On the other hand, because of its complex geologic history, Mars may have concentrated mineral ores, with much greater concentrations of precious metal ores readily available than is currently the case on Earth — because the terrestrial ores have been heavily scavenged by humans for the past 5,000 years. Once fusion reactors go into widespread use deuterium prices will increase. Mars is a bleak, cold, airless, rust-stained world. Deuterium is five times more common on Mars than it is on Earth, and tens of thousands of times more common on Mars than on the Moon. To create a vibrant civilization you need a richer power base, and this Mars has both in the short and medium term in the form of its geothermal power resources, which offer potential for large numbers of locally created electricity generating stations in the 10 MW (10,000 kilowatt) class. Zahaan Bharmal unpicks the arguments against the idea. And a thousand of those beats just one of those …, But the harshest deserts on Earth pale in comparison with the inhospitability of Mars. Even if you did that, it wouldn’t do you any good on the Moon, because plants won’t grow in a light/dark cycle lasting 28 days. https://t.co/D1bgXpojBs, — HumanProgress.org (@HumanProgress) June 14, 2020. Carbon, nitrogen, and hydrogen are only present on the Moon in parts per million quantities, much like gold in seawater. The point to be made is that unlike colonists on any known extraterrestrial body, Martian colonists will be able to live on the surface, not in tunnels, and move about freely and grow crops in the light of day. On the other hand, because of its complex geologic history, Mars may have concentrated mineral ores, with much greater concentrations of precious metal ores readily available than is currently the case on Earth — because the terrestrial ores have been heavily scavenged by humans for the past 5,000 years. While Matt Damon surely hustled in The Martian and made Mars looks like a conceivable journey and living space, (we can settle there, live in tents, grow food, and take a pleasant walk around; all with a certain air of precaution but nonetheless!) Nevertheless, even with optimistic extrapolation of robotic manufacturing techniques, Mars will not have the division of labor required to make it fully self-sufficient until its population numbers in the millions. But the biggest problem with the Moon, as with all other airless planetary bodies and proposed artificial free-space colonies, is that sunlight is not available in a form useful for growing crops. The true value of America was as the future home for a new branch of human civilization, one that as a combined result of its humanistic antecedents and its frontier conditions was able to develop into the most powerful engine for human progress and economic growth the world had ever seen. Like America in its relationship to Britain and the West Indies, Mars has a positional advantage that will allow it to participate in a useful way to support extractive activities on behalf of Earth in the asteroid belt and elsewhere. We’re gonna colonize Mars. Petition to the UN in support of human embryonic stem cell research signed by 32 Nobel Laureates, Here’s what potential Mars colonists really need from Earth: A large gene pool. Other destinations, such as the Main Belt asteroids, may be rich in potential future exports to Earth but lack the preconditions for the creation of a fully developed indigenous society; these compare to the West Indies. The true value of America was as the future home for a new branch of human civilization, one that as a combined result of its humanistic antecedents and its frontier conditions was able to develop into the most powerful engine for human progress and economic growth the world had ever seen. But you can’t use natural sunlight on the Moon or any other airless body in space unless you put walls on the greenhouse thick enough to shield out solar flares, a requirement that enormously increases the expense of creating cropland. Thus, for decades and perhaps longer, it will be necessary, and forever desirable, for Mars to be able to import specialized manufactured goods from Earth. It is this question that has caused many to incorrectly deem Mars colonization intractable, or at least inferior in prospect to the Moon. Indeed, the geologic history of Mars has been compared to that of Africa, with very optimistic inferences as to its mineral wealth implied as a corollary. Therefore, thin-walled inflatable plastic greenhouses protected by unpressurized UV-resistant hard-plastic shield domes can be used to rapidly create cropland on the surface. Simply staying alive will be a daily challenge. Mars is the best target for colonization in the solar system because it has by far the greatest potential for self-sufficiency. 