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Tag Archives: transportation
Posted: July 14, 2016 at 4:28 pm
* Attention Members:
Please remember that your scheduled non-emergency medical transports may be canceled due to inclement weather across Iowa. Please check with the transportation provider scheduled for your ride.
TMS is honored to be selected as the statewide brokerand we believe in order to ensure the most seamless transition possible, all partners should be involved throughout the entire process. Our philosophy is that the proposed brokerage service can only achieve maximum success if all forms of transportation systems and stakeholders in Iowa are part of the solution.
TMS has earned a reputation throughout the NEMT industry as a “provider-friendly” broker, and we are determined to make good on that reputation in the state of Iowa. We will give you 24 hours advance notice of trips though our Internet based trip dispatching system. This system will also help generate an invoice for you to pay you for your work twice a month.
If you are a transit provider or a transportation company, please complete the Transportation Provider Application.
For more information, feel free to visit the Iowa Medicaid Enterprise Provider website at http://www.ime.state.ia.us/Providers/index.html to view the Final Administrative Rule as proposed by the Iowa Department of Human Services.
For Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the Iowa Medicaid Non-Emergency Transportation Program, Click Here
OnOctober 1, 2010, TMS became responsible for all parts of the Non-Emergency Medical Transportation service. When you have a need for Non-Emergency Medical Transportation, TMS is just one phone call away. Once you have provided all the necessary information, a TMS operator will explain how your trip request will be met.
To request a ride please call 1-866-572-7662.
Medical Transportation and Waiver Services
Posted: at 4:17 pm
Trevor Burrus: Welcome to Free Thoughts from Libertarianism.org and the Cato Institute. Im Trevor Burrus.
Tom Clougherty: And Im Tom Clougherty.
Trevor Burrus: Joining us today is Randal OToole, Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute, specializing in urban growth, public land and transportation issues. Welcome to Free Thoughts, Randal.
Randal OToole: Hey, Im glad to be here.
Trevor Burrus: So the first question is the big one as we often do on Free Thoughts. How is transportation important to human freedom and flourishing?
Randal OToole: Well mobility is really important because mobility gives people access to more economic resources, more social resources, more recreation opportunities. Mobility of course has completely transformed in the 20th century. Before 1800, hardly anybody in the world had ever traveled faster than a horse could run and lived to tell about it. Although during the
Trevor Burrus: Lived to tell about it, its like people who fell out of hot air balloons and
Randal OToole: Or off a cliff.
Trevor Burrus: So they got a quick moment of OK.
Randal OToole: Yeah. So by 1900, we had developed steam trains and bicycles and streetcars and cable cars and those things accelerated the pace of life for many people and yet by 1910, most Americans were no more mobile than they had been in 1800 because frankly streetcars and steam trains and things like that were more expensive than the average American could afford.
Most Americans still lived in rural areas and they didnt have access to those, to streetcars or bicycles. Even Americans in urban areas, only middle class people could afford streetcars. Pretty much working class people had to walk to work. It was only when Henry Ford developed a moving assembly line that allowed him to both double worker pay and cut the cost of his cars in half, which made automobiles affordable to the working class that suddenly mobility was democratized and suddenly travel speed is accelerated from an average of 3 miles an hour to an average of 30 miles an hour or more.
That gave people access to far more jobs. If you were producing something, it gave you access to a far bigger consumer market. If you wanted to socialize with people who were like you, you didnt have to live right next door to them. You could get into your car and be near them. You have access to recreation opportunities. Things like national parks became popular only after the car became popular. Before cars the number of people visiting Yellowstone and people like places like that were numbered in the hundreds or low thousands each year. Now its the millions.
Trevor Burrus: Now you certainly have no Disneyland without people being able to drive to it and
Randal OToole: You dont have Costco. You dont have supermarkets. You dont have Wal-marts. You dont have a lot of things that we take for granted today. Shopping malls, a lot of things. So the auto mobility transform lives for many people. For example, the only way blacks were able to boycott buses in Montgomery, Alabama after Rosa Louise Parks refused to get walk to the back of the bus was because they had enough cars that they could transport each other to work.
So cars were called by Blacks freedom vehicles. Cars play a huge role in womens liberation. It was only when families became two-car families and both the husband and the wife could own it, could have a car and become wage or salary earners that womens liberation became truly an important change in our lives.
So cars have transformed everybodys lives. Cars have transformed farming for example. Before cars, at least a quarter, perhaps a third of all of our farmland was dedicated to pasture for the horses and other livestock needed to power the farms.
By releasing that land, we ended up getting 100 million acres of forest lands, 100 million acres of crop lands. We have far more lands available for growing crops than we had before because of the internal combustion engine, powering tractors and trucks and other farm vehicles.
Trevor Burrus: Well, if you talk to people now though, its kind of I mean it is this mind-blowing thing when you start thinking about the effect that the car had on American life. But now a lot of people want to say that cars are bad for a variety of reasons, not seeming to understand the effect on this and a lot of the kind of urban planning and ideas of what a city should look like, it seems to be kind of anti-car in some basic level.
Randal OToole: Thats absolutely right. Theres a huge anti-automobile mentality out there, especially among urban planners and curiously, every city in the country has urban planners on their staff because they think theyre the experts. But its actually because the Supreme Court has made decisions that have said that the property rights clause or the Fifth Amendment of the constitution can be amended if you have an urban can be ignored if you have an urban planner on your staff. Basically, you dont have to worry about that if you have an urban planner who has written an urban plan for your city.
