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#26 2015-10-19 18:41:48

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 15,806

Re: Corporate Government

McDonalds is to Space x ect... as Joe's diner is to Nasa at this point. Its the fixed prices as you noted that makes space x attractive for launchers to orbit but can they do the same or elsewhere.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compariso … ch_systems

Space x Menu: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SpaceX
Falcon 1 Launcher development
Falcon 9 is a family of two-stage-to-orbit launch vehicles  Falcon 9 v1.1 & 9R are the current launching Dragon cargo carrier and SpaceX is developing a crewed version called the Dragon V2 (formerly, DragonRider). With the Red Dragon and MCT on the drawing board.....

ULA menu is made of Delta and Atlas families with the CST-100 coming soon for cargo with Sierra Nevada Corporation wanting to launch Dream Chaser on the Atlas for cargo and man in the hopefully near future. The Vulcan rocket is the intended replacement for the Atlas V and Delta IV rockets

Orbital/ATK  Minotaur & Antares family has the Cygnus cargo  ship currently getting ready to launch on the Atlas V

Blue Origin orbital spacecraft – an American private biconic nose cone design vehicle

Nasa Menu:
SLS block 1 Orion 70 mT
SLS block 2 Orion + for 130 mT

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#27 2015-10-20 03:01:03

martienne
Member
From: EU
Registered: 2014-03-29
Posts: 146

Re: Corporate Government

This is a terrible idea in my opinion. Corporate government = fascism. Read up on it if you don't believe me.

I remember a book I read as a child - by Robert Heinlein, in which Mars was governed by a corporation. The plot of the book was driven by the fact that the corporation tried to screw over the inhabitants of Mars by skimping on expensive processes and maintenance to save cost. All decision the senior decision makers were in the pocket of this corporation, including the headmaster of the school that the main character was attending.

Corporations cannot be trusted!
Profit is always their driving force.

I am a strong believer in that Mars can potentially be a fresh start for humanity, and that a Mars colony can be free of the things that are plaguing us on Earth: Capitalism, wars, pollution and more.

It's always been said that Communism would work just fine, if everyone was intelligent and motivated, and there was no rich capitalists to compare standard of living against. I believe this to be true.

The people initially colonising Mars will be scientists and engineers, i.e. intelligent people. They will no doubt be highly motivated. There will be no rich capitalists to compare yourself against, on Mars. I.e. initially there will be no ads, no people who have more than others because everyone will live together and work together under the same conditions. No extravagant consumption will be possible. This environment is the perfect greenhouse for a true communist society (which, to clarify, has never existed on Earth).

Letting a corporation into this will be like letting the snake into the Garden of Eden. If you let them make decisions, you are taking a bit from the proverbial apple.
Don't do it!

I am completely against this "Corporate Government" idea. I don't think it would work and Mars should be a scientific outpost to begin with, then a new type of society for those who are passionate about being there, or who would like to live in a society of equals, with a mission to grow the human presence there.

Those who want to live on Mars with the motivation to get rich should not be allowed in whatsoever, and the colony should not be run by corporate interests on Earth.

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#28 2015-10-20 05:23:10

Terraformer
Member
From: Lancashire
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 3,062
Website

Re: Corporate Government

martienne,

If they want a communist society, then they can strike out into the wilderness and build it. But Mars shouldn't be restricted to only those wishing to live under communism. If you don't want them in your own colony, don't let them enter, but you have no grounds to stop them founding their own colony.


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

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#29 2015-10-20 08:50:44

martienne
Member
From: EU
Registered: 2014-03-29
Posts: 146

Re: Corporate Government

Terraformer wrote:

martienne,

If they want a communist society, then they can strike out into the wilderness and build it. But Mars shouldn't be restricted to only those wishing to live under communism. If you don't want them in your own colony, don't let them enter, but you have no grounds to stop them founding their own colony.

I'm not talking about an intrusive type of communism like what we know from the past.
It doesn't even need to be called Communism. 

I am talking about a logical way of organising things in a hostile environment, that happens to have a lot in common with Communism.

The first colonists will have a lot in common with tribes, like Indians for example. They shared things equally, and everyone contributed with whatever they were best suited to do, whether it was hunting, making clothes, keeping the fire or something else.

It seems like a complete waste of time to run around with red flags, have accountability meetings and be a pro at quoting Marx. I am not promoting anything along those lines, for Mars. I'm talking purely about a way to run a society.

All I am saying is that an extreme capitalist (corporatist) view, as promoted by modern USA and Russia, does not belong on Mars.

Would you like to see a Mars where the corporate bigwigs have perfect safe environment suits and transport, live in spacious and luxorious quarters.... While workers are scraping by with the bare essentials in grim conditions where they can't control their environment, or even leave the settlement?

They'd be unable to do anything at all to improve their lot, just like serfs and peasants in the past - as everything is owned by the corporation(s) and they need special equipment, not freely available, just to go outside or travel anywhere.

Everything in RD's scenario is controlled by the corporation! The workers can't even strike - because the corporation controls the very air they breathe! If everything is driven by an underlying requirement for profits, by a corporate government, life on Mars will be hell for anyone but the very elite and perhaps a few irreplaceable engineers.

Last edited by martienne (2015-10-20 08:57:16)

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#30 2015-10-20 13:46:40

Tom Kalbfus
Banned
Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: Corporate Government

martienne wrote:
Terraformer wrote:

martienne,

If they want a communist society, then they can strike out into the wilderness and build it. But Mars shouldn't be restricted to only those wishing to live under communism. If you don't want them in your own colony, don't let them enter, but you have no grounds to stop them founding their own colony.

I'm not talking about an intrusive type of communism like what we know from the past.
It doesn't even need to be called Communism. 

I am talking about a logical way of organising things in a hostile environment, that happens to have a lot in common with Communism.

