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Forum » SpaceEngine » Science and Astronomy Discussions » Mars One 2023 (The first permanent Human Settlement in Mars)
Mars One 2023
expandoDate: Saturday, 04.05.2013, 00:04 | Message # 46
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No it does not matter keeping anything 'pristine' and if there is life on mars, we should terraform it regardless.

There is no moral issue, morality is discussed by those who are weak, might = right and it is one of the basic laws of evolution and natural selection.

For starters, we should send bacteria to mars to convert the c02 to oxygen and move ice asteroids to impact mars to create oceans and add to the atmosphere. I don't think it would take long, a few years with the specially developed microbes to convert all the co2.





"Religion is regarded by the common people as true - by the wise as false - and by the rulers as useful."
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HarbingerDawnDate: Saturday, 04.05.2013, 00:10 | Message # 47
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Quote (expando)
might = right

So you'd have absolutely no problem with someone murdering you right now if they were able to?





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expandoDate: Saturday, 04.05.2013, 00:13 | Message # 48
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Who is to say they will succeed? If anyone wants to try I am ready.

Anyway, terraforming mars my way would be very cheap. A pod containing bacteria is simply fired from earth's orbit from a gun in the direction of mars. It really does not matter what the size is, it could be just a hollowed out 303. Nuclear missiles could be blown near asteroids like 24 Themis or even blow multiple bombs near the asteroid belt and let multiple asteroids impact assuming alot of those asteroids contain ice.

Anyway it is important not to pussy foot, nothing gets done that way.





"Religion is regarded by the common people as true - by the wise as false - and by the rulers as useful."
Lucius Annaeus Seneca


Edited by expando - Saturday, 04.05.2013, 00:32
 
HarbingerDawnDate: Saturday, 04.05.2013, 00:47 | Message # 49
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Who is to say they will succeed?

I am as I stated that as a premise for that hypothetical question. I didn't ask if you were ready, I asked if you would have a problem with someone killing you for any or no reason.

Quote (expando)
it could be just a hollowed out 303

A .303 cartridge would not have nearly enough delta-v to reach Mars from Earth orbit, nor would it be able to survive its encounter with the planet if it did.

Quote (expando)
even blow multiple bombs near the asteroid belt and let multiple asteroids impact assuming alot of those asteroids contain ice.

It would require precise planning and could probably be done much more efficiently and effectively using something other than nukes. It would also require a lot of asteroids. And anyway that's not the best way to terraform Mars, though all this is a discussion for another thread (which does exist).

I'm thinking that you don't have a very good grasp of how these things work. I'm also thinking that you might be a troll.





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expandoDate: Saturday, 04.05.2013, 01:45 | Message # 50
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No it does not require 'precise' planning.




"Religion is regarded by the common people as true - by the wise as false - and by the rulers as useful."
Lucius Annaeus Seneca
 
WatsisnameDate: Saturday, 04.05.2013, 03:20 | Message # 51
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expando, justify your assertions with supporting evidence. This is the key to making a strong argument.

Added (04.05.2013, 06:20)
---------------------------------------------
Alright, let's look at this claim real quick:

Quote (expando)
might = right and it is one of the basic laws of evolution and natural selection.


This is complete and utter bollocks; evolutionary theory says nothing of the sort. You appear to be operating under the common phrase 'survival of the fittest', which is such a gross misstatement that nobody who really understands evolution would say such a thing.

Natural selection says that traits which are conducive to survival and reproduction tend to increase in abundance for following generations in that population. It does not say that organisms which exhibit those traits are 'mightier' than others. Indeed, a trait that is selected for in one situation may be selected against in another one. Such is a large factor in what is called divergent evolution, such as when populations are separated by a physical or reproductive barrier.

Furthermore, there is no rational way of extending the principles of natural selection to justify what is right and what is wrong. Ability/power to take a course of action does not mean it is moral or ethically favorable to do so, and any argument to the contrary is a stupid one at best and a dangerous one at worst.







Edited by Watsisname - Saturday, 04.05.2013, 03:28
 
expandoDate: Saturday, 04.05.2013, 11:19 | Message # 52
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Wat, survival of the fittest is the KEY factor in evolution. You mention morality and ethics? where does that come from, those ideas were created by man, but it is fairly incompatible with the laws of nature.




