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Old 3rd December 2018, 01:15 PM   #281
Belz...
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
We keep finding ourselves on this weird merry-go-round, dude.

You said:

And when I said "everyone already agrees it would be fun", you responded:

..and went on to talk about how not-fun earth apocalypse shelters are and thus how doomed they are as a "project", and then when I pointed out that the billionaire class is already building them, you say you want to look:
No, I said that I was talking about people in general. You're selectively ignoring some of what I posted. Why?
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Old 3rd December 2018, 02:27 PM   #282
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Now you're contradicting yourself. In one post you accuse me, dishonestly, of having an all-or-nothing view on this, and now you more-or-less correctly say that I have a level of detail below full and yet above nothing. Which is it?
I'm saying Rincewind has such a level of detail. I'm hoping you'll get there at some point on your journey towards your goal.
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Old 3rd December 2018, 02:46 PM   #283
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
No, I said that I was talking about people in general.
What do you want people in general to do, since they already think a Mars colony would be cool and fun?
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Old 3rd December 2018, 03:07 PM   #284
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
I thought they were planning to get most of their day-to-day water from Mars itself...
You still have to provide water for the mission personnel to drink during the ~300 day journey from here to there. About 36 gallons per crew member, assuming performance similar to the ISS, and a similar reserve supply.

(Also, the crew of that first mission probably won't be setting up any water-extraction systems - at least not until after they've assembled and verified their return vehicle. But if they bring their recycling system with them (or have another pre-placed by an unmanned mission), they should be fine for as long as it takes to assure that they'll have a ride home.)

Quote:
Assembling spacecraft in orbit was always part of the plan. BFRs are designed to rendezvous in EO to transfer cargo and fuel. It may well take more than one launch to stock a BFR for a mission to Mars. How many launches do you think it took to build ISS to its current state? How about....

27 Space Shuttle launches
5 Proton launches
3 Soyuz launches
2 Falcon 9 launches

and that was just the key elements
Yep. Hopefully things like the BFR and mature experience will help us assemble the MTV in less than 37* launches

Quote:
As for rendezvous in orbit, that pretty much a SOP now. How many missions to from the ISS have we seen... There have been 56 expeditions to ISS, and heaven knows how many resupply missions, probably well over 100.
Yep. We've got orbital rendezvous and docking pretty much mastered by now. I'd call that a known known.

One of the known unknowns right now is what it takes to successfully assemble and fuel an interplanetary launch vehicle, in orbit. That task will be based on our current mastery of orbital rendezvous and docking, but we'll still have to build a lot of specific expertise in rocket assembly on top of it. If I were convinced that colonizing Mars was a moral imperative, that's one of the project phases I'd be most interested in, because it's both vital to the overall success of the mission, and because it's something we could start doing right away.

It's also something that would produce massive science dividends along the way. Long before we're ready to trust human lives to such a vehicle, we'd be able to load test flights with robotic probes of all kinds, in greater tonnages than anything we could ever lift from the Earth's surface in a single launch. Even if I wasn't convinced of the propriety of human space exploration, I'd still be in favor of humans assembling massive probots in LEO. That's a project that has something for everyone.

Quote:
As for those prattling on about a plan, I think NASA's plan is a good starting point.....

https://www.nasa.gov/content/nasas-journey-to-mars
At least we're to the point where someone who actually wants to colonize Mars is looking up sources and talking about the "nuts and bolts" of colonizing Mars. Please keep up the good work!

I think it's amazing that after almost a week of asking, one of the proponents has finally moved from "we don't have a plan and we don't owe you a plan" to "oh, look, here's a plan!"

Why didn't you just lead with that?

Quote:
As Tom Hanks' character Jim Lovell said in "Apollo 13" - "All right, there's a thousand things that have to happen in order. We are on number eight. You're talking about number six hundred and ninety-two."
Tom Hanks knew there were a thousand steps. He knew what the steps were, and what order they went in.

I'm looking forward to the day when the Romantic Survivalists can say the same about ten steps, and are enthusiastically working on breaking down those ten into a hundred.

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Old 3rd December 2018, 03:49 PM   #285
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I'm looking forward to the day when the Romantic Survivalists can say the same about ten steps, and are enthusiastically working on breaking down those ten into a hundred.
Over on reddit r/SpaceXLounge, a writer has produced a "broad overview" of the inputs/processes/outputs required to be self-sufficient on Mars.

Click the article and you'll get a larger view, which can itself be clicked to get an even larger view.

Inputs are gases, energy and minerals. Some of the latter refer to the terrestrial ores that are rich sources of the elements required, so we'd need to address the issue of finding such sources on Mars ...

Outputs are such things as food, water, oxygen, equipment and various habitats and work spaces.

In between that are the processes, including -

induction furnace
fibre extruder
Ce:YAG production

and many others. And that's just at the most basic level.

These only scratch the surface, of course, as one 'output' is hospital. Well, a hospital includes ECG machines, CAT scanners, anaesthetics, X-ray devices, disinfectants, dental equipment, dialysis machines and a thousand other vital things.

Or are the Martians expected to volunteer their lives - and their descendants' lives for unlimited generations - to a future without the full range of medical facilities? And that's just one small aspect of the reality of life on Mars.

