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#4488937 - 09/10/19 10:02 AM Re: Water found on Mars [Re: CyBerkut]  
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Originally Posted by Zamzow
I still say if you can't manage to establish a true self sustaining colony in Antarctica..


Oh, but we could. We just have no need to make an Antarctica base self sustaining, it's much easier to resupply from outside sources. Mars not so much.


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#4488938 - 09/10/19 10:16 AM Re: Water found on Mars [Re: F4UDash4]  
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Originally Posted by F4UDash4
Originally Posted by Zamzow
I still say if you can't manage to establish a true self sustaining colony in Antarctica..

Oh, but we could.

That's an opinion, and the fate of the "Biosphere 2" experiment (without the complications of an Antarctic environment) suggests that, so far, we can't. Maintaining a "simple complex" ecosphere is a very difficult task ("simple complex" meaning that there are only few or no redundancies while attempting to maintain a sustained balance between flora, fauna, fungi, and a few human inhabitants; typically, at some point the fungi will simply take over and the whole thing collapses).

#4488939 - 09/10/19 10:25 AM Re: Water found on Mars [Re: CyBerkut]  
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Originally Posted by CyBerkut

1. The goals for each planet are not mutually exclusive.
2. When it comes to ecological stewardship of the earth, "Mankind" is not a monolithic block. The U.S., for all of its industrial development, etc., has cleaner air and water now, than when I was a child. We can do fine. We don't control the rest of mankind's behavior on earth. Let's not take this to PWEC, though.
3. If one finds Mankind to be inadequate at preserving the earth's habitat, then pursuing development of another habitat as an insurance policy is arguably a logical and worthy goal. For many years (at least), it will be far fewer people on Mars to screw up whatever gets accomplished there.


1. Certainly they're not, it's not like if we were pouring a lot of resources in exploring venues on Mars anyway, but it was more of a matter of principles in my view.

2. Well yeah, but that's the point - Mankind is Mankind, and there's no daddy & mummy to report to, just brothers and sisters living under the same roof - people you didn't choose because they happened to be born from the same womb. It's easy enough to cut all the bridges with your siblings, not so much if everybody has to live in the same flat. I am French and I can relate to your experience in terms of environment, but there's like 3/4 of the world population out there which is living in an environment that is not sustainable and whose effects will, ultimately, also affect "us" (emissions of all sorts, deforestation, pollution of the sea, they all end up having an impact on a global scale eventually). My point wasn't to make it a PWEC topic, that is why I specifically said that I am not talking about global warming here - it's pure demand and supply. Our planet has limited resources, our existing assets are degrading, we do not replace what we are consuming on a world scale, conditions in a lot of countries are worsening, not getting better. In terms of progress, I reached a point where I don't really care about having the latest washing machine technology at home if I can't go out because of the air. Whether it's because of my community or someone else's fault is of little consolation.

3. Pursuing the development of another habitat strikes me like, in the best case, as a resignation to surrendering this place (Earth) eventually instead of working harder to keep it viable, and in the worst, as an exit option for those countries or communities which will have mustered the power and the knowledge to move away from here and exert a monopoly on Space, instead of investing themselves in keeping our common spot clean enough. How would you feel if, eventually, you're from Community X that always made sure that its environment would be clean, but it wouldn't matter because Community Y eventually jeopardized your efforts and, at the same time, bought itself a first class ticket to Mars instead and leaves you with their mess to clean? That's another argument in favor of working together on a space project - but if we can work together on terraforming Mars, I have the weakness to believe that we *might* be ready to work efficiently on prolonging a bit more Earth's viability, wouldn't we smile

4. I am afraid I might be prone to space sickness. I don't want to move just yet wink

You know, if I was to have kids and I realize they can't all together take care of a mere pet turtle, I am not going to reward them for their failure by buying each of them a pet rabbit, even if they'll be all excited and tell me they won't make the same mistakes again duck
Well, if God is looking at us and if we see him as a parent, just think about his idea regarding that question. Sure, some people will always tell you that this is yet another test for Mankind. But I am pretty much the Bible or any sacred comparable work out there already showed that Manking got punished for much lesser sins, so I wouldn't be too sure about this interpretation...
Fortunately that turtle ain't just dead yet, but that water in the tank sure looks too green to me...

