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    Is there a possibility that Russia can land on Mars before USA?

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    Do you think russia could do it?

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    KomissarBojanchev

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    Is there a possibility that Russia can land on Mars before USA?

    Post  KomissarBojanchev on Tue Nov 13, 2012 8:42 pm

    I know this is a far fetched since the russian space research and industry is  far cry from what it was  during the soviet times and cant possibly compete with NASA and ESA  for now is there still a small possibility that it might land on mars first(as sort of payback for the moon landings)?

    More importantly is there motivation still existing in hope for russia to return to what it was during the USSR and start a new space race?

    Since the US mars mission is planned around 2040 the russian space industrial complex should better hurry.
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    TR1

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    Re: Is there a possibility that Russia can land on Mars before USA?

    Post  TR1 on Tue Nov 13, 2012 9:09 pm

    The bigger possibility is neither lands on Mars within our lifetimes.

    IMO.
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    flamming_python

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    Re: Is there a possibility that Russia can land on Mars before USA?

    Post  flamming_python on Tue Nov 13, 2012 10:32 pm

    Sure it could do it if it puts enough funding and resources into it (so far other countries have been hedging their bets).
    But why?
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    GarryB

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    Re: Is there a possibility that Russia can land on Mars before USA?

    Post  GarryB on Wed Nov 14, 2012 2:43 am

    The irony is that the new rocket the US is working on now to get it to the moon and mars as a substitute for the Saturn IV which is no longer in production uses Russian rocket engines.

    Russian development of a nuclear powered rocket for use in interplanetary travel as a space tug would likely result in any interplanetary missions involving humans would likely include Russia anyway.

    BTW NASA has achieved quite a lot, but I wouldn't compare them to ESA.

    The first man to step on mars might be American but then such a thing would be mostly about ego which seems to be what the US space program is largely about.


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    Re: Is there a possibility that Russia can land on Mars before USA?

    Post  Austin on Wed Nov 14, 2012 3:25 am

    No use going to MARS IMO its better to explore moon in the coming decades
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    GarryB

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    Re: Is there a possibility that Russia can land on Mars before USA?

    Post  GarryB on Wed Nov 14, 2012 6:01 am

    A trip to Mars will take years... it will take months to get to the red planet, so there is no point in going there to put a foot print in the dirt and then come home.

    This means that any mission to Mars requires mature experience in crews and technology that can operate for years without access to materials from earth.

    New propulsion like nuclear that can be operated all the way there and back will increase the loads that can be taken meaning more backup stuff and spares can be taken.

    Good preparation is also needed... if water can be located on Mars you can send robots ten years in advance to extract the water and then separate the hydrogen from the oxygen, so when the cosmonauts reach Mars they will have supplies of water and oxygen already there ready for an emergency return to Earth if needed.

    Being able to grow food and scrub carbon dioxide from the air is another must for such a flight... all these technologies can be created and perfected with Moon bases and space stations in orbit relatively close to earth so that in case of an emergency something might be able to be done to help.


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    Re: Is there a possibility that Russia can land on Mars before USA?

    Post  Austin on Wed Nov 14, 2012 6:05 am

    All I can say is its stupid to go to mars for both US and Russia there is nothing much out there , Moon is more useful but such trips bolsters National Ego and Pride
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    GarryB

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    Re: Is there a possibility that Russia can land on Mars before USA?

    Post  GarryB on Wed Nov 14, 2012 6:31 am

    Actually we don't know what is out there till we look.

    The technology to recycle waste and air and water to allow survival for years in space will lead to technologies and abilities that will be very useful for the future of this planet.

    Being able to survive with small amounts of water, or developing foods that can be stored for years or grown in harsh environments could be critical to the survival of the human race.

    We already know that every few million years there is an extinction event that wipes out a large portion of the living creatures on this planet... having people on the moon would be handy but having them on the moon and Mars and perhaps in orbit around Venus and other places as well would be much more likely to protect us from the fate of the dinosaurs.

    Techniques for cleaning air supplies and purifying water and efficiently using energy supplies will also be useful for underwater exploration and of course cleaning up areas we have already polluted beyond safe levels to live in on earth.

    Besides imagine the mineral wealth of Mars... new ores and chemical combinations that its unique environment has created... imagine finding oil on Mars!

