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Lofty Goals Part Two
By 2021, Mars One anticipates having delivered materials for an entire settlement to the Mars surface. In addition to astronauts, the foundation intends to send a total of six modules, two living units, two life support units, a second supply unit, and a second rover to the Red Planet within the next eight years.
The two rovers will move all the equipment to the colony site and prepare for the first human inhabitants. A second 24/7/365 video stream will begin its broadcast as the two rovers meet for the first time and their relationship blossoms. (Fingers crossed.)
2022 – The colony is expected to be producing water, oxygen, and atmosphere by early 2022. It is at this point that Mars One will give the long-awaited “go-for-launch” after which components of the Mars transit vehicle will be assembled in preparation for the launch into low Earth orbit.
In September 2022, the first four interplanetary pioneers will be hurled toward Mars, a small red dot millions of miles away. This, as has been the case with everything else, will be broadcast 24/7/365.
2023 – The first Mars One astronauts (and settlers) land in 2023! The first humans arrive on Mars, link all the capsules, kick-off food production, and set up the remaining solar panels for power production. A few weeks after arrival, five more cargo units will arrive and bring additional living units, life support units, and a third rover. This epic milestone in the history of mankind will be broadcast 24/7/365 back at home on the Blue Planet.
2025 – In June of this year, the second crew of four astronauts will arrive—and likely infuse the broadcast with some much-anticipated drama. The first crew will have completed the settlement in preparation for the arrival of their peers.
This mil/aero geek, for one, cannot wait to view the four high-definition video feeds of our brave new friends on Mars.
Mars One management in the Netherlands has outlined the not-for-profit foundation’s goals and mission plan for 2013 through 2025. It is an interesting read and exciting proposition.
Can Mars One and its global sponsors achieve the lofty goal of the first human settlement on Mars? They will, if all goes to plan:
2013 – Build a replica of the proposed Mars settlement in a cold, arid, desolate environment to mimic the less than hospitable conditions on Mars and to serve as a training facility for astronauts. This event also kicks off the Mars reality show, to be broadcast worldwide for all to see.
2014 – Prepare the supply missions, the first of which is scheduled to launch in 2016, as well as develop the first communications satellite to orbit the Red Planet. Satellite communications will keep the viewing public and scientific communities updated on the latest Mars colony activities as they unfold.
2016 – The first supply mission takes flight in January and reaches its destination on Mars in October 2016. It is expected to land in the proposed colony site with more than 5000 pounds of equipment, including parts, solar panels, and general supplies using the SpaceX Falcon Heavy as the launch vehicle and a modified SpaceX Dragon as the delivery vessel.
2018 – The first colonial rover will land on Mars. The general site for the settlement has been selected but the rover’s job is to find the “ideal spot” within the selected region for the colony to be built. A video feed from the rover will be broadcast back to earth 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year.
This mil/aero geek’s interest is piqued. Will you tune into Mars colony coverage on TV?
Not-for-profit organization Mars One in the Netherlands is offering a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: a one-way trip to Mars.
Human space flight is expensive. It’s a fact that Americans and many others throughout the world have heard over and over. During trying economic times in the U.S., NASA’s budget often comes under scrutiny and, lately, human space exploration has taken an economic hit—yet, commercial innovators have taken the reigns and partnered with NASA and others to make future human space exploration a reality.
Nonetheless, if debates over space-related budgets have taught us anything, it is that space exploration is expensive—and yet, Mars One takes this already costly proposition even a step farther, in support of the goal of the first human settlement on Mars.
A for-profit company Interplanetary Media Group (IMG) is said to be funding a lion’s share of the costs. (The Mars One not-for-profit foundation is reportedly IMG’s controlling stockholder.)
IMG has reserved exclusive rights to revenue generated from the broadcast of selection, training, launch, and eventual colonization efforts on Mars, the Earth’s closest planetary neighbor. That’s right—the Mars One expedition is being financed by IMG in the hope of making the first trip to Mars a reality show.
