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#1 2012-06-05 16:55:08

MatthewRRobinson
Member
Registered: 2012-04-11
Posts: 16

Mars One

The Introductory Video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6QoEEGyS … re=related

And the Website:
http://mars-one.com/en/

Interesting, looks like it could work, but I think the psychological effects of them knowing they'll die on Mars is too much.

Not to mention, it's pretty much a guaranteed that someone will die on Mars very publicly. A 2-year mission carries a tremendous amount of risk in terms of getting everything to keep working...
But an indefinite stay? It's pretty much by definition a "pull to break" test, that can only end one way, and not a way that will help space exploration's publicity.

Not to mention, they'll need repair capabilities for everything, either that or constant resupply shipments.


I think a much better idea would be a station. That's how it's always been done, and with ISRU coming back isn't that much harder than going there.

Stage the missions so that with each successive mission, more crew arrives than departs, so the colony grows, while some astronauts can stay longer than others.
It's especially good for such an isolated mission - I can recall at least one example of an astronaut that got depressed and had to be returned to Earth from LEO.

That capability simply won't exist with this mission. And they'll be staying a lot longer than 6 months.

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#2 2012-06-05 17:08:11

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 4,591

Re: Mars One

MatthewRRobinson wrote:

The Introductory Video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6QoEEGyS … re=related

And the Website:
http://mars-one.com/en/

Interesting, looks like it could work, but I think the psychological effects of them knowing they'll die on Mars is too much.

Not to mention, it's pretty much a guaranteed that someone will die on Mars very publicly. A 2-year mission carries a tremendous amount of risk in terms of getting everything to keep working...
But an indefinite stay? It's pretty much by definition a "pull to break" test, that can only end one way, and not a way that will help space exploration's publicity.

Not to mention, they'll need repair capabilities for everything, either that or constant resupply shipments.


I think a much better idea would be a station. That's how it's always been done, and with ISRU coming back isn't that much harder than going there.

Stage the missions so that with each successive mission, more crew arrives than departs, so the colony grows, while some astronauts can stay longer than others.
It's especially good for such an isolated mission - I can recall at least one example of an astronaut that got depressed and had to be returned to Earth from LEO.

That capability simply won't exist with this mission. And they'll be staying a lot longer than 6 months.

Nice graphics, but not much substance - or did I miss their landing solution???


I think a non-return mission is asking for trouble.  Part of the lure of Mars (as of exploration in the past on this planet) is the knowledge that you can return and be feted for your adventures.
That will be a major pull - so let's not destroy that. As you say, with ISRU, a return journey is not that difficult and - in any case - aren't we going to bring things back from Mars? If we're bringing things back, let's bring people too.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#3 2012-07-23 20:36:08

Marsman
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Registered: 2005-08-30
Posts: 146
Website

Re: Mars One

Just want to know what you guys think of one way missions and what issues you see from a technical standpoint. I'm surprised there hasn't been more response to this given the massive worldwide media attention this plan has got (more than all Mars groups combined PR power). In short- the first time the common man really hears about a Mars mission, it is this plan. What are your thoughts and issues?

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#4 2012-07-24 01:23:55

Mark Friedenbach
Member
From: Mountain View, CA
Registered: 2003-01-31
Posts: 307

Re: Mars One

Marsman wrote:

...I'm surprised there hasn't been more response to this given the massive worldwide media attention this plan has got (more than all Mars groups combined PR power)...

It's probably because this project is all PR. It's vaporware, based on back-of-the-envelope feasibility estimates no actual technical team behind it, as far as I can tell.

The basic idea is workable. But that's just the problem--there's no more technical substance to this than the "basic idea" summed up in a few sentences.

EDIT: However, I of course look forward to being proven wrong.

