View Poll Results: Which planet should we focus on more to terraform?

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  • Mars

    6 30.00%
  • Venus

    4 20.00%
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    10 50.00%
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Thread: Venus vs. Mars

  1. #121
    Muizer's Avatar member 3519
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    Default Re: Venus vs. Mars

    Quote Originally Posted by Heathen Hammer View Post
    We need to develop intergalactic travel and terraforming technologies to eventually provide more living space for humanity.
    One could ask the question 'Why'. Why does humanity need more living space? A recurring argument here is the 'all eggs in one basket' one which holds that if humanity does not venture into space, it will go extinct as a result of cosmic catastrophy or ultimately Sol's life cycle making life on earth impossible. While the former could happen and the latter certainly will, to claim that this is a high priority problem that needs to be tackled starting now is too ridiculous to entertain. I would go so far as to say that anyone who raises this in earnest cannot be taken seriously, as it betrays a complete lack of sense of proportions. Locking yourself in a bunker for a lifetime to avoid getting hit by lightning is an eminently sane proposition by comparison.
    Equally fantastical is the notion that shipping people into space is a solution to over-crowding. With the current technology, the energy expenditure to lift billions out of the gravity well is prohibitive and the kind of innovations needed to solve that so far only exist in sci-fi novels (the ones from the 60s and 70s. Modern sci-fi author know they can't get away with it in near future fiction). So there's the paradox that in order to survive, humanity must solve over-crowding before space colonization can reasonably be expected, which in turn means the colonization of space won't ever have solving over-crowding as its aim.
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  2. #122

    Default Re: Venus vs. Mars

    Quote Originally Posted by Heathen Hammer View Post
    It doesn't mean we should send out Warhammer-style pioneer fleets right away.
    We need to develop intergalactic travel and terraforming technologies to eventually provide more living space for humanity.
    Did you just intentionally suggest intergalactic travel? Or by mistake? Even interstellar travel is highly doubtful to ever happen.

    I really do not intend to start a fight here, but if you are serious with that and all the rest you have opined on the matter, I really must say that you are operating under misunderstandings rooted in science fiction. Which, by the way, is just fiction and not science at all. Brought about by the artistic types.

    Us boring science and engineering types who make calculations and have to take practical responsibility of our ideas are generally not very keen on spending our ever more limited resources on such wild goose chases. The very attempt to direct enough resources into those could ruin our chances of building a sustainable future here on Earth. Well, there are the few billionares who are shoving money at their space tourism programs instead of competing in sustainable technology to keep Earth habitable, but none of them is going to find a new home for humanity.

  3. #123

    Default Re: Venus vs. Mars

    Quote Originally Posted by Muizer View Post
    One could ask the question 'Why'. Why does humanity need more living space? A recurring argument here is the 'all eggs in one basket' one which holds that if humanity does not venture into space, it will go extinct as a result of cosmic catastrophy or ultimately Sol's life cycle making life on earth impossible. While the former could happen and the latter certainly will, to claim that this is a high priority problem that needs to be tackled starting now is too ridiculous to entertain. I would go so far as to say that anyone who raises this in earnest cannot be taken seriously, as it betrays a complete lack of sense of proportions. Locking yourself in a bunker for a lifetime to avoid getting hit by lightning is an eminently sane proposition by comparison.
    Equally fantastical is the notion that shipping people into space is a solution to over-crowding. With the current technology, the energy expenditure to lift billions out of the gravity well is prohibitive and the kind of innovations needed to solve that so far only exist in sci-fi novels (the ones from the 60s and 70s. Modern sci-fi author know they can't get away with it in near future fiction). So there's the paradox that in order to survive, humanity must solve over-crowding before space colonization can reasonably be expected, which in turn means the colonization of space won't ever have solving over-crowding as its aim.
    The rest of the post from the part you quoted pretty much addresses everything that was said here.
    Quote Originally Posted by Septentrionalis View Post
    Did you just intentionally suggest intergalactic travel? Or by mistake? Even interstellar travel is highly doubtful to ever happen.

    I really do not intend to start a fight here, but if you are serious with that and all the rest you have opined on the matter, I really must say that you are operating under misunderstandings rooted in science fiction. Which, by the way, is just fiction and not science at all. Brought about by the artistic types.

