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#76 2015-10-28 07:28:03

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

Re: Corporate Government

RobertDyck wrote:
Tom Kalbfus wrote:

I checked there are no spaces between the img tags and this:
http://www.tvacres.com/images/spacecraf … creen4.jpg
I'll try again here:
http://www.tvacres.com/images/spacecraf … creen4.jpg
No dice.
Space is a very good place to keep people frozen however, the Buck Rogers show was right about that.
Here's another one:
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_Maghh7RQLZw/S … ogers0.jpg

When I quote your message, I can see what you typed. Your first one has a url tag, not an img tag. Your second one doesn't have any tag. But your third one does. I don't know why some images show up without a tag, none should. Just add the img tag always. Here's how your image looks with the tag.
http://www.tvacres.com/images/spacecraf … creen4.jpg

And because you chose that show...
https://fanart.tv/fanart/tv/72269/clear … -72269.png

::Edit:: Your images shows up after I opened a tab with just that image. So it's in my browser cache. But when I open a different browser, it doesn't show. Some websites don't like you to embed their images in a different web page. tyacres must be one.

Too bad, as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. I like to post pictures for emphasis, it kind of derails it when the pictures don't show.

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#77 2015-10-29 06:25:37

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 5,875

Re: Corporate Government

Martienne, your post prompts a few thoughts:

1. Elon Musk of Space X is clearly committed to Mars colonisation and is using Space X (which is highly profitable, by the way) as a financial vehicle to develop the means to reach Mars and colonise it. So, there is certainly one example of a potential corporate coloniser.

2.  The cost of Mars colonisation has been grossly overstated in the past. NASA has been principally at fault (possibly knowingly).  Basically they got to a figure by asking each department to write a wish list. Not surprisingly, every department talked up their part of the quotation!  They ended up with an absurd figure of $40 billion (probably more like $60billion today).  However, a focussed mission could probably be brought in at under $10billion now with modern technology. If you spread it out over 10 years that's only one billion per annum.

3. I think you underestimate the potential profitability of a Mars colony.  There are about 20,000 universities  on planet Earth.  Probably half of them have geology or astrophysics departments who would love to get their hands on Mars regolith, meteorites and so on.  [If there are any fossils they will be in huge demand also. ]  National space agencies around the world pay hundred of millions of dollars to get their astronauts to Mars - such would be the prestige.  The big universities would vie to set up the first off planet satellite campus, happily paying the Mars Corporation tens of millions of dollars every year for life support and transport. Big companies on Earth would sponsor the mission and subsequent exploration - companies like Coca Cola, Toyota, and so on would love to be associated with such a mission with all the attendant publicity.


martienne wrote:
RobertDyck wrote:

I started this discussion with a proposal for an advanced stage of Mars settlement. When we have towns on Mars, and one city. I suggested one corporation would lead that settlement. New arrivals would be

Employment:

etc.

I see your reasoning with this, but I think you look at corporations through rose-coloured glasses. Maybe that's how the labour market works in Canada, on a good day. But the sorts of organisations that can fund a Mars colony, in my opinion, are simply not that charitable!

I am strongly against replicating the sick structure from Earth, on Mars, particularly given that Mars is an environment where you can't just walk away, and where technically not even the air is free.

terraformer wrote:

martienne,

It seems you would prefer everyone else pay for a select few elites to live in your idea of a perfect society...

Where do you get that from?  I haven't made any suggestions about who pays, because I think that's the big obstacle to Mars colonisation.
.


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

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#78 2015-10-29 11:14:46

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

Re: Corporate Government

If a colony is not profitable, then the government subsidizer can pull the plug on it at any time. the Russians established a lot of unprofitable colonies in the Siberian Arctic, they build cities which depended on government subsidies, and when the Soviet Union collapsed, they became "frozen ghost towns", not much of an accomplishment if you ask me!

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#79 2015-10-29 18:14:35

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 19,892

Re: Corporate Government

Louis I agree that the "potential profitability of a Mars colony" is there but only after you get by the legal binding contracts, Rights to privilege question and then finally the legalizes that will follows to interpret the contracts followed by who pays for what. Then only once the pilgrim can afford to ship back goods do we have to trust that the ones back here on Earth will for fill the other end of the contract to pay for the goods.

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#80 2015-10-29 19:30:50

RobertDyck
Moderator
From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 6,217
Website

Re: Corporate Government

Tom Kalbfus wrote:

Russians established a lot of unprofitable colonies in the Siberian Arctic, they build cities which depended on government subsidies, and when the Soviet Union collapsed, they became "frozen ghost towns", not much of an accomplishment if you ask me!

