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Thread: 2024, a Mission to Mars. Is that even possible at all?

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    Default 2024, a Mission to Mars. Is that even possible at all?

    Let me open this with a statement: me being a business man, I never believe in full to what another business man is telling me. Musk is not an engineer, not a scientist, not a philanthropist; he's just an 100% pure, crystalline, extremely talented business man.

    That being said, I guess all of us have read or heard about Musk's project to found a colony on Mars within 2024 (while I have to admit that I could not find this precise date written everywhere, he himself said that 2024 is a feasible possibility).

    However, a bit of "history", below there are 3 videos from 2019, 2020 and 2021 about Musk's project (also look at the comments on the videos, they are interesting to say the least)







    In case you are completely virgin about SpaceX Mars Program (as it is officially called), you can have a look at the Wiki page.

    Here you can find SpaceX official website; I'd like to point your attention to how commercially oriented that page is, very good looking, but giving out not very strict data which were not simulations or opinions.

    I'm very skeptic that SpaceX will manage to even be relatively close to that date, by that time they will still be trying to solve (or better to analyze in order to prevent) all the possible issues of actually travelling (and landing) on Mars, to the point that the actual discussion about efficiently* surviving on Mars won't be even fully started by then (at the least in practical terms). *I mean efficiently in the sense of being able to set up a colony that will last for years, not just landing there and leave after 15 days (and even this is far beyond the actual skills and possibility of anyone on Earth, included Nasa and SpaceX).

    IMO, the great lie here is in considering Mars a relatively non-hostile environment, and that's BS, period. Quoting SpaceX's itself

    WHY MARS?
    At an average distance of 140 million miles, Mars is one of Earth's closest habitable neighbors. Mars is about half again as far from the Sun as Earth is, so it still has decent sunlight. It is a little cold, but we can warm it up. Its atmosphere is primarily CO2 with some nitrogen and argon and a few other trace elements, which means that we can grow plants on Mars just by compressing the atmosphere. Gravity on Mars is about 38% of that of Earth, so you would be able to lift heavy things and bound around. Furthermore, the day is remarkably close to that of Earth.

    Diameter 6,791 km / 4,220 mi
    Day Length 24 hrs 37 min
    Force of Gravity 38% of Earth
    Avg Distance from Earth 225Mkm / 140Mmi
    Age 4.5 billion year
    No it isn't habitable and even surviving for 15 days will be a titanic challenge; no magnetosphere, no breathable atmosphere, severe temperature gap between day and night, planet wide sand storms... and those are just the main cons, ie even low gravity is an issue, because moving properly with a body that is 62% lighter that in Earth but with a badly distributed weight (due to the suit) will cause plenty of falls, and each of them is potentially lethal or anyway critic... but look at what SpaceX says about it

    Gravity on Mars is about 38% of that of Earth, so you would be able to lift heavy things and bound around.
    or about temperature

    It is a little cold, but we can warm it up.
    lol if that's not pure commercial stuff...

    Furthermore

    Furthermore, the day is remarkably close to that of Earth.
    That's the only thing similar to Earth and totally the less important at all!

    If they had said in 2040, I would have considered this a concrete possibility.. but as it is now, this is essentially a huge commercial campaign, which main purpose for Musk is to experiment new technologies with the sole purpose of reusing and adapting them for Earth in a relatively short period of time.
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    Default Re: 2024, a Mission to Mars. Is that even possible at all?

    Mars' lack of magnetosphere, breathable atmosphere, and huge temperature swings are somewhat irrelevant once you take into consideration that all of the Mars colonization projects would utilize biospheres and other closed ecological systems. There is no need to terraform the entirety of Mars when we can relatively easily create areas of habitability on or below the surface with technology that is in use on Earth today. The idea that we would need to terraform the surface of Mars into an Earth-like environment before it would be feasible to live there is misrepresentative of what the current methods for colonization and habitability would be.

