It's not even possible on Mars as far as I know. We could extract water from the soil, because it is present in subsurface ice, as well as in the form of water of hydration. And last but not least, number 5: The Contamination Problem. At first, going to the moon was totally exciting, electrifying the entire world. The nearest planet or moon where humans could live in an even remotely self-sustainable way is so far away that even if we could travel near the speed of light, it would still be well out of our reach. Arguably both much harder than a mere trip to Mars, but IMO much more valuable to the human race as well. This idea irritates me to no end. Not for nine months. Once you are on your way, there's no way to bail out and come back quickly in the event of an emergency. We do not possess the technology to go to Mars and sustain life. He's just giving a reality check: there are technological problems we need to overcome first, and at the rate we're progressing, we won't be there in the next 10 years. I know, right? Your email address will not be published. Discussions of the nature of man, and the establishment of wonder being particularly squishy in hard science terms. What really cemented my belief that going to Mars is impossible with current technology is this article [nasa.gov]. A first attempt at an outpost that will probably fail after a while, is there support for that? Everyone who says "We'll just dig up X for resource Y" as if it's just that simple needs a serious reality check. A bigger reason not to colonize Mars is that there are far better things to do in space. Imagine the energy requirements to transport a billion or so people from Earth to Mars. Thanks for your "idiot" comment though, classy opening salvo for a friendly discussion. Hope that there's no accidents in launch, transit or on landing.4) Spend enough time with MOXIE operating to prove that it actually works in a Mars environment (dust storms, radiation, temperature swings, etc). It's a scary place. Anyhow, I can see some idea of "human achievement" in having the first person summit Everest. So if one wants to look at the long term view, there's a lot of potential to produce a wide range of plastics and plant macronutrients just from the atmosphere - although metals and many of the lesser plant nutrients would probably have to come from the surface (such as the tailings from the rocks being studied (nearer term) or mined (longer term)) unless one is highly effective at capturing ash/dust. These men actually tried some of the privations of a trip to Mars, on a budget: http://channel.nationalgeograp... [nationalgeographic.com]. I daresay that Venus also has more potential to be profitable than Mars in the distant future. I personally think returning to the Moon and going on to Mars is the right kind of idea that can inspire the rest of the world, especially if they are included. Whether it's a few hundred people surviving a nuclear winter, or a few hundred people surviving the perpetual Martian winter, none of those people are likely to be me or anybody I care about. The ISS is under the Van Allan Belts. I'm looking forward to toasting Ed Regis with the local moonshine from a beautiful view sitting above Candor Chasma Rim. Always a favorite of PR firms and politicians.). Solar or nuclear, take your pick. And that would have to be big enough to provide space for medical facilities, a galley, hydroponics, recycling, etc. What if sorry ass humans are the Universe's best shot at an advanced life from? The charge of pessimism and "lack of vision" are catch-all attacks you could use against anyone who dares questions anything, no matter how crazy. Kinda like the days of sailing ships. With both SpaceX and NASA ramping up plans to go to Mars, maybe it’s time to consider the other side of the discussion – that traveling to Mars might be a terrible idea. Copyright © 2021 SlashdotMedia. We believe that going to Mars is a bad idea. Outside our protective magnetic sphere, space is a shooting gallery of solar radiation and cosmic rays that would wreak havoc on our bodies to a level that right now we can only speculate. You were going land to land and would spend about a month at sea in any one stretch. he puts on a good show, even if he "falls just short of being a joke". A place where you could conceivably still get a connection to Earth internet (albeit with seconds of lag) makes this harder. Mars is the closest thing we have to Earth in the entire solar system, and that’s not saying much. Yes, when THEY say that "X can't be done" they're sometimes wrong. Also trivial to simulate on a space station. This is the home of Answers With Joe, where I take questions and comments and deconstruct them to find the interestingness - the funny, unique, but universal truths that give you a new perspective on the world. Seriously, how often has the ISS lost things like its oxygen generators, its urine reprocessor, etc? Out of the bunch, (Elon Musk) SpaceX, is the only one that can be taken seriously. Even Antarctica or the top of Everest are pretty cosy compared to Mars. If the NY Times author wants to criticize the time lines that's perfectly fine and dandy... and very much so accurate. That ain't happening without Commonwealth Saga-esque wormholes. Wow, getting to Mars will be tough! There is another whole world out there, more interesting and more exciting than getting a good return on your investments, and extracting every last possible second out of life. Excellent argument, except for that part. Settling on Mars isn’t going to make anyone rich, and that’s going to make it more difficult to accrue the money required for such an expensive project. You need to reduce Earth's population by a few billion to make a dent. That way, if the system fails, or produces resources that for some reason or another are not usable, people don't die. That's the idea of the entomopter. Perchlorates are salt compounds that are often used in rocket propellants and they’re extremely harmful to humans. Left: Dust devils on Mars. pgmrdlm writes: Bill Nye says the idea of Mars colonization and terraforming -- making a planet more Earth-like by modifying its atmosphere -- is