Trevor Burrus: This is like Kelo pursuant
Randal OToole: Every single Supreme Court decision that has taken away peoples property rights has mentioned in that decision that the city or other entity that wanted to take away peoples property rights had written an urban plan. So if you have an urban planner on your staff, you can ignore property rights. You can take land by eminent domain. You can regulate land without compensation if you have an urban planner on your staff.
So they all have urban planners and urban planners all go to the same schools and most of these schools are architecture schools where they learn that we shape our buildings and our buildings shape up.
So if we want to shape society, we have to design our cities in a way to shape the way people live. Well, it has been proven over and over again that it doesnt work. It doesnt get people out of their cars, to force people to live in high densities.
San Francisco for example, the San Francisco Bay area increases population density by two-thirds between 1980 and 2010 and per capita driving increased. Per capita transit ridership declined by a third. It didnt change anything at all except for it made a lot more congestion.
So theres an anti-automobile mentality and the reality is most of the virtually all of the problems with automobiles can be solved by treating the problem, not by treating the automobile.
Trevor Burrus: Like congestion you mean.
Randal OToole: Well, congestion, air pollution, greenhouse gases, energy, traffic accidents, whatever. In 1970, people drove about 40 percent as much as they do today and we had 55,000 people killed per year. So today were driving 150 percent more and we only had 33,000 people killed last year. So fatalities are going down because they made both automobiles and highways safer. Thats only going to increase.
In 1970, many of our cities were polluted. You had a mile of visibility or less. In Portland, you couldnt see Mount Hood. In Seattle, you couldnt see Mount Rainier because the pollution is so bad. So we created the Environmental Protection Agency to solve the problem and they said lets do two things. Lets put pollution control requirements on new cars but lets also encourage cities to discourage driving by spending more on transit and increasing densities to encourage people to live closer to work.
Well, they did both things and today, pollution has gone down by more than 90 percent. Total pollution has decreased by more than 90 percent from what it was in 1970 and 105 percent of that decline is due to the pollution controls they put on cars. Negative 105 because
Trevor Burrus: More than 100 percent.
Randal OToole: Right, because the other thing they did that investing in transit and increasing densities to get people out of their cars failed. Instead what that did is it increased traffic congestion and cars pollute more in congested traffic than they do in free flowing traffic. So we ended up having more pollution thanks to the policy of trying to get people out of their cars. It failed miserably and yet were still pursuing that policy in many places supposedly to reduce greenhouse gases, to save energy and so on. It wont work but were doing it anyway.
Tom Clougherty: So I think one of the interesting, maybe disturbing things about transportation policy is that you have an obvious problem in congestion, a problem which is very costly. You also have a solution that virtually every economist is going to agree on and thats congestion pricing.
You also have on top of that a widespread perception that its politically impossible, that it will never happen. So therefore we have to go into a lot of these other things, which as youve pointed out may not be effective.
Do you see any future for congestion pricing? Could you maybe elaborate on that principle a little bit?
Randal OToole: Well, there are two things that are going to happen in the next 10 years. First of all, a lot of cars are going to become self-driving cars and thats going to be a very rapid transformation because starting in about 2020, you will be able to buy a car that will be able to drive itself on the vast majority of American streets and roads without your input at all.
Pretty soon you will be able to drive a car buy a car that will drive itself everywhere and they wont even have steering wheels. Well, a lot of congestion happens because of slow human reflexes and as soon as we get self-driving cars which have much faster reflexes, the capacity of roads is going to increase tremendously. Its typical that an urban freeway lane can move about 2000 vehicles an hour at speed.
With self-driving cars, we will be able to increase that to 6000 or more vehicles an hour. So thats going to take care a lot of the congestion problem right there. The other parallel development is that were moving away from gas guzzlers.
Cars that burn gas are burning less and less gas all the time and a lot of cars are not burning gasoline. That means that gas taxes which have paid for our roads have really paid for 80 percent of all the roads weve built and 100 percent of all the state highways that have been built in the country and interstate roads.
Those gas taxes arent going to be around anymore. So were going to have to find a new way of paying for roads. My home state of Oregon was the first state to have a gas tax to pay for roads in 1919 and today my home state of Oregon is experimenting with mileage-based user fees. Its the first state to experiment with them and what theyve done is theyve asked people to volunteer to pay a mileage-based user fee rather than a gas tax and I was one of the first people to volunteer.
They opened up volunteers at midnight on July 1st and at 12:01, I sent in my application and they sent me a little device that I plug into my car and now it keeps track of how many miles I drive and if I leave the state, I dont pay anything. In the state I pay a penny and a half per mile and they refund me all my gas taxes that I pay when I buy gas.
So the intention is to phase this in over time. So if you buy an electric car, you will have to get a mileage-based user fee device. If you buy a gasoline-powered car, you will be encouraged to do it and over time, we will transition from all gasoline or all gas taxes to all mileage-based user fees.
Well, with mileage-based user fees, it will be real, real easy to make a congestion fee, to make it a variable fee. Presumably the device you plug into your car when you say I want to go to work, you will tell your car take me on this to this address. The car will say, well, here are three different routes. If you go this way, youre going to have to pay this fee. If you go this way, you will have to pay this fee and it will take you five minutes longer. If you go this way, you will have to pay a lower fee and it will take you 10 minutes longer or whatever. You will have a choice of which route, which fee you pay and you will make that choice and that will encourage people to avoid congested routes and eventually solve that $200 billion congestion problem.
Trevor Burrus: This is interesting because you see all these technologies which werent even thought about a few years ago, whether its the device to measure how much your car is driving or a driverless car.
