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Paul Wally
2014-Feb-10, 01:36 AM
How can we adapt Earth organisms to survive and grow on Mars?
One way to do this might be to grow extremophiles under Mars-like conditions and let them
evolve through a process of natural and artificial selection.

Another idea is to develop some kind of ecosystem of different mutually inter-dependent organisms.
Each species would perform a certain specialized function, which enhances the survival of the whole ecosystem, i.e. instead of
evolving particular species why not evolve a whole ecosystem and then send it off to Mars?
Perhaps initial technological assistance will be needed like greenhouses, solar power for heating. Water extraction will also
be a problem that requires technological assistance.

Some way must be found to convert regolith into biologically useful soil. Larger organisms like hypobaric plants and insects could be introduced later, if possible. If we could design a plant that survives on Mars it would probably be very different from anything we
know. How would we design such a plant? Any ideas?

Noclevername
2014-Feb-10, 01:41 AM
I think we've got a long, long way to go before we even think about doing that. We need to examine Mars in a lot more detail before throwing Earth life around all willy-nilly. We also need to find out if we can actually live there before we make the effort needed to terraform.

Paul Wally
2014-Feb-10, 01:51 AM
I think we've got a long, long way to go before we even think about doing that. We need to examine Mars in a lot more detail before throwing Earth life around all willy-nilly. We also need to find out if we can actually live there before we make the effort needed to terraform.

Just to clarify. This is not about terraforming. It's just sending life to Mars ... something that requires some effort not to do.

Colin Robinson
2014-Feb-10, 03:12 AM
I think we've got a long, long way to go before we even think about doing that. We need to examine Mars in a lot more detail before throwing Earth life around all willy-nilly.

I agree. Even if there is no life on Mars at present, do we want to interfere with possible evidence of past life?

And even if we become convinced that there was never any life there, we would need to consider what Mars in its present state can tell us about the history of solar system, before sending teams of organisms to make changes there.

Noclevername
2014-Feb-10, 08:20 AM
Just to clarify. This is not about terraforming. It's just sending life to Mars ... something that requires some effort not to do.

If not to terraform, then why? Why specifically adapt life to Mars, changing the Red Planet forever, if not for our own use?

marsbug
2014-Feb-10, 11:28 AM
Actually, I kinda get it. Seeding life for the sake of seeding life, and letting something new but definitively Martian develop. It wouldn't be a scientific endeavour (although there might be some scientific return), it would be a piece of artwork, like gardening on a massive scale. It could be done by as little as digging up some buried ice in a region where atmospheric conditions mean that water films could form, and sprinkling appropriate extremophiles. Given what we now know abouit Mars's ancient history I doubt we could ever justify contaminating the planet in such a fashion though, not for a very very long time at least.

Paul Wally
2014-Feb-10, 11:45 PM
I agree. Even if there is no life on Mars at present, do we want to interfere with possible evidence of past life?

And even if we become convinced that there was never any life there, we would need to consider what Mars in its present state can tell us about the history of solar system, before sending teams of organisms to make changes there.

My question is not whether or not we should send Earth-life to Mars, but
if we do then how would we do it? I'm more interested in the biology and the engineering of it all, so consider it a thought experiment.
The question of whether or not it is a good idea to do it is not really relevant here.

Paul Wally
2014-Feb-10, 11:53 PM
Actually, I kinda get it. Seeding life for the sake of seeding life, and letting something new but definitively Martian develop. It wouldn't be a scientific endeavour (although there might be some scientific return), it would be a piece of artwork, like gardening on a massive scale. It could be done by as little as digging up some buried ice in a region where atmospheric conditions mean that water films could form, and sprinkling appropriate extremophiles. Given what we now know abouit Mars's ancient history I doubt we could ever justify contaminating the planet in such a fashion though, not for a very very long time at least.

It would be a scientific experiment to see how life from one planet could adapt and grow on another planet.

