What a man on Mars?

23.03.2011


Contrary to popular belief, its first interplanetary manned program Sergei Korolev dedicated flight is not close to the moon and on Mars far. As reported in "Echo of the Planet" in the past year, he has been forced to alter the project in the Martian moon, for reasons not related to technical problems. Decades have passed and the dream, never strays from humanity reborn.


"Now the ship with iron precision slowed in the upper atmosphere of Mars. He was still the epitome of beauty and power. Through the black depths of space, he glided like a phantom sea monster, and he raced past the moon and the old woman rushed into the void, impaling them one by one. People in his belly cast, tossed, shaking, they in turn had been ill. One of them died, but now the remaining sixteen, clinging to the thick glass windows, staring wide-eyed as beneath them and rotate rapidly grows Mars. "


"The Martian Chronicles" by Ray Bradbury, 1950, taken from a passage, — the work is not about the space program, but it is based — people try to colonize Mars after a nuclear apocalypse on native soil. Technical details of the surviving part of the mass migration of humanity to another planet of little interest to the great writer, and indeed the only space program germinated in the minds and rough drafts of its pioneers. And no one then, seven years before the first satellite and Gagarin eleven to start, could not have imagined that in 1960, the Soviet Union will develop serious projects a manned flight to Mars. Moreover, detailed, providing not only a powerful booster, but also ships with artificial gravity systems, greenhouses, farms for animals and birds, the regeneration of water and air by means of radiation and protivometeoritnoy protection.
On the last day of 1959 Sergei Korolev brought to the closest associates of the task to send an unmanned spacecraft to Mars in October 1960 and the future. Tight deadline set by Nikita Khrushchev, already tasting the space of political dividends, gave a fantasy.


In fact, any detail about the Soviet manned Martian project became known a few years ago — from the articles, and then the book, written by a direct participant in long development, the author
"Echo of the Planet" by Vladimir Bugrov. According to his memoirs and records of those times, the OKB-1 from 1960 to 1964 was engaged in the design department of the expedition, led by deputy and colleague Michael Queen Tikhonravov — the chief ideologist of a manned flight to Mars.


According Bugrov, look Martian manned space rocket complex (MPRKK) of different masses finally emerged by 1964. Here are its main elements. Interplanetary missile system (MRC) has to be injected into Earth orbit mounting 75-ton, and later 95-ton blocks, gathering in orbit to Mars complex. The main units of IRAs — extra-heavy three-stage rocket H-1, and the starting technical infrastructure and other ground facilities. Arriving in the near-Earth space of the compartment attached to the mounting spherical shape with six or eight docking ports. By the bay on one side, "cling" orbital (IOC) and boarding (BMD) systems, and on the other — the overclocking missile system, which provides start MPRKK orbit with mounting and removing its flight path to Mars.


In turn, the IOC consists of a heavy spaceship and booster rocket block (RRB), whose mission — to lead the complex after the execution of the program on Mars from orbit around him and, having overcome the attraction of the planet, we let the ship to Earth. Purpose of the IPC — to ensure proper Martian landing craft on the planet's surface and return to orbit the capsule with the astronauts.


According to calculations, to deliver into orbit components of the complex a total weight of 400-500 tons would need 4-6 launches H-1 in a single year. Already in the near space, all items intended to test and try to "ground" level and with the same degree of care, which are sent into orbit aboard the "Soyuz" special teams of astronauts, engineers, passed through the school of OKB-1, the head of the manufacturer and launch site . After the completion of "assemblers" back to Earth, and on the Martian ship has the crew arrives.


Again, check all vehicle systems and bio-technology complex and finally start to Mars. Entry into orbit around it — at the expense of aerodynamic drag in the rarefied atmosphere of the planet. After the necessary checks and training two cosmonauts moved into the capsule returning Martian ship. Planting is separated from the orbital complex, descends into the atmosphere slows down and gently sits down on the surface of Mars. After working on her crew will start on the capsule returns, takes her into orbit and docks with the orbiting Mars complex. On it they reach the vicinity of the Earth, transplanted from a large ship in the lander, in which land on their home planet.


"Flight" in the 12-meter space


Heavy Martian ship (PMC) provides members of the crew quite comfortable conditions for life and work. In the five-story cylinder of variable diameter placed three solo cabins, toilets, showers film, lounge with a library microfilm, kitchen and dining room with a working compartment wheelhouse for daily monitoring and management of all systems, TMK, a workshop, a medical room with exercise equipment, a laboratory for research works, inflatable external gateway, biological, device-aggregate and engine compartments, the lander.


Since the duration of the flight is more than two years, it is impossible to create a huge on-board supplies of oxygen, water and food, whose total mass is simply very heavy for the spacecraft. Therefore, the designers of Martian complex bet on renewable resources and designed a closed bio-technical complex.


