Jump to content

Welcome to FutureTimeline.forum
Register now to gain access to all of our features. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to create topics, post replies to existing threads, give reputation to your fellow members, get your own private messenger, post status updates, manage your profile and so much more. If you already have an account, login here - otherwise create an account for free today!
Photo

Mars colonization (Mars One, SpaceX, Virgin Galactic, MarsDrive, Mars Direct)

Mars Mars colonization Mars One SpaceX Virgin Galactic Mars Direct

  • Please log in to reply
64 replies to this topic

#1
Craven

Craven

    Elephant in the forest

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,325 posts
  • LocationPoland, Cracow

How about we start thread about colonization of Mars in near future. Not terraforming. That's will be plan for next stage, after we manage to set up a self sustaining colony. And that's what I'd like to focus on so that we don't derail this thread.

Why I don't want to talk about terraforming? Because colonization must go first, because it's realistic now. Terraforming in by our current knowledge would take houndreds of years. Too distant future to realistically predict. For all we know 200 years from now there may be no biological humans, and therefore no need for terraforming.

However...

It's most realistic that in coming decades we will set foot on Mars, and it would be a logical step not to just visit, but to go there and spread human civilization there. Why it's realistic? Because influential, powerful, and filthy rich people want to do it:

Elon Musk given long-term goal for SpaceX to "develop the technology necessary to transport large numbers of people and cargo to Mars, ultimately with the goal of establishing a self-sustaining civilization on Mars." He said "I know it's within the realm of possible." The seemingly self-assured Musk admitted that he wasn't quite so sure until more recently. "I didn't know that until two years ago," he told Charlie Rose, saying only that at that point, "the calculations worked out."

http://www.cbsnews.c...er-of-a-planet/

Richard Branson "I think over the next 20 years, we will take literally hundreds of thousands of people to space and that will give us the financial resources to do even bigger things. (...) In my lifetime, I'm determined to being a part of starting a population on Mars, I think it is absolutely realistic. It will happen."

http://www.cbsnews.c...lation-on-mars/


Fuel and energy - It's possible to make rocket fuel on Mars with hydrogen brought from Earth. "A working device has already been produced for this exact purpose. NASA's Johnson Space Center contracted with Martin Marietta (now Lockheed Martin) in 1993 to have a prototype built. Dr. Robert Zubrin's team created a unit that demonstrated efficiency rates as high as 94% within 3 months. Additional funding by JSC and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory allowed for further improvements, with a resulting unit that operated at 96% efficiency for 10 days straight with no outside intervention, generating 400 kilograms of propellant on 300 watts; the unit itself weighed only 20 kilograms. Studies indicate that when scaled up, the propellant:unit mass ratio would go up significantly, as the percentage of system mass taken up by non-productive elements such as sensors would be reduced to negligible levels."

http://www.marssocie...ce-utilization-

It may not be perfect, but if you can mace rocket fuel, you can generate energy. Add atomic batteries for early stages (like one on Curiosity rover that could run for 5, 10 or even 15 years), solar power and other sources of power and you are good to go.


Air and water - Modern military submarines are fantastic example of our capabilities for self-sustaining environments. Nuclear powered vessels can run for YEARS without refuelling. Onboard systems can purify water (urine) and air for years too. So if it wasn't for food such vehicle could go on without any contact with outside for years. Perfect analogy towards Mars base.

Food - That's where serious problems start. Unfortunately Biosphere experiments weren't conducted for something like 20 years. In early 90's they failed. But I think memebers of this forum are perfectly aware, just how much we advanced in this time. I'd put it like this - If I making GMO crops was my field, I'd dedicate myself to create corn that could thrive in Mars soil :)


phew... that's a long post, but I'm hoping we can have good discussion about Mars colonization in this thread. That two statements by Branson and Musk, recent launch of Space X, foundation of Planetary Resources with bald plans of Diamandis, are clear signs that it's not a dream, not a distant future, but something that may happen in next 20-30 years.


Edited by Craven, 08 January 2013 - 06:25 PM.

"I walk alone and do no evil, having only a few wishes, just like an elephant in the forest."

"Laugh, and the world laughs with you. Weep, and you weep alone."

#2
Ru1138

Ru1138

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,190 posts
  • LocationIllinois
I'm a follower of Marsdrive, they're working on manned missions to Mars too.

What difference does it make?


