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(Wired)   Why look for life on Mars when you can make life on Mars? Weyland-Yutani CEO nods approvingly   (wired.com) divider line 62
    More: Interesting, life on Mars, CEO, colonizations, colonization of Mars, Cell Biology, synthetic biology, Ames Research Center, manganese  
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3238 clicks; posted to Geek » on 10 Aug 2012 at 2:25 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-08-09 09:20:30 PM
More like fake life on Mars.
 
2012-08-09 09:25:09 PM
Isn't there a shiatton of land here on earth that would be much easier to terraform? Well "terraform" is the wrong word since it's already on Terra but you know what I mean. If we could turn a desert into Las Vegas, we can do a lot with the rest of the planet before we have to resort to colonizing Mars.

Bring the Mafia into it I guess is what I'm saying.
 
2012-08-09 09:39:56 PM

Mugato: Isn't there a shiatton of land here on earth that would be much easier to terraform? Well "terraform" is the wrong word since it's already on Terra but you know what I mean. If we could turn a desert into Las Vegas, we can do a lot with the rest of the planet before we have to resort to colonizing Mars.

Bring the Mafia into it I guess is what I'm saying.


Vegas isn't teraformed. Vegas is a resource hungry pile of shiat that shouldn't work being propped up by imported resources that are wastefully poured out onto the unforgiving desert sand constantly.

If you take the casinos away, it collapses soon.


There are ways to terraform the Earth, though. Desert reclamation is big in Africa.
 
2012-08-09 09:49:32 PM

doglover: Vegas isn't teraformed. Vegas is a resource hungry pile of shiat that shouldn't work being propped up by imported resources that are wastefully poured out onto the unforgiving desert sand constantly.

If you take the casinos away, it collapses soon.


There are ways to terraform the Earth, though. Desert reclamation is big in Africa.



Alright but the point being that it would be a lot easier to make more of this planet habitable before looking towards colonies on Mars, no matter how cool that might seem.

Anyway, we all know that Mars is used as a base to build starships. Until the Star Trek reboot though, where the Enterprise is built on the surface of James Kirk's home town in Iowa but I digress.
 
2012-08-09 09:57:12 PM

Mugato: Alright but the point being that it would be a lot easier to make more of this planet habitable before looking towards colonies on Mars, no matter how cool that might seem.


Well, the thing is these bacteria could be used heavily to teraform mars on a shoestring budget. You could launch them at velocities and under conditions that would kill a human and impregnate the red planet with designer bacteria that make the ground clean, minerals compact, and synthesize useful chemicals, all without worrying about pollution because Mars has no biosphere we've discovered yet.

Changing too much on Earth has dire consequences, as we've learned.
 
2012-08-09 10:03:20 PM
Arkady Bogdanov approves.
 
2012-08-09 10:43:38 PM
I have this weird impression that if we were ever in a position to actually terraform mars (or any other planet for that matter), someone would protest against it.
 
2012-08-09 11:10:58 PM

Weaver95: I have this weird impression that if we were ever in a position to actually terraform mars (or any other planet for that matter), someone would protest against it.


You're destroying its natural beauty, and removing the "Marsiness" or Mars. If i wanted to live on an earth-like planet, I would have stayed on Earth.
 
2012-08-10 12:19:14 AM

ShawnDoc: Weaver95: I have this weird impression that if we were ever in a position to actually terraform mars (or any other planet for that matter), someone would protest against it.

You're destroying its natural beauty, and removing the "Marsiness" or Mars. If i wanted to live on an earth-like planet, I would have stayed on Earth.


So, terraforming Venus would be a much less controversial option then?
 
2012-08-10 12:20:26 AM
I wonder if someone could engineer this bacteria and then just launch it to Mars on their own. Would some government agency have the power to stop them? The Galactic EPA or something maybe.

Get Elon Musk or whatever his name is on it.

"Don't contaminate Mars!"
"Piss off, we're doing it. 3, 2, 1, launch!"

3000 years later, viola! Habitable Mars.
 
2012-08-10 12:26:31 AM

pudding7: Would some government agency have the power to stop them?


There's a few people with options.

backpagecms.net
 
2012-08-10 02:42:47 AM
Yes yes, just send a 3D printer to print out cells and booya. New planet. Just in time for Elon Musk's contractors to show up and build his condo.
Easy peasy.
 
2012-08-10 02:49:34 AM
Yes, but when will Quaid get to Mars, and Start the Reactor?
 
