Reports from "Humans 2 Mars Summit" suggest dust may prevent human settlement of Mars

May 10, 2013 by Bob Yirka weblog
Mars surface.

(Phys.org) —Reports given by experts in the space-health field suggest it might take longer for humans to build a colony on Mars than has been expected. Such experts speaking to attendees at the recent "Humans 2 Mars Summit" in Washington D.C. expressed concern about the dangers of Martian dust. They believe the health hazards posed by the Martian regolith could prevent humans from colonizing the planet anytime soon.

The announcement comes on the heels of news from Mars One—the Netherlands based group selling tickets for a one way trip to the red planet—announcing that over 78,000 people have signed up so far. Some of those people might change their mind however when they learn of recent discoveries about the content of .

NASA's chief health and medical officer, Richard Williams, told those at the summit that perchlorates appear to be widespread on the planet's surface. The fine dust material produced by perchloric acid has been known to cause thyroid problems in people here on Earth.

Just as problematic, Grant Anderson (co-founder of Paragon Space Development) told the audience, is gypsum. The Curiosity rover has found veins of it near the planet's surface. Though it's not toxic, it has been known to cause a condition similar to black lung in coal miners in people exposed to it for long periods of time.

Both types of are in addition to the known presence of silicates on the —if breathed-in they can cause reactions with water in the lungs and result in the creation of .

Martian dust could pose health hazards because of the difficulty of removing it from and boots. NASA learned during the Apollo space missions that was a much bigger problem than had been anticipated. They have reported in the past on the large amounts of dust that stuck to astronaut suits and boots. Fine grains stick to materials because of static electricity, and on Mars would likely be sucked into a controlled environment by an air-lock. Over time, health specialists fear the dust would build up in air filters and living quarters, adding yet another life threatening element to the list of other known hazards (traveling and landing safely, exposure to radiation and cosmic rays, etc.) for the people who seek to colonize the planet.

Space technologists have yet to figure out a way to remove the fine particulates from suits and boots and because of that, manned missions to Mars could be put on hold indefinitely.

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More information: via Newscientist

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Milou
1.3 / 5 (27) May 10, 2013
The real problem is not what Mars has for us but what we will bring to Mars from Earth (bacteria, viruses, etc.). The worst aspect that we will bring is the human race. We already have started to tear up Mars with our robotics. Wait to see when humans get there????
TheGhostofOtto1923
3 / 5 (21) May 10, 2013
Hmmm more conditions to address. People here on earth live amidst coal and silica dust all the time. Settlements can be located in areas where there is little perchlorate. There is a lot of water up there so things can be washed. Chemicals can be dispersed over wide areas to affix dust and convert toxins. Nukes can fuse the surface. People can live underground.

Just thinking off the top of my head.
The real problem is not what Mars has for us but what we will bring to Mars from Earth (bacteria, viruses, etc.)
Yeah human-haters love to wail about us dirtying up the solar system but rarely think this through. Things which evolved on mars would be much better at living there than anything from earth. They will eat earth bugs not the other way around. We will need to accommodate THEM.
cantdrive85
2.2 / 5 (26) May 10, 2013
Just thinking off the top of my head... Nukes can fuse the surface.


Maybe you should leave the thinking to the rational among us. You should be on top of the one way ticket list, for the sake of humanity.
Jeddy_Mctedder
1.5 / 5 (14) May 10, 2013
We need to steer a truly massive +1 km size asteroid into mars to solve rhe dust problem
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.2 / 5 (20) May 10, 2013
Just thinking off the top of my head... Nukes can fuse the surface.