#3
Craven

Craven

    Elephant in the forest

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,325 posts
  • LocationPoland, Cracow
So there's MarsDrive, Mars Direct, Mars One, and unnamed plans by Branson and Musk. And perhaps more. However Mars One smells fishy for some people. Even if they have this neat idea about financing it by making it like a reality show.
"I walk alone and do no evil, having only a few wishes, just like an elephant in the forest."

"Laugh, and the world laughs with you. Weep, and you weep alone."

#4
Ru1138

Ru1138

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,190 posts
  • LocationIllinois
If I recall correctly the Mars for Less plan made by MarsDrive is a modified Mars Direct plan. Also, they have an idea for a corporate consortium to make a Mars mission.

What difference does it make?


#5
zEVerzan

zEVerzan

    Orange Animating Android

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,718 posts
  • LocationSome Underground Sweatshop Probably
As for food, couldn't we mass-produce lab-grown meat and such, or genetically modify crops so they grow up faster and hardier? I can imagine that initially, there wouldn't be too many people on the colonies, the first trip would hopefully include about 20 researchers and engineers, and if we were able to sustain them year-round we could eventually get properly established. And for bonus points, we could also modify the crops so they metabolize faster, which would result in a lot more carbon input, and a lot more oxygen output! That way we could get some baby steps towards terraforming.
I always imagined the future as a time of more reason, empathy, and peace, not less. It's time for a change.
Attention is currency in the "free marketplace of ideas".
I do other stuff besides gripe about the future! Twitter Youtube DeviantArt +-PATREON-+

#6
Ru1138

Ru1138

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,190 posts
  • LocationIllinois

As for food, couldn't we mass-produce lab-grown meat and such, or genetically modify crops so they grow up faster and hardier? I can imagine that initially, there wouldn't be too many people on the colonies, the first trip would hopefully include about 20 researchers and engineers, and if we were able to sustain them year-round we could eventually get properly established.

And for bonus points, we could also modify the crops so they metabolize faster, which would result in a lot more carbon input, and a lot more oxygen output! That way we could get some baby steps towards terraforming.


I don't know about faster metabolism, but there was some talk recently about using microbiomes to give crops salt tolerance (Martian regolith contains lots of salt) plus they grew larger and had higher yields with microbiomes.

What difference does it make?


#7
kjaggard

kjaggard

    Artificer

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,991 posts
  • Locationwhere fanciful imaginings and hard won knowledge meet to genesis the future.
Vats of algae for oxygen production and they feed on light and co2 with a bit of benefit from nitrogen enriching... which can be done by adding a bit of urine to their water. large vats of them could take martian air and convert it to breathable air. One of the other benefits of it: it's a good source of protein and important fatty acids. Hydroponic growth of vegetables, and maybe give a shout to some fish types if we can manage them through the trip there. Taking food scraps, human manure, diluted urine, dried algae and washed martian dirt mixed together you should be able to get a decent soil you could use for growing air producing crops that are also called green manure (a type of cover crop grown primarily to add nutrients and organic matter to the soil). Set up liquid salt reactors on mars to provide power things on the surface. Also build manufacturing facilities for raw materials that will be needed. Metals mostly and martian 'clay' for bricks, blocks and maybe ceramics. Glass making too. They'll need a 3d printer and feed stock for some things. preferrably one that can print in things like clay slip for firing, or metal clays that can then be cinterred, some spools of ABS plastics that they'd have to bring with them and subsequent missions delivering more. They are going to need one hell of a good chemistry lab to start with and get things going. If we can get a mass driver on the moon we should be able to peg deliveries of needed materials decently. It's kind of funny to think about how living on mars is going to require the colonists to do things that are very hippie and homesteading life styles. Cleaning with vinegars and baking soda, aqua ponics, container gardening, composting, vermiculture, recycling, using wind and solar, hand making many things, alternative medical practices for illness and minor injuries, Communal living and property, ect. we could do it, it's big risk and it's going to be hard. but there is a chance of being able to make a sustainable colony.
Live content within small means. Seek elegance rather than luxury, Grace over fashion and wealth over riches.
Listen to clouds and mountains, children and sages. Act bravely, think boldly.
Await occasions, never make haste. Find wonder and awe, by experiencing the everyday.

#8
Craven

Craven

    Elephant in the forest

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,325 posts
  • LocationPoland, Cracow

As for food, couldn't we mass-produce lab-grown meat and such, or genetically modify crops so they grow up faster and hardier?

I'd say we're already pushing them to absolute limit. And that's wiith whole infrastructure, and unlimited access to fertilizers and antibiotics. We need something that will survive on Mars.

