manned Mission to Mars discussion

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by jefferiestubes8, Jun 22, 2009.

  1. publiusr

    publiusr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Mar 22, 2010
    Now I think it might be better if the plan were pushed forward a bit, but for a simpler unmanned probe.

    This would be a bit simpler, and the probe would arrive right as the comet does.

    Now you say this wouldn't require Falcon Heavy, but hear me out.

    New Horizons will be able to get to Pluto quickly because the ration of probe to the rocket fuel under it was exaggerated even more--a top end Atlas with a Centaur and a solid upper stage both.

    So if we have a fuel fat upper stage and a very small probe, would that be enough to slingshot around Mars' backside and then catch up with the comet, to fly along with it? I still don't think the trajectories would allow it--but that might be something to bring up elsewhere to get the question answered.

    Usually, to catch up with something, you have to do a very long matching trajectory as Rosetta is doing, but with Mars there with the comet, could you do a slingshot so as to have a probe ride with that comet--or at least do a flyby?
     
  2. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Under most circumstances, no. Comets on highly eliptical orbits have relatively high orbital velocities as they spiral inwards; boosting outwards to Mars puts you in a LOWER velocity with respect to the sun and takes much longer to do. IOW, it's a bit like jumping on a skateboard and trying to coast uphill to make a jump.

    If you want to intercept something moving that fast, the better target is Venus, whose gravity is three times higher than Mars and is also lower in the sun's gravity well where potential energies are higher.