Why Should We Go To Mars?

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Stash

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Why Should We Go To Mars?
« on: February 19, 2021, 07:22:40 AM »
In light of Perseverance landing yesterday, I stumbled up this <5 minute explanation as to why Mars is important to explore.

Dr. Robert Zubrin lays it out threefold back in 2015:

- Mars is where the Science is
- Mars is where the Challenge is
- Mars is where the Future is

It's a pretty cool, impassioned summation. I'm digging it. There are arguments against, mainly, we've got our science, challenges and future here on earth, so why pour resources into the exploration of another planet. But I'm buying into his argument as well. Worth a watch, it goes by quick:


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FlatAssembler

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Re: Why Should We Go To Mars?
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2021, 08:42:27 AM »
I think the argument against space exploration "We have so many problems right here on Earth." misses the point a lot. The problems we have on Earth are unlikely to be solved by science. Famines are not caused by our inability to produce enough food, they are catastrophic political failures, and science can do little about it. Maybe social science can, but natural science has little to say about it.
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JJA

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Re: Why Should We Go To Mars?
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2021, 01:31:25 PM »
I think the argument against space exploration "We have so many problems right here on Earth." misses the point a lot. The problems we have on Earth are unlikely to be solved by science. Famines are not caused by our inability to produce enough food, they are catastrophic political failures, and science can do little about it. Maybe social science can, but natural science has little to say about it.

We need both science and the will to use it responsibly.

Science gave us fertilizers that feeds half the planet.

But it's not science that's keeping the food too expensive for many to afford, that's just human greed.

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FlatAssembler

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Re: Why Should We Go To Mars?
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2021, 01:06:55 AM »
I think the argument against space exploration "We have so many problems right here on Earth." misses the point a lot. The problems we have on Earth are unlikely to be solved by science. Famines are not caused by our inability to produce enough food, they are catastrophic political failures, and science can do little about it. Maybe social science can, but natural science has little to say about it.

We need both science and the will to use it responsibly.

Science gave us fertilizers that feeds half the planet.

But it's not science that's keeping the food too expensive for many to afford, that's just human greed.
that's just human greed? I am confused. What do you think is going on in Venezuela, why are people starving there? To me it seems more like it is the attempts to curb human greed that cause hunger, rather than human greed itself.
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sceptimatic

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Re: Why Should We Go To Mars?
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2021, 07:07:56 AM »
A parachute in an atmosphere that's supposed to be 1% of Earth's. A small helicopter working in an atmosphere that's supposedly 1% of Earth's.

And people can't see an y problems with this.

Absolutely baffling to all hell.

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Jamie

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Re: Why Should We Go To Mars?
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2021, 07:12:23 AM »
A parachute in an atmosphere that's supposed to be 1% of Earth's. A small helicopter working in an atmosphere that's supposedly 1% of Earth's.

And people can't see an y problems with this.

Absolutely baffling to all hell.

Oh, you silly simpleton.
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markjo

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Re: Why Should We Go To Mars?
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2021, 09:03:55 AM »
A parachute in an atmosphere that's supposed to be 1% of Earth's. A small helicopter working in an atmosphere that's supposedly 1% of Earth's.

And people can't see an y problems with this.
And others can't find any solutions to those problems.


Absolutely baffling to all hell.
Agreed.
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FlatAssembler

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Re: Why Should We Go To Mars?
« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2021, 09:22:51 AM »
Quote from: sceptimatic
A parachute in an atmosphere that's supposed to be 1% of Earth's.
Why would atmospheric pressure be relevant there? What matters for lift is the density of the atmosphere, not pressure. Lift would work even in a zero-g environment (no pressure at all), right?
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markjo

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Re: Why Should We Go To Mars?
« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2021, 11:41:09 AM »
Quote from: sceptimatic
A parachute in an atmosphere that's supposed to be 1% of Earth's.
Why would atmospheric pressure be relevant there? What matters for lift is the density of the atmosphere, not pressure. Lift would work even in a zero-g environment (no pressure at all), right?
Ummm...  How do you think parachutes work? ???
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Stash

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Re: Why Should We Go To Mars?
« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2021, 12:28:10 PM »
A parachute in an atmosphere that's supposed to be 1% of Earth's. A small helicopter working in an atmosphere that's supposedly 1% of Earth's.