Last edited by Mark Friedenbach (2012-07-24 01:24:43)

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#5 2012-07-31 13:11:39

Lobster
Member
Registered: 2011-12-18
Posts: 15

Re: Mars One

I think it's very stupid plan "one way ticket" I mean if they're already there why not bring them back? I say this mostly because yeah it's durable when you're younger but what when you're over 60 or 70 or even 80 years old and living on Mars?! It's certain that old people would be a huge drag for other people living there.

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#6 2012-07-31 13:20:04

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 4,591

Re: Mars One

Lobster wrote:

I think it's very stupid plan "one way ticket" I mean if they're already there why not bring them back? I say this mostly because yeah it's durable when you're younger but what when you're over 60 or 70 or even 80 years old and living on Mars?! It's certain that old people would be a huge drag for other people living there.

Yep, I think you got that right.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#7 2012-07-31 14:20:37

NeoSM
Member
From: Annapolis, MD
Registered: 2012-07-16
Posts: 28

Re: Mars One

Lobster wrote:

but what when you're over 60 or 70 or even 80 years old and living on Mars?! It's certain that old people would be a huge drag for other people living there.

Not as much as you would think. The Mars colonists would be young (20s-30s) on arrival; meaning that when the first colonist hits 80 years of age, there would already be well over a hundred colonists (sending a group every two years), with the infrastructure to support them. It's still a stupid idea, and the very old would indeed be "dead weight".

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#8 2012-07-31 16:44:26

JoshNH4H
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From: Pullman, WA
Registered: 2007-07-15
Posts: 2,505
Website

Re: Mars One

I would suggest that because you have ~fifty years* before the initial colonists become incapable of working, any settlement program should have developed the capacity to support them by that time.  Therefore that is not the achilles heel of this plan.  Rather, the biggest issue in engineering terms (as opposed to the political backlash to anything that has the word "suicide" in it) is that you're starting a colony before you've demonstrated locally exploitable resources that make a colonization project really feasible. 

*Between the reduced gravity on Mars, which reduces stress on the lungs, low meat diets which will generally be well-balanced nutritionally, and high activity levels which will inherently be a part of the Martian lifestyle,  in addition to some degree of control over communicable diseases (some should be allowed in to prevent a plague aided by poor immune response) we can expect that people will be able to work in some capacity to a fairly old age.  At the same time, causes of death on Mars will likely be somewhat different.  Accidents may be a significant cause of death, and in the name of growth safety standards will probably be reduced somewhat.  An accident can happen at any time.  Likewise radiation levels will tend to promote an increase in cancer levels which is also relatively egalitarian with regards to life expectancy.


-Josh

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#9 2012-07-31 17:55:56

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 4,591

Re: Mars One

JoshNH4H wrote:

I would suggest that because you have ~fifty years* before the initial colonists become incapable of working, any settlement program should have developed the capacity to support them by that time.  Therefore that is not the achilles heel of this plan.  Rather, the biggest issue in engineering terms (as opposed to the political backlash to anything that has the word "suicide" in it) is that you're starting a colony before you've demonstrated locally exploitable resources that make a colonization project really feasible. 

*Between the reduced gravity on Mars, which reduces stress on the lungs, low meat diets which will generally be well-balanced nutritionally, and high activity levels which will inherently be a part of the Martian lifestyle,  in addition to some degree of control over communicable diseases (some should be allowed in to prevent a plague aided by poor immune response) we can expect that people will be able to work in some capacity to a fairly old age.  At the same time, causes of death on Mars will likely be somewhat different.  Accidents may be a significant cause of death, and in the name of growth safety standards will probably be reduced somewhat.  An accident can happen at any time.  Likewise radiation levels will tend to promote an increase in cancer levels which is also relatively egalitarian with regards to life expectancy.


BUt as Lobster says, if you have the ability to get there and build up a colony it doesn't make sense that you don't have the ability to get off the planet.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#10 2012-08-01 02:22:46

Glandu
Member
From: France
Registered: 2011-11-23
Posts: 106

Re: Mars One

louis wrote:

(.../...)

BUt as Lobster says, if you have the ability to get there and build up a colony it doesn't make sense that you don't have the ability to get off the planet.