That is how all people promoting Communism start out, they first issue a disclaimer stating that their Communist society will not end up like the Soviet Union or Cuba, and then it does. If you try the same experiment over and over again multiple times and you get the same result, why should you expect that the Nth attempt at Communism will end up any different. If you want to live in a Communist society there are plenty that still exist on Earth, you can go to Cuba or North Korea. China is more, as you say, a fascist government that called itself Communist, but all they are really interested in is power, they let Capitalism flourish to a degree because it gives them as a government more power and more money to spend. A pure Communist regime like North Korea, couldn't by itself compete with the West, so in order to compete with the West, China had to adopt some of the attributes of Capitalism, because it works, and Mao's communism did not! Those Communists still want their power, so they are not willingly going to initiate democratic reforms, that is what Tiamen Square showed!

martienne wrote:

The first colonists will have a lot in common with tribes, like Indians for example. They shared things equally, and everyone contributed with whatever they were best suited to do, whether it was hunting, making clothes, keeping the fire or something else.

If they are going to stay small, and unsuccessful that is fine, but Elan Musk has a goal of sending one million people to Mars, and a tribal society simply will not work on that level, so why would we want to adopt a mode of living that will not adapt to massive expansion that success will bring?

martienne wrote:

It seems like a complete waste of time to run around with red flags, have accountability meetings and be a pro at quoting Marx. I am not promoting anything along those lines, for Mars. I'm talking purely about a way to run a society.

Why not go with what works rather than try another disasterous social experiment. If we try something that never worked on Earth, what are the chances of a successful outcome on Mars?

martienne wrote:

All I am saying is that an extreme capitalist (corporatist) view, as promoted by modern USA and Russia, does not belong on Mars.

Can you give me an example of any place that has extreme Capitalism? Government just can't keep its hands out of the cookie jar, I can't think of a single example of an extreme capitalist society, can you?

martienne wrote:

Would you like to see a Mars where the corporate bigwigs have perfect safe environment suits and transport, live in spacious and luxorious quarters.... While workers are scraping by with the bare essentials in grim conditions where they can't control their environment, or even leave the settlement?

You can't have them there if you can't transport them from Earth, human labor is not going to be cheap on Mars for the simple fact that its not going to be cheap to bring them from Earth. Robots will do the grunt work, not humans! Are you for robot rights? Do you want to robots to rebel and overthrow the humans?

martienne wrote:

They'd be unable to do anything at all to improve their lot, just like serfs and peasants in the past - as everything is owned by the corporation(s) and they need special equipment, not freely available, just to go outside or travel anywhere.

That would be unlikely to happen on Mars because even if you do all the things you suggest, peasant labor is not going to be cheap, and you can't recoup the losses of bringing them from Earth by treating them like dirt! If they don't get their life support and food, they will die and will be no use to the corporate big wigs, sorry! Peasants and homeless people are not going to be traveling to Mars anything soon, so they can be exploited. All that exploitation will remain on Earth with the peasants.

martienne wrote:

Everything in RD's scenario is controlled by the corporation! The workers can't even strike - because the corporation controls the very air they breathe! If everything is driven by an underlying requirement for profits, by a corporate government, life on Mars will be hell for anyone but the very elite and perhaps a few irreplaceable engineers.

Seems to me that everyone on Mars will be members of the Elite, because no other people could afford to go to Mars, so the ones that are their are all members of the elite, robots will do the grunt labor as robots are much cheaper than humans, just ask any planetary scientist who's ever worked on an unmanned probe!

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#31 2015-10-21 19:48:51

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 15,806

Re: Corporate Government

The Elite are part of the current astronaut club and work for the government where as a private tourist you pay for the ticket which includes room and meals. Depending on the tourists contract, they are likely to work for the reduction in its price.

But when I see the word Profit I say there are none until there is an item that Earth wants to export from Mars as any astronaut Elite or tourist will not be sending anything back unless its on there person as any returning cargo is the property of the shipper as they will want the cost of the return vehicle paid before the crew could make any profit on there own goods returned for a profit back by the individual crew person.

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#32 2015-10-21 22:24:39

RobertDyck
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From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 5,748
Website

Re: Corporate Government

SpaceNut, please read the opening post again. I describe how to make profit. Settlers will pay their entire life savings: sell their house, sell their car, liquidate their life insurance and any retirement savings, just for a ticket to Mars. The corporation will set up a transport to carry settlers to Mars. Once set up, the ship shall be fuelled, supplied, and maintained from Mars. That is, spare parts to repair or upgrade the ship will be made on Mars, and installed while the ship is in Mars orbit. Food will be grown in Mars greenhouses, and stored on the ship. Enough food for the crew to return to Earth, and sufficient food for the crew plus passengers to travel to Mars. Fuel will be harvested in space, either Mars or one of its moons. The ship will be refuelled in Mars orbit for the return to Earth. For the trip from Earth to Mars, it will be refuelled in Earth orbit from an orbiting fuel depot. Fuel in that depot will also come from space: either Mars, one of its moons, or a Near Earth Asteroid. So all operations and maintenance will come from the space economy, but passengers pay in Earth currency. So once this is established, those ticket prices are pure profit. That's how investors recover their investment, plus a fat profit.

This means there is no need to ship any product back to Earth. The catch is Mars must remain an attractive destination that people are willing to pay their entire life savings to get to. So Mars must remain free. It must remain free of tax, free of overbearing government, and free from war.

b3.jpg

A new life awaits you in the Off World colonies. The chance to begin again in a golden land of opportunity and adventure.

Sorry, no free replicant.

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#33 2015-10-21 22:45:35

RobertDyck
Moderator
From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 5,748
Website

Re: Corporate Government

martienne wrote:

Everything in RD's scenario is controlled by the corporation! The workers can't even strike - because the corporation controls the very air they breathe! If everything is driven by an underlying requirement for profits, by a corporate government, life on Mars will be hell for anyone but the very elite and perhaps a few irreplaceable engineers.

