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80,000 Person Mars Colony Possible by 2040

Mars Space Colonization Elon Musk

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66 replies to this topic

#41
Jakob

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Well, the thing is, if we don't colonize other planets, the mankind will go extinct very soon.

No. Even in a nuclear war, a few million people at the very least would survive.

 

But civilization wouldn't. And then we would have to start all over again. Nukes start flying, and you can kiss all this amazing technology goodbye.

 

That's still not the same thing as going extinct. And we wouldn't really go back to the stone age since we'd still know stuff, if you see what I mean. Even in the worst nuclear war, I'd wager that civilization would be repaired fully in 300-500 years at most.



#42
Cosmic Cat

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Well, the thing is, if we don't colonize other planets, the mankind will go extinct very soon.

No. Even in a nuclear war, a few million people at the very least would survive.

 

But civilization wouldn't. And then we would have to start all over again. Nukes start flying, and you can kiss all this amazing technology goodbye.

 

That's still not the same thing as going extinct. And we wouldn't really go back to the stone age since we'd still know stuff, if you see what I mean. Even in the worst nuclear war, I'd wager that civilization would be repaired fully in 300-500 years at most.

 

 

I like your comment!

 

(pls, we need like button)



#43
JCO

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Well they did have breathable air and arable land. Not to forget, there were already occupants when the British, spaniards, and french set their flag so it was very easy to adapt to the new environment. It would be very hard and expensive to house 80,000 with enough food, oxygen, and water to become self sufficient a couple light minutes away from earth on a literal cold, barren wasteland where the only way you could walk outside is with an exosuit.

A good example of when we might have situations where 80,000 can house in a matter of decades is if were Mars was Terminus. I feel it's the inhospitable environment that will set the challenge of housing a large town on a planet. In Terminus, there were at least safe temperatures and atmosphere. In mars those things are non-existent until we can provide a steady terraforming program. I think we need flexible and open access to the environment before we are able to settle in large numbers in a short period of time.

 

I think the colonization of Mars will be more like the Viking colonial efforts rather than the later European efforts. One of the biggest differences is most Viking colonies owned the ships that brought them. One thing slowing the later colonial efforts is that often the ships that brought the colonist stole all the supplies they needed to survive. When we colonize Mars at first the ship that bring the colonists will serve as their first home. This will provide the safe temperatures and atmosphere.

 

As for 80,000 colonist on the surface of Mars I think that may well be well beyond the end of this century. However I suspect before I believe that before the end of the century the number living in orbit of Mars will outnumber the ones living on the surface. I suspect that Mars will work out to be more of a nexus than a terminus. There is very little on the surface of Mars that will not be easier to get elsewhere. What Mars does have is location. It is the step between the outer solar system, where a majority of the accessible material are and the largest center of human habitation for at least the next 200 years.


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#44
Yalamix

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Well, the thing is, if we don't colonize other planets, the mankind will go extinct very soon.

No. Even in a nuclear war, a few million people at the very least would survive.

 

Fallout, Metro 2033, etc...


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#45
matthewpapa

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Why would we make human civilization multiplanetary if there is no economic incentive to do so. Saying we could have 80000 people there is nice, but we would need some type of resource that would push us to do so. Take a look at Antarctica. Nice big space but we don't put people there because we don't have economic reason to do so!
 
We should stick to colonizing the moon first, as it actually has some resources like Helium-3 that we might actually use and thus support some colonies.

 
Aside from helium-3, there is no other reason to go to the moon. A quote from the Manifold series might be of importance here:
 

If you found the richest Lunar ore on Earth you would throw it out as slag.


There's no carbon or nitrogen on the surface, it would all have to be carted to the base there. That wouldn't give you something self-sustaining in an emergency as opposed to a colony on Mars.

And even if there's helium-3 there, so what? Current experimental reactors (including the upcoming Lockheed Martin reactor) tend not to need helium-3.

