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Meet a Group of Aspiring Mars Colonists

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the first-wave dept.

Space 130

Velcroman1 writes "The group was down to Earth — but not for long, they hope. These folks want to go to Mars. 'I want off the planet – I want humanity off the planet,' declared Leila Zucker, 45, also known as 'Dr. Leila,' because she is, in fact, a doctor who works nearby in the emergency room at Howard University Hospital. She has yearned to be an astronaut — and a doctor — since the age of 3, she told FoxNews.com. 'One dream fulfilled, one to go,' she said happily. Zucker joined not a million, but 100 or so 'aspiring Martians' from across the country, one with green hair and costume antennae, for a 'Million Martian Meeting' held Saturday in Washington, D.C., which was sponsored by the Facebook page of the same name. The group came together as applicants of the Mars One project, an ambitious 10-year plan for a one-way trip to colonize the Red Planet."

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Let's let them. (1)

intermodal (534361) | about a year ago | (#44478289)

If they want it so bad, then by all means, let's toss 'em in a rocket and aim for the Red Planet.

Re:Let's let them. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44478433)

If you aim for the Red Planet, by the time you get there it will have moved on in its orbital path. You need to lead it.

Re:Let's let them. (5, Funny)

intermodal (534361) | about a year ago | (#44478479)

You seem to be making assumptions upon the desired end-result.

Re:Let's let them. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44478535)

be on the right trajectory to Uranus?

Re:Let's let them. (3, Insightful)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year ago | (#44478437)

And who will pay for this rocket? Just putting a person in space is extraordinarily expensive, shooting them all to Mars is mind-blowingly expensive, and even if they're crazy people with absurd dreams(are they?) you'd want to get something for doing it.

Re:Let's let them. (2)

wjh31 (1372867) | about a year ago | (#44478487)

if you look at the introductory video on the mars one website, it seems the intention is to fund the project through 'media'. The mars colony will essentially become an unending series of big brother

Re:Let's let them. (2)

NeverVotedBush (1041088) | about a year ago | (#44478557)

And being "canceled" has a literal meaning as well as figurative...

Re:Let's let them. (2, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | about a year ago | (#44478641)

I would probably think that it would end quite quickly. With no way to send additional supplies, I don't think they'd last long on the martian surface. Even small problems could turn potentially deadly really fast. Also, shows like "Big Brother" work well for TV by the precise fact that they are very cheap to produce. The "Winner" gets half a million dollars. Most actors on popular sit-coms get paid more than that per episode. This is why you see so much reality TV. I wonder if they even have the bandwidth to send back TV quality signals from Mars. What happens when it's on the far side of the sun? They will need to set up relay satellites to ensure they can always get a good signal. Even then I've seen lots of pictures from the Mars but I don't think I've seen too many videos.

Re:Let's let them. (2)

tekrat (242117) | about a year ago | (#44478881)

I'd pay to see them slowly die from starvation or lack of O2. I mean, that would be a TV first I think to have a reality TV show where the people get hypoxia.

Re:Let's let them. (4, Informative)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | about a year ago | (#44479137)

With no way to send additional supplies

New supplies, and new colonists, would arrive every 2 years.

Also, shows like "Big Brother" work well for TV by the precise fact that they are very cheap to produce. The "Winner" gets half a million dollars. Most actors on popular sit-coms get paid more than that per episode.

These aren't actors, and they aren't getting paid. Their job is to set up a colony on Mars. They don't exactly need money.

I wonder if they even have the bandwidth to send back TV quality signals from Mars. What happens when it's on the far side of the sun? They will need to set up relay satellites to ensure they can always get a good signal.

They've done a feasibility study which consulted space experts from around the world. I'm pretty sure things like bandwidth and receiving a signal would have been high on their discussion list, considering that's how the project gets funded.

If you want to read more about it before poking holes in what they plan to do, you can check their FAQ [mars-one.com] or road map [mars-one.com] . The road map calls for 2 video streams by 2021, 2 years before people land, with a minimum of 4 streams by 2025, when the second team lands. The habitat (6 landers) and 2 rovers will already be on the planet by the time the first team lands, with 5 more landers just a few weeks behind them. Communication will go through a satellite orbiting Mars, and presumably there will be a relay satellite at one of the L4 or L5 points.

Even then I've seen lots of pictures from the Mars but I don't think I've seen too many videos.

That's because transmission of video from Mars has never been a priority. Here, it's a priority.

Re:Let's let them. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44481025)

"That's because transmission of video from Mars has never been a priority. Here, it's a priority."

That's because the Mars expedition will be funded by porn.

Re:Let's let them. (1)

KeensMustard (655606) | about a year ago | (#44481197)

With no way to send additional supplies

New supplies, and new colonists, would arrive every 2 years.

Paid for by what? Are the architects of this plan hoping that the general population will feel some responsibility to keep them alive, at our own cost, once the advertising money dries up? Let me tell you:

1. This is not a universally interesting product, and even those who are interested aren't really interested in the minutae and routine drudgery of life in a spaceship or hollowed out hole in the ground on Mars. People lose interest quickly.

