The Orion's Arm Universe Project Forums

Nasa can't send humans to Mars until it gets the food right
(03-28-2018, 10:41 PM)Drashner1 Wrote:
(03-28-2018, 08:55 PM)selden Wrote: Bear in mind that for many the ideas of living in space or going to Mars are not intended to be rational or to produce a profit. They want to go there because they want to go there. No logical counterarguments are going to change that desire. As best I can tell, that includes Elon Musk and his plans. Whether or not that'll result in long term colonization has yet to be determined.

Oh, I completely agree - I'm one of those people who would love to go there. But I want to see humanity go there and keep coming back and ultimately staying (not just on Mars but the Solar System - and beyond - in general).

My concern with the present focus on Mars is that it will end up like the Apollo program, which did its thing for a bit and then petered out for various reasons. IMHO a 'stepped' program of ever increasing development and capability, in which earlier steps help build the foundation for later steps, is a superior option over a massive 'leap' approach that maybe gets us that first mission to Mars a bit faster - but then doesn't do much else, at least for a long while.

As far as making a profit - getting a significant number of our eggs out of this particular basket would be good enough for me - but I suspect that kind of 'meta-goal' isn't going to be the only option and that people will figure out ways to make money off of space one way or another. Humans have a demonstrated track record of being rather good at that in most of the areas of endeavor they've taken on throughout historyBig Grin


My opinion is rather like yours, with a twist. We already have the horrible example of Apollo (which was magnificent, but actually a Cold War stunt that wasn't sustainable in any way) to look at. I would like to see commercial exploitation of space be the main emphasis for a great many years, including ain industrial/mining Moonbase with a mass-driver or two and construction bases (very small, to start with) in some appropriate Earth orbit to use the materials thus launched. The most obvious import from space, because it's cheap to transport, is electric power - and completely clean electric power is something we could really do with down here.

For a while at least, heavy industry in space is going to need staff and they will need somewhere to live. Radiation is a non-issue, because shielding could be provided simply with a couple of metres of dirt - maybe mining slag, powdered, as a base?

And when there is already heavy industry in space, including refuelling stations on assorted volatiles-bearing asteroids, and lots of people already there, Mars could be snapped up as an afterthought.

Hell, Gerard O'Neill said all this in 1985. Humanity has wasted THIRTY YEARS. Why, in the name of the god of your choice, haven't we got started yet??

Messages In This Thread
RE: Nasa can't send humans to Mars until it gets the food right - by iancampbell - 03-30-2018, 04:01 AM

Forum Jump:

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)