    There is no reason to think that Mars has never supported life. Before its magnetic field failed it should have had enough gravity to retain a decent atmosphere and harbour life forms.

    Close your eyes and spin a globe and place your finger on the globe... if you landed from space what are the odds you could walk around that area and find evidence of dinosaurs?

    If we are going to find evidence of life we need a settlement and time spend looking... hopefully with a geologist or two and a few other experts to help with the search. Bring back fossilised skeletons of martians would be rather more significant than who put their boot on the surface first.


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    Re: Is there a possibility that Russia can land on Mars before USA?

    Post  KomissarBojanchev on Wed Nov 14, 2012 1:37 pm

    I'm afraid the only major resource mars has is rusted metal Wink

    However that isnt an excuse for not needing to land a manned spacecraft on it.

    We already have the technologies for a spacecraft for mars and almost all that is needed for prolonged habitation. If people can live for 2+ years on the ISS why cant they on mars. Infact their health levels might be better than the ISS when they return to earth because there's actually gravity on mars. In fact the mental health of the cosmonauts may be more of an issue. I personally cant imagine how I will not go crazy of pure bordom from living for 2 months in a few space capsules and 2 years in a portable research facility.

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    GarryB

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    Re: Is there a possibility that Russia can land on Mars before USA?

    Post  GarryB on Wed Nov 14, 2012 9:58 pm

    For metal to rust requires large amounts of oxygen as rust is simply metal oxidising, so that would be a good thing.

    The ISS gets regular cargo transports filled with food and fuel and oxygen and water so it can maintain its orbit and the crew can eat and breathe.

    A trip to Mars would be like a trip to the summit of Everest. For each person going to the goal you will need 20 people carrying food and supplies and equipment, except unlike Everest or the poles you can't just leave food and supplies in caches on the way... you either deliver them to Mars so they are there ready for when the people arrive or you pack everything into an enormous spacecraft that will require enormous amounts of fuel to get to Mars and back.

    Regarding boredom, I would say it would be most teenagers dream to be shut up in a small room with nothing to do but eat and sleep and play video games or watch movies or just look out the window at the best view of the stars anyone would ever get.


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    War&Peace

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    Re: Is there a possibility that Russia can land on Mars before USA?

    Post  War&Peace on Sat Nov 24, 2012 9:33 am

    The US will land on MARS before any other country as we have send far more unmanned vehicles to MARS and therefore have access to more information than any other country.
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    TR1

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    Re: Is there a possibility that Russia can land on Mars before USA?

    Post  TR1 on Sat Nov 24, 2012 9:58 am

    USSR sent more robots to the Moon before the US did, and yet the US got there first.


    By the time we are sending anything with a crew to Mars, the current political landscape will be totally different.
    One thing I will bank on is the US not being as per-eminent as it has been in the post cold-war world.
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    Re: Is there a possibility that Russia can land on Mars before USA?

    Post  GarryB on Sun Nov 25, 2012 7:40 am

    Did I mention that the Saturn V rockets are no longer in production and so the big new rockets they are designing now for operation in 2018-2020 are based on the rockets designed for the N-1... so if they get there it will be with Russian rocket engines.


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    Stealthflanker

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    Re: Is there a possibility that Russia can land on Mars before USA?

    Post  Stealthflanker on Sun Nov 25, 2012 2:40 pm

    KomissarBojanchev wrote:I new my thread would slowly become a nationalistic wankfest Laughing

    And for me it's a pitiful sight. Seeing that a filthy savage beast called "Fanboy" messed it.

    For Mars however... well i think Russia should concentrate on the Moon first.. to gain experience on how space radiation beyond the Van Allen belt affect the space-man in long term because to get to mars.. a spacecraft may need a year..far longer flight time than Apollo.
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    Re: Is there a possibility that Russia can land on Mars before USA?

    Post  KomissarBojanchev on Sun Nov 25, 2012 4:03 pm

    Stealthflanker wrote:
    KomissarBojanchev wrote:I new my thread would slowly become a nationalistic wankfest Laughing

    And for me it's a pitiful sight. Seeing that a filthy savage beast called "Fanboy" messed it.

    For Mars however... well i think Russia should concentrate on the Moon first.. to gain experience on how space radiation beyond the Van Allen belt affect the space-man in long term because to get to mars.. a spacecraft may need a year..far longer flight time than Apollo.

