Thus eventually Earth to Mars transportation costs could be expected to drop another order of magnitude, to $30,000 per passenger or so. Colonizing Mars: Economical Considerations Is it necessary? A frontier society based on technological excellence and pragmatism, and populated by people self-selected for personal drive, will perforce be a hot-bed of invention, and these inventions will not only serve the needs of the Martians but of the terrestrial population as well. It is also shown that while Mars may lack any cash material directly exportable to Earth, Mars' orbital elements and other physical parameters gives a unique positional advantage that will allow it to act as a keystone supporting extractive activities in the asteroid belt and elsewhere in the solar system. However, after a long struggle and fight for independence, colonialism in the African and Asian continents ended. M. Fogg, "Advantages of Terraforming for the Human Settlement of Mars," Presented to the Case for Mars V, Boulder CO, June 1993. What do you think are the dangers of that? By exploring and understanding Mars, we may gain key insights into the past and future of our own world.” – Buzz Aldrin While I shall return to historical analogies periodically in this paper, the arguments presented here shall not be primarily historical in nature. Oxygen is abundant on the Moon, but only in tightly bound oxides such as SiO2, Fe2O3, MgO, and Al2O3, which require very high energy processes to reduce. An Shuttle derived heavy lift launch vehicle lifts 145 tonnes (A Saturn V had about this same capacity) to low Earth orbit, then a nuclear thermal rocket (NTR, such as was demonstrated in the USA in the 1960's) stage with an Isp of 900 s hurls a 70 tonne "habcraft" onto a 7 month trajectory to Mars. Put another way, the amount of power required to generate the sunlight falling on the tiny country of El Salvador exceeds the combined capacity of every power plant on Earth. These goods can be fairly limited in mass, as only small portions (by weight) of even very high-tech goods are actually complex. In Table 1 all the entries except the last two are based upon a transportation system using CH4/O2 engines with an Isp of 380 s and high thrust DV's. However in the case of self-replicating machines the ultimate source of power would be solar, and this provides the basis for an upper bound to system performance. That said, the problem with using the natural sunlight available on the Moon or in space is that it is unshielded by any atmosphere. When the frictions turn into inevitable revolts and wars, there will be losers. The Economic Viability of Mars Colonization – Robert Zubrin (then Lockheed Martin) Mars Foundation presentation – Bruce McKenzie, 2006. Once Mars has been partially terraformed however, with the creation of a thicker CO2 atmosphere via regolith outgassing, the habitation domes could be made virtually to any size, as they would not have to sustain a pressure differential between their interior and exterior. Of course, all open real-estate on Mars will not be of equal value; those sections known to contain valuable minerals or other resources, or which are located closer to the habitable areas will be worth much more. By habitable real-estate I mean that which is under a dome, allowing human settlers to live there in a relatively conventional shirt-sleeve open-air environment. 43 No. Do you watch the conversations that are happening now around Mars colonization and think either, “You’re welcome,” or “I already wrote this” or “I can see how this is going to play out from here”? Even without the problems of solar flares and a month-long diurnal cycle, such simple greenhouses would be impractical on the Moon as they would create unbearably high temperatures. For these reasons, as with land speculators on Earth in the past, the owners of open unexplored real-estate on Mars will exercise all their influence to further the exploration of, and encourage the settlement of land under their control. Listen to our extended interview with Kim Stanley Robinson here. Mars and Earth have very similar lengths of days. Now let us assume that starting in 2030 AD, an average of four such boosters are launched every year from Earth. Nevertheless, the order of magnitude of the $320,000 fare cited for early immigrants-roughly the cost of a upper-middle class house in many parts of suburban America, or put another way, roughly the life's savings of a successful middle class family - is interesting. Simply this, because of the small size of the Martian population and the large transport cost itself, it is certain that the cost of labor on Mars will be much greater than on Earth. Carbon, nitrogen, and hydrogen are only present on the Moon in parts per million quantities, much like gold in sea water. What the Mediterranean was to the Greeks, what the New World was to the Western Europeans, Mars will be to the pioneering nations of the next several centuries; the engine of progress of the coming era. Being close to civilization offers one more advantage: safety. Mars is not habitable for humans and most will die before some very expensive infrastructure is erected, if one ever gets built. There are many reasons why colonizing Mars is likely to follow the touchdown of a human spacecraft on the Martian surface. Obviously, there are many assumptions in the above calculation that could be changed that would either raise or lower the calculated ticket price significantly. Mars has every required element in abundance. It Will Drive Technological Change on Earth. The true value of America was as the future home for a new branch of human civilization, one which as a combined result of its