Maybe you should leave the thinking to the rational among us. You should be on top of the one way ticket list, for the sake of humanity.
Oh look another human-hater. Evil nukes violating your beloved red planet? Nukes WILL be used in all sorts of ways to tame the solar system. Why do you think they were produced in such great amounts?
cantdrive85
1.9 / 5 (18) May 10, 2013
Not a human hater, just an blotto hater. I think there must be a comic book blog somewhere to discuss your sci-fi ideas.
seilgu
3.1 / 5 (7) May 10, 2013
People are going to wear isolation suits, so the dust isn't a problem. On the other hand, if we were to live there in open air, we'd have to terraform it first, that would include warming up the atmosphere with CO2, bringing water to mars by capturing asteroids, introducing bacteria to break up the perchlorates, and growing algae to produce O2. Either way it's not a big problem compared with what you have to do to live there.
EyeNStein
3 / 5 (20) May 10, 2013
I thought they had basically overcome the dust problem by using rear-entry space suits: These suits and boots never come inside: You just reverse-dock with the hatch and climb back out, leaving the suit and dust outside.
It does mean that growing food plants has to be done hydroponically as the raw regolith is not suitable for soil.
visualhawk
2.6 / 5 (17) May 10, 2013
The long and the short is that going to Mars is just plain stupid. It has no magnetic field so the 'Terra-forming' dreams are just that - dreams - any atmosphere created on Mars will just get blown away by the solar wind.

The reality is that we are bound to earth and no technology currently available is going to change that. Short of uploading our selves into self healing electronic devices and blasting of to distant planets with the knowledge to re-create ourselves in a physical form suitable for those - should they be able to sustain life as we know it, humanity will exist for maybe another billion years before the sun turns the earth into a uninhabitable piece of rock.

Wish I could hang around for these billion years but alas - I am still bound to a program being executed in a aging bio computer
.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.8 / 5 (16) May 10, 2013
Not a human hater, just an blotto hater
Sure you are. And your lack of imagination and general ignorance is probably the cause.

"Edward Teller, the "father of the H-bomb", who, in February 1957, proposed the detonation of atomic devices both on and some distance from the lunar surface to analyze the effects of the explosion...

"A ten-member team led by Leonard Reiffel was assembled at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago to study the potential visibility of the explosion, benefits to science, and implications for the lunar surface. Among the members of the research team were astronomer Gerard Kuiper and his doctoral student Carl Sagan, who was responsible for the mathematical projection of the expansion of a dust cloud in space around the Moon, an essential element in determining its visibility from Earth...Scientists initially considered using a hydrogen bomb..."
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.6 / 5 (15) May 10, 2013
More 'sci fi"

"Project Orion was a study of a spacecraft intended to be directly propelled by a series of explosions of atomic bombs behind the craft (nuclear pulse propulsion). Early versions of this vehicle were proposed to have taken off from the ground with significant associated nuclear fallout; later versions were presented for use only in space.

"...initiated in 1958, was led by Ted Taylor at General Atomics and physicist Freeman Dyson, who at Taylor's request took a year away from the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, US to work on the project."
The long and the short is that going to Mars is just plain stupid. It has no magnetic field so the 'Terra-forming' dreams
Many people now spend most of their time in buildings and vehicles. We work underground, travel in subways, and breathe conditioned air.

Robotic earth borers and plowshare-type nukes can quickly create all the space we initially need on mars. Inflatable domes can enclose surface farms.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.6 / 5 (15) May 10, 2013
Terraforming mars
http://en.wikiped..._of_Mars

We can improve surface conditions in many ways, but we dont need shirtsleeve weather to sustain viable colonies. Conditions there are already much better than what we find in space and in many parts of this planet where we live and work.
The reality is that we are bound to earth and no technology currently available is going to change that
"The human race must colonise space within the next two centuries or it will become extinct, Stephen Hawking warned."

""Our only chance of long-term survival is not to remain lurking on planet Earth, but to spread out into space," he said."

"humanity would likely not survive another 1,000 years "without escaping beyond our fragile planet"

Any questions?
grondilu
4.1 / 5 (9) May 10, 2013
So if human settlers can't even use mars's soil, they'll basically have to live in a pretty much closed system. Which makes wonder what is the point of putting such a close system on the surface of mars. It might as well be placed in space.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.5 / 5 (16) May 10, 2013
So if human settlers can't even use mars's soil, they'll basically have to live in a pretty much closed system.
Our cities are a 'closed system'.
Which makes wonder what is the point of putting such a close system on the surface of mars. It might as well be placed in space.
Compare the abundance of useful material on mars which we would have to haul into space. Consider how much easier it is to dig tunnels than to build space stations. Consider that temperatures and pressure are a lot more accommodating than in space.