And people can't see an y problems with this.

Absolutely baffling to all hell.

If you actually cared to look into the technology involved rather than just looking inward toward your own bias, you might learn something.

Parachute: "Around four minutes after entering the atmosphere, the spacecraft will unfurl a 70.5-foot-diameter (21.5-meter) supersonic parachute at an altitude of about 7 miles, or 11 kilometers."
“It’s a very big parachute that’s the size of a Little League infield,” Chen said. “It snaps open in about 0.6 seconds while going almost Mach 2. So there’s a lot of risk concentrated there.”

As for the Drone:
For one, though tested in super low atmosphere chambers on earth, tethered to resemble the very much lower gravity than earth, they are still not sure it's going to work. They've been testing it for 6 years. "Because the Mars atmosphere is 99% less dense than Earth's, Ingenuity has to be light, with rotor blades that are much larger and spin much faster than what would be required for a helicopter of Ingenuity's mass on Earth." I think they spin at 2800 RPM, or something like that and it only weighs 4 lbs. We'll see if it works.

Do a little research as opposed to just spouting out of your own brain for a change.


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Bullwinkle

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Re: Why Should We Go To Mars?
« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2021, 04:34:25 AM »

 “It snaps open in about 0.6 seconds while going almost Mach 2.”
If nobody is there to hear it, does it make a sound?

. . . . . . . also, FUUUUUCCCCK!   :o

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FlatAssembler

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Re: Why Should We Go To Mars?
« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2021, 04:36:41 AM »
Quote from: sceptimatic
A parachute in an atmosphere that's supposed to be 1% of Earth's.
Why would atmospheric pressure be relevant there? What matters for lift is the density of the atmosphere, not pressure. Lift would work even in a zero-g environment (no pressure at all), right?
Ummm...  How do you think parachutes work? ???
Parachutes work, as far as I know, because the air density lowers the terminal speed. While the air pressure is significantly lower than on Earth, the air there is mostly composed of the heavy gas CO2, so I'd guess the density of the air is comparable.
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markjo

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Re: Why Should We Go To Mars?
« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2021, 09:54:44 AM »
Parachutes work, as far as I know, because the air density lowers the terminal speed. While the air pressure is significantly lower than on Earth, the air there is mostly composed of the heavy gas CO2, so I'd guess the density of the air is comparable.
Parachutes work on the principle of wind resistance.  More surface area means more wind resistance.  Really big parachutes can have enough surface area to compensate for the lower atmospheric pressure, like on Mars

Another thing to consider is that the Martian atmosphere is too thin for a soft landing without prohibitively large parachutes.  That's why the parachutes are used only to slow down the lander enough so that the rocket powered sky crane could gently land the rover.
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Stash

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Re: Why Should We Go To Mars?
« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2021, 10:57:17 AM »

 “It snaps open in about 0.6 seconds while going almost Mach 2.”
If nobody is there to hear it, does it make a sound?

. . . . . . . also, FUUUUUCCCCK!   :o

I know, imagine if you had that parachute strapped to your loins when it opened at MACH 2. I think we would hear your wails as that thing snapped open all the way back here on earth.

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markjo

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Re: Why Should We Go To Mars?
« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2021, 11:26:32 AM »
I know, imagine if you had that parachute strapped to your loins when it opened at MACH 2. I think we would hear your wails as that thing snapped open all the way back here on earth.
Actually, the parachute opens when the lander is going about 940 mph and can only slow it to about 200 mph over the course of about 90 seconds.
https://mars.nasa.gov/mars2020/timeline/landing/entry-descent-landing/
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Besides, perhaps FET is a conspiracy too.
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Stash

