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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 6:11 pm
 


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WASHINGTON — A new, privately funded campaign is on to launch a manned mission to fly by Mars in 2018. Of the numerous open questions about the voyage, one of the most pressing is, who should go?

Space tourist Dennis Tito announced the plans Wednesday (Feb. 27) during a press conference in Washington, D.C., at which he described a new nonprofit organization he founded, the Inspiration Mars Foundation, to plan the mission.

Tito envisions sending two crewmembers on a roughly 500-day trip to Mars and back. To combat the isolation and loneliness that could set in, the Inspiration Mars team hopes to recruit a married male-female couple to make the private Mars mission in 2018 together.


"It's important that this is a man and a woman because they represent humanity," said Jane Poynter, president and chairwoman of Paragon Space Development Corporation, and a member of the Inspiration Mars team. "After all, we are more or less 50 percent men and 50 percent women [on Earth]. It represents our children — whether they are a girl or a boy, they see themselves reflected in that crew." [Dennis Tito's 2018 Human Mars Flyby Mission Explained (Infographic)]


Married couples

Poynter and her husband, Taber MacCallum, who is chief technology officer for Inspiration Mars, spent two years living inside the Biosphere 2 experiment, and learned the benefits of having a close companion to lean on.

"It was extremely helpful to have somebody that I could problem solve with," Poynter said. "It was also fantastic to have the opportunity to be there and share the experience when we had those wondrous moments."

Inspiration Mars plans to recruit highly qualified crewmembers with the technical background necessary to serve as space mechanics on all aspects of their vehicle, should it need repairs.

For their part, Poynter and MacCallum aren't just mission planners — they also plan to throw their hats in the ring as crew applicants.

The Dutch nonprofit Mars One aims to land four colonists on the Red Planet in 2023. Do you want to be one of them?

Spartan conditions

The trip, which would capitalize on a rare planetary alignment that allows for a boomerang mission around the Red Planet much more quickly than normal trajectories, would largely use existing hardware, spacecraft and rockets, but with some modifications to support a crew for such an extended period.

Thus, whoever signs up for the trip will be in for some Spartan conditions.

"This going to be a very austere mission," MacCallum said, comparing the Mars voyagers to Lewis and Clark, blazing a trail through the unknown.

"It scares me a little bit," Poynter told SPACE.com. "I'd be lying if I said it didn't. But the opportunity to look back at the Earth from Mars — that's an experience not to miss."


The right stuff

Whoever undertakes the mission will need "the right stuff times 50," Tito said.

The successful applicants must be resilient, even-keel, and able to maintain a happy attitude in the face of adversity, Poynter said.

Despite the challenges, though, Inspiration Mars is expecting a flood of applications from people eager for the chance to make history by traveling farther into space than ever before.

The team's medical expert, Jonathan Clark of the Center for Space Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, said the crewmembers must also be prepared to face some health challenges. In addition to the havoc that a year and a half of microgravity will weak on the human body, the Mars travelers will face a strong dose of radiation, which could elevate their risk for cancer by about three percent.

"The crew would know about it, they would have to decide, 'I realize that I'm going to have an excess cancer risk," Clark said. "Ultimately it's going to have to be those personal decisions."


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 7:45 pm
 


Fuck, I'd go. No question. But I'm not sure that vessel is big enough to cargo 500 days worth of liquor and I.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 7:47 pm
 


Lemmy wrote:
Fuck, I'd go. No question. But I'm not sure that vessel is big enough to cargo 500 days worth of liquor and I.

Powdered alcohol.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 7:50 pm
 


Is that like dehydrated water?


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 7:53 pm
 


They'll have replicators when the mission launches... tea, Earl Grey, hot.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 7:55 pm
 


raydan wrote:
They'll have replicators when the mission launches... tea, Earl Grey, hot.

Then it might as well be me to go 'cause I'll be out of work when the replicator gets invented. Get rid of resource scarcity and you'll get rid of the economists. A device that can fashion a turkey sandwich out of thin air'd put us all out of business.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 7:59 pm
 


Lemmy wrote:
Is that like dehydrated water?

:lol: Yep.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 8:04 pm
 


Lemmy wrote:
raydan wrote:
They'll have replicators when the mission launches... tea, Earl Grey, hot.

Then it might as well be me to go 'cause I'll be out of work when the replicator gets invented. Get rid of resource scarcity and you'll get rid of the economists. A device that can fashion a turkey sandwich out of thin air'd put us all out of business.

We'll ALL be out of jobs. :lol:

Funny that the anti-socialist crowd here (they know who they are) would probably love to see replicators, but with them accessible to everybody, the world would essentially be a socialist paradise.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 8:06 pm
 


Lemmy wrote:
Then it might as well be me to go 'cause I'll be out of work when the replicator gets invented. Get rid of resource scarcity and you'll get rid of the economists. A device that can fashion a turkey sandwich out of thin air'd put us all out of business.


Hey, you still have the supply and demand of services, property and antiques/artwork you can create a lot of literature on.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 8:06 pm
 


Could a replicator replicate replicators?


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 8:15 pm
 


Lemmy wrote:
Could a replicator replicate replicators?


In Star Trek...maybe. I think there are industrial sized replicators that can replicate factories and ship components, so they might be able to fabricate the raw materials to create a replicator. You still need the energy to produce the power for the replicators, though.

Honestly, I'm not sure if a replicator would truly stop market economies. In Star Trek, you have things like artifacts, artwork, and, well, land, that can't just be replicated, and it is mentioned quite often that replicated food is not to the same quality as grown/cooked food.

I can honestly see replicators being a sort of global safety net. No matter how poor you are, you can always get a hot meal, clothing, and some material possessions from a replicator, but you won't be eating "quality" food that was grown on a farm or prepared in a kitchen. Plus, again, you'd still have things like property that can't really be replicated, even if building materials and the furnishings can be.

Edit: Yes I'm a Star Trek fan, why do you ask? :lol:


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 8:29 pm
 


Took me only a moment...


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 8:32 pm
 


Fuck that, I'll be replicating water. Piss'll be going out the hatch at the other end of the hose.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 9:20 pm
 


commanderkai wrote:
Plus, again, you'd still have things like property that can't really be replicated, even if building materials and the furnishings can be.

Edit: Yes I'm a Star Trek fan, why do you ask? :lol:

But you could go play in the holodeck and at least experience those properties. :D

Sorry... I just started watching the ST:TNG from the start on netflix so I'm kinda in that mode... :oops:


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 11:05 pm
 


Strutz wrote:
But you could go play in the holodeck and at least experience those properties. :D

Sorry... I just started watching the ST:TNG from the start on netflix so I'm kinda in that mode... :oops:


But you still need land...or well, a ship, to have the holodeck/suite on.

...Sheesh, I can imagine buildings with floors and floors of holosuites.


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