Author Topic: Mars Lives.  (Read 66027 times)

BridgeTroll

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Re: Mars Lives.
« Reply #240 on: October 05, 2015, 07:49:50 AM »
http://mars.nasa.gov/news/whatsnew/index.cfm?FuseAction=ShowNews&NewsID=1857

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09.25.2015
Opportunity Mars Rover Preparing for Active Winter
NASA's Opportunity Mars rover will soon drive to the southern side of a valley where a sunward tilt will help the solar-powered rover keep active through the Martian winter.

NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity is conducting a "walkabout" survey of "Marathon Valley," where the rover's operators plan to use the vehicle through the upcoming Martian winter, and beyond, to study the context for outcrops bearing clay minerals.
Marathon Valley slices downhill from west to east for about 300 yards or meters through the western rim of Endeavour Crater. Opportunity has been investigating rock targets in the western portion of the valley since late July, working its way eastward in a thorough reconnaissance of the area.

The rover's panoramic camera has captured a scene dominated by a summit called "Hinners Point," forming part of the valley's northern edge. The image also shows a portion of the valley floor with swirling reddish zones that have been a target for study. It is online at:

http://mars.nasa.gov/multimedia/images/?ImageID=7484

For several months starting in mid- to late October, the rover team plans to operate Opportunity on the southern side of the valley to take advantage of the sun-facing slope. The site is in Mars' southern hemisphere, so the sun is to the north during fall and winter days. Tilting the rover toward the sun increases power output from its solar panels. The shortest-daylight period of this seventh Martian winter for Opportunity will come in January 2016.
"Our expectation is that Opportunity will be able to remain mobile through the winter," said Mars Exploration Rover Project Manager John Callas of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California.

The walkabout is identifying investigation targets in and near the valley floor. Rocks in reddish zones there contain more silica and less iron than most rocks in the area.

"We have detective work to do in Marathon Valley for many months ahead," said Opportunity Deputy Principal Investigator Ray Arvidson, of Washington University in St. Louis. "During the Martian late fall and winter seasons Opportunity will conduct its measurements and traverses on the southern side of the valley. When spring arrives the rover will return to the valley floor for detailed measurements of outcrops that may host the clay minerals."

Endeavour Crater spans about 14 miles (22 kilometers) in diameter. Opportunity has been studying its western rim since 2011. Marathon Valley became a high priority destination after a concentration of clay minerals called smectites was mapped there based on observations by the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars aboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Smectites form under wetter, milder conditions than most rocks at the Opportunity site. Opportunity is investigating relationships among clay-bearing and neighboring deposits for clues about the history of environmental changes.

The rover team has been dealing for more than a year with Opportunity's tendency to undergo unplanned computer resets when using the type of onboard memory that retains information when power is off: flash memory. For three months until mid-September, operators fully avoided use of flash memory. In this mode, images and other data cannot be stored overnight, when the rover is powered off to conserve energy. To gain operational flexibility in a trade-off with possible "lost" days from resets, the team has resumed occasional use of flash memory.

NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Project landed twin rovers Spirit and Opportunity on Mars in 2004 to begin missions planned to last three months. Both rovers far exceeded those plans. Spirit worked for six years, and Opportunity is still active. Findings about ancient wet environments on Mars have come from both rovers. The project is one element of NASA's ongoing and future Mars missions preparing for a human mission to the planet in the 2030s. JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology, manages the project for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington.

For more information about Opportunity, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/rovers
http://mars.nasa.gov/mer/

In a boat at sea one of the men began to bore a hole in the bottom of the boat. On being remonstrating with, he answered, "I am only boring under my own seat." "Yes," said his companions, "but when the sea rushes in we shall all be drowned with you."

BridgeTroll

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Re: Mars Lives.
« Reply #241 on: October 20, 2015, 09:12:23 AM »
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OPPORTUNITY UPDATE:  The Rover Is Now On Northerly Slopes To Charge The Solar Panels For The Winter - sols 4162-4167, October 09, 2015-October 14, 2015:

Opportunity is within 'Marathon Valley' on the west rim of Endeavour Crater completing a valley floor survey for clay minerals before moving to the winter location on the south side of the valley.