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Re: Why Should We Go To Mars?
« Reply #15 on: February 21, 2021, 11:36:27 AM »
I know, imagine if you had that parachute strapped to your loins when it opened at MACH 2. I think we would hear your wails as that thing snapped open all the way back here on earth.
Actually, the parachute opens when the lander is going about 940 mph and can only slow it to about 200 mph over the course of about 90 seconds.
https://mars.nasa.gov/mars2020/timeline/landing/entry-descent-landing/

940 MPH or 1500 MPH, doesn't matter, we could still hear Moose's cries from 34 million miles away...

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markjo

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Re: Why Should We Go To Mars?
« Reply #16 on: February 21, 2021, 11:44:42 AM »
I know, imagine if you had that parachute strapped to your loins when it opened at MACH 2. I think we would hear your wails as that thing snapped open all the way back here on earth.
Actually, the parachute opens when the lander is going about 940 mph and can only slow it to about 200 mph over the course of about 90 seconds.
https://mars.nasa.gov/mars2020/timeline/landing/entry-descent-landing/

940 MPH or 1500 MPH, doesn't matter, we could still hear Moose's cries from 34 million miles away...
Well, what else should he expect for strapping a parachute to his loins?
Science is what happens when preconception meets verification.
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Besides, perhaps FET is a conspiracy too.
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FlatAssembler

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Re: Why Should We Go To Mars?
« Reply #17 on: February 21, 2021, 10:22:59 PM »
I know, imagine if you had that parachute strapped to your loins when it opened at MACH 2. I think we would hear your wails as that thing snapped open all the way back here on earth.
Actually, the parachute opens when the lander is going about 940 mph and can only slow it to about 200 mph over the course of about 90 seconds.
https://mars.nasa.gov/mars2020/timeline/landing/entry-descent-landing/

940 MPH or 1500 MPH, doesn't matter, we could still hear Moose's cries from 34 million miles away...
There is no air between Earth and Mars to transmit the sound.
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FlatAssembler

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Re: Why Should We Go To Mars?
« Reply #18 on: February 21, 2021, 10:32:00 PM »
Parachutes work, as far as I know, because the air density lowers the terminal speed. While the air pressure is significantly lower than on Earth, the air there is mostly composed of the heavy gas CO2, so I'd guess the density of the air is comparable.
Parachutes work on the principle of wind resistance.  More surface area means more wind resistance.  Really big parachutes can have enough surface area to compensate for the lower atmospheric pressure, like on Mars

Another thing to consider is that the Martian atmosphere is too thin for a soft landing without prohibitively large parachutes.  That's why the parachutes are used only to slow down the lander enough so that the rocket powered sky crane could gently land the rover.
Well, I haven't studied it that much.
I do not understand, how it is that, if the pressure on Mars is 100 times less than on Earth, the density of the atmosphere is also around 100 times less, if the Martian atmosphere is composed of CO2. Earth's atmosphere is mostly composed of free nitrogen atoms, right? And CO2 is around 3 times heavier, per molecule, than nitrogen is, right? If so, the Martian atmosphere should be around 30 times less dense than the Earth's atmosphere, not 100 times. And since gravity is 3 times smaller, and terminal velocity being proportional to the square of gravitational acceleration, I do not see why parachutes that work on Earth won't work on Mars.
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This is my parody of the conspiracy theorists:
https://www.theflatearthsociety.org/forum/index.php?topic=71184.0

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sokarul

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Re: Why Should We Go To Mars?
« Reply #19 on: February 22, 2021, 12:34:40 AM »
CO2 is only 1.5 times heavier than N2.

You are also forgetting there are less molecules in mars’s atmosphere.
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Shifter

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Re: Why Should We Go To Mars?
« Reply #20 on: February 22, 2021, 02:27:33 AM »
Mars may be useful as a base but humans could not live there without major modification to how we grow and develop. We simply weren't designed to live in such low gravity the way we are now.

Also, the kind of work required to terraform the planet to be livable would take many thousands of years. Not saying that's a reason not to start, our sun will shift it's 'goldilocks zone' towards Mars at some point.

