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Why Mars? Why not the moon?

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  • edited July 25
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  • I have to hand it to Elon for making these cool looking spacesuits.
    Astronauts are my heroes.

    https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-crew-dragon-christened-operational-launch-debut/
  • We have already been to the moon several times and I believe part of the Mars Mission will include a base station on the moon. That base station will be a used as a means to top off the fuel supply of SN? after the Mars Rocket depletes much of its resources exiting earths atmosphere.
  • The first Woman on the moon in 2024 and other info.
    I watched a Hilary Swank movie where she is on the moon and going to Mars involving international crew.
    The Artemis plan is in the link:

    https://www.nasa.gov/topics/moon-to-mars
  • > @Migizi said:
    > We have already been to the moon several times and I believe part of the Mars Mission will include a base station on the moon. That base station will be a used as a means to top off the fuel supply of SN? after the Mars Rocket depletes much of its resources exiting earths atmosphere.

    In order for any off-world missions to be able to re-fuel while making a lunar pit stop there'd have to have been a fuel tank blasted up to the Moon in advance, or, we'd have to develop some way of producing fuel from whatever scant resources that there might be for us to find on the Moon's surface.

    Either scenario is highly improbable given our current level of technological development and what we know of what there is to know about what's on the Moon.

    Nice thought though.
  • @blue,
    There may be enough H2O at the moon's poles to electrolyze into H2 and O2 with solar power energy. I'm a bit skeptical but there may be a chance.
  • @Earl

    Ah but the real question is, if whatever that is there actually is H2O, is there enough of it available to justify the investment of finances and materials and labor required to produce enough re-fuel a trip to other planets?
  • @blue,
    Yep. Spectroscopy points towards H20 fairly convincingly.
    However, you saw the words "may"(twice) and "skeptical" in my posting.
    Sorry, we can't argue - we agree :-)
  • The movie Mars was interesting on growing potatoes but the problem was he ran out of ketchup 😭 and worse he ran out of H2O but came up with a method to make it.
    H2 is the most abundant molecule in the universe and Oxygen is in minerals such as magnetite. Hydrogen may possibly be procured from crushed rocks(still being studied I think)
    Some smart chemist(or out of the box thinker) might figure out a protocol to make water besides O2 and H2
  • @Earl

    Fair enough, I prefer not to argue anyway. ✌(ツ)
  • @Mike83

    Actually, Matt Damon's character in the movie "The Martian", "Mark Watney" (aka, "Capt. Yellowbeard"), used hydrazine (used as a constituent in various rocket fuel formulations) scavenged from the descent vehicle that he ran over an iridium catalyst to create hydrogen gas which he then burns to create the water vapor he used to 'water' the crops, though it's doubtful he'd (or we'd) ever be able to use human excretia as fertilizer without extensively processing the fecal matter to remove all of the disease-causing pathogens inherent in human waste (though I suppose that he might well have had the required facilities to do so in the habitat, but they just edited that part out, what with all of the extensively technical instrumentation and componentry and what have you, along with Watney's own expertise in the field of Botany, that would be required to support a crew in Space) which would subsequently become embedded in/become a part of the potato matter or saturate it's surface, either of which scenarios would result in poisoning Capt. Yellowbeard and further exacerbate his already perilous circumstances.

    "H2 [might be] the most abundant molecule in the universe...", but we'd have to mine it from the surrounding Space itself or, somehow, from the center of stars to get enough of it to be of any real use as refining it from whatever ore deposits that might happen to be acquired on the Moon would be an incredible expensive and highly tedious process with likely scant results.
  • @Mike83,
    As we know, though. H2O has the incredibly strong hydrogen bond that allows it to stay around for billions of years. Therefore, it seems to actually be quite plentiful in our solar system. Titan, Europa, Calisto, etc, all are full of it. Mars has a lot of it - mostly at poles that we know of, thus far.
  • While you're looking for synthetic fuels we can harvest from another planet: I hope you don't all get so excited about Ingenuity, the helicopter on its way to Mars aboard Perseverance, that you don't miss the other exciting engineering experiment - MOXIE (Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment).
    MOXIE will split the atmospheric CO2 on Mars into O2 (oxygen) and CO (carbon monoxide). Although not as light as H2, CO could be used as a fuel through burning with the O2 to release energy as well.
  • @Earl and Nagin 08 RDS 359

    Good points!

    Alas, the problem still remains of how to economically get to those resources to access them for refinement with the resources we have available to us here,much of which will be spent in the process of merely reaching orbit.
  • @Mike83 and anyone else to whom this might be of an interest

    In addition to my earlier comments about the various factors that would inhibit our ability to grow crops (potatoes or others) on Mars there's also the specter of the Martian soil's toxicity given the scant atmosphere which, itself, is toxic and the planet's overall largely unhampered exposure to the surrounding particulates floating about in Space.

    The soil itself has been determined to contain high concentrations of perchlorate compounds containing chlorine in concentration levels around 0.5%, which is a level considered toxic to humans and plants.

    https://www.space.com/21554-mars-toxic-perchlorate-chemicals.html

    So, much the same as would be the case in using human fecal matter to fertilize whatever crops we might choose to grow in the Martian soil, a variety of toxins would manage to leech their way into the crops and poison us.

    This is why I've repeatedly insisted that everything that we'll need to live on Mars we'll have to bring with us so the necessary considerations for such realities need be made prior to such an undertaking, otherwise, it'll just be a wasted (and ultimately tragic) effort.
  • Then, again, there's also the fact that the Martian soil is contaminated with a multitude of varying degrees of cosmic radiation from millions of years of unabated exposure.

