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STEPHEN HAWKING: WE HAVE 100 YEARS TO LEAVE EARTH

 
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 May, 2017 12:12 am
@edgarblythe,
I agree--you'd want it waiting for them when they got there.
oralloy
 
  -1  
Reply Sun 21 May, 2017 12:18 am
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:
I still think everyone involved so far, and particularly Musk, have grossly unrealistic expectations. More than that, sending a crew off there with high hopes only to kill them because of a total unpreparedness for conditions there would likely set the effort to colonize the planet back by decades, or even generations.

While I support the idea of eventually exploring and colonizing Mars, I think humanity should prioritize a Lunar colony ahead of placing the first human on Mars. Maybe if we want to challenge ourselves, a Lunar colony on the side of the Moon facing away from Earth.

A trip to Mars would only have a handful of humans "on site" to fix things if something went badly wrong. And a rescue mission from earth would be out of the question if there were a catastrophe (it would take months, by which time the problem would either already be fixed or everyone would already be dead).

A Lunar colony could have dozens of people of varying specialties "on site" to fix whatever problems crop up, and it would only take a few days for a rescue mission to arrive from earth.

Sort of a "learn to crawl before you learn to walk" kind of thing.

I also think that both a Lunar colony and a manned trip to Mars should be international endeavors -- something like the way the International Space Station is run but including China as well.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 May, 2017 04:20 am
@Setanta,
My two cents. One of the necessary pices of mega tonned equipment would be a SOLAR POWERED INDUCTION SMELTER. We send up the induction equipment, the solar equipment, and air rebrethers .
The induction smelters would actully b creating oxygen and storing it in massive amounts because any ntural atmophere would be blown away with a large"domed city state"
But firs we need the oxygen in reserve and, since Mars is seemingly loaded with limonite and other forms of "rust" we have a natural resource to create metals girders AND air in abundance.
MAKING air will be like making water if need be. e can exploit the connate properties of wter and oxygen as components of the chemistry of the planet.
NOW CO2 to grow C3 type plants will hqve to be collected on the surface also (or else manufactured .(I have no real idea of sources of carbon on the surface of mars. We might hve to use bacterial (or ARchea)respiration.

I dont think we wanna be schlepping around with scuba tanks on all the time
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 May, 2017 04:32 am
@oralloy,
indeed. walk well before running AND use the moon as a "proof of concept lab" for many necessary processes that we will need on mars, and make this a well worn condition BEFORE considering ANY Mars sojourns.
Im not big on the "One wayness" concept of a Mars expedition. I think that kind of mindset will appeal more to a few super- altruists/fatalists whose stability I think that maybe Id question. Id want a bunch of people who, besides caring for others, would care for their own well being and have no desire tosacrifice themselves for "Science"(or any other reason that begets martyrs).

So the moon may be only a couple days away, thats great!!. We go there with a colony that understands that its an easy bailout whould everything go south. Mars NEEDS to be in a similar position of safety to human life.

The moon is a convenient "lab" (with Helium 4 resources) we shouldnt ever consider a go to MArs until we learn how to make a foolproof "lifeboat system" that allows us to potentially bail from Mars and make it safely home.
I think that alone would take several decades or even a century. I have no concept of futurist thinking but it should be based on common sense and reasonable expectations of life on transit.
0 Replies
 
centrox
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 May, 2017 04:40 am
@farmerman,
farmerman wrote:
One of the necessary pices of mega tonned equipment would be a SOLAR POWERED INDUCTION SMELTER.


Wouldn't this be paving paradise and putting up a parking lot, so to speak? Do we have eminent domain over the whole universe?

farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 May, 2017 04:46 am
@centrox,
do we agree that we need air? My modest proposal is to set up an oxygen generating lqb that uses renewable resources to create oxygen. In this case, the biggest by-product of the oxygen lab is metallic iron.

If we find life on Mars, in the ensuing centuries or more that we prepare ourselves for a"commuter based colonization of the red planet" we will have to develop some sort of "prime Directive" about indigenous life. Thats as much a concern as is NOT TO REQUIRE our first colonists be considered "disposable assets"
0 Replies
 
newmoonnewmoon
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 May, 2017 06:41 am
@edgarblythe,
Very nice.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 May, 2017 01:09 pm
All due respect to Centrox, but eminent domain over the Solar system at least is not a bad idea. If if cannot be demonstrated that life exists on a planet or planetary satellite which has a good prospect for continued evolutionary development--screw 'em.

As for playing with the atmosphere, I'll have to check my sources, which I may do later today, but we need to be very careful with that. Our species evolved with a partial pressure of O2 of about 19-20%. That would be a good target to shoot for. You don't want to just ramp up the CO2, though, because above a partial pressure of about 5% CO2, animal life is screwed. People say that that CO2 is poisonous. That's not actually true, though. Carbon monoxide is poisonous. CO2 just suffocates you. The molecules are much bigger than molecules of O2, and your lungs cannot absorb the O2 if there's too much CO2 in the ambient atmosphere.