Mars also has a near guarantee of a cataclysmic apocalypse scale disaster just waiting to happen. It's Moon, Phobos is either going to crash or break up into a ring in about 50 million years. You don't want to be on that planet when that happens (ok, so that's so probably 300,000 times how long us homo sapiens have even existed but still :P

As Mars is now, I don't see the point. It is sterile. Imagine being there right now. You would think some guy in a cave in an inhospitable desert on Earth is living in luxury. Well you would have all of a few seconds to think of that before you suffocate in the most bitter of colds

There is one thing we are just going to have to suck up and break the stupid COSPAR Planetary Protection Policy. It's time we seeded the other planets while we still haven't blown each other up or succumbed to our own stupidity and dying out from a preventable pandemic.

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FlatAssembler

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Re: Why Should We Go To Mars?
« Reply #21 on: February 22, 2021, 02:40:29 AM »
Quote from: Shifter
It is sterile
Well, there seems to be a lot of debate on whether there is life on Mars. Though, I am not sure exactly what the debate is about. As far as I understand it, it is not a question of whether some organisms could survive on Mars, it is whether there are indeed underground bacteria on Mars. And, given that there is methane on Mars coming from the underground, there are either some unknown inorganic chemical processes going on underground on Mars, or there is indeed microscopic life on Mars. The simplest explanation is that there probably are underground bacteria on Mars, right?
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https://www.theflatearthsociety.org/forum/index.php?topic=71184.0

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Shifter

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Re: Why Should We Go To Mars?
« Reply #22 on: February 22, 2021, 02:51:50 AM »
Quote from: Shifter
It is sterile
Well, there seems to be a lot of debate on whether there is life on Mars. Though, I am not sure exactly what the debate is about. As far as I understand it, it is not a question of whether some organisms could survive on Mars, it is whether there are indeed underground bacteria on Mars. And, given that there is methane on Mars coming from the underground, there are either some unknown inorganic chemical processes going on underground on Mars, or there is indeed microscopic life on Mars. The simplest explanation is that there probably are underground bacteria on Mars, right?

If there is, we aren't going to find it by spending billions of dollars on a rover that digs a mere few cm into the dirt. I don't object to sending a human there. The 'MarsOne' scam proved there are millions of suckers eager to throw away their lives on a one way trip. So you can send a human sure, but don't expect to find anything there that makes life sustainable there. Again, a cave in a searing hot desert on Earth would be far more opulent

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sceptimatic

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Re: Why Should We Go To Mars?
« Reply #23 on: February 22, 2021, 08:40:20 AM »
A parachute in an atmosphere that's supposed to be 1% of Earth's. A small helicopter working in an atmosphere that's supposedly 1% of Earth's.

And people can't see an y problems with this.

Absolutely baffling to all hell.

If you actually cared to look into the technology involved rather than just looking inward toward your own bias, you might learn something.

Parachute: "Around four minutes after entering the atmosphere, the spacecraft will unfurl a 70.5-foot-diameter (21.5-meter) supersonic parachute at an altitude of about 7 miles, or 11 kilometers."
“It’s a very big parachute that’s the size of a Little League infield,” Chen said. “It snaps open in about 0.6 seconds while going almost Mach 2. So there’s a lot of risk concentrated there.”

As for the Drone:
For one, though tested in super low atmosphere chambers on earth, tethered to resemble the very much lower gravity than earth, they are still not sure it's going to work. They've been testing it for 6 years. "Because the Mars atmosphere is 99% less dense than Earth's, Ingenuity has to be light, with rotor blades that are much larger and spin much faster than what would be required for a helicopter of Ingenuity's mass on Earth." I think they spin at 2800 RPM, or something like that and it only weighs 4 lbs. We'll see if it works.

Do a little research as opposed to just spouting out of your own brain for a change.
I don't need to do anymore research to see that this stuff is absolute utter disgusting bullcrap.
Great for sci-fi fans mind you. It's just a shame it's not put out as that.

Re: Why Should We Go To Mars?
« Reply #24 on: February 22, 2021, 09:05:17 AM »
Mars may be useful as a base but humans could not live there without major modification to how we grow and develop. We simply weren't designed to live in such low gravity the way we are now.
Absolutely.  We have evolved to survive for a very particular set of conditions - just a sliver of time on a single planet.  We have absolutely no idea if we can even reproduce at those gravity levels, assuming we managed to shield from the ionizing radiation, presumably by living underground (yay).

