Date: Year 1, Sur One, Sol 2 (1.1.2)
When humans first went to the Moon it was in a panic. A deadline had been set and the best engineering and scientific minds put together a space program that accomplished the goal.
The problem is that the standards established to take us into space are also the reason that we have spent almost 50 years with a space program that has been on idle.
Space programs have tended to design spacecraft to solve one problem. To land on the Moon we designed a craft that could only land on the Moon and lift off again. To live in space we designed modules that were carried into space and put together in one configuration. We designed craft to ferry humans to and from space that only served that function.
The Mars Mission 2016 takes what we have learned in 50 years and designed multi-functioning components that can be configured into a larger space-ferrying craft, such as the ESS Carl Sagan, or into a smaller craft like the ESS Queen Elizabeth II. In Mars orbit the combined ESS Sagan and ESS QEII will be reconfigured into an orbiting space station and a surface habitat that will descend in sections and rebuilt for human occupation.
In addition, we’ve learned some things in 50 years of space travel. One thing we’ve learned is that human activity in space suits is difficult and strenuous. That is why engineers have designed space vehicles that are remote-controlled and self-constructing. Most of the sections of our space vehicles and habitats can put themselves into position, or be programmed to rearrange positions as needed. Human are needed primarily to do the finishing work of connecting wires and hoses in a pressured environment. While humans oversee the activities of the remote sections, they are not required to do almost all of the construction.
This allows us to do more with less in a significantly reduced time span. While one section is docking to another, three more sections can be lining up for docking. A space vehicle with five thirty-foot core sections can have up to 36 ‘quill’ sections attached perpendicular to the core sections. To put them all together takes slightly over three weeks on a cautious schedule.
The Mars Mission 2016, is a reinvention of space travel. It makes the true exploration of space possible.