Consider all that we routinely excavate and construct here on earth every day. Consider what we can do with nuclear power on mars that we cant do here.
http://projectcam...ses.html

-These things would be easy to transport to mars and could operate totally autonomously while we wait. Robotics will make this all possible.
Mayday
3.7 / 5 (6) May 10, 2013
The dust will be a problem, but this is nothing new. I wrote a short story wherein the Martian dust was a sidebar factor some 10 years ago. The dust is extraordinarily fine and will get everywhere. In the story the explorers teeth eventually turn red. And any two materials that contact or rub will soon grind themselves down.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2 / 5 (12) May 10, 2013
The dust will be a problem, but this is nothing new. I wrote a short story wherein the Martian dust was a sidebar factor some 10 years ago. The dust is extraordinarily fine and will get everywhere. In the story the explorers teeth eventually turn red. And any two materials that contact or rub will soon grind themselves down.
Except that from what I find it is not extraordinarily 'fine'. Was your premise also fiction?

Electrostatic charge makes it difficult to remove. People have been developing isolation and clean room technologies for decades now. limited contact with the surface and robotics will mitigate this problem.
cantdrive85
2.4 / 5 (13) May 10, 2013
Ok, let me qualify my statement. Is it sci fi to set off explosives? No, of course not. I fail to detect any logic in your assertion that this may reduce Martian dust. Nuke the entire planet? Wait for that dust to settle, then nuke it again. Wait for that dust to settle, then again. Wait....
What about that dust?
Dust on Mars doesn't just sit on the ground – it gets furiously swept about in dust devils and massive dust storms. This past weekend skywatchers could easily spot an 800-mile-wide dust storm as it spun across Mars at 35 mph.
Every once and a while, Mars experiences the "perfect dust storm," where powerful winds kick dust up into the atmosphere where it is spread around until it eventually clouds the entire planet.

Hmmm...
"limited contact with the surface and robotics will mitigate this problem."
How?
When Apollo astronauts landed there (moon), they were covered in just a few minutes. Within hours, rough lunar dust had scratched up lenses and degraded seals.


cantdrive85
1.8 / 5 (12) May 10, 2013
Terraforming

LOL, there's your sci-fi right there.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.1 / 5 (14) May 10, 2013
I fail to detect any logic in your assertion that this may reduce Martian dust. Nuke the entire planet? Wait for that dust to settle, then nuke it again. Wait for that dust to settle, then again. Wait....
What about that dust?
Keeping dust-free will entail zones of increasing cleanliness. A paved perimeter which can be robotically swept clean can provide dust-free areas for landing and staging. A glassy hard surface can be produced with a nuke detonated at sufficient distance above the surface.
"limited contact with the surface and robotics will mitigate this problem."
How?
Robot excavators to prepare a shielded, pressurized subsurface habitat sealed with prepackaged air lock assemblies. Robot excavators to mine and process surface materials for use by the HUMANS living underground.

Robots will be doing most of the work for us wherever we live. Including here.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.3 / 5 (12) May 10, 2013
Cantdrive is easily intimidated
When Apollo astronauts landed there (moon), they were covered in just a few minutes. Within hours, rough lunar dust had scratched up lenses and degraded seals
-and has no faith in engineers. Apollo gear and logistics were not designed to accomodate regolith. Whatever we send back there will be.

There is relatively little need to maintain a human presence on the moon. Mars however will support an expanding independent colony which is essential if our species is to survive for any length of time. Rovers have been operating in martian conditions for years now. It is obviously a much more friendly environment.

Pressure and radiation are no problem underground. Mining and processing are no problem with robotics on the surface. And power is certainly no problem. We do have all the tech to do these things NOW. Which is why we are doing them NOW.