    Us boring science and engineering types who make calculations and have to take practical responsibility of our ideas are generally not very keen on spending our ever more limited resources on such wild goose chases. The very attempt to direct enough resources into those could ruin our chances of building a sustainable future here on Earth. Well, there are the few billionares who are shoving money at their space tourism programs instead of competing in sustainable technology to keep Earth habitable, but none of them is going to find a new home for humanity.
    Eventually we should develop technology for both. I mean keep in mind, almost same amount of time has passed since first experimental airplanes became a thing and flight of the moon as from that point to today. technology can leap forward in great strides, if we put enough effort into it.
    Of course, we'd need to become more familiar with our own system first before we venture further.
    Space travel for billionaires is actually great, it creates growth in space research fields and provides a bigger source for funding. If we'd start trimming the fat of other government spending (foreign aid, funding for bloated bureaucracy and various obsolete alphabet agencies), we'd quickly find ourselves with enough cash to at least do the part in theoretical research to build the foundation for more practical implementations in the future.
    I don't think Earth can remain sustainable without major changes, we'd probably need revolution or even series of revolutions to fix lots of issues as our current ruling classes are mentally stuck in 20th century.

  4. #124
    swabian's Avatar igni ferroque
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    Default Re: Venus vs. Mars

    Quote Originally Posted by Muizer View Post
    How about we start with keeping Earth livable.
    Of course that should have and does have priority. But those transgenerational endeavors need a step by step approach over many, many decades in order for humanity to gather enough know how and experience. It's worth it to invest a reasonable fraction of the global budget into space exploration. There's also lots of useful discoveries to be made along the way.

  5. #125
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    Default Re: Venus vs. Mars

    Late to the party, as usual ...

    IIRC I already had a discussion with PovG about the Venus vs Mars thing, and I'm still firmly convinced that Mars would be easier to live on and "possibly" terraform than Venus. That being said, I don't believe, as others said as well, that we should be really thinking about terraforming either of the two, both are really unsuited for a similar process, IMO.
    I mean, terraforming (which I like to remember it's just a theoretical process, almost nothing of it has been tested yet) is an incredibly complex process, which can take thousands and thousands of years and that could be subject to sudden, unpredictable events, that will kill all that has been done before. In general I would say that the very idea of terraforming is very impractical, to use a mild term.

    If we'll ever try something like that, it will be only on a planet/moon which is already very close to Earth's native conditions, in particular for what regards non-toxicity/non-corrosiveness of the atmosphere, the presence of a magnetosphere and an acceptable gravity/pressure and temp at the ground. With a non aggressive atmosphere, the protection of a magnetosphere and "regular" gravity/pressure/temperature, even with the actual technologies we could be able to set up colonies for an indefinite length of time; once the colonies are settled, then the generations long process of "making this rock more similar to Earth", could start. I don't see in any way how it would be logic, or even possible, to terraform a celestial body where you are not already living (the process of improving our own living environment is innate to the humankind, well in most of the cases, at the least ), therefore if said body doesn't have the minimum conditions for the life as we know it to survive for generations, there's no chance that any terraformation would take place. Not Venus neither Mars present those conditions, nor any other body in the Solar System as far as I know.
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  6. #126
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    Default Re: Venus vs. Mars

    The moon is impossible to terraform because it cannot hold an atmosphere. Mars would actually only take a couple of centuries to terraform, maybe even less than that, with the right technology because the planet is already perfectly positioned for life, better positioned than Earth in fact, and all that would be required is the replication of the what happened on earth 3 billion years ago, namely bombard the planet with comets to bring in water and introduce genetically modified oxygen creating plants and bacteria.
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  7. #127

    Default Re: Venus vs. Mars

    Quote Originally Posted by Flinn View Post
    Late to the party, as usual ...

    IIRC I already had a discussion with PovG about the Venus vs Mars thing, and I'm still firmly convinced that Mars would be easier to live on and "possibly" terraform than Venus. That being said, I don't believe, as others said as well, that we should be really thinking about terraforming either of the two, both are really unsuited for a similar process, IMO.
    I mean, terraforming (which I like to remember it's just a theoretical process, almost nothing of it has been tested yet) is an incredibly complex process, which can take thousands and thousands of years and that could be subject to sudden, unpredictable events, that will kill all that has been done before. In general I would say that the very idea of terraforming is very impractical, to use a mild term.

