Discussion Elon Musk's Martian Fantasy

guidryp

Platinum Member
Apr 3, 2006
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SpaceX and it's benefit, came up in another thread along with the value of putting people on Mars.

I think it's a colossal waste of resources for what will amount to a flag planting ceremony, and have no benefit to people of Earth, let alone a Fantasy colony on Mars. Some food for thought:

"When asked about colonisation of the planet, and how that would actually work, Musk told an audience member that his company was focused primarily on transportation only. In other words, SpaceX is an airline. They don’t do hotels."




 

Zorba

Lifer
Oct 22, 1999
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Are you saying all of SpaceX is a waste of resources or if they actually built a colony on Mars? Not very clear what you are after.
 

MrSquished

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I believe the mission of Space-X to get rockets into orbit more erfficiently is great. I believe Elon Musk's drive to get to Mars is a fucking stupid crazed ego trip waste of resources for a messed up human mind to be able to troll on Twitter with - I GOT A SHIP TO MARS TO SAVE HUMANITY tweet or something.
 

guidryp

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Are you saying all of SpaceX is a waste of resources or if they actually built a colony on Mars? Not very clear what you are after.
MrSquished summarized my viewpoint nicely...
 

repoman0

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We’ve been going to the moon for 50+ years and haven’t colonized it yet. The reason for that is it is equally as uninhabitable as Mars and living in either place would be a nightmare. I guess Mars has a minuscule atmosphere that would perhaps kill a human a couple seconds slower and scatters a little light so the sky looks more like Earth’s.

That said I’m all for sending people there, or even better sending them even further to some of the gas giants’ moons. Now that would be cool. Don’t see that happening within my lifetime though. I certainly don’t expect to see any colonies during my (hopefully 🙄) 50-60 years left here.
 

kt

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Apr 1, 2000
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People need to learn how to live together on a single rock first before attempting to colonize another.
 
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guidryp

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That said I’m all for sending people there, or even better sending them even further to some of the gas giants’ moons. Now that would be cool. Don’t see that happening within my lifetime though. I certainly don’t expect to see any colonies during my (hopefully 🙄) 50-60 years left here.
I think's it's wasteful to send people. It's basically going to be a flag planting ceremony (AKA ego trip) and cost tens of billions of dollars even by lowest estimates.

Tens of billions better spent on actual problems, on Earth.
 
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SKORPI0

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We’ve been going to the moon for 50+ years and haven’t colonized it yet.
Man last stepped on the Moon Dec. 1972. Mars like the Moon has no magnetic field/magnetosphere to protect humans from the effects of high levels of cosmic rays,
people will have to live underground if they plan to stay there. Terraforming is out of the question too.

The planet's lack of a protective magnetic field means the solar wind will continue stripping its atmosphere and water, reverting our changes to Mars or constantly degrading them.
To truly terraform Mars, we would need to fix its magnetic field—or lack thereof.
 
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igor_kavinski

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I think the human mind shouldn't be underestimated. After all, we are all reading this on devices with a heart carved out of sand. When the time is right, someone will have a lightbulb moment and the path forward will become clear.
 

Number1

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Feb 24, 2006
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If it wasn't for Musk you would be complaining about having to use russian rockets to get to space. Technology is moving forward. Deal with it. So there was my thought. Ill trow in a amen if you ask nicely. Beside, your articles are rather dated, the BBC one is from 2016.
 
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cytg111

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Mar 17, 2008
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Lets break it down

Do mankind ever leave this rock?

- No, besides being a giant waste of resources that could otherwise be used to make peace and happiness for all mankind, space is exceedingly unkind to the human biomechanical construct. We were not meant to *do space*. We will make the best of it while we are here.

- Yes, in about 500 million years, solar winds is gonna strip the atmosphere of this planet to the point where life as we know it is unstainable, if we're not out the cradle before then, whatever this was will eventually by engulfed by the sun and any trace of our existence is void. There is many possible extinction events within this 500 million year margin. If we have the technology to push the envelope, we should.

To ME, the idea that we start and end on this rock is unacceptable. In a sense it makes existence meaningless. Using earths resources to maximize our collective dopamine and serotonin levels until it all goes boom is exceedingly missing the point of why we're here :).
 

guidryp

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To ME, the idea that we start and end on this rock is unacceptable. In a sense it makes existence meaningless. Using earths resources to maximize our collective dopamine and serotonin levels until it all goes boom is exceedingly missing the point of why we're here :).

Getting humans off Earth permanently has ZERO to do with Musk's Ego trip to Mars. Mars is a shit place for humans and will always be a shit place for humans.

For now we are better off researching higher end robotics, AI, and nano-tech, to send that tech out, to construct our future space habitats and escape vehicles needed to ride out solar disaster, or perhaps hop to the next viable star. Planets are very hard to move, but purpose built colony ships aren't.

So long term, we'd be better off constructing purpose built space colonies that actually meet our needs, than living underground on inhospitable Mars.

