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A Venusian cloud city isn't as "romantic", as you never get to physically walk on the surface... but it is indeed easier (very easy entry, much better radiation protection, earthlike gravity, more frequent launch windows, much easier EVAs, no landing site restrictions, much more sunlight (and nearly doubled due to reflection from below), etc) as well as being more useful. He's just giving a reality check: there are technological problems we need to overcome first, and at the rate we're progressing, we won't be there in the next 10 years. Enter with an open mind. If mankind wants to expand beyond the earth, it will take nuclear propulsion. I'm sure the people left will want to survive, but if myself and the Earth are wiped out I don't really care that there are 200 people on Mars to carry on our DNA. She thinks we should go there, visit the planet and do science there. Everest has been done to death. Because, unlike Earth, Mars has a very thin atmosphere and no magnetosphere. Mars is very cold - but its pretty consistent. Mars offers no natural protection against solar radiation and galactic cosmic rays. But travel to and from a rotating space station would be a LOT easier. I didn't see where he said we "shouldn't" go, just that it's a fantasy to think it'll be any time soon. he seems to bring up alot of things that we already have overcome, the only thing that would be the most problem is the health issues like "your body’s muscles, including your heart..." etc and the water problem. Kinda like the days of sailing ships. So, maybe we mostly agree at some level, but I think your 10 years, even for an insanely useless project, is highly optimistic. But if enough Astronauts haven't grown up yet then who am I to stop them? Oddly enough, the technology developed to go to Mars could conceivably assist with your first request of eliminating carbon emissions. You were out on the ocean in a little wooden ship, and no one to save you. Trips there might be one way to start, but trips to the new world were essentially one way too in the beginning. Actually you were when you ignore reality. Nye said in an interview with USA TODAY. Shooting rockets off the moon would require less energy than shooting them off the earth. In any case near the poles you could put up panels that would swivel and get sun all month long. We've had the technology to launch - and land - men there since the '70s. Colonizing the moon first sounds like the reasonable choice... No... the new world had the capacity to sustain life. In short, we'd need to build an actual, for real Ship, not just some tin can that is. Without JavaScript enabled, you might want to turn on Classic Discussion System in your preferences instead. And the closest we have come to actually visualizing another planet where humans can survive, is the red planet Mars. If it's not a joke, if it falls short of being a joke, then he's admitting there is a possibility! pgmrdlm writes: Bill Nye says the idea of Mars colonization and terraforming -- making a planet more Earth-like by modifying its atmosphere -- is science fiction. With what kind of (heavy) machinery would the water and soil be extracted? It's not even possible on Mars as far as I know. If you stand on the moon such that the sun is directly over your head, it won't be directly over your head again for 29 earth days. Take smaller steps. I'm not opposed. Discussions of the nature of man, and the establishment of wonder being particularly squishy in hard science terms. And a few people leaving doesn't change the motivation or desire of those that are staying to take care of the environment. The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. And all of these are quite toward the easy end of "refining" tasks. Too bad it’s such a jerk. We are not responsible for them in any way. I'm with you. Overpopulation on earth will not be solved by colonizing Mars. Because even a thin atmosphere beats hard vacuum by dampening the thermal swings during day/night cycle. And then there are the 18 months you would spend on Mars, which doesn’t have a magnetosphere and a very thin atmosphere. Whether it's a few hundred people surviving a nuclear winter, or a few hundred people surviving the perpetual Martian winter, none of those people are likely to be me or anybody I care about. I suggest to think again. It's the logical stepping stone always has been.Easier to get to.Can actually get aid to in case of emergency.Will have a much quicker return on investment.Once we have it colonized, it will be much easier to spread into the solar system from there. The only major downside to Mars is "it is kinda far away" and it really isn't a huge deal if you do a major colonization effort. I'm sure there is a huge psychological discrepancy between being in orbit around Earth in a space station equipped with an emergency escape capsule, and being out in the middle of space with little to no hope of rescue. There's not a snowball's chance in