    The fact that the gravity on Mars is over twice that of our closest stellar neighbor, the Moon (which sits at 16% of Earth's gravity), means that the long term effects of zero-g on the body are greatly reduced. The effects of gravity are much more easily counteracted by a regular exercise regimen.

    The temperature swings, while greater than anything on Earth, are not as unlivable as you suggest. Mars has a minimum temperature of -226 Fahrenheit, and a maximum temperature of of 95 Fahrenheit. While this sort of temperature swing is certainly unlivable for a creature on the surface exposed to the elements, it would be nothing to worry about in a temperature controlled environment on or below the planet's surface. We are easily able to maintain appropriate internal temperatures in structures in Earth's coldest possible conditions as well as in the vacuum of space. Additionally, these temperatures are not sufficient to melt or destroy common building materials.

    Compare this temperature with our other closest stellar neighbor (excluding our pal the moon), Venus. Venus has average temperatures of 867 Fahrenheit, which can easily overwhelm the structural integrity of many common building materials. Anything constructed on the surface of an unterraformed Venus would have to be constructed to withstand insane temperature and pressure differences (the atmospheric pressure on Venus is 92 times that of Earth, and 14,650 times that of Mars). In order to build lasting structures and technology on Venus, we would need to extensively rework the technology and materials that we are currently using to work with Venus' extreme temperature and pressure differences.

    all the possible issues of actually travelling (and landing) on Mars
    Traveling to and landing on Mars are by far the least logistically challenging aspects of this entire endeavor, in my opinion. The hardest part will be the return journey, assuming that's even something they plan on doing.

    Your concerns with Musk/SpaceX's timeline and level of trustworthiness are well placed, but he's absolutely not wrong about Mars' potential for Human colonization.

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    Default Re: 2024, a Mission to Mars. Is that even possible at all?

    I just now realized that the title might be misleading, "is that even possible at all" refers to the 2024 deadline, of course.

    @ akar, good thinking I still believe that 2024 as a deadline is just a bait and never was intended to be anything different. Musk, you are a mean dude, eh?
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    Default Re: 2024, a Mission to Mars. Is that even possible at all?

    I understood that, but I just wanted to address some of the other things you mentioned which I felt were more important/interesting than just a "y/n" about whether or not the deadline is possible .

    Without seeing all of the inside data that Musk has access to, I'd say that the 2024 deadline doesn't really sound feasible. It's possible we could see some sort of SpaceX activity on Mars by that time though, just not colonization.

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    Default Re: 2024, a Mission to Mars. Is that even possible at all?

    Whenever Musk and CGI are involved, everything is possible. Who knows. There's plenty of time til 2024 so we'll probably have a Tesla Semi hyperloop to Mars by then.

    And now in all seriousness:
    Quote Originally Posted by Akar View Post
    Mars' lack of magnetosphere, breathable atmosphere, and huge temperature swings are somewhat irrelevant once you take into consideration that all of the Mars colonization projects would utilize biospheres and other closed ecological systems. There is no need to terraform the entirety of Mars when we can relatively easily create areas of habitability on or below the surface with technology that is in use on Earth today. The idea that we would need to terraform the surface of Mars into an Earth-like environment before it would be feasible to live there is misrepresentative of what the current methods for colonization and habitability would be.
    Yes but no. There's no nitrogen on mars so have fun either transporting tons of food there or tons of nitrate there. The area and effort required to feed even a small population on Mars would be ridiculous. Temperature swings might seem less relevant, except you forget the tiny issue with thermal expansion. The common way to deal with thermal expansion on earth is by leaving gaps which individual building elements can expand into, but here obviously they can't. You're right about the underground stuff. Forget about those fancy 3D printed housing facilities you can see plenty of concepts online (and one 3D printed irl which however cheated in many, many ways). The way to go would be digging small (!) domes far enough below ground where thermal expansion is no longer an issue, and connecting those domes with with tunnels. People on Mars should not expect to see much of those dunes at all. Forget everything about windows, and expect it to smell really badly from stale air.

