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somerandomguy
2003-Jun-30, 06:52 AM
Just finished "The Case for Mars," an incredible book on Mars exploration and colonization. The author lays out the process in plain, easy-to-understand language that doesn't feel dumbed-down. I understood about 60% of the material with my high-school-level physics and chemistry knowledge. A great read.

So, coming to the end of the book, I found myself daydreaming about life as a Martian colonist or early-stage emigrant. It wouldn't be easy, basically isolated from everything I know, learning a whole new way to live under arduous and life-threatening conditions, subsisting on the fruits of my own manual labor, eking out a pioneer's life on that red frontier.

Would you go?

Would you give up your life savings, your personal and financial assets here on this world, for a shot at being part of history? Would you risk painful death, starvation, loneliness, and economic ruin to place yourself among the new Pilgrims? What would you ask in return -- what would it take to make you volunteer? Money? Technology? A shuttle full of nubile members of the opposite sex to make your stay more pleasant?

Would you go?

darkhunter
2003-Jun-30, 08:44 AM
Where do I sign up?

Diamond
2003-Jun-30, 08:53 AM
Yes, I'd go.

Unfortunately, the budget is being swallowed by the Shuttle and the ISS. If these white elephants are not removed from NASA's back, then we won't go to Mars in my lifetime.

kilopi
2003-Jun-30, 09:27 AM
I'd go, but I'd be diluting the nubility somewhat.

Kaptain K
2003-Jun-30, 11:48 AM
In a heartbeat! 8)

dgruss23
2003-Jun-30, 12:12 PM
There is a part of me that would love to do something like that - but I couldn't leave behind my family! So I'd stay - not that NASA's going to come knocking at my door anyway. :D

gethen
2003-Jun-30, 02:29 PM
There is a part of me that would love to do something like that - but I couldn't leave behind my family! So I'd stay - not that NASA's going to come knocking at my door anyway. :D

I agree. I'd love to go, but how do you leave the family? And, like kilopi, I'm probably past the ideal age.

kilopi
2003-Jun-30, 02:32 PM
And, like kilopi, I'm probably past the ideal age.
Just a minute there! I think there is no ideal age--it's just that "nubile" can mean "marriageable", so I was playing with somerandomguy's criteria.

OK, OK, I'm old too.

gethen
2003-Jun-30, 02:51 PM
Yeah, the word "nubile" is a real problem at my age. You'd think that our great age and wisdom would count for something, wouldn't you?

pmcolt
2003-Jun-30, 04:39 PM
I'll go. I'm already packed, just let me grab a map to the launch site.

They accept out-of-shape, inexperienced, untrained 21-year-old engineering students, don't they? :o

Humphrey
2003-Jun-30, 04:53 PM
Don't worry when me and the rest of us are on the rocket to mars we will think of you. With a several minute thought delay of course. :-)


I promise to write from the colony.

They expect a in shape, hungry, 21 year old anthropology student right?

WorseAstronomer
2003-Jun-30, 04:59 PM
Would I go to be a pioneer? No.

I'd go on an expedition, but living out my days as a pioneer is not where I see myself.

Though, I WOULD support others in going. Including taxpayer subsidies, which I think it would take.

But, a different question (which isn't mine, I've seen it before) is whether it would be right to terraform Mars. Would it be wrong for humans to alter its natural state?

Personally, I'd say, no it would not be wrong.

Byrd
2003-Jun-30, 05:48 PM
There is a part of me that would love to do something like that - but I couldn't leave behind my family! So I'd stay - not that NASA's going to come knocking at my door anyway. :D

I agree. I'd love to go, but how do you leave the family? And, like kilopi, I'm probably past the ideal age.

(sigh) Me too!

But if we could take all the family... oy... wait... there's a bazillion relatives on my husband's side! Maybe if we could take all the ones that wanted to go...?

You know, that's a hard decision.

Byrd
2003-Jun-30, 05:50 PM
They expect a in shape, hungry, 21 year old anthropology student right?

Or an out-of-shape old-enough-to-be-your-grandma anthropology student and her cat, right?

somerandomguy
2003-Jun-30, 06:10 PM
One of the things the book mentions is the old emigration from Europe to America, in which a family would pool its resources to send one member across the sea, and then that person, after making his or her fortune in the New World, would bring the rest of the family over.

Still though, you're talking several years before that can happen, if it ever CAN -- the colonial Martian economy isn't exactly going to become New York City.

I'd go, for sure, if they have newspapers on Mars, since that's what I do for a living. My mom wouldn't like it though. :-?

You'd like to think we could come up with a propulsion method someday that would allow a two-week travel time. That would make the separation much less acute. The other problem is, and I mean no offense to anyone on this board, but the folks who have the easiest time leaving their families and lives behind aren't generally the folks you'd want building a new branch of society. (I imagine a world built by the chemically-dependent teenagers who wander the streets of downtown Omaha.) I'm guessing you'd want some "older" types, some families, and some white-collar folks to go along with the pioneering rebels. But maybe I'm just being elitist.

tracer
2003-Jun-30, 06:48 PM
They accept out-of-shape, inexperienced, untrained 21-year-old engineering students, don't they? :o
Only if they're nubile. And of the opposite sex. (Opposite to what, they don't say. Maybe they're looking for hermaphrodites.)

pmcolt
2003-Jun-30, 08:13 PM
Only if they're nubile. And of the opposite sex. (Opposite to what, they don't say. Maybe they're looking for hermaphrodites.)

