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View Full Version : Discussion: Ask Robert Zubrin a Question



Fraser
2003-Dec-15, 11:45 PM
SUMMARY: Robert Zubrin, author of Mars on Earth and president of the Mars Society has agreed to open up his thoughts to you, the readers of Universe Today. Are you interested in the human exploration of Mars, or have questions about the various Mars research stations? Now's your chance to get your questions answered.

The forum moderators and I will sift through the questions and then forward a few of the best questions along. I'll post Zubrin's answers in the newsletter a few days after that.

Post your questions!

Thanks!

Fraser Cain
Publisher
Universe Today

Brad Willmore
2003-Dec-16, 12:45 AM
What are the reasonable prerequisites for a manned mission to Mars?

With the Moon we were able to do a reasonable amount of mapping and automated surveying of potential landing sites in advance. Have our unmanned missions to Mars equaled or surpassed the advance work we did for the first Lunar landing? Also, Mars provides a much more complex landing profile. With the Moon, gravity and atmosphere were so weak as to be almost irrelevant. With Mars this is not the case. The planet has enough of an atmosphere to complicate reentry but not be all that helpful for descent. Additionally the higher gravity of Mars (compared to the Moon) means we have to land a more sophisticated, heavily fueled return vehicle.

Lastly, what is a reasonable trip time for such an endeavour? The slower the travel time the more mass we have to launch for the humans involved but the less fuel we have to use. What's the most efficient mission profile from this perspective?

Matthew
2003-Dec-16, 02:24 AM
How much would a Mars venture cost?

How many more unmanned missions would we need to send to Mars to look for landing sites before we go?

When could we have a space probe return from Mars witha rock sample for analysis? Could it be that we will have to wait until the turn of the decade for samples to come to Earth? Or would it be worth the wait, because a return-sample mission might be enough for NASA and other space agencies to send humans to Mars.

Which should we go to first in the 21st centuary, Mars or the Moon?

ofatmarine
2003-Dec-16, 03:59 AM
What guarantees will assure enough fuel for the return trip?

Jonathan
2003-Dec-16, 04:49 AM
Originally posted by fraser@Dec 15 2003, 11:45 PM
SUMMARY: Robert Zubrin, author of Mars on Earth and president of the Mars Society has agreed to open up his thoughts to you, the readers of Universe Today. Are you interested in the human exploration of Mars, or have questions about the various Mars research stations? Now's your chance to get your questions answered.

The forum moderators and I will sift through the questions and then forward a few of the best questions along. I'll post Zubrin's answers in the newsletter a few days after that.

Post your questions!

Thanks!

Fraser Cain
Publisher
Universe Today
I have many questions to space exploration. MAny have to do with What the 'Hell have they discovered. Im a freshman in highschool. I am very interested in space exploration though i myself will never enter space due to being afraid of heights : :blink:
I havent kept up on any space exploration since i was 7. Please send me whatever you have got!!!! e-mail things to me at zergmarine2003@yahoo.com I'd appreciate this very much. :D

Matthew
2003-Dec-16, 05:07 AM
Jonathan, why don't you post your questions?

Guest
2003-Dec-16, 07:42 AM
What would be the route to Mars?
Should we first have a launching site on the moon, a site on phobos or (and) deimos?
Because this could save lots of energy; and it could provide far easier means for
rescue missions. imho this is important as now only 50% of the spacecraft make it to
mars. With a 'repair station' near mars itself mankind could repair all those sun blasted
satelites. By making these intermediate steps it might also be cheaper to fly again.

Kenneth Weiss
2003-Dec-16, 01:40 PM
Was there ever a plan to send to mars remote controled robots, like robonaut, to prepare the landing and habitat before the humans arrive?

Keneth

Guest
2003-Dec-16, 01:41 PM
I have long believed that the only way we will ever see man colonize the moon or Mars or any other non-terriestal location is when somebody can make money doing it. Would you agree?

Luke
2003-Dec-16, 02:39 PM
:o Dear Dr Zurbin, I would like to ask you if you belive that a trial "terraforming"
project should first be done here on Earth say on a piece of desert before we try at playing gods on the real thing Mars?

It seems to me that we can learn a great deal here on Earth testing out ideas before we embark on the real thing.

There are many websites and books devoted to the enormous task of "terraforming" Mars, but I can only find 1 book and 1 website devoted to our own needs to "terraforming" our own planet Earth.

I belive that scientists need actual proof, hard evidence and hands on experimentation before they try to "terraform" a whole world.

We have plenty of redundent desert land here, o-zone holes and melting ice caps.

If you can proove to me that you can reverse the adverse effects of "Global Warming" and tackle the 3 listed above then I for one would be impressed enough to let you go ahead and do Mars!

