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View Full Version : Could a Gravity Trick Speed Us to Mars?



PoliCon
09-29-2009, 06:16 AM
Putting a human on Mars might be easier than anyone thought. A flight to the Red Planet currently takes at least six months, which is why we send robots—the trip is boring, fuel costs are astronomical, and cosmic radiation is nobody's friend. But NASA engineer Robert Adams has a solution: the two-burn maneuver, an all-but-forgotten secret of orbital mechanics that could cut travel time in half.

Dreamed up in 1929 by Hermann Oberth, one of the fathers of- CONTINUED with pictorial goodness. . . . (http://www.wired.com/science/space/magazine/17-10/st_twoburn)

AlmostThere
09-29-2009, 11:47 AM
Why would fuel costs be a factor? Once out of our atmosphere, I don't think they are continually burning a whole bunch of fuel, are they?

I vote for wormholes.

[/URL][URL="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xl8IT4AQqis"]
(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xl8IT4AQqis)

AlmostThere
09-29-2009, 12:45 PM
And if the idea of wormholes doesn't work for you, how about time travel?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V7vpw4AH8QQ

FeebMaster
09-29-2009, 03:17 PM
Why would fuel costs be a factor? Once out of our atmosphere, I don't think they are continually burning a whole bunch of fuel, are they?


They're talking about fuel costs as in the mass of the fuel probably.

If they could carry it, they would burn it continuously. Then flip over at the halfway point and burn more to slow down.

Full-Auto
09-29-2009, 03:22 PM
Wake me up when Zefram Cochrane invents the warp drive... otherwise I'm not impressed.

Full-Auto
09-29-2009, 03:26 PM
They're talking about fuel costs as in the mass of the fuel probably.

If they could carry it, they would burn it continuously. Then flip over at the halfway point and burn more to slow down.

They don't even have to "flip over" at the halfway point. They can begin deceleration much later and the burn time of the primary engines can be significantly reduced. How? They use the atmosphere of Mars to slow them down by putting the ship into a low orbit. It's called "Aerobraking".

Just saying... I was a planetary scientist in another life.

FeebMaster
09-29-2009, 03:34 PM
They don't even have to "flip over" at the halfway point. They can begin deceleration much later and the burn time of the primary engines can be significantly reduced. How? They use the atmosphere of Mars to slow them down by putting the ship into a low orbit. It's called "Aerobraking".

Just saying... I was a planetary scientist in another life.

Good point.

Let's go. I'll bring the beer.

Full-Auto
09-29-2009, 04:07 PM
Good point.

Let's go. I'll bring the beer.

I only travel faster than light. I'm not into the whole rocket thing. But I'll drink your beer! :D

PoliCon
09-29-2009, 09:58 PM
Can't we send Al Gore to Mars?