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Silly poll: Space travel

Discussion in 'Fred's House of Pancakes' started by daniel, Mar 2, 2012.

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Would you go on a trip to Mars...

  1. ... if the chance of making it back alive was 50/50?

    7 vote(s)
    28.0%
  2. ... if the chance of making it back alive was one in ten?

    1 vote(s)
    4.0%
  3. ... if the chance of making it back alive was one in twenty?

    4 vote(s)
    16.0%
  4. I'll keep my feet on the ground, thank you very much!

    13 vote(s)
    52.0%
  1. daniel

    daniel Cat Lovers Against the Bomb

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    So, here's the deal: Space travel is really expensive because you need triple and quadruple redundancy on all life support systems and a bunch of other stuff to make it even as safe as, say formula one racing. Lots of folks think we should send people to Mars. But there's so much that could go wrong that all the fail-safe equipment will cost a bucket of money; and all that extra equipment has weight, and so requires more fuel, which has weight of its own and requires even more fuel.

    But what if a private company came along and said, okay, we're going to send people to Mars. We want volunteers. To keep the cost down we're just going to have two (instead of five) of the critical air and water recycling systems, and only one of other stuff, and we think each of our systems is pretty good, but we're only going to use just enough fuel, and we think it'll be enough, but because we can't afford better, we figure there's a 50/50 chance you'll make it there, spend a month exploring the red planet, and make it back home at the end of a five-year voyage.

    (Incidentally, the same length as the voyage of The Beagle, and a not unusual length for a Melville-era whaling voyage.)

    Would you go?
  2. daniel

    daniel Cat Lovers Against the Bomb

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    I'll go first myself. I'll keep my feet on the ground. I get seasick and carsick and airsick, and even rockingchairsick. I know I'd get space sick.
  3. KK6PD

    KK6PD _ . _ . / _ _ . _

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    Unfortunately it's not the right time for a trip that far. Building a base on the moon should be the first step. All the same risks, much closer for a rescue, if it is even viable! I think mankind and its Technology need another 50 years and then revisit the Mars thing. By that time Copernicus City , Lunaport, Tranquility Base, and Tycho City should be thriving!!
  4. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    ...to Mars? If one has to pass a physical I would not make it.
    But I am bummed the space shuttle is over with no replacement. Caught one of the first launches.
  5. daniel

    daniel Cat Lovers Against the Bomb

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    Come on, folks. This isn't a thread about whether we should do space travel, or what we need to do before Mars. This is just, Would you take the chance of being the first to walk on Mars if the chance of survival was X.

    Assume there was no physical needed. But you'd be cooped up on a space ship with a few like-minded people for most of five years. And the chances of survival were as in the poll. Or state your own requirements.
  6. Chuck.

    Chuck. Honda Enzyte Driver

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    Seriously, some have suggested middle-aged people go on a one-way trip to Mars, then be supplied with food, water, air, by unmanned means....they say it's a lot cheaper than funding a return mission. They would keep sending people until there was a sustainable human colony.

    Among the other challenges is no thick atmosphere to shield from radiation, increasing the chance of cancer.

    http://journalofcosmology.com/Mars108.html
  7. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    ...any EV owners on the ship? <just kidding>. Well no one wants to go to Mars just to die Daniel. Don't we need a 95% survival choice?
  8. FL_Prius_Driver

    FL_Prius_Driver Senior Member

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    If I got to the point where I could foresee the cause of my demise or death and my loss would not unacceptably injure other people, then yes.
  9. Trebuchet

    Trebuchet Senior Member

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    At this moment in my life I'd go with even less chance than 1 in 20 as long as I know I'd get there. Oh, wait, I hate science what am I saying?!?! :eek:
  10. Chuck.

    Chuck. Honda Enzyte Driver

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    I might consider a one-way trip to Mars if they sent supplies until I died of natural causes, esp if I was not alone and had good interplantary WiFi access.
  11. KK6PD

    KK6PD _ . _ . / _ _ . _

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    Working for ABCNEWS, I caught the first 4 landings at Edwards AFB up close, right at the flight line. The noise that thing makes when it passes by is amazing, no power, just a loud SWOOOSH as it displaces all that air. Fascinating!
    The fact we are doing way less, pathetic!
  12. RobH

    RobH Senior Member

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    Until they solve the problem of neutron radiation from black holes (or wherever it comes from), I don't think travel to Mars is a reasonable choice. On earth, we're protected from solar storms by the magnetic field. In space, there are "solar particle events" that we don't know how to predict or survive.

    Quoting from Radiation Effects

    "Mission failure" is an euphemism for the astronauts die.
  13. Chuck.

    Chuck. Honda Enzyte Driver

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    Being in weightless space for a year or more is also a problem.

    Werner von Braun got it right with his spinning hub space station....it might have to be heavier to be strong enough to create artificial gravity, but it's the only known solution for long-term weightlessness.
  14. dogfriend

    dogfriend Human - Animal Hybrid

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    I have to travel 59 months to get one month at the destination? I thought 12 hrs each way to New Zealand was just tolerable for a 2 week vacation. :madgrin:
    1 person likes this.
  15. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    ....you mean we are stuck on Earth? Yikes!
  16. airportkid

    airportkid Will Fly For Food

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    Amazing - of the few people who would choose to go, MORE of them would only go if it were RISKIER! Wow! Well, if one's neuron chemistry craves adventure, I guess the riskier the more adventurey.

    Cyclists should not ignore this opportunity, incidentally. Go to Mars with your mountain bike and land the space capsule on the rim of Olympus Mons' caldera. Then ride downhill for a blissful 9 miles of vertical descent across 185 miles of gentle slope without having to pedal a stroke. But brake hard close to the bottom or fly off the edge of a 25,000 foot cliff.

    [ame]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olympus_Mons[/ame]
  17. daniel

    daniel Cat Lovers Against the Bomb

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    Until a new administration decides it's too expensive to keep sending supplies. :(



    Apparently, several would be willing.



    Neutrons are not a problem. (And they are NOT deflected by the Earth's magnetic field.) But I'm sure you could find an "alternative practitioner" to treat you for "excess neutrons."

    Charged particles are another matter, and one that must be addressed for long space flights to be safe. But we could consider cosmic radiation to be part of the reason for the 5% or 10% survival chance.



    I take the replies to mean they'd be willing to go even if the risk is high, NOT that they'd ONLY go if the risk was high. That was my intention in forming the poll anyway.
  18. jhinsc

    jhinsc Active Member

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    I'd go in a heartbeat! I've been wanting to get up in space since the first Star Trek series - oh oh, I'm dating myself. Did I just disqualify myself? Wait, there were some older people/aliens on Star Trek - yeah, I'd still go!:rockon:
  19. Michgal007

    Michgal007 Senior Member

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    If it involved going just outside the atmosphere, I might do it. To the moon, I would seriously think about it considering they have done six trips there already. It would be cool to be the first woman on the moon, haha. Mars, no way. :)
  20. Chuck.

    Chuck. Honda Enzyte Driver

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    All that extra background radiation probably causes hair loss, too

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    2 people like this.
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