2012-08-10 02:50:23 AM
Once there, they could grow food, produce medicine, extract minerals, and build building material.

So, more people out of work?
 
2012-08-10 02:52:15 AM
Jesus! Didn't any of these people actually SEE the movie "Red Planet?"

Admittedly not one of Val Kilmer's greatest works, but interesting.
 
2012-08-10 02:56:41 AM

Mugato: Isn't there a shiatton of land here on earth that would be much easier to terraform? Well "terraform" is the wrong word since it's already on Terra but you know what I mean. If we could turn a desert into Las Vegas, we can do a lot with the rest of the planet before we have to resort to colonizing Mars.

Bring the Mafia into it I guess is what I'm saying.


You arent thinking big enough, People in space pretty much guarantees the survival of the species. Mars is no biggie, Pick about 4 near earth Comets and seed them with robots to give them a little nudge so they hit mars.... All the water will boost the temperature just enough to melt the martian ice caps, which are frozen greenhouse gasses IIRC then the temperature starts to rise and poof....wherever the water ice is...it starts to melt.....Pretty soon theres an ocean near the equator....well, by pretty soon I mean decades.
 
2012-08-10 02:59:30 AM

doglover: Mugato: Isn't there a shiatton of land here on earth that would be much easier to terraform? Well "terraform" is the wrong word since it's already on Terra but you know what I mean. If we could turn a desert into Las Vegas, we can do a lot with the rest of the planet before we have to resort to colonizing Mars.

Bring the Mafia into it I guess is what I'm saying.

Vegas isn't teraformed. Vegas is a resource hungry pile of shiat that shouldn't work being propped up by imported resources that are wastefully poured out onto the unforgiving desert sand constantly.

If you take the casinos away, it collapses soon.


There are ways to terraform the Earth, though. Desert reclamation is big in Africa.


Why bother? You could live on the ocean.....tons of room out in the ocean.
 
2012-08-10 03:00:47 AM
Wouldn't that make us... gods? At least according to the Intelligent Design crowd?
 
2012-08-10 03:50:30 AM

tankjr: Wouldn't that make us... gods? At least according to the Intelligent Design crowd?


We'd better code a message in the DNA and hope it doesn't get scrapped during evolution. That way the upcoming critters will know what happened, if they ever evolve intelligence and discover DNA.
 
2012-08-10 03:51:35 AM
ICBM: When you care enough to send the very best.
 
2012-08-10 03:56:22 AM
You are orphans, earthdeirdre, your homeworld already buried so young among the aeons. Yet now you fill the skies where we watched a million sunsets with flame and contrails, paying no heed to the hard lessons the universe has tried to teach you. Are you a breath of life to invigorate a complacent world, you earthhumans, or an insidious cancer which must be excised?

-Lady Deirdre Skye
"Conversations With Planet"
 
2012-08-10 04:20:17 AM

DerAppie: tankjr: Wouldn't that make us... gods? At least according to the Intelligent Design crowd?

We'd better code a message in the DNA and hope it doesn't get scrapped during evolution. That way the upcoming critters will know what happened, if they ever evolve intelligence and discover DNA.


We've evolved intelligence and discovered DNA and yet we haven't decoded God's message.
 
2012-08-10 04:25:27 AM

ShawnDoc: Weaver95: I have this weird impression that if we were ever in a position to actually terraform mars (or any other planet for that matter), someone would protest against it.

You're destroying its natural beauty, and removing the "Marsiness" or Mars. If i wanted to live on an earth-like planet, I would have stayed on Earth.


You sound racist and non-multicultural. What's wrong with mars being diversified by having earth plants on it?
 
2012-08-10 06:13:42 AM

Mugato: Isn't there a shiatton of land here on earth that would be much easier to terraform? Well "terraform" is the wrong word since it's already on Terra but you know what I mean. If we could turn a desert into Las Vegas, we can do a lot with the rest of the planet before we have to resort to colonizing Mars.

Bring the Mafia into it I guess is what I'm saying.


The major issue is that any land transformed on Earth is still on one rocky body. By placing our species on two planets we limit the abililty of a planet-wide disaster (such as an asteroid) from completely ending our species.
 
2012-08-10 07:24:12 AM

SN1987a goes boom: Mugato: Isn't there a shiatton of land here on earth that would be much easier to terraform? Well "terraform" is the wrong word since it's already on Terra but you know what I mean. If we could turn a desert into Las Vegas, we can do a lot with the rest of the planet before we have to resort to colonizing Mars.

