The advantages accruing to such a society of terraforming Mars into a more human-friendly environment are manifest4. There are many reasons why colonizing Mars is likely to follow the touchdown of a human spacecraft on the Martian surface. © 2021 Minnesota Public Radio. O'Neill, "The High Frontier," William Morrow and Co. New York, 1977. Let us therefore examine an alternative model to see how low it is likely to drop. The Earth's Moon, close to the metropolitan planet but impoverished in resources compares to Greenland. To understand this, it is necessary to consider the energy relationships between the Earth, Moon, Mars, and the main asteroid belt. It will take a quantum leap, however, when actual human expeditions to the planet's surface begin. Thus plants grown in a thin walled greenhouse on the surface of the Moon or an asteroid would be killed by solar flares. The primary purpose of this phase is simply to populate Mars, creating a new branch of human civilization there with exponentially growing capabilities to transform the Red Planet. It is certainly true that the technological and economic problems facing Mars colonization in the 21st century are vastly different in detail than those that had to be overcome in the colonization of the New World in the 17th century, or Australia in the 19th century. Thus, if plants were grown in greenhouses on the Moon ( a very difficult proposition, as we shall see) most of their biomass material would have to be imported. but despite the short sighted calculations of 18th Century European statesmen and financiers, the true value of America never was as a logistical support base for West Indies sugar and spice trade, inland fur trade, or as a potential market for manufactured goods. For example, if the United States chose to grant a mining patent to any private group that surveyed a piece of Martian real-estate to some specified degree of fidelity, such claims would be tradable today on the basis of their future speculative worth (and could probably be used to privately finance robotic mining survey probes in the near future). For example use of air-breathing supersonic ramjet propulsion to perform a significant part of the Earth to orbit DV could cut orbit delivery costs by as much as a factor of 3. While the initial exploration phase can be accomplished with small crews (of about 4 members each) operating out of Spartan base camps spread over bast areas of the Martian surface, the base building phase will require a division of labor entailing a larger number of people (on the order of 50), equipped with a wide variety of equipment and substantial sources of power. Is it safe? If a viable Martian civilization can be established, its population and powers to change its planet will continue to grow. 2. However, history shows that when you ... 2. Enormous tracts of land were bought and sold in Kentucky for very large sums of money a hundred years before settlers arrived - for purposes of development trans-Appalacian America might as well have been Mars in the 1600's. R. Zubrin, "Mars and Luna Direct," Journal of Practical Applications in Space, Vol 4, No. If government sponsorship is available, the technological means required for immigration on a significant scale are essentially available today. These were chosen because CH4/O2 is the highest performing space-storable chemical propellant, and can be manufactured easily on either Earth, Mars, or a carbonaceous asteroid. It is shown, that of all bodies in the solar system other than Earth, Mars is unique in that it has the resources required to support a population of sufficient size to create locally a new branch of human civilization. Among extraterrestrial bodies in our solar system, Mars is unique in that it possesses all the raw materials required to support not only life, but a new branch of human civilization. These inventions, licensed on Earth, will raise both Terrestrial and Martian living standards and contribute large amounts of income to support the development of the colony. 1. On Tuesday, tech entrepreneur Elon Musk told the world he has a plan to help humanity establish a colony on the planet Mars. Plants can stand a drop of perhaps a factor of 5 in their light intake compared to terrestrial norms and still grow, but the fact remains; the energetics of plant growth make it inconceivable to raise crops on any kind of meaningful scale with artificially generated light. It is also shown that while Mars may lack any cash material directly exportable to Earth, Mars' orbital elements and other physical parameters gives a unique positional advantage that will allow it to act as a keystone supporting extractive activities in the asteroid belt and elsewhere in the solar system. There is an immense amount of it - 143 million square kilometers - but it might seem that that it is all completely worthless because it cannot currently be exploited. An Shuttle derived heavy lift launch vehicle lifts 145 tonnes (A Saturn V had about this same capacity) to low Earth orbit, then a nuclear thermal rocket (NTR, such as was demonstrated in the USA in the 1960's) stage with an Isp of 900 s hurls a 70 tonne "habcraft" onto a 7 month trajectory to Mars. The existence of such Martians precious metal ores, however, is still hypothetical. The feasibility or lack thereof of terraforming Mars is thus in a sense a corollary to the economic viability of the Martian colonization effort. During the period of their global ascendancy, the Spanish ignored North America; to them it was nothing but a vast amount of worthless wilderness. The Economic Viability of Mars Colonization – Robert Zubrin (then Lockheed Martin) Mars Foundation presentation – Bruce McKenzie, 2006. Ocean colonies are safer. On Mars, even during the base building phase, large inflatable greenhouses made of transparent plastic protected by thin hard-plastic ultra-violet and abrasion resistant geodesic domes could be readily deployed, rapidly creating large domains for crop growth. A frontier society based on technological excellence and pragmatism, and populated by people self-selected for personal drive, will perforce be a hot-bed of invention, and these inventions will not only serve the needs of the Martians but of the terrestrial population as well. 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