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Angela
29-09-16, 17:22
The first committee meeting was held recently in Houston.

"Some 20 years from now, if current timelines are to be trusted, that dream will at last become a reality. Housed in a crew capsule called Orion, NASA astronauts will soar into orbit on an advanced version of the Space Launch System, a rocket bigger than the Saturn 5 that took their predecessors to the moon. In orbit they will dock with other spacecraft, including a deep-space habitat, then fly away, leaving Earth far behind. Months later they will arrive at Mars, descending to the planet in a habitat lander. They will spend up to several hundreds of days on the surface constructing a base, exploring their surroundings and manufacturing rocket fuel. At the end of their stay, that rocket fuel will power a Mars Ascent Vehicle, which will launch those first pioneers back to the deep-space habitat and then to Earth. The base will remain for use and expansion by future crews as part of a broader “Evolvable Mars Campaign.”

Right now they're focusing on choosing the site, which is more difficult than might be imagined.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/no-man-s-land-where-on-mars-should-astronauts-go/


Elon Musk-Space X founder

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/sep/27/elon-musk-spacex-mars-colony

LeBrok
29-09-16, 17:59
I like space and science fiction, but this is waste of money. First of all let's do a base on the moon and see how it goes and look for minerals, or open new vacation resort there for space tourists, sort of get ready for Mars practice. All within 3 days of affordable flight to the moon.
Secondly, robotic missions are so much cheaper than human missions (10 times) and in 30 years automatic robots will do all the science people could do for a fraction of the cost. For the money of sending people to Mars we can send hundreds of robotic missions like Pathfinder or Cassini and land on every planet and moon in our solar system. Or drill through ice on Europa moon to check for life. So much more science could be done this way.
Thirdly, we in huge moral dilemma to send people to Mars one way, or not. The last thing for space exploration, enthusiasts and not only, want to see are dead bodies of first "settlers" streaming on all the media channels to Earth. Even if the pioneers chose one way ticket themselves. The optics of it will be terrible and can kill further exploration of space by people.
Space is unforgiven place for people, not like our life friendly Earth. The most stuff out there will kill us with easy.

For now Elon should concentrate on not going bankrupt from all the big investments in electric cars and batteries, plus his not so successful rocket launches. If he's new Tesla model won't sell, he is done and rest of dreams are over. His exuberant romanticism leading his decision making might be his biggest achilles heel.

Twilight
30-09-16, 05:06
I like space and science fiction, but this is waste of money. First of all let's do a base on the moon and see how it goes and look for minerals, or open new vacation resort there for space tourists, sort of get ready for Mars practice. All within 3 days of affordable flight to the moon.
Secondly, robotic missions are so much cheaper than human missions (10 times) and in 30 years automatic robots will do all the science people could do for a fraction of the cost. For the money of sending people to Mars we can send hundreds of robotic missions like Pathfinder or Cassini and land on every planet and moon in our solar system. Or drill through ice on Europa moon to check for life. So much more science could be done this way.
Thirdly, we in huge moral dilemma to send people to Mars one way, or not. The last thing for space exploration, enthusiasts and not only, want to see are dead bodies of first "settlers" streaming on all the media channels to Earth. Even if the pioneers chose one way ticket themselves. The optics of it will be terrible and can kill further exploration of space by people.
Space is unforgiven place for people, not like our life friendly Earth. The most stuff out there will kill us with easy.

For now Elon should concentrate on not going bankrupt from all the big investments in electric cars and batteries, plus his not so successful rocket launches. If he's new Tesla model won't sell, he is done and rest of dreams are over. His exuberant romanticism leading his decision making might be his biggest achilles heel.

Idk, by 2036 we could be creeping up to 10 billion people on earth. We are at 7 billion in something and still trying to solve hunger issues. We don't have enough land to feed 10 billion people let alone 7 billion, colonizing planets might be the only evolutionary logical option in the end; ever since we humans first left the trees, we started multiplying exponentially until by about 10,000 bc, we dwelled on every continent besides Antarctica. Although I agree, we could be dealing with Native Martians. I'd feel more comfortable if Martian colonists start out creating "oxygen rich dome covered" cities and have astronauts to explore the terrain with space suits every workday.