Bring the Mafia into it I guess is what I'm saying.

The major issue is that any land transformed on Earth is still on one rocky body. By placing our species on two planets we limit the abililty of a planet-wide disaster (such as an asteroid) from completely ending our species.


Its also the issue that all of the land out there in space is unclaimed.
If you knew the secret to making it habitable, you have enough room and resource to build your own empire with its own sovereign rule.

I think seeding all of mars may be irresponsible at this point tho, until we know if there is obvious life there.
Anything growing under the crust may have its own value for science, making useful things, or in the terraformation process itself.
Maybe you just need a bag of fertilizer for the martian microbes to do the job themselves.

If I was to terraform mars then I'd probably start in smaller sections. Put up a giant bubble dome and transform the atmosphere inside.
Get one city going, get the process down pat, and then go big scale once you've got a large enough population of workers and an economy to pay for it.
 
xcv
2012-08-10 07:51:33 AM

LandStander: Arkady Bogdanov approves.


But the Reds are going to be pissed.
 
2012-08-10 08:06:41 AM
Domes are all very well and good, but until they can 'grow' themselves (and I'm thinking here of chemical reactions being controlled in order to produce some kind of crystalline dome that either grows downward or grows out from a ring) it just seems completely beyond the realms of the possible.

Of course, the dome could be some kind of inflatable, multi-layered geodesic plastic affair, but I wouldn't want to live or work underneath that unless it had at least 2 or 3 layers of redundancy and some type of self repair mechanism. And it would still be a huge effort getting it all to Mars. The maths is beyond me, but my instinct tells me it wouldn't be very feasible.

But, I dunno. If you were given the okay to get a dome up on Mars, how would you go about it?
 
2012-08-10 08:41:12 AM

skodabunny: But, I dunno. If you were given the okay to get a dome up on Mars, how would you go about it?


Start small.
Send up a kit inside one of those dragon capsules, only enough to maybe make a greenhouse. See if the idea works as expected, and then you send up bigger kits. Divide your space into hard space (where you sleep and live inside a module) and soft space (where you'd grow crops and wear equipment, the air pressure can also be lower and unbreathable to humans).

I'm thinking there is no real weather on mars, no animals, and no earthquakes. So the dome will get dusty and that is about it. Aside from the sun rotting the fabric You'll probably see more wear and tear from the inside than outside.

If you can find/grow the stuff to make ferrocement and some cloth like material, you are in the business. You can set up some giant 3d printers and start making bricks and struts.
Top level of the dome becomes your soft crop growing space, underneath the dirt becomes your hard living space. The low gravity may allow for some extremely large spaces, or you can build the structures in long rows with airlocks in between for safety.

dl.dropbox.com

If you need more living space, you get the people to build another dome.

/Terraforming could take hundred of years, so its not really our problem.
/If you get enough people on mars then they'll figure if and how they want to do it.
 
2012-08-10 08:46:16 AM
It's already been referenced, and I know it gets some hate, but Red Mars (and the rest of the trilogy) read like a future-history on how the colonization and terraforming of Mars will take place.
 
2012-08-10 08:57:58 AM

DerAppie: tankjr: Wouldn't that make us... gods? At least according to the Intelligent Design crowd?

We'd better code a message in the DNA and hope it doesn't get scrapped during evolution. That way the upcoming critters will know what happened, if they ever evolve intelligence and discover DNA.


Or it could end up like the Star Trek TNG episode "The Chase."
When future critters learn about it, Klingons, Romulans, and Cardassians all want a piece of the action, thereby sending everyone on a wild goose chase through the galaxy. After all that trouble, you get nothing more than a message in a bottle. Then the Klingon says, "That's all. If she were not dead, I would kill her."
 
2012-08-10 09:00:46 AM

way south: skodabunny: But, I dunno. If you were given the okay to get a dome up on Mars, how would you go about it?

Start small.
Send up a kit inside one of those dragon capsules, only enough to maybe make a greenhouse. See if the idea works as expected, and then you send up bigger kits. Divide your space into hard space (where you sleep and live inside a module) and soft space (where you'd grow crops and wear equipment, the air pressure can also be lower and unbreathable to humans).

