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Humans Will Never Colonize Mars

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#1 BillP

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Posted 30 July 2019 - 08:55 PM

The title of this thread is the title of an article I just read.  Interesting article citing many experts in the necessary fields.  I of course agree we will never "colonize", not the current human species anyway (note that colonize is entirely different establish bases with rotating personnel).  Human physiology is inextricably linked to the conditions of Earth from the gravity to the pressure to the complete biosphere with required gut, oral, and skin flora (much of which we do not know) to the radiation levels we receive from the Sun at our location.  All this makes any thought of long term viability of the human organism outside the environment it evolved into as about as science fictiony as one can get.  Anyway, an informative read.

 

https://gizmodo.com/...mars-1836316222


Edited by BillP, 30 July 2019 - 08:57 PM.

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#2 CharlesC

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Posted 30 July 2019 - 09:12 PM

If the Mars rovers ever discover definite signs of life we would definitely build a colony there to research but only till the job was done.  They would have to solve the radiation problem though.  Perhaps 10 or 20 years but to expensive to have a permanent colony there, and no reason, much like returning to the moon.



#3 Knasal

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Posted 30 July 2019 - 09:14 PM

Informative read? I suppose. But it was said:

 

We’ll never sail there, we’ll sail off the Earth...

 

If we drive that fast, we’ll die...

 

We can’t fly through clouds...

 

We’ll never break the sound barrier...

 

We’ll never stand on the moon....

 

Who knows what the future will bring? Albeit unlikely in our minds today, I think technology will prevail to produce many solutions to what we see as insurmountable problems. 

 

My opinion smile.gif

 

-Kevin


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#4 Max Power

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Posted 30 July 2019 - 09:16 PM

Were gonna nuke ourselves into near extinction next.  Then afterwards.........?



#5 RyanSem

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Posted 30 July 2019 - 09:28 PM

Great read, I found myself agreeing with most of the arguments introduced.

 

My own thoughts:

While it would be "neat" to colonize Mars, I have yet to see the practical aspect of it. The common argument is that Mars colonization would be a way to safeguard the human race should an asteroid/nuclear war wipe out all trace of human life on Earth. But even if we were able to become self-sufficient on Mars, to the point where communication with Earth was not necessary, what would be the point? The quality of life would be drastically lower than that of Earth - you wouldn't even be able to roam the planet without incredibly protective equipment. The soil is toxic, the air is not breathable, and the radiation levels run rampant. We'd need to have figured out a way to synthesize our own food, while living underground in a man-made environment. In all likelihood, with only the resources of Mars to survive off of (i.e. not much), I feel the impetus to survive would dwindle. There's a very limited amount of things to do on a barren planet. Part of the very essence of human nature - to explore and create original thought - would be quite challenging to do. And frankly, who would really care to do anything on this barren planet when the original flourishing host planet was wiped out anyway? I doubt Mars even has the resources to send a ship back to Earth, so if all life on Earth was wiped out they'd be well and truly stuck there forever. 

 

It would be extremely cool to have man land on Mars, but I can't imagine the practical reason to stay. There quite possibly is none. 



#6 Cali

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Posted 30 July 2019 - 10:08 PM

Yeah, I can't imagine spending months on end living in a tin can to get to Mars, then living in another tin can while on Mars, and then the return tin can flight back.

 

We should have spent the last 50 years of time and money developing better propulsion systems. If we don't do that and just goto Mars, we'll still be stuck in the mud.

 

- Cal  


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#7 xiando

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Posted 30 July 2019 - 10:17 PM

Not sure I'd be comfortable saying "never", but definitely not any time soon unless some extraordinarily revolutionary and incredibly affordable group of technologies is discovered or falls into our laps care of that ever-elusive million year old benefactor sentient alien species handing it to us.



#8 scadvice

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Posted 30 July 2019 - 11:05 PM

Mars colonized would be interesting... but as said above... beyond some particular great need either from some yet known resource on Mars or great need on earth to be there, I think it's unlikely to happen in the next century or two. It's just an unrealistic goal. 

 

Resources for expansion will have to come from a source much closer to us and not on earth. We need to have a step by step progression outward. We currently have almost met two goals out of the half dozen I think are necessary and that has taken us what? Sixty years?. The first was into orbit. That has been accomplished and becoming more and more economical. Next a permanent orbital platform. That's our current and developing phase right now. So, what are the next steps?

