Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Feologild

Do you think Humans will colonise The Moon and Mars someday?

86 posts in this topic

19 minutes ago, GAROVORKIN said:

Warming up core of planet, Thats a tough one.

Massive solar-powered laser or heavy-duty concentrating mirror located close to the sun, focused continually on Mars? Though that's something to try before establishing a permanent colony, and after making very very sure there isn't any native life there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
48 minutes ago, GAROVORKIN said:

Warming up core of planet, Thats a tough one.  Mars being half the size of earth cooled down because its core compared to earth much smaller also Mars's  lack a lunar satilte  that proportionate   to it meant almost no plate technics which is one the think keeping Earth Core heated up.   I thinking  if Mars had had a moon 1/6 proportion like Earth  early in it history , that might have keep it core active for longer period , maybe  even today and,  had that happened ,  there might be ocean a denser atmosphere and maybe higher lifeforms.B)

 

But is that to say for sure that Mars’ core is totally solid rock right now? It’s not even slightly molten?

24 minutes ago, felice said:

Massive solar-powered laser or heavy-duty concentrating mirror located close to the sun, focused continually on Mars? Though that's something to try before establishing a permanent colony, and after making very very sure there isn't any native life there.

This sounds like an approach Ann Clayborne might (?) appreciate. 

Edited by Ghjhero

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
33 minutes ago, felice said:

Massive solar-powered laser or heavy-duty concentrating mirror located close to the sun, focused continually on Mars? Though that's something to try before establishing a permanent colony, and after making very very sure there isn't any native life there.

I they could find some kind of microbial  life on mars. B)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, Ghjhero said:

But is that to say for sure that Mars’ core is totally solid rock right now? It’s not even slightly molten?

This sounds like an approach Ann Clayborne might (?) appreciate. 

Is Mars Core solid ? I don't know the answer to that one.:unsure:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Barring some major cultural shift, I think we will someday have colonies on the Moon and Mars, although that "someday" could be "any time in the next three hundred years or so". It's going to get a big boost from better space robotics and AI, since they can then do a lot of the work in setting up a colony for us without humans having to be on site for most of it (including deep space resource extraction). I'm more optimistic about the prospects for space colonization the farther out I look, although of course it would be nice to see some of it happen in my life-time. 

The colonies specifically on the Moon and Mars will be there as outgrowths of scientific research stations, as projects undertaken by groups interested in setting them up who can pay for them, or for both. Imagine a research base/campus on Mars with hundreds or thousands of people, with a population that is growing due to on-site reproduction and can supply about 95% or more of its needs from local resources. Or a religious colony set up because spaceflight has gotten cheap enough to the point where they can do it on their own funds. 

RE: Terraforming

We probably don't need to create a magnetosphere for Mars. It loses atmosphere to the solar wind, but it's a slow process that takes hundreds of millions of years. We might be able to fiddle with engineered plants and such on Mars so they replenish over time. But if we do want to create a magnetosphere, it's going to be a lot easier just to create a solar-powered artificial one positioned somewhere between Mars and the Sun rather than trying to get Mars' core conducting again (which itself would just be a solution that would require work again in hundreds of millions of years, and might cause problems for our terraforming with the resultant volcanism*). 

Of course, I'm optimistic about the possibility of finding life somewhere deep beneath Mars' surface - and if that happens, I don't think we'll be doing any terraforming for a very long time, if ever. 

* Incidentally, volcanism is why I don't think we'll be terraforming Venus any time remotely on the horizon. 

 

Edited by Fall Bass

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I went to a really good public school.  As in the high school was nationally ranked in the top ten throughout my tenure.  I say this to show off a little bit maybe, but more importantly to emphasize when I was in the fifth grade - so..1995-ish - we were told there would be a voyage to Mars by 2020.  It's not happening, at least anytime soon.  Democrats defund NASA to use the money elsewhere and the GOP over the past quarter century abuses NASA funding in a similar fashion to fund their ridiculous tax cuts.  I love space exploration - and based on recent data collection I know exactly how relatively cheap it is - but it will take a radical shift in politics for anyone to turn their attention back to NASA.  I hope one day it happens; I'm just not very optimistic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I remember that too - all the talk about how NASA was planning for a Mars mission in 2018 or 2020. We're not much closer to that now than we were back then. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Elon Musks' goal is to establish a million person colony on Mars. Why a million people? Because in order for it to be self sustainable, you need to duplicate the entire industrial base of Earth, on Mars. And even with an incredible amount of specialization, a million people is probably the rough minimum number required to do so.

If a super volcano erupts on Earth, or a major asteroid or comet impacts us, or a virus wipes us out, or a nuclear war creates Armageddon, a backup colony on Mars will likely be the only thing that keeps the species going.

And even if the colony is not completely self sustainable, it only needs to be able to last for a decade or two on its own, after which it can repopulate Earth again if the Mars infrastructure starts breaking down without Earth support.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Ghjhero said:

This sounds like an approach Ann Clayborne might (?) appreciate. 

If by "appreciate" you mean "hire an assassin to kill me for suggesting it", then yes :)

15 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

And even if the colony is not completely self sustainable, it only needs to be able to last for a decade or two on its own, after which it can repopulate Earth again if the Mars infrastructure starts breaking down without Earth support.

That's optimistic - a cataclysm that wipes out human civilisation on Earth doesn't seem likely to leave the place very habitable in just a couple of decades, and evacuating a million people back to Earth without any assistance from Earth is a pretty challenging task for a small colony with failing infrastructure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A colony on Mars is a solution for which no problem exists. If you want to hedge against a big catastrophe on earth then build shelters and stockpile food. The earth has a population of 7,600,000,000. Even if only one in 10,000 survived that's still a lot more than you could ever hope to settle anywhere in space. Antarctica and the floor of the oceans are really lovely places compared to Moon or Mars, BTW. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
46 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

If a super volcano erupts on Earth, or a major asteroid or comet impacts us, or a virus wipes us out, or a nuclear war creates Armageddon, a backup colony on Mars will likely be the only thing that keeps the species going.

And even if the colony is not completely self sustainable, it only needs to be able to last for a decade or two on its own, after which it can repopulate Earth again if the Mars infrastructure starts breaking down without Earth support.

Elon Musk or no, this is all science fiction at this point.  And the progress towards such an aim is minimal, at best.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, Loge said:

A colony on Mars is a solution for which no problem exists.

The problem is not having a colony on Mars! Not the most pressing problem facing humanity right now, I admit, but I do think it is a problem on general principle (not just the backup thing).

8 minutes ago, Loge said:

The earth has a population of 7,600,000,000. Even if only one in 10,000 survived that's still a lot more than you could ever hope to settle anywhere in space. Antarctica and the floor of the oceans are really lovely places compared to Moon or Mars, BTW. 

A million survivors scattered across a devastated planet dealing with the loss of all their infrastructure and whatever ongoing effects the catastrophe might have are going to be in much worse shape than a million people in a self-sufficient off-world colony that hasn't lost anything except contact with Earth. And I think you're underestimating how hostile the ocean floor can be, though I'll give you Antarctica. And it depends on the nature of the catastrophe, of course; in Interstellar there was no apparent justification for needing to launch a space station instead of building an enclosed biodome on Earth's surface.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, felice said:

Normally, yes, but if the only available locations for backups are all highly unreliable, isn't the logical response to create more backups, rather than deciding not to bother with backups at all? Subject to cost-benefit analysis, of course, but we are dealing with something seriously mission-critical :D

Given the cost of transporting supplies from Earth, there's certainly plenty of incentive to make them as self-sustaining as possible. That's not a small project, certainly, but I don't believe it's impossible.

There are problems with that approach. Even aside from the risk of a catastrophe so severe that no amount of resilience is adequate, who is going to want to live in a fully self-contained environment long term without the cool factor of being in space or on another planet? If you don't have large numbers of people living there long term, it's not going to be adequately tested. And if there's any warning of an approaching extinction-level catastrophe, Earth-based shelters would be way too accessible to billions of desperate doomed people.

Yep, that's going to be a major factor.

Eh, I think we have a few thousand years at least before any really serious shit will happen. Global warming isn't going to be that kind of disaster even if worst case scenario happens. Better, I think, to figure out interstellar travel and find some planet with Earth-like conditions that's in a kind of precambrian state and colonise that. We might be lucky enough to have such a planet right in our galactic back yard, and even with near term spaceflight tech it could be reached within a single human lifetime.

I reckon the solution is in manipulating space-time (controlling the matrix) rather than just trying to fly really fast in a straight line.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, felice said:

The problem is not having a colony on Mars! Not the most pressing problem facing humanity right now, I admit, but I do think it is a problem on general principle (not just the backup thing).

A million survivors scattered across a devastated planet dealing with the loss of all their infrastructure and whatever ongoing effects the catastrophe might have are going to be in much worse shape than a million people in a self-sufficient off-world colony that hasn't lost anything except contact with Earth. And I think you're underestimating how hostile the ocean floor can be, though I'll give you Antarctica. And it depends on the nature of the catastrophe, of course; in Interstellar there was no apparent justification for needing to launch a space station instead of building an enclosed biodome on Earth's surface.