2.We move quickly to justify inhumane choices: if they send the bill to us, it won't be long before nasty choices will be contemplated, along with: (a) Televised, personal appeals from colonists to send supplies so that they can live (b) Open efforts to shut down communication so they die out of the public eye. (c) A general, if unspoken, feeling that they should not be resupplied.

This plan will set back efforts to colonise Mars by a hundred years.

Re:Let's let them. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44480937)

With no way to send additional supplies, I don't think they'd last long on the martian surface.

I think you're giving them too much credit. I think these people would eat each other before they made it even halfway there.

Re:Let's let them. (2)

rudy_wayne (414635) | about a year ago | (#44478679)

if you look at the introductory video on the mars one website, it seems the intention is to fund the project through 'media'. The mars colony will essentially become an unending series of big brother

Yes. We will get to watch them die in real time. Either crash landing on Mars or going insane and killing each other or committing suicide before they get there.. A one way trip to Mars seems fun and exciting until you get 75% of the way there and the reality sinks in that you're going to die very soon.**

**Due to the fact that we still don't know how to safely land a vehicle full of people on Mars.

Re:Let's let them. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44480055)

Umm, I'm pretty sure we know how. The physics is well understood. There has just been no reason to do it yet. There are way bigger problems facing the colonization effort than the landing.

I'd say the success rate for mars landings is pretty good so far (I'm just going off of memory here). The failures that I can recount are probably attributable to programming issues and such that should be more easily dealt with when people are actually at hand to recognize them.

Re:Let's let them. (1)

KeensMustard (655606) | about a year ago | (#44481087)

Umm, I'm pretty sure we know how. The physics is well understood. There has just been no reason to do it yet.

And there is no reason to do it now.

Re:Let's let them. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44478805)

if you look at the introductory video on the mars one website, it seems the intention is to fund the project through 'media'. The mars colony will essentially become an unending series of big brother

You should also realize that the whole things is a scam.

There is next to no chance that they're leading up to an actual mars shot. The initial stages are all planned to be shot on Earth in simulators, and the cost of sending even a one way death trap of a mission is beyond what they're likely to make from that phase.

The obvious plan is to get a bunch of people to volunteer to be on their reality show without offering a cash prize, then pocket the profits and run.

Re:Let's let them. (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | about a year ago | (#44478885)

Show me any series that makes billions of dollars. The series probably would not even pay for the interest on the capitol expended to get the players to Mars.

Re:Let's let them. (1)

Salgak1 (20136) | about a year ago | (#44479179)

Dammit, Jim, we need the Enterprise NOW!!!! Mind you, it took 50 years for Star Trek to make billlllllllyuns and biiiiiiiiiiiiillyuns of dollars. . .

Re:Let's let them. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44479153)

I suggested something like this years ago:
  Vote Them Off The Planet.

The voting options: keep, return and one-way.

Even if it's just a spoof show and you don't send people off it could be worth voting to see politicians etc get voted off the planet ;)

President wants to go to the Moon/Mars? Let's vote on it... Might actually improve things on this planet.

Re:Let's let them. (1)

AchilleTalon (540925) | about a year ago | (#44479771)

Well, few show are making more than 4 seasons. Supposed they are really entertaining on Mars, which we can doubt since they will rather than be depressive, anyway, suppose they are really entertaining, they make make 6 seasons on TV. What else after that? Do you really think we will sustain such an expedition forever? What if the company go bankrupcy before even the first cycle of two years? Clearly this is a ticket to die in short term for those engaging in such a program without any guarantees and without any mean to efforce anything if the guarantee is not met.

Re:Let's let them. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44478499)

What we get is them being off our planet.

Re:Let's let them. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44478525)

There are cheaper albeit less moral ways to do that.

Re:Let's let them. (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year ago | (#44478581)

No, the GP was arguing for murder by suffocation, which is honestly a lot more torturous than most alternatives. It's just a really wasteful way to kill some people.

Re:Let's let them. (2)

intermodal (534361) | about a year ago | (#44478651)

It's not merely wasteful. It's also good television.

Re:Let's let them. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44478671)

I'm quite certain I know some folks that would literally die for a chance to live their dream to fly through space.

Re:Let's let them. (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about a year ago | (#44479241)

Do they care what order?

Because one way is a LOT easier than the other way.

Re:Let's let them. (1)

Salgak1 (20136) | about a year ago | (#44479193)

Getting VOLUNTEERS off the planet is EASY. How can we shoot the politicians to Mars ????

Re:Let's let them. (1)

intermodal (534361) | about a year ago | (#44478601)

you seem to be assuming a lot about the objective of my plan. I wasn't proposing an airtight spacecraft with safety mechanisms of any significant kind, nor an actual survivable landing, much less actual colonization equipment. I wasn't even planning to properly chart a trajectory. Iron sights on the current location of Mars or any other convenient star, cloud, or passing jetliner an hour before launch will suffice.