    With all that nuclear engine technology spacecraft might only need to get to mars in a few months Wink
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    Re: Is there a possibility that Russia can land on Mars before USA?

    Post  TR1 on Sun Nov 25, 2012 9:30 pm

    KomissarBojanchev wrote:
    Stealthflanker wrote:
    KomissarBojanchev wrote:I new my thread would slowly become a nationalistic wankfest Laughing

    And for me it's a pitiful sight. Seeing that a filthy savage beast called "Fanboy" messed it.

    For Mars however... well i think Russia should concentrate on the Moon first.. to gain experience on how space radiation beyond the Van Allen belt affect the space-man in long term because to get to mars.. a spacecraft may need a year..far longer flight time than Apollo.

    With all that nuclear engine technology spacecraft might only need to get to mars in a few months Wink

    I thought the whole upside of (theoretical) nuclear space propulsion was endurance, not speed.
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    Re: Is there a possibility that Russia can land on Mars before USA?

    Post  GarryB on Mon Nov 26, 2012 7:53 am

    The upside of nuclear propulsion is low thrust but continuous operation so a chemical rocket accelerates much faster but burns out in minutes and the rocket coasts the rest of the journey.

    Nuclear propulsion should allow higher speeds and much shorter flight times on very long missions.

    Very simply to go to Mars you can work it out by working backwards... you need to get a certain mass back to earth orbit... which might be 10 tons including food consumed on the way and the crew and the machines that process the air and make it all reusable plus the fuel to slow down to Earth orbit speeds. Added to that you need the amount of fuel needed to accelerate that mass from Mars orbit back to Earth. Add to that any fuel needed to get things off the Martian surface to martian orbit. Add to that the fuel needed to slow down all that mass to enter martian orbit and finally the amount of fuel needed to move all that mass and fuel from earth orbit to mars orbit.

    Each time you burn fuel it is only for a few minutes at most and for the rest of the journey the rocket just coasts along... when you get near your destination you turn your rocket around and burn more fuel to slow down to enter orbit.

    With Chemical rockets it is months at a time coasting with zero g all the way with all the problems that creates, with high g acceleration to start and to end the flight.

    With a nuclear powered ion engine the speed gradually builds up over time with a very small gravity force... so everything gradually falls in one direction which is down... in a race the chemical rocket would blast out into a substantial lead while the ion engined rocket will accelerate constantly... eventually passing the chemical rocket and likely getting there several months ahead of it. The ion engine is never shut down as its low thrust means it needs to start slowing down the craft a long way from the destination to have time to have an effect too.

    The main difference is that a chemical rocket will be thousands of kgs burned in minutes, while the fuel for an ion engine could be as little as 3-4kgs used up over a period of 2 years or more.

    The key is that the speed of an object propelled by a rocket is directly related to the speed of the rocket exhaust and the exhaust of an ion engine is a large fraction of the speed of light... chemical rockets don't even come close.

    A built in micro gravity is just an added bonus


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    Re: Is there a possibility that Russia can land on Mars before USA?

    Post  KomissarBojanchev on Mon Nov 26, 2012 3:36 pm

    I watched a science show on discovery channel I think and it said that some kind plasma propulsion technology will significantly fasten space travel. Was this show BSing me?
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    Re: Is there a possibility that Russia can land on Mars before USA?

    Post  Werewolf on Mon Nov 26, 2012 4:08 pm

    KomissarBojanchev wrote:I watched a science show on discovery channel I think and it said that some kind plasma propulsion technology will significantly fasten space travel. Was this show BSing me?

    Discovery Channel, is like watching FOX News.
    Keep the television off and you won't get smarter but also not dumber.
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    KomissarBojanchev

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    Re: Is there a possibility that Russia can land on Mars before USA?

    Post  KomissarBojanchev on Mon Nov 26, 2012 4:22 pm

    But the show wasnt about russia or military so it was only about future space technology so it wouldnt be biaed I presume?
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    TR1

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    Re: Is there a possibility that Russia can land on Mars before USA?

    Post  TR1 on Tue Nov 27, 2012 12:03 am

    Discovery channel used to be great- I would watch those multi-hour orca, lion, bear, whatever, documentaries non stop.

