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L. Spiro

Would You Live on Mars?

140 posts in this topic

[quote name='Alpha_ProgDes' timestamp='1354932594' post='5008323']
@Spiro: Wouldn't living on a barren wasteland lose its luster after a few months? I mean there's nothing there. Sands and rocks. Unless you're the nature, rock-climbing type. I don't see Mars having a lot of interesting things to keep one busy or fascinated.
[/quote]
The struggle for survival and building the foundation for future colonists are what make it interesting. The scenery, red skies, 2 moons, and gravity will lengthen my interest in the place but will eventually lose luster. But every 2 years new people will come. That keeps it more interesting, and who knows what discoveries are to be made.
There are also many other things to do to keep myself entertained. My mother praised my ability to find ways to entertain myself as a child. But who knows. That is why we train in the desert for months at a time.


[quote name='Olof Hedman' timestamp='1354958912' post='5008448']
Yeah, living on mars within the next few decades would probably be a lot more like living in a tent in a desert, then close to anything star trek.
Except the tent would likely have more conveniences, like (realtime) internet and access to health care. And breathable air outside.
And you won't have global months long dust storms that will kill you if you go outside, and in the meantime clogs all your equipment.
[/quote]
Just because it is nothing like Star Trek does not make it less appealing to me. After all I am quite happy in Tokyo so far. It isn’t about the amenities of life, it is about living on a new world.


[quote name='Olof Hedman' timestamp='1354958912' post='5008448']
You have an urge to "keep things fresh" even in Tokyo. are you really sure you wont feel this urge after a few months where-ever you might be? Those urges are usually a lot more about your personality, then it has to do with any location.
And going to Mars severely limits your options of "keeping things fresh" in the future.
[/quote]
We will see on the training missions, although living in the desert does not have the same appeal as living on a new world.

[quote name='Olof Hedman' timestamp='1354958912' post='5008448']
I too think that you should start with orbital bases, get some kind of economy running, find fuel to mine, and make it feasible to shuttle people back and forth before starting to do surface bases for humans.
[/quote]
I don’t really have a choice. I don’t see any orbital bases being set up, nor do I see any better chance of myself getting into space than this, period. I only have a shot at this just because of how it is set up.






[quote name='TheGuardian' timestamp='1354989536' post='5008544']
It's easy to talk about building your own self-sufficient colony but it's harder to apply the knowledge needed to actually do it. Also, because supplies are not guaranteed, the people living inside the colony need to be extremely smart scientists to make their own materials, based on what they have available on the surface of Mars.[/font]
[/quote]
The challenge makes it fun.

[quote name='TheGuardian' timestamp='1354989536' post='5008544']
Imagine you and the other colonists would get really sick, like contracting an epidemic or something. There's no hospital around for millions of miles. What then? Also, provided that every member has a precise role in the community, if something happens to him/her, then everything goes to hell. For this very reason, I think it's important that the future colonists be trained in multiple fields of work.
[/quote]
2 people are trained heavily in engineering (I am already an engineer), 2 in medical science, and all will have basic first-aide training.



L. Spiro
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[quote name='TheGuardian' timestamp='1355025344' post='5008689']Also, if missions to the Moon were successful, then we gain the confidence that we need; then we know we can do this, we are motivated towards embarking on what can be a one-way trip.
[/quote]
They will send 8 or so ships to Mars before any humans go there, the plan being partly to deliver supplies but also to practice the travel and landing procedures.


L. Spiro
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[quote]Yeah, living on mars within the next few decades would probably be a lot more like living in a tent in a desert, then close to anything star trek.
Except the tent would likely have more conveniences, like (realtime) internet and access to health care. And breathable air outside.
And you won't have global months long dust storms that will kill you if you go outside, and in the meantime clogs all your equipment.[/quote]
Unless there are some very significant theoretical and engineering advances in physics in the next few decades, you won't be seeing realtime internet on Mars anytime soon. The speed of light average roundtrip from Mars to Earth is about 25 minutes. But there's always hope! It would be kind of cool to create an artificial atmosphere on Mars :) Edited by Bacterius
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[quote name='TheGuardian' timestamp='1355025344' post='5008689']
[font=lucida sans unicode,lucida grande,sans-serif]We are talking about rockets capable of covering vast distances of space, not orbital rockets. I can't recal the last time when private contractors have sent a rocket to the Moon. Do you?[/quote][/font]