In this scenario, profits come from tickets bought by settlers. So the corporation has to ensure people want to buy that ticket. That will motivate the corporation to keep Mars desirable.

In this scenario, the capital city is owned/controlled by the corporation. But everything else isn't. Settlers are welcome to set up a town any way they want. If they want a Kibbutz like those in Israel, they are welcome to do so. Inside a Kibbutz is a commune, but interaction between the Kibbutz and the rest of the world is commercial.

A major concern is how to pay for it. And how to make Mars profitable. Even government requires profit. Currently the US government funds NASA, but the amount of money the government makes from tax of the space economy in the US is far greater than what they pay NASA. And NASA drives innovation in the space industry in the US. When the US became complacent about space, Europe became dominant in the launch industry. The US still can't compete with Ariane Space. The Ariane 4 launch vehicle was developed to launch satellites. Ariane 5 was developed to launch European astronauts to ISS, but governments of member nations didn't provide sufficient funding to pay for the spacecraft. They did finish the launch vehicle, which turned out big enough to launch several satellites at once. Cost per satellite is lower with Ariane 5, so it's profitable and successful. Notice that: profit means success. Government is not going to spend multiple billions of dollars per year for something that isn't profitable. They will pay for military because that keeps politicians in power. The Moon race was a contest for allies. Once humans landed on the Moon, politicians lost interest. It's only profit and military technology that keeps space going.

One problem in the US is that American citizens keep talking about Mars separating from Earth the way the US separated from the British Empire. If that is expected, then how will American benefit? American politicians will only pay for human exploration in space if that results in both of two things: profit, and American control. If Mars declares independence, that cancels any profit or control. So every time a Mars Society member talks about Mars independence, they are sabotaging any return of humans to space.

The scenario I describe is not utopia, but is a realistic way to get Mars going.

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#34 2015-10-21 23:33:12

RobertDyck
Moderator
From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 5,748
Website

Re: Corporate Government

martienne wrote:

All I am saying is that an extreme capitalist (corporatist) view, as promoted by modern USA and Russia, does not belong on Mars.

Pure capitalism doesn't work. Even America, with it's extreme capitalism, is not pure capitalist. Unions are basically a communist idea. Do you know how unions started in America? A businessman got a government contract to build a canal. This was before invention of the automobile, and before railroads were a major form of transport. Boats and barges were the main form of bulk cargo transport. The government contract would pay the businessman after the canal was finished, to ensure it was actually finished. But the businessman did not want to pay his workers until he got paid. So the workers toiled hard, digging with shovels because heavy equipment hadn't been invented yet. After several months of no pay at all, they demanded pay. The businessman just told them to get back to work. And I believe they worked sun-up to sun-down, 7 days per week. With no pay after several months, and the businessman refusing to pay, they went on strike. The businessman hired thugs to beat up the workers, force them back to work. But they refused until they were paid. That's how the first American union was formed. Back then a union was necessary. I could argue that today unions have way too much power, and union leaders are out for themselves. Just another corporate executive screwing working guys. But that makes me sound like a union man.

Philosophers have said any economic system will be a hybrid. Neither pure capitalism nor pure communism. What we have now is that hybrid, the only question is exactly what mix. Different countries have different mixtures.

martienne wrote:

Would you like to see a Mars where the corporate bigwigs have perfect safe environment suits and transport, live in spacious and luxorious quarters.... While workers are scraping by with the bare essentials in grim conditions where they can't control their environment, or even leave the settlement?

That reminds me of another movie: "Outland" a 1981 movie staring Sean Connery. It was supposedly a mining colony on a moon of Jupiter. Airless, barren. It had a full bar with music, booze, and disco lights. There was a brothel with tiny rooms for prostitutes to work. But living quarters were open cages. I never understood why. You would at least want walls with sound insulation. Even a Japanese capsule hotel would be better. But I envision the corporate dorm being an actual bachelor apartment (Canadian), studio apartment (American), studio flat (UK). Families would get an apartment with bedrooms.

Outland:
Cramped-living-quarters.jpg outland_38.jpg

Real capsule hotel:
2009-04-04%20Tokyo-Japan%20Shinjuku%20District%20Capsule%20Hotel%20001.jpg Shinjuku-Kuyakusho-mae-Capsule-Hotel-Men-Only-4.jpg 1022735952_21b58e8d14.jpg lah.japan.capsule.motel.cnn.640x360.jpg

Last edited by RobertDyck (2015-10-21 23:44:53)

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#35 2015-10-22 00:40:45

RobertDyck
Moderator
From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 5,748
Website

Re: Corporate Government

I was part of the team for the Mars Homestead Project, phase one: Hillside Settlement. This is a painting of an apartment:
normal_MHP-4FC-Image026.jpg

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#36 2015-10-22 01:18:44

martienne
Member
From: EU
Registered: 2014-03-29
Posts: 146

Re: Corporate Government

Robert - yes, the studio you are depicting is what an educated person from the developed world would expect. Mind you: The padded chair, the sofa, including two pillows and the ornamental globe will have the most expensive home deliver charge in the universe. We've got large flower pots, paintings and flower vases. The freight of this equipment for a handful of units may possibly work out...

Do you see a corporations paying billions to ship 1000 sofas to Mars? At least for anyone but the head honcho?
Anyone who's worked for a large corpoiration knows that nowadays they are even unwilling to pay indiividual offices for mid level managers, for business class tickets or high-end hotels etc, etc. Corporations are always as cheap and stingy as they can possibly get away with.

Even if only the raw material is shipped and it's assembled or made on site, the price is staggering. Then we have the wooden floor tiles, the paintings, the coffee table etc.

