The Last Man On The Moon

  • #26
skippy1729
I'm not convinced that we could create a self-sufficient colony anytime soon. The biggest problem is an ecosystem to live in, it's not that we don't have the industry (we don't but that's another issue) but we have a huge lack of understanding as to how ecosystems work that we can't even begin to replicate one. You can spend all the trillions of dollars you like sending the required industry and millions of colonists to Mars but the knowledge just isn't there for us to build an artificial ecoystem for them to live in.
I am not convinced either. But extensive, reliable scientific information is needed on the resources available and other factors. Extended human expeditions are the best way to get it. Technology is not stagnant and terraforming is not out of the question. But, as I said, this could take centuries. We have to start somewhere.
 
  • #27
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NASA committed to the Apollo program. I think it was Aldrin who said he thought the mission had a 1/3 chance of success, a 1/3 chance of failure, but they would survive and a 1/3 chance they would fail and die. That program and the preceding Mercury and Gemini programs constantly skirted disaster.
In this world of political correctness and elevated concerns over occupational health and safety, it may be harder to justify frontier work that carries such risk now, which has to add to the cost of such missions and push them further away from happening.
 
  • #28
Ryan_m_b
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I am not convinced either. But extensive, reliable scientific information is needed on the resources available and other factors. Extended human expeditions are the best way to get it. Technology is not stagnant and terraforming is not out of the question. But, as I said, this could take centuries. We have to start somewhere.
(Emphasis mine) I disagree. That's like trying to learn to grow crops by continuously sending out farmers on boats to the middle of the Atlantic. In fact it's far worse.

What would be best is if you took all that funding and gave it to ecologists to study how the ecosystems here on Earth work. That way you might get to the eventual goal of being able to produce an artificial stable ecosystem in a tin and at the same time will hopefully gain the knowledge and means to maintain, fix and create ecosystems on Earth. That way you could solve the problem of infertile land, forest the deserts, fix collapsing ecosystems etc thus helping billions here on Earth and, as a spin-off, get a step closer to the space cadet dream.
 
  • #29
skippy1729
Did Mars ever have a significant atmosphere?

Did Mars ever have life?

What native resources are available?

Ecologists on Earth will never definitively answer these questions.
 
  • #30
Ryan_m_b
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Did Mars ever have a significant atmosphere?

Did Mars ever have life?

What native resources are available?

Ecologists on Earth will never definitively answer these questions.
I could point out that better knowledge of ecology would improve our ability to identify and study any remnants of a Martian ecology if there is one but I'd rather point out the obvious; we will never be able to build self-sufficient colonies outside of Earth if we cannot create and maintain stable ecologies and to do that we are going to need to know a hell of a lot more than we do.
 
  • #31
FlexGunship
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If you made a list of men who walked on the moon Schmidt would be last. Cernan set foot on the moon before him and stayed longer, true... but Schmidt was the last person, of all the people to go to the moon, to actually walk on the moon.

I'm just adding some controversy (which Schmidt himself started), Cernan was the last man to leave a boot print... so I count him as the last.
 
  • #32
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I could point out that better knowledge of ecology would improve our ability to identify and study any remnants of a Martian ecology if there is one but I'd rather point out the obvious; we will never be able to build self-sufficient colonies outside of Earth if we cannot create and maintain stable ecologies and to do that we are going to need to know a hell of a lot more than we do.
While I agree with this, notionally, I wonder what the reality will be. Science will surely settle the first colony outside of Earth, which gives me hope that we/they will do a better job of getting it as right as we know how. Different to here on Earth, where ecology is at the mercy of a range of other interests. Though, after the honeymoon period, however long that is, people could revert to taking things for granted again.
 
  • #33
Ryan_m_b
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While I agree with this, notionally, I wonder what the reality will be. Science will surely settle the first colony outside of Earth, which gives me hope that we/they will do a better job of getting it as right as we know how. Different to here on Earth, where ecology is at the mercy of a range of other interests. Though, after the honeymoon period, however long that is, people could revert to taking things for granted again.
Sorry I'm not quite sure what you mean by this :blushing:
 
  • #34
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Sorry I'm not quite sure what you mean by this :blushing:
hehe.. Which part?
Rereading, I'm guessing the "honeymoon period" statement.

