Mission to Mars

My class is doing a project on the future mission to mars and i have some questions.
This will probubly happen by the time i'm in collage or higher and i would like to know if anyone has a clue how much food they would need to go there and back. Like I hear it takes 18 mounths. Plz post a reply. :lol:

You would need much less food if you could hibernate. Check out: http://www.crystalinks.com/hibernation.html

You would need much less food if you can get there faster. Check out: http://www.space.com/businesstechnology/technology/fof_physics_031126-1.html

Fantastic question Hockey Hottie>>

Here is some food for thought!

Since we just can't jump into the old spaceship in the backyard, we might as well get a grip on the true experience of going to Mars.

The most important thing, at least in my mind, is that gravity thing. I could not take a trip anywhere without it. It's serious stuff indeed. ALL the SF space adventure TV shows etc...ignore it. and I smile when the famous line is belted out 'our life-support systems are going down, Captain', and that means gravity too, yet the actors are maintaining an upright position. Funny stuff. Seriously, the lack of gravity will make all tasks difficult while on ship, personal hygiene stands out in my mind as premiere.

Of course there must be a breathable atmosphere and pressure in the ship and at the Mars campsite. Nothing, absolutely nothing can go wrong with this equipment. Containment of this precious commodity requires volume, machinery and air changes and purification systems and must be monitored and maintained at all times.
Maintenace and monitoring of water, all food and all waste disposal is paramount. These are perishable items we take for granted on Earth. No reason to poison ourselves while we're there or going there.

I don't see this space-adventure as one of exploration, at least in the beginning, unless one includes that portion of getting there in a pressurized tin can, as to just staying alive and maintaining your existence. Just think about the good astronauts on the ISS and the garbage that accumulates in their contained space. I read the ISS updates often, and that's circling just 250 miles above our heads.

I estimate about 14 to 20 Mars Spacemen (MSM), (I will call them Spacemen and not astronauts, which is an old term, besides even Kirk and Spock wouldn't want to be called that!) are the minimum workforce for the trip, with each one trained for double or triple duty in something to maintain existence. That's 28 to 60 'things' of daily duties.(NOT a statment for those who think they must just keep active). I think that plants in space are not the answer for food and air...tremendous maintenance problems, (at least at this time) and what's the fall-back if plant disease sets in. Might as well use the fall-back to begin with. And that's prepackaged food. I have no problem with that, either in the ship or on Mars. The garbage must be minimal...and think about 2 food supplies.

Mars habitat, or 'a room with a view' should be in the manner of a spent ship or 2 with commodities that preceded the crew of 14 to 20. Bouncing balls, ejected and landed like the Rovers fell in, can provide the sustenance required for the stay. That system has been demonstrated several times, and may have to be repeated to confirm.
These are a few concerns that I mention, and there are more of course.
I would enjoy the trip as long as all the earthly parameters are maintained. And since I am one who cares not for baggage, in this case the more the better for the possibility to maintain humans on Mars.

One might not want to forget about clean laundry and the galley and the sick-bay, etc...just imagine if Kirk, Spock and the rest of the crew did all that we saw them do in zero gravity...we would probably see about 6 shows in total over that 3 year period.
Hey, this is not simple, but simple things must be thought of for a successful outcome.
...and that means no deaths on the way there or on the planet Mars.

I for one don't want to be hooked up with someone who never showered, combed their hair, brushed their teeth, put their deodorant on, and who wear their smelly socks and never washed their dirty filthy hands and nails, etc...and start the next discussion of course alterations or hand out the daily food supply, right in your face. Forget it.

The people who have that honor of space travel to Mars will be perfect ladies and gentlemen, representing the thoughts and manners of thinking mankind complete with etiquette, proper professional etiquette, something to be proud of that one can display a mature realism even in space.
This is a difficult task so don't let Hollywood interfere with the truth. After all Hollywood is only film and that's paper thin to begin with. The mind of man (Spacemen) is far greater in depth than Hollywood.
There is a large gap between what we witnessed in SpaceShip One and that rocket ship to be built that will take us to Mars.

Are we prepared?

I have also been reading those articles by the Russians. Why bother with 500 days in isolation...the 6 volunteers are still on Earth, and that little bit of knowledge in each participants mind is the psychological difference that will cause them to succeed. They have gravity and all their little irritations are a microphone away!

The real difference is THAT trip to Mars...
Just what is a crew of 14 to 20, as I suggest, (and there should be a mix of the sexes, why not?) or 6 as the Russians suggest, going to do? What are they going to do in drift-flight??? Play Nintendo Games?

Seriously, imagine, if you will, that the ship is on course with little or no course alteration until close encounter with the Mars gravity...1+ travel year? of doing nothing but staying alive...eating, sleeping, drinking, personal hygiene, breathing, cleaning, and full maintenance of the ship. There are no surrounding outside lights, other than the Sun and its getting further away! Its pitch black out there, and that's black. OK, OK there is light in the craft. That's a given.
This ship has got to be BIG. As large if not larger than the Shuttle. In my mind, the BigShuttle type of craft should be the way to go. IT HAS to have VOLUME. The only thing man has built that has SpaceVolume (the Cargo Bay) for everything required for transfer. Perhaps it should be longer, wider and capable of carrying several 2 man powered descent ships. Yeah, this is sounding like a good story from Hollywood, unfortunately its all coming to a head as SF now becomes real life.

So, the BigShuttle does not land on Mars, it remains in orbit, the BIG life-line for the little descent ships and our human relations as they set up camp on Mars using the spent rocket hulls as habitat. (more thought is required here). Those little descent ships have to be designed to glide-land, perhaps like the Shuttle does on Earth, and yet they are engine or rocket powered to escape the Martian gravity when required to rejoin and lock onto the orbiting mother ship...this can be done. I know there are no runways but the Plains have indicated as Oppy sees them are 'flat'. The historical and successful Moon landings and returns are the key to this Martian project.
On the return (what are they going to be doing again-you can only look at Martian rocks and other things for so long) to Earth the BigShuttle with its full crew of Spacemen glide-land at the Cape.

The amount of food makes no difference, the amount of people have to be determined first. You should be able to figure it out by using your own daily eating habits as a starter. And don't skimp on the desert, you may regret it. LOL. Add the amount and weight of it and imagine a ship to contain it. (keep in mind the volume of your classroom). You can set a time factor (daily) to get the full weight and volume required. Don't forget to take the garbage out!

Good luck with your project.

This is my personal view, use what you wish.


I'm not answering until I know just how hot Hockey Hottie is.

15 will get you 20.

LOL>>>no-name, glad you read it! you're a good man/woman...whatever!


BTW>>why so shy...choose a name for yourself, it won't hurt you. There are several no-names here, only the IP address knows for sure and that's FMR...did you also respond in 'ups' rollcall as no-name? Or did you place one in there?

Hi dx. I think that's a good essay, and right on most points, but wrong on the question of gravity. "ALL the SF space adventure TV shows etc...ignore it" - maybe so, but 2001 A Space Odyssey didn't ignore it. The reason it's ignored more recently is that TV shows have low budgets, they can't afford to re-do something that Stanley Kubrick did perfectly decades ago anyway, and in any case to do so would be like re-inventing the wheel :-).

It's not so much that sci-fi programmes ignore the matter, the real problem is that the obvious solution, the space Ferris wheel, is ignored by actual scientists and rocket engineers. If we built our space stations and long-haul vehicles as spinning wheels, then occupants wouldn't have to worry about the debilitating or awkward consequences of long-term weightlessness. The only reason we don't do that already is presumably that we *want* our spacemen to experience zero gravity, so they can be guinea pigs exploring the effect of the condition on humans.

I see the first manned mars rocket as being polygonal rather than perfectly circular, because it will probably be built from spent fuel tanks, each of which will have to be straight. Spent fuel tanks will be used because I agree that it will have to be big, and using fuel tanks is the best way to make it big enough at a reasonable cost. It will be assembled in orbit, and it will be sent on its way at a comfortable rate of acceleration - 1g or thereabouts until it has reached a reasonable coasting speed, and then it will be set spinning to simulate gravity.

Supplies will be sent ahead, using ion rockets which provide an even gentler acceleration, because this is the most fuel-efficient method. The first supply rockets will set off many years before the manned ship. To be on the safe side, the manned ship probably won't set off until at least one supply ship has landed safely on Mars. The manned ship itself will only take enough food for the outward journey. There may also be contingency plans for the manned ship to match velocity and rendezvous with one of the unmanned supply ships it is overtaking, if necessary.

The crew will hopefully be perfect ladies and gentlemen, and will be chosen with that in mind; but even if they don't dish it out they'll have to be chosen and trained to be good at taking it, just in case things do somehow descend to the level of a slanging match or worse.