    Now its 'Watch rednecks build motorcyles!' or "Stupid myths debunked!".
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    Re: Is there a possibility that Russia can land on Mars before USA?

    Post  GarryB on Tue Nov 27, 2012 7:57 am

    I watched a science show on discovery channel I think and it said that some kind plasma propulsion technology will significantly fasten space travel. Was this show BSing me?

    Ion engines use plasma, or superheated Xeon. Basically the plasma has free flowing electrons and can be controlled and directed by electric current... think of a particle accelerator with a ring of magnets with a line going in and a line coming out. Pump in ionised gas into the in line and use the magnets to keep the hot material off the walls of the ring and accelerate the material around and around till it is travelling at enormous speeds and then when it is going fast enough direct it down the line that leads out.

    Using the smallest amounts of matter but accelerated to very very high speeds you can generate continuous thrust for months or even years to slowly accelerate to enormous speeds.


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    Space projects, and the Slovakians

    Post  Sunehvm on Sun Dec 09, 2012 11:36 am

    It seems like the space station atleast was working out in the 40's and 60's but now it seems like the talk of the day has moved from the moon to space exploration and planet discovery. Space exploration is underway, there have been many imaging and many have been going on inlcuding the russian (NOT AMERICAN) Hubble telescope. All this talk about the Red planet has got you mistaken. There has not been a race to the red planet, it has been NASA primarily that has been sending the space rovers to the moon, and unfortunately not the Russians or Chinese. I just wanted to outline a project I was involved with.



    asc-csa.gc.ca/eng/astronomy/mars/apxs.asp



    Canadian research plays role in Mars exploration
    By QMI Agency

    A device developed in Ontario helped NASA scientists carry out the first full analysis of Martian soil.

    The Mars Curiosity rover found water, sulphur and chlorine within scoops of soil this week — a discovery University of Guelph physics professor Ian Campbell calls "a significant technological and analytical achievement."

    And it would not have been possible without an analytical device called the alpha particle X-ray spectrometer (APXS), built at the University of Guelph and mounted on the rover's arm.

    The APXS measures the chemical elements within rock or soil.

    It was built by an international group of scientists headed by U of G 's Ralf Gellert, and its daily operations and analysis are run by a U of G team right on campus.

    Curiosity is the first Mars rover that can scoop up soil samples for internal analysis.




    Guelph Physicists Ready for New Mars Rover Expedition

    APXS operations centre to open on campus this fall

    By Andrew Vowles
    Friday, July 22, 2011

    A new Mars rover, complete with a U of G-tested instrument, is orbiting closer to the red planet this summer. To follow some of the action and learn more about Guelph’s ongoing connection to interplanetary exploration, check an eye-catching display in the MacNaughton Building lobby.

    The display is just around the corner from a new U of G operations centre that will help lead the rover’s search for signs of past or present life on Mars. The Guelph facility will be the only Canadian operations centre – and one of only a few outside the United States – for the Curiosity rover mission set to begin on Mars in 2012.

    “We are the ‘keepers’ of the APXS,” says Nick Boyd, research associate in the Department of Physics. That’s the alpha particle X-ray spectrometer, an instrument mounted on the rover’s robotic arm to examine rocks and soil.

    In 2008, that soup-can-sized device spent about three weeks at Guelph for testing by a team led by physics professor Ralf Gellert. It was then assembled on the rover at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California.

    Earlier this summer, the rover was flown to the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida. It will be launched in late November or early December, and will land on Mars in August 2012.

    The vehicle, formally called the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), will spend about two years exploring Earth’s nearest planetary neighbor. During the mission, Guelph’s operations centre will serve as a conduit between the rover, the JPL and numerous scientists worldwide, helping to guide the rover’s APXS explorations.

    Says Boyd: “We will participate in defining the science objectives for any given day on Mars. If scientists require measurements by the instrument, that request will come to our team. We’ll assemble the command sequence to perform that measurement and send that to JPL to be integrated into the rover plan for the day. We will take part in web conferences and teleconferences and work with scientists at JPL.”

    Boyd completed a physics degree at Guelph and is now a part-time master’s student in the School of Engineering.

    Gellert is principal investigator for an international group of scientists who developed the instrument for the MSL mission. He was the lead scientist for APXS systems used on twin NASA rovers launched in 2003. Those earlier instruments detected evidence that water had been on Mars and that bound water still exists there.

