What went wrong ?

Manned Mars Surface Missions (1966)

“Manned Mars Surface Operations,” Paul R. Swan, Raymond B. Hanselman, Richard L. Ryan, and Richard F. Suitor, A Volume of Technical Papers Presented at the AIAA/AAS Stepping Stones to Mars Meeting, pp. 69-86; paper presented in Baltimore, Maryland, March 28-30, 1966.

Swan’s team proposed two manned Mars mission scenarios designed to explore these spheres of scientific interest. The first, the “minimal” missions, would occur between 1976 and 1986 and would use Apollo-level (that is, 1970) technology. The second, the “extended” mission, which was tentatively scheduled to occur in the 1982-1986 time period, would require technologies beyond the Apollo state of the art.

The four minimal-mission surface crewmembers would explore a landing site within 30° of the martian equator for 21 days during a period when the biosphere at the site was at “peak growth.” While the four surface astronaut-scientists did their best to keep up with “a very active schedule” of wide-ranging data-gathering, two men would orbit Mars on board the mission “mothership,” the command module. Among other tasks, they would deploy automated probes to investigate the martian moons and any dust belts. Time near Mars for the minimal mission would total 40 days.

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