Noclevername
2014-Feb-11, 12:30 AM
It would be a scientific experiment to see how life from one planet could adapt and grow on another planet.

Then I recommend allowing natural selection to take its course. If we genetically modify the life in a lab, it kind of ruins the point of the experiment, which is to see how life adapts.

Find Earth conditions as similar to Mars as possible; the dry valleys in Antarctica, the highest Andes mountaintops, the stratosphere. Take living things from those places and place them in as Marslike artificial conditions as we can replicate (This means we'll have to gather a lot more data on Mars before beginning the experiment, especially in the areas where life will have the best chance). Keep throwing extremophiles against the wall until something sticks. Try mixing and matching combinations to develop biomes.

Then, after the most successful biomes develop (and a few of the semi-successful ones for variety) move them all to Mars via capsule and place them in locations like the North Pole and around sites where ice has been found. It's hard to specify what physical delivery method will be used because by then, space travel technology may have changed significantly. But however the biological payload gets there, the delivery vehicle and capsule should remove itself from the area to allow only Martian resources to be available. If the lander is left in place, you'll learn how well the organisms adapt to the lander's presence.

neilzero
2014-Feb-11, 12:41 AM
Discounting all the reasons why we should not seed Mars; it would likely fail = extremophiles from Greenland would likely die out in in a few weeks in Antarctica, as Antarctica has lower average temperatures and the polar ice cap of Mars is even colder than Antarctica. Worse the seasons defacto last up to twice as long as the poles of Earth due to the more elliptical orbit of Mars as well as the 24 degrees tilt of the axis of Mars.

Noclevername
2014-Feb-11, 12:44 AM
Discounting all the reasons why we should not seed Mars; it would likely fail = extremophiles from Greenland would likely die out in in a few weeks in Antarctica, as Antarctica has lower average temperatures and the polar ice cap of Mars is even colder than Antarctica. Worse the seasons defacto last up to twice as long as the poles of Earth due to the more elliptical orbit of Mars as well as the 24 degrees tilt of the axis of Mars.

If we transfer the organisms directly there without giving them time to adapt, yes.

That's why I suggested first adapting the organisms to artificial Marslike environments, over many generations.

marsbug
2014-Feb-11, 11:56 AM
Discounting all the reasons why we should not seed Mars; it would likely fail = extremophiles from Greenland would likely die out in in a few weeks in Antarctica, as Antarctica has lower average temperatures and the polar ice cap of Mars is even colder than Antarctica. Worse the seasons defacto last up to twice as long as the poles of Earth due to the more elliptical orbit of Mars as well as the 24 degrees tilt of the axis of Mars.

I don't disagree with what you say as far as it goes, but why would you take Antarctic extremophiles and put them at the Martian poles? Surely you'd take Antarctica's extremophiles to the most clement spot Mars has to offer, which would be much closer in terms of temperature and water availability to Antarctica's harshest life bearing environments. Putting them at the poles would surely be pointless; the conditions are too cold for any kind of Earth derived life-as-we-know-it to carry out the chemical reactions of metabolism.

Paul Wally
2014-Feb-12, 01:46 PM
I don't disagree with what you say as far as it goes, but why would you take Antarctic extremophiles and put them at the Martian poles? Surely you'd take Antarctica's extremophiles to the most clement spot Mars has to offer, which would be much closer in terms of temperature and water availability to Antarctica's harshest life bearing environments. Putting them at the poles would surely be pointless; the conditions are too cold for any kind of Earth derived life-as-we-know-it to carry out the chemical reactions of metabolism.

The more temperate regions of Mars might have permafrost ice beneath the surface. The equator is very dry, but water could be extracted from hydrated minerals in the soil.

I don't think indiscriminate "seeding" is going to do the trick though. Initially we should start with something like a small "table-top" greenhouse, which is landed on the surface like Curiosity rover. Martian regolith could be added and the the Earth-organisms with some water and nutrients. A microscope would be useful to see how the organisms interact with the regolith. The greenhouse could also be temperature and pressure regulated. The first phase is
to learn how to convert regolith into fertile soil, get the carbon and nitrogen cycles going. Small plants could be added later.

A.DIM
2014-Feb-14, 03:32 PM
I don't want to sidetrack this interesting discussion, but I have to ask what makes us think life hasn't transferred to Mars already, whether by human or natural mechanisms? Are Mars and Earth considered "closed systems" with respect to each other?

marsbug
2014-Feb-14, 03:39 PM
As this is a hypothetical discussion, where we're exploring ideas on deliberately transferring life between two isolated worlds, I don't see why we shouldn't consider them closed systems for the purposes of this discussion? We've established earlier that there are excellent reasons, including the possibility of extant life native to Mars OR transferred from Earth, why we wouldn't actually be undertaking this in the foreseeable future.

Paul Wally
2014-Feb-20, 01:15 PM
I don't want to sidetrack this interesting discussion, but I have to ask what makes us think life hasn't transferred to Mars already, whether by human or natural mechanisms? Are Mars and Earth considered "closed systems" with respect to each other?

It's possible that there is life on Mars, and it's also possible that there isn't any. I'm talking about the artificial and controlled introduction of life to the Mars, irrespective of whether or not there already is life. An interesting question related to this topic is if there is life, whether we could perhaps create conditions on the surface for that life to flourish, or how about making that life interact with Earth life in a mutually beneficial way?

Noclevername
2014-Feb-20, 01:46 PM
I don't want to sidetrack this interesting discussion, but I have to ask what makes us think life hasn't transferred to Mars already, whether by human or natural mechanisms?

Because we've never found clear evidence of any life on Mars?

taxo
2014-Feb-20, 02:05 PM
Mars has 38% less gravity than Earth. Would this affect the height a human growing up there?

marsbug
2014-Feb-20, 04:58 PM
Probably, but no-one can say for sure as no-one has ever grown up on Mars.

I imagine that just being there would make you a little taller, as the fluid between your vertebra would expand.

publiusr
2014-Feb-21, 10:59 PM
There might be such a thing as introducing life too early, having it all go to ground before you can get any good out of it.

Or you could engineer life that doesn't use as much oxygen and make the best out of that.

Paul Wally
2014-Apr-22, 03:11 PM
Mars has 38% less gravity than Earth. Would this affect the height a human growing up there?

Everything else being equal, plants might grow taller on Mars.


There might be such a thing as introducing life too early, having it all go to ground before you can get any good out of it.

Or you could engineer life that doesn't use as much oxygen and make the best out of that.

Oxygen can always be produced from available chemicals like CO2, but the bigger problem on Mars is to find liquid water. Even if ice could be melted
technologically, some biological means must be found to keep water in liquid form.

FarmMarsNow
2014-Apr-26, 03:34 PM
All things considered we are on track to farm Mars. We (humanity) have successfully sent robots to Mars, multiple robots. Those robots have been more resilient than expected. The Martian surface has proven to be potentially useful to plants. We've not found any organisms that might prevent plants from growing. So we have 1. Robots proven to function on Mars 2. An empty planet with 'Something like dirt' on it. 3. Sunlight 4. Water. 5. A huge Biotech industry How long before someone tries to grow something on Mars? Not long I think.

FarmMarsNow
2014-Apr-26, 03:35 PM
Woo hoo

danscope
2014-Apr-26, 06:52 PM
Like growing tomatoes in February. Hmmm.... Not much light, not much heat, not much air, not much water.Not much soil. What's wrong with this picture?

marsbug
2014-Apr-27, 07:30 PM
Given the current state of the art (of space travel) and interest in mars I could imagine a mission that isolated a tiny section of the Martian surface, then tried to grow some very hardy extremophiles on Martian soil in its natural state, and then with various levels of added atmosphere, moisture, etc. Testing the limits of life, on Mars - and yes this could be simulated on earth but I'm an empiricist: We'd never know for sure until we went to mars and actually did it.

That would entail some risks of contamination, and would be hard to push through as an idea. So anything more than that - like an attempt to grow crops, even if it were possible - would probably never get funded. An experimanetal 'Mars garden' in a hermetic bottle maybe, but nothing more than that.

danscope
2014-Apr-28, 12:52 AM
Get an hyperbaric chamber ( US Navy style ) , put in a very weak light source, the poorest soil you can find , and pump the
air collum down to about 1/200 of an atmosphere, and occasionally sand dust the area , and "See" if you can grow anything
under those circumstances. This is not a difficult experiment.... really.

galacsi
2014-Apr-28, 07:47 AM
May be lichens can do the job : http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17630840

Abstract

This experiment was aimed at establishing, for the first time, the survival capability of lichens exposed to space conditions. In particular, the damaging effect of various wavelengths of extraterrestrial solar UV radiation was studied. The lichens used were the bipolar species Rhizocarpon geographicum and Xanthoria elegans, which were collected above 2000 m in the mountains of central Spain and as endolithic communities inhabiting granites in the Antarctic Dry Valleys. Lichens were exposed to space in the BIOPAN-5 facility of the European Space Agency; BIOPAN-5 is located on the outer shell of the Earth-orbiting FOTON-M2 Russian satellite.. . . . . . . . . . These findings indicate that most lichenized fungal and algal cells can survive in space after full exposure to massive UV and cosmic radiation, conditions proven to be lethal to bacteria and other microorganisms. The lichen upper cortex seems to provide adequate protection against solar radiation. Moreover, after extreme dehydration induced by high vacuum, the lichens proved to be able to recover, in full, their metabolic activity within 24 hours.

danscope
2014-Apr-28, 05:20 PM
So..... you want to eat lichens?

FarmMarsNow
2014-Apr-28, 09:18 PM
True all that, but I'm not suggesting that Mars is the ideal place to grow tomatoes. I'm saying that people will try to grow things there. It doesn't matter that there is very little light, low temps, too much cosmic radiation, perchlorates in the soil. Its another planet! It doesn't have to make sense, just like sending men into space never really made sense. Some things don't make sense and are eccentric acts of exploration and curiosity. Sending people to the moon definitely never made sense in my opinion, but we did it. Cell phones are stupid, but we all have them.

Paul Wally
2014-Apr-28, 09:56 PM
May be lichens can do the job : http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17630840

If the lichens have resistance to UV radiation then perhaps they could protect micro-organisms beneath them, i.e. as a kind of natural radiation shield.

Noclevername
2014-Apr-28, 10:01 PM
So..... you want to eat lichens?

So, you don't?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lichen#Food


In the past Iceland moss (Cetraria islandica) was an important human food in northern Europe, and was cooked as a bread, porridge, pudding, soup, or salad. Wila (Bryoria fremontii) was an important food in parts of North America, where it was usually pitcooked. Northern peoples in North America and Siberia traditionally eat the partially digested reindeer lichen (Cladina spp.) after they remove it from the rumen of caribou or reindeer that have been killed. Rock tripe (Umbilicaria spp. and Lasalia spp.) is a lichen that has frequently been used as an emergency food in North America, and one species, Umbilicaria esculenta, is used in a variety of traditional Korean and Japanese foods.

marsbug
2014-Apr-28, 10:13 PM
Get an hyperbaric chamber ( US Navy style ) , put in a very weak light source, the poorest soil you can find , and pump the
air collum down to about 1/200 of an atmosphere, and occasionally sand dust the area , and "See" if you can grow anything
under those circumstances. This is not a difficult experiment.... really.

Tone is something that I do miss in online conversations... I was, in part, trying to illustrate that there'd be little point in trying to grow complex organisms under Martian conditions, since we've yet to find any simple ones that could grow under them. There are definitely those that could survive them, and there are a great many hypothetical surface and near surface Martian micro environments that might, just, support something extremely hardy (I will offer up some relevant papers if asked, but give me time as I'm very busy this week). And, no, if we haven't done the experiment on Mars we don't know, although we may have an incredibly good guess.

danscope
2014-Apr-28, 11:03 PM
I only illustrated the method of experiment for growing "something" in a martian environment. Appart from the radiation hazard, the simulation doesn't appear extraordinary.

bolduccj
2014-Apr-28, 11:05 PM
How can we adapt Earth organisms to survive and grow on Mars?
One way to do this might be to grow extremophiles under Mars-like conditions and let them
evolve through a process of natural and artificial selection.

Another idea is to develop some kind of ecosystem of different mutually inter-dependent organisms.
Each species would perform a certain specialized function, which enhances the survival of the whole ecosystem, i.e. instead of
evolving particular species why not evolve a whole ecosystem and then send it off to Mars?
Perhaps initial technological assistance will be needed like greenhouses, solar power for heating. Water extraction will also
be a problem that requires technological assistance.

Some way must be found to convert regolith into biologically useful soil. Larger organisms like hypobaric plants and insects could be introduced later, if possible. If we could design a plant that survives on Mars it would probably be very different from anything we
know. How would we design such a plant? Any ideas?


Firstly, we would have to send organisms to the moon, which would be much closer. My best shot at it is to make a "mini earth" on the moon. With something like a large pressurized dome. The dome could use oxygen supplied from Earth. This theory seems to work but there is no way to easily get oxygen onto the moon and therefore Mars would be that much harder.

Noclevername
2014-Apr-28, 11:09 PM
I only illustrated the method of experiment for growing "something" in a martian environment. Appart from the radiation hazard, the simulation doesn't appear extraordinary.

Without knowing much more details about the Martian environment we cannot simulate it accurately. Throwing together thinned-down Earthly components and calling it Marslike is poor science, IMO. At the very least we should wait for sample returns from numerous locations to judge the quality and amounts of resources.

danscope
2014-Apr-29, 01:47 AM
So you don't think we know anything about the mars environment? Ok. Google it.

Noclevername
2014-Apr-29, 05:47 AM
So you don't think we know anything about the mars environment? Ok. Google it.

I said we need to know MORE, not that we know NOTHING.

Please try to examine my posts in a little more detail before you reply. You seem to often attribute things to me that I did not say.

marsbug
2014-May-01, 01:08 PM
Mars has a huge veriaty of surface compositions and environments. There are regions, like the ice caps during winter, that are so far from being habitable anything living there is unimaginable. Then there are locations that regularly reach the triple point of water, and which have fairly-near-surface ice (the temperate regions in the northern hemisphere are where such relatively friendly locations are often found IIRC). Since these locations come fairly close to habitability by a terrestrial organism it's reasonable to speculate there might be regions where conditions can combine, on rare occasion, to create true habitability. But, short of the holier-than-thou grail of finding native life, the only way we could know for sure would be to search for such special locations and times, and try growing something there. To give a comparable level of certainty using a simulation it'd need to be of such high fidelity that we'd need a major mission to such a location anyway.

I won't say that one is better than the other - scientific certainty needs to be balanced against planetary protection and budget realism. But IMHO there isn't much in it, if the goal is proving that something could live (not just survive) for a while in some super friendly surface or near surface environment on Mars. If the goal is large scale growing of crops etc then we're looking at terraforming - there may be some well hidden spots where a very hardy extremophile could reproduce, but we do know that there's no significant part of Mars so Earth like it'd support complex life as we know it.

danscope
2014-May-01, 05:18 PM
To quote Bill Nye, the Science Guy : " Tell you what mars is like; go to the antarctic, not down near the beach with the birds and penguins, no, way inland to where it's dry as a bone , no life around you at all, 60 below zero, oh and take away most of the air, like 1/200th of what we have." (paraphrasing , but close to what he said on "The Tonight Show" the other night.
That's what you are looking at and dealing with,......really.

FarmMarsNow
2014-May-01, 10:39 PM
To quote Bill Nye, the Science Guy : " Tell you what mars is like; go to the antarctic, not down near the beach with the birds and penguins, no, way inland to where it's dry as a bone , no life around you at all, 60 below zero, oh and take away most of the air, like 1/200th of what we have." (paraphrasing , but close to what he said on "The Tonight Show" the other night.
That's what you are looking at and dealing with,......really. Also to quote Bill Nye he also said on Late Night with Seth Myers "We want to put people on Mars, because people are the best explorers we know." His point of view was that Mars exploration was important because there was a chance of finding life on Mars. He seemed to think it would help raise awareness of Scientific illiteracy and help fight political attempts to put creationism into schools if life were found on Mars. That was the scope for what he was talking about. Do people really need to go to Mars for that? Eh probably not. People do want to go to Mars however.

danscope
2014-May-02, 02:31 AM
Some people want to go to mars. Some want to see the next generations live to see some next generations.
We have very good robots which go to mars, and do very good science, on their own terms, without oxygen, food,
and unaware of radiation and holidays. When all is said and done, that is how we will get most of our information on mars and
stuff. Just sayin. If you really want to talk scientific awareness and technological literacy, may I submit that this domain lies
on terra firma , in a big way. We may just need to save life on Earth before we try to plant chickens on mars.
We are getting some disturbing feedback 'as we speak' concerning our bees and frogs. You might be surprised. 30 years from now, people will be thinking...." Gee, I wish we had worked on 'that problem' back then , just like we should have kept working on the Energy research and development admin , which we foolishly buried. When that job gets done, there may be time and technology to scrape mars "by hand" as some are fond of doing. There is this persistent , nagging problem of
Cost vs Benefit .

Noclevername
2014-May-02, 04:14 AM
Some people want to go to mars. Some want to see the next generations live to see some next generations.
We have very good robots which go to mars, and do very good science, on their own terms, without oxygen, food,
and unaware of radiation and holidays. When all is said and done, that is how we will get most of our information on mars and
stuff. Just sayin. If you really want to talk scientific awareness and technological literacy, may I submit that this domain lies
on terra firma , in a big way. We may just need to save life on Earth before we try to plant chickens on mars.
We are getting some disturbing feedback 'as we speak' concerning our bees and frogs. You might be surprised. 30 years from now, people will be thinking...." Gee, I wish we had worked on 'that problem' back then , just like we should have kept working on the Energy research and development admin , which we foolishly buried. When that job gets done, there may be time and technology to scrape mars "by hand" as some are fond of doing. There is this persistent , nagging problem of
Cost vs Benefit .

Again I ask, what does colonizing Mars have to do with fixing our ecosystem on Earth? Has anyone on this or any other thread said "we should not fix Earth" or "we should dedicate all our resources to colonizing at the cost of Earth"? If so, please provide a cited quote.

marsbug
2014-May-02, 05:17 PM
@ danscope: I've gotta ask the same question Noclever name is asking. I'm not talking about growing chickens on mars, i'm very specific about that in my posts - I'm talking about the idea of a very limited scientific experiment involving microrganisms on the Martian surface, using robots. I don't see how that would in any significant way impede efforts to tackle climate change.

If you don't mind my making an observation (I will do so anyway!): You're posting like I'm an Esso/other big industry lobbyist, trying to use space exploration to distract from the damage my companies activities are doing. I'm not. I'm a private tutor, a spectrograph engineer, a physicist, an assistant scout leader, and (not unimportantly) a father to a 4 year old who will have to live in the world this generation leaves behind. I am certainly not trying to detract from the importance of climate change, or tackling it. And I still don't understand how studying the seeding of microorganisms on Mars in any way detracts from efforts to counteract climate change.

Perhaps you've spent so much time trying to combat lies and half truths from climate change deniers that you're being a bit overly defensive of the topic importance?

danscope
2014-May-02, 05:32 PM
In my post, I applauded robots and the dedicated missions they thrive in, like martian research. It is in manned missions
to such that I find hard to justify the expenditure of such billions when there are "other problems".
I guess we at least agree on robots.
Best regards, Dan

marsbug
2014-May-03, 09:34 AM
I'm no great fan of proposals to send humans to Mars danscope, specifically because they're only a political tool that's trotted out to get a certain reaction, such as distracting people from more immediate problems. I've been infracted for loosing my temper over how much money has been wasted by this over the years - so I'll leave that discussion there.

I think good science experiments can be done for a reasonable price on Mars using robots, including seeing if any extremophile life could take hold in a sheltered spot there. I think studying how the Martian climate has changed can support our understanding of anthropogenic climate change, and underscore how serious the matter is in the publics mind. I think we agree on more than you realise!

danscope
2014-May-03, 05:00 PM
Hi Marsbug, I think we do agree. Thakyou for your reply.
Best regards,
Dan

Noclevername
2014-May-04, 12:05 PM
In my post, I applauded robots and the dedicated missions they thrive in, like martian research. It is in manned missions
to such that I find hard to justify the expenditure of such billions when there are "other problems".
I guess we at least agree on robots.
Best regards, Dan

There will ways be "other problems". Many trillions are being spent right now on programs other than fixing those other problems, and on things that actively make those problems worse. Why not go after them, instead of going after something that might save the human species from those other problems?

Noclevername
2014-May-04, 12:29 PM
danscope, you still seem to vastly over estimate how much is spent on MST. It is a tiny, tiny fraction of the total US budget-- under half of one percent. This has been pointed out to you before. There are far better places to trim fat from the budget, and apply that wealth to ecological concerns.

Since I can't get through to you on this topic I'll drop it. But next time you bring up the same old claims that it's stopping us from fixing the environment I'll be right there to counter you with facts. And to point out the obvious; that there's more than one way to save humanity, and both can be done together.

danscope
2014-May-04, 08:51 PM
@Noclevername: Well sir, if we ever go to mars, you can count on our votes to send you as our first emmissay as our minister without portfolio.
Regards

marsbug
2014-May-04, 10:01 PM
There will ways be "other problems". Many trillions are being spent right now on programs other than fixing those other problems, and on things that actively make those problems worse. Why not go after them, instead of going after something that might save the human species from those other problems?

That is a fair point IMHO: The money spent on manned space exploration is small next to, for example, subsidies for fossil fuel power stations. Or money spent on lobbying by fossil fuel energy concerns. That doesn't mean I think the money spent on MSE pipe dreams couldn't be better directed onto something else (for example a robot mission to seek out habitable Martian microenvironments and try and grow extremophiles in them!!) but there are far more deserving targets for funding cuts that are actively worsening the situation. The MSE budget, even if it was all ploughed into renewable power plants and sustainable living developments, would only make a very modest difference at best.

Edit: In fact, this might be a bit more important than that: This idea, that NASA has a budget of trillions and MSE is a huge chunk of that multi trillion dollar budget, is one of the many ways politicians lobbyists and others use MSE as a tool to distract people from where serious money is actually being spent - on things that are actively making the world worse, less stable, risking millions of lives and lining the pockets of the very few. To get very strong on the idea that MSE is taking significant funds from more worthy (non space exploration - it still takes too much from really-happening unmanned exploration!) causes is to be playing into their hands.

galacsi
2014-May-05, 10:22 AM
So..... you want to eat lichens?

Yes I am late to answer your post , but Noclevername did a fine job answering it .:)

I was just trying to help a theorical discussion by adding a science fact. In fact I don't think it will be wise to "bring life" to Mars ,even by accident , because after all we don't really know if there is a native martian life or not. It would be ill advised to polute Mars before studying it thoroughfly.And if life do exists onMars it could even be dangerous , who knows.

But I think you are too fast edgy on these space concerns.

Paul Wally
2014-May-07, 09:58 AM
NASA may put a small greenhouse on Mars in 2021 (http://www.space.com/25767-nasa-mars-greenhouse-rover-plant-experiment.html) as part of the 2020 rover mission.


Space.com article

Plant life may touch down on Mars in 2021.

Researchers have proposed putting a plant-growth experiment on NASA's next Mars rover, which is scheduled to launch in mid-2020 and land on the Red Planet in early 2021. The investigation, known as the Mars Plant Experiment (MPX), could help lay the foundation for the colonization of Mars, its designers say.

danscope
2014-May-07, 09:23 PM
That sounds doable. Worthy experiment.Robotic built greenhouses is an amazing concept, and are possible. Technically, plants could grow material used to make the domes . Theorticaly.But imagine, robic built shelter on mars...waiting for the first team.

ravens_cry
2014-May-10, 05:11 PM
Inflatable transparent structures would provide the necessary space at a minimum of weight, though if the lighting is not enough, photovoltaic cells could generate power for growing lights. You'd really need a lot though.

Noclevername
2014-May-10, 05:13 PM
Inflatable transparent structures would provide the necessary space at a minimum of weight, though if the lighting is not enough, photovoltaic cells could generate power for growing lights. You'd really need a lot though.

Mars is windy, how much power could a wind turbine get in the thin atmosphere?

ravens_cry
2014-May-10, 05:37 PM
Mars is windy, how much power could a wind turbine get in the thin atmosphere?
Some, at least. It could certainly be part of it, though moving parts would have to be protected from grit very well. On the plus side, high winds mean low solar thanks to dust in the air, so one could complement the other.

Noclevername
2014-May-10, 06:59 PM
You'd also need a way to clean dust off the dome.

marsbug
2014-May-10, 08:15 PM
IIRC the ground temperature can be around thirty degrees celcius near the equator, and there are non electrical ways a structure can store heat overnight. So I imagine a well chosen location would mean that heat and light would only need to be generated during a sandstorm.

ravens_cry
2014-May-11, 12:19 AM
You'd also need a way to clean dust off the dome.
Well, a turbine becomes a fan if you power it, and Martian dust isn't as 'sticky' as lunar dust.

Barabino
2014-Jun-27, 04:08 PM
I think we've got a long, long way to go before we even think about doing that. We need to examine Mars in a lot more detail before throwing Earth life around all willy-nilly. We also need to find out if we can actually live there before we make the effort needed to terraform.

Why do you think we might not survive long time in a sealed box down there? What problem may arise? Lower gravity or less sunrays may be more a long-term danger than we currently think?

Barabino
2014-Jul-01, 03:37 PM
rather, how long have we managed to run a sealed-box eco-system? weeks or months? It was with people inside?

Noclevername
2014-Jul-01, 04:49 PM
See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Controlled_Ecological_Life_Support_System. Not listed there is the recently announced Chinese Lunar PALACE (http://www.space.com/26267-china-lunar-palace-space-research-mission.html) which lasted 105 days.

Noclevername
2014-Jul-01, 04:51 PM
Why do you think we might not survive long time in a sealed box down there? What problem may arise? Lower gravity or less sunrays may be more a long-term danger than we currently think?

Primarily gravity, with cosmic rays being a close second.

Barabino
2014-Jul-02, 06:16 PM
See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Controlled_Ecological_Life_Support_System. Not listed there is the recently announced Chinese Lunar PALACE (http://www.space.com/26267-china-lunar-palace-space-research-mission.html) which lasted 105 days.

It does not even come close to the 6 months of travel time... sgrunt :-/

a bag of frozen fish is an easier solution then...

http://www.visindustrie.com/VISMARE/images/BastoncinidiMerluzzo.jpg