Unit 7 : Manned or Unmanned? : Round Trip or Not? : How Long? : Landing on Mars? : Plan a Mission

Plan your mission

You have been hired to plan a mission to Mars. Your employer knows very little about space travel; he simply wants to be the first individual to send a mission to Mars. He has vast but not unlimited resources. Your first step is to educate him about the realities of space flight and the pros and cons of various options.

A. Give at least one advantage for each option. For example, answer both “What is an advantage of one-way over round trip travel?” and “What is an advantage of round trip over one way?” Try to be as specific as you can.

(a) One way vs. round trip

(b) Manned vs. unmanned

(c) Hohmann vs. fast transfer

(c) Landing vs. orbiting

B.  Your employer says “If you were to send a mission to Mars, what kind would it be?  Describe it for me.”

C.  After listening to your presentation, your employer says “What I really want to do is to land a spacecraft on Mars and dig down into the surface to find water.  Can you tell me how to do this with minimal cost?  Also, once I have the water, how might I use that to benefit future Mars missions?”   What is your response?