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Exploring and Colonizing Mars

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  • Exploring and Colonizing Mars

    Until humans develop affordable and effective inter-stellar travel ability, our best bet for another world to settle looks to be Mars. It's thin atmosphere, cold climate, lack of a magnetic field, and other factors make far from another Earth, far from Ideal conditions. However, the challenges don't appear to be beyond our current and projected future technologies, though they may be beyond our financial resources and Will.

    This thread will assume the case FOR continued exploration of Mars, by remote rovers for now and human presence in the not too distant future. Mars would seem capable of providing some gauge on planetary geology, possible past hydrosphere, maybe even past biosphere, situations and conditions that are as close or similar to Earth as we will likely find in this Solar System. Know more about Mars,past to present, should help us better know Earth's past to present.

    Technical and operation lessons learned in exploring and settling Mars will also provide some basics to apply whenever humans develop the ability to go to other star systems and encounter other worlds/planets that might be opportunities for settlement.

    I expect this process can/could eventually encompass private enterprise in addition to the currently government funded ventures.

    BTW, China is entering the exploration of Mars with plans to send their first rover by the end of this decade.
    http://bigstory.ap.org/article/4c73d...-space-station
    TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch
    “War is merely the continuation of politics by other means” - von Clausewitz

  • #2
    First, some reference to the planet, the lay of the land so to speak. This first link is to a page of maps, some dated, some fictional, some more current;
    http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=...mars&FORM=IGRE

    One I prefer for reference is this one from NASA, via MOLA, which provides a gauge on elevations, nominally suggestive of a past "sea level" for the Northern "Ocean", etc.
    http://www.lpi.usra.edu/science/trei...la_color_8.jpg



    Having looked this one over extensively over the years, my choice for a first human colony would be the Northern edges of the delta/estuary formed by Valles Marinares (sp?) at about 15 degrees North latitude, and about 33 degrees West longitude. This looks like a large enough flat and smooth are for landings and future building and a central enough location to operate from when exploring a wide range of geologically interesting areas.
    Last edited by Skoblin; 28 Jun 16, 17:55.
    TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch
    “War is merely the continuation of politics by other means” - von Clausewitz

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    • #3
      Who and what type of government well it have?

      Must be progressive or we wouldn't be there in the first place with status quo conservatives.
      "Ask not what your country can do for you"

      Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

      you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

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      • #4
        We should leave it to the "Martians" to decide
        http://www.marssociety.org/home

        Would've liked to see another option or two, but went with #1 considering "soon as possible" looks to be about a century or two from now at current rates.

        A good starter for Mars colonization and techniques, based on current science and tech, which touches upon eventual 'terraforming' is this one from Robert Zubrin;
        How to Live on Mars: A Trusty Guidebook to Surviving and Thriving on the Red Planet
        http://www.amazon.com/How-Live-Mars-.../dp/B001FA0K1I
        http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/how-...rin/1103375354

        That book also has some interesting approaches that could be adjusted
        for Earth, especially when trying to live "off the grid".
        A good source for further reading list;
        http://education.marssociety.org/hom...mended-reading
        TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch
        “War is merely the continuation of politics by other means” - von Clausewitz

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        • #5
          I'm conservative also, like clean water and air also, and wife and I do organic gardening to point of risking being called granola-heads, or such. I haven't seen the pro-con of humans going into space and other planets as being a liberal vs conservative thing in politics. Admittedly, there is a philosophy of sorts in play here that might filter out that way eventually

          First point to consider is that it's only been about a century or two that humans have had the tools and records of our activities to get a gauge on our impact on the planet and its environment after millenia of our effects. So consider a little slack for the learning curve involved.

          It's possible that life may have evolved first on Mars, so going there and putting careful boots on the ground might yield helpful knowledge on life's diversity and origins.

          The challenges of living on Mars are such that we could learn a lot about tech and methods that would aid refurbishing this planet. This book is an interesting read and some of the methods recommended are readily adapted to Earth;
          How to Live on Mars: A Trusty Guidebook to Surviving and Thriving on the Red Planet

          http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/how-...=9780307407184





          Final point, if a big rock striking Earth @ 65 million years ago did occur and nearly wipe out the dinos, and most of life (and there appears to have been a few other E.L.E.s since as well), might be a good idea to spread out off of this rock, just in case ....
          Last edited by G David Bock; 26 Jun 16, 19:04. Reason: Again, posting at work, their security prevented images from copying, had to do this at home.
          TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch
          “War is merely the continuation of politics by other means” - von Clausewitz

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          • #6
            Copying and posting that map of Mars just blew up the screen size of this thread. While it helps to show more detail, I'm tempted to ask the mods to assist in shrinking down it's size (I'm a cyber infant in these things), unless most of you like this large view of the map.
            TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch
            “War is merely the continuation of politics by other means” - von Clausewitz

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            • #7
              Originally posted by G David Bock View Post
              Copying and posting that map of Mars just blew up the screen size of this thread. While it helps to show more detail, I'm tempted to ask the mods to assist in shrinking down it's size (I'm a cyber infant in these things), unless most of you like this large view of the map.
              Ze is schrunk...