science fiction. Compared to Mars, life there will be paradise. Posted on March 2, 2011. The scientific reasons for going to Mars can be summarised by the search for life, understanding the surface and the planet’s evolution, and preparing for future human exploration. On the other hand, this was achieved in the days before we had robots or planes or whatever to do the exploring for us. New videos every Monday unless I screw up. I agree it would be cheaper. That gives us the data (known solar panel type, surface area, power generated) to know how many and how big the solar panels would need to be for a Mars base. Someone might get hurt. Mars is an obvious target for exploration because it is close by in our Solar System, but there are many more reasons to explore the Red Planet. Mars doesn't make any sense, when we've got the moon just sitting there. We need to loft a multi-megawatt reactor to power those engines, provide ample power for life support, and generate a magnetic shield for protection from various forms of radiation. Pointing out the clear reality of a situation isn't leftist. It's not "fantasy" to have solar power powering much of our world. Not a technically challenging climb either. A lunar-lander style 'direct descent' would require a huge amount of fuel because the ascent engine would be pretty large, on top of the lander itself, and thus the descent engine would be prohibitively large. If a homeless guy walks into your office, rubs shit in his hair, proclaims himself a god, and asks you to follow him, would your line of reasoning be "Well, he COULD be crazy...but I had better follow him anyway, because I could just be being too pessimistic"? Always a favorite of PR firms and politicians. Leave with a blown one. Not to mention the nasty super fine airborne dust. For that matter an SPS could do it and for Lunar purposes wouldn't be an impractical idea at all. However with the Slashdot OP suggesting removing it from our list of goals altogether, that's a far worse joke than the joke "Mars One" and "Inspiration One" are making. Well, at least Ed Regis is in the esteemed company of people that believed that you would fall off the earth if you went too far east or west. Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window). Given the difficulties of getting to Mars, the fact that Mars is barely any more suited to habitation than space and the fact that trips to and from Mars need to deal with the planet's gravity well... why do we assume that the first off-Earth permanent habitation would necessarily need to be on Mars, or indeed on any other planet? So one of the biggest problems when it comes to traveling to Mars is that we’re not just bringing ourselves… We’re bringing our microbes. On Mars it might be easier for machines to fly with insect type flight with rapidly beating wings, using the bumble bee wings vortex effect for lift. There are plenty of humans, we are not a scarce resource. To shoot people toward Mars before those problems have been solved would be irresponsible. This never stopped our predecessors and defined science and discovery in ways unimaginable. There are of course a couple disadvantages to being at altitude while exploring the surface. Instead I'd point out that all safety critical systems are engineered around the notion of redundancy. I've enjoyed climbing on small scales myself, though mostly I prefer hiking (even on more difficult terrain). I remember that one of the reasons that the oxygen generators were failing at one point was that the water they were feeding it was "slightly too acidic". The only major downside to Mars is "it is kinda far away" and it really isn't a huge deal if you do a major colonization effort. That's why you leave it to those individuals at the extreme. But if enough Astronauts haven't grown up yet then who am I to stop them? If there was a catastrophic happening that affected Earth, Mars would be affected too. John F Kennedy perfectly told the world WHY we should do hard things. 10 Good Reasons Not to Colonize Mars Robert Walker , Science 2.0 August 15, 2013 Mars is a fascinating planet, the most like Earth of all the planets in the solar system, and may help us to understand much about the origins of life on Earth. Without strong magnetic fields you aren't going to catch radiation in heavy concentrations that would be dangerous. Some SOx-hardy plants might even be able to grow on the exterior of the craft if properly watered and nourished. In any case near the poles you could put up panels that would swivel and get sun all month long. There may be more comments in this discussion. With Mars - it is the same thing. Space experts are debating all over the world whether we humans should go to Mars or not. 5 Reasons Going To Mars is a TERRIBLE Idea. As for your ideas on reasons to go or not go, I heartily concur. When that unexpected thing happens to our Earth-bound ecology, what, exactly, is our safety strategy? And once there, water and soil could be extracted. Trillions of them. It's not as glamorous because we've been there before, but it gets us into technology development. I'm with you. In retrospect the first exporters of the "new world" seemed to die pointless deaths too, but their exploration and their expanding of the known world was not pointless at all. And they're experiencing all sorts of medical problems because of it. Too bad it’s such a jerk. There's not a snowball's chance in hell of a long-endurance spacecraft using the existing state-of-the-art in life-support and logistical technology to endure for 9 months in space. Minor problem. If we want a permanent off-world habitat, would it not be more worthwhile to devote energy to exploring the possibility of permanently-habitable, (near) self-sustaining space stations? That's a rather short [youtube.com]-sighted [imdb.com] perspective on things. it would be accurate to call Mars a veritable hell for living things, were it not for the fact that the planet's average surface temperature is minus 81 degrees Fahrenheit, Hell, that would be Venus: [wikipedia.org]. We have been maintaining human life on the space station for years.
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