Low-elevation orbiter relay passes to the west have resulted in little to no data return on some relay passes. This is a function of orbit geometry and the high valley wall to the west within Marathon Valley. On Sol 4163 (Oct. 10, 2015), Opportunity drove over 33 feet (10 meters) in a dogleg maneuver, first north then east, avoiding some terrain obstacles. The rover collected some mid-drive images of the departed location to assist analysis of some wheel/terrain interaction during the last turn in place.

On the next sol, the rover collected both Panoramic Camera (Pancam) and Navigation Camera (Navcam) panoramas and continued with the diagnostic readout of Flash Bank 7. More Pancam panoramas were taken on the sol after that.

On Sol 4166 (Oct. 13, 2015), Opportunity drove again, this time about 66 feet (20 meters) to the southeast. Afterward, more Pancam and Navcam panoramas where collected. The rover is now on some favorable northerly tilted terrain. Opportunity will remain on northerly slopes for the balance of the winter.

As of Sol 4166 (Oct. 13, 2015), the solar array energy production was 325 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.557 and a solar array dust factor of 0.577.

Total odometry is 26.48 miles (42.62 kilometers), more than a marathon.


In a boat at sea one of the men began to bore a hole in the bottom of the boat. On being remonstrating with, he answered, "I am only boring under my own seat." "Yes," said his companions, "but when the sea rushes in we shall all be drowned with you."

spuwho

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Re: Mars Lives.
« Reply #242 on: October 20, 2015, 08:12:57 PM »
Excellent video! Was hoping to see some Martians though...

Matt Damon wasnt available at the time of the shoot.

BridgeTroll

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Re: Mars Lives.
« Reply #243 on: April 08, 2016, 07:32:56 AM »
Yes... Opportunity is still going...

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OPPORTUNITY UPDATE:  Climbing to Clay-Mineral Site Seen from Orbit - sols 4324-4330, March 23, 2016-March 29, 2016:
Opportunity is exploring the south side of 'Marathon Valley' located on the rim of Endeavour crater. The rover is up on the slopes of 'Knudsen Ridge.'

The objective is to identify specific outcrops for evidence of clay minerals. Opportunity has been driving towards high-slope regions that show evidence for clay minerals observed from orbit. With each drive the rover has bee collected extensive pre-drive and post-drive Panoramic Camera (Pancam) and Navigation Camera (Navcam) panoramas to document the terrain.

On Sol 4325 (March 24, 2016), Opportunity drove west intending to cover about 49 feet (15 meters), but only achieved about 22 feet (6.8 meters). Visual Odometry (VO), which is used to track the rover's progress and direction, had difficulty converging on the featureless terrain around the rover. Visual Odometry works by tracking local surface features in the terrain as the rover moves. Another drive was sequenced on Sol 4328 (March 27, 2016), for about 79 feet (24 meters), but again the drive stopped after only 55 feet (16.9 meters) again due to lack of VO convergence on the featureless terrain. More progress was made on the next sol with a 22-foot (6.6-meter) drive to the southwest and on Sol 4330 (March 29, 2016), with a 43-foot (12.9-meter) drive also to the southwest.

Opportunity is now believed to be in the area of the clay minerals seen from orbit. The rover is documenting the terrain with extensive Pancam color (multi-filter) panoramas. Energy levels have also improved markedly, a combination of improving solar insolation with season and dust cleaning events on the solar arrays.

As of Sol 4330 (March 29, 2016), the solar array energy production has increased to 650 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.589 and an improved solar array dust factor of 0.857 (although this number may be affected by atmospheric clouds).

Total odometry is 26.55 miles (42.74 kilometers), more than a marathon.



Quote
04.04.2016
Opportunity's Devilish View from on High

From its perch high on a ridge, NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity recorded this image of a Martian dust devil twisting through the valley below. The view looks back at the rover's tracks leading up the north-facing slope of "Knudsen Ridge," which forms part of the southern edge of "Marathon Valley."

Opportunity took the image using its navigation camera (Navcam) on March 31, 2016, during the 4,332nd Martian day, or sol, of the rover's work on Mars.

Dust devils were a common sight for Opportunity's twin rover, Spirit, in its outpost at Gusev Crater. Dust devils have been an uncommon sight for Opportunity though.

Just as on Earth, a dust devil is created by a rising, rotating column of hot air. When the column whirls fast enough, it picks up tiny grains of dust from the ground, making the vortex visible.