 

 

What a good quote, I remembered it as well. I loved that book series.

 

I honestly wonder if it is true though? I hope not, but suspect so. I guess after the Xprize people get their prospecting data we should know more.



#46
Ru1138

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What a good quote, I remembered it as well. I loved that book series.
 
I honestly wonder if it is true though? I hope not, but suspect so. I guess after the Xprize people get their prospecting data we should know more.


Yeah. I could be wrong, but I also might not be. More information is needed. But based off what we know now? The Moon is a wasteland.

Also: awesome! Another SF reader! Have you visited this thread per chance?


What difference does it make?


#47
JCO

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What we know the Moon is made up of the same things as the Earth's crust. That would mean that much of the same ores we find on earth are available on the Moon. The trick is finding ways to make recovering and returning the ores to Earth cheaper than recovering them and transporting them on Earth. This will be a challenge for most materials but I believe that at some point this will change for several reasons. Some ores are getting more expensive to extract. Some of the ores are most common far from where they are needed and controlled by unfriendly governments. Environmental concerns around extraction and refinement of ores will increase the costs involved in production. 

 

I do not think in the long run the Earth will be the biggest customer of mines on the Moon. The Moon will definitely be able to provide resource cheaper for construction in orbit.


Confirmed Agnostic - I know that I don't know for sure and I am almost certain no one else does either.


#48
Jakob

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Well, the thing is, if we don't colonize other planets, the mankind will go extinct very soon.

No. Even in a nuclear war, a few million people at the very least would survive.

 

Fallout, Metro 2033, etc...

 

Fictional. After all, fiction is meant to entertain, and what could be more entertaining than having everyone but a few thousand people killed in a nuclear war.



#49
EpicProdigy

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id love cities on the moon simply so i could look up in the night sky. And see city lights on the moon. How amazing would you feel looking at that.....



#50
JCO

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It would look like stars shining through the dark side of the Moon. The Moon would then really look like it was made of Swiss cheese.


Confirmed Agnostic - I know that I don't know for sure and I am almost certain no one else does either.


#51
tierbook

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Well, the thing is, if we don't colonize other planets, the mankind will go extinct very soon.

No. Even in a nuclear war, a few million people at the very least would survive.

 

Ya nothing short of the destruction of the planet would probably wipe us out we are to adaptable.



#52
Spacekitty

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Well, the thing is, if we don't colonize other planets, the mankind will go extinct very soon.

No. Even in a nuclear war, a few million people at the very least would survive.

 

Ya nothing short of the destruction of the planet would probably wipe us out we are to adaptable.

 

Not necessarily. Remember the dinosaurs? They had it coming I know, but that same thing that killed them could happen to us


I will instigate the singularity!


#53
Ghostreaper

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Well, the thing is, if we don't colonize other planets, the mankind will go extinct very soon.

No. Even in a nuclear war, a few million people at the very least would survive.

 

Ya nothing short of the destruction of the planet would probably wipe us out we are to adaptable.

 

Not necessarily. Remember the dinosaurs? They had it coming I know, but that same thing that killed them could happen to us

 

The Dinosaurs didn't have Bruce Willis or Aerosmith


“If the genius of invention were to reveal to-morrow the secret of immortality, of eternal beauty and youth, for which all humanity is aching, the same inexorable agents which prevent a mass from changing suddenly its velocity would likewise resist the force of the new knowledge until time gradually modifies human thought.” 

 

                                                                 Nikola Tesla - New York World, May 19th 1907 


#54
JCO

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Much of the energy for developing our current civilization was spent on collecting and refining the resources. In a post apocalyptic scenario most of the resources needed to recreate our current civilization would already be available in refined form. If humanity faced a near extinction event it is likely enough machinery survived to at least support a 18th century technological level and we would still have the knowledge of the 21st century. 