This mil/aero geek is excited at the prospect of a Martian colony and grateful that not-for-profit and for-profit companies alike are investing time, energy, and money into continuing human space travel and exploration. Perhaps gone are the days of pristine, white spacecraft in favor of space modules plastered with corporate sponsorship logos akin to racecars on the Martian landscape.
Would you buy a one-way ticket to Mars? Seriously, just one way. It’s an interesting proposition, if not a bit frightening.
Many have pondered that it is perhaps more likely that many people can conceive of putting someone we know on a one-way flight to the Red Planet, rather than taking on the challenge ourselves. Heck, even Ralph Kramden of “The Honeymooners” fame promised to send his wife Alice “straight to the moon”, military and aerospace (mil/aero) pundits suppose.
A company in the Netherlands is putting this one-way adventure up for grabs. Mars One, a not-for-profit organization, was formed with the goal of establishing a human settlement on Mars. To that end, the organization’s leadership announced this month a call for volunteers to apply to be the first humans to travel to the Red Planet—and do so as soon as the year 2023.
This longtime mil/aero geek was intrigued (and continues to be so) by the call for volunteers, and at the same time dubious as to whether Mars One would win many applicants.
What would happen next is still surprising: Mars One received more than 78,000 applicants in just two weeks’ time!
Mars One officials will undertake an extensive review process until they have whittled this large pool of volunteers down to a field of just 28 to 40 candidates. The internal review and selection process will encompass several different rounds and come to a close in 2015, after which the would-be astronauts are expected to train for seven years—all in the hope of being among the first four humans to travel to Mars.
Aerospace engineers and enthusiasts, as well as science-fiction fans, are the latest Eagleworks experiment.
The White-Juday warp field interferometer was designed and developed to record warped space and help scientists better understand the space-time bubble that would be required to break Einstein’s theory of general relativity.
Albert Einstein theorized that a particle cannot travel faster than the speed of light because it would require infinite energy. Specifically,in his 1905 paper “On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies,” Einstein describes what has been called the special theory of relativity: A particle (that has rest mass) with subluminal velocity needs infinite energy to accelerate to the speed of light, although special relativity does not forbid the existence of particles that travel faster than light at all times.
The current Eagleworks experiment uses a helium laser which is split; one beam passes through a ring lined with high-voltage capacitors (23,000 volts when charged), and the other beam passes unimpeded to the data recording device, a black-and-white commercial charge-coupled device (CCD). If the beam going through the ring warps space, NASA Engineer Harold “Sonny” White says, “the resulting interference pattern will be starkly different.”
This experiment is the first step in creating a warp drive, detecting whether we can actually warp space. The second step involves negative energy and White is very tight-lipped about this subject except to say that they have had a breakthrough. The warp drive is based on the Alcubierre drive explored in 1994 by Miguel Alcubierre, a Mexican theoretical physicist.
The second experiment underway at Eagleworks is the Quantum Vacuum Plasma Thruster (QVPT), testing whether we can use quantum fluctuations in empty space to fuel a spacecraft. If successful, a spaceship powered by this technology would require no propellant—a stark contrast to modern space engines.
This mil/aero geek is encouraged by the efforts of NASA and Eagleworks to bring physics propulsion research light years into the future.
Tags: aerospace, Albert Einstein, Alcubierre drive, Eagleworks, engineer, geek, Harold "Sonny" White, mentor, Mentor Graphics, Mentor.com, mil-aero, milaero, nasa, plasma, Quantum Vacuum Plasma Thruster, QVPT
This mil/aero geek is ecstatic that NASA has the resources, since the decommissioning of the shuttles, to start acting as a catalyst for the development of game-changing, space-related technologies. A couple really interesting stories have surfaced recently that have intrigued aerospace geeks, myself included. The most noteworthy is…wait for it…warp speed research!
That’s right. You read that correctly. NASA is dedicating resources to the research and development of faster-than-light propulsion at Eagleworks, the Advanced Propulsion Physics Laboratory at the Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston, Texas. The NASA research division’s name, Eagleworks, pays homage to Lockheed Martin Skunk Works.
