mars in few words

From: Spike Jones (
Date: Wed Oct 18 2000 - 23:43:23 MDT

> Spike Jones writes:> tall, handsome young Captain America type to Mars...
> Eugene Leitl wrote: Unless Captain Yuri T. Rash gets there first, of course
> ;)

Ja, but the commies seem to be losing interest in the project.

> > to plant a damn striped piece of cloth and come home, I suppose.
> Why on Earth Mars? You still need zero-volume delta joint vacuum suits
> there, because you still see 98% of the same force as in Earth orbit
> or Moon surface.

I think we can do em both, more or less simultaneously, and use
a lot of shared technologies.

> Water? There's water on the Moon (unless the neutron
> data from Lunar prospector is totally bogus which I don't believe),

Roger that. I suspect at the end of the day, carbon and phosphorus
will be the show stoppers for lunar colonization.

> Oxygen? Darn Moon is made from some few 10% of that stuff,

No argument there.

> However, you
> can't do vacuum industrial processes on Mars, because the atmosphere
> is in the way, and insolation density is a bit thin out there.

One of the favorite sayings from the Mars group goes like this:
Mars, just like the moon, only with bad weather.

> > the point of that? The first Martians need to stay and work, not
> > just explore and poke flags into the red soil. We can build machines
> > that can explore.
> Indeed. But why should people stay and work on Mars and not on the
> Moon?

Again, little argument. I would think we could do both. Im not
satisfied with the notion of doing Earth orbit for 40 years, then do
a moon colony for the next 40, then a Mars colony, etc. With the
proper *scaling* of the mission (thats where I get these crazy notions
of a crew of one) these can be effectively done simultaneously,
without draining the national treasury.

> > I admit that it is an outrageously high-risk venture.
> It is rather a very expensive suicide mission.

Oh ye of Leitl faith. Get the right people behind this mission
and it has a better than even chance of success.

> Honestly, which disabilities would give you an advantage?

The ones that pre adapt one for the loneliness and boredom
of being the only person on a faraway planet.

> I understand
> that weighing just 25 kg can give you advantage for long spaceflights
> without a closed-circuit ecology -- if you can survive the launch and
> reentry -- but what else?

The differently abled condition I have in mind demonstrates the
victim's ability to live indoors indefinitely. You and I would go
crazy with that arrangement, since we have had the blessings
of health and fitness. If I recall correctly from our last meeting,
Gene, you are an athletic young man.

> > > Microgravity could be the next great equalizer.
> >
> > Right-o!
> Have you seen what happens to people and animals after one year of
> microgravity?

Evidently much of the calcium dumped from the body comes from
the large leg bones. Wouldnt be problem for the case I have in mind.

> Higher organisms are not made for space.

That depends on how one defines "higher."

> They need
> simulated gravity thus negating all advantages disabled people might
> possibly have.

Simulated gravity is great to have, but there are some compelling
reasons to not use it, having to do with increased complication
of the spacecraft. Even if one uses a tethered countermass, sim
gravity greatly reduces the amount of useable space available in
the hab module. Of course one could argue that the space will no
longer be useable upon arrival, I suppose.

Most of the advantage in using a differently abled person as the
first Martian would be psychological: their lives on Mars might
even be an improvement in some ways over life here. I doubt
that would be the case with any of us.

> Yes, space is rather unforgiving. The less reason to go galumphing
> about in a space suit, and use teleoperated machinery instead.

So why not both? The role of the human on Mars is more
critical than a human on the moon. Since the moon is only
a little over a light second away, we could teleoperate machinery
on the moon more easily than we could operate the same
machinery on Mars. Forget the space suits in both cases:
build a moon base with machines controlled from Earth, build
a Mars base with machines controlled by a Martian who
stays inside the lander/hab module. spike

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Mon May 28 2001 - 09:50:17 MDT