Terraforming Mars

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GIThruster
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Re: Terraforming Mars

Postby GIThruster » Wed Mar 11, 2015 1:35 pm

I read that about 20 years ago and recall there was a lot of excellent, out-of-the-box thinking there. The problem with it however, is it again relies upon trillion dollar projects that have to be completed before any significant benefit can be had, and no one is willing to spend like this. There is a great deal of self-supporting stuff in the book, but it's not all that way and if you have even one unfunded $100B project, you know you're dead in the water.

This is why I have come to the conclusion that the only way to reach a golden age of space travel is with a Spacedrive. It makes all the difference, because it requires no infrastructure except possibly on the pat of the company that builds the spaceships, and even that can be reduced to absurdly small compared to what Savage is proposing.
"Courage is not just a virtue, but the form of every virtue at the testing point." C. S. Lewis

GIThruster
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Re: Terraforming Mars

Postby GIThruster » Wed Mar 11, 2015 1:51 pm

93143 wrote:Empty space can't gain or lose momentum or energy based on what passes through some other region of empty space.

I'm also not a GR expert and I hesitate to dabble here, but I'll risk just a little more. When people are looking at the potential of the field on Mars and on Venus (or in Venus' atmosphere were we might get some CO2), and they consider the potential or slope of the gradient, it's very important to remember that the potential is a vector, not a scalar. It points in a specific direction. One expects one would form a wormhole in most instances, with an verticle opening, so the gradient isn't causing stuff to fall through, like a siphon, or a hole in the floor. If the opening is essentially vertical, like a normal doorway, gravity isn't pushing or pulling anything through in either direction, but pressure is. Hence my lack of concern for the potential at each end of the wormhole.

However, it is important to note, the hole is spherical at both ends. So if you have anything above the hole on either planet, it will indeed fall through if you let it. Whether it can fall out the other side is a different question, I have no idea how to answer. It may be that for terrestrial use, some sort of enclosure restrains matter like atmosphere from falling into the hole sans permission.

And for those who are quixotic enough to accept it, there is the description of the creatures crawling out of the wormhole on the Skinwalker ranch. The description was as if they had to make a serious effort to clamber through the opening, as if there were some sort of matter stream involved. Not sure what to make of that but will own that I know the physicists who were there, and I don't think they were misreporting. That's what they saw.
"Courage is not just a virtue, but the form of every virtue at the testing point." C. S. Lewis

93143
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Re: Terraforming Mars

Postby 93143 » Thu Mar 12, 2015 2:12 am

I think you're confusing the gravitational field with its potential. The field is a vector, yes. The field is the gradient of the potential, which is a scalar. Think of a hill - grade is a vector, but elevation is a scalar. And Mars is much further up the hill than Venus is.

It does not matter how you approach a difference in scalar potential. The amount of work required to traverse it is the same.

...

Also, a Visser or Krasnikov "stargate" is more of a 2D door and doesn't require you to traverse a shell of negative energy in order to use it...

Diogenes
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Re: Terraforming Mars

Postby Diogenes » Thu Mar 19, 2015 8:27 pm

I can see where this might be useful on Mars.



http://www.popsci.com/new-solar-film-se ... explosions
‘What all the wise men promised has not happened, and what all the damned fools said would happen has come to pass.’
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williatw
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Re: Terraforming Mars

Postby williatw » Fri Mar 20, 2015 9:32 pm

Mars One answers its critics




Image
Mars One CEO Bas Lansdorp answers questions about mission feasibility



In light of recent accusations levied against the Mars One project by one of the people selected to be a Mars settler, the project’s CEO, Bas Lansdorp, issued a response on Thursday in both a video and in a written interview on the project’s website. The accusation, made by Dr. Joseph Roche, indicated that some of the final 100 Mars settlers were selected for their ability to raise money for the project rather than their qualifications. Lansdrop accused the author of the article, Elmo Keep, of making false claims and being sensational.

The written interview goes into a little bit more depth about some of the issues facing the Mars One project. The project is currently working with a new, unnamed production company to get the reality show distributed. The $6 billion estimated cost of the project is valid since none of the people going to Mars will be returning to Earth. Funding, thus far, has been proceeding satisfactorily. Lansdorp did not directly address the MIT study that suggested that Mars One was not only infeasible given current technology and the estimated funding, but that it constitutes a complicated way to commit suicide.