Are we talking about "rockets" ie. launch vehicles or spacecraft? If you're just talking about the rocket (which I was, since that was the term used), anything that was launched to the moon or beyond on an Atlas V was technically launched by a private contractor - ULA. That includes the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (Mars), New Horizons (Pluto), Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter/LCROSS (Moon, and the rocket's Centaur stage was intentionally crashed into the moon on that mission, so the rocket literally went to the moon), Juno (Jupiter), and Mars Science Laboratory (Mars). So yes, private contractors HAVE sent spacecraft beyond low Earth orbit, though as far as I know they have yet to build such a spacecraft for anyone but NASA. Granted that these are uncrewed spacecraft, and crewed space missions beyond low Earth orbit are likely to need multiple launches and/or in-space refuelling, at least with currently-flying LVs, but as far as the rocket itself is concerned, crewed spacecraft are just spacecraft with unusual operational constraints; as far as the launch vehicle is concerned, they're just payloads that need to be put into a particular orbit at a particular time by the rocket.

Furthermore, private contractors built a lot of the exploration hardware used in the Apollo program, too. The Apollo spacecraft itself, for instance, was built by North American Aviation. IIRC NAA was also the prime contractor for the second stage of the Saturn V rocket, too, while Northrop Grumman was the prime contractor for the lunar module. Edited by Oberon_Command
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Biggest reason to want moon bases before going to Mars would be:
A) Providing a Staging area to construct and launch vehicles large enough for manned missions to Mars.
B) Providing a proving ground for long term colonial techs. Proving key things such as life support systems such as water and O2 recycling work reliably with no outside influence, and the farming practices for food production hold sound in the long term. Yes, there are different challenges, but there is still a fair bit of cross over. (Not to mention that long term effects of low gravity environments would likely be accelerated on the Moon as compared to on Mars, so good to know before hand.)
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[quote name='L. Spiro' timestamp='1355025467' post='5008690']
Just because it is nothing like Star Trek does not make it less appealing to me. After all I am quite happy in Tokyo so far.
[/quote]
I would think living in Japan would be closer to Star Trek even when compared to America.
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[quote]The scenery, red skies, 2 moons, and gravity will lengthen my interest in the place but will eventually lose luster.[/quote]
You do realise that you can't actually see the two moons from Mars. They seem just to faint starts on the night sky from Mars.

Sorry to crush your dreams :P Edited by szecs
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[quote name='szecs' timestamp='1355035581' post='5008722']
[quote]The scenery, red skies, 2 moons, and gravity will lengthen my interest in the place but will eventually lose luster.[/quote]
You do realise that you can't actually see the two moons from Mars. They seem just to faint starts on the night sky from Mars.

Sorry to crush your dreams :P
[/quote]
WHAT YOU SAY !!!


L. Spiro
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[font=lucida sans unicode,lucida grande,sans-serif][quote name='szecs' timestamp='1355035581' post='5008722']
You do realise that you can't actually see the two moons from Mars. They seem just to faint starts on the night sky from Mars.

Sorry to crush your dreams [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/tongue.png[/img]
[/quote][/font]
[font=lucida sans unicode,lucida grande,sans-serif]Szecs, you CAN see the moons. They are a little smaller and dimmer than our Moon appears from Earth [/font][font=lucida sans unicode,lucida grande,sans-serif](Phobos is 1/3, Deimos is even smaller)[/font][font=lucida sans unicode,lucida grande,sans-serif], but you can see them. Unless the colonists are going to live on the polar regions of Mars, in which case they won't see them. [/font]
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[quote name='TheGuardian' timestamp='1355067392' post='5008810']
[font=lucida sans unicode,lucida grande,sans-serif][quote name='szecs' timestamp='1355035581' post='5008722']
You do realise that you can't actually see the two moons from Mars. They seem just to faint starts on the night sky from Mars.

Sorry to crush your dreams [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/tongue.png[/img]
[/quote][/font]
[font=lucida sans unicode,lucida grande,sans-serif]Szecs, you CAN see the moons. They are a little smaller and dimmer than our Moon appears from Earth [/font][font=lucida sans unicode,lucida grande,sans-serif](Phobos is 1/3, Deimos is even smaller)[/font][font=lucida sans unicode,lucida grande,sans-serif], but you can see them. Unless the colonists are going to live on the polar regions of Mars, in which case they won't see them. [/font]
[/quote]

Hmm. Yup. I remembered wrong. Sorry for the misinformation.
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[quote name='szecs' timestamp='1355069563' post='5008817']
Hmm. Yup. I remembered wrong. Sorry for the misinformation.
[/quote]

You're using the internet wrong. This is where you're supposed to double down, and then throw insults at TheGuardian.
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Any colony on Mars is likely to be built under ground anyway due to increased surface radiation, and the vastly increased number of impacts from space (due to a lesser atmosphere and minor magnetic field to protect it)... So really you are unlikely to see the moons from under 20+ feet of rock. That, and polar regions sound like a good place to settle anyway due to probable amounts of water.