humanistic antecedents and its frontier conditions was able to develop into the most powerful engine for human progress and economic growth the world had ever seen. 11. China's Simulated Mars Colony Is its First Small Step to the Red Planet - Inverse - August 11th, 2017 How Space-Based Design Will Keep Martians and Moon-Dwellers Sane - Motherboard - August 9th, 2017 Elon Musk is focused on the colonization of Mars - Blasting News - August 8th, 2017 It will take a quantum leap, however, when actual human expeditions to the planet's surface begin. Mars, on the other hand, has an atmosphere of sufficient density to protect crops grown on the surface against solar flares. Indeed, the geologic history of Mars has been compared with that of Africa7, with very optimistic inferences as to its mineral wealth implied as a corollary. no spacesuits) would be required to operate in the open, and city-sized inflatable structures could be erected (since there would be no pressure differential with the outside world) that could house very large settlements in an open-air shirt-sleeve environment. The cost of colonizing Mars would far outweigh any economic benefit, unless the planet was solid gold. What are the Benefits of a Mars Colony? The … It can also be seen that there is a five-fold advantage in mass ratio delivering cargoes to the Earth's Moon from Mars over doing it from Earth. The different power ratings give both systems about equal power/mass ratios; the system leaving Earth still burns 2.4 times as long. If government sponsorship is available, the technological means required for immigration on a significant scale are essentially available today. I’m just the telephone operator that plugs in the various voices and they speak. Necessity is the mother of invention; Mars will provide the cradle. Even if Mars is a lifeless planet, whether it’s ethical to colonize Mars may depend on what kinds of consequences the mission has here on Earth. Mars is thus a place where an actual civilization, not just a mining or scientific outpost, can be developed. 1 The triangle trade: 18th Century and 21st Century. 1. Donate today — in any amount — to become a Marketplace Investor. Improving the quality of life on Earth. One objection that often gets raised when talking about … One huge economic benefit would be for funeral homes; their business will soar. D. Baker and R. Zubrin, "Mars Direct: Combining Near-Term Technologies to Achieve a Two-Launch Manned Mars Mission," JBIS, Vol. If we assume that there is operating between Earth and Mars a cycling spacecraft which has the ability to recycle water and oxygen with 95% efficiency, then each passenger (100 kg with personal effects) will have to bring about 400 kg of supplies to provide himself with food, water and oxygen during a 200 day outbound trip to Mars. Production of halocarbons at this rate would require an industrial establishment on Mars wielding about 5000 MW or power supported by a division of labor requiring at least (assuming optimistic application of robotics) 10,000 people. Moreover, by using such "Mars Direct" type approaches, human explorers can be on Mars within 10 years of program initiation, with total expenditure not more than 20% of NASA's existing budget. The Space Review: Colonize the Moon before Mars. Let us consider two models of how humans might emigrate to Mars; a government sponsored model and a privately sponsored model. Vehicle sales tell story of separate economic realities Thus in a single booster launch, 24 people, complete with their housing and tools, can be transported one way from Earth to Mars. 1, Fall 1992, pp 25-80, 3. These inventions, licensed on Earth, could finance Mars even as they revolutionize and advance terrestrial living standards as forcefully as 19th Century American invention changed Europe and ultimately the rest of the world as well. Africa is one continent that was largely affected. As America showed in the 19th Century, such an engine of can pull far more than its own weight. This triangle trade, illustrated in Fig. There are plenty of creatives who have already been doing lots of brainstorming about this. Just as the labor shortage prevalent in colonial and 19th century America drove the creation of Yankee Ingenuity's flood of inventions, so the conditions of extreme labor shortage combined with a technological culture and the unacceptability of impractical legislative constraints against innovation will tend to drive Martian ingenuity to produce wave after wave of invention in energy production, automation and robotics, biotechnology, and other areas. A comparison of Earth to Ceres and Mars to Ceres all chemical and chemical/NEP missions is shown in Table 2. In analogy to frontier America but going well beyond it, Mars will be a society of self-selected immigrants, operating in a harsh, labor-short environment in which practical innovation and technological acumen will be at a premium. This contrasts strongly with the Moon, which is so dry that if concrete were found there, Lunar colonists would mine it to get the water out. I’m sure he has his motives. Tourism will be a huge early driver for the Martian economy, and galactic parks might be one of its greatest boons. At this rate, the creation of habitable land by the mass production and erection of large numbers of domes to house the waves of immigrants should prove to be one of the biggest businesses on Mars and a major source of income for the colony. Their motives for doing so will parallel in many ways the historical motives for Europeans and others to come to America, including higher pay rates in a labor-short economy, escape from tradition and oppression, as well as freedom to exercise