I'm thinking there is no real weather on mars, no animals, and no earthquakes. So the dome will get dusty and that is about it. Aside from the sun rotting the fabric You'll probably see more wear and tear from the inside than outside.

If you can find/grow the stuff to make ferrocement and some cloth like material, you are in the business. You can set up some giant 3d printers and start making bricks and struts.
Top level of the dome becomes your soft crop growing space, underneath the dirt becomes your hard living space. The low gravity may allow for some extremely large spaces, or you can build the structures in long rows with airlocks in between for safety.

[dl.dropbox.com image 500x375]

If you need more living space, you get the people to build another dome.

/Terraforming could take hundred of years, so its not really our problem.
/If you get enough people on mars then they'll figure if and how they want to do it.


Thank you, yes start small and upscale what works.

Thank you also for reminding me that the gravity's lower on Mars; I guess this means you could use materials typically unsuitable for that job on this planet and that would save some weight. Hmm, I'm now interested in the architectural possibilities allowed by a low(er) gravity environment. Are there any particular structures that are build-able on Mars that wouldn't be possible on Earth?
 
2012-08-10 09:01:29 AM
Terraforming Mars sounds fun until the robot goes crazy and decides to kill you all.

www.frontroomcinema.com
 
2012-08-10 09:15:14 AM
When I read "making life on Mars," I was thinking Victoria Secrets models, a hot tub, and a decent supply of liquor and not terraforming.

And when you start digging the foundations for your buildings, don't dig in too deep, or you might end up opening a portal to Hell.
 
2012-08-10 09:21:28 AM

LandStander: Arkady Bogdanov approves.


Plainly, I'm going to have to stop reading through my Deathstalker Saga literary candy and reread Robinson instead.
 
2012-08-10 09:24:34 AM

eyeq360: When I read "making life on Mars," I was thinking Victoria Secrets models, a hot tub, and a decent supply of liquor and not terraforming.

And when you start digging the foundations for your buildings, don't dig in too deep, or you might end up opening a portal to Hell.


That's only on one of it's two moons, Phobos.
 
2012-08-10 09:29:14 AM
All I know is I don't want to be the guy left behind to drink the bio-engineered cocktail.
 
2012-08-10 09:32:05 AM

Quantum Apostrophe: Yes yes, just send a 3D printer to print out cells and booya. New planet. Just in time for Elon Musk's contractors to show up and build his condo.
Easy peasy.


Actually many people believe this may ultimately be the only way we achieve interstellar travel. Fling a tin can full of DNA,data and nanobots to another star system. Nanobots rebuild life from the cells on up, theoretically you could dump the data from your brain and have a clone of yourself there as well.
 
2012-08-10 09:35:37 AM
sharetv.org

It's been done. Twice.
 
2012-08-10 09:37:19 AM

archichris: Mugato: Isn't there a shiatton of land here on earth that would be much easier to terraform? Well "terraform" is the wrong word since it's already on Terra but you know what I mean. If we could turn a desert into Las Vegas, we can do a lot with the rest of the planet before we have to resort to colonizing Mars.

Bring the Mafia into it I guess is what I'm saying.

You arent thinking big enough, People in space pretty much guarantees the survival of the species. Mars is no biggie, Pick about 4 near earth Comets and seed them with robots to give them a little nudge so they hit mars.... All the water will boost the temperature just enough to melt the martian ice caps, which are frozen greenhouse gasses IIRC then the temperature starts to rise and poof....wherever the water ice is...it starts to melt.....Pretty soon theres an ocean near the equator....well, by pretty soon I mean decades.


Water on Mars? I'm so very sorry!

blogs.coventrytelegraph.net
 
2012-08-10 10:23:09 AM
People don't seem to realize how cold Mars is.

If it had water like Earth, the planet would be white and frozen.

It only looks like a desert because it's so dry.
 
2012-08-10 10:27:16 AM

skodabunny: Are there any particular structures that are build-able on Mars that wouldn't be possible on Earth?


We'd need an engineer to answer that.
I'm still thinking structures twice as big with half the materials quality.
If we attack this as a series of temporary hutches that grow in complexity as we gain experience, we'll probably be moving out of old domes before wear and tear become a real issue.

studebaker hoch: People don't seem to realize how cold Mars is.


This is a problem I forgot about, energy.
With so little sunlight you've got to build with heating in mind.

/No wind or nuclear backup plan yet.
 