By that, I meant that if we did settle a colony on, say, Mars, at first it would be done to the best of scientific knowledge and resources (rather than like here on Earth, where interests other than science tend to run things). But after an initial period of doing "the right thing" ecologically, we may revert to old habits of taking resources and environment for granted.
 
  • #35
Ryan_m_b
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hehe.. Which part?
Rereading, I'm guessing the "honeymoon period" statement.

By that, I meant that if we did settle a colony on, say, Mars, at first it would be done to the best of scientific knowledge and resources (rather than like here on Earth, where interests other than science tend to run things). But after an initial period of doing "the right thing" ecologically, we may revert to old habits of taking resources and environment for granted.
Ah I see. The difference being (IMO) that if we propose a self-sufficient tented city on Mars the ramifications of the failure of their micro-ecosystem are so much more apparent. All one has to do is walk out of an airlock and see the hostile and devastating world that awaits you.
 
  • #36
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Narrator. Scientists may found the "first colonies", but who do you think will pay for them?
 
  • #37
D H
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But after an initial period of doing "the right thing" ecologically, we may revert to old habits of taking resources and environment for granted.
What is this "right thing" to which you are referring?

This site is mostly populated by physicists and engineers who can immediately spot the bad science fiction in "Jimmy and Sally went to the deck of the spaceship so they could see the captain engage the hyperdrive first-hand." Okay, fine, its that kind of science fiction book I'm reading.

Yet we don't blink an eye when we read that Jimmy and Sally ventured down to the hydroponics garden to grab a bite to eat. To biologist, that little statement is just as egregious as is the concept of a hyperdrive to a physicist.
 
  • #38
Ryan_m_b
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What is this "right thing" to which you are referring?

This site is mostly populated by physicists and engineers who can immediately spot the bad science fiction in "Jimmy and Sally went to the deck of the spaceship so they could see the captain engage the hyperdrive first-hand." Okay, fine, its that kind of science fiction book I'm reading.

Yet we don't blink an eye when we read that Jimmy and Sally ventured down to the hydroponics garden to grab a bite to eat. To biologist, that little statement is just as egregious as is the concept of a hyperdrive to a physicist.
You've have no idea how much this made me smile. Countless times I've engaged in conversations with people about science and science fiction and found it difficult to get across the biological/ecological issues that are so often taken for granted. Most often this manifests in SF as eating food from other planets or (as is the case in this thread) the assumption that the only thing preventing colonies in space is a lack of space travel technology rather than the much more challenging lack of knowledge and means to build a self-sustaining closed ecosystem.
 
  • #39
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Narrator. Scientists may found the "first colonies", but who do you think will pay for them?
I'm going more on how space exploration has been conducted so far, with science at the forefront of the mission objectives.
What is this "right thing" to which you are referring?
Man, I can't get away with a flippant remark even if it's in quotes. Ok, substitute those two words with "using ecologically sound practices". I was answering Ryan's comment where he brought up Martian ecology.
This site is mostly populated by physicists and engineers who can immediately spot the bad science fiction in "Jimmy and Sally went to the deck of the spaceship so they could see the captain engage the hyperdrive first-hand." Okay, fine, its that kind of science fiction book I'm reading.

Yet we don't blink an eye when we read that Jimmy and Sally ventured down to the hydroponics garden to grab a bite to eat. To biologist, that little statement is just as egregious as is the concept of a hyperdrive to a physicist.
Thanks for the mischaracterization. I guess my less than precise wording deserves derision, hey. Cheers
 
  • #40
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I'm going more on how space exploration has been conducted so far, with science and Military at the forefront of the mission objectives.
Just edited for a little more truth...Not that I'm a conspiracy nut or anything. But the majority of space funding has come during times when militaristic advantage was desired. I find it difficult to believe that a military advantage could come from landing on Mars...
 
  • #41
Ryan_m_b
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Man, I can't get away with a flippant remark even if it's in quotes. Ok, substitute those two words with "using ecologically sound practices". I was answering Ryan's comment where he brought up Martian ecology.
I was responding to the notion that ecology gives us nothing for the study of the history of Mars, my point about an ecology was that if there ever was life on Mars a better understanding of ecology and biology would help us study it.

But mainly I bought up ecology to suggest that funding space mission after mission was a terrible way of getting to the end goal of self-sustaining colonies. For that there needs to be far more knowledge on how ecologies run so that we can construct and maintain a micro-biosphere for the colonists to live in (by that I don't mean Terraforming, more like a tented/domed area).
 