"Religion is regarded by the common people as true - by the wise as false - and by the rulers as useful."
Lucius Annaeus Seneca
 
WatsisnameDate: Saturday, 04.05.2013, 12:23 | Message # 53
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Quote (expando)
Wat, survival of the fittest is the KEY factor in evolution.


No, it's not, and all you're doing is demonstrating that you don't actually understand the theory and are simply regurgitating a common but improper saying. It's almost as bad as claiming that the theory of relativity says "everything is relative". Common phrase, but enormously incorrect.

I'm glad to see that you now agree that evolutionary theory cannot serve as a basis for moral/ethical arguments as you were trying to do in your earlier post.





 
apenpaapDate: Saturday, 04.05.2013, 12:24 | Message # 54
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Survival of the fittest is no more than a catchphrase, it doesn't mean that much. Those who actually survive are those best adapted to their niche, and if that niche is in a group, these are quite often not the most egotistical or strong. In group animals such as humans, altruistic traits will often evolve. This is part of the source of our morality and ethics.

The other source, however, is far more important, and you seem to be ignoring it completely: rational thought. A lot of our morality exists because we can reason that it's a really good idea to follow these morals, and imagine ourselves to be the victim of less moral behaviour. Even if what you said about evolution was completely true, you would still be wrong for this reason. Just because evolution says it's a good idea to do something doesn't mean that's a moral or sensible thing to do. We can definitely do better than following a system as slow and clunky as evolution; just look around you to see the wonders the human mind has produced in only ten thousand years, a mere moment for evolution.

Incidentally, I suggest you read up a bit on evolution, as you don't seem to understand it very well at all.





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Edited by apenpaap - Saturday, 04.05.2013, 12:25
 
robertinventorDate: Sunday, 05.05.2013, 14:10 | Message # 55
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Quote (HarbingerDawn)

Thus begins the Reds versus Greens debate... Also robertinventor, this may be the most epic first post of all time. I'll endeavor to read all of it and respond.

Yes, it was a bit epic wasn't it :). Actually I'm a short term Red, over decades. The long term decisions I think need to be made by people with more knowledge about Mars and about biology, origins of life, and terraforming than we can have at present. Certainly seems okay to me to transform Mars if we know enough to do that responsibly without destorying its scientific value or its value for colonization or whatever it is it might be used for (even growing crops by tele-presence without humans on the planet).

BTW sorry for late reply. Last time I looked there were no replies and I just came back today and found loads of replies. Not getting notification maybe need to switch it on .

Quote (HarbingerDawn)


> the photos of Mars are adjusted to simulate Earth lighting to make it easier for geologists to interpret

Some are, but many are not, and most of the ones for press release are true color or close to it. And yes, mostly everything is shades of red or yellow.

No, almost invariably the ones for press release are colour adjusted. I have never seen a raw image in a news story about Mars that showed the Mars surface as it appears to human eyes.

Almost all the images in press releases and on the rover project websites are colour adjusted to help geologists to recognize rocks on Mars. If you look at the original unadjusted ones, which are sometimes available as "raw images", there are no yellows and no bright reds. Just various shades of muddy reddish-brown. They just do it as a standard part of the pre-processing of the image before it is released even for the scientists to use.

Here is a deep zoom of Mount Sharp with the raw and the colour adjusted version. Note that there are no colours at all in the raw version except for various shades of muddy brown. The raw version shows what the scene would be like if you took a photo with your digital camera or camera phone, and so gives a reasonable idea of what it would be like to the human eye given that we are used to interpreting those images.

Mount Sharp Panorama in Raw Colours

The only time I've seen images like this in press releases for the Mars missions are in stories like this one about the white balancing proceess itself.

Quote (HarbingerDawn)

Orbital colonies make little sense as they could not be made self-sufficient. It makes even less sense to build Martian orbital colonies; if you're going to build a space habitat, why not build one near Earth? It would be much cheaper. The surface or near subsurface of Mars is the best place to establish a colony outside of Earth simply on account of the resources available at the location. But even the surface of the Moon would be a much more sensible location than orbital space.

