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turchin comments on Open thread, September 11 - September 17, 2017 - Less Wrong Discussion

1 Post author: Thomas 11 September 2017 07:46AM

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Comment author: Daniel_Burfoot 12 September 2017 04:36:08PM 2 points [-]

Why do people see Mars as a better target for human colonization than the Moon? Most comments on lunar colonization seem to refer to two facts:

  1. the Moon has quite low gravity, so it cannot maintain an atmosphere for a long period of time.
  2. the Moon has no magnetic field, so it will not protect us from solar radiation.

In my mind, both of these problems can be solved by a ceiling or dome structure. The ceiling both retains the atmosphere and also blocks harmful radiation. Note that a failure in the ceiling won't be catastrophic: the atmosphere won't drain rapidly, and the amount of radiation exposure per unit time isn't disastrously high even without the ceiling.

Comment author: turchin 13 September 2017 08:21:51AM 1 point [-]

The great thing about Moon colony is that it ruins could survive a billion years, and will be found by the next civilization on Earth if it appears. They will found our DNA and data and return humanity to life. There are also ways to attract the attention of the next civilization to the place of our former colony.

On Mars a colony remains can't survive for so long, as Fobos will collide with Mars in 50 million years and weathering is also stronger.

The self-sustained colony on Mars probably is not possible without self-replicating robotics. If such robotics will be created it would create new space risks and new opportunities for colonization and interstellar travel. This would make Mars colony less relevant for survival.

Comment author: WalterL 13 September 2017 12:48:05PM 1 point [-]

Certainly, self replicating robots will affect our survival. I'm not sure it will go in the way we want though.

Comment author: turchin 13 September 2017 06:04:38PM 1 point [-]

It looks like that there is very thin time frame after we can build a self-sustainable base on Mars, but before the arrival of the self-replicating robots. I estimate it may be in 5-10 years.