It kind of reminds me were talking about urban planners and who these people are and were and to sort of whether or not any urban planners in 1980 thought about driverless cars or the possibility of having something to measure how much youre driving and that and they probably did and so
Randal OToole: Well, the real question is are any urban planners in 2016 thinking about
Trevor Burrus: Yeah, so thats a better at the Car History Museum, I know you at one point were in Denver for the light rail fight. In the car museum, they have a Denver urban plan from 1955 or something like that. Its a 50-year urban plan. So this was what Denver looked like in 2005, which is just ludicrous. I mean it seems absolutely ludicrous.
Tom Clougherty: You mean they didnt get it right?
Randal OToole: In 1950, nobody had ever taken a commercial jet airline flight. Nobody had ever direct dialed a long distance phone call. To make a long distance call, you had to call the operator and have them dial it for you. Of course almost nobody had ever programmed a computer. There was certainly no internet. Nobody could predict in 1950 what was going to happen in 2000.
Well today we can see driverless cars on the horizon but nobody can predict what is going to happen. Is everybody going to use an Uber-like car or are we going to own our own cars? Is it going to make people drive more because more people are going to be driving? Because you can be nine years old and drive a driverless car. I can put my dogs in the car and send them to the vet. I dont need to go with them.
Trevor Burrus: Thats going to be a service. It could be like Bark Car and they just put them in there and it drives them to the vet, yeah.
Randal OToole: Or is it going to lead to less driving because everybody is going to be not owning a car but Uber-ing their car? The thing about that is when if you own a car, when you say Im going to go to the store now, you figure Im going to pay the marginal cost to driving, the cost of gasoline. But if youre renting a car, you have to pay the average cost which is a much higher per mile cost. So thats going to change the calculus. Those people who decide not to own a car will probably travel less themselves than they would have traveled if they had owned a car because of that.
So is it going to lead to more or less driving? Nobody knows the answers to these questions. Urban planners, they know they dont know the answers to these questions. So their solution is to ignore the problem, to ignore the issue, design for the past because they know the past. So they design for streetcars. They design for light rail because those are the past forms of travel. They know how people lived when those were the forms of travel that people used.
So they designed cities to be streetcar cities. Thats really the urban planning fad today is to design cities to be like they were in the 1920s when the people who got around not on foot took streetcars.
Of course there were still a lot of people who got around on foot because they couldnt afford the streetcars and that of course is going to be a complete failure. Its not going to work. Its going to impose huge costs on those cities because theyre going to be designing for the wrong thing. Its going to put a huge cost on the people in those cities but theyre doing it anyway because thats the urban planning fad.
Trevor Burrus: So theyre thinking of sort of high density urban development with a lot of public transportation like streetcars and light rail and things like this, which is odd but it kind of makes you wonder if the entire concept of urban planning is just kind of silly. Are you kind of saying that?
Randal OToole: It doesnt make me wonder that. Its not kind of saying. Urban planning is a profession that doesnt deserve to exist. Thats why I call myself the antiplanner and I have a blog called The Antiplanner. Look up antiplanner and Im the first thing on the list. I write about this every day.
Urban planning always fails. They cant predict the future. So instead of predicting it, they try to envision it and they envision a past that they understand. Then they try to impose that on the future by passing all kinds of regulations and all kinds of laws.
Trevor Burrus: As I went to Tom being British, a town called Milton Keynes in or Keynes I think is how they say it.
Tom Clougherty: Milton Keynes. Its a must-see.
Trevor Burrus: In England, which is one of these post-war, fully-planned towns. I mean down to especially in England. They were really big on this. Have urban planners become less hubristic? I mean in England, they were just planning entire towns, entire blocks, trying to figure out everything that people wanted. Have they become less hubristic and a little bit more respectful of human freedom or are they just as planning as ever?
Randal OToole: Absolutely not. They have not become less hubristic and a lot of places a lot of private developers have built what are called master plan communities. The private developers did the planning and they were planning for the market. They were trying to figure out what do people want to live in and will build them a community like they want to live in.
They figure out, well, they want to be somewhat close to stores. So they have to have as many enough people in their community to convince a supermarket to open up a store, to come into Costco or something like that, to open up a store. They like to be near some nice restaurants. But they also like to have a yard. They also like to have wide streets to drive on.
So they plan for what people want. The urban planners that Im talking about are government planners and they plan for what they think people should have. They plan for what they think people should want, not what they do want. They think people should want to live in higher densities, that they should want to get around on transit, rather than driving, and so thats what they planned for even though nationwide only about two percent of travel is by well, one percent of travel and about two percent of commuting is by mass transit. Its insignificant outside of New York City, Washington and about four other urban areas. Transit is irrelevant really.
Tom Clougherty: Yeah. I mean its interesting that youre talking a lot about how contemporary urban planning is certainly anti-car, anti-automobility and yet I wonder whether the darkest era of urban planning was excessively pro-car. If you think of a lot of post-war development, the interstate highway system often driving major roads through established neighborhoods. Really trying to change peoples lives and the whole way they lived in the opposite direction of what theyre trying to do now. Is what we have now in urban planning almost a reaction to some of the mistakes of the past?
Randal OToole: No. I think what you have to whats consistent about urban planning is that its pro-middle class and anti-working class, anti-low income people. They call working class neighborhoods slums. This has been the trend for 125 years. Working class neighborhoods are slums. So we have to clear out those slums as if if we move the people out so that we dont have to look at them, they dont exist anymore.
Urban renewal in the 1950s was called by some negro removal because a million people were displaced by the urban renewal movement and most of them were Blacks, so 80 percent of them were Blacks.
