Terminus Probes (one-way manned space missions)

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Thande, Oct 5, 2007.

  1. Thande a special man who knows these things Donor

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    The name I took from Terry Pratchett's Strata. Could we get a situation where a, presumably authoritarian, nation has a space programme that consists of sending people on one-way manned missions? You can probably do a lot more if you don't have to worry about bringing your crew back at the end of it.

    The crews could perhaps be convicted criminals or political prisoners, and would have their families released in exchange for doing the job.

    The Nazis spring to mind but I suspect they wouldn't want to have Untermenschen setting foot on Mars before Aryan colonists; the Soviets could have done, especially if Stalin had been followed by someone like-minded, but it would probably not be good for propaganda. Maybe it would be a secret programme to scout out places before landing a choreographed, two-way manned capsule a few years later.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Analytical Engine Monarchist Collectivist Federalist

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    If it ever got out, there would be serious rioting. :eek:

    While, from a utilitarian PoV, it does work, how are you going to stop the condemed person from just deliberatly crashing the spacecraft?
     
  3. Thande a special man who knows these things Donor

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    See above - you'd have to have some sort of guarantor, like e.g. if the whole family were in a concentration camp but everyone except the astronaut were released on the condition that he fulfil the mission properly.
     
  4. Analytical Engine Monarchist Collectivist Federalist

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    And, you'd have to check for psychological problems (self-destructive tendencies etc.).
     
  5. Max Sinister Retired Myriad Club Member

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    Otto Basil wrote a Nazi Victory AH book where exactly this happens. The radio even broadcasts how they suffocate when oxygen runs out, and Germans are forbidden to switch off their radios when this is broadcasted.
     
  6. Berra Friendly Pitchfork Operator

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    I bet you could find enough willing space industry veterans who would volontere and have some skill. As for health, well their old....
     
  7. Michel Van Well-Known Member

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    This is No Joke I Repead No Joke

    there was Two Study for One Way ticket to Planetes
    they Realy think about that Option :eek:

    "The One-Way Manned Space Mission," IAS 62-131, John M. Cord and Leonard M. Seale; paper presented at the Institute of the Aerospace Sciences National Summer Meeting in Los Angeles, California, June 19-22, 1962.

    Cord & Seale are, respectively, Project Engineer, Advanced Design and Chief, Human Factors Section, Aerospace Engineering Department, Bell Aerosystems Company. Their one-way manned space mission circumvents Soviet superiority in launch vehicle payload capability to help ensure that the U.S. carries out world’s first piloted lunar expedition. "The political implications," they state, ". . .are obvious."

    One-way spacecraft need carry no propellant for return to Earth; thus they can be three or four times lighter than two-way spacecraft. Because of this, one-way spacecraft can be launched on booster rockets expected in 1964-65; a two-way expedition could not be launched until more powerful rockets became available 1.5-2 years later (1965-67). "One-way" is a misnomer - while the single astronaut ("a trained scientist or military observer") is sent to the moon without means to return, the aim is to send a multi-man two-way expedition to retrieve him as soon as rockets powerful enough can be developed. Nevertheless, there is no provision for emergency abort back to Earth and no guarantee of when the lone astronaut can be retrieved, so the approach carries considerable risk. As Cord & Seale explain:

    The One-Way Manned Space Mission is an extremely hazardous one. . .we recognize the moral and ethical implications. It must be emphasized that we are not proposing that such a mission be accomplished, but rather we are discussing it technically from the point of view of a pertinent concept. The concept can afford early manned lunar. . .landings whether the Russians or anybody else uses it.

    Their program occurs as follows:
    Automated Ranger hard-lander, Surveyor soft-lander, and Prospector rover spacecraft gather basic data on the lunar environment and reconnoiter a base site. These are followed immediately by four automated one-way missions to soft-land cargo at the base site. Each cargo lander weighs 1280 pounds at touchdown and carries 910 pounds of cargo in a 10-foot-diameter, 15-foot-long canister, for a total landed weight of 2190 pounds.

    The One-Way Space Man (as Cord & Seale call him) leaves Earth in a capsule 7 feet high and 10 feet wide - only slightly larger than a Mercury capsule. It reaches the lunar surface on a lander identical to that which delivered the cargo canisters. Total weight is 2190 pounds - same as the cargo landers - permitting use of the same launch vehicle for cargo and piloted vehicles.

    The One-Way Space Man sets up his home on the moon by unloading one of the cargo canisters and placing it on its side. During this period he lives in the capsule, which carries sufficient food and water for 12 days and sufficient air for 30 days. He buries the canister with "lunar rubble" to shield himself from radiation and harsh lunar temperature changes and sets up a fuel cell power system.