The whole idea, once you get past the hype and the rich boys playing with their toys, of some independent colony on mars is ludicrous.

I'd really like to know what situation does earth become less hospitable than mars?  Even after a full scale nuclear war it will be fantastically more hospitable than mars will ever will be.

Lets keep sending robots up there for research, but drop the nonsense about human colonies.
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Crouton

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Re: Why Should We Go To Mars?
« Reply #25 on: February 22, 2021, 09:15:45 AM »
At the moment, the best answer to the question is because we can.  There's really not a whole lot of logic to it with our current set of technologies.
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Shifter

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Re: Why Should We Go To Mars?
« Reply #26 on: February 22, 2021, 09:23:59 AM »
Mars may be useful as a base but humans could not live there without major modification to how we grow and develop. We simply weren't designed to live in such low gravity the way we are now.
Absolutely.  We have evolved to survive for a very particular set of conditions - just a sliver of time on a single planet.  We have absolutely no idea if we can even reproduce at those gravity levels, assuming we managed to shield from the ionizing radiation, presumably by living underground (yay).

The whole idea, once you get past the hype and the rich boys playing with their toys, of some independent colony on mars is ludicrous.

I'd really like to know what situation does earth become less hospitable than mars?  Even after a full scale nuclear war it will be fantastically more hospitable than mars will ever will be.

Lets keep sending robots up there for research, but drop the nonsense about human colonies.

I still think Venus is a better candidate for colonization, even if we had to live on 'cloud cities', never being able to go near the surface. But the one thing that would cross every colonists mind 24/7 while they float 70km above the surface surrounded by dense and toxic clouds would be 'What is the f-ing point?'

The other candidate talked about for colonization is Saturns moon Titan or Jupiters moon Europa. In a few billion years when the sun has expanded into a red giant it might be warm enough there.... But with even less gravity than Mars it's even more ludicrous. But I'm sure by then we'll all be some kind of fish again if Star Trek Voyager is to be believed on the future of the human race so maybe it will be do-able


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what website did you use to buy your wife? Did you choose Chinese over Russian because she can't open her eyes to see you?

What animal relates to your wife?

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markjo

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Re: Why Should We Go To Mars?
« Reply #27 on: February 22, 2021, 09:41:02 AM »
The whole idea, once you get past the hype and the rich boys playing with their toys, of some independent colony on mars is ludicrous.
About 100 years of so ago, the notion of air travel becoming commonplace was little more than "hype and the rich boys playing with their toys", but look where we are now.  Granted, space colonies are several orders of magnitude more difficult, but I firmly believe that they are equally inevitable.


I still think Venus is a better candidate for colonization, even if we had to live on 'cloud cities', never being able to go near the surface.
Venus is a terrible choice for colonization for one simple reason: metal.  Or, rather the lack of access to it.  At least Mars has resources that can be mined and help lead to eventual self-sufficiency.  Venus would be like the ISS where literally everything must be transported there from Earth, only much harder because of the distance.  You would have better luck colonizing an iron rich asteroid.
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JJA

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Re: Why Should We Go To Mars?
« Reply #28 on: February 22, 2021, 09:55:13 AM »
Venus is a terrible choice for colonization for one simple reason: metal.  Or, rather the lack of access to it.  At least Mars has resources that can be mined and help lead to eventual self-sufficiency.  Venus would be like the ISS where literally everything must be transported there from Earth, only much harder because of the distance.  You would have better luck colonizing an iron rich asteroid.

We aren't likely to have self sufficient colonies for a long, long time.  They will be importing anything but very basic materials from Earth.

As for metal... why go to another planet to mine it when the asteroids are full of it?  I suspect we will be doing asteroid mining long before we have any Mars or Venus based mines.

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sokarul

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Re: Why Should We Go To Mars?
« Reply #29 on: February 23, 2021, 04:15:38 AM »
So amazing. Fuck you flat earthers.

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