Keep in mind in the year 1900 the world had a population of 1.6 billion people, now in 2016 we are at a population of 7.45 billion people and counting.


http://geography.about.com/od/obtainpopulationdata/a/worldpopulation.htm
http://www.worldometers.info/world-population/

bicicleur
30-09-16, 08:21
Woudln't be much cheaper to colonize the moon, not Mars? Besides current hunger is due to poverty in some countries and not because we can't produce more food. Half of agrarian fields of Canada and Poland (countries I'm familiar with) are covered by meadows now, because it is not worth to plant crops.

producing enough food is not a problem
getting food into the right area is
some areas are realy overpopulated

and forgive me for being blunt, but by 7 billion people, there is a lot of redundancy

anyway, between reaching the moon or mars, and making it inhabitable there is a long way to go
mars has more potential for that than the moon
the atmosphere of mars has to be manipulated, as they will do with the atmosphere of earth in order to stabilize and optimize climate
the expertise for that is lacking for the moment
the moon has no atmosphere to do this

Maciamo
30-09-16, 10:03
I like space and science fiction, but this is waste of money. First of all let's do a base on the moon and see how it goes and look for minerals, or open new vacation resort there for space tourists, sort of get ready for Mars practice. All within 3 days of affordable flight to the moon.

The Moon is just a big rock with no resources and no atmosphere. Nothing would grow there, and there is no water. That would be a waste of money and that's why it has never been done.

In contrast Mars has all the mineral resources found on Earth, plenty of (mostly frozen) water and an atmosphere rich in CO2 that is perfectly suitable to grow plants, which in turn will convert the CO2 in oxygen. Additionally temperatures on the Moon vary staggeringly between day time (up to 106°C) and night time (up to -183°C) because of the lack of atmosphere. Mars is more temperature and some regions near the equator reach a confortable 20°C during the day.

The main issue on Mars, by my reckoning (but I am not an astro scientist) is that the atmosphere on Mars is far too thin for humans to be able to breathe, even if the CO2 was converted in enough O2. This means that humans would need to live in sealed up environments all the time, inside spaceships at first, then maybe in some sort of domed cities.



Secondly, robotic missions are so much cheaper than human missions (10 times) and in 30 years automatic robots will do all the science people could do for a fraction of the cost. For the money of sending people to Mars we can send hundreds of robotic missions like Pathfinder or Cassini and land on every planet and moon in our solar system. Or drill through ice on Europa moon to check for life. So much more science could be done this way.

I agree. It's much more sensible to first send robots to prepare the environment for us, including installing solar panels, melting water and building greenhouses for plants.


Thirdly, we in huge moral dilemma to send people to Mars one way, or not. The last thing for space exploration, enthusiasts and not only, want to see are dead bodies of first "settlers" streaming on all the media channels to Earth. Even if the pioneers chose one way ticket themselves. The optics of it will be terrible and can kill further exploration of space by people.
Space is unforgiven place for people, not like our life friendly Earth. The most stuff out there will kill us with easy.

For now Elon should concentrate on not going bankrupt from all the big investments in electric cars and batteries, plus his not so successful rocket launches. If he's new Tesla model won't sell, he is done and rest of dreams are over. His exuberant romanticism leading his decision making might be his biggest achilles heel.

That's true.

bicicleur
30-09-16, 10:27
Thirdly, we in huge moral dilemma to send people to Mars one way, or not. The last thing for space exploration, enthusiasts and not only, want to see are dead bodies of first "settlers" streaming on all the media channels to Earth. Even if the pioneers chose one way ticket themselves. The optics of it will be terrible and can kill further exploration of space by people.
Space is unforgiven place for people, not like our life friendly Earth. The most stuff out there will kill us with easy.


If humans would have had the same dillema in the past, humans would still live only in Africa.

Human life is not precious, it is abundant and redundant.
It is only precious for you own human life and your relatives and friends.

That is how humans have explored and conquered the world.
That is how you got a chance to be on this world.

Angela
30-09-16, 15:52
If humans would have had the same dillema in the past, humans would still live only in Africa.

Human life is not precious, it is abundant and redundant.
It is only precious for you own human life and your relatives and friends.

That is how humans have explored and conquered the world.
That is how you got a chance to be on this world.