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The Case for Mars: The Plan to Settle the Red Planet and Why We Must is a nonfiction science book by Robert Zubrin, first published in 1996, and revised and updated in 2011. The Case Against Colonizing Mars Sorry. When it was first published in 1996, The Case for Mars became an instant classic, lauded widely for its game-changing perspective by those who would see the American space program rise to the challenge of Mars; Carl Sagan called Zubrin the man who, “nearly alone, changed our thinking on this issue.” Now, fifteen years later, Zubrin brings readers up to date in this revised and updated anniversary edition … The point to be made is that unlike colonists on any known extraterrestrial body, Martian colonists will be able to live on the surface, not in tunnels, and move about freely and grow crops in the light of day. Deuterium is the key fuel not only for both first and second generation fusion reactors, but it is also an essential material needed by the nuclear power industry today. What can Mars possibly export back to Earth in return? Please consider donating to Network for Church Monitoring! The primary analogy I wish to draw is that Mars is to the new age of exploration as North America was to the last. 206 comments: JS September 26, 2017 at 3:04 AM. Frank Crossman and Robert Zubrin, editors, On to Mars 2: Exploring and Settling a New World. Of the remaining two percent known as the near-Earth asteroids, about 90% orbit closer to Mars than to the Earth. Once that has been accomplished, the habitation domes could be virtually any size, as they would not have to sustain a pressure differential between their interior and exterior. The book envisions a bright future … HUMAN GENES WILL BE AMONG THE MOST VALUED COMMODITY OF EARLY MARTIANS. The case against Mars colonisation. Oxygen is abundant on the Moon, but only in tightly bound oxides such as silicon dioxide (SiO2), ferrous oxide (Fe2O3), magnesium oxide (MgO), and aluminum oxide (Al2O3), which require very high energy processes to reduce. Earth normal pressure, temperature and gravity plus an active ionosphere and thick atmosphere to shield you from ionizing radiation … and Earth-normal air is as buoyant at Venus+50 as Helium is on Earth. Share to Twitter Share to Facebook Share to Pinterest. Trump won’t resign, but he should be impeached and convicted now!! Miners operating among the asteroids will be unable to produce their necessary supplies locally. But on Mars there is an atmosphere thick enough to protect crops grown on the surface from solar flare. This uniqueness is illustrated most clearly if we contrast Mars with the Earth’s Moon, the most frequently cited alternative location for extraterrestrial human colonization. Elon Musk, president of Tesla Motors, speaks about Space X project in a conference during the 67th International Astronautical Congress in … Even with cheap power, deuterium is very expensive; its current market value on Earth is about $10,000 per kilogram, roughly fifty times as valuable as silver or 70% as valuable as gold. These inventions, licensed on Earth, could finance Mars even as they revolutionize and advance terrestrial living standards as forcefully as nineteenth century American invention changed Europe and ultimately the rest of the world as well. Would this provide humanity with a back-up planet in case something terrible happens on earth? Don't forget that all design submissions are due by June 30th 5:00 pm MT.#marscitystate #designcontest #mars #engineering #humansettlement #MarsSociety #Space #SpaceX #NASA https://t.co/zLJ8mhMj6o, — Robert Zubrin (@robert_zubrin) June 11, 2020. Mars is a harsher place than any on Earth. Mars has every required element in abundance. Is Colonizing Mars the Most Important Project in Human History? The Case for Colonizing Mars. Among extraterrestrial bodies in our solar system, Mars is singular in that it possesses all the raw materials required to support not only life, but a new branch of human civilization. My new book The Case for Space will be published May 14. that’s the reel life version. The good doctor knows a lot more than just Mars. Award-winning journalist Stephen Petranek says humans will live on Mars by 2027. But the biggest problem with the Moon, as with all other airless planetary bodies and proposed artificial free-space colonies, is that sunlight is not available in a form useful for growing crops. On the other hand, because of its complex geologic history, Mars may have concentrated mineral ores, with much greater concentrations of precious metal ores readily available than is currently the case on Earth — because the terrestrial ores have been heavily scavenged by humans for the past 5,000 years. The existence of such Martian precious metal ores, however, is still hypothetical. Mars is thus a place where an actual civilization, not just a mining or scientific outpost, can be developed. "The Case for Colonizing Mars." This article offers two arguments for the conclusion that we should refuse on moral grounds to establish a human presence on the surface of Mars. The Martians shall do well. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are agreeing to using our cookies. Current knowledge indicates that if Mars were smooth and all its ice and permafrost melted into liquid water, the entire planet would be covered with an ocean over 100 meters deep. Directions: Choose now fewer than three of the sources listed below for your research. These inventions, licensed on Earth, could finance Mars even as they revolutionize and advance terrestrial living standards as forcefully as nineteenth century American invention changed Europe and ultimately the rest of the world as well. Take notes on pages 4-9 of your final project packet. This website is an initiative of Network for Church Monitoring, a non-profit-making company limited by guarantee (No. Registered Office: Suite 101, 254 Pentonville Road, London N1 9JY. Moreover, on Mars, as on Earth, hydrologic and volcanic processes have occurred that are likely to have consolidated various elements into local concentrations of high-grade mineral ore. International Space Development Conference – ISDC, Local Chapters of the National Space Society, Attend Our Conference – International Space Development Conference. If concentrated supplies of metals of equal or greater value than silver (such as germanium, hafnium, lanthanum, cerium, rhenium, samarium, gallium, gadolinium, gold, palladium, iridium, rubidium, platinum, rhodium, europium, and a host of others) were available on Mars, they could potentially be transported back to Earth for a substantial profit. The primary analogy I wish to draw is that Mars is to the new age of exploration as North America was to the last. Even without the problems of solar flares and month-long diurnal cycle, such simple greenhouses would be impractical on the Moon as they would create unbearably high temperatures. Mars is a place where humans can live and multiply to large numbers, supporting themselves with products of every description made out of indigenous materials. Thus, if plants could be grown in greenhouses on the Moon (an unlikely proposition, as we’ve seen) most of their biomass material would have to be imported. The Moon is also deficient in about half the metals of interest to industrial society (copper, for example), as well as many other elements of interest such as sulfur and phosphorus. Robert Zubrin, The Case for Mars: The Plan to Settle the Red Planet and Why We Must, Simon & Schuster/Touchstone, 1996, ISBN 0-684-83550-9; Frank Crossman and Robert Zubrin, editors, On to Mars: Colonizing a New World. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Nevertheless, even with optimistic extrapolation of robotic manufacturing techniques, Mars will not have the division of labor required to make it … Of course a McKendree cylinder carved out of 16 Psyche beats any damned gravity well. It is this question that has caused many to incorrectly deem Mars colonization intractable, or at least inferior in prospect to the Moon. See also these articles by Robert Zubrin: But there is one commercial resource that is known to exist ubiquitously on Mars in large amount — deuterium. There are about 5,000 asteroids known today, of which about 98% are in the “Main Belt” lying between Mars and Jupiter, with an average distance from the Sun of about 2.7 astronomical units, or AU. Like America in its relationship to Britain and the West Indies, Mars has a positional advantage that will allow it to participate in a useful way to support extractive activities on behalf of Earth in the asteroid belt and elsewhere. Mars is thus a place where an actual civilization, not just a mining or scientific outpost, can be developed. On Mars, in contrast, the strong greenhouse effect created by such domes would be precisely what is necessary to produce a temperate climate inside. But provided one can survive the regimen, it is the toughest schools that are the best. But provided one can survive the regimen, it is the toughest schools that are the best. The Promise of Mars Growing crops with electrically generated light is just economically hopeless. In this episode, we introduce the idea of colonizing Mars. Reprinted with permission from the author. In contrast to the Moon, Mars is rich in carbon, nitrogen, hydrogen and oxygen, all in biologically readily accessible forms such as carbon dioxide gas, nitrogen gas, and water ice and permafrost. Mars has no known helium-3 resources. Posted by DocG at 1:25 AM. This is in today’s pre-fusion economy. Mars is actually, in a lot of ways, a lot safer than Earth." In contrast to the Moon, Mars is rich in carbon, nitrogen, hydrogen and oxygen, all in biologically readily accessible forms such as carbon dioxide gas, nitrogen gas, and water ice and permafrost. But if you wish to manufacture solar panels, so as to create a self-expanding power base, Mars holds an enormous advantage, as only Mars possesses the large supplies of carbon and hydrogen needed to produce the pure silicon required for producing photovoltaic panels and other electronics. 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