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Things to do in Mars colony.....?

Skynet
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2/23/2016 9:27:58 PM
Posted: 9 months ago
I am fully aware that many many people are sincerely excited about starting a permanent Martian settlement. What I am not aware of is what there is to do once you get there.
Let me explain: We're talking about sending a functional society of humans to Mars, that will in time have families and live, work, and have recreation, and do all the things people do on Earth.
One of the most important things people do is thrive, not just survive. To do that, people must have resources that are greater than expenses and losses, i.e. profitable vocations. Even if you didn't have a money based economy, what resources does Mars have that could provide for all their needs or be valuable enough to exchange with Earth for necessities they can't produce on their own? How will they make plastics nessecary for the complicated life support systems? What metal and other mineral resources are known to be worth and possible to extract? How will they sustain power for heat and other processes? Is it shown that at least some Martian soil can be used or adapted to be fertile for Earth plants? Is there enough usable resources to expand habitat structures?

Do you have evidence of this, or will these colonies just be Earth-dependent science expeditions, or a long term camping trip?
One perk to being a dad is you get to watch cartoons again without explaining yourself.
PetersSmith
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2/23/2016 9:34:16 PM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/23/2016 9:27:58 PM, Skynet wrote:
I am fully aware that many many people are sincerely excited about starting a permanent Martian settlement. What I am not aware of is what there is to do once you get there.
Let me explain: We're talking about sending a functional society of humans to Mars, that will in time have families and live, work, and have recreation, and do all the things people do on Earth.
One of the most important things people do is thrive, not just survive. To do that, people must have resources that are greater than expenses and losses, i.e. profitable vocations. Even if you didn't have a money based economy, what resources does Mars have that could provide for all their needs or be valuable enough to exchange with Earth for necessities they can't produce on their own? How will they make plastics nessecary for the complicated life support systems? What metal and other mineral resources are known to be worth and possible to extract? How will they sustain power for heat and other processes? Is it shown that at least some Martian soil can be used or adapted to be fertile for Earth plants? Is there enough usable resources to expand habitat structures?

Do you have evidence of this, or will these colonies just be Earth-dependent science expeditions, or a long term camping trip?

I think it'd be more preferable to live in a space station an O'Neill cylinder instead of another planet.
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TBR
Posts: 9,991
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2/24/2016 12:07:28 AM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/23/2016 9:27:58 PM, Skynet wrote:
I am fully aware that many many people are sincerely excited about starting a permanent Martian settlement. What I am not aware of is what there is to do once you get there.
Let me explain: We're talking about sending a functional society of humans to Mars, that will in time have families and live, work, and have recreation, and do all the things people do on Earth.
One of the most important things people do is thrive, not just survive. To do that, people must have resources that are greater than expenses and losses, i.e. profitable vocations. Even if you didn't have a money based economy, what resources does Mars have that could provide for all their needs or be valuable enough to exchange with Earth for necessities they can't produce on their own? How will they make plastics nessecary for the complicated life support systems? What metal and other mineral resources are known to be worth and possible to extract? How will they sustain power for heat and other processes? Is it shown that at least some Martian soil can be used or adapted to be fertile for Earth plants? Is there enough usable resources to expand habitat structures?

Do you have evidence of this, or will these colonies just be Earth-dependent science expeditions, or a long term camping trip?

I agree with above, O'Neill cylinder (or more simple designs) are a great way forward, however, colonizing has plenty of appeal.

Why do it? Because it is whats next. That, forgetting any-other benefit is the truth. It is next. for humanity.
Skynet
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2/26/2016 6:01:42 AM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/24/2016 11:07:16 AM, dee-em wrote:
Have sex with a triple breasted woman.

