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What do you think of Perseverance?


TommyJ
(@tommyj)
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Have you seen the video of the landing? What do you think of this mission? Will they find traces of life? (It is worth remembering that the traces of life at best will be some kind of bacteria).
Will this speed up the process of colonizing the red planet?


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Gaius Konstantine
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Awesome landing, and any steps taken to explore our system gets a big thumbs up for me, the future is out there... if we survive long enough to reach it. 

But to your questions

Traces of life are highly possible, Mars was not anything like what it is today billions of years ago. It's quite likely that for the relatively short time-span that Mars had a different biome, simple life managed to evolve. Even on our own Earth, life such as anaerobic bacteria can be found in very harsh (to us) environments. So while it would most likely be in fossil form, I would be more surprised if traces of life were not found... though "Mars Attacks" type of life is out of the question.

Colonizing the red planet... well that depends. If you mean a small outpost with some doomed humans that will never really amount to much, maybe. If you mean millions of people living on Mars in a self sustaining society, I don't think so. The lack of a magnetic field (and protection from solar radiation) can be dealt with, as can many factors such as lack of adequate sunlight, and non productive soil, etc. Throw enough money at these problems and solutions become available, from underground habitats, to artificial light, soil enrichment techniques, etc. The one problem I do not see a solution for is the gravity.

At 0.376 g compared to Earth, we simply do not know if it will be enough for us to not suffer ill health effects, furthermore even if we do not, it is highly likely that generations born in such a low gravity environment can never come home to Earth. I want to see us settle the system, don't get me wrong, but this gravity thing poses a huge problem on every planet (or moon) outside of Earth save Venus... and that place has a huge host of other problems...


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TommyJ
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Topic starter  

Thanks for the detailed answer. I love that we have such opportunities to explore space. But a permanent colony on Mars really doesn't make sense. Although we do not know the development plan for the colony. Starlink has a Mars usage clause in its agreement of use. Perhaps places with artificial gravity will be organized on the Moon, Mars, etc.
If we can make a microgravity room on Earth ...


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Gaius Konstantine
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@tommyj

You're welcome.

Artificial gravity is far ahead on our technology tree, I think that but the time we have that kind of tech, we will also be able to leave the system entirely. If I'm correct, then colonizing Mars becomes even less attractive.

I recall that a few years ago some researchers were able to alter gravity and made a puff of smoke rise faster than it would under normal G conditions. While promising from a theoretical standpoint, the experiment wasn't creating artificial gravity, but rather reducing normal gravity, the exact opposite of what we would need. The fact that only a a puff of smoke was used, and not something heavier, indicates we have a very long way to go.

Still an outpost (instead of a full fledged colony) on Mars does make a lot of sense, especially if propulsion techniques can reduce the travel time (between the two respective planets) from weeks to months. Exciting times ahead.


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Pinback
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Indeed great pics from the landing and looking forward to seeing more from that drone that perseverance has onboard.

Don't think perseverance will speed up colonization of mars but if it does find something, then the follow up mission to retrieve it would go long way to proving that we can put a space craft in orbit, launch a lander, get the sample put in it and launched back into orbit, then return it to Earth. 

All done with about a twenty minute delay between Earth and Mars. 


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TommyJ
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Reducing travel time is the main goal of many modern companies, institutes, laboratories and individual engineers. I heard that at the Princeton Laboratory, plasma physicists have found a way to make a plasma engine. Such an engine should allow the rocket to fly 10 times faster. I wonder when they can do it.


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Pinback
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I see that the helicopter been dropped, going to be interesting to see the video when it get sent back of it flying.


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Cody
 Cody
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Posted by: @pinback

... going to be interesting to see the video when it get sent back of it flying.

Yeah! Thin atmosphere and low gravity, right?

I dreamed I saw the silver spaceships flying, in the yellow haze of the sun
There were children crying and colors flying, all around the chosen ones
All in a dream, all in a dream, the loading had begun
Flying Mother Nature's silver seed to a new home...


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Pinback
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Posted by: @cody
Posted by: @pinback

... going to be interesting to see the video when it get sent back of it flying.

Yeah! Thin atmosphere and low gravity, right?

Could go straight up and never to be seen again. 


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Cody
 Cody
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Up and away - Ingenuity takes to the Martian sky!

I dreamed I saw the silver spaceships flying, in the yellow haze of the sun
There were children crying and colors flying, all around the chosen ones
All in a dream, all in a dream, the loading had begun
Flying Mother Nature's silver seed to a new home...


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Pinback
(@pinback)
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It's works 😎 read that they are planning a helicopter mission to titan. 


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Cody
 Cody
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Posted by: @pinback

read that they are planning a helicopter mission to titan.

That's the place for it - thicker atmosphere makes it easier to fly.

I dreamed I saw the silver spaceships flying, in the yellow haze of the sun
There were children crying and colors flying, all around the chosen ones
All in a dream, all in a dream, the loading had begun
Flying Mother Nature's silver seed to a new home...


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