During the uphill drive to reach the top of Knudsen Ridge, Opportunity's tilt reached 32 degrees, the steepest ever for any rover on Mars.

In a boat at sea one of the men began to bore a hole in the bottom of the boat. On being remonstrating with, he answered, "I am only boring under my own seat." "Yes," said his companions, "but when the sea rushes in we shall all be drowned with you."

BridgeTroll

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Re: Mars Lives.
« Reply #244 on: May 03, 2016, 09:47:28 AM »
http://www.airspacemag.com/space/life-in-universe-special-what-is-life-180958432/

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Would We Know Alien Life If We Saw It?
And have we already seen it on Mars?

By Trudy E. Bell | Air & Space Magazine | April 2016

At this moment, seven robotic spacecraft are roving or orbiting Mars, taking photos, gathering data, and generally doing the bidding of scientists back on Earth. After 15 years of this continuous robotic presence, we know the Red Planet better than any world besides our own. And planetary scientists have an answer, finally, to one of their oldest and most fundamental questions: Could Mars support life?
The answer is yes: certainly in the past, and very possibly today. In 2013, less than a year after Curiosity touched down in the ancient lakebed Gale Crater, John Grotzinger, the project’s principal investigator, announced with confidence: “We have found a habitable environment,” one where substantial amounts of surface water existed billions of years ago. What’s more, the Curiosity science team is convinced that the lakes and streams lasted for long periods, perhaps millions of years.
Another announcement, just as momentous, followed last September: Water still flows on Mars today—at or very near the surface. For more than a decade, NASA’s strategy in exploring Mars has been to “follow the water”; the agency reasons that wherever there’s water, we might find life. Now, having made the case for water, space agencies are preparing to launch Mars missions whose primary purpose is to search for evidence of biology. And, unlike earlier searches, these missions have a real chance for success.
In the 1960s, the first generation of planetary scientists tried to come up with a single suite of instruments (for what became the 1976 Viking landers) that could settle definitively whether life exists on Mars. Ultimately, they failed. Scientists now suspect that past experiments in Martian biology asked questions that were too narrow or even wrong.
“Defining life is a problem,” explains Carol Cleland, a University of Colorado philosopher who has spent more than a decade examining the scientific and philosophical literature on the nature of life. “If your definition is wrong, you’ll look for the wrong thing—and be liable to miss all kinds of weird forms of life. Even today, we haven’t gotten away from an Aristotelian definition.”
More than 2,000 years ago, Aristotle defined living beings as those that metabolize (consume nutrients and eliminate waste) and sexually reproduce. That definition served well enough until the middle of the 20th century, when scientists learned about DNA and came to understand that the predominant life-form on Earth is the single-cell organism. (Indeed, complex multicellular life doesn’t appear in the fossil record until less than a billion years ago.)
Many single-cell creatures defy Aristotelian ideas about metabolism and reproduction. Some don’t consume organic nutrients at all. A bizarre marine microbe called Shewanella, for example, gets its metabolic energy by using “nanowires” that draw electrons directly from rocks. Some organisms don’t need sex to reproduce: They “fragment” directly from the parent. Still others act as if they’re alive at some times, dead at others. Viruses, for example, can lie dormant for centuries in a crystalline state.
In the past few decades, scientists have found many “extremophiles,” which survive quite nicely in environments once thought to be lethal: in superheated geysers, on the bottoms of Antarctic glaciers, in the crushing blackness of the deep ocean.
If terrestrial life has turned out to be far stranger and more adaptable than we once thought, how much weirder could it be in an alien biosphere like Mars?
Yet there’s reason to hope we’ll find familiar organisms too. “The argument for water-based and carbon-based life is never stronger than on Mars,” says David Des Marais, principal investigator of space science and astrobiology at NASA’s Ames Research Center in California. “Some folks like to speculate that solvents other than water might also support life,” he notes. “While one can never absolutely deny the possibility of ‘weird life’ based on an alternative solvent, water is particularly favorable for Mars because the environment of Earth has been more similar to that of Mars than that of any other planet in our solar system.”
Since we have to start somewhere, Des Marais and others argue that we should look for familiar forms of life first; we can worry about the life-forms we don’t know later. “Pick your best shot” for success, he says.