I'm not arguing with the value of that resource on Mars, just that we've only found a few, and not nearly enough to export to make up for the loss of materiel, lives, and energy it would take to operate society on Mars.
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Skynet
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2/26/2016 6:07:40 AM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/24/2016 12:07:28 AM, TBR wrote:
At 2/23/2016 9:27:58 PM, Skynet wrote:
I am fully aware that many many people are sincerely excited about starting a permanent Martian settlement. What I am not aware of is what there is to do once you get there.
Let me explain: We're talking about sending a functional society of humans to Mars, that will in time have families and live, work, and have recreation, and do all the things people do on Earth.
One of the most important things people do is thrive, not just survive. To do that, people must have resources that are greater than expenses and losses, i.e. profitable vocations. Even if you didn't have a money based economy, what resources does Mars have that could provide for all their needs or be valuable enough to exchange with Earth for necessities they can't produce on their own? How will they make plastics nessecary for the complicated life support systems? What metal and other mineral resources are known to be worth and possible to extract? How will they sustain power for heat and other processes? Is it shown that at least some Martian soil can be used or adapted to be fertile for Earth plants? Is there enough usable resources to expand habitat structures?

Do you have evidence of this, or will these colonies just be Earth-dependent science expeditions, or a long term camping trip?


I agree with above, O'Neill cylinder (or more simple designs) are a great way forward, however, colonizing has plenty of appeal.

Why do it? Because it is whats next. That, forgetting any-other benefit is the truth. It is next. for humanity.

That seems all well and good for the starry-eyed Mars One supporters who aren't on Mars. But the reality is, life on Mars, just like anything else, will become normal and mundane for those living on Mars, and once they are there, it will no longer be the next thing. So they could move on to the next next thing, but in the meantime, what is appealing and practical enough about life on Mars to make it the "now" thing everyone does because it works? Right now, I have a huge gaping "not much besides three-breasted women" in the practical category of living on Mars, let alone the evidence that life on Mars would be sustainable.
One perk to being a dad is you get to watch cartoons again without explaining yourself.
keithprosser
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2/26/2016 6:38:04 AM
Posted: 9 months ago
That seems all well and good for the starry-eyed Mayflower supporters who aren't in America. But the reality is, life in America, just like anything else, will become normal and mundane for those living in America, and once they are there, it will no longer be the next thing. So they could move on to the next next thing, but in the meantime, what is appealing and practical enough about life in America to make it the "now" thing everyone does because it works? Right now, I have a huge gaping "not much besides three-breasted women" in the practical category of living in America, let alone the evidence that life in America would be sustainable.
dee-em
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2/26/2016 11:38:06 AM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/26/2016 6:01:42 AM, Skynet wrote:
At 2/24/2016 11:07:16 AM, dee-em wrote:
Have sex with a triple breasted woman.

I'm not arguing with the value of that resource on Mars, just that we've only found a few, and not nearly enough to export to make up for the loss of materiel, lives, and energy it would take to operate society on Mars.

Whilst my post was a joke, it does highlight a serious issue which you didn't mention and that is of radiation shielding. This is the number one problem with a colony on Mars. The other things you listed can be overcome but it will be difficult to keep people safe with the amount of radiation exposure they will be getting on a daily basis. (Hence the triple breasted woman and other mutations in the Mars movies).

As to the economic rationale for a colony and its viability, I think you are putting the cart before the horse. It's not about the economics to start with. Humans have an in-built need to explore and Mars is the next big thing in terms of human exploration. We will do it to prove it can be done. Then we will worry about making it economic. That may require terraforming the planet slowly over many centuries to make it more hospitable to life. I'm pessimistic on who would bankroll such an enterprise though.

I tend to think that there are probably richer pickings in mining the asteroid belt for example, so relatively smaller habitats can be created by hollowing out suitable asteroids. No triple breasted women though. :-)
TBR
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2/26/2016 1:32:36 PM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/26/2016 6:07:40 AM, Skynet wrote:
At 2/24/2016 12:07:28 AM, TBR wrote:
At 2/23/2016 9:27:58 PM, Skynet wrote:
I am fully aware that many many people are sincerely excited about starting a permanent Martian settlement. What I am not aware of is what there is to do once you get there.
Let me explain: We're talking about sending a functional society of humans to Mars, that will in time have families and live, work, and have recreation, and do all the things people do on Earth.
One of the most important things people do is thrive, not just survive. To do that, people must have resources that are greater than expenses and losses, i.e. profitable vocations. Even if you didn't have a money based economy, what resources does Mars have that could provide for all their needs or be valuable enough to exchange with Earth for necessities they can't produce on their own? How will they make plastics nessecary for the complicated life support systems? What metal and other mineral resources are known to be worth and possible to extract? How will they sustain power for heat and other processes? Is it shown that at least some Martian soil can be used or adapted to be fertile for Earth plants? Is there enough usable resources to expand habitat structures?