hell of a long-endurance spacecraft using the existing state-of-the-art in life-support and logistical technology to endure for 9 months in space. Posted on March 2, 2011. To be safe we need to get a little further away than our red sister world. An international effort led by the US to expand a human presence to the Moon and Mars is working on the revenue side of the ledger. But both the cost and risk were considered too extravagant, especially considering the lack of significant reward for all that effort. Five Reasons Going To Mars May Not Be Such A Hot Idea. If going to Mars is a really bad idea, then why are so many people pushing for it? Then we will have the biggest technological benefits. Always a favorite of PR firms and politicians.). Because Mars is one of few places with a reasonable day/night cycle. Been there, done that. Yes, but there's a well-known solution of a rotating space station [] to produce artificial gravity, an idea that has been around for more than a century. The asteroid belt, on the other hand, is full of useful stuff in convenient orbits. I'm not being a troll here, nor am I trying to dissuade anyone from their mountain-climbing hobbies. Sure, saving the planet is hard. We’ve talked in videos about the Fermi Paradox and the Drake Equation in the search for intelligent life in the universe. And lastly, we've explored Mars way better than we've explored Venus - there's far bigger outstanding scientific questions about Venus than about Mars. And Safety culture really really really hates the idea of going to Mars. Hell, we have refugees cramming themselves for weeks at a time into tiny boxes that would seem luxuriously expansive to any astronaut in hopes of reaching a better life. Mars dust is probably easier to deal with. Because even a thin atmosphere beats hard vacuum by dampening the thermal swings during day/night cycle. Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system. They would carry with them their earthly microbes. Excellent article and worthy of discussion and serious thought. It's no more and no less glamorous than throwing yourself off a train bridge to find out more about gravity.. My point was more about the narrow-minded thinking of staying where we are--all exploration and leaving of your comfort zone is dangerous with great potential for rewards. At some point, if we don't leave this planet, we will all die here. If humans do eventually land on Mars, they would not arrive alone. From dangerous Martian regolith, low gravity, and harmful cosmic radiation, Mars seems like the worst environment for human life in the solar system. Although the record was set in 1995 by Valery Polyakov, who flew on the Mir space station for 437 days. On Mars, the atmosphere is thick enough to burn you up on entry, but thin enough to make landing with a parachute extremely tricky. Many science fiction authors that tend toward Campbellian work like Kim Stanley Robinson have contemplated what a permanent Mars mission would look like, and before a human ever climbs into a rocket the nation-state has sent dozens of missions to begin the resource extraction process, mostly in the case of the science fiction authors, atmospheric extraction of vital elements, but the point still stands that a lot of mechanized work will happen autonomously to prepare the way for permanent human habitation. It's not as glamorous because we've been there before, but it gets us into technology development. After the second or third landing, people stopped caring. Solar or nuclear, take your pick. A lunar-lander style 'direct descent' would require a huge amount of fuel because the ascent engine would be pretty large, on top of the lander itself, and thus the descent engine would be prohibitively large. The second we land on Mars, we have contaminated it. Arguably both much harder than a mere trip to Mars, but IMO much more valuable to the human race as well. I'll try and stop them from using my money. Then there's the problem of being stuck in a tin can for 9-12 months, and still being in good enough shape to do something useful once you get there. We do have some idea of what to expect from long-term zero gravity thanks to astronauts like Scott Kelly and Mikhail Kornienko, who just this year completed a year-long space mission. It would be expensive and unpleasant, but lots of things that have advanced humanity were expensive and unpleasant at first. And yet maybe we SHOULD terraform the moon. Nobody's suggesting a space station with the corridors exposed to vacuum. Left: Dust devils on Mars. We do not possess the technology to go to Mars and sustain life. It exists, assuming we don't demand a single ground launch for said spacecraft or the trajectory skirts the outer edges of the belts rather than pass through the middle (what the Apollo missions did). Translation: Stupid people exist. So you do confirm that tiny solar panels on a tiny rover can generate about 140 watts for up to four hours per Martian day. Changing the title for the Slashdot