Read the rest here... http://www.airspacemag.com/space/life-in-universe-special-what-is-life-180958432/
In a boat at sea one of the men began to bore a hole in the bottom of the boat. On being remonstrating with, he answered, "I am only boring under my own seat." "Yes," said his companions, "but when the sea rushes in we shall all be drowned with you."

spuwho

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Re: Mars Lives.
« Reply #245 on: May 03, 2016, 12:30:59 PM »
There is a major launch window in 2018 for an expedited Mars trajectory coming up.

Right now 2 projects are trying to leverage it.

The SpaceX Red Dragon mission and the British/Russian Mars Rover joint venture.

The Red Dragon has about a 40 percent chance of making the window. The problem is the Falcon Heavy is 18 months behind schedule.

The Rover has about a 25 percent chance as they announced this week that major suppliers in Russia are behind schedule and there are still cost/design issues yet to resolve.

So you are going to hear a lot about Mars projects in the next year as they try to make the window.

BridgeTroll

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Re: Mars Lives.
« Reply #246 on: June 16, 2016, 07:00:58 AM »
http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/how-should-humans-divvy-up-mars

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How Should Humans Divvy Up Mars?
No one can claim sovereignty of Mars, but there are ideas about how best to use the land.

By Sarah Laskow JUNE 15, 2016

Land use policy is one of the most emotional and provocative areas of law. Witness the anger about a bike lane. Consider the angst around tall buildings, wind farms, and public land designations. Earthlings have developed very strong feelings about what’s theirs and what goes next to it.

Now imagine what will happen when a small group of people take those same preoccupations to Mars.

A few people who study life in the universe already are working on thinking through land use on other planets.  “In the grand scheme of things, with the growing commercial exploration of space, it’s not premature to think about these questions,” says Charles Cockell, a professor of astrobiology at University of Edinburgh.

“Basically all the globe has been claimed,” says Jacob Haqq-Misra, a research scientist at Blue Marble Space Institute, whose new paper details a “Practical Approach to Sovereignty on Mars.” For him, the big question is: Does it make sense to carry the colonization mindset of the past to space, in the future?

On Earth, land use policy is a muddle of zoning and compromises. On Mars, when humans arrive, assuming we don’t find Martians, we will have a clean slate. How should we split the planet up—if we do at all?

There are previous claims to land on Mars. In 1954, a group of Arkansas men founded a Planet Mars Development Corp. to start making claims. By 1956, the Japan Astronautical Society, organized to promote the country’s interest in space travel, was giving away 80 acres stretches as part of its membership package. In the 1980s, Dennis Hope, an American entrepreneur, claimed Mars, along with the Moon, as his own; today it’s possible to buy plots at moonestates.com or buymars.com. (There’s even a GroupOn voucher available.)

Compared to claims to the Moon, though, assertions of private ownership of Mars have been few and far between, perhaps because earthlings were convinced for many decades that there could be aliens living on the Red Planet already.

No part of space is supposed to be claimed as sovereign land. You can’t rule part of Mars. For the past 49 years, humans have explored space under the auspices of an international agreement, the Outer Space Treaty, in which signatories agreed: space was “the province of all mankind” and should be used “for the benefit and in the interests of all countries.”

That was an easy enough sell when only the U.S. and the Soviet Union had actually been to space. Then-U.S. president Lyndon B. Johnson, faced with space budget cuts, was worried the USSR would claim the moon; the rest of the world was worried about being blasted by space nukes. But with commercial companies and government space agencies promising that trips to Mars will start sometime within the next two years (SpaceX), or the next two decades (NASA), that agreement is about to be challenged.

Already, last year, the U.S. passed a space law that could violate the Outer Space Treaty. In delightfully mundane legalese, the law covers the permitting of rocket transit: for example, “reusable launch vehicles” can get a permit for “an unlimited number of launches and reentries”—but not if they’re carrying a “human being for compensation or hire.”

It also entitles U.S. citizens to “any asteroid resource or space resource obtained” in commercial recovery operations. That’s the part that could violate the treaty, although the law claims this is different than asserting sovereignty over a celestial body, which is explicitly prohibited.

Either way, far from reserving space resources for the benefit of all mankind, the U.S. government’s current policy asserts that if you grab something valuable in space, it should be all yours.

At the moment, no one really knows where the prime spots on Mars will be, either for scientific research, survival, or commercial exploitation. Space explorers are in essentially the same position as Europeans were in when they started traveling to North America: they believed there was something valuable (gold, they hoped), but they had no idea where it might be.