Be Off With You! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44478395)

If you want off this planet go right ahead. Just don't expect the rest of us to pay for it.

A common misconception (1)

SirGarlon (845873) | about a year ago | (#44478403)

'I want off the planet -- I want humanity off the planet,' declared Leila Zucker ...

If what she means is getting the entire (future) population off the planet, Randall of xkcd explained why that ain't gonna happen [xkcd.com] .

The uncomfortable truth is that, while colonizing the Solar System may be plausible, evacuating Earth is not. This planet is not, in fact, disposable.

Re:A common misconception (3, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#44478431)

"This planet is not, in fact, disposable."

Strictly speaking, the fact that it cannot be evacuated does not make it indispensable, except to the people who are going to be left behind.

Re:A common misconception (4, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | about a year ago | (#44478701)

We don't really need to move the entire population off the earth, we just need to move enough people to sustain the species once we find a suitable new home. There haven't always been 7 billion people on the planet You could probably quite easily rebuild the population of earth on another suitable planet in a few hundred years if you started with 100,000 people. Just take a look at this chart [truthmove.org] to show how fast you can actually increase the human population.

Re:A common misconception (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44478785)

Most of the human population are deeply unhappy, worthless scum. Ugly too. If only we had some way of manipulating people's DNA to turn them into physically beautiful beings, the entire world would change for the better. Imagine EVERYBODY having an incredibly hot husband or wife, do you not think everybody would be much happier than they are now? Even the pug ugly politicians and Jews who are fucking everything up for the rest of us would have to get in on it, when they saw how everybody else on earth was so beautiful and happy, and then the politicians would change and not be so interested in ruining everybody else's lives...

Re:A common misconception (1)

khallow (566160) | about a year ago | (#44480593)

do you not think everybody would be much happier than they are now?

Yes, I do not think everyone would be happy. My view is that the fundamental flaw in these happiness schemes is that humanity has evolved so that some degree of unhappiness and worry is not only normal, but necessary. If humanity got all that wonderful stuff (don't get me wrong, I'm cool with lots more beautiful people), they'd still have that unhappiness and worry, but they wouldn't have a good target for it. So there'd be plenty of hysteria and other mental illnesses as a result as people worry about imaginary or inconsequential things.

And you neglect the arms race part of human beauty. When everyone is more beautiful, the standards for beauty would rise as well. You'd probably need to know the right social/behavioral games and protocols in order to be considered truly beautiful. Maybe you'd be considered "not bad on the eyes", but you wouldn't be beautiful, unless you could handle the wine glass in the socially approved way.

Re:A common misconception (1)

SirGarlon (845873) | about a year ago | (#44478937)

It depends on what your objectives are. If you want to make the human race resilient to a major catastrophe Earth (say a dinosaur-killing meteor) then a few city-sized colonies throughout the solar system will suffice, and I agree that's quite plausible. If you want to provide a high quality of life for as much of the population as possible, then moving everyone to greener pastures is not really an option. I was just trying to argue against the assumption that colonizing space and sustaining most of the population on Earth are somehow mutually exclusive.

Re:A common misconception (1)

KeensMustard (655606) | about a year ago | (#44481329)

It depends on what your objectives are. If you want to make the human race resilient to a major catastrophe Earth (say a dinosaur-killing meteor) then a few city-sized colonies throughout the solar system will suffice, and I agree that's quite plausible.

Actually, in those circumstances, the Earth is still by far the most liveable place in the solar system, even in the days immediately following the strike. So the best strategy, in the event of an impending strike, is to stay here.

Re:A common misconception (1)

KeensMustard (655606) | about a year ago | (#44481235)

Can you be specific about what happens to the people who remain on earth?

Re:A common misconception (1)

ka9dgx (72702) | about a year ago | (#44479145)

Actually, we could [wikipedia.org] do it. Here's a video of a prototype [youtube.com] using high explosives to see if the concept would work at all. It turns out it's fairly self correcting for alignment, etc. The nuclear physics is well understood, and the launch of a 4000 ton vehicle (with 1300 tons of cargo!) would result in the equivalent fallout of a single 10 megaton H bomb.

It's time to send a few hundred volunteers to the Moon, Mars, and wherever else they want to go.

well, if it's a one-way trip then... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44478477)

Take with you all the nigers, faggets, muslims, and left-wing niger-fagget-muslim lovers please!
Well, o.k., i know that the nigers, fagets, muslims and left-wing niger-fagget-muslim lovers will think the the same about us normal people - if that helps i am prepared to go there to instead of them... what ever it takes to save myself from nigers, fagets, muslims and left-wing niger-fagget-muslim lovers...
(nigers meaning only black thugs, fagets meaning those homos that can't behave without remind us how sick they are, muslims meaning... muslims, and left-wing niger-fagget-muslim lovers all the left-wing fuckers)

Re:well, if it's a one-way trip then... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44479025)

Would you be willing to relocate to the bottom of the ocean in a leaky habitat in order to get away from us? In that case, we may just have a deal.