Further: If there is any kind of unqualified work that needs doing: Digging, transporting things back and forth, simple construction, some kind of mining operation etc:
A corporation will get cheap labour with low expectations of living conditions for that.
On the same principle that all office work that can be outsourced, usually is, by large corporations. And it won't be some small cosy local company that sets up on Mars. It will be the BPs, Rosnefts of this world and they operate on profit and lowest common denominator (believe me, I worked for several organisations like this and am very hardened in this respect. They have absolutely no heart and no social conscience whatsoever). 

Think sweatshops, shady outsourcing contracts and environment cover-ups.
If they can possibly get away with using cheap labour from the third world do do the unqualified tasks, they will. Do you think they'd ship over a deluxe studio like that for a Bangladeshi construction worker?

No, he'd be lucky if the corporation provides a capsule, a communal canteeen and some porn flicks (shipping a real stripper/prostitute like in your film scenario, will be too expensive - no profit for the corporation unless she is actually an employee of them, and they take their cut of her income...)
And it's not like she can pay her own way to Mars.

The corporate government idea is naive and very dangerous and it can only end one way: Exploitation and fascism of the worst order. Mars will have to be some kind of scientific meritocracy or democracy, where whoever calls the shots about the living conditions is either democratically elected or a very genuinely benevolent dictator who will ensure that everyone is treated the same and has acceptable living conditions.
It's not like you can hand in your notice and walk away, on Mars.

Last edited by martienne (2015-10-22 02:21:30)

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#37 2015-10-22 01:27:54

Tom Kalbfus
Banned
Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: Corporate Government

SpaceNut wrote:

The Elite are part of the current astronaut club and work for the government where as a private tourist you pay for the ticket which includes room and meals. Depending on the tourists contract, they are likely to work for the reduction in its price.

But when I see the word Profit I say there are none until there is an item that Earth wants to export from Mars as any astronaut Elite or tourist will not be sending anything back unless its on there person as any returning cargo is the property of the shipper as they will want the cost of the return vehicle paid before the crew could make any profit on there own goods returned for a profit back by the individual crew person.

Consider this, martienne wants to evoke the image of a "Third World Mars". Could their actually be? what would it take to replicate a Third World hovel on Mars? Could you imagine people living in poverty, on one dollar a day, illiterate, under a plastic dome on Mars with life support to keep them alive? How much does the life support cost? How much does getting them to Mars cost? How much does decent living conditions cost compared to the cost of life support and getting them their. It makes no sense to have decrepid or indecent living conditions on Mars. If living conditions are indecent, you are dead! the cost or providing the basic necessities of life, which include air to breath dwarf the costs of pluming, so there isn't going to be a community well, that people drop a bucket in, under a dome to fetch a pale of water. The Third World simply cannot exist on Mars, unless people are play acting under a dome. Poverty won't exist on Mars for the simple reason that the Martian environment won't allow it, simply staying alive is expensive, and the difference between staying alive under decent living conditions and otherwise is insignificant.

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#38 2015-10-22 01:47:12

Tom Kalbfus
Banned
Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: Corporate Government

RobertDyck wrote:
martienne wrote:

All I am saying is that an extreme capitalist (corporatist) view, as promoted by modern USA and Russia, does not belong on Mars.

Pure capitalism doesn't work. Even America, with it's extreme capitalism, is not pure capitalist.

America does not even have extreme capitalism, its market place is highly regulated! You know you can't sell a hot dog on the street of New York City without a vender's license. Under extreme capitalism, you would not need that license. You hear those stories of those little girls and boys who operate a lemonade stand and get in trouble with local authorities for doing so? The basic education they get is that this is Capitalism, and the law doesn't allow it, not just anybody can sell lemonade, you need permission, you need the proper licenses, this is not really capitalism, not even close!

RobertDyck wrote:

Unions are basically a communist idea. Do you know how unions started in America? A businessman got a government contract to build a canal. This was before invention of the automobile, and before railroads were a major form of transport. Boats and barges were the main form of bulk cargo transport. The government contract would pay the businessman after the canal was finished, to ensure it was actually finished. But the businessman did not want to pay his workers until he got paid. So the workers toiled hard, digging with shovels because heavy equipment hadn't been invented yet. After several months of no pay at all, they demanded pay.

I think the reality is they would not have workers if they had not paid them for several months. I don't think there would be many workers who would take a job that I would not pay them for several months, and you know that after only one month without food, a person would starve to death, and long before that they would stop working, because they would be incapable of moving their limbs.

RobertDyck wrote:

The businessman just told them to get back to work. And I believe they worked sun-up to sun-down, 7 days per week. With no pay after several months, and the businessman refusing to pay, they went on strike.

Maybe they could just find a job that pays them on time, instead of being suckers any shmo could offer to pay them after seven months, it is real cheap to hire somebody without paying them any money, and if I could get similar deals from vendors, I could buy shovels and equipment for my unpaid workers to work with by offering the suppliers the same deal I offered the workers, I'll just say, "I'll pay you in seven months, I promise!" and if they are as much suckers as the people working for me, I could have a construction company going with no initial investment on my part, just a promise to pay eventually. I don't think that would work in the real world however.

RobertDyck wrote:

The businessman hired thugs to beat up the workers, force them back to work.

Did he pay the thugs, or did he promise to pay them in several months as well?

RobertDyck wrote:

But they refused until they were paid. That's how the first American union was formed. Back then a union was necessary. I could argue that today unions have way too much power, and union leaders are out for themselves. Just another corporate executive screwing working guys. But that makes me sound like a union man.