But let’s presume, as many space policy experts do, that space explorers will try to claim part of Mars for their country or company, or at least try to derive some commercial benefit from the place they land. What should happen when people do reach Mars?

A couple of years ago, Haqq-Misra, of the Blue Marble Space Institute, proposed “a simple solution” for determining land use on Mars: let the people who make it there hash it out for themselves, with no interference from Earth. This idea was part of a larger proposal to “liberate Mars from the start,” he wrote in the Boston Globe. “Colonists arriving on a liberated Mars would relinquish their former status as earthlings and embrace a new planetary citizenship as martians.”

In this system, the new citizens of Mars would develop their own rules and regulations for land use (and every other form of law and order). No earthlings could own land on the planet, either. This system has the advantage of fitting with earth-bound legal precedents for making land claims—you have to live in the place first—and it excuses Earth from enforcing laws made on this planet more than 140 million miles away.

An older idea for divvying up land on Mars, which Cockell, the Edinburgh professor, proposed back in 2004, would designate large chunks of the planet’s surface as parks. Like parks on Earth, these “planetary parks” would be sites of scientific interest, natural beauty, or historical significance. They might protect areas where life is most likely to be found, the large volcanoes there that dwarf Mt. Everest, or the sites where Mars rovers landed. They’d be accessed only along predefined routes, by sterilized robots or people in sterilized suits, and no space vehicle would be allowed to land there.

“It’s a counterpoint of a libertarian, free enterprise view” that should govern the rest of the planet, say Cockell. “The conditions are so extreme that you want to minimize regulations.” But there should also be some way to set aside at least some part of the planet where economic motivations don’t take precedence. “Even though the surface of these planetary bodies is very large and it’s not like anyone will overcrowd them, some sort of conservation ethic should be part of settling these places.”

What about the rest of the Red Planet, where people might actually live? A few years ago, David Collins, a lecturer at City University, London, proposed a “limited form of first possession” as a model for Mars land use. Essentially, if you land on Mars, you’re allowed control and use of land within a certain radius (Collins suggests 100 kilometers, or about 62 miles) from your landing spot.

Last month's paper, by Haqq-Misra and co-author Sara Bruhns, proposes a “pragmatic approach” that combines these two ideas, of parks and limited possession. Their proposal stays more or less within the bounds of the Outer Space Treaty, because while it allows economic exploitation of Mars’ resources within a colony’s boundary, it does not establish sovereignty over those parcels of land. What that would mean, in practice, is that newcomers could camp out in an established colony, without permission. They would only have to negotiate use of resources with the colony’s borders.

It’s easy to imagine that this could lead to conflict. Imagine that your younger sibling came and sat in your room. Even if they’re not eating your snacks or playing with your toys, their very presence could get on your nerves after awhile. Presciently, Bruhns and Haqq-Misra also added a system for resolving conflicts on Mars. Every colony established, they suggest, will govern itself, but Mars settlers should also establish a “Mars Secretariat” to resolve conflicts with between colonies.

“If that broke down, the host nation is responsible for the ones it sends into space,” Haqq-Misra says. “But you could imagine a wide-scale rebellion, and the time it would take to organize a law enforcement mission from Earth to Mars. That’s one reason I like my idea of Mars liberation. It’s a little more radical, but it forces us to come up with new solutions to these problems.”

That sort of flexibility might be necessary, too: settlers on Mars may have to live underground in soil that’s toxic to human metabolic systems to avoid exposure to radiation. Whereas people on Earth usually divide the rights to land between surface rights and mineral rights, people on Mars may need completely different ideas for how to divvy up space, both above and below the ground.
In a boat at sea one of the men began to bore a hole in the bottom of the boat. On being remonstrating with, he answered, "I am only boring under my own seat." "Yes," said his companions, "but when the sea rushes in we shall all be drowned with you."

