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Old 05-17-2004, 09:32 PM
MissleMonkey28 MissleMonkey28 is offline

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Default new space race

Russian Says Mars Mission Is Realistic

Mon May 10, 1:41 PM ET Add Science - AP to My Yahoo!

MOSCOW - Russia's new space agency chief said Monday that a manned mission to Mars in the near future is realistic provided funding is adequate, and appeared to express support for an ambitious plan to visit the planet within a decade, the Interfax news agency reported.

"The project is very interesting and I am not turning it down," Interfax quoted space agency chief Anatoly Perminov as saying in Berlin, apparently referring to a plan announced last month to send a six-man crew to Mars.

"Any project is flatly rejected by some and fully supported by others at first. We hold a fairly progressive, professional, neutral stance. We support it, and it should be further developed," he said.

Georgy Uspensky, a researcher at the Central Research Institute for Machine-Building, Russia's premier authority on space equipment design, said in April that it would carry out the project with funding promised by Aerospace Systems, a little-known private Russian company that says it draws no resources from the state budget.

Uspensky said the small US$3-5 billion budget for the mission reflected plans to use already developed spacecraft, and predicted it would happen around 2011-2013.

A spokesman for the Russian Space Agency said at the time that he had never heard of the project and that it would be impossible to implement with such a meager budget and in such a short time period.

Perminov, who took over as space agency chief in a government reshuffle in March, said the project should be international.

"It would be very difficult for one country to carry out such a program," Interfax quoted him as saying. He said a mission to Mars would require adequate funding.

Perminov said the Russian agency has discussed manned Moon and Mars projects with NASA (news - web sites), the U.S. space agency.

Earlier this year, U.S. President George W. Bush (news - web sites) proposed a manned mission to Mars but did not set a timeline for such a trip, which American scientists believe would probably remain decades away.
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Old 06-02-2004, 01:17 PM
okami okami is offline
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Anything's realistic, given time and resources. Since we've never had a good space program, however, jumping the gun by going to Mars is out of the question for a couple decades at the minimum. I seriously doubt I'll see it in my own time.

It would take a permanent base or four on the moon (especially on the far side) and orbiting industries, let alone nuclear or ionic propulsion, to get the job done. Reliable methods of eliminating microgravitic effects on the body (loss of calcium, redistribution of mass, muscular deterioration etc) would have to be countered by reliable methods of imitating earth-normal grivitational effects.

By far the greatest hazards would be the length of the journey and the danger from stellar instabilities. Disruptive solar flares from our own sun could sterilize of kill voyagers with inadequate shielding, as well as frying out any equipment or changing the vessel's trajectory. Such phenomena can't always be predicted, either.

The same is possible where nearby stars are concerned, since one never knows for sure when a supernova may appear: basically, when the light gets here, it's too late. The last visible in this galaxy was in the late 16th century or so. Supernova 1987A, which was observed in the southern hemisphere, was in one of the two Magellanic Clouds, smaller galaxies orbiting our own. Obscuring dust and gases keep us from seeing most of the supernovae in our own galaxy; for all i know, the dust and gases protect us from the adverse effects of these stars.

If one posits extrasolar phenomena as being of low probability, it still leaves open the question of our own sun. For this reason it would be better to go in steps, I believe, using near-earth asteroids which cross the orbits of both the earth and Mars. Besides getting much-needed training and experience, one could use such asteroids as bases, with two self-evident advantages.

(1) The mass of an asteroid can be used as a shield against the sun. Place a few comsats in orbit if it's massive enough, stay on the far side, and any harmful solar particles or radiation won't get through. . .provided, of course, its rotation can be stabilized. Better yet, it can be hollowed out, so that inhabitants and virtually all equipment are completely safe. Contact with Earth can be maintained through the comsats in orbit; if they're burned out, it'll be cheap to send up some more from the asteroid base.

(2) Use the asteroid in question as a launching platform. On its closest approach to Mars, launch manned probes, etc. to the Martian surface. The need for fuel and similar consumables would be drastically shortened, since the asteroid's mass and orbital characteristics do most of the work.

Insofar as building materials go, it's terribly expensive to put things into space because we have to fight gravity each step of the way. This consumes all kinds of power and materials in itself. Space programs must be aggressively pursued, whether American or not. Get Spaceguard up and running, so that the rest of the near-earth asteroids can be plotted. Some craft can go to them for building materials; one good hunk of nickel-iron supplemented by lunar materials could do for construction of the spacecraft(s), if it isn't hollowed out to become the spacecraft itself. Robotic probes can rendezvous with comets on this side of Jupiter & pick up the hydrogen & oxygen (as well as other gases) frozen in the ices of the nucleus, so that the crews would have water, breathable air and propellents.

Ionic propulsion, tested in the Deep Space probe a while back, is far more reliable than the chemical boosters we have, but it takes time to get to speed. When Cassini was sent to Mars, lotsa people got bent out of shape because it carried a nuclear reactor for power: Solar radiation's virtually nonexistent around the gas giants, so that power via solar cells was out of the question.

While I applaud the dangers of nuclear weapons, etc, people forget that there's a BIG fusion reactor in our faces every day, about 800,000 miles across. While accidents are always possiible, the nuclear reactors we've sent into space have (as far as I know) performed nearly flawlessly to date.