Philosophers have said any economic system will be a hybrid. Neither pure capitalism nor pure communism. What we have now is that hybrid, the only question is exactly what mix. Different countries have different mixtures.

martienne wrote:

Would you like to see a Mars where the corporate bigwigs have perfect safe environment suits and transport, live in spacious and luxorious quarters.... While workers are scraping by with the bare essentials in grim conditions where they can't control their environment, or even leave the settlement?

That reminds me of another movie: "Outland" a 1981 movie staring Sean Connery. It was supposedly a mining colony on a moon of Jupiter. Airless, barren. It had a full bar with music, booze, and disco lights. There was a brothel with tiny rooms for prostitutes to work. But living quarters were open cages. I never understood why. You would at least want walls with sound insulation. Even a Japanese capsule hotel would be better. But I envision the corporate dorm being an actual bachelor apartment (Canadian), studio apartment (American), studio flat (UK). Families would get an apartment with bedrooms.

Outland:
http://forgottenflix.com/wp-content/upl … arters.jpg http://www.catspawdynamics.com/images/outland_38.jpg

Real capsule hotel:
http://www.liquid-blue.com/photos/tour/ … %20001.jpg http://tokyo4u.net/images/Shinjuku-Kuya … Only-4.jpg http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1160/102 … 8e8d14.jpg http://edition.cnn.com/video/world/2010 … 40x360.jpg

As an intellectual exercise, how much would it cost to deliver men to Io and keep them alive there? Keeping in mind the severe radiation hazard due to Jupiter's Van Allen radiation belts, but I suppose with enough money spend, you could bring human miners to Io and keep them underground, now if your spending so much to get them there and keep them alive, how much extra is decent living conditions going to cost? What could be on Io that would be worth the cost of having human miners mine it out of the ground?

On Earth there are all sorts of wretched conditions one can live under and still live for quite a long time, but on Mars or Io, replicating those wretched conditions costs just about as much as producing decent conditions to live on, because the major expense keeping people alive, decent conditions are just pocket change by comparison, and the cost of having expensive unhappy workers that you just transported to Mars is not worth the saving produced by wretched living conditions under a plastic dome! The employer has to know that if he cuts corners too much he has dead workers and no labor force, and he has to replace them by shipping more from Earth.

Last edited by Tom Kalbfus (2015-10-22 01:52:39)

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#39 2015-10-22 02:01:05

Tom Kalbfus
Banned
Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: Corporate Government

martienne wrote:

Robert - yes, the studio you are depicting is what an educated person from the developed world would expect. Mind you: The padded chair, the sofa, including two pillows and the ornamental globe will have the most expensive home deliver charge in the universe. We've got large flower pots, paintings and flower vases. The freight of this equipment for a handful of units may possibly work out...

Do you see a corporations paying billions to ship 1000 sofas to Mars?

If you have to bring something to Mars to keep them alive, the cost of the sofa is insignificant compared to that. Sofa's don't need life support, people do! There is very little leeway between dead workers and alive ones. The hard part will be getting people to come to Mars in the first place. Little things like sofas and creature comforts are well worth the expense, not having them makes little sense. If the employer is going to be a scumbag, he won't have workers to work for him.

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#40 2015-10-22 02:02:49

Tom Kalbfus
Banned
Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: Corporate Government

RobertDyck wrote:

I was part of the team for the Mars Homestead Project, phase one: Hillside Settlement. This is a painting of an apartment:
http://www.marshome.org/images2/albums/Mars%20Homestead%20Project%20Effort/Commissioned%20or%20MF%20Owned%20Artwork/normal_MHP-4FC-Image026.jpg

Just have to say this: Don't open that door in the back if its on Mars!

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#41 2015-10-22 02:29:23

martienne
Member
From: EU
Registered: 2014-03-29
Posts: 146

Re: Corporate Government

I repeat the question: who thinks a corporation/conglomerate would ship a studio like the one in RD's illustration, for a low-skilled Bangladeshi construction worker or Angolan miner?

If there are low skilled jobs,  and if a corporation calling the shots, then there'll be second class citizens who get a capsule, meals in a canteen and a cheap flatscreen at the best.
He'll be confined to quarters, common room, possibly some bar (but can they risk serving alcohol on Mars?)

Resentment will grow and Mars will be a rather hellish experience for those at the bottom of society who see very little of the final frontier excitements that scientists see.
Think oil-rig conditions. But two months on, one month off is not possible on Mars.

I maintain that a permanent settlement on Mars is only going to work if everyone has the same conditions and is "in it" on equal premises.
That they work together to improve the conditions for all on Mars.

I know such a thought is revolting to Tom Kalbfus, but perhaps somebody else is able to see the risks I am flagging?

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#42 2015-10-22 04:37:57

Terraformer
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From: Lancashire
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 3,062
Website

Re: Corporate Government

What? By far the major expense is going to be shipping the people. You might have a point if we had a stargate to cheaply transport people, but we don't. People aren't going to go work for the company if their lives are going to be worse on Mars; unless, of course, they consider being on Mars to be worth it, in which case you shouldn't be placing yourself in between them and the company when it comes to negotiating their voluntary agreement.

As long as Mars is free, they can wait until their contract is up and go find another colony to live in. I'm sure your socialist paradise will be willing to take them. Or are you just for the elites?


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

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#43 2015-10-22 08:44:39

Tom Kalbfus
Banned
Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: Corporate Government

martienne wrote:

I repeat the question: who thinks a corporation/conglomerate would ship a studio like the one in RD's illustration, for a low-skilled Bangladeshi construction worker or Angolan miner?