JeffreyS

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Re: Mars Lives.
« Reply #247 on: June 16, 2016, 10:52:50 AM »
Interesting BT when we start using interplanetary resources there will be competition and conflict over them. No wind farms on Mars though atmosphere is too thin. (That was the biggest problem with the science on the movie the Martian wind even at fast speeds on mars would feel light.)
"If it was that bad she would have reported it" Donald Trump

BridgeTroll

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Re: Mars Lives.
« Reply #248 on: June 16, 2016, 12:17:54 PM »
For asteroids and such I think whomever has physical possession should have exclusive mining rights... IE... he who takes the risks... reaps the rewards.  Planets and moons will be difficult as the article suggests...  8)
In a boat at sea one of the men began to bore a hole in the bottom of the boat. On being remonstrating with, he answered, "I am only boring under my own seat." "Yes," said his companions, "but when the sea rushes in we shall all be drowned with you."

BridgeTroll

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Re: Mars Lives.
« Reply #249 on: June 20, 2016, 10:57:28 AM »
http://qz.com/702624/as-silicon-valley-lays-plans-to-colonize-mars-researchers-offer-a-blueprint-for-governing-it/

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As Silicon Valley lays plans to colonize Mars, researchers offer a blueprint for governing it

NASA has been tasked with landing humans on Mars by the 2030s. The nonprofit Mars One foundation claims it’s preparing to blast off hardware for human habitation of the Red Planet by 2024. And Elon Musk, the founder and CEO of SpaceX, has made it his mission to turn Mars into humanity’s second home to save our species from possible extinction.
No political system exists to manage these new arrivals—and if humans indeed colonize Mars in the 21st century, we’re going to need one soon. But it’s hard to find good precedents for governing in a place where air may need to be a basic right of citizenry and an entire planet is up for grabs.
Musk’s vision for governance on Mars is steeped in the libertarian-leaning ideals of Silicon Valley. At a recent Recode event, he described a system of “direct democracy,” rather than a reliance on elected officials to represent the masses. Musk would let people vote directly on most (if not all) issues before the government. Laws would be subject to expiration dates and popular recall by 40% of the population, ensuring it’s “easier to remove a law than to create one.” Musk believes the colonization of another planet will give humanity an opportunity to reboot its mode of governance, much as the US Constitution did in 1788, making a sharp break with outdated institutions and ideas born in an earlier era.
Humans have learned a lot in the intervening centuries about how to manage competing polities. And researchers publishing in the journal Space Policy on May 30 say we should use them. Three treaties in particular—agreements governing the high seas, Antarctica, and outer space— point the way to “successful sharing of international resources,” say the authors.

The researchers, from the nonprofit Blue Marble Space Institute of Science in Seattle, came to rather different conclusions than Musk about how to encourage harmony between rival states, sustain Martian exploration, and avoid follies ranging from physical violence to rampant environmental degradation.
Their full proposal (https://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/1511/1511.05615.pdf) borrows from the Antarctic Treaty System and the UN Convention on the Law of the Seas, as well as the 1967 Outer Space Treaty (https://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/1511/1511.05615.pdf) that decrees “the exploration and use of outer space shall be carried out for the benefit and in the interests of all countries and shall be the province of all mankind.” It hands local power to Martian inhabitants, coordinated by a weak central authority called the Mars Secretariat. No country can make a sovereign claim, but property rights to extract minerals and resources are permitted. Colonizing parties can occupy limited plots of Martian land, and claim exclusive economic rights within a 100 kilometer radius, but not prevent others from inhabiting or traversing the territory. Colonists remain under the legal jurisdiction of their host nation. Conflicts are resolved either by temporary Martian tribunals of representatives from other Mars colonies or diplomacy back on Earth.

The researchers say they drew two lessons from history in thinking through principles for a future Martian government. The first is that space-faring nations will probably resist, if not reject, attempts by a strong central authority to impinge on national sovereignty. The second is that any proposal to redistribute to all nations any riches from Mars will probably fail. The ill-fated Moon Agreement of 1979 seized on both ideas and never won support from a single space-faring country (although 11 nations that have never been to space signed on). The Antarctic and ocean treaties were explicitly crafted to avoid these kinds of clauses.
To address the Outer Space Treaty’s decree that space should benefit all humanity, the authors offer several possibilities: the creation of “planetary parks” preserving land for scientific and cultural purposes; a “Mars tax,” from the use of Mars resources, distributed to all countries; or a reinterpretation of the clause, to designate the creation of space colonies as an intrinsic benefit to the species. That, the authors say, should balance the need for property rights and private investment with shared benefits as humans settle our solar system.
The urgency is real. Martian colonists may be years away, but the legal structure for the private sector to invest in space exploration (and mine asteriods) must be in place to catalyze the investments that will get us there. With that in mind, Congress already passed a commercial space bill, the US Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/2262, to enable these businesses. It was signed into law last November. It recognizes property claims of US citizens who mine celestial bodies, prevents others from interfering with their activities, and offers liability protection for highly risky spaceflights.