  • #42
D H
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Thanks for the mischaracterization. I guess my less than precise wording deserves derision, hey. Cheers
My comment wasn't aimed at you so much as everyone who has spoken of space colonization. The biological aspects of space colonization are pure science fiction. We don't know how to make a self-sustaining space venture.

Currently, the food that the International Space Station astronauts eat, the disposable clothing that they wear, the water that they drink, and the oxygen that they breath are all shipped to the ISS. Water is recycled from urine and from wash water, but that's about as far as it goes. The disposable clothing becomes garbage to be shipped back to Earth or burned up during reentry; human solid waste is exposed to vacuum to dry it out with what's left becoming garbage to be shipped back to Earth or burned up during reentry; CO2 is scrubbed from the breathing atmosphere and vented to vacuum; and H2O is electrolyzed to form O2 and H2 with the hydrogen vented to vacuum.
 
  • #43
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I was responding to the notion that ecology gives us nothing for the study of the history of Mars, my point about an ecology was that if there ever was life on Mars a better understanding of ecology and biology would help us study it.

But mainly I bought up ecology to suggest that funding space mission after mission was a terrible way of getting to the end goal of self-sustaining colonies. For that there needs to be far more knowledge on how ecologies run so that we can construct and maintain a micro-biosphere for the colonists to live in (by that I don't mean Terraforming, more like a tented/domed area).
And that's how I took it.. a biosphere is exactly what i imagined when you made the point. Something like the one in Arizona, which if I recall is several acres. And to go there to set up such a thing would be the first step in a larger colony, where the science of ecology would be at the forefront of the mission goals. And AFAIK, Terraforming Mars is next to impossible. :wink:
 
  • #44
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My comment wasn't aimed at you so much as everyone who has spoken of space colonization. The biological aspects of space colonization are pure science fiction. We don't know how to make a self-sustaining space venture.
Understood. Perhaps if it's not addressed to me, then it shouldn't be in a reply to me.

As for "We don't know how," I just joined in the discussion on colonization, which had been going on a while before I threw in my 2c worth.
 
  • #45
D H
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And that's how I took it.. a biosphere is exactly what i imagined when you made the point. Something like the one in Arizona, which if I recall is several acres.
A lot was learned from Biosphere 2 -- about how not to do it, that is. Biosphere 2 was a lesson in doing things the wrong way.

And AFAIK, Terraforming Mars is next to impossible. :wink:
With current technology, correct. That is also true for any reasonable extrapolation from current technology. For some future technology that can be hand-waved into existence, sure. Just hand-wave it into existence. However, even with that future technology, terraforming Mars might well be politically impossible. The Red Mars faction as described by Kim Stanley Robinson in his Mars trilogy is not science fiction. It exists right now and is a sense the international rule of law regarding planetary protection.
 
  • #46
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A lot was learned from Biosphere 2 -- about how not to do it, that is. Biosphere 2 was a lesson in doing things the wrong way.
:eek: I just read the Wiki on it.. no wonder it failed.. seems it was largely pseudo-science.
 
  • #47
Ryan_m_b
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With current technology, correct. That is also true for any reasonable extrapolation from current technology. For some future technology that can be hand-waved into existence, sure. Just hand-wave it into existence. However, even with that future technology, terraforming Mars might well be politically impossible. The Red Mars faction as described by Kim Stanley Robinson in his Mars trilogy is not science fiction. It exists right now and is a sense the international rule of law regarding planetary protection.
As much as I enjoyed the Mars Trilogy it was quite frustrated by how Robinson could spent page after page describing in the most meticulous detail some nuance of the local geology but then hand-wave away other important themes such as how the general purpose factories work and provide wishy-washy "they were genetically engineered" answers for how plants were grown.
 
  • #48
139
17
What is it about zero-g that you think will effect a condom? As for other kinds of contraception it would be relatively easy to test the efficacy of an implant or pill before you start the mission.

You are aware that women have a sex drive too right? And that men don't really go insane from celibacy?
You haven't met my ex wife. LOL
 
  • #49
33
0
3) There is some research that suggests that women may be better suited for the rigrours of long distance travel.
With about 3 years round trip we are talking about 40 periods on board... in confined space... with nowhere to go... God help the crew.

As an alternative, it could take so much hormonal treatment to keep the issue under control, that the question of whether or not they are still female will become moot.
 

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