Author Topic: ISS Partners Considering Simulated Mars Mission Aboard ISS  (Read 13927 times)

Offline rdale

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Re: ISS Partners Considering Simulated Mars Mission Aboard ISS
« Reply #20 on: 11/03/2011 05:27 PM »
It may not be the best, but it does have a big advantage currently.

Offline Space Pete

Agreed, I'm just not sure if the ISS is the best place for such a demonstration. I would favor a free-flying BA-330.

Why so? ISS has far more capabilities (health monitoring equipment, etc.) than a BA-330.
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Offline Cherokee43v6

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Re: ISS Partners Considering Simulated Mars Mission Aboard ISS
« Reply #22 on: 11/03/2011 07:41 PM »
Agreed, I'm just not sure if the ISS is the best place for such a demonstration. I would favor a free-flying BA-330.

Why so? ISS has far more capabilities (health monitoring equipment, etc.) than a BA-330.

The biggest advantage I could see to using a BA-330 would be the ability to create an isolation mission similar to the Mars 500 simulation.  Namely that the station could be stocked to be manned un-resupplied for the full duration.  Additionally, communications delays could be built in for simulation realism.

However, if you're just wanting to get data on 2 guys for 18 months, then the ISS is fine.  In fact, such a mission would be an excellent 'middle step' before trying to do an isolation mission.
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Offline hop

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Re: ISS Partners Considering Simulated Mars Mission Aboard ISS
« Reply #23 on: 11/03/2011 07:54 PM »
Additionally, communications delays could be built in for simulation realism.
There has been talk of doing communications delay exercises on ISS. See http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=24737.0

You wouldn't do it for the entire simulation, but useful intermediates are possible.

Offline Cherokee43v6

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Re: ISS Partners Considering Simulated Mars Mission Aboard ISS
« Reply #24 on: 11/03/2011 07:59 PM »
Additionally, communications delays could be built in for simulation realism.
There has been talk of doing communications delay exercises on ISS. See http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=24737.0

You wouldn't do it for the entire simulation, but useful intermediates are possible.

My thought was that to do communications delays for a portion of the ISS crew would be disruptive to other ongoing projects.
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Offline butters

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Re: ISS Partners Considering Simulated Mars Mission Aboard ISS
« Reply #25 on: 11/03/2011 09:02 PM »
I can't believe that anybody on this board thinks we have a sufficient understanding of the long-term effects of microgravity to undertake a manned expedition to Mars.

I think it should be fairly obvious that we need at least one 500-day deep space habitation trial in a location with favorable orbital mechanics such as EML1. It's somewhat more debatable whether this trial should be preceded by a trial in earth orbit (e.g. at the ISS) where the microgravity effects can be evaluated independently of the more severe radiation environments of deep space.

One could argue that it's not much more difficult or risky to abort to earth return from EML1 than from LEO if necessary, so we might as well skip the LEO trial and go straight to the more realistic EML1 trial. But on the other hand, by the time we can begin the EML1 trial, we could have already completed the LEO trial at the ISS and possibly learned lessons which may inform the subsequent EML1 trial.

So I think we should do a 500-day habitation trial at the ISS. In fact, I think that this would help a lot of American taxpayers understand more clearly why the ISS is a worthwhile investment. If we can't figure out a non-disruptive way to conduct this trial on the ISS as it is configured today, then maybe we could roll it into the planned evaluation of the Bigelow module at the ISS.

Then we could proceed with another trial in EML1 or EML2 incorporating any lessons learned from the ISS trial. I'd be very surprised if we're anywhere close to ready to land humans on Mars by the time both trials are complete.

I don't think we'll ever land humans on Mars if we refuse to take a more incremental approach. I understand why many people argue that we'll reach this goal more quickly by taking a more aggressive tack, but I believe that this thinking only makes it more difficult to break out of the seemingly endless cycle of paper studies. If we proceed one step at a time, I think we're more likely to reach our final destination.

Online Robotbeat

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Re: ISS Partners Considering Simulated Mars Mission Aboard ISS
« Reply #26 on: 11/03/2011 10:34 PM »
These are all known and obvious, we need data from deep space outside the Van Allen Belts and for long duration periods for both human, electronic and mechanical systems…
It's not THAT different out there. And as far as electronic and mechanical systems outside Van Allen belts, every GSO satellite is beyond the Van Allen belts, and that's probably most all the commercial and military satellites ever launched. Plus every single planetary and lunar probe is beyond the Magnetosphere.

And we also have devices to simulate those levels of radiation on the surface.

