37 thoughts on “Mars Is Earth’s Destiny”

  1. I have mentioned this before, but recently, I am saying a bit different:
    1 square km or 1 million square meter with 1 meter of snow on it or 1 million cubic meter
    of snow.
    1 square km with .2 meter of snow on it
    1 square km with .1 meters of snow on it.
    The square km with 1 meter of snow has price of 5 million dollars.
    With .2 meters of snow, it’s 1 million dollars
    And .1 meter of snow, it’s 1/2 million dollars.
    You can buy by the area at `1/140 of price:
    5 milliom / 140 = $20835 per acre
    .5 million / 140 = $2085 per acre

    And every year for 10 years, you get 10% more snow, or you get double as much snow
    in 10 years. But after 10 years of ownership you are not entitled to “free snow”.
    Of course not free, rather it’s land right, but one has limit on use of the snow.
    And the limit doubles in 10 years. If the snow evaporates, and so one is not using
    it, it foes count as entitled use. Or it’s pre-delivered and you don’t pay for it, unless
    it’s used in some way. Or if by land with 1 meter of snow, in 10 years it will have 2 meter, and one sell it {or trade it for something else]. For example, one trade 10 cubic meter of snow
    for 1 ton of hotwater [60 C] or 2 cubic meter of cold water [10 C] but doesn’t include delivery cost. You show up with a truck, you fill up your truck. If want it piped, there cost of that infrastruture. And higher priced real estate, is closer to the water source- less pipe needed or less driving time would be generally needed.

    And this about selling real estate, there is natural snow of CO2 on Mars, and also gets some H20, but this real estate in which it’s made to snow H20. Also has more access to service of piped water both warm and cold. And electrical power one can buy.
    Or undeveloped is free, and developed land can be bought- quite cheaply compared to developed
    land on Earth. And general idea is in the future, Mars water and power, will become a cheap as on Earth.

    So before I started with a lake, and this starts with the land around the lake.
    And land with a lake on it, would be more valuable than land with 2 meter of snow on it.

      1. Well, I am selling Venus orbit.
        But Venus orbit needs water, which it could get from Mars, but would eventually get cheaper water from space rocks, like Ceres and other rocks.

        Mars settlements needs Venus orbit, and Venus needs whatever can provide it the cheapest water.

        For Mars, to have settlements it need to mine a lot of water, Venus orbit needs about 1 to 10% of Mars water which is mined.
        For Mars to have cheap enough water to have settlements, it has to start, mining millions of tons of water per year, and get up to billions of tons of water per year.
        If the Moon has billions of tons of mineable water [rather than only about 1 million tons] it could instead provide Venus with water. Venus might even get water from Mercury’s polar regions- if Mercury has trillions of tons of mineable water.

        1. Mars water, on Mars, is a building material. One use it for road material.
          Mars water, is like a forest of wood, on Earth.
          Only if CO2 {frozen or gas] is better, is if CO2 is a lot cheaper than water- and it can be building material {not as good as water, general but cheaper.
          And doesn’t much matter how salty or toxic the Mars water is. Mars water solves pollution problems. And energy problems {nuclear reactors- and other problems].

  2. Perhaps Mars is our destiny. But I am holding out hope thatJack Sarfatti’s modification of the Alcubierre Warp drive metric equations will bear fruit. If so we are talking about a low energy (Tic-Tac UAP) warp drive.



    The Math is well beyond me but Jack Sarfatti’s supposition is the the c to the 4th power in the denominator of the metric equation showing the input power equaling induced space warping isn’t the speed of the light in a vacuum (3 X 10 eight power) m/s but the many orders of magnitude speed of light in the properly engineered meta-material. You are inducing the warping of space within the properly engineered meta-material for many orders of magnitude less power than in a quantum vacuum.

    1. Many orders of magnitude lower value of c raised to the 4th power still could be a “stuff-ton” of power.

      It has been remarked that a propulsion system capable of even a tiny fraction of the speed of light is indistinguishable from a weapon of mass destruction.

  3. For technical notions Zubrin might be worth a read.

    But Zubrin is one of the last people whose political opinions would carry any weight with me.