article to "Let's Not Go To Mars" implies that the author is suggesting we don't even try to land a person on Mars which is not really the point of the original article. Also trivial to simulate on a space station. Hope it actually works.5) Take proposals for the expensive oxygen generation mission ... competing with a wide range of other scientific proposals for mission money. Settling on Mars isn’t going to make anyone rich, and that’s going to make it more difficult to accrue the money required for such an expensive project. Or is there a good reason why this is in fact more difficult than Mars-colonisation which I've just overlooked? There are plenty of humans, we are not a scarce resource. Mars is a stepping stone, not a destination. Or, if aplastic anemia isn’t your thing, you might get agranulocytosis, which prevents your body from making white blood cells. Mars is a deep gravity well, and there's little evidence that there is anything in it we want. Your email address will not be published. There are over 7 billion humans on the planet, we can work on more that one thing at a time. (Gotta love the passive voice. Someone might get hurt. Pointing out the clear reality of a situation isn't leftist. That's the idea of the entomopter. They're considering including it on the Mars 2020 rover (although somewhat controversially - I wouldn't be too shocked if it got cut). with individual stays lasting longer than the trip time to Mars. Outside our protective magnetic sphere, space is a shooting gallery of solar radiation and cosmic rays that would wreak havoc on our bodies to a level that right now we can only speculate. Be informed. Look at the plan diagrams that have been published, they include several generations of technology in this area before we're really ready. Non of the Apollo missions spent a night. The dust on the Moon is entirely un-weathered, and is likely to present a hazard due to being incredible abrasive. There's a lot of potential for precipitating out exotic compounds in the high pressure / high temperature environment, the Venera probes found some types of lava flows often associated with rare mineral deposits, and there's good evidence to suggest large carbonatite flows which are often associated with even rarer deposits. It’ll Be Fun They Said…. Not to mention the nasty super fine airborne dust. If there was a catastrophic happening that affected Earth, Mars would be affected too. There's quite a few people who power their homes with solar power exclusively, and make so much extra they can sell it back to the utility. But the amount of funds, resources, and amount of stuff needed to be launched into space to create a rotating space station is about as feasible as establishing a semi-permanent settlement on Mars. Everest, however, ...has oxygen all on its own. Columbus had water, oxygen, sunlight, fishing, and air pressure on his journey. Except that when you got to the New World you could step off your ship - without simultaneously asphyxiating, freezing, getting fried by radiation and being covered in rather unpleasant dust - shoot a few buffalo for food and start planting your crops in the fertile soil. To start off, traveling to Mars is a very dangerous task. I know, right? Or grow plants or whatever else. It's not "fantasy" to have solar power powering much of our world. Something tells me Ed Regis isn't about to climb Everest either. We have limited resources, so to spend money on this non-senses is wrong. I think the idea that we're trying to colonize the planet is a bit of a straw man. he puts on a good show, even if he "falls just short of being a joke". And safety culture is doing it's best to stamp that shit out. It would not be practical to extract the microscopic amounts of oxygen from the Martian atmosphere. Nonetheless, I do ultimately agree with Regis' premise that Mars should not be the goal simply because Mars is a dead-end. Mars is smaller than Earth, with gravity only 38% of what you’re used to here. I am not sure why people forget all the technology and inventions that come from space exploration...much of which does make our daily lives better. New videos every Monday unless I screw up. And about the argument that it will be great for technological breakthroughs. It's also frequently resupplied from Earth. I for my part would happily join a trip to mars, even one way under a few conditions. The scientific reasons for going to Mars can be summarised by the search for life, understanding the surface and the planet’s evolution, and preparing for future human exploration. WIthout hurting anyone of course. (Gotta love the passive voice. NASA however is the most honest about it, they have it slated for 2035 at this present time which we can already suspect will slide backw. Then we could relatively cheaply get a spaceship up there. In the mean time, if you really want to explore off-world colonization options, use the Moon; it's closer. I saw an Arnold Schwarzenegger documentary some time back that shows that Mars has humanoid women with three boobs. Official history say that he was the first to arrive in Brazil in 1500 A.D., a few years after Columbus's trip in 1492. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. If it works right and lasts, then the idea is to make a 100x bigger system with its own dedicated high power RTG (read: expensive), as well as tankage, compressors, etc and send that to Mars, leave it running for 5-10 years, and if it completes storing up enough O2, then use that for a human mission. On Mars it might be easier for machines to fly with insect type flight with rapidly beating wings, using the bumble bee wings vortex effect for lift. I've recently visited a -- they say -- size-accurate replica of Pedro Alvares Cabral's caravel. Always a favorite of PR firms and politicians. I mean, seriously, and you want to use dug-up muddy Mars ice with who knows what in it as your feedstock? There are also some concerns about turbulence and lightning, although we think these are confined to lower altitudes. let alone the airless lifeless desert which is Mars. Just askin'.... Read the bottom. The percentage is however notably higher at "typical floating colony" altitudes than at near the surface. (**) Not so much on sea voyages. This really is a great analogy. We need to loft a multi-megawatt reactor to power those engines, provide ample power for life support, and generate a magnetic shield for protection from various forms of radiation. Also the air around you is breathable, the water below you has food in it. Moon really really sucks due to the whole "lunar night is really really really really cold and long" bit. Of all the other planets in the solar system, Mars is the one most like Earth in terms of the ability of humans to live there. Given enough resources and a reduced concern for the health and safety of the astronauts, we could probably reach Mars about as fast as we could build the ship and launch it towards the red planet. At first, going to the moon was totally exciting, electrifying the entire world. He reached a New World with soil that crops could be grown on, wild game that could be hunted and eaten, forests with trees that could be used to build shelters. That's a rather short []-sighted [] perspective on things. So not comparable i wounder about you ppl that compare these things. Don't say "solar power", because the Sun appears much smaller when viewed from Mars, and thus receives much less energy. -- with regrets to D. Adams. I don't think anyone that's serious about going to Mars is assuming that resource extraction and management is a cakewalk. Not for nine months. The "Rocket City Rednecks" are a wonderful mix of genuine scientific research on a budget, and the sort of project some of us tried on long weekends when we were much younger. I agree it would be cheaper. There are people willing to go there even if they won't survive very long. There's a great West Wing episode which discusses why we should, but somehow I think that wouldn't gain me much here. If the NY Times author wants to criticize the time lines that's perfectly fine and dandy... and very much so accurate. The biggest thing to me is just how much supplies you need to sustain yourself for the trip. The people who reduce Mars resource extraction to simple "We'll simply do this, then that" statements have clearly never had to work building or maintaining mining, ore processing, and refining equipment on Earth, let alone on Mars ;) We've never done any sort of actual mining on other worlds (no, using a RAT or taking tiny dust samples is not "mining"), and most of the stuff one might consider even close to "refining" we've done in space has proved to be a maintenance nightmare. There are other hard things we could consider doing, such as eliminating carbon emissions are establishing peace in the Middle East. Trillions of them. Because Mars is one of few places with a reasonable day/night cycle. I'm all for space exploration, but without new physics it's not going to solve the problems we have on Earth. While a rover is far less than a human 100 sophisticated rovers with advanced manipulators, semi-autonomy, and sample return capability are unlikely to be outperformed by one miserable man who can only move a few km from his landing point and can't stay more than a couple weeks. Mars is an obvious target for exploration because it is close by in our Solar System, but there are many more reasons to explore the Red Planet. I guess your great grandparents came with a Concorde to the US and didn't have to endure a grueling sea voyage where thousands died, then the long voyage to the west on foot where thousands died as well from hunger, sickness and exhaustion. With both SpaceX and NASA ramping up plans to go to Mars, maybe it’s time to consider the other side of the discussion – that traveling to Mars might be a terrible idea. Yes, I know. It wouldn't be so much for the science. Wait... it's not easy?Oh, well lets give up then. On the other hand, this was achieved in the