Friday, November 04, 2005

Mars is in the Details

I stumbled on the web site of space engineer and writer James Oberg last night. Lots of good stuff, but two excerpts from a work in progress (The Mars Conquest) especially caught my attention. "The Outbound Leg - No Time for Boredom" discusses the likely high level of training and other activities that would be required of astronauts on a 6 month Mars flight. "Scenario: Mars Medical Emergency" describes a role-playing exercise that was done (with simulated communication time delays between the crew and mission control) of a serious multi-aspect medical emergency for a 6-person exploration crew on Mars. The complexity of this simplified exercise is mind boggling, though the participants managed to solve most of the puzzles and get through the exercise successfully.

Going to Mars will take more than money and rockets! I'm glad people are thinking about the details, and I hope Mr. Oberg completes and publishes "The Mars Conquest" (excerpts are labeled 2004 so maybe the project is on hold).

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