But, hey, it's an idea that's cool and fun and adventurous. Never mind the tech and the money, eh?
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Old 3rd December 2018, 03:55 PM   #286
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
At least we're to the point where someone who actually wants to colonize Mars is looking up sources and talking about the "nuts and bolts" of colonizing Mars.
Technically, that's not about setting up an independent colony, but something more along the lines of a base akin to the ISS, still dependent upon Earth for all resources.
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Old 3rd December 2018, 04:02 PM   #287
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
Technically, that's not about setting up an independent colony, but something more along the lines of a base akin to the ISS, still dependent upon Earth for all resources.
Oh, absolutely. But Rome wasn't built on Mars in a day. Either we wait until the whole thing can be done by robots, or we start working out how to send construction crews there and keep them alive and bring them home when their tour is over.

Personally, I prefer the "wait for the robots" approach. But if people want to get started now, then solving for human construction crews is an obvious next step (at a sufficiently high level of overview).

Kind of a working-backwards approach to planning:

What do we want?

A Mars Colony!

Who's going to build it?

We are!

Alright, then. Let's start working on how to get us there and keep us alive and bring us home again. Since at the very least we'll need that, in order to build the colony.
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Old 3rd December 2018, 06:01 PM   #288
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Oh, absolutely. But Rome wasn't built on Mars in a day. Either we wait until the whole thing can be done by robots, or we start working out how to send construction crews there and keep them alive and bring them home when their tour is over.

Personally, I prefer the "wait for the robots" approach. But if people want to get started now, then solving for human construction crews is an obvious next step (at a sufficiently high level of overview).

Kind of a working-backwards approach to planning:

What do we want?

A Mars Colony!

Who's going to build it?

We are!

Alright, then. Let's start working on how to get us there and keep us alive and bring us home again. Since at the very least we'll need that, in order to build the colony.
Yeah. It's just that getting there and getting back is the (relatively) easy part. It doesn't really do much for the overall assumed (in this convo) goal of spreading out self-sufficiently beyond earth for the purposes of ensuring the survival of our species over the next 100k+ years.

Honestly, I still don't really see the point of a Mars base, outside of maybe a tourism destination for the ultra-rich. Which would be pretty neat, I must admit.
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Old 3rd December 2018, 07:41 PM   #289
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Yes, I'm sure you can find crazy billionaires. I'm talking about people in general. You know, where most of the votes and financing would come.
You suggest that people won't be swayed to action based on the idea of the survival of the human species (which is why you think we won't build anti-apolcalype bunkers on earth), yet the main argument for building a Mars colony in this thread is that it will allow for the survival of the species. In general it's also the argument that's brought up the most in popular media that I see.

Why do you think that people trying to convince others that we should colonize mars bring up the "don't put all your eggs in one basket" argument, when people won't act based on it?

Personally, I think that people in general will be willing to give up some small fraction of their total resources for the sake of the long term survival of the species, but not a disproportionate fraction. I base this on history. There have been projects to preserve culture and knowledge, for instance, in the face of potential loss, but they are a tiny fraction of the total world economy.

So, if not for the sake of survival, what will motivate people to go to Mars? (You say they are more likely to be motivated to go to Mars than to build bunkers on earth because going to Mars includes other motivations).

I think there are a few options, but none are ready yet. Tourism is one. If it gets cheap enough (or enough people get rich enough), some people will likely be willing to pay a ticket price to get to Mars. And that could motivate building some infrastructure there (both in orbit and on the surface). Hotels, domed habitats for people to wander around, perhaps roads or railways to travel from one tourist spot to another interesting site. The cost of sending resources could make building at least some things on site economically viable which could in turn lead to the establishment of some local industry.

People working on site will also have needs, including food, clothing, etc. and again producing these things on Mars may end up being cheaper (at least after inital infrastructure has been constructed) than shipping everything from earth, so again more demand for local production.

Once that local infrastructure is in place it's conceivable that some other local industry could start to make economic sense. Maybe some workers decide to stay longer term or even indefinitely.

At no point here has self-sustainability become realised, but at least I can see tourism as a potential means of funding the development of Mars.

The problem is that it all sounds great until you look at the costs of the things I'm talking about relative to the market size, and at present the former is just far higher than the latter. But that could change over time both with economic growth increasing the market size and technological progress lowering the costs.
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Old 3rd December 2018, 08:39 PM   #290
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Tom Hanks knew there were a thousand steps. He knew what the steps were, and what order they went in
Well actually, he didn't. If you read Jim Lovell's book "Lost Moon", he pretty much explains that.

Even mission control didn't actually know, in detail, what they were doing very far ahead of what they were actually doing at any given time. John Aaron and Ken Mattingly were still working on the scratch power up plan until a very short time before re-entry, and the Grumman team with the help of an engineering team from the University of Toronto, were still trying to figure out how they were going to separate the LM with the SM's RCS on the fritz.
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Old 4th December 2018, 05:26 AM   #291
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I'm saying Rincewind has such a level of detail. I'm hoping you'll get there at some point on your journey towards your goal.
Why? Why would I be held to this sort of standard?

This is like if I say "we should plan a trip to India next year." and you go "DO YOU HAVE A PLAN?????" instead of considering the idea, asking where we'd go, and THEN if you decide to go ahead with it, making precise plans for what to do each day, which trains or planes to take, etc.

