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Old 20th June 2018, 04:58 PM   #1
Samson
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Dust Storm on Mars

I must say this makes planet Earth look a pretty good spot to be. The authors of this article downplay the seriousness, but it suggests Mars is a lost cause for Elon Musk and his ilk.

https://phys.org/news/2018-06-martia...-captures.html

Look after Earth I suggest.
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Old 20th June 2018, 06:34 PM   #2
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I dont quiet understand the musk jab. Mars wide dust storms have been known about for quiet some time and certainly known to musk. The article even mentions the nuclear power source that keep Opportunity powered. Martian storms are nothing like what was depicted in "The Martian". The risk to spacecraft or "martianauts" would be the loss of solar power efficiency. Maybe Im missing something. It IS a cool storm though.

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Old 20th June 2018, 07:30 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Orionsword View Post
I dont quiet understand the musk jab. Mars wide dust storms have been known about for quiet some time and certainly known to musk. The article even mentions the nuclear power source that keep Opportunity powered. Martian storms are nothing like what was depicted in "The Martian". The risk to spacecraft or "martianauts" would be the loss of solar power efficiency. Maybe Im missing something. It IS a cool storm though.

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The Musk jab is because he regards it as a categorical imperative for man to colonise Mars because of future risk to Earth.
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Old 20th June 2018, 08:08 PM   #4
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Musk certainly has some odd ideas. I just think using martian storms as a reason to ridicule his mars mission isn't a good one. There are plenty of others. Radiation and food perhaps? Don't you think there is a place for dreamers? . Who knows what his companies might innovate despite the 'lunacy' of going to mars.
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Old 20th June 2018, 08:13 PM   #5
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Minor correction - Curiosity has the MMRTG power source (although Opportunity has a few 1-watt plutonium passive heaters to help ward off the chill).
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Old 20th June 2018, 08:22 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by sts60 View Post
Minor correction - Curiosity has the MMRTG power source (although Opportunity has a few 1-watt plutonium passive heaters to help ward off the chill).
Thank you for the correction, Curiousity is the rover I meant. And I wasn't aware of the passive heaters on Opportunity. Double thanks!
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Old 20th June 2018, 09:23 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Orionsword View Post
Musk certainly has some odd ideas. I just think using martian storms as a reason to ridicule his mars mission isn't a good one. There are plenty of others. Radiation and food perhaps? Don't you think there is a place for dreamers? . Who knows what his companies might innovate despite the 'lunacy' of going to mars.
I agree the reasons for not going are plentiful, and one of the fundamental reasons is the place is bleak, unsuitable for human dreams, before the dust storms. There is more to study outside any kitchen window than that whole planet.
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Old 20th June 2018, 09:48 PM   #8
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I meant the reasons to ridicule his mission might be plentiful, not that the reasons not to go are. Sorry I wasn't clear. If you imagine humanity one day escaping the solar system to avoid the inevitable death of our sun certainly mars is the second stepping stone after the moon. Doesn't that make it suitable for our dreams?

Last edited by Orionsword; 20th June 2018 at 09:59 PM. Reason: deleted comment about not trying to be argumentative which isn't true.
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Old 20th June 2018, 10:58 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Orionsword View Post
I meant the reasons to ridicule his mission might be plentiful, not that the reasons not to go are. Sorry I wasn't clear. If you imagine humanity one day escaping the solar system to avoid the inevitable death of our sun certainly mars is the second stepping stone after the moon. Doesn't that make it suitable for our dreams?
Well, I guess suitable for our nightmares unfortunately. It is hard to imagine any mission that serves the normal pleasures of existence, and nagging fear must be the eternal backdrop.
There are rebalancing matters that will be needed here to even dream of sun death being a sentient reality for any creature on this planet. But ultimately I just don't like Mars, maybe I should read Dune again.
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Old 20th June 2018, 11:26 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Samson View Post
Well, I guess suitable for our nightmares unfortunately. It is hard to imagine any mission that serves the normal pleasures of existence, and nagging fear must be the eternal backdrop.
There are rebalancing matters that will be needed here to even dream of sun death being a sentient reality for any creature on this planet. But ultimately I just don't like Mars, maybe I should read Dune again.
So, sorta like living in Detroit, then.
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Old 20th June 2018, 11:27 PM   #11
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Thanks for that. I just wanted to understand what the motivation for your opening post was. Sure, there are concerns more immediate than the end of our sun. But if we overcome them all that will be one we must finally address.