I think Josh's message(he will correct me if I'm wrong) is that this way if thinking is wishful thinking : if everything works according to the plan, then everything will work according to the plan. Engineering is not like that. First you make a plan, then you try it, and only then you know if it works. We didn't try anything yet(besides a few raids on the moon 45 years ago). Therefore, we have no clue wether all this really works. That's why sending people permanently is an engineering nonsense.


"I promise not to exclude from consideration any idea based on its source, but to consider ideas across schools and heritages in order to find the ones that best suit the current situation." (Alistair Cockburn, Oath of Non-Allegiance)

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#11 2012-08-01 02:29:23

Lobster
Member
Registered: 2011-12-18
Posts: 15

Re: Mars One

Yeah especially since they can make all the return fuel on the Mars surface, but I guess they would still have to have return vehicle because I guess they couldn't drag food for return with them although they could be filled with water on Mars. Maybe they could make some sort of artificial food there with some sort of artificial photosynthesis.

NeoSM wrote:

Not as much as you would think. The Mars colonists would be young (20s-30s) on arrival; meaning that when the first colonist hits 80 years of age, there would already be well over a hundred colonists (sending a group every two years), with the infrastructure to support them. It's still a stupid idea, and the very old would indeed be "dead weight".

I strongly doubt they would be in their 20s on Mars because you have to register to go on Mars in 2013 and you land there in 2023 which means that you would have to be 12 years old when registering to be 22 when arriving on Mars; or 16... which certainly isn't possible.

Last edited by Lobster (2012-08-01 02:30:38)

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#12 2012-08-13 18:32:04

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 15,325

Re: Mars One

Just now in the news...

Can a reality TV show help put humans on Mars?

Meanwhile, a private company, Mars One, has been founded by the Dutch entrepreneurs Bas Lansdorp and Arno Wielders to try to beat Nasa by sending four people to Mars in 2023. They will not just plant a footprint; they will settle, and four more people will join them every two years until the colony is self-sustaining. They will be emigrants, not explorers: initially, at least, there will be no return trips, as it's much easier to get people to Mars than to get them back.

As if this were not astounding enough, Mars One will raise the $6bn needed by doubling as a reality TV show, with private investors. Volunteers will undergo 10 years of training under the public eye, then viewers will vote on which four go first. We'll see them on their seven-month journey, then watch and talk to them as they land, assemble their homes, set out solar panels, melt Martian ice and grow food. It will be a shared ride; the company have already recruited a veteran of the original Dutch Big Brother to organise it.

Dutch reality show to offer one-way tickets to Mars

The start-up, called "Mars One", says it is dead serious about landing four astronauts on Mars by 2023, seven years ahead of the US space agency's target, and plans to start the search for volunteers next year.

Experts are sceptical, but "Mars One" has won backing from none other than Dutch Nobel laureate Gerard 't Hooft, who won the 1999 prize for physics.

Under Lansdorp's plan, choosing and training the astronauts, their months-long space journey and their lives on Mars would all be televised -- along the lines of "Big Brother" where a small group was isolated in a house and constantly filmed by TV cameras.

The Dutch engineer, who previously worked in the field of wind power, has teamed up with a physicist, an industrial designer and a communications specialist. They would run the operation, he said, and technical aspects like building a space ship and living quarters on Mars would be outsourced to companies that were "most qualified".

He has even drawn up a schedule. Selection and training of astronauts is set to start next year, then modules for the space station, food and robotic vehicles would be sent between 2016 and 2022.

A first group of four men and women would set foot on Mars in April 2023

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#13 2012-08-14 02:23:28

Glandu
Member
From: France
Registered: 2011-11-23
Posts: 106

Re: Mars One

"dead serious", or seriously dead? Without a sugar daddy(a big one, that project is not cheap at all), they will not go anywhere. Even Musk does not have enough money(that's why he's just playing in LEO, for now, trying not to lose money).


