Re: Mars (sparked by RE: true abundance?)

From: Spike Jones (
Date: Tue Jan 30 2001 - 23:23:40 MST

I had to respond to this.

> denis bider wrote:> > Do you mean colonization on Mars or ...
> >
> Samantha Atkins wrote: There are several huge problems. Like it being
> hideously expensive to
> get much of humanity to Mars and established there.

Agreed. So dont move much of humanity. Start now and get
people there by having them be born there. Technically it would
be necessary to send only one person. Since I now have accepted
the fact that I will never hear the end of it, I will repeat an earlier
notion that the minimal Mars colony starts with one person.

> Like there being no known way the colony could break even or be
> self-supporting in less than
> oh about a dozen generations.

Nonsense, sorry Samantha. The colony would need to be
self supporting from the time it left the ground. Sending
supplies would pretty much be outta the question. It is too
expensive to soft land stuff on Mars, and even with modern
tech, its hard to hit an exact target. It all goes together in
one mission. Please keep reading.

> Like the dearth of
> volunteers to go endure utterly horrid conditions and a huge likelihood
> of death with no discernible golden lining for quite some time.

Agreed this is a problem, but this crowded planet has over 6E9
persons to choose from. Also recall that the ideal candidate may
come from that segment of society that is not accustomed to
having the chance to do cool things. You are I are used to having
things go our way, are we not? It does not surprise us when
good things happen, when we get chances to do stuff.
But people who are poor, uneducated, unhealthy, etc, do not
get these chances. This competition is open to *everyone*.

Nowthen, please, everyone here, stop and think hard: what
skills would *really* be *required* for an astronaut heading
to Mars to start a colony? I suggest these:

1. Determination to survive.
2. Low weight.
3. Very small appetite.
4. Ability to endure loneliness, but with the complementary
ability to endure more virtual "company" than one could
possibly imagine.
5. Functional uterus.
6. Collection of frozen embryos.

Skills that astronauts have had in the past, but would not
be needed for this mission.

1. Education (why would that be needed?)
2. Social graces
3. Literacy (the messages could be translated to and
from voice.)
4. English (messages could be machine translated
from any language.)
5. Legs (Where is she gonna go?)

> Exactly where do you believe the money will come from to fund such a
> misadventure?

Goooood question. The only reason I could think of for a business
enterprise to take this on is that the communications from the colony
would be worth a cool fortune. If one could figure out a way to
encrypt, receive and sell the email from Mars to those who are interested
in what the Martians have to say, then private business might be able to
carry the expense. I would pay 10 bucks for a day's transmissions,
for instance, and would likely pay that on a 3-4 times a month
basis. I would estimate 10 million subscribers around the world,
so the payback would be worth about a 5 billion dollar investment.

To get such a mission down to 5 billion, we would surely need to cut
some corners, which is why I keep coming back to the single tiny
person. The lander would need to be very small, and of course
carry with it all the equipment needed to create an underground
artificially lit farm. I agree it is a hell of a challenge. A way cool one.

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Mon May 28 2001 - 09:56:26 MDT