Space travel is hard, even miserable, with a background of fear. I believe we should take that on as early as we can. I don't think that would be a waste. We humans tend to find pleasure in the existence we find ourselves in anyhow.

I apologize for the rant.


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Old 20th June 2018, 11:44 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by GodMark2 View Post
So, sorta like living in Detroit, then.
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Old 20th June 2018, 11:47 PM   #13
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Humans have been naturally drawn to explore since the earliest times. Setting out across the African steppe to find out what was beyond the mountains was dangerous and frightening as well. Crossing the mysterious ocean in a small wooden boat was dangerous. Daring to circumnavigate the globe was terrifying, and Magellan lost many ships and many crew on that voyage.

Yes, it'll be dangerous. Yes, it'll be scary. Are those reasons not to do it? No.
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Old 21st June 2018, 12:30 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Humans have been naturally drawn to explore since the earliest times. Setting out across the African steppe to find out what was beyond the mountains was dangerous and frightening as well. Crossing the mysterious ocean in a small wooden boat was dangerous. Daring to circumnavigate the globe was terrifying, and Magellan lost many ships and many crew on that voyage.

Yes, it'll be dangerous. Yes, it'll be scary. Are those reasons not to do it? No.
Said better than I could.

Eventually exploration will be the requirement if earthlings are to outlive our fireplace that is the sun. You don't have to like Mars or Musk but I don't think you can deny the inevitability of our fate if we just stay in place. Don't we have to try?
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Old 21st June 2018, 12:35 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Samson View Post
and one of the fundamental reasons is the place is bleak, unsuitable for human dreams, before the dust storms. There is more to study outside any kitchen window than that whole planet.
Facts not in evidence. The failure of your imagination is thankfully not going to deter people like Musk & Bezos.

I've seen some truly beautiful images from Mars. I'm sorry that you aren't inspired or awed by them.
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Old 21st June 2018, 01:00 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Octavo View Post
Facts not in evidence. The failure of your imagination is thankfully not going to deter people like Musk & Bezos.

I've seen some truly beautiful images from Mars. I'm sorry that you aren't inspired or awed by them.
" nasa.gov/mission_pages/msl/index.html "

And that just Mars. Personally I cant think of an object in the solar system that isn't amazingly beautiful and awesome. Look at the recent Juno images.

Ok, well, maybe Neptune.
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Old 21st June 2018, 01:06 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Octavo View Post
Facts not in evidence. The failure of your imagination is thankfully not going to deter people like Musk & Bezos.

I've seen some truly beautiful images from Mars. I'm sorry that you aren't inspired or awed by them.
Originally Posted by Orionsword View Post
" nasa.gov/mission_pages/msl/index.html "

And that just Mars. Personally I cant think of an object in the solar system that isn't amazingly beautiful and awesome. Look at the recent Juno images.

Ok, well, maybe Neptune.
Ah but I devour all I find on these objects.
The failure of imagination occurs when the idea of living there takes hold.
A bit like an alcoholic who dreams of running a pub.
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Old 21st June 2018, 01:17 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Samson View Post
Ah but I devour all I find on these objects.
The failure of imagination occurs when the idea of living there takes hold.
A bit like an alcoholic who dreams of running a pub.
I appreciate the joke. But what I am failing to argue well is that we have no choice but to try. I don't mean going wherever we fancy for a free pint. I mean the ability to avoid annihilation. You certainly must agree that we - as earthlings - ought to avoid that. No?
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Old 21st June 2018, 01:23 AM   #19
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Sorry but to continue, avoiding that means taking steps to get off this planet. Musk and other are making efforts in that direction without political or (I guess) monetary motivations. That seems admirable to me on some level. Even if they are wierd at times.

