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Space , Mars , and Recolonization

CaptainCool

Lady of the lake
i agree, for now it is way too costly!
also, there is the risk that when we start building permanent colonies at the lagrange points that the principality of zeon might drop them on earth to cleanse the planet.
living in space would be pretty cool though :p
 

CannonFodder

Resistance is futile! If 0 ohm
i agree, for now it is way too costly!
also, there is the risk that when we start building permanent colonies at the lagrange points that the principality of zeon might drop them on earth to cleanse the planet.
living in space would be pretty cool though :p
I see what you did there.
 

CaptainCool

Lady of the lake
I see what you did there.
=D
as long as the titans dont drop on on von braun im happy... i wanna live there!


but i do wonder how long it will take until we have a permanent station on the moon. that would open a few doors for us, like a permanent 3He supply. but it will probably take some time until we could even use that^^
 
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Karnak

Guest
Mars does have a magnetic field or 'magnetosphere' that deflects a fair amount of the solar wind but its still very hazardous to live on the surface. The planet is not DEAD like the moon is DEAD in the sense that mars has a molten core of spinning metal that generates magnetism around the planet. The moon on the other hand is a cold solid lump and is completely exposed to the sun's full radiation in daylight and is cold as space in darkness.

If you are interested in the theory of terraforming mars i must encourage you to read the mars trilogy books by Kim Stanley Robinson which I really enjoyed and is amazingly detailed and well researched on the theory of changing that planet into a habitable environment for earth life.

It is a great shame that the US has retired their shuttle and in effect their entire launch program but public interest is waning through short sightedness and lack of genuine aspiration that has taken hold of western society since the birth of the space program. To say the space program is too expensive is also true but only true for a governmental budget that puts more importance on bombing foreign populations than advancing the human race. That makes me real angry and sad that even after man walked on the moon power hungry psychopaths get into power and spend all the money on killing people.

In the words of Bill Hicks "You know all that money we spend on the military ever year - trillions of dollars? Instead, if we use this money to feed and clothe the poor of this world, which it would do many times over, then we can explore space, inner and outer, together, as one race."

WE COULD HAVE BEEN THERE ALREADY!
 

Riley

Watch out for snakes!
You can turn a dessert into a Forrest it's probably hard as hell since there not a lot of dirt to work with or water if. Just add some dirt add water and time and you get something good.
First of all, why would anyone want to turn a cookie in to Tom Hanks?

Or if you're saying that it's possible to turn a desert into a forest, then yeah, that's technically possible. But question: where are you going to get all that dirt and water from? Earth? Both of those things are incredibly heavy. Go try to lift up a swimming pool, or a sandbox. Heavy things cost enormous amounts of money to transport through space. Moving on, you'd also sort of need seeds, right? And then - as already mentioned quite a few times - an atmosphere good enough to do anything with a puddle of dirt, water, and seeds.

Really it's just an awful dead planet. We'd be better off looking for a way to lower the greenhouse gases in venus' atmosphere. It's a closer comparison to earth except for the huuuuge amount of CO2. It at least has the mass to have a liquid core and ability to hold on to an atmosphere.

You know that thing we get here on Earth called acid rain? When it's a bunch of toxic things raining down from all the pollution over a rainforest or whatever?

Venus gets that too, except instead of industrial pollutants it's actually sulphuric acid. Bring a spare umbrella!
 
T

Tycho

Guest
You know that thing we get here on Earth called acid rain? When it's a bunch of toxic things raining down from all the pollution over a rainforest or whatever?

Venus gets that too, except instead of industrial pollutants it's actually sulphuric acid. Bring a spare umbrella!

It's a result of the runaway greenhouse effect. Slow and stop the runaway greenhouse and the acid rain will eventually disappear as well. Keeping the heat that started that greenhouse effect at bay is another matter.
 
K

Karnak

Guest
pure Acid rain from the superheated boiling surface rock making a corrosive and poisonous soup like atmosphere; wow thats an epic thought, isnt the universe amazing!
 

BRN

WTB Forum Mod Powers
Holy christ the first page of this thread was awful.

And as we all know, there are exactly zero of those things to be found in space.
:rolleyes:

Bringing back to this point, I disagree. Since we can assume that a moving body in space requires no constant propulsion force (as per Newton's 1st, obsolete nature of Newton's laws aside) to continue moving, no fuel must be spent. However, interstellar and interplanetary hydrogen exists - despite being almost isolated by the molecule, the sheer scale of the distances to cross in interstellar space means that a significant amount could potentially be accrued. As per the mechanics of the Bussard Ramjet, the high speeds of the moving body would act as an agent of compression - permitting local hydrogen fusion to take place, and the energy released could be used both for further acceleration and also indeed to be stored chemically for later usage. Alternatively, local hydrogen fusion with oxygen would release energy as well as producing water, which would have many applications on a spacecraft even if pure dihydrogen monoxide isn't a very useful drink.

