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Old 05-08-2016, 05:00 PM   #21
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Someone already has decided to "lose many more bucks first" right (NASA, ESA, Musk etc.)? So the investments are already planned or are underway. Technology is already being pursued to make it feasible, monies are already allocated for some.
Why a certain space related goal was, or is to be, accomplished becomes less of an issue once it is actually accomplished. I don't care supposedly why we went to the moon, I am just glad that we did. I think the collective "we" gained much more than we lost, or invested or even wasted.
Now what financially was gained by the entire moon program, and all the related technologies and engineering that had to be developed in order to accomplish it, versus what was actually spent I do not know. But it feels that we gained way more than we actually put in, IMHO (no, I have no source to site for this except my internal "truthiness" ).
I want us to continue to do difficult things, I want us to continue to stretch the boundaries of what we can achieve in every area. Sometimes for purely selfish reasons, sometimes just because we can, sometimes because we should.
I would very much like to be 95 years old sitting on my dock watching a rocket launch from Kennedy knowing that there were people on it going on some great new adventure or expedition....or even just going to do a routine maintenance activity on a lunar mine....it all works for me.

+1, well stated


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Old 05-08-2016, 05:51 PM   #22
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Why are people dreaming about the big "pie in the sky" project, when they have not solved much easier problems here on earth? Even in California which is a rich region on earth, people cringe at the cost of desalinating water to help in the drought. And while people are shivering on earth in the winter, what makes them think they can warm themselves up on Mars, where temperature drops to -100F (-63C)?
Because the big stuff is what gets people motivated and advances the human race faster. From a species standpoint, getting off the planet makes more sense than trying to figure out ways we can overpopulate the current one.

A lot of the technology to feed people and create habitats in inhospitable places on earth would likely be an offshoot of a Mars colonization project.

And of course it is cool too.
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Old 05-08-2016, 07:08 PM   #23
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Guess I am not one of the more romantic type when it comes to science.

About the effort of growing food for a small colony to be self-sustaining, I have visited the Biosphere 2 Research Facility in Oracle, AZ. Much has been written about the failures and lessons learned from the experiment of this small closed system. Yet, the Biosphere 2 is a vastly easier environment than on Mars.

It will not matter though, because it will be a very very long time, most likely never, until the human race can ever build enough rockets to bring enough material to Mars to even build something like the Biosphere 2. It will not happen in my lifetime.
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Old 05-08-2016, 07:52 PM   #24
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Maybe it won't happen, but I hope it does. The other possibility is a breakthrough in virtual reality that lets you visit Mars with all senses through a robot (hey didn't they make a movie or something about this? ). Or really all they have to do is correctly model every detail of Mars then patch the experience into your brain (wait, that sounds like a movie too).
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Old 05-08-2016, 10:57 PM   #25
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I am afraid that the Earth is all we have. If we mess it up, we are done.

About Mars scenery and experience, I guess I can imagine it being the same as standing in a place devoid of all animal and plant life, some place like the Sahara, except that it is not hot but a lot colder than Antarctica.

I have not personally experienced the desolateness of Sahara or the cold of Antarctica, but I think I've got it. I would rather much enjoy the scenery on earth like I have had the privilege to.

PS. Following are some photos from Mars.




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Old 05-09-2016, 09:55 AM   #26
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I am afraid that the Earth is all we have. If we mess it up, we are done.



About Mars scenery and experience, I guess I can imagine it being the same as standing in a place devoid of all animal and plant life, some place like the Sahara, except that it is not hot but a lot colder than Antarctica.



I have not personally experienced the desolateness of Sahara or the cold of Antarctica, but I think I've got it. I would rather much enjoy the scenery on earth like I have had the privilege to.



PS. Following are some photos from Mars.










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Old 05-09-2016, 11:24 AM   #27
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They are multilingual, and have been watching our TV. Heck, they even appeared on our TV.
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Old 05-10-2016, 01:14 PM   #28
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Again, Mars is cold, dry, and has no oxygen. It lost its atmosphere for several reasons, and what is left is 95% CO2. What is there to colonize with? It's ridiculous.

Even if humans can build some bubble structures up there to contain the air and to grow food (not possible currently with rockets unless someone invents anti-gravity machines for transportation), the same effort can be used to colonize Antarctica, or the Sahara desert a lot cheaper, by 1000 times or perhaps 1 million times.

