Posted by: dreamofdestiny | Thursday, 16 Oct 2008

Mars Direct

Mars Direct is a proposal by Robert Zubrin, a leading researcher in manned mission to Mars, and a few others, to have – you guess it – manned mission to Mars. The idea of having manned mission to Mars has long been thought since the Apollo missions back in the 60’s.

The idea of having people on Mars raises many concerns, not just the technicalities, but also the social implications as well. Like, the isolation from Earth. How about having to live with many people (assuming more than one person) over a long period of time in a limited space? Just so you know, a manned mission on Mars could take many months to years. Then, there is also the issue of medical assistance should the need arise.

In any case, the Mars Direct plan involves a set of vehicles. One called the ERV (Earth Return Vehicle) would be launched first to Mars. This vehicle would produce fuel for the return home journey by using Mars’ own atmosphere. This whole thing would take about 3 years.

Then, a second vehicle called MHU (Mars Habitat Unit) would carry the astronauts to Mars, a journey of about 6 months. Once on Mars, the planned research time would be about 18 months where they would spend the time researching Mars. For their return to Earth journey, they would be using the ERV.

The whole Mars Direct plan is stipulated to cost USD 55 billion, not a sum for the faint-hearted I may add. But it is something that we need in this 21sr century – to put human on Mars. It has been a long while, and this would spear ahead the exploration of our solar system.

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Responses

  1. The most critical part about getting people to Mars will not be the technology or even the strategy, but the leadership. We need someone with the same kind of vision as Kennedy to cast that new vision for exploration.


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