    So, all things considered, I suppose that it would be something of a race between just which kills you first should some spacefaring adventurer decide to try to use the Martian soil to grow crops in or even just build habitats with.
  • Getting Mars to be livable sounds like an awful lot of work.
  • The Moon would be even worse as it has absolutely zero atmosphere.
  • I think I remember watching Elon in an interview years ago and when questioned about Mars and living there , Elon said that Mars is definetly a “fixer upper”.
  • Perhaps he did, @David N, but it'll take a helluva lot of 'fixin' up' to make it actually livable as it has been in its current state for literally millions of years.

    I'm talking about an undertaking on the level of a planetary sized engineering project, or even concurrent projects to ensure lasting environmental stability, and that's the reason why the terraforming of Mars is, at best, a hypothetical procedure at this point in that it is a speculative/theoretical probability given that there are existing circumstances that favor or make the potentiality possible.

    By 'circumstances' what I mean, for example, is that the atmosphere of Mars is primarily composed of carbon dioxide (95.32%), molecular nitrogen (2.6%) and argon (1.9%).

    Granted, it also contains trace levels of water vapor, oxygen, carbon monoxide, hydrogen and other noble gases, though we've still a number of technological hurdles we'd necessarily need to overcome as well as a number of as of yet undeveloped technological innovations we've yet managed to realize in order to make the proposal of terraforming even remotely possible which is to say that it is not, necessarily, beyond the reach of such possibility becoming a reality.

    Generally speaking, the surface is not hospitable to humans or most known life forms due to the unchecked radiation, greatly reduced air pressure and an atmosphere with only 0.16% oxygen which, all things considered (and ALL things really SHOULD be considered before such an undertaking to ensure the safety of our adventurous spacefarers) clearly indicates that Human survival on Mars would require living in artificial Mars habitats with complex life-support systems which we'd have to transport there as ready-to-go protected habitats.

    A general overview of the present day conditions, along with considerations of what developments would be necessary to favor the colonization of Mars which provides a more so in depth context, can be found here:

    https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/goddard/2018/mars-terraforming/

    Enjoy.
  • Artificial gravity and protection from radiation are the two(2) primary hurdles we necessarily need to overcome if we are to ever realize successful and safe space travel, or even other world colonization...

    That's (artificial gravity and radiation protection) where we need to focus our efforts and energies and everything else will fall into place because we've already got it figured out.
  • If the earth is destroyed by a meteor, it could very well impact the moon too. Thus Musk's desire is to save humanity from extinction, which means Mars.
  • > @"blue adept" said:
    > We have researched locations on the Moon that would provide us with the optimum positioning for an installation/base in relation to a point of equilibrium between the light and the dark/"Goldilocks zone" and have found a spot near a crater's rim that seems to present the most potential for survivability:
    >
    Shouldn't any endeavor have a magnetic field generator to protect life from radiation, and hard wired cables to antennae outside the protected zone? This would put anyplace-in-space within the habitable zone? Any excess radiation of ALL frequencies would be picked up by solar panels (or formed glass collectors)? No windows, just cameras and walls made of thin glass TV screens.
  • > @davelv said:
    > If the earth is destroyed by a meteor, it could very well impact the moon too. Thus Musk's desire is to save humanity from extinction, which means Mars.

    No one is saying that we shouldn't endeavor to branch out into Space, only that we should take the necessary precautions to do so safely so that we actually survive it...

    There's no point in going if we can't actually stay.
  • > @bob_saltzer_98342246 said:
    > > @"blue adept" said:
    > > We have researched locations on the Moon that would provide us with the optimum positioning for an installation/base in relation to a point of equilibrium between the light and the dark/"Goldilocks zone" and have found a spot near a crater's rim that seems to present the most potential for survivability:

    That comment was in regards to what would be the best 'comfort zone' temperature-wise on the Moon's surface given it's dramatic graduations of temperature from the 'light' side to the 'dark' side...

    Context, people, context.

    > @bob_saltzer_98342246 said:
    > Shouldn't any endeavor have a magnetic field generator to protect life from radiation, and hard wired cables to antennae outside the protected zone?

    Yes and...yes.

    A "magnetic field generator" to ward off radiation and an antennae installation outside of the magnetic field so that it wouldn't interfere with the antennae's ability to send or receive signals.

    > @bob_saltzer_98342246 said:
    This would put anyplace-in-space within the habitable zone?

    Successfully protecting ourselves from cosmic or planetary radiation is only one part of the equation of Space travel/habitation as we'd also need the means of providing ourselves with a breathable atmosphere, temperate climate, water and food sources and such, but radiation protection and a means of inducing artificial gravity liken to that we're accustomed to here on Earth are the two(2) primary hurdles we've yet to overcome to make SURVIVABLE off-world travel or habitation even remotely feasible.

    > @bob_saltzer_98342246 said:
    Any excess radiation of ALL frequencies would be picked up by solar panels (or formed glass collectors)?

    Not necessarily "ALL frequencies" inasmuch as "solar panels" are only designed for "picking up" or converting UV light into energy.

    All the same I like where your head is because it would be beneficial if it were possible to design some sort of device/machine capable of converting local, Moon-based radiation into energy to meet the power needs of future lunar-nauts.

    > @bob_saltzer_98342246 said:
    No windows, just cameras and walls made of thin glass TV screens.

    I get the appeal of whole wall-sized view screens but this is the Moon we're talking about which, in case you aren't aware, has a tendency to be pelted by a variety of Space-based debris of varying sizes due largely in part to its lack of a somewhat protective atmosphere that could serve to incinerate falling debris/objects before they impact the surface like ours does here on the Earth, so "thin glass TV screens" as walls isn't as appealing as one might like to think given the prevailing circumstances of the Moon's environment.
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