    Gellert’s lab still houses a clean room built to test the Curiosity-borne device in 2008. His team will keep a copy of the APXS there for testing and calibration during the actual mission.

    Besides Boyd and Gellert, the operations centre group includes:

    Mike Curry, major projects manager in the physics department and a former aerospace scientist, who has worked on instrumentation systems for the International Space Station;
    Will Klumpenhouwer, a third-year physics student who assembled the MacNaughton display and is completing a departmental website about the rover and its instrument;
    Glynis Perrett, a physics PhD student who helped to calibrate the APXS. She will study elements in Martian rock and soil, working with Iain Campbell, University professor emeritus.

    Funding for the operations centre came from the Canadian Space Agency. An official opening will take place this fall.

    Guelph’s connection to the pending mission is discussed in the MacNaughton display, which includes a slide show about Mars science and a rover’s-eye animation of the red planet.

    About the size of a small car, Curiosity is about twice as long and five times as heavy as the earlier Mars rovers, Spirit and Opportunity. It can roll over thigh-high obstacles and travel about the length of two football fields in a day.





    So in conclusion, the Mars Rover built by the USA NASA department was a copy of the APXS rover built with the project I was involved with.

    Our results were : pixe.physics.uoguelph.ca/mars/
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    Re: Is there a possibility that Russia can land on Mars before USA?

    Post  Sunehvm on Sun Dec 09, 2012 11:51 am

    PIXE and XRF on Mars


    Each of the Mars Exploration Rovers which attracted worldwide attention for their exploits and discoveries in 2004/9 carries an Alpha-particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS).

    The APXS contains a 244Cm source which excites X-ray emission in situ from Martian rock and soil samples, together with a small silicon drift detector which produces the X-ray spectra. There are two modes of excitation: the alpha particles from the 244Cm decay cause a variant of PIXE: and the L X-rays from the plutonium daughter cause X-ray fluorescence (XRF). Fortunately, this variant of PIXE has its greatest sensitivity for the lightest elements (Na - Ca) whereas XRF is best for the heavier elements (Ca - Zr). As a result, the APXS has excellent sensitivity all the way across the range of elements that occur in most minerals and rocks.



    The Martian spectra have up till now been analyzed by Dr. Ralf Gellert (co-developer of the APXS) with fitting software developed at the Max Planck Institut in Mainz. We have now developed a variant of GUPIX to do this task, taking full advantage of the databases and procedures that have been tested and refined over many years. This new code GUAPX is now complete, and it has been used to re-calibrate the MER laboratory APXS, using a suite of spectra from simple chemical standards and from geological standard reference materials recorded much earlier by Dr. Gellert. Our results show excellent consistency for those standards that are perfectly homogeneous, and prove our assertion that the APXS can be described by a single instrumental constant (H-value). But they also reveal interesting new issues such as a dependence of the calibration on the actual rock type; for igneous rocks - basalts, andesites and rhyolites, we observe (Campbell et al., 2008) an influence of the mineral assemblage within the rock upon the calibration.

    The most exciting outcome of the MER mission was perhaps the observation of large amounts of Cl, Br and S in the APXS spectra. These are thought to be from salts that were the residue of evaporation of large bodies of water in the past. This raises the question of whether the APXS spectra can provide any indication of bound water within the actual rocks being analyzed. Obviously the x-rays of hydrogen and oxygen cannot be detected, and so any approach has to be an indirect one. We have developed an approach as follows:

    from the observed elemental x-rays, deduce the element concentrations
    convert these to oxide concentrations and normalize to 100% total;
    deduce from a Monte Carlo simulation the expected elastic/inelastic scatter ratio for the Pu L-alpha X-ray in a rock of this composition;
    compare the measured and simulated scatter ratios: if invisible matter such as water is present in the rock, they will disagree.

    Such an approach has been used in the past to determine the presence or absence of light elements (although not on Mars!). A rigorous Monte Carlo simulation of elastic and inelastic scattering intensities has been developed by C.L. Mallett, J.M. O'Meara and J.L. Campbell to predict the R/C ratio, which is then compared to the value obtained by fitting the spectrum with GUAPX. This approach has been calibrated using measurements on recognized geochemical reference standards (see publications below). We find that Martian basaltic soils and rocks give results that agree very closely with our calibration, thus providing support for the method. However the bright high-sulfate subsurface "Paso Robles" soils churned up in several places by the Spirit rover's tires are in strong disagreement, and from this deviation we are able to derive their water content. This is the first in-situ measurement of mineralogically bound water on the Martian surface, and the results fit well with the reconstructed mineralogy.

