Missions that Weren’t: One-Way Mission to the Moon
from squidgeny in the comments:At the Institute of Aerospace Sciences in Los Angeles in 1962, the pair unveiled their “One-Way Manned Space Mission” proposal.
The plan called for a one-man spacecraft to follow a direct ascent path to the Moon. Ten feet wide and seven feet tall, the empty spacecraft weighed less than half the much smaller Mercury capsule. Inside, the astronaut would have enough water for 12 days, oxygen for 18 with a 12-day emergency reserve, a battery-powered suit and backpack, and all the tools and medical supplies he might need.
He would land on the Moon after a two-and-a-half day trip and have just under ten days to set up his habitat. As part of his payload, the astronaut would arrive with four cargo modules with pre-installed life support systems and a nuclear reactor to generate electrical power. Two mated modules would become his primary living quarters, while the others placed in caves or buried in rubble — a feature Cord and Seale assumed would dominate the lunar landscape — would provide a shelter from solar storms.
With his temporary home set up, he would wait a little over two years for another mission to come and collect him.
(Universe Today)This is how I feel a one-way mission to Mars ought to be conducted. Send an astronaut first, with at least enough supplies to last until the next launch window for a second mission to Mars, which would deliver more supplies and perhaps additional astronauts. The program would consist of a long and expensive series of missions, some manned, most unmanned, with an eventual goal of providing enough equipment and supplies for the first astronaut(s) to return home, while the most recently arrived take their place to continue the study of Mars (and of living on Mars) - a sort of interplanetary shift-rotation.