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Breaking News- Consortium and Progress

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  • frank_stratford
    Ok team, I have been spending some of my pent up energy in waiting for my wife on developing further the consortium idea and believe that I do have a way
    Message 1 of 7 , Sep 21, 2010
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      Ok team, I have been spending some of my pent up energy in waiting for my wife on developing further the consortium idea and believe that I do have a way forward now.

      The biggest problem to me was HOW do we start this thing? The details eluded me until now but I think we may have the beginnings of a real plan.

      Universities.

      They are the logical sector to start with and they are already involved on many levels with space research and development programs. As a part of the consortium concept I have trying to figure out where all the pieces fit, and I think there is a way forward. I asked what would be required for universities to get together and jointly resource a humans to Mars program.

      This week I have communicated by email with the head of AURA http://www.aura-astronomy.org/ , Peter Smith of the UoA (Mars Phoenix) and to the head of a grouping of 105 universities for space research the USRA- http://www.usra.edu/

      The feedback I got was interesting and thought provoking.

      Part of my idea was what if NASA or corporate sponsors were to invest in this program to Universities and they all said a loud YES. They did tell me that the science benefits would have to be clarified in detail before they committed to this, but in principle it is an ok idea to them.

      This is where I need you team.

      We need 2 main things to be able to present to universities to get their endorsements, after which we (Marsdrive) can then start seeking financial sponsors for these universities and working with them to put together funding.(and the consortium)

      1. A mission design- does not have to be the "perfect one", but detailed enough to show them we are serious and know what we are talking about. (the final design will be different no doubt)
      2. A detailed listing of all research and development areas universities can get involved in for a humans to Mars program.

      As a part of this plan, I want to start an EDL grid computing simulation project as soon as possible, because I feel that EDL will really impact the final mass and shape of any design we come up with.

      The other project I am announcing is a Mars Advanced Research Simulator- a scaled/sealed "Mars Jar" where surface technologies can be tested, as can plant growth, etc- A hands on project we or a university can do. (we can raise funds and start some hardware contributions).

      The first part of this program will involve multiple universities and sponsors (around 6000 entities @ $300,000 a year for 10 years).

      This is $18 Billion team. A program of this size will need managers from the human space flight area (ISS/Apollo/Shuttle) involved, and I will aim to recruit such people when the time is right to lead this program.

      18 Billion will not fund a full mission to Mars, but with this amount of investment (or heading in that direction), NASA and other space agencies will take notice, and at that point we can get them involved in or even leading the consortium.

      Can this be done? The funds are there already via a mix of universities, corporate and government sponsors funds. So yes, it is there, and yes, these universities do see the value of human exploration of Mars.

      They are the one sector our ideas make complete sense to.

      So now I call on you team. I'd like to not go to these universities with our DRM 2.5, but what else can we produce? Let's keep it conservative, and I'd rather we get it right first then rush this. If it takes us a year or two, thats ok, time is on our side anyway.

      So Ron, Mike, Dave, Brian, everyone, are you ready? I will be seeking additional resources to help us in this effort, and if you want to post it around to all your forums and contacts, please do. It's time to go to Mars team.
    • dale
      Hey Frank and crew, Do you have a draft version of DRM 2.5 that I could read. I ve seen bits and pieces of it through this group however have not seen it
      Message 2 of 7 , Sep 21, 2010
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        Hey Frank and crew,
        Do you have a draft version of DRM 2.5 that I could read. I've seen bits and pieces of it through this group however have not seen it pulled together in a cohesive manner. 

        Did we ever get all the research material from Grant?

        Also, I'm probably the most daft of the group but could you explain or give an example of EDL grid? 

        --
        little red planet
        http://www.littleredplanet.com

      • David
        Frank - terrific! Totally happy to get involved in this and support it however you think best. A couple of observations on the specific technical items. 1.
        Message 3 of 7 , Sep 21, 2010
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          Frank - terrific!

          Totally happy to get involved in this and support it however you think best.