There is 1 science fiction book about "terraforming" Earth, called funnily enough "Terraforming Earth" by Jack Willamson, which I have ordered for myself for Xmas.

And there is 1 website for "terraforming" the Sahara Desert :

www.thesaharh.net

We need to be able to show the world that we in fact do have the power to be gods by firstly looking after our own back yard - Earth.

I find it quite funny and also distressing that every one is hell bent on "terraforming" Mars, but few have even considered "terraforming" our home planet Earth.

If we look at the costs, I know NASA has a multi - trillion dollar space programme and the cost of "terraforming" the entire Sahara Desert is estimated to be $800,000 billion dollars.

Obviously if we did the latter it would secure a pleasent future for our children and future generations. It would also help reverse the "Global Warming" process and would act as a drill for any thing on Mars.

Please any views or response will be most welcomed. :)

memo
2003-Dec-16, 04:10 PM
Thank you for allowing the little guy to become envolved.If differenbt objects impact planet surfaces are explorers and objects in danger of being damaged/injured.I ask because of my many observations of the moon i have yet to see any impacts. thank you for listening.

Samara
2003-Dec-16, 04:31 PM
Will we have to send geologist to Mars when we go and how many? :D

Brian Greathouse
2003-Dec-16, 04:56 PM
Originally posted by fraser@Dec 15 2003, 11:45 PM
SUMMARY: Robert Zubrin, author of Mars on Earth and president of the Mars Society has agreed to open up his thoughts to you, the readers of Universe Today. Are you interested in the human exploration of Mars, or have questions about the various Mars research stations? Now's your chance to get your questions answered.

The forum moderators and I will sift through the questions and then forward a few of the best questions along. I'll post Zubrin's answers in the newsletter a few days after that.

Post your questions!

Thanks!

Fraser Cain
Publisher
Universe Today
Question for the [FONT=Geneva][SIZE=7][COLOR=gray] Doctor

What ever happened to the seven mile in length artificl object floating in a defunct

orbit around Mars that is said to be giving off heat and said to be about seven million years

old-reported from OMNI magizine in 1994 ? ? ?

imported_Eli
2003-Dec-16, 05:01 PM
What do you think should be done to make sure a manned Mars mission will not be a "take a photo and not come back for 3 decades" mission ala Apollo?

Is there any location on Mars you think will be best to serve as a first-landing spot?

What, in your opinion, should be the size of the first team to land on Mars? 2-3 people, or a larger team(say, more than 10)? Is a one man mission possible?

Kenneth Weiss
2003-Dec-16, 05:32 PM
Dear Dr Zurbin,

Is there any thing we can do to help the Mars Society in achieving the great goal of getting humans to Mars?

Kenneth

gmiracle
2003-Dec-16, 07:34 PM
Dear Dr. Zubrin,

How abundant is chromium (VI) on the martian surface, and how serious would the consequences be for human settlement?

Gary

Fraser
2003-Dec-16, 08:23 PM
Great questions, keep them coming! I think I'll pass them along on Friday.

Yvette
2003-Dec-16, 09:17 PM
Dear Dr. Zubrin,
What is, in your opinion, the most compelling region of Mars for further study?

kjargirl
2003-Dec-16, 10:16 PM
Dr. Zubrin-
When you spoke before the legislative committee a few weeks ago, you offered the committee members each a copy of your book. Did any of them take you up on your offer, and have you received any feedback from any of them, either after your speech or after they read your book?

To me, "The Case for Mars" makes going to Mars sound like the most logical thing we could ever do, and actually your plan seems quite simple. I'm hoping people in a legislative capacity would think that way too.

Thanks for all of your efforts.

Nancy

Sergio Biguzzi
2003-Dec-17, 12:11 AM
Could the incomplete space station be used for a roundtrip around mars, with possibly some time in orbit around the red planet?
Some extra modules would most likely be needed and issues of human exposure for over one year to absence of gravity and radiation are evident but the space station as of now seems to be a failure; why not using it for a tour around the red planet (as we did before landing on the moon0?
Thank you
Sergio

exAstro
2003-Dec-17, 02:43 AM
Dr. Zubrin-
If it comes down to a cost/benefit analysis we'll probably never go to Mars- at least by current thinking. So- how do we move beyond that mindset? What would prompt the ultimate decision makers (purse holders) to decide that it's in "our" best interest to go to Mars? I assume that the technology is not at issue.
Regards,
M. Hoffman

Matthew
2003-Dec-17, 04:03 AM
Are the dust storms on Mars a major threat for spacecraft now and in the future?

