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NASA turns to public for ideas on how to survive on Mars


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THE race is on to the red planet — we just need to figure out how to survive when we get there.



Innovators Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking have both spoken of the need for planetary colonisation to ensure the survival of the human race. NASA has also declared its desire to put a human colony on Mars and now the famed organisation is turning to the public to ask for help in figuring out how.


This week, the agency announced it is offering three US $5,000 (AUD $6,260) rewards for the best ideas on “establishing a sustained human presence” on the planet.


It may be a novel approach to solicit ideas from the public but given the largely inhospitable conditions and lack of oxygen at the destination, it can’t hurt to have as many suggestions as possible.


The NASA call-out encouraged ideas around “shelter, food, water, breathable air, communication, exercise, social interactions and medicine” but also encouraged participants to submit ideas beyond those categories.


It’s certainly no easy feat and for those who expect to take home the cash prize, the submissions must be “technically achievable, economically sustainable, and minimise reliance on support from Earth.”


The difficulty of the task will far exceed your average punter and the online reaction to the competition has been fierce over what NASA can likely expect from the public submissions.


As reddit users discussed the competition, many thought the prize money was insufficient.


“Come to think of it, considering the effort one has to put into the idea, pretty much giving them a ready-to-implement solution, $5k seems a bit low. Do they at least promise a plaque with your name, bolted at the entrance to the Mars base once it’s set up?” wrote the top commenter.


Despite the challenges, Mars is the most obvious candidate for human exploration. NASA is currently running its Evolvable Mars Campaign aimed at finding solutions to challenges both in transit to Mars and on its surface.


Private companies are also getting in on the action with a Dutch non-profit foundation called MarsOne planning to send humans on a one-way trip to the red planet in 2026.


The company has identified the top 100 candidates for the pioneering adventure and last month news.com.auprofiled the sole Australian picked in the group, Josh Richards.


So if you want to help Mr Richards out and solve the pesky problem of survival on Mars, you can find the application form here.


 


http://www.news.com.au/technology/science/nasa-turns-to-public-for-ideas-on-how-to-survive-on-mars/story-fnjwlcze-1227344340158


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Reaching out to the public isnt a bad idea when you look at the reality and technical challenges involved with sending people to Mars, whether its just a visit or permanent stay.

 

I have no doubt that if a group of national space agencies and private industry pooled their resources and technical know how into creating a clear plan, we could get there within 20 years and actually have it be a worthwhile venture, be it a manned scientific return mission, or with more time beginning a self sustaining colony.

 

The current plans (Mars One Im looking at you) are pretty much impossible to achieve because of a lack of funding, limited scientific knowledge and a completely unrealistic timeframe.

 

A recent report suggested that the first fatalities could occur in as little a 68 days on the Martian surface with current technology

 

http://news.yahoo.com/humans-may-only-survive-68-days-mars-220955518.html

 

At this point sending a crew for a permanent stay gives engineers 9 years to come up with and test solutions for problems we know about and more importantly problems we cant yet predict.

 

We would need advances in radiation shielding, power generation and storage, life support, low gravity manufacturing, recycling and a whole lot of other areas. Not to mention that if you use chemical propulsion to get there its a minimum seven month trip there followed by an 18 month stay before you can make the seven month return voyage. Thats an enormous amount of fuel and supplies.

 

We will get there, things are moving so fast that it leaves little doubt, but 2030s or later seems like the most sensible answer

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Construct many polluting factories around Mars.  This pollution will help thicken the atmosphere.  Once atmosphere is thick enough, we can start growing plants and trees. 

 

Basically what we have to do is speed up global warming on Mars. 

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Construct many polluting factories around Mars.  This pollution will help thicken the atmosphere.  Once atmosphere is thick enough, we can start growing plants and trees. 

 

Basically what we have to do is speed up global warming on Mars. 

you-are-literally-too-stupid-to-insult_1

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I don't even feel like that is a hard topic.

 

Build a compound like they do in Antartica including a UV powered greenhouse. Sending seed packs or seed bags would be super easy. Have a nuclear power source installed to power it like a submarine. Enjoy Mars.

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Construct many polluting factories around Mars.  This pollution will help thicken the atmosphere.  Once atmosphere is thick enough, we can start growing plants and trees. 

 

Basically what we have to do is speed up global warming on Mars. 

What you are talking about is called terraforming, and at the moment its science fiction. The concept is thrown around in a lot of literature, but its not an area of science that gets much in the way of research or funding.

 

One of the things we do know though, is for a planet to be able to hold on to an atmosphere and to protect it from solar winds and radiation it needs to have magnetic shielding, which comes from having an active molten iron nickel core, called a Van Allen Belt. In the past it is believed Mars also had an active core and Van Allen Belt, but it cooled and solidified, leaving the planet unprotected. 

 

If we could make an atmosphere, it would be well beyond our ability to keep it there.

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I don't even feel like that is a hard topic.

 

Build a compound like they do in Antartica including a UV powered greenhouse. Sending seed packs or seed bags would be super easy. Have a nuclear power source installed to power it like a submarine. Enjoy Mars.