But they also are really weird moons. Poked around to refresh my memory, the smaller of the moons looks about 1/3rd as wide as ours, is faint, and travels 'backwards' across the sky, and the larger moon looks around 1/12th that of our moon, and travels very fast. Compared to other objects in the night sky, they look more like enlarged planets or really big stars than they would look like our moon.
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I would love to get away from it all! ^_^

Cue "The Greatest adventure" by Glenn Yarbrough...
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Sometimes, a song speaks louder than words: [url="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kIq8jLj5TzU"]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kIq8jLj5TzU[/url]
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[quote name='Luckless' timestamp='1355094739' post='5008913']vastly increased number of impacts from space (due to a lesser atmosphere and minor magnetic field to protect it)... So really you are unlikely to see the moons from under 20+ feet of rock.[/quote]Make that 200 feet, if you plan for (minor) impacts. 20 feet of rock just evaporate on an impact (for anything much larger than a millimeter of diameter or so). As there's practically no atmosphere, something coming from space will have more or less the same speed and mass upon impact as in space (much different from e.g. on Earth). Edited by samoth
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[quote name='Luckless' timestamp='1355094739' post='5008913']
Any colony on Mars is likely to be built under ground anyway due to increased surface radiation, and the vastly increased number of impacts from space (due to a lesser atmosphere and minor magnetic field to protect it)... So really you are unlikely to see the moons from under 20+ feet of rock.[/quote]

Built by who? Dust devils? Nobody is building nothing underground. There are no building materials, tools, or machinery on Mars.
There are no workers on Mars. They're sending ready-to-use living modules. No return ticket home.

Yes, I'm sure there will be constant danger from solar flares and solar radiation. Your life source will be dependent on
machines to produce clean oxygen, 24 hours a day. If all electronics get zapped by the sun, you're a goner.

And it takes 7 months to get to Mars. It's not like you're a satellite that can shut down for 7 months and wake up again.
All electronics need to stay on and functioning throughout the entire trip. Constant danger from solar flares.
May not even survive the trip there.
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[quote name='megabaki' timestamp='1355969701' post='5012678']There are no building materials, tools, or machinery on Mars.
There are no workers on Mars. They're sending ready-to-use living modules. No return ticket home.
[/quote]

At first. I'd imagine that if colonization took off, the colonists would start using local materials for things. Mars has mineral deposits just as Earth does. As for tools, machinery, and workers... send them, and use the Earth-imported tools, machinery, and workers to make more tools, machinery, and workers.
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Yeah by the sounds of it, this group would be sending a ready-made "space station" type set-up to the Martian surface.

However, as the Planetary Resources people pointed out when they started their asteroid mining venture, we've already got entire robot colonies on the bottom of the ocean, where no man has ever tread, automatically excavating and drilling and building things.

If we wanted to build a mine and a factory and an underground habitat on Mars, we've got the technology to build all that without actually sending any humans to do the work, who can be sent once it's all up and running.
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I don't see anyone digging underground tunnels or living in caves in Mars.
To build an underground complex, the entire area needs to be excavated with machinery that
can move tons of dirt. Nobody is sending a nuclear-powered backhoe to Mars anytime soon.
You also need a strong foundation for support. Nobody is mixing and pouring cement on Mars either.
Structures are then moved into place, and the entire area is buried again. Even with
robots, this is simply not pratical.
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[quote name='megabaki' timestamp='1356047185' post='5012996']
Even with robots, this is simply not pratical.
[/quote]

Really? I've been a shift supervisor on a test bed mine in Africa a little over a year ago. Our section of the mine was all robotic, and completely hands off. I haven't left Canada in over 15 years.

You don't need to build 'strong foundations' when you are carving something out of solid bedrock, as it already [i]IS[/i] a strong foundation. You will seal the walls so they are air tight, and most likely build a thin-skin building inside with an air buffer so you get a dual layer seal against full leaks, but very little concrete or concrete like material is required.

In all likely hood you would build your colony as a mine. Remove the material you want to use for something else, and a little extra as needed for space, and then expand living areas behind your face. (Or wait till a run in the mine is complete, then expand it into a living area. Depends on exact time tables and whether or not you can afford to wait the years it would take to 'finish' a full mine section to the point where you want to sink a second shaft to use as primary access.