Andy
2003-Dec-17, 07:09 AM
what do you think about the possibility of water in MARS,though there is no water at all at the MARS's canals ? :unsure:

Jamie Rich
2003-Dec-17, 02:40 PM
Dear Dr. Zubrin,
In the last few years we all seen artisit's rendering of a Mars that would be "Terraformed" into a very different planet than it is today. Much speculation has been made concerning creating oceans and a viable, breathable atmoshpere. Considering the low gravity coefficient of Mars, how could any of this be possible?
Thank you for your consideration,
Jamie Rich

Dave Mitsky
2003-Dec-17, 02:50 PM
Dr. Zubrin,

I heard your talk at the LVAAS banquet last year and enjoyed it very much.

Now I'm going to play the devil's advocate and ask what you feel is the most dangerous aspect of the Mars Direct plan.

Dave Mitsky

joetommasi
2003-Dec-17, 05:04 PM
It may seem that I'm against going to mars, but what's the point of going to mars, picking up some dirt from the planet and bringing it to earth? The dust on mars' surface is just dust from space that normally rains on earth every day. Why would mars dust be different from dust in space?

estorm
2003-Dec-17, 05:55 PM
Have humans developed the necessary technology to provide the needed life support for a mission to Mars? If not, then how far along are we and how long will it take to harness these critical technologies to sustain human life for two years in space?

Concerning the harmful radiation from the Sun and cosmic rays, what can humans do to minize this danger for a missions to Mars in the near future?

joetommasi
2003-Dec-17, 07:47 PM
Good day Mr Zurbin.
I'm all for going to Mars the question I have is this. Mars attracts a lot of space dust (and so does the earth). By us going to Mars, picking up surface dust or analyzing surface dust, are we really looking at Mars itself or are we just looking at the latest space dust that came down on Mars? Yes, I know the entire planet is made up of space rocks, dust, etc., but are we capable of picking up "Mars rocks" that have been there for a geologically significant time or are we just picking up recent space dust? Would the surface dust be any different from space dust?

Ted Vierimaa
2003-Dec-17, 09:49 PM
Dear Sir:
I think the best way is to find out and invent the "UNIFIED FIELD THEORY" so that one could "translate or teleport itself via "warmhole" right into Planet Mars, where the rumour say Santa claus has recently moved into Olympos Mons his "head office", from his old North Pole residency, because "that red fellow" has long ago 'invented' this 'future time' "travelling mode"....Humans may be in inventing it so far in the future that I'm afraid that the "fireweed may grow on our graves" and the "sun shall shine from the North" before that happens!1

Merry Christmas.. Ted Vierimaa.

Ezlington
2003-Dec-18, 12:02 AM
How far would you say that the lack of a substantial magnetic field and active plate techtonics limit the useability and usefulness of Mars to mankind?

z

Harley
2003-Dec-18, 01:56 AM
Would it be possible, when we finally develope the technology, to set up some type of bio-dome on Mars?

Could this be a more inexpensive way, over the next few hundred years, of researching the Red Planet?

If the bio-dome theory pans out, would it be first built on the moon, since it is closer to the earth and will take less time and money to build?

Josh
2003-Dec-19, 12:05 AM
Hi Dr Zubrin,

Firstly thank you for all your efforts!

I, personally, would like to know the support you (we) have in the places that count and when you think there will be any real change. I'd like to know what sort of feedback the people in power give you in response to your Mars plans - both in word and action. I'd like to know what sort of people and who are the players in this thing and if they are more worried about their immediate spending looking good in their terms of office or are they committed to the future. I'd like to know what you think of the idea of modifying and putting the space shuttles into space permanently (and used as Moon/Mars shuttles) and if you think the best way to get out of a penny-counting minded congress would be to just spend more money - make the space program publicly impressive again, then the money will flow.

Thanks

Josh Pilalis

Stephen Mercer
2003-Dec-20, 09:18 AM
Dr. Zubrin: It seems that whatever NASA does they do massively over budget and usually it takes much longer than they first said it would. The space shuttle is a classic example of this. The shuttle was suppose to be launching some 40 to 50 times a year and for a fraction of the cost. They have always failed miserably. Then the American taxpayer rewards them with tons and tons of cash. They are the only organization with such a multi- billion dollar reward for failure. 30,000 people for just a few shuttle launches a year is a disaster. With such a lucrative financial reward for failure, they have little impetus to succeed.

So my question is why not a completely privatized venture for manned missions to Mars? If Dick Rutan is estimating a 1/1000th the cost of getting into space, why not go this same cost effective route? If we ask the taxpayer for funding like NASA seems to need, are we not virtually guaranteeing donor fatigue? Stephen Mercer

Fraser
2003-Dec-21, 02:43 AM
Okay, I'll select some questions and pass them along to Zubrin... thanks!