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glory(53 posts)

gloryJS Haiku Shop
Jan 6, 2004 12:44 PM
stuff like this occasionally makes me happy to be living at this moment in time.
and honorJS Haiku Shop
Jan 6, 2004 12:45 PM
and did you see this?
We are capable of the most magnificent accomplishments...Dale Brigham
Jan 6, 2004 1:06 PM
...when we work together, and the most horrifying atrocities when we are in opposition. Man, we are some funny monkeys!

Dale, you cannot possibly be more right...No_sprint
Jan 6, 2004 1:33 PM
Keep my wife out of this!!Spoiler
Jan 7, 2004 7:59 AM
And that picture is private property. We demand its return!
Great; I want to see a person there nmDougSloan
Jan 6, 2004 1:38 PM
I don't. I want to see people in...dr hoo
Jan 6, 2004 1:46 PM
... the asteroid belt.

Don't get me wrong, for unmanned missions I think lots can be learned from planets. But I would like to see a goal of a permanent self supporting space presence. To do that, the exploitable nature of the asteroids is the place to start. First the space station, then the asteroids.

The main reason for this is the huge amount of payload that is wasted on fuel to escape the gravity of a planet.

I would CHEER to see people on mars. But I think there are better goals.
The right asteroid (many have eccentric orbits) couldOldEdScott
Jan 6, 2004 1:49 PM
be turned into a spaceship itself. With a route through the solar system like a bus.
Mars' moon?DougSloan
Jan 6, 2004 1:52 PM
I saw a program on using Mars' moon, which is very small, as a base. Can't recall much else, but it made sense at the time.

hard to move it.dr hoo
Jan 6, 2004 1:58 PM
Think if the asteroids as a planet for mining, but already broken up into managable bits.

The advantage of a small moon is that you could use the planet to "slingshot" payloads elsewhere in the system.
This is the best thing we do. nmOldEdScott
Jan 6, 2004 1:47 PM
Agree. Our "highest and best use."DougSloan
Jan 6, 2004 1:51 PM
...well, aside from solving hunger, disease, and all human rights issues on the planet, of course. Oh, and whirled peas.

how about "species survival"?dr hoo
Jan 6, 2004 2:03 PM
Right now, one big hit and we are wiped out. Establishing a gene pool off planet gives us a better chance of not ending up like the dinosaurs. Global catastrophe is not a question of if, but rather of WHEN.
how about "species survival"?DougSloan
Jan 6, 2004 2:09 PM
Technologically, how long before we could (self)sustain people on another planet? 100 years?

on the order of 100 years, why not?dr hoo
Jan 6, 2004 2:27 PM
Meaning more than 10 and less than 1000. I think the problems are less with sustaining people in a big hollow rock at one of the lagrange points near earth, compared with going for a planet based colony on mars.

We pretty much have the technology to do so now, but not the will. It isn't all THAT complicated, just very, very, VERY expensive with current tech.
problem is sustainabilityDougSloan
Jan 6, 2004 3:25 PM
I would think you need enough people (thousands?) to have some genetic variation (diversify) to help resist disease and other problems, as well as sheer numbers should there be a disaster. For that, you'd need a sizeable settlement, on the order of a Deathstar; you are right, cost prohibitive, even if technologically feasible.

However, if we could oxygenate, increase pressure, and warm Mars, then no problem. You need a place with lots of water, gravity, dirt, etc., or it could not be self-sustaining, right? Didn't the Biodome experiments fail miserably?

that is the question.dr hoo
Jan 6, 2004 4:29 PM
I think you can get by with around 200 people, iirc, if you pick them carefully enough. You can get by with suprisingly few if you watch the breeding, and spread things around in terms of parenting. In 50 years we will all be geneprinted, so picking people with relatively "clean" genomes becomes trivial. That makes for lower needed numbers.

I am not saying we should have a sustaining population, but rather enough breeders up there somewhere just in case. So they don't have to breed unless mother earth bites the big one. Even then, unless it is all out nuclear war or nanocolapse into "grey goo", they only have to hold out for a short period of time before they can recolonize earth.

Biodome failed, and they cheated too, but much was learned. That was also small scale compared to the cubic you can get hollowing out a space rock. Getting such a place going is a matter of refinement of known technology, but terraforming Mars is a HUGE leap in terms of technology. And small domes on Mars suffer from the same problems as space habitats, plus they sit at the bottom of a gravity well. That makes material transfers more costly, compared to moving stuff around in space.

Not that I think I will ever see it happen one way or another. But it is fun to think about.
Heck, if there was a nuclear war on Earth. . .czardonic
Jan 6, 2004 5:04 PM
. . .it might still serve as a kind of "radiation resort" for the poor souls you'd have stashed away up there in outer space.

