Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Why sending humans to Mars is bullshit

Well here we are in early 2021 and the new Perseverance rover has sent back its first pictures from the surface of Mars. Yup, Mars is still a shithole.

For a start you can't just go to Mars whenever you want.  Mars should preferably be on the same side of its orbit as the Earth, so as to minimize the distance travelled.  Even then it takes seven months to get there, which would expose a human to the long term health effects of space radiation and zero gravity. 

By "health effects" I mean for example that astronauts who spent long periods of time (months) in space return to Earth unable to walk due to muscular atrophy caused by zero gravity, as well as numerous other health problems with their heart, eyes, and other organs. They have to be carried out of the capsule when they return to Earth and sent off in a wheelchair for rehabilitation. You typically don't see that on the news, because space flight is supposed to be glamorous and courageous, like it is in Star Trek or Star Wars.

You would also need to take all your supplies, food, water, and air for your seven month journey. No one has embarked on such a long journey since probably the days of sailing ships, and even those ships were able to resupply some materials as they sailed around the world.  

Then when you get to Mars the atmosphere is only about 1% as dense as Earth's. There's only 38% gravity and we don't even know what the health effects of that are. There is only 43% as much sunlight as Earth and even noon would look like dusk, and the average temperature is an incredibly cold -80°F (-60°C). Mars has no magnetic field and little atmosphere, so radiation from space bombards the surface at about 12 times the rate on Earth.

Then you have to assume any human explorer would need to make the return journey.

All the technologies that need to be developed and tested for Mars MUST first be developed and tested on the Moon. Since we don't have a base on the Moon yet, then we're not about to have any humans visiting Mars. Possibly lava tubes could be a good place to start building an outpost. They might provide some ready-made radiation shielding and therefore lessen the construction payload.

So as you can see, the main problem with sending humans to Mars isn't getting there. We've already sent car-sized object to Mars several times.  The problem is the health effects of long term space travel, and the extremely harsh conditions on Mars.

Here are Elon Musk's plans for Mars, which are obviously just marketing hype.

Don't believe any hype you hear, we're not sending humans to Mars in the foreseeable future.

- Dave Bad Person

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