Space lawyer James Dunstan said the bill was designed to reassure entrepreneurs that the “US will recognize claims of property rights of US citizens who go out and mine asteroids…if you expend the resources and go do it, and bring that stuff back, we will agree—recognize it—as your property.” But the scope of the law is narrow. It was criticized by groups like TechFreedom, a libertarian think tank on technology policy, for lacking a way to resolve conflicts and holding the potential to ignite a new space race for territory grabs.
The authors of the Mars governance proposal say that plans by both SpaceX and Mars One may violate the Outer Space Treaty. If so, this gives policy makers about a decade to get things right. Musk said last week that Space X’s plan is to launch Mars missions beginning in 2018 and then every two years or so from there on out. A manned flight would follow during the 2020s. (And NASA is only a decade behind.)
By 2040, Musk expects to see a thriving Martian city and, three decades later, a red planet inhabited by at least 1 million people. He wants to join them and retire on the planet before he turns 100.
By that time, it may not matter what those of us on Earth think. The principle of a society’s right to self-determination, articulated by US president Woodrow Wilson in 1918 in calling for the League of Nations, posited that people are now “dominated and governed only by their own consent.” The right for people to break away from their mother country was affirmed, and entered the annals of international law; more than 80 former colonies have gained independence and joined the United Nations since 1945, as Michael Byers, a political science researcher at the University of British Columbia, noted in a piece for the Washington Post.
In that spirit, a Mars colony should be entitled to independence, and the government of its choosing, if the colonists demand it through a popular vote. “Human rights are universal,” writes Byers. “They apply to every human being, on this planet and elsewhere.”
In a boat at sea one of the men began to bore a hole in the bottom of the boat. On being remonstrating with, he answered, "I am only boring under my own seat." "Yes," said his companions, "but when the sea rushes in we shall all be drowned with you."

spuwho

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Re: Mars Lives.
« Reply #250 on: June 20, 2016, 12:23:34 PM »
I think the desire to colonize Mars is admirable and I dont have any issues with it in principle.

However, Mars is a cold, desolate and barren planet with very little air, no magnetic field and low gravity.

Living underground will be mandatory and until someone comes up with artificial gravity, will have significant long term side effects on any human who stays for an extended period of time.

I get the exploration stuff, its awesome, but there is a great deal of idealism to expect the economics of Mars to support 1 million people ever.

I can imagine the growth in technologies that will be required to support a population will be enourmous and significant, but without some basic breakthroughs in living science, peoples life there wont last 3 years, let alone a single generation.

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Re: Mars Lives.
« Reply #251 on: June 20, 2016, 01:10:20 PM »
I think the desire to colonize Mars is admirable and I dont have any issues with it in principle.

However, Mars is a cold, desolate and barren planet with very little air, no magnetic field and low gravity.

Living underground will be mandatory and until someone comes up with artificial gravity, will have significant long term side effects on any human who stays for an extended period of time.

I get the exploration stuff, its awesome, but there is a great deal of idealism to expect the economics of Mars to support 1 million people ever.

I can imagine the growth in technologies that will be required to support a population will be enourmous and significant, but without some basic breakthroughs in living science, peoples life there wont last 3 years, let alone a single generation.

If only we could get the internet on our telephones?? :D  Hmmm... Elon Musk says he and his will be there in a mere 10 years... Without NASA.  A million people must begin with one.  How will humans divy up the planet?  First flag in the ground?  First anti rocket laser cannon?  An Antarctic style arrangement?  We dont need solutions or answers yet... but... tic tic tic... time flies when your not paying attention...
In a boat at sea one of the men began to bore a hole in the bottom of the boat. On being remonstrating with, he answered, "I am only boring under my own seat." "Yes," said his companions, "but when the sea rushes in we shall all be drowned with you."

BridgeTroll

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In a boat at sea one of the men began to bore a hole in the bottom of the boat. On being remonstrating with, he answered, "I am only boring under my own seat." "Yes," said his companions, "but when the sea rushes in we shall all be drowned with you."

spuwho

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Re: Mars Lives.
« Reply #253 on: June 20, 2016, 07:07:50 PM »
I think the desire to colonize Mars is admirable and I dont have any issues with it in principle.

