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Old 06-01-2016, 11:18 PM #113
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Default Re: Interstellar Space Travel

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Originally Posted by Hap View Post
What else should we talk about?

Lovin' these kinds of topics! Do you guys believe in the alleged Planet X? Planet 9 which comes by every million years and causes mass extinctions?

-Alex
Are you talking about the most recent "Planet X/9" discovery? I'd say it has to be there, and if it isn't, something really strange is going on. The orbit would keep it staggeringly far away from us though, so I don't think it'd ever really cause any issues for us other than possibly sending smaller Kuiper Belt/Oort Cloud objects towards the inner solar system.


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Old 06-02-2016, 01:58 AM #114
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Default Re: Interstellar Space Travel

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@Benm, That's a very interesting point on escape velocities, the relative fuel mass required to obtain them.

However that doesn't take into account the rest of the return trip, the required life support systems, and the rest of the mechanics. For example, even for the moon, with it being in earth's orbit, a lander was used as well as module that never left orbit, to get the astronauts back to earth.

With Mars, you could possibly leave a module in orbit, but it would be vastly different in scope from the lunar CSM.

It's not that I think a mission with a return isn't possible, it's more that with current technology it would still be cost prohibitive, as compared to landing people on mars and continuously supplying them by dropping in supplies again and again. It's strictly a question of resources, and a manned mission with a return, right now, is not something the US would take on, which is a shame.
There are several issues at play here.

Sending people on a one way mission to mars is problematic: plenty of people would actually volunteer for it, but you are still sending them off to eventually die on another planet, which isn't the best story to tell the media, nor any sponsor of such efforts.

A mission where people essentially stay on mars would be cheaper than return flights, but living on mars is more like living on a space station than living on another habitable planet. Surely there is some gravity to make things practical and there are raw materials that could be used to enlarge the habitat, but you'd still be confined to a station/base outside of which you cannot survive. For most practial purposes a one-way ticket to mars is about as good or bad a deal as a one way ticket to the ISS.

A compromise could be to build a return vehicle, but one that is only large enough to carry a few people back. If the total mission is quite large, say dozens of people, just offering the capacity to transport 10% of them back to earth anually would be a big change to the deal.

For morale it would be great if there is some option of return. This would also allow evacuation of injured people. There missions are not without danger, and people could get injured to the point they are only a burden to the others (think of the equivalent of wheelchair dependent), while they could be cared for on earth and even remain useful in society.

Having a 10% annual return capacity is also useful if things don't work out there and the mission is to be abandoned. Being stuck in a place for up to 10 years would be pretty bad, but a lot better than stuck forever - at that point it's basically 10 years in prison versus life without parole.
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Old 06-02-2016, 03:35 AM #115
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Default Re: Interstellar Space Travel

While there are some similar elements to the space station, and being mars, I disagree completely that the two are the same. For example Mars habitation modules do not need to be anywhere near as constrained as any space station.

Yes, they need to be very durable to maintain the higher internal pressure, since mars for all intents is close to vacuum, where human survivability is concerned, but aside from that, and needing to withstand sandstorms, there is a lot less of constraint on space.

~.4g is also very different from zero gravity. It would be possible to maintain a semblance of relative fitness through an exercise regimen, and relative to earth allow humans to move around more than twice as much, at least for a while.

There is also the option to explore... on the space station the astronauts days are very tightly planned, from the time they wake up, to the time they sleep, and they cooped up in a fairly small completely artificial environment. On Mars, in a suit, they could go outside, which would definitely help morale.

IMO the goal of sending people there would not be entirely to die. Rather to procreate, and attempt to build a semi sustainable environment, with resupply from earth. One reason I would like to see a larger one way mission, is that with maybe 500 people, eventually, it would be a population that can be genetically self sustaining, assuming enough diversity to begin with.

It will probably be a combination plan, with a smaller than full complement, return vehicle of some sort. There will definitely be some orbital module in mars orbit, and there will probably be a need for return trips, because hopefully something of value aside from experience can be gained from Mars.

Ultimately I do think we'll do most space exploration by way of drones though.
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Old 06-02-2016, 07:54 AM #116
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Default Re: Interstellar Space Travel

Could we get this thread stickied? I think I'll request to a moderator if possible.

Many cool conversations we could have here!