Odd name? Yes, but one recognized by aerospace enthusiasts, especially those involved in military aviation. Actually, Skunk Works is a popular alias for Lockheed Martin Advanced Development Programs (ADP). Lockheed Martin Skunk Works is responsible for the development of several popular aircraft: the U-2, SR-71 Blackbird, F-117 Nighthawk, F-22 Raptor, and most recently, the F-35 Lightning II.
Eagleworks is dedicated to discovering solutions that will enable the design, development, and full realization of advanced propulsion systems. Research at Eagleworks is headed by NASA Engineer Harold “Sonny” White, a mechanical and aerospace engineer who is the Advanced Propulsion Theme Lead for the NASA Engineering Directorate and is well known for advanced propulsion projects and his dedication to the pursuit of human space flight.
“Sonny is a pretty unique person,” says John Applewhite, White’s boss and head of the Propulsion Systems Branch within the JSC Engineering Directorate. “He’s definitely a visionary, but he’s also an engineer. He can take his vision and turn it into a useful engineering product.”
Tags: aerospace, Eagleworks, electrical, electronic, engineer, F-117 Nighthawk, F-22 Raptor, F-35 Lightning II, geek, Harold "Sonney" White, John Applewhite, mentor, Mentor Graphics, Mentor.com, mil-aero, milaero, military, nasa, Skunkworks, SR-71 Blackbird, U-2, Warp Speed
During the Mentor Graphics Integrated Electrical Solutions Forum (IESF) 2013 last month, Teal Group Vice President of Analysis Richard Aboulafia delivered both good and bad nws related to current and future aerospace market trends.
The commercial passenger jet airliners (or jetliners) to watch are the Airbus A320neo and the Boeing 737 MAX. “This is a well-run duopoly brought to you by Airbus and Boing,” Aboulafia described. “The best part is they both do a good job of reducing fuel consumption, reducing noise, and responding to customer need.”
Does Bombardier have what it takes to transform the commercial airliner duopoly into a tripoly? “Bombardier is trying to break into this business with the C-Series, which is looking like a really good project and could break up the Airbus-Boing dominance in the single-aisle market,” Aboulafia added.
China, Japan, and Russia are also investing in an aerospace infrastructure, Aboulafia explained. “These countries are going to be spending heavily on design software, trying to get in or—in the case of Russia—get back in the business of building big planes.
What does the future hold? More-electric aircraft (MEA) are taking off. MEA describes aircraft that are increasingly complex and employ advanced electronic and electrical systems, opposed to manual or hydraulic solutions. According to Aboulafia, more-electric is absolutely the future of aviation, but we could see a number of technological disruptions along the way. It is, perhaps, “a road paved with lithium-ion batteries,” he said.
This geek always enjoys Aboulafia’s talks and insights, especially amidst the confusing times, downturned global economies, and sequestration.
Tags: aerospace, aerospace market, aviation, Bombardier, C-Series, china, CS300, electrical, electronic, engineer, geek, IESF, Integrated Electrical Solutions Forum, Japan, mentor, Mentor Graphics, Mentor.com, mil-aero, milaero, military, Richard Aboulafia, Richard L. Aboulafia, Russia
NASA, for the second consecutive year, is actively seeking proposals for suborbital technology payloads and spacecraft capability enhancements capable of potentially revolutionizing future space missions.
NASA will help test selected technologies before they are used for their intended purpose and environment—being launched into and functioning in the dark, cold reaches of outer space. After the selected payloads or technologies are developed, they will be made available to NASA’s Flight Opportunities Program and paired with a commercial, suborbital, reusable launch service provider. Potential exists for a direct orbital flight opportunity if small spacecraft propulsion technologies are selected.
NASA’s offer is, perhaps understandably, not entirely selfless; that is, NASA officials seek to test technologies that will help the agency advance technology development in exploration, space operations, and other areas relevant to NASA’s missions, including the agency’s Small Spacecraft Technology Program.