          A couple of observations on the specific technical items.

          1. AEDL. Yes this is a critical technology. But the requirement depends considerably on the size and type of entry vehicle - high lift vs. low lift, size/shape/mass, entry velocity and so forth. I would suggest that it would be sensible to have an idea of what we want to use before we go to far with this, although some of the work would of course be non-specific to the entry vehicle e.g. atmosphere modelling.

          2. The "Mars Jar". Logically, such a test facility should be defined following definition of a mission and an associated development and qualification plan. Before we can develop a "Mars Jar" environmental test chamber we need to work out what we need, and what it needs to represent. The size of the chamber matters - do we need an aircraft-hanger sized chamber for testing entire items (habs, etc), or a laboratory bench-top item, or something in between? How representative does it need to be? Atmospheric gas composition, dust, thermal environment, solar radiation, etc? To answer these questions we need to have some idea of what we need it for, or we risk either producing something inadequate, or spending a fortune on a big fancy facility that isn't required.

          3. Other items. You've picked on the above two but these are just two of many critical enabling technologies. There are others just as crucial e.g. ECLSS, ISRU and others. How critical these are depends on the mission design.

          All of this comes down to needing a concept mission design as a framework, developing this design to a high level of credibility with more detailed feasibility and concept studies for the major elements particularly the key technology areas, then establishing what the critical R&D requirements are for these.

          We already have mission designs. These include our own DRM 2.5, designs by others associated with us (Mars-Oz, for example, from Jon Clarke and David Willson), others we have in work (e.g. Mike Bloxham's concept, and one I've been collaborating with Terry Wilson on, which I would like to offer here for comment within the next couple of weeks) plus others produced by other people (e.g. Mars Society Mission, the NASA DRMs, the ESA DRM and probably many others. Any of these, if considered credible, could be used as the basis for forward work, or we could develop a new one.

          We said before that we'd put all our proposals on the table and have an internal review to downselect. I still think we should do this, and throw some of the better ones that are out there which others have done into the pot as well. Then we can go forward with one or two or three of these (depending on resources), working up the next level of detail in terms of concepts and feasibility studies for the key items, so that we end up with a good robust concept.

          Dave G


          --- In marsdrivemission@yahoogroups.com, "frank_stratford" <frank_stratford@...> wrote:
          >
          > Ok team, I have been spending some of my pent up energy in waiting for my wife on developing further the consortium idea and believe that I do have a way forward now.
          >
          > The biggest problem to me was HOW do we start this thing? The details eluded me until now but I think we may have the beginnings of a real plan.
          >
          > Universities.
          >
          > They are the logical sector to start with and they are already involved on many levels with space research and development programs. As a part of the consortium concept I have trying to figure out where all the pieces fit, and I think there is a way forward. I asked what would be required for universities to get together and jointly resource a humans to Mars program.
          >
          > This week I have communicated by email with the head of AURA http://www.aura-astronomy.org/ , Peter Smith of the UoA (Mars Phoenix) and to the head of a grouping of 105 universities for space research the USRA- http://www.usra.edu/
          >
          > The feedback I got was interesting and thought provoking.
          >
          > Part of my idea was what if NASA or corporate sponsors were to invest in this program to Universities and they all said a loud YES. They did tell me that the science benefits would have to be clarified in detail before they committed to this, but in principle it is an ok idea to them.
          >
          > This is where I need you team.
          >
          > We need 2 main things to be able to present to universities to get their endorsements, after which we (Marsdrive) can then start seeking financial sponsors for these universities and working with them to put together funding.(and the consortium)
          >
          > 1. A mission design- does not have to be the "perfect one", but detailed enough to show them we are serious and know what we are talking about. (the final design will be different no doubt)
          > 2. A detailed listing of all research and development areas universities can get involved in for a humans to Mars program.
          >
          > As a part of this plan, I want to start an EDL grid computing simulation project as soon as possible, because I feel that EDL will really impact the final mass and shape of any design we come up with.
          >
          > The other project I am announcing is a Mars Advanced Research Simulator- a scaled/sealed "Mars Jar" where surface technologies can be tested, as can plant growth, etc- A hands on project we or a university can do. (we can raise funds and start some hardware contributions).
          >
          > The first part of this program will involve multiple universities and sponsors (around 6000 entities @ $300,000 a year for 10 years).
          >
          > This is $18 Billion team. A program of this size will need managers from the human space flight area (ISS/Apollo/Shuttle) involved, and I will aim to recruit such people when the time is right to lead this program.
          >
          > 18 Billion will not fund a full mission to Mars, but with this amount of investment (or heading in that direction), NASA and other space agencies will take notice, and at that point we can get them involved in or even leading the consortium.
          >
          > Can this be done? The funds are there already via a mix of universities, corporate and government sponsors funds. So yes, it is there, and yes, these universities do see the value of human exploration of Mars.
          >
          > They are the one sector our ideas make complete sense to.
          >
          > So now I call on you team. I'd like to not go to these universities with our DRM 2.5, but what else can we produce? Let's keep it conservative, and I'd rather we get it right first then rush this. If it takes us a year or two, thats ok, time is on our side anyway.
          >
          > So Ron, Mike, Dave, Brian, everyone, are you ready? I will be seeking additional resources to help us in this effort, and if you want to post it around to all your forums and contacts, please do. It's time to go to Mars team.
          >
        • frank_stratford
          My discussions are continuing with various university leaders today, here is one from Steve Squyres of MER fame- Cornell University does indeed spend millions
          Message 4 of 7 , Sep 21, 2010
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            My discussions are continuing with various university leaders today, here is one from Steve Squyres of MER fame-