Last edited by The_Admiral; 09/10/19 10:39 AM.
#4488941 - 09/10/19 10:43 AM Re: Water found on Mars [Re: Mr_Blastman]  
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And to think that the technical/biological challenges of settling on Mars is only part of all the major challenges that would need to be addressed. The other huge one is the political factor. The initial colonies may be under the jurisdiction of whichever corporation built them but as the population grows and the colonies become more extensive a decision will have to be made under which legal jurisdiction they will be governed. Will each colony be governed under the home nation of the corporation that built it? Will the colonies be governed by a UN-like Mars authority? So many questions...

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#4488945 - 09/10/19 11:04 AM Re: Water found on Mars [Re: Ssnake]  
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Originally Posted by Ssnake
Originally Posted by F4UDash4
Originally Posted by Zamzow
I still say if you can't manage to establish a true self sustaining colony in Antarctica..

Oh, but we could.

That's an opinion, and the fate of the "Biosphere 2" experiment (without the complications of an Antarctic environment) suggests that, so far, we can't. Maintaining a "simple complex" ecosphere is a very difficult task ("simple complex" meaning that there are only few or no redundancies while attempting to maintain a sustained balance between flora, fauna, fungi, and a few human inhabitants; typically, at some point the fungi will simply take over and the whole thing collapses).


I don't know if the "Biosphere 2" experiment is a good analogy for a future base/habitat on Mars (or even Antarctica). I don't believe it is.
There are so many different factors that are or would be so different between Biosphere 2 and a base/habitat on Mars. For instance and if I'm not mistaken the supply of oxygen produced in Biosphere 2 seems to be completely based on the plants which requires massive buildings and available space (something not possible in a base/habitat on Mars, at least during initial stages) while a base/habitat on Mars would use far more technological and far more effective and compact ways to produce oxygen (for small spaces that is), such I believe has taking oxygen from the Mars atmosphere itself (mostly composed by carbon dioxide) or even from the water on Mars itself.

Moreover, there's the following psychological issue: One of the reasons why Biosphere 2 failed was conflicts between its "occupants". I believe that these conflicts are way more prone to happen in Biosphere 2 (compared to a base/habitat on Mars) since and while the Biosphere 2 was effectively enclosed any of the occupants would have the notion/sub-consciousness that they could always leave when they really, really want (just by "stepping" outside" Biosphere 2). In Mars you can't do that! Which forces people to have the accept and overcome conflicts for their own survival. Totally and completely different setting, IMO.

Finally, why isn't there a self sustaining base on Antarctica? IMO, because there's simply no need for that. Regular resupplies (by air and in the summer also by sea) work and thus are far more viable in economical terms compared to having a completely self-sustaining Antarctica base.

#4488948 - 09/10/19 11:40 AM Re: Water found on Mars [Re: PanzerMeyer]  
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Originally Posted by PanzerMeyer
And to think that the technical/biological challenges of settling on Mars is only part of all the major challenges that would need to be addressed. The other huge one is the political factor. The initial colonies may be under the jurisdiction of whichever corporation built them but as the population grows and the colonies become more extensive a decision will have to be made under which legal jurisdiction they will be governed. Will each colony be governed under the home nation of the corporation that built it? Will the colonies be governed by a UN-like Mars authority? So many questions...


True that. Especially if the said corporations were the ones to blame for making Earth relatively uninhabitable! #%&*$# them, they found the perfect product by ensuring the market was there in the first place! biggrin

Last edited by The_Admiral; 09/10/19 11:41 AM.
#4488950 - 09/10/19 12:01 PM Re: Water found on Mars [Re: Ssnake]  
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Originally Posted by Ssnake
Originally Posted by F4UDash4
Originally Posted by Zamzow
I still say if you can't manage to establish a true self sustaining colony in Antarctica..

Oh, but we could.

That's an opinion, and the fate of the "Biosphere 2" experiment (without the complications of an Antarctic environment) suggests that, so far, we can't.


