Author Topic: ISS Partners Considering Simulated Mars Mission Aboard ISS  (Read 13914 times)

Offline mr. mark

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Re: ISS Partners Considering Simulated Mars Mission Aboard ISS
« Reply #40 on: 11/04/2011 01:27 PM »
More info...

The next few years are expected to bring additional experiments aimed at testing the waters for Mars missions. NASA has been talking about setting up time delays in Earth-to-space communications, to reflect the minutes-long light-speed travel times between Mission Control and a spaceship heading for Mars. A 10-minute time delay is on the space station's tentative science agenda for next year. Several experts have suggested attaching prototype Mars modules to the station for future test runs.
Russian space officials are thinking about conducting a Mars500-style experiment aboard the space station sometime after 2014, the Itar-Tass news agency reported today. "We are interested in staging such an experiment in actual conditions of zero gravity," Vitaly Davydov, deputy chief of Russia's Federal Space Agency, told Itar-Tass. "It is too early to say when such an experiment could be made."
If the plan goes forward, at least two astronauts would spend at least 18 months in orbit. That timetable is much longer than the typical four- to five-month tour of duty — and would set a new record for time spent in space. The current endurance record is 437 days and 18 hours, set in 1995 by Soviet cosmonaut Valery Polyakov aboard the Mir space station. Polyakov was said to suffer some low moods during his record-setting stint in space, but there were no lasting physical impairments, and by all accounts he's still healthy at the age of 69.
"I was able to stand up and walk on Earth after being in zero gravity," he told an interviewer at the New Mexico Museum of Space History in 2007, "so it should be easy to stand up and walk on Mars."

http://cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/11/03/8620373-whats-next-for-a-make-believe-mars
« Last Edit: 11/04/2011 01:29 PM by mr. mark »

Offline Ronsmytheiii

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Re: ISS Partners Considering Simulated Mars Mission Aboard ISS
« Reply #41 on: 11/04/2011 02:54 PM »
... We essentially have command of low earth orbit.

We have had essentially command of the earth for centuries, does not mean it will not make a good testing analog.  ISS is there, we want to see how astronauts will be effected by the transit times and comm delays.  Gemini never left ELO, yet was good practice in Lunar transit study as well as docking technology.  We need to learn before we go, not throw money at fanciful technologies.
« Last Edit: 11/04/2011 02:55 PM by Ronsmytheiii »
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Offline Space Pete

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.

I hear this all the time, and I honestly don't know where it comes from.

This proposal isn't a suggestion from the ISS program, rather it is the Mars 500 project scientists identifying that the ISS can be useful in their future experiments.

That is not "ISS looking for something to do", but is rather "ISS has an existing capability that can be utilised to scientists' benefit".
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Offline Robotbeat

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Re: ISS Partners Considering Simulated Mars Mission Aboard ISS
« Reply #43 on: 11/04/2011 03:35 PM »
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!!!!!!!!!
No, you are wrong. We do have tools at our disposal (besides a big centrifuge) to mitigate microgravity effects. Many tools, in fact. A short list of tools, all of which are less expensive, less massive, and easier to develop than a large centrifuge:

1) better exercise regiment (oddly, just increasing the tightness of the elastic bands holding astronauts to the treadmill has a quite marked effect)
2) longer exercise time (at least during transit)
3) a whole suite of powerful and effective anti-osteoporosis drugs (some being tested on ISS as we speak, actually... interestingly, we hadn't been using any of these drugs before)
4) elastic suits, like the cosmonauts wear (but maybe better)
5) small short-arm centrifuge (apparently has most of the benefits of a large centrifuge, but could fit in an existing ISS module)
6) bone-density increasing vibration

And we really haven't put all these tools to the test in LEO, yet, so obviously we don't know what their effect will be. Partly because the astronauts/cosmonauts are busy doing other tasks. And it's also important to know what the effect will be on crew productivity, etc.
« Last Edit: 11/04/2011 03:47 PM by Robotbeat »
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Offline manboy

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Re: ISS Partners Considering Simulated Mars Mission Aboard ISS
« Reply #44 on: 11/04/2011 04:42 PM »
We know what will happen if we send somebody to ISS for 400 days.

Bone density loss and muscle atrophy.
The devil is in the details.

~snip~
5) small short-arm centrifuge (apparently has most of the benefits of a large centrifuge
What I've read is that there isn't really much useful data on the subject so I'm very curious where you got your info from.
« Last Edit: 11/04/2011 04:50 PM by manboy »
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Offline Robotbeat

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Re: ISS Partners Considering Simulated Mars Mission Aboard ISS
« Reply #45 on: 11/04/2011 05:53 PM »
We know what will happen if we send somebody to ISS for 400 days.

