|Purpose||Mars Descent||Mars Ascent|
|Engines||9 Asterex||9 Asterex|
People ask, who inspires us? It's not Elon Musk, neither Robert Zubrin, or NASA.
Our biggest influence is a Russian teacher who lived more than a hundred years ago.
A self-taught rocket scientist, Konstantin Tsiolkovsky put some numbers to French Jules Verne's "From the Earth to the Moon" and wrote in 1903 The Exploration of Cosmic Space by Means of Reaction Devices, considered the first serious work of feasibility of physical space exploration.
Using those numbers, within a few decades another rocket enthusiast - the somewhat paranoid (probably for good reason) American inventor Robert Goddard - brought out multistage and liquid-fueled rockets. Meanwhile, Romanian Space legend Hermann Oberth wrote “By Rocket into Planetary Space" (reportedly self-published after its rejection of a doctoral thesis) and with students including Wernher von Braun, developed the first German military liquid-fueled rocket engines.
Already then, a whole century back, these guys detailed space stations, geostationary satellites, communication between them and ground using radio, solar power, solar mirrors, gravity assist and using LEO and/or Mars as a base for interplanetary travel.
Finally, Wernher von Braun was brought to America where he supervised the Apollo project, ultimately landing us on the moon.
Back to the Russian teacher who started it all: In a Sci-Fi novel, Tsiolkovsky describes a very small team of people building a space rocket in the Himalayas. The project is not a secret, but the world is busy elsewhere and the ones who know about it don't really believe a launch will take place.
One day, the spaceship takes off with a bang. By the time people realize what has happened, the five pioneers - sitting in a hot tub mounted in the middle of their spacecraft to soften the impact of g-forces - are already shooting past the moon.
That picture somehow stuck with us. Currently in Sierra Nevada for backcountry spring skiing, we recently came across an ad for a large lot, a former mining claim, offered in the desert straight across from the snowy peaks. It's pretty, affordable, and isolated.
Let's see what happens.
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|Body T C||37.1||37.0|