They reinforced the Soviet Union's sovereignty over their territory. A few years ago Canada had a similar issue. Japan and China claimed the Northwest passage is international waters. That's a passage between Canadian arctic islands. Canada's founding fathers always intended that to be part of Canada. Canada became a country in 1867, but the UK didn't give us the arctic islands until 1880. At first they didn't recognize Canada's sovereignty over coastal waters around the islands, but finally did so in 1895. That included 20 nautical miles of the coast of any land, but also includes water between the islands, even where islands are more than 40 nautical miles apart. The Parry Channel is 100km (54 nautical miles) wide in places. So those who want to challenge Canada's sovereignty, they're more than a century too late. But they try. Furthermore, in the 1920s, Joseph Stalin took a map and drew a wedge from the point of the north pole to the eastern and western points of the Soviet Union, and declared that was his. Finland, Norway, Denmark, and Iceland objected; they argued over borders for years, but did come to an agreement. Canada's response in 1927 was to claim a wedge of the arctic. Canada's islands are basically a wedge already, so Canada just straightened the lines. Canada declared a straight line from the Alaska/Yukon border to the north pole. And on the other side from the water channel between Ellesmere Island and Greenland to the north pole. Greenland is a territory of Denmark. This means the point of the north pole is the border between the Soviet Union and Canada. The US government acknowledged Canada's claim at the time. In recent years, Russia has claimed the same arctic territory. One member of the Russian Duma claimed the entire arctic ocean, but that's not Russia's position. They actually claim the same wedge as the Soviet Union did. One Canadian politician protested, claiming the entire arctic ocean belongs to Canada. He was promptly removed from Minister of Foreign Affairs. Canada claims the same wedge it did in 1927. So the official Canadian and Russian positions is that our claims don't conflict.

But China. China wants to claim the arctic waters are international territory, so they can claim that territory is theirs. There's oil under the Beaufort Sea, in Canadian waters. And there's metals on the ocean floor. China wants it. Canada has been mapping the ocean floor in accordance with the new "UN Law of the Sea" to reinforce our claim. Again, over territory that Canadians see as iconically Canadian as Americans view the Mississippi river.

Russia is building up one of the military bases they abandoned when the Soviet Union collapsed. A base on an island in Franz Josef Land. Why? Same reason. So China doesn't try to take their territory.

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#81 2015-10-29 20:02:56

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 5,875

Re: Corporate Government

SpaceNut wrote:

Louis I agree that the "potential profitability of a Mars colony" is there but only after you get by the legal binding contracts, Rights to privilege question and then finally the legalizes that will follows to interpret the contracts followed by who pays for what. Then only once the pilgrim can afford to ship back goods do we have to trust that the ones back here on Earth will for fill the other end of the contract to pay for the goods.

I really don't think the legal issues will hold things up.  It can all be framed as payment for services, if necessary - after all people orbiting in space do get paid a salary, you know - it's not illegal. 

Likewise, a university would pay a Mars Corporation for the services of providing transport,  life support, and habitat if they established a campus on Mars - not for tenancy of the land. They might also rent vehicles or scienitifc equipment for example.

There are no legal issues about removing meterorites and regolith from Mars - we have the precedent of lunar regolith.  There may be some who argue no one can "own" the material but I can't see anything in the OST which denies such ownership.


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

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#82 2015-10-30 05:50:13

Terraformer
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From: Lancashire
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 3,311
Website

Re: Corporate Government

Robert,

The Mississippi *is* an international waterway. It's just that no-one uses it that way anymore, and the Americans think it's there's. But I don't think the treaty guaranteeing passage to British vessels was ever cancelled - nor, given that it's the treaty in which Britain recognises the US, it will ever be.

The Northwest Passage falls into the EEZ of Canada, right, but not territorial waters?


"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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#83 2015-10-30 06:28:23

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

Re: Corporate Government

Tom Kalbfus wrote:

I think an unemployment program should include a ticket back to Earth. Lets say someone loses his or her job, well he or she has until the next launch window to find another job or he or she will be sent back to Earth, this prevents a homeless population from overburdening a colony's resources, and homeless people can be taken care of much better on Earth.

Agree with Tom on this. A trip back to earth at a time of the person's choosing (within reason) needs to be included in the deal - no ifs or buts.

There can not be allowed to be be a situation where people are "stuck" on Mars because they can't afford to pay a ticket back. That could lead to some serious exploitation and a suicidal state of mind for some people.

I also don't agree with the "loan" proposition that was mentioned earlier.
When a corporation needs to relocate workers, they pay for the relocation - that's the norm in civilised societies. It's not like a private person could ever realistically finance a trip to Mars anyway - even if they worked their entire life for it, possibly!

