Author Topic: What Do You Think Humans Need to Live Sustainably on Mars?  (Read 3123 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline mayya

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 7874
What Do You Think Humans Need to Live Sustainably on Mars?

BY STAV ZIV 5/7/15 AT 6:25 PM

This computer-generated view depicts a part of Mars, at the boundary between darkness and daylight. NASA launched a “Journey to Mars” challenge asking for the public’s input on how to create a sustainable human presence on the planet. JPL-CALTECH/NASA/REUTERS


FILED UNDER: Tech & Science, Mars, Space, NASA

NASA is striving to create a long-term human presence on Mars, and it wants the public’s input on how to sustain life on our neighboring planet. On Tuesday, the organization announced a “Journey to Mars” challenge asking for submissions that address questions like “What do you need to bring, and how do you minimize the need for delivery of future supplies in order to establish a sustained human presence on a planet 140 million miles away from Earth?”

NASA is looking ahead to the first expected human landing on Mars, which it anticipates will take place in the 2030s, as well as subsequent “pioneering space” goals, and it has launched its challenge via solutions-crowdsourcing platform InnoCentive to help achieve its aims. The InnoCentive entry lists a July 6 deadline for detailed written submissions, and NASA is offering prizes of $5,000 or more to up to three winners.

The challenge asks participants, which it calls “Solvers,” to “describe one or more Mars surface systems/capabilities and operations needed to achieve this goal that are, to the greatest extent possible, technically achievable, economically sustainable, and minimize (ideally eliminate) reliance on support from Earth.”
These “systems/capabilities” might include food, water, oxygen/air, exercises (body and mind), social interactions, shelter, medical support, communication and climate control, but a NASA press release encourages people to brainstorm other areas to focus on. The challenge description instructs Solvers that a typical crew includes four to six people and reminds them that they must take into consideration limitations in the weight and volume of supplies carried to Mars, as well as a roughly 500-day minimum interval between resupply opportunities.

And, NASA emphasizes, “achieving this ‘continuous human presence’ is NOT colonization, which is defined in this context as a one-way trip to Mars with no opportunity to return.” Instead, it would like to implement “a gradual transition from current operations in low Earth orbit (LEO),” which is where the International Space Station operates, “to a permanent human presence on Mars.”

Offline jujyjuji

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1204
Re: What Do You Think Humans Need to Live Sustainably on Mars?
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2015, 13:06:46 PM »
Very interesting post!

I was wondering... a part from the fact that "terraformation" on Mars would be impossible given it has less gravity than the Earth and an eventual transformation of the atmosphere from CO2 to O2 would make it lighter, so it would be quickly dispersed out of the planet... But are these our priorities?

I've seen in the last 2 years an increasing attention in the space research projects dedicated to "colonize" other planets; I don't mean "knowing other planets", I really mean colonization: we have probabily become too many here and we are ending [wasting] big part of our non renewable resources, climate change is badly hitting several nation and it's increasing the intensity of natural phenomenons... I suppose these reasons may push some to look outside here...
But how much will it cost?
And how hard will it be?
Isn't it better, given we have still working echosystems, starting to respect them and try to heal the Earth before?

We have no idea what we'll find outside. In recent news they discovered whole colonies of bacteria have survived for months out of the atmosphere, at terrible temperatures and levels of radiation on a Russian spacestation: it seems from fossiles that some bacteria also lived on Mars when the planet had oceans (and the planet still has water and variable ice levels, so there may be life similar to the Terrestrial forms of); we now are aware of the so called "extremophiles": forms of life that on this planet live in "impossible conditions", but who knows if on other planets the "extremophiles" would be ourselves? ...

Has anybody also valued the question: don't we risk to compromise already existing unknown echosystems in the name of living a "susteinable life" on other planets?

I have two big criticism points to express here:

1) We have never explored anythingelse but the moon and we even don't know what lives under our oceans; we have a very [egocentric] Earth-centric idea of what life may be and how it may be since we mainly know the only forms of life based on carbon that breath Oxigen or breath CO2, though we have recently discovered what we call "extremophiles" have different methabolisms based on totally other substances. So we have no idea if going on another planet and the idea of colonizing it at the 1st impact may hurt other echosystems, because we don't know any other kind of exchosystems a part from the terrestrial ones: don't we risk to become like the Spanish colonizers that litterally destroied the Latin American indigenous populations (including spreading "new" viruses)? Does the NASA rise questions on this subject? Doesn't history teach anything about this?

2) Why projects about going on Mars when what we mainly need is restoring the things here on the Earth, having less impact on THIS planet, wich is possible and we have all the techlologies to implement this before risking elsewhere that would require immense resources with no guarantee of success?

I'm seriously doubtfull all these projects that for now concern a far future reflect the needs and interests of few instead of the Earth's people.
The NASA is a serious agency: we aren't mentioning science fiction here, they hypothize about possible real projects and I've watched several documentaries where several companies also developed projects, for the NASA or even Chinese agencies, about exploration/colonization of other planets finalized to exploit their resources.
It kinda worries me because I'm aware within 50 years the effects of the human impact and growth on the Earth will be exponential and have even now changed the situation to a non-coming-back point (we never had so much CO2 a part from mass extiction moments in our atmosphere and it's having domino effects); if we don't change style of life, mainly the so called "developed/industrialized countries", if also the countries on way of developement assume the lifestyle of Americans and Europeans ...we now consume as if we had 1,5 Earths... we would consume as if we had 5 Earths and these data aren't catastrophism: they come from serious studies... If so, the effects are going to be exponential (I'm using the "going to" instead of "will" because we already are on that way). So when I see that someone is thinking about moving out from here, with this mentality of exploitation we have and without thinking about what we could do here and what will be the impact there, I'm worried, and I don't care if that will happen within 50 or 200 years, honestly.

I love the space research.
I've been always curious about knowing if there are other forms of life out of here, if there are totally different echosystems too, etc. And I think given life is so contagious here too that it's impossible we are the only living beings, admitted that our definition of "alive" is not too Earth-centric.
So I love that they are in the last years admittimg there's a lot of water in the Solar System (Jupiter's bigger satellites are full of), that Saturn's satellite Titanus may have echosystems based on methan as with its temperatures it behaves like our water and can easily get linked to other molecules, that there are a lot of Earth-like planets,etc.
It's fantastic.
But from here to say "let's go and try to live on Mars" I'd rise a lot of questions before, honestly.

Offline jujyjuji

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1204
Re: What Do You Think Humans Need to Live Sustainably on Mars?
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2015, 14:47:56 PM »
NASA plans to produce oxigen on Mars... Totally fool plan! Mars hasn't enough gravity to mantain O2 in its atmosphere, that at the moment is for the 98% made of [heavier] CO2. 

Info: NASA Funds Research For Producing Oxygen On Mars

CO2 also causes greenhouse effect, "warming the planet": it means we have +20 / -70° temperatures at Mars' equator in summer with the current Martian atmosphere; with O2 the temperatures would suddently decrease, and the O2 will be lost in a few centuries, if "free of going".
The plan is totally fool unless they want to live closed inside Martian spacestations.
The only thing on that planet is being forms of life that breath CO2 and don't need a lot of water given it's iced for the main part of the time; or living under the soil given the temperatures' gap between day & night, summer & winter... We aren't.

... Meanwhile on the Earth we are reaching never seen CO2 levels that risk to compromise the balances forever: isn't it better to mantain the O2 productions here, letting the algaes live without pollution in the Oceans and mantaining the forests intact?