    1. It seems counterintuitive, but usually the kindest, sweetest people you meet, you want nowhere near the levers of power, either locally or nationally.

  4. IP may (or may not) eventually fully pay for Mars settlement. But that won’t be the initial, dominant source of revenue. National prestige and pride have been sufficient to fund HSF for decades and there’s no reason to predict that it won’t continue. So, a public-private program between SpaceX & surface tech companies and NASA & other governments will provide the many billions of dollars needed to nature the technologies needed to establish an initial Mars base. Then private individuals will be able to pay those companies much less to turn the crank once more and produce another increment of power, habs, food, life-support, etc.

    Not all money spent in the market place is done for profit. Consumers spend money on ourselves with no expectation of profit. So the motivation for private settlement doesn’t have to be personal profit. Rather, private savings can be accessed to pay to go and settle Mars for subjective but very real motivations. e.g. The desire to personally play a significant role in human history. To support a new political experiment (e.g. Libertarian settlement). Vanity to impress one’s peers with one’s financial ability and courage to move to Mars. Motivation to represent one’s religion in a new branch of humanity (think Mormans and Muslims). Etc.

        1. Until you, nobody used the word “Mormon.” I can suggest a good remedial reading course. It’s called “Huk’d on Fawnix.” Don’t tell Rand. If he starts using Fawnix the sun will go Supernova…

        2. “Nope. There’s no ‘a’ in Mormon.”

          And the second “m” is not silent.

  5. Assuming humans can survive and reproduce long term under Martian conditions, the limiting factor will be energy production. It seems very unlikely that solar will work and a lot of energy will be required just to support life and even more for all the proposed material production. An awful lot of material and machinery will have to transported from Earth to get any production started.

    It’s hard to imagine that a truly self supporting establishment could be implanted in even a few years, more like 10-20 from first landing.It’s a long way from chemical equations to a functioning chemical plant and a lot of very widely assorted bits and pieces.

    1. Musk thinks 30 years or so (peri-2050). I think more like 75 (2100). It doesn’t matter. Just start. In some amount of time, the job will be done. Homesteaders. 40 square kilometers, a larger Atlas shelter, a pile of solar panels, an electric semi, with various electric construction towables, and sooner or later you and your extended family are home on the Martian range. What would you do? I can think of thousands of things. I’m too old now, but if I were 30 and got that deal, I do “Billy Bunzolo’s Search, Rescue, and Towing.”

    2. “Assuming humans can survive and reproduce long term under Martian conditions, the limiting factor will be energy production. It seems very unlikely that solar will work…”

      Well, we have to test artificial gravity and there could be all kinds of problems with it, which might take decades to work out. Or maybe not. And maybe Mars natural gravity is better than Earth’s gravity- and could be a lot better for older people.
      Solar power on Earth doesn’t does not work, but with Mars it should a lot better than Earth.
      With Earth you have peak solar hours, and with Mars the day is all peak solar hours.
      With Mars it is a shorter distance to next time zone and closer to polar regions the shorter the distance it is. And with Earth solar power is better when nearer to tropical zone and deserts tend to be better.
      So, Mars is a lot better than Sahara desert on Earth and near Mars polar region is best place on Mars.
      Though being in Mars orbit is better than anywhere on Mars surface, though Earth orbit is better than Mars orbit, though beaming energy from orbit, should return the advantage back to Mars.

      1. With Earth future being a huge population drop at about the time, things start happen on Mars. And drop is related to a large amount of older people. The care of older people, could be related to living on Mars- though lower gravity of Moon, could favor the Moon.