The way I think things will turn out: A colony consisting mainly of scientists is established and runs for a decade or so. They then discover something that could possibly be profit generating to do, on Mars, while at the same time space travel is made more efficient and cheaper. Suddenly there is a requirement for regular workers.

How do you incentivise somebody to move to Mars and live under dangerous and uncomfortable conditions? The scientists did it for the love of science. But would a construction worker or miner feel the same way?  There'd likely be a gender imbalance for a while (as always happens in "frontier" situations). So to add to all the other inconvenience, a lot of male workers would be single.

Quite likely you'd need to pay these people well, rather than try to get them to sign up for some humongous loan....

Colonisation of Mars by families in search of a better life, and possible homesteading of Mars won't happen within our lifetime, if ever. Sad, but almost certainly true.

In order for that to happen, either it has to become possible to be completely self-sufficient on Mars, like homesteaders in the early days of the USA. But even then, they had shops where they bought things that couldn't be bought or produced locally.....

Or else, some extremely valuable commodity has to be found on Mars in bigger and more accessible quantities than on Earth.  Apparently that is not particularly likely to happen.

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#84 2015-10-30 17:41:56

RobertDyck
Moderator
From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 6,217
Website

Re: Corporate Government

martienne, I appreciate your participation, however I am disturbed that you do not understand what I posted. First, I was the first to say every ticket to Mars would include a trip back to Earth. So everyone on Mars can return to Earth at any time, as soon as a ship departs. This is primarily for the reasons both of you articulated. And I did think of those reasons before starting this discussion. But it wouldn't be much of an expense for the corporation, because the ship will be mostly empty during the return leg.

The next thing is you do not appear to understand the point. With this plan, the corporation gets most of its revenue from passengers, settlers to Mars. That means they pay. They are not employees of the corporation, they're customers. Don't expect the corporation to pay for passage of workers or scientists. The corporation will receive money to transport passengers.

Next, if an employee of the corporation is relocated, the corporation will pay for that. Employees of the corporation will get a lot of benefits. But because revenue comes from transporting paying passengers, that means a lot of people on Mars will not work for the corporation. What happens if an individual who isn't an employee becomes unemployed? Remember this is the phase of settlement where the population of Mars is growing, only one small city, and several communities. The population isn't big yet. Mars certainly could not afford the extensive social safety net that Canada enjoys. And the goal is to keep Mars libertarian. That means laws are there to prevent someone from harming another, but what you do to yourself is your business. Do whatever you want as long as you don't harm another. And no, marriage of a same sex couple does not harm another.  If you don't like it, then don't marry an individual of your own gender. But don't try to restrict others.

The libertarian principle implies maximum self-sufficiency, but not to an extreme. That's where the loan comes it. If you can find work right now, then great! Or if you're self-employed, then you don't need help. If you have aptitude for another job, are willing to do it, and an employer is willing to hire you, then this program will provide training and support you during your studies. All that will be a student loan, repaid via direct payroll deduction. Your employer will not be permitted to fire you until the loan is repaid. If the employer does, then the employer has to pay the remaining balance of your loan. If you don't like that, there's the next ship back to Earth.

How do you incentives someone to move to Mars? The answer is minimal regulation. Get out from under the thumb of overbearing government regulation.

I tried to include features that would sound attractive to commercial corporations that always try to gouge us for money. Yea, that's tickling the Dragon's tail. The financial model is to maintain and supply the ship with the Mars economy, so once it's started, no further investment from Earth is required. But passengers pay in Earth currency. A small portion of that ticket price will be transport to Low Earth Orbit. The rest will be return on investment and profit. This means Mars doesn't have to transport a product back to Earth; instead Mars maintains, supplies, and operates the interplanetary ship. There will be profit from mining propellant for Earth satellites. And precious metals for transport to Earth. Both from asteroids. Mars could provide equipment for asteroid mining, and maintain asteroid operations. But the primary source of revenue will be passengers.

On Mars, the corporation will mine, refine, and manufacture everything the ship needs for maintenance and repair. And produce propellant and food for the ship. Obviously the Mars operation will have to grow itself. Some of that equipment and supplies can be sold to settlers. One industry will be supplies for homesteads. And since Mars will start from nothing, it will need everything. If a homestead starts competing with a corporate factory for an established product, then the corporation can just produce something else. It will be a long time before Mars has everything it needs. And successful homesteads can be used for marketing on Earth. Come to Mars, you too could be as successful as John Doe!

