Let U.S. go to work to get Mars habitable, now.

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k24anson

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Over the next several decades, NASA, JPL and the boys and girls at ESA's work to devise and then implement a system which puts an atmosphere on and above the surface of Mars. Then an ecosystem of some kind is brought to bear upon the planet, to bear fruit. And instead of just a star on 'ole Glory now, let's design a different look for a flag to fly beside 'ole Glory (and maybe to fly alongside any European nation which helped bring Mars habitable?), to represent that we own the entire surface of the Martian planet. The Asian and the Islamic governments that will exist when all this takes place will not have claim, nor the honor to do so. How better to rid the world of these potentially threatening governments in the future than for the U.S. to put a yoke on the planet Mars? They might then see their forms of government and culture as the dinosauric threats to the rest of the world that they are, and they might then change on their own, making the world a better place by doing so, and without U.S. having to fire a shot to do so, to bring about this change. Isn't this a peaceful way to bring about the change in the world that's needed, though I know I'm talking the talk of only winners win, and only the losers lose with this strategy, and approach. Hey, who thinks the world is really fair anyway. Tough booger snots I say to the losers! <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <span style="color:#000080" class="Apple-style-span">Stay focused. Go slow. Keep it simple.</span> </div>
 
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kdavis007

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I agree with you.. Lets go, however forget NASA, let private industry do the job.
 
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8774

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Should we not fix the problems we made on this planet before we go changing others?
 
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Aetius

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K24anson, terraforming Mars is something the Martian people will have to decide upon, when their various colonial governments have a tax base to pay the stupendous price tag, the political consensus to bureaucratize an entire planet's climate, and the industrial complex to actually do the deed. It can't even begin to happen, until Mars has a population in the hundreds of thousands.<br /><br />I am skeptical in the end the Martian people will choose blue skies 500 years in the future, over tax cuts in the present. Terraforming will become one more government spending priority, along with education, health care, social services for the elderly and handicapped, and the needs of the colonial militias.<br /><br />You might want to turn the planet into a garden, but I'd rather see it strip-mined to support the wealthiest, most optimistic, forward-looking branch of human civilization ever. I am skeptical that a hyper-bureaucratized state, crushed beneath taxation by authoritarian radical Greens, is the way to achieve that.
 
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Aetius

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8774, the same bogus argument can be used against funding all those space telescopes and probes, too.<br /><br />Why should I care about the mountains of Mars, or the skies of Titan, if I know that humans will never travel there?<br /><br />Your Doctoral Thesis may be important to you, but I don't think the man or woman on Main Street really wants to spend a billion dollars to subsidize it.<br /><br />Furthermore, if you are also against the planetary scientists' and astromers' pet projects as well, why are you even posting on a SPACE website? <img src="/images/icons/rolleyes.gif" />
 
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radarredux

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> <i><font color="yellow">If London and Paris and Madrid were bent on fixing their problems before they got to the New World, we'd not be here yet!</font>/i><br /><br />Whats this "we" white man? Native Americans would have probably been very happy if Europeans fixed their problems first before heading West. <img src="/images/icons/smile.gif" /></i>
 
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radarredux

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> <i><font color="yellow">If London and Paris and Madrid were bent on fixing their problems before they got to the New World, we'd not be here yet!</font>/i><br /><br />Don't forget that the European's westward exploration and colonization was primarily about commerce, secondarily about continuing Old World rivalries, and thirdly about religious efforts (religious persecution/conversion of others, or escaping others persecution of you).<br /><br />At the end of the 1400s Spain had driven most of the Muslims out of Spain, but the Muslims also now controlled access to the (spice) trade with Asia. Spain funded Columbus not for exploration's sake but to find a new trade route to Asia and bypassing the Muslims. Once the Americas were accidentally discovered and gold found, Spain also mined the America's for gold and also used the opportunity to export its warrior class (Conquistadors) so they wouldn't cause problems at home.<br /><br />The exploration and colonization by Europe was primarily about greed and power. The space race of the 1960s was about the projection of power.<br /><br />I believe that to promote an aggressive space exploration program it must be tied either to greed, power, or both.</i>
 
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8774

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It is true that we should find all information about space. We have not learned how to take care of ourselves or this planet .What makes you think we can do better on some other planet? Are we just to go from place to place 'till we getr it right?
 
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lunatic133

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And what good will information about space do for us if we have to commit all our resources into making earth into a glimmering utopia with no problems whatsoever <img src="/images/icons/rolleyes.gif" /> <br />You seem to be avoiding the question.
 
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radarredux

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> <i><font color="yellow">What makes you think we can do better on some other planet?</font>/i><br /><br />I don't think very many people are claiming we can do better. But I doubt humans here on Earth will change much over the next thousand years or so. Expecting humanity to substantially change in the next few decades or even hundreds of years, and then postponing exploration and expansion until that happens is a futile plan.</i>
 
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radarredux

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> <i><font color="yellow">WE have undergone more changes, culturally in the last 50 years than in the previous 5000.</font>/i><br /><br />I think if you moved to any civilization in the last 5000 years you would see many of the same issues: racisim (us vs. them), religious differences (although, I think the rise of monotheistic religions has exacerbated the problems), economic displarity and societal stratification (haves and the have nots), environment destruction, and so on. The settings may change, but the plot lines are still the same.<br /><br />While technologically we are changing, and I believe the rate of change is accelerating, the fundamental interactions of people (friction points) are changing very slowly.<br /><br />My position is that if we wait for there to be no more hungry people, wars to stop, everyone has the jobs they want, we live in harmony with the environment, and everyone is treated with dignity and compassion, then the wait will be a *very* long time.<br /><br />We might as well move forward now, because we will never have perfection here on Earth or anywhere else for that matter.</i>
 
