Sunday, January 23, 2011

Science Fiction readers, writers, collectors, and artists

 Do you belong to this group?

Science Fiction readers, writers, collectors, and artists

Created: December 07, 2007 | Other | Members: 2,351
This is a group for people that want to share their passion for Science Fiction in all its fashions and formats, with over 200 discussion topics Members are writers, readers, collectors, artists, movie makers, game makers, fans, and many more, all having many interesting and wide ranging discussions on the many fashions and formats of Science Fiction.

John Patrick asked an intriguing question on the Discussion forum, and so far has 74 replies on the subject of who would be willing to go to Mars to participate in a terraforming project.

It's a fascinating and informative conversation, in parts comparing an expedition to Mars by our descendants to the migration of the Pilgrim fathers to Ameica... at least on an emotional level.

However, there's also practical discussion of propellants, financing, and the need for a staging colony on the moon, and much more.

The idea of terraforming Mars presupposes that there is no one already on Mars to object to terraformation. But what if there were? One correspondent mourns the fact that we would make Mars the way we wanted it to be, and its natural magnificence would be lost. Someone else sees it as a sort of Ark, and would import humpback whales etc.

Another assumption that I have not seen challenged is that humans would remain human as colonists. Would we? I wonder whether my perceptions have been warped ever since my visit to the Johnson Space Center in Houston, where I marveled at astronaut kidney stones. (They are really big!)

Would persons with large ureters adapt better? Would urinary incontinence be a desirable adaptation? That seems gross, not to mention unRomantic, but evolution is weird.

If weightlessness causes skulls to thicken, and other bones to dwindle (and excess calcium to accumulate in the body's filtration/excretion systems) --not that Mars is without gravity.
Equatorial surface gravity 3.711 m/s²[4]
0.376 g

And on  it is calculated that the surface gravity of Mars is

\frac{0.107}{0.532^2} = 0.38
times that of Earth.
 I suspect that those who sign up to colonize distant planets, even within our solar system will have to be types who are not overly vain about their physical appearance. In Asimov's THE GODS THEMSELVES, the colonists who were born on our moon were unable to return to earth, owing to their brittle sketetons. Notwithstanding the ingenious ideas of those who would solve the problem the What-If-I-Don't-Like-It? crowd by developing a mothership that permanently orbits the Sun (like the Circle Line on the London Underground!), I think a ticket to Mars would be a one-way ticket.


  1. I too, am intrigued about whether or not we'd remain fully human in a new environment. That's kind of where I think the short-lived show Defying Gravity, was going to go - before it got canceled :(

  2. And as for the Mars mission, nobody ever talks about disease running rampant on a long-term space mission. I suppose they figure that by the time we go to Mars, we will have medicine all "figured out."

    Ha, I say. Good luck with that!

  3. I think I'm on that LinkedIn Group. I'm on a lot of them!

  4. Hi! Found your blog through google alerts. You bring up some really interesting points I hadn't thought about. It's obvious that our bodies would have to adapt in an environment like mars, so at what point do those colonists diverge so much from their Earth counterparts that they're no longer human, or homo sapiens at least.