flight with modern rocket costs should be significantly less than $30 bil IIRC. Maybe even less than $10 bil soon if Musk has his way.

Moon colony is definitely the way to go though. Not that it'd be a good place to live or mine things for use on Earth (with forseeable tech), but it'd be a great place to gather the resources for, build, and launch the large spacecraft we'd need for longer voyages.

Edit: On micrometeorites, they're very common, but the inflatable capsules should actually be a little less susceptible to damage to them due to shielding, flexibility, and puncture resistance. Where a hard structure would chip or crack, the inflatables should deflect or absorb. We still need to wait for its trial on the ISS for proof though.
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Old 05-31-2016, 08:37 PM #87
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Default Re: Interstellar Space Travel

They are not that common, in fact to date micrometeorites haven't really caused any significant damage, let alone loss of life.

The suits do have multiple layers to offer some protection.
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Old 05-31-2016, 08:43 PM #88
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Default Re: Interstellar Space Travel

I heard that the new inflatable modules are supposed to be stronger than steel and are much safer than the modules the ISS is made from, I don't know what it's made of, I heard a radio show talking about it recently and that's what they were saying.

Yes micro meteor impacts are always a danger, the faster you go the more danger, much more danger at high speed than in earth orbit. They were very worried about the probe reaching Pluto because of its high speed.

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Old 05-31-2016, 08:50 PM #89
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Default Re: Interstellar Space Travel

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They are not that common, in fact to date micrometeorites haven't really caused any significant damage, let alone loss of life.

The suits do have multiple layers to offer some protection.
They're very common, just not in the way people picture. Think light sandblasting not hailstorm. It's a very common concern in spacecraft design to account for surfaces degrading due to damage.

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I heard that the new inflatable modules are supposed to be stronger than steel and are much safer than the modules the ISS is made from, I don't know what it's made of, I heard a radio show talking about it recently and that's what they were saying.

Yes micro meteor impacts are always a danger, the faster you go the more danger, much more danger at high speed than in earth orbit. They were very worried about the probe reaching Pluto because of its high speed.

Alan
They're made out of a special kevlar laminate material. I was actually involved in research on this. While "stronger than steel" is bad terminology, the structure is significantly more durable than a similar steel structure. Kevlar has way more tensile strength than steel which is where that phrase comes from, but that's not all that relevant in this situation.
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Old 05-31-2016, 09:01 PM #90
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Default Re: Interstellar Space Travel

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They're very common, just not in the way people picture. Think light sandblasting not hailstorm. It's a very common concern in spacecraft design to account for surfaces degrading due to damage.
The perception of a micrometeorite is something say 5mm-10mm in diameter, blasting through an astronaut like a bullet, and that has never happened afaik. The reality is as you say, mostly very fine particles.
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Old 05-31-2016, 09:15 PM #91
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Default Re: Interstellar Space Travel

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The perception of a micrometeorite is something say 5mm-10mm in diameter, blasting through an astronaut like a bullet, and that has never happened afaik. The reality is as you say, mostly very fine particles.
Yeah, not as dramatic as public perception has them, but spacesuits have actually been "popped" by them several times before. Luckily they're designed for it and can handle the small leaks as long as the astronaut pays attention and makes it back inside before the increased air consumption is an issue.
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Old 05-31-2016, 09:24 PM #92
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Default Re: Interstellar Space Travel

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Yeah, not as dramatic as public perception has them, but spacesuits have actually been "popped" by them several times before. Luckily they're designed for it and can handle the small leaks as long as the astronaut pays attention and makes it back inside before the increased air consumption is an issue.
Aren't they also supposed to be at least somewhat self sealing, or at least to minimize the opening as much as possible?
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Old 05-31-2016, 09:35 PM #93
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Default Re: Interstellar Space Travel

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Aren't they also supposed to be at least somewhat self sealing, or at least to minimize the opening as much as possible?
Sort of. The exterior layer will close up a bit, and other layers restrict the airflow outwards, but a pinprick would still require repair. Not sure how much time you get or how much it varies on the size of the penetration, but I'm sure it's plenty for anything that wouldn't already be a bullet wound or worse.

Spacesuits are definitely very interesting, but I don't think I'd want to be in one if I didn't have to. Seems very uncomfortable, and the one demo I had of the joints seemed awful. Still better than boiling off into a freeze-dried meat cloud in space though. I'd really like to work on their electronics if a job ever opened up.
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Old 05-31-2016, 09:53 PM #94
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Default Re: Interstellar Space Travel

It is kind of amazing they can get anything done in them up there, even with zero gravity. For any kind of mission they would likely have several different types.

Another area I'm sure they explored is to have some kind of compartmentalization. Say a large breach does occur, semi flexible foam is released from strategically placed pockets, to close off the breach, and a flexible cuff is inflated over the neck as a last resort, to maintain air pressure strictly over the head.

I remember reading NASA even considered having astronauts suspended in suits, in breathable fluid, but it never panned out.
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Old 05-31-2016, 10:31 PM #95
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Default Re: Interstellar Space Travel

It does seem as tho a flexible vs rigid structure is best
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Old 05-31-2016, 10:42 PM #96
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Default Re: Interstellar Space Travel

Wonder how some of our regular water/air proof material stand up to use in space. Hopefully the evolution of the space suit will be similar to that of underwater gear.

Will also be interesting to see how powered exoskeletons will be factored into the designs. For now the suits are pretty much completely dependent on the strength of the wearer, but that's won't need to be the case for much longer.
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