Re:well, if it's a one-way trip then... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44479399)

And you with them.

MNSHO (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44478543)

Losers!

More Power (and Money) To Them! (4, Insightful)

instagib (879544) | about a year ago | (#44478551)

I don't agree with the negativity of the first comments. Personally, I would gladly redirect a significant part of my taxes to an endeavour like this, instead of sinking money into less forward thinking bottomless pits the politicians created.

A one-way trip to Mars means sacrifice, and I applaud them - if they really mean it and won't chicken out the day of lauch. It would be an incredible exciting exploration and proof of concept.

Re:More Power (and Money) To Them! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44478653)

if they really mean it and won't chicken out the day of lauch

The bigger problem would be if they want to chicken out afterwards. Psychologically, all space crews go a little, eh, sub-optimal after the novelty wears off.

Re:More Power (and Money) To Them! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44479371)

Here's an idea.. Find a bunch of Amish runaways and send them... They have spent their entire lives acting like we're in the frontier days in isolated communities... It might be a perfect match.

Re:More Power (and Money) To Them! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44478669)

We can sell this to politicians by saying that if they succeed and develop a colony on Mars, we can use the threat of Martians to scare the public in the future!

Re:More Power (and Money) To Them! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44478683)

I think it is hilarious that they (and you, apparently) really think that the technology will be available within 10 years to survive more than a couple days on Mars if they even got there.

Re:More Power (and Money) To Them! (3, Insightful)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | about a year ago | (#44479205)

I think it is hilarious that they (and you, apparently) really think that the technology will be available within 10 years to survive more than a couple days on Mars if they even got there.

What technology is missing? They do not have to develop new technology for this mission. We've constructed spacecraft in Earth orbit and launched people to them, we've landed spacecraft on both the moon and Mars, we can communicate through space, we have systems for producing oxygen, water, and food. What else is missing? You realize that the entire initial base will already be built by the time they even launch the people, right? By the time they lift off from Earth they will already know if the oxygen generators are producing oxygen, if the food generators are producing food, if the solar panels are producing power, etc.

Re:More Power (and Money) To Them! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44480121)

I agree. What is with all the comments about missing tech and such? Hell, earlier someone mentions that we "don't know how to safely land a vehicle full of people on mars." Really?

All the technology is here. The capability exists. I'd say funding is the biggest hindrance to colonization. That and perhaps some insufficiency of knowledge pertaining to human physiology, particularly with regard to radiation exposure.

But the actual physics of getting there and landing? We've been doing both for decades now! Just not with humans.

Re:More Power (and Money) To Them! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44480897)

All the technology is here. The capability exists. I'd say funding is the biggest hindrance to colonization.

No, the fact that Mars is an environment that is actively hostile to human life is the biggest hindrance to colonization.

We're not talking about hopping in a boat for a couple months, then landing on a continent clearing some timber to build a house, plowing the cleared area, and hunting and fishing the existing wildlife. We're talking about everything you need to survive must come with you, and if anything goes wrong during any point in your travel to your new 'colony,' you will die en route, or of slow starvation or dehydration when you get there.

And that's just Mars. Want to do it to another star? Find a way to ship thousands of years worth of food, water, spare parts, technology, and people through light years of hostile environment, only to reach a new place and likely face another hostile environment when you arrive. IF you arrive. We can't build a fucking Kia that won't break down after 50,000 miles, but you think we're going to build a spaceship that will sustain life for a couple thousand years (longer than recorded human history so far) of transit to the nearest stars? Think again.

Re:More Power (and Money) To Them! (2)

khallow (566160) | about a year ago | (#44480475)

I think it is hilarious that they (and you, apparently) really think that the technology will be available within 10 years to survive more than a couple days on Mars if they even got there.

You know what? If there's technology that needs developing, then they can develop the technology. That gets around your supposed "hilarious" problem.

Also, I must admit to being a bit puzzled how you think a group can survive in deep space for six months to a year and yet only be able to survive two days on the surface of Mars.

Re:More Power (and Money) To Them! (0)

jklovanc (1603149) | about a year ago | (#44478839)

A one-way trip to Mars means sacrifice,

I disagree. To me it means giving people an opportunity to something they want to do that has never been done before. It is a sacrifice if you don't want to do it but see it as a better thing for other people. I see little or no benefit from an outpost on Mars. To me it is just another pit to throw money into. My question is what will they do when they get to Mars? All I see them as is glorified tourists supported by the hard working people of Earth. The scientific discoveries can be done much less expensively with probes from Earth. People do not need to be on planet.

Re:More Power (and Money) To Them! (1)

coolsnowmen (695297) | about a year ago | (#44478895)

The reason to go to a different planet in general is because, eventually, the earth will get destroyed. There will be an apocalyptic event, and almost nothing on earth will survive. So, we need to begin planning for that eventuality. For the same reason we do backups, we need to learn to live on mars.