They had to move from places that they could afford to places that were less affordable because they werent slums anymore. So the problem that urban that cities had in the 1940s and 50s that they saw they had is that the middle class people had moved to the suburbs and the people who were left were had lower incomes and they said, OK, these are slums. We have to get them out of here. You get the middle class people back into the cities and they looked at the interstates as a way of doing it.
The original interstate highway system as planned by the transportation engineers was going to bypass all the cities, was not going to enter the cities. They brought this proposal before congress and the cities went to congress and said, No, we want our share of the interstate money.
So they rewrote the system. They added 10 percent more miles all of which were in the inner cities and came back to congress in 56 and congress passed it with the endorsement of the urban mayors because the mayors wanted to use interstate highways as a vehicle for slum clearance.
They were to clear out the slums that the highways were built on. They would clear out the neighborhoods around those highways with eminent domain. That was all approved by the Supreme Court in the famous 1952 case here in Washington DC. Yeah.
And forced the people out and then build nice middle class neighborhoods. Today its the same thing. The whole complaint about urban sprawl is not a complaint about wealthy people moving in suburbs. Wealthy people started moving to the suburbs in the 1830s and nobody complained about urban sprawl then.
Middle class people started moving to the suburbs in the 1890s and nobody complained about it then. Weve had suburban sprawl for almost 200 years.
It was only when middle class people or simply when working class people started moving to the suburbs in the 1920s because they were able to buy Henry Fords affordable cars that people started complaining about urban sprawl.
The early complaints about urban sprawl were very class-oriented. You have these inelegant people out there in all stages of dress playing this ridiculous music on their Victor-Victrolaphones and dancing wildly and gesticulating and eating weird food.
Trevor Burrus: Showing their ankles.
Randal OToole: Doing all kinds of things that were horrible and it was very class-oriented and their prescription Im reading to you from a book called the Town and Country Plan. It was written by a British author and the prescription was we will pen all those people up in high-rises in the cities and in 1947, Britain passed the parliament passed a Town and Country Planning Act that put greenbelts around the cities for bidding development and then put high-rises in the cities that people lived in for a few years but was really only acceptable because a lot of housing had been palmed out. But as soon as people lived in it for more than 10 years, they realized we dont want to live like this. These are awful places to live in. So they revolted but
Trevor Burrus: This racial class part of the story seems to be I mean its you cannot separate it from the whole history of urban planning. Its about class and race and we have red lining. We have zoning. We have all these different things and its about the powerful who happen to be politically powerful in a given time trying to impose their view upon their fellow citizens and what the kind of city that they would like to live in which may not include you and your kind at least in my neighborhood.
Randal OToole: Well, I have a friend in California named Joseph Perkins whos a black radio talk show host and he says that he looks at urban planning smart growth as the new Jim Crow. He says the Sierra Club is the new KKK because theyre promoting these ideas and he goes to some place like Marin County, California which is just north of San Francisco and has very strict urban growth boundaries and low density zoning and he says he goes there and they he goes to these hearings and people are saying, We want to keep those people out.
He said, Well those people are people like me. But it isnt just people of color. Its a class thing. They want to keep the working class out. We dont like to talk about class in this country much but there definitely is a class structure.
You look at the progressives. They say, Well, we care about the working class. Well you might care about the working class but you dont like their values. They play country Western music which you hate. They drive around in big pick-ups.
Trevor Burrus: They drink soda.
Randal OToole: Yeah, they drink soda.
Trevor Burrus: They smoke cigarettes.
Randal OToole: They smoke cigarettes. They drink beer, not wine.
Trevor Burrus: Budweiser
Randal OToole: And they support Donald Trump and they oppose abortion and they do all the things that you say you care about them and yet your actual attitude is one of seething contempt.
Really zoning has always been about keeping working class people out of middle class neighborhoods and the whole planning today is about OK, were going to design transportation systems for the working class that will take them to work so that they can serve us and then take them home to places different from where we live and they can live a nice lifestyle in their high density apartment and walk down the stairs and go shopping so they dont have to shop in the same stores that we drive to. It sounds very idyllic if you
Trevor Burrus: Can afford it.
Randal OToole: No. If you can afford to not live that way, if youre a middle class person. But its not idyllic for the working class.
Trevor Burrus: So lets talk about some of these public transportation issues because I have this great classic Onion article because its tied in with all these ideas that public transportation is something that well, the headline is Report: 98 Percent Of US Commuters Favor Public Transportation for Others and weve had a spate of light rail, weve had streetcars and all these things have come up which it seems like the people who make them are not really theyre not using them. I expected them to probably not use them. They think other people should be using them. That seems to be a big story of public transportation.
Randal OToole: Well, theres a recent story that unfortunately it wasnt in the Onion but it was an authentic story in the Los Angeles Times that said despite the fact that were spending billions of dollars on transit, transit ridership is declining and thats true here in Washington DC as well. Transit ridership seems to have peaked about just before the financial crash and its not really recovering since the financial crash.
Really transit has been on a downhill since 1960 or 1950, the end of World War Two. What were seeing is people plowing more and more money into it and productivity is going down. The number of transit riders carried per transit worker is steadily declining.
The amount of money we spend to get one person out of their car has gone from a dollar in 1960 to $25 or more today just to get one person out of their car for one trip. We build transit lines that are so expensive that it would have been cheaper to give every single daily round trip rider on that transit line a new Toyota Prius every single year for the rest of their lives than to keep running that
Trevor Burrus: Im laughing and crying at the same time.