    Quote Originally Posted by Akar View Post
    The fact that the gravity on Mars is over twice that of our closest stellar neighbor, the Moon (which sits at 16% of Earth's gravity), means that the long term effects of zero-g on the body are greatly reduced. The effects of gravity are much more easily counteracted by a regular exercise regimen.
    I think we have a very significant divergence of opinion as to what easy means. The crew would be significantly understaffed for a huge number of tasks set before them. Exercising merely to offset the effect of gravity means hours of training each day.

    Quote Originally Posted by Akar View Post
    The temperature swings, while greater than anything on Earth, are not as unlivable as you suggest. Mars has a minimum temperature of -226 Fahrenheit, and a maximum temperature of of 95 Fahrenheit. While this sort of temperature swing is certainly unlivable for a creature on the surface exposed to the elements, it would be nothing to worry about in a temperature controlled environment on or below the planet's surface. We are easily able to maintain appropriate internal temperatures in structures in Earth's coldest possible conditions as well as in the vacuum of space. Additionally, these temperatures are not sufficient to melt or destroy common building materials.
    I can talk some more about how extreme thermal variations degrade building material, but honestly I'd like to leave it. The simple fact is that the building would have to be caves underground. Like I said, forget everything about staying above ground. Cosmic radiation is a good enough reason for that.


    Quote Originally Posted by Akar View Post
    Traveling to and landing on Mars are by far the least logistically challenging aspects of this entire endeavor, in my opinion. The hardest part will be the return journey, assuming that's even something they plan on doing.
    uh, yeah and no. The logistical challenge in a return flight would be the lack of supplies, and the need to bring additional fuel to even make a return flight, and waiting for the right time to fly back. But in no way does it away with the fact that travelling through space for years will require a lot of effort against cosmic radiation and a lot of other stuff. Which the Starship rocket so hyped up by the typical clickbaity youtube vids that do zero own research can't provide. That Starship rocket is a scam btw.

    Quote Originally Posted by Akar View Post
    Your concerns with Musk/SpaceX's timeline and level of trustworthiness are well placed, but he's absolutely not wrong about Mars' potential for Human colonization.
    He absolutely is. Mars can't be terraformed, in spite of his claim. It has no fossile fuels we could utilise, nor a lot of other critical elements and resources. Practically everything humans would want to use there would have to be transported there.

    The cost-benefit analysis is also way off. Both for the humans who'd have to suffer through horrendous living conditions and would live a better live in pretty much every single prison on earth (including many of those with torture), and it's far more likely that the colonists would end up killing each other and themselves once they'd start breaking because of zero personal space and the horrible horrible horrible situation in general; and us earthers who'd have to ask ourselves why the hell we didn't just stick to sending robots.

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    Default Re: 2024, a Mission to Mars. Is that even possible at all?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cookiegod View Post
    ... Mars can't be terraformed,...
    Pretty sure we discussed this in the other thread and it can mate, all you need to do is collide it with Venus to form an approximate Earth sized body (with attendant moon because c'mon, you have to have a moon)...ok we might need a few asteroids too...then nudge the new planet into a more Earth like orbit, but on the other side of the sun of course (we don't want a re-enactment of Melancholia, Lars von Trier would become even more unbearable), add cynaobacteria and bingo, a mere 3 billion years later we have a Terrafomed Vemars. We call it a shake'n'bake colony.

    Jokes aside you've persuaded me its nothing but a scam. This sort of huckstering gives science a bad name.
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    Default Re: 2024, a Mission to Mars. Is that even possible at all?

    2024? Where did you find that? I think he plans for 2028 to send the mission and 2030 or 2031 for the first pioneers. You know those "and they never came back" people.
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    Default Re: 2024, a Mission to Mars. Is that even possible at all?