The tricky part is where corporate towns can abuse people. The corporate owned ship will bring passengers to the corporate owned city. The first thing new arrivals will see is recruitment advertisements to work for the corporation. Just got here? No money? Come work for us! We provide free apartment, free cafeteria meals, free utilities, free healthcare, free transport to work. Since all that is included, the implication is cash salary/wages are actually quite low. So it'll take a while to save up enough money for your homestead.

Corporate employees will be well taken care of. Although there is the danger that corporate employees will never be able to leave their job.

However, this is a way to get colonization started. Government will never do it. NASA could establish a science outpost, but you and I will never be able to go there. And if NASA continues to do what they're doing now, they'll never get to Mars.

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#85 2015-10-30 17:51:13

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

Re: Corporate Government

How do you incentivise somebody to move to Mars and live under dangerous and uncomfortable conditions?

What is the difference between uncomfortable and deadly?
what happens if a corporation does not give its employees enough air to breathe? Can they exploit them then?
Suppose they issue space suits that leak out all their air pressure in minutes in order to save money, would that work? Suppose the Corporation refused to supply heating, what would happen then? In each case their employees end up dead, and once dead, they can whip them or beat them, but they are never going to get another stitch of work out of them. You have to do so much just to keep people alive on Mars, that the difference between comfort and discomfort is trivial by comparison. Having uncomfortable space suits that have an internal temperature of 60 degrees F instead of a more comfortable 72 degrees F, would save much money. Having an astronaut hyperventilate because the percentage of oxygen in the air is too low wouldn't make the more productive.

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#86 2015-10-30 18:20:44

RobertDyck
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From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 6,217
Website

Re: Corporate Government

Tom Kalbfus wrote:

How do you incentivise somebody to move to Mars and live under dangerous and uncomfortable conditions?

What is the difference between uncomfortable and deadly?
what happens if a corporation does not give its employees enough air to breathe? Can they exploit them then?
Suppose they issue space suits that leak out all their air pressure in minutes in order to save money, would that work? Suppose the Corporation refused to supply heating, what would happen then? In each case their employees end up dead, and once dead, they can whip them or beat them, but they are never going to get another stitch of work out of them. You have to do so much just to keep people alive on Mars, that the difference between comfort and discomfort is trivial by comparison. Having uncomfortable space suits that have an internal temperature of 60 degrees F instead of a more comfortable 72 degrees F, would save much money. Having an astronaut hyperventilate because the percentage of oxygen in the air is too low wouldn't make the more productive.

If the corporation did this, why would anyone pay their entire life savings for a ticket to Mars? Remember, in this scenario, that's the primary revenue of the corporation.

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#87 2015-10-31 06:02:34

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

Re: Corporate Government

Because according to Martienne, corporations are supposed to be evil, they want to make their employees suffer because they are evil! Martienne in her mind wants to create a Third World situation where labor is being exploited, and so she thinks that Corporations will try to import this to Mars just because they are twisted. What she forgets is that corporations will only exploit labor where it is profitable to do so. Profits don't always lead in the direction of human suffering. There is no profitable way to recreate Mexico on Mars, there is now profitable way to ship unskilled illiterates to Mars to be exploited. They are not going to build domes with mud huts and open sewers inside, just because that is what exists in the Third World. The Third World requires a hospitable environment for people to suffer in, If the environment just kills you, as Mars would do, there would not be a lot of suffering.

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#88 2015-10-31 18:43:53

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

Re: Corporate Government

@Rob
It's the "corporation" wording that got me going.  Tom is right that I am extremely suspicious against corporations, particularly those that are big enough that they are able to start any kind of operation on Mars, whether mining, or running some kind of relocation service.

I just don't see how this would pan out. Homesteading on a planet which doesn't even support life?

I also come from an Arctic country and I think we know perfectly well why so few people live in the Arctic areas: The distances are huge, costs for everything gets hugely inflated, crops can not be grown at all, or only during a short period. Native population have to be propped up by central government, or they would all simply leave, alternatively live in total deprivation. None of their traditional activities are profitable in the least.
On Mars we'd have all these problems x1000

The only thing that is profitable in that region is oil/gas or mines. Even then, distances and logistics cause problems.

So given all this: If somebody just wanted to homestead, they'd be better off doing it in the frozen Arctic -  at least there, you can subsistence hunt and there is air to breathe. Technically you could run a greenhouse all summer 24/7 in the Arctic.

But on Mars, you don't even have air to breathe, and that's just the beginning. I can't see ANY way that anybody could AFFORD to homestead on Mars, given that every single thing has to be transported to Mars.

For the price it would cost them to homestead on Mars, they could buy a palace in Manhattan.