Bone density loss and muscle atrophy.
The devil is in the details.

~snip~
5) small short-arm centrifuge (apparently has most of the benefits of a large centrifuge
What I've read is that there isn't really much useful data on the subject so I'm very curious where you got your info from.
I've seen some preliminary results from some small-arm centrifuge studies that show that a limited time (daily) in 1 gee or even hypergravity can mitigate most of the problems. I don't have a link handy, and it'd probably take a while. Ask me again sometime and I'll try to dig it up.
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Offline demorcef

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Re: ISS Partners Considering Simulated Mars Mission Aboard ISS
« Reply #46 on: 11/04/2011 06:19 PM »
Would it be possible to attach a booster and fly the ISS over to Mars? 

Offline joek

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Re: ISS Partners Considering Simulated Mars Mission Aboard ISS
« Reply #47 on: 11/04/2011 06:20 PM »
There's a good (and recent) FISO presentation on the subject and particularly small-arm centrifuges, Mars missions and the ISS (the mp3 is worth a listen): “Artificial Gravity, the ISS, and a Solution to Long-Duration Space Flight”
http://spirit.as.utexas.edu/~fiso/telecon/Young_7-20-11/

Offline SpacexULA

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Re: ISS Partners Considering Simulated Mars Mission Aboard ISS
« Reply #48 on: 11/04/2011 06:31 PM »
Would it be possible to attach a booster and fly the ISS over to Mars?

Not shielded enough for interplanitary travel, and in a very wrong orbit to allow transfer to Mars injection.

It's a shame, but that is not really possible :(
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Offline rdale

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Re: ISS Partners Considering Simulated Mars Mission Aboard ISS
« Reply #49 on: 11/04/2011 06:42 PM »
Would it be possible to attach a booster and fly the ISS over to Mars? 

When you consider that a loss of this last Progress would have resulted in the ISS being closed down, I think the resupply route to Mars would have been too much to handle ;)

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: ISS Partners Considering Simulated Mars Mission Aboard ISS
« Reply #50 on: 11/04/2011 07:13 PM »
Would it be possible to attach a booster and fly the ISS over to Mars? 

When you consider that a loss of this last Progress would have resulted in the ISS being closed down, I think the resupply route to Mars would have been too much to handle ;)
You missed the point entirely. ISS would've needed to be unmanned because the Progress which had problems used the same rocket essentially as Soyuz, and Soyuz only has an on-orbit lifetime of about 200 days. ISS had plenty of supplies for quite a while.


But anyways, ISS isn't made for high acceleration... it would be unsafe to use a large chemical booster in that manner because it'd have too much thrust. A very low thrust booster of some sort, perhaps even an ion engine or something, would work.

But alas, ISS is not designed for that environment. If you had plenty of time and were designing another ISS with that capability in mind, it probably wouldn't be too hard to do it, but not with ISS as is. Structural issues are the biggest. Also, ISS is incredibly massive. It'd take multiple launches of even the biggest version of SLS to get ISS to Mars orbit.
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Offline Rocket Science

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Re: ISS Partners Considering Simulated Mars Mission Aboard ISS
« Reply #51 on: 11/04/2011 07:45 PM »
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.

I hear this all the time, and I honestly don't know where it comes from.

This proposal isn't a suggestion from the ISS program, rather it is the Mars 500 project scientists identifying that the ISS can be useful in their future experiments.

That is not "ISS looking for something to do", but is rather "ISS has an existing capability that can be utilised to scientists' benefit".
Well Pete, you know the warm feelings I have toward the ISS and the great engineering achievement that it is. Perhaps we hear things like what Irene Klotz wrote for Discovery News, referring to it questionably is it a “Boon or Boondoggle” a couple of years back.  Is ISS underutilized or over utilized? As long as it doesn’t drain any precious funding,   let them have at it… ;)

Regards
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~Rob: Physics instructor, Aviator, Vintage auto racer

Offline rdale

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Re: ISS Partners Considering Simulated Mars Mission Aboard ISS
« Reply #52 on: 11/04/2011 07:50 PM »
You missed the point entirely. ISS would've needed to be unmanned because the Progress which had problems used the same rocket essentially as Soyuz, and Soyuz only has an on-orbit lifetime of about 200 days. ISS had plenty of supplies for quite a while.

No, I think the point flew past you ;) The ISS needs to be resupplied (relatively) frequently. You can't do that in Mars orbit.

