Re: Right Stuff for the Red Planet

From: Michael S. Lorrey (
Date: Wed Feb 16 2000 - 23:41:33 MST

Spike Jones wrote:
> James Swayze wrote:
> > A little off the subject but can someone explain to me why people promoting the
> > terraforming of Mars still think it will hold a man made atmosphere despite the
> > believed theory that it lost it's atmosphere in the first place due to it's
> > diminutive size and thus lack of sufficient gravity?
> Zubrin is not always the most patient person. He gets asked that question
> a lot. If we could generate an atmosphere on Mars, it would stay around
> long enough to be useful. If we generated it once, then stopped, the halflife
> of the new atmosphere would be in the millions of years. Theory holds that
> it lost its atmosphere over a looong time, and that conditions necessary to
> support life existed there longer than here.
> Zubrin's Case For Mars, chapter 9 goes into this. Buy the book; its worth
> the 10 bucks you pay for a paperback.
> I really irritated Zub at a conference once merely by suggesting that candidate
> Mars astronauts should be chosen by their size. Please, why do people find
> this notion so offputting? {8^D spike

because mars missions are expensive things that require a lot of PR to
keep funded. Putting attractive, fit, large men and women in front of
the camera goes a long way toward justifying the budgeting. If your
mission was manned by Vern Troyer and company, it would be the laughing
stock of Washington. (nothing against Vern, I like the guy, but you get
my point).

Mike Lorrey

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