The only situation under which people would move to Mars, would be if there was something very lucrative they could do there, that would justify the expense of running the colony.

The question then is - who runs this operation?
This is where I thought you were suggested a one-stop-shop corporation, and where my suspicions kick in.

If Americans are involved - we'd have the suing culture. Things would go wrong. People would die. The company would be sued out of existance at the first mishap.

Whereas I personally would possibly trust a not-for-profit/at cost  cooperative or perhaps state owned venture.

I think the prerequisite for colonisation of Mars is:

1) Earth is over populated in the extreme. I.e. large crowded cities on Greenland, in Northern Siberia, Arctic Canada etc. Perhaps as a result of people having to flee the equatorial area due to greenhouse heating and a warmer climate making these areas uninhabitable. The situation is intolerable and people are prepared to take huge risks for a break.
2) Some natural asset is discovered on Mars that would finance the building of the colony and provide private enterprise with enough incentive to invest in Mars.
3) Some kind of user owned co-operative is set up by the colonisers that let them run affairs and control the profits from the exports.

Sorry I know this was poorly written - I don't have time to structure it properly but wanted to respond.
Basically - gutted but I just can't get it to add up.

Last edited by martienne (2015-10-31 18:47:58)

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#89 2015-10-31 22:29:38

RobertDyck
Moderator
From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 6,217
Website

Re: Corporate Government

The American culture reveres freedom. I live in Canada, but we're inundated with American culture. Half the channels on TV are American, and content on Canadian channels is more than half American programs. Their country has several contradictions: they hold puritan values, treating pleasure as evil, but revere pleasure. I've heard the slogan "This is so good it should be illegal." That idea is just sick! Someone needs serious psychotherapy. If it's good, it shouldn't be illegal. Part of this contradiction has lead to a major problem with their government. They have an oppressive government that is getting more draconian, becoming outright fascist. Yet this is the country that reveres freedom. Many Americans think it's time to start over. Of course the obvious solution is to elect a government that will purge the unwanted elements, but they don't seem able to do that. So there is strong desire for many Americans to escape. To go somewhere their own government cannot reach. But their contradiction continues: when I suggested a Canadian-led international mission to Mars, Dr. Robert Zubrin said he hates the idea because he wants the American system of government on Mars. He claims the Canadian system is too vague. Many Americans agree with Dr. Zubrin on this point. So they want to go to another planet to escape their own government, but they want to bring their government with them. Uh huh.

The above results in a lot of Americans who want to go. But it isn't just Americans. Mars One recruited "volunteers" for a one way mission to Mars. That's run by a Dutch entrepreneur, and his mission plan has many problems. At this year's Mars Society convention he admitted his claims were just to "get" money from investors, and from investors who expect a great likelihood that they'll never see their money again. He admitted the plan has technical issues. Uh huh. But he stated he got more than 100,000 "volunteers". I put quotes around the world "volunteer" because every one of them had to donate at least $100 for the application to be considered. And donating more would increase their chance to get on the short list. Add that up, how much money has this guy made? But my point is, over 100,000 people from all over the world. Not just America.

You realize you have revealed a great deal about yourself. You don't want to say where you're from, but you describe an arctic country that is part of the European Union. You realize that narrows it down to Finland or Sweden. And from what you posted elsewhere, it's not likely Sweden.

Most people in Canada consider cities in Arctic Canada to be tiny, and spread out. Not crowded as you characterize. Here is an image of Iqaluit, capital city of the territory of Nunavut. City population 6,699 according to the 2011 census.
1280px-Iqaluit_from_Joamie_Hill.JPG

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#90 2015-10-31 22:47:31

RobertDyck
Moderator
From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 6,217
Website

Re: Corporate Government

martienne wrote:

The question then is - who runs this operation?

King Me the first!
But I'm not a billionaire. I'm just an unemployed computer programmer. Damn! Not gonna happen.

martienne wrote:

I think the prerequisite for colonisation of Mars is:
...
3) Some kind of user owned co-operative is set up by the colonisers that let them run affairs and control the profits from the exports.

The system I describe would have a corporation running the transport, and one city. The rest of the planet would be open for anyone else to set up a settlement. I did say no one is allowed to claim vast areas, so no countries, no states, no provinces. If you want to set up a co-operative owned colony, you are encouraged to do so.

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#91 2015-11-01 07:06:42

Terraformer
Member
From: Lancashire
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 3,311
Website

Re: Corporate Government

Actually, we *could* colonise the Arctic - and I think we *should*, to demonstrate the sort of technology that we need to colonise other planets. We have the technological ability to do so, and we've had it for decades. In fact, an intensive greenhouse farm in a remote area might be profitable, if it can provide fresh fruit and vegetables, eggs, and maybe milk, to the locals. We could even establish a colony in Svalbard, given it's unique political situation. If we can make it there...