In fact, it's asking me to have a precise, day-to-day, step-by-step plan for someone else's trip to India. It's a request that makes no sense and which you would never use in any other context.

Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
What do you want people in general to do, since they already think a Mars colony would be cool and fun?
Thinking that something is cool is not doing anything.

Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
You suggest that people won't be swayed to action based on the idea of the survival of the human species (which is why you think we won't build anti-apolcalype bunkers on earth), yet the main argument for building a Mars colony in this thread is that it will allow for the survival of the species. In general it's also the argument that's brought up the most in popular media that I see.

Why do you think that people trying to convince others that we should colonize mars bring up the "don't put all your eggs in one basket" argument, when people won't act based on it?
Ugh, why do you ask a question like that without reading what I actually posted about it? I've already answered that. They WON'T agree to a Mars mission solely on the survival of the species angle. I've said that already.
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Old 4th December 2018, 05:49 AM   #292
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Ugh, why do you ask a question like that without reading what I actually posted about it? I've already answered that. They WON'T agree to a Mars mission solely on the survival of the species angle. I've said that already.
I read every post you wrote in this thread. I also understand that you said they won't agree based solely on the survival of the species angle, perhaps you need to reread what I wrote?

I did mention that everyone in this thread who is suggesting that we should colonize mars is making an argument based on the survival of the species, so if you think it's not going to convince people don't you find it odd that it's the argument that supporters of the idea use most often?

None of that suggests that I think you think it will convince people. It's me suggesting that whatever the other arguments for colonizing mars are, they are likely to be even less convincing.
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Old 4th December 2018, 05:55 AM   #293
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
In fact, it's asking me to have a precise, day-to-day, step-by-step plan for someone else's trip to India. It's a request that makes no sense and which you would never use in any other context.
I'll say why I think outlining at least some of the practicalities makes sense:

Colonizing Mars is incredibly difficult and expensive. It may or may not be possible, but it's certainly not possible at our level of technology without a huge expenditure. How difficult and expensive it is is an important aspect of the question of whether or not it's worth it.

I think we all agree that's its very difficult and expensive, and yet our mental estimations of those things might still differ by degrees of magnitude. Getting at least some idea of the scale of the problem is important to understanding the issue.

So, who should be expected to come up with the details? If your friend told you that it's not possible to go to India, you might reply "Of course it is! Look, I can book a flight right now." He might then say "Oh, yeah, but tickets are so expensive that it might as well be impossible, you'll never afford one." And you reply "Not so! I just found one for $1500 and I have a lot more than that in the bank".

In other words, it seems reasonable to think that those who think it's feasible to build a self-sustaining colony on Mars would think so based on some understanding of difficulties involved.
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Old 4th December 2018, 06:57 AM   #294
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
I read every post you wrote in this thread. I also understand that you said they won't agree based solely on the survival of the species angle, perhaps you need to reread what I wrote?
Then I don't understand your point. Mine is that despite what you said, virtually no one will care about that argument, which is why earth-based shelters are not going to be a thing except for rich idiots just waiting to be fooled by the IMF. That's why Mars is more appealing and more likely to happen: it has other arguments going for it. Theprestige suggested that Mars could be a backup for humanity, essentially, rather than a new homeworld. I find that idea interesting. Notice, I didn't ask him for a detailed plan or for financing details, however.

Quote:
I did mention that everyone in this thread who is suggesting that we should colonize mars is making an argument based on the survival of the species, so if you think it's not going to convince people don't you find it odd that it's the argument that supporters of the idea use most often?
No, I don't. It's a very good argument; just not a very convincing one for the common person who doesn't really have that sort of consideration in mind. In other words, most people aren't really that above pragmatic considerations to think about the future of humanity as a concept. In other other words, some of us have a lot of time on our hands.

Quote:
I'll say why I think outlining at least some of the practicalities makes sense:

Colonizing Mars is incredibly difficult and expensive. It may or may not be possible, but it's certainly not possible at our level of technology without a huge expenditure. How difficult and expensive it is is an important aspect of the question of whether or not it's worth it.

I think we all agree that's its very difficult and expensive, and yet our mental estimations of those things might still differ by degrees of magnitude. Getting at least some idea of the scale of the problem is important to understanding the issue.

So, who should be expected to come up with the details? If your friend told you that it's not possible to go to India, you might reply "Of course it is! Look, I can book a flight right now." He might then say "Oh, yeah, but tickets are so expensive that it might as well be impossible, you'll never afford one." And you reply "Not so! I just found one for $1500 and I have a lot more than that in the bank".

In other words, it seems reasonable to think that those who think it's feasible to build a self-sustaining colony on Mars would think so based on some understanding of difficulties involved.
I agree. But there's a difference between these short, to-the-point answers and the sort of give-me-the-exact-amount-of-tonnes-of-water-you-need things some people here requested. It's clearly out of my league, and apparently that disqualifies me from even discussing this topic, which is nonsense to me.
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Old 4th December 2018, 07:46 AM   #295
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@Belz
Mate, I think we all agree to the general idea that we ought to go to Mars ASAP. You can stop hammering on that.

However the emphasis is on the P in ASAP. And until someone makes a plan, we don't really know what's possible (as in, we can actually do it) and what's not.