And that was 25 years ago.


"Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which The Party is always right." - George Orwell, 1984
#4488953 - 09/10/19 12:58 PM Re: Water found on Mars [Re: Mr_Blastman]  
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I think it's a false notion to think that a mission to make Mars habitable (or just put some folks there) is at the expense of taking care of the Earth; indeed, it's the opposite IMHO.

Tackling the big issues of living on Mars means coming up with solutions we currently don't have - most of which would apply here on our planet.

Funding General Research is a tough nut, as it often goes in odd directions or nowhere at all - and neither corporations or governments are very good at managing it.

Unless there is a specific, larger goal to which it is a part, that is. We are bathed in the tech developments of Mercury and Apollo not because going to the Moon was so important,* but because it gave focus to a lot of General Research as well as a bunch of specific ones and new thinking on what we already had.

One could argue that it simply pushed us off the edge of technology we were already standing on after the R&D of WWII, but what a push!

* Let's remember that the whole purpose to putting a man on the Moon was to demonstrate that we had rocketry down to fine science and could therefore deliver a nuclear payload via orbit at will on the Soviet Union. Blah, blah, exploration, blah, blah, expanding humanity...but at the end of the day we realized that if we can't master space and demonstrate that we can in overt ways we'd be humped. Nobody gave a rat's ass that Sputnik went beep beep beep. Everyone knew that today it's a crappy transmitter, tomorrow a bomb delivered in a way we couldn't shoot down.

If it were simply for the sake of scientific discovery and expanding humanity's reach there would have been no "Space Race."


The opinions of this poster are largely based on facts and portray a possible version of the actual events.

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#4488954 - 09/10/19 01:28 PM Re: Water found on Mars [Re: F4UDash4]  
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Originally Posted by F4UDash4
Originally Posted by Ssnake
the fate of the "Biosphere 2" experiment (without the complications of an Antarctic environment) suggests that, so far, we can't.

And that was 25 years ago.

True, but where are the successor experiments that support the notion that we have mastered the necessary technology and techniques?
I concede that successor experiments exist, but none of them are yet at a breaktrough stage where we can confidently claim that not only it works there, it will work elsewhere just as fine with different people running the whole thing, and that we can set up anywhere we like. In space there is no room for error. If you can't make it work with the tools on location, you're doomed.



Also, ricnunes, note that the psychology since of the Biosphere doesn't suggest that it was the knowledge that they could step outside anytime that resulted in the fractioning of the eight. None of the participants left, attempted to leave, or expressed the desire to do so. They continued to do their jobs despite being in bitter feuds with others, some of them hardly on speaking terms with each other. When external management relieved one of the inhabitants of her duties, she simply stayed inside and continued with her work, rightfully assuming that "outside" couldn't enforce their orders without ending the experiment in total.

#4488962 - 09/10/19 02:59 PM Re: Water found on Mars [Re: Mr_Blastman]  
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I think I'd need to know more about Biosphere 2's processes before I could use that for any measure of how a Mars colony would work. Just because someone says they want to create a self-contained environment, and put some money and effort into it, doesn't mean that they actually took the correct approach.


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#4488978 - 09/10/19 05:35 PM Re: Water found on Mars [Re: Ssnake]  
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Originally Posted by Ssnake
Originally Posted by NH2112
Originally Posted by Zamzow
I still say if you can't manage to establish a true self sustaining colony in Antarctica (and I'm talking deep into the continent, not an "easy" location like McMurdo) then you can forget about doing that on Mars.

Antarctica is covered by what, a layer of ice 2 miles thick? You’d have to drill that far just to reach soil & rock, into which you’d have to drill deeper to mine anything. Mars doesn’t have 2 miles of ice in the way.

I think he was more hinting at the need to establish a habitat with self-sustaining life support in an environment that, while being the most hostile on this planet, is still more benign than Mars (because it has a breathable atmosphere, a magnetosphere, and (near the coast) animals to hunt for food. "Ecosphere 2" didn't work out too well, we'd need a couple more of those experiments to establish something that reliably works the first time you set it up in near vacuum conditions and sub-zero temperatures.

