Various kinds of panspermia The first point, which deals with the origin of life on Earth, is known as panspermia — literally, "seeds everywhere. However, Aristotle's theory of spontaneous generation came to be preferred by science for more than two thousand years. But on April 9,French chemist Louis Pasteur reported his experiment disproving spontaneous generation as it was then held to occur. In the s, British physicist Lord Kelvin and German physicist Hermann von Helmholtz reinforced Pasteur and argued that life could come from space.
Mars is hundreds of times farther away than the Moon, but it offers a much greater prize. Indeed, uniquely among the extraterrestrial bodies of our solar system, Mars is endowed with all the resources needed to support not only life but the development of a technological civilization.
Additionally, Mars has experienced the same sorts of volcanic and hydrologic processes that produced a multitude of mineral ores on Earth. Virtually every element of significant interest to industry is known to exist on the Red Planet.
Mars can be settled. For our generation and many that will follow, Mars is the New World.
On the contrary, the United States has in hand, today, all the technologies required for undertaking an aggressive, continuing program of human Mars exploration, with the first piloted mission reaching the red planet Mars within a decade.
We do not need to build giant spaceships embodying futuristic technologies in order to go to Mars. We can reach the Red Planet with relatively small spacecraft launched directly to Mars by boosters embodying the same technology that carried astronauts to the Moon more than a quarter-century ago.
At an early launch opportunity, for examplea single heavy-lift booster with a capability equal to that of the Saturn V used during the Apollo program, is launched off Cape Canaveral and uses its upper stage to throw a 40 tonne unmanned payload onto a trajectory to Mars.
As soon as landing is accomplished, the truck is telerobotically driven a few hundred meters away from the site, and the reactor is deployed to provide power to the compressors and chemical processing unit.
The methane so produced is liquefied and stored, while the water is electrolyzed to produce oxygen, which is stored, and hydrogen, which is recycled through the methanator. Ultimately these two reactions methanation and water electrolysis produce 24 tonnes of methane and 48 tonnes of oxygen.
Since this is not enough oxygen to burn the methane at its optimal mixture ratio, an additional 36 tonnes of oxygen is produced via direct dissociation of Martian CO2. This represents a leverage of Ninety-six tonnes of the bipropellant will be used to fuel the ERV, while 12 tonnes are available to support the use of high-powered, chemically fueled long-range ground vehicles.
Large additional stockpiles of oxygen can also be produced, both for breathing and for turning into water by combination with hydrogen brought from Earth. The propellant production having been successfully completed, in two more boosters lift off the Cape and throw their 40 tonne payloads towards Mars.
On the way out to Mars, artificial gravity can be provided to the crew by extending a tether between the habitat and the burnt out booster upper stage, and spinning the assembly.
Upon arrival, the manned craft drops the tether, aerobrakes, and then lands at the landing site where a fully fueled ERV and fully characterized and beaconed landing site await it.
With the help of such navigational aids, the crew should be able to land right on the spot; but if the landing is off course by tens or even hundreds of miles, the crew can still achieve the surface rendezvous by driving over in their rover; if they are off by thousands of miles, the second ERV provides a backup.
However assuming the landing and rendezvous at site number one is achieved as planned, the second ERV will land several hundred miles away to start making propellant for the mission, which in turn will fly out with an additional ERV to open up Mars landing site number three. Thus every other year two heavy lift boosters are launched, one to land a crew, and the other to prepare a site for the next mission, for an average launch rate of just one booster per year to pursue a continuing program of Mars exploration.
The crew will stay on the surface for one and a half years, taking advantage of the mobility afforded by the high-powered, chemically driven ground vehicles to accomplish a great deal of surface exploration. With a tonne surface fuel stockpile, they have the capability for over 14, miles worth of traverse before they leave, giving them the kind of mobility necessary to conduct a serious search for evidence of past or present life on Mars — an investigation key to revealing whether life is a phenomenon unique to Earth or general throughout the universe.
Since no one has been left in orbit, the entire crew will have available to them the natural gravity and protection against cosmic rays and solar radiation afforded by the Martian environment, and thus there will not be the strong driver for a quick return to Earth that plagues conventional Mars mission plans based upon orbiting mother-ships with small landing parties.
At the conclusion of their stay, the crew returns to Earth in a direct flight from the Martian surface in the ERV. As the series of missions progresses, a string of small bases is left behind on the Martian surface, opening up broad stretches of territory to human cognizance.
They produced a detailed study of a Design Reference Mission based on the Mars Direct plan but scaled up about a factor of two in expedition size compared to the original concept.
They then produced a cost estimate for what a Mars exploration program based upon this expanded Mars Direct approach would cost. By eliminating any requirement to introduce a new order of technology and complexity of operations beyond those needed for lunar transportation to accomplish piloted Mars missions, the plan can reduce costs by an order of magnitude and advance the schedule for the human exploration of Mars by a generation.
Exploring Mars requires no miraculous new technologies, no orbiting spaceports, and no gigantic interplanetary space cruisers.Robert Zubrin is President of Pioneer Astronautics, an aerospace R&D company located in Lakewood, Colorado.
He is also the founder and President of the Mars Society, an international organization dedicated to furthering the exploration and settlement of Mars by both public and private means. Robert Zubrin was born April 9, . Zubrin holds a B.A. in Mathematics from the University of Rochester (), a M.S.
in Nuclear Engineering (), a M.S.
in Aeronautics and Astronautics (), and a Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering () — all from the University of Washington. Robert Zubrin holds Master degrees in Aeronautics and Astronautics and a doctorate in Nuclear Engineering. He is the inventor of several unique concepts for space propulsion and exploration.
He has authored over published technical and non-technical papers in . Jul 14, · Dr. Robert Zubrin is President of Pioneer Astronautics, an aerospace R&D company located in Lakewood, Colorado. He is also the founder and President of the Mars Society, an international non-profit organization dedicated to furthering the exploration .
Robert Zubrin of the Mars Society talks with Gregory Benford, David Brin, Geoffrey Landis and Larry Niven about terraforming Mars, the origin of life, the drive to explore and more.
Robert Zubrin is President of Pioneer Astronautics, an aerospace R&D company located in Lakewood, Colorado. He is also the founder and President of the Mars Society, an international organization dedicated to furthering the exploration and settlement of Mars by both public and private means. Apr 07, · Author and President of the Mars Society Dr. Robert Zubrin discusses his latest book, "Merchants of Despair: Radical Environmentalists, Criminal Pseudo-Scientists, and the . Jul 14, · Dr. Robert Zubrin is President of Pioneer Astronautics, an aerospace R&D company located in Lakewood, Colorado. He is also the founder and President of the Mars Society, an international non-profit organization dedicated to furthering the exploration .
More Shows Let's Change the World. Robert Zubrin holds Master degrees in Aeronautics and Astronautics and a doctorate in Nuclear Engineering. He is the inventor of several unique concepts for space propulsion and exploration. He has authored over published technical and non-technical papers in .