To generate oxygen from the carbon dioxide exhaled by the astronauts used containers such as chlorella algae. Stocks of food meant to be stored in a freeze-dried form and carefully selected before the flight, taking into account the nutritional value and specific gravity. To replenish the Earth with stockpiled in the diet board the ship to plan a hydroponic greenhouse to grow vegetables.


Preparations for the flight was so broad front, to check that the systems of life at the Institute for biomedical problems have built a unique ground-based experimental facility (NEC) to simulate the effects of a long interplanetary flight and scale-model of severe Martian ship. And before that, in late 1967, the three test conducted in germokamere area of only 12 square meters a year. The water from urine, food at the rate of only 1000 calories a day. Shower — once in ten days. Since the project was given a high degree of privacy, "the astronauts' families announced that depart on a long trip to the North Pole.


Where and why?


In 1974 — that is exactly the year when, according to Vladimir Bugrova, Korolev planned to send astronauts to Mars — and Mars and lunar programs in the USSR completely closed to the decades reiterate the Russian draft of a mission to Earth's nearest neighbor.


Where — is understandable. Especially now, when not only astronomers, but also unmanned spacecraft have extracted a lot of information about the planet so-called terrestrial solar system. Like Earth, Mars has an atmosphere composed mostly of carbon dioxide, although sparse, like the surface topography, rotation period, the changing seasons. But the climate is much tougher and drier — from plus 30 to minus 80 in the afternoon hours. And it is on the equator at the poles as the temperature drops happen to minus 123. There is water in the ice state. A lot of craters, including huge — thousands of kilometers across — obviously meteoric origin. From the point of view of space Planet Earth is more convenient — the force of gravity is less than Earth's nearly tripled, and the escape velocity — twice. So in conjunction with the atmosphere, allowing fuel savings at the expense of pre maneuvers aerodynamic braking is not as powerful shackles of gravity can sit on Mars and fly away with it less energy resources.


Ironically, much more difficult to answer the question, "Why go to Mars?".


Usually supporters manned mission to meet him so. It is because of the similarity of Mars to Earth we say, we can glimpse the distant future where our home planet. After all, it is believed that Mars in its evolution has gone far ahead in other geological epochs in its depths there is no volcanic activity on the surface of a fully formed landscape. Exploring the planet, humans will be able to predict their own future, which, apparently, is quite sad. That is why it is necessary to look ahead to their new Habitat for Humanity, then to colonize it. Another argument — as long as Mars is so similar in structure to the Earth, should not look at it the minerals that we have either not found or is about to run out. That is a time to take them home, to our planet, and after the mass migration of being for "immigrants".


Here are just a research round-trip flights and flights to one end of the vast masses of the people may have problems now and in the foreseeable future will not be solved. At a minimum, the astronauts during even the limited residence time on the planet threatening, according to the director of the aforementioned Institute of Medical and Biological Problems Anatoly Grigoryev, not too salutary effects of space radiation, changes in metabolism, ie, metabolism, insomnia, fatigue, sensory failures systems and the like diseases. Alas, they will seem to future "marsoletchikam" trifles compared with the effects of radiation, which are generally put an end to plans for the colonization of Mars.


Even if people safely will take a long flight to another planet, all of them, literally without exception, facing infertility. This is the relatively recent launch of scientists from the Research Center NASA's Ames. According to biophysicist Thor Straume, the DNA molecules responsible for the development of the embryo, it is easily destroyed by radiation. That is, until the destination planet future colonists can get sterile, incapable of reproduction. Even worse is the case with those who are still able to have children — they are most likely to hit the Martian light mentally disabled. According to doctors, the experiences of men and women who have undergone radiation therapy for cancer, alas, support such a shocking conclusion. Experiments with primates have shown that even low doses of ionizing radiation can destroy most of the immature female egg cells in the body. That is, as long as mankind does not find acceptable by weight characteristics and reliable way to protect against space radiation, about the colonization of Mars is inconceivable — there is no avoiding it quickly, within a single generation, extinction.


Then again the question — why? Here are some figures about the approximate cost of only one flight to the Red Planet in comparison with the already terminated or still faring. Expedition Earth — Mars — Earth can cost 50-300 billion dollars. Scatter, as we see, is large and the true price of the enterprise, as the practice space, usually corresponds to the upper bracket, and even surpasses it. And the result is a huge amount, which coincides exactly with the revenue side of the budget of Russia — 280-300 billion. Recall, the American lunar program cost from 20 to 25.4 billion each flight Space Shuttle — about 450 million, the start of the Russian "Proton" — from $ 70 million, "the Union" — 20-30 million.