For entertainment there'll probably be a copy of the internet, frozen in silicon or whatever the preferred bulk storage medium is in the future. Most of this will gradually become out of date, but a few selected sites (e.g. some news sites, and the homepages of crewmembers' families) will be kept up to date via radio link. There could also be a zero-g observation and recreation room at the hub of the wheel, where crew could safely invent new never-before-played games such as zero-g tennis, or watch Mars getting bigger. There'll also be one or two small amimals to act as pets/mascots, all carefully neutered and equipped with transmitters just in case they escape into the plumbing.

I think that apart from all the other criteria that crew hopefuls will have to meet, they will also be chosen for their low weight and their restrained eating habits. So, to work out how much food is needed, assume that all the crew are short and super-slim, like jockeys or supermodels, and on a strict long-term diet. Unfortunately that cuts me out :-(.

uh... Martin... Hate to break it to you - but they have been thinking about creating artificial gravity - but the wheel ain't the way its going to happen.

First off - it is just too much mass to haul around - and mass is the biggest factor in creating vehicles for space travel. So the wheel is out because either it has to be really big or spinning really fast to get anything near 1 G. Both means too much energy being used up.

Think tethers instead. All you need is something to attach two compartments, and they spin around each other. Same amount of articial G force, but a lot less mass.

From what I've heard, you don't need a full 1 G to avoid the problems of weightlessness. From what I remember even just 1/6th is enough to avoid bone and muscle degeneration. Another key thing about having any sort of gravity is that things will eventually fall to the 'ground', reducing problems caused by large globs of liquid careening here there and everywhere (and then turning into many small globs) and of course reducing the area you need to check when you accidentally drop something.

Regarding creating artificial gravity: it's simply easier to not, so for now zero gravity works. And it would take a lot of energy to get any serious amount of mass spinning (and you'd more than likely have to make it stop spinning at some point), and if something were to go wrong, you might just end up with a ship tearing itself apart and bits and pieces tumbling in every direction.

Ultimately it may not really matter, since presumably people in space will be traveling to or from a planet/moon/whatever and they can just exercise regularly if it's going to be a long trip..


Thanks for your comments. I did see the movie, and gravity seemed to work there. There has got to be some sort of gravity to feel at least humanoid...you can't go off into space without it...what for? We are thinking people, we can build anything, even with an economical consideration. Frankly, I am not for the economic thing in any sense of the word.

Daniel has a suggestion of tethers...Daniel, if you have a site, draw your idea and post the site. I'd like to see it. 2 balls on a string connected in the middle effect I guess, right?

My sketches will be post on mine shortly. They will be based on the senario above from reply 2.

Your idea of 1 or 2 animals as pets...I got a kick out of that, I never thought about it, but it seems reasonable to us at this time. :D


dx... even though the general public doesn't know about it yet - tethers are likely to be used in future missions to Mars and the rest of the solar system. They can provide both propulsion and a form of artificial gravity. Here are some interesting links on propulsion:


here is one (with illustration) on creating artificial gravity via a tether system:

I might also add that the proposed "Mars Direct" plan also envisions using a tether to produce artificial gravity/propulsion. Nice summary of the project here:


thanks Daniel I will read those articles.


Hey have you guys got msn?

Hey i play hockey to that hock hottie chick i am a chcik by da way...add me mieshie_star_22@hotmail.com

Recommended reading - 'The Case for Mars'

I think it outlines many of the figures to tot up mass requirements for a mission to mars.


Just check out my website, www.livingonmars.tk
Consider also that we were less ready to go to the moon than we are now to go to Mars. I will enter into a discussion with anyone who wants one on this subject...

On this site, I have put info on how to get to Mars, how we would survive early on (in a Mars base), and how we could eventually terraform Mars

Just check out my website, www.livingonmars.tk
Consider also that we were less ready to go to the moon than we are now to go to Mars. I will enter into a discussion with anyone who wants one on this subject...

I hope you find my site useful- it may be just what you are looking for.

I think a human mission to Mars needs to wait until we have figured out better ways of defying gravity. For now, I'd like to see robot missions with more versatiltiy.


1. We should be pepearing to go to Mars the:-Fourth Plenet in our solor System by Date of (2020 A.D. too!!! Our Plenet is getting overpopulated too. The Earth Don"t have the number Resourses to feed: (6 1/2-billion )People today on April 8, 2008 A.D. We Need To Prepear now before is to late. By year of The year would be( 6.500,502,008 A.D too. The Star our Sun will Espaned and exploded like a Super nova Star. By the year (7000000000 A.D. too. The Sun will turned into a White durift Star!! It will last for Bollions Years After in the Year (7000000000 A.D. By this time 1/16th of the Universe is 1000 Galixies are populated by Earth people too!! true