Naturally, I've hideously simplified this. :/
 
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VoidBat

Member
Leave this task for the younger generations to figure out, if they can.
Considering that most of them drop out of 9th grade and high school with lots of F's I'd say we're going nowhere fast. So wave buh-bye to future, space exploration plans because NASA is not hiring simpletons.
 

Gryphoneer

20 Quatloos on "disruptive"
Mars has a magnetic field, yes, but it's pretty patchy and weak, so if you could somehow instal an Earth-like atmosphere it would be depleted after some thousand years, because ions are unhindered to escape into outer space.

That may not seem like a big issue taken how long that is, but given that you need multiple millenia to complete the realistic terraforming proposals (less than thousand-year-long deals a lá Kim Stanley Robinson are over-optimistic pipe dreams, really) the expense/benefit-ratio is ridiculously low. Of course, there's also the possibility Martian terraforming is a pipe dream in itself.

Space habitats, on the other hand, offer higher feasibility and other advantages. You could, for example, figure out how to create a biosphere independent of Earth's to begin with, for we don't have this fundamental skill yet.
 

Dj_whoohoo

Member
@Riley you make the water with 2 hydrogen and one oxygen atom, and besides there is ice caps you can from there too.
If mars was like earth in the past then there should be dirt under the surface.
 

ramsay_baggins

WINTERFELL!
@Riley you make the water with 2 hydrogen and one oxygen atom, and besides there is ice caps you can from there too.
If mars was like earth in the past then there should be dirt under the surface.

Dirt (or soil, rather) is produced by living matter, and lots of it. I don't think Mars would have soil, simply because there would have had to be a large amount of biomass to create it.
 

Telnac

Fundamentalist Heretic
Terraforming Mars is possible, just bloody expensive.

You don't need a core of rotating iron to create a planetary magnetic field. A coil of wire wrapped several times around the planet's equator and juiced up with many millions of amps would do it. Problem: cost. That would take several nuclear reactors, as well as the planetary infrastructure to wrap that many power lines around the entire planet's circumference. And that's just the magnetic field... a relatively minor luxury considering most early Mars colonies would likely be underground, but a necessity if you're going to eventually have plants and animals on the surface.

Heating Mars is conceptually easy, but hard to implement. Greenhouse gasses would work, but CO2 is a relatively inefficient greenhouse gas. A better greenhouse gas would be CFC. Yeah, it wrecks the ozone layer here on Earth, but in high enough concentrations, a CFC layer would effectively do what the ozone layer does here on Earth. What's more: each molecule of CFC traps as much heat as roughly 1000 molecules of CO2. Problem: cost. We'd need to spend hundreds of billions of dollars on factories to make CFC and ship it all to Mars... and that's not even including the cost of the equipment to ensure that no CFC accidentally leaks into the Earth's atmosphere!

Water may already exist on Mars, but not in abundances that would allow for a planetary ocean. Better to get water from somewhere else, like Ganymede or by intercepting small comets & having them impact Mars' surface. Either way, it'd take hundreds of years and trillions of dollars to give Mars an ocean. No ocean, no effective water cycle (unless you're using pumps and aqueducts & watering the plants on a planetary scale.)

...and none of that addresses the cost of actually putting people there!

You can't just print the money to pay for it. "Money's only paper." Yeah, but if you print enough money to pay for terraforming Mars, then you're also hyperinflating your nation into poverty. If you did that, inflation will make a loaf of bread cost $100,000 dollars, when the average citizen makes only $40,000 per year... if they're lucky!

All that said, I do believe Mars will be colonized and eventually terraformed. But it won't be the USA doing it in this century. It will happen gradually, over thousands of years. Barring some sci-fi breakthrough in transportation like teleporters or a warp drive, the first missions to Mars will be flags & footprints and they'll cost about $100 billion for each trip. The next missions will be tourists, after the LEO/Lunar tourist industry paves the way for cheaper access to space. The first actual colonists may arrive some time in the next century, but they'll be living underground and growing plants in specially protected greenhouses. No terraforming needed... at first. It's only when the population of Mars starts to grow substantially will anyone put money down on a terraformation project. That project may start as early as 2300... and even that's probably an optimistic estimate!
 

CannonFodder

Resistance is futile! If 0 ohm
Telnac about a page ago kamatz had a idea on how to terraform mars using bacteria, you should give it a read.
 

Telnac

Fundamentalist Heretic
Telnac about a page ago kamatz had a idea on how to terraform mars using bacteria, you should give it a read.
I did. It's a good start. Lichen survive in harsh environments too. I don't know about radiation resistance, but I know they thrive in extremes of heat & cold and can endure extended periods of time with minimal moisture. The best part: some species literally turn bare rock into soil usable by plants. You could probably seed some of the deep canyons of Mars, where the radiation exposure is low, with the stuff and let it do its thing.

However, you still have to find a way to heat the planet up, give it a magnetic field and a functioning water cycle before you can plant trees and flowers, much less crops. Microbes can make the regolith and rocks into soil, but that's really just the tip of the iceberg.

