New Mars Forums

Official discussion forum of The Mars Society and

You are not logged in.


Announcement: We've recently made changes to our user database and have removed inactive and spam users. If you can not login, please re-register.

#1 2002-06-14 18:17:08

Registered: 2002-06-14
Posts: 23

Re: Cap-Com - funneling access to the colonists

The thread on misbehavior reminded me of an idea I've had for some time about maintaining the emotional well-being of mars colonists.

The rationale behind capcom during apollo, was that there were dozens of people on earth who would have legitimate reasons for needing to talk to the astronauts, and this might easily become a distraction if they had contradictory information. Capcom was always an astronaut, who could look at the problem with astronauts eyes, and possibly pre-filter misunderstandings before they occured.

This works okay for the space station, but when long term colonists are doing a bunch of different things at once, I think each colonist will need their own version of capcom. I like to borrow the term Frunch(click) from Niven's [u:post_uid0]The Mote in God's Eye[/u:post_uid0]. These are people who live and work full time in martian analog envirnments on earth. Desert sietches, arctic outposts, floating ocean colonies, mines, mountain habs... any place that teaches us a useful idea about mars, we'll want a permanant presence to dry run here where it's cheaper.

Suppose there's an interpersonal struggle between crew members. It would be designed into the system so that the corresponding frunch(click)s would take the sides of their martian counterparts and engage the same disagreement here on earth, where the pressure isn't as great. The kind of talk that we currently regard as 'gossip' would take on its own significance. This would give ground-based shrinks some advance warning about impending problems, rather than putting it all onto the shoulders of the crew.

Just as Apollo had a simsup who devised all kinds of tricky glitches in the mechanical side of things, I forsee a similar kind of preparation for social bugs. But since this mission is of permanant duration, it's going to be a continuous effort that fades out only when the mars base approaches its own social self sufficancy, when there's enough free time for concerts and plays and couch trips.


Board footer

Powered by FluxBB