If it costs just as much to ship a low-skilled Bangladeshi construction worker who barely speaks English as it would to transport a highly educated scientist, which one of those do you think the corporation would prefer to transport to Mars? A highly educated scientist can still be trained to do low skilled labor if the need arises, but I doubt that a corporation is going to transport a low-skilled laborer to Mars and then give him the equivalent of a college education after he arrives, if such a person wanted to go to Mars, he is going to have to go on his own dime, not on the corporation's because most corporations don't like to throw their money away. One possible exception might be for a Mars Lottery, and in that case the corporation would make their money by selling lottery tickets! The winners are not going to be treated like dirt, because word would get out and that would undermine ticket sales!

martienne wrote:

If there are low skilled jobs,  and if a corporation calling the shots, then there'll be second class citizens who get a capsule, meals in a canteen and a cheap flatscreen at the best.

I don't know what sort of flatscreens will be available on Mars, but suffice to say, none of them will be cheap, and chances are they'll be a lot better than the ones we have today! The biggest expense will be getting them to Mars, it doesn't matter what it is, probably the biggest expense when it comes to cost would be how much it weighs, and whether it can be manufactured on Mars or not, if it can be made on Mars, it is probably going to be cheaper than something that needs to be brought over from Earth. By that reasoning, I think the latest flat screen would be cheaper than an old fashioned antique cathode ray tube (CTR) television set, because that television set would weigh a lot more than a flatscreen! I think far cheaper would be a virtual reality head set, colonists would wear those, and watch whatever movies they could download, or experience other forms of VR entertainment, and since the device is worn, it would be a lot lighter than a flat screen!

martienne wrote:

He'll be confined to quarters, common room, possibly some bar (but can they risk serving alcohol on Mars?)

Why not? If they grow food on Mars, it should be fairly cheap to make alchohol.

martienne wrote:

Resentment will grow and Mars will be a rather hellish experience for those at the bottom of society who see very little of the final frontier excitements that scientists see.

Or rather you hope that such resentment will grow so you can have your revolution, but I don't think that most will be going to Mars to fight a revolution, and I don't think that the people who send them will treat them like dirt! If you want a revolution, its not going to happen on Mars. In the American colonies, our Revolution occurred in 1776, the first colonists arrived in the early 1600s. The Pilgrims didn't come to Massachusetts to fight a revolution, neither did the English come to Jamestown for that purpose, the actual American Revolution when it did come was not about class struggle but independence from the mother country, it was not your sort of revolution Martienne! The people fighting in the American Revolution did not see themselves as fighting for class struggle. The slaves for the most part didn't rebel, those that did, were put down harshly, and they ended up getting freed, by men of conscious during the Civil War which occurred 80 years later.

martienne wrote:

Think oil-rig conditions. But two months on, one month off is not possible on Mars.

If it were, it would not be a colony, oil rigs are not colonies, people don't live their, they don't bring their families to live there, they do their stint and then go home. On Mars, accommodations for families will be cheaper to provide that to rotate people to and from Earth.

martienne wrote:

I maintain that a permanent settlement on Mars is only going to work if everyone has the same conditions and is "in it" on equal premises.
That they work together to improve the conditions for all on Mars.

I know such a thought is revolting to Tom Kalbfus, but perhaps somebody else is able to see the risks I am flagging?

There won't really be any poor on Mars, human labor is too precious to allow anyone to be useless, unless it is a physical impairment that occurs on the job, and those can be sent back to Earth if need be. What you would have on Mars is what we would call upper middle class and the rich! Now if a rich person were to transport himself to Mars and build his own pleasure dome for his own amusement or to invite guests over, why should we not allow that? Would that be such a terrible thing? If someone wants to import luxuries to Mars, why should anyone else want to stop it? To avoid envy? Are Martian colonists going to be green with envy if some billionaire builds himself an Olympic size swimming pool under a dome on Mars? Maybe people who can do nothing but be jealous of billionaires instead of grateful for what they do have, shouldn't be on Mars in the first place, what do you think about that. Is the problem with the billionaire or with the person who can't stand the fact that the billionaire has more than he does?

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#44 2015-10-22 11:26:36

RobertDyck
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From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 5,748
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Re: Corporate Government

martienne wrote:

Robert - yes, the studio you are depicting is what an educated person from the developed world would expect. Mind you: The padded chair, the sofa, including two pillows and the ornamental globe will have the most expensive home deliver charge in the universe. We've got large flower pots, paintings and flower vases. The freight of this equipment for a handful of units may possibly work out.

Ok, time to review the Mars Homestead Project. The purpose of that was to design the first human base on Mars. The scope of our project was not to design the spacecraft to get to Mars, just the base. So I suggested we assume Mars Direct. They accepted that, so we started with 4 Mars Direct habitats. Three habitats carried crew, and each included one inflatable greenhouse. The fourth hab was backup only, in case one of the habs failed. The fourth included an inflatable greenhouse, but would carry a construction vehicle instead of a Mars rover. The construction vehicle would be a skid steer loader, something like a Bobcat but designed for Mars. This fourth hab would be loaded with tools.

So with 12 people permanently living on Mars, they would build a permanent place to live. It had to deal with radiation, estimates say radiation shielding requires at least 2 metres of soil on the roof to eliminate radiation. Radiation on the surface of Mars is half that of ISS, but there is still radiation. To reduce annual radiation exposure to equal that of an American nuclear reactor worker, time outside in a spacesuit would have to be limited to 40 hours per week. That's a work week, so that's reasonable. An ambient light greenhouse would have as little radiation shielding as a spacesuit, so time in the greenhouse counts toward that 40 hours per week. We had a debate: I argued for ambient light greenhouses, because that is the only life support that would operate in complete power failure. Plants are much more robust that humans regarding radiation. But some of the guys were afraid of radiation, even for plants. The result was a compromise, our Mars Homestead included some ambient light greenhouses, some buried.