Drilling rock is the least of your problems on Mars.


You’d need to be able to mine all the minerals you need to make anything and everything you need, so I’d say drilling rock will be half the foundation of a self-sustaining colony. The other being growing/making food.


Phil

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#4488979 - 09/10/19 05:45 PM Re: Water found on Mars [Re: Mr_Blastman]  
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One of the issues is what to take. Things break and wear and will need fixing/replacement. You can’t bring enough of everything. I can see 3D printing will be a real aid, but can’t make some of the tough durable things. Think of any building or mining site and all the replacement items they require.

Lots of interesting challenges.


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#4488980 - 09/10/19 05:48 PM Re: Water found on Mars [Re: Mr_Blastman]  
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This discussion has made me think of a potentially great idea for a new DLC for Elite Dangerous. biggrin


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#4488981 - 09/10/19 05:51 PM Re: Water found on Mars [Re: Mr_Blastman]  
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Anybody up on laser drilling ? Can solar get enough juice ? Capability of laser drilling and cutting ?


Good people sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.

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#4488985 - 09/10/19 06:56 PM Re: Water found on Mars [Re: Mr_Blastman]  
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It's going to be quite a bit harder to produce adequate power on Mars with solar. Earth receives about 1000 watts per square meter at the surface versus Mars which receives about 590 watts per square meter of sunlight.

Cracking rocks with a laser drill requires quite a bit of power. Might be more efficient with a regular drill, especially given the levels of dust blown around that could mess with laser lenses.

#4489000 - 09/10/19 09:16 PM Re: Water found on Mars [Re: Ssnake]  
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Originally Posted by Ssnake

Also, ricnunes, note that the psychology since of the Biosphere doesn't suggest that it was the knowledge that they could step outside anytime that resulted in the fractioning of the eight. None of the participants left, attempted to leave, or expressed the desire to do so. They continued to do their jobs despite being in bitter feuds with others, some of them hardly on speaking terms with each other. When external management relieved one of the inhabitants of her duties, she simply stayed inside and continued with her work, rightfully assuming that "outside" couldn't enforce their orders without ending the experiment in total.


I had the impression that at least one of the participants left but that could have been my mind "playing tricks" with me, afterall it happened 25 years ago.

However, my point still stands (IMO). Since they knew that they were on Earth and on a place where at anytime they could simply leave and continue to live normally give them the "luxury" to "be able" to continue with their "bitter feuds", as you put it.

#4489001 - 09/10/19 09:17 PM Re: Water found on Mars [Re: Mr_Blastman]  
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Note that one of Elon Musk's ventures is The Boring Company. I suspect Musk will have a solution for mining when the time comes.

As for electrical power, NASA has been pursuing a small nuclear reactor design that doesn't need constant attention, and that would be well suited to supplying the power needs of outposts on the moon or Mars.

#4489002 - 09/10/19 09:19 PM Re: Water found on Mars [Re: Mr_Blastman]  
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Originally Posted by Mr_Blastman
It's going to be quite a bit harder to produce adequate power on Mars with solar. Earth receives about 1000 watts per square meter at the surface versus Mars which receives about 590 watts per square meter of sunlight.

Cracking rocks with a laser drill requires quite a bit of power. Might be more efficient with a regular drill, especially given the levels of dust blown around that could mess with laser lenses.


Solution:

Nuclear powerplant


(yeah, yeah, I know that nowadays anyone hardly wants to hear about this but this is an actual solution that actually works and solves all the problems that you mentioned)

#4489010 - 09/10/19 10:20 PM Re: Water found on Mars [Re: The_Admiral]  
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Originally Posted by The_Admiral
Originally Posted by CyBerkut

1. The goals for each planet are not mutually exclusive.
2. When it comes to ecological stewardship of the earth, "Mankind" is not a monolithic block. The U.S., for all of its industrial development, etc., has cleaner air and water now, than when I was a child. We can do fine. We don't control the rest of mankind's behavior on earth. Let's not take this to PWEC, though.
3. If one finds Mankind to be inadequate at preserving the earth's habitat, then pursuing development of another habitat as an insurance policy is arguably a logical and worthy goal. For many years (at least), it will be far fewer people on Mars to screw up whatever gets accomplished there.


