Want to go to Mars? Solve these difficult problems first

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animation demonstration microbial Mars survival experiment: how long is it before humans migrate to Mars

the process of manned Mars exploration mission is very complex. It can be roughly divided into earth surface launch, earth orbit assembly, earth fire transfer, Mars landing and rising, Mars orbit rendezvous and docking, return to earth and other stages. Each stage faces major technical challenges

Want to go to Mars? Solve these difficult problems first

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Mars is very far from the earth. There will be a window for the intersection of Mars and the earth every 26 months. The nearest distance between the two is 55 million kilometers, up to 400 million kilometers. The manned spacecraft will go to Mars for at least six months. Considering the launch window returning from Mars, astronauts may need to work on the surface of Mars for nearly 500 days, so a single manned Mars exploration mission may be as long as 900 days. In the long space journey of nearly three years, astronauts can hardly get the second material supply, so the manned Mars exploration mission needs to carry a lot of materials and energy

considering that astronauts need to work and live on the Martian surface for a long time and the ascending and returning device taking off from the Martian surface, humans need to transport at least 40 tons of materials to the Martian surface. In addition, it is estimated that nearly 1000 tons of mission mass will need to be launched into orbit by ground fire transfer vehicles, living quarters and manned spacecraft used by astronauts on the Martian surface

such a huge launch mass far exceeds the carrying capacity of the current rocket, so it is necessary to launch each module into earth orbit in batches, assemble and assemble in earth orbit, and then fly to Mars. This involves technical problems such as the overall scheme design of manned Mars exploration, orbit optimization, low-temperature propellant storage and management, on orbit assembly and so on

Want to go to Mars? Solve these difficult problems first(1)

imagination of human landing on Mars by spacecraft

the journey of Mars exploration is long. Astronauts live in radiation and microgravity environment for a long time. It is necessary to study food nutrition maintenance and long-term storage technology, radiation protection technology and equipment Medical diagnosis and treatment equipment should also encourage astronauts to carry out activities in a narrow environment, alleviate physical and psychological pressure, and provide comprehensive health security measures

in addition, long distance brings communication difficulties. The two-way communication between Mars and earth will be delayed by 6 ~ 44 minutes. It is necessary to establish a new communication network link to maintain reliable communication

Want to go to Mars? Solve these difficult problems first(2)

there is a delay in the communication between the earth and Mars

in the process of entering Mars orbit and landing, due to the thin atmosphere of Mars, the lander will produce a lot of aerodynamic heating during hypersonic flight, so thermal protection technology needs to be applied. At the same time, due to the thin Martian atmosphere, the deceleration parachute effect is not obvious during landing, so it is necessary to apply the anti thruster of innovative technology to decelerate. In addition, due to the long time delay, it is difficult for earth staff to provide relevant support for the process of landing on Mars, which also puts forward higher requirements for the autonomy, reliability and safety of manned Mars exploration, and more advanced guidance and control technology must be developed

composition of manned Mars exploration system

in order to complete the manned Mars exploration mission, the future exploration system will include unmanned exploration system, space transportation system, Mars surface application system and measurement and control system

the unmanned exploration system mainly includes Mars Orbiter, unmanned Rover and radio beacon launched on Mars in the early stage of the mission, which are used to investigate the Martian environment explored by astronauts, select astronauts’ landing points, carry out technical verification and radio navigation

the space transportation system includes various launch vehicles applied in different mission stages of manned Mars exploration, including launch vehicles, ground fire transfer stages, Mars landing and ascent vehicles, Mars ground facilities, etc

among them, the launch vehicle sends all mission loads and astronauts into earth orbit, and the ground fire transfer stage is responsible for the transfer between earth orbit and Mars orbit, and sends astronauts and materials into Mars space