Something tells me that acheiving and adequate amount of genetic variation would be the least of their concerns.

    "Biodome failed, and they cheated too, but much was learned."

True. I haven't seen Pauly Shore in a starring role since.
I don't. That would be a sad day for Mars.czardonic
Jan 6, 2004 2:21 PM
Anyone else enjoy Kim Stanley Robinsons Red/Green/Blue Mars series?
I enjoyed the first one, not so much the others.dr hoo
Jan 6, 2004 2:32 PM
But then that is true of most series I have read.
Particular reason?czardonic
Jan 6, 2004 2:40 PM
I agree to an extent -- and to the extent that I remeber the books in detail. Speaking broadly, I enjoyed the exploration and discovery and was bored/depressed by the human intrigue.

Frankly, that is why I am not hot on the expansion of the human race beyond Earth. I am fairly convinced that we will bring all the problems with us that make us want to escape in the first place and will add more problems to boot. Humanity's time will come -- let's take down as few planets with us as possible.
its been a while.dr hoo
Jan 6, 2004 2:54 PM
IIRC, the first book had a rather tight story, while the others seemed more wandering/character driven than plot driven.
It's just a rock...DougSloan
Jan 6, 2004 3:28 PM
Funny how you feel for planets (rocks) and basically condemn humans. Not exactly an optimist, are you?

Jan 6, 2004 3:44 PM
We don't know what we might unwittingly destroy, on Mars or Earth, by travelling between the two. Which brings to (my) mind the tremendous number of things we don't know about ourselves and our own planet, which makes me wonder why we think we are ready to "understand" the other "rocks" around us.
no doubt we willDougSloan
Jan 6, 2004 3:49 PM
No doubt we will destroy something, probably many things, on Mars as well as Earth. My view is that people are more important than rocks. I can't conceive how we would ever understand all the consequences of our actions unless we take actions. Sitting and doing nothing won't yield much understanding.

As far as we know, based upon a fair amount of scientific observation, Mars *is* "just a rock." What's to preserve?

I thought the whole point of this mission is to determine. . .czardonic
Jan 6, 2004 3:56 PM
. . .if there is/was/could be life.

Yet whatever sources you glean your "scentific observation" from seem to "know" that it is "just a rock"?
Jan 6, 2004 4:05 PM
Yes, but I think we are fairly confident there is no "intelligent life," and the primary inquiry is whether there is water such that life could have been sustained at some time in the past. I thought that it is too cold to sustain life now.

We certainly would not want to destroy some higher life forms, but we haven't found any evidence of that. Should we care if we *might* destroy a few microbes? I don't know why we would.

Because a few microbes. . .czardonic
Jan 6, 2004 4:11 PM
. . .might well destroy us.

And you are assuming that life can only exist as we know it.
no, in this case they can't.dr hoo
Jan 6, 2004 4:46 PM
Anything on the stuff we sent is dead before it lands.

Nothing will be coming back but data.

If life exists as we do not know it, say silica based life, the only way to find out is to go look. Pushing the boundaries of knowledge is a noble human activity. The risk in this case of destroying life of any kind, much less higher life, is so low as to not matter.

Hey, there might be creatures in the atmosphere of Jupiter, and they might be harmed by AM radio, so we better not use AM radio... just in case!

Hmmm, better kill yourself so you stop harming those plants. Oh wait, if you kill yourself then all the bacteria that live in your body will die. What a moral dilemma you face!
We are not talking about this case.czardonic
Jan 6, 2004 4:59 PM
We are talking about Doug's desire to see a people on Mars.

And while I take your point about the inherent risk of all activity, I do not agree that we are thus excused to neglect or ignore the reprecussions of our actions.
and what ACTUAL repercussions of the mars trip are there?dr hoo
Jan 6, 2004 5:59 PM
Go on, list them please. I am interested to see just how many alien species we have damaged.
As far as I know, they have been largely neglected.czardonic
Jan 6, 2004 6:27 PM
Or at least subverted to humanity's burning desire to explore new frontiers. Which is to say that I don't know how many alien species we have damaged. Is that your point -- that I don't know? Then again, neither does anyone else, and that is my point.

What we do know is that exploration of our own planet has been accompanied by unforseen consequences that are often detrimental if not destructive. Why should space exploration be any different?