Don't buy the paranoia about space radiation. It's an issue, but we absolutely have data about what the space environment is like beyond LEO and what we need to do about it.
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Online Robotbeat

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Re: ISS Partners Considering Simulated Mars Mission Aboard ISS
« Reply #27 on: 11/03/2011 10:48 PM »
Agreed, I'm just not sure if the ISS is the best place for such a demonstration. I would favor a free-flying BA-330.

Why so? ISS has far more capabilities (health monitoring equipment, etc.) than a BA-330.
This is a great use of ISS, in my opinion. It's something NASA (and partners) can do quite soon to help us understand what's needed to get to Mars. An 18-21 month simulation at ISS would prove that we have a very important needed piece of the puzzle for a Mars mission. Taking the edge off of the radiation dosage (which is ~twice ISS dose rate) is nice, but I would argue has less uncertainty than ~20 months of operating in microgravity with no resupply from Earth.

A few of these simulatons at ISS (eventually with the whole exploration stack docked at ISS), combined with a trip to a NEO, would show we have basically all the stuff needed for a short-duration Mars orbit mission (plus a little extra strategically placed water shielding... imagine wearing a big, water-filled inflatable parka when outside of the sleeping quarters).

All that's needed for a surface mission would be a small lander (with a pre-landed ascent vehicle) to allow sorties.

Pre-landed base components would continue the incremental build-up of capabilities to a full permanent base.

The key is small, incremental steps like these ISS simulations. I applaud the simulation efforts, and will be excited to see them!
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Offline Rocket Science

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Re: ISS Partners Considering Simulated Mars Mission Aboard ISS
« Reply #28 on: 11/03/2011 10:51 PM »
Build it, send it out there… Test like you fly… Get out of LEO!

http://www.ukintpress-conferences.com/conf/aerona05/pres/spacetest/white.pdf

« Last Edit: 11/03/2011 11:07 PM by Rocket Science »
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Online Robotbeat

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Re: ISS Partners Considering Simulated Mars Mission Aboard ISS
« Reply #29 on: 11/03/2011 10:57 PM »
We already know what zero g does to the human body.

Another study isn't needed.

Astronauts as guinea pigs rant  ::)
An 18-21 month mission simulation on ISS would prove that we have the problem licked enough to consider sending astronauts to Mars for that long. Russians tried this before with one cosmonaut for 14 months (and it actually worked reasonably well; the cosmonaut insisted on walking a bit on his own after landing), but our boneloss mitigation techniques (and understanding of the process) have improved significantly since then and we also have far, FAR better drugs available to treat osteoporosis as well. It's time we put them to the test.

There will always be significant uncertainty in Mars mission planning until we've demonstrated an 18-21 month mission in LEO first. Gemini tested Apollo 11's 8 day mission duration with a test in LEO lasting 14 days. ISS (and maybe a NEA mission) is our Gemini.

Add a dedicated simulation section (with a separate module docked to an Orion, perhaps) for a better simulation while still being attached to the Station for safety (and power, etc) may be a good next step after this.
« Last Edit: 11/03/2011 10:59 PM by Robotbeat »
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Offline manboy

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Re: ISS Partners Considering Simulated Mars Mission Aboard ISS
« Reply #30 on: 11/03/2011 11:53 PM »
These are all known and obvious, we need data from deep space outside the Van Allen Belts and for long duration periods for both human, electronic and mechanical systems…
How is something that's never been tested a known and obvious?

Plus I'd like to see a few more Americans on this list

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_spaceflight_records#Ten_longest_human_space_flights

Not viable on the ISS, too big, not enough power and disrupts the rest of the ISS.

NASA's Technology Applications Assessment Team disagree with you.
That is one small centrifuge.
« Last Edit: 11/03/2011 11:58 PM by manboy »
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Offline rdale

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Re: ISS Partners Considering Simulated Mars Mission Aboard ISS
« Reply #31 on: 11/04/2011 02:26 AM »
Build it, send it out there… Test like you fly… Get out of LEO!

As mentioned by countless posters already - that's not viable. I'm glad you have such enthusiasm for the space program, but for whatever reason you are just not grasping the reality of where it is today.

Offline spectre9

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Re: ISS Partners Considering Simulated Mars Mission Aboard ISS
« Reply #32 on: 11/04/2011 03:18 AM »
We know what will happen if we send somebody to ISS for 400 days.

Bone density loss and muscle atrophy.

Putting humans through this torture just for the sake of it is simply not on in my eyes.


Offline peter-b

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Re: ISS Partners Considering Simulated Mars Mission Aboard ISS
« Reply #33 on: 11/04/2011 06:47 AM »
Bone density loss and muscle atrophy.