Totally absurd! People watch too many science fiction movies and tend to believe the cr*p.
There is no valid reason to go to Mars, and even less reason to colonize it. It would cost less to provide clean drinking water to the entire planet than it would to send one manned craft to Mars...something the "dreamers" never think about.
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Old 05-10-2016, 01:22 PM   #29
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I do think spending space probes to explore the planets are worthwhile, as the data helps us learn about our solar system. And once we know how inhospitable the places are, what is the point to send humans?

But if some private enterprise wants to spend its own money on spending people there, and there are volunteers to go, I do not think one can prevent them from doing so although I think the money is better spent on earth.

I would love to see a video of someone like Musk landing on Mars and trying to build a bubble to live in, while wearing a spacesuit. I do not watch these survivor reality shows on TV, but this one on Mars I will watch. The episode would be quite short though.
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Old 05-10-2016, 10:58 PM   #30
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I thought this was an short and interesting look at "The Economic Viability of Mars Colonization":
The Economic Viability of Mars Colonization
"The economic viability of colonizing Mars is examined. It is shown, that of all bodies in the solar system other than Earth, Mars is unique in that it has the resources required to support a population of sufficient size to create locally a new branch of human civilization. It is also shown that while Mars may lack any cash material directly exportable to Earth, Mars' orbital elements and other physical parameters gives a unique positional advantage that will allow it to act as a keystone supporting extractive activities in the asteroid belt and elsewhere in the solar system. The potential of relatively near-term types of interplanetary transportation systems is examined, and it is shown that with very modest advances on a historical scale, systems can be put in place that will allow individuals and families to emigrate to Mars at their own discretion."

Not saying everything is 100% and we should be packing our bags for the next flight out, but as he mentions there were many naysayers throughout history when it came to going to a new place on our own planet.

If we imagine that there was a fully functioning colony on Mars (yes, take the mental leap of faith ), that was growing at a very brisk pace, what would be the realistic and practical investment there that you would want to be in on the ground floor of? Maybe just basic products and services (power, water, food, shelter , transportation and clothing/atmosphere suits?) would be a good place to start and grow along with the colony?
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Old 05-10-2016, 11:43 PM   #31
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Robots are taking over factory jobs here on earth, and people are seriously thinking there is some reason for sending people to mars? There is just no economically justifiable reason to do it, for science, robots will always be cheaper, much cheaper, and it can be switched off when it is not in use.

Where would the money come from to put people on mars? Many of us remember how exciting it was when we first saw man land on the moon, and also remember how quickly the public lost interest after the USSR abandoned the competition.

And there is simply no economic justification for people on mars, and I doubt that even any competition with even China would make it interesting for the majority of taxpayers who have other things on their minds. There is just not the kind of fear of military technology gap as there was back in the 60s.

And the planetary scientists would much rather spend the limited resources on more robotic scientific missions to more places, rather than have to put everything in the manned mars mission basket.

On the other hand all the talk is probably good for Musk, he can keep his employees working 60 hour weeks imagining that great tomorrow in the sky, while making money launching commercial, military, and scientific payloads paid for by commercial ventures and taxpayers.

I wish we had some magical technology today that would make economical manned interplanetary space travel a reality, bit we simply don't. Yes, we could do it, but the cost using present technology will prevent it.

And in the odd chance that the public somehow demands funding to put man on mars, their excitement will last about as long as it did when we put man on the moon, and we will be back spending money on other things. Colonization of mars will have to wait, for quite a while I think.
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Old 05-11-2016, 06:35 AM   #32
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Just saw this TED talk last night - answers a lot of the questions asked in this thread...

https://www.ted.com/talks/stephen_pe...ve?language=en
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Old 05-11-2016, 08:48 AM   #33
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There is no valid reason to go to Mars, and even less reason to colonize it.
One reason which is valid to me: Diversifying humanity.

Now we are all on one planet. Going to more planets and eventually solar systems reduces the odds we'll be wiped out by a localized catastrophy.
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Old 05-11-2016, 08:54 AM   #34
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Strictly speaking, I think there are reasons. But there's currently no means or affordable technology to do so.

I am interested in the links that posters provided above, and will read/watch them later. I am currently in my boondock home, and need to wait till I am back in town to use my high-speed Internet link.
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Old 05-11-2016, 09:27 AM   #35
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On a recent mission to the ISS, a expandable prototype room was included, funded by a billionaire who has plans for a much bigger "hotel". Perhaps this technology would be what is used on Mars.