Randal OToole: And there are a lot of forces at work here. It started out in the 1970s. Congress had given cities the incentive to take over private transit. In 1965, almost all transit in America was private. By 1975, it was almost all public. Congress had said to cities you take over transit. We will pay for your new buses. We will pay for your capital costs. You just have to pay the operating costs.
So cities took them over and then in 1973, congress said, Oh by the way, if you have an interstate freeway thats planned in your city and you decide to cancel it, you can take the capital cost of that freeway and use it for transit capital investments. Well, cities thought that was great except for buses are so cheap that they couldnt afford to operate all the buses that you could buy for the cost of an interstate freeway.
Posted: July 10, 2016 at 5:58 pm
Developed by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and managed, operated and leased by The Durst Organization, One World Trade Center is redefining Lower Manhattans New York skyline. Standing at a symbolic 1,776 feet tall, the architectural and engineering marvel is an ever-present symbol of renewal and hope.
Designed by renowned architect David Childs, of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, LLP, One World Trade Center incorporates new architectural and environmental standards, setting a new level of social responsibility in urban design.
The 104-story building, a joint venture between The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and The Durst Organization, is designed to be the safest commercial structure in the world and the premier c ommercial business address in New York. Currently One World Trade Center has leased 67 percent of its 3,000,000,000 square feet of office space which includes tenants: Cond Nast who is One WTCs an chor tenant leasing nearly 1.2 million square feet to house its global headquarters, U.S. General Services Administration which has leased more than 270,000 square feet, global digital gaming company High 5 Games has leased more than 85,000 square feet, Tech advertising firm xAd has leased more than 86,000 square feet, and prominent financial services Moodys has leased more than 70,000 square fee t bringing some of the worlds top companies to Lower Manhattan.
One World Trade Center has also attracted broadcast tenants CBS, NBC Universal-owned WNBC, WNJJ and PBS has relocated operations to the 408-foot-tall spire of One World Trade Center.
The ultra-modern design of One World Trade Center is an innovative mix of architecture, safety and sustainability featuring column-free floors, nine-foot high, floor to ceiling, and clear glass windows for
spectacular unparalleled views. The building’s simplicity and clarity of form are timeless, extending the long tradition of American ingenuity in high-rise construction. One World Trade Center will be a new visual landmark for New York and the United States.
One World Trade Center is designed to achieve LEED CS Gold Certification and its structure is designed around a strong, redundant steel frame, consisting of beams and columns. Paired with a concrete-core shear wall, the redundant steel frame lends substantial rigidity and redundancy to the overall building structure while providing column-free interior spans for maximum flexibility. The building incorporates highly advanced state-of-the-art life-safety systems that exceed the requirements of the New York City Building Code and that will lead the way in developing new innovative technology for high-rise building standards.
Through unprecedented collaborations with technology and energy leaders throughout the world, One World Trade Center’s design team used the latest methods to maximize efficiency, minimize waste a nd pollution, conserve water, improve air quality and reduce the impacts of the development.
Taking advantage of the next generation of innovative energy sources, as well as off-site renewable wind and hydro power, One World Trade Center is slated to be both safe and environmentally friendly.
Workers commuting to One World Trade Center will enjoy unprecedented access to mass transit service. Dazzling new climate-controlled corridors will connect One World Trade Center to the WTC Transportation Hub and the new PATH terminal, 11 NYC Transit subway lines and the new Fulton Street Transit Center, the World Financial Center and ferry terminal, underground parking and approximately 450,000 square feet of world-class shopping and dining amenities developed by Westfield a leading world-wide retail property owner situated throughout the16-acre World trade Center campus.
One World Trade Center’s location in Lower Manhattan positions it in close proximity to amenities at the World Financial Center, Battery Park City and the new West Side Promenade, as well as offers easy access to Tribeca, South Street Seaport and Wall Street. Neighborhood amenities include world-class shopping and a riverfront walkway in a mixed-use community that is active 24/7.
To learn about leasing space, see floor plans and more, visit the One World Trade Center site.
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Posted: June 19, 2016 at 3:46 am
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Posted: February 7, 2016 at 1:41 am
Senator Robert Nichols Senate District 3 http://www.senate.state.tx.us 512-463-0103 First elected to the Texas Senate in 2006, Robert Nichols represents 19 counties including the greater part of East Texas and Montgomery County. In the Texas Senate, Nichols serves as Chairman for the Transportation Committee. He also serves on the Senate Finance, Natural Resources and Economic Development, and Intergovernmental Relations Committees. He is a member of the Legislative Audit Committee and a former Vice Chairman of the Sunset Advisory Committee. During his five sessions as a state senator, Nichols authored and passed legislation to protect landowners rights, increase educational opportunities in East Texas and reform transportation policies. He has worked to reduce Medicaid fraud, and promote free-market principles. During his time with the Sunset Advisory Committee, he was able to help eliminate six state agencies which saved the tax payers $161.9 million. He has been named a Champion for Children by the Equity Center, a Courageous Conservative by the Texas Conservative Coalition, a Friend of County Government by the Texas Association of Counties and a Champion of Free Enterprise by the Texas Association of Business. Before running for Senate, Nichols served as transportation commissioner for eight years where he established a reputation for increasing efficiency without compromising quality. Nichols is a businessman from Jacksonville, Texas. In his hometown he served on city council, was elected mayor, built four successful manufacturing facilities, earned 32 U.S. patents, 128 foreign patents and created more than 900 jobs for East Texas families. Working his way through college by selling fireworks and ironing clothes for other students, Nichols earned a bachelors degree from Lamar University in 1968. He married his high school sweetheart, Donna, and they are the proud parents of three children: Brittney, Joshua and Collynnrae. Nichols is a member of First United Methodist Church in Jacksonville. Senator Robert Nichols was introduced by Rotary Club of Liberty Sergeant at Arms Charles Grabein Tues., Nov. 3, 2015 at Liberty Center.
