Next, I stumbled upon a more scholarly article written by Mehdi Lali. In “Analysis and Design of a Human Spaceflight to Mars, Europa, and Titan,” Mehdi Lali discusses why these three un-earthly bodies are the best choice for manned exploration and when the best time to do it will be. He also incorporates some graphics which illustrate several gee-whiz techniques which will make the trip quicker and safer. He begins the article by clarifying that, “Among the terrestrial (rocky) planets, only Mars can potentially be host to humans” (557). As space exploration isn’t limited to planets he further discusses options like Europa and Titan which are moons of outer planets. After he presents his ideas and methodology he concludes, “A rare launch-window opportunity is conceived to occur in 2078, in which these sites i.e., Mars, Europa and Titan will be aligned in such a way that they can be visited in one mission taking advantage of the gravity assists from Mars and Jupiter” (563). Sign me up. Obviously, the year 2078 is quite a bit later than 2023; likewise, the specifics that Mr. Lali recommends for Mars exploration are quite a bit different from Mars One’s plans. This second source then really only conveyed to me that the area of manned space exploration is not very stable. It seems that depending on a set of almost unlimited factors, different scientists perceive different capabilities. Overall, my takeaway is that Lali’s article is clearly not about settling Mars, so its conclusions aren’t very relevant to my question. I have to admit that an article like Mr. Lali’s was kind of draining. It had too much specific data (read: numbers), and most of it went way over my head. That’s okay. With every failure comes a learning opportunity. I learned that I needed to focus my research a little narrower—easy enough.
What I found next was an article called, “How To…Land a Human on Mars.” Piers Bizony writes a much more digestible article explaining…how to land a human on Mars. It seems Mars One isn’t the only game in town. Since the early 1990s something called Mars Direct has been floating a six step plan to explore Mars in person. Essentially, the plan is to send the recovery vehicle first (empty), then gear, then people, then recover everyone; after which they would rinse’n’repeat (Bizony 42). While this wasn’t the plan Mars One had, it was still an encouraging bit of information. Making it even more intriguing, was that it claimed that the technology to create fuel and water on Mars already exists (Bizony 41). At this point in the project I decided to close the laptop and pack my “go” bag.
Bizony, Piers. “How To… …Land A Human On Mars.” Engineering & Technology (17509637) 8.1 (2013): 40-42. Academic Search Premier. Web. 5 Sept. 2013.
Lali, Mehdi. “Analysis And Design Of A Human Spaceflight To Mars, Europa, And Titan.” AIP Conference Proceedings 1208.1 (2010): 557-565. Academic Search Premier. Web. 5