Therefore wages will be much higher on Mars than on Earth; while $320,000 might be 6 year's salary to an engineer on Earth, it would likely represent only 1 or 2 years' salary on Mars. These inventions, licensed on Earth, could finance Mars even as they revolutionize and advance terrestrial living standards as forcefully as 19th Century American invention changed Europe and ultimately the rest of the world as well. But whether it's US, NATO, UN, or Martian Republic, some government's agreement is needed to turn worthless terrain into real-estate property value. It’s crazy and nobody likes it. If we then assume total system operation cost is 7 times propellant costs (roughly double the total cost/fuel cost ratio of airlines), then the cost of delivery to low Earth orbit (LEO) could be about $100/kilogram. 2. Colonization of Mars compared to North America. All Rights Reserved. 9. So there are slower-downers in the whole program of going to Mars that a lot of people that have read my books or have the dream from some independent source, they don’t want to acknowledge. In 1781, while Cornwallis was being blockaded into submission at Yorktown, the British deployed their fleet into the Caribbean to seize a few high-income sugar plantation islands from the French. Molly Wood: Who do you think will be the first colonists on Mars, and what will that look like? Once Mars has been partially terraformed however, with the creation of a thicker CO2 atmosphere via regolith outgassing, the habitation domes could be made virtually to any size, as they would not have to sustain a pressure differential between their interior and exterior. Moreover, by using such "Mars Direct" type approaches, human explorers can be on Mars within 10 years of program initiation, with total expenditure not more than 20% of NASA's existing budget. Is it worthwhile spending precious resources colonizing mars? 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. We should focus on … Such a price might be affordable to governments (for a time), but not to individuals or private groups. To understand this, it is necessary to consider the energy relationships between the Earth, Moon, Mars, and the main asteroid belt. At the same time, the ongoing bureaucratization of the former terrestrial frontier societies will make it ever harder for strong spirits to find adequate means for expressing their creative drive and initiative on Earth. R. Zubrin, "Mars and Luna Direct," Journal of Practical Applications in Space, Vol 4, No. While I shall return to historical analogies periodically in this paper, the arguments presented here shall not be primarily historical in nature. One objection that often gets raised when talking about … While properly conducted initial exploration missions will make use of the Martian air to provide fuel and oxygen, in the base building phase this elementary level of local resource utilization will be transcended as the crew of a permanent Mars base learns how to extract native water and grow crops on Mars, to produce ceramics, glasses, metals, plastics, wires, habitats, inflatable structures, solar panels, and all sorts of other useful materials, tools, and structures. 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. Y esterday a lot of people watched Elon Musk revealing some of his plans on colonization of Mars at the International Astronautical Congress. Another alternative is that Mars could pay for itself by transporting back ideas. All logistics … All immigrants are between ages 20 and 40. 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. The outline of future interplanetary commerce thus becomes clear. Stanley Robinson: Oh, I think the dangers are of trivialization, that suddenly other planets in space, instead of being a commons that all humans are interested in equally as a scientific project to humanity, it just turns into another source of profit and exploitation. China's Simulated Mars Colony Is its First Small Step to the Red Planet - Inverse - August 11th, 2017 How Space-Based Design Will Keep Martians and Moon-Dwellers Sane - Motherboard - August 9th, 2017 Elon Musk is focused on the colonization of Mars - Blasting News - August 8th, 2017 Its short travel time can providing an easy approach to basic materials for building and other necessities, access to the water, access to the fuel for fusion drives and easier communication make it an ideal location to colonize the humanity at an initial stage. J. Lewis and R. Lewis, "Resources from Space: Breaking the Bonds of Earth". That is, while a Mars base of even a few hundred people can potentially be supported out of pocket by governmental expenditures, a Martian society of hundreds of thousands clearly cannot be. Your investment in Marketplace helps us remain paywall-free and ensures everyone has access to trustworthy, unbiased news and information, regardless of their ability to pay. That said, the problem with using the natural sunlight available on the Moon or in space is that it is unshielded by any atmosphere. The Earth's Moon, close to the metropolitan planet but impoverished in resources compares to Greenland. Nevertheless, both of these can be bought and sold, and as transportation costs drop, both forms of Martian real-estate will rise in value. 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. The economic viability of colonizing Mars is examined. And while there were a lot of exciting technical details, some major issues I anticipated were not covered. Under conditions of such large scale and open immigration, sale of real-estate will add a significant source of income to the planet's economy. In short, the purpose of the base building period is to develop a mastery of those techniques required to produce on Mars the food clothing and shelter required to support a large population on the Red Planet. In this soil, Wamelink and his team have grown a number of vegetables, like peas, tomatoes, radishes, and rye. Mars One estimates the cost of bringing the first four people to Mars at US$ 6 billion. Listen to our extended interview with Kim Stanley Robinson here. PO Box 179 Assuming complete coverage of the planet with photosynthetic plants, it would take about a millennia to put the 120 mbar of oxygen in Mars' atmosphere needed to support human respiration in the open. 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. If we assume that there is operating between Earth and Mars a cycling spacecraft which has the ability to recycle water and oxygen with 95% efficiency, then each passenger (100 kg with personal effects) will have to bring about 400 kg of supplies to provide himself with food, water and oxygen during a 200 day outbound trip to Mars. And significantly for interplanetary commerce, Mars and Earth are the only two locations in the solar system where humans will be able to grow crops for export. By exploring and understanding Mars, we may gain key insights into the past and future of our own world.” – Buzz Aldrin Yet their consistency shows a persistent blind spot among policy making groups as to the true sources of wealth and power. In fig. This contrasts strongly with the Moon, which is so dry that if concrete were found there, Lunar colonists would mine it to get the water out. The potential of relatively near-term types of interplanetary transportation systems is examined, and it is shown that with very modest advances on a historical scale, systems can be put in place that will allow individuals and families to emigrate to Mars at their own discretion.