Author Topic: Plan B - Space corps  (Read 1858 times)

Offline raketa

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 237
  • Liked: 46
  • Likes Given: 27
Plan B - Space corps
« on: 03/21/2018 03:46 AM »
1/We could be sure that Mars expedition will happen probably between 2025 - 2035 and SpaceX will be executing this adventure.
2/I am sure, that they will be able to build infrastructure to refuel on Mars
3/I could envision Mars base in number similar to the Antarctic base 1k people
4/But I am not able to believe, there will be several million people willing to move to Mars permanently and live in such harsh condition
5/I think I found a solution to achieve at least 10k people presence every day in foreseen future.
6/Issue of nuclear conflict on Earth is not 0% and I think there is big chance that Earth will be destroyed in next 1000 years, due to nuclear conflict.
7/Plan A: Our arm forces are the way to deter such conflict, but it is not guaranteed in case of conflict with Russia or China, they could protect us from total devastation.In the next hundred years, there is a big chance of more such advisories.
8/I think we could decide use 2% of Arms budget, to have a permanent contingent of 10k young people on Mars. In the case of earth devastation war, they will stay on Mars and in several hundred years come back to Earth and repopulated it.
9/10k group of people will be a singing contract to stay on Mars and learn to live there. After 5 years they will come back to Earth as space veterans with interesting skills to join earth population and start a family a regular Earthly life.
10/I think young man and woman will be signup just the same way today sign for Marine corps. We could call them Space corps.
11/If Spacex number are right, transport will cost the government in long-term 5B for 10K/ 5 years. At the beginning, the group will be smaller and build up a base on lowering transportation price and enlarge Mars base:
Transportation.......  ~1B/year
Salary................... ~1B/year
Construction........... ~5B/year
Supply..................  ~5B/year
-----------------------------------
Total                       ~12B/year

12/ Because source will be defense budget and the goal will assure continuity of USA, I think Congress will be OK to approve it.

Offline ChrisWilson68

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3606
  • Sunnyvale, CA
  • Liked: 2190
  • Likes Given: 2735
Re: Plan B - Space corps
« Reply #1 on: 03/21/2018 05:40 AM »
There's no way with current and near-term technology that a group of 10,000 people on Mars could survive for a few hundred years and come back to re-populate Earth.  That size colony is not large enough to sustain a high-tech industrial base.

As soon as the spare parts ran out, the life support systems would fail and everyone would die.

Online docmordrid

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4678
  • Michigan
  • Liked: 1789
  • Likes Given: 1
Re: Plan B - Space corps
« Reply #2 on: 03/21/2018 08:45 AM »

There's no way with current and near-term technology that a group of 10,000 people on Mars could survive for a few hundred years and come back to re-populate Earth.  That size colony is not large enough to sustain a high-tech industrial base.

As soon as the spare parts ran out, the life support systems would fail and everyone would die.

Tech aside, the population needed to maintain genetic diversity is known as the Minimum Viable Population, and for humans it was estimated by Traill et al. to be about  4,169. Or thereabouts.

We've come close before, one being an alleged genetic bottleneck about 50-70,000 years ago, the population declining to about 10,000 individuals.
« Last Edit: 03/21/2018 08:49 AM by docmordrid »
DM

Online AncientU

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6033
  • Liked: 3842
  • Likes Given: 5310
Re: Plan B - Space corps
« Reply #3 on: 03/21/2018 11:52 AM »
There's no way with current and near-term technology that a group of 10,000 people on Mars could survive for a few hundred years and come back to re-populate Earth.  That size colony is not large enough to sustain a high-tech industrial base.

As soon as the spare parts ran out, the life support systems would fail and everyone would die.]/b]

I think that end result is model dependent.  If a single settlement is established and the supplies sent from Earth are uniquely manufacturable on Earth, and the people sent are simply users of the equipment, then you are correct... no matter how large the population. 
This is the ISS model.

