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Colonizing Mars: Learn from history

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posted on Sep, 29 2009 @ 01:40 PM
I'm sitting here watching a special on colonizing Mars, and I'm struck by the idiocy of all of these PhD's, who don't seem to realize the simple lessons of history...

Historically, when people leave to colonize a new place, THEY DON'T PLAN ON COMING BACK! Most of the plans for colonizing Mars seem to depend on getting the people back to Earth. This is insane. Did the Pilgrims plan on shipping back to England? No, this was a commitment. They chopped up the boats and used the wood to build homes in the new world.

Earth has the infrastructure for launching space vehicles. Mars does not, so to get humans back, you'd really have to do some engineering and design a craft that could launch without a huge spacelaunch infrastructure. And, if any little thing went wrong with that ship, and your plan is to return home. You are screwed. Help is way too far (and too long) away.

If you actually send "colonists" to Mars (i.e. those who plan to stay on Mars, and make the most of the new opportunity), it will require far less money, time, and engineering. In addition, the trip to Mars (weightlessness) and the conditions on Mars, will cause human physiology to drastically change, as we've learned from prolonged orbital missions. Coming back to Earth would then place further strains on these bodies. Staying on Mars would not.

Sending colonists that won't return eliminates the need for a return to Earth vehicle. It is a huge cost saving endeavor, as well as saves years and billions in required engineering. We could send colonists to Mars within a few years, and using current technology, if we didn't plan on them coming back to Earth.

A lot of the plans also involve testing a Mars mission with a Moon base. This is absurd. This is like preparing for a swimming marathon by jogging. Two completely different environments. Mars is far more hospitable than the moon. It would seem strange to me to spend billions on a habitat module that protects against Lunar conditions versus Mars conditions.

Kennedy challenged America to go to the moon, and it was accomplished in a decade, and 40 years ago! Why the hell should we accept that it will take decades to go to Mars, when we've already landed craft there and roamed around? It is ridiculous, and I can only hope that eventually NASA and other space agencies and companies crack open the history books and learn something from our past pioneers......

posted on Sep, 29 2009 @ 03:00 PM
I agree and so does Buzz:

But establishing a colony on Mars is a lot more involved than the round trips of Apollo. Kennedy's mandate was the "landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth." Colonizing the Moon or any other planet is a vastly more ambitious task.

The transit time to Mars is nearly a year. There are problems with exposure to cosmic radiation for that period of time. Because of that transit time, the logistics of supplying the colonists become tricky (it will be some time before they could be completely self sufficient). Even the first colonists in the "new world" were not (remember Jamestown).

There are still a lot of things we don't know about living on another world, probably more than we do know. But I don't think we (the US) have to set up camp on the Moon. I think we can let other countries "practice" on the Moon and learn from them. But I don't think 30-40 years is too long. I'll be surprised if it were to take as little as that to establish a colony on Mars.

posted on Sep, 29 2009 @ 03:09 PM
It seems that humans just aren't ready to take that step, to commit to the bold frontier for the adventure of it all. At least not the idiots they have in charge of such things at least.

Using the Mars Direct program, it would cost $50billion for the first trip, with the price going down with every subsequent trip thanks the first trips establishing the survival habitats already and thus not needing that material in the later trips. Using the "Mars to Stay" variant of the program, you could send 20 colonists and everything they need for that $50billion.

I made a thread about the whole thing earlier in the month, The price of the banking bailout? 16 colony missions to Mars. We could have had a colony on Mars for 20 years now, the only technological hurdle remaining is Cosmic Rays and the shielding for that simply needs to have money thrown at it.

I would jump at a chance to move to mars and stay there for the rest of my life. Colonize another planet? Sign me up, the Real Estate prices in my 95% uninhabited country are far too expensive for me ever to afford them. Time to boldly strike out a new frontier for the human race!

posted on Sep, 29 2009 @ 03:33 PM
I believe we need to go further than colonizing Mars.
We need to Industrialize the Solar System.
A Space Stock Market for long and medium term pension funds etc.
The idea of going to Mars in a pod is merely a gesture, and a meek one at that.
The Pilgrims did not row a little boat, they bought the biggest ship they could afford.
Activities on Mars can only really be achieved with large support vessels.
Large support vessels can only be built on the Moon.
I would like to see a shipyard on the Moon, the use of Lunar Titanium and Aluminium as construction materials, He3 as a fuel for fusion drive?
Whomsoever builds a shipyard on the Moon is virtualy guaranteed a monopoly on space transportation for decades to come.
We need a new Brunel and a new Bloomberg.

posted on Sep, 30 2009 @ 08:25 PM

Originally posted by Cosmic4life
Whomsoever builds a shipyard on the Moon is virtualy guaranteed a monopoly on space transportation for decades to come.

I highly doubt there'd be only one corporation interested in such a task. The rewards are too great, competition would be fierce.

[edit on 30-9-2009 by Zero_Hour]

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