And it's pretty stupid to expect anyone to start throwing literally trillions randomly at some general idea. I don't think it's that unreasonable to ask for a plan first. It doesn't have to be YOU, mind you, but SOMEONE should figure out how much it costs and what it involves before we commit to it.

I mean, fer fork's sake, the same would apply if I wanted to sell you a house on Earth. We can agree to the general idea that it would be nice to sleep indoors. Sure. But unless I can tell you how much that house costs and what you're getting for that money, you'd be stupid to commit to that transaction.

Edit: I mean, if I came with a plan that boils down to, "I'll pitch a tent in the desert, haul you there by helicopter, and we'll see from there how the house evolves and how much it ends up costing"... that would be actually a very accurate analogy for the current state of Mars colonization plans. But you wouldn't agree to that plan when it's your money, I would guess.
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Old 4th December 2018, 08:01 AM   #296
Belz...
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
@Belz
Mate, I think we all agree to the general idea that we ought to go to Mars ASAP. You can stop hammering on that.
Ok then I'll shut up. That'll make everyone happy.
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Old 4th December 2018, 08:53 AM   #297
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Ok then I'll shut up. That'll make everyone happy.
Not necessarily. I was liking the verbal abuse flinging back and forth. Almost as fun as a food fight.



What comes next is slowly gradually make the outlines of a plan. The plan doesn't need to be complete just yet. Just start filling it in piece by piece.

For example the problem with no magnetic field is solvable with a satellite in the L1 position.

A FUTURE MARS ENVIRONMENT FOR SCIENCE AND EXPLORATION

So step one for a planned colony on mars is send in that satelite and start it running.

Once we have the protection, then next we need to warm the surface enough to release gasses into the atmosphere. How we do that is anyone's guess. Dropping ice meteors and/or comets seems potentially viable? When they hit they release heat and also have produced their own gasses?Or instead build purposeful polluting machines to crawl on the surface releasing NO2 from all that oxidized surface? Even possibly a microbe extremophile we might find here on Earth?

NASA's Curiosity Rover Finds Biologically Useful Nitrogen on Mars

The equivalent of up to 1,100 parts per million nitrates in the Martian soil from the drill sites is indeed significant, especially if it is found deep too. Even on Earth geologic nitrogen doesn't typically reach those levels, ranging from ~80 ppm+/- in igneous rock to ~700 ppm+/- in fine sedimentary rock. And there are a few microbes that can extract enough mineral nitrogen from those levels in rock and make it bioavailable here on Earth. So I guess it really is potentially possible that bacteria could release the excess Nitrogen obtained from mineral sources.

Endoliths

And O2 even easier since that's what makes Mars red! Mining some rust from Mars and then refining it to steel would by itself release plenty of O2! There is a microbe option here too. We still have some of these bacteria to this day like Halomonas titanicae which uses rust as a source of oxygen. So it should be trivially easy to jump start oxygen production on Mars once we have water oceans melted from the ice caps.

Any combination of the above will eventually warm the planet enough for the release of frozen CO2 as it thaws. Now we are warmer still as it is a greenhouse gas. then allowing more and more liquid water on the surface.

Methane is already being released. With the magnetosphere we already have in space protecting it, it could slowly build up.

Now you have all the ingredients needed to slowly terraform Mars. Make your plans. Post them here on ISF. Plenty of your parts will get shot down. Some won't. Keep at it. After some years of this process, you will be amazed at how good a plan can be made if you follow these steps.

I know. Because I did the same with my reversing AGW plan. It all started here with the beginnings of my still present Biome carbon cycle management

That's when I started using this ISF for constructive purposes instead of just arguing over things. Amazing how far that has come since. You could do the same with this colonization of Mars subject, since it seems to be your passion.
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Old 4th December 2018, 09:05 AM   #298
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Bearing in mind that most of the polar caps of Mars are frozen CO2, not H2O
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Old 4th December 2018, 09:09 AM   #299
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
Honestly, I still don't really see the point of a Mars base,
i) just cos it's cool
ii) we need to have humanity on more than 1 planet because meteorites.
iii) because we are explorers and adventurers and the only places left to discover here are underwater.
iv) to inspire people. the biggest payoff from the Apollo program was inspiring generations of scientists and engineers because space is cool! Those people have given us the internet, mobile phones, etc. The ROI on the Apollo program is incalculable.

Necessity is the mother of invention. I'd much prefer there to be a space program run by people like Musk or Bezos that needed to invent things that we need to get people living on Mars to inspire kids to become engineers etc rather than our current best and brightest working for defense contractors and working on ways to kill people.

That is why we need a Mars base (and a Venus base, and a Europa base.... but lets start on the simplest one first)
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Old 4th December 2018, 09:12 AM   #300
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Bearing in mind that most of the polar caps of Mars are frozen CO2, not H2O
And that the usual method of production of iron from its ores consumes oxygen.

"2C(s)+O2(g)⟶2CO(g)+heat(1)

Similarly carbon and carbon monoxide both contribute in the reduction of the iron (III) oxide to give the impure metal as shown:

Fe2O3(s)+3C(s)⟶2Fe(l)+3CO2(g)(2)

Fe2O3(s)+3CO2(g)⟶2Fe(l)+3CO2(g) "
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Old 4th December 2018, 09:25 AM   #301
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Here's my plan for species survival in an apocalypse, without a Mars colony. We can't predict what kind(s) of apocalypse to expect, so the plan has to be very general and extremely robust.