I believe, then, that a Mars mission would be drastically safer and cheaper--albeit taking much longer--by taking our time and using the near-earth asteroids, rather than taking one very big step straight to Mars.

If it wasn't for the political ballyhoo, such a program could have been started decades ago.
\"The man with the soul of the wolf has the self-restraint of the wolf. Aimless executions and slughterings are not the work of wolves and eagles, but are instead the work of frightened sheep.\" - Gary Snyder, from \"Spel Against Demons\"
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Old 08-13-2004, 05:04 AM
USNLSC USNLSC is offline

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ROSOBORONEXPORT, - Russia's agency for military exports/imports including Space Exploration.

Hi Tech Space Products and Services include:

Airborne and Spaceborne Side-looking Radars

Light Multi-purpose Airborne Surveillance Systems

Aerial Earth's Surface Photography Systems

REIS-D Unmanned Aerial Reconnaissance System

Earth Remote Sensing, Mapping and Cartographic Services

Airborne/Heliborne Remote Sensing Systems

AISBERG-RAZREZ Airborne Dual- frequency Side-looking Radar System

IL-38 Airborne Remote Sensing System

The technology transfer between the United States and Russia is considerable. Joint ventures in space require it. Going to Mars or anywhere else is going to involve ROSOBORONEXPORT, .

Russia sees military applications for any space venture and with ROSOBONEXPORT they will capitalize on it with any country willing to pay the bills including North Korea, Communist China, and Iran.


If you have read the small print in SeaPower posts,, regarding PLA Navy, ROSOBORONEXPORT keeps croping up. This Russian agency supplies arms to PLA, North Korea, Arab nations, and just about anyone or any nation desiring Russian arms and technology and has the funds to procure them. The agency website,, though dated reveals quite a lot. The information below is from that site; to learn more go directly to the site.

The USA considers Russia a friend just like Communist China. I suspect some of our NASA joint ventures in outer space are coordinated through RosoboroneExport. Maybe Russia is a friendly nation officially but the country's continuted development of state of the art weapons and export to our potential and actual adversaries does not seem too friendly to me. President Bush once stated words to the effect, "Either you are for us or against us."

In the years ahead, and not too many years at that, we will find out who are friends and who are foes. Let's hope we have more friends than enemies and regardless of the source of their arms they are not directed at us. With Russia and China increasing production of arms - it looks like the Space Race is a continuation of the Cold War all over again.

Phelps Hobart, Moderator

A list Sea Power posts may be found at


The ROSOBORONEXPORT State Corporation is the sole state intermediary agency for Russia's military exports/imports. ROSOBORONEXPORT is the principal Russian arms exporter ranked among the leading operators in the international arms market. The name of "ROSOBORONEXPORT" is associated with major arms deliveries within the framework of the Russia's military-technical cooperation with foreign countries, famous brands of Russian armaments classed among the world's best, prominent defence industries with high-skilled workforce and time-tested traditions, advanced military science and technology.

ROSOBORONEXPORT delivers a complete range of defence-related products for all military, paramilitary and special services, as well as dual- and civil-purpose technologies. It works out and implements integrated defence projects tailored to customer needs.

Basic Trade Activities:

export/import of military/dual-use equipment and strategic raw materials;
logistics and maintenance, delivery of spare parts, tools and accessories, special liquids, fuels and lubricants required for proper operation of the supplied materiel;
technical assistance in construction of defence infrastructure, including arms manufacturing plants, airfields, depots, firing ranges, training centres, etc;
delivery of materials, components, and parts for licensed arms production;
retrofits, upgrades and modernisation of previously supplied weapon systems;
personnel training in Russia and on customer site;
promotion of civil-purpose innovative technologies developed by the Russian defence industries.
ROSOBORONEXPORT has set up an analytical and information database including over 700 innovation civil projects of the Russian enterprises in the defense industry complex covering various fields of science and technology. Apart from this, it has published the catalogues of innovation projects in Russian, English, Arabic, Chinese, Portuguese, and French.

The ROSOBORONEXPORT?s activity is aimed at the product differentiation in the foreign market, quality improvement and raising competitiveness of the products, upgrading engineering capability of the enterprises, refurbishment and replacement of the obsolete equipment, maintenance and development of the scientific, technical and industrial potential of the defense industry complex enterprises.

Cooperation experience of ROSOBORONEXPORT in the sphere of innovations with a number of companies from China, India, Lebanon, Syria, Peru and Egypt shows a highly competitive potential of the Russian defence industry complex in terms of high technology innovation products. Target marketing missions were undertaken with respect to many innovation projects, a number of road shows were organized abroad, some financial support agreements were signed and joint ventures are to be established on bilateral basis.

At present, ROSOBORONEXPORT cooperates with more than 500 enterprises and organizations in the sphere of high technology products. The defence industry enterprises are located in 56 regions of the Russian Federation. The Corporation?s permanent representatives have their offices in 24 main industrial regions.

Successful promotion of Russian innovation projects in the foreign market will make it possible not only to maintain and build up scientific, technical and industrial potential of the Russia?s defense industry in separate industrial segments but to raise additional possibilities of establishing mutually beneficial cooperation with foreign countries including the development of modern and advanced weapons and military equipment.

16 April 2004 Rosoboronexport State Corporation press service

For a continuation of this subject see: .
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