5 thoughts on “The Need To Settle Mars”

  1. “For the Love of Mars
    Why settling the Red Planet can lift us from our antihuman malaise”

    We need to explore Mars. Trying to settle Mars without exploration, could be a bad idea.
    Just as putting base of the Moon could be a bad idea.
    I think the lunar polar regions could have minable water and I think Mars settlements might be viable.

    How take example of wind and solar energy, both are not a viable way to provide electrical power to most electrical consumers.
    And trying to make solar and wind power generation a viable source of electrical power, has been a big mistake.

    And it has been a big mistake because government tried to do it.
    With Mars maybe the private sector will attempt to settle Mars, but private sector can make bad mistakes like government always do.
    And if private sector attempts to settle mars, governments will probably get involved, anyhow, and make the big mistake, even worst.
    With lunar base it seems like it is mostly the government has huge potential of wasting it’s resources [tax dollars].

    The US government should explore the lunar polar regions and then should explore Mars. If there is commercially minable lunar water, then one will get lots of lunar bases. But without commercially minable lunar water, a lunar base doesn’t seem to be worth doing- or at least one design a lunar base, knowing there is not minable lunar water.

    With Mars, what is needed for mars settlements is minable water, and not minable in sense of using water to make rocket fuel, but for purposes related to living on Mars. Water for residential and industrial and agricultural uses. Pretty cheap water and not water which not poisonous- drinkable water.

    Now I have weird idea regarding a use for Mars water- which is basically, one lives in water. And water provides pressure, so could be in Mars lake and not need a pressure suit. And this water does not need to be drinkable, but needs to be cheap and have abundant amount of water.
    Or I think you can terraform Mars with water and cities can be under water. So for millions of people one needs trillions of tonnes of water.
    Water used this way also provide radiation shielding. The water is also a heat sink for power generation by nuclear reactors.
    Anyways in terms tonnage needed, water can be less tonnage needed as compared with trying to do something with Mars atmosphere.
    So big picture is the tropics of Mars dotted with lakes of water and people living in them. But that is assuming there is enough water available and cheap enough in tropics.
    But in terms of early settlemnts, the settlement are wherever there is lot of cheaply available water- so maybe Hellas Basin [not in tropics] or perhaps Huygens, which large impact crater, in tropics, and has had water at surface in Mars very distant past:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huygens_(crater)
    Or other places.

    It seems to explore Mars one needs a base on Mars. Probably several bases in various locations on Mars, but start with one base, and major purpose of the one base is to find better locations for bases.
    If all Mars has is permafrost and frozen water, not minable water from water well, it does not seem very viable as place to have human settlements. Though one might find other things on Mars which would change this.
    But NASA should view Mars exploration as long term project, which will continue regardless of early discoveries or lack of them.
    Or within 10 years of Mars crew exploration, one could find something which makes human settlements, seem viable, but it seems at that point, NASA might look at other regions to find other areas which are equal or even better or different appealing aspect regarding them. It also seems like a good idea to Explore Mars in regard to finding out about what causing dust storms and finding ways to stop them from occuring.
    I don’t think the purpose of exploring Mars should be to find alien life, but it be should secondary priority. But without human settlements, the issue of alien life on Mars is not very important.

    1. Interesting idea about living under water.

      What if a Mars base was mobile? Trucks and trailers could haul it around and they could make garages at sites targeted for prospecting.

      1. I’ve been interested in this idea for several years. “Why not make the Hab a RV”?

        Preferably 2-3 RVs, actually, in order to guarantee that at least 1 is capable of getting the crews to the return ship no matter what happens. Run them on Kilopower reactors, and when the crew goes home, have NASA drive them to the next landing site (alternatively, keep bringing new ones, and use the old ones as super-Curiousity rovers). Add trailers to carry all of the science gear used during EVAs (which allows you to have a longer total vehicle length than BFS would normally allow). I don’t know if slide-outs are practical in a low-pressure environment, but you could always make part of the RV inflatable (perhaps a second floor, deployed while stationary, to increase living space?).

        With BFS, a lot of things that would have been very, very difficult to pull off, could potentially become a lot easier. I’m looking forward to seeing just what the cargo version’s volume limits will be to Mars.

      2. –Interesting idea about living under water.

        What if a Mars base was mobile? Trucks and trailers could haul it around and they could make garages at sites targeted for prospecting.–

        In terms exploration, I favor idea of having a location best for delivering cargo to, and always having a way to leave the planet and get back to Earth.
        And generally, would have abort options in every way possible.
        And next safety option is being able to ship needed stuff to base- as quickly as possible.
        And have the base livable before getting first crew to base.
        Main focus is ensuring the crew stay alive.

        But also would “want” crew to stay on Mars as long as possible- I tend to think 4 or more years- assuming they don’t need to abort the mission.

        For mobility, I would want most of it done by robotic missions, for safety reason, also to save the time of the crew on Mars

        With Earth robotic mining, you have people at mine site, rather depend robots only controlled from remote location.

        I favor heavy use of robotic mission to explore Mars with human presence on Mars.
        And don’t favor an early dependent on using Mars resources, but do like idea of extracting water from Mars atmosphere [robotically before humans land].
        And of course you could things herb and vegetable gardening as experimental and/or hobby/fun. But not something critical to remain living.

        I would send 3 crew to Mars surface, followed by another 3 , then 3 or 6 people and return first 3 people. Etc. And by time third crew is sent, they could be going to different base which could be designed to be base which can have more crew live in it and a specific plans of using Mars resources so as to lower operational cost [save money in terms program costs- and for experimental and future practical use of Mars resources].
        One advantage different bases, is one could improve at making bases and might have more competition regarding making different bases- and NASA might at some point buy or rent Mars bases- or be part of the customers using a base funded privately.

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