Anonymous asked in Science & MathematicsAstronomy & Space · 8 years ago

how could we travel to Mars using current tech?

i need a really good precise answer

best answer gets 10 points

7 Answers

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago
    Favourite answer

    Good thinking. You want a precise answer to a question that couldn't be any more vague if you were attempting to be.

    Realistically, we can't do it with current technology.

    By "it" I mean a safe round-trip in a reasonable 4 - 6 years.

    Theoretically, we'd need a spaceship so massively shielded with radiation protection that moving it would take tremendous amounts of fuel. So, the ship would need the ability to retrieve supply probes sent frequently from the Earth. Once it got there, the astronauts would have to transfer to a waiting lander to land. The return launch would be problematical without years of on-surface preparation. Since this would by definition be the first manned landing, the prep work would have to be robotic.

    The robots would have to be able to construct and maintain the orbital insertion craft. We don't have that capability, yet.


    Given robots of that sophistication, there is no rational reason to risk human life, anything we can do the robots can do much more cheaply.

  • 8 years ago

    We could, but it will be very dangerous without a doubt. The moon is orbiting us, so calculations are much easier, than it will be for Mars. If we **** up the landing on Mars, it's gonna be good bye to that astronaut. Why? because the Earth and Mars orbit the Sun at different rates, by the time the astronaut reaches Mars, Earth could've more than passed Mars and be on the other side of the sun. Communication might be difficult, and it will be extra difficult and extra costly. The rule of thumb is: carrying out precise calculations is more likely to be in error than calculating the entire trip. But I guess we can get there, civilization already knows how to survive in space from food to sleep, down to bathrooms needs.

    But there will be problems.

    Say he landed, he will have to make the extremely difficult trip back when the Earth has made a full orbit according to Mars. Also communication will be super difficult because messages will be doppler shifted to extremes. If we did send someone out there, he will have to land (or crash land) on Mars possible all by himself. Traveling to mars I'd give 30% chance, coming back i'd give 5% chance granted he already landed successfully this is if we made the effort to go to mars within the next 50 years.

    oh yes and radiation levels like the first answerer said might kill the astronaut too.

  • 8 years ago

    If we can put a robot on Mars we can put people there just by scaling up a bit and taking along some air, water, food etc. That's linear - 10x the payload takes 10x the energy and 10x the money, more-or-less.

    Getting them back is more difficult - that's more than a linear increase in energy, to take a return vessel plus the fuel to run it. But we got people to the moon and back like that.

    Recent results suggest that the radiation dose from the trip might be excessive - that a return trip would use up more than your lifetimes statutory allocation of radiation as an astronaut or radiation worker or something.

    More specifically, the radiation detector on Curiosity suggests that you'd pick up

    330mSv during a 180-day trip, the same as you'd get in 40 years living in Finland, or from having 50 CAT scans. That gives you a 1% extra risk of developing cancer in the next 15 years. I suspect that's rather less than your chances of being killed on the way there.

  • Adam
    Lv 4
    8 years ago

    From everything I've read, we can't. The radiation you'll pick up on the trip is above current safety levels.

    As well, the trip would be one way, requiring either a system in place that could send shipments of food and supplies every few months for 40 to 60 years (unlikely), or a self-sufficient colony (which isn't possible with current tech).

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  • John W
    Lv 7
    8 years ago

    There's only one current or rather 50 year old tech which could provide us with enough shielding and get us there and back fast enough to avoid problems with radiation and micro-gravity and that's Project Orion which uses atomic bombs to propel a spaceship. As crazy as it sounds, all the math checks out and all the practical experiments worked. The nuclear arms treaty killed the project.

    Other approaches are possible but would entail radiation, supplies and micro-gravity risks. Project Orion would be the only sure fire solution.

  • Zardoz
    Lv 7
    8 years ago

    As ashes in mylar urns.

  • 8 years ago

    obviously not.

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