But the survivors won't be scattered in a diffuse manner. They will survive in sizeable pockets, because certain locations will lend themselves to high survival rates, which means plant and animal life also surviving in those places. You'd basically have a bunch of biological oases, which can self sustain.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

If a super volcano erupts on Earth, or a major asteroid or comet impacts us, or a virus wipes us out, or a nuclear war creates Armageddon, a backup colony on Mars will likely be the only thing that keeps the species going.

Did you read "The Martian"? As I wrote above my take home message was that even Mars (better than any other close candidate) is so incredibly hostile to life that for virtually all these cases Earth would still be much better, going underground or whatever. Self-sustaining colonies on Mars are pipe dreams.

On Mars one only needs a comparably tiny disturbance to wipe out the colony (that's one of the points of that book although admittedly it deals the the explorer/pioneer stage, not with a colony) whereas on Earth even a catastrophe of the scale you mention will most likely leave a few million humans alive and with remains of infrastructure and with more air, water, warmth etc. than Mars has to offer.

So the picture of a "safety backup" is really off as others have pointed out already. And terraforming? Why should this be easier than re-vitalizing portions of earth after a disaster? It certainly would not be easier.

And more fundamentally: What would be the point? Why would it be important for humankind to survive a few millenia longer in some space colony? If survival was the most important goal we should now hatch a plan to kill off 5/6 of earth's population because for 1-2 billions we could have a sustainable ecology.

Edited by Jo498

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, Jo498 said:

Did you read "The Martian"? As I wrote above my take home message was that even Mars (better than any other close candidate) is so incredibly hostile to life that for virtually all these cases Earth would still be much better, going underground or whatever. Self-sustaining colonies on Mars are pipe dreams.

On Mars one only needs a comparably tiny disturbance to wipe out the colony (that's one of the points of that book although admittedly it deals the the explorer/pioneer stage, not with a colony) whereas on Earth even a catastrophe of the scale you mention will most likely leave a few million humans alive and with remains of infrastructure and with more air, water, warmth etc. than Mars has to offer.

So the picture of a "safety backup" is really off as others have pointed out already. And terraforming? Why should this be easier than re-vitalizing portions of earth after a disaster? It certainly would not be easier.

And more fundamentally: What would be the point? Why would it be important for humankind to survive a few millenia longer in some space colony? If survival was the most important goal we should now hatch a plan to kill off 5/6 of earth's population because for 1-2 billions we could have a sustainable ecology.

That's something people don't get. Going to the stars isn't about saving the lives of any of the current 7 billion Earthlings. It's about expanding our species out into space. Even if 6.99 billion stay behind and die, it is worth it that 1 million survive to propagate our species out into the cosmos.

I understand that for some that is a meaningless goal. But to me it is an aspirational and inspiring one. My own immediate existence (multiplied by 7 billion other individual existences) is not the  be all and end all of what is important or relevant. There are bigger goals than that. I will have no direct benefit from some human living on a distant planet 100,000 years from now. But it is awesome to know that such a thing is possible, and might happen, even if I am long dead.

Edited by Free Northman Reborn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Loge said:

A colony on Mars is a solution for which no problem exists. If you want to hedge against a big catastrophe on earth then build shelters and stockpile food. The earth has a population of 7,600,000,000. Even if only one in 10,000 survived that's still a lot more than you could ever hope to settle anywhere in space. Antarctica and the floor of the oceans are really lovely places compared to Moon or Mars, BTW. 

If only 10000 survive than we're probably fucked because of genetic bottle necking. More would probably survive but that's actually not the thing that worries me. Humans will probably survive. Our tech and scientific knowledge though? That might not and with our exhaustion of the easily extractable energy resources we might not get back to that level.

Edited by TrueMetis

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
49 minutes ago, TrueMetis said:

If only 10000 survive than we're probably fucked because of genetic bottle necking. More would probably survive but that's actually not the thing that worries me. Humans will probably survive. Are tech and scientific knowledge though? That might not and with our exhaustion of the easily extractable energy resources we might not get back to that level.

 

Humanity's  population and genetic diversity got drastically reduced about 70,000 years ago . 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
46 minutes ago, GAROVORKIN said:

 

Humanity's  population and genetic diversity got drastically reduced about 70,000 years ago . 

70,000 has four zeroes and can be said to be a number.  The sky is blue and so is my neighbors car.  :-)

Edited by larrytheimp

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

I understand that for some that is a meaningless goal.

"some" = 6.99 billion

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0