Destination Mars!

Mythopoeika

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Sad news if correct.

SORRY, NERDS: TERRAFORMING MIGHT NOT WORK ON MARS

LISTEN, I GET it. You want to go to Mars. I want to go to Mars. (Sort of.) And the plan—it’s good. A rocket with people. A base on the moon. Then more rockets and more people. Start making fuel on the surface, maybe depot it along the way. An outpost becomes a base becomes a domed city. And then: terraforming.

Bring dead Mars back to life, build it a new atmosphere with whatever’s left in its soil—frozen carbon dioxide, most likely—to up the air pressure, rely on greenhouse warming (you know, like climate change?) to make the place warm enough so frozen water, locked away underground, melts and comes roaring back. Oceans! Air! Maybe breathable, but at least enough so you don’t have to walk around in a spacesuit. Boom (where the value of “boom” = 10,000 years, plus or minus). Up the gravity well we go, and we can get moving on the Earther-Martian Colony Revolution all the hard sci-fi keeps promising.

It ain’t crazypants. The astronomer Carl Sagan, an upright symbol of scientific rectitude, pitched “planetary engineering” in 1971, melting water vapor from Mars’ polar ice to create “much more clement conditions.” Twenty years later, the astrobiologist Christopher McKay rounded the idea out, suggesting that terraforming of Mars was possible as long as the planet still had enough carbon dioxide, water, and nitrogen squirreled away to volatilize and pump into the atmosphere.

But a couple of scientists who study Mars are trying to burst that hermetically-sealed, oxygen-recirculating, radiation-shielded bubble. If a new analysis is correct, conditions on Mars make it impossible for existing technology to turn it into a garden of Earth-like delights.

https://www.wired.com/story/co2-terraforming-mars/
Terraforming probably wouldn't have been feasible anyway, even if the conditions were just right - because of the sheer amount of time it would take. Nothing wrong with building a whole load of underground cities, though. A bit like the scenario depicted in Total Recall.
 
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What will the future Martians look like?

IN MAY OF 1969, Apollo 10 flew at 25,000 miles per hour. Two months later, the crew of Apollo 11 walked on the moon. Since then, no one has flown so fast nor walked so high. NASA is now preparing for a human mission to Mars, but if our descendants ever shrug off their terrestrial bonds, it won’t be Homo sapiens who leaves, but another, more intelligently designed species. We’re not fit.

For evolutionary biologists, “fitness” is a measure of natural selection: the average propensity of individuals of a species to survive and reproduce. Anatomically modern humans evolved with their microbial symbionts in Africa around 300,000 to 200,000 years ago and quickly spread all over the globe. We are wonderfully fit for Earth, but space is inimical to our species. It is cold, empty, and airless—and that’s the least of it. The real problem is myriad stressors, especially radiation, for which space suits and ships provide little protection.

Earth’s magnetic fields and atmosphere shelter us from the ionizing radiation that streams through space like a fatal wind. On the surface of Mars (which lacks a magnetic field or much atmosphere) or aboard a spaceship, long-term exposure to the highly charged energies of galactic cosmic radiation or the sudden flares of solar particle events would kill cells and make them malfunction, or break strands in our DNA and knock out base pairs. Dead or poorly functioning cells cause heart disease or cognitive decline. DNA damage is worse: Cells attempt to repair their own wreckage, but mis-repairs accumulate, leading to mutations that cause cancer and heritable diseases.

https://www.wired.com/story/ideas-j...?CNDID=38161694&mbid=nl_080818_daily_list3_p3
 
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Keeping you fingers warm and dexterous on Mars.

The Gloves We’ll Wear On Mars
The design challenge that’ll make or break survival on the Red Planet

... We’ve built one world by hand, we can probably build another — even in harsh UV light, subzero temperatures, and a lethally low-pressure atmosphere. But if opposable thumbs were key to the evolution of human civilization, and humanity can’t be naked against the Martian elements, then it’s an unexpected and unglamorous factor that will determine whether or not we succeed: gloves.

“Hands are the essence of the human being and the way we manifest change in the world.”
What kind of gloves? That we don’t know yet. Because human hands are so complex, designing a glove is almost as complicated as creating an entire Mars suit. Dr. Sheyna Gifford, a physician at Washington University, spent a year in a Mars-analog mission, HI-SEAS IV, atop Hawaii’s Mauna Kea, during which she wore a suit and gloves each time she went outside her domed home. To her, the ideal glove would need to be completely protective, and yet not restrict movement or flexibility. “It assists you in grasping and manipulating objects,” she says. “It interacts seamlessly with touchscreens. It provides feedback on pressure, temperature, and texture as exquisitely as your own fingers, while completely protecting you from the elements.” ...

https://medium.com/s/futurehuman/the-gloves-well-wear-on-mars-b5cb0f637e44
 

AlchoPwn

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Terraforming probably wouldn't have been feasible anyway, even if the conditions were just right - because of the sheer amount of time it would take. Nothing wrong with building a whole load of underground cities, though. A bit like the scenario depicted in Total Recall.
Well, we have an entire asteroid belt of raw materials to work with. A sky full of dirty snowballs (not sex slang, well, it is, https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Dirty Snowball but I don't mean it as such, but rather as a reference to comets https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Comet, but more in the astronomical sense https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comet).
 
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Getting high on Mars.

Could marijuana help the first Martians with anxiety?

  • The first human colonists on Mars are expected to endure intense amounts of stress while adapting to the planet.
  • Their maintaining mental wellbeing is critical for successful colonization efforts.
  • In a 2018 study, participants perceived a 58 percent reduction in anxiety and stress following cannabis use.
Atop a plume of smoke, Yuri Gagarin blasted out of Earth's atmosphere on April 12, 1961. In doing so, the Russian cosmonaut became the first human to venture into that vast, cold realm that we dub "outer space."

Since then, trails of hot exhaust, slowly dissipating in the ether, have become emblematic of space travel. Nowadays, though, a different sort of smoke — or source of it, rather — has caught the attention of modern astronomers.

As Big Think reported in September of 2018, traveling to Mars will, indeed, be a technical feat, but keeping humans sane while dwelling there is poised to be an even greater one. Between the stressors of living beyond the view of Earth — far from family and friends — and prolonged cabin fever, among other things, the first Martians are liable to go "completely bonkers."

Indeed, in simulations here on Earth designed to mimic a Martian existence, crewmembers — people in various missions — grew incensed with one another. If this played out on the Red Planet, it could lead to a breakdown in teamwork, compromising colonization goals. Not to mention the safety of the first Martians.

https://bigthink.com/could-marijuana-help-the-first-martians-with-anxiety
 
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A couple of problems with this:
(1) Smoking uses up precious oxygen.
(2) In a low-pressure, low oxygen environment, the effects of the marijuana might become magnified.
(3) They end up eating all of their food supplies in one go, then put Dark Side of the Moon on the stereo and laugh their tits off for 8 hours straight.
 

Jim

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(3) They end up eating all of their food supplies in one go, then put Dark Side of the Moon on the stereo and laugh their tits off for 8 hours straight.
Based on # (2) hey lets push for it, they might be on to something. Now how about on the effects on cocktails, he, he.
 

INT21

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...Could marijuana help the first Martians with anxiety? ..

Is that the answer to everything these days ?

What kind of shithole society are we creating.

Can't people be expected to do anything with psychotropic drugs.

Thank God (if He exists) that I'll be out of all this crap in not too many years.

INT21.
 

henry

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you mean without ? ive never had a drag on a J, in fact ... its stood me in good stead compared to most of my contemporaries ... i think i might need a classic white russian or 2 to make it on mars however ...
 

INT21

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Henry,

Thanks, yes I do mean without.

Going back to edit post now.

This is a subject that really burns me up. An absolute all consuming hatred for the whole drug 'scene'.

And before some smartarse jumps in and says 'but you drink coffee.

BOLLOCKS.!!

INT21.

(Nurse, NURSE, Where the hell is my cocoa ?)
 

INT21

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Henry,

Where are you going to find your White Russian ?

In a Mars bar...