This base would mine resources, smelt/refine, and manufacture. There would be an extensive manufacturing facility built. Again the pressurized module for the workshop would be built with local materials. Furniture would be made locally. So yes, the sofa and chair and pillows and ornamental globe would be made by the guys who live there. They would make the items themselves, in the workshop that they built themselves. Greenhouses included space for non-food items. Bamboo is strong and grows fast, so some argued for bamboo. I argued for industrial hemp, which is a plant similar to grass but grows 2 to 4 metres tall without branching. Fibres are very strong because they run the entire length of the stem (2-4 metres). Industrial varieties produce so little THC that smoking it will not get you high; industrial hemp is not marijuana. It's a plant for fibre. Urine tests for opium will test positive if you eat a poppy seed bagel; smoking industrial hemp as about as much chance of getting you high as eating a poppy seed bagel. Hemp was used for rope before nylon was invented, and is still used for clothing today.

Yea, I did think the image of a hardwood floor was not realistic. The wall hanging with oriental calligraphy on bamboo strips is entirely reasonable. But I envision flooring made with terracotta, granite, ceramic tile, travertine, slate, marble, etc. Travertine forms in a hot spring, so it would be hard to find on Mars. Marble is metamorphic rock, limestone transformed, melted by heat and pressure from volcanic activity underground, then recrystallized. We'll have difficulty finding marble. But granite is igneous, a form of basalt, so should be there. Ceramic is often made from kaolinite, a white clay. There is some kaolinite on Mars, but it forms in moving water such as a river or stream, not the bottom of an ocean. It could be washed into an ocean at the mouth of a river, but I suspect the frozen pack ice on Elysium Planetia is too far from any coast. Drive to an escarpment that used to be the coast of the ocean, just to harvest kaolinite for ceramic or porcelain? Ceramic can be made from aluminum oxide and silicon oxide, so partial processing bytownite for aluminum, but instead of smelting aluminum oxide for metal, use the oxide to make tile. Cultured marble is ground marble dust mixed with a binder of phenolic (phenol-formaldehyde). That binder is the same one used to bind wood veneer for plywood, wood chips for OSB, or sawdust for particle board. I could describe how to make it. There is calcite and dolomite in Mars dust, we just have to separate them from the rest of Mars dust so we can bind the particles to form cultured marble. Terracotta would probably be the easiest: baked earth.

Last edited by RobertDyck (2015-10-22 19:37:28)

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#45 2015-10-22 12:39:52

martienne
Member
From: EU
Registered: 2014-03-29
Posts: 146

Re: Corporate Government

Rob - what an interesting post! I really enjoyed reading that. Since I am not a chemist/civil engineer/phycisist/geologist etc, I sometimes feel as if i can't contribute with "hard fact" messages in the same way as some others here can.
But as a woman I can at lest contribute with interrior decorating considerations, lol.....

I really enjoyed your vision of making as much as possible on site.
One small problem though: It takes a lot of time! Supposedly they all have full time jobs, as well as maintenance of the habitation.
To take on these types of tasks in addition, is really demanding.

Just want to warn that to make the sofa, not only do you need wood and decent carpentry skills. You also need carpenters tool set, a sewing machine (sewing this kind of stuff by hand takes an eternity - believe me..) and the fabric and material to stuff the cushions with...

If you are going to make the fabric, you need some kind of spinning wheel and then a loom. Electrical versions of this are very large and heavy and need transporting to Mars. Spinning wheels and loom (traditional versions) are an acquired skill. A loom is always quite large.

Making fabric from cratch (sheep's wool or linen) by hand is incredibly time consuming.

I'm not saying it's not possible, but they'll either need housewives with some very thorough training... or people who specialise in these jobs as a profession.

I think it's an attractive way of life, to create these things from scratch in the way you describe.

But is it feasible?  What do they do when things break or disappear?
Sewing machines consists of hundreds of parts which sometimes need replacing... That's true for all the other kit I listed.

There is nothing corporate about any of this! It's a traditional communal way of living, like in an old time village.
I can't see a corporation wanting to sponsor people getting to Mars and faffing around (would be their view) with these types of activities - there is no profit in it - quite the opposite!)

For this reason I think the first Mars mission for permanent outpost will have to be either philanthropic, science driver or simply sponsored by national government as "prestige" project with no profit motivation.

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#46 2015-10-22 12:42:06

RobertDyck
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From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 5,748
Website

Re: Corporate Government

The idea of the hillside settlement was ease of construction. The skid-steer loader would dig out a cavity in the side of a hill, with the "floor" of the dig level with ground. Then build pressurized modules on that dug floor. Then push dirt down from the hill onto the pressure modules. That's an easy way to burry the living space with regolith needed for radiation shielding. Here is an overview of the base. Note the 4 Mars Direct habitats with small greenhouses. The two large blue greenhouses are transparent, using ambient light. The two brown greenhouses are covered in dirt. This image has inserts with different views. The image is clickable for a very large view.
normal_MHP-4FC-Image001.jpg

Once complete, the base can be doubled / mirrored to accommodate 24 people.
normal_MHP-4FC-Image023.jpg

The buried living space has mirrors on the roof to reflect sunlight into "light pipes". Those are pipes lined with mirrors to reflect sunlight. The ceiling of the living space has a diffuser for each light pipe.
normal_MHP-4FC-Image016.jpg

The living space will use brick masonry similar to ancient Roman groin arches and barrel arches. Centre of the living space will be an airy atrium with potted plants.

normal_MHP-4FC-Image029.jpg

Floor plan:
normal_MHP-4FC-Image005.jpg

Second floor:
normal_MHP-4FC-Image008.jpg

Last edited by RobertDyck (2015-10-22 12:53:25)

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#47 2015-10-22 12:52:39

RobertDyck
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From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 5,748
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Re: Corporate Government

By the way, one of the managers for the Mars Homestead project had asked me to be part of it because of posts I made on this forum and presentations at Mars Society conventions about mining/smelting/refining as well as life support. We had a number of individuals on the team. One was a student at MIT, our project was his thesis for his master degree in architecture. I think he did a great job. The paintings were by a professional artist. Also great job. We had another MIT student studying his master degree in nuclear engineering. We asked him to gives us a rough design of nuclear reactors the base would need. Each Mars Direct habitat would have an SP-100 reactor, for the Earth Return Vehicle. Actually now I would recommend the SAFE-400 reactor; same job and same power but newer and lower launch mass. But the three nuclear reactors on the floor plan are bigger, each the size of a Mars Direct habitat. They would be sent from Earth separately, each in a dedicated lander.