Some people propose separating the carbon and oxygen in the CO2 there, and ramping up the density and temperature of the atmosphere quickly. The only problem would then be scrubbing the CO2 out of the atmosphere once you've got the "blanket" you want. If you could practice afforestation over the entire planet, you could scrub it out--over several, in fact many, millennia. The most optimistic estimates suggest 10,000 terrestrial years. But those are unrealistic. Twenty to thirty thousand terrestrial years is more realistic.

Gross industrial methods would not be a good idea. Too much of a good thing can kill you. At a partial pressure of 25-30% oxygen, and you'll play hell putting out fires (not to mention the giant insects). At a partial pressure of 35% oxygen, there would be a real danger of the flesh burning off your bones in the event of a fire. At a partial pressure of O2 of 40% or higher, any fire would burn the flesh from your bones in a matter of seconds--you wouln't have time to feel the pain.

Creating an atmosphere would need careful and controlled processes. (I'm not saying it can't be done. I am saying that you can't just rush in there with the typical corporate capitalist model of get it done and get it done right now.) That's why I'm always on about stealing nitrogen from Titan. Nitrogen is not flammable, and it is life-friendly, so to speak. You need it for your soil, anyway. I don't think anyone knows how much nitrogen there is there now.

The one good industrial method we could use there would be to produce fluorocarbons and/or halocarbons from the surface minerals. They would immediately migrate to the upper atmosphere, where solar radiation would "burn" them off. That would have two beneficial effects. The first is that the waste heat would be dumped into the atmosphere. The second is that the atmosphere beneath that level would not be blown away by the so-called solar wind, which is what is happening now.

There is a one-step model which would produce a cold, animal viable atmosphere in about 300-400 years. For that you need the nitrogen, which is there in abundance in the atmosphere of Titan, the densest atmosphere that we know of in the Solar System. It's denser than the atmosphere of the Earth, and it's about 98% nitrogen. Screw 'em, just to take it. What you would do is shoot for a dense atmosphere with daytime temperatures just above freezing (for "fresh" water). One method for that would be to get ice asteroids and crash land them at the equator. You'd want to come in on a very flat trajectory, and blow 'em up just before they hit the atmosphere. If they come in too steep, and in large masses, you'll get some water vapor, but most of it will break up into hydrogen and oxygen as it burns up in the atmosphere. You want to melt it, not burn it up. We could also go mine the "snowballs" which make up the Saturnian rings. Those who support the "Big Hit" hypothesis already believe that the Saturnian rings were formed by Martian volatiles blasted off the planet when the conjectural planetesimal hit it.

With the one-step model, people could go out on the surface with face masks to filter out the CO2 in about 200 years. Then in another couple of centuries, you'd be able to walk around breathing the ambient atmosphere, but you'd want a warm coat. Take a lot of geese along for the down.
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Sun 21 May, 2017 06:11 pm
@Setanta,
gave me another idea. Because the atmospheric pressure and gas Kp's are so low, besides the creaytion of O2 with the induction smelter, were gonna need a rolling mill to make lots of large scale tubing segments (like submarine hulls)
The metal thickness wont be so very critical becuase unlike on earth, where a vacuum in a gas tank could cause the tank to violently implode, with a surface psi of 0.8, no way would we have to worry. We would only need the steel tunnels to be like a coke can , just to hold in a nice atmospheric mix . As you said, it could be N (which could be mined from the "blueberries" and vulcnic ammonia ) or even Argon and a teeny skosh of CO2(we dont wanna get above 7 % where real CO2 toxicity reigns). (I read in the drilling gas manual that between 1 and 7% the borderline toxicity of CO2 can cause increasing symptoms similar to drunkenness.)
SO, my steel mill would need to be set up robotically with a stainless production(wed maybe need some chrome and other **** to make stainless.Of course, with no oxygen that sorta thing becomes moot doesnt it, Never mind.
SOO we can get away with making MILD roll steel to create huge tunnels for connecting to some kind of larger cityscape "geodesic or Buckeyball" domes. The doms would need to be some sort of trnslucent , at least, material thats strong and designed and built aerodynamically.
Well, we can begin to outfit all this robotically probably within 10 to 20 years if we act like we mean it.Ive got much of the technology already in my new Explorer .

We build the robots here, send em up an let them manage the whole gameboard for a coupla decades until its testably safe and weve got the tech to NOT make this a one way adventure.(I heard on the TED talks today that one guy was bitching "Now that we understand how immense space is, I wish the speed of light were faster' itd give us something (like a "v") thats more reasonable to be able to reach a nearby star in a few years by approaching 25% of "c"".

My whole thing is based upon the ability to use renewable energy to run induction smelting crucibles rolling mills, and production of the cityscapes and everything would be built and run by better , smarter, stronger robots who are place setters for the human expeditions in a hundred or more year schedule.