Re:More Power (and Money) To Them! (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | about a year ago | (#44479009)

That would be true if we had the technology to create a self sufficient colony on Mars. We do not have that technology yet. At best an outpost on Mars would last a few years if a catastrophe wiped out Earth. The less than 100 people that we can afford to support on Mars is not a viable gene pool. Mars is not a "life boat". I agree we need to plan but throwing money into a project that has no chance of becoming self sufficient is not progress.

To take your backup analogy a step further,.why make backups when all the computers that would use them will have been destroyed?

Re:More Power (and Money) To Them! (1)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | about a year ago | (#44480403)

Ofc we have the technology to have a self sufficient colony on mars.
We only lack the funds to shoot all the stuff needed over there.
It is a matter of scale. The stuff we need to let 10 people live there indefinitely perhaps only need a 10% increase to let 100 people live there.
So perhaps you mean a growing population that builds new houses/domes. Then they need the tools and factories to build the materials for that.
So we hae to scale again and send more stuff to Mars.
However that is fully in our technological capabilities.

Re:More Power (and Money) To Them! (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | about a year ago | (#44481883)

Then they need the tools and factories to build the materials for that.

Things wear out and chemicals are used up. If we have to continually send supplies to Mars they are not self sufficient. That polymer door seal that wears out needs to be replaced somehow. That suit that is abraded every time it leaves the hardened shelter will eventually need to be replaced. Without the ability to replace things like that on Mars an outpost will continue to be dependent on Earth. There is a big difference between Earth and Mars. On Earth, if something does not work exactly right one can make do. On Mars, if certain things do not work exactly right people die.

How heavy is an aluminum refinery? How heavy is mining equipment needed to extract the ore from the ground? How heavy are the precision machines needed to create high tolerance parts? We are talking thousands of tons of equipment here. We have enough trouble soft landing a rover on Mars let alone a factory. And that is just one material. What about polymers, fabrics, chemical fertilizers, CO2 scrubbers, alloy materials such as chromium and molybdenum, steel, rare earths, etc. Then there are all the people needed to run these factories. It looks like you don't realize the number of people and huge amounts of equipment needed to make things here on Earth. It is not easy to transplant all that to another planet.

It would take a tens, if not hundreds, of trillion dollars to shoot that amount of stuff into space and yes, we lack those funds.

However that is fully in our technological capabilities.

It is also fully in our technological capabilities to have high speed rail service between every major city in the US but we don't do that either. Just because we can do something does not mean it is economically viable, or even a good idea, to do it.

The people of Earth need to concentrate on fixing our problems rather than be distracted by pipe dreams.

Re:More Power (and Money) To Them! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44479275)

If you by backup mean backup of the form of life we represent it won't work. On any timescale that is worth considering, the species we are will have time to evolve into something that substantially differs from the species any current day human beings sent to Mars will evolve into there. What we might have a chance of making a backup of is just life itself and more suited forms of life already exist. For instance, bacteria have survived on the moon (look up info about parts of Surveyor 3 being brought back by Apollo 12 if you want to know more). If we explicitly engineer bacteria that will survive on Mars, sending them there will be enough for a backup of life. Given enough time, they will evolve into a more advanced species. Not human beings of course and not the same as ancestors of any would be human colonists on Mars either but instead something which (as a welcome bonus) is in its most natural habitat on Mars.

Re:More Power (and Money) To Them! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44479407)

Who's to say that hasn't already happened here....

Re:More Power (and Money) To Them! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44479281)

Right, because when the sun supernovas, I'm sure Mars will survive that just fine.

Don't be retarded - if the earth is destroyed, Mars is NOT a hedge against species extinction. If you want that, you need to be in multiple star systems, on multiple habitable planets that do not need constant energy input just to maintain a small bubble of environment that humans can survive in.

Billions of years from now, the earth will die. It's very likely that humans as a species will have died before that happens, and it's very unlikely that we will have any significant off-world footprint that could continue the species - the energy costs and time required to travel the distances necessary to reach any earth-like planet at another star are ridiculously prohibitive, and it's likely that the complex technology required to send people will fail en route. You're talking *thousands* of years of continuous, error-free operation required just to reach a different star system, while protecting the incredibly fragile inhabitants inside from radiation, vacuum, starvation, disease, and self-inflicted violence.

And when you think about a planet capable of supporting human life, it's probable that there already is native life that's evolved there - so what gives humans the right to populate that planet and probably destroy the native life there in the process? What makes us so important that we can extinguish other species to suit our convenience?

Re:More Power (and Money) To Them! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44480171)

I think we're looking at hedges in the near-term. No one is advocating a mars colony to survive the death of the sun (which I highly doubt will go supernova, btw), but rather against celestial impacts on earth and/or say, nuclear warfare.

I personally think it's worthwhile to pursue expansion in the short term. I grant that at the moment the support structure for a mars colony is lacking, but there is really only one way to get things in place for off-world colonies: By actually getting out there and doing it. It will certainly take a long time before any colony is self-supporting, but if we never start at all then we'll never get there.

Re:More Power (and Money) To Them! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44481021)

I think we're looking at hedges in the near-term.