    The One-Way Space Man begins a program of exploration lasting up to 3 years. During this time additional cargo canisters can be winched together and buried. Cord & Seale note that a second One-Way Space Man could join the first on the surface. This would, however, increase the amount of supplies that must be launched from Earth. They estimate that life-support supplies alone will require 13 cargo launches per year for one man; additional cargo (such as personal items and a surface vehicle) could boost this to 22 launches per year for one man and 30-35 launches per year for two men. They also propose an "emergency supply system" - possibly with a hard-landing system - for small on-demand cargo items.

    Cord & Seale are prescient in their description of possible lunar surface conditions, though their meteoroid estimates are overly pessimistic - they assume, for example, that a micrometeoroid will puncture a three-ply nylon pressure suit 1.3 times every 4 hours. They recommend covering the space suit in aluminum cloth to lower the puncture rate to 0.007 times per 4 hours.
    They note that "on the lunar surface there will be no color; illuminated areas appear in bright white light; shaded areas in black or gray. . .visual contrasts will be very high. . .depth perception may be temporarily affected." This is in fact what the (two-way) Apollo astronauts experienced. The full Earth beckons to the lonely One-Way Space Man 12 times brighter than the full moon did back home on Earth.

    Cord & Seales look briefly at one-way Venus and Mars missions, pointing out that "whether it is based on a one-man mission, a two- or three-man mission it will be possible to send a one-way mission probably years in advance of missions with return capabilities. . ." They then predict that the one-way approach will be applied "to other planets and out of the solar system."
    (Cord & Seale’s concept was, by the way, the basis for Hank Searl’s novel The Pilgrim Project, which was filmed as the 1968 thriller Countdown starring James Caan and Robert Duvall.) (For another desperate bid to seize the U.S. lead in space)

    and this:

    "One-Way to Mars," AAS 96-322, George William Herbert, The Case for Mars IV: Making Mars an Affordable Destination, Kelly R. McMillen, editor, 1996, pp. 235-244; paper presented at the Case for Mars VI conference, Boulder, Colorado, July 17-20, 1996.

    This paper updates Cord & Seale's classic 1962 paper, but is motivated by eagerness to explore and settle Mars, not by Cold War desperation. Herbert advocates placing 35-year-old "pioneers" on Mars with no means of return to Earth. They would travel to Mars intent on spending the rest of their lives exploring. In addition to abundant exploration time, this approach provides "a natural first step in an ongoing colonization should we choose to do so." Herbert proposes a three-phase program:

    The First Exploration Phase lasts six years. Herbert's launch vehicle, the three-stage GRAND-3, can launch three 32-metric-ton, 10-meter-diameter capsules to Mars for $250 million. GRAND-3's first two stages are "pressure fed propane/nitric acid propellant steel tank big dumb booster vehicles," while its third stage is a modified Space Shuttle External Tank with attached rocket engines. The first GRAND-3 of the one-way program launches the "pathfinder mission." Three unmanned capsules set down on Mars to scout out primary and backup base sites and test landing accuracy, capsule design, and machinery for extracting oxygen and water from martian materials. The capsules also carry a portion of the cargo for the first piloted mission. Two capsules land at the primary base site, the third at the backup. The capsules rely on solar cells for electricity. Two years later, during the next minimum-energy Mars transfer opportunity, two GRAND-3 rockets launch six capsules - a two-deck habitat bearing the first two astronauts, a two-deck lab capsule, and four cargo capsules. Cargo includes a 35-year supply of food and two nine-metric-ton, seven-meter-long pressurized rovers capable of year-long Mars traverses. Two years later, two more GRAND-3s launch two habitats with two astronauts each, two labs, and two cargo capsules.

    The Second Exploration Phase lasts eight years. Every two years two GRAND-3s launch one habitat with two astronauts on board and five unmanned capsules "to provide additional exploration capability, science and analysis gear, and skilled personnel." Beginning with the first flight of this phase the base maintains a 40-year food supply.

    The Third Exploration Phase is not yet planned in detail, Herbert states. Every two years one GRAND-3 launches a habitat with two astronauts, a cargo capsule, and a "greenhouse module" for growing food and recycling waste. Science and exploration gear replaces the food carried in previous cargo capsules.
    Herbert estimates that his program will cost up to 35 percent less than a program that returns astronauts to Earth. He places hardware development cost over five years at $5 billion - $1 billion for rovers, $2.5 billion for capsules, $1 billion for science systems, and $500 million for space suits. Operations costs $1 billion per year. This includes $750 million for launches and $250 million for management and science support. Herbert notes that Earth might abandon the Mars base (and its inhabitants) at any time. If abandonment is planned - for example, "should the funding environment collapse" - Earth launches a final six cargo capsules packed with spare parts and supplies to help ensure that the astronauts can live out their natural lifespans on Mars. If abandonment is unplanned - for example, if Earth falls into a dark age - then the astronauts survive by using their 40-year food supply and cannibalizing uninhabited cargo modules for spare parts.