Underground cities are easy.
http://en.wikiped...ct_Gnome
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.1 / 5 (12) May 10, 2013
Terraforming

LOL, there's your sci-fi right there.
-And you didnt visit the link which would inform you of all the work that scientists have done to explore this very real possibility. THEY dont consider it fiction.
Mayday
3 / 5 (6) May 10, 2013
Yes, I believe dust that has blown on cold, bone dry winds for billions of years will be rather fine. Not every single particle of course, only the most troubling ones. Much of it will naturally stick together, clumping into larger grains, but those "grains" will likely disassemble just when you least expect it (like inside a warm, moist, pressurized habitat). I certainly would not want much of it in my home. I'm afraid my vacuum's filter may not be fine enough. That said, I still do not think it is a show stopper by any means! I find it to be a rather lame distraction. We should be there already exploring the mind-blowing lava tubes.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.7 / 5 (11) May 10, 2013
Yes, I believe dust that has blown on cold, bone dry winds for billions of years will be rather fine.
So you didnt actually find any research which told you this then?
I certainly would not want much of it in my home.
-But since you dont actually know what 'it' is, you only assume you know. Right?

The original article per the link above, written by scientists, does not mention 'fineness' as one of the dangers.
Neinsense99
2.6 / 5 (12) May 11, 2013
Radiation on the surface of Mars is not insignificant, but much less than it would be in orbit, even without a magnetic field, as the planet would block radiation from approximately half the sky.
Neinsense99
3.2 / 5 (11) May 11, 2013
You need the giant space-maid-with-vacuum-cleaner from Spaceballs. That should do the trick. If not, you might have to try combing that desert.
ShotmanMaslo
2.7 / 5 (11) May 11, 2013
The long and the short is that going to Mars is just plain stupid. It has no magnetic field so the 'Terra-forming' dreams are just that - dreams - any atmosphere created on Mars will just get blown away by the solar wind.


No, because that happens on the timescales of millions of years.
Skepticus
2.3 / 5 (6) May 11, 2013
Yeah, building an airlock cum shower and filter system to remove the dust from space suits, and vacuum cleaners and another filtration system for the habitat will cost 5 billions, a little bird from the space contractors told me...
alfie_null
4 / 5 (4) May 11, 2013
I get this sense that people are enthusiastic about starting up a colony on Mars, as if the act of just getting some people to Mars a quickly as possible will be all that's necessary to establish a perpetual presence there. I strongly feel the opposite is likely.

There's a whole lot we don't know, as evidenced by this article. There's even more about which we think we know but are wrong. A premature colony will likely die. Horribly. Which in turn will put a long lasting chill on future development of Martian colonies. As well as, perhaps, other space activities. Note how risk adverse NASA has become after experiencing mishaps.
Jo01
2.7 / 5 (12) May 11, 2013
I agree, alfie_null. Without proper preparation and backup all will die.
Living on Mars can be compared to living on the South Pole but without air you can breath (without dying in an instant) , 100 degrees Celsius colder and mostly CO2 ice without water.
We have only a few very small 'permanent' settlements on the South Pole and they can only survive because all resources are 'nearby' and summer makes the area better accessible.
Anyone who likes to go to Mars should try Antarctica first for a few years, if they survive without help from the outside while growing food and generating heat themselves they could make it even more realistic by creating biosphere 3 on Antarctica and fly it in and set it up like they would on Mars and try to survive that for a year or 3, after that a settlement on Mars is bit more realistic.

J.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2 / 5 (12) May 11, 2013
Anyone who likes to go to Mars should try Antarctica first for a few years, if they survive without help from the outside while growing food
-So you're saying it would be impossible to establish a self-sustaining colony in Antarctica?? Of course it would be possible, with heated greenhouses and such.

In many ways it will be easier on mars. An antarctic colony may not have access to the raw materials which we know are on mars. Sunlight for one.

But robots will be tending the domed farms, maintaining systems, cleaning and shoveling, and constructing, whether at an autonomous south pole colony or on mars. Nuclear power would make either much easier.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.2 / 5 (13) May 11, 2013
There's a whole lot we don't know, as evidenced by this article. There's even more about which we think we know but are wrong. A premature colony will likely die. Horribly. Which in turn will put a long lasting chill on future development of Martian colonies
Like the Jamestown colony. We are also not fully aware (at least not publicly) of all the dangers we face here.