And if I were a colonist I would prefer a surface colony to an orbital one.


Ah but they can be self sufficient in Mars orbit. For one thing the moons of Phobos and Deimos are considered very likely to have ice in their interior. If that's so then you can get just about everything you need from them. Also via the Interplanetary Transfer Network you can transfer materials from just about anywhere in the solar system to just about anywhere else over long enough timescales. It would be easy to send materials mined in the vicinity of Earth to Mars, indeed easier than to send them to the Earth or to the Moon. You would of course use a small proportion of the materiials themselves as the rocket fuel, so it is entirely self sufficient.

As for preference - when in orbit - you can live in full earth gravity if you want (or whatever g is preferred) by spinning the habitat. It is warmer - insulating vacuum of space, not the cold rocks of Mars. No dust storms which obscure the sky on Mars for weeks on end. Via telepresence you will be able to drive rovers over Mars in real time at Earth type speeds (no need for the slow meters per day of current rovers) and you will see the surface colour corrected or indeed with enhanced vision. (Of course you can do that on the surface too but the surface gives no advantage). Also no need to put on a spacesuit to explore the surface in this way - putting on a spacesuit is a long process, not just like donning clothes as it seems in films, but something that takes hours a day to put it on and take it off and to go through all the checks needed to make sure that you are safe and won't die as a result of going out into the vacuum of space or the Mars thin atmosphere.

Quote (HarbingerDawn)

Some people would not find it depressing. Also, many strategies for Mars colonization involve domed habitats with tolerable pressure, so all you would need is an oxygen mask and perhaps warm clothes to go outside. And even "normal" habitats could use new pressure suit designs that can be easily put on and taken off and which do not rely on air for pressurization except in the helmet (designs of this nature already exist). And all that aside, at least they can go outside and walk around unlike in an orbital habitat, and can have a natural day/night cycle and weather. Someone could find an orbital colony at least as 'depressing' as a surface colony. Personally I'll take the surface any day.

An orbital habiat will of course have greenhouses and plants and so forth just like a Mars colony. Also you can make a larger orbital colony for the same price, because it costs much much less to send humans and equipment to Mars orbit. In orbit you can explore Mars by telepresence to "go outside" - and you will also have spacewalking missions and travel to and from Deimos and Phobos. It isn't possible to walk onto the surface of Mars with just an oxygen mask and warm clothes, as the atmosphere is like a laboratory vacuum on Earth. You will need a spacesuit just as in orbit.

Quote (HarbingerDawn)

You seem to be assuming here that everything for a Mars colony has to come from Earth. This is not the case. Any decent colony would be self-sufficient and able to create almost anything it needs. Most Mars colony plans (with the notable exception of Mars One) account for this. Almost everything in the colony could be made with Martian resources.

I'm talking about the early stages there. When there are just a few dozen colonists either in orbit or on the surface, then if anything goes wrong, e.g. your heaters stop working, or problems with electricity generation, or lights, or a spacesuit gets damaged, or even a problem with your toilets or your cooking facilities, then you won't be able to fix it with materials on the spot, not for quite a while, at least not with current technology. It is possible that later on that it might be possible with 3D printers to print almost anything including micro-processors - but our technology hasn't reached that stage yet.

The surface is similar to the orbit in this respect, except that it costs maybe ten times as much to send replacements ot the surface compared with in orbit. If the replacements come from factories in orbit around Earth, then it costs many times more to send to the surface as it is almost zero cost to send to Mars orbit (hardly any fuel needed for the delta v).

Quote (HarbingerDawn)

We're talking about colonies here. If the idea that even possibly losing an astronaut or a mission is absolutely unacceptable then we can never ever ever leave Earth. When you live and work on a frontier you live with increased risk. It is for the pioneers to accept the risk, not for the people back in the homeland to dictate what others should accept or not.

There is a difference between somewhat increased risk and risk so high it is close to suicide. I feel personally that only fit healthy people should be sent to Mars orbit at this stage, and that there should be someone fully qualified as a medical doctor on the team, and another member ideally similarly qualified as backup if the doctor dies. Elderly and less healthy people can colonize the Moon for now,l and experienced developed while doing that can make it safer for colonies further afield.

