Re: Mars Missions Are A Scam

So I was reading this article on BuzzFeed about missions to Mars yesterday and something really upset me...

The trouble is, according to Do’s report, the plants growing the colonists’ food would quickly make too much oxygen and suffocate them.

Alright. Someone isn't thinking. At all. Don't get me wrong, we are not ready for manned missions to Mars unless they are suicide missions. But, we can easily solve the above mentioned problem.

So in the greenhouses you use some gas sensors and a simple pump to pump greenhouse air out and atmospheric air in... you see:

Earth's Atmosphere: 78.09% nitrogen, 20.95% oxygen, 0.93% argon, 0.039 carbon dioxde and miscellaneous traces 

Mars' Atmosphere: 96% carbon dioxide, 1.9% argon, 1.9% nitrogen and miscellaneous traces.

Many forms of algae can create nitrogen from carbon dioxide as part of their day to day life so you could keep nitrogen levels at 78% via your algae.  You figure out the best carbon dioxide levels for the plants in the greenhouse(s) and keep it there, if it's toxic to humans they use breathing apparatus or simply pump air out and then bring it to human-safe levels during work periods. PROBLEM SOLVED.

Wait, hold up Ryan, where are we getting all of that water for tanks and tanks full of algae? Well first you take enough to have some small tanks going. Then we turn to biological hydrogen production from algae, photosynthesis in cyanobacteria and green algae splits water into hydrogen ions and electrons. So use algae to make hydrogen. 

Pretty much get two parts hydrogen for every part of oxygen in something not unlike an engine (fuel cell). Introduce a burst of energy (say a spark) and you get an explosion. You now have an explosion and some water. While we don't do this on earth for clean drinking water due to the simple fact it would be extremely dangerous to do this to create enough water for thousands or millions of people, this would be ideal for use on Mars. You see, you have a separate habitat that is used for this, then you have a few small units in the room that are filling with the appropriate gasses, igniting, small amounts of water come out and the small detonations you capture the energy for use. The units refill and detonate again.

While this wouldn't create massive amounts of water, it would slowly add to your available water stores allowing you to bring more algae on, add more crops, support more humans until a better technology is developed (or a cheaper method of delivering supplies to Mars is found) or even until exploration can take place and perhaps find easily accessible water (likely ice) on Mars.



Manned Mission to Mars


So today I learned about Mars One ( ), it's a private company with plans to send a communication satellite to the planet by 2016 and after several stages, finally land humans on Mars for permanent settlement in 2023 with a population of 20 settlers by 2033. So out of curiosity I wondered just how many manned missions to Mars have been planned...

Um, it's been planned a LOT ( ). One of them ( Space Exploration Initiative ) would have happened but it would have cost 500 billion over 20-30 years and also put a permanent colony on the lunar surface... congress said no, so it was proposed as a world project and everyone said no... we should do it, hell we've already spent it and then some in Iraq/Afghanistan... for example the website Cost of War has the U.S. already having spent 1.36 TRILLION on the War on Terror efforts.

Figure 500 billion now (if not less, because of private industry now) so 25 billion a year for 20 years... shared by say the U.S. and China so 12.5 billion a year... that's nothing compared to what we spend on war! Get other countries to chip in, get corporate sponsorship... we could do it in 10-15 years!


 If only the space industry had as deep pockets for lobbyists as the war industry...