The effort to create underground habitats on mars could begin soon if the need is great enough. Fleet of robotic nuclear borers, excavators, and factories could be sent within a generation. A subsurface colony would avoid most of the perils of the surface. And weve known how to live underground ever since the Hittites.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.3 / 5 (12) May 11, 2013
Yeah, building an airlock cum shower and filter system to remove the dust from space suits, and vacuum cleaners and another filtration system for the habitat will cost 5 billions, a little bird from the space contractors told me...
Pharma companies routinely spend this sort of money on cleanroom manufacturing facilities. It is a very mature technology.

People have no idea what robotics and automated manufacturing will enable.
Aaron1980
2.5 / 5 (8) May 11, 2013
steering comets and asteroids to strike mars should be a top priority. It will be a useful exercise for us so that we can learn how best to redirect potential impact objects from the earth. Then it will pave the way to making mars more habitable in the foreseeable future. Even if it takes a couple of thousand years we do have to leave this planet sooner or later for many practical reasons. Just like five hundred years ago Europeans began populating north and south America for the same reason we will need to populate other planets and moons and artificial satellites we make.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.2 / 5 (13) May 11, 2013
steering comets and asteroids to strike mars should be a top priority. It will be a useful exercise for us so that we can learn how best to redirect potential impact objects from the earth. Then it will pave the way to making mars more habitable in the foreseeable future
Kim stanley robinson wrote a trilogy about terraforming mars with many interesting ideas, among them the need to spin up its rotation so as to mimic the day/night cycle of earth plant life. He suggests that asteroid impacts over many years could do this.
http://en.wikiped..._trilogy
Jo01
2.3 / 5 (9) May 11, 2013
Anyone who likes to go to Mars should try Antarctica first for a few years, if they survive without help from the outside while growing food
-So you're saying it would be impossible to establish a self-sustaining colony in Antarctica?? Of course it would be possible, with heated greenhouses and such.

In many ways it will be easier on mars. An antarctic colony may not have access to the raw materials which we know are on mars. Sunlight for one.

But robots will be tending the domed farms, maintaining systems, cleaning and shoveling, and constructing, whether at an autonomous south pole colony or on mars. Nuclear power would make either much easier.


No I'm not saying that it is impossible, but it would be a real challenge for the robots and automated systems we sent there. Living a few years in such a settlement is a perfect way to test all systems before going to Mars and find it out afterwards without a way to fix it.

J.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.2 / 5 (13) May 11, 2013
No I'm not saying that it is impossible, but it would be a real challenge for the robots and automated systems we sent there
And it will get progressively easier as robotics and materials tech develops.
Living a few years in such a settlement is a perfect way to test all systems before going to Mars and find it out afterwards without a way to fix it
We have been doing just that. We have been living for decades in nuclear subs, aircraft carriers, antarctic outposts, and space stations.

And most likely in secret, fully autonomous and interconnected underground villages. Because THEY would be the best way of testing similar such facilities on other planets, and they would offer reasonably secure safeguards against existential threats which have been realized for half a century now.