-Alex
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Old 06-02-2016, 10:40 AM #117
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Default Re: Interstellar Space Travel

Mod's don't decide whats stickied (someone please correct my grammar on that ) generally, Ave does. PM him.

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Old 06-02-2016, 12:44 PM #118
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Default Re: Interstellar Space Travel

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Originally Posted by InfinitusEquitas View Post
While there are some similar elements to the space station, and being mars, I disagree completely that the two are the same. For example Mars habitation modules do not need to be anywhere near as constrained as any space station.

Yes, they need to be very durable to maintain the higher internal pressure, since mars for all intents is close to vacuum, where human survivability is concerned, but aside from that, and needing to withstand sandstorms, there is a lot less of constraint on space.

~.4g is also very different from zero gravity. It would be possible to maintain a semblance of relative fitness through an exercise regimen, and relative to earth allow humans to move around more than twice as much, at least for a while.

There is also the option to explore... on the space station the astronauts days are very tightly planned, from the time they wake up, to the time they sleep, and they cooped up in a fairly small completely artificial environment. On Mars, in a suit, they could go outside, which would definitely help morale.

IMO the goal of sending people there would not be entirely to die. Rather to procreate, and attempt to build a semi sustainable environment, with resupply from earth. One reason I would like to see a larger one way mission, is that with maybe 500 people, eventually, it would be a population that can be genetically self sustaining, assuming enough diversity to begin with.

It will probably be a combination plan, with a smaller than full complement, return vehicle of some sort. There will definitely be some orbital module in mars orbit, and there will probably be a need for return trips, because hopefully something of value aside from experience can be gained from Mars.

Ultimately I do think we'll do most space exploration by way of drones though.

I think it would be morally irresponsible to bring a child into an enviroment such as mars.
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Old 06-02-2016, 02:13 PM #119
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Default Re: Interstellar Space Travel

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I think it would be morally irresponsible to bring a child into an enviroment such as mars.
Right now I would agree, but once it's certain it is to be a permanent colony and will be mostly self sustaining, then it will be ok for them to have children, and in fact necessary. This will take a very long time, think of them like the pioneers who settled the United States, who set off into unknown territory on horseback and covered wagons. The first child born on Mars will be quite a historic figure who will be remembered for ever. They will start with a few people and grow to many millions one day.

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Old 06-02-2016, 03:13 PM #120
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Default Re: Interstellar Space Travel

Mars will be a passing fancy. There is and will be no reason to colonize Mars. The real problem with Mars is that it simply has no atmosphere that can even come close to supporting humans. For all intents and purposes, it might as well be our Moon. Our future generations will visit it, but will find little interest or resources to justify colonizing it. It will just be a stepping stone to exploring the Jovian moons.

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Old 06-02-2016, 03:35 PM #121
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Default Re: Interstellar Space Travel

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I think it would be morally irresponsible to bring a child into an enviroment such as mars.
I don't disagree, but I also do not agree.

Is it anymore irresponsible than bringing a child into being here on earth, while knowing (or not knowing) predispositions for genetic diseases, and not having the resources to safely rear that child due to poverty, war, etc,.?

I realize by such a metric, being primarily free of genetic defects, and with sufficient resources to protect and raise one's offspring, very few would be capable of having kids, which frankly would have made our world a whole lot better. Now we have rampant population growth, and dwindling resources.

So why is it OK, for a poor family, with poor prospects, and/or a history of diseases, or living in a bad location, to have a kid, to make the decision to have a kid? But it's not ok for two consenting adults to do the same, knowing they would have an extremely supportive environment, and likely far greater care and attention paid to their child than almost any here on earthy?
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Old 06-02-2016, 03:43 PM #122
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Default Re: Interstellar Space Travel

Well for one thing, we know nothing about how the lower gravity of mars would effect the development of a fetus or young child. If they came out mentally impaired and deformed it would be pretty sad.

Also, even if the child was completely normal we need to think about what it would do to them psychologically. They'd have no other children to play or socialize with and might possibly be very resentful once they realize the circumstances of their birth. "why couldn't I have been born on Earth like all the normal people?"
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Old 06-02-2016, 04:07 PM #123
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Default Re: Interstellar Space Travel

Since when do kids need any excuse ever, to be resentful? I worked with some very spoiled kids, and they resented when it rained, and when it was hot... during summer.

