I am wondering how you are preparing these deep space ships for when humans land on Mars. How long will it take to re-acclimate to the gravity? Especially with no medical crews to care for the astronauts as they land on the planets surface. Do you anticipate there being green-houses on Mars or the people being mostly fed by provisions sent from earth? What will be the size of the 1st crew and do you expect certain professions to be a necessity for that crew such as a medical doctor or an engineer or a geologist?
Jenny, Very good questions. Mars missions are much more complex than anything that we have done in the past, and are very difficult to do in a single vehicle. Thus, the NASA approaches typically incorporate pre-deploying cargo (power, habitats, rovers, etc.) before the crew leaves Earth. That way when they get there, they have everything that they need to live on the surface. The duration of the transit to Mars will be much like what the crews experience on the ISS today (180-360 days), and thus they will be deconditioned when they arrive at Mars and will take a week or two to acclimate to the gravity of Mars. The vehicle that they land in must be capable of providing the room and equipment that they will need for that acclimation period. And, the first crews will have to do that on their own, since there will be no medical teams there to assist them upon landing. A greenhouse large enough to produce all of the food necessary for the crew will be too big and complex for the first missions. So we don't envision that from the beginning, but perhaps we can "grow" to that capability. We will probably start off with small "salad machine" type of systems much like what we fly on the ISS. They don't provide much in terms of nutrition, but can be very good from a psychological perspective. We also expect there to be around 4-6 crew on each mission and each crew member will need to be cross-trained in multiple technical disciplines (engineer, doctor, geologist, pilot, etc.). Hope that these thoughts help.
Post by aliciafernandez on Jan 21, 2018 21:23:04 GMT
We are a team of 3 creators who aren't quite sure about what a "9 month trek to the Red Planet" entails. Would it take 9 months to reach Mars, or would that period cover the whole stay and return to Earth as well?
Following on the previous message, and although a big greenhouse is out of the picture for now, what kind of plants would they bring? (not just for food but for research as well).
If I may ask, what do astronauts do during the 9 month trek? Are they curled into the capsule the entire time?
They would be in a habitat module doing things we would all consider normal living essentially, eating, exercising, sleeping, and working to maintain the spaceship or do science expirements.
In order to maintain their health, exercise would be really important so staying in a sitting position would def not be allowed. There is also the mental health aspect where crew will need to communicate with earth and family and have a private space from the rest of the crew. So ultimately a rather significantly sized habitat spaceship is needed to support a crew on the journey with everythikng they will need.
We continue to study the best approach for ascent from the Mars surface. Although no design has yet been set, refer to the link below for some of the design considerations for ascent. arc.aiaa.org/doi/abs/10.2514/6.2015-4416