Personally I would rather build a big ship in Earth orbit that had the capability to visit the various planets or other interesting things in the solar system. Perhaps with ion drives or solar sail. I do not know if that would be cheaper or more expensive than a manned Mars mission.
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Old 05-11-2016, 09:20 PM   #36
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Just saw this TED talk last night - answers a lot of the questions asked in this thread...

https://www.ted.com/talks/stephen_pe...ve?language=en
Pie in the sky. (sorry I couldn't help myself)

Who is going to pay for all of this? No mention of anything about that at all in his talk. When we have infrastructure in need of repair and renewal, people out of work to automation, a huge national debt that needs servicing, military needs, etc. etc. it is hard to argue we need to spend a fortune for a few people to go live on mars because "exploration is in our DNA." Guys like this, that talk the big talk, without any means to walk the big walk, really trouble me.
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Old 05-11-2016, 09:44 PM   #37
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Pie in the sky. (sorry I couldn't help myself)

Who is going to pay for all of this? No mention of anything about that at all in his talk. When we have infrastructure in need of repair and renewal, people out of work to automation, a huge national debt that needs servicing, military needs, etc. etc. it is hard to argue we need to spend a fortune for a few people to go live on mars because "exploration is in our DNA." Guys like this, that talk the big talk, without any means to walk the big walk, really trouble me.
Infrastructure repair, unemployment and national debt have been suffering *without* a Mars program. It's not for lack of money...

Seems like you may be troubled about the wrong things
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Old 05-12-2016, 08:43 PM   #38
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I thought this was an short and interesting look at "The Economic Viability of Mars Colonization":
The Economic Viability of Mars Colonization
The author talks about transporting 24 people at a time in a "habcraft" using a Saturn V size rocket. The habcraft will provide shelter for the colonists when landed on Mars.

Fine, but where's the equipment, the tools, the food for sustenance? People should read about the Biosphere 2 project on earth that was far larger, and still failed to provide food for a crew of 8. And the Biosphere 2 was on earth, and did not have anywhere the same problem as on Mars with its near-vacuum atmosphere and severe temperature swing.

Quote:
Not saying everything is 100% and we should be packing our bags for the next flight out, but as he mentions there were many naysayers throughout history when it came to going to a new place on our own planet.
The New World colonists were able to survive with simple tools. They could chop trees to build log homes, burn wood to keep warm (it was also not down to -100F as on Mars). They were able to plant food immediately as the soil was the same as at their former homeland. They could hunt and fish for meat. None of the things that Mother Earth provided is available on Mars. The colonists did not have to wear spacesuits for protection to work outside, and if their home structure was not completely airtight, they would not die.

And most importantly, they were able to gather material for building right from where they stood, and whatever they had to bring from home came on ships which could carry a lot more than the capsules atop interplanetary rockets. Martian colonists would need to bring a whole lot more, and aboard vessels with much less capacity. The margin for errors is a lot smaller, and the penalty for a tiny mistake or equipment failure is death. Space travel has never been that safe, let alone living long-term in it. We could provide them with lots of provision to be safe, but what is the cost of it? How many hundred or thousand of rockets do we need to build?

PS. By the way, the colonists survived with the help of the indigenous Indians, whom we still thank every Thanksgiving. Maybe the Martians will be graceful to help us the same this time?
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Old 05-12-2016, 08:55 PM   #39
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Just saw this TED talk last night - answers a lot of the questions asked in this thread...

https://www.ted.com/talks/stephen_pe...ve?language=en
Yes, as CaliforniaMan said, it's pie in the sky.

The speaker talked about the different pieces of equipment that would be useful, but nothing about how many would be needed, how they could be transported from Earth, what their power source would be, etc...

People talk about growing food in a confined environment all the time, but I like to see them performing it as an experiment similar to the Biosphere 2. It's all talk until they can demonstrate it on earth. Why don't they try to demonstrate the easiest and simplest thing first?

The speaker described Elon Musk as a hero who could do it all. Gee, he sounded so much like a salesman for Musk.

So far, I have not seen enough convincing info that this is feasible. All they say is that it should be possible, but without some more exact figures, it is all hand-waving and calling skeptics non-believers.
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Old 05-12-2016, 09:19 PM   #40
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Yes, as CaliforniaMan said, it's pie in the sky.
Yeah, you're probably right. Pie in the sky, silly dreamers.
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