Do you have evidence of this, or will these colonies just be Earth-dependent science expeditions, or a long term camping trip?


I agree with above, O'Neill cylinder (or more simple designs) are a great way forward, however, colonizing has plenty of appeal.

Why do it? Because it is whats next. That, forgetting any-other benefit is the truth. It is next. for humanity.

That seems all well and good for the starry-eyed Mars One supporters who aren't on Mars. But the reality is, life on Mars, just like anything else, will become normal and mundane for those living on Mars, and once they are there, it will no longer be the next thing. So they could move on to the next next thing, but in the meantime, what is appealing and practical enough about life on Mars to make it the "now" thing everyone does because it works? Right now, I have a huge gaping "not much besides three-breasted women" in the practical category of living on Mars, let alone the evidence that life on Mars would be sustainable.

I know this will be a hard sell for you, but not everything needs to have immediate recognizable value for it to have potential real value for us as a species.

Let me ask you this. Forget about technological advancement (and the potential financial gain from that) - forget about searching the planet for life. If I told you the only benefit necessary was curiosity, what would that mean for you? To me it means a lot.
R0b1Billion
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2/26/2016 10:17:37 PM
Posted: 9 months ago
It would take tens of thousands of years to terraform Mars into something even barely habitable. Space stations and alien planets are not just difficult to survive on, they would be impossible to survive on because we are taking for granted everything we have here. A walk through a forest, a swim at the beach, skiing, fishing, etc. I think that technology is duping you all into thinking that technology is all we need. "Oh I'll be fine, just put me on a space station with an iPhone and some potato chips." The environment on Earth is what we need to survive and that cannot be reproduced with technology. Perhaps someday we will begin terraforming Mars but even if we do, where is the heat going to come from to keep it habitable? In half a billion years the Sun will start increasing its output and if we're still around we might then consider terraforming Mars and then moving there, and then terraforming Europa or Titan afterwards in the same manner, following the habitable zone outwards into the solar system. But we're never going to just have the choice of what planet we want, we will always need to conserve energy by staying where we aren't going to get frozen or incinerated.
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Vox_Veritas
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2/27/2016 4:24:28 AM
Posted: 9 months ago
Venus is a better bet for terraforming and it could feasibly be transformed within 200 years.
However, in any case you are failing to factor in something called Virtual Reality. By the time we are able to colonize Mars, VR will have grown considerably more advanced than today's primitive Oculus Rift/Gear VR. Regardless of where someone is in the Universe provided they bring along the proper hardware, software, and energy reserves needed to power such a thing they'll find life not all that boring.
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Skynet
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2/27/2016 5:01:06 AM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/26/2016 1:32:36 PM, TBR wrote:
At 2/26/2016 6:07:40 AM, Skynet wrote:
At 2/24/2016 12:07:28 AM, TBR wrote:
At 2/23/2016 9:27:58 PM, Skynet wrote:
I am fully aware that many many people are sincerely excited about starting a permanent Martian settlement. What I am not aware of is what there is to do once you get there.
Let me explain: We're talking about sending a functional society of humans to Mars, that will in time have families and live, work, and have recreation, and do all the things people do on Earth.
One of the most important things people do is thrive, not just survive. To do that, people must have resources that are greater than expenses and losses, i.e. profitable vocations. Even if you didn't have a money based economy, what resources does Mars have that could provide for all their needs or be valuable enough to exchange with Earth for necessities they can't produce on their own? How will they make plastics nessecary for the complicated life support systems? What metal and other mineral resources are known to be worth and possible to extract? How will they sustain power for heat and other processes? Is it shown that at least some Martian soil can be used or adapted to be fertile for Earth plants? Is there enough usable resources to expand habitat structures?

Do you have evidence of this, or will these colonies just be Earth-dependent science expeditions, or a long term camping trip?


I agree with above, O'Neill cylinder (or more simple designs) are a great way forward, however, colonizing has plenty of appeal.

Why do it? Because it is whats next. That, forgetting any-other benefit is the truth. It is next. for humanity.