            "Cornell University does indeed spend millions of dollars each year on space exploration, but nearly every penny of that money comes from NASA. University scientists like myself write proposals to NASA, those proposals are reviewed, and the successful proposals are funded by NASA. Other than paying the academic-year salaries of faculty members who choose to be involved in space research, Cornell puts essentially no university funds into space exploration... they get it from the government. And in a world of shrinking university endowments where national space agencies spend billions of dollars on space exploration, few university administrators elsewhere are going to be enthusiastic about trying to duplicate that effort.

            The bottom line, I think, is that universities are well positioned to provide the intellectual leadership in the exploration of space, but not the financial leadership."

            My counter to this would be that it is not a duplication, but a complimentary program to "fill in the holes" of research and development, and would most certainly reinvigorate the financial side of things for any university involved. Plus my concept is worldwide, not just based in the US. A humans to Mars program can benefit all universities involved as each plays their part.

            Universities have shown great vision and efficiency in handling what funds do come their way from government or private sectors and I am in no doubt that they have the skill to administer (and initiate) funding for a humans to Mars program.

            The universities want more students, more funding from the government and private sector, and their current methods are not working as well as they used to. That is precisely why it is time to create some inspirational new programs based on a history making human exploration to Mars, and give the government and other sponsors reasons to donate funds again instead of more of the same.

            --- In marsdrivemission@yahoogroups.com, "David" <davidgooding16@...> wrote:
            >
            > Frank - terrific!
            >
            > Totally happy to get involved in this and support it however you think best.
            >
            > A couple of observations on the specific technical items.
            >
            > 1. AEDL. Yes this is a critical technology. But the requirement depends considerably on the size and type of entry vehicle - high lift vs. low lift, size/shape/mass, entry velocity and so forth. I would suggest that it would be sensible to have an idea of what we want to use before we go to far with this, although some of the work would of course be non-specific to the entry vehicle e.g. atmosphere modelling.
            >
            > 2. The "Mars Jar". Logically, such a test facility should be defined following definition of a mission and an associated development and qualification plan. Before we can develop a "Mars Jar" environmental test chamber we need to work out what we need, and what it needs to represent. The size of the chamber matters - do we need an aircraft-hanger sized chamber for testing entire items (habs, etc), or a laboratory bench-top item, or something in between? How representative does it need to be? Atmospheric gas composition, dust, thermal environment, solar radiation, etc? To answer these questions we need to have some idea of what we need it for, or we risk either producing something inadequate, or spending a fortune on a big fancy facility that isn't required.
            >
            > 3. Other items. You've picked on the above two but these are just two of many critical enabling technologies. There are others just as crucial e.g. ECLSS, ISRU and others. How critical these are depends on the mission design.
            >
            > All of this comes down to needing a concept mission design as a framework, developing this design to a high level of credibility with more detailed feasibility and concept studies for the major elements particularly the key technology areas, then establishing what the critical R&D requirements are for these.
            >
            > We already have mission designs. These include our own DRM 2.5, designs by others associated with us (Mars-Oz, for example, from Jon Clarke and David Willson), others we have in work (e.g. Mike Bloxham's concept, and one I've been collaborating with Terry Wilson on, which I would like to offer here for comment within the next couple of weeks) plus others produced by other people (e.g. Mars Society Mission, the NASA DRMs, the ESA DRM and probably many others. Any of these, if considered credible, could be used as the basis for forward work, or we could develop a new one.
            >
            > We said before that we'd put all our proposals on the table and have an internal review to downselect. I still think we should do this, and throw some of the better ones that are out there which others have done into the pot as well. Then we can go forward with one or two or three of these (depending on resources), working up the next level of detail in terms of concepts and feasibility studies for the key items, so that we end up with a good robust concept.
            >
            > Dave G
            >
            >
            > --- In marsdrivemission@yahoogroups.com, "frank_stratford" <frank_stratford@> wrote:
            > >
            > > Ok team, I have been spending some of my pent up energy in waiting for my wife on developing further the consortium idea and believe that I do have a way forward now.
            > >
            > > The biggest problem to me was HOW do we start this thing? The details eluded me until now but I think we may have the beginnings of a real plan.
            > >
            > > Universities.
            > >
            > > They are the logical sector to start with and they are already involved on many levels with space research and development programs. As a part of the consortium concept I have trying to figure out where all the pieces fit, and I think there is a way forward. I asked what would be required for universities to get together and jointly resource a humans to Mars program.
            > >
            > > This week I have communicated by email with the head of AURA http://www.aura-astronomy.org/ , Peter Smith of the UoA (Mars Phoenix) and to the head of a grouping of 105 universities for space research the USRA- http://www.usra.edu/
            > >
            > > The feedback I got was interesting and thought provoking.
            > >
            > > Part of my idea was what if NASA or corporate sponsors were to invest in this program to Universities and they all said a loud YES. They did tell me that the science benefits would have to be clarified in detail before they committed to this, but in principle it is an ok idea to them.
            > >
            > > This is where I need you team.
            > >
            > > We need 2 main things to be able to present to universities to get their endorsements, after which we (Marsdrive) can then start seeking financial sponsors for these universities and working with them to put together funding.(and the consortium)
            > >
            > > 1. A mission design- does not have to be the "perfect one", but detailed enough to show them we are serious and know what we are talking about. (the final design will be different no doubt)
            > > 2. A detailed listing of all research and development areas universities can get involved in for a humans to Mars program.
            > >
            > > As a part of this plan, I want to start an EDL grid computing simulation project as soon as possible, because I feel that EDL will really impact the final mass and shape of any design we come up with.
            > >
            > > The other project I am announcing is a Mars Advanced Research Simulator- a scaled/sealed "Mars Jar" where surface technologies can be tested, as can plant growth, etc- A hands on project we or a university can do. (we can raise funds and start some hardware contributions).
            > >
            > > The first part of this program will involve multiple universities and sponsors (around 6000 entities @ $300,000 a year for 10 years).
            > >
            > > This is $18 Billion team. A program of this size will need managers from the human space flight area (ISS/Apollo/Shuttle) involved, and I will aim to recruit such people when the time is right to lead this program.
            > >
            > > 18 Billion will not fund a full mission to Mars, but with this amount of investment (or heading in that direction), NASA and other space agencies will take notice, and at that point we can get them involved in or even leading the consortium.
            > >
            > > Can this be done? The funds are there already via a mix of universities, corporate and government sponsors funds. So yes, it is there, and yes, these universities do see the value of human exploration of Mars.
            > >
            > > They are the one sector our ideas make complete sense to.
            > >
            > > So now I call on you team. I'd like to not go to these universities with our DRM 2.5, but what else can we produce? Let's keep it conservative, and I'd rather we get it right first then rush this. If it takes us a year or two, thats ok, time is on our side anyway.
            > >
            > > So Ron, Mike, Dave, Brian, everyone, are you ready? I will be seeking additional resources to help us in this effort, and if you want to post it around to all your forums and contacts, please do. It's time to go to Mars team.
            > >
            >
          • frank_stratford
            Hi Dale, If you come to the main site- http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/marsdrivemission/ You can find it under the files section. Or our own website-
            Message 5 of 7 , Sep 21, 2010
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              Hi Dale,

              If you come to the main site- http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/marsdrivemission/ You can find it under the files section.

              Or our own website- http://marsdrive.com/Libraries/Downloads/MarsDrive_Design_Reference_Mission_2_5.sflb.ashx

              It is encouraging to note that there is interest from the university sector, currently muted by their ongoing funding model, but I can sense the frustrations they have. I'm awaiting some more responses, but I can see there is some sliver of hope here.


              --- In marsdrivemission@yahoogroups.com, dale <dale.rogers@...> wrote:
              >
              > Hey Frank and crew,
              > Do you have a draft version of DRM 2.5 that I could read. I've seen bits and
              > pieces of it through this group however have not seen it pulled together in
              > a cohesive manner.
              >
              > Did we ever get all the research material from Grant?
              >
              > Also, I'm probably the most daft of the group but could you explain or give
              > an example of EDL grid?
              >
              > --
              > little red planet
              > http://www.littleredplanet.com
              >
            • Michael Bloxham
              I agree with Dave. We need to continue to work towards a robust mission plan.   As far as potential university projects: I would suggest CELSS/CES as usual,
              Message 6 of 7 , Sep 23, 2010
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                I agree with Dave. We need to continue to work towards a robust mission plan.
                 
                As far as potential university projects: I would suggest CELSS/CES as usual, and I think there is a great case to be made about this sort of tech tying in greatly with the whole ideal of sustainability etc. (i.e. human civilization freeing itself from the need to continually gobble up non-renewable resources just to sustain itself). The whole green movement thing is growing hugely within universities and the general public. If we could find a useful way to connect humans-to-mars tech and ideals to that sort of massively popular movement then I think we would be a lot better off than we are today!
                 
                - Mike

                --- On Tue, 21/9/10, David <davidgooding16@...> wrote:

                From: David <davidgooding16@...>
                Subject: [marsdrivemission] Re: Breaking News- Consortium and Progress
                To: marsdrivemission@yahoogroups.com
                Received: Tuesday, 21 September, 2010, 1:15 PM

                 
                Frank - terrific!

                Totally happy to get involved in this and support it however you think best.

                A couple of observations on the specific technical items.

                1. AEDL. Yes this is a critical technology. But the requirement depends considerably on the size and type of entry vehicle - high lift vs. low lift, size/shape/mass, entry velocity and so forth. I would suggest that it would be sensible to have an idea of what we want to use before we go to far with this, although some of the work would of course be non-specific to the entry vehicle e.g. atmosphere modelling.

                2. The "Mars Jar". Logically, such a test facility should be defined following definition of a mission and an associated development and qualification plan. Before we can develop a "Mars Jar" environmental test chamber we need to work out what we need, and what it needs to represent. The size of the chamber matters - do we need an aircraft-hanger sized chamber for testing entire items (habs, etc), or a laboratory bench-top item, or something in between? How representative does it need to be? Atmospheric gas composition, dust, thermal environment, solar radiation, etc? To answer these questions we need to have some idea of what we need it for, or we risk either producing something inadequate, or spending a fortune on a big fancy facility that isn't required.

                3. Other items. You've picked on the above two but these are just two of many critical enabling technologies. There are others just as crucial e.g. ECLSS, ISRU and others. How critical these are depends on the mission design.

                All of this comes down to needing a concept mission design as a framework, developing this design to a high level of credibility with more detailed feasibility and concept studies for the major elements particularly the key technology areas, then establishing what the critical R&D requirements are for these.

                We already have mission designs. These include our own DRM 2.5, designs by others associated with us (Mars-Oz, for example, from Jon Clarke and David Willson), others we have in work (e.g. Mike Bloxham's concept, and one I've been collaborating with Terry Wilson on, which I would like to offer here for comment within the next couple of weeks) plus others produced by other people (e.g. Mars Society Mission, the NASA DRMs, the ESA DRM and probably many others. Any of these, if considered credible, could be used as the basis for forward work, or we could develop a new one.

                We said before that we'd put all our proposals on the table and have an internal review to downselect. I still think we should do this, and throw some of the better ones that are out there which others have done into the pot as well. Then we can go forward with one or two or three of these (depending on resources), working up the next level of detail in terms of concepts and feasibility studies for the key items, so that we end up with a good robust concept.

                Dave G

                --- In marsdrivemission@yahoogroups.com, "frank_stratford" <frank_stratford@...> wrote:
                >
                > Ok team, I have been spending some of my pent up energy in waiting for my wife on developing further the consortium idea and believe that I do have a way forward now.
                >
                > The biggest problem to me was HOW do we start this thing? The details eluded me until now but I think we may have the beginnings of a real plan.
                >
                > Universities.
                >
                > They are the logical sector to start with and they are already involved on many levels with space research and development programs. As a part of the consortium concept I have trying to figure out where all the pieces fit, and I think there is a way forward. I asked what would be required for universities to get together and jointly resource a humans to Mars program.
                >
                > This week I have communicated by email with the head of AURA http://www.aura-astronomy.org/ , Peter Smith of the UoA (Mars Phoenix) and to the head of a grouping of 105 universities for space research the USRA- http://www.usra.edu/
                >
                > The feedback I got was interesting and thought provoking.
                >
                > Part of my idea was what if NASA or corporate sponsors were to invest in this program to Universities and they all said a loud YES. They did tell me that the science benefits would have to be clarified in detail before they committed to this, but in principle it is an ok idea to them.
                >
                > This is where I need you team.
                >
                > We need 2 main things to be able to present to universities to get their endorsements, after which we (Marsdrive) can then start seeking financial sponsors for these universities and working with them to put together funding.(and the consortium)
                >
                > 1. A mission design- does not have to be the "perfect one", but detailed enough to show them we are serious and know what we are talking about. (the final design will be different no doubt)
                > 2. A detailed listing of all research and development areas universities can get involved in for a humans to Mars program.
                >
                > As a part of this plan, I want to start an EDL grid computing simulation project as soon as possible, because I feel that EDL will really impact the final mass and shape of any design we come up with.
                >
                > The other project I am announcing is a Mars Advanced Research Simulator- a scaled/sealed "Mars Jar" where surface technologies can be tested, as can plant growth, etc- A hands on project we or a university can do. (we can raise funds and start some hardware contributions).
                >
                > The first part of this program will involve multiple universities and sponsors (around 6000 entities @ $300,000 a year for 10 years).
                >
                > This is $18 Billion team. A program of this size will need managers from the human space flight area (ISS/Apollo/Shuttle) involved, and I will aim to recruit such people when the time is right to lead this program.
                >
                > 18 Billion will not fund a full mission to Mars, but with this amount of investment (or heading in that direction), NASA and other space agencies will take notice, and at that point we can get them involved in or even leading the consortium.
                >
                > Can this be done? The funds are there already via a mix of universities, corporate and government sponsors funds. So yes, it is there, and yes, these universities do see the value of human exploration of Mars.
                >
                > They are the one sector our ideas make complete sense to.
                >
                > So now I call on you team. I'd like to not go to these universities with our DRM 2.5, but what else can we produce? Let's keep it conservative, and I'd rather we get it right first then rush this. If it takes us a year or two, thats ok, time is on our side anyway.
                >
                > So Ron, Mike, Dave, Brian, everyone, are you ready? I will be seeking additional resources to help us in this effort, and if you want to post it around to all your forums and contacts, please do. It's time to go to Mars team.
                >