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Old 21st June 2018, 01:27 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Samson View Post
I must say this makes planet Earth look a pretty good spot to be. The authors of this article downplay the seriousness, but it suggests Mars is a lost cause for Elon Musk and his ilk.
If the weather's crap and you can't see the sun for long periods of time, so what? People live in Scotland.

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Old 21st June 2018, 01:46 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Orionsword View Post
I appreciate the joke. But what I am failing to argue well is that we have no choice but to try. I don't mean going wherever we fancy for a free pint. I mean the ability to avoid annihilation. You certainly must agree that we - as earthlings - ought to avoid that. No?
I agree in principal, but I suspect we are all ultimately victims of Fermi's paradox, but I also have a stronger view that life is only on planet Earth in the universe, but I have argued that for a long time.
No one seems to believe me!

The dust storm served as a catalyst to suggest we should do our best on this weird world.
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Old 21st June 2018, 02:00 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Samson View Post
I agree in principal, but I suspect we are all ultimately victims of Fermi's paradox, but I also have a stronger view that life is only on planet Earth in the universe, but I have argued that for a long time.
No one seems to believe me!

The dust storm served as a catalyst to suggest we should do our best on this weird world.
I am arguing that we should facilitate our ability to avoid destruction. Being able to leave Earth and inhabit another world is kinda tantamount to that. Life may only be possible on Earth. Fermi's paradox may be true. But what is true without the MAY qualifier is that the sun will run out of fuel and if humanity or even earthlings want to survive beyond that event we will need to have the capacity to live somewhere else than here. Mars is a step toward that goal. Do you disagree?
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Old 21st June 2018, 02:22 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Orionsword View Post
I am arguing that we should facilitate our ability to avoid destruction. Being able to leave Earth and inhabit another world is kinda tantamount to that. Life may only be possible on Earth. Fermi's paradox may be true. But what is true without the MAY qualifier is that the sun will run out of fuel and if humanity or even earthlings want to survive beyond that event we will need to have the capacity to live somewhere else than here. Mars is a step toward that goal. Do you disagree?
No, it is not logical to disagree at one level.
However, the fate of our sun is white dwarf in 500 billion years.
As I understand it, earth will be uninhabitable in one billion, because the water will be gone.
Mars would seem to be a stop gap measure, that nagging fear will rule.
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Old 21st June 2018, 02:29 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Humans have been naturally drawn to explore since the earliest times. Setting out across the African steppe to find out what was beyond the mountains was dangerous and frightening as well. Crossing the mysterious ocean in a small wooden boat was dangerous. Daring to circumnavigate the globe was terrifying, and Magellan lost many ships and many crew on that voyage.

Yes, it'll be dangerous. Yes, it'll be scary. Are those reasons not to do it? No.
It reminds me of the Hollies song,

All I have is the air that I breathe...

Quite a lot, and rather convenient.
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Old 21st June 2018, 02:33 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Samson View Post
No, it is not logical to disagree at one level.
However, the fate of our sun is white dwarf in 500 billion years.
As I understand it, earth will be uninhabitable in one billion, because the water will be gone.
Mars would seem to be a stop gap measure, that nagging fear will rule.
OK. I set myself up for that. But really you've only changed the argument a little. Whatever the disaster is, any ability to avoid it will facilitate our survival. I am saying explore those abilities. Of course Mars would be a stop gap. Eventually the sun would make it uninhabitable as well. Our ability to leave Earth extends to our ability to leave Mars, and Callisto, and Pluto, and the solar system presumably.

Have you resigned yourself, your descendants to annihilation? I dont believe that to be honest. You would certainly strive to extend the life of your great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grand daughter? Of course so. What is really offensive to you at this point? Not focusing on our current plight?
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Old 21st June 2018, 02:34 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Orionsword View Post
I am arguing that we should facilitate our ability to avoid destruction. Being able to leave Earth and inhabit another world is kinda tantamount to that. Life may only be possible on Earth. Fermi's paradox may be true. But what is true without the MAY qualifier is that the sun will run out of fuel and if humanity or even earthlings want to survive beyond that event we will need to have the capacity to live somewhere else than here. Mars is a step toward that goal. Do you disagree?
I am all in favour of exploration, and that includes Mars, but colonisation requires a whole other degree of resources. Not only that, but space as has been said, is really difficult, and unforgiving. More so than setting off on the ocean waves.