"I promise not to exclude from consideration any idea based on its source, but to consider ideas across schools and heritages in order to find the ones that best suit the current situation." (Alistair Cockburn, Oath of Non-Allegiance)

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#14 2012-10-13 04:12:07

falkor
Member
From: Surrey
Registered: 2004-08-21
Posts: 112

Re: Mars One

http://www.tgdaily.com/space-features/6 … al-funding mars_one.jpg the pods look pretty basic

But I guess basic means less possibility of failure

Lobster wrote:


I think it's very stupid plan "one way ticket" I mean if they're already there why not bring them back? I say this mostly because yeah it's durable when you're younger but what when you're over 60 or 70 or even 80 years old and living on Mars?! It's certain that old people would be a huge drag for other people living there

why not bring them back? are you serious? how about the cost? but on the other hand  It's certain that old people would be a huge drag for other people living there, errrrr yeah that is a startling thought

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#15 2012-10-13 10:09:25

RobS
Member
From: South Bend, IN
Registered: 2002-01-15
Posts: 1,701
Website

Re: Mars One

It would be better to refer to "long-term settlers" than one-way flight. Presumably when you have a dozen or so people there, and some infrastructure, round trip flights are much easier. Fly people there in their 30s, and by the time they are in their 60s and health problems are increasing, they could fly home.

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#16 2012-10-14 10:29:49

bobunf
Member
From: Phoenix, AZ
Registered: 2005-11-21
Posts: 223

Re: Mars One

Returning to Earth people who have lived on Mars for 30 years is very problematic.  What problems will come at this relatively old age from nearly tripling the gravity, changing the pressure and content of the air, a whole new pathogen and potential allergen environment, an utterly different social milieu, and what other issues?  Even the ambient light and day/night cycle will be different.

It’s a whole different ball game making these adaptations in your 30s as opposed to your 60s, and many of these are one way, e.g., it’s a lot easier to adjust to 38% gravity than 263% gravity.  It’s a lot less dangerous to reduce pathogens and potential allergens in a controlled fashion, than to increase them in an uncontrolled fashion.

Their physical and mental health problems will really escalate upon arrival at Earth.

Last edited by bobunf (2012-10-14 10:32:27)

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#17 2012-10-14 11:22:18

RobS
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From: South Bend, IN
Registered: 2002-01-15
Posts: 1,701
Website

Re: Mars One

Good points, Bobunf. If they are in good physical shape, the gravity issue can probably be handled, especially if the returning ship has artificial gravity that can be increased gradually. That may be needed by everyone. They will probably need a lot of shots to deal with pathogens.

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#18 2012-10-14 13:37:41

bobunf
Member
From: Phoenix, AZ
Registered: 2005-11-21
Posts: 223

Re: Mars One

The issue of outsourcing old people is quite widespread.  As Dev Patel put it, “There are many other countries where they don't like old people.”

Josh seems to suggest that an excess of accidents and radiation induced cancers on Mars may increase mortality rates across all age cohorts thus reducing the number of older people.  The idea is that if people die young, they obviously won’t live to be old people thus reducing the necessity of outsourcing them to places like The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.   

I might observe that lower life expectancy is not likely to be a big selling point for Mars colonization.  I can see the advertising brochure now, “More egalitarian death rates; on Mars you don’t have to be old to die.” 

Fortunately, I think there are a few problems with Josh’s ideas. 

In the United States about 7.4% of deaths are due to injuries of which about 1,4% are due to suicide, and 2.2% from vehicular accidents, homicides, police killings, executions, and operations of war.  This leaves 3.8% of deaths due to other kinds of accidents. All of these causes of death occur disproportionately in younger age cohorts.

Injuries account for a lower percentage of deaths in most other developed countries, e.g., Canada  6%, Australia 5.7%, Israel 5.6%, Denmark 4.9%, Greece 3.4%, England and Wales 2.8%.