    Source:
    copy of webpage Romance to Reality Today satus OFFLINE

    1wayspaman.jpg
     
  8. alt_historian Has returned... again

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    @ Michael Van: Wow, interesting stuff. Especially the Mars missions...

    I don't think that really counts as a 'one-way mission', though: more colonisation, which I'd be happy to volunteer for if it was Mars. I think what Thande probably meant in this case was a mission where the astronauts are being sent to their deaths, a la the one Max Sinister mentioned.

    A colonisation mission? as said, I'd willingly go for that, and I can't be the only one...
     
  9. Michel Van Well-Known Member

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    I found another wank Space Stuff for on way ticket to moon

    Idea of Krafft Ehricke

    HELIOS (Hetero-Powered Eart-Launched Inter Orbital Spacecraft)
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    fasten your seatbelds !

    Its a two Stage Rocket to Moon 800000 kg (1.763.698 pound) Liftoff mass.
    6 meter (19,6 foot) ø, 60 meter (196 foot) long, fist stage wingspan is 27 meter (88,58 foot) wide

    first stage chemical engine manned Delta wing push the Crew and second stage in 45-50 km high (50 miles)
    (it weight fully loaded 700000 kg empty 32000 kg 2 engine in total 1.2 million kilopound trust.)
    separates and fly back to launch place

    the crewcompartment separate form second stage on roll on 300 meter (1000 foot) long cable down
    the Second stage ignites its NUCLEAR engine and pulls the crewcompartment toward the Moon :eek:
    (total assembly weight 100000 kg)

    the Reactor has power of 2600 Megawatt 100000 kilopound Trust, Acceleration of 1 G (9,81 meter/sec)

    After a complex roll manover, the rocket land on the moon crewcompartment fist
    the second stage 300 meter away from it...
    Krafft Ehricke do not explane (in text) how they return!


    who far hast to be a Astronaut to be save of a Open Nuclear Reactor ? (like running NERVA engine)
    14000 Meter or 45931 foot !!! remember cable is only 300 meter (1000 foot) long :rolleyes:

    give a mortal Radiation sickness.

    Source:
    HELIOS
    Raumwaffen Econ verlag 1959 page 163-164 (in german)
    Space Weapons, A handbook of Military Astronautics. 1959 frederic A. Praeger Inc, publisher
     
  10. rudebadger Well-Known Member

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    I can't see the Nazi's or Soviet's doing this. Both were very big on portraying their systems of government as superior to every other on Earth. By launching a one-way space mission expecting the crew to die implies that they are simply not capable to send out and return a successful space mission.
     
  11. Max Sinister Retired Myriad Club Member

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    Unless they govern the whole world (which happens in Otto Basil's book).
     
  12. Tyr air in space

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    The only way I could see it happening with the likes of the Nazis is:
    "OK Colonol Fischer, so you went on holiday to Australia and married your Jewish boyfriend...
    Well you know we should shoot you out of hand but in light of your service in the fight against bolschevism we have an offer for you..."

    They would have to hide its one way of course, and say that the return simply failed. Maybe due to interferance from some enemy. Or hell say it was a success and have a double do all the victory parades.
     
  13. alt_historian Has returned... again

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    Thande, could you help me out here?

    How are you defining 'a one way mission'?
     
  14. KJM divided by zero

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    Can anyone really be sure?
    I can't read Thande's mind, but I assume this refers to missions whose participants are unable to return to Earth.
     
  15. Thande a special man who knows these things Donor

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    One where the ship just keeps on going until the air, food etc run out.
     
  16. alt_historian Has returned... again

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    Hmm... OK, I wouldn't volunteer for one of those...
    I would if there was something useful and exciting to do at the end. Like that Mars mission Michael Van was talking about. Otherwise, no.
     
  17. DuQuense Commisioned Officer CSN

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    Sound like the Book "Gardern on the Moon"
    The Japanese send an oneway Rocket to the Moon in 1968.
    The Title refers to the Japanese Astronaut, using a rake and making a Zen Rock Gardern as his air is running out.
     
  18. ZaphodBeeblebrox I Said that

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    If I Knew I had Some Terminal Illness ...

    I'd Do it ...

    Besides, Asphyxiation is a HELL of a Lot Less Painful than Some of The More Esoteric Diseases!
     
  19. Grey Wolf Writer, Poet, Publisher, Cat-sitter Gone Fishin'

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    Well, the Soviets did it with Laika...

    Best Regards
    Grey Wolf
     
  20. Analytical Engine Monarchist Collectivist Federalist

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    There is that.

    I think Thande meant "with people".