The Earth isn't going anywhere, human population will stablise in the next few decades, and the pollution we are causing is solvable. In fact it is easier to solve this than colonising Mars or any other planet.

I'm reminded of a previous thread here where Fermi's Paradox was discussed, where someone pointed out that the pill is easier to do that space colonisation.
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Old 21st June 2018, 02:44 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by wobs View Post
I am all in favour of exploration, and that includes Mars, but colonisation requires a whole other degree of resources. Not only that, but space as has been said, is really difficult, and unforgiving. More so than setting off on the ocean waves.

The Earth isn't going anywhere, human population will stablise in the next few decades, and the pollution we are causing is solvable. In fact it is easier to solve this than colonising Mars or any other planet.

I'm reminded of a previous thread here where Fermi's Paradox was discussed, where someone pointed out that the pill is easier to do that space colonisation.
Yeah. You are right. I think I have extended my argument too far. I do not mean to imply that we should focus on leaving earth now to all ends. We certainly have problems we can solve right now and right here and have too. My point, rather dully, was that inevitably we will have to foster the ability to leave. I think that working on that now isn't entirely bad.
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Old 21st June 2018, 02:58 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Humans have been naturally drawn to explore since the earliest times. Setting out across the African steppe to find out what was beyond the mountains was dangerous and frightening as well. Crossing the mysterious ocean in a small wooden boat was dangerous. Daring to circumnavigate the globe was terrifying, and Magellan lost many ships and many crew on that voyage.

Yes, it'll be dangerous. Yes, it'll be scary. Are those reasons not to do it? No.
I'm sceptical about this interpretation of history. If we look at human history, the main voyages of discovery were not out of curiosity, as is often romantically framed, but by want or need. The European explorers such as Columbus of the other voyages of discovery of that age were mainly driven by economics, wanting to open up trade routes. Yes they provided greater knowledge to Europe, along with the spread of religion to far off reaches of the world, but it wasn't really due to curiosity.

Likewise the Polynesian expansion was island hopping, which I doubt was down to curiosity. Down to population pressures(?)

In fact I have heard of examples of societies that have not explored at all, when they clearly could do, but had no need to.
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Old 21st June 2018, 03:03 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Samson View Post
I must say this makes planet Earth look a pretty good spot to be. The authors of this article downplay the seriousness, but it suggests Mars is a lost cause for Elon Musk and his ilk.

https://phys.org/news/2018-06-martia...-captures.html

Look after Earth I suggest.
Don't believe everything you see in the movies The opening sequence of "The Martian" simply cannot happen. Its a small matter of a lack of atmospheric pressure.

The wildest most ferocious dust storm on Mars would present no immediate danger to astronauts on the surface. Such storms have little more than nuisance value.
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Old 21st June 2018, 03:12 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
Don't believe everything you see in the movies The opening sequence of "The Martian" simply cannot happen. Its a small matter of atmospheric pressure.

The wildest most ferocious dust storm on Mars would present no immediate danger to astronauts on the surface. Such storms have little more than nuisance value.
I hope you noted the obscuration of detail in the adjusted pictures.
This was very severe, and depressing.
I am always impressed by the parachuting to Mars with what I understand is 1/1000th our atmosphere. But that alone is depressing, a gutless and small mass planet.
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Old 21st June 2018, 03:34 AM   #31
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I don't think "depressing" is much of an objection to planning Mars missions.
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Old 21st June 2018, 04:40 AM   #32
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Opportunity, a 185 kg solar powered rover, has been operating for over 14 years without any maintenance, and still has a good chance of coming back online after this dust storm clears. Suggesting that a bit of dust of all things is the insurmountable obstacle that will make Mars uninhabitable is rather absurd. At the worst, if we had a colony there now reliant on solar power, this storm would mean setting back propellant manufacture by a few weeks. The dust storm is nothing new, and is no significant obstacle.

