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Thread: Should Mars Astronauts be Small?

  1. #1

    Should Mars Astronauts be Small?

    New here- not sure if this has been raised before:

    I'm assuming that it would be much cheaper to send a 40kg human than an 80kg human to Mars?
    Has anyone done any calculations about how much extra poop/urine/Co2 a larger human would produce?
    .. and how much more food/O2 they would consume?
    Last edited by Titus Lucretius Carus; 2017-Dec-21 at 01:46 PM.

  2. #2
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    I've thought about this in the past, and don't have an answer.
    My usual position is that Mars Astronauts should be robots, until they have built a large, comfortable, safe place for people to live on Mars. I expect that in the time it will take for that to happen that we will develop the ability to travel from Earth to Mars in a couple of weeks, and that the size of the humans won't matter much. ... but if, for some reason there is a hurry to get people to Mars quickly, you can send a lot more genetic diversity if the people you send weigh half of what average people weigh.
    Forming opinions as we speak

  3. #3
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    The "more the merrier" for Mars makes sense, and the fatter few the better. Von Braun, pre-WWII, presented his plan for going to Mars which included, IIRC, about 900 launches to build three ships in orbit that would convoy to Mars. One ship, I would think, could serve as protection for the others against solar flares and CMEs.

    Two-members per team, minimum, would make sense, too. So more teams could do more discovery.

    NASA and the Air Force have had size restrictions, though they may be more relaxed these days, or maybe not.
    We know time flies, we just can't see its wings.

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    NO FAT ASTRONAUTS, eh?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by antoniseb View Post
    I've thought about this in the past, and don't have an answer.
    My usual position is that Mars Astronauts should be robots, until they have built a large, comfortable, safe place for people to live on Mars. I expect that in the time it will take for that to happen that we will develop the ability to travel from Earth to Mars in a couple of weeks, and that the size of the humans won't matter much. ... but if, for some reason there is a hurry to get people to Mars quickly, you can send a lot more genetic diversity if the people you send weigh half of what average people weigh.
    You don't need to send people to get genetic diversity. One ship could carry enough gametes for millions of future colonists.

    However, if you're talking about actual colonization, the people and even their supplies are going to be a small fraction of the total mass you'll need to send. SpaceX is talking about putting six BFR spacecraft on the ground with the last two carrying small crews, perhaps a couple dozen people in total and somewhere around 900 t of supplies and equipment. It'd be a very long time before the people become the majority of the mass.

  6. #6
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    It reminds me of some song lyrics:

    This is an announcement from Genetic Control:”It is my sad duty to inform you of a four foot restriction on humanoid height.
    I'm not sure that bigger people use up that much more energy. The brain takes about 20% of our total energy input, and that shouldn't vary much. It would however, cost less to launch a lighter person into space, so it makes sense to limit weight.
    As above, so below

  7. #7
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    I would hazard a guess that it doesn't matter what body style a person has, they are all going to burn a lot of calories and breathe in a lot of O2. Combating the effects of low gravity or free fall requires exercise. You'd have a case where people would be burning a ton of consumables to do a certain amount of activity and if there was time to do more, you'd want them engaging in more exercise and burn more consumables.

    Your best bet would be to travel fast before muscle loss becomes a problem. But there are some really hard limits on how fast you can go in a reasonably sized ship. Your ship design will effect how much consumables can be carried. It is probably an evil little circle of physics and math.
    Solfe

  8. #8
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    The astronauts who are to remain in orbit need not have legs.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck View Post
    The astronauts who are to remain in orbit need not have legs.
    I recall that a few bold futurists suggested that using amputees could conserve space in space.

  10. #10
    yes midget amputees with colostomy bags on a suicide mission to mars....now that's what i'm thinking.

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