But, using the US as our base, it is, in my opinion, unlikely that 2.2% of deaths on Mars will be due to vehicular accidents, homicides, police killings, executions, and operations of war. It could, however, well be that 1.4% of deaths will be due to suicide, perhaps far higher.  But maybe not, presumably there will be an attempt to weed out colonists with mental health issues that predispose them to suicide.  In any case, excess suicides are not likely to be a great selling point for Mars colonization: “Increase your chances of dying at your own hand!” 

Such mental health screening will likely also decrease the percentage of long term settlers with other mental health issues that affect mortality rates at younger ages, such as alcoholism. other addictions and a propensity to violence.

So, how much can one expect the non-vehicular accident rate to increase on Mars over the already high US rate?  Double, from 3.8% to 7.6%?  With the reduction in deaths in young age cohorts due to less alcoholism, vehicular accidents, homicides, police killings, executions, and operations of war, such an increase would average out to not much more than the current US rate of deaths from injuries.  All with a rapidly increasing population of old people needing to be outsourced. 

Triple to 11.4%, a net increase in the death rate of about 4 to 5%  (11.8 - 3.8 – most of the 2.2% and something for less alcoholism and other mental health related health issues).  Say it’s an increase of total deaths of about 61% (around 4.5/7.4) occurring in age cohorts in proportion to the incidence of deaths by injury in the various age cohorts.  Here are deaths from injuries as a percentage of total deaths by various age groupings for the US:

Under 1 year     6%       
1 to 4 years    44%       
5-14 years    48%       
15-24 years    77%       
25-34 years    60%       
35-44 years    34%       
45-54 years    17%       
55-64 years     6%       
65-74 years     3%       
75-84 years     2%   

Applying a 61% increase to these percentages and applying those increases to the number of deaths in each age cohort in a period life table, making some adjustment for injury death rate differences between the sexes, beginning at, say, age 35 (the average age at which colonists will arrive on Mars), allows one to predict the effects on life expectancy of this increase in accident rate.  You can find the Social Security Area Period Life Table for 2007 here: http://www.socialsecurity.gov/OACT/STATS/table4c6.html

The effect is remarkably small, reducing overall life expectancy at age 35 by about six months from 79.1 years to 78.6 years.   

Mars will still have the old people to outsource.

Josh does raise the issue of increased rates of cancer due to radiation exposure. I think the Mars colony will not be saved from its old people by these cancers because of the precautions that will be taken about radiation exposure, the increasing ability to successfully treat cancer (especially knowing just what kinds to look for), and the long incubation periods of most cancers.

Colonies will have to be able to deal with all of their age cohorts: infants, children, adults and even old people.  No Best Exotic Marigold Hotel for the Mars colony.

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#19 2012-10-14 14:44:05

GW Johnson
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From: McGregor, Texas USA
Registered: 2011-12-04
Posts: 3,508
Website

Re: Mars One

The eskimos dealt with the old age problem by pushing them outside to die in the cold.  On Mars,  this is pushing them out the airlock without a suit.  It is a problem that must be dealt with,  somehow. 

This problem is precisely why I do not think a one-way mission is wise anytime soon. 

GW


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

"There is nothing as expensive as a dead crew,  especially one dead from a bad management decision"

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#20 2012-10-14 15:25:06

RobS
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From: South Bend, IN
Registered: 2002-01-15
Posts: 1,701
Website

Re: Mars One

If the Martians don't smoke cigarettes or drink excessive amounts of alcohol or suffer from drug addiction, their death rates from cancer and heart disease may be lower than on earth, in spite of the radiation and dust problems. We don't know. I suspect there will be a vigorous effort to maintain physical health there; plenty of exercise machines, convenient availability, and a culture that encourages their use.

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#21 2012-10-17 15:35:26

falkor
Member
From: Surrey
Registered: 2004-08-21
Posts: 112

Re: Mars One

MatthewRRobinson wrote:

wow have you watched that video? honestly? that is amazing!! most convincing!!

now for the bad news

there is a page on WIKIPEDIA focusing on MARS-ONE but the EDITORS have grave doubts!!!