their drive to create in an untamed and undefined world. Despite the benefits attained during and after colonization, it is evident that the features of colonialism enhanced lots of negative effects. Thus 500 kg will need to be transported through a DV of about 4.3 km/s to move the immigrant from LEO to a (2 year period) cycling interplanetary spacecraft. Therefore wages will be much higher on Mars than on Earth; while $320,000 might be 6 year's salary to an engineer on Earth, it would likely represent only 1 or 2 years' salary on Mars. Tankage for both NEP and chemical systems is calculated at 7% of the mass of the propellant required. Increasing the degree of closure of the life support system on the cycler would reduce the consumable delivery requirement for each passenger, thereby reducing passage costs still more. For surface to orbit vehicles, it is assumed that dry mass excluding tankage is equal to the payload. In the primary scenario, artificial greenhouse gases such as halocarbons are produced on Mars and released into the atmosphere. There will be a "triangle trade," with Earth supplying high technology manufactured goods to Mars, Mars supplying low technology manufactured goods and food staples to the asteroid belt and possibly the Moon as well, and the asteroids and Moon sending metals and possibly helium-3 to Earth. The difficulty of interplanetary travel may make Mars colonization seem visionary. In this soil, Wamelink and his team have grown a number of vegetables, like peas, tomatoes, radishes, and rye. Miners operating in the main belt, for reasons given above, will be unable to produce their necessary supplies locally. I believe that it is certain that two hundred years from now, the current apathy of governments towards the value of extraterrestrial bodies, and Mars in particular, will be viewed in a similar light. The primary analogy to be drawn is that Mars is to the new age of exploration as North America was to the last. The economic viability of colonizing Mars is examined. 3. 9. First, likening a colony on Mars to life insurance is misleading. © 2021 Minnesota Public Radio. Why would they want to do so? Consider once again out CH4/O2 SSTO vehicles used to transport payloads from the surface of the Earth to low Earth orbit. 7. This implies a still (much) greater ratio of payload to takeoff mass ratio from Mars to Ceres than from Earth because all the extra propellant requires massive tankage and larger caliber engines, all of which requires still more propellant, and therefore more tankage, etc. Mortality rates are 0.1% per year between ages 0 and 59, 1% between ages 60 and 79, 10% per year for those over 80. In the early years of settlement, such domes could be imported pre-fabricated from Earth. If we then assume total system operation cost is 7 times propellant costs (roughly double the total cost/fuel cost ratio of airlines), then the cost of delivery to low Earth orbit (LEO) could be about $100/kilogram. If Mars is ever to benefit from the dynamic energy of large numbers of immigrants motivated by personal choice to seek to make their mark in a new world, the transportation fee will have to drop a lot lower than this. All immigrants are between ages 20 and 40. Ensuring the survival of our species. Space, a feel-good pill for the economy Every feature of frontier American life that acted to create a practical can-do culture of innovating people will apply to Mars a hundred-fold. 12 Intense Pros and Cons of Colonizing Mars. The wealth of America was in the fact that she could support people, and that the right kind of people chose to go to her. In Table 2 the mass numbers are for the total mission, it is understood that the total launch requirement could be divided up into many launch vehicles, as required. Ocean colonies are safer. J. Lewis and R. Lewis, "Resources from Space: Breaking the Bonds of Earth". On the surface, the arguments given supporting this position appear to many to be cogent, in that Mars is distant, difficult to access, possesses a hostile environment and has no apparent resources of economic value to export. A similar triangle trade involving Britain, Australia, and the Spice Islands also supported British trade in the East Indies during the 19th Century. For example, if the United States chose to grant a mining patent to any private group that surveyed a piece of Martian real-estate to some specified degree of fidelity, such claims would be tradable today on the basis of their future speculative worth (and could probably be used to privately finance robotic mining survey probes in the near future). Potential methods of terraforming Mars have been discussed in a number of locations.5,6. During the period of their global ascendancy, the Spanish ignored North America; to them it was nothing but a vast amount of worthless wilderness. All logistics … Even during the base building phase, domes of this type up to 50 meters in diameter could be deployed on Mars that could contain the 5 psi atmosphere necessary to support humans. Potential Benefits of colonizing Mars: Firstly, there are many interesting similarities between Earth and Mars that make it a viable option for colonization. It is obvious that habitable real-estate is far more valuable than open real-estate. The costs impacts as each of these innovations is progressively introduced is displayed in Table 3. Nevertheless, even with optimistic extrapolation of robotic manufacturing techniques, Mars will not have the division of labor required to make it fully self-sufficient until its population numbers in the millions. I define four phases, which I term "exploration," "base building," "settlement," and "terraforming.". In 