                 
              • Michael Bloxham
                BTW, I started a thread on this topic at NSF: http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=22784 ... From: Michael Bloxham
                Message 7 of 7 , Sep 25, 2010
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                  BTW, I started a thread on this topic at NSF: http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=22784

                  --- On Thu, 23/9/10, Michael Bloxham <michaeljbloxham@...> wrote:

                  From: Michael Bloxham <michaeljbloxham@...>
                  Subject: Re: [marsdrivemission] Re: Breaking News- Consortium and Progress
                  To: marsdrivemission@yahoogroups.com
                  Received: Thursday, 23 September, 2010, 1:44 AM

                   
                  I agree with Dave. We need to continue to work towards a robust mission plan.
                   
                  As far as potential university projects: I would suggest CELSS/CES as usual, and I think there is a great case to be made about this sort of tech tying in greatly with the whole ideal of sustainability etc. (i.e. human civilization freeing itself from the need to continually gobble up non-renewable resources just to sustain itself). The whole green movement thing is growing hugely within universities and the general public. If we could find a useful way to connect humans-to-mars tech and ideals to that sort of massively popular movement then I think we would be a lot better off than we are today!
                   
                  - Mike

                  --- On Tue, 21/9/10, David <davidgooding16@...> wrote:

                  From: David <davidgooding16@...>
                  Subject: [marsdrivemission] Re: Breaking News- Consortium and Progress
                  To: marsdrivemission@yahoogroups.com
                  Received: Tuesday, 21 September, 2010, 1:15 PM

                   
                  Frank - terrific!

                  Totally happy to get involved in this and support it however you think best.

                  A couple of observations on the specific technical items.

                  1. AEDL. Yes this is a critical technology. But the requirement depends considerably on the size and type of entry vehicle - high lift vs. low lift, size/shape/mass, entry velocity and so forth. I would suggest that it would be sensible to have an idea of what we want to use before we go to far with this, although some of the work would of course be non-specific to the entry vehicle e.g. atmosphere modelling.

                  2. The "Mars Jar". Logically, such a test facility should be defined following definition of a mission and an associated development and qualification plan. Before we can develop a "Mars Jar" environmental test chamber we need to work out what we need, and what it needs to represent. The size of the chamber matters - do we need an aircraft-hanger sized chamber for testing entire items (habs, etc), or a laboratory bench-top item, or something in between? How representative does it need to be? Atmospheric gas composition, dust, thermal environment, solar radiation, etc? To answer these questions we need to have some idea of what we need it for, or we risk either producing something inadequate, or spending a fortune on a big fancy facility that isn't required.

                  3. Other items. You've picked on the above two but these are just two of many critical enabling technologies. There are others just as crucial e.g. ECLSS, ISRU and others. How critical these are depends on the mission design.

                  All of this comes down to needing a concept mission design as a framework, developing this design to a high level of credibility with more detailed feasibility and concept studies for the major elements particularly the key technology areas, then establishing what the critical R&D requirements are for these.