 

I do not think resources like coal and oil will be very limiting. The main reason we used them so wastefully is that they were cheap. There are other energy sources and we know a good deal about efficiency that would help advance our technological level rapidly.

 

The reality is that we know today all we need to live in space. With that knowledge the environment on Earth would need to change to the point where it was nearly as hostile as Mars to prevent us from recovering quickly from an apocalypse.


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#55
Jakob

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That's still not the same thing as going extinct. And we wouldn't really go back to the stone age since we'd still know stuff, if you see what I mean. Even in the worst nuclear war, I'd wager that civilization would be repaired fully in 300-500 years at most.

 

It could be difficult without coal and oil. I think that mankind could rebuild some of what we have today, but it would be longer, and we might never again reach the productivity that we see today. The dry and easy-to-reach deposits are now gone, and without coal, industrialisation would be far trickier. Today's cities, I guess, might serve as good sources of building materials and resources. Apparently early iron working relied on charcoal rather than coal, which I suppose could be accomplished after a collapse. Iron could be used to produce electricity through CSP troughs, like the designs from the Global Construction Set. In fact, if reasonable industry and infrastructure survived a collapse, and there were experienced workers, a lot of the set could be created.

 

A damaged environment could be the bigger inhibitor. A nuclear winter could really end civilisation once and for all, and spiralling climate change would prevent a population size and industrial output on the scale of today.

 

We would probably move to clean energy, like solar and wind. A nuclear winter would be survivable. Even if a nuclear winter cooled the area I live in by 20 Celsius, it would still be roughly the temperature of Iceland. And people live there.



#56
Jakob

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My line of thinking was that it would be difficult to build an energy or industrial infrastructure without iron working. However, it looks like iron working doesn't rely on coal, so my point was moot. With polished steel, and later, aluminium, we could build a solar-powered infrastructure relatively quickly, but if the event was a nuclear war followed by a nuclear winter, although people would undoubtedly survive, the bigger inhibitor would be agriculture. Farming in Iceland-like climates might not be that rewarding. According to David Archibald, a war of 200 weapons is enough to produce a show-stoppnig nuclear winter. If he's correct, and if India and Pakistan emptied their nuclear arsenals, maybe with some help from China or elsewhere, that's enough to do the trick. 

Well, there are always the tropics. Those would stay warm in a nuclear winter. Or we could built greenhouses.



#57
JCO

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Even if there is no apocalypse having colonies off Earth would be a good idea. Europe has benefited multiple times from having the new world colonies to bail them out. As suggested in Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars series Earth will sooner or later need help from its colonies. 


Confirmed Agnostic - I know that I don't know for sure and I am almost certain no one else does either.


#58
Jakob

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Even if there is no apocalypse having colonies off Earth would be a good idea. Europe has benefited multiple times from having the new world colonies to bail them out. As suggested in Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars series Earth will sooner or later need help from its colonies. 

Of course it's beneficial. It's needed if we want to become an advanced species. It's just not absolutely necessary to survive (at least for the next few hundred million years)



#59
JCO

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Interesting thing with that, dinosaurs did not all die from the asteroid impact. Fossils of some of the large ones are dated as being from million or more years after the impact. However the fact they survived the event did not seem to matter, that day seemed to decide their fate. The fact is that at the moment we are nearly as blind as the dinosaurs to an event that could kill us. The sooner we climb out of the cradle that is the Earth the better off we will be.


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#60
michael92

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The need for multi-planetary life is such BS.

 

We will soon be able to predict any danger from space probably as much as 100 years before, and if we are talking about a nearby huge supernova, being on mars won't save us anyway. Mars is so uninhabitable that it would make a post apocalyptic earth seem like paradise to settle, so the global conflict argument collapses as well.

 

That aside, I am thrilled and excited that we are getting closer to mars. We don't do it because it is necessary, we do it because it is awesome, we do it because we are human beings and it is in our nature to be curious and wanting to conquer the cosmos.







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