Surprisingly, the man who led one of the groups, which in the early 60s working on a Martian Queen of the project, one of the founders of Gagarin "East" cosmonaut Konstantin Feoktistov, now deceased, a very negative and not choosing expressions regarded plans manned mission to Mars' bullshit! Why go to Mars? It is absolutely necessary to survive in mind to go to Mars! It is necessary to set realistic tasks that will benefit mankind. We can not, stupid and criminal to throw away money for the sake of curiosity, and when they are in the world is not enough. "


Feoktistov echoed, albeit in a less rigid form, his former colleague on the force astronauts, corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences Valentin Lebedev. He believes that "staying in the rut of his ideas about space exploration, without tearing the umbilical cord connection to the Earth, in an effort to immediately go into deep space, we can put the safety of the crew and the mission in reliance on stereotypes. Without acquiring the freedom of navigation in outer space, to move abruptly from interplanetary space flights to fail. " Lebedev confident that humanity will never leave Earth, and offers not seek to colonize other planets and explore uninhabited places on native soil, such as Antarctica or the Sahara.


Today, as to seem to be intended flight remain for years and years, no one can guarantee that the countries — participants of the new, is really a Martian race would risk the lives of people, the giant money, reputation, finally. There is no confidence in the fact that mankind will be able to day "X" to solve the problems with the protection of the crew and the future of immigrants on another planet, and most importantly — the confidence to answer the question, "Why go to Mars?", Whatever — either positive or negative — the answer.


America — Mars for 640 days


Almost simultaneously with Korolev in the U.S. have developed a project called Mission to Mars Integrated Manned Interplanetary Spacecraft (IMIS). Since it started a more in 1965, initially without defining the exact purpose of the flight, and only a year later decided that it might be Mars, the program until the closure in 1968 changed many times. According to one of the options to send to the Red Planet suggested two ships. According to the plan both, each of which six people joined in Earth orbit 12 November 1981 and are displayed on a trajectory to Mars. August 9, next, 1982,, undocked, the ships become satellites of the planet in an elliptical orbit with a 24-hour period of treatment. After the remote sensing of surface and subsurface Martian ships are separated modules that make a soft landing. In addition to the six astronauts devices deliver the rover to the ground, scientific and other equipment. After a month of work — the start of the take-off on the stairs, out into orbit, docking with the mother ship, and those in turn to each other — and the gap October 28 from the attraction of Mars. February 28, 1983 is gravity assist, ie acceleration of the spacecraft under the influence of gravitational fields of Venus — to save fuel. August 14, already in Earth orbit, undock ships and their crews are retrieved reusable shuttles. The duration of the expedition under the scheme — 640 days.


The project was calculated in two ways for the use of nuclear rocket engines NERVA (Nuclear Engine for Rocket Vehicle Application). Compared with conventional liquid-rocket propulsion systems NERVA allowed to increase the mass of the payload during the flight to Mars by 26 tons.


Although the Martian program spent several hundred million dollars, and it was obvious that there is still a great expense, USA, has got engaged at that time in the Vietnam War, the project was closed because of the exorbitant cost of IMIS in 1968, and in the next NERVA, 1969 — m


Russia is preparing a nuclear engines


Although Russian and American officials formally announced plans to implement in their countries manned mission to Mars after 2035, nor any detail about any projects developed so far have not been reported. Which is understandable, bearing in mind the remoteness of the event in time and the possible adjustments that may be made to the program and will make sure the rapidly developing technology. For example, the introduction of practical astronautics nuclear power plant (NPP) megawatt class. Such is "on the stage of development of conceptual documents," — said the head of Roskosmos Anatoly Perminov. In his view, nuclear power may be established with adequate funding for six to nine years and will "run for three months, a trip to Mars and back with a stay of astronauts on Mars within 30 days." Such a short time radically change previous calculations of the needs of the crew in all sorts of resources and, therefore, the flight pattern and their constructive support.


It is clear that neither Russia nor the United States does not want to spend huge amounts of money just for the sake of prestige, political dividends. And because the two countries do not dream of a new landing on the moon, that would be a repetition of the success of "Apollo." And seek not simply to send astronauts to Mars, duplicated on a distant object to a close a long reach, and achieve a really deep space fundamentally new goals, to develop new technology that is interplanetary, not "home", Earth, Space.


In this context, it is clear the decision in April 2010 by President Barack Obama to abandon the program of George W. Bush and refocus NASA's development of a manned lunar program to train expeditions to an asteroid around 2025 and later to Mars. That, on the one hand, informed the American public confidence that the country spends billions not to have learned a lesson once and for something new, but on the other — has given U.S. industry an incentive to create a radically new space technologies and high technology.

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