If we manage to make algae edible it will be great. Their ability to grow like crazy is... well crazy :)
But I'd say fish are waaay later step. Sustaining fish, big volume of liquid water all nutrients and stuff, it would be a huge challenge. Let's start with plants and algae :)


Set up liquid salt reactors on mars to provide power things on the surface. Also build manufacturing facilities for raw materials that will be needed. Metals mostly and martian 'clay' for bricks, blocks and maybe ceramics. Glass making too.

I dunno much about liquid salt reactors. Surley you don't mean Thorium? But making bricks and glass on Mars will be essential to build domes and some structures. When domes are there houses/habitats should still be pressurized in case of emergency, accidents or something but it's a whole new deal.

However due to ratiation I'm not sure if martians should stick to living under ground mostly or in shielded homes?
"I walk alone and do no evil, having only a few wishes, just like an elephant in the forest."

"Laugh, and the world laughs with you. Weep, and you weep alone."

#9
kjaggard

kjaggard

    Artificer

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,991 posts
  • Locationwhere fanciful imaginings and hard won knowledge meet to genesis the future.


Set up liquid salt reactors

I dunno much about liquid salt reactors. Surley you don't mean Thorium?

Liquid floride salt reactors for use with thorium and can handle a few of the other types of nuclear fuels. It just makes sense as we will be mining for metals, and thorium as often an abundant 'waste' product of mining for many metals. Reactors can be made much smaller and they don't need pressurization or large work crews.

However due to ratiation I'm not sure if martians should stick to living under ground mostly or in shielded homes?

I'd say there isn't much point in spending a huge effort on surface structures. I can't find any stats but I'd say that the usual light spectrums we are used to on earth surface are a bit weaker and so the mars version of sunlight would be like chronic cloudy days. and any dome over head will likely alter some of the light coming through (like UVB we use to make vitamin D doesn't go through glass well if at all), but other forms of radiation make it through quite well. So unless you want to be chronically moving plants or closing shielding it might actually be easier to just keep living things in shelter, maybe cycling a few things out into exposed domes for a bit, but sun lamps and grow light might meet the needs better.
Live content within small means. Seek elegance rather than luxury, Grace over fashion and wealth over riches.
Listen to clouds and mountains, children and sages. Act bravely, think boldly.
Await occasions, never make haste. Find wonder and awe, by experiencing the everyday.

#10
Craven

Craven

    Elephant in the forest

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,325 posts
  • LocationPoland, Cracow

Liquid floride salt reactors for use with thorium and can handle a few of the other types of nuclear fuels. It just makes sense as we will be mining for metals, and thorium as often an abundant 'waste' product of mining for many metals. Reactors can be made much smaller and they don't need pressurization or large work crews.

But come on, I'm sure it would require huge infratructure to build such advanced facility on Mars and require many workers to maintain. In future maybe... but I can't imagine that at first. I wonder what are prospects for wind power on Mars. Atmosphere is puny, but there are fricken global storms on that planet.


I'd say there isn't much point in spending a huge effort on surface structures. I can't find any stats but I'd say that the usual light spectrums we are used to on earth surface are a bit weaker and so the mars version of sunlight would be like chronic cloudy days. and any dome over head will likely alter some of the light coming through (like UVB we use to make vitamin D doesn't go through glass well if at all), but other forms of radiation make it through quite well. So unless you want to be chronically moving plants or closing shielding it might actually be easier to just keep living things in shelter, maybe cycling a few things out into exposed domes for a bit, but sun lamps and grow light might meet the needs better.


I was reffering to unhealthy space radiation due to lack of magnetic field, not sunlight.
"I walk alone and do no evil, having only a few wishes, just like an elephant in the forest."

"Laugh, and the world laughs with you. Weep, and you weep alone."

#11
Ru1138

Ru1138

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,190 posts
  • LocationIllinois
It turns out that some forms of plastic make for good shielding material. Make the dome out of that and you could probably be safe.

What difference does it make?


#12
Craven

Craven

    Elephant in the forest

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,325 posts
  • LocationPoland, Cracow

It turns out that some forms of plastic make for good shielding material. Make the dome out of that and you could probably be safe.


Woo hoo :) that's awesome.
"I walk alone and do no evil, having only a few wishes, just like an elephant in the forest."

"Laugh, and the world laughs with you. Weep, and you weep alone."