 

Once we have that platform we would be able to stage and launch much larger transports (ships) into a nice and slow ( a few weeks) orbital path between earth and the moon.  A orbital station at the moon which the transports, as they pass, release and pick up a payload and passengers in the lunar orbit, phased just before the gravitational acceleration and slinging around the moon then back to repeating the same at earth orbit.

 

The moon platform is the staging point for launching and moving resources down to permanent structures under the moon's protective surface are built to house factories and colonies. The lunar station is also the staging point for resources launched from the moon. Once the resources become available from other than earth and it's factories the same could be accomplished using a earth mars orbit variation.

 

How long would it take to get a basic earth and moon setup going? I'm guessing about 100 years. 

 

OK...I said my thoughts...now I'll go read the article.


Edited by scadvice, 30 July 2019 - 11:07 PM.


#9 llanitedave

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Posted 30 July 2019 - 11:11 PM

I don't see Mars as an end destination, I see it as a waypoint to colonization of the solar system at large.  Eventually, the asteroids will be the more economical resources, and beyond that, maybe much later, the Oort Cloud.  It won't be easy, and it will take a long time, but the technology is not out of reach.  Eventually, if progress continues, the economic incentives will appear.



#10 BillP

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Posted 31 July 2019 - 09:08 PM

If the Mars rovers ever discover definite signs of life we would definitely build a colony there to research but only till the job was done.

 

That would be a research station, and not a "colony" of peoples inhabiting a new land.  I'm all for the notion of research stations to accomplish a mission as these will not hold breeding populations but just staff on temporary assignment.  Colony typically means you are there for the long term and making it home.



#11 BillP

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Posted 31 July 2019 - 09:18 PM

Who knows what the future will bring? Albeit unlikely in our minds today, I think technology will prevail to produce many solutions to what we see as insurmountable problems.

 

Definitely a common belief.  But technology can only solve things that technology can act upon.  The real issues we have as a species are not really technologically addressable...well unless we get around to doing genetic engineering to rid offspring of deviant things like hatred, aggression, willingness to kill or murder, ego, love of money and power and position.  Basically if we can use technology to eliminate free will so everyone works as a community toward common goals instead of personal ones, then yes, guess I can agree that technology might help.  Oh yes, and if technology can get rid of the human body and its mutualistic symbiotic ties to innumerable bacteria and viruses necessary for our body's function, then that would certainly get us to a permanent colony ability for Mars.  Or we could engineer a new species of Homo that can only live on Mars...that would work too...but why would anyone want to waste our time and resources on that!!??


Edited by BillP, 31 July 2019 - 09:19 PM.


#12 Astrojensen

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Posted 01 August 2019 - 03:32 AM

 

well unless we get around to doing genetic engineering to rid offspring of deviant things like hatred, aggression, willingness to kill or murder, ego, love of money and power and position.

Those are also some of the traits that makes us such great explorers. 

 

 

Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


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#13 Astrojensen

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Posted 01 August 2019 - 03:39 AM

Setting up a colony on Mars is fascinating, but it really has a major drawback: We're moving from one gravity prison (Earth) with a friendly climate, to another gravity prison with a VERY  unfriendly climate. It would make much more sense to use raw materials from the asteroid belt to build large space stations with artificial gravity and biospheres, if the goal is to make sure humanity can survive indefinitely. It will also be MUCH easier and cheaper than terraforming Mars. Building the space stations can be done near earth, with all the advantages that comes with that. 

 

Either approach is of course super difficult and hyper expensive with the technology we have now, so neither is in any way realistic right now.

 

 

Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


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#14 bobhen

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Posted 01 August 2019 - 07:51 AM

It is becoming more and more obvious to me that biological beings are just not the best suited to be the beings that colonized the galaxy. We might be an important evolutionary step “but just a step”, as the true inheritors of the galaxy will be sentient machines. After all, who/what is currently doing the initial Mars exploring right now – smart machines.

 

Sentient machines do and will have FAR fewer restrictions when it comes to planetary environments and long space voyages and many of the things we biological beings need to survive.

 

Antarctica is far more forgiving and far more potentially rewarding when it comes to extracting resources and profits than Mars, and so far we have yet to "colonize" that continent.