That seems all well and good for the starry-eyed Mars One supporters who aren't on Mars. But the reality is, life on Mars, just like anything else, will become normal and mundane for those living on Mars, and once they are there, it will no longer be the next thing. So they could move on to the next next thing, but in the meantime, what is appealing and practical enough about life on Mars to make it the "now" thing everyone does because it works? Right now, I have a huge gaping "not much besides three-breasted women" in the practical category of living on Mars, let alone the evidence that life on Mars would be sustainable.

I know this will be a hard sell for you, but not everything needs to have immediate recognizable value for it to have potential real value for us as a species.

Let me ask you this. Forget about technological advancement (and the potential financial gain from that) - forget about searching the planet for life. If I told you the only benefit necessary was curiosity, what would that mean for you? To me it means a lot.

I actually have no problem with exploration missions, even long term to Mars. I'd love to see every body in the system investigated closely. But colonization is far different than research camps, even a permanent research base. The questions I have are about the former.
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Skynet
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2/27/2016 5:11:41 AM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/26/2016 6:38:04 AM, keithprosser wrote:
That seems all well and good for the starry-eyed Mayflower supporters who aren't in America. But the reality is, life in America, just like anything else, will become normal and mundane for those living in America, and once they are there, it will no longer be the next thing. So they could move on to the next next thing, but in the meantime, what is appealing and practical enough about life in America to make it the "now" thing everyone does because it works? Right now, I have a huge gaping "not much besides three-breasted women" in the practical category of living in America, let alone the evidence that life in America would be sustainable.

The analogy doesn't work. There was known to be useful resources that could be profitably returned from the New World: timber, fish, exotic goods traded from the natives, furs, slaves, new types of hardy spices (the whole reason Columbus went there in the first place was to get frail peppercorn pepper), new crops such as maize, tobacco, potatoes, tomatoes, coffee, chocolate, precious metals and stones, and croplands that could mass produce cotton. It was also believed that there was a Fountain of Youth and a Northwest Passage. Though neither really existed in any practical way, the possibility of gain from those two things justified exploration and colonization until proven otherwise.

Maybe your analogy does work, but you'd have to tell me what on Mars is worth permanent residence.
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Skynet
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2/27/2016 5:15:45 AM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/27/2016 4:24:28 AM, Vox_Veritas wrote:
Venus is a better bet for terraforming and it could feasibly be transformed within 200 years.
However, in any case you are failing to factor in something called Virtual Reality. By the time we are able to colonize Mars, VR will have grown considerably more advanced than today's primitive Oculus Rift/Gear VR. Regardless of where someone is in the Universe provided they bring along the proper hardware, software, and energy reserves needed to power such a thing they'll find life not all that boring.

I suppose some people survive on entertainment rather than employment, so you may have a point.
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Vox_Veritas
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2/27/2016 5:17:56 AM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/27/2016 5:15:45 AM, Skynet wrote:
At 2/27/2016 4:24:28 AM, Vox_Veritas wrote:
Venus is a better bet for terraforming and it could feasibly be transformed within 200 years.
However, in any case you are failing to factor in something called Virtual Reality. By the time we are able to colonize Mars, VR will have grown considerably more advanced than today's primitive Oculus Rift/Gear VR. Regardless of where someone is in the Universe provided they bring along the proper hardware, software, and energy reserves needed to power such a thing they'll find life not all that boring.

I suppose some people survive on entertainment rather than employment, so you may have a point.

Define "survive on" in this context.
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Skynet
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2/27/2016 5:21:06 AM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/26/2016 11:38:06 AM, dee-em wrote:
At 2/26/2016 6:01:42 AM, Skynet wrote:
At 2/24/2016 11:07:16 AM, dee-em wrote:
Have sex with a triple breasted woman.

I'm not arguing with the value of that resource on Mars, just that we've only found a few, and not nearly enough to export to make up for the loss of materiel, lives, and energy it would take to operate society on Mars.

Whilst my post was a joke, it does highlight a serious issue which you didn't mention and that is of radiation shielding. This is the number one problem with a colony on Mars. The other things you listed can be overcome but it will be difficult to keep people safe with the amount of radiation exposure they will be getting on a daily basis. (Hence the triple breasted woman and other mutations in the Mars movies).