Though most likely will destroy ourselves long before the Sun expands and causes us issues. Heck we could be watching WW3 starting in Ukraine right now.
 

Lost_in_the_HTTP

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Nov 17, 2019
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^^ Humans offer nothing good. The species needs to end completely. The sooner the better. The universe will be a far, far better place without us.
 
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Roger Wilco

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We should be going to Venus instead. Send some cloud-skimming colony ship that leeches thermal and solar energy to keep it afloat above the furnace that is Venus. Iirc there is a layer of Venus’ atmosphere with temperatures and conditions that could sustain some earth-born organisms.
 
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Red Squirrel

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It's going to be tough at first, it's not like there is any nature or resources or anything and it would be decades if centuries before this could be changed to be that way. You can't just walk off the rocket and head to Home Depot to buy supplies and then start building your house on some land that you bought. There will be no resources or anything. People would be confined in small prebuilt living quarters and have to do a lot of work together to create things like food etc and it would be a very collectivist way of living and no real sense of individualism. Almost like living in an apartment in a big city with a bunch of roommates under a heavy lock down setting. You can't just order food or order stuff from Amazon, or even leave the dome.

Fast forward to 100+ years from now assuming they can terraform it where there is nature and you can own land then it would be easier way of living. But even then it really depends how they govern it. Ideally they need to come up with a better government system than Earth, a much smaller government where if you decide to go live there you are mostly on your own and can do your own thing and have to be resourceful. But that comes with it's own problems too like there would probably not be much as far as a health care system.
 

Racan

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I doubt humans will be able to colonize Mars due to lots of factors, low gravity, cosmic rays, psychology etc. etc. at most a research station like McMurdo in Antarctica. If Starship fulfills it's goals of full rapid reusability with a 100 ton payload maybe it's enough for resupplying what can't be provided by in situ resource utilization at a reasonable cost.

But would it be so bad if someone makes the attempt? >99% of the world's resources will still be spent on Earth and whichever way it ends, we'll learn something valuable.
 
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cytg111

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Mar 17, 2008
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Getting humans off Earth permanently has ZERO to do with Musk's Ego trip to Mars. Mars is a shit place for humans and will always be a shit place for humans.

For now we are better off researching higher end robotics, AI, and nano-tech, to send that tech out, to construct our future space habitats and escape vehicles needed to ride out solar disaster, or perhaps hop to the next viable star. Planets are very hard to move, but purpose built colony ships aren't.

So long term, we'd be better off constructing purpose built space colonies that actually meet our needs, than living underground on inhospitable Mars.

Though most likely will destroy ourselves long before the Sun expands and causes us issues. Heck we could be watching WW3 starting in Ukraine right now.
Mmmm.. Zero is a pretty big number. I dont agree with that plus as you put it yourself with WW3, who knows how long the window is open, odds of us doing stupid shit down here that closes the window is ever increasing.. So if we have a shot, I say we take it.
Though Id much rather it was a joined mission like iss than some Musk character leading the charge.
Yes Mars is a huge step but by god imagine the lessons learned if we make it.
 

guidryp

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Mmmm.. Zero is a pretty big number. I dont agree with that plus as you put it yourself with WW3, who knows how long the window is open, odds of us doing stupid shit down here that closes the window is ever increasing.. So if we have a shot, I say we take it.
Though Id much rather it was a joined mission like iss than some Musk character leading the charge.
Yes Mars is a huge step but by god imagine the lessons learned if we make it.
Putting a few people on Mars in a flag planting ceremony, does nothing. It's not a shot at anything.

Mars is completely inhospitable. You can't expand colonies there using local resources. Nearly everything needed for life has to be imported from Earth.

It has no radiation shielding so you need to live underground.

We have no idea what impact the low gravity would have on human life cycle. If you can't rear children in Martian gravity, you don't have a backup. Changing the gravity of a planet is quite a challenge. ;)

The regolith is toxic to plants (The Martian was science fiction that glossed over this, simply adding poop won't do it. It looks like Lunar regolith is more compatible with plant life than Martian toxic regolith. Ever gram of Soil would need to be heavily processed to remove toxic perchlorates, and then would need enrichment with fertilizers, appropriate minerals, bacteria. So basically ever gram of life sustaining soil has to be imported or created.

Mars is essentially barren of nitrogen to grow plants. This is critical, you can't just create nitrogen, you have to import it, so you can't build more underground colony space without that imported nitrogen. There is no growing self sufficiency if you can't locally create the air that life needs.

Bottom line. Mars can't sustain human life on it's own. Everything has to be imported. You can only terraform Mars if you already have an obscenely advanced space fairing civilization, nearly capable of building a planet from scratch, because that is near the scale of effort to terraform Mars.

At the point we could Terraform Mars, we will already have millions if not billions of people living in artificial space habitats, that will be much better suited for human life, so Mars will neither be a "backup" because we have many backups in space already, nor will it be more desirable than artificial space habitats that have ideal human tuned characteristics.

Ultimately a post Earth humanity would be one living in artificial space habitats (Likely swarms of O'Neill cylinders).
 
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