"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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#92 2015-11-01 08:38:06

RobertDyck
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From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 6,217
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#93 2015-11-01 14:43:55

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

Re: Corporate Government

I agree with RobertDyck that Canada seems to be a model in terms of how it's dealing with the far North and natives. I have a high view of Canada in general.
It's cool to hear about the greenhouse projects. That's the kind of initiatives that gives me hope regarding Mars - because I think there are some parallells to the extreme conditions of the far North, and Mars. But I am aware that life in the Canadian North is not without some serious problems.

Actually - there already are two colonies on Svalbard and they are extremely expensive to run for the organisations involved. The biggest one is Norwegian and it's mainly for research along with some mining. I don't think anyone lives there permanently. They do stints of a year or two.

The other colony is Russian; mainly an old mining town. I saw a docu soap on that a while back. Workers are transient but I they are starting the option for families to settle there - but it's borderline whether it's tolerable when kids can't even play outside because it's too cold and dangerous. People couldn't continue living there after retirement, even if they spent their working life there. This town doesn't use money at all (hey Tom, it's communism, lol). Instead they have rations cards and some kind of payment system that simply subtracts the cost of stuff against their salary.

The Norwegian town uses money however. Both places have severe restrictions on alcohol: Somewhat telling that it's needed.

Both settlements are heavily dependent on shipments of food and other necessities. Nothing is manufactured locally. There have been some crises in both places when shipments didn't arrive on time - so they have cooperated at times, to avoid disaster. The Russian town had a very scary experience in the 90's when things disintegrated in Russia and the settlement was neglected. Imagine something like that happening on Mars. If people are reluctant about bringing children to Svalbard, what about Mars?

This gives a bit of a fore-taste of Mars, although Mars would be 10 times more extreme, in any way.
And if the Mars population got any ideas along the lines of the US breaking away, they could easily be forced back in line.

Although they COULD use greenhouses in the Arctic, i never heard of that happening.
Instead they have insane situations where a cucumber costs 10 USD.

Greenland is another extreme example and that is funded from Denmark. Without Danish money pouring in over Greenland, the situation would be intolerable. There is a mine or two and there are horrendous problems with alcoholism and unemployment even after spectacular welfare programs.
If Denmark ever becomes a poor country the people on Greenland would suffer spectacularly.

Russian far North, Alaska: Sky high unemployment; poor living conditions for the natives and lots of alcohol and drug abuse.

Ok- just to clarify - my nationality is not a big secret; just 1) complicated 2) not relevant to Mars and 3) decided not to state it because one person tried to attack me in an argument, using my nationality. 
I am from Finland and belong to the Swedish minority. I went to uni in Norway and I currently live in the UK. So "EU" as location is not an attempt at being secretive, just simplify.

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#94 2015-11-01 15:51:14

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 19,892

Re: Corporate Government

Thank you RobertDyck for the Canadian education....

The corporate would then be responsible to registry of deeds for the plots of Mars that those living there might purchase...

Interesting geenhouse info:

The greenhouse is heated with propane during the summer, and the computers run on solar power. Water comes from a nearby stream and some of it is saved over the winter. The plants are monitored with webcams and sensors that detect the acidity of the nutrient solution, the water levels and the temperature.

Do we have specific numbers for how much propane is used? From that we would be able to scale the size of the Sabtier reactor for Mars as it would most likely be of simular quantity.

I see just 6 solar panels so if we knew the type we could see what effiecency for the location to create a comparible Mars site analog knowing that Mars surface will only be 40% that of being on Earth.

Second link:

Gardeners from small northern communities are in Whitehorse talking about growing food and increasing food security

This is a problem for all nations where the people do not have the funds to buy all there goods from a store and that goes for even America as we do not hunt as much as we did in earlier centuries to feed our families. I know all to well when you are unemployeed for long periods of months to years that it is hard to feed ones family.

Third link:

The Agridome has the capacity to grow 600 plants in its 32 square feet. Vegetables and herbs grow in neat vertical rows, getting their nutrients from a spray which is absorbed by soil-less "rockwool" around the plant roots. 

"On the couple of nights when it actually did go down to -35C, with only a standard space heater consuming 1,500 watts, I was still able to maintain a temperature of 15 degrees in here,"

Excellant use of space and of heating as well as lighting but would not a clear dome be better especially for Mars. It still is very promissing.

4th link:
Is an example of the long hut construction design that were use by many a tribe in North America.