The thing is - it's not like on Earth - where the place you are going to is one where humans can live unprotected. It is an environment where just a simple mistake donning your spacesuit can lead you to a very dangerous situation and death extremely quickly. There will probably be accidents over a long term visit to Mars especially with less trained and disciplined people than those on say the ISS.

It's not just slightly increased risk like someone who takes up a dangerous hobby on Earth.

Quote (HarbingerDawn)

Compared to weeks or months of delays that existed in past colonization efforts that's quite nice. Communication would essentially be limited to e-mails and other pre-recorded messages. So what? Anyone far from Earth should be able to solve their own problems, it's a requirement of being a pioneer.


Again the difference from human expeditions is that everything will be done with computers, and advanced gear to keep the atmosphere clean and the habitats warm and so on. Your spacesuits, rovers, and the habs themselves are complex structures, also water recycling, air recycling etc. There may be plants involved in that but ina small hab there will still be a lot of technology involved in keeping everything habitable for humans. This could easily go wrong e.g, wrong balance of the gases in the atmosphere, build up of CO2, or ammonia or other gases, etc. And if those fail - you can't just get out of your hab, e.g. light a fire, camp out, and make do. You will just die.

In emergencies like that, having someone on hand who thoroughly understands how everything works is essential. Here on Earth you could ring someone up, and on the ISS they can ring Earth and contact a specialist and find out what they can do about the situation. On Mars though you won't be able to do that. You only have basically the equivalent of email support, and even that, with delays of 44 minutes. When close to Earth you have very slow chat type support.

So that needs to be understood.

I think that you will need to have techy specialists in the crew to deal with these situations. Yes they have to be able to solve their own problems to a large extent or it's not going to work - but what I'm saying is - ordinary people won't be able to do tha; you will need to have people who are specialists in the equipment and able to
understand what is going on if they fail and they need to be there as part of the crew.

Indeed in early missions with just a few people say half a dozen, then I don't think there will be much space for non specialists on the crew, not to do it safely. Maybe one or at most two non specialists. Say - two that are doctors mainly (two in case one of them dies) . Two that are engineers who thoroughly understand all the equipment aboard. And two who are specialists at docking and manouvering and piloting and such like things, because a number of missions from Earth to Mars have been lost due to errors in instructions sent to the spacecraft for course corrections etc, so for increased safety, you want to have people on board who can deal with such things and so reduce those risks not just pilot the whole thing automatically from Earth. Some of those of course could be the same people as each other, but even so doesn't leave much space for non specialists on a small expedition to also be safe.

On the Moon very different, would be easier to have non specialist in even a small expedition to the Moon because of the support from Earth, but even so would want some specialists in the mix as well.

Does that make sense?

Added (05.05.2013, 14:36)
---------------------------------------------
Quote (expando)

Who is to say they will succeed? If anyone wants to try I am ready.

Anyway, terraforming mars my way would be very cheap. A pod containing bacteria is simply fired from earth's orbit from a gun in the direction of mars. It really does not matter what the size is, it could be just a hollowed out 303. Nuclear missiles could be blown near asteroids like 24 Themis or even blow multiple bombs near the asteroid belt and let multiple asteroids impact assuming alot of those asteroids contain ice.

Anyway it is important not to pussy foot, nothing gets done that way.


Ah - the thing is - would that work? The thing is that on Earth then our atmosphere developed slowly over billions of years. First for a long time you had no organisms that could consume oxygen, and the oxygen built up in the atmosphere as a poison above the sea. Eventually you did get aerobes, able to consume oxygen. But by then you had lots of oxygen and also whole oceans of green algae who kept the oxygen in balance.

On Mars you might have to do the same thing., but faster. You could try seeding it with photosynthesizing plants. You will probably need to supplement them with factories on Mars creating oxygen as otherwise it might be a rather slow process. But you want the whole surface to be covered in photo synthesizing plants first before you start to introduce aerobes that will consume the oxygen. So start with lichens and algae that can create oxygen without anything else don't need soil in the conventional sense. Also the atmosphere is so thin, you probably need to collide a few asteroids or comets with the planet to get it started.

For that to work though you probably need to be very careful not to contaminate Mars with anything else. You don't want aerobes and complex organisms messing things up, they would either eath the algae or lichen, or out compete it and might not be the things you want.

The humans can only come to Mars at a late stage if you do it like that because they introduce such a mix of many different organisms, over a thousand species in 19 genera just on our skin.

We don't know much about terraforming. So this could be wrong and there might be other approaches that would work that let humans land at an earlier stage. But it could also go horribly wrong, e.g. the organisms already on Mars remove oxygen from the atmosphere as quickly as it is created, and also remove the CO2 too, continually fighting against all your attempts to create a nice atmosphere for humans.

I think it will only be after we have some experience with orbiting self contained habitats, larger and larger ones - by the time we get to the kilometers across mini worlds type habitats we will begin to have a better idea of the sort of issues involved in creating a liveable environment for humans on a planet like Mars.

It would be tough enough if Mars was an exact twin of Earth. But it is further from the sun, colder, has less gravity, and for long term terraforming, has no continental dirft either (our atmosphere is maintained by the CO2 from the volcanoes - CO2 dissolves into our seas turns into limestone and then eventually comes up again as CO2 in volcanoes).

If you could magically transplant the plants, animals, seas, atmosphere and everything from Earth to Mars overnight or duplicate it exactly - it wouldn't work, not for long, it would go into some other equilibirium and would surely have a period of wild swings in the climate before it settled down and I don't think anyone can know how it would end up eventually.

So on Mars we have to start up a new atmosphere, forests, seas, and ecosystem on a new planet, and it has to be a different one from the one on Earth - and yet still work and last for long periods of time without wild swings of climate and everything going out of balance. We simply don't have anywhere near the level of knowledge to do that successfully right now.

We can certainly transform Mars. But maybe into another Mars with an even thinner atmosphere and in other ways not as desired. We can't predictably and controllably terraform Mars or transform it globally with current levels of knowledge.

Added (05.05.2013, 17:10)
---------------------------------------------
Realised more needs to be said, so I've made this into a blog post here: Difficulty of terraforming Mars

Edited by robertinventor - Sunday, 05.05.2013, 11:38
 
WatsisnameDate: Monday, 06.05.2013, 07:13 | Message # 56
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Where does this notion that colliding asteroids or comets with Mars would help to increase the atmospheric pressure come from?

A low-energy impact would raise dust and debris, but this would all fall out again in a fairly short period of time. A high-energy impact would actually reduce the pressure, because a portion of the atmosphere would be blown right off of the planet and escape. Indeed, the impact energy required to eject some fraction of atmosphere from Mars is about 1000 times lower than for Earth.





 
robertinventorDate: Monday, 06.05.2013, 07:48 | Message # 57
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Oh it is a widely discussed notion. One approach is to send the asteroids on a grazing orbit so that they ablate in the atmosphere of Mars, and perhaps break up in the atmosphere. Also you could use smaller asteroids and break them up first before they hit Mars.

Not an easy solution, agreed, and one issue with it is that the amount of material to be added is large.
 
mike4ty4Date: Monday, 06.05.2013, 09:32 | Message # 58
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If you ask me something like - why NASA is loosing its grasp on the situation - my opinion will be, that's not a cause, that's consequence of commercialization.


So does this mean you believe commercialization to be having an adverse impact on space exploration? If so, then do you believe space should be reserved for governments? If not, then how do you propose to eliminate the adverse effects of commercialization without also getting rid of it?
 
robertinventorDate: Monday, 06.05.2013, 09:44 | Message # 59
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Here is a link about terraforming Mars using ammonia comets from the outer solar system - because ammonia is a greenhouse gas http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~mfogg/zubrin.htm
 
WatsisnameDate: Monday, 06.05.2013, 10:00 | Message # 60
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Thanks, robertinventor. That's a pretty big distinction between ablating an asteroid/comet in the atmosphere vs. simply impacting it, though. wink

I recall the Red Mars trilogy discussed this method as well.





 
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