DailyDirt: Simulations For Living On Mars

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Manned missions to Mars aren't going to happen for decades (if ever?), but in the mean time, we have awesome robots roaming the surface of Mars for us. We also have some simulations of living on Mars -- like the Mars500 project -- and the unforgettable original Total Recall movie. Here are just a few more Martian simulations if you need some help escaping from the realities of Earth. If you'd like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post.

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 13th, 2012 @ 5:32pm

    Isolated living != Mars

    An arctic research station is NOT like living on Mars at all! There's still Earth gravity AND atmosphere. It might be okay for testing certain aspects of a mars mission, but it's not even close to the environment of Mars.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. icon
    PolyPusher (profile), Aug 13th, 2012 @ 5:57pm

    Re: Isolated living != Mars

    I had similar issues with the Mars500 project. One of the goals was to test the psychological effects of such a trip. However, I can't imagine how you actually test the psychological effects until the people involved believe there is no turning back. All the people involved know if something goes very wrong that they will be able to step out of the experiment and back into the real world. There's no doing that on a real trip to Mars and I'd imagine the psychological conditions under that stress to be very different.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    anon, Aug 13th, 2012 @ 6:41pm


    It would be really nice to think that we could have a settlement on Mars within the next 50 years but I fear not , which is a shame as I would have loved to see it in our time. Well there is always the new medication for longer life that is supposed to be only a few years away.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    beverly, Aug 13th, 2012 @ 6:56pm

    Isolated living-Mars

    I'm can't see living on Mars in the 50 years,there's no data to support it,the stress would be great, and at what cost.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 13th, 2012 @ 7:29pm

    Robert L. Heinlein

    Red Planet by Heinlein. I know it's not contributing to the conversation, just thought it might be worth bringing up.

    I wonder what would he think of all this?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 13th, 2012 @ 9:03pm

    Babylon 5

    The Babylon 5 series also had several episodes that took place on a human inhabited Mars. They had domes over the cities and sort of like a train system (also all enclosed) for travel between cities, as I recall. It would be tough to get the materials there but that could resolve the problems with the atmosphere density.

    I've also discussed with friends ways that Mars could be made more habitable. The best idea we had was to grab an asteroid from the belt and slam it into Mars. That would generate heat to evaporate some of that frozen water there, thus making the atmosphere more dense.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. icon
    Niall (profile), Aug 14th, 2012 @ 8:40am

    Re: Re: Isolated living != Mars

    It's a simulation of elements, to allow testing as much as is humanly possible. Obviously, it's not like doing the real thing. Science very often cannot exactly copy reality - that's why simulations are so important.

    Next, you'll be saying that any pilot doing any simulator time hasn't trained properly...

    With the psychological element, it's useful because you can learn what sorts of people cope well, and which don't, so you can reduce the risks of someone becoming unhinged millions of miles from home. Cutting out the major risk factors is still useful. We already know a lot from study of submariners, for instance, who have pretty limited environmental or home-going choices - same with polar explorers.

    I'm sure they could do other tests like up a mountain, or in an orbiting environment with reduced gravity, eventually.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. icon
    Michael Ho (profile), Aug 14th, 2012 @ 11:00am

    Re: Re: Isolated living != Mars


    Research stations in Antarctica have only certain times of the year when it's safe to travel, so there is a "no turning back" reality for some places on Earth -- although the time scales is on the order of waiting weeks/months, not years, for a rescue.

    I'm sure nuclear submarine crews also have to go through similar isolated living situations where there's "no turning back" as well... but there's still gravity to remind them they're on Earth.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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