2012-08-10 10:37:56 AM

archichris: You arent thinking big enough, People in space pretty much guarantees the survival of the species. Mars is no biggie, Pick about 4 near earth Comets and seed them with robots to give them a little nudge so they hit mars.... All the water will boost the temperature just enough to melt the martian ice caps, which are frozen greenhouse gasses IIRC then the temperature starts to rise and poof....wherever the water ice is...it starts to melt.....Pretty soon theres an ocean near the equator....well, by pretty soon I mean decades.


What would you do about Mars having no magnetosphere? The solar radiation would kill any normal human being, so we'd be stuck in shelters watching the terraforming from a window. We'd either have to find a way to cause Mars' metallic core to start spinning or improve humans to be able to live in a more hostile environment.

I think we'll get the technology to improve humans before we figure out how to manipulate planetary cores.
 
2012-08-10 10:54:01 AM

Bleyo: archichris: You arent thinking big enough, People in space pretty much guarantees the survival of the species. Mars is no biggie, Pick about 4 near earth Comets and seed them with robots to give them a little nudge so they hit mars.... All the water will boost the temperature just enough to melt the martian ice caps, which are frozen greenhouse gasses IIRC then the temperature starts to rise and poof....wherever the water ice is...it starts to melt.....Pretty soon theres an ocean near the equator....well, by pretty soon I mean decades.

What would you do about Mars having no magnetosphere? The solar radiation would kill any normal human being, so we'd be stuck in shelters watching the terraforming from a window. We'd either have to find a way to cause Mars' metallic core to start spinning or improve humans to be able to live in a more hostile environment.

I think we'll get the technology to improve humans before we figure out how to manipulate planetary cores.


From an atmospheric density perspective, this doesn't matter: Venus is identical to Mars in that respect (lacking a magnetosphere), and it has an atmosphere much denser than Earth.

In theory, you could terraform Mars to the point where the atmosphere was breathable, and such a thick atmosphere would provide protection against solar radiation. I'm not sure whether it would block ultraviolet rays, so you might still have to wear UV protective clothing.
 
2012-08-10 11:01:21 AM

Bleyo: I think we'll get the technology to improve humans before we figure out how to manipulate planetary cores.


NASA is working on technology to create small magnetic shields.
In the future It may be possible to make larger ones or create arrays that span miles of habitat.

Terraformation is going to take so long that humans will probably evolve into it anyway. But that doesn't mean we can't create large and comfortable areas to live in the mean time.
 
2012-08-10 11:36:49 AM

studebaker hoch: People don't seem to realize how cold Mars is.

If it had water like Earth, the planet would be white and frozen.

It only looks like a desert because it's so dry.


erm, there is lots of water, it's just buried. But yes, very very cold. And you couldn't just set up a glass- or plastic-walled greenhouse on the surface anyway - the radiation would hurt plants just as bad as it'd hurt people. So there is a need for underground bunkers of some sort with artificial and/or redirected lighting.

Wikipedia article 'Water on Mars'

paper with radar analysis of Martian glacier
 
2012-08-10 12:06:25 PM
"David, I still don't understand the way you solved certain problems with this."
"Sure, Mom, we can talk about that, and maybe you can tell me who my father is."
"...."
www.ditl.org
 
2012-08-10 12:12:56 PM
We should officially declare that Mars is property of the human race, and that the ultimate goal should be the eventual human colonization of mars and the formulation of a long term plan to terraform the planet . Present life there be damned... bottle it up and put it in a museum.
 
2012-08-10 12:22:30 PM

PsyLord: Terraforming Mars sounds fun until the robot goes crazy and decides to kill you all.

[www.frontroomcinema.com image 665x300]


We could try Saturn.

Oh wait.

3.bp.blogspot.com
 
2012-08-10 01:50:57 PM

Nem Wan: "David, I still don't understand the way you solved certain problems with this."
"Sure, Mom, we can talk about that, and maybe you can tell me who my father is."
"...."


www.ditl.org


"We're going to put the blame of the use of Proto-matter squarely on your shoulders for the purpose of this narrative."

"But Mom, it's not like I was the head of the project. Why would I be the scapegoa..."

"You're the son of James T. Kirk. And you're a farking embarrassing pussy. You have to die. There's no reason to take the rest of us with you."

"Ok, fine. Give me your phaser."

"Fark you. take one from Saavik."

"Coont."
 
2012-08-10 01:58:56 PM
This fall on NBC: Real Microbes of Mars
 
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