 

Biological beings are too shaped/trapped by their environments in which they evolved to be “easily” removed from those environments. Even humans, which are the MOST adaptable and the beings that have most transformed their Earthly environments to suit their needs cannot compete with sentient machines. Sentient machines “do not need” to take their earthly environment with them or transform a planet in order to make it more earthlike just to survive, let alone "thrive".

 

In 200 years, will there be more sentient machines or more humans “thriving” on Mars and the outer planetary moons?

 

In 2,000 years, will there be more sentient machines or more humans “thriving” on planets outside of our solar system?

 

Sorry humans but sentient machines are just way better suited to colonize the galaxy. As a matter of fact, just like planet Earth is the perfect environment for biological beings, space and all of those non-Earthlike planets out there just might be the perfect environment for sentient machines.

 

Bob



#15 llanitedave

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Posted 01 August 2019 - 09:07 AM

 

 

Antarctica is far more forgiving and far more potentially rewarding when it comes to extracting resources and profits than Mars, and so far we have yet to "colonize" that continent.

 

 

This is kind of a strawman argument, really.  The ONLY reason Antarctica has not been mined and otherwise exploited is because of an international agreement prohibiting that very activity.  It's not because it's so technically difficult.

 

That said, there are large portions of Antarctica where it IS technically difficult, and I would argue that prospecting and mining through a couple of miles of solid, moving ice is actually more difficult than doing so through a hundred million miles, more or less, of empty space.



#16 ColoHank

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Posted 01 August 2019 - 10:33 AM

It is becoming more and more obvious to me that biological beings are just not the best suited to be the beings that colonized the galaxy. We might be an important evolutionary step “but just a step”, as the true inheritors of the galaxy will be sentient machines. After all, who/what is currently doing the initial Mars exploring right now – smart machines.

 

Sentient machines do and will have FAR fewer restrictions when it comes to planetary environments and long space voyages and many of the things we biological beings need to survive.

 

Antarctica is far more forgiving and far more potentially rewarding when it comes to extracting resources and profits than Mars, and so far we have yet to "colonize" that continent.

 

Biological beings are too shaped/trapped by their environments in which they evolved to be “easily” removed from those environments. Even humans, which are the MOST adaptable and the beings that have most transformed their Earthly environments to suit their needs cannot compete with sentient machines. Sentient machines “do not need” to take their earthly environment with them or transform a planet in order to make it more earthlike just to survive, let alone "thrive".

 

In 200 years, will there be more sentient machines or more humans “thriving” on Mars and the outer planetary moons?

 

In 2,000 years, will there be more sentient machines or more humans “thriving” on planets outside of our solar system?

 

Sorry humans but sentient machines are just way better suited to colonize the galaxy. As a matter of fact, just like planet Earth is the perfect environment for biological beings, space and all of those non-Earthlike planets out there just might be the perfect environment for sentient machines.

 

Bob

Where could someone get one of those sentient machines, in the Connecticut suburb of Stepford, perhaps?  Do they run on batteries?  How much energy will they waste worrying about fashion consciousness?



#17 llanitedave

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Posted 01 August 2019 - 10:38 AM

Where could someone get one of those sentient machines, in the Connecticut suburb of Stepford, perhaps?  Do they run on batteries?  How much energy will they waste worrying about fashion consciousness?

Just wait 2,000 years, and they'll be as solar powered as we are!



#18 BillP

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Posted 01 August 2019 - 10:55 AM

Those are also some of the traits that makes us such great explorers. 

 

 

Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark

 

You mean conquerors right!  Every time I discuss with someone the Star Trek universe, I inevitably ask them if they realize in the context of that story, the real human race is portrayed as the Klingons and Romulans and not the Federation lol.gif  The Federation is entirely what we are not!


Edited by BillP, 01 August 2019 - 10:57 AM.


#19 BillP

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Posted 01 August 2019 - 11:09 AM

It is becoming more and more obvious to me that biological beings are just not the best suited to be the beings that colonized the galaxy. We might be an important evolutionary step “but just a step”, as the true inheritors of the galaxy will be sentient machines. After all, who/what is currently doing the initial Mars exploring right now – smart machines.