AND because they have been entirely possible during that time.
Ober
3.2 / 5 (5) May 11, 2013
Many great posts here, and some brilliant back and fourth discussions.
My opinion:
EyeNstein as usual hit the mark with plain FACTS. Love reading your posts mate!!
TheGhostofOtto1923 sometimes goes off on a tangent, but this time is dedicated to the task of getting humans on Mars, and provided some good solutions. Love the constant use of nukes. We may as well use the most evil weapon for good. But, alot of consideration must be made before exploding them, as no boubt you are aware.
As for no magnetic field on Mars, I thought that while there isn't a global field, there are hundreds of smaller, dome type fields which pop out of the planet all over the place. Finding one near water and sufficient sunlight, would be a good landing site!!!
Also note that there have been proposals to use on the moon of electric field towers to isolate an area, and repel dust.
Also, ppl die on Earth and Space working. This DOESN'T STOP humans from trying again. Whats that saying about if you don't succeed?
VENDItardE
1.4 / 5 (10) May 11, 2013
GOOD, we can't afford it anyway.
ROBTHEGOB
1.6 / 5 (7) May 12, 2013
ok - I still maintain that the biggest problem is going to be the reduced gravity on Mars - about 1/3 that of Earth, I believe. This will have very drastic effects upon the human body in a relatively short time - most of these effects will be very bad, and probably fatal in short order. Humans will only be able to stay on Mars for very short periods, and they will need artificial gravity (via rotation) on spacecraft shuttling them back and forth to Earth. Don't say I didn't warn you.
Midcliff
1.8 / 5 (5) May 12, 2013
Mars colonization is a ridiculous idea. There are no beaches, no Disneyland, no food no water no air - sounds pretty boring. We should spend the money on probes to the great watery moons of the solar system to find a suitable place for colonization. At least we would have water and no dust.
Jo01
1.9 / 5 (9) May 12, 2013
... we have been doing just that. We have been living for decades in nuclear subs, aircraft carriers, antarctic outposts, and space stations.


True, but the environment we will use on Mars has to be developed and tested. Every new system that's that important has to be tested in the form it is actually used. Similar is not enough.
But, you have a point. If it was up to me, we would be going right now.

J.
Jo01
1.4 / 5 (9) May 12, 2013
Mars colonization is a ridiculous idea. There are no beaches, no Disneyland, no food no water no air - sounds pretty boring. We should spend the money on probes to the great watery moons of the solar system to find a suitable place for colonization. At least we would have water and no dust.


Give it time. I'm not sure thats what we have to strive for though (Disneyland I mean).

ROBTHEGOB: gravity isn't a problem at all. The human body will adapt in a very short time.
(Note that some people (and children) weigh a 1/3 th or less than others...)
It's probably best to travel to Mars starting with 1/2 G or so and gradually reduce this to 1/3 G, plenty of time to adapt.

J.
MR166
1.9 / 5 (13) May 12, 2013
I have news for all you dreamers, the western world is pretty much bankrupt and unable to support itself with meaningful work. Now you want to take the remaining wealth and shoot it off into space. How are our deficit ridden governments supposed to pay for this, more taxes?

This makes about as much sense as North Korea spending massive amounts of money on nuclear weapons and missiles while it's population is starving.
Ober
4.2 / 5 (5) May 12, 2013
MR166, I have to disagree.

The money does NOT go into space. The money stays here on Earth. People get paid to make this happen, and that inturn feeds their families, they are employed, and revenue is returned to the Government via taxes. It's called economic stimulation. Everyone wins, except maybe the astronaughts if all goes to shit.
As for the world not being able to afford it, you mean the US GOVERNMENT cannot afford it. If this is the case how about the US reduce its military spending. Stop spending money to kill people, and spend it on helpng humanity move forward in space and technology, which we know they are good at!!!!
Research MARS ONE, and you will see that the private sector can afford it.
Aaron1980
2.5 / 5 (8) May 12, 2013

if the Chinese do this they can create mag-lev launcher slopping up the Himalayas... say with a couple of hundred miles of track to get to escape velocity. reach mars with nominal fuel ... ion engine ... smaller model... we have all the technology ... just need someone like the Chinese with tons of money and tons of people who work cheap ... they can have this started up in a couple of years ... forget about USA or Europe doing anything like this as it would be economically impossible... but for the Chinese this is nothing for them to handle economically speaking ... just another make work project for a socialist government to keep all their billion people busy

China has the best type of government and economy as well as plenty of people for colonizing mars
sirchick
5 / 5 (2) May 12, 2013
Why do they keep talking about settling on mars, we ain't even visited the place yet except with robots.... why are we running before we even set foot.

I'm sure we can find a solution for the dust problem, we can simulate it on earth and then research the technology to solve it I'm sure. By the time we can settle on mars i'm sure we would've found a solution for things like ventilation.
MR166
1.4 / 5 (9) May 12, 2013
"The money does NOT go into space. The money stays here on Earth."