First, we place significant populations of people in all different parts of the world. High and low latitudes, high and low elevations, dry and wet environments. They'll live in forests, plains, tundra, mountains, jungles, and deserts. People will object to this, of course. No one would want to live year-round in places with scorching tropical heat, or the frequent gloom and rain of a mid-latitude coastline, or on dangerously steep slopes at altitudes so high it's hard to breathe, or in the winter darkness near the Arctic Circle. But we'll force them to, for the good of the species.

But that's not good enough. So we'll take a few million people and spread them out on ships all over the world's oceans. This will be very expensive, but we'll offset the cost by having some of those people working to move goods around from place to place, and (strange as it might sound) making most of the rest of them, doing shorter stints, pay for the privilege of floating around for a week or so at a time.

But what if an apocalyptic event affects the land surface and water surface equally? Here's what: we'll put people in mid-air, from one to five miles up. Any individual aeronaut can't stay that way for very long, but we'll keep up a constant rotating population of them so that there are about half a million volunteers in the air at a time, all the time. This will be ridiculously expensive, as well as uncomfortable, but as with the ocean population, we have a plan to make the volunteers themselves pay for it. It's fiendish, I know, but the security of the future of the species demands no less.

We figure we can also have a few million people constantly underground, and a few tens of thousands underwater. I'll omit the details on those, but be assured, they're in the plan. (If there's any advance warning, an additional few million can be positioned underground on short notice.)

Now, for any given apocalyptic event, despite the measures outlined, most of the world's people will still be in dire jeopardy. (That's pretty much the definition of an apocalyptic event.) It's likely that the people in mid-air, say, will be more vulnerable to the event rather than less so. But by using a variety of divergent strategies, as many different kinds of baskets as possible so to speak, we can practically guarantee a viable population of survivors somewhere.

Those survivors have to survive not only the apocalypse itself, but the general disruption of production and trade that will likely ensue. That's why our plan must include developing methods of preserving food, supplies, and tools. For instance, the plan calls for a large rotating stock of high shelf life edibles distributed in varying sized (from very small and numerous to very large and well-protected) stockpiles all over the world, which can sustain life for a sub-population of survivors until conditions suitable for agriculture return.

We are also in the early stages of designing means of information preservation and transfer so that necessary survival knowledge can be accessed by survivors who may not have it at the time of the apocalypse, due to not having need of it prior to then. One promising avenue is the arrangement of coded linguistic symbols on two-dimensional surfaces, which has the advantage of the possibility of producing numerous identical copies of materials which can then be distributed globally to increase the chance that some copies survive. We don't expect anyone to want to bother to create these things or keep them around, but the survival of the species justifies a bit of arm-twisting to get the populace to put up with it.

The goal of this plan is to put the species in much better stead to survive an apocalyptic event than, for instance, humans at the time of the hypothesized Toba disaster, who had absolutely none of these preparation measures in place.
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Old 4th December 2018, 09:52 AM   #302
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Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
Here's my plan for species survival in an apocalypse, without a Mars colony. We can't predict what kind(s) of apocalypse to expect, so the plan has to be very general and extremely robust.

First, we place significant populations of people in all different parts of the world. High and low latitudes, high and low elevations, dry and wet environments. They'll live in forests, plains, tundra, mountains, jungles, and deserts. People will object to this, of course. No one would want to live year-round in places with scorching tropical heat, or the frequent gloom and rain of a mid-latitude coastline, or on dangerously steep slopes at altitudes so high it's hard to breathe, or in the winter darkness near the Arctic Circle. But we'll force them to, for the good of the species.

But that's not good enough. So we'll take a few million people and spread them out on ships all over the world's oceans. This will be very expensive, but we'll offset the cost by having some of those people working to move goods around from place to place, and (strange as it might sound) making most of the rest of them, doing shorter stints, pay for the privilege of floating around for a week or so at a time.

But what if an apocalyptic event affects the land surface and water surface equally? Here's what: we'll put people in mid-air, from one to five miles up. Any individual aeronaut can't stay that way for very long, but we'll keep up a constant rotating population of them so that there are about half a million volunteers in the air at a time, all the time. This will be ridiculously expensive, as well as uncomfortable, but as with the ocean population, we have a plan to make the volunteers themselves pay for it. It's fiendish, I know, but the security of the future of the species demands no less.

We figure we can also have a few million people constantly underground, and a few tens of thousands underwater. I'll omit the details on those, but be assured, they're in the plan. (If there's any advance warning, an additional few million can be positioned underground on short notice.)

Now, for any given apocalyptic event, despite the measures outlined, most of the world's people will still be in dire jeopardy. (That's pretty much the definition of an apocalyptic event.) It's likely that the people in mid-air, say, will be more vulnerable to the event rather than less so. But by using a variety of divergent strategies, as many different kinds of baskets as possible so to speak, we can practically guarantee a viable population of survivors somewhere.

Those survivors have to survive not only the apocalypse itself, but the general disruption of production and trade that will likely ensue. That's why our plan must include developing methods of preserving food, supplies, and tools. For instance, the plan calls for a large rotating stock of high shelf life edibles distributed in varying sized (from very small and numerous to very large and well-protected) stockpiles all over the world, which can sustain life for a sub-population of survivors until conditions suitable for agriculture return.

