Martian dust could pose health hazards because of the difficulty of removing it from space suits and boots. NASA learned during the Apollo space missions that moon dust was a much bigger problem than had been anticipated. They have reported in the past on the large amounts of dust that stuck to astronaut suits and boots. Fine grains stick to materials because of static electricity, and on Mars would likely be sucked into a controlled environment by an air-lock. Over time, health specialists fear the dust would build up in air filters and living quarters, adding yet another life threatening element to the list of other known hazards (traveling and landing safely, exposure to radiation and cosmic rays, etc.) for the people who seek to colonize the planet.
Reports given by experts in the space-health field suggest it might take longer for humans to build a colony on Mars than has been expected. Such experts speaking to attendees at the recent "Humans 2 Mars Summit" in Washington D.C. expressed concern about the dangers of Martian dust. They believe the health hazards posed by the Martian regolith could prevent humans from colonizing the planet anytime soon.
Originally posted by 727Sky
.....might take longer for humans to build a colony on Mars than has been expected......
Mars Direct is a sustained humans-to-Mars plan developed by Dr. Robert Zubrin that advocates a minimalist, live-off-the-land approach to exploring the planet Mars, allowing for maximum results with minimum investment. Using existing launch technology and making use of the Martian atmosphere to generate rocket fuel, extracting water from the Martian soil and eventually using the abundant mineral resources of the Red Planet for construction purposes, the plan drastically lowers the amount of material which must be launched from Earth to Mars, thus sidestepping the primary stumbling block to space exploration and rapidly accelerating the timetable for human exploration of the solar system.
The general outline of Mars Direct is simple. In the first year of implementation, an Earth Return Vehicle (ERV) is launched to Mars, arriving six months later. Upon landing on the surface, a rover is deployed that contains the nuclear reactors necessary to generate rocket fuel for the return trip. After 13 months, a fully-fueled ERV will be sitting on the surface of Mars.
During the next launch window, 26 months after the ERV was launched, two ore craft are sent up: a second ERV and a habitat module (hab), the astronauts’ ship. This time the ERV is sent on a low-power trajectory, designed to arrive at Mars in eight months – so that it can land at the same site as the hab if the first ERV experiences any problems. Assuming that the first ERV works as planned, the second ERV is landed at a different site, thus opening up another area of Mars for exploration by the next crew.
Originally posted by yourmaker
reply to post by redoubt
Just a random thought but if we're technologically proficient enough at that point to mine asteroids using autonomous robotics, there is an asteroid belt just behind Mars that we could extract minerals and potentially water as well.
We would need self guided supply systems though running essentially 24/7.
Or maybe we could learn about how to extract useful things from the Gas giants.
Originally posted by retirednature
I'm pretty sure that this will be engineered around. Please, like some dust is going to stop us? lol
ummm. make suits water proof and rinse them off.
Ummm... some how charge the exterior of the suit to repel dust from clinging to it.
Umm... loledit on 10-5-2013 by retirednature because: (no reason given)