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29 September 2020

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JohninMK

I would have thought a big problem would be getting 1km of pipe to Mars to drill a shaft down to the water.

turcopolier

JohninMK

Ah. The Limey. No. a machine will be brought for 3D printing.

The Twisted Genius

Two other big space stories this week. Phosphine gas was found in the Venusian atmosphere. That's a sign of possible life living in the atmosphere rather than on the inhospitable surface. Could be bacteria or possibly something more floating around 35 miles above the surface. It was also confirmed that radiation levels on the surface of the Moon is too high for unprotected, long term human habitation. We'll be living in the lava tubes or bringing drilling equipment with us. I'm sure drilling equipment will be going to Mars, as well.

different clue

In the long run ( thousands or tens of thousands of years from now) , if we want Mars to be mass-inhabitable as a "second home" planet, we will have to gather and crash enough mass into it to bring its gravity up to near where Earth's is. And we would have to figure out how to give it a magnetic field somewhat like what Earth has, so as to shield it from the nasty life-sterilant particles that would be zapping it from the Sun.

And if we did that, we would have to do that without de-stabilizing its orbit so that it would stay roughly where it is and not hit the Earth or the Sun or Jupiter or zip off into Deep Space.

If we become advanced enough to master all that, we should also be advanced enough to be able to bring in an atmosphere-load of atmospheric gases down to Mars from wherever, and give Mars an Earth-analog atmosphere.

BABAK MAKKINEJAD

different clue

Increasing the mass of Mars will perturb the orbits of Earth, Moon, Venus, the Asteroid Belt and Jupiter.

There is the possibility of loosing the one planet we have that where life has evolved, include ours.

I think it would be more prudent to try to make the United States more comfortable place for human life; with better infrastructure, better education, and a working Post Office?

And then may be try to makes places like the Sahara or Gobi deserts more hospitable?

A.I.S.

While I am all for space exploration, I think that proving we are able to terraform the Gobi or the Sahara, which, from an engineering standpoint, is much easier then doing this on Mars, is a neccessary but not sufficient precondition for terraforming mars.

BABAK MAKKINEJAD

A.I.S

Definitely.

And preferably with a working Post Office - itself an innovation of the Great King - and Universal Healthcare - an innovation of Bismarck.

different clue

@Babak Makkinejad,

You are correct. Right now we should focus on arresting the ongoing de-terraforming of Earth and the dismantling of survival institutions like the Post Office right now. And that means re-restoration terraforming the terra-deformed parts of Earth and then experimenting with up-terraforming the Gobi and Sahara. And up-rebuilding the institutions which are right now being subjected to deliberate and malicious teardown. Like the Post Office.

That is why I expect any such terraforming of Mars to be thousands or tens of thousands of years from now. And the other-planets orbit perturbations you referrence may be insurmountable. In which case, up-massifying and up-gravitationising Mars should not even be attempted.

I can think of another candidate for terra-reforming/restoring. And that would be the sterile scablands left over from strip mining for coal, most especially the mountaintop-removal version of that strip mining. Here are some images of the sterile scablands left by mountaintop removal mining.
https://images.search.yahoo.com/search/images;_ylt=AwrJ7JcIQ3ZfjPwAuTFXNyoA;_ylu=Y29sbwNiZjEEcG9zAzEEdnRpZANCMjk0NF8xBHNlYwNzYw--?p=mountaintop+removal+mining+images&fr=sfp

What if all that could be restored to carbon-eating oxygen-blowing forest growth?

turcopolier

different clue

As you know I don't agree with any of that. Your position is somewhat reminiscent of what the Spanish monarchy might have been told by an adviser who thought colonization of the New World was a waste of money.

different clue

I could understand disagreeing with the position that we should not try building base-colonies on Mars now. But that would only be half-way my position if building base colonies on Mars meant we could not re-terraform those parts of Earth re-beneficial to re-terraform. And de-vandalizing and re-repairing the Postal Service.

If we could do all three at the same time, establish base-colonies on Mars and re-terraform the strip mine scablands, and repair the Postal Service, would there be a fundamental agreement with restoring the scablands and repairing the Postal Service in and of themselves?

turcopolier

different clue

Earth was always mostly scablands. We have to get off this planet to survive as a species.

BABAK MAKKINEJAD

different clue:

Before doing any terraforming of Mars, I would suggest a 2-hundred year long experiment to see if plant and animal life could be sustained outside of the electro-gravitational fields close to the surface of the earth-moon system.

Would there be a viable human foetuses possible on a Martian colony? Or a population that would thrive?

No one knows the answers with any degree of certainty.