Offline CitabriaFlyer

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Re: ISS Partners Considering Simulated Mars Mission Aboard ISS
« Reply #53 on: 11/06/2011 03:08 PM »
Flying astronauts for four or five hundred days may generate useful medical data but not necessarily the most useful data.

I have read somewhere (possibly on this forum) that NASA docs are more interested in number of subjects in order to draw more statistically significant conclusions regarding a countermeasure.  Since most adverse adaptations to zero G occur in the first few weeks to months, you may not need to observe a subject and his or her reaction to countermeasure for greater periods of time.  That is the reason I have heard it said that NASA flight docs would rather see more 3 or 4 month missions rather than the current 5-6 month missions which are driven only by spacecraft capability and availability.

In other words:
4X number of astronauts flying 90 day sorties probably gives you more insight into efficacy of countermeasures than does X number of astronauts flying year long sorties or 1/2X number of astronauts flying two year long sorites.

The primary benefit to 300 or 600 day sorties is most likely psychological. 

Offline Rik ISS-fan

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Re: ISS Partners Considering Simulated Mars Mission Aboard ISS
« Reply #54 on: 11/06/2011 03:36 PM »
When a crew goes to mars, they will most likely experience communication delays of several minutes. I do not know for sure, but during the MARS500 experiment they simulated a communication delay of about eight minutes  during their stay on the martian surface.
Right now there is a communication delay of a about a tenth of a second between the Ground and the ISS.
I think the ISS partners want to experiment with communication delays, when they are talking about a simulated mars mission. I think there is less intrest for increesing the flight duration.

Offline rdale

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Re: ISS Partners Considering Simulated Mars Mission Aboard ISS
« Reply #55 on: 11/06/2011 05:51 PM »
In other words:
4X number of astronauts flying 90 day sorties probably gives you more insight into efficacy of countermeasures than does X number of astronauts flying year long sorties or 1/2X number of astronauts flying two year long sorites.

But again the Mars mission will be far longer than 90 days... So someone has to study it.

Offline hop

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Re: ISS Partners Considering Simulated Mars Mission Aboard ISS
« Reply #56 on: 11/06/2011 06:36 PM »
The primary benefit to 300 or 600 day sorties is most likely psychological. 
It may well be true that shorter stays are better for evaluating countermeasures, but it seems doubtful we can actually have much confidence on the effects of longer flights. Only 6 people have flown > 300 days in a stretch, all in the Mir era.

Offline joek

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Re: ISS Partners Considering Simulated Mars Mission Aboard ISS
« Reply #57 on: 11/06/2011 07:08 PM »
Since most adverse adaptations to zero G occur in the first few weeks to months, you may not need to observe a subject and his or her reaction to countermeasure for greater periods of time.  That is the reason I have heard it said that NASA flight docs would rather see more 3 or 4 month missions rather than the current 5-6 month missions which are driven only by spacecraft capability and availability.

Some reach a nominal zero-g steady state in approximately 6 weeks (with current countermeasures); see chart below from:Artificial Gravity, the ISS, and a Solution to Long-Duration Space Flight, Jul 2011, Laurence Young MIT FISO presentation.

For those, more subjects over shorter duration may be more beneficial to our understanding and development of better countermeasures.  However, note the two significant exceptions: bone and calcium; and radiation. Those are currently the primary concerns for long duration spaceflight.
« Last Edit: 11/06/2011 08:14 PM by joek »

Offline CitabriaFlyer

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Re: ISS Partners Considering Simulated Mars Mission Aboard ISS
« Reply #58 on: 11/07/2011 03:25 AM »
Your point regarding bone loss is well taken; however, from a doc's standpoint it is going to be more helpful to me see to what degree a countermeasure, say a bisphosphonate for example, is going to start to do in three months.  If there is no difference compared to a control I don't need to go 12 mos on an astronaut.  What I do need is adequate numbers of subjects so that I can develop an understanding of the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of said interventions.  As someone mentioned ISS is the only ship we have to fly for the foreseeable future.  It is not like there are enough positions to fly a lot of people for 12-24 months.

Also, you make the very valid point regarding radiation.  There are very real disadvantages to running all your astronauts out to their maximum exposure on their first and only flight.  Recall that the original flight engineer on Expedition 6 was pulled off due to cumulative radiation exposure and that was just due to several shuttle flights.  He had never flown a long duration flight.  Also Sunni Williams was brought back on an earlier STS than planned due to concerns about her level of exposure.