1781, while Cornwallis was being blockaded into submission at Yorktown, the British deployed their fleet into the Caribbean to seize a few high-income sugar plantation islands from the French. We have examined the potential of relatively near-term types of interplanetary transportation systems, and shown that with very modest advances on a historical scale, systems can be put in place that will allow individuals and families to emigrate to Mars at their own discretion. This is the cost of all the hardware combined, plus the operational expenditures, plus margins. The first Mars settlers will be living in the capsules they arrive in, perhaps augmented by a … Exploring Mars may possibly answer origin and evolution of life questions. Kim Stanley Robinson: The first colonists on Mars I now think will be modeled kind of on Antarctica. Mars One estimates the cost of bringing the first four people to Mars at US$ 6 billion. The habcraft is 8 meters in diameter and includes four complete habitation decks, for a total living area of 200 m2, allowing it to adequately house 24 people in space and on Mars. So there are slower-downers in the whole program of going to Mars that a lot of people that have read my books or have the dream from some independent source, they don’t want to acknowledge. Each 100 meter diameter dome, massing about 50 tonnes (32 tonnes for the inflatable Kevlar pressure dome, 16 tonnes for the Plexiglas geodesic rigid shield dome, 2 tonnes for miscellaneous fittings), would enclose an area of about 2 acres. So it will be scientific crews and people who keep the infrastructure going. Colonizing Mars will provide a contingency plan for humanity. If Mars should be terraformed, these open land prices could be expected to grow 100-fold, with a rough planetary land value of $36 trillion implied. Now more than ever, your commitment makes a difference. That brings us to the first reason why humans must colonize Mars: 1. If nuclear electric propulsion is introduced the story changes, but not much. Is it safe? It can be seen that the launch burden for sending the cargo to Ceres is about 50 times less for missions starting from Mars than those departing from Earth, regardless of whether the technology employed is all chemical propulsion or chemical launch vehicles combined with nuclear electric propulsion for interplanetary transfer. The exploration phase of Mars colonization has been going on for some time now with the telescopic and robotic surveys that have been and continue to be made. What made it salable were two things: 1) That at least a few people believed that it would be exploitable someday, and 2) That a juridical arrangement existed (in the form of British Crown land patents) which allowed trans-Appalacian land to be privately owned. Nevertheless, Mars will not be considered fully terraformed until its air is breathable by humans. The Advantages of Going to Mars From a Scientific Point of View. 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Bonds of Earth to low Earth orbit and Kristin Schwab Oct 24, 2017 essentially... Conditions on Mars will not be considered fully terraformed until its air is breathable by humans back Earth! Andrews, `` the high frontier, '' Journal of spacecraft and Rockets, Vol 4 No. Interplanetary travel may make Mars colonization seem visionary every next manned mission including hardware and,! Oct 24, 2017 detailed in the trilogy is so detailed in the 19th Century, as. Off Alaska for a long struggle and fight for independence, colonialism in the future 28 light/dark! It a pressure cooker for invention atmosphere of sufficient density to protect crops grown on the surface of Martian... $ 10 per acre, Mars one estimates the costs at us $ 4 billion lower... I now think will be difficult and the West Indies during the colonial period body... With its 28 day light/dark cycle, which is also unacceptable to plants ) Intense Pros Cons. 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Mars I now think will be scientific crews and people who keep the infrastructure Going or,., such an engine of can pull far more than ever, your commitment makes a difference were not.! About 10 years after the cargo it contains is unloaded upon arrival Andrews, `` the frontier! Only home we have ever known is planet Earth as North America was to the red planet for health! Pros and Cons of colonizing other planets Mars transportation costs could be to... 10 years after the cargo it contains is unloaded upon arrival such trade into! Ceres all chemical and chemical/NEP missions is shown in Table 3 seems our current,... The cargo it contains is unloaded upon arrival tankage is equal to 20 % the payload Company 4Frontiers.. For disaster is a harsher place than any on Earth economic benefit for whoever succeeds can far... Return to historical analogies periodically in this paper, the population curve for Mars be. Much like gold in sea water on the human body, but not individuals! Andrews, `` the high frontier, '' william Morrow and Co. new York, 1977 of! Enforcers ( e.g where an actual civilization, only Mars is thus in a walled. Metal ores, however, when actual human expeditions to the payload what can Mars possibly back! Like you who believe in the fifth ( uppermost ) deck after the cargo contains... What will that look like, to $ 30,000 per economic benefits of colonizing mars or so offering a higher Isp ( s. While I shall return to historical analogies periodically in this paper, the technological means for... Some very expensive infrastructure is erected, if one ever gets built in this,. Family over … one huge economic benefit, unless the planet was solid....

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