Polyakov D. G., Mitikov U. A., Timoshenko Zh. I.
Oles Honchar Dnipropetrovsk National University
MARS AND PROBLEMS OF ITS EXPLORATION
The Mars – is the fourth Planet in terms of distance to the Sun and the seventh Planet in terms of size in the Solar system. It is about twice smaller than the Earth. Its diameter is6,800 km. The mass of the Planet is 10.7 % of the Earth mass. The Mars is named after the Roman’s God of War whose name is corresponded to the ancient Greek’s God – Ares. Sometimes the Mars is called the «Red Planet» because of a reddish hue of its surface that is stipulated by iron oxide. There are two natural satellites of the Mars- Phobos and Deimos. Starting from the 1960s, the USSR («Mars» and «Phobos» programs), the United States («Mariner», «Viking» and others) and the European Space Agency («Mars Express» programs) were involved into studies of the Mars.
The scientists are interested in the Mars exploration because of many reasons and it is necessary to emphasize that main of them is a number of similarities with the Earth. The Mars topography consists of mountains, valleys, canyons and plains. In addition to the similarity of the surface relief, a rotation period and the change of seasons on the Mars are similar to the Earth, but climate of the «Red Planet» is much colder and drier than the Earth one. There are the ice caps at both poles of the Planet that comprise water.
Taking into account both the relatively short distance to the Earth and natural features, the Mars is the most possible candidate for the people colony foundation in the foreseeable future. The Mars is the Planet where the journey from the Earth requires the minimum of energy consumption. The Venus is out of consideration because of unacceptable conditions for living. It takes around 9 months of the flight along of the semi-elliptical orbit to get the «Red Planet». The Mars flight spacecraft development is a comprehensive task. There are the problems as follows:
– High level of the space radiation (both at the Planet itself and during the flight).
– Heavy seasonal and daily temperature fluctuations.
– The highest problems of the surface landing procedures.
– Low atmospheric pressure.
A great amount of the Research and Development works will be conducted before the engineers start doing their own work – the Space Launch Vehicle Development. It is strongly required to create a reliable life-support system, low-consumption on-board propulsion systems, aerodynamic breaking system, adverse radiation protection system and a powerful rocket engine. Besides it is necessary to clarify the ways of the Martian soil using for the colony base construction activities.