What you fail to understand is that not all types spending increases our standard of living the same amount. As an example, building a home or planting crops creates more wealth than having someone dig a ditch and the man behind him filling it in.
ROBTHEGOB
2 / 5 (8) May 13, 2013
Jo01: sorry, but you are wrong about the human body quickly adapting to low gravity; it is not total mass that is important, it is the fact that the human organs and systems are designed to function properly in Earth's gravity. The human body may EVENTUALLY adapt or evolve to live in reduced gravity, but it will be a very painful and lengthy process. In the end, they would not really be humans, but Martians. If you go there, be prepared for a lot of discomfort and physical pain.
JinXer
4 / 5 (4) May 13, 2013
Instead of an air-lock, could they not use a "water-lock"?

The exterior hatch opens, the excursion party jumps in the pool, hatch closes and they walk/swim to the next hatch and climb out.

The water would solve the static cling issue as well as dust coming in through an air-lock.
vlaaing peerd
2.3 / 5 (3) May 13, 2013
Mars colonization is a ridiculous idea. There are no beaches, no Disneyland, no food no water no air - sounds pretty boring. We should spend the money on probes to the great watery moons of the solar system to find a suitable place for colonization. At least we would have water and no dust.


Despite the vicarious shame I have for the totally stupid Mars-one project, I am actually delighted to say the Dutch did think of this aspect already:

http://digitalmar...arty.jpg

That drew the first 77.000 to sign up, the other 1000 are just a bunch of suicidal maniacs.

Nevertheless stupidity mixed with a bit of entrepeneurship has proven to be a good recipe for discovering new lands over the course of history.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.3 / 5 (12) May 13, 2013
The human body may EVENTUALLY adapt or evolve to live in reduced gravity, but it will be a very painful and lengthy process
-Or it may not be a problem AT ALL. Quit guessing.
In the end, they would not really be humans, but Martians
Yah i saw the rock hudson mini-series.
If you go there, be prepared for a lot of discomfort and physical pain.
Any more than riding in a covered wagon to California? Any more than homesteading on the great plains?

Ever notice the rock walls in new England woods? Settlers had to clear cut forests to plant crops. The freeze/thaw cycle would force rocks to the surface and every spring these had to be carted off before planting could begin.

This WORK entailed a lot of discomfort and physical pain. And yet there were, and are, a great many people willing to endure the WORK necessary for the chance to create a better life for themselves somewhere new.

The pioneer spirit is the biological urge to diverge, the kern of species creation.
cantdrive85
1.4 / 5 (10) May 13, 2013
Instead of an air-lock, could they not use a "water-lock"?

The exterior hatch opens, the excursion party jumps in the pool, hatch closes and they walk/swim to the next hatch and climb out.

The water would solve the static cling issue as well as dust coming in through an air-lock.


What water? Maybe they should build a water pipe to Earth next to the gondola connecting Mars to Earth.
mrlewish
2 / 5 (4) May 13, 2013
You could get more out of building about 20 dedicated nuclear plants along the coasts of north African countries to desalinate water and then pump it into the Sahara. Terraform that and you get much needed agricultural land and plants to soak up CO2.
Judgeking
4.2 / 5 (5) May 13, 2013
The real threat to the exploration of Mars is people coming up with excuses not to go.
Mike Smith
2.3 / 5 (3) May 13, 2013
Temperatures on Mars drop at night to minus 60 degrees C. Oxygen in the atmosphere is about 0.1% versus 20% on Earth. Air pressure is about .1 psi versus 14.6 psi on Earth.
There may be bad dust in the atmosphere but humans would not live long enough there to ever find that out.
no fate
2.3 / 5 (3) May 13, 2013
The real threat to the exploration of Mars is people coming up with excuses not to go.