Lansdorp also noted that the schedule for Mars One has slipped at least two years. He maintained that this should not be seen as a problem or even as something unusual. When a humans to Mars mission was first proposed for NASA in 1969, it was envisioned as taking place in the mid-1980s. The current target date for an NASA landing on Mars is in the mid-2030s, a 50-year slip. If course, NASA’s problems getting to Mars have been more political than financial or technical.


http://www.examiner.com/article/mars-on ... ts-critics


And from their website:

Mars One’s CEO Bas Lansdorp answers questions about mission feasibility

Amersfoort, 19th March 2015 - Mars One recently published a video in which Bas Lansdorp, CEO and Co-founder of Mars One, replies to recent criticism concerning the feasibility of Mars One's human mission to Mars. The video and the transcript of the interview can be found below.

What do you think of the recent news articles that doubt the feasibility of Mars One?

At Mars One we really value good criticism because it helps us to improve our mission. We get a lot of criticism from our advisors and that is also exactly what we want from them. The recent bad press about Mars One was largely caused by an article on medium.com, which contains a lot of things that are not true. For example, the suggestion was made that our candidates were selected on the basis on how much money they donate to Mars One. That is simply not true and this is very easy to find that on our website. There are a lot of current Round Three candidates that did not make any donations to Mars One and there are also lot of people that did not make it to the third round that contributed a lot to Mars One. The two things are not related at all and to say that they are is simply a lie. The article also states that there were only 2,700 applications for Mars One which is not true. We offered the reporter, the first journalist ever, access to our list of 200,000 applications but she was not interested in that. It seems that she is more interested in writing a sensational article about Mars One than in the truth.

Concerns have been voiced about the thoroughness of the astronaut selection process. What is your response to that?

We started our astronaut selection with over 200,000 applications that were submitted online. The application included a video and a lot of psychological questions for our candidates. We used that to narrow down the candidates to about 1000 that had to do a medical check, which was very similar to the check for NASA astronauts. All the remaining candidates then underwent an interview. The interview and all other parts of the selection process were lead by Norbert Kraft, our Chief Medical Officer. He has worked on astronaut selection for 5 years at the Japanese Space Agency and at NASA he researched crew composition for long duration space missions.

Interestingly, it is not so complex to determine who is not qualified to go to Mars, which is what we have been doing so far. Our next step is to find out, from the people who we think might be qualified, which ones have what it takes. The selection process will be much more thorough from here on. We will bring our candidates together, we will put them through team and individual challenges, there will be much longer interviews, and there will be much a bigger selection committee. This is the way we will determine who are good enough to enter our training process.

Will there be a revenue share between the candidates and Mars One when candidates participate in Mars One related commercial activities?

We are preparing a contract that our Round Three candidates will need to sign that deals with commercial activities. It is very important that Mars One controls which Mars One related commercial activities our candidates can participate in because we need to make sure that the different activities do not conflict with each other. There will be a revenue share because our candidates do not receive a salary from Mars One yet. That's why it is fair that our candidates get a part of what Mars One receives for those commercial activities. It is very different in my case because I get a salary from Mars One. When I do a keynote speech, the entire speaking fee goes to Mars One.

Actually, a lot of our candidates have indicated that they are not interested in receiving part of those revenues. Many want all the money to go to Mars One’s mission - but that is really up to them.

Does Mars One have a production company and a broadcaster for the astronaut selection documentary series?

We were very close to a deal with Endemol owned Darlow Smithson productions but in the end the deal fell apart on final details in the contract and therefore Mars One ended that cooperation. We have worked with a new production company since November of last year. They are currently selling the documentary series to an international broadcaster. There is no deal in place yet but it is looking very promising and there is a lot of interest.

Is a $6 billion budget enough for such a complex mission?

NASA’s lowest cost estimate that I have ever seen was about $35 billion but let’s not forget that the Mars One mission is very different. We are organizing a mission of permanent settlement where we do not need to worry about the return trip, which is where most of the complexity lies. The return trip involves developing bigger rockets that can get the systems to Mars, developing a bigger landing system to land the large components for the return mission on Mars, and developing a whole new launch system that can launch from Mars while even from Earth a launch is very difficult. Our $6 billion cost figure comes from good discussions that we have had with established aerospace companies from around the world. They have already been building systems for the ISS and for unmanned missions to Mars, which are similar to the ones we need. We are very confident that our budget will be enough.

How is the funding of the mission progressing?

The Mars One mission will primarily be funded through investments. We have had a very successful investment round in 2013, which has financed all the things that we have done up to now. We have actually come to an agreement with a consortium of investors late last year for a much bigger round of investment. Unfortunately, the paper work of that deal is taking much longer than we expected. I now think that it will be completed before the summer of this year, which means that we will not be in time to finance the follow up studies that Lockheed Martin needs to do for our first unmanned mission in 2018. This unfortunately means that we will have to delay the first unmanned mission to 2020. Delaying our first unmanned mission by two years also means that all the other missions will move by the same period of time, with our first human landing now planned for 2027.

So there is a two year delay, what does that mean for Mars One?

Going to Mars is very difficult, for example NASA has been talking about going to Mars in 20 years for more than 45 years now. Of course, NASA needs a return mission which is much more complex than our one way mission but it shows how difficult Mars exploration is. At the same time, Mars One has already achieved a lot. We have had our first contract with Paragon Space Development Corporation for the suits and life support systems, our first contract with Lockheed Martin for our unmanned mission, we have a very impressive board of ambassadors with a nobel prize laureate, and a great advisory board with people like Mason Peck, NASA’s former Chief Technologist. I believe we are on track and moving in the right direction. We may have a two year delay now but we show that people are interested in Mars One and in Mars exploration. People want this to happen and it is my conviction that as long as we can show that we are moving in the right direction, that we are getting the right companies under contract, and we are getting these contracts done, then the world will accept that we have a delay in getting our humans to Mars. Additionally, is it really a failure if we land our first crew two, four, six, or even eight years late? I would be extremely proud if we could make that happen and Mars One is still fully committed to keeping that on track.


http://www.mars-one.com/news/press-rele ... easibility

Tom Ligon
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Re: Terraforming Mars

Postby Tom Ligon » Mon Apr 06, 2015 11:37 pm

I just checked my "Space Show" listings for this week and Chris Carberry, CEO of Explore Mars, Inc has Tuesday, April 7. If you want to razz somebody about Mars plans, here's your chance to do it live. I'm one of several SF authors doing a SIGMA appearance at the H2M conference in May. Chris is pretty much putting that conference on.

You can listen to The Space Show podcasts live or play them back later. I've been a guest twice. More details on the shows, and instructions for listening live or playing back old shows are in the link below (keep in mind it will update weekly).

http://www.thespaceshow.com/newsletterfinal.htm

2. Tuesday, April 7, 2015: 7-8:30 PM PDT (10-11:30 PM EDT; 9-10:30 PM-1 PM CDT): We welcome back CHRIS CARBERRY, Executive Director of Explore Mars, Inc. Chris has many important and new updates for us.

williatw
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Re: Terraforming Mars

Postby williatw » Wed May 06, 2015 10:09 pm

How can our future Mars colonies be free of sexism and racism?

The white, male European conquerors of the New World and 19th-century American pioneers of Manifest Destiny still colour the space age, so is it a myth that we’ll turn nice on Mars?


Image
Space shuttle Discovery’s three female astronauts Dorothy Metcalf-Lindenburger, Stephanie Wilson, and Japan Space Agency astronaut Naoko Yamazaki in 2010. Photograph: Gary I Rothstein/EPA


We’re going to Mars – eventually. The quest to reach the dusty red planet is our version of Manifest Destiny, the 19th-century philosophy that saw Americans spread across their content with the thought and consideration of a chilly lover stealing the duvet in their sleep. There were a lot of different versions of it, but the main themes, as summarised by Wikipedia, should sound quite familiar:
The special virtues of the American people and their institutions;

America’s mission to redeem and remake the west in the image of agrarian America;

An irresistible destiny to accomplish this essential duty.

So 150 years later, Elon Musk (of Tesla and SpaceX) is arguably the most visible example of Manifest Destiny in the space age. He’s the de facto leader of a western “liberal technocratic” consensus that harbours a long-term ambition to put humans on the red planet. Not because they can, but because they feel we must. Phil Plait banged his hammer on this particular nail in a recent article for Slate in which he describes a tour of the SpaceX factory:


“[A] feeling I couldn’t put my finger on before suddenly came into focus. The attitude of the people I saw wasn’t just a general pride, as strong as it was, in doing something cool. It was that they were doing something important. And again, not just important in some vague, general way, but critical and quite specific in its endgame: making humans citizens of more than one world. A multiplanet species.”

Manifest Destiny. But historically, this kind of attitude has come with two big problems.

