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Thread: One Way Trip to Mars?

  1. #1
    Member Sea Ray's Avatar
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    One Way Trip to Mars?

    NASA is in the planning stages of a one way trip to Mars in 2030. Sounds like a suicide mission to me. I think you'd have better luck colonizing the South Pole. The planet is not conducive to human life in many ways including the lack of oxygen and radiation due to the lack of an atmosphere. Others disagree with me, comparing it to voyages across the Atlantic Ocean in Christopher Columbus' time but at least when those folks arrived in the new world they knew they'd be able to breathe.

    What do you think?

    http://www.aolnews.com/surge-desk/ar...-mars/19692279

    We are going to Mars and not coming back.

    At a recent event in San Francisco, NASA Ames Research Center Director Pete Worden introduced the Hundred Year Starship initiative, a project to embark on a one-way mission from Earth to Mars by 2030 and permanently settle the red planet.

    "The human space program is now really aimed at settling other worlds," Worden said. "Twenty years ago you had to whisper that in dark bars and get fired."

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  3. #2
    Churlish Johnny Footstool's Avatar
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    Re: One Way Trip to Mars?

    NASA won't do it. The federal government will end up cutting deals with private companies, or sponsoring a "race to Mars" with a cash reward.
    "I prefer books and movies where the conflict isn't of the extreme cannibal apocalypse variety I guess." Redsfaithful

  4. #3
    GR8NESS WMR's Avatar
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    Re: One Way Trip to Mars?

    Mars is actually a prime candidate for terraforming. It will take many generations to complete, however.
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrap Irony View Post
    Calipari is not, nor has he ever been accused or "caught", cheating. He himself turned in one of his players (Camby) for dealing with an agent to get one Final Four overturned. The other is all on the NCAA and Rose. (IF Rose cheated.)
    "Cheering for Kentucky is like watching Star Wars and hoping Darth Vader chokes an ewok"


  5. #4
    Et tu, Brutus? Brutus's Avatar
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    Re: One Way Trip to Mars?

    There are some people that I hope are on that ship when it leaves.
    "No matter how good you are, you're going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you're going to win one-third of your games. It's the other third that makes the difference." ~Tommy Lasorda

  6. #5
    Titanic Struggles Caveat Emperor's Avatar
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    Re: One Way Trip to Mars?

    The biggest hurdle to leap before this plan stops being science-fiction, though, is the self-sustainability problem any Mars colony would face. Getting someone (or a group of someones) on Mars is tricky enough, having that individual or group be dependent on a constant stream of supply ships (as the ISS is, for example) is a surefire disaster (and probably outright impossible, given the issues with launch windows). For a colony to be viable, they would need a way to replenish their own supply of food, water, and oxygen. The ability of people to do that successfully, at this point, is questionable at best.

    Thinking out loud, I'm guessing you'd probably need to spend a few years just doing a massive number of "cargo launches" to put the components of a colony onto Mars (nuclear reactor of some sort, habitats, labs, etc.), a year or two of "consumables launches" (water, food, etc. to keep the colonists alive until they colony can start sustaining itself), follow with an initial flight of people to construct the main colony and finally follow with the final main flights of colonists. Looking at it that way, it becomes an extremely long term project. Long term projects are nice, but it's hard to operate when at any time, the budget can be re-adjusted by a new administration or new set of priorities in Washington.

    The other big problem with the plan is it's the kind of thing you can't go halfway on -- you need to go big. If you're looking to establish a permanent colony, you need more than just the sci-fi movie cast of 7-8 science-type people. I don't know that you can find enough people willing to risk their lives on such a mission who ALSO have the necessary skills to be successful and productive colonists.
    Last edited by Caveat Emperor; 10-28-2010 at 03:32 PM.
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  7. #6
    Just The Big Picture macro's Avatar
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    Re: One Way Trip to Mars?

    I watched a show on NatGeo or one of those channels a few months ago where they showed humans altering the climate of Mars to match Earth's, complete with trees, grasses, lakes, clouds, etc. It took hundreds of thousands of years to complete, however. That's some long-term thinking and planning right there.

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  8. #7
    GR8NESS WMR's Avatar
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    Re: One Way Trip to Mars?

    Quote Originally Posted by macro View Post
    I watched a show on NatGeo or one of those channels a few months ago where they showed humans altering the climate of Mars to match Earth's, complete with trees, grasses, lakes, clouds, etc. It took hundreds of thousands of years to complete, however. That's some long-term thinking and planning right there.
    Hundreds of thousands??? The projections I have seen for successfully terraforming Mars are more in the range of 3-500 years.
    Last edited by WMR; 10-28-2010 at 04:33 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrap Irony View Post
    Calipari is not, nor has he ever been accused or "caught", cheating. He himself turned in one of his players (Camby) for dealing with an agent to get one Final Four overturned. The other is all on the NCAA and Rose. (IF Rose cheated.)
    "Cheering for Kentucky is like watching Star Wars and hoping Darth Vader chokes an ewok"


  9. #8
    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: One Way Trip to Mars?

    Instead of this why not make sure we don't ruin the planet we already have?

  10. #9
    GR8NESS WMR's Avatar
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    Re: One Way Trip to Mars?