Ho Ho Ho.

I'd take Stoliknaya if I was you.

INT21.
 

AlchoPwn

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Could marijuana help the first Martians with anxiety?
  • The first human colonists on Mars are expected to endure intense amounts of stress while adapting to the planet.
  • Their maintaining mental wellbeing is critical for successful colonization efforts.
  • In a 2018 study, participants perceived a 58 percent reduction in anxiety and stress following cannabis use.
This would be a very foolish approach for a highly technical environment. It is utterly inappropriate to smoke in a space capsule as it fouls the air filters and burns more oxygen. This of course could be circumvented by putting it in brownies and cookies of course. Then there are all the negative side effects of marijuana use. First there is the issue that it may make the user temporarily paranoid. Then there is the demotivational issue. Then there is the usual problem that if there is an emergency and you are inebriated, you are at serious penalties in terms of your ability to cope with complex Left Brain tasks. I would suggest that if we have to feed martians drugs, that a steady supply of ecstasy tablets would be far superior, as it would create a situation of empathetic bonding and community, as well as relieving stress.
 

GNC

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Mars is a bastard of a place for a psychotic episode.

As an old Head who saw the occasional friend in a full blown psychosis attack, I agree with INT21.

Leave it on Earth.
Considering a large percentage of those applying to live on Mars for the rest of their lives are suffering poor mental health, a lot of psychosis among them doesn't seem probable, it seems inevitable. Just as well the whole thing is a sham, I suppose.
 

INT21

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GNC,

So maybe you could explain what you mean by 'sham'.

All in the interests of science, naturally.

INT21.
 

GNC

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GNC,

So maybe you could explain what you mean by 'sham'.

All in the interests of science, naturally.

INT21.
The independent mission to populate Mars was revealed to have nowhere near the funds necessary, and the whole thing was a publicity campaign by apparently dodgy dealers. I thought I'd linked to the story about it a few months ago on this thread, but can't find it. Is there another Mars thread?
 

EnolaGaia

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The independent mission to populate Mars was revealed to have nowhere near the funds necessary, and the whole thing was a publicity campaign by apparently dodgy dealers. I thought I'd linked to the story about it a few months ago on this thread, but can't find it. Is there another Mars thread?
Are you perhaps referring to any of the activities of the Mars Society? There are multiple threads relating to that group's long campaign to promote and prepare for Mars exploration.
 

INT21

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Funds are going to have to be found eventually regardless of where they come from.

The reason is that in the future we are going to have to find someplace else to go.

And the reason is that, as a race, we are totally incapable of carrying out the acts that are required to sustain our existence on this planet. We are too short sighted.

As a race, humans are doomed to extinction if they can't find some place else to exist. And Mars is the closest option we have of buying time and the technology necessary to move further out into the galaxy.

INT21.
 

maximus otter

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...we are going to have to find someplace else to go.

...we are totally incapable of carrying out the acts that are required to sustain our existence on this planet. We are too short sighted.

...humans are doomed to extinction...
There are more people on Earth, living longer, healthier and more prosperous lives, than ever before.

Humanity will survive and thrive.

maximus otter
 

AlchoPwn

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Considering a large percentage of those applying to live on Mars for the rest of their lives are suffering poor mental health, a lot of psychosis among them doesn't seem probable, it seems inevitable.
Does anyone seriously think that populating Mars with mentally ill people is a recipe for success? I doubt Space X does. I suspect most of those applications will wind up relegated. Space X wants people with STEM and social skills.

There are more people on Earth, living longer, healthier and more prosperous lives, than ever before. Humanity will survive and thrive. maximus otter
I mainly share your optimism, but our success to date as a species isn't grounds for complacency. The threats we know about we can adapt to, but there will be threats we haven't got a clue about that await us too. There always are. I think the fact that people are abusing the best tool we have i.e. science, is a sign that things are taking a turn for the stupid. Yeah, that and millenials. They're statistically the smartest generation of humans who have ever lived. I hope in considering that you don't become suicidally depressed M.O. (it makes me wake in a cold sweat in the night occasionally).
 
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