I very much enjoyed Hank's video a while back about the SLS and the future of manned space travel with the Orion Multi-Purpose crew vechile, but now, after having heard about the Skylon project, I can't help but feel that its...kind of a waste.
For those of you not in the know, here's a couple of links for a detailed explanation of what Skylon is
But the main basic reason I think Skylon ultimately looks like so much more of a viable alternative to the SLS is that none of it is wasted. You have use of one SLS per mission. That is it. On the other hand, a single Skylon craft could conduct multiple missions over many years, which would ultimately be much much cheaper. With this in mind, I can't really see why the SLS is being as seriously considered by Nasa. It's now looking, at least in my mind, rather obsolete.
Mars has a limited atmosphere and gravity
The Moon has no atmosphere and even less gravity.
Beyond that are asteroids even this version of the enterprise wouldn't be able to navigate easily.
Effectively, the internal environment of the ship needs to have greenhouses and what have you, because there is absolutely no guarantee that people will make it to the destination, and even if people did, there's even less guarantee of surviving on the surface.
Colonising another planet, at the moment, is a pipe dream. But. It's not impossible. First we need the mother ship.
First we need a space station with a large centrifuge to study the effects of partial gravity. We know we need some gravity but not how much gravity. That way we don't send our pioneers to Mars on a suicide mission because of its lesser gravity. As for the food supply we can grow meat cells and plant cells in tanks, yummy.
First we need a space station with a large centrifuge to study the effects of partial gravity.
I think they can simulate this on earth already. However, as a proof of concept in The Enterprise, this will be required. It seems that centripetal force to generate 1g is part of the design of the lower hull of the saucer section of the ship. Would be worth knowing if this works or not.
As for the food supply we can grow meat cells and plant cells in tanks, yummy.
Call me crazy but on a ship with environmental conditions that mimic earth that's got room for 1,000 inhabitants, it would be reasonably easy to grow food. Have hydroponic plants - all food based - in every room. Plants suck on CO2 and breathe out O so this would also improve air quality, as well as be a source of food. The only thing is the Vitamin D/E, sunlight is something that feeds plants (and humans alike). Maybe the water. Although a good quality waste management system would be able to extract the water from the feces/urine, and filter out the nasties, in a two or three stage process 1) the hard matter can be used to fertilise plants (and perhaps be a source of bio fuels) 2) the grey water fertilises plants/used for cleaning 3) the filtered water can be consumed by the inhabitants.
I don't think we can simulate the effects of partial effects of gravity to study the ill effects of partial g. We can hook up bungee cords to our butts but that isn't the same.Zero g is really bad for us. We evolved in 1g. We need it. As far as the farm in the sky. -Every ship I ever heard of and been on space is in short supply. It is too expensive to build and carry around. Especially if you can grow the same food in the tanks.
I'm pretty sure I was on a ride at the Easter show that simulated partial gravity, or more specifically, centripetal force. It was called the gravitron. Also I saw a documentary where they dropped a plane and people floated very briefly in the cabin. And I'm pretty sure NASA would have played with this idea a lot.
Also, existing space ships and stations are very small. There is good reason for that, but, in the event that we had a bigger one, fresh veggies sound like a good idea to me, grown in tanks or hydroponics - heck, whatever works.
OK but I am talking about the effects over time. We can't simulate martian gravity without dropping people. W
e need to know the consequences of leaving them in Martian gravity for months.
Oh ya the extended exposure stuff. That does need more experimental work.
We also need to see if animals and plants can reproduce and develope in partial gravity. I'll volunteer to go up and start the human trials.. Just send up a hot babe with me. The wife will just have to understand.
Perhaps the wife can go with you as well as there will be several other women and men. For scientific accuracy of course. Larger sample sizes and all that.
The wife doesn't share my entheusiasm and wouldn't go. She thinks I am nuts. Of course that is true but I would still go.
Meh she can keep the house you'll have a harem and a space ship, lol
I heard a theory that predicts that people born and raised in low gravity will be much longer and weaker built than Earth humans, and basically be crippled if they were to visit Earth. If they were to be born i zero gravity they wouldn't have bone tissue at all. If they were born on Mars, they would maybe not be able to visit Earth without aid of some sort, else they break all their bones for almost no reason, which kinds of sucks.