Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Case For Mars

I would highly encourage the US to consider building a "Mars Capable" spaceship as a shuttle replacement.  If a new spaceship will be delivered in 10 years anyway it should be able to integrate as a core piece of a Mars Mission.  I would suggest this would be best executed by building a long distance space explorer in space that would be capable of long distance cruising due to the fact that it doesn't need to haul and burn "lift off" fuel and other weight that would be needed by an atmosphere capable vehicle.  We have the technology to build such a vehicle that would be self contained and allow humans to cruise for up to 24-36 months.  Remember there is no drag in space other than gravitational which would need to be calculated for optimum trajectory, allowing a space ship to cruise at exceptional speeds for long distances.

If we were to attempt a landing on Mars I'd like to see a separate automated launch of a landing and take off vehicle which would arrive perhaps months in advanced and land on the surface and/or enter into rotational orbit.  Sending up the landing/takeoff vehicle separately further reduces the weight needed to be carried, the only need is for the long distance cruiser is to be able to travel long distances (several million miles) enter into a rotation and mate with a landing vehicle, then leave the orbit and travel to other destinations.  This vehicle would never land, even on earth it would always stay in orbit.  Again it would just mate with an landing capsule and splash down safely on earth leaving the ship to orbit until needed.  With the space station we could assemble and maintain such a vehicle in space.  I would also advocate that such a vehicle could be equipped to fire fusion bombs that could alter the course of large space objects that might be on course to strike the earth.

The only missing piece is the launch and return vehicle(s).  This will still be a need in the future (e.g. what the shuttle was) but a one solution sled will not be sufficient to expand our ability to explore space by significant margins.  I'm plainly advocating for a separate launch/landing and space exploration vehicle.  I think even the launch/landing vehicle could be different.  For example the launch vehicle could fly home by itself and the humans could utilize a separately launched safety optimized landing capsule.  The ability to launch objects into space with relative certainty of their placement is invaluable to our ability to explore our solar system. 

In the past technical superiority was demonstrated with weaponry.  I'd like the US to solidify world wide confidence by attempting and executing a feat no other nation would be able to match at this point. Thus inspiring confidence in our Dollar and our ability to further the reach of the human race.  I think there is a real need for human kind to be able to explore and colonize uninhabited planets.

All ideas are original all rights reserved 2011 Cliff Mark as is all content on this blog.