Mars Colonies are a Fantasy

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Catastrophe

The devil is in the detail
Mars Colonies are a Fantasy

Has this not been done to death?

Terraforming Mars is a fantasy, but that is not the subject.

Colonising Mars, at least on a modest scale, is not a fantasy.

Ergo, Mars colonies are not a fantasy.

Can anyone post anything further without getting off topic?

Cat :)
 
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Dec 29, 2019
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Well, it depends on the definitions of what is fantasy. Fantasy is what I think it is.

To me the hypothetical possibility of colonising Mars doesn't lift it above fantasy or make it real. At this point the "plans" - such as they are - are so lacking on fundamentals that to my mind they have not yet moved beyond fantasy. I see deep and fundamental problems that rarely even get considered in the optimism. It is an aspiration maybe or even an intention to make a difficult to achieve fantasy into reality but without addressing some of those fundamentals it will remain fantasy; even plans for a crewed base for a stay long enough for a least delta-v return remains vague and uncertain and the requirements for a colony with high levels of self reliance are enormously greater. No need to reiterate my reasoning. I don't think the concerns and issues I've raised have really been answered so far so my skepticism and doubt remains.

I see valuable, beneficial activities to do in space but crewed missions to Mars or colonies there don't figure in them. I don't see that deferring Mars ambitions in favour of other objectives will impede continuing development of space technologies. On the contrary I think excessive focus on this hypothetically possible but extremely difficult objective that offers no real benefits to the greater human economy wastes resources and opportunities. At the least we should be focusing the efforts on the hypothetical possibilities that DO offer real potential benefits to the Earth economy like asteroid resources or that can protect Earth, like meteor defense programs. Which are also fantasies - but aren't dead ends like Mars.
 
Jul 30, 2021
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At the least we should be focusing the efforts on the hypothetical possibilities that DO offer real potential benefits to the Earth economy like asteroid resources or that can protect Earth, like meteor defense programs. Which are also fantasies - but aren't dead ends like Mars.
Moving asteroids or building telescopes doesn't get Musk investor money. Ultra-rich folks are getting bored standing in line on top of Mt Everest. Many of them would love to have a truly 'offshore' bank, too.
 

Catastrophe

The devil is in the detail
Fantasy
the faculty or activity of imagining impossible or improbable things.
"his researches had moved into the realms of fantasy"

Ergo "Mars colonies are an imagining of impossible or improbable things."
Are Mars colonies impossible or improbable?
That is a translation of the topic.

Can anyone post anything further without getting off topic?

Cat :)
 
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Jul 30, 2021
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Are Mars colonies impossible or improbable?
I agree with you that if we're just talking in literal terms, no, it's not impossible to colonize Mars. Discussion over.

There is a good point to the original poster's arguments though: If the near-term goal is to preserve humanity, optimize research spending, and/or make money then colonizing Mars as envisioned by Musk and others doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Asteroid manipulation/mining/habitats are the logical next steps. Beyond that, the Moon is a lot closer to home, and Titan is probably the most habitable spot known outside Earth.

Ultimately, simple economics and biology may make large, sustained Mars colonies improbable without 'radical environmental adaptations' as the original post suggested (as in, not in the near future). Mars has an unhealthy radiation environment, just enough atmosphere to be a nuisance, and is hard to reach/return from with no real upsides over other targets.
 

Catastrophe

The devil is in the detail
FromBelow,
I have reviewed OP's opening remarks, and OP is pointing out (quite correctly) all the many difficulties, both long term and short term.
I am currently reading "Extraterrestrial" by Ave Loeb, and he points out (quite correctly, imo) that the short term difficulties are the greatest. I agree with you that Mars colonies are a fantasy - see #205.

I stand by what I said. You have quite correctly reinforced OP's comments.

Can anyone post anything further without getting off topic? (Or repeating the obvious?)

Cat :)
 
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Aug 8, 2021
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Moving asteroids or building telescopes doesn't get Musk investor money.
SpaceX has it's whole purpose as getting man to Mars, rocketry and satellites are the paving stones towards that. If he wanted to just get richer but do it in space, making factories, space stations and asteroid mining (with huge deposits of gold, platinum, rare earths etc) would be the prime focus. Setting up a colony on Mars, with a decent possibility that you will be dead by the time it has happened isn't a get rich scheme.

Be as cynical as you want, your choice. But I get where he is coming from as I'm similar in age. I was born in 68 (2 years older), grew up the tail end of Nasa's moon project, my first film that I went to see independently was Star Wars, I lived on a diet of space 1999, Buck Rodgers and the like, plus all the sci fi novels that I could get. The Apollo program was 50 years ago, I thought when I was young that as an adult I'd be flying around up in space shooting aliens, it is a disappointment that we haven't returned with boots on the Moon, let alone having an active base/colony/s. I'm not the only geek of my vintage with those disappointments.

Some people spend their spare dosh on a rare treat like an ice-cream. Some people have a bit more and buy a yacht or vacation house. The mega wealthy spend it on mega yachts. I think he just get's more meaning and purpose out of doing this than sipping cocktails on a mega yacht in the Mediterranean - not surprising given that he's studied physics.
 
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