    Quote Originally Posted by alhoon View Post
    2024? Where did you find that? I think he plans for 2028 to send the mission and 2030 or 2031 for the first pioneers. You know those "and they never came back" people.
    I remember reading it in various sources, but you can also read about that deadline in the Wiki link, which actually says that the deadline for the manned flight is now 2026, which is still BS IMO
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    Default Re: 2024, a Mission to Mars. Is that even possible at all?

    Elon Musks make outrageous timeplans all the time, I'd be very surprised if he didn't at some point and many others say 2024. But no. No way in hell. Not the timeslot after either.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cookiegod View Post
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    Default Re: 2024, a Mission to Mars. Is that even possible at all?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cookiegod View Post
    Elon Musks make outrageous timeplans all the time
    That's typical of true businessman (lies are not important, the important is to hook them with your bait, and then they are going no where). However, I'm digressing.

    Back to the matter at hand.. what I only recently realized shocked me, somewhat: Perseverance uses an Imac 98 processor!. Now I'm not really an expert at all with electronics, but from what I got it depends on the fact that Mars surface (as well as the interplanetary space) does not have a protection from cosmic rays, which means that more of them will hit the rover and its electronics parts. As it looks, those old processors, while being slower than your average up-to-date smartphone, are much more resistant to radiation and high temperatures, especially if compared to the last generations of microprocessors. Also, they have a very long history of reliability, having being used for much longer than more recent, and performing, microprocessors.

    Now apart from my little understanding of the physics behind this fact, I can't help but ask myself a couple of questions:

    How the hell are you going to drive an extremely complex space ship, housing various people (and that has to take care of their needs), in a very long mission, by using decades old microprocessors? (as far as I know they simply turn off the probes/satellites when they are on their way to any point in the solar system and only turn them on every once in a while to do a check up and of course when they arrive, this not only to save energy, but also to reduce exposure of parts to cosmic rays.. clearly you can't turn off the power in a spaceship, can you?)

    If they can actually shield up those parts and use better microprocessors, why didn't they do that already?

    I'm really puzzled, if anyone has any insight, I'll appreciate reading about it
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    Default Re: 2024, a Mission to Mars. Is that even possible at all?

    For one you don't necessarily need hypermodern chips.
    Secondly yeah, older chips are more robust for a number of reasons.
    Thirdly you cannot compare Perseverance to a human mission. With a human cargo, shielding will be a must. With Perseverance, they obviously held it to a minimum. The savings in space and weight there plus robustness outclassed any benefits from modern processors.

    But yeah, the shielding being a must is why already for purely geometric reasons you cannot cram 100 people into the starship as claimed by Musk. It's hilarious that even such a very basic issue with his idea doesn't stop people from gobbling it all up :'D

    Quote Originally Posted by Cookiegod View Post
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    Default Re: 2024, a Mission to Mars. Is that even possible at all?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cookiegod View Post
    It's hilarious that even such a very basic issue with his idea doesn't stop people from gobbling it all up :'D
    You haven't paid much attention to 2020/2021 and the century before then. People believe everything. Proper marketing enables you to trade for gold. See Apple, for example. Despite Musk having little opinion of Jobs, he might got inspired quite a bit by him. Say what you want about these guys. Marketing is something they control, and with that, the mind of the people.

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    Default Re: 2024, a Mission to Mars. Is that even possible at all?

    I don't see us going to Mars within this decade. Musk is setting up his space ships but we need more than spaceships to send the first colonists there.
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    Default Re: 2024, a Mission to Mars. Is that even possible at all?

    Quote Originally Posted by Derc View Post
    You haven't paid much attention to 2020/2021 and the century before then. People believe everything. Proper marketing enables you to trade for gold. See Apple, for example. Despite Musk having little opinion of Jobs, he might got inspired quite a bit by him. Say what you want about these guys. Marketing is something they control, and with that, the mind of the people.
    As I said, once the prey eats the bait, they are not going anywhere. I always hated being a businessman, but that's the world we live in.