HOWs that sound for a resonable 500 year plan?
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 May, 2017 06:21 pm
This could be fun. We need a good project manager .The guys that built that huge cruise ship of 200000 tons could send us their resumes. We need a committee to select the tem to do this as a "design build" project where the employees dont really hve any 401 K's, they just need periodic recharge.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 May, 2017 08:35 pm
@farmerman,
The robotics would need good AIs, but many contemporary video games are that good already. With a tented habitat, you could also have one layer that was piezoelectric to get some energy from the Martian winds. The main problem in a situation like that would be the amount of radiation falling on your tent city. We need good materials scientists and engineers--not just to make a safe habitat, but to steal some energy from the radiation coming in. The great thing is that you could have robotically managed farms with separate airlocks, and plants just suckin' up and lovin' the CO2 in the atmosphere. You'd need some heat, and environmental suits for any workers who need to go in there.

The main problem about the nitrogen is whether or not there's enough there for the atmosphere and whatever soil we cobble together. If in the beginning, with small populations and small farms, you took your nitrogen from mineral sources, you could set up a continuous shuttle at the same time bringing big nitrogen snowballs from Titan. You could crash land them on a steep trajectory because you won't care about them burning up--you still get your nitrogen.

You could get a lot of your materials from the asteroid belt. People could got out there for brief periods to tele-operate the equipment. Some of it you send to Earth to sell for what the colony needs to buy, the rest you land on Mars for the use of the colonists.

It is fun to speculate, but I lose interest when people (like Musk) obviously don't really know a damned thing about the planet.
centrox
 
  1  
Reply Mon 22 May, 2017 02:23 am
When reading this thread, I am reminded -strongly- of when I started to get tired of Robert Heinlein. It was the mid 1960s.
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 22 May, 2017 03:21 am
@Setanta,
There are some piezoelectric PVC like plastics.(polyvinilladine Flouride eg). I hve no idea what would be needed to mfr it but a good thick (60 mil) sheets of stuff like HDPE we use for leach pile liners and they stay for years. That could be covered with a layer of PDVF piezo material. Only problem with plastics is that they chemically erode over years (course even quartz or sulfide crystal piezo would pit and lose efficiency ). If it can be mfr on the planet, we can keep replacing it.

There was an article in 2015 about how one of the Rovers detected biologically active Nitrogen (as a fossil chemical no doubt because it was found in largeramounts in what aooeared to be a stream bed). Course that doesnt mean theres enough for our purposes to make an artifical "Air"

We may have to futz around with manufactured airs with other lss reactive ubiquitous gases. We only need to have it so designed for the inside of our covered tube and fabric cities. I think that if they can mfr an atmosphere as dense as , say, denver, wed be able to live there comfortably with a brethabke air inside. OUTSIDE, another story, theyd need O2 mixes and rebreathers . There they could get away with stuff like Co2 ,argon.


farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 22 May, 2017 03:47 am
@farmerman,
I think we are on the same track that casts a lot of doubt on "terraforming" as anything but a really long term posibility. (In my mind, the big issue is, that no matter how good we get at manufacturing a usable atmosphere, we have no way (nor do e know of a way right now), to keep the damn atmosphere from being blasted off into space . Thats why living in "blood vessel tube cities or deep underground cities, will be a long term easy possibility, especially if we use things like semi autonomous robotics to do the major prep work over decades. I keep thinking that we can outfit a big version of the rovers with solar and small Thorium reactors and wed have an army of excavators , masons, and factory workers.

Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 22 May, 2017 04:06 am
It was the Curiosity rover which appeared to have detected a methane bloom. The JPL team announced that it might have been a mechanical artifact, and ordered the rover to re-calibrate the instrument. No methane has since been detected.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 22 May, 2017 04:22 am
@Setanta,
atmosphere and magnetospheres gonna be the problems
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 22 May, 2017 05:21 am
Well, magnetosphere ain't a problem, 'cuz they ain't one there. I cannot imagine any means to create one.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 22 May, 2017 05:25 am
@Setanta,
thats the point. Weve gotta learn how to do that if we ever really expect to "terraform". Ya cant keep losing yer air every afternoon because of some damn solar wind or Mass particle ejaculation from the sun.
Yep, gonna be a problem (unless we drop the terraform and think more realistically to "Mole-ify" the planet
0 Replies
 
Leadfoot
 
  1  
Reply Mon 22 May, 2017 02:31 pm
@farmerman,
Quote:
(In my mind, the big issue is, that no matter how good we get at manufacturing a usable atmosphere, we have no way (nor do e know of a way right now), to keep the damn atmosphere from being blasted off into space .
I wondered if anyone was going to bring that up.
Do we want to live like moles?
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 22 May, 2017 03:00 pm
@Leadfoot,
we may have little choice. If we cant figureout how to generate a magnetosphere without a molten core, we are going to need a looong xtension chord.

Anyway, mass ejaculata will be bombarding the planet so living in metal tubes or underground facilities "I call em sub-urbia" may be the xhoice for many centuries .
Im not hoping we waste much time on "terraforming" when its prfectly inhabitqble with our own technology.

Last month, the National Geographic did a pice on how evolution, over many mqny hundreds of generation , may result in tall skinny hairless humans well adapted to a martian environment (and eve the article defaulted to a non terraformed planet.
Perhaps "terraforming" may be a plot line from Star Trek and nothing more.

PSS, a friend bought a slingshot nd brought it over. He dint hqve a "bonnet" . His was more like a backqss bike. Metallic Red seems to be a favorite color
 

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