There were no European Carpenters and Miners when Europeans first came to North America. We didn't know of any mines, or houses that would protect us from the elements. Yet they still came here. And honestly when you consider the risks, and the number of people who died on [i]successful[/i] missions as compared to those who have died in accidents in space flight, I would argue that crossing the Atlantic in small wooden boats several hundred years ago was far more dangerous than a trip to Mars would be today. It isn't [i]safe[/i], but the risks are a lot better understood and manageable than early settlers faced.
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In all likely hood you would build your colony as a mine.

 

I disagree.  The most important resource on Mars will be water, and you don't have to be a
Starcraft fanatic to know you build your base near the resources.  Nobody will be living in
a mine where there is no or little water to be found.  Just because our ancestors lived in caves,

doesn't mean we have to.  It's the 21th century.  We don't have to live like rats anymore.

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Yet, it's likely that a colony on Mars would be built underground to avoid surface radiation: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn22520-mars-is-safe-from-radiation--but-the-trip-there-isnt.html

 

 

Dartnell suggests that a base or colony on Mars could be built underground to avoid surface radiation. Or, with enough advance warning, astronauts could retreat to protective shelters during a flare.

 

 

"Could be".  Or... use "protective shelters" instead.

 

Nobody is arguing that underground bases can't protect against radiation.  I just don't see them as being pratical
on a large scale.  If anyone is digging on Mars, you'll dig your own with a shovel.  It'll be a rabbit-size
bunker hole where you can hide from solar flares. 

 

And it'll just be a hole in the ground.  You'll still be in your spacesuit.  So if a blackout knocks
out all of the power, you'll be safe from radiation, but with little oxygen left.  But no problem,
you've already dug your own grave.  Nothing else left to do except die.

Edited by megabaki
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Sometimes, a song speaks louder than words: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kIq8jLj5TzU
First-off, what the-
Talk about nostalgia overflow. I was 3 years and 4 months old when I watched this episode of Sesame Street.
You can’t imagine how influential this one song has been in my life. To be quite frank if I were never able to live in space (or on another planet or moon) then my next choice would be under the deep ocean. At least until I was 8. I soon learned of the dangers in living under the ocean, and ironic as it may seem there are more dangers in living under the ocean than in living on Mars.
My main question is though—
My memory allows me to see every nook and cranny of my past, but only when it is mentioned. How in the hell did you remember this off the top of your head?

 
Make that 200 feet, if you plan for (minor) impacts. 20 feet of rock just evaporate on an impact (for anything much larger than a millimeter of diameter or so). As there's practically no atmosphere, something coming from space will have more or less the same speed and mass upon impact as in space (much different from e.g. on Earth).
Actually only 16.5 feet is necessary.
Asteroidal impacts are actually capable of penetrating deeper, but the chances of those asteroids hitting the base are only 5 times higher than the chances of an asteroid hitting a human on Earth. The calculated risk is that we ignore asteroidal impacts. Feel free to laugh at us if our base does get hit, but you must then also welcome 10 generations of shame upon you, your children, their children, etc., if it does not happen.
 
Any colony on Mars is likely to be built under ground anyway due to increased surface radiation, and the vastly increased number of impacts from space (due to a lesser atmosphere and minor magnetic field to protect it)... So really you are unlikely to see the moons from under 20+ feet of rock.
The colony will be under 16.5 feet of Mars dust. We are not confined to these spaces as such would be our demise. The Mars suits serve many purposes and seeings the moons is one side-effect of this.
 
 
Built by who? Dust devils? Nobody is building nothing underground.
Actually most of it will be under-ground.
 
 
I don't see anyone digging underground tunnels or living in caves in Mars.
To build an underground complex, the entire area needs to be excavated with machinery that
can move tons of dirt.
Really?
Because last I checked Mars has a gravity equal to 37.828746177370030581039755351682% that of Earth’s, and an outer layer that is essentially composed of red cigarette smoke.
Digging is actually the easy part. The hard part is avoiding cave-ins, but that won’t be a problem with the supplies that will be sent.
 
 
I disagree.  The most important resource on Mars will be water
As such the bases will be positioned near the equator (just north). There are basically 2 (maybe 3) hotpots (we will know more accurately once we get there) where water can be exhumed from underground by boiling it from under the surface and collecting it as it evaporates.
Not only has there already proved to be so much water there that we can survive, there is even so much water that some of it can be turned into air for breathing, which is basically our way of getting oxygen.


Honestly as someone with so many opinions I have to wonder why you know so little.
Do try to do more research, won’t you?


L. Spiro Edited by L. Spiro
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