Also, keep in mind that the things everyone says they are interested in are not necessarily what they are really interested in.  You mention bone mineralization and radiation which are good examples.  These are excellent surrogates to study and should be studied.  But remember what you are really interested in are 1) increased fractures; 2) malignancy; 3) unanticipated consequences; 4) all cause mortality.

Finally, for what it's worth, having practiced medicine for over a decade now I would like to think I have a pretty good idea of what this human body I can tolerate.  Having witnessed first hand war, trauma, horrific diseases, and sometimes equally horrific treatments, I don't have any doubt that an astronaut can fly in zero G for six months, manually land on Mars, live there for 18 months then fly back home in zero G for another six months and then land on Earth.  Human beings cope with physical problems greater than that all of the time.

The bigger question is what will the astronaut's health be like on return?  What will their recovery be like?  What is the long term morbidity and mortality attributable to that kind of flight?

Since we have ISS we should be flying folks in the most efficient way to learn as much as we can before we leave for Mars but that does not mean we have to learn EVERYTHING before we head out.

Earlier Jim dismissed the centrifuge on ISS.  He is absolutely right.  It would have been totally inadequate for these types of questions.  Better way to do that is to put two Bigelows on a tether and spin them.  Could be done in LEO but since we have SLS why not do it at EML, or enroute to Phobos, or an Athena type mission.  Could be done with all of the above and needs to be because we have no clue how much gravity you need .1G, .16G, .38G, or 1 G.  This would take multiple missions with multiple astronauts.

Bottom Line:  Let's use ISS as best we can for the next decade but realize we still will not know everything we would like to know about human countermeasures for spaceflight.  Let's not keep using the same tired human factors excuse as a reason why we can't go to Mars.  Let's learn about human factors on the way to Mars.

Offline Patchouli

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Re: ISS Partners Considering Simulated Mars Mission Aboard ISS
« Reply #59 on: 11/07/2011 04:35 AM »
More info...

The next few years are expected to bring additional experiments aimed at testing the waters for Mars missions. NASA has been talking about setting up time delays in Earth-to-space communications, to reflect the minutes-long light-speed travel times between Mission Control and a spaceship heading for Mars. A 10-minute time delay is on the space station's tentative science agenda for next year. Several experts have suggested attaching prototype Mars modules to the station for future test runs.
Russian space officials are thinking about conducting a Mars500-style experiment aboard the space station sometime after 2014, the Itar-Tass news agency reported today. "We are interested in staging such an experiment in actual conditions of zero gravity," Vitaly Davydov, deputy chief of Russia's Federal Space Agency, told Itar-Tass. "It is too early to say when such an experiment could be made."
If the plan goes forward, at least two astronauts would spend at least 18 months in orbit. That timetable is much longer than the typical four- to five-month tour of duty — and would set a new record for time spent in space. The current endurance record is 437 days and 18 hours, set in 1995 by Soviet cosmonaut Valery Polyakov aboard the Mir space station. Polyakov was said to suffer some low moods during his record-setting stint in space, but there were no lasting physical impairments, and by all accounts he's still healthy at the age of 69.
"I was able to stand up and walk on Earth after being in zero gravity," he told an interviewer at the New Mexico Museum of Space History in 2007, "so it should be easy to stand up and walk on Mars."

http://cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/11/03/8620373-whats-next-for-a-make-believe-mars

A more accurate simulation would be to have them stay one normal ISS duration then return to Earth for a few weeks then have them stay on ISS again for another 5 to 8 months.

This should simulate a sprint class Mars mission.
Though it would not break any records.

For maximum safety the LV for the second launch and the return vehicle for the second ISS stay should be chosen for the lowest G.

Orion on SLS should have the lowest G on the way up and Dream Chaser the lowest on the way down.
Though if they decode to fly an entire Mars duration all at once DC,CST-100 or Orion in that order would probably be the best vehicles for return.



Earlier Jim dismissed the centrifuge on ISS.  He is absolutely right.  It would have been totally inadequate for these types of questions.  Better way to do that is to put two Bigelows on a tether and spin them.  Could be done in LEO but since we have SLS why not do it at EML, or enroute to Phobos, or an Athena type mission.  Could be done with all of the above and needs to be because we have no clue how much gravity you need .1G, .16G, .38G, or 1 G.  This would take multiple missions with multiple astronauts.



A centrifuge on ISS would be nice but you can't easily add one big enough for people to live in.

Two BA330s or Sundancers might actually be cheaper after considering the political red tape in adding something like that to ISS.
They'd would be more flexible too and it would be a centrifuge big enough to live inside of vs lay down in.
« Last Edit: 11/07/2011 04:54 AM by Patchouli »

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