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              • #8
                Originally posted by G David Bock View Post
                Final point, if a big rock striking Earth @ 65 million years ago did occur and nearly wipe out the dinos, and most of life (and there appears to have been a few other E.L.E.s since as well), might be a good idea to spread out off of this rock, just in case ....
                Changes in the suns output pose an even larger overall risk the only solution to which would be going out-system. However it has been pointed out that its possible that we might find any habital exo planet - already inhabited!
                Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
                Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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                • #9
                  I'm not sure if colonisation on Mars is a worthy endeavour, exploration yes but to actually settle on the planet with the idea of staying for any long period of time just doesn't seem feasible. I'm not suggesting it can't be done but the distance and launch window to take advantage of Mars Opposition is every two years! We could follow the Apollo program and use that as an example of taking our first steps on Mars, send a manned mission to orbit the planet a few times, then consider the possibility of touching down afterwards. Without a craft for deep space and extended life support it won't be happening anytime soon. At least we have the ISS, it gives us a working platform to continually refine the needs for living in space.
                  "In modern war... you will die like a dog for no good reason."
                  Ernest Hemingway.

                  "The more I learn about people, The more I love my dog".
                  Mark Twain.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Skoblin View Post
                    Ze is schrunk...
                    Danke!
                    TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch
                    “War is merely the continuation of politics by other means” - von Clausewitz

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by MarkV View Post
                      Changes in the suns output pose an even larger overall risk the only solution to which would be going out-system. However it has been pointed out that its possible that we might find any habital exo planet - already inhabited!
                      If there is no sentient species to cause a "Prime Directive" conflict, that might be a boon.

                      I'll agree the Solar variation potential is another risk and may be no avoiding so long as in system. But the big rock danger isn't over yet. Last I checked, no one was certain all the big ones, such as produced the Tunguska Blast in 1908, are out of the Taurid Meteor Stream and Earth passes thru that twice a year.

                      For now, my main case for a sustained human presence on Mars would be more for establishing and supporting scientific research. Somewhat similar to what we do in Antarctica. The geology could be very informative and the prospect for biosphere(past) insights are also intriguing. There may even be archaeological potential ( ). And we will be learning and practicing methods and systems of value in learning how to survive deeper exploration into the Solar System and eventually to other star systems.

                      One of the things I picked up at the Mars presentation done locally here last night by the JPL people working on the Rover2020 mission is that impressive work is being done on a plasma propulsion system that might cut travel time from around six months one way to about 40 days.

                      http://mars.nasa.gov/mars2020/mission/overview/

                      The Planetary Society
                      http://planetary.org/
                      TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch
                      “War is merely the continuation of politics by other means” - von Clausewitz

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Half Pint John View Post
                        Who and what type of government well it have?

                        Must be progressive or we wouldn't be there in the first place with status quo conservatives.

                        Couldn’t be progressive since they would be too busy worrying about safe space and trigger warnings to think about how to get there (plus all their money would be spent on welfare).
                        Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it whether it exists or not, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedy. -- Ernest Benn

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Half Pint John View Post
                          Who and what type of government well it have?

                          Must be progressive or we wouldn't be there in the first place with status quo conservatives.
                          When it comes to economics, science, and technology the Progressives are the ones that want the status quo, or even to be regressive in their actions.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
                            When it comes to economics, science, and technology the Progressives are the ones that want the status quo, or even to be regressive in their actions.
                            You should cite your quotes. That one's from The GOP Book of Catechisms Chapter 3, Verse 16. (GOP 3:16 for short.)
                            Hyperwar: World War II on the World Wide Web
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                            The best place in the world to "work".

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by OpanaPointer View Post
                              You should cite your quotes. That one's from The GOP Book of Catechisms Chapter 3, Verse 16. (GOP 3:16 for short.)
                              How 'bout that! Never read it, likely never will.

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