WHAT THE WIKI EDITORS SAY

EDITOR 1 SAYS "This is not adding up.

The Mars One web site, the associated online discussion forum, and that I have something more than a clue about manned space-flight-- this is either embarrassingly naive or a hoax. It reminds me of Twentieth Century Motor Car Corporation. Slick graphics to capture the imagination, one "name," and no substance.

REPLY FROM EDITOR 2
The concern is that the reporting-- the sources-- are doing just the same. That is they are not applying critical thinking, but and instead relying on the one source. The only primary source is the material found on the Mars One web site. There is little to no analysis involved in those secondary sources.

  • A one way trip is not going to happen, for several reasons. One is moral/legal-- manslaughter charges loom. And for that reason, alone, both funding and access will be denied due to the legal liability and moral culpability of the participants.

  • Two, by any other name, it is still a suicide mission and so civilian volunteers are likely to be, by default, psychologically unfit for such a mission.

  • Technical issues are glossed... if mentioned at all. Robot tractors capable of lifting and then traveling up to twenty miles over unknown terrain carrying the weight of a crewed Dragon capsule?

  • Radiation shielding in transit and on the surface?

  • The enormous quantities of water and oxygen/hydrogen and food which must be carried and then regularly sent, recovered and transported should they survive to the surface?

  • What if a contractor goes out of business and so supply shipment are no longer possible?

  • For a reality TV show? There is the indicator that this is about something other than is admitted in the conception.

EDITOR 3 CHIMES IN:
I don't see any legal/moral issues because people pay money to do foolish and dangerous things everyday. For example, many people have died climbing Everest, some of them would have been physically incapable of it, and should never have tried. But, has anyone ever been charged with a criminal offence?

Yes, if Mars is to be colonised, then it stands to reason that many people will die doing so. This is nothing new, and hasn't prevented mankind from making other achievements. You can't say that these people are "psychologically unfit for such a mission" because you are talking about unspecified people. We don't know what colour their hair is, let alone their mental state.

The technical issues aren't mentioned much, because these issues are to be solved by their suppliers. British Airways doesn't need to know how to make aircraft fly, they just buy planes. Also, the weight of a capsule would be far less on Mars, due to gravity being 0.38 of Earth's gravity. Landing people safely on Mars is likely to be far more difficult than moving capsules around.

Shielding out radiation is possible. We already do that in space, on the space station, for example.

They don't plan to resupply Mars. The colony would extract water from the soil, recycle used water, and extract oxygen from water. Food would be produced on Mars.

EDITOR 4 ARGUES:
"Shielding out radiation is possible. We already do that in space, on the space station, for example." Wrong. The ISS is protected mostly by Earth's magnetosphere, which is absent on Mars. Any colonists would need at least 7 meters of soil for protection above their capsules.

EDITOR 3 COMES BACK
Wrong? Not all. As you have said yourself, radiation can be shielded using a layer of soil. There is no shortage of soil on Mars. Danrok
EDITOR 4 CHIDES
Danrok, there is a massive shortage of soil between earth and Mars. That is where you need the shielding. And that shielding is going to be heavy, thick, or otherwise extremely expensive using current technology   READ MORE FROM THE EDITORS ARE THE EDITORS RIGHT?

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#22 2012-10-17 23:02:44

RobS
Member
From: South Bend, IN
Registered: 2002-01-15
Posts: 1,701
Website

Re: Mars One

There are two types of radiation to deal with on a flight between Earth and Mars: solar radiation and cosmic radiation. Solar can be shielded against adequately by packing supplies around a radiation shelter in case of a solar storm. Cosmic radiation is not a health risk for a 6-month flight; the dosage is known. The International Space Station has half the sky covered by the Earth and thus gets half the cosmic ray dosage of a spacecraft in interplanetary space. Astronauts and cosmonauts have been stationed in Earth orbit for more than a year and have received a cosmic ray dosage equivalent to a 6-month flight to Mars. Once on the Martian surface, Mars provides the same shielding against cosmic rays as the Earth does in low orbit; i.e., half the normal dose is protected against because it can only come from above, not below. To shield you from above you need 3 or 4 meters or so of dirt. Three meters of water would probably be better. Remember, the earth's atmosphere provides 10 tonnes of shielding per square meter, but people live at altitudes of 15,000 or 20,000 feet where they have maybe half that much mass of air above them and they are fine.

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#23 2012-10-20 03:24:28

falkor
Member
From: Surrey
Registered: 2004-08-21
Posts: 112

Re: Mars One

cheers Rob

They don't plan to resupply Mars. The colony would extract water from the soil, recycle used water, and extract oxygen from water. Food would be produced on Mars

Rob in your opinion, after they land the first 4 contenders, would they really be able to extract water from the soil, recycle used water, and extract oxygen from water? Food would be produced on Mars? do you think that's realistic?

To me, I hope this thing gets off the ground BUT it could pan out to be the biggest real life horror film of them all hmm

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#24 2012-10-20 06:35:44

RobS
Member
From: South Bend, IN
Registered: 2002-01-15
Posts: 1,701
Website

Re: Mars One

I haven't followed their plans at all, so I really don't know. But my guess, for what it is worth, is that if you have a good drill, you could land almost anywhere on Mars and hit ice. Maybe there are places you have to drill down a few hundred meters and it wouldn't be very practical. If you plan your landing site, though, water ice should be reasonably easy to hit. Extracting the water will take some time to perfect. Maybe you melt the ice down in the hole and pump up the water; maybe you pump down heated Martian air and extract water vapor from the air that comes back up.

As for food, a greenhouse needs at least 100 square meters per person to raise basic food. That's based on data I've seen about orbital colonies, and based on Biosphere 2. But other Mars colonizers figure on 300 square meters per person, and I think that's to accommodate dust storms and raise a reasonable variety of foods. That's an inflatable greenhouse 10 meters wide and 30 meters long per person. Figuring out how to raise the food will take some time. The Martian regolith will require treatment; it may have salts to wash out and will lack nitrogen and maybe other trace elements. It may have some trace elements that are dangerous such as selenium; that can be solved by finding regolith that doesn't have it. Getting the temperature inside the greenhouse right may also be a problem. Apparently all the sunlight going in will heat it up too high, and you can't open a window, so you need a heat exchanger to cool it off.

These are all solvable problems. NASA would spend billions on studies and wait years to figure these things out, and when people get to Mars the equipment still wouldn't work perfectly, but it would be safe. If you cut the budget drastically like a reality tv show would, people might starve to death before they figure out how to do everything right.

You also asked about making oxygen and recycling water. If you have enough power, you can make all the oxygen you need with an electrolysis unit of the sort you see in high school chemistry and physics courses. I doubt it'd take much power to supply a person; maybe a continuous half kilowatt hour all day. That assumes you have a functioning water well. If you have that, I wouldn't bother to recycle the water very rigorously; just melt more ice. It'd probably be simpler. The dirty water could be stored in a shadowy spot as ice until you could recycle it.

Last edited by RobS (2012-10-20 06:39:58)

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#25 2012-10-21 15:59:04

falkor
Member
From: Surrey
Registered: 2004-08-21
Posts: 112

Re: Mars One

Rob thanks for your great replies

Mars One states they will CCTV the lot and this presents me with another query, especially as they assert it is all a one way ticket: 1 of the 4 astronauts - a few weeks into the "Terraforming on Mars" looks into the camera in his Mars Pod and starts crying that he wants to come back to Earth he can't stand it anymore and it's all been a big mistake, if he doesn't get an asssurance that he will get returned to Earth he will jump off the nearest Cliff

what do you think? ok it's unlikely but actually the more weeks and months go by. the less unlikely it gets big_smile

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