What Would You Do On Mars?


NASA’s human exploration pathway leads to Mars. Our Commercial Crew Program is just the beginning, and the new Mars 2020 rover is one of the upcoming steps, but think about that finish line today and consider what you would do if you landed on the Red Planet. What Mars features would you want to explore? What would you hope to discover? What might you leave behind? What would you bring home?

What would you take with you – aside from oxygen, water and radiation protection? Because Mars is as far away as it is, a mission would last two to three years, with several months on the surface, so there’ll be lots of time before packing up and heading back to Earth. Are you going to look out the window or is there an exploration or construction project on your mind? If you need some help kick-starting your mind on these aspects, have a look at our Mars site and note the pic below of experimental set-ups being tried out in Earth environments with an eye toward crew needs on Mars.



18 thoughts on “What Would You Do On Mars?”

  1. I would work on Terra forming the planet so that man would not have to wear space suits to go outside.
    I would use algae cultured to produce oxygen and pull the CO-2 out of the air. It might take 20 + years to do it but I believe we are at a point right now that we could do it.

    1. It sounds like a good idea for creating atmosphere within big domes, but as far as I know any terraforming on Mars is a hopeless. Mars is losing atmosphere since its lost of magnetosphere, thus is exposed to the stripping effect of solar wind.

  2. what would i do on Mars? . . . i’d stay there!

    run a well-funded, comprehensive, automated ISRU program first . . . then send complete habitat modules, tools, equipment and supplies there . . . all equipment and supplies to be checked-out and verified as undamaged remotely before sending crew . . . or just send so much stuff that a 50% failure rate won’t cripple the mission and just verify soft landing.

    nobody needs complicated sample return missions, just enough analysis to verify that we can live off the land and we can send people to do the fine work on-site . . . i’m sure you can find qualified geologists, chemists, and members of every other discipline you might need (many with pilot’s licenses and other secondary talents) who would volunteer to go and stay . . . sooner or later you’re going to need construction specialists and obstetricians too so don’t skimp on the crew size.

    when the crew(s) arrive the first order of business will be check-out and burial of the habitats for radiation and micrometeorite protection (you use the bulldozers and backhoes you sent beforehand) . . . next verify that the atmosphere plant is working . . . then make sure the automated greenhouses that you sent up are functioning and set up more of them . . . finally you set up (or just connect) the power plant . . . if you send enough bodies this can all be done simultaneously.

    to those who say “but that’s a death sentence!” i answer “so is being born” . . . in any colonization effort anywhere: you go, you live out your span and you die . . . it’s called “living” . . .

    ok, maybe(!) you send the first crew there with a return module . . . but don’t plan on using it for anything except spare parts.

    [the actual “last thing” to do will be to declare independence and negotiate treaties]

  3. I’d test some small scale hydroponic cultures, and see how some common vegetables grow using only water and local soil/rocks. Corn, potato, bean, rice, wheat, pea, anything that could work as staple food and supply required nutrients for a future human colonization.
    The choice of what to cultivate will obviously depend on the amount of sunlight available (i.e. latitude), and the feasibility to use artificial light if required.

  4. I would salute the russians and chinese that surely will be installed there. With the current NASA budget, the U.S. will arrive to Mars in 2060.

  5. Protect it from being used as a base to control Earthlings and a means to threaten us in a quest for their endeavors and control over Earth, it’s inhabitance, resources and outer space.

  6. Explore and document the vast subterranean wilderness underneath the surface of the planet. Much ado has been focused about the surface. but little attention has been given to the miles of caverns that must exist underground. Also, potential habitats might be awaiting us down there that are better than anything we can construct on the surface.

  7. Explore and document the vast subterranean wilderness underneath the surface of the planet. Much ado has been focused about the surface. but little attention has been given to the miles of caverns that must exist underground. Also, potential habitats might be awaiting us down there that are better than anything we can construct on the surface. As for returning home, Mars would be my home, so I’d leave Earth behind.

  8. First time I seek water, and I install extraction device mirror reflecting, to vaporize water to generate pressure. I use half of the vapor for extraction mechanism , and half for the atmosphere. in his way I reformat the planet, terraforming.