None of which will offer any appreciable hedge against species extinction, either. The point is, even if build a bustling million Martian colony, it is doomed to failure on a cosmic timescale, and provides zero 'hedge' against extinction - when Earth goes, so too goes Mars. And barring SIGNIFICANT breakthroughs in our understanding of physics - allowing us to circumvent or ignore the speed of light - the nearest stars (which we're not certain would even have earth-like planets that would support us) are *tens of thousands* of years away at our current maximum speeds. This means that any colonization vessel would need to:
1) Be big enough to support a population capable of supporting a colony;
2) Be big enough to carry with it all of the materiel and supplies to support that colony;
3) Be reliable enough that it can last for many times the duration of recorded human history without error;
4) Not experience any unexpected emergencies en route;
5) Be a perfectly balanced isolated ecosystem;
6) And the colonists would all have to learn & keep-alive the language, tools, techniques, and knowledge required to repair the ship en route, and build a colony on landing.
7) We have to know that the direction we're shooting them off in has a human-compatible planet orbiting it to being with.

The "let's just colonize everywhere" argument is appealing for a group of people weaned on science fiction, but it is not in any way realistic given our current understanding of the universe and technological capacity. An 8-month-long supply run doesn't sound like much, until you realize that you run out of Oxygen in 3 weeks.

Re:More Power (and Money) To Them! (1)

neminem (561346) | about a year ago | (#44481027)

"You're talking *thousands* of years of continuous, error-free operation required just to reach a different star system, while protecting the incredibly fragile inhabitants inside from radiation, vacuum, starvation, disease, and self-inflicted violence."

Exactly! Which is why you want to start off with smaller beta-type projects with similar, but smaller difficulties. Mars is a great test case. Think of it as practice.

Re:More Power (and Money) To Them! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44481083)

Mars is training wheels. Same with the moon.
The fact that we're not already all over the lunar surface is just silly. It's not even about needing some massive leap in tech- we have the tech we need. What we need is the experience of actually doing it. Learning all the little problems, finding the unforeseen situations. Figuring out the tricks, the fixes, not just with machines but socially as well.

so what gives humans the right to populate that planet and

Might makes right.

Re:More Power (and Money) To Them! (1)

jxander (2605655) | about a year ago | (#44481117)

[quote]The scientific discoveries can be done much less expensively with probes from Earth[/quote]

Are you sure about that?

Of course, sending an individual probe will be less expensive than each individual human ... but you have to balance that against the amount of work that each would accomplish. Tomorrow is the 1 year anniversary of Curiosity landing on mars. In that year, it has traveled a whopping 700 meters, and snapped a few pictures. Something a human astronaut could have accomplished in a day.

Probes and rovers are a decent start, a good way to get preliminary testing and surveys ... but eventually you need boots on the ground to get any real information.

Re:More Power (and Money) To Them! (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | about a year ago | (#44481719)

The cost if getting a team of humans on the ground could be 1000 times the cost of sending a go cart sized rover. We could send 500 probes and still save money. Also the human could only spend a few hours per day outside in the Martian atmosphere before having to return to the radiation hardened shelter. So yes there would be one very well surveyed spot on Mars but not much more. The multiple probes could cover much more ground.

I am not saying iy will never happen but limping out there with today's technology is a waste of money.

Re:More Power (and Money) To Them! (1)

AchilleTalon (540925) | about a year ago | (#44479793)

You never ever think this could be a bottomless pit created by politicians?

Are they taking nominations? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44478553)

There are certainly enough persons, I'd like to see on a one-way rocket trip.....just sayin'!

No blacks want to go? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44478617)

They will once 'whitey' establishes a nice, comfortable base there... LOL

Wow are they in for a surprise (1)

Squidlips (1206004) | about a year ago | (#44478733)

when they get there....they obviously do not understand how bad Mars would be...

Re:Wow are they in for a surprise (2)

BenSchuarmer (922752) | about a year ago | (#44479029)

Amen to that. Mars is colder than the Earth's poles. Mars's air pressure is lower than the Earth's highest peaks.
Can anybody name a place on Earth that is less hospitable than the most hospitable places on the surface of Mars?

Re:Wow are they in for a surprise (1)

Bucc5062 (856482) | about a year ago | (#44479291)

Washington DC?

Re:Wow are they in for a surprise (1)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | about a year ago | (#44480419)

That is only partly correct.
At the equator or middle latitudes in summer the temperature is +10 degrees and more.
In the deepest valleys of mars the air pressure is like 300 millibar, a thied of earth air pressure on sea level (because mars has 10km deep chasms, that is deeper than the height of moint Everest)

Douglas Adams would understand (2)

Squidlips (1206004) | about a year ago | (#44478741)

Send the middle managers, telephone sanitisers and hairdressers

Re:Douglas Adams would understand (1)

arielCo (995647) | about a year ago | (#44479213)

Nowadays, a reality show would fit the purpose just right.