    In further development of GUAPX, we have used the fundamental parameters calibration described above to analyse the data from individual geo-standards, some of which were measured by Gellert but not included in his own calibration. We regard these individual geostandards as unknowns, and we have to use a fully iterative approach with GUAPX, in which all elements are converted to oxides and a 100% oxide total is enforced (the "closure rule") . By "tailoring" our calibration, i.e. by developing sub-calibrations for basalts, andesites and rhyolites, we are able to get excellent results for element concentrations in individual examples of these rock types, including, for example, the Zagami martian meteorite. In cases where the oxides do not sum to 100%, we are able to measure the bound water content: here the phyllo-silicate standard UB-N is a good example; our determination of 14% agrees well with the actual (CO2 +H2O) content of 11%. we have thus developed a second approach for measuring bound water, but it only works if the measurements of standards and unknowns are all done within a fixed geometry. On the MER mission, the geometry varied from sample to sample, and unfortunately there was no instrument attached to the APXS to provide the sample-detector distance; if that had been the case, this method could have given a direct measurement of water content.

    We are now applying GUAPX to the calibration of the laboratory APXS for the Mars Science Laboratory mission.





    So the big news that confirms the whole mars conspiracy is

    "The observation of large amounts of Cl, Br and S in the APXS spectra. These are thought to be from salts that were the residue of evaporation of large bodies of water in the past."

    "From the observed elemental x-rays, deduce the element concentrations
    Convert these to oxide concentrations and normalize to 100% total;
    Deduce from a Monte Carlo simulation the expected elastic/inelastic scatter ratio for the Pu L-alpha X-ray in a rock of this composition;
    Compare the measured and simulated scatter ratios: if invisible matter such as water is present in the rock, they will disagree."

    "By "tailoring" our calibration, i.e. by developing sub-calibrations for basalts, andesites and rhyolites, we are able to get excellent results for element concentrations in individual examples of these rock types, including, for example, the Zagami martian meteorite. In cases where the oxides do not sum to 100%, we are able to measure the bound water content: here the phyllo-silicate standard UB-N is a good example; our determination of 14% agrees well with the actual (CO2 +H2O) content of 11%."



    So the Whole Conspiracy About Life On Mars On The News Is...


    "Canadas current MSL mission is assessing whether the Gale Crater offered a habitable environment for microbes. A critical part of the mission, the pop can-sized APXS measures which chemical elements — and how much of each type — are in rock or soil. The device has told us about changes in Martian geology and provided clues confirming, Mars, Epoch J2000, the planet’s suitability for life."

    fragmachine

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    Re: Is there a possibility that Russia can land on Mars before USA?

    Post  fragmachine on Sun Jun 08, 2014 9:30 pm

    IMO Mars is definitelly much more resourceful than the Moon considering just their mass. Mars is also more like Earth than the Moon (and any other object in the solar system). Scientists talking about water possession under the surface of the Red planet insist the possibility that some basic lifeforms like bacterias might exist on Mars. If that would turn out to be true then Mars could become partially habitable in next hundreds years spantime. It is no way that a object of such mass like Mars could consist of just 'rusted metal' like someone wrote. Even asteroids have complicated structure, including frozen water!

    Personally I think that in order to make trips to Mars more safely there should be a base on it's surface with it's own means of emergency return to the Earth. Scientists and rest of the crew should be self-sufficient on water and food supply. To thicken the atmosphere, increasing temperature on the Mars so the water supplies could flow out the surface - but that would be definitelly long term program. Short term program would preferably just consist of resourcing the planet off the rare materials. For the goods of the country's economics.

    Personally I hope that Russia will come up with something more than just Nuclear Powered Rocket, but rather full-fledged Nuclear Powered Spaceship-Vessel that could be reused for 10-15 years. Making fleet of 3-4 of these they will definitelly be a leading-edge in the space industry. These ships just need to have enought capacity to transport big structures too.

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    Re: Is there a possibility that Russia can land on Mars before USA?

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