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Mars city question
I know that a Martian city with 1000000 people like the one that spaceX proposed is unreal but, if instead of 1000000 people we do it for 100 - 1000 people, would it be feasible in the next decades? What do you guys think?
That's not a city, unless you count Vatican City, which has only 800 inhabitants. We might have 800 people on Mars by 2100, which is technically within the next few decades, so I'd say it is possible. Just.
Sorry, I said "city" because here where I live any comunity that is modestly self sufficient can be called a "city" so sorry for the mistake hehe Smile .
100-1000 people wouldn’t be self sufficient. For an Iron Age village in a free biosphere? Sure. But a self sufficient Mars colony needs a sophisticated economy wealthy enough to maintain the closed ecosystem. We are taking millions of people then at least, because sophisticated economies trend towards hyperspecialised skilled labourers in large enough numbers to bring the costs of technological items right down. Such a colony would be akin to a rich city state or small western nation.

We might see some kind of manned research outpost in the next half century, but no one can say for sure. Imagine asking the question regarding a moon base in the 70s. People have been there, small space stations are on the cards, NASA is working on a plane replacement for rockets etc. Yet here we are in 2021 and no one has been further than LEO in two generations. Predicting manned space exploration is extremely difficult, colonisation even more so!
OA Wish list:
  1. DNI
  2. Internal medical system
  3. A dormbot, because domestic chores suck!
Assuming that the first stations on Mars will not be self-sufficient, they will need to be supplied from Earth. The Antarctic research station McMurdo needs about 4 tonnes of food per person per year and 23 kg of fuel. Martian pioneers would need even more, since the planet is colder, and they would be trying to set up a self-sufficient closed ecological life support system on the planet. A self-sufficient CELSS would need a lot of material that couldn't be manufactured there.
Quote:Martian pioneers would need even more, since the planet is colder

IMHO (and I'm not an expert at all on the matter), without a compact nuclear reactor you don't go to Mars. That should at least provide all the heat a small base would need, if the insulation is good.

Anyway I'd really like to understand all this interest for Mars when we have the Moon so much close... No flag on it yet? Tongue
Semi-professional threads diverter.
I would think that any sort of even semi-permanent Martian base - let alone one designed to hold hundreds - would aim to be as self-sufficient as possible as quickly as possible due to the LOE and challenges of constantly shipping supplies and making the base dependent in the short term on such supply shipments.

While it wouldn't be possible to make the base fully self supporting in the short term, things like growing food on site and getting water locally (if at all possible) seem likely to be priorities. Living off the land as much as possible seems a likely strategy.

Nitrogen would be a particular problem, since I haven't seem much evidence of it on Mars - so you'd need to take nitrate fertilizers with you.
My understanding is that so far it has not been possible to create self-sustaining, closed environments here on Earth, so I have to doubt that they’ll happen quickly on Mars. Sad The Biosphere projects failed for many different reasons, including the build-up of toxins, for example.
(03-09-2021, 07:32 PM)stevebowers Wrote: Nitrogen would be a particular problem, since I haven't seem much evidence of it on Mars - so you'd need to take nitrate fertilizers with you.

That actually where perchlorates can be helpful. About 20% of that is ammonium perchlorate, from which nitrogen could be liberated

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