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back to article Martian simnauts emerge from spaceship outside Moscow

Six men who have spent the last 520 days sealed up inside a mock spacecraft outside Moscow simulating a mission to Mars have finally completed their task and emerged once more. “Thank you very much for your outstanding effort,” said Jean-Jacques Dordain, director general of the European Space Agency (ESA) after the crew stepped …

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Boffin

Here's the science bit:

They need to develop constant-thrust propulsion, then at 1G you can be there and back in less than a month.

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Surely

China is also a prospect?

They may not have the prestigious history of NASA, but China is booming right now, everything is developing at a rapid pace and the Chinese have their eyes on the stars now.

They have the money, if the desire is there then they're a real contender to the cash strapped yanks.

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Agreed

...and I could see them having the desire, simply in order to show the world their new dominance...

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Silver badge

Given America's woeful status

I'd wager that the first person on Mars will be Chinese. Or possibly Indian.

America had their chance back in the 70s and they blew it.

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Joke

It's obviously fake (but not in the moon landing way)

They really went to Mars - this is just to a cover story...

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Black Helicopters

grab your stuff

and get outta there

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Silver badge

Coming soon on Channel 5

Celebrity Big Brother: Mars Edition

Every week, one unlucky astronaut will be evicted by the airlock.

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Thumb Up

Could we not just cut to the chase...

...and blow the hatches on day 1?

(Coming soon: Celebrity Landfill)

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Solar storms...

If a vessel had a power source which generated electricity (I'm assuming nuclear powered on a voyage of this length) could it not also produce it's own magnetic field to help shield the crew from radiation?

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Ru
Boffin

There are problems with that

(didn't someone ask this question on another thread? was it you?)

Todays example of why this isn't entirely practical will be: the Aurora. I don't believe anyone knows how to make a magnetic shield that will repulse all the constituents of a neutral plasma, like the solar wind. Some of those incoming ions are going to hit the shielded object. On earth, we're relatively protected by a hell of a lot of atmosphere (and get pretty auroral displays as a side effect), but that's a tricky thing to fit on a spacecraft.

Ultimately, radiation shielding requires lots of mass, and that's exactly what you don't want to be adding to a spacecraft.

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Facepalm

was it you?

No, it wasn't, but now you've not only gone and ruined my idea (although it should help deflect charged particles) but you've also gone and told me it's apparently not such an original idea!

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Bronze badge
Pint

Doesn't the solar wind...

get directed to the poles by the Earth's magnetic field, leaving most of the surface un-bombarded by nasty ions. So, build a spaceship with a similar design:

Long cylinder, wrapped with big magnetic coil (superconducting, for preference). All the ions are streaming in from the ends, so block each end with a thick plate, say steel, to absorb them. And you should get quite a useful current between the two plates.

Only downside I can see is if the struts between the steel plates fail, and they slam together, crushing the occupants. It's only a minor design flaw.

Beerglass physics.

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How much Tang...

...would a 6-person crew need for a voyage to Mars? Because everyone knows: you can't go into space without Tang to drink, right?

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Pint

That must have reeked!!

The place would be hangin' with man smells.

I bet opening the door was like opening a tube of rank cheesey pringles.

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Boffin

@Ru

You are right on the money.

They should have stuck with Von Braunn's vision of Orbit > Space Station > Moon.

Mass is pretty much a non-factor if you are building in space.

Where are my Bernal spheres, O'Neil cylinders and Stanford toruses?

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Mass may not be a factor when _building_, but you still need to accelerate and decelerate that mass at each end of the journey.

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