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Tomblvd
2003-Jan-22, 01:53 PM
Looks like President Bush is ready to push for a new Mars mission.

Destination: Mars (http://www.techcentralstation.com/1051/techwrapper.jsp?PID=1051-250&CID=1051-012203A)

Recent reports from the Los Angeles Times and Space.com indicate that President Bush may announce a spectacular new Mars initiative, aimed at putting humans on Mars by 2010. Having been through this with a previous President Bush, who announced similar plans only to see them shot down, interestingly enough, by the maneuverings of NASA bureaucrats, I confess to a bit of skepticism. But there's reason to think that this time it could work.

One reason for optimism is that this time around cost, and technology, have gotten a lot more thought. Nuclear propulsion is at the forefront this time - back then, it was a political non-starter. It's possible to go to Mars using chemical rockets alone, but just barely. Using nuclear space propulsion - where a reactor heats gases to form high-speed exhaust rather than using chemical explosions to do so - cuts travel times from six months to two, and, because of better specific impulse (efficiency), allows for higher payloads. (There are no plans, as far as I know, to use Orion-style nuclear-explosive propulsion, of the sort I've written about href=http://techcentralstation.com/1051/defensewrapper.jsp?PID=1051-350&CID=1051-091102C>here, and here. Should I turn out to be wrong about this, it will probably be a sign that somebody somewhere is very worried about something.)




Let's hope he is successful.

Bill Thmpson
2003-Jan-27, 10:24 PM
Nuclear engines are just one solutions to the difficulties that traveling to Mars poses. Here is my answer to the problem – or the difficulty – of communications:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/sci/tech/newsid_2049000/2049048.stm

I find it troubling that I might the only one to see a true use for the "teleporting of sub-atomic particles instantly through quantum mechanics". I might be jumping the gun here because I have not read all the replies here.

But here it goes…

Has anyone else seen the beauty of this is not in the teleporting of solid masses but in the instant communication uses? The Mars mission is going to be difficult because, in the end, it will take 15 minutes for a message to reach the ship from the Earth. Why not use quantum mechanics as a communication tool.

It would not just be “… message arriving on sub-space, channel, captain…” but, rather, “message HAS ARRIVED on sub-space channel, captain”.

(edited bacause hyperlink was mistyped)


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Bill Thompson on 2003-01-27 17:28 ]</font>

ToSeek
2003-Jan-28, 05:03 PM
On 2003-01-27 17:24, Bill Thompson wrote:
Has anyone else seen the beauty of this is not in the teleporting of solid masses but in the instant communication uses? The Mars mission is going to be difficult because, in the end, it will take 15 minutes for a message to reach the ship from the Earth. Why not use quantum mechanics as a communication tool.



Unfortunately, communications faster than the speed of light violates the theory of relativity, so it's impossible according to our current understanding of physics. The article you link to mentions this.