#13
Ru1138

Ru1138

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,190 posts
  • LocationIllinois

Set up liquid salt reactors on mars to provide power things on the surface. Also build manufacturing facilities for raw materials that will be needed. Metals mostly and martian 'clay' for bricks, blocks and maybe ceramics. Glass making too.

They'll need a 3d printer and feed stock for some things. preferrably one that can print in things like clay slip for firing, or metal clays that can then be cinterred, some spools of ABS plastics that they'd have to bring with them and subsequent missions delivering more. They are going to need one hell of a good chemistry lab to start with and get things going.


I think a small modular reactor might work better due to the fact that it's less mass to launch. The main problem is that it needs to be refueled and have its waste disposed of if you want to run it more than once. This requires infrastructure that might not be available on Mars. So I have a different idea. Use a nuclear SMR for power for the first few years. While it's running you can build stuff, but put an emphasis on building an energy infrastructure. Solar panels and microbial fuel cells would probably be best. This energy infrastructure would be useful when the reactor runs out of fuel because you'll have a power source once that happens.

There's already a company working on 3D printers for use in space. As for your chemistry set idea, we already have an idea on using the sabatier reaction to produce methane from the Martian atmosphere. Once that's done, put the methane through a process like this to produce ethane, which is a building block of plastics and has uses in agriculture as well.

Edited by Ru1138, 24 September 2012 - 10:55 PM.

What difference does it make?


#14
Foma Kiniaev

Foma Kiniaev

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 26 posts
  • LocationAnadyr
What is the benefit for a company would be a placement a colony on Mars? This should be really cheap staff to do compared to benefits the company may get from this. I beleive that colonization of Mars will only start when this will be quite cheap and safe to go there and this is still very far future. Think that from the moment you arrive to Mars you may only come back in 4 years... And if something go wrong? And if you have funding shortages? Plus, space technology, due to risk of failure don't take advantage of the recent high end developments. FYI Curiosity processor if f*kin 133 Mhz calculator... Technically we will be able to colonize Mars not that far in the future, but this would really happen when this will be really economically viable. Just think on Moon, we are actually able to colonize it right now, but nobody see a reason to do so. No incentive.
Civilizations, like people, thrive on challenge and decay without it

#15
Craven

Craven

    Elephant in the forest

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,325 posts
  • LocationPoland, Cracow
I'm suspecting that Musk and Branson won't profit on this. They are so filthy, uncomprehensively rich beyond our imagination, that they can just afford something like that. Imagine - you have so much money not only you're secure. Your kids, grandkids and grandgrandkids and later offspring could live great life off that mountain of money. So why not get yourself another planet with that spare money? Diamandis and asteroid mining is a diffrent issue. He's going for profit. But that's easier than putting colony on Mars. Also we're talking about rare earths, demand for them will not go soon. And making world independent of China in this regard seems like great idea.
"I walk alone and do no evil, having only a few wishes, just like an elephant in the forest."

"Laugh, and the world laughs with you. Weep, and you weep alone."

#16
Ru1138

Ru1138

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,190 posts
  • LocationIllinois

What is the benefit for a company would be a placement a colony on Mars?


Plenty.

What difference does it make?


#17
Foma Kiniaev

Foma Kiniaev

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 26 posts
  • LocationAnadyr

I'm suspecting that Musk and Branson won't profit on this.


I don't think they'll actually would colonize the Mars. Maybe, they could afford a single human mission, this is possible, but not a colonization. It's far too big project, specially taking into account the timeframe... It's not something you did and forget, it's something you have to care about over and over and what will eat your funds with every second
Civilizations, like people, thrive on challenge and decay without it

#18
Ru1138

Ru1138

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,190 posts
  • LocationIllinois
I'm going to do a shameless plug here. I started a blog dedicated to the organization MarsDrive, http://marsheads.blogspot.com/

What difference does it make?


#19
Sciencerocks

Sciencerocks

    Member

  • Banned
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 13,326 posts
I'd look to China and Russia to get together within the next 15 years. America could send a man, but it will be on China/Russia's ship. America outside of low earth orbit doesn't have the political backing at this time. This isn't the behavior of a super power.

Edited by Matthew, 02 November 2012 - 10:13 AM.


#20
Demo

Demo

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 60 posts
On the moon there is big issues with moon dust, it gets everywhere and it's highly corrosive. It can eat holes in things and clog machinery. does anyone know of Mars has the same issues or is the sand their more akin to Earth sand?





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Mars, Mars colonization, Mars One, SpaceX, Virgin Galactic, Mars Direct

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users