Firstly, destiny is rarely great for the people already at the destination. When Africans moved north to colonise Europe they obliterated the Neanderthals. When Europeans seized the New World, its cultures were virtually extinguished. Luckily the only population on Mars that we know of is a handful of rovers, but no doubt we’ll start a war anyway, before dragging them into some form of slavery or oppression. It’s just what we do.


Image

Second, whose destiny is it anyway? Who gets to go? D N Lee wrote a fascinating deconstruction of this in Scientific American where she makes a number of interesting points. Not least, how little attention this question has been given in the rather white and male race to conquer Mars.

The first objection she raises is to the idea that we’re “stuck” on Earth. “Stuck?! Why would we be stuck on Earth? Stuck implies left behind in a bad situation.” This is one bit I disagree with. As long as we’re on one planet, however good it is, we’re a single freak event away from joining the dinosaurs. Self-sufficient colonies elsewhere make for a good insurance policy. Her next point is critical though:


“I’m nagged by frames or narratives that are presented as universally attractive and necessary and heroic where the protagonists seem to mostly reflect Hollywood action movie casts and plots. *eye rolls*

“I began to question, first in my mind then out loud – whose version of humanity is being targeted for saving?”

To paraphrase Douglas Adams: “Space is white. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly white it is.” It’s also very male and European. Women in space-colony fiction have generally been presented as sexy walking vaginas, whose main purpose is to provide the male astronauts with a place to dock their penis at night. This being necessary in order to “ensure the survival of the species”.

If you think that attitude doesn’t exist in the real world, it’s worth recalling the comments of Prof Anatoly Grigoryev, a doctor and key figure in the Russian space programme. “Women are fragile and delicate creatures; that is why men should lead the way to distant planets and carry women there in their strong hands.”

No wonder Lee says, “I see only a very narrow invitation to this lifeboat.”



The problem with Lee’s argument is that she’s fighting against possibly the most pernicious space myth in existence, a myth far worse than moon landing conspiracy theories. It’s a myth almost universally believed, that sits at the core of liberal technocratic thought, and has been embedded in practically every other work of speculative fiction for the last half century.




You can sum it up like this: “When we go into space, we will all magically become nice.”

We see this in coverage of the space programme, with its endless propaganda about “cooperation” between nations, and promotion of the idea that clever people in tough situations produce the best humanity has to offer. It’s rampant in fiction, where shows like Star Trek assume that three centuries of civil rights progress will inevitably turn us all into morally-centered middle-class rationalists.

And it’s there, unspoken and unchallenged, at the heart of our current aspirations for space. There’s no room for discussion about social justice or equality when it comes to planning our future Mars colonies because we all just assume that decent educated scientists and engineers – the “right kind” of people – won’t have any problem with that sort of thing.

Except every available single scrap of historical experience tells us that this is an incredibly naive and dangerous assumption to make. Colonies and outposts are portrayed as lights in the darkness; hot spots of progress, ingenuity and adventure. That may be true to some extent, but they’ve also been places of crime, vigilante justice, tyrants, rape, pillaging, abuse and war. It’s true that when things get hard we can see the best in people, but oftentimes we see the worst too.


Meet three volunteers on the shortlist to be among four people on the Mars One programme, the first manned space flight to Mars

In fact we’ve already seen this in a Mars mission simulation that took place in 1999 and ended in chaos, as summarised by Helen Lewis in New Statesman:


“…the Russian captain forcibly kissed the only female crew member, a 32-year-old Canadian health specialist called Judith Lapierre. “We should try kissing, I haven’t been smoking for six months,” he reportedly told her. “Then we can kiss after the mission and compare it. Let’s do the experiment now.” Two of her Russian crew mates then had a fight so violent that it left blood splattered on the walls, prompting another member of the team, a Japanese man, to quit. Lapierre stayed only after the astronauts were allowed to put locks on their bedroom doors.”

The first woman to be raped in space has probably already been born. And if that last sentence makes you howl with protest or insist that such a thing just wouldn’t happen, then I’d stop a second and ask yourself why.


I’m a fan of SpaceX, after some initial scepticism. I think it’s usually better to do something, however imperfect, than nothing, and I admire people like Elon Musk who take on the hard challenges, and make progress in spite of naysayers. I think Lee is absolutely right though when she says:


“When we look around and see a homogenous group of individuals discussing these issues – issues that command insane budgets, we should pause. Why aren’t other voices and perspectives at the table? How much is this conversation being controlled (framed, initiated, directed, routed) by capitalist and political interests of the (few) people at the table?”