    Quote Originally Posted by alhoon View Post
    I don't see us going to Mars within this decade. Musk is setting up his space ships but we need more than spaceships to send the first colonists there.
    I think we all agree by now that SpaceX's plans are just BS
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    Default Re: 2024, a Mission to Mars. Is that even possible at all?

    Quote Originally Posted by Flinn View Post
    As I said, once the prey eats the bait, they are not going anywhere. I always hated being a businessman, but that's the world we live in.
    He's not "just a businessman" though. Don't pretend that there aren't businessmen that have integrity. And even in the US where being rich means you get out of jail for free as far as governmental regulations are concerned, he still manages to get sued by private people. Like for his hilariously bad Solarcity acquisition deal, where he bought a garbage, bankrupt, heavily indebted company from his cousins for billions, which has investors muffed.

    Also credit to him where credit is due: No one's been able to create such mass psychosis and exploit social media the way he has.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cookiegod View Post
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    Default Re: 2024, a Mission to Mars. Is that even possible at all?

    Even the most honest business man has to do bad things, believe me

    However, maybe worth to start a new thread about business ethics
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    Default Re: 2024, a Mission to Mars. Is that even possible at all?

    Not really necessary right now. You're still underestimating the lengths Elon has gone to. You can't excuse him going to incredible lengths to frame himself as the founder of Tesla after forcing the true founders out as having anything to do with business. It's blatant narcissism and sociopathy. You can't excuse him falsely accuse someone repeatedly to be a pedophile simply for calling his vacuous publicity stunt out as what it was. It's simply sociopathy and did not help him or his business at all.

    You cannot excuse him buying a company worth zero for billions of dollars from his cousins. That's simply corruption and did his actual business incredible harm. It is also the reason why he personally is the target of a lawsuit, which, if he loses it, means that he personally will have to pay Tesla 2 billion dollars. I might be jumping the gun here, since no actual ruling has been done yet, but no one can look at the SolarCity deal and not se the complete lack of any rational reasons on which this deal could have been made that didn't involve corruption. And last, but not least: It's hard not to see the Starlink megabusiness, with the incredible damage it's bound to cause both to our environment and to the orbit and not see the incredible damages. There's a business sense, even cutthroat one, and then there's what he's doing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cookiegod View Post
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    Default Re: 2024, a Mission to Mars. Is that even possible at all?

    Exercising to offset effects of low gravity merely helps with your muscle build up. It doesn't help with your nervous system or blood circulation. Long term effects of that can be extensive neurological problems.
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    Default Re: 2024, a Mission to Mars. Is that even possible at all?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cookiegod View Post

    It is also the reason why he personally is the target of a lawsuit, which, if he loses it, means that he personally will have to pay Tesla 2 billion dollars.
    I can now see why he desperately wants to go to Mars, then

    Quote Originally Posted by PointOfViewGun View Post
    Exercising to offset effects of low gravity merely helps with your muscle build up. It doesn't help with your nervous system or blood circulation. Long term effects of that can be extensive neurological problems.
    Do exist a solution or a cure for those problems, at the moment?
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    Default Re: 2024, a Mission to Mars. Is that even possible at all?

    Not sure if this has been posted yet.

    Bottom line is the worst long term neurological effects can be lessened or even avoided with crude artificial gravity - which is within our technological means, if expensive. The real problem is the immune system which requires earth gravity to function properly and we don't really know the long term effects of low gravity on it.


    Quote Originally Posted by Flinn View Post
    I can now see why he desperately wants to go to Mars, then

    Do exist a solution or a cure for those problems, at the moment?

    Yes. Experiments on mice placed in a centrifuge on the ISS showed that you can lower the negative effects with artificial gravity. Theoretically we have all we need to build a ship-sized centrifuge but I don't think it's affordable at this point in time.
    Last edited by Sir Adrian; September 17, 2021 at 09:00 AM.
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