Author Topic: Mars  (Read 4084 times)

scottish

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Re: Mars
« Reply #100 on: October 23, 2017, 03:41:45 PM »
One of the neat things about Space-X and their projects is that they aren't driven by a widely accepted need.

The driving force behind the original US and USSR space programs were economic and military competition.   People in the US accepted that they had to keep up with the commies, and the USSR believed it had to stay ahead of the capitalist imperialists.

Without Space-X, there would be no talk of Mars, Boeing and Lockheed-Martin would continue to rip off the US government, and innovation in the space industry would be pretty much zero, until such time as there was a widely accepted, urgent, need for it.    Large companies would normally never undertake something so risky, and governments have other items on the top of their agenda.

ooeei

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Re: Mars
« Reply #101 on: October 24, 2017, 08:51:17 AM »

I understand that science and knowledge as a whole is huge leaps forward from where it was then, and we know more about how/why things work and why it will be difficult to do what you propose. Even so, to make such a definite statement seems a bit arrogant to me.

...wait, what? 
Which statement are you referring to when you say "such a definite statement seems a bit arrogant to me"?  That I firmly believe something?  Or the statement about the size of the universe and the distances between planets?

I'm trying to have a discussion here, not start a fight.

I know I'll seem like a party pooper here, but I firmly believe that our species cannot ever make it out of our solar system.
...I hope I am wrong.

nereo

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Re: Mars
« Reply #102 on: October 24, 2017, 02:30:27 PM »

I understand that science and knowledge as a whole is huge leaps forward from where it was then, and we know more about how/why things work and why it will be difficult to do what you propose. Even so, to make such a definite statement seems a bit arrogant to me.

...wait, what? 
Which statement are you referring to when you say "such a definite statement seems a bit arrogant to me"?  That I firmly believe something?  Or the statement about the size of the universe and the distances between planets?

I'm trying to have a discussion here, not start a fight.

I know I'll seem like a party pooper here, but I firmly believe that our species cannot ever make it out of our solar system.
...I hope I am wrong.

um, ok...  I'm still not seeing the arrogance.  I'm expressing my opinion ("...I firmly believe"), and have stated it clearly as such.  I even added the caveat that "I hope I am wrong" because I like the idea it may happen someday.

I just look at the physics of sending objects weighing a few tons to a few thousand tons out of our system, across >4 light years and see incredible challenges.  The energy to leave will be enormous, the time to get there will be measured in centuries and the energy to stop will also be enormous. Meanwhile everything from cosmic radiation to errant particles threaten the ship.  I'm still not sold that the cost & risk would be worth it - especially when we there are planets, moons, asteroids and orbiting space stations in our own solar system that could be explored, mined, terraformed and colonized. Sure, maybe in a few billion years when the sun starts to expand (if we are still around) we'll pack up and leave, but speaking from an evolutionary perspective we won't even be human should we survive a few million more years.

Calling me arrogant because I give a contrarian view is in poor form.
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ooeei

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Re: Mars
« Reply #103 on: October 24, 2017, 02:48:54 PM »
um, ok...  I'm still not seeing the arrogance.  I'm expressing my opinion ("...I firmly believe"), and have stated it clearly as such.  I even added the caveat that "I hope I am wrong" because I like the idea it may happen someday.

I just look at the physics of sending objects weighing a few tons to a few thousand tons out of our system, across >4 light years and see incredible challenges.  The energy to leave will be enormous, the time to get there will be measured in centuries and the energy to stop will also be enormous. Meanwhile everything from cosmic radiation to errant particles threaten the ship.  I'm still not sold that the cost & risk would be worth it - especially when we there are planets, moons, asteroids and orbiting space stations in our own solar system that could be explored, mined, terraformed and colonized. Sure, maybe in a few billion years when the sun starts to expand (if we are still around) we'll pack up and leave, but speaking from an evolutionary perspective we won't even be human should we survive a few million more years.

Calling me arrogant because I give a contrarian view is in poor form.

Fair enough, maybe I took it the wrong way. I interpreted your post as more of a "look at all of these reasons why it won't work, it's silly to consider and not worth thinking about." Clearly that's not what you meant, so my bad.

Leisured

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Re: Mars
« Reply #104 on: November 01, 2017, 10:32:27 PM »
The original idea, about sixty years ago, was that we would settle Mars, and be able to flit between Mars and Earth frequently. The reality of the enormous cost of space travel dawned about the seventies. The original understanding was that the atmosphere of Mars was unbreathable, (correct) but the atmosphere exerted enough pressure that a pressure suit was not needed. This is also untrue.

Two points emerge:

Migrants go to Mars go on a one way trip, never to return. In the early years of the settlement of north and south America, and Australia, most migrants took a one way trip.

Martians will live in pressurized surroundings, but will need to leave pressurized buildings frequently, so they need a pressure suit that can be put on nearly as easily as putting on an overcoat for a cold day on Earth.

Food is a serious problem. Plants will grow in pressurized tents of clear plastic, carbon dioxide pumped from the outside atmosphere. Sunlight delivers about half the power per sq metre on Mars than on Earth. The worst problem is cold. Large arrays of solar water heaters, connected to a large heat storage, might work. If uranium is found on Mars, then simple atomic piles can heat buildings. Such piles will be similar to the legendary squash court reactor in Chicago just before the atom bomb project started.  Solar power can supply electricity.

In the early years, unmanned vehicles could deliver grain and sugar from Earth to Mars, for a cost which is merely exorbitant rather than overpowering. The vehicles do not return. The sugar could be used to power cellular reactors to produce fruit juice, milk, eggs, the last two being yolk and egg white separately. Milk leads to butter, cheese and yogurt. More advanced cellular reactors than we have at present could provide food with texture such as vat grown potatoes, apples and similar. Shell fish and small fish could be grown in tanks, from feed made from grain and vat grown materials.





maizeman

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Re: Mars
« Reply #105 on: November 02, 2017, 07:11:36 AM »
Food is a serious problem. Plants will grow in pressurized tents of clear plastic, carbon dioxide pumped from the outside atmosphere. Sunlight delivers about half the power per sq metre on Mars than on Earth. The worst problem is cold. Large arrays of solar water heaters, connected to a large heat storage, might work. If uranium is found on Mars, then simple atomic piles can heat buildings. Such piles will be similar to the legendary squash court reactor in Chicago just before the atom bomb project started.  Solar power can supply electricity.

In the early years, unmanned vehicles could deliver grain and sugar from Earth to Mars, for a cost which is merely exorbitant rather than overpowering. The vehicles do not return. The sugar could be used to power cellular reactors to produce fruit juice, milk, eggs, the last two being yolk and egg white separately. Milk leads to butter, cheese and yogurt. More advanced cellular reactors than we have at present could provide food with texture such as vat grown potatoes, apples and similar. Shell fish and small fish could be grown in tanks, from feed made from grain and vat grown materials.

Food is definitely a serious problem. If you have enough electricity (from solar panels or nuclear reactors), we are already reasonably good at turning electricity + CO2 + water + heat into basic carbohydrates and fats using algal bioreactors. In the early days, I expect LED lighted bioreactors (which don't need a lot of space and can be buried underground or behind thick insulating walls) will be a more efficient source of food than greenhouses which -- as you point out -- would need to be pressurized and heated, and you'd actually need more acreage per person than you'd need on earth as plants tend to grow more slowly when light levels are lower. Algal oil and algal flour have been significant components of several iterations of the Soylent recipe.
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