In general, I agree. This is an inevitable development; we have always expanded outward. Whether it can be done in the time frame that's being put forward by Elon Musk, or if he's the right person to be involved is another question. His business decisions haven't always been sound, in my opinion. Of course, I have to admit that my judgment of him is probably not very objective; ever since his divorce papers were released I've just thought he's a total jerk.

bicicleur
30-09-16, 18:06
Indeed a colony on mars is not intended to solve hunger, nor could it.
The main cause of hunger is corrupt and incapable local governments or local wars.
There is even hunger coming to oil-rich Venezuela now.

I don't understand why hunger is an issue when talking about a mission to mars.
As if the money not spend for the mission would solve hunger.

Moi-même
30-09-16, 19:46
I meant, if your goal is to solve the hunger in the world, martian colonies is a bad investment.

On the other hand, if your goal is a practical try at terraforming, mars is the most efficient place to do it. It's relatively closer by, it has an atmosphere, temperature aren't as extreme as Mercury or Venus and it's more handy to do it on a planet rather than one of Jupiter or Saturn's satellite. Money invest would be more efficient if we send robots and plants first, to build the city(ies) and start cultivate the plants which will make the air breathable (at least under the city dome).

Three things could be tricky to deal with. First, the gravity pull is much less on Mars, about 40% of the Earth's, which could lead to health problem in humans. Second, there is no natural magnetic shield around the planet, so cosmic ray could affect life more than it does on Earth. Add to that, even with plants converting CO2 into oxygen, the martian air would lack nitrogen, which compose 78% of Earth's atmosphere. We need to find a way to produce it locally or replace it with another gas.

Maciamo
30-09-16, 22:39
I meant, if your goal is to solve the hunger in the world, martian colonies is a bad investment.

On the other hand, if your goal is a practical try at terraforming, mars is the most efficient place to do it. It's relatively closer by, it has an atmosphere, temperature aren't as extreme as Mercury or Venus and it's more handy to do it on a planet rather than one of Jupiter or Saturn's satellite. Money invest would be more efficient if we send robots and plants first, to build the city(ies) and start cultivate the plants which will make the air breathable (at least under the city dome).

Three things could be tricky to deal with. First, the gravity pull is much less on Mars, about 40% of the Earth's, which could lead to health problem in humans. Second, there is no natural magnetic shield around the planet, so cosmic ray could affect life more than it does on Earth. Add to that, even with plants converting CO2 into oxygen, the martian air would lack nitrogen, which compose 78% of Earth's atmosphere. We need to find a way to produce it locally or replace it with another gas.

All very good points. But I still think that the biggest problem on Mars, beyond protection from cosmic rays and adapting our circulatory system to lower gravity, is that the Martian air pressure averages about 0.6% of Earth's mean sea level pressure. This means that we would need to pressurise air 200x to breathe normally, even if it contained as much oxygen as on Earth. Considering how slowly even the vast tropical forests on Earth can convert CO2 into O2 (hence global warming), it would take thousands of years to appreciably change the Martian atmosphere even with immense planting operations. I am not even sure that terrestrial plants would survive due to the low air pressure (not enough CO2 intake), the cold temperature and the cosmic rays. That's really a lot to take in even for plants, so forget humans and other mammals, unless we live in pressurised cabins that are more similar to spaceships than to houses.

LeBrok
01-10-16, 02:45
The Moon is just a big rock with no resources and no atmosphere. Nothing would grow there, and there is no water. That would be a waste of money and that's why it has never been done.Mars atmosphere is almost not existent. It represents only 1% of Earth's. It will take millions of years to Terraform and stabilize it for self sustaining. In mean time people will live in glass bubbles. If they need to live in these glass bubbles they might as well do it on the Moon for fraction of the cost. And they could be saved anytime when disaster strikes. Terraforming will be done by robots anyway. People are not needed there for next million years.


In contrast Mars has all the mineral resources found on Earth, plenty of (mostly frozen) water and an atmosphere rich in CO2 that is perfectly suitable to grow plants, which in turn will convert the CO2 in oxygen. There is not much of new supply of CO2 on Mars because of lack of tectonic activity. Plants will eat all of it in few years. First we will need to activate core of Mars to revive volcanoes. Otherwise we'll need to produce artificially constant CO2 stream.
First we would need to drill a big hole into Mars core. Then dump million tons of plutonium. Wait a million years till the heat migrates to surface to fire volcanoes. This will produce more CO2 and other gases and thicken atmosphere. It will heat up water which will flow on the surface creating seas. Now will be a good time to introduce algae and green plants (probably genetically modify to suit air composition. Wait more millions of years till air will be like on earth. That's it.

Additionally temperatures on the Moon vary staggeringly between day time (up to 106°C) and night time (up to -183°C) because of the lack of atmosphere.
Mars is more temperature and some regions near the equator reach a comfortable 20°C during the day. That's because of thin atmosphere. Once we thicken it to earth's composition Mars will freeze. Mars only gets something like 40% of sun's energy earth gets.



The main issue on Mars, by my reckoning (but I am not an astro scientist) is that the atmosphere on Mars is far too thin for humans to be able to breathe, even if the CO2 was converted in enough O2. This means that humans would need to live in sealed up environments all the time, inside spaceships at first, then maybe in some sort of domed cities. I came to the same conclusions at first paragraph. If we need to live in domes, let's do it one the moon thirst. At least for few decades to test the concept. We are rushing to fast to go to Mars, and this will kill us and discourage others for a long time.




I agree. It's much more sensible to first send robots to prepare the environment for us, including installing solar panels, melting water and building greenhouses for plants.

Well, the longer we think about this the more in synch our thoughts are.

I'm sure we will go to Mars one day and even we will terraform it in a long future, but I think it might be more from a boredom and sense of adventure than from earth overcrowding and lack of food. We might not even run out natural resources when everything is recycled by robots, houses made from sand and cars from nanotubes, etc.
There is not much practical need to go to Mars except for romantic dreams of some like Elon Musk. He should spend his money on hundreds of robotic space missions instead.

LeBrok
01-10-16, 02:46
We have the technology and the know-how to feed over 10 millions of people now, and even more so if we improve land usage in third world. Hunger nowadays is politic, those walking skeletons you see are mostly mentally ill people. You government could help them out, but it chose not to, because voters don't want to waste public money on them. And anyway, they are not the kind of people which would be send to a martian colony, nor would they replace those who would left and take the slack in the job vacuum. The money invest in an hypothetical martian colony would save much more people if it was spent on earth instead.

Plus, I highly doubt a martian colony will help in anyway ethnic Somalians under the care of Ethiopian government who live in a contested area. The less money their government spend there, the less it risks to lose if the territory go to Somalia in the end, whenever this "when" happen. Also, the less these ethnic Somalians eat, the less the reproduce. Go check Eastern Ethiopia on google map, see how little roads... I mean paths there are. Martian harvest couldn't reach them if there is no proper road to deliver it, not even proper airport receive the goods.

Which doesn't mean a martian colony isn't a good idea, just that it isn't a solution to hunger in the world. If governments don't have a clear mandate to make sure everyone is feed, they just don't. At the current pace, we will have starving martian colonists begging next to the great martian harvest.
Exactly my thoughts.

Moi-même
01-10-16, 06:53
I didn't read about how thin the martian atmosphere was... That will be a major challenge. o.O

Twilight
01-10-16, 22:38
Mars atmosphere is almost not existent. It represents only 1% of Earth's. It will take millions of years to Terraform and stabilize it for self sustaining. In mean time people will live in glass bubbles. If they need to live in these glass bubbles they might as well do it on the Moon for fraction of the cost. And they could be saved anytime when disaster strikes. Terraforming will be done by robots anyway. People are not needed there for next million years.

There is not much of new supply of CO2 on Mars because of lack of tectonic activity. Plants will eat all of it in few years. First we will need to activate core of Mars to revive volcanoes. Otherwise we'll need to produce artificially constant CO2 stream.
First we would need to drill a big hole into Mars core. Then dump million tons of plutonium. Wait a million years till the heat migrates to surface to fire volcanoes. This will produce more CO2 and other gases and thicken atmosphere. It will heat up water which will flow on the surface creating seas. Now will be a good time to introduce algae and green plants (probably genetically modify to suit air composition. Wait more millions of years till air will be like on earth. That's it.

Additionally temperatures on the Moon vary staggeringly between day time (up to 106°C) and night time (up to -183°C) because of the lack of atmosphere. That's because of thin atmosphere. Once we thicken it to earth's composition Mars will freeze. Mars only gets something like 40% of sun's energy earth gets.


I came to the same conclusions at first paragraph. If we need to live in domes, let's do it one the moon thirst. At least for few decades to test the concept. We are rushing to fast to go to Mars, and this will kill us and discourage others for a long time.



Well, the longer we think about this the more in synch our thoughts are.

I'm sure we will go to Mars one day and even we will terraform it in a long future, but I think it might be more from a boredom and sense of adventure than from earth overcrowding and lack of food. We might not even run out natural resources when everything is recycled by robots, houses made from sand and cars from nanotubes, etc.
There is not much practical need to go to Mars except for romantic dreams of some like Elon Musk. He should spend his money on hundreds of robotic space missions instead.

Let's see how NASA deals with the explorations for Mars, with all do respect going to a differing country to fight for your country doesn't really scare people from fighting for their country, I'm honestly not sure how that is any different however building dome cities on the Moon sounds like a good idea when it comes to baby steps. As far as bombing Mars with plutonium is concerned, we'd probably need to explore the Ice caps for possible wildlife from top to bottom to make sure we don't accidentally cause an extinction event. As far as Robots are concerned, those robots are apart of Martian history. It would be really cool to send the exploration robots in the museum; eventually of course.:)

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_Exploration_Rover

LeBrok
02-10-16, 01:11
I didn't read about how thin the martian atmosphere was... That will be a major challenge. o.O


The total mass of Earth’s atmosphere (http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/41364/atmosphere) is about 5.5 quadrillion tons, or roughly one millionth of Earth’s mass.
http://blogs.britannica.com/2012/01/how-much-does-earth-atmosphere-weigh/

We would need 1/3 of it on Mars, but regardless, to produce 2 quadrillion tons (!!!) of gases it would be even hard and time consuming for robots, and probably impossible without reviving Mars mantle and volcanoes.

Another thing to consider is a possibility of finding life on Mars in shape of soil microbes, by future missions. What will happen then? Should we preserve Martian life and its environment, therefore never terraforming Mars? Even a single human visit there will contaminate natural environment, so not even bubble habitats on Mars.

davef
02-10-16, 07:50
Why should we even waste time colonizing mars to begin with? What? In case we destroy planet earth with all the fracking and polluting? How about mitigating fracking and polluting?

SHEESH!!!

*sigh..,,*

Maciamo
02-10-16, 09:03
Mars atmosphere is almost not existent. It represents only 1% of Earth's. It will take millions of years to Terraform and stabilize it for self sustaining. In mean time people will live in glass bubbles. If they need to live in these glass bubbles they might as well do it on the Moon for fraction of the cost. And they could be saved anytime when disaster strikes. Terraforming will be done by robots anyway. People are not needed there for next million years.

What makes you think that the newly formed gases will hold in the atmosphere? Mars used to have an thicker atmosphere, but it started leaking into the cosmos when it lost it magnetic field. Unless we find a way to restore that magnetic field, there is nothing to be done on Mars. It is essential to retain a thick atmosphere, which in turn also protects from cosmic rays. Once it's done (if at all possible), it will of course take a very long time to recreate the atmosphere, and it will cool down the planet to freezing temperatures everywhere, so that it is far too cold to be inhabitable again.But I think humans had a good opportunity to learn about greenhouse gases in the last few decades to come up with a plan to considerably warm up Mars while its generating its new atmosphere. On the other hand all this will take so long that it's just suicidal to try to send people to live on Mars in the coming decades. New, unforeseen technologies could bring a fast solution to the magnetic field and atmosphere, but these techs don't exist yet and aren't even in sight. All might change with the Singularity and AI billions of times more intelligent than us, but there is also a considerable chance that humans won't survive that. So one problem at a time.

In other words I agree with you it's a waste of time and money. But I don't agree that the Moon is a better option. It's worse because it lacks everything. Mars has a reasonable gravity, mild day temperatures, water, earth, minerals, etc. Living on the Moon or in a spaceship would be pretty much the same.

bicicleur
02-10-16, 09:33
What makes you think that the newly formed gases will hold in the atmosphere? Mars used to have an thicker atmosphere, but it started leaking into the cosmos when it lost it magnetic field. Unless we find a way to restore that magnetic field, there is nothing to be done on Mars. It is essential to retain a thick atmosphere, which in turn also protects from cosmic rays. Once it's done (if at all possible), it will of course take a very long time to recreate the atmosphere, and it will cool down the planet to freezing temperatures everywhere, so that it is far too cold to be inhabitable again.But I think humans had a good opportunity to learn about greenhouse gases in the last few decades to come up with a plan to considerably warm up Mars while its generating its new atmosphere. On the other hand all this will take so long that it's just suicidal to try to send people to live on Mars in the coming decades. New, unforeseen technologies could bring a fast solution to the magnetic field and atmosphere, but these techs don't exist yet and aren't even in sight. All might change with the Singularity and AI billions of times more intelligent than us, but there is also a considerable chance that humans won't survive that. So one problem at a time.

In other words I agree with you it's a waste of time and money. But I don't agree that the Moon is a better option. It's worse because it lacks everything. Mars has a reasonable gravity, mild day temperatures, water, earth, minerals, etc. Living on the Moon or in a spaceship would be pretty much the same.

I agree, both are impossible for the moment.
In the long run Mars might be the better option.

If people go to space, and I think they will, it is because of the human desire to cross new frontiers.

Angela
02-10-16, 14:56
It will happen. As I said, it's inevitable, and mainly, as Bicicleur said, because of the desire to explore and move outward.

@Davef,

The extinction that Elon Musk is talking about would have nothing to do with fracking for goodness sakes': it would either be because of some cosmic event, or, much more likely, that we'll destroy ourselves through nuclear weapons or some other unimaginable horror. I don't think the latter is at all far-fetched.

LeBrok
02-10-16, 22:52
What makes you think that the newly formed gases will hold in the atmosphere? Mars used to have an thicker atmosphere, but it started leaking into the cosmos when it lost it magnetic field. Unless we find a way to restore that magnetic field, there is nothing to be done on Mars. It is essential to retain a thick atmosphere, which in turn also protects from cosmic rays. Once it's done (if at all possible), it will of course take a very long time to recreate the atmosphere, and it will cool down the planet to freezing temperatures everywhere, so that it is far too cold to be inhabitable again.But I think humans had a good opportunity to learn about greenhouse gases in the last few decades to come up with a plan to considerably warm up Mars while its generating its new atmosphere. On the other hand all this will take so long that it's just suicidal to try to send people to live on Mars in the coming decades. New, unforeseen technologies could bring a fast solution to the magnetic field and atmosphere, but these techs don't exist yet and aren't even in sight. All might change with the Singularity and AI billions of times more intelligent than us, but there is also a considerable chance that humans won't survive that. So one problem at a time.We are in total agreement here. My solution for sustainable atmosphere is to revive volcanoes to constantly spew new gases. For this we have to fire up the core and heat up mantle.
The only way to accomplish it is by dumping, through a deep hole through the crust to the Mars' core, billions of tons of radioactive elements like Uranium or plutonium, and everything radioactive. Once core and mantle is hot it should restore magnetic field too. It is theorized that Earth core heats, and keeps hot for billions of years, from radioactive elements in its center.
Just to start such long process, millions of years to heat up the core, we would need to mine asteroids for all the radioactive elements and hall it to Mars. Then shoot it into the borehole on Mars surface from the orbit.


In other words I agree with you it's a waste of time and money. But I don't agree that the Moon is a better option. It's worse because it lacks everything. Mars has a reasonable gravity, mild day temperatures, water, earth, minerals, etc. Living on the Moon or in a spaceship would be pretty much the same. Building the dome habitat on Moon is for training and testing the technology before we know it will work on Mars or somewhere else. Moon has similar chemical composition of the crust. We should be able to find lots to mine for.

DuPidh
02-10-16, 23:10
I think Life on Mars in permanent form is a bit ahead of its time. In one billion years from now the sun Will have lost a lot of its mass and will be hotter and bigger than its now. At that time the ice on Mars would melt and life can be exported. Hopefully the atmosphere can be brought 30% of whats on earth with oxygen making 50% of it.Only then could Mars be livable.