        1. Japan’s Population Declines Again: Seniors 75 and Over Top 20 Million for First Time
          “By age group, the working population, consisting of people aged 15 to 64, stood at 73,952,000; a year-on-year decrease of 256,000. The population 65 or older decreased by 9,000, to 36,227,000, marking the first year-on-year decrease since comparable records began in 1950. However, those 75 or older increased by 713,000, to 20,078,000, surpassing the 20-million mark for the first time. This age bracket now accounts for 55.4% of those aged 65 or older.”
          So, this is just going to continue- more 75 or older..
          Now, suppose with the +20 million people, who are +75 year old, it can be reasonable projected, that if they live on the Moon, they add 5 years to their lifetimes.
          And of the +20 million there is 1 million people who are willing and capable AND more likely for them, that it would add 5 years or more to their lives. But of course there are risks, doing anything untried, has risks. So the pool of first to try it, gets down to say 10,000, and gets hundreds have reasonable chance of being the first to do it. And once they done it for a few years, more might be more able and willing to do it. And then it’s limited by selection, of those older people are best people with skills which more in demand on the Moon- they live longer and are more productive with their longer life.
          And the thousands who pioneer this, are heroes.
          And then, once tried, there is a lot more older people as Japanese population continues to age.
          Of course same applies to China- and rest of world.

  6. There have been conjectures for the better part of a century that low-g environments would be easier on the heart and would thus lead to a longer lifespan, but of course we don’t have any way of testing that. I think there were some studies in the 70s or 80s where rats kept in a centrifuge lived longer than rats in a normal 1-g environment, but I don’t know if those studies have been replicated.

    Falls would be less nasty, of course. And anyway, life span doesn’t actually have to be longer, wealthy people just need to think that it would be.

    1. Well we do have some results from year long+ stays on the ISS and we know now that 0g is bad for your health. It was once speculated that 0g would be a good way to prolong the life of the elderly. We now know that is not the case. The problem is we have only two data points. 1g good 0g bad. ?

        1. Well if you put it that way, there are many with broken hips that are asking the same question…. At least in 1g they are still alive to ask it.

      1. What we know is human body [and life in general] adapts to it’s environment.
        One aspect of ISS is it’s fairly small and confined environment. Humans are creature that walks long distance, it’s similar to a horse. And because it’s confined space, crew do exercise which is deemed help with this problem of confinement- But at best it slows the body adapting to the microgravity.

        One thing one might say, is older people physically seem to be slower at adapting to a changing environment.
        They could respond like those who do a lot exercise
        to reduce the effects of microgravity.

        And that what happening is adaption, so another issue is artificial gravity may cause adaption to a spinning environment, it might adapt to “need” a spinning environment.

  7. Bob Zubrin has a habbit of claiming cheap and how easy things things are to do, when really they are anything but this.

    1. Elon Musk has a habit of showing how cheap and easy things are to do. It’s made a lot of people really angry. Especially the ones claiming “space is hard” and making money off the claim.

  8. Very well written review, Rand. It makes me want to read Bob’s book.

    Gary Hudson was the first person I know to question whether human beings could even live, let alone reproduce, in 0.38 g. Personally, I’d give it a shot if only to be able to look at all of the wonderful landscape we’ve seen from all of the rovers. And I’d be willing to make it the rest of my life, however long that might be. I suspect I’m not the only person who thinks that way. In fact, Buzz Aldrin was the first public figure of stature to advocate one-way travel to Mars. I had been advocating it since I was 13 years old.

    As for energy sources, nukes will be what we use on Mars. There won’t be any Luddites protesting up there.

    1. There won’t be any Luddites protesting up there.
      Not ones that are alive and not frozen that is…

    2. Very well written review, Rand. It makes me want to read Bob’s book.
      I agree. There I said it, so it’s official now…

  9. Speaking of Mars… A little OT but…

    Elon Musk has gone counter-narrative enough that now even the WSJ has started running hit pieces. I listened to an audio of a salacious story about Elon and workplace romances, that boil down to she said, she said coming from a friend.

    Horrendous “journalism”. Not much better than what Business Insider runs.

    I could listen to the audio from the WSJ app on my phone even though I’m not a subscriber and couldn’t read it via text. I was curious to see just how bad the story ran. It ran away.

    Glad I let my subscription lapse about 6 mos back. It’ll be awhile if/when I decide to subscribe again.

    1. Oh and Gwynne Shotwell also gets tarred as an ‘enabler’.
      Tar away, the feathers all come from the heads of the editorial staff…

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