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Posted: February 2, 2016 at 4:48 pm
Cost of a Manned Mission?
Is there any reliable information about the cost of a manned mission to mars? I think it would be useful to include in the article.
For anyone who digs this up, two ideas would be:
Q: How much will sending humans to Mars cost? A: Estimates of the cost of a human Mars exploration program over the years have been wildly disparate, leaving much confusion in their wake. On the high end of the scale was the Space Exploration Initiative proposed by President George H. W. Bush in 1989 at $450 billion; Mars Direct occupies the low end of the scale at roughly $30 billion. – http://www.marssociety.org/portal/c/faq
-Lexspoon 12:51, 20 June 2007 (UTC)
I know many are already aware that both “colonization” and “colonisation” are valid ways of spelling the word. Nevertheless, I thought it would be nice to make a note of it here since I noticed some people changing things to reflect one particular spelling. This may be done for the sake of consistency, but, in that case, it should be noted that the wikipedia article for the term is listed under Colonisation. –Xaliqen
Consideration ought to be given to retitling this entry “Settlement of Mars” rather than coloniz/sation, given the negative connotations the word “colonization” engenders in political discussion. Inevitably — amazingly — such diversionary concerns arise when discussing Martian settlement. Ericmachmer (talk) 21:48, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
The possibility of terraforming plays a great part all over the article. However, I’m in doubt about its feasibility. For one thing I believe it takes too long to wait for the results, and nobody is willing to invest a dollar into something that possibly (!) returns in some hundred or may be thousand years. For another, there is good reason Mars having such a thin atmosphere today. The long term stability of a terraformed environment is pretty unlikely. All this about the terraforming thing seems to be science fiction, while the colonization is not. So, how about reducing the idea of terraforming to a small paragraph with a link to the main article Terraforming of Mars? The whole article would be more believable if it concentrates strictly on technology that is in reach of men. — The Cascade (talk) 08:04, 12 March 2008 (UTC)
Yes, our presence will change the Martian environment, there is no doubt about it. I would not call this unintentional influence terraforming, because it surely does not aim to make Mars resemble Terra. Neither I would expect the unintentional changes to leed even into this direction. No, our presence will not terraform Mars. Probably, our presence will dirtyform it.
Still this is not what I meant. The article describes intentional terraforming. Sure, it is much easier to live on a terraformed Mars, but yet it is not possible with our current knowledge and technology. There are ideas, but nobody knows about the viability. It’s too premature. I find it nice to have that article Terraforming of Mars. It is a good article, and I definitely want to keep it, even grow it bigger, concentrate all available info in it. However, the article Colonization of Mars points to a more realistic scenario. It describes many ideas to colonize the planet without the need for terraforming, which is possible with known technology. I wouldn’t want to describe terraforming here as inevitable, which is not at all. I find terraforming too fantastic, and my impression is that it makes the article somehow fantastic, too. I’d rather want the article be realistic. — The Cascade (talk) 14:48, 12 March 2008 (UTC)
Sorry for being rude. And offensive for that matter… first of all the green house gases: Mars has a lots of it. atmosphere consists of >95% CO2. and there is frozen CO2 all over the planet… thats just not the reason why the atmosphere is so thin.
there are mainly two reasons:
1. mars is too small to keep a dense atmosphere. just not enough gravity to keep it.
2. no magnetic field. the charged particles from the sun (sun wind) just “blow” away the atmosphere.
We can think about a solution for (2), like building a superconductor coil around the equator. But because of (1) this wont help in the long run… terraforming mars is a nice dream. but as long as we dont invent a seriously new kind physics, it will be a dream..
Anyway i think it is good to mention the historical ideas about terraforming, just please also mention that it is just nowhere close to be imaginable for someone who studied physics.
188.8.131.52 (talk) 17:17, 25 January 2011 (UTC)
CAN MARS KEEP AN ATMOSPHERE?
Mars surface gravity is high enough to keep all gases except Hydrogen, Helium and Water. Further, water stays in the troposphere, (because of the cold trap), and is not normally lost to thermal escape. Mars HAS lost about 15 meters of water globally, but most of this was from UV light disassociating water into hydrogen and oxygen, with the hydrogen being quickly lost. If Mars was to have an oxygen atmosphere (and an ozone layer), it would keep its water for billions of years. In fact, even with out an oxygen atmosphere, Mars has kept its water for billions of years. Plenty of water is in its ice caps and as permafrost. It has not lost all of its water from thermal escape or any other method.
Scientists have shown that worlds with no magnetic field lose tiny amounts of air from solar wind erosion. This adds up over billions of years. However, it is not something that terraformers have to worry about over hundred of millions of year time scales. (100 million years is far longer than the lifetime of our species.)
Venus has no magnetic field and a solar flux more than 5 times what Mars has but it has not lost its atmosphere. Mercury has quite a strong magnetic field and basically has no atmosphere. The meme that no magnetic field = no atmosphere is far too simplistic. Venus is an obvious disproof of this idea.
Scientists think Mars had a 3 or 4 bar atmosphere early in its life and estimate that about 75% to 80% of this was lost to the solar wind. (The solar wind was ~100 times stronger at the start of the solar system and ~6 times stronger ~2.5 billion years ago.) Since it now has an atmosphere of 1/100th of a bar, where is its air?