On the other hand, if a self-sufficiency model is established from the beginning, the infrastructure to build critical items on Mars is delivered (along with early supplies) and the components of the equipment are specifically designed to be manufacturable on Mars, then a different outcome becomes possible at some point.  A second aspect of this model is that technicians would be a significant part of the early population sent there, not just operators and users of stuff.  In this model, industrial laser printers and shop tooling will be delivered to build spare parts (and developmental/prototyping parts) and the equipment/spare parts sent will have been built by equivalent machines.
We have never attempted such a model.

As a more concrete example, batteries and solar cells will be needed by the hundreds of tonnes.  All can be shipped from Earth, with unique-to-Earth fabrication detail.  This is the first model.  The alternative is to send equipment to find and process needed raw materials, fabricate the cells, and assemble the solar panels or batteries needed -- along with the early supply of finished product.  One day, Mars could be independently producing all the solar power and storage devices they need.  The latter approach is much more challenging at first, but opens the possibility of self-sustainment down the road.  Agriculture and fertilizer manufacture is another example, propellant and the means to collect/process/etc. is another.  Water collection, purification, and hydrolysis is probably one of the first needed to be self-sustaining.

The number might not be 10,000, but whatever the number, the prospects of eventually becoming self-sustaining is completely model dependent.
« Last Edit: 03/21/2018 11:57 AM by AncientU »
"If we shared everything [we are working on] people would think we are insane!"
-- SpaceX friend of mlindner

Offline RonM

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2312
  • Atlanta, Georgia USA
  • Liked: 1134
  • Likes Given: 894
Re: Plan B - Space corps
« Reply #4 on: 03/21/2018 12:28 PM »
If enough radiation is released or nuclear winter is bad enough to cause a mass extinction event, why go back to Earth? It will take thousands or even millions of years for the ecology to recover and it won't be the same.

Expand the Mars settlement and build orbital settlements. Spread across the solar system.

If the war or disaster collapsed civilization and left survivors, then the Mars Plan B can help rebuild civilization.

Offline su27k

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 904
  • Liked: 651
  • Likes Given: 65
Re: Plan B - Space corps
« Reply #5 on: 03/21/2018 01:23 PM »
12/ Because source will be defense budget and the goal will assure continuity of USA, I think Congress will be OK to approve it.

If congress has this kind of foresight, they would be funding BFR right now, not just for this wacky plan B, but for the obvious military application a super cheap fully reusable SHLV would have. Since they are not doing this, the conclusion is they lack the foresight you're hoping for.

Offline notsorandom

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1706
  • Ohio
  • Liked: 395
  • Likes Given: 88
Re: Plan B - Space corps
« Reply #6 on: 03/21/2018 04:20 PM »
Its cheaper just to build and provision bunkers here on Earth for a subset of the population. Also has a higher chance of successfully being built and working should the need arise.

Offline raketa

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 237
  • Liked: 46
  • Likes Given: 27
Re: Plan B - Space corps
« Reply #7 on: 03/21/2018 06:17 PM »
There's no way with current and near-term technology that a group of 10,000 people on Mars could survive for a few hundred years and come back to re-populate Earth.  That size colony is not large enough to sustain a high-tech industrial base.

As soon as the spare parts ran out, the life support systems would fail and everyone would die.
I didn't say 10K in 2045. But gradually grow from first crew of 10 people 2025-2035 to 10k in ~2085. ~150 years after nuclear bomb discovery, we will have a group of people that could avoid nuclear holocaust and restart our civilization.

Offline raketa

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 237
  • Liked: 46
  • Likes Given: 27
Re: Plan B - Space corps
« Reply #8 on: 03/21/2018 06:23 PM »

There's no way with current and near-term technology that a group of 10,000 people on Mars could survive for a few hundred years and come back to re-populate Earth.  That size colony is not large enough to sustain a high-tech industrial base.

As soon as the spare parts ran out, the life support systems would fail and everyone would die.

Tech aside, the population needed to maintain genetic diversity is known as the Minimum Viable Population, and for humans it was estimated by Traill et al. to be about  4,169. Or thereabouts.

We've come close before, one being an alleged genetic bottleneck about 50-70,000 years ago, the population declining to about 10,000 individuals.
10K on Mars has to be diverse and young to have a chance to restart civilization. I think it will be one of condition to be part of these 10k staging on Mars, to be genetical diverse from other people in group.
Older people will stay if they want but will be not part of this specific group and will help newcomers to adjust to Mars and share experiences.

Offline raketa

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 237
  • Liked: 46
  • Likes Given: 27
Re: Plan B - Space corps
« Reply #9 on: 03/21/2018 06:28 PM »
There's no way with current and near-term technology that a group of 10,000 people on Mars could survive for a few hundred years and come back to re-populate Earth.  That size colony is not large enough to sustain a high-tech industrial base.

As soon as the spare parts ran out, the life support systems would fail and everyone would die.]/b]

I think that end result is model dependent.  If a single settlement is established and the supplies sent from Earth are uniquely manufacturable on Earth, and the people sent are simply users of the equipment, then you are correct... no matter how large the population. 
This is the ISS model.

On the other hand, if a self-sufficiency model is established from the beginning, the infrastructure to build critical items on Mars is delivered (along with early supplies) and the components of the equipment are specifically designed to be manufacturable on Mars, then a different outcome becomes possible at some point.  A second aspect of this model is that technicians would be a significant part of the early population sent there, not just operators and users of stuff.  In this model, industrial laser printers and shop tooling will be delivered to build spare parts (and developmental/prototyping parts) and the equipment/spare parts sent will have been built by equivalent machines.
We have never attempted such a model.

As a more concrete example, batteries and solar cells will be needed by the hundreds of tonnes.  All can be shipped from Earth, with unique-to-Earth fabrication detail.  This is the first model.  The alternative is to send equipment to find and process needed raw materials, fabricate the cells, and assemble the solar panels or batteries needed -- along with the early supply of finished product.  One day, Mars could be independently producing all the solar power and storage devices they need.  The latter approach is much more challenging at first, but opens the possibility of self-sustainment down the road.  Agriculture and fertilizer manufacture is another example, propellant and the means to collect/process/etc. is another.  Water collection, purification, and hydrolysis is probably one of the first needed to be self-sustaining.

The number might not be 10,000, but whatever the number, the prospects of eventually becoming self-sustaining is completely model dependent.
You are right, all these complicated items like solar panels, circuit could be 3D printed. I think there was some test and on Mars will make more sense because mass production will be not required at the beginning. This is the issue on Earth mass production still cheaper then printing. But on Mars, due transportation cost will make more sense.

Offline raketa

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 237
  • Liked: 46
  • Likes Given: 27
Re: Plan B - Space corps
« Reply #10 on: 03/21/2018 06:36 PM »
If enough radiation is released or nuclear winter is bad enough to cause a mass extinction event, why go back to Earth? It will take thousands or even millions of years for the ecology to recover and it won't be the same.

Expand the Mars settlement and build orbital settlements. Spread across the solar system.

If the war or disaster collapsed civilization and left survivors, then the Mars Plan B can help rebuild civilization.
Nagasaki and Hiroshima show that it will be pretty fast back to normal 100-200 years. Earth with big water body is still the best place to live. But agree Mars will be safe  Plan B maybe for 500-1000 years. During this period we have to move on to neighbor solar systems, to have a new backup system for surviving civilization.
10 years I didn't believe it will be possible ever, but due to EM drive I am very optimistic we will expand beyond Solar system pretty soon.

Offline raketa

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 237
  • Liked: 46
  • Likes Given: 27
Re: Plan B - Space corps
« Reply #11 on: 03/21/2018 06:39 PM »
12/ Because source will be defense budget and the goal will assure continuity of USA, I think Congress will be OK to approve it.

If congress has this kind of foresight, they would be funding BFR right now, not just for this wacky plan B, but for the obvious military application, a super cheap fully reusable SHLV would have. Since they are not doing this, the conclusion is they lack the foresight you're hoping for.
For science/exploration, Congress is OK to give max 20B/year. For surviving our nation, I think they will be more flexible.
The money will come not from NASA lobby constraint budget, but from defense budget(it has more flexibility) if it is the national interest.

Offline raketa

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 237
  • Liked: 46
  • Likes Given: 27
Re: Plan B - Space corps
« Reply #12 on: 03/21/2018 06:42 PM »
Its cheaper just to build and provision bunkers here on Earth for a subset of the population. Also has a higher chance of successfully being built and working should the need arise.
You have no time evacuate to this facilities if surprise attack.
Mars group will be not just to have a backup group, but you will have group very skilled people that will be a crop of our working force on earth after return from their 5 years duty.

Offline jedsmd

  • Member
  • Posts: 75
  • Liked: 8
  • Likes Given: 135
Re: Plan B - Space corps
« Reply #13 on: 03/21/2018 06:54 PM »
Quote
8/I think we could decide use 2% of Arms budget, to have a permanent contingent of 10k young people on Mars. In the case of earth devastation war, they will stay on Mars and in several hundred years come back to Earth and repopulated it.

If they have lived on Mars their entire lives they probably are not going to relocate back to Earth.  Would you voluntarily move to a planet with 3 x Earth gravity?

Offline Lar

  • Fan boy at large
  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10012
  • Saw Gemini live on TV
  • A large LEGO storage facility ... in Michigan
  • Liked: 6838
  • Likes Given: 4618
Re: Plan B - Space corps
« Reply #14 on: 03/21/2018 07:19 PM »
OP said 5 year rotation. People who don't want to go back don't have to but are on their own after that 5 year stint is up, that's my take.
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

Offline gongora

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3155
  • US
  • Liked: 2533
  • Likes Given: 1536
Re: Plan B - Space corps
« Reply #15 on: 03/21/2018 07:28 PM »
Schemes to get the U.S. military to pay for BFR belong in the Space Policy section, so I'm moving this thread over.

Offline ChrisWilson68

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3606
  • Sunnyvale, CA
  • Liked: 2190
  • Likes Given: 2735
Re: Plan B - Space corps
« Reply #16 on: 03/26/2018 05:01 AM »
There's no way with current and near-term technology that a group of 10,000 people on Mars could survive for a few hundred years and come back to re-populate Earth.  That size colony is not large enough to sustain a high-tech industrial base.

As soon as the spare parts ran out, the life support systems would fail and everyone would die.]/b]

I think that end result is model dependent.

On the other hand, if a self-sufficiency model is established from the beginning, the infrastructure to build critical items on Mars is delivered (along with early supplies) and the components of the equipment are specifically designed to be manufacturable on Mars, then a different outcome becomes possible at some point.

Yeah, and that's the model I was assuming, and I'm claiming it can't be done with our current technology with 10,000 people.  Not even close.  Maybe with 10 million.  Maybe.

Just consider how dependent all our current technology is on microchips.  Then look into what it takes to make the equipment to manufacture chips.  It's amazingly complex.

Offline Athrithalix

  • Member
  • Posts: 45
  • UK
  • Liked: 17
  • Likes Given: 51
Re: Plan B - Space corps
« Reply #17 on: 03/28/2018 08:31 AM »
The ~4000 number seems like a pessimistic estimate, wild animal populations have survived from falls into the hundreds, and conservationists donít give up on breeding programmes even with single digit populations. A quick glance at some of the papers advocating that number indicates that they are taking into account disasters, disease, and other factors less applicable to a carefully planned human population. I would agree that the minimum viable population is higher than double digits, but with direct management I would be very surprised if doom were the only possible outcome in a population even as low as 100. This makes me think that the limiting factor in such a situation is highly unlikely to be genetic diversity, the limited career and knowledge specialities of a small population would make more sense as a failure mode, but 10,000 different specialists to cover only a few fields (rocketry, agriculture, ECLSS, genetics, manufacturing, administration) makes me think that not everyone there would have a unique and irreplaceable role. The struggle that is always mentioned is microchip manufacture, unfortunately I donít know enough about it to make definitive statements, but the current industry is optimised for cost, it is conceivable that an industry optimised for labour would require fewer than 1000 specialists. This segues into the larger issue, where I think people compare too closely between Earth economies and civilisations, which are optimised for economic efficiency and cheap labour conditions, whereas a Mars colony would be built along very different lines and designed as such from the outset.
A corps of 10,000 specifically trained settlers in a carefully planned environment should be more capable than existing systems constructed by competitive selection on Earth.

Tags: