Broadcast 4073 Dan Adamo

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Guest: Dan Adamo; Topics: Steppingstone plan for humans going to Mars, visiting Near-Earth asteroids before humans to Mars, risk and safety evaluations for humans to Mars, orbital and propulsion concerns, human living conditions on Mars and much more.

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We welcomed Dan Adamo back to the program to discuss the why's and benefits for future human space flight missions going to NEOs as part of a steppingstone program to Mars before humans actually go to Mars.  Please see the presentation Dan and his co-authors made at the 8th IAA conference in Vienna, Austria, April 5, 2023, titled "Prospects for Future Human Space Flight Missions to Near-Earth Asteroids."  This presentation and the charts and graphs used by Dan and his co-authors have been posted on the blog for this program.  In addition, please refer to tags used to help describe this discussion as they will be most useful in knowing the various topics and subjects discussed by Dan and Space Show listeners.  The tags are repeated immediately below for your convenience.  The tags actually do a very good job of succinctly summarizing this Space Show program.

Tags:  Dan Adamo;  Human Spaceflight Roadmap, humans going to Mars, going to a closer asteroid first, asteroid practice missions, Starship proposed architecture, Starship radiation shielding, Asteroid 2001 FR85, Asteroid, 2000 SG344, Earth close approaches, changing Mars roadmap with NASA, TRL for humans to Mars, orbital importance, Mars requirements many times great than lunar requirements for human travel, unknown and unaccounted for Mars risks, being on Mars requires 500 days subservice, Mars spacesuit progress, humans to the Martian moon Deimos and why, NEOs for responsible deep space human spaceflight, commercial value for humans to Mars, tourism for Mars, loss of crew impact on Mars roadmap, radiation shielding technology, NEO orbits, Mars Sample Return mission challenges, Mars resupply challenges, Why humans to Mars, planetary defense, Mars mission rescue, limited propulsion for Mars, VASIMIR, Mars ISRU, rescue beyond Cislunar space, NEI 2030 mission flyby, NEO Surveyor mission delays, Stepping stone plan for humans to Mars, Dan et al presentation @ IAA Prospects for Future Human Space Flight Missions to Near-Earth Asteroids.

Dan knows that most listeners and probably most space advocates want to go to Mars over a NEO or Deimos.  If you read over the blog comments that have so far been received, you will find that to be the prevailing sentiment.  Even over a mission that would go to Deimos, one of the moons of Mars though Deimos seems more popular than a NEO visit. The steppingstone approach, a big part of early Space Show programming with multiple guests, was not so highly regarded this time around.

I found it interesting for Dan to say that a 500-day turnaround mission to Mars would require the crew to live underground most of that time. He talked about short sorties to the surface, the lack of radiation shielding for the crew to remain on surface and the slow progress of developing advanced Martian spacesuits to be used by the crew.  Lava tubes for underground living were mentioned, also for the Moon.  After you hear Dan's commentary on this, post your thoughts on our blog for this program. We want to hear from you.

Later in the discussion, Dan was asked for what he thought might be the TRL level today for getting a crew to Mars and keeping them alive and safe.  He said it was pretty low.  What do you think of his response when he was asked if it would substantially increase by the time the first crew got to Mars, either with Musk and Starship or NASA.

Space rescue was talked about but since it does not exist today and is not being planned for, even by the Space Force, there was not much to say about it other than it would not be possible for a Mars venture.  Dan did talk about some rescue potential options with Columbia but most we talked about the need to develop rescue for cislunar space.  Do you think we will actually do that and if so, when?

Dan talked about the benefits of going to NEOs, even to Deimos.  He mentioned a few NEOs that were potential targets.  Let us know if you would like us to do humans to a NEO or Deimos before Mars.  Is less risk and less cost worth doing the steppingstone type of mission?  Note that much was said about radiation and the need for shielding throughout this discussion. One listener even asked if Starship costs, and performance included extra crew shielding for humans to Mars. Dan did not know because SpaceX has not released any specific information such as shielding mass for a Mars crew to the Martian surface.  Multiple other topics were talked about per the above tags plus there are a few surprise topics waiting for you.

Please post your comments/questions for Dan on our blog for this show. You can reach Dan Adamo through The Space Show.

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Human spaceflight to NEOs and why

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15 Aug 2023 Dan Adamo
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  • space settlement progress

  • The Space Foundation Conference

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