“This call will select innovators to develop novel technology payloads that will provide significant improvements over current state-of-the-art systems,” describes Stephen Gaddis, Game Changing Development Program manager at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va.
- This artist’s rendition shows the Neutron-star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER)/Station Explorer for X-ray Timing and Navigation Technology (SEXTANT) payload that NASA recently selected as its next Explorer Mission of Opportunity. The 56-telescope payload will fly on the International Space Station. Credit: NASA
Proposals are due by 17 June 2013 and will be accepted from U.S. or non-U.S. organizations, including NASA centers, other government agencies, federally funded research and development centers, educational institutions, and industry and nonprofit organizations.
NASA anticipates making as many as 18 awards this summer, with the majority of awards ranging in value from roughly $50,000 to $250,000 each. The total combined funding for this solicitation is expected to be approximately $2 million, based on availability of funds.
For more, visit NASA’s Solicitation and Proposal Integrated Review and Evaluation System website at http://nspires.nasaprs.com/.
This mil/aero geek, initially concerned about the future of space travel after the retirement of the U.S. space shuttle program, is excited to see NASA enabling the commercial space growth and innovation.
Tags: aerospace, computer, design, design automation, electric, electrical, electronic, engineer, Game Changing Development Program, geek, hardware, mentor, Mentor Graphics, Mentor.com, mil-aero, milaero, military, nasa, NASA's Flight Opportunities Program, NASA's Langley Research Center, NICER/SEXTANT, Small Spacecraft Technology Program, Stephen Gaddis
Aerospace engineers and executives will be happy to hear that, for the second year, NASA plans to assist makers of space-related technologies, such as advanced payloads and spacecraft systems.
This month, NASA announced that it is soliciting proposals from aerospace technology companies from far and wide. NASA’s Flight Opportunities Program is sponsoring the solicitation for proposals, which program officials anticipate receiving from entrepreneurs, scientists, technologists, instrument builders, research managers, and vehicle builders and operators.
Solicitations are invited for NASA’s latest program, called Game Changing Opportunities in Technology Development. It is intended to address several areas of interest: vehicle enhancements, technology payloads, onboard facilities, and small spacecraft propulsion technologies.
“Investing in transformative technology development is critical to enable NASA’s future missions and benefits the greater American aerospace community,” explains James Reuther, deputy associate administrator for programs in NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate. “NASA Space Tech’s Game Changing Development and Flight Opportunities Programs are working with our partners from America’s emerging suborbital flight community to foster frequent and predictable commercial access to near-space while allowing for cutting-edge technology development.”
Space-related technologies selected by NASA officials, will travel to the edge of space and back on U.S. commercial suborbital vehicles and platforms. The program provides aerospace firms and engineers with valuable (and otherwise expensive) opportunities to test their innovations before they are potentially brought to market, purchased, deployed, and expected to work flawlessly and reliably in the unforgiving environment of space—likely for decades at a time.
This geek can’t give enough kudos to NASA for the development of such programs amidst sequestration and tightening budgets.
Tags: aerospace, computer, design, design automation, electric, electrical, electronic, engineer, Flight Opportunities Program, Game Changing Opportunities in Technology Development, geek, hardware, James Reuther, mentor, Mentor Graphics, Mentor.com, mil-aero, milaero, military, nasa, suborbital
About J. VanDomelen Mil/Aero Blog
J. VanDomelen holds a Bachelor of Science in Information Systems and myriad certifications from Microsoft, Cisco, and CompTia in varying facets of computer software, hardware, and network design and implementation. He has worked in the electronics industry for more than 12 years in varied fields, including advanced systems design of highly technical military and aerospace computer systems, semiconductor manufacturing, open source software development, hardware design, and rapid prototyping.
- Lofty Goals Part One
- Coming Soon to a TV Near You
- One in a Million
- One-way Ticket to Mars
- To Infinity and Beyond
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