As to the economic rationale for a colony and its viability, I think you are putting the cart before the horse. It's not about the economics to start with. Humans have an in-built need to explore and Mars is the next big thing in terms of human exploration. We will do it to prove it can be done. Then we will worry about making it economic. That may require terraforming the planet slowly over many centuries to make it more hospitable to life. I'm pessimistic on who would bankroll such an enterprise though.

I tend to think that there are probably richer pickings in mining the asteroid belt for example, so relatively smaller habitats can be created by hollowing out suitable asteroids. No triple breasted women though. :-)

I think exploring Ceres for colonization would be a better idea. The lower gravity would allow lower cost launches from the surface, instantly increasing the net value of any resources found. Yes, radiation is something critical that needs to be addressed. My assumption in the question is that all practical problems of getting to and from Mars are solved. If the only thing on Mars is some satisfaction of curiosity, the only purpose of living on Mars would be to support research and tourism. Which COULD support a colony, but I am under deep conviction that raw materials need to be extracted from nature to make a well rounded economy. A tourism based economy can be very frail as it is dependent on disposable income, and not demand for necessities.
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Skynet
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2/27/2016 5:26:17 AM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/27/2016 5:17:56 AM, Vox_Veritas wrote:
At 2/27/2016 5:15:45 AM, Skynet wrote:
At 2/27/2016 4:24:28 AM, Vox_Veritas wrote:
Venus is a better bet for terraforming and it could feasibly be transformed within 200 years.
However, in any case you are failing to factor in something called Virtual Reality. By the time we are able to colonize Mars, VR will have grown considerably more advanced than today's primitive Oculus Rift/Gear VR. Regardless of where someone is in the Universe provided they bring along the proper hardware, software, and energy reserves needed to power such a thing they'll find life not all that boring.

I suppose some people survive on entertainment rather than employment, so you may have a point.

Define "survive on" in this context.

Well you get a subsidy for kicking out kids and not having a well paying job, you have to do something with your time. You can't get a legitimate full time job because that would drive your household income above the level where the government determines you need the subsidy. So you work 0-20 hours a week, and you need to fill all that other time that you're not sleeping or cooking or cleaning or waiting in line at the SS office or waiting in line at a Medicaid clinic. So you entertain yourself.
One perk to being a dad is you get to watch cartoons again without explaining yourself.
Skynet
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2/29/2016 3:43:44 AM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/28/2016 4:43:41 AM, triangle.128k wrote:
But can poland into space and will there be polish people in a Mars colony?

Yes poland can into space.
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Chloe8
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2/29/2016 10:10:18 PM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/23/2016 9:27:58 PM, Skynet wrote:
I am fully aware that many many people are sincerely excited about starting a permanent Martian settlement. What I am not aware of is what there is to do once you get there.
Let me explain: We're talking about sending a functional society of humans to Mars, that will in time have families and live, work, and have recreation, and do all the things people do on Earth.
One of the most important things people do is thrive, not just survive. To do that, people must have resources that are greater than expenses and losses, i.e. profitable vocations. Even if you didn't have a money based economy, what resources does Mars have that could provide for all their needs or be valuable enough to exchange with Earth for necessities they can't produce on their own? How will they make plastics nessecary for the complicated life support systems? What metal and other mineral resources are known to be worth and possible to extract? How will they sustain power for heat and other processes? Is it shown that at least some Martian soil can be used or adapted to be fertile for Earth plants? Is there enough usable resources to expand habitat structures?

Do you have evidence of this, or will these colonies just be Earth-dependent science expeditions, or a long term camping trip?

Realistically a self sustained colony on mars would be unrealistic. It would have to be subsidized by earth. It's main purpose would be research and experimentation with exploration and discovery also key elements. It's possible some kind of service based economy could exist possibly including tourism. It's also possible food could be grown in artificial earth like environments. The main aim of the colony though would be to increase the normality and frequency of space flights and hopefully improve technology, space safety and learn vital lessons for future space missions that may one day lead humanity to a planet that is similar enough to earth and contains enough resources to be a genuine second home for humanity. That I think is the ultimate goal.
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