Is 'male' opposite enough? Hermaphrodites, eh? I think I'm only half-qualified in that respect, then. :-?

Kaptain K
2003-Jun-30, 09:12 PM
Hey! I'm in shape. Round is a shape, right? :roll: :roll: :roll:

pixelator
2003-Jun-30, 10:05 PM
Or....

We could do something like in one of the "hitchhiker's guide" books (I think) where they sent off all their useless people to another planet (I think it was earth in the book :lol: )

We could give free passage to all of the Planet X loonies, the lawyers, politicians, etc. , while we stay here and enjoy family, earth and the internet.

Argos
2003-Jul-01, 04:48 PM
I donīt think Iīd go.

I love adventure (iīve made nice trips here on Earth). Itīs good to be in Antarctica feeling all the thrill, knowing that you could be back home cozy and warm within 10 hours.

Mars is different. Nothing like primitive America and the Pilgrims. Life conditions would be far harder. I donīt think I could live without the sweet Ocean breeze caressing my skin on a lazy summer afternoon. I donīt think I could live without the greens of the Earth. I donīt think I could stand looking to that tiny blue star in the sky, when loneliness stroke.

tracer
2003-Jul-01, 04:51 PM
I don't think you culd live without breatheable air, either. ;)

somerandomguy
2003-Jul-01, 06:56 PM
I don't think you culd live without breatheable air, either. ;)

Tsk. Some people can be so high-maintenance... :lol:

Mr. X
2003-Jul-01, 07:28 PM
Would you give up your life savings, your personal and financial assets here on this world, for a shot at being part of history? Would you risk painful death, starvation, loneliness, and economic ruin to place yourself among the new Pilgrims? What would you ask in return -- what would it take to make you volunteer? Money? Technology? A shuttle full of nubile members of the opposite sex to make your stay more pleasant?

Would you go?

I'd want absolutely nothing and I'd go even if it was to crash a ship on mars and die there to say "A human almost made it there", and I'm not 60 years old, so I can't say "I don't have a lot of time left anyway" either. :lol:

Yes. Yes I would.

gethen
2003-Jul-01, 09:17 PM
But if we could take all the family... oy... wait... there's a bazillion relatives on my husband's side! Maybe if we could take all the ones that wanted to go...?



On the contrary, only relatives that I personally want to go would get to make the trip in my perfect scenario. Defy death, yes. Live withut any modern conveniences, yes. Listen to my sister-in-law complain about the lack of shopping for the rest of my life--just kill me now. Life would be tough enough without that! :wink:

ChesleyFan
2003-Jul-01, 11:34 PM
Is this a trick question? :)

Yes, I would go. In a sliver of a heartbeat. And this may sound cold, but concern about my family isn't enough to stop me. I mean, they're only about ten minutes away from you by radio, anyway.

Chip
2003-Jul-02, 07:45 AM
But, a different question...is whether it would be right to terraform Mars. Would it be wrong for humans to alter its natural state? Personally, I'd say, no it would not be wrong.

There is also the possibility of altering human genetics to become more survivable in the Martian environment. Terraforming could take place to a degree, but as to meet this halfway with human beings who are biologically adapted to Mars. Our understanding of the Genome may make this possible. Then the later colonists would truly become - the Martians!

pixelator
2003-Jul-03, 03:32 PM
The problem I see with genetic adaption is that then the 'Martians' become locked into their martian environment. If they want to visit earth would need special environment suits. The real problem comes when the Earthlings and Martians want to explore space together. They will not be able to share an environment. The outcome of all this is that the human race would be effectively split, which could lead to disagreements, fighting, or isolation of the martians as the earth humans continue to explore space. We have a hard enough time getting along with ourselves with a few skin color differences. And continuing genetic adaption at more environments makes more splits.

I think it makes more sense to adapt the environment to us.

Chip
2003-Jul-03, 10:19 PM
Hi,

Your notion is interesting (and this is all speculative anyway,) but I don't see that much difference between Terra-humans and Martian-humans along the lines you've described. I think prejudice and conflict would unfortunately occur from time to time, even if Mars were colonized by biologically Earth-bound Terra-humans in space suites.

Also, Earth-humans are already locked in to this environment, as much as hypothetical Mars adapted humans would be on Mars, so there is no difference in the long run. If Mars were independent of Earth for survival, that would be a good thing in terms of survivability of asteroid impacts, as the odds would be better.

Also there is the possibility that as humans colonize Mars, nature will evolve them to be subtly more adapted over time anyway. As changes occur, science might consider genetically enhancing Martian traits too.

nebularain
2003-Jul-04, 01:06 AM
I saw a program talking about future space travel. They proposed the idea of genetically altering humans to fit the environment.

Space travelers would have four arms with hands - makes more sense for the weightless environment. Humans on a low gravity planet would be tall and thin. Humans on a desert planet would be given eyes with an inner eye lid among other adaptations.

Kind of weird.