They say that like it’s a bad thing.
How will we keep time on Mars? It’s complicated.
While the older children walked through the dust storm, Ori and the younger children were spending the day in the ObsDome. The name was short for “observation dome”. This was one of the newer surface buildings of the colony. It was constructed primarily of ice. Water, in any form, was an effective shield against the various types of radiation that reached the surface of Mars. With thick ice between supportive layers above and clear ice for windows all around, the ObsDome provided a safe place to view the surface around the colony. Nina often brought the younger children here when the third graders were at Surface Training.
Air: Generation Mars, Book One
Coming in October
(image: crop from Scratching the Surface, Luis Peres)
How many people?
This is an interesting paper estimating the minimum number of people required for a self-sufficient colony on Mars. Using a mathematical model to estimate work time requirements vs. work time capacity, the researchers come up with a surprisingly low number: 110.
In the forthcoming second book of the Generation Mars series, I peg the colony population at around 5000, so I think I’m good there.
What is the feasibility of survival on another planet and being self-sustaining? This question is of particular importance for the future of the space conquest and perhaps also for the future of humanity in general [1,2]. The use of in situ resources and different social organizations have been proposed [3–6,12–19] but there is still a…
“This would be the first time any of the children saw the surface. The colonists had built underground, using existing caves and lava tubes where possible, building and burying structures where necessary. This was to protect themselves from solar and cosmic radiation. On Earth, the atmosphere and magnetic field serve this purpose. But Mars has little of either, so dirt and rock filled the role.”
– from Scratching the Surface: Generation Mars, Prelude
A new paper explores lava tubes in the Hellas Planitia as possible habitats for humans.
Thoughtful Mars lessons
This is a wonderful series of lessons on Mars and why/how humans will go there.
Interview with Neal Stephenson
Neal Stephenson, commenting on a bunch of stuff.
An economist and a science fiction author discuss cryogenics, mythology, philanthropy, fragmentation, and simulation.
His comments regarding personal freedom in a Martian colony don’t gel with mine. The social system that I imagine in Generation Mars has a great respect for personal freedom.
However, that is tempered by a level of social responsibility that we would likely find unrecognizable here on Earth.
Where on Mars?
For some time now, I’ve been puzzling over where to place Dawn Colony on the surface of Mars. Here is the description of the landscape around the colony from Scratching the Surface: Continue reading “Where on Mars?”
Where is Dawn Colony?
A while back I posted about how the writing of science fiction is a race with the progress of science. Here’s a perfect example: where is Dawn Colony? I’ve been hesitant to place it at a specific location on Mars because the more specific I get, the more likely it is I’ll be wrong. Perhaps they live near the southern end of one of the study areas mentioned in this article.
I’m open to other suggestions.
The Subsurface Water Ice Mapping project is currently studying large expanses of the northern hemisphere of Mars to identify potential shallow water-ice resources. Work is focused in the four outlined regions, all of which exhibit evidence of ice such as Lineated Valley Fill (LVF) and Lobate Debris Aprons (LDA). Credit: Gareth Morgan Tucson, Ariz.
Video clip 15: They know about Earth
What would it be like to have only experienced another planet, yet know about Earth?
background: illustration by Luis Peres for Scratching the Surface