[Edit] Oh, one important detail I forgot: nitrogen! Mars' supply of nitrogen is nearly exhausted. We'd have to make and import fertilizer or I doubt even the microbes could do much, and it's nearly impossible to do that on a planetary scale without screwing up Earth's nitrogen balance. Nitrogen is in abundance in the icy outer moons, as well as in comets. We would have to have some deep space factories to extract it & ship it to Mars.
 
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CannonFodder

Resistance is futile! If 0 ohm
I did. It's a good start. Lichen survive in harsh environments too. I don't know about radiation resistance, but I know they thrive in extremes of heat & cold and can endure extended periods of time with minimal moisture. The best part: some species literally turn bare rock into soil usable by plants. You could probably seed some of the deep canyons of Mars, where the radiation exposure is low, with the stuff and let it do its thing.

However, you still have to find a way to heat the planet up, give it a magnetic field and a functioning water cycle before you can plant trees and flowers, much less crops. Microbes can make the regolith and rocks into soil, but that's really just the tip of the iceberg.
We know, the problem is that because it doesn't have a magnetic field every time a solar wind comes by a portion of the atmosphere is blown away. His idea was to engineer them so that they are basically reproducing out of control to the point that it can make a atmosphere faster than it is blown away.
Giving a entire planet a artificial magnetic field is far to much in the realm of science fiction right now and we probably won't have the tech for a long while.
Realistically for the first few hundred years the colonies will be underground ground and possibly we'll engineer crops that can survive in such a harsh environment. The funny thing is you know what plant could survive on mars? Pot, for some reason it can handle such a harsh environment. The point being it's not science fiction that we could make crops able to handle the low pressure and that. It's just we'd have to really get it together before even attempting to colonize mars.
 

Telnac

Fundamentalist Heretic
We know, the problem is that because it doesn't have a magnetic field every time a solar wind comes by a portion of the atmosphere is blown away. His idea was to engineer them so that they are basically reproducing out of control to the point that it can make a atmosphere faster than it is blown away.
Giving a entire planet a artificial magnetic field is far to much in the realm of science fiction right now and we probably won't have the tech for a long while.
Realistically for the first few hundred years the colonies will be underground ground and possibly we'll engineer crops that can survive in such a harsh environment. The funny thing is you know what plant could survive on mars? Pot, for some reason it can handle such a harsh environment. The point being it's not science fiction that we could make crops able to handle the low pressure and that. It's just we'd have to really get it together before even attempting to colonize mars.
On isolated colonies, I'm sure we can find a way to grow just about anything. We don't need plants to resist radiation or low pressures if we're growing them in underground, artificially lit greenhouses. But even radiation-resistant microbes can't grow if they're missing nitrogen. Nearly all of Mars' nitrogen blew away a long time ago. No matter if the first colonists are growing crops indoors or not, they'll need fertilizer, hundreds of thousands of tones of fertilizer!
 

CannonFodder

Resistance is futile! If 0 ohm
On isolated colonies, I'm sure we can find a way to grow just about anything. We don't need plants to resist radiation or low pressures if we're growing them in underground, artificially lit greenhouses. But even radiation-resistant microbes can't grow if they're missing nitrogen. Nearly all of Mars' nitrogen blew away a long time ago. No matter if the first colonists are growing crops indoors or not, they'll need fertilizer, hundreds of thousands of tones of fertilizer!
As I said Kamatz linked a couple of types of bacteria that could survive the harsh environment and besides it'd be far more efficient to engineer crops to the point where they can survive in such harsh conditions rather than building them underground and having all that for them. If I had to take a guess the first crops on mars will have a fair chunk of those bacteria's dna in itself also to make them far more hardy. After all the majority of our crops nowadays are genetically engineered, it's not a far stretch to think we'll make crops that can withstand extreme environments in the future. Even on Earth there would be a use for such crops, if we could engineer crops that could withstand mars then they could be able to withstand anything weather earth could throw at them.
 

ArielMT

'Net Help Desk
Cool delusions ya'll!

So was the Copernican heliocentric model of the heavens.

There's no way any of this can happen within our lifetimes, but Martian colonization could one day happen.
 

CannonFodder

Resistance is futile! If 0 ohm
So was the Copernican heliocentric model of the heavens.

There's no way any of this can happen within our lifetimes, but Martian colonization could one day happen.
More likely if we do start colonizing, the moon will be first on our agenda.
 

jeff

en masturbatorium
why dont we just recolonize wyoming

the mars thing is way too expensive, pretty pointless
 

Aetius

It's Me Gordon, Barney from Black Mesa
why dont we just recolonize wyoming

the mars thing is way too expensive, pretty pointless

Because Wyoming is a bigger wasteland compared to Mars.
 

Riley

Watch out for snakes!
@Riley you make the water with 2 hydrogen and one oxygen atom, and besides there is ice caps you can from there too.
If mars was like earth in the past then there should be dirt under the surface.

i
you
no
what
WHAT

You're saying we just sit up in our spaceships smacking atoms together to create millions of gallons of water from scratch? Yeah, okay, shipping that much water all the way to Mars doesn't seem that expensive anymore, in comparison.
 
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