In the soil. Lightning and UV radiation will form nitrates. On Earth these are recycled quickly by life. But in some regions like the Gobi desert, the nitrate beds are very deep. (Dozens of meters deep if I remember correctly, don’t quote me.) On Mars, most of the nitrogen was not lost, it has been deposited in the soil. Oxygen is too heavy for thermal escape, but will react with rocks or with salts to form perchlorates. Carbon dioxide will form carbonate rocks, be absorbed into CO2 clathrates, and be dissolved in ground water and form ice caps. Further, clays which are common on Mars will absorb carbon dioxide when they get cold, typically 4 to 6% by mass. Most of Mars’ atmosphere is in its soils and rocks.
If terraformers brought Mars atmosphere up to 1 bar pressure by dropping comets onto the planet, it would take 2 to 3 billion years of solar wind sputtering to reduce its air pressure to the point where humans still would NOT need a pressure suit. (Tho the pressure would be too low for humans to breath.) (This assumes that the Sun’s solar wind continues to decline or at least stays the same.) Claiming that we can’t live on a Terraformed Mars because the solar wind will erode the atmosphere in 2.5 billion years when the Earth’s biosphere won’t survive 800 mi
llion years (because the sun is warming) is silly. Let’s focus on the next two hundred to 200,000,000 years and let someone else worry about the time after that.
I’ll track down more references for these statements later. Out of time.
“Life and Death of Planet Earth, The: How The New Science Of Astrobiology Charts The Ultimate Fate” by Peter D Ward & Don Brownlee. // They show multicellar life likely won’t last 1/2 a billion years on Earth as the sun warms.
“Mars: A Warmer Wetter Planet” by Jeffrey S. Kargel // Discussed MEGAOUTFLO events in the past when the atmosphere in the soil out gases. Also talks about the 3 to 4 bar early Martian atmosphere & the martian water budget.
Warm regards, Rick. 184.108.40.206 (talk) 15:51, 27 May 2011 (UTC)
I think that the discussion of economics on this page pays too much attention to ways that Earth could economically supplement life on Mars, and not enough attention to how Mars could supplement Earth. It mentions trade between Earth and Mars without mentioning what exactly Mars would have to offer Earth. I think the entire feasibility of Mars colonization rests on Mars having something that Earth does not have, and at this point, I have a great deal of trouble seeing what that might be, except cheap land, which doesn’t seem to me to make up for the transportation and development costs that would go into it. Maybe a tourist industry, but I don’t think you could build anything bigger than a small city on the basis of the tourist industry. Preceding unsigned comment added by 220.127.116.11 (talk) 18:24, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
I agree with the above. The moon advocates have a myriad of ways to provide services/products to earth in a fiscal timetable, and value for value trades. However, this section on mars economics focuses mainly on earth providing economic benefits to mars and not an even exchange of value for value.Moonus111 (talk) 20:38, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
VIABILITY OF MARTIAN TRADE:
We know Mars has water enriched with deuterium (5 times more so than Earth). which is a viable export for cash. Strategic metals worth $10,000 / kg or more (gold and more expensive metals) can be shipped to Earth for a profit. Also, if there are asteroid bases, it is FAR cheaper to supply them from Mars than from Earth. Robert Zubrin suggested a triangle trade. High tech parts from Earth to Mars. Fuel, light industry supplies and food from Mars to the Asteroids. Asteroids send strategic metals back to Earth.
It is also easier for Mars to send stuff to Luna than it is to go from Earth to Luna. So if we get an industry collecting Helium 3 from the Moon, a similar triangle trade can be set up between the Earth, Mars and the Moon.
It won’t be profitable to go to Mars to get Platinum (for example). It would be cheaper to re-open marginal mines on Earth. But the platinum on Mars won’t have been picked over for hundreds of years – it will be right on the surface. If there are Martian colonists, they will be able to easily collect iridium, deuterium, rubidium, palladium, gallium, gold, etc, since there will be vulcanism and water created deposits right on the surface. These could be sold for a profit to get high tech, low mass supplies from Earth.
Mars has all of the elements needed for rocket fuel, plastics, industrial metals, computer chips and food. It also has a ~24 hour day night cycle which allows growing food economically. Coupled with Mars’ greatest resource (a shallow gravity well) it can supply needed materials to bases in the inner and outer solars system more cheaply than Earth can.
For example: On page 230 of “the case for Mars” Robert Zubrin shows that a mission to Ceres requires 50 times less mass to be launched from Mars rather than Earth. (If the mission requires 1,000 tonnes of supplies it can be done with two launches from Mars or 107 launches from Earth.) This assumes that no propellent has to be hauled to Ceres. If we have to bring return fuel as well, then the Earth based mission becomes even more hopeless. Even if space launches from Mars are 10 times more expensive than Earth, it would still be much more profitable to send supplies from Mars.
Luna has severe disadvantages for a self sustaining colony. It lacks 24 hour day night cycle which is a huge problem if you have to grow plants there. (Plants require a really tremendous amount of energy to grow with artificial light.) Its lack of atmosphere means that plants will die from solar flares unless you have thick glass walls which will crack from the day / night heat stress. It lacks ores since the moon is made up of junk rock (see page 220 ibid for why ores are rare on Luna but likely common on Mars). Elements like H, C, N, P, K & S are all rare or very rare on Luna and must be imported from else where. There is plenty of oxygen and silicon but they are tightly bound to the rock and require a huge amount of energy and hydrogen and carbon to extract.
