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Welcome to the Objective Europa forum for general debate and discussions in areas related to a crewed mission to Jovian moon Europa. Suggestions and ideas in the forum will not be filed as part of the research in phase-I.

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Author Topic: Stages Suggestion

Europa Dreamer
Posts: 9
Re: Stages Suggestion
on: November 7, 2013, 02:55

Quote from roger on October 19, 2013, 20:40
First of all this mission will take place in a 10-20 or even 30 years time. By this time supossing the best, we'll be on the moon (NASA, China... have the goal of having a moon base and/or a space station orbiting the moon), Mars One is planning to have a base on mars on the 2023, so in my opinion is no reason for OE to be planning a first phase on the moon or mars.
I also think that we could launch all the things from the Earth, but not all together, in different phases:
The stages of the mission to Europa could be like the Mars One mission ( first launching a communication satellite (no need of a big one, could be a cubesat), then a rover to collect data of the conditions on Europa (temperature, radiation...) Once we know where to stablish the base we sent the base components (habitats,power supplies (solar panels,fission reactor...)...) and finally we send the astronauts and the ice driller.

I agree, a Mars One style approach is most likely to create a permanent settlement. I would suggest using the Asteroid retrieval technology NASA is developing to stockpile water rich Asteroids in Lunar Orbit as the first step. A single SLS launch could then leverage 2800 tonnes (28 times it's mass to LEO) of witch 560 tonnes (20%) would be propellant (water). Another SLS launch could deliver the unfueled crew vehicle to High Lunar Orbit to refuel before launching to the Jupiter-Europa System. A similar approach could allow us to send Modular components of the Base before the crew leaves.

Europa Dreamer
Posts: 6
Re: Stages Suggestion
on: December 11, 2013, 23:10

Trade routes were expanded with horses. The horse increased the scope of empires. A single person could rule a land mass as big as a 14 day ride from a central point (Big History Project). I see OE as project that can benefit from the way the foundation of such trade routes and empires were made possible (if not the motivations). Are there "sweet spots" within the solar system that maximize launch windows? As long as we're dreaming. . . I envision a man made grid of orbital "bridges" or "canals" that act as launch points to every Sol Globe, perhaps in the asteroid belt. Hundreds if not thousands may be required to provide sufficient launch points to "all points Solar System".
Within the scope of this project a Pony Express approach may work. Pre-selected points in space/time are supplied with ships fueled enough to launch towards and to escape the gravity of the next point in space/time.
I have a payload that must reach escape velocity of spherical mass A and limited space for fuel. That's enough fuel to reach destination Z but not to achieve escape velocity from that sphere. I'll stop at point H and transfer my payload to another ship/horse and off I go.

Europa Astronaut
Posts: 98
Re: Stages Suggestion
on: March 12, 2014, 23:34

The problem with a pony express approach is that it would take more energy to seed different points in space with fuel than it would be to just load one big ship with fuel and take off.

However, if those ships could automatically mine asteroids for water and convert into fuel, then I can see such a system working.

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