                  We already have mission designs. These include our own DRM 2.5, designs by others associated with us (Mars-Oz, for example, from Jon Clarke and David Willson), others we have in work (e.g. Mike Bloxham's concept, and one I've been collaborating with Terry Wilson on, which I would like to offer here for comment within the next couple of weeks) plus others produced by other people (e.g. Mars Society Mission, the NASA DRMs, the ESA DRM and probably many others. Any of these, if considered credible, could be used as the basis for forward work, or we could develop a new one.

                  We said before that we'd put all our proposals on the table and have an internal review to downselect. I still think we should do this, and throw some of the better ones that are out there which others have done into the pot as well. Then we can go forward with one or two or three of these (depending on resources), working up the next level of detail in terms of concepts and feasibility studies for the key items, so that we end up with a good robust concept.

                  Dave G

                  --- In marsdrivemission@yahoogroups.com, "frank_stratford" <frank_stratford@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Ok team, I have been spending some of my pent up energy in waiting for my wife on developing further the consortium idea and believe that I do have a way forward now.
                  >
                  > The biggest problem to me was HOW do we start this thing? The details eluded me until now but I think we may have the beginnings of a real plan.
                  >
                  > Universities.
                  >
                  > They are the logical sector to start with and they are already involved on many levels with space research and development programs. As a part of the consortium concept I have trying to figure out where all the pieces fit, and I think there is a way forward. I asked what would be required for universities to get together and jointly resource a humans to Mars program.
                  >
                  > This week I have communicated by email with the head of AURA http://www.aura-astronomy.org/ , Peter Smith of the UoA (Mars Phoenix) and to the head of a grouping of 105 universities for space research the USRA- http://www.usra.edu/
                  >
                  > The feedback I got was interesting and thought provoking.
                  >
                  > Part of my idea was what if NASA or corporate sponsors were to invest in this program to Universities and they all said a loud YES. They did tell me that the science benefits would have to be clarified in detail before they committed to this, but in principle it is an ok idea to them.
                  >
                  > This is where I need you team.
                  >
                  > We need 2 main things to be able to present to universities to get their endorsements, after which we (Marsdrive) can then start seeking financial sponsors for these universities and working with them to put together funding.(and the consortium)
                  >
                  > 1. A mission design- does not have to be the "perfect one", but detailed enough to show them we are serious and know what we are talking about. (the final design will be different no doubt)
                  > 2. A detailed listing of all research and development areas universities can get involved in for a humans to Mars program.
                  >
                  > As a part of this plan, I want to start an EDL grid computing simulation project as soon as possible, because I feel that EDL will really impact the final mass and shape of any design we come up with.
                  >
                  > The other project I am announcing is a Mars Advanced Research Simulator- a scaled/sealed "Mars Jar" where surface technologies can be tested, as can plant growth, etc- A hands on project we or a university can do. (we can raise funds and start some hardware contributions).
                  >
                  > The first part of this program will involve multiple universities and sponsors (around 6000 entities @ $300,000 a year for 10 years).
                  >
                  > This is $18 Billion team. A program of this size will need managers from the human space flight area (ISS/Apollo/Shuttle) involved, and I will aim to recruit such people when the time is right to lead this program.
                  >
                  > 18 Billion will not fund a full mission to Mars, but with this amount of investment (or heading in that direction), NASA and other space agencies will take notice, and at that point we can get them involved in or even leading the consortium.
                  >
                  > Can this be done? The funds are there already via a mix of universities, corporate and government sponsors funds. So yes, it is there, and yes, these universities do see the value of human exploration of Mars.
                  >
                  > They are the one sector our ideas make complete sense to.
                  >
                  > So now I call on you team. I'd like to not go to these universities with our DRM 2.5, but what else can we produce? Let's keep it conservative, and I'd rather we get it right first then rush this. If it takes us a year or two, thats ok, time is on our side anyway.
                  >
                  > So Ron, Mike, Dave, Brian, everyone, are you ready? I will be seeking additional resources to help us in this effort, and if you want to post it around to all your forums and contacts, please do. It's time to go to Mars team.
                  >


                   

                   
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