  9. Mars Business Opportunities related to Terra-Forming Venus and Sustaining Earth

    Both Mars and Venus can be terra-formed to provide Earth-like gravity and atmospheres; Venus with an effort of about 100 years, and Mars with an effort of about 2,000 years. These are both potentially realized through the use of systems of solar sails. Asteroids provide many of the resources needed to seed related development.

    Mars is not the closest match to Earth within reach, Venus is. Venus is 90% of the mass of Earth and can hold an atmospheric pressure that can support human life after terra-forming the atmosphere.

    Mars has 38% of the gravity of Earth and will never be able to support the atmospheric pressure needed to sustain human life without pressurized suits. The current atmosphere on Mars is like living at 125,000 feet above sea level here on Earth and has very limited resources in the atmosphere. The Sun continues to whisk away the atmosphere, and there is no protection from ionizing radiation. On Mars we will be required to live in pressurized caverns and bio-spheres to sustain life.

    So why not just live in ventilated caverns here on Earth?

    Mars is needed as an absolute necessity to test Space Elevator deployment before deploying a space elevator from space for Earth. The following details a potential deployment methodology that is ecosystem friendly, provides for recycling precious resources, and provides low-cost interplanetary transport.

    The on-going Venus missions can remain in space and use the space-built harvesting of resources to provide sustainable life-long enterprise in space for hundreds of thousands of people. People who provide services and resource processing over the 100 years of terra-forming Venus atmosphere, and the 2,000 years needed for terra-forming Mars atmosphere. Provided the total system proposed, billions of people will support diverse industries related to the terra-forming of Venus, then Mars, then … the building of other Earth-like planets from what we learned about terra-forming Venus and Mars. The process of exposing the core materials of planets while being built, are large sources of mined materials.

    There are methods that can be developed to fraction larger planets into smaller planets, so that our solar system can potentially sustain 10 or more Earth-like planets in our Solar system. All without using fossil fuels for propulsion. Hydrogen, carbon, oxygen, methane, and other hydrocarbons used and converted to support diversity of life instead of wasted dilution as fuel byproducts lost and polluting space. Pollutants that cause frictional drag when a spacecraft impacts the pollutants and causing a change in course of spacecraft and asteroids and the needed extra fuel to compensate, and more fuel pollutants causing more expenditure of fuel.

    Terra-forming Venus from Space

    Venus can have its’ atmosphere terra-formed from space. The same technology to terra-form the Venus atmosphere creates both active Weather Control for Venus, and Earth. The same structures can be used for solar sails to transfer people and resources between the inner planets and provide maintenance transport. The same systems can help provide for terra-watts of solar energy based utilities. All without fossil fuels.

    Currently the atmosphere of Venus is very hot at the surface (molten lead temperatures), is poisonous to humans, and has a surface pressure about 90 times that of Earth. This can ALL feasibly be terra-formed to Earth-like conditions from space.

    By creating large systems of solar sails, these solar energy based transports use large rotating sails that can also be used as “shade structures”. By positioning the shade structures between the Sun and Venus in elliptical orbits, this cools the atmosphere. As cooling continues, condensing vapors rain down upon the planet surface and related chemical interactions create systems of molecules on the surface.

    These systems of molecules if strategically manipulated, provide the eventual materials to support vegetation and microbial life. Through pervasive influence, an Earth-like ecosystem is produced.

    Being able to terra-form from space is desirable because of the costs and dangers related to transport to and from the surface.

    Catalysts and energy differentials of the Venus atmosphere at different phases while cooling can convert the CO2 to oxygen and hydrocarbons. The atmospheres of both Mars and Venus are 97% CO2, but Venus has more atmospheric components to sustain catalyst based conversions.

    The conversion and cooling processes lower the atmosphere pressures to Earth-like designed final pressures and related atmospheric chemical distributions.

    Systems related to Terra-Forming Venus




    Sources of water:


    Moving Water Asteroids to Venus


    Identifying and Seeding broad enterprise related to space-based initiatives


    Pulverizing hydrogen rich asteroids and seeding cooled Venus atmosphere


    Seeding H2O catalysts


    Recurrent catalytic processes

    Creating fuels and fertilizers from CO2


    There are better systems, but these just support an example.

    Space elevator Deployed from Space

    Terra-forming Venus does not mean that Mars is not an important initial pathway to start terra-forming planetoids. Mars is critical for testing the viability of deploying Space Elevators. Mars has an atmosphere (thin) and significant gravity (but much less than Earth) that can be used to test the stresses and predicted nature of all parts to attain a stable space deployed space elevator. Until the Space Elevator deployed from space is tested on Mars, absolutely no one on Earth should want an asteroid steered anywhere near close to Earth.

    Mars has the potential of having rich ore deposits and mineral compounds that do not exist here on Earth. For processing that needs gravity to facilitate processes, Mars may provide a unique environment in that region of space to support processing and manufacturing. But as yet, there are no fuels available on Mars to get off the planet. The depletion of Earth’s resources are presently necessary to be able to escape the Mars gravity to return to Earth. Mining asteroids for fuel is a a short-sighted fix. Fuel based propulsion pollutes space. The same resources can better serve support for the terra-forming and creation of planets by creating ecosystems.

    The mining of the Moons of Saturn and Jupiter during the process of merging them with Mars is facilitated by producing space deployed Space Elevators. Nano-tube cables produced in space that are attached between two shaped and sized asteroids. The system is precisely rotated on a controlled trajectory so that one asteroid is controllably lowered to anchor the space elevator tether. A cable climbing tractor then controllably raises and lowers materials to and from planetoids.

    The building of space elevators using this process may become the initial main industry for early missions. The combination of a planet that has numerous space elevators (every country; or shared by several small countries) and the low-cost solar sail structures described, provides an inexpensive means for almost any country to carry-on interplanetary space-based commerce.

    To prevent contributing to, or otherwise disturbing the natural wobble of the Earth over long periods, the positioning of space elevators needs to be logically determined in advance. As economic systems change, small countries not previously thought to have the potential to engage in a space-based economy may purchase a space elevator. To prevent global ecological destruction of micro-ecosystems (diversity of life that contributes to overall resistance to pervasive pathogens), a balancing in support of our stable wobble must consider potentially positioning counter-balancing space elevators in locations not intended to be used, to position a space elevator where it is desired.

    Delivering rich ore asteroids to the surface of the Earth

    A slightly different version of the space elevator provides a means of delivering and extracting large masses from Earth’s gravity. In largely the same manner that a space elevator is created using the Bola method of deploying space elevators, large amounts of mass can both be deposited and extracted without the use of fossil fuels.

    A heavier built carbon nano-tube cable delivers an ore-rich asteroid to Earth as an anchor. The tether is transferred from the anchor to the payload to be extracted from Earth. The near-orbit tethered mass in space has a latching/hinge mechanism where another carbon nano-tube cable that extends out into space at some angle from tangent to the Earth’s atmosphere, to a far-orbit mass with twice the total mass of both the near-orbit tethered mass and anchor. At the mid-point between the far-orbit and near-orbit tethered masses, is a latch/hinge structure that a larger asteroid steared on a scheduled trajectory attaches to and pulls up the Earth-based payload with increasing velocity (not sudden stresses) both the anchor payload and far-orbit masses are pulled along a trajectory out toward a delivery destination. The mid-point attached acceleration method is necessary to prevent catastrophic failure forces from building up during the extraction process.

    This method of using asteroids and solar sail structures provides for low-cost interplanetary commerce.

    Extending commerce to the resources of the Kuiper Belt.

    The Kuiper Belt has significant volitile gas resources. Volitile elements are frozen. There are vast resources of water and hydrocarbons to use for terra-forming Venus, Mars and other planets that we build. There is presently 20 to 200 times as much known mass in the Kuiper Belt as there is in the Asteroid Belt. These resources provide elements needed to support biological life.

    Another reason for providing a presence in the Kuiper Belt is to detect masses on a trajectory toward Earth. We want masses to be on a trajectory that spirals into Earth’s orbit around the Sun so we can harvest resources, not tangent to Earth’s orbit where an impact causes potential global extinction from impact on Earth. The Kuiper Belt is expansive. By having a presence we can not just detect impending events, we can cultivate them into beneficial mining outcomes.

    Automated systems of solar sails can systematically guide thousands of objects on trajectories that will eventually form an orbit around the Sun between Venus and Earth. However, because of the reduced photon pressures from the Sun the time needed is much longer. But, tend to stop the orbit of anything around the Sun and it will start moving toward the Sun. The timing and trajectory within the complex gravitational fields of the solar system scheduled so that the trajectory and orbit entered never intersects Earth’s orbit around the Sun.

    Materials stored in its own orbit around the Sun between Venus and Earth. Accelerate the orbit to deliver it to Earth, slow the orbit to deliver it to Venus. Or similarly done for other planets we create.

    Ethics related to the deployment of Space Elevators

    Space Elevator strands are quite small for human eye detection at a distance. The extreme hazards for flight safety and related economic upheaval related to space-based trade, must be taken into account and planned for in advance. Terrorists, either from intellectually deprived puppets of economic aggressors (undeclared economic coalitions that instigate destruction for self-serving purposes), or countries at war in dispute of access to natural resources, the danger is that a single person has the capacity to disrupt an entire nations primary source of economic sovereignty.

    See http://eliminate-all-corruption.pbworks.com to see how global society can both Maximize Freedoms and at the same time Maximize Security, not having to sacrifice one to have the other. To include providing an environment to maximize economic development globally.

    Realize that all science and technology based products are transitory; they only exist until something better comes along. Doors based upon latches and hinges have largely gone unchanged for many thousands of years. But with the potential tools of space-time manipulation at our near-future door step, the potential is that housing and doors may take on a form that is an entirely different form of technology; producing living environments where doors and housing are not like anything we can presently reference physically. Perhaps a living space directly accessible without having to physically travel from anywhere. Transportation similarly may become unnecessary as physical movements evolve with other technological capabilities.

    These changes in technology largely motivate the directions we choose to socially participate with others (money) to support development of related technologies.

    Money is a social tool that provides the ability to efficiently connect resources and opportunities to act toward diverse pathways of development.

    Evolving along a broadly sustainable pathway toward a set of desirable outcomes, the social processes incrementally change and use technology to generate the related economic processes; i.e. interconnected loops of cash flows.

    For most, this is the primary importance of ethics, to broadly promote a sharing of resources and opportunities that overall deliver vast systems of mutually beneficial outcomes; global economic and time pervasive prosperity. This is the common short-sighted purpose of ethical consideration.

    The longer-sighted purpose is to “Broadly promote the diversity of life”; only through diversity does plague-like conditions meet local barriers to prevent broad destruction (extinction events).

    Space Elevators provide the opportunities to both create sustainable environments for humans, but also other species. If we focus upon creating environments just for human habitats, then a plague in the form of economic depression, biological virus, genetically evolved sterility …. will eventually cause the extinction of humans; in the not so distant future. If we ourselves desire to survive, and/or evolve, then required is that the environments we create are also broadly diverse to include every known form of life that has its’ boundaries limited by resources and synergy with other diverse forms of life.

    Mining the Asteroids between Mars and Jupiter.

    The total mass of the asteroid belt is about 1/35th the size of our Moon. About 1/2 the total mass of the asteroid belt are in the four largest asteroids called Ceres, Vesta, Pallas, and Hygiea. Most asteroids are one of three groups in composition: carbonaceous (C-type), silicate (S-type), and metal-rich (M-type).

    Terra-forming Mars from Space

    Mars can be terra-formed to become an Earth-like eco-system, but it takes a more involved effort. With Earth’s present atmospheric components, the pressure on Mars would be too sparse to both prevent ionized losses of water introduced, and provide the pressures needed by humans to survive without a pressurized suit. By maneuvering three of the largest Moons of Jupiter (Ganymede, Europa, and Calisto) to merge with Mars on specific trajectories that incrementally bring Mars to a new sustainable orbit around the Sun, enough mass can be added to Mars to provide an atmospheric pressure needed to sustainably support human life and the related ecosystems. Moving Moons sounds far fetched, but the continuous force applied by solar sails to precisely cause a track through the gravity distributions imposed on the Moons, and not just the dominant influences (a form of finite element analysis), provides a practical method by which the Moons can be accelerated along intentional trajectories over long periods of time.

    The Moons due to the gravitational fluctuations of Jupiter have sufficient friction to produce heat; and water is present. Therefore it is possible that life may be present. If so than this form of terra-forming is not ethically plausible because the evolution of those life forms and their potential future will be extinguished by the act of merging the Moon with Mars. There are other related ethical issues to consider.

    Planetary bodies are considered sacred by many cultures, and the ethics related to inhabiting those planetary bodies is an ethical issue. Merging them becomes an even greater social issue.

    But given a finding that life does not exist on the Moons, then as mass is merged with Mars and the orbit is changed to reflect a stable new orbit, then the crushing of those large masses together creates heat that must dissipate before providing a habitable environment for life. The act of crushing the last of three Moons, the water-rich Moon, with Mars is to produce an atmosphere. The crushing exposes core materials of all three Moons and Mars.

    This process will produce a jagged landscape that will produce planetary quakes for millions of years. By reversing the process the non-uniform gravity of Jupiter can be used to accelerate the process of annealing the planetary structures. By moving Mars to orbit Jupiter, as Moons are merged in with Mars the gravitational forces can anneal the merged structures to largely stabilize them before the intentionally unstable orbit casts Mars out toward a new orbit around the Sun. The solar sail systems guiding the path of the now larger Mars to seek a stable orbit. The now larger Mars that is about the same size as Venus will have far less quakes and terra-forming the atmosphere provides the components needed for using catalysts to produce the needed balances in atmospheric and soil components.

    Needed calculation will need to be done to determine the losses in atmosphere and chemical make-up due to the processes involved and the interaction with Jupiter’s annealing gravity influences. All of the incremental gravitational interactions of all solar system gravitational and electromagnetic influences will need to be modeled for millions of years so that long term stability is supported during all translations in mass.

    The total process has continuous opportunities to harvest unique resources to use in support of the business systems needed to support a 2,000 year effort. Sixty generations of people continuously supporting a long term business initiative. Not as attractive as terra-forming Venus, but providing a third largely independent ecosystem within our solar system.

    Maximizing the Diversity of Life in Independent Ecosystems

    With three largely independent ecosystems, three forms of evolution can be promoted to provide diverse outcomes. For example, Mars can evolve technology based evolutionary systems that promote a diversity of life that is uniquely technology interconnected and dependent; technological evolution. Earth can largely remove its technology and dominantly provide support or the evolving of already established ecosystems and related animal and vegetation life; natural evolution. While Venus can support human-centric evolution; building Venus as the resources and imagination provide for the most interesting place for humans to live. While distributed out in space on asteroids, other planets, space stations… is a mix of all parts of the three independent ecosystems. The purpose of which is to sustainably support a maximized diversity of life.

    Deploying Space Elevators from Space

    The most expensive part of producing products for space based efforts, is the transport between the ground of planetary bodies and space. To deploy space elevators from Earth requires transporting large amounts of materials, and related burning of fossil fuels.

    To deploy space elevators from space requires a source of carbon (atmosphere of Venus), a heat source (Sun), processing system (relatively small from Earth), and two small asteroids. By shaping and sizing two asteroids and connecting a fully developed nano-tube space elevator tractor cable between them, the two asteroids can incrementally be rotated around one another connected together by the nano-tube cable. The resulting rotating masses are carefully guiding in trajectory and rotation such that the counter rotation of one asteroid end entering the atmosphere slows rotation and gently transitions to the total system into geosynchronous orbit with the planetary body.

    This business of creating space elevators can deploy space elevators throughout the solar system.

    Care must be made to deploy mating space elevators balanced across the same hemisphere such that noticeable increasing planet wobble does not occur over long periods of time.

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