 

Given what we know today, this does seem like the most viable path.  I prefer calling them something like conscious automata though.  The goal of course would be to be able to transplant a biological consciousness into one of these conscious automata.  If this could be done though the issue would be can a human consciousness remain psychologically stable when divorced from our biological sensory inputs or could it remain stable in a state of immortality?  After all, most old geezers today cannot really accept the change of the young generation as their minds get rather set in their ways after just 60-70 years.  So placing a human consciousness into an automata might backfire after the first century or so and potentially be more problems then the biological counterpart!  Just the way our biology cannot be divorced from our environment since it is so tightly intertwined with it, it may turn out that our consciousness is similarly intertwined and decoupling that will lead to aberrant behaviors rather than enlightened ones.



#20 bobhen

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Posted 01 August 2019 - 11:17 AM

Where could someone get one of those sentient machines, in the Connecticut suburb of Stepford, perhaps?  Do they run on batteries?  How much energy will they waste worrying about fashion consciousness?

They are almost here now – that’s why Bill Gates and Elon Musk are so worried about AI!

 

They will need electrical energy/power, which is a lot easier to generate from multiple sources than it is taking along or growing the vast amounts of biological food we humans need for energy. And of course they don’t need oxygen.

 

No fashion envy but there might be gigabyte envy!

 

Bob



#21 ColoHank

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Posted 01 August 2019 - 01:32 PM

Just wait 2,000 years, and they'll be as solar powered as we are!

According to the law of inverse squares, light diminishes in proportion to the square of the distance from its source.  We might rely on our Stepford wives to function OK if relatively close to a star, but they're going to starve in deep space.



#22 bobhen

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Posted 01 August 2019 - 03:05 PM

According to the law of inverse squares, light diminishes in proportion to the square of the distance from its source.  We might rely on our Stepford wives to function OK if relatively close to a star, but they're going to starve in deep space.

Deep space = nuclear power. Maybe fusion. Voyager is still functioning after 42 years.

 

Smart or sentient machines can shut themselves off or down for decades or centuries to save power on route.

 

Sorry, but when it comes to deep space travel and colonizing the galaxy and especially its non earth-like worlds (which are way more plentiful than Earth-like planets), smart or conscious automata or AI or sentient machines or whatever you label them, have a huge advantage over us poor biological need-to-drink-breathe-eat-sleep humans.

 

How many humans have been on Mars?

 

How many machines have been on Mars?

 

And that, I believe, is just a portend of things to come.

 

Bob


Edited by bobhen, 01 August 2019 - 03:10 PM.


#23 ColoHank

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Posted 01 August 2019 - 04:16 PM

Deep space = nuclear power. Maybe fusion. Voyager is still functioning after 42 years.

 

Smart or sentient machines can shut themselves off or down for decades or centuries to save power on route.

 

Sorry, but when it comes to deep space travel and colonizing the galaxy and especially its non earth-like worlds (which are way more plentiful than Earth-like planets), smart or conscious automata or AI or sentient machines or whatever you label them, have a huge advantage over us poor biological need-to-drink-breathe-eat-sleep humans.

 

How many humans have been on Mars?

 

How many machines have been on Mars?

 

And that, I believe, is just a portend of things to come.

 

Bob

Colonizing the galaxy using sentient machines powered by nuclear fusion.  What possible benefit would derive from such an endeavor?   



#24 llanitedave

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Posted 01 August 2019 - 04:30 PM

Deep space = nuclear power. Maybe fusion. Voyager is still functioning after 42 years.

 

Smart or sentient machines can shut themselves off or down for decades or centuries to save power on route.

 

Sorry, but when it comes to deep space travel and colonizing the galaxy and especially its non earth-like worlds (which are way more plentiful than Earth-like planets), smart or conscious automata or AI or sentient machines or whatever you label them, have a huge advantage over us poor biological need-to-drink-breathe-eat-sleep humans.

 

How many humans have been on Mars?

 

How many machines have been on Mars?

 

And that, I believe, is just a portend of things to come.

 

Bob

It may be, but our motivation and inspiration for exploring space, or for settling other bodies in the cosmos, is not just about efficiency.  

 

We're amateur astronomers.  We look through telescopes.  Is that really an efficient use of our time? AI is great, and robots give you more bang for the buck, but that's kind of irrelevant to the reason we're here in the first place.



#25 llanitedave

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Posted 01 August 2019 - 04:34 PM

Colonizing the galaxy using sentient machines powered by nuclear fusion.  What possible benefit would derive from such an endeavor?   

Well, if those sentient machines are self-aware, self-motivated, and self-interested, it would be great...  for them!




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