They aren't excuses that people come up with, they are obstacles that exist that must be overcome in order for this to succeed. I would like to see them make it work but I would bet every penny I have that it wont.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.3 / 5 (9) May 13, 2013
Temps on Mars drop at night to minus 60 degrees C
The lowest natural temperature ever recorded at the surface of the Earth was −89.2 °C / −128.6 °F at the Soviet Vostok Station in Antarctica. A summer day on Mars may get up to 70 degrees F
Oxygen in the atmosphere is about 0.1% versus 20% on Earth. Air pressure is about .1 psi versus 14.6 psi on Earth
At 40,000 feet (12,000 m) the ambient air pressure falls to about 0.2 bar People are there all the time.
There may be bad dust in the atmosphere but humans would not live long enough there to ever find that out
Nor in many of the places we choose to inhabit here today on earth.

U.S. Navy submarines can submerge deeper than 800 feet. Pressure at this level is 25 bar or 25 x sea level. Of course pressure outside the ISS is about zero.
they are obstacles that exist that must be overcome in order for this to succeed
No, they are merely design parameters.
MaiioBihzon
2.3 / 5 (15) May 15, 2013
Now that wealthy entrepreneurs and billionaires want to go to Mars, it is only a matter of time. NASA will, in response, move a manned Mars mission up as a priority.

So we're going, and about time.

And it looks like it's happening:

http://www.nasa.g...ugh.html

But what about the health hazards posed by this fine dust? Does anyone really think this will ultimately prevent us from sending humans to the only other Earth-like planet in our Solar System? It's a problem, and solutions will be found and developed.

We're still going. And we kind of have to, since a technological species that remains bound to its planet is not the master of its fate and is doomed to be constrained by its finite resources.
antialias_physorg
4.2 / 5 (5) May 15, 2013
People here on earth live amidst coal and silica dust all the time

And they die pretty nasty deaths. Also they have factories elsewhere that can replace machines which break down or filters that clog due to dust. Something that is noticeably missing on Mars. The article is about dust brought INTO structures via airlocks which was a big problem during the Moon landings.

At 40,000 feet (12,000 m) the ambient air pressure falls to about 0.2 bar People are there all the time.

That's no mean feat as the highest mountain on Earth is 8850m high. Who did you have in mind? Superman?

And one might add the niggling detail that even if the pressure were OK then the atmosphere on Mars is utterly unbreathable (and would instantly put you in a coma - even if the oxygen concentration were higher. Anything from 7-10% CO2 will put your lights out. Mars is 90% CO2)

Just thinking off the top of my head.

Might try thinking with it instead.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.1 / 5 (7) May 16, 2013
Dense On PurposE. Don't be a dope AA. 40,000 ft is the cruising altitude of commercial jets. Our tech enables us to survive at that pressure.
CO2
Did you say CO2? Why, that has some O2 in it doesn't it? Maybe if we squeeze it or agitate it or something we could make something we could breathe.

Hey if we discombobulate some of that water up there we could get O2 AND H2 for fuel or Zeppelins or something.

Are you writing all this down AA? cause I'm not-
Neinsense99
2 / 5 (7) May 25, 2013
We need to steer a truly massive +1 km size asteroid into mars to solve rhe dust problem

Beyond the dust that would be kicked up, the global barrage of incoming debris and spreading rock vapor might be of some slight concern to any explorers who might be mucking about.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (2) May 25, 2013
Did you say CO2? Why, that has some O2 in it doesn't it? Maybe if we squeeze it or agitate it or something we could make something we could breathe.

Try the math on that one (energy wise). You'll quickly see that it's not economically feasible. May be a (rather expensive) way of getting some suits filled - but atmospheric change so that you can live in the open? No way.

Even if you were to convert so much CO2 into O2 ny spome miraculous magic that you have a 20% O2 atmosphere:

Pressure is still 1/100th of what a human needs to survive
CO2 level is then STILL 25 times too high for any human to survive.

You should really start to think (things through) before posting.

We need to steer a truly massive plus 1 km size asteroid into mars to solve rhe dust problem
A 1 km diamtere asteroid would do diddly squat. it's miniscule compared to the dust issue. Not even a 100km diameter object would do anything.