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#95 2015-11-01 16:33:54

Terraformer
Member
From: Lancashire
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 3,311
Website

Re: Corporate Government

Svalbard doesn't really have colonies, anymore than an oilrig is a seastead. What I'm talking about is doing something that would be far closer to what we need for Mars - almost complete self-sufficiency.

If we can't live well up in the far north, then we should just give up now and stop wasting time and money.


"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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#96 2015-11-01 19:37:28

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 5,875

Re: Corporate Government

Martienne,

I think you are seriously underestimating the potential of Mars.

Firstly, Mars regolith and in particular Mars meteorites will command huge prices on Earth, much more than the $10,000 per Kg it might cost to transport it from Mars to Earth.  There will be a huge profit on such transfers for many years as universities and private collectors vie to purchase the items.

Secondly, a LOT of people prepared to pay very high prices will want to get to Mars, compared with the Arctic Circle (which in any case has many providers).  The first organisation to get to Mars will find a huge number of entities prepared to pay huge sums to get to Mars or have a presence there: big corporations (Coca Cola, Toyota etc), space agencies (ESA, JAXA, ISA etc), billionaires and their children, universities and research establishments.

Once the habitat is established and you have a reusable transit vehicle, the marginal cost of getting a human to Mars will be relatively cheap - probably something like $5 million (with current technology - Space X are obviously looking to make it much cheaper). A settler collecting just 100 kgs of regolith and meteorites will likely pay for their transit.

But that is not the only source of income generation.  How much do you think say Coca Cola, Ford, Microsoft or Apple would pay to send a sponsored celebrity to Mars with all the attendant publicity? I'd say you could be looking at $100million. How much would Toyota pay to have a mock up of one of their vehicles set up on Mars?  Well not less than $10 million.  These are companies that spend hundreds of millions sometimes billions of dollars on publicity each year.  It's in that context you have to look at the potential.

How much would Harvard or Yale pay a Mars Consortium for the privilege of setting up the first research facility on another planet?

The comparison with Svarlbard isn't really to the point.  The early settlers on Mars will be highly educated individuals. The amount of per capita investment will be huge.  In a developed country on Earth we might expect society (through the state or the company we work with) to invest perhaps $300,000 in our education, training and health. We might contribute a million or so through our own efforts over a lifetime. Perhaps we benefit from a few hundred thousand more dollars of investment in publicly available facilities - roads, parks  and so on.

The first settlers on Mars will benefit from far more investment per person - it will be more like tens of millions of dollars per person - and I think that will set the pattern.

So overall, I don't think there will be any comparison, the Mars settlers will be an elite within human society. 

Once the colony establishes itself economically (which I think it will do early on, within 20 years) it will become an attractive place for people to live, if only for a few years at a time.

The issue of raising families on Mars is somewhat more complex.  We don't yet know about the challenges of managing pregnancy successfully in one third gravity, for instance.

Once we have found ways of creating big habitable spaces on Mars -  large domes or covered crevices and the like - then I think Mars could become a very attractive place to live.












martienne wrote:

@Rob
It's the "corporation" wording that got me going.  Tom is right that I am extremely suspicious against corporations, particularly those that are big enough that they are able to start any kind of operation on Mars, whether mining, or running some kind of relocation service.

I just don't see how this would pan out. Homesteading on a planet which doesn't even support life?

I also come from an Arctic country and I think we know perfectly well why so few people live in the Arctic areas: The distances are huge, costs for everything gets hugely inflated, crops can not be grown at all, or only during a short period. Native population have to be propped up by central government, or they would all simply leave, alternatively live in total deprivation. None of their traditional activities are profitable in the least.
On Mars we'd have all these problems x1000

The only thing that is profitable in that region is oil/gas or mines. Even then, distances and logistics cause problems.

So given all this: If somebody just wanted to homestead, they'd be better off doing it in the frozen Arctic -  at least there, you can subsistence hunt and there is air to breathe. Technically you could run a greenhouse all summer 24/7 in the Arctic.

But on Mars, you don't even have air to breathe, and that's just the beginning. I can't see ANY way that anybody could AFFORD to homestead on Mars, given that every single thing has to be transported to Mars.

For the price it would cost them to homestead on Mars, they could buy a palace in Manhattan.

The only situation under which people would move to Mars, would be if there was something very lucrative they could do there, that would justify the expense of running the colony.

The question then is - who runs this operation?
This is where I thought you were suggested a one-stop-shop corporation, and where my suspicions kick in.

If Americans are involved - we'd have the suing culture. Things would go wrong. People would die. The company would be sued out of existance at the first mishap.

