Survival on Mars | J@N | 4.6.11

Survival on Mars | J@N | 4.6.11

Our journey has taken us from the science of space propulsion, to the practical issues of a manned space flight to Mars. If we made it to Mars, what challenges would we face? What epic efforts must we undertake to survive the “Red Planet”?

Plus we share a little insight into the efforts underway here on earth to prepare us for our future missions on Mars!

Thanks to: for their sponsorship of tonight’s show!

Show Feeds:


Show Notes:

Curiosity Rover:
-Release today: NASA Mars Science Laboratory + Curiosity Rover: first look (photo gallery)
-See the construction live on UStream! @ UStream @ NASA

Mars Facts:
-Length of Day →  24:29:35.244   California Watchmaker made Mars Time Pieces
-Length of Year → 686.971 days [ 1.88 Earth Years ]
-North : North Star isn’t in Ursa Major / Big Dipper → ~ ½ between Deneb and Alpha Centari
-Gravity :surface gravity on Mars is 38% of that on Earth. It is not known if this is enough to prevent the health problems associated with weightlessness.
-Mean Temp → mean surface temperature is -63°C / -81°F
-Atmospheric pressure → ~6 mbar
-6 mbar is 9.7% human of min survivability of 61.8 mbar
-Earth → Average Sea level = 1013 mbar :: Mt Everest ~= 300 mbar
-Solar Winds → very weak magnetosphere, so it deflects solar winds poorly
-Radiation Levels → in orbit above Mars are 2.5 times higher than at the International Space Station.
-A three year exposure to such levels would be close to the safety limits currently adopted by NASA surface would be somewhat lower and might vary significantly at different locations depending on altitude and local magnetic fields.
-Communication → Radio waves ARE light waves one-way communication delay ranges from about 3 minutes at closest approach to 22 minutes at the largest possible superior conjunction.

The Mission:
How long are we staying?
-Some missions plans call for a measly 2-weeks on Mars
-Most suggest 18-22 months
-Mars to Stay? –
-Most missions are a variation on the Mars Direct approach
-Mars Direct : Mars Direct Animation walk through


Possible Daily Activities:
-Crew of 4/6 – working in shifts
-Specialization / All-Around Knowledge
-Exercise keeping fit, working against bone/muscle loss in 38% Earth Gravity
-Greenhouse – set up / maintenance /Greenhouses for Mars Artist Rendition Greenhouse Artist Rendition Greenhouse
-Systems Checks – HAB, Return Vehicle, Rover : checking systems, maintenance
-Report – Science, Engineering, Medical, …
-Communications – download / upload ; Mission
-Medical Testing – physical / mental
-Physical → hooks up to exercise equipment, medical personnel
-Mental → Programming to help
-Science Experiments

Additional Info :
Mars Society – Station Goals
WIKI – Light
In-Situ Resource Utilization – “Living off the land”
RWGS – reverse water gas shift reaction
NASA – Improvements and Modeling of the RWGS Process
PDF – NASA Design Reference Architecture 5.0
NASA – A Crewed Mission to Mars…
WIKI – Manned mission to Mars
WIKI – Colonization of Mars
WIKI – Terraforming of Mars


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