Putting humans through this torture just for the sake of it is simply not on in my eyes.

In order to send men to Mars, we will need to overcome these problems, either by providing partial gravity sections, or with drugs and rigorous physical exercise regimens.

Before sending the mission, we need to do some experiments in a controlled environment to determine whether or not these problems have successfully been overcome.

You can only do these tests on humans, because they require subject cooperation.

Several other posters have already pointed out that our understanding of the affects of long-duration microgravity and our drugs etc. for treating it have improved greatly since the last time any long-duration experiments were carried out, so their results are no longer necessarily representative of what can now be achieved.

All in all, such a simulated Mars mission would not be "pointless", "astronauts as guinea pigs", "torture just for the sake of it", or any other misleading and insulting epithet that you wish to use.  ::)
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Offline spectre9

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Re: ISS Partners Considering Simulated Mars Mission Aboard ISS
« Reply #34 on: 11/04/2011 06:58 AM »
But what's the point?

Without a centrifuge to control the gravity it doesn't mean much.

You need to spin the men up to Mars G after 180 days and put them back into zero G after a simulated surface stay.

If you just want to throw people in space for a long duration we already know EXACTLY what will happen.

Mir, Skylab and ISS have covered this for DECADES!!!!!!!!!
« Last Edit: 11/04/2011 06:59 AM by spectre9 »

Offline SpacexULA

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Re: ISS Partners Considering Simulated Mars Mission Aboard ISS
« Reply #35 on: 11/04/2011 07:27 AM »
Outside of an unlimited budget you test what you can with what you have.  We have the ISS, we have it staffed, and the budget for these tests are not large enough to kill other more useful projects.

ISS is going to fly at least till 2020, if you have a problem with this plan, can you think of something better to use the current hardware to test that's not going to add significant cost? 

We have a Congressionally mandated HLV and capsule, so everything else can starve till they are done.  Better to use the crumbs left over to test this than to have ISS twittle it's thumbs till it falls into the Pacific.
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Offline Rocket Science

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Re: ISS Partners Considering Simulated Mars Mission Aboard ISS
« Reply #36 on: 11/04/2011 08:25 AM »
Some won’t like to hear this… It appears that the ISS is just looking for something to do and some reason to exist outside of international politics. General Bolden stated that the “ISS is our Moon”. Now the “ISS is our Mars”… You can simulate all you want… Restart NERVA and reduce the transit times. Test like you fly…  Or you can always accept a Zubrin-like proposal if you are not so risk adverse.

Quotes:
CHRISTOPHER FERGUSON, SHUTTLE ATLANTIS COMMANDER: You know, Mars has been 20 years in the future for the last 30 years.

... We essentially have command of low earth orbit.

GENE CERNAN, APOLLO ASTRONAUT: Once you've been to the moon, staying home is not good enough. I'm an exploration guy. I want to go where man has never gone before.

http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1107/03/cp.01.html
« Last Edit: 11/04/2011 08:38 AM by Rocket Science »
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Offline peter-b

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Re: ISS Partners Considering Simulated Mars Mission Aboard ISS
« Reply #37 on: 11/04/2011 08:50 AM »
You can simulate all you want… Restart NERVA and reduce the transit times. Test like you fly…  Or you can always accept a Zubrin-like proposal if you are not so risk adverse.

Why not do both?  ::)
Research Scientist (Sensors), Sharp Laboratories of Europe, UK

Offline rdale

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Re: ISS Partners Considering Simulated Mars Mission Aboard ISS
« Reply #38 on: 11/04/2011 10:45 AM »
If you just want to throw people in space for a long duration we already know EXACTLY what will happen.

Actually, we don't know EXACTLY what will happen. If you scroll through some of the posts in this very thread, you can see the advantages of this plan.

Some won’t like to hear this… It appears that the ISS is just looking for something to do and some reason to exist outside of international politics.

Well, of course. That's called "common sense." If you have an underutilized system, utilize it.

Quote
Restart NERVA and reduce the transit times. Test like you fly…  Or you can always accept a Zubrin-like proposal if you are not so risk adverse.

NERVA, Zubrin, etc. are never referenced in the opening post. They aren't part of the proposal. If people would write less and read more they'd actually learn something instead of contributing to the noise.

Offline Jim

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Re: ISS Partners Considering Simulated Mars Mission Aboard ISS
« Reply #39 on: 11/04/2011 12:58 PM »

Mir, Skylab and ISS have covered this for DECADES!!!!!!!!!

No, it was found that the Russians didn't use proper protocols during MIR so their data is suspect.  Skylab was less than 6 months total.   So there is limited data.

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