Really, may be rebuild the roads in Michigan before moving to hovels on this or other planet that would make the industrial workers' hovels of the 19-century Europe look like luxury accommodations.

The Twisted Genius

We need to get off this planet to assuage our thirst, need even, for exploration. As a means to survival as a species, leaving this planet is a dead end. We'll end up whacking each other like we've been doing since our early days in the Sterkfontein caves. And the conditions for survival will be so precarious that the whacking will be easier and far more catastrophic than here on earth. We're already setting up the conditions for a turf war on the Moon. On the other hand, perhaps a change in our nature could evolve among the tiny percentage of us who move off this planet.

different clue

@Babak Makkinejad,

I agree with you. But I don't think that means "never go to Mars". We can fix some Earthside problems and do some Mars exploration at the same time. And when we are ready to do bigger scale colonization, Mars will be there when we get there.

And solving the survival-threatening Earthside problems we now have will enhance our Survival chances long enough to Get There in a real way.

JJackson

I am not sure why 'life' always seems to look at life on Earth as its model and claim you can not have life in habitats that do not support the kind of life that has developed in our unique planetary environment. Life, of some kind, needs an information store that can replicate with some level of error to allow for evolution. On Earth the conditions were right for RNA in an aqueous solution and, once established, if any other system did develop it was probably just out performed. In a radically different environment why would a different set of molecules not be able to achieve this even if our environment would be as toxic to it as its is to us. For the first billion years of life here Stromatolites pumped a highly toxic waste product into the environment. Fortunately this was mopped up by iron dissolved in the oceans, until there was no more iron, at which point it went on to kill most of the life that had evolved. A whole new set of life forms that, could cope with the toxin, then evolved. That toxin was oxygen.

turcopolier

TTG

Whacking each other has not kept man from prospering. There will be war and rumors of war. the percentage of people who go forth to colonize is unimportant. A remnant must survive somewhere.

turcopolier

Tony L

your apology is accepted. And a few others are re-instated as well.

The Twisted Genius

pl,

What's wrong with a remnant surviving on this world? Until our sun goes supernova or some such thing, the Earth is still offers our species the best chance of survival. Sure, civilizations will crumble. That's inevitable. But humans can exist and even thrive in some remarkably inhospitable environments before resorting to an artificial environment needed in space or on Mars. And if humans cease to exist, maybe something far more remarkable will take our place either from this Earth or some other world.

turcopolier

TTG

Your evolved attitude toward life is remarkably passive and sounds like the underlying spirit of Cancel Culture.

The Twisted Genius

pl,

My attitude isn't passive. I acknowledge the mutability of life and its remarkable ability to adapt. I reject the static view of the world where everything and every creature exists in an immutable hierarchy of nature, a "scala naturae," a world where every creature must know their place and stay in that place. No species and no society has a natural right to continue without change forever, but every species and society has an opportunity to adapt. i don't see what cancel culture has to do with that. Cancel culture seems anything but passive.

BABAK MAKKINEJAD

The Twisted Genius | 01 October 2020 at 09:28 PM

You are projecting the Ethos of the Western Man unto the rest of mankind.

The Twisted Genius

Babak,

I freely admit my beliefs stem from the ideas of Western Man, dead white men to be exact. Those ideas are also in direct opposition to the ideas of other dead white men, the midieval Christian concept of a static "scala naturae" which still guides the ethos of large swaths of Western Men.

turcopolier

TTG

Is this some sort of Jesuit thing derived from Teilhard de Chardin?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierre_Teilhard_de_Chardin

Reference for the Spanish kid.

The Twisted Genius

pl,

No, this is not a Jesuit thing at all. I'm familiar with the works of Teilhard and find them fascinating. However, I am skeptical about his reliance on orthogenesis. I think that idea harkens back to a hierarchy of nature. My ideas sprang from an early interest in Darwin. I built a model of the HMS Beagle as a youth which led me to read everything I could find on him, his life and his works. National Geographic introduced me to Louis B. Leakey and his discoveries about early man. Like Teilhard, I had an ardent interest in paleontology from early on. I was fortunate to take a history course called "The Century of Darwin" at RPI. The professor was an older, white-haired, disheveled tweedy type with a tremendous enthusiasm in the subject. It was perfect. To this day, it remains my favorite academic course. A question I am most interested in is when was the moment when our ancestors developed their humanity. When did they realize who they have become?

turcopolier

TTG

You were and are sworn to defend the Republic, not to accept its demise. Is this a Democrat talking point? We have a woman friend (yet) who waxes poetic over the coming of a new hegemon in the world.

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