Whereas I personally would possibly trust a not-for-profit/at cost  cooperative or perhaps state owned venture.

I think the prerequisite for colonisation of Mars is:

1) Earth is over populated in the extreme. I.e. large crowded cities on Greenland, in Northern Siberia, Arctic Canada etc. Perhaps as a result of people having to flee the equatorial area due to greenhouse heating and a warmer climate making these areas uninhabitable. The situation is intolerable and people are prepared to take huge risks for a break.
2) Some natural asset is discovered on Mars that would finance the building of the colony and provide private enterprise with enough incentive to invest in Mars.
3) Some kind of user owned co-operative is set up by the colonisers that let them run affairs and control the profits from the exports.

Sorry I know this was poorly written - I don't have time to structure it properly but wanted to respond.
Basically - gutted but I just can't get it to add up.


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

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#97 2015-11-01 22:31:02

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

Re: Corporate Government

Terraformer wrote:

Actually, we *could* colonise the Arctic - and I think we *should*, to demonstrate the sort of technology that we need to colonise other planets. We have the technological ability to do so, and we've had it for decades. In fact, an intensive greenhouse farm in a remote area might be profitable, if it can provide fresh fruit and vegetables, eggs, and maybe milk, to the locals. We could even establish a colony in Svalbard, given it's unique political situation. If we can make it there...

The reason we don't is that people don't want to live there. Transportation to and from Antartica is relatively inexpensive, it is easier to send researchers their for a 6 month stint and they return home after it is done, it would be hard to persuade people to bring their families to Antarctica. With Mars there is no choice, if people spend years there instead of months, they'll want to have their families along. Also Mars is more comfortable, the thin air doesn't pull heat away from your body as quickly as Antarctic air. People don't walk about in space suits completely insulated from Antarctica's harsh environment, they get to feel its cold, ironically because it is less deadly that direct exposure to the Martian environment!

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#98 2015-11-02 06:40:25

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

Re: Corporate Government

Terraformer wrote:

Actually, we *could* colonise the Arctic - and I think we *should*, to demonstrate the sort of technology that we need to colonise other planets. We have the technological ability to do so, and we've had it for decades. In fact, an intensive greenhouse farm in a remote area might be profitable, if it can provide fresh fruit and vegetables, eggs, and maybe milk, to the locals. We could even establish a colony in Svalbard, given it's unique political situation. If we can make it there...


I agree. That makes perfect sense. One step at a time.
No point in daydreaming about huge settlement projects on Mars if viable settlement in inhospitable regions on earth isn't possible.

For example: To state that people would flock by the thousands to live on Mars... well.... why don't people already want to live in the Arctic or Antarctica in that case?
Neither the poorest people on Earth, nor the richest or anyone in between  -- apart from some scientists, and Arctic natives want to live there!   

And those who live in the Arctic are not running any impressive greenhouse projects; they are importing everything from milk to apples. Without huge state subsidies they'd have extremely hard lives
Including things that could probably grow there, with a bit of good will. For example, in Greenland you could probably squeeze in a crop if you really wanted to - but they are still importing everything.

I'd be much more confident if a group had a go at it to live for 5 years without outside support, on Antarctica, growing their own food and trying to make as much as they can themselves.
That would show that people can make a go of really challenging situations.
Perhaps Arctic / Antarctica isn't ideal due to the dark winters. That wouldn't happen on Mars.

High up in the Himalayas - some inaccessible place where the air is almost unbreathable might be a substitute. And remember: Mars will be 10 times harder and more challenging even than the most inhospitable place in the Himalayas! Let's not fool ourselves.

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#99 2015-11-02 10:33:39

Terraformer
Member
From: Lancashire
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 3,311
Website

Re: Corporate Government

Well, Antarctica is in a similar political situation to Mars as well, so that's another factor suggesting an Antarctic colony should be attempted. Maybe not within the Antarctic circle, though. Settle one of the islands off the coast.


"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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#100 2015-11-02 14:53:46

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

Re: Corporate Government

Terraformer wrote:

Well, Antarctica is in a similar political situation to Mars as well, so that's another factor suggesting an Antarctic colony should be attempted. Maybe not within the Antarctic circle, though. Settle one of the islands off the coast.

The dark winters are extremely psychologically hard though. You have to live it to understand it.
When you have one hour daylight, sometimes none at all - it really messes with your psyche.
It's even worse than extreme cold (which can also drive you bonkers - any little thing you need to do outdoors becomes a huge project.

One of the things that worries me the most about living on Mars, is the prospect possibly no natural light for months on end. And what does it do to people, to NEVER be able to go out in nature?

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