Last edited by RobertDyck (2015-10-22 12:56:43)

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#48 2015-10-22 12:59:59

martienne
Member
From: EU
Registered: 2014-03-29
Posts: 146

Re: Corporate Government

Meanwhile, Tom Kalbfus' vision is a Mars community where a billionaire can move in and build a private swimming pool that nobody else can use. Tom probably also thinks that people who don't get the right Martian health insurance should be left to wither away in illness on Mars!

While you're at it: Why not charge the poor sods for the air they breathe as well? After all, it's not free on Mars! Welcome to the 51st state aka corporatist nightmare.

Tom's suggestion that people should pay their own trip to Mars is crazy. Unless something very revolutionary happens, we are talking about hundreds of millions of dollars in todays value, for one ticket!

Another "communist" characteristic that's needed is quite significant job security for workers on Mars.
Otherwise what do you do if you are sacked or made redundant? It can happen to anyone.
If your skills aren't transferable to some other opening or if nobody wants to hire you in a capitalist / corporate environment - what do you do?

Whoever runs things will have to either guarantee your job or some other employment, alternatively transport you back to earth for free. What's the alternative? Unemployed on Mars? On benefits? Beggar? Suicide?  (all acceptable options from Tom's perspective methinks...)

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#49 2015-10-22 13:03:40

martienne
Member
From: EU
Registered: 2014-03-29
Posts: 146

Re: Corporate Government

Loved the Mars Homestead info! That's in line with what I hope for, for Mars!

A community of people trying to build a functional society for humans, on Mars. Together. On equal terms, as peers (or comrades, Tom.. hehe).
In the interest of science, human growth and development.

@Rob - is it really possible to have windows on Mars? I thought it was a radiation hazard? Or is it possible to make some kind of radiation proof glass?

The "souterrain" solution from the picture was so cool.
Just on a feel-good factor, that's the best solution I've ever seen for how to set up a habitation on Mars.
How hard is it to dig out the hills? Does it need explosives or just a digger?

Last edited by martienne (2015-10-22 13:18:11)

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#50 2015-10-22 14:26:22

RobertDyck
Moderator
From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 5,748
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Re: Corporate Government

martienne, yes we can have windows. Remember radiation on Mars is half that of ISS. On average, if we build at 2km below the datum such as Elysium Planetia then it's slightly lower. The Hillside Settlement has regolith piled on the roof for radiation shielding, and a slight overhang in front of the windows. That's because radiation comes from the sky, so the regolith provides shielding from the sky. A little sunlight is Ok. Remember Earth has a little radiation, we evolved to deal with it. The problem is too much radiation. Windows will have a spectrally selective coating, developed by NASA for spacesuit visors and space station windows. The same stuff as windows on ISS. That is vacuum deposited thin layers of gold, nickel, and silver oxide. Only silver is an oxide. Together with glass it blocks 99% of UV, and partially reflects IR. It's engineered to reflect low-frequency long-wavelength IR differently than high-frequency short-wavelength IR. If you need to cool a building, reflect more short-wavelength IR that comes from extremely hot things like the Sun, and less long-wavelength IR that comes from warm things like the floor/walls/furniture. That lets more heat out than gets it, so it has a net cooling effect. If building in a cold environment, reverse that. This technology has already been commercialized; NASA sold the technology to window manufacturers. Heat Mirror is one brand name, low-e is another. They both use silver oxide; they don't need nickel or gold because they don't worry about high intensity UV of space. Earth has an ozone layer, so most UV-B and practically all UV-C doesn't make it to the surface. But in space they have to deal with all UV. If the full coating is applied to glass, it blocks (reflects/absorbs) 99% of UV. Transparent plastic doesn't absorb much, and PCTFE is so transparent to UV that it goes right through, so all you get is the coating. That coating on plastic only blocks 98% of UV. There are UV absorbing dies that can be added to block more, but they often absorb some visible light too.

Alpha and beta radiation are so weak that they cannot penetrate a spacesuit or metallized plastic film of a greenhouse. The metal will block some X-rays; there isn't much in space but what little there is will be attenuated (partially blocked) by the metal. Heavy ion radiation galactic cosmic radiation (GCR) is blocked by the atmosphere of Mars. That leaves proton radiation and light ion radiation. If you're really worried, that can be blocked by a mineral oil between two layers of glass. Pure mineral oil is as transparent as glass. This was used for the window of various radiation experiments of the 1950s and 1960s. The test facility for the NERVA engine at Jackass Flats used a window with mineral oil between panes of glass. If it can block neutron radiation from a nuclear reactor, it can certainly block proton radiation from the Sun. Hmm... just did a Google. There was a test stand for NERVA at Plum Brook station. Oh well, whatever. Radiation shielding windows are typically used for experiments that generate gamma and/or neutron radiation. The only neutron radiation on Mars is secondary; interaction of radiation with Mars soil causing neutron. There isn't much. There's a little gamma radiation in space, but again not much. Mostly it's proton and light ion. There's a patent from 1959 (obviously now expired) that talks about using phosphors as additives to mineral oil to prevent degradation of mineral oil due to gamma radiation. Liquid phosphors are scintillators that convert gamma into UV. You can add UV absorber liquids to the oil, or just use the same spectrally selective coating to the inside window. Or both.

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