    Quote Originally Posted by westofyou View Post
    Instead of this why not make sure we don't ruin the planet we already have?
    Aww, that's no fun. :
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrap Irony View Post
    Calipari is not, nor has he ever been accused or "caught", cheating. He himself turned in one of his players (Camby) for dealing with an agent to get one Final Four overturned. The other is all on the NCAA and Rose. (IF Rose cheated.)
    "Cheering for Kentucky is like watching Star Wars and hoping Darth Vader chokes an ewok"


  11. #10
    GR8NESS WMR's Avatar
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    Re: One Way Trip to Mars?

    here's another reason woy.

    Another purpose for terraforming Mars is the supposed escape of life on Earth from future destruction. Life will not be capable of sustaining itself on Earth forever. About 7.6 billion years from now, the Sun will reach its maximum size as a red giant: its surface will extend beyond Earth’s orbit today by 20% and will shine 3,000 times brighter.[3] If there is any life left on Earth by this time, it will probably be destroyed. The chances are that the Sun will expand and destroy Mercury and Venus in the process, and Earth will be too hot for life to exist. However, the Sun will lose a significant fraction of its mass in the process of becoming a red giant, and there is a chance that Mars and all the outer planets will escape as their resulting orbits will widen. Earth's fate is less clear. Earth could technically achieve a widening of its orbit and could potentially maintain a sufficiently high angular velocity to keep it from being engulfed. In order to do so, its orbit would need to increase to between 1.3 AU (190,000,000 km) and 1.7 AU (250,000,000 km).

    It is speculated that Earth will be out of its habitable zone before the Sun enters its Red Giant phase.[3] Astronomers estimate that the Sun will be 33% more luminous in three billion years. The heating Sun and increased solar radiation will evaporate the Earth's oceans away, and the Earth will eventually become molten again. The habitable zone would eventually move farther out to Mars, giving Earth's inhabitants some thousands of additional years to develop further space technology to settle elsewhere in the Solar System.
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrap Irony View Post
    Calipari is not, nor has he ever been accused or "caught", cheating. He himself turned in one of his players (Camby) for dealing with an agent to get one Final Four overturned. The other is all on the NCAA and Rose. (IF Rose cheated.)
    "Cheering for Kentucky is like watching Star Wars and hoping Darth Vader chokes an ewok"


  12. #11
    Titanic Struggles Caveat Emperor's Avatar
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    Re: One Way Trip to Mars?

    Quote Originally Posted by westofyou View Post
    Instead of this why not make sure we don't ruin the planet we already have?
    I perfer to look at it as: why not make sure we've got someplace to go if we do ruin the planet we have?
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  13. #12
    A Little to the Left Redsfaithful's Avatar
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    Re: One Way Trip to Mars?

    Isn't there a huge extinction event every couple hundred thousand years? Asteroid collisions, things like the Yellowstone caldera exploding, ice ages, etc. etc. I seriously don't think humanity needs to worry about the sun exploding in 7 billion years, we'll be extinct long before that.

    Also saw this yesterday, the cost of going to Mars is estimated to be $145 billion. The war in Iraq has cost $700+ billion so far. Seems like a bargain comparatively.
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  14. #13
    Be the ball Roy Tucker's Avatar
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    Re: One Way Trip to Mars?

    I think I'd wait for v2.0 of the Mars colony before hopping on a rocket ship.

    As a wannabe astronaut kid of the late 50's/early 60's, I've got books that show the first Mars colony taking place in 1975. A wee bit off in that prediction I'd say.

    Pay attention to the open sky

  15. #14
    Member medford's Avatar
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    Re: One Way Trip to Mars?

    As long as you could establish some means of communications with earth, the really, really smart people could tell the people willing to take the risk and capable of finishing instructions what to do. I'd think the later group of people willing to do that is bigger than anyone might think.

    Sure you'd have to be off your rocker a bit, you'd probably have to have little on Earth to live for (so to speak) in terms of family, wife, etc...but think about the long term glory. Neal Armstrong will be in history books 1,000 years from now. John Glenn? maybe. You're typical president will be a footnote in American history. One of the people to first land on mars? There would be a whole chapter devouted to you. Stuff like that motivates people to do things they wouldn't otherwise do.

    Personally, I think finding 8-12 people capable of doing the job (assuming you can establish some form of communication) will be easy compared to the logistics of getting them there, getting the supplies neccessary to keep them alive long enough to get more supplies there and establish some form of base that will allow for more people to reach and in habit Mars (or if any women go at first allow for the birth of children). A 100 year project, you betch ya, and then some. Its going to take some serious long term commitment, that will span several administrations and countries, as well as the politics involved.

    Think about it, any person that goes mentally unstable and becomes a physical threat to the others is doomed to death (explusion to the environments which they couldn't survive) to maintain the safety for all. Any person that somehow catches a severe long term illness that is in anyway contagious, will be dealt a similar fate. There will be issues that will come up that we can't even think of today due to the nature of the situation. Things we can deal with easily on Earth, but would be certain death sentances in an early Mars establishment.

    Still, wouldn't it be cool to watch it unfold?

  16. #15
    The Lineups stink. KronoRed's Avatar
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    Re: One Way Trip to Mars?

    Isn't this how The Martian Chronicles began?
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