However, Mars is a cold, desolate and barren planet with very little air, no magnetic field and low gravity.

Living underground will be mandatory and until someone comes up with artificial gravity, will have significant long term side effects on any human who stays for an extended period of time.

I get the exploration stuff, its awesome, but there is a great deal of idealism to expect the economics of Mars to support 1 million people ever.

I can imagine the growth in technologies that will be required to support a population will be enourmous and significant, but without some basic breakthroughs in living science, peoples life there wont last 3 years, let alone a single generation.

If only we could get the internet on our telephones?? :D  Hmmm... Elon Musk says he and his will be there in a mere 10 years... Without NASA.  A million people must begin with one.  How will humans divy up the planet?  First flag in the ground?  First anti rocket laser cannon?  An Antarctic style arrangement?  We dont need solutions or answers yet... but... tic tic tic... time flies when your not paying attention...

People said almost the same thing about the Yukon....just before gold was found.  It was cold, remote, no women, no whiskey, why would anyone want to go there? Then gold and voila, everyone wanted to be there.

So my guess is that Mars will be initially populated with frontier like people, people who can say they did it and scientists working on their astrophysics PhD.  And then someone will stumble onto some incredible rare mineral and once the surveys show that the planet is loaded with it, then the swarms will come looking to get rich.

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Re: Mars Lives.
« Reply #254 on: June 30, 2016, 09:08:04 AM »
http://mars.nasa.gov/news/whatsnew/index.cfm?FuseAction=ShowNews&NewsID=1913

Quote
06.14.2016
Rover Opportunity Wrapping up Study of Martian Valley

"Marathon Valley," slicing through a large crater's rim on Mars, has provided fruitful research targets for NASA's Opportunity rover since July 2015, but the rover may soon move on.
Opportunity recently collected a sweeping panorama from near the western end of this east-west valley. The vista shows an area where the mission investigated evidence about how water altered the ancient rocks and, beyond that, the wide floor of Endeavour Crater and the crater's eastern rim about 14 miles (22 kilometers) away.

Marathon Valley lured the mission because researchers using NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter had mapped water-related clay minerals at this area of the western rim of Endeavour Crater. The rover team chose the valley's informal name because Opportunity's arrival at this part of the rim coincided closely with the rover surpassing marathon-footrace distance in total driving since its January 2004 Mars landing.

"We are wrapping up our last few activities in Marathon Valley and before long we'll drive away, exiting along the southern wall of the valley and heading southeast," said Opportunity Principal Investigator Steve Squyres, of Cornell University, Ithaca, New York.

As Opportunity examined the clay-bearing rocks on the valley floor that were detected from orbit, the rover's own observations of the valley's southern flank revealed streaks of red-toned, crumbly material. The science team chose to investigate this apparently weathered material. The rover approached exposures of it to prepare for using the Rock Abrasion Tool, called the RAT. This tool grinds away a rock's surface to expose the interior for inspection.

"What we usually do to investigate material that's captured our interest is find a bedrock exposure of it and use the RAT," Squyres said. "What we didn't realize until we took a close-enough look is that this stuff has been so pervasively altered, it's not bedrock. There's no solid bedrock you could grind with the RAT."

Instead, the rover exposed some fresh surfaces for inspection by scuffing some of the reddish material with a wheel.

Squyres said, "In the scuff, we found one of the highest sulfur contents that's been seen anywhere on Mars. There's strong evidence that, among other things, these altered zones have a lot of magnesium sulfate. We don't think these altered zones are where the clay is, but magnesium sulfate is something you would expect to find precipitating from water.

"Fractures running through the bedrock, forming conduits through which water could flow and transport soluble materials, could alter the rock and create the pattern of red zones that we see."

As of June 14, Opportunity has driven 26.59 miles (42.79 kilometers). NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of Caltech in Pasadena, California, built the rover and manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. For more information about Opportunity, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/rovers
http://mars.nasa.gov/mer/
In a boat at sea one of the men began to bore a hole in the bottom of the boat. On being remonstrating with, he answered, "I am only boring under my own seat." "Yes," said his companions, "but when the sea rushes in we shall all be drowned with you."