It’s early days, but if we really want to create a progressive new world then issues like these should be at the hearts of our efforts from the very start. I hope Musk and his peers open up that discussion sooner rather than later, and I hope that people like Lee can take part in it. The last thing we need is to wake up in 50 years and find that a bunch of #gamergate nobheads are running Mars.











http://www.theguardian.com/science/the- ... and-racism

choff
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Re: Terraforming Mars

Postby choff » Wed May 06, 2015 11:13 pm

'There’s no room for discussion about social justice or equality when it comes to planning our future Mars colonies because we all just assume that decent educated scientists and engineers – the “right kind” of people – won’t have any problem with that sort of thing.'

SJW(Social Justice Warriors) have ticked off a lot of people, try searching on Gamer Gate just to see how many results turn up. Online Gamer's, Atheists. Anti Feminists are all mad at them, most of these people see it as an attempt to end free speech and due process through intimidation tactics. There are no Martians to disadvantage so there shouldn't be that sort of problem to begin with.
CHoff

hanelyp
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Re: Terraforming Mars

Postby hanelyp » Wed May 06, 2015 11:57 pm

Psychological profiling of people sent on long missions or colonization can reduce incidence of trouble. But we remain human.

Gamers are a generally apolitical bunch, or at least don't have an overall bias. But with generally superior tactical and strategic thinking skills. Not a bunch you want to get on the bad side of.
The daylight is uncomfortably bright for eyes so long in the dark.

Tom Ligon
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Re: Terraforming Mars

Postby Tom Ligon » Thu May 07, 2015 12:04 am

Where did this May 6 burst of Mars news come from? I ask because I just got back from Day 2 of the Humans to Mars Summit. I'm one of the speakers at the 9 AM session tomorrow. I missed Day 1 ... maybe this was a discussion then?


http://h2m.exploremars.org/

williatw
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Re: Terraforming Mars

Postby williatw » Thu May 07, 2015 12:26 am

hanelyp wrote:Psychological profiling of people sent on long missions or colonization can reduce incidence of trouble. But we remain human.



Also if Musk succeeds in lowering the cost to 500K a ticket (to say nothing of how much lower it might get if our "propellantless drive" idea works out) just how profound would the "Psychological profiling" end up being? If they can afford the price of a ticket to Mars or elsewhere sure there would be a carrier who would happily take their money and deliver them. Private space colonies on Mars or elsewhere would likely not have any extradition treaties with earth governments; no telling what kind of flotsam and jetsam would end up being "washed up" on Mars' shores so to speak. Throughout most of American history if you killed someone in one State all you had to do was cross the state line into a neighboring state and you were home free. Even as comparatively late as the Bonnie and Clyde days they made use of that concept; hit a bank along the Ohio/Indiana border for instance, then make it across the state line, you were pretty much home free. One of the reasons the FBI was formed to address this.

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Re: Terraforming Mars

Postby kunkmiester » Thu May 07, 2015 1:25 am

Reducing the cost means increasing the number of people sent, and that eases social tensions. It makes other parts of dealing with that--sending dedicated psychologists and/or "leisure specialists" more reasonable. Most of the trouble is long times spent in cramped quarters with very few people--quite the opposite of what a colony shuttle would be.
Evil is evil, no matter how small

choff
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Re: Terraforming Mars

Postby choff » Thu May 07, 2015 6:23 am

Just for a fun experiment they should send a crew of politically correct cultural Marxists on a Mars mission and test their social theories while they attempt to establish a colony.
CHoff

Carl White
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Re: Terraforming Mars

Postby Carl White » Thu May 07, 2015 11:41 am

Sad to say it, but the same complaining will begin all over again on Mars, in my opinion.

Even if you sent a pure racial stock (if there is such a thing) and nothing else, they'd still find ways to divide themselves up. Human nature.

paperburn1
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Re: Terraforming Mars

Postby paperburn1 » Thu May 07, 2015 1:01 pm

In the 1990s, a sci-fi show Babylon 5, also tackled the problem of ethnic conflict. In the episode “Geometry of Shadows,” one subplot, played mostly for laughs focused on one of the groups of aliens, the Drazi. Every so often, their entire society fights. This ritual begins by members of the society randomly picking from a box a green or purple scarf. Once one has a green scarf, all greens become allies and all purples become adversaries. And then they fight. Once the fight is over, the winner gets to unify Drazi society.
I am not a nuclear physicist, but play one on the internet.


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