For references to what I’ve said above (and far more details), see “The Case for Mars” and “Opening Space” by Robert Zubrin. 18.104.22.168 (talk) 14:40, 27 May 2011 (UTC)Warm regards, Rick.
WHY WAS COMMENTS ON ROCKET SLEDS / ROTATING SKY HOOKS DELETED? Space elevators are far more difficult to build than a rocket sled / sky ramp and or a rotating sky hook. If you are looking for cheap ways for a martian colony to make getting into space both methods are far more practical than a space elevator. Further, a sky ramp can put things into low Mars orbit, which a space elevator can’t do, unless you haul rocket fuel up and launch from part way up the the elevator. I suggest that a rocket sled or Mag Lev style sky ramp located on Pavonis Mons is so many more times more practical than a space elevator (especially for a small colony struggling for capital) that the space elevator reference should be considered to be removed as a remote fantasy. I did not site sources in this article, but provided links to Wiki pages where there ARE references. 22.214.171.124 (talk) 14:40, 27 May 2011 (UTC)Regards, Rick
While interesting, I’d not stress this too much until 1) the results are duplicated independently, and 2) a longer time period is tested. 34 days is hardly long enough to ensure the survival of earth-life in Martian conditions. Cumulative radiation affects, for example, could prove disastrous over the course of months/years. Additionally, one good solar flare would probably destroy any life exposed to it in the same environment that this lab used, which due to its lack of a magnetosphere, Mars would be greatly affected by (locally.) I don’t have a paper to cite, but discussions with some profs at the local university were not very positive on the long-term success of such tests. Note that hard questions were not asked/answered in the news articles cited, either. HammerFilmFan (talk) 12:20, 17 June 2012 (UTC)
On the 10th of November 2011 R.Schuster called for a citation for the statement: “It is not known if this is enough to prevent the health problems associated with Weightlessness.” However it is well known that no experiments were done in which human beings were subjected to fractional g accelerations for weeks or more at a time. The experimental evidence is from free fall in orbit. There does not need to be much documentation to show that we do not know something. So it seems we could just drop the citation nee
ded template on the basis of common knowledge. We should do that or get rid of the statement. – Fartherred (talk) 02:18, 12 July 2012 (UTC)
In a number of edits on the 19th of July, Robertinventor among other things removed the sentences: “It’s impossible for any manned mission to Mars to keep to the requirements of the [[COSPAR]] (Committee on Space Research) guidelines for planetary protection. NASA currently follows COSPAR guidelines.” He replaced these with a second link to [[Manned_mission_to_Mars#Critiques]] and his comments about introducing Earth organisms to Mars affecting Mars’ biologically pristine condition. I have added the comment about NASA following COSPAR guidelines of planetary protection to the [[Manned_mission_to_Mars#Critiques]]. However, this is better addressed directly in the [[Colonization of Mars]] article because it is a direct concern of colonization. The time of a colonization mission cannot be until nations supporting launches to orbit consider that the research question of life developing independently on Mars or not has been sufficiently addressed. Technologies necessary to the colonization of Mars have not been sufficiently developed to have a one-way mission to Mars yet, so we are not waiting just for the COSPAR requirements to expire; but it is a definite road block. There are some advocates of colonization that want colonization started in their lifetimes, as do the backers of Mars One. So this is an item of interest to them. For a neutral point of view, we should not be promoting Mars colonization or minimizing or ignoring the problems. We should present significant facts that are published. – Fartherred (talk) 17:53, 24 July 2012 (UTC)
The article fails to point out how easy it is to colonize mars. It has wind, a steady stream of wind will blow on mars as a faint wistle effect. Mars is a dead planet. It can easily be colonized and solar power is not an issue. Ever here of electro-magentic generators? Its called free energy. They would be quite sufficient.–Asfd777 (talk) 14:49, 15 September 2012 (UTC)
People can get the idea of domes for Mars colonies by looking at many old science fiction magazine covers, but a transparent dome is impractical for Mars. Temperatures down to -143 degrees Celsius just overwhelm the limited heating available from a dome greenhouse. It is more practical for a greenhouse to be a buried cylinder with a portion of the curved roof made of glass and steel exposed to sunlight from mirrors that concentrate it as much as is needed to maintain operating temperature, and the skylight covered by insulation at night. I cannot give a reliable source for this but it is rather obvious to someone who knows a little physics. I would like to see a reliable source for the statement that domes are useful for trapping heat for greenhouses on Mars so that if it comes from a graduate student I can urge that they flunk out and if it comes from a professor I can urge that his research funds be cut back. – Fartherred (talk) 21:23, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
There has been the direct observation of many of the elements necessary for life and this could be supported by citation. However some of the elements necessary for life are necessary only in trace amounts and have not been directly measured yet. We have from the theory of the solar system forming from a cloud of gas and dust that Earth and Mars formed from planetesimals that formed from dust in neighboring regions of the cloud. Therefore the elemental composition of Earth and Mars should have been similar to start with and only limited differences in environment caused changes in composition over geological ages. That Mars is expected to have all of the elements necessary for life can be arrived at by synthesis from sources that I have found, but maybe someone can find the synthesis published. Then it could be included in the article. – Fartherred (talk) 10:14, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
The result of the proposal was no consensus. –BDD (talk) 17:51, 22 March 2013 (UTC) (non-admin closure)
Colonization of Mars Settlement of Mars Reflects modern terminology in the space advocate community without the distracting cultural baggage accompanying the term ‘colonization’ Relisted. BDD (talk) 16:33, 15 March 2013 (UTC) Ericmachmer (talk) 15:56, