# Easier way to get to Mars and back to moon...

Discussion in 'General Science & Technology' started by cosmictotem, Feb 3, 2016.

1. ### brucepValued Senior Member

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LOL. I don't have a pragmatic bone in my body on this subject. That's probably a little steep for a mission to Mars. If the Expanse has any predictive power for the future it looks like when get out there we still act like a bunch of aholes.

3. ### brucepValued Senior Member

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4,098
It's reality to you. You're right it's definitely not fun.

5. ### Russ_WattersNot a Trump supporter...Valued Senior Member

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The OP is not merely proposing a mission to Mars, he's proposing thousands of permanently occupied space stations arrayed between here and Mars. At an estimated $500 billion apiece, that would be$500 trillion per thousand. So "hundreds of trillions" is a low-end estimate of what it would cost -- it could easily be in the quadrillions of dollars.

The world's ~200 countries have a combined GDP of $80 trillion. So a$500 trillion investment would require 1050 more countries. So again, I was a bit low. This of course assumes we don't spend any money on anything else...which could be problematic if in addition to sending up thousands of space stations we would also like to eat and live indoors.

All in all, not bad for numbers I at first just pulled out of thin air, though!

 Actually, there's an issue with my math for the cost divided into the number of countries: $500 billion apiece would be the first cost only, so if we spread the project out over 100 years, it could be done for 100 times less per year ($5 trillion per year per thousand). But then permanently occupying and resupplying them would probably be another $10 billion per year apiece, so we're back up to about$15 trillion per year (per thousand).

Last edited: Feb 4, 2016

7. ### brucepValued Senior Member

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4,098
Yeah I know. At least he has the right attitude.

8. ### Russ_WattersNot a Trump supporter...Valued Senior Member

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Personally, I don't consider mistaking science fantasy for reality to be a good attitude.

9. ### cosmictotemRegistered Senior Member

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If you like we could scrap the Mars mission and just do many biospheres orbiting the sun.

My real point is, basically, if we want to colonize space, we HAVE to do the biosphere supply lines.

Here's why:

How else are you going to make space safe for human occupation?

If space settlement and exploration is going to have any degree of safety, you can't have these immense gaps between destinations.

There has to be waypoints of safety all along the way to and from places.

It's realistic whereas these ultra fast spaceships that are supposed to whisk us across the galaxy and that we keep wishing we will have, I submit will never materialize.

The only realistic way to cross the solar system and galaxy is slow and steady, point by point, along supply lines. Generation by generation living out along these supply lines and extending them further and further out over time.

It certainly is the only realistic option for interstellar travel.

Does anyone realistically think we'll ever be able to fly to the next star system under the power of some super engine that hasn't been invented yet in one shot without resupply stations along the way? You're dreaming. It's never going to happen.

All kinds of supply lines will be the mandatory for space colonies and space travel. Otherwise we just won't be able to do it with any consistent degree of success and safety.

Mass human colonization in space will need ultra redundancy and nothing is more redundant than supply lines stretching out from Earth like a spiral arm perhaps eventually conforming to the path of the spiral arm of the Milky Way we exist on.

Last edited: Feb 4, 2016
10. ### Billy TUse Sugar Cane Alcohol car FuelValued Senior Member

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Four English women rowed for 257 days crossing the Pacific. From San Francisco to Cairns, Australia a total of 8446 miles.* It had been done before, but never by more than two rowers. It was a stress test of confinement in a tiny space with total isolation from any outside support /assistance - much like a maned trip to Mars. Good conflict resolution procedures were important, even without both sexes presents.

As I have pointed out in prior posts, only women will go to Mars, if it is to colonize Mar as that cost only 40% as much than if males go. (The male sperm goes in a small cryo-jug.) Women weigh less and eat less than men (Why a 60% reduction in cost.) Mixed sex isolation simulation on Earth have often had sex based conflicts in less than 256 days (70% of a year). These women have shown a one-way trip to Mars, need not fail because of sexual conflicts.

* That is more than the Earth's diameter (7,917.5 miles).
PS the "two rowers" took turns rowing - so had little time for personally interactions / conflicts. They basically cut the transit time in half - one rested, ate, slept, while the other rowed. The real achievement of the four women was not one tried to throw another over board in 257 days of social interaction in tiny isolated space.

Last edited: Feb 4, 2016
11. ### cosmictotemRegistered Senior Member

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If it's science fantasy, every other proposal for mass human colonization of space is fantasy. I must assume your attitude toward mass human space colonization is don't do it at all, correct?

You think we're going to make hundreds of flawless trips to the moon or Mars and back? You think humans are going to tolerate statistically regular deaths between destinations because something failed and there were no nearby emergency stations of safe harbor? You think the terraforming of Mars is going to be cheap?

That's science fantasy.

Last edited: Feb 4, 2016
12. ### Billy TUse Sugar Cane Alcohol car FuelValued Senior Member

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This is self contradictory / impossible without great and continuous expenditure of energy as each orbiting the sun will have a different natural orbital period. Those near Mars will have an orbit period near that of Mars, which is 687 earth days and those near Earth with have an orbital period of 365 days.

Thus in 183 days the one closest to Earth will have gone half way round the sun, but the one near Mars will have gone only (183/687) = 26.6 of its orbit - I. e. the separation between them in only 183 days will be greater than the separation of the Earth from the sun (greater than 1AU)!

Your whole concept is nonsense; It requires continuous and very great energy expenditure / rocket thrusting by each station to keep them in a "supply" or nearby safety line.

Last edited: Feb 4, 2016
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13. ### cosmictotemRegistered Senior Member

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Right. So the undeniably brave English women, in essence, performed a stunt.

Mass human colonization of space will not be supported by countless stunts. A level of safety and redundancy will have to be reached to support a large population in space and there is nothing more redundant than thousands to even millions of waypoints, like cities on a globe, scattered throughout space at "arms length" from each other.

Nor are people going to tolerate the years taken out of their lives in travel time to and from destinations.

It would be much more bearable, physically and psychologically, to live out your life moving along a supply line with abundant resources and activities between Earth and, say, Mars, than spending two years in deprivation crossing a vast wasteland.

14. ### cosmictotemRegistered Senior Member

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That's why you build multiple biospheres along the same orbital ring (or is it called an orbital plane or zone?)

Maybe I shouldn't have used the word "lines" but instead "rings"?

Let's break it down.

Suppose instead of a supply line to Mars, we build a ring of biospheres at the same orbital distance (say, Earth's) from the sun.

If we keep building them, eventually we will have a ring of biosphere going around the sun on which we can travel, from point to point, in relative safety. In other words, humans could then skip with relative ease from biosphere to biosphere all the way around the sun.

Think of the implications of just that. That's like creating multiple mini Earth's--- all in the habital zone, mind you--- and is introducing the mass colonization of space. So if a comet strike's Earth or climate change burns it up, assuming we've mastered livable biosphere's in space and perhaps mining of planet's and manufacturing in space, humans can continue to exist on these mini-planet life boats.

That would be step one, perhaps. Step one, alone, has countless benefits for humanity. We could even just stop there if we wanted to..

But step two could be creating a second ring further out and so on...

I understand, lots of money and time but it has the multiple benefits of redundancy in space, mass human colonization and extending our reach, securely, deeper out into the solar system and perhaps interstellar space.

The Western Hemisphere wasn't colonized in a day for little expense either. But the expense and colonization was spread out over a long period.

Obviously, if Spain and England knew of the immense expense it would take over time, the colonization of the Americas would have never happened. They would have been overwhelmed by the project.

And I suspect you are viewing my proposal in the same manner of foresight, which is really not realistic. This will take place over generations bit by bit just as the settlement of the Americas did.

And besides, what do you think the terraforming of Mars for human habitation would cost? How long do you think that would take? And in the end, it would only leave us with two viable places for human habitation in the solar system. Each being so far from the other, there could be no emergency trips...each trip would have to be pre-planned months to years in advance and have to go flawlessly if the passengers were to survive it.

Whereas, with a ring of biospheres around the sun, if one biosphere was in jeopardy, emergency evacuation to another nearby would be completely feasible.

Last edited: Feb 4, 2016
15. ### Billy TUse Sugar Cane Alcohol car FuelValued Senior Member

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Depending on how many in each ring, and how many rings, the cost would be between 500 and 10,000 times greater than just sending women and a cryo-jug of sperm to Mars as insurance for the species against extinction on Earth.

If spacing between (along the orbit) is constant and radial separation between rings is the same constant*, you can get a good estimate of how many total are orbiting the sun. Note that the outer most ring near Mars has about 687/365 = 1.88 or about twice as many "biospheres." But if in approximately an orbit with the eccentricity of Mars, instead of circular orbits, the space between "adjacent" ones varies. (They are traveling faster and farther apart when closer to the sun as must sweep out "equal areas in equal times.")

* Specify that constant and compute the total number of “biospheres.” Then specify the number of people in each and compute how many tons of food need to be produced each hour. Perhaps then you will understand why even your modified version is imposssible in practice, even though now consistent with orbital mechanics. There is a huge conflict between using the intercepted sun light for energy or food production. Also just getting them into their orbits with chemical rocket fuel and earth launches would make all still on earth die from pollution.** If not launched from earth, where does their mass come from? (Magic?)
** Idea was to make humanity safer from extinction, not make extinction of life on earth occur.

Last edited: Feb 4, 2016
16. ### cosmictotemRegistered Senior Member

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Impossible in what timeframe?

It seems you are trying to nullify my proposal by comparison to an existing Earthly budget being given the bill all at once.

The bill for the colonization of the America's wasn't plopped on the desks of England and Spain all at once. If it were, the colonization of the America's would also appear as equally an absurd folly.

The expense for the America's was distributed across a budget of centuries and, of course, that expense was compensated to some extent by the returns gained in colonization.

Do you think England and Spain had in existence at one time the money for the complete overhaul and renovation of the America's as it exists today? It took centuries.

I'll ask you to calculate the expense of the colonization of the America's to its present modern state and ask yourself if the planet could afford all that at any one time in its existence. I imagine not and the expense was distributed over time.

Furthermore, assuming we build the first ring, don't you think that would springboard some or all of the expense for the second ring? After all, if we safely colonize space, people are going to pay to get up there. Millions of people are not going to pay to go to Mars on a perilous journey they may or may not survive.

Last edited: Feb 4, 2016
17. ### Billy TUse Sugar Cane Alcohol car FuelValued Senior Member

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The colonization of Western world, did not require importation of ever gram of dirt (or other masses) from Europe. - You need to tell where their mass comes from. There may be more mass in them than the Earth's crustial mass if they are of a viable size (self sustaining) and with a genetically stable population in each. Tell the total number of "biospheres." (It is not too hard to estimate, once you specify how great is their separation as I discussed in prior post.)

If the object is to give humanity insurance against extinction, probably direct colonization of Mars (or with few hundred years doing that to the moon first) is more feasible than even just one "biosphere." With Mars or the moon, you do not need to import evey gram of dirt your food grows in (or the mass of things that keep you safe from cosmic rays, keep you warm from the exposure to the cold night sky, about - 270 degrees F). Note astronauts never spent even one night on the moon's dark side, where surface temperature is less than - 150F.

SUMMARY: It is not just the huge cost, several thousand times greater than simple colonization of Mars (women and cryo-jug of sperm) that makes your ideas imposible in practice.

Last edited: Feb 4, 2016
18. ### cosmictotemRegistered Senior Member

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But the point is the settling of the America's did require an expense. The colonization of space will, in its favor, not require the battling and subjugation of an indigenous population, an expense that probably far outweighed any peaceful settlement activities of the America's.

As for mass, we can cross that bridge when we come to it. Obviously, we can design the biospheres with economy of structure in mind but even if we could only build ourselves halfway around the sun, we would have established a space colony. Assuming we build a colony, don't you think that would springboard some or all of the expense for the second ring should the material for it be available? After all, if we safely colonize space, people are going to pay to get up there. Millions of people are not going to pay to go to Mars on a perilous journey, with no safe harbors along the way, they may or may not survive.

In addition, once established in space, we could mine the moon and possible Mars for material (mass) to continue the construction, should the Earth's mass prove inadequate.

19. ### cosmictotemRegistered Senior Member

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How much do you think it will cost to terraform Mars or the moon? How much do you think the colonization of the Earth cost in total? Basically, the colonization of Mars is asking humans to settle an entire planet from scratch. That's like settling Earth without a working Eco-system. How long did it take to settle Earth even with an existing viable Eco-system? It took 250, 000 years to get where we are now and we are still in danger of wreaking it for ourselves.

Colonizing Mars beyond that of primitive "cave dwelling" will be way more expensive than my proposal.

20. ### Billy TUse Sugar Cane Alcohol car FuelValued Senior Member

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No you need some answer in principle at least, or else you are still suggesting non-sense.

21. ### cosmictotemRegistered Senior Member

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Good point but it sounds like you're suffering from the same mistake as in regards to expense. These biospheres would not all be launched at once just as the expense would not be all paid at once. The atmosphere would have time to recover from launches in an optimal scenario.

22. ### Billy TUse Sugar Cane Alcohol car FuelValued Senior Member

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"Cave Dwelling" (including piling tons of dirt above any man made structures on the surface) is the only way to not be killed in less than a decade of exposure to cosmic rays. YOU MUST HAVE A GREAT AMOUNT OF MASS AROUND THE INHABITED SPACE; if you want to live there for many years.

I. e. living in your biospheres, will be either a form of "cave dwelling" or quickly fatal. You are proposing making dozen of biospheres in many circular rings between earth and Mars. EACH WILL HAVE A "CAVE DWELLING" !

AGAIN: Tell where this mass will come from.

No the atmosphere will NOT, have "time to recover." CO2, lasts in the atmospher more than 1000 years (the half life). What are the chemical rockets exhaust made of if not mainly CO2 and how toxic is that gas?

Just admit it: Your idea is not well considered and impossible in practice.

Last edited: Feb 4, 2016
23. ### cosmictotemRegistered Senior Member

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Okay, let's say each biosphere is the size of the largest stadiums on Earth, typically they have a capacity of 100,000 people. I could go much smaller but let's start with 100,000 people per biosphere.