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1 Achilles Tang  Mon, Mar 4, 2013 5:58:31pm

What occurs to me is that this could make Mars more habitable. It would provide some atmosphere and heat and shock waves that would likely melt great amounts of subsurface ice, and maybe start some new volcanoes putting more gas in the atmosphere. That would be something to see.

2 aagcobb  Mon, Mar 4, 2013 6:05:26pm

If it hits Mars, the comet will wipe out our robots, which would be a shame. On the other hand, an impact that devastating may be just the wake up call we need to really take planetary defense seriously.

3 Achilles Tang  Mon, Mar 4, 2013 7:33:24pm

Yes, but we could go back quickly, if we had the will. The designs are done. A billion or less perhaps.

4 aagcobb  Tue, Mar 5, 2013 8:56:27am

re: #3 Achilles Tang

Yes, but we could go back quickly, if we had the will. The designs are done. A billion or less perhaps.

You are right. That is why I don’t think we should be working on a manned mission to Mars; it is much safer and far more cost effective to send robots.

5 Achilles Tang  Tue, Mar 5, 2013 12:05:18pm

That I don’t agree with. We can only do so much with robots, and we need longer term and bigger goals than analyzing rocks, like expanding off earth.

6 aagcobb  Tue, Mar 5, 2013 1:34:43pm

re: #5 Achilles Tang

That I don’t agree with. We can only do so much with robots, and we need longer term and bigger goals than analyzing rocks, like expanding off earth.

Each generation of robots is smarter and more versatile than the previous generation, and colonizing a cold dead rock is, in near term, a sci-fi fantasy. Realistically, its going to be a very long time before we exhaust the potential of robotic explorers and have a real need to send humans to Mars, as thrilling as it would be. And I don’t think the thrill justifies the expense and the risk.

7 Jack Burton  Tue, Mar 5, 2013 3:24:44pm

re: #1 Achilles Tang

What occurs to me is that this could make Mars more habitable. It would provide some atmosphere and heat and shock waves that would likely melt great amounts of subsurface ice, and maybe start some new volcanoes putting more gas in the atmosphere. That would be something to see.

Mars still has no magnetosphere so any atmosphere created would be blown away by solar wind over time. Any terraforming process used on Mars will have to be an ongoing process, even after colonization, unless we can create an artificial magnetic field or restart the spinning of Mars’ core.

8 Achilles Tang  Wed, Mar 6, 2013 10:19:46am

re: #7 Jack Burton

Mars still has no magnetosphere so any atmosphere created would be blown away by solar wind over time. Any terraforming process used on Mars will have to be an ongoing process, even after colonization, unless we can create an artificial magnetic field or restart the spinning of Mars’ core.

Yes, but you are talking eons, not human generations.

9 Achilles Tang  Wed, Mar 6, 2013 10:22:46am

re: #6 aagcobb

We will have to agree to disagree. Such caution never achieved anything great, and if humans do not leave earth they will surely eventually become extinct one way or another. We could easily have been on Mars by now if we had spent a fraction of our military budget on it.


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