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radarredux

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> <i><font color="yellow">they were faced with an early industrial, steel age culture, thousands of years ahead of them.</font>/i><br /><br />And germs. Lots of germs.<br /><br />[Actually I agree with (or at least don't disagree with) almost everything you have said in the previous two posts.]<br /><br />I have read that upwards of 90% of the native Americans were wiped out by disease and not guns and steel.<br /><br />As a side note, a number of cultures evolved to various advanced stages in the Americas, only to be reset by various environmental problems, much of it their own doing and much of it external in nature. Its like they kept getting rebooted and had to start again. There was also plenty of brutal warfare before Europeans arrived. The idea that the native populations of the Americas were peace loving people in harmony with the land is a myth.<br /><br />Still, I agree that technology is a very important factor. (although I will quibble with myself here at times)</i>
 
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SteveMick

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Stevehw writes:<br />"The Indian tribes, such as the Cherokee, under the Great Chief Sequoia, recognized very quickly what was happening, and very rapidly integrated, adopting the White man's ways, and writing their own language down, first among the Indains. <br /><br />"As a consequence, there are more Americans of Cherokee ancestry than ANY other tribe. They were realistic, and they survived by integration. They knew where the future led. " <br /><br /> You fail to mention that the adoption of western ways did nothing to prevent the "trail of tears" when the Cherokees were removed to Oklahoma.
 
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radarredux

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> <i><font color="yellow">Still, it does not pay to be techno backwards. Which was my real point.</font>/i><br /><br />With which I agree.</i>
 
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sinwisher

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We must also take into consideration the extremist environmentalist here on Earth. Any attempt to change the entire planet of Mars, is very likely to be met by radical terrorist greens. They already attempt to recruit people to set fire the Burger Kings and McD's, they assault innocent people's vehicles and have even physically attacked people for the things we do here. I could easily foresee some very weird people going to extremes to prevent the terraforming of Mars, or at least trying to prevent it. It would not be out the realm of possibility for these people to get operatives within our government programs (they already do), within the space program itself and in the future on Mars, who are willing to give their lives to prevent the "destruction" of Mars as it currently is.
 
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Aetius

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Anyone caught attempting to sabotage expensive colonial infrastructure may not actually survive until their trial date. I get the feeling that regardless of WHO colonizes Mars, the phrase 'frontier justice' will have meaning again.<br /><br />I'm not particularly fond of terraforming, but Earth Firsters aiming to cause trouble on Mars should remember that Amnesty International will be 100 million miles away.
 
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sinwisher

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just something I thought I'd bring up, despite any new frontier justice, if the trend of environmentalist-wackos to get more violent isn't halted, it's a very real possibility. I myself also am not too fond of terraforming Mars, seems kind of pointless, for the money involved I think we'd be better of spending it looking for better, safer and faster ways to get us to planets already suitable for life. While I haven't yet made up my mind as to the commonality of intelligent life, I whole-heartedly believe that there are other planets with plant and animal life to support us.
 
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Aetius

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I believe that it will at least be possible for humans to establish colonies in other solar systems with robots and frozen embryos someday. Piloted human interstellar journeys seem pointless to me, though, if other options exist. Travel times of decades to centuries put incredible demands on life support infrastructure and resources.<br /><br />I'm also uninterested in colonizing Earth analog worlds. It would be like living in a chemical/biological war zone...a war zone that our human bodies haven't evolved defenses against. I like gas giant moons, asteroids, and Kuiper Belt objects better. <img src="/images/icons/smile.gif" />
 
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sinwisher

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The concept of us encountering new diseases and viruses on suitable planets has already been addressed by many biologists, and though I'm sure you can find some to say otherwise, from what I've found on the subject, the human body has incredibly strong defense mechanisms, and we would be dealing with new lifeforms that have had no contact with our bodies, DNA and immune system. It would very likely take the new lifeforms (viruses, bacteria) a significant amount of time to adjust and be able to damage us. All the while, our body will be naturally adjusting to the environment itself, as well as our scientists would be already investigating the types of things which can harm us. If anyone has any other useful information on this they could post it'd be nice, if anyone has anything to contradict this please post it and I'll go searching for supporting evidence. I'm working now from a Nova-type show I've seen in the past couple of years that dealt with this.
 
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bobvanx

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<font color="yellow">I like gas giant moons, asteroids, and Kuiper Belt objects better. </font><br /><br />Me too!<br /><br />For one thing, there is far and away more of that kind of real estate. For another, once we create the technology to live in a place like under the ice of Callisto, then we have something we can duplicate right on out.<br /><br />With ice, a power supply, and some amount of normal elemental matter, we could have colonies and habitats spread throughout the Solar System. And roughly the same technology could be used to colonize any icy bodies that drift in interstellar space
 
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Aetius

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Bobvanx, your posts regarding such matters have had a profound influence on my opinions about space colonization. <img src="/images/icons/wink.gif" /><br />
 
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