1. Certainly they're not, it's not like if we were pouring a lot of resources in exploring venues on Mars anyway, but it was more of a matter of principles in my view.

2. Well yeah, but that's the point - Mankind is Mankind, and there's no daddy & mummy to report to, just brothers and sisters living under the same roof -


"Mankind", not being a monolithic block where all entities (in this case nations) are at the same stage of economic development and ecological protection, cannot reasonably be expected to all behave the same regarding the environment. 3rd world / developing nations are not able to afford the luxury of turning their backs on fossil fuels, for instance. Those nations will act in their own perceived best interests, and other nations, such as the the U.S., do not control them.

Right now, the organizations most likely to get humans to Mars are SpaceX and NASA... both U.S. based. The U.S. is doing a decent job on ecological practices. There is no good reason to hold SpaceX back because of less stellar (pun intended) behavior by other nations.

Originally Posted by The_Admiral
...
people you didn't choose because they happened to be born from the same womb. It's easy enough to cut all the bridges with your siblings, not so much if everybody has to live in the same flat. I am French and I can relate to your experience in terms of environment, but there's like 3/4 of the world population out there which is living in an environment that is not sustainable and whose effects will, ultimately, also affect "us" (emissions of all sorts, deforestation, pollution of the sea, they all end up having an impact on a global scale eventually).


All the more reason to pursue a lifeboat on another planet.

Originally Posted by The_Admiral

My point wasn't to make it a PWEC topic, that is why I specifically said that I am not talking about global warming here - it's pure demand and supply. Our planet has limited resources, our existing assets are degrading, we do not replace what we are consuming on a world scale, conditions in a lot of countries are worsening, not getting better. In terms of progress, I reached a point where I don't really care about having the latest washing machine technology at home if I can't go out because of the air. Whether it's because of my community or someone else's fault is of little consolation.


So? No humans should be looking at establishing another habitat elsewhere because of that?

You are free to feel defeated, or have no hope, but that is not a good reason to restrict someone else from creating another option.

Originally Posted by The_Admiral

3. Pursuing the development of another habitat strikes me like, in the best case, as a resignation to surrendering this place (Earth) eventually instead of working harder to keep it viable, and in the worst, as an exit option for those countries or communities which will have mustered the power and the knowledge to move away from here and exert a monopoly on Space, instead of investing themselves in keeping our common spot clean enough.


You have already agreed that the two projects are not mutually exclusive.

Acknowledging the reality on earth that its nations do not act in unison, and then proceeding accordingly, is merely being prudent.

The leading candidate right now for getting people to Mars is Elon Musk and his endeavors. Those endeavors include Tesla and The Boring Company, both of which are working toward solutions that make things better here on earth (as SpaceX does, too). So one can worry about a theoretical, selfish entity doing as you say, but reality does not appear to be shaping up that way.


Originally Posted by The_Admiral

How would you feel if, eventually, you're from Community X that always made sure that its environment would be clean, but it wouldn't matter because Community Y eventually jeopardized your efforts and, at the same time, bought itself a first class ticket to Mars instead and leaves you with their mess to clean?


I would recognize that my Community acted naively and chose poorly. Your example is precisely why we should pursue Mars along with being good stewards of the environment. The truth is, we can not prevent other Communities (nations) from acting like your Community Y... so we should not be naive suckers and turn our backs upon the Mars option while treating our earth well.

Originally Posted by The_Admiral

That's another argument in favor of working together on a space project - but if we can work together on terraforming Mars, I have the weakness to believe that we *might* be ready to work efficiently on prolonging a bit more Earth's viability, wouldn't we smile


If working together happens, that is great. Counting upon that as the only way flies in the face of history.

#4489015 - 09/10/19 10:45 PM Re: Water found on Mars [Re: Mr_Blastman]  
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5 words: Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars Trilogy. Written about 25 years ago, with everything but the carbon nanotube used for the space elevators and gerontological anti-aging gene therapy being based on current or near-future tech.


Phil

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