Can refueling on the moon reduce the cost of an expedition to Mars?

Can refueling on the moon reduce the cost of an expedition to Mars?

The earth is very hard and we cannot just disappear like in the movie “Back to the Future”. Because of this, it is difficult to take off from the surface. Taking off from Earth is part of what makes space travel so expensive; each pound is worth thousands and thousands of dollars just to break away from the earth.

And what if you start from the moon instead? The gravitational force of the moon is only 1/6 of ours. Thus, after starting costs, launches should not be so sad in terms of costs. That is why one group of researchers suggests that it is better to first visit the moon on the way to Mars.

“This contradicts many of the established wisdom that says that the journey between Earth and Mars is long enough, and you need to minimize the time. But the ability to have a base on the moon at a place of deposits of water and other resources will reduce the weight by 68 percent, ”say the researchers, led by Takuto Ishimatsu from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. A new study will be published in the journal of spacecraft and rockets. In essence, the moon will be a huge pit stop. Missiles with fuel for large missions will start from the surface. The crew of Mars will capture these tankers in orbit of the Moon and transfer them to the fuel depot - possibly to a gravitationally stable point between the Earth and the Moon, known as the Lagrange point. They will carry out refueling, and then begin a long journey to the Red Planet.

In an interview with Discovery News, co-author Olivier de Vic, a professor of aeronautics and astronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said that there are still things that need to be studied. The moon has great potential for mining. We also need to know how to handle cryogenic fuel - a fuel that must be carefully stored at low temperatures and remain liquid - when launching missiles autonomously.

We know that there is water on the moon, but the big question is how much water is there. And there is also a matter of time - are we ready to start building a base on the moon and wait to be sent to Mars?

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