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Old August 14 2013, 07:49 PM   #16
R. Star
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Re: Self-sustaining Mars colony?

Eh, if there's just a "few years" warning, we're probably screwed unless you think Armageddon(the movie) is realistic. Maybe we'd get a few dozen people over there but that's about it and their self sufficiency would be in question to put it mildly.
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Old August 14 2013, 08:13 PM   #17
Into Darkness
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Re: Self-sustaining Mars colony?

I don't really think we should bother with colonising other planets. We need to industrialise other planets by having automated mining and processing machines on them. The resources would then be used to build spinning space stations in orbit that can mimic Earth gravity and I mean big ones, ones where you can have a complete biodome with trees etc on it.
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Old August 14 2013, 11:20 PM   #18
gturner
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Re: Self-sustaining Mars colony?

For available resources, energy especially, Mercury would be easier to colonize than Mars, but the delta-V is much larger. One the plus side it has a launch window every couple of months, so the two-year resupply issues go away.

Near Mercury's poles are huge ice-filled craters (its axial tilt is only about 2 degrees), and nearby, above the rims, undiminished by any atmosphere, is about 18 times more solar energy density than Mars gets. That energy flux would be there, undiminished, and available 24 hours a day by very slowly rotating the vertical-hanging collector on a tower, if you pick a spot with the right elevation. You can't do that on Mars, where the axial tilt is 25 degrees and you'd have long arctic nights to accompany a long arctic summer.

At Mars, assuming you had solar cells producing at 42% efficiency (about the maximum achieved so far), 200 square meters of solar cells would give you about 50 kilowatts and about 550 kWh/day (24 hr day). On Mercury the same installation would give you about 870 kW and 21,000 kWh/day, which is more than Mars by a factor of about 36.

This is critical because to become energy self-sufficient, and growing, the colony has to start making its own solar cells so they can expand material and crop production. So whatever PV production a Mars colony would require to support a hundred new arrivals, the Mercury colony would only have to make about 3% as many new solar cells to support the same number of immigrants. If you sent identical production facilities to each colony, and growth was purely a function of the growth in available energy, the polar Mercury colony could grow 36 times faster than the Mars colony. So if energy and food production are the limitations, the Mercury colony beats the Mars colony hands down.

And as an aside, when it comes to vehicles for transport or mining, 15 square meters (16 feet by 10 feet) of 42% efficient on-board solar cells on Mars gets you 4 to 5.5 horsepower, which is about like using a chainsaw engine to move you around, but on Mercury it would give you 50 to 110 horsepower, which is more than a Prius, Nissan Leaf, or Honda Insight. On Mercury, solar powered cars could actually travel faster than our current highway speeds.

But Mercury is going to look much like the moon instead of Arizona, so nobody seems to want to go there.
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Old August 14 2013, 11:42 PM   #19
Alidar Jarok
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Re: Self-sustaining Mars colony?

T'Girl wrote: View Post
Less a future problem with the UN, and more one with the courts.
Which courts? I seriously have no idea what you're talking about

or makes a big pile of money with a discovery
This is part of the reason I don't think any venture would be successful. I fail to see how they could possibly make a big pile of money from this. It's also why a ban on acquiring territory in other planets is probably not a huge impediment. There's very little to gain from claiming territory and cooperation is likely the only viable way something like this would succeed (everyone would collectively agree to share the inevitable losses that result).
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Old August 15 2013, 12:04 AM   #20
R. Star
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Re: Self-sustaining Mars colony?

Yeah, how exactly is a court going to claim jurisdiction on products from Mars?

Unless we believe the Moon to be a territory of the US because Neil Armstrong put a flag on it?
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Old August 15 2013, 10:03 AM   #21
Edit_XYZ
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Re: Self-sustaining Mars colony?

R. Star wrote: View Post
Eh, if there's just a "few years" warning, we're probably screwed unless you think Armageddon(the movie) is realistic. Maybe we'd get a few dozen people over there but that's about it and their self sufficiency would be in question to put it mildly.
I think the discovery of a medium-sized asteroid en route to hit Earth in ~2 decades would be, ultimately, a positive event: in 2 decades, the asteroid would be deflected and there would exist a substantial space infrastructure.
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Old August 15 2013, 10:54 AM   #22
JarodRussell
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Re: Self-sustaining Mars colony?

Dream wrote: View Post
How quickly would the governments of Earth get off their asses about colonizing Mars, if it's discovered that a meteor was going hit Earth and end all life on the planet in the next couple of years?
What exactly would that achieve? Mars is DEAD. Inhabitable.
If you want to build self sustaining bunkers where people are locked in anyway, you can do that on Earth as well.
Even if a meteor the size of Texas hits us, Earth would still be a more pleasant environment than Mars could ever be.

Besides that, instead of financing a colonization of Mars, they could as well finance a mission to destroy the meteor or change its course.
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Old August 15 2013, 11:16 AM   #23
Deckerd
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Re: Self-sustaining Mars colony?

Into Darkness wrote: View Post
I don't really think we should bother with colonising other planets. We need to industrialise other planets by having automated mining and processing machines on them.
I completely agree.
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Old August 15 2013, 11:43 AM   #24
Gov Kodos
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Re: Self-sustaining Mars colony?

People still have a hard time dealing with living in the Antarctic. That would be like taking up life in a beach resort in the Maldives compared to setting up shop on Mars.
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Old August 15 2013, 06:29 PM   #25
T'Girl
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Re: Self-sustaining Mars colony?

Dream wrote: View Post
... in the next couple of years?
Probably wouldn't be enough time, still the politicians and their cronnies would sure try to get themselves off the planet.

Maybe we could fake a on-coming rock and trick them into leaving?

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Old August 15 2013, 08:40 PM   #26
Jonas Grumby
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Re: Self-sustaining Mars colony?

T'Girl wrote: View Post
Less a future problem with the UN, and more one with the courts. Some one, some nation sits out the initial explorationa and utlization of Mars. But when others establish themselves, or makes a big pile of money with a discovery, the one who remained to the side begin to cry out for their "share" of others work and efforts. They could point to the illconsidered treaty in a court challenge.
Maybe that's what triggered the Fundamental Declarations of the Martian Colonies in the first place.

Dream wrote: View Post
How quickly would the governments of Earth get off their asses about colonizing Mars, if it's discovered that a meteor was going hit Earth and end all life on the planet in the next couple of years?
They would surely forget all about Mars and concentrate on neutralizing the meteor threat, a monumentally simpler task than trying to establish a viable, self-sustaining colony on Mars.
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Old August 15 2013, 09:03 PM   #27
Alidar Jarok
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Re: Self-sustaining Mars colony?

T'Girl wrote: View Post
T'Girl, I'm not sure if you saw my post. Which courts were you talking about?
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Old August 17 2013, 07:36 PM   #28
publiusr
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Re: Self-sustaining Mars colony?

gturner wrote: View Post
For available resources, energy especially, Mercury would be easier to colonize than Mars, but the delta-V is much larger. One the plus side it has a launch window every couple of months, so the two-year resupply issues go away.

Near Mercury's poles are huge ice-filled craters (its axial tilt is only about 2 degrees), and nearby, above the rims, undiminished by any atmosphere, is about 18 times more solar energy density than Mars gets. That energy flux would be there, undiminished, and available 24 hours a day by very slowly rotating the vertical-hanging collector on a tower, if you pick a spot with the right elevation. You can't do that on Mars, where the axial tilt is 25 degrees and you'd have long arctic nights to accompany a long arctic summer.

At Mars, assuming you had solar cells producing at 42% efficiency (about the maximum achieved so far), 200 square meters of solar cells would give you about 50 kilowatts and about 550 kWh/day (24 hr day). On Mercury the same installation would give you about 870 kW and 21,000 kWh/day, which is more than Mars by a factor of about 36.

This is critical because to become energy self-sufficient, and growing, the colony has to start making its own solar cells so they can expand material and crop production. So whatever PV production a Mars colony would require to support a hundred new arrivals, the Mercury colony would only have to make about 3% as many new solar cells to support the same number of immigrants. If you sent identical production facilities to each colony, and growth was purely a function of the growth in available energy, the polar Mercury colony could grow 36 times faster than the Mars colony. So if energy and food production are the limitations, the Mercury colony beats the Mars colony hands down.

And as an aside, when it comes to vehicles for transport or mining, 15 square meters (16 feet by 10 feet) of 42% efficient on-board solar cells on Mars gets you 4 to 5.5 horsepower, which is about like using a chainsaw engine to move you around, but on Mercury it would give you 50 to 110 horsepower, which is more than a Prius, Nissan Leaf, or Honda Insight. On Mercury, solar powered cars could actually travel faster than our current highway speeds.

But Mercury is going to look much like the moon instead of Arizona, so nobody seems to want to go there.
Mercury is also metal rich. I might want to mine Vesta though.
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Old August 17 2013, 07:42 PM   #29
publiusr
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Re: Self-sustaining Mars colony?

JarodRussell wrote: View Post

Even if a meteor the size of Texas hits us, Earth would still be a more pleasant environment than Mars could ever be.

Besides that, instead of financing a colonization of Mars, they could as well finance a mission to destroy the meteor or change its course.
Yes but what if we suffer one last gasp of flood basalt volcanism? You wouldn't be able to breathe here either.

It is always good to have as many worlds populated as possible. Even Mars may not be far enough. We have DM 61+ 366(HIP 9481) Gilese 710 coming in:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gliese_710

According to the Starflight Handbook, DM 61 366 is supposed to come within .29 ly of us, with a one light year margin of error either side. That could mean a clean miss--or a When Worlds Collide scenario.

Moreover, we have WR-104 perhaps aimed at the whole solar system:

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/ba...mma-ray-burst/
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Old August 17 2013, 09:12 PM   #30
JarodRussell
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Re: Self-sustaining Mars colony?

publiusr wrote: View Post
JarodRussell wrote: View Post

Even if a meteor the size of Texas hits us, Earth would still be a more pleasant environment than Mars could ever be.

Besides that, instead of financing a colonization of Mars, they could as well finance a mission to destroy the meteor or change its course.
Yes but what if we suffer one last gasp of flood basalt volcanism? You wouldn't be able to breathe here either.

It is always good to have as many worlds populated as possible. Even Mars may not be far enough. We have DM 61+ 366(HIP 9481) Gilese 710 coming in:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gliese_710

According to the Starflight Handbook, DM 61 366 is supposed to come within .29 ly of us, with a one light year margin of error either side. That could mean a clean miss--or a When Worlds Collide scenario.

Moreover, we have WR-104 perhaps aimed at the whole solar system:

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/ba...mma-ray-burst/

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