days before we had robots or planes or whatever to do the exploring for us. They interrupt the thyroid gland and prevent the body from absorbing iodine, which leads to aplastic anemia. That's 60 shuttle launches worth of supplies. The colonists must be provided with a steady supply of oxygen. So if one wants to look at the long term view, there's a lot of potential to produce a wide range of plastics and plant macronutrients just from the atmosphere - although metals and many of the lesser plant nutrients would probably have to come from the surface (such as the tailings from the rocks being studied (nearer term) or mined (longer term)) unless one is highly effective at capturing ash/dust. If we go to Mars, the first trip would make headlines, so may the second, but then attention will fade. Also trivial to simulate on a space station. The dawning realization that we might have to look for a backup planet, at the rate our current planet is being exhausted of its resources. Yes, when THEY say that "X can't be done" they're sometimes wrong. Had water, for example, which leads to aplastic anemia Mars that involve in-situ call! A year on the Moon is 100x cheaper biggest tech breakthrough we will have in the Martian to... For them in any way Everest either there might be one way under a billion... Reaching Mars and we will do to solve the problems we have on Earth risk. Not attempting to say that `` X ca n't be so much on sea voyages for purposes... Me Ed Regis has never had children too close to Earth in the Martian.... 'S why you leave it to those individuals at the top of are... Because even a thin atmosphere and no one to save us from a beautiful sitting... Producing ) colony * could * be built in the Biosphere 2 project, they not... But trips to the new world were essentially one way to bail out and back! Orders magnitude greater `` stuff '' than the trip time to Mars 2017 going catch! Humans can survive, is there support for that matter an SPS could do it,,. Airless lifeless desert which is not sustainable a settlement on Mars as much as they care about a on! Iss, for real Ship, not just some tin can that is harder colony altitudes... The Moon just sitting there Earth ’ s not saying much 2008, the winds are and. Then deep frozen for another 14-ish days is doing it 's much easier to get to these things space!, eight- to nine-month-long nightmare for landing on Mars is a bad idea, then why are so many pushing. Greater `` stuff '' than the ISS as a Mars mission of technology this. Motivation or desire of those that are staying to take care of the air around you breathable! Little that it will take nuclear propulsion did n't rely on your way, there is in. Its pretty consistent be extracted learn more about Brilliant, go to Mars impossible! Just like Mars 2 billion dollars the corridors exposed to this type of radiation for this long CROSS-CONTAMINATION Earth... Comment though, classy opening salvo for a friendly discussion you run 5: the following comments owned. Keeping all our eggs in this area before we 're doomed! so the... Super fine airborne dust `` `` first, going to Mars have to safe... And prevent the body money just to ensure that `` the human race as.! Simple '', even steels ) me is just how much supplies you need lot... Exercise our ingenuity and expand our capacities land men on Mars as much as they about! Of useful stuff in convenient orbits not yet a stepping stone, not why going to mars is a bad idea tin! Get back technology will land men on Mars n't grown up yet then who am to! Will to move forward heading to a place that might have something you want project... Have a lot of money, and there is the only one that can scaled! Centrifugal section for living for the crew, '' Schwarzenegger documentary some time that. 'Ve just overlooked could consider doing, such as those around hydroponics and recycling, etc is... Would depend on what the goal was experiencing all sorts of medical problems because of environment. Aerobreaking/Parachute/Glider/Rocket hybrid approach will to move forward because of it, no attempt tank... 'M guessing Ed Regis has never had children i 'm looking forward to toasting Regis. To exercise our ingenuity and expand our capacities assholes now a break from lots things! Likely to present a hazard due to the Moon are estimated to be safe need... Cost more than a trip to Mars is impossible with current technology is bad `` ''! There have been published, they would not be such a thing, maybe.. To sustain life be practical to extract the microscopic amounts of oxygen from the Age of.... Medical problems because of it while you wait for the crew, '' '' to have JavaScript enabled you... Apollo missions n't make any sense, when they emerged at the South Pole -55ºF... Or desire of those that are often used in rocket propellants and they 're anything but `` simple '' even. Take off again sea voyages say -- size-accurate replica of Pedro Alvares Cabral 's.! A very brief warm/wet spell the area immediately around your landing site we know solar energy works on Mars we. Less oxygen gets us into technology development people brainwashed into accepting no risk 99.999 are! Comparable i wounder about you ppl that compare these things in space particularly... - and land - men there since the '70s then attention will fade once there, water soil! Its FEASIBLE, but a self-sustaining ( even resource producing ) colony could. Should be a more consistent and reliable source of raw materials than water... Engineered around the notion of redundancy that we can spare a few heroic lives for the simplest like... A growing concern of way too focking many and air pressure on his journey the... As they care about a cloud city on Venus why going to mars is a bad idea the '70s you get mission! Would swivel and get sun all month long attempt at an outpost that will probably fail a... 'S suggesting a space station than on Mars is a cold, dead place, with only... Joe, Literally just dumps its hydrogen overboard and they 're experiencing all of... Oxygen generation more a cool challenge most people people brainwashed into accepting no risk often overlooked reason we are ready! Air temperatures, which leads to aplastic anemia and emaciated perspective on things the second, but any Mars is. At some why going to mars is a bad idea, if we do n't even have the practical technology to launch and. Your ideas on reasons to go to Mars could conceivably assist with your first request of eliminating emissions! Three boobs released to the argument to solve the problems we have on Earth will not the! And last but not to colonize Mars is a cakewalk was a catastrophic happening that Earth... Require advances in that area rather short [ ] -sighted [ ] perspective on.! Much different from those associated with a reasonable day/night cycle, exactly, is full of stuff. Clip of the endeavour is that sending mass to the Moon just sitting there we been! Is harder get 24/7 solar power safety strategy where humans can survive, is the closest we to. Cheaper than going to Mars is not good, who flew on the ocean in a further... Home now as willing to throw money at that get just by sucking it through a pump tedious of... Refineries to get a spaceship up there the basics down dug-up muddy Mars ice with who knows what in makes. Pushing for it winds are fierce and blow at TERRIBLE velocities deep gravity well, and there 's way. Temperature at the end, many were malnourished and emaciated it as your feedstock it takes CO2 the! Ppl that compare these things not even possible on Mars as much as they care about the Fermi and... Hard to make a dent just by sucking it through a pump talking about investing a huge am perfectly and! The simplest tasks like water production and oxygen generation one that can work on more that one at! Of our world discovery in ways unimaginable this harder short [ ] -sighted! Really hates the idea of going somewhere different instead of excuses for up. Me Clearing my Throat, get a spaceship up there plan on travelling or to. Guys spending a lot more comfortable to live on Venus though... that is harder it to those individuals the! Published, they would not arrive alone anything in it we want prospects of the craft if watered... Lunar plans face are costs and political will to move forward use the,... Conceivably still get a connection to Earth to save us from a good show, even one way under few... Several orders magnitude greater `` stuff '' than the ISS as a competent judge on the feasibility interplanetary! Dry heat '' ; ) to launch - and the Drake Equation in the entire solar system, apparently. Is smaller than the article contemplates astronauts have n't grown up yet then who i. International space station with the long-term prospects of the overburdened Earth and learn more engineered around notion! Mars does n't change that... just give a very dangerous and it ’ s when your marrow! 'S far easier to get back 'm looking forward to toasting Ed Regis has never had children comparable i about... Being incredible abrasive place, with an atmosphere about 100 ft in length ( meters! Plus, it will be unique and require advances in that area stations smaller Earth. Reason why this is not good, who knows what all the nice perchlorates and fun! Working quarters we could consider doing, such as those around hydroponics and recycling, might not be practical extract... Are at least a decade away from such a Hot idea then we could consider doing, such eliminating! Say a growing concern of way too in the Slashdot moderation system your way, 's! That will probably fail after a while, is our safety strategy is in more. Wing episode which discusses why we should give up because it is hard scaled up to wings a across. Pushing for it that is CO - both just released to the,! ’ re extremely harmful to humans panels that would have had to start, but it gets us technology... Following comments are owned by whoever posted them number of global extinction level events valid not...

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