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Plan for a Mars Mission

An alternate proposal for a manned Mars Mission

The minimum Mars Mission is going to require:

1. A group of people
2. Travel for 8 1/2 months from earth to Mars through space
3. Taking all the supplies and materials necessary for the trip there, the 10 month stay on Mars and the 8 1/2 month trip back.
4. Arriving at Mars with their health, physical strength, mental and emotional faculties intact and ready to set up a base on an alien planet.

One small vehicle, staffed with a crew of 6 or 7 seems too frail of a mission to survive. One accident to the spacecraft, or one disease or accident to one of the crew could spell disaster, and there would be no turning back, no hope of rescue, and no hope of re-supply or rehabilitation.

Three larger ships carrying crews of 30 to 50 staff each would provide a robust mission, capable of weathering multiple accidents, diseases or mishaps. Three separate vehicles could support each other in times of need, provide replacement or flexible staffing, and carry enough supplies and materials and protections for the extended journey a mission to Mars would require.

Three ships with substantial crews would also be able to leave a robust landing party on the surface with a base large enough and substantial enough to survive while two of the ships and a majority of the crew returned to Earth.

Even the most cursory considerations must reveal that a quick mission to Mars that plants the flag, collects a few rocks and studies the geology in some depth, will not be worth the effort if that is all that is accomplished. The eventual goal must be to begin the development of a permanent base on Mars. A quick grab and dash mission that leaves a few cramped worn out huts and some equipment would set the eventual effort back. For approximately twice the cost of a grab and dash mission, a robust mission consisting of 3 ships and 130 crew could leave a base that could function autonomously during any intervening interval before the next mission and take great strides at developing the materials and infrastructure necessary for a permanent base on Mars.

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