    If we'll ever try something like that, it will be only on a planet/moon which is already very close to Earth's native conditions, in particular for what regards non-toxicity/non-corrosiveness of the atmosphere, the presence of a magnetosphere and an acceptable gravity/pressure and temp at the ground. With a non aggressive atmosphere, the protection of a magnetosphere and "regular" gravity/pressure/temperature, even with the actual technologies we could be able to set up colonies for an indefinite length of time; once the colonies are settled, then the generations long process of "making this rock more similar to Earth", could start. I don't see in any way how it would be logic, or even possible, to terraform a celestial body where you are not already living (the process of improving our own living environment is innate to the humankind, well in most of the cases, at the least ), therefore if said body doesn't have the minimum conditions for the life as we know it to survive for generations, there's no chance that any terraformation would take place. Not Venus neither Mars present those conditions, nor any other body in the Solar System as far as I know.
    I think what some are missing is that what seems like the unreachable goal for the most is what drives a lot of scientific progress that feeds many different technologies with many different applications. Even if we can never successfully terraform a planet in the foreseeable future the efforts would yield amazing results. Humans do not create technologies by themselves. They need a goal. If nobody had the idea of reaching Mars we wouldn't have made much progress in rocket technology by itself.
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  8. #128
    Sir Adrian's Avatar the Imperishable
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    Default Re: Venus vs. Mars

    I agree with you except humans usually create new technologies for war, and they filter down to civilian use with time. Example rockets, the internet, even the space race was about USA and USSR bombing each other in case of war and protection against bombing.
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  9. #129
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    Default Re: Venus vs. Mars

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Adrian View Post
    The moon is impossible to terraform because it cannot hold an atmosphere. Mars would actually only take a couple of centuries to terraform, maybe even less than that, with the right technology because the planet is already perfectly positioned for life, better positioned than Earth in fact, and all that would be required is the replication of the what happened on earth 3 billion years ago, namely bombard the planet with comets to bring in water and introduce genetically modified oxygen creating plants and bacteria.
    LoL I'd guess it will take more than a couple of hundreds of years for the planet crust to cool off and solidify again, after that we have bombarded it with comets

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Adrian View Post
    I agree with you except humans usually create new technologies for war, and they filter down to civilian use with time. Example rockets, the internet, even the space race was about USA and USSR bombing each other in case of war and protection against bombing.
    Sad but true
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  10. #130
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    Default Re: Venus vs. Mars

    Quote Originally Posted by Flinn View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Adrian View Post
    I agree with you except humans usually create new technologies for war, and they filter down to civilian use with time. Example rockets, the internet, even the space race was about USA and USSR bombing each other in case of war and protection against bombing.
    Sad but true
    Nothing sad about that. War causalities and individual sufferings means nothing to human civilization. Would anyone today trade airplanes, computers or advanced medicine with a peaceful life for their illiterate ancestors so they can farm potato everyday undisturbed til death?

    If we have to manufacture conflicts to keep it going... so be it.

  11. #131
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    Default Re: Venus vs. Mars

    Would you sacrifice yourself, everyone you know, and a few million other people for there to be a chance at a great technological leap happening over the proceeding decades?

    For all the wars that have lead to great technological discoveries there are hundreds more that have lead to nothing but mass destruction and death.

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  12. #132

    Default Re: Venus vs. Mars

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Adrian View Post
    Mars would actually only take a couple of centuries to terraform,
    Actually? It would actually take only a couple of centuries or less to terraform a freezing radioactive desert world no atmosphere to speak of? Who planned and made the schedule and resource calculation that permits such a claim? If nobody did, where do these fantasies come from?

    If it would only take a couple of centuries to do that, how long would it take to reduce our global mean temperature by just one centigrade and put people's minds at ease about the climate catastrophe? A minuscule, negligible task in comparison.

  13. #133
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    Default Re: Venus vs. Mars

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Adrian View Post
    I agree with you except humans usually create new technologies for war, and they filter down to civilian use with time. Example rockets, the internet, even the space race was about USA and USSR bombing each other in case of war and protection against bombing.
    All except rockets are untrue. The internet was developed for scientific purposes. The USSR had the same idea even earlier for economic purposes. The space race happened exactly because the USA and USSR couldn't go to war against each other directly. E.g. the USA was flying all over eastern Europe as far as Minsk to see if they would be able to drop the nukes, and in the most likely timespan for a nuclear war, which was in the late 1940s and early 1950s, the nuke drops would almost all have been from aircraft. I.e. the space race was a direct result of the USSR and USA NOT having it out in a hot war.

    Aircraft development started out of human fascination as a hobby project first, THEN became economically viable and the military adoption happened next but only as the third step. It is very much a stretch to claim that planes and even helicopters wouldn't have come up naturally.
    The Soviet TsAGI 1-EA (first helicopter to have flown in world history) is hard to separate from the military since in the Soviet Union all was one, but the other two early examples, the émigré Russian Igor Sikorsky's VS-300 and even the Reich's Fw 61 on the other hand did not have the military angle from the start.