Re:Douglas Adams would understand (1)

thylordroot (1794396) | about a year ago | (#44479225)

Are you trying to kill us all? When we all fall prey to some fatal pandemic because somebody forgot to wash their hands before using a payphone, I'm placing the blame squarely on you.

Re:Douglas Adams would understand (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44479513)

Came here to post this!

Re:Douglas Adams would understand (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44479699)

You forgot about patent attorneys.

Not a colony (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | about a year ago | (#44478755)

To me, a colony is a settlement that will become self sufficient through production of goods or through trade. Since transporting things back from Mars far outweighs the value anything on Mars and the fact that there will always need for parts and supplies that can not be produced on Mars I do not see that happening soon. Another issue is the size of the settlement. Since the size is dependent on the pipeline of goods from earth it will not be large for a long time. Due to size restriction and continued dependence on Earth the settlement on Mars best fits the definition of an outpost.

Re:Not a colony (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44479071)

All of the problems with Mars habitation are solvable to one variable... The amount of energy (electrical, mechanical, whatever) the colony is able to generate in situ.

Re:Not a colony (2)

jklovanc (1603149) | about a year ago | (#44479349)

Wrong. We do not have the technology to turn energy into matter yet. When they need a new seal for the door (or pretty much any other critical part that can wear out) it is going to come from Earth and has nothing to do with how much energy they can produce.

Re:Not a colony (2)

fbumg (632974) | about a year ago | (#44479989)

Yep. They just need a 3D printer and a really long cord.

Re:Not a colony (1)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | about a year ago | (#44479263)

To me, a colony is a settlement that will become self sufficient through production of goods or through trade.

You're welcome to define "colony" however you want, as long as you allow the rest of us to continue using the dictionary definition.

Re:Not a colony (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44479319)

To me, a colony is a settlement that will become self sufficient through production of goods or through trade.

You're welcome to define "colony" however you want, as long as you allow the rest of us to continue using the dictionary definition.

You're welcome to use any dictionary you like for looking up a definition, which confirms your own, as long as you allow the rest of us to point out that different definitions exist.

Re:Not a colony (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44479965)

To me, a colony is a settlement that will become self sufficient through production of goods or through trade.

You're welcome to define "colony" however you want, as long as you allow the rest of us to continue using the dictionary definition.

You're welcome to use any dictionary you like for looking up a definition, which confirms your own, as long as you allow the rest of us to point out that different definitions exist.

But the OP said "Not a colony". Even if you can find another definition of "colony" that doesn't fit what's going on here, that still does not make it "not a colony". That's now how definitions work. You can't simply find just one definition of a word that doesn't fit the circumstance and say the word doesn't fit. You need to show that all possible definitions don't fit.

As an example, the word "blow" can mean "violent application of the fist" or "a blast of wind". Given those 2 definitions, you can't say that the wind doesn't blow just because there is no fist involved. Likewise, no matter what other definition you can come up with for colony, OED defines "colony" as "A settlement in a new country; a body of people who settle in a new locality, forming a community subject to or connected with their parent state; the community so formed, consisting of the original settlers and their descendants and successors, as long as the connection with the parent state is kept up." That sounds like what is described here, thus the word "colony" fits, no matter how many other definitions you come up with.

Re:Not a colony (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44479383)

To me, a colony is a settlement that will become self sufficient through production of goods or through trade. Since transporting things back from Mars far outweighs the value anything on Mars and the fact that there will always need for parts and supplies that can not be produced on Mars I do not see that happening soon. Another issue is the size of the settlement. Since the size is dependent on the pipeline of goods from earth it will not be large for a long time. Due to size restriction and continued dependence on Earth the settlement on Mars best fits the definition of an outpost.

Yup. But if a sufficiently valuable resource, which is most cost-efficiently obtained by harvesting it from Mars with human labor on site, is discovered there, capitalism will practically guarantee colonization.

Re:Not a colony (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44481119)

Yeah, that Martian Unobtainium isn't even on the periodic table here on earth!

There is NO reality - none, whatsoever, ever - where it would be cheaper to send hundreds of humans and all the supporting machinery, equipment, and materials to another planet than it would be to develop and commercialize a cheaper alternative here on earth.

Fuck, it'd be cheaper to build a big old fusion reactor and find a way to construct the elements through nucleosynthesis here on earth than it would be to establish shipping and supply lines to an industrial colony on Mars.

We still regularly have plane crashes, and you think we're going to manage to send multiple spaceships back and forth routinely across interplanetary distances with flawless precision?

Re:Not a colony (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | about a year ago | (#44479559)

The goal of most of these sorts of projects is self-sufficiency on Mars, which fits your ideal of a colony. Indeed, you'd have to have self-sufficiency, given that the nearest source of help is 2 years away at best if anything goes wrong.

Pulling this off would be the most difficult exploration or colonization effort humans had ever attempted, for precisely that reason of sheer distance. By comparison, colonizing the Americas was ridiculously easy.

Re:Not a colony (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | about a year ago | (#44479705)

The goal may be self sufficiency but it is unattainable with current technology. There are too many parts to a habitat that can wear out and can not be produced on Mars.

