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View Full Version : Ep. 96: Humans to Mars, Part 3 - Terraforming Mars



Fraser
2008-Jul-08, 11:50 PM
And now we reach the third part of our trilogy on the human exploration and colonization of Mars. Humans will inevitably tire of living underground, and will want to stretch their legs, and fill their lungs with fresh air. One day, we'll contemplate the possibility of reshaping Mars to suit human life. Is it even possible? What technologies would be used, and what's the best we can hope for?http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/astronomycast/~4/330253055

More... (http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/astronomycast/~3/330253055/)

CharlieMopps
2008-Jul-13, 04:46 PM
hrm... no-ones going to comment on this episode?

Ok, I will... Hey Pamela, what's the deal with your seaming lack of faith in human engineering? I really don't think the general ideas presented in the Red Mars trilogy as that far fetched. The technology seems a bit out-there right now, but in 200 years? I think we'll see a space-elevator in our lifetime (you really should do a show on that one) and that is going to have a signifigant impact on what we can and can't do in space. All we are waiting on is material science to provide us with something to make the cable out of. Everything else is pretty much already available. The financial benefits of the space elevator will make it a sure thing once we have the technology.

I don't think we could have it done in 200 years as they do in the books, but thousands of years? Bah!! Haven't you watched "The Wrath of Kahn"? We'll have a planet making torpedo in less than 300 years, so clearly your estimates are off.

Lord Jubjub
2008-Jul-16, 11:19 PM
I was hoping you would name drop Total Recall. That movie had an idea of increasing air pressure similar to what you propose.

Though I don't think Mars has a core of ice. . .

4tune8chance
2008-Jul-21, 02:05 AM
hrm... no-ones going to comment on this episode?

Ok, I will... Hey Pamela, what's the deal with your seaming lack of faith in human engineering? I really don't think the general ideas presented in the Red Mars trilogy as that far fetched. The technology seems a bit out-there right now, but in 200 years? I think we'll see a space-elevator in our lifetime (you really should do a show on that one) and that is going to have a signifigant impact on what we can and can't do in space. All we are waiting on is material science to provide us with something to make the cable out of. Everything else is pretty much already available. The financial benefits of the space elevator will make it a sure thing once we have the technology.

I don't think we could have it done in 200 years as they do in the books, but thousands of years? Bah!! Haven't you watched "The Wrath of Kahn"? We'll have a planet making torpedo in less than 300 years, so clearly your estimates are off.

Iím going to side with Pamela here, but for a slightly different reason. IMO itís not so much the technology, but the logistics.

E.g. You have a machine on Mars that produces a product, it will fail eventually, that is certain. So now you need a spare (thatís going to cost you because you cant wait for one to be sent from earth, you need it now). Sure you can make some things redundant, but itís a gable against time. The entire mission is a gamble of the number of spares you need as against the risk of failure, and thatís something you may not wish risk.

It gets better Ė you will need test equipment, and tools, thatís more training and man power. You donít want to have your scientists doing fulltime maintenance, else what the point of going to Mars if itís just an exercise in survival.

And better again - you may (will) not have anticipated every problem or breakage, so you might consider more general materials, like sheet metal, wire, plastic, duct tape, fasteners, thatís more weight and cost.

Plan for accidents Ė extra, air, water, food, fuel, medicines, engines,

And this is only the mechanical side of the mission (a short term mission), the biology has similar problems of equal magnitude.

Logistics can really bight you, in fact it can bankrupt you, and thatís a bad thing on Mars.