Now, you list the boundaries of knowledge that travelling to Mars will push. It is, after all, just a "rock". No? Why bother if we already assume that there is nothing there beyond our current comprehension?
you've convinced me.dr hoo
Jan 6, 2004 6:51 PM
We should immediately stop seeking new knowledge and just stick with what we already know. The risks are just too great. Excuse me while I go copy an illuminated manuscript by hand.
you've convinced me.No_sprint
Jan 7, 2004 9:51 AM
He is argumentative toward everything, contrarian toward everything and basically in my opinion against humanity in total, everything about it, even himself.
my less harsh takeStarliner
Jan 7, 2004 11:49 AM
I don't think he is against humanity. My view is that he has ideals which he perceives (and many of us would concur) are in fact quite humanitarian. I just think his idealism is not filtered through a pragmatic, realistic take on things, and what we see as negative and endlessly argumentative is a manifestation of that.
Not really.czardonic
Jan 7, 2004 12:00 PM
I am simply not sentimental about humanity -- or no more so that I am about the other wonders of the universe.

Moreover, I don't see extra-terrestrial exploration as a priority. There is more than enough on Earth to keep the brightest minds humanity can spawn occupied in practical perpetuity. Perhaps when we can manage our own selves and our own environment we can turn to the stars, and with a duly diligent understanding of the consequences.

Where you see idealism without pragmatism, I see pragmatism without idealism.
Not really.Starliner
Jan 7, 2004 12:48 PM
With regard to idealism and pragmatism, I think both are necessarily interrelated although not always on the same page. Sort of a body/spirit analogy. And I think we all need to operate with a measure of both in our lives.

I'm not one who thinks putting a human being on Mars or colonizing the Moon are priorities worth thinking about now - it's way too early to waste energy entertaining such ideas. Idealistically, it would be interesting; pragmatically, we don't yet know what benefits we'd get out of doing it in order to justify the expense of trying to do it. As per your thinking, we've still got bugs in the Space Shuttle program to be ironed out, and Mars is a hell of a lot further off.

But in the interim, we can and should continue within the limits of our technology to explore the heavens if only to expand our minds' horizons. You may be an athiest for all I know, but in consideration for the many of the world who live with their faiths in something beyond ourselves, and when those faiths clash in their earth-bound interpretations of what lies beyond, I think space exploration is an extremely wise path to follow if only to keep ourselves from imploding from our own narrowminded, center-of-the-universe points of view.
I am in complete agreement.czardonic
Jan 7, 2004 1:05 PM
This thread started started with my apparently isufficient enthusiasm for rushing humans to Mars, and was sidetracked by my obvious hatred for mankind and my fanatical Luddism.

But as a matter of fact, I have no objection to the study of space. I simply don't feel that we need to send a human to do it.
Lame, lazy tactics.czardonic
Jan 7, 2004 11:20 AM
I'd expected better.
your lame, lazy logic deserves no better. (nm)dr hoo
Jan 7, 2004 1:26 PM
Of course!czardonic
Jan 7, 2004 1:35 PM
You have intelligent, cogent arguments that do not rely on mischaracterization and distraction, but I simply don't deserve them.

Disappointing indeed.
I know! Let's split into factions! nmOldEdScott
Jan 8, 2004 9:23 AM
and everyone laughed at Rumsfeldmohair_chair
Jan 7, 2004 7:43 AM
What you just described are "unknown unknowns," which Donald Rumsfeld defined as "the ones we don't know we don't know." That earned him the "foot in mouth" award, and all around the world, everyone laughed at him. Except me. I understood. Did you?
Requisite Bush BashingSpoiler
Jan 7, 2004 8:06 AM
I'm afraid Bush's environmental policies may give future generations no other choice.
Most likely, the first person on Mars will be toting a load of toxic waste in one giant space dumpster.
that would be some very expensive waste disposal nmDougSloan
Jan 7, 2004 8:18 AM
Jan 6, 2004 1:56 PM
How long will it be until someone theorizes that this is just a major conspiracy and that the photos were just taken on a stage in hollywood?

Did we ever land on the moon?
Jan 6, 2004 1:59 PM
When watching the news the other night, they showed the photos of Mars. The very next story was something about Isreal and Palestinians, and I swear you could not tell the difference in the landscapes in the photos.

Say, now that you mention it...Dale Brigham
Jan 6, 2004 2:01 PM
...that top photo looks suspiciously like West Texas. My Dad has a half-section in Jones County that could provide many such vistas after a spring dust storm. Red dirt and all.

Porcupine Rimmoneyman
Jan 6, 2004 2:54 PM
in Moab. Its soooooo obvious.

Hey Doug how 'bout a new contest.jaybird
Jan 6, 2004 3:48 PM
See who can post a pic most closely resembling the ones from NASA.
ok; shouldn't be too hard nmDougSloan
Jan 6, 2004 3:50 PM
here you goDougSloan
Jan 6, 2004 3:52 PM
here's a good start; Google (verb) images of "rocks"
Ain't it cool!?! nmsnapdragen
Jan 6, 2004 9:45 PM