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New Rocket Is Ticket To Colony On Mars

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posted on Jan, 26 2016 @ 11:37 AM
New Rocket Is Ticket To Colony On Mars

This article, while mentioning the new SpaceX rockets, brings up a great point about any colony on Mars and their eventual self governance. Pay particular attention to the writer's reasoning why this is important due to many factors that 'could take place' here on Earth.

posted on Jan, 26 2016 @ 11:48 AM
a reply to: annalisa2016

Thanks for the link!

I'm particularly interested in how we're going to deal with the colonization of another planet at a law, and political level, as I can see a lot of issues coming into those fields.

From the article:

The establishment of a Mars colony would take our species to an entirely new level of potential. It would also raise many issues, including about the long-term legal status of the settlement and its inhabitants.

The 1967 Outer Space Treaty, which has been ratified by the United States and more than 100 other nations, stipulates that "celestial bodies" are "not subject to national appropriation." The fact that this prohibition is directed at nations rather than corporations such as SpaceX was not an oversight. Corporations exist by virtue of being incorporated under a national legal system. Their vessels — whether ships, airplanes or spacecraft — are registered under those laws and operate as extensions of national territory when they venture abroad. The East India and Hudson's Bay companies governed vast territories from the 17th to 19th centuries, but they did so under British royal charter and not as independent sovereigns.

However, the drafters of the Outer Space Treaty did overlook the mid-20th-century development of international human rights law and, most significantly, the principle of self-determination. Most Mars settlers will never return to Earth. Their children and grandchildren will be born on Mars and might, as the colony expands, wish to govern themselves.

posted on Jan, 26 2016 @ 11:50 AM
a reply to: annalisa2016

While it is true that a returnable rocket can drastically cut the expense of a launch for the stated reasons in the article, there is an aspect that bugs me and I've not seen it spelled out anywhere. What about the fact that a payload capability of a returnable must suffer drastically when the rocket must also carry itself and fuel for the return. I would suppose that the entire rocket is built sturdier than a "throw-away" model and those features too would cut into the amount of payload. Any body have a solid answer?

Actually, the article is more about a philosophical/political angle to colonizing another domain than about this rocket.

posted on Jan, 26 2016 @ 11:54 AM

originally posted by: Aliensun
a reply to: annalisa2016
What about the fact that a payload capability of a returnable must suffer drastically when the rocket must also carry itself and fuel for the return.

I would assume that there would be a specific rocket for citizens, and a specific rocket for materials, at least to some extent.

I can imagine that there would be a system for bringing materials to space, where a larger ship can transport it and not land at it's destination, but simply be unloaded by a number of these 'reusable rockets' once it can orbit the targeted planet.

Of course, that's probably going to be in the distant future, rather than within the next 20-30 years.

posted on Jan, 26 2016 @ 11:55 AM
a reply to: Aliensun

I noticed that too, the title of the article is a tad misleading, but I copied it verbatim.

posted on Jan, 26 2016 @ 01:15 PM
Although I appreciate the 'self-governance' issues raised by the article, I question the viability of a Martian colony. Colonies, by and large, are not created just because they can be. The Hudson Bay and East India companies fronted the cost of colonies in anticipation of a return on the investment. They sold stock in the companies, secured nation state militarys for protection, and shipped stuff back to Europe. And the colonies themselves were quickly self-sustaining. There were plenty of natural resources to keep them going, plenty of aerable land to grow crops. Their standard of living may have been less at first, but they didn't really NEED anything from Europe.

What does Mars have to offer? First, it is almost completely hostile to life, especially human life. The atmosphere is 1% as dense as Earth's. There is plenty of dirt, but no 'soil' in the sense of nutrients necessary for crop production. The average temperature is something like -50 degrees. There is some water, but it's not like you can dig a well. Mars is basically a barren desert.

Now maybe colonists could bring all that is necessary with them, and maybe they could get some crops growing in some greenhouses, make their own water, etc. and be kinda sorta self sufficient like Jamestown was (though those folks barely survived) None of those issues are insurmountable, but...

where's the trade-off? What does Mars have that would be valuable enough to dig up, scavenge, or otherwise procure that could be shipped back to earth at considerable expense and at least make the whole colony break even? We would have to discover something REALLY valuable to justify the expense, attract more colonists, and "settle" the planet.

And maybe there IS something there: Life in the caves, a cure for cancer lying on the floor. Exotic stuff that could sell for astronomical prices in Earth, a Dune-like "spice" that would spell immortality. It's possible even though we haven't found it yet. But right now except for our curiosity and need for adventure, there's not enough happening on Mars to get anywhere near the point the existing colonists would suggest they needed to be an independent state.

We need a more earth-like planet for that to happen, and I think we're pretty sure another one doesn't exist in our solar system. Bottom Line: A nice theoretical exercise.

posted on Jan, 26 2016 @ 06:01 PM
a reply to: schuyler

Fair point. At the moment, the best value in Mars colonization might be in preparation for truly interstellar voyages, assuming that the technology for visiting other stars becomes viable, sort of a test bed for setting up bases on exoplanets. Work out all the kinks on Mars before seeing what's on Alpha Centauri.
I do hope there is something on the Red Rock that is enticing enough to encourage financing and general interest, otherwise we'll spend the next five hundred years just mining asteroids before even seriously considering permanent settlement on another planet.

