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The Motivations Behind Exploration Looking back at past motivators for human exploration Advances in space exploration Current day, what is holding us back from manned missions to Mars? The truth of politics behind exploration Discovering Unknown Worlds Christopher Columbus

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The Motivations Behind Exploration

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Presentation Transcript
Looking back at past motivators for human exploration
  • Advances in space exploration
  • Current day, what is holding us back from manned missions to Mars?
  • The truth of politics behind exploration
discovering unknown worlds
Discovering Unknown Worlds
  • Christopher Columbus
  • In 1492 Columbus and a crew of 90 men, sailed across the Atlantic ocean on three ships; the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria
  • Landed on present day Bahamas in early October after several months at sea
  • This land was unknown to any European at the time and it was believed Columbus had discovered a new world
the motivation behind the mission
The Motivation Behind the Mission
  • Columbus knew world was round; mission was not to prove this
  • Seeked funding from French, Spanish and Portuguese royalties until King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella accepted
  • Reasons for going;
    • To bring back gold, spices, and riches from the Far East
    • Lead expedition to China
    • Spread Christianity
    • If possible, gain territory
    • To be known as “Admiral of the Seas”
exploring our own back yard
Exploring Our Own Back Yard
  • Lewis and Clark

-appointed by President Jefferson in 1803 to explore western United States

- Lewis was not most qualified for the job, but close personal friend of the president

Months before journey studied astronomy, botany, biology, navigation, and medicine

Supported by Corps of Discovery, troop of 31 men, including also, guide, Sacajewea

go west young man
“Go west, young man…”
  • Congress allocated $2500.00 to fund the expedition; emergency funds also used
  • journey to find Northwest Passage following the Missouri River
  • Common belief about western territories:
    • Covered in active volcanoes
    • Mountains of salt
    • Unicorns and mythical creatures
  • Motivations for going:
    • Discovery of new species
    • Mapping western territories
    • Finding northwest passage to create commercial expansion
space the final frontier
Space: The Final Frontier
  • NASA begins operations in October, 1958 under the guidance of T. Keith Glennan
  • Eisenhower is President
  • Glennan outlines main focus of NASA with three challenges

1.) develop rockets that can carry machines and humans to space

2.) learn about space environment

3.) take first steps towards human exploration

getting a man to the moon
Getting a Man to the Moon
  • Timeline danger
    • President Kennedy puts on the pressure to have a man on the moon before 1970
    • 28 American missions are sent in less than a decade
  • Building blocks to the Apollo 11mission:
    • Pioneer IV probe measures radiation
    • Able-Baker mission: monkeys are sent to space to determine physiological effects
    • Mercury missions first manned mission tests g-forces and weightlessness
    • Gemini VII two weeks in space
    • Apollo 11 moon landing
  • Overlooked safety precautions
    • Quarantine of recovered samples
    • Possible contamination of ozone, oceans
politics of space exploration
Politics of Space Exploration
  • The Cold War
    • Communism vs. democracy
  • The Space Race
    • After World War II Soviet Union and the United States create new methods of warfare: long range missiles
    • Ability to build long range missile capabilities shapes scientific goal: outer space
  • Sputnik 1957, first satellite in space
  • Yuri Gagarin 1961, first man in space
  • 1958 National Defense and Education Act
    • Creating national pride and advancing science and math in the nation
exploring mars
Exploring Mars
  • Four Main reasons for exploring Mars:
    • Determine if life ever arose on Mars
    • Determine climate on mars
    • Determine the evolution of the surface and interior of mars
    • Prepare for human exploration
the obstacles hazards impeding human exploration for manned missions to mars
The Obstacles/Hazards Impeding Human Exploration For Manned Missions to Mars
  • “Based upon the concept of determining acceptable risk involved with ethical, psychological, philosophical, and social considerations.” – Safe on Mars
  • Dust
  • Radiation
  • Wind
  • Air and Atmosphere
  • Geologic/Surface Features
  • Biological Complications
circular thinking
Circular Thinking
  • Small habitable areas
    • ISS living quarters
    • First manned missions in space
  • ZMBRs: zones of minimal biological risk
    • Operational areas on Mars devoid of organic compounds or the possibility of life
atmosphere and air
Atmosphere and Air
  • Regional atmosphere dust is common
  • Atmosphere less dense than Earth
    • Mostly carbon dioxide, nitrogen
  • Mars magnetosphere is weak ~1/800 of Earths
    • Discovered by Mars Surveyor
    • Impedes ability to shield cosmic radiation, solar flares
  • Gravitational effect is ~1/3 of Earth
  • Believed that regolith contains trace amounts of hexavalent chromium, arsenic, beryllium among other toxins present in dust molecules
  • Electrostatic potential of dust
    • Possible that ions created in electrostatic field attract products of radon decay and other carcinogens
clarity beyond the dust
Clarity Beyond the Dust
  • Dust storms are seasonal
  • With no storm, dust is minimal
  • Risk of electrostatic medium attracting carcinogenic dust particles is minimal, similar to large telephone poles, generators
  • Dust accumulation on equipment
    • Minimal, not seen as problem in past mission
    • After three year exposure worst case scenario dust minimizes solar energy capacity 89%
dust storms
Dust Storms

Able to observe dust storm over 2+ month period

Two regional storms form, the first in the southern hemisphere

Two storms combine engulfing entire planet

Cover of dust shields planet causing global warming raising surface temps to -20oC

During storm winds reach up to 100km/hr

  • Due to low pressure of atmosphere wind speed is felt to be 9x greater on Mars than on Earth
  • Wind reaches maximum speed of 180 km/hr (faster than in dust storms)
  • On Earth fastest recorded winds:
    • In tornado 513 km/hr (Oklahoma 1999)
    • Out of tornado 371 km/hr (Mt. Washington, NH 1934)
  • Windblown dust possibly erodes surface features over long durations of time
    • Not an effect on previous missions
  • Due to the weak magnetosphere and atmosphere, there is little shielding of cosmic radiation on the surface of Mars
  • Solar flares from the sun also penetrate the weak magnetosphere
  • Radiation on the surface of Mars is 3x greater than on the ISS
  • Data back from Mars Odyssey reports moderate yet sustainable levels of radiation on Martian surface (1-3 Sv)
  • Levels of radiation on Mars 3x greater than on ISS
  • Average adult takes in ~360mrem/year
    • 300mrem from cosmic radiaiton
biological complications
Biological Complications
  • Trip Duration

long stay 26-34 months

short stay 12-22.5 months

  • Longest human has ever been in space: Carl E Walz aboard ISS >195 days
  • On-going research to determine muscle atrophy and bone loss
    • Mostly in lower extremities of the body
    • In one month in space, possible to lose up to as much bone density as a post menopausal women in one year
    • FOOT research to measure affects of low gravity on muscles
    • Damaging effects could possibly be rectified by workout regimen, during and after mission
    • Most astronauts return to normal health within one month
the politics behind mars
The Politics Behind Mars
  • “Advocates of exploration expected the Apollo missions to be the beginning of an era in which humans would move out into space, to bases on the moon, and space stations in earth orbit, perhaps to Mars…”
  • The quiet death of space exploration
    • Lower budget
    • Shorter time lines
    • Weaker goals
    • No room for mistakes
the commercialization of space
Next space race with China?

Next level of warfare?

Dennis Tito, millionaire ISS tourist

Funding space exploration through the private sector


The Commercialization of Space