I put in the wrong link in an earlier post, but its unfortunately not that simple

 

http://news.yahoo.com/humans-may-only-survive-68-days-mars-220955518.html

 

The Oxygen scrubbing tech from subs has never been used in space, and will probably require a lot of work to adapt. If you want to put in Nuclear power, not only is it in itself very heavy, you have to have adequate shielding, which is also really heavy, and weight is crucial.

 

Just building a rocket that can carry enough fuel and supplies for a crew that can shield them from cosmic radiation from a seven month one way voyage will probably be one of if not the greatest technical achievements of mankind. Like I said earlier if you want to bring people back its seven months there, an 18 month stay while the planets align again and a seven month voyage back.

 

And your going to have to build a couple of these.

 

The Saturn V rocket that took people to the moon was said to be the most complicated machine ever built and contained more than 3 million parts. With a 1% margin for error approximately 30000 components failed per launch, and this rocket will have to travel an incomparably greater distance.

 

The technical challenges are mind boggling

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I didn't read all the posts but wouldn't it make sense to have a launching site from the moon? Way less gravity and would negate the need to worry so much about weight going to Mars. No?

Absolutely, if people were to set up a permanent lunar base with manufacturing capabilities using either the moons own resources or possibly capturing a small asteroid, our ability to travel greater distances would open up dramatically.

But at this point I think it safe to say we'll definitely see people set foot on Mars before we see a permanent lunar base.

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Absolutely, if people were to set up a permanent lunar base with manufacturing capabilities using either the moons own resources or possibly capturing a small asteroid, our ability to travel greater distances would open up dramatically.

But at this point I think it safe to say we'll definitely see people set foot on Mars before we see a permanent lunar base.

Wow. I would have thought the opposite. I guess you'd know better than me though. I don't really follow this stuff.

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Wow. I would have thought the opposite. I guess you'd know better than me though. I don't really follow this stuff.

It doesnt make much sense to me either, but at this point there are no significant plans to make a Lunar base by any group agency that can be taken seriously. Nasa is the only body that could even pull it off at this point and although they did have plans to create something in the mid 2020s under the Bush administration, Obama cut the funding.

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It doesnt make much sense to me either, but at this point there are no significant plans to make a Lunar base by any group agency that can be taken seriously. Nasa is the only body that could even pull it off at this point and although they did have plans to create something in the mid 2020s under the Bush administration, Obama cut the funding.

 

So black Bush really wasn't just stopping at the moon and then Obama came along and **** blocked him before trying to steal the idea of a United States of Space from Bush when he cut the funding in the first place!?!

 

Goddamn you Obama!  This mother****er being half black with the ability to read a teleprompter is the only reason he was elected in the first place!  Don't worry about the war or the economy let's make history with our first black president even though he's not even a real hig hog!  Makes me sick!

Edited by CorporalClegg209
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Absolutely, if people were to set up a permanent lunar base with manufacturing capabilities using either the moons own resources or possibly capturing a small asteroid, our ability to travel greater distances would open up dramatically.

But at this point I think it safe to say we'll definitely see people set foot on Mars before we see a permanent lunar base.

 

Don't you think that man should ACTUALLY walk on the moon before Mars?  That stunt was faker than Jon Jones.

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So black Bush really wasn't just stopping at the moon and then Obama came along and **** blocked him before trying to steal the idea of a United States of Space from Bush when he cut the funding in the first place!?!

 

Goddamn you Obama!  This mother****er being half black with the ability to read a teleprompter is the only reason he was elected in the first place!  Don't worry about the war or the economy let's make history with our first black president even though he's not even a real hig hog!  Makes me sick!

To be fair, at the time it was thought that the moon didnt have much to offer in the way of physical resources, but in recent years the moon has been found to contain a significant amount of water ice, which is crucial for any long term settlement both for sustaining humans and manufacturing things there, as well as Helium 3 which is rare on Earth.

Since these discoveries there has been renewed interest in going back to the moon.

 

Don't you think that man should ACTUALLY walk on the moon before Mars?  That stunt was faker than Jon Jones.

 

Whoa take it easy there Oz

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To be fair, at the time it was thought that the moon didnt have much to offer in the way of physical resources, but in recent years the moon has been found to contain a significant amount of water ice, which is crucial for any long term settlement both for sustaining humans and manufacturing things there, as well as Helium 3 which is rare on Earth.

Since these discoveries there has been renewed interest in going back to the moon.

 

 

Whoa take it easy there Oz

 

Too far m8

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One of the US's biggest problems is that we either change or potentially change NASA's direction every four years with a presidential election cycle, the President being the head of the Executive Branch where NASA resides.

 

Even still, if the direction is not changed, by law, NASA can only spend money on projects where money has been appropriated by Congress. As we've seen over the last 6 years, the President and Congress often disagree.

 

Our previous trips to the moon (yes, we actually did this) were the result of a cold war with the former USSR. Today's geopolitics have changed dramatically...now add to that $18 trillion in federal debt, which is just the public debt and does not account for the debt of Social Security or Medicare liabilities.

 

In summary...the US has a ****load of debt hanging over its head and it's about to come due. There's no way we're embarking on any kind of NASA Mars program.

 

What a buzz kill I am. But welcome to my world.

 

In the meantime, I drink a lot and go to UFC fights.

Edited by Joby
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