I see your point though. There need not be only one child, I would actually expect that were things to move forward they would want to have at least a few family units.

The question of lower gravity is far more interesting. Without googling it, I'm really not sure what experiments have gone on, on the ISS regarding reproduction. Prior to humans reproducing there, it would be prudent to see what happens to other mammals.

Still... you put a more or less evenly split group of people, who are healthy, and in their reproductive age. Some of them are gonna frick.
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Old 06-02-2016, 05:28 PM #124
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Default Re: Interstellar Space Travel

Humans can only live up to a year in zero gravity, or so they say, after that there's too much damage, all your muscles shrink, even your heart shrinks in size. Mars is another matter, plenty of gravity, although I question weather someone born there in the lower gravity could ever visit earth. This for sure is true of the moon, we don't want children born on the moon unless we someday develope the technology for artificial gravity, and I doubt that's going to be here anytime soon.

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Old 06-02-2016, 05:35 PM #125
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Default Re: Interstellar Space Travel

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Since when do kids need any excuse ever, to be resentful? I worked with some very spoiled kids, and they resented when it rained, and when it was hot... during summer.

I see your point though. There need not be only one child, I would actually expect that were things to move forward they would want to have at least a few family units.

The question of lower gravity is far more interesting. Without googling it, I'm really not sure what experiments have gone on, on the ISS regarding reproduction. Prior to humans reproducing there, it would be prudent to see what happens to other mammals.

Still... you put a more or less evenly split group of people, who are healthy, and in their reproductive age. Some of them are gonna frick.
Lower gravity causes a lot of biological issues that still aren't all that well understood. A common argument I hear from Mars enthusiasts is that as long as you've got weight, you can work out to keep your bones. While that may be true, ciculatory, immune, and neurological function seem to also be effected by gravity, but there really isn't any data between no gravity and 1G over long periods of time.

Throw in human development, and there's a possibility for huge issues. They likely also wouldn't ever be able to readapt to the higher gravity of Earth.

Reproduction in space carries other issues as well. Fertility is questionable, the success rate of embryos has seemed pretty bad, and the abundant radiation is a lot more dangerous at earlier stages of life.

Honestly, I think we're back at the interstellar space travel level if kids are going to be successfully raised off planet.

Genetic engineering might be the only way to have decent success, but good biotechnology to extend adult human lives in space and allow suspended animation would be way more useful IMO.
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Old 06-02-2016, 05:38 PM #126
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Default Re: Interstellar Space Travel

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Humans can only live up to a year in zero gravity, or so they say, after that there's too much damage, all your muscles shrink, even your heart shrinks in size. Mars is another matter, plenty of gravity, although I question weather someone born there in the lower gravity could ever visit earth. This for sure is true of the moon, we don't want children born on the moon unless we someday develope the technology for artificial gravity, and I doubt that's going to be here anytime soon.

Alan
The only way we can survive on Mars is to make it habitable. Trying to send supplies back & forth simply isn't going to work, we need a self-sustaining colony. However, with NASA's funding that won't be happening anytime soon.

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Old 06-02-2016, 05:44 PM #127
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Default Re: Interstellar Space Travel

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The only way we can survive on Mars is to make it habitable. Trying to send supplies back & forth simply isn't going to work, we need a self-sustaining colony. However, with NASA's funding that won't be happening anytime soon.

-Alex
There isn't really any guarantee that Mars could be made all that habitable anyway. Most experts say terraforming would be much more complicated than we are commonly led to believe, and we still don't know how much of an issue the gravity would be. It would definitely limit how much air pressure could be created, so the atmosphere would likely never be breathable or safe enough without a suit. On top of that, the radiation risk is pretty high, so it may turn out that colonies would have to be underground unless a new lightweight shielding tech was developed. Getting cancer on Mars would likely be an early death sentence.
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Old 06-02-2016, 07:26 PM #128
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Default Re: Interstellar Space Travel

Genetic engineering, and other forms of augmentation would definitely permit for a lot more efficient exploration of space. I'm afraid that those kinds of developments will be stifled due to religious fundamentalist though.

As for mars actually being made habitable, unless something very significant is found on Mars to allow terraofrming, it's not a likely outcome.
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