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NASA is planning to test launch a spacecraft that looks just like a flying saucer. It's designed to fly through the Martian atmosphere for a possible trip to Mars in the future.
"So, if we want to put bigger things on Mars," said Mark Adler with NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab, "We want to extend our reach, not with just robots, but also with people and more into the Solar system, to go to Mars, this is one of the key, critical technologies that we're going to need to be able to do that."
The ship, called the Low Density Supersonic Decelerator, part of NASA's Evolvable Mars Campaign. The aim is to get to an altitude and speed that simulates the environment our vehicles would experience when flying in the Martian atmosphere. 



lol Air force has one


Edited by hh5
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The thing is, NASA already possesses the necessary technology to land humans onto the surface of Mars and to return them safely back to Earth. What NASA lacks is any meaningful support in Congress, the White House or the American people. The technology has existed since the 1970's but the American space program has lacked the courage, guts or visionary leadership to go beyond low Earth orbit.


Anyone with basic high school physics can place a craft into low Earth orbit. Simply achieve the velocity and correct trajectory to maintain a stable orbit - roughly 17,500 MPH so as to counter the effects of Earth's gravitational pull.


It is considerably more difficult to land on Mars due mainly to the distance from the Earth and solar radiation. Communication between the Astronauts and Mission Controllers being a major problem. It takes roughly 16 minutes (depending on Mars' location in space, for a radio signal to reach Mars from Earth and another 16 minutes for a reply. So mission planning and training is critical because those who are lucky enough to be chosen to make the journey will pretty much be on their own. If an Apollo-13 like situation arises 3 million miles from Earth, there is no way they will survive and NASA can't stomach those odds. Oh, and the radiation exposure would most likely kill any human after a few weeks. We must never forget that the sun is an uncontained nuclear chain reaction that would bombard any craft that exits Earth's magnetosphere with highly charged particles.


That said, I would go in a heart beat, no matter the odds of survival.

Edited by Ryan Jacobs
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@ryan we're always at the hands of the lowest bidder



doubtful nasa would get dumb luck .... i heard the joke below for the ny holland tunnel

When the British government let out bids for the digging of a tunnel under the English Channel, estimates ran in the millions of pounds. One firm (Boaj LTD) asked only 10,000 pounds, however.
"Considering equipment and labor costs", the construction chairman asked the low bidder, "how do you propose to do the job for such a pittance?"
"It's simple," the Boaj contractor replied. "My partner grabs a shovel,
goes to France and starts digging. I take another shovel and start digging from England. We dig until we meet - and you've got a tunnel!"
"But what if you never meet?"
"Then you've got two tunnels, for the price of one."





sounds like other gov't choices? but like the iss perhaps the usa should not do it alone


Report: Mars mission is unaffordable now, but necessary

WASHINGTON — Landing astronauts on Mars is unaffordable given today's budget realities, but the U.S. can't afford not to undertake such a mission.
That's the thrust of a new congressionally mandated report by the National Research Council. The 285-page analysis, released Wednesday, concludes that a successful trip to the Red Planet depends on a well-financed, "disciplined" approach with broad buy-in that must not fluctuate from administration to administration.
"Our committee concluded that any human exploration program will only succeed if it is appropriately funded and receives a sustained commitment on the part of those who govern our nation," said Purdue University President Mitch Daniels, the former Indiana governor who co-chaired the committee authoring the report. "That commitment cannot change direction election after election. Our elected leaders are the critical enablers of the nation's investment in human spaceflight, and only they can assure that the leadership, personnel, governance, and resources are in place in our human exploration program."
The report studied three different "pathways" to demonstrate what sort of trade-offs might have to be made regarding affordability, schedule, risk, and the frequency of missions to intermediate destinations.
"All the pathways culminate in landing on the surface of Mars — which is the most challenging yet technically feasible destination — and have anywhere between three and six steps that include some combination of missions to asteroids, the moon, and Martian moons," the press release accompanying the report said.


Edited by hh5
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