• May 25, 2019, 4:31 a.m.

    Are there any plans for Mars base topics using near-term (or even basically current) technology? By near term/near future here I mean from tomorrow to ~20 years from now. I'm aware of all the current videos on the topics, but they're a little further into the future. What I'm thinking of is a "deep dive" on the realism of a long term/permanent Mars (especially) or maybe a Moon base.

    I can see two categories of problems:
    1) Challenges getting there with enough "stuff" to stay
    2) Challenges staying there (in a "not dead" state) permanently

    For the first one, which I regard as much easier but still hard to do safely:
    1A) How much do we know for sure about travel far beyond low Earth orbit?
    1B) What don't we know?
    1C) What plans have been proposed or are being actively worked on? (And by who?)
    1D) What are current proposals forgetting or glossing over?

    For the second category:
    2A) Combating "entropy" - how do you solve manufacturing & repair problems? I see these challenges as huge, probably insurmountable in the near term. For Moon this isn't nearly as bad, if time required to launch (from no plans to rockets in the air) can be reduced enough. For Mars, reliance on Earth for replacements seems to be unrealistic for all serious problems. (Serious implying - you can't wait for months to fix it! Maybe not even days.) Based on the number of things which you can imagine going wrong, I have doubts that staying permanently on Mars with a "base" smaller than at least an entire city (minimum) is even realistic.

    2B) Environment/climate - how do you ensure the "climate" of such a small base remains stable enough to support both human & plant life? What can go wrong here? The types of things that can go wrong seem very serious, ex. air poisoning (carbon dioxiode/monoxide, smoke from fire, sudden air loss / depressurization) and these things need to be fixed FAST.

    2C) Human needs (other than climate/air) - while obviously we know how to grow plants, recycle water, and so on... what happens if things just go wrong? Ex. plants get a disease and fail, water gets contaminated, battery/power failure, temperature control failure, medical emergencies, resolving serious personality conflicts, or even "economic" issues such as how to share limited resources.

    2D) What else can go wrong and what contingency plans are realistic?

    You can tell which one I've thought about more. Discussion/expansion of those here is welcome, even though I'm also asking about any plans to turn these topics into a video or video series. There's lots of "talk" and plans to do these things, and also lots of criticisms, and sorting it all out is a challenge.