We are also in the early stages of designing means of information preservation and transfer so that necessary survival knowledge can be accessed by survivors who may not have it at the time of the apocalypse, due to not having need of it prior to then. One promising avenue is the arrangement of coded linguistic symbols on two-dimensional surfaces, which has the advantage of the possibility of producing numerous identical copies of materials which can then be distributed globally to increase the chance that some copies survive. We don't expect anyone to want to bother to create these things or keep them around, but the survival of the species justifies a bit of arm-twisting to get the populace to put up with it.

The goal of this plan is to put the species in much better stead to survive an apocalyptic event than, for instance, humans at the time of the hypothesized Toba disaster, who had absolutely none of these preparation measures in place.
Brilliantly done. I do see what you did there. Your plan has a flaw though.

Only 60 Years of Farming Left If Soil Degradation Continues

It's a temporary bubble. Not sustainable in its current form. So unless you want it to crash and burn just like a stock market bubble, best work on that and other sustainability flaws in your plan.
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Old 4th December 2018, 09:55 AM   #303
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People are putting an off-planet human colony of some sort into the "You need a job to get experience, but you need experience to get a job" trap.

One of the reasons we have things like the ISS and the various Mars probe is determine how to off planet populations might work.

Screaming at it to have everything figure out now before they start doesn't make any sense.
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Old 4th December 2018, 10:04 AM   #304
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Bearing in mind that most of the polar caps of Mars are frozen CO2, not H2O
Just trade water for softdrinks.
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Old 4th December 2018, 10:11 AM   #305
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
People are putting an off-planet human colony of some sort into the "You need a job to get experience, but you need experience to get a job" trap.

One of the reasons we have things like the ISS and the various Mars probe is determine how to off planet populations might work.

Screaming at it to have everything figure out now before they start doesn't make any sense.
Reminds me of a contract we tried to get with a city many years ago. The city administration was notorious for helping out friends and cheating to ensure they would qualify. Still, we tried our best, but one of the things that struck me is that they asked us not only to have the software to correspond to their needs, but to develop tools specific to what they wanted before they'd even consider our application. Needless to say, despite our best efforts to do just that, not everything was pitch-perfect, and we were rejected, which I think is a violation of applicable laws. My boss compared it with a construction firm building a house before applying for the money to build it with the potential buyer.
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Old 4th December 2018, 10:46 AM   #306
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Quick question as an aside...

Does the fact that we currently have a planetary protection group with NASA affect any of this? I mean...that organization exists specifically to prevent contamination of Mars so that scientific research would be more robust. Is the assumption being made that all relevant scientific experiments concerning possible life on Mars (present or past) has been completed by the time we start shuttling people and/or supplies to Mars to start this colony? Because, frankly, that will be a long time coming anyway. How certain do we want to be that Mars didn't harbor life in the past before we reduce our chances of finding it by being there ourselves and changing the environment forever?

Or is this a cost that shouldn't be considered?
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Old 4th December 2018, 11:21 AM   #307
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Originally Posted by Crawtator View Post
Quick question as an aside...

Does the fact that we currently have a planetary protection group with NASA affect any of this? I mean...that organization exists specifically to prevent contamination of Mars so that scientific research would be more robust. Is the assumption being made that all relevant scientific experiments concerning possible life on Mars (present or past) has been completed by the time we start shuttling people and/or supplies to Mars to start this colony? Because, frankly, that will be a long time coming anyway. How certain do we want to be that Mars didn't harbor life in the past before we reduce our chances of finding it by being there ourselves and changing the environment forever?

Or is this a cost that shouldn't be considered?
The opportunity to find if there is, or ever has been, life on Mars is a proper consideration, but need not interfere with plans going forward for human presence.
The same sorts of robotic expeditions will continue for some time for either the pure science program, or the manned program. Detailed understanding of the environment, geology (Aereology?) and surface conditions will proceed any manned landing. By the time humans are sent the question of life should have been long settled.
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Old 4th December 2018, 11:42 AM   #308
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Should we take care not to affect alien ecosystems? Yes. But if there's no ecosystem there, I don't see the point. Colonise away!
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Old 4th December 2018, 11:43 AM   #309
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Originally Posted by Pope130 View Post
The opportunity to find if there is, or ever has been, life on Mars is a proper consideration, but need not interfere with plans going forward for human presence.
The same sorts of robotic expeditions will continue for some time for either the pure science program, or the manned program. Detailed understanding of the environment, geology (Aereology?) and surface conditions will proceed any manned landing. By the time humans are sent the question of life should have been long settled.
Only if the answer is yes. If the answer is no not yet, then it continues basically almost forever. Very difficult to prove a negative. The question of life on Mars would become almost like a Martian BigFoot. Always with the "We almost found it".
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Old 4th December 2018, 06:00 PM   #310
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Originally Posted by GlennB View Post
And that the usual method of production of iron from its ores consumes oxygen.

"2C(s)+O2(g)⟶2CO(g)+heat(1)

Similarly carbon and carbon monoxide both contribute in the reduction of the iron (III) oxide to give the impure metal as shown:

Fe2O3(s)+3C(s)⟶2Fe(l)+3CO2(g)(2)

Fe2O3(s)+3CO2(g)⟶2Fe(l)+3CO2(g) "
Yes, I'm down with producing iron and oxygen. My comment was about those oceans that some people imagine will result from melting those polar caps. All I'm saying is: there's not actually much water there. And getting O2 won't get you much water, or not unless you also know where to get an imperial buttload of hydrogen too.
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Old 4th December 2018, 06:02 PM   #311
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
People are putting an off-planet human colony of some sort into the "You need a job to get experience, but you need experience to get a job" trap.

One of the reasons we have things like the ISS and the various Mars probe is determine how to off planet populations might work.

Screaming at it to have everything figure out now before they start doesn't make any sense.
I don't think any of us have a fundamental problem with it, as long as it remains probes.
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Old 4th December 2018, 07:03 PM   #312
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Should we take care not to affect alien ecosystems? Yes. But if there's no ecosystem there, I don't see the point. Colonise away!
That almost sounds like a step in a plan to colonize Mars: "First, search for an ecosystem."

But would you really deny the survival of the human race, for whatever paltry biochemical process might turn out to be present on Mars?
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Old 4th December 2018, 07:11 PM   #313
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
People are putting an off-planet human colony of some sort into the "You need a job to get experience, but you need experience to get a job" trap.

One of the reasons we have things like the ISS and the various Mars probe is determine how to off planet populations might work.

Screaming at it to have everything figure out now before they start doesn't make any sense.
The issue is not that you don't have everything figured out. It's that you make a point of having *nothing* figured out, and take great offense at any suggestion that this pose is unproductive.

Also, the well understood and wildly profitable means by which humans figure out how to do things, and then do them, has somehow become an inscrutable mystery to you.

Somehow NASA put a man on the moon, even though it had never been done before. It truly happened, but to you it must be a paradox of impossible antecedents.
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Old 4th December 2018, 08:21 PM   #314
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I THINK what he means is more like that we committed to putting a man on the moon before having any real plan how to do that.

Thing is, that was a propaganda move. America had come in second place to putting anything in orbit, and to putting a human in orbit, and it was the height of the propaganda war between the two blocks. So they had to reach the next milestone before the Russians as a matter of proving something to the world. Not to mention a matter of national dick size.

That wouldn't be a problem per se, except for what happened next as a consequence of that setup. Now that the dick measuring contest had been won, and nobody was competing any more, it just stopped. One could have now built a moon base or what not with that knowledge, but there was no point in increasing funding some more to run alone to another milestone.

And I fear that that's exactly what will happen with Mars. Maybe we'll put a guy there. Maybe we'll even have them stay a while on Mars. If nothing else, until we bring the fuel to bring them back.

But, and here's the really important part, it won't be a backup for humanity or anything. It will be some insane sum blown on a pointless race to prove national dick size, and humanity won't be any closer to redundancy.
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Old 4th December 2018, 11:13 PM   #315
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Then I don't understand your point. Mine is that despite what you said, virtually no one will care about that argument, which is why earth-based shelters are not going to be a thing except for rich idiots just waiting to be fooled by the IMF.
I'm not convinced that that's true, as I've seen plenty of people (some in this thread) at least concerned with the idea, but okay I understand that it's your viewpoint.

Quote:
That's why Mars is more appealing and more likely to happen: it has other arguments going for it.
For instance?

Quote:
Theprestige suggested that Mars could be a backup for humanity, essentially, rather than a new homeworld. I find that idea interesting. Notice, I didn't ask him for a detailed plan or for financing details, however.
A backup is still there to mitigate the threat of extinction, so it's still the same argument. What other reasons for going to Mars do you think will be convincing enough to get people to fund it?





Quote:
I agree. But there's a difference between these short, to-the-point answers and the sort of give-me-the-exact-amount-of-tonnes-of-water-you-need things some people here requested. It's clearly out of my league, and apparently that disqualifies me from even discussing this topic, which is nonsense to me.
I don't think you are disqualified. I think if you outlined some very basic ideas. probably ideas that someone else came up with, theprestige would probably ask you some questions about the details (because those details might kill the idea) and we could have a discussion about which ideas make sense and which don't.

I agree that you shouldn't be expected to supply all the details before discussion can ensue, but I think the details are what would make such a discussion actually interesting.

Anyway, while I disagree with some of what you've said so far (and agree with some other things that you've said), I do appreciate your participation.
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Old 4th December 2018, 11:25 PM   #316
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Can anyone think of any industries on Mars that might help to fund it's colonization?

I suggested tourism upthread, but I don't really know if there is anything else that would make sense, even with much more advanced technology than we have.

Science, I suppose, can justify a certain amount of funding for exploration of the planet. The search for life, both past and present, a better understanding of martain climate and geology, perhaps. Are there any great scientific projects that could best be undertaken on Mars? (for instance it's been suggested that if we wanted to build a very high energy particle accelerator the Moon might be the best place to do that, and similar things are said for telescopes, but I don't see any good reason that either would be done on Mars).

Maybe we could use it as a testing ground for geoengineering projects. Try out some sort of weather control idea on Mars and see if there are unforeseen consequences before trying it on earth. While the two planets are very different and we wouldn't expect that same outcomes from those sorts of experiments, still we could probably learn a lot by trying things on Mars before doing them on Earth.
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Old 5th December 2018, 01:18 AM   #317
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Originally Posted by Ambrosia View Post
i) just cos it's cool
ii) we need to have humanity on more than 1 planet because meteorites.
iii) because we are explorers and adventurers and the only places left to discover here are underwater.
iv) to inspire people. the biggest payoff from the Apollo program was inspiring generations of scientists and engineers because space is cool! Those people have given us the internet, mobile phones, etc. The ROI on the Apollo program is incalculable.

Necessity is the mother of invention. I'd much prefer there to be a space program run by people like Musk or Bezos that needed to invent things that we need to get people living on Mars to inspire kids to become engineers etc rather than our current best and brightest working for defense contractors and working on ways to kill people.

That is why we need a Mars base (and a Venus base, and a Europa base.... but lets start on the simplest one first)
Constructing a base is in essence a simple process and not really beyond the technology we now have however a base is useless to ensure the species survival, to do that we'd need a self sustaining colony.

To maintain a technology base of current level technology is an immense task, so immense that it is only possible on the earth by a huge interdependent chain of worldwide trade and worldwide production. I really think that any attempt of a self sustaining colony has to be built using technology that can be supported by (in terms of earth) a single small country with limited natural resources, which means going back to a technology base of mid 20th technology at the best.

Can such a technology base support life indefinitely on mars? I doubt it.

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Old 5th December 2018, 02:13 AM   #318
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Originally Posted by Crawtator View Post
Quick question as an aside...

Does the fact that we currently have a planetary protection group with NASA affect any of this? I mean...that organization exists specifically to prevent contamination of Mars so that scientific research would be more robust. Is the assumption being made that all relevant scientific experiments concerning possible life on Mars (present or past) has been completed by the time we start shuttling people and/or supplies to Mars to start this colony? Because, frankly, that will be a long time coming anyway. How certain do we want to be that Mars didn't harbor life in the past before we reduce our chances of finding it by being there ourselves and changing the environment forever?

Or is this a cost that shouldn't be considered?
If you're thinking that the science will come as an inevitable result of colonisation, I think you have it the wrong way round.

The PRIME reason for going to Mars has always been the science, and it still is now. IMO, colonisation may or may not happen as a result of sending missions to Mars, and while I believe that the colonisation of Mars will eventually happen, and that we should be making the first (baby) steps towards that as soon as we can, I believe Musk's idea of sending hundreds of people, while not entirely bat-crap crazy, is not the best way of going about it.

It makes much more sense to me to build a small, self sustaining science station; maybe 10-15 people. Far less resources are required to keep a small number of people viable, and if that works, the size and extent of the science station can be developed over time as humans learn to live an work there.

Sure, there are going to be problems that will need to be overcome, such as power sources and both GCR and solar radiation. I am confident that these kinds of problem can be overcome. RTGs supplemented with solar seems to be the best place to start for power, and we don't have to entirely shield against GCR and solar radiation, just reduce it to acceptable levels. There is no "one-size-fits-all" approach to this, it will require a multi-faceted approach; shielding both the indoor environment and the astronauts themselves. IMO, active shielding will play a big part in the solution to this problem.
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Old 5th December 2018, 02:29 AM   #319
HansMustermann
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
Can anyone think of any industries on Mars that might help to fund it's colonization?
Considering the cost of sending a rocket there AND back, I doubt that any kind of trade between Earth and Mars could possibly be profitable at the current tech level.

And really, what we'd need is some insanely cheap energy, because fighting the potential energy wells of Earth, Mars and the Sun all boils down to a minimum energy that you really have no real way around. So, I dunno, maybe once we have cheap fusion that might work, but otherwise it's like having your pizza delivered from Australia by fighter jet. There's no way to make that pizza business profitable because the transport costs dwarf everything else.

It doesn't work like in SF where you can have a giant expensive ship just to smuggle a few crates of whatever, and nobody asks if it covers the transport costs, is all I'm saying.

And the thing is, even if we found some rare stuff to mine there, that's insanely expensive per ton back on Earth (He3 is a common argument), that stuff is only expensive because it's rare down here. By the time you've hauled a thousand tons of it back, the supply vs demand equation makes the price drops like an anvil.

For example for He3, we're already talking about a price that's already not stellar at about $2000 per litre, but based on a supply of about 6000 litres produced per year. If you suddenly multiply the supply by 1000 by hauling it from the Moon or Mars, yeah, see what that did to the price of aluminium back then. Which wouldn't be a bad thing per se, except you're back to it not being worth the costs of sending a rocket there and back to haul it.
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Old 5th December 2018, 02:33 AM   #320
HansMustermann
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
The PRIME reason for going to Mars has always been the science, and it still is now. IMO, colonisation may or may not happen as a result of sending missions to Mars, and while I believe that the colonisation of Mars will eventually happen, and that we should be making the first (baby) steps towards that as soon as we can, I believe Musk's idea of sending hundreds of people, while not entirely bat-crap crazy, is not the best way of going about it.
And there basically you outlined the problem some of us have with the recent "OMG, humanity needs a backup RIGHT NOW" hype. Which does primarily seem to come from Musk.

I can understand why he'd like to be paid for that, because we're essentially talking about someone paying him a couple of trillions to do that. It would make Microsoft's cornering the PC market seem like a lemonade stand by comparison. I'd cream my pants at THAT idea too.

But I don't think that that particular way to go about it is in anyone else's best interest.
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