    Inventions from the military introduced into civilian life require that the economic advantage was either not apparent at the start or the initial research and investment cost prohibitively high. Otherwise the civilian side tends to almost always come first, as the majority of human history saw far more civilian research going on than military research. An example for prohibitive cost would be the GPS system, but that's more or less it.

    Space romantism started out before the first proper rockets went up, and it doesn't even matter which country we take a look at (Soviet Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, French Robert Esnault-Pelterie, German Hermann Oberth or American Robert Goddard) all did the first steps with no military purposes in mind. And even though it's true that with WW2 and the cold war playing out the military got an important role to play in that (and given the sheer potential of rocket driven weapons this was always inevitable), it's quite the stretch to claim that in an alternate Lennonverse people wouldn't still develop space flight. Unless they all were high listening to strawberry fields all the time, that is.
    Last edited by Cookiegod; September 25, 2021 at 07:22 AM.

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  14. #134
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    Default Re: Venus vs. Mars

    Quote Originally Posted by Cookiegod View Post
    I.e. the space race was a direct result of the USSR and USA NOT having it out in a hot war.
    Yet the conflict was vital. Without conflict there is no demand to get better.

    Quote Originally Posted by Akar View Post
    Would you sacrifice yourself, everyone you know, and a few million other people for there to be a chance at a great technological leap happening over the proceeding decades?

    For all the wars that have lead to great technological discoveries there are hundreds more that have lead to nothing but mass destruction and death.
    Definitely not. But let's take a look at the alternative - a nice, peaceful world where nothing bad ever happens: Moriori.

    They couldn't build toilets or weapons.

    And they got eaten later because why not?

    Or we could take a look at Qing empire which reached the peak pre-industrial stage - every cultured fellows, soldiers and public servants were into opium which was supposed to be medicine, just like how porn became No.1 Internet usage today.

    That is the natural development of human society. A dead one.


    Now you could answer which one sounds better:

    1. Have a society that can support 1000 persons, 99% die before 30
    2. Have a society that can support one millions, 1/10 of them die in brutal war and the rest after 70.

    But of course if you ask the 1000 in group 1, none of them would want anything else. And nobody in group 2 would want war which facilitated their progress. What they have in common, is that none of them want any radicial changes, because they couldn't see the bigger picture.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cookiegod View Post
    it's quite the stretch to claim that in an alternate Lennonverse people wouldn't still develop space flight. Unless they all were high listening to strawberry fields all the time, that is.
    Weren't they?

    What exactly would they do space flight for? All those development need funding and nobody would dump tons of tax money on something that's almost guaranteed to fail, with no projected schedule possible and without any foreseeable profit. The only reason they did it is because they were afraid.
    Last edited by AqD; September 25, 2021 at 06:07 PM.

  15. #135
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    Default Re: Venus vs. Mars

    Scientists have managed to grow clovers in martian soil by adding bacteria to the planet's regolith. This is a huge step forward because it can mean that staple crop agriculture is viable on Mars.

    @Cookie: The internet was invented by DARPA as a tool for military research. Airplanes were indeed invented by civilians but they became mainstream during WW1 and the development of the airplane was fueled by the military's need for faster and better aircraft. Same with the helicopter. It's usage by the US army in Korea is what really triggered development and said development was always pushed by the army. As for the space race, the Cold War was a war, and the race happened on the backdrop and because of the great military buildup. Romanticizing space is one thing but the space race that got us the first satellites and to the Moon were strictly cases of being able to spy on the enemy, one-upping the enemy and being able to militarize space. It's no coincidence that development slowed down significantly once it was clear that the US had won the nuclear arms race and the Soviet Union could not nuke America from space.
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  16. #136
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    Default Re: Venus vs. Mars

    Is that really Mars' soil? I guess it's not, sadly

    it might be very similar, but it's not that soil (also, like if it had the same soil all over its surface ). And I don't see them saying anything about temperature.

    It's still an important step forward, I agree, but I very much dislike when they push facts to make them look something different. Same tone is used in the article you linked
    i.e.

    The Red Planet resembles Earth, as a rocky planet with a similar size and composition to our own.
    similar size? Mars' mass is 6,4185×1023 kg equal to 0,107 the mass of the Earth. And similar composition?

    lol
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