Shifting view to lunar colonies for a moment, is the Helium-3 resource still considered a viable, potentially lucrative resource?
The notion seems to have been lost in the world of science fiction and it's hard to get a sense of whether the prospect is real or not.

posted on Jan, 26 2016 @ 06:19 PM
a reply to: schuyler

Orbiting satellites have used shallow penetrating radar to reveal the sub surface conditions on Mars, and have located what might be massive deposits of water ice.

If the returns they came back with do indeed prove to be water ice, then a great deal of the concerns about the survivability of Mars as a location for human colonisation, would be chucked down the ladder a few rungs at least. If you do not have to bring all the water you need with you, or separate it from other chemicals in order to access it, then you have much less to worry about.

Furthermore, I do not know where you get the impression that there are no volatiles that might be useful for plant growth on Mars. That seems ludicrous to me. The surface layer of Mars is covered in a talcum powder like substance, soil which contains potassium, sodium, and other nutrient compounds. Additives will be required to bring it up to Earth standard, but we do not yet know the precise composition of the deep layers of the Red Planet. It may turn out that everything that is needed to create gardens under bio domes, full of the sort of plants and vegetables we need to eat, could be mined right there on the planet. Only extensive, human exploration is ever going to reveal the truth of the matter, and the sooner we get there, the better.

The real barrier, as far as I am concerned, is that we have, as yet, not developed an engine format that would allow us to launch, arrive, and return within a three week or less period. Until we do, I think it is entirely inappropriate to start moving human beings or material there for any reason. There must be hope of rescue or exfiltration in a timely manner, else the thing is entirely suicidal and not worth the effort. It was a three day shot to The Moon. If something had gone wrong up there, and any of the Moon missions had been endangered, as long as the lads could have rigged something to keep them from dying meantime, they could have been pulled out if the stops had been pulled out also.

We must give whomever goes to Mars, the same or better protection and support. That is the stumbling block. There, and back, and getting it happening as quickly as physics suggests might be possible on the raggedy edge of science, not relying on ancient fireworks with people strapped to the front of them. Until we throw off this ridiculous obsession with sitting on top of a bomb in order to get where we are going, I think Mars is a little too much of a Moon shot.

posted on Jan, 26 2016 @ 06:35 PM
a reply to: TrueBrit

A Mars colony might have to be a nocturnal one, or at least as far as the surface goes due to the Solar Radiation. In fact any living being would run the risk of DNA damage, by staying on the surface. Perhaps that's why the Rovers haven't seen any Martian natives yet. I wonder if they put night vision, on any of the vehicles?

posted on Jan, 26 2016 @ 06:55 PM
I don't think water per se is a problem because you can make it, but the soil is an issue. You can't just plant a seed in Mars dirt and expect anything to grow. In terms of getting there NASA is working on an Ion drive that would eliminate a lot of the distance issues, but there's no way yet to NOT use a rocket to get off this planet. In terms of practicing for staging we have a very convenient Moon a quarter million miles away. There's no getting around that Mars is an extremely hostile environment.

I'm not really negative on Mars. I'd love to see us go there and stay there, and having a viable colony that is self-sustaining is not the only reason to go. Perhaps a longer term solution should be discussed. I know Musk has suggested we terraform Mars, but I don't know the details.

And for anyone interested, check out The Martian, by Andy Weir. It is a fantastic movie and as close to the science as a movie ever will be.

posted on Jan, 26 2016 @ 07:29 PM
It kind of makes the mars one mission more realistic, especially with the possibility of round trips instead of one way.

posted on Jan, 27 2016 @ 04:57 AM
a reply to: schuyler

Personally, I think the best thing, in terms of the actual colonists, would be to build down, rather than erect habitation above surface. Digging underground and forming ones habitations subsurface would seriously limit the radiation exposure involved with daily living on the Red Planet.

posted on Jan, 27 2016 @ 05:20 AM
That was a good read, though I can't see a Martian Colony being left to rule itself without a LOT of interference by the UN.

Minerals etc will ensure that plenty of countries will want access and they'll fight tooth and nail to keep it.

As an aside, since Martian gravity is lower than Earth's, will future generations be taller and more slightly built than us Earthlings?

It could be an interesting divergence of humanity.

posted on Jan, 27 2016 @ 05:22 AM
a reply to: schuyler

In reality, we just need to get significant numbers of people off this rock as soon as is possible to do so.

Call it species insurance.

posted on Jan, 27 2016 @ 06:20 AM
I know that the idea will not please some people. But I read for some time Ummites tweets. I do not know if it's true, of course, but there are some very interesting information. Including that the human species is biologically linked to the Earth. A human settlement over several generations, eventually collapse. This would be due to the fact that each human cell sends, by boundary effect, a description of the environment (radiation, gravity, etc.) to a extradimensional structure that stores and sends information on the necessary biological changes to follow the changes in the environment. This solves one of the enigmas of the evolution of species, because natural selection does not explain everything.
So if the origin world of the species is changed radically, then the species is extinguished. What totally rethink our ideas about the long term colonization of other planets.
As it is a discovery that we have not yet made, the future will tell.
But Ummites tweets also warn that our economic civilisation will collapse in 2021 and that we will return to a time like the movie "Postman". So there will be no more money to go to Mars.

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