Want to go to Mars? Solve these difficult problems first(3)

it is not easy for manned spacecraft to land on Mars

the landing and ascent vehicle is mainly responsible for the round-trip transportation of personnel and materials between Mars orbit and Mars surface, which is generally composed of two-stage aircraft, The propellant can be produced by using Martian resources and some of the resources carried after reaching the Martian surface

in order to ensure the implementation of transportation tasks between the Martian surface and orbit, it is also necessary to build some infrastructure on the Martian surface, including in-situ resource utilization equipment, energy system, landing guidance system and launch site. Among them, in-situ resource utilization equipment can use Mars’s own resources to produce energy, propellant, etc

Mars surface application systems include living quarters, scientific experiment modules, environmental control and life support systems, Mars rover, extravehicular activity systems and power systems. Among them, the environmental control and life insurance system is used to ensure the living conditions of astronauts, and the Mars rover helps astronauts move and explore quickly on the surface of Mars

TT & C system includes ground TT & C system and Space-based TT & C system. The former includes various TT & C networks on the ground, and the latter includes relay satellites, navigation and communication satellites. The measurement and control system can ensure the communication between Mars surface equipment and earth researchers, transmit experimental data, and allow earth researchers to intervene in the disposal of problems of Mars surface equipment

for a long time, the United States and Russia have been actively studying the feasibility of manned Mars exploration mission, and put forward some schemes and ideas. To sum up, the process can be roughly divided into several stages

the first stage is material transfer. The launch vehicle sends the payloads such as ferry stage, cargo transfer stage components, Mars landing and ascent vehicle and Mars surface facilities into low earth orbit in batches, and the cargo transfer stage is assembled in orbit. The ferry stage transfers the cargo transfer stage to high earth orbit and returns to low earth orbit. Then the carrier rocket launches the refueling aircraft to refuel the ferry stage in orbit, waiting for the next ferry mission

Want to go to Mars? Solve these difficult problems first(4)

imagination of manned spacecraft going to Mars

the cargo transfer stage passes through the earth fire transfer orbit and enters the annular fire orbit after a long journey, waiting for the manned spacecraft and astronauts. At the same time, release the Martian surface facilities and land on the Martian surface, Carry out propellant preparation and other work

in the second stage, payloads such as manned transfer stage components and deep space living quarters are transported by launch vehicle to low earth orbit in batches, and the manned transfer stage is assembled in orbit and transferred to high earth orbit by ferry stage

once the Mars surface facilities and the manned transfer stage waiting in high earth orbit operate well, and wait until the appropriate launch window, the launch vehicle will launch the manned spacecraft into the predetermined orbit, dock with the manned transfer stage, and then the manned transfer stage will send the astronauts into the earth fire transfer orbit

in the third stage, the manned transfer stage enters the annular fire orbit, the manned spacecraft is docked with the Mars lander and riser that entered the annular fire orbit before, and the astronauts enter the Mars lander and riser, land on the Martian surface, and carry out operation and scientific exploration activities

Want to go to Mars? Solve these difficult problems first(5)

imagination of manned spacecraft taking off from Mars

in the fourth stage, after completing the Mars surface mission, the astronauts fill the Mars landing and ascent with propellant, ride the ascent and return to the annular fire orbit, And complete docking with the manned transfer stage waiting on the annular fire track

finally, the manned transfer stage enters the fire transfer orbit and returns to earth space

it should be pointed out that at present, some technologies of manned Mars exploration mission based on conventional propulsion system have been verified. With the support of sufficient budget, human beings can gradually land on the surface of Mars. However, the long mission time leads to the large scale of the exploration system, which puts great pressure on the existing engineering and technical level of human beings and the psychology and physiology of astronauts. If we want to shorten the time of manned fire detection mission to an acceptable level, we still need to make a lot of revolutionary progress in aerospace engineering, especially nuclear thermal propulsion system

Want to go to Mars? Solve these difficult problems first(6)

imagination map of human built Mars base

it is believed that with the continuous improvement of aerospace technology, mankind will eventually land on Mars, become a cross planetary species and obtain a broader space for development