Mars

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Tweefo (October 10, 2015, 08:01:09 AM):
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/science-news/11921070/Nasa-planning-Earth-Independent-Mars-colony-by-2030s.html
I am still very, very sceptical on whether it is possible or not. They have not even attempt a sample return mission.
With a rotation like craft, you can get there in reasonable shape but just think of the logistics of landing back here on Earth. No ground crew on Mars to welcome you. Maybe living / working habitats can be 3D printed before the time but that is science fiction for now. (3D printing can build a house here on Earth but only with lots of human help).
Radiation!
$!
brianvds (October 10, 2015, 08:58:43 AM):
It is likely complete fantasy, and I have to wonder whether they believe it themselves. Anyway, I do not want humans anywhere near Mars until we are certain that there is no indigenous life there.

An interesting simulation they could do is this: see if they can set up an "Earth-independent" colony somewhere on Earth. Like, for example, Antarctica or the middle of the Sahara. I doubt whether that can be done with their current knowledge and technology. But they want to try it on Mars?

Not to mention the cost, which will be prohibitive, and divert even more funding away from unmanned exploration. We already have a damn white space elephant in earth orbit; we don't need another on Mars.
Rigil Kent (October 10, 2015, 09:31:58 AM):
Sometimes I think it's quite cool to do things without any regard for cost, just to see what humans are capable of. As long as the Americans pay for it, of course.

Was it not Mandela who noted that it always seems impossible until it's done? Then again, the number of space colonies designed by our former president can probably be counted on one hand. Perhaps he was referring to draughting constitutions.

R.
Tweefo (October 10, 2015, 09:39:31 AM):
Quote
An interesting simulation they could do is this: see if they can set up an "Earth-independent" colony somewhere on Earth.
They've tried it a few times, I think there is one going on right now. I know one experiment failed after a short time due to cabin fever. But an experiment can't be 100% independent. The participants will know that help is not 3 years away and I come back to the radiation problem.
Tweefo (October 10, 2015, 09:45:41 AM):
Sometimes I think it's quite cool to do things without any regard for cost, just to see what humans are capable of. As long as the Americans pay for it, of course.

Was it not Mandela who noted that it always seems impossible until it's done? Then again, the number of space colonies designed by our former president can probably be counted on one hand. Perhaps he was referring to draughting constitutions.

R.
But the scale on a venture like this... The Moon landings had the cold war as a driving force but this?

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