As for your complaints about how terrible and depressing the place is...what a remarkably self-centered and small-minded argument. Don't like it, don't go there. "Samson doesn't like the dust" is not a reason to drop plans for colonization.
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Old 21st June 2018, 05:07 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
I don't think "depressing" is much of an objection to planning Mars missions.
Originally Posted by cjameshuff View Post
Opportunity, a 185 kg solar powered rover, has been operating for over 14 years without any maintenance, and still has a good chance of coming back online after this dust storm clears. Suggesting that a bit of dust of all things is the insurmountable obstacle that will make Mars uninhabitable is rather absurd. At the worst, if we had a colony there now reliant on solar power, this storm would mean setting back propellant manufacture by a few weeks. The dust storm is nothing new, and is no significant obstacle.

As for your complaints about how terrible and depressing the place is...what a remarkably self-centered and small-minded argument. Don't like it, don't go there. "Samson doesn't like the dust" is not a reason to drop plans for colonization.
I didn't expect to deflate the romantics so quickly, but there are many local human losers that can be lifted to functionality for the price of one "winner" deported to that vile desert.

No I am not angry, just surprised at there being no bridge between Marx and Musk.
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Old 21st June 2018, 05:19 AM   #34
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Race to the bottom ....millions of people are inspired by humans adventuring into space. Take your hairshirt elsewhere ....how many local human losers have you uplifted to today? Invited to share your meals, your shelter ?
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Old 21st June 2018, 05:21 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by Samson View Post
I didn't expect to deflate the romantics so quickly, but there are many local human losers that can be lifted to functionality for the price of one "winner" deported to that vile desert.
Not going to Mars won't make us any more likely to improve society. I think the opposite is more likely.
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Old 21st June 2018, 05:24 AM   #36
NoahFence
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Doesn't look too bad, unless I'm misinterpreting the image that accompanies that article.

The before shot shows a hole drilled into the rock, with a pile of material surrounding it. The after shows the same thing. So how strong are these winds if it can't pick up the dust created by drilling those holes?
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Old 21st June 2018, 05:32 AM   #37
Craig B
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Originally Posted by Orionsword View Post
Said better than I could.

Eventually exploration will be the requirement if earthlings are to outlive our fireplace that is the sun. You don't have to like Mars or Musk but I don't think you can deny the inevitability of our fate if we just stay in place. Don't we have to try?
That's five billion years away. If we require to do something about that, in what way does going to Mars help us? Mars will die too if the Sun conks out. And travelling to the planets of another star is a proposition so much more formidable than a trip to Mars, that one is not relevant preparation for the other. Like stepping over a puddle teaches us how to swim across the Atlantic Ocean?
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Old 21st June 2018, 05:38 AM   #38
Dave Rogers
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
And travelling to the planets of another star is a proposition so much more formidable than a trip to Mars, that one is not relevant preparation for the other. Like stepping over a puddle teaches us how to swim across the Atlantic Ocean?
If you're surrounded by puddles that you can't step over, you're never even going to get to the Atlantic to try and swim it.

Dave
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Old 21st June 2018, 05:47 AM   #39
Samson
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
Not going to Mars won't make us any more likely to improve society. I think the opposite is more likely.
The thread thesis is supposed to be
"Mars is a crap planet".
The corollary is Earth is a better planet, and why would we imagine it is a race to the bottom to be a little better than Mars.
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Old 21st June 2018, 05:48 AM   #40
Craig B
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Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
If you're surrounded by puddles that you can't step over, you're never even going to get to the Atlantic to try and swim it.

Dave
But we can step over them, and we know it. Settling humans on Mars will in no way preserve humanity from the effects of a catastrophe befalling the Sun. On the contrary.

Neither is Mars a stepping stone to other stars, in the sense that paths with puddles on them are the road to the Atlantic shore, if that's what you mean.
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