This is a society (1, Flamebait)

Sla$hPot (1189603) | about a year ago | (#44478909)

How can any organisation with a respect for it self, decide to send humans of to something that can only be described as a suicide mission.
When will the cameras stop rolling?
Will they continue to run when people start eating each others corpses while crying for help to the camera.
Pl..pl.pl..please can't we have a rescue mission... weah, drewl, snot. nom nom nom.
What a pathetic idea.

Re:This is a ( disgrace ) to society (1)

Sla$hPot (1189603) | about a year ago | (#44479211)

:/

Must be true, because Fox News (1)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | about a year ago | (#44478943)

It's difficult to take TFA with much seriousness [ceasespin.org] . Laughably, the antenna are a nice touch.

You will not go to space today. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44478977)

2/3 of well funded, apparently well managed, sane, missions to Mars fail catastrophically before they start collecting scientific data. If you start it off as a mad gamble and a suicide mission, no one is going to Mars. Not today, not ever.

And then... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44478987)

I stopped reading at "... FoxNews.com".

Something to think about before they go... (1)

slew (2918) | about a year ago | (#44479249)

The revolution is successful. But survival depends on drastic measures. Your continued existence represents a threat to the well-being of society. Your lives mean slow death to the more valued members of the colony. Therefore, I have no alternative but to sentence you to death. Your execution is so ordered, signed ...

Maybe this is something they should screen for?

I don't know if I would worry more about someone who knew the reference, or someone that never heard it before...

stop giving MarsOne attention! (4, Informative)

notanalien_justgreen (2596219) | about a year ago | (#44479293)

I really wish people would stop posting MarsOne propaganda. It's a scam, pure and simple. It's been pointed out time and time again that their team is primarily artists and PR people. Just look here for yourself:

http://www.mars-one.com/en/about-mars-one/team [mars-one.com]

Of the 7 people listed there's: an artist, an editor, a communication specialist, a communications director, and an MD. There's only 2 people who could conceivably have any expertise on getting to Mars.

They did an interview (AMA) on reddit and were torn apart:

http://www.reddit.com/r/worldnews/comments/ufb42/ama_i_am_founder_of_mars_one_sending_four_people/ [reddit.com]

STOP FEEDING THESE PEOPLE FREE PRESS!
 

No (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44479677)

Haven't we fucked up Earth enough? No, just no. Behaving like a virus mindlessly spreading itself.

Explain this to me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44480685)

How is this really any different from the original European explorers to the west?

The wanted to explore so they needed a boat.
They made up complete bullshit about a passage it china for spices.
They found sponsors and crew.
And away they went completing expecting it to be a one way trip.

I can see the same "Why bother" type arguments being made bake then. But if it weren't for the people willing to take those first "why bother" steps the world would still be flat today.

Basic research has no profit, face it. And exploration is the most basic of research.

We built faster boats to get us across the Atlantic faster. Once we are on Mars we'll build faster and better ships to get us there faster and suddenly we'll be a space faring planet. Then we will find a way to profit from it.

Just my perspective.

Re:Explain this to me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44481273)

The wanted to explore so they needed a boat.

No, the king or queen wanted new lands to colonize and exploit the riches of, so they needed brave men who were willing to take the risk of death in return for the possibility of immense wealth and prestige. European colonization was explicitly fueled by a drive for economic gain. And most of the people did NOT expect it to be a one-way trip. Columbus expected to find a western passage to India. Most of the other explorers were looking for similar: new trade routes, or new lands to exploit and colonize.

But if it weren't for the people willing to take those first "why bother" steps the world would still be flat today.

No, because the earth was only flat for a startlingly short period of time: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spherical_Earth [wikipedia.org] -- by the 3rd century BC, Greek astronomers had established the spherical model as mathematically correct.

How is this really any different from the original European explorers to the west?

Off the top of my head?

The fact that the European explorers never went someplace that was actively hostile to their continued survival: i.e., an airless, lightless near-vacuum with no food, water or sufficient temperature to sustain life.

The fact that European explorers and settlers only had to carry sufficient supplies with them to make the trip - once they arrived back at land, they could stop and resupply with fresh water, food (which could also be fished out of the ocean or snared/hunted from the air above the boat), and there was never a short supply of oxygen.

The fact that the only reason European explorers did it was for the economic incentive of new lands and trade routes, whereas there is nothing on Mars of sufficient value to incentivize a commercial exploration.

The fact that even if you're blown off course while sailing to the New World, you'll likely end up in Cuba, or South America, and not in some vast stretch of empty interstellar (or interplanetary) space.

The fact that traveling to another star with our current technology will take us tens of thousands of years.

The fact that a sailing ship - even a big one - is many, many orders of magnitude less complicated than an interplanetary or interstellar spaceship.

The fact that most colonies relied on the fact that they could build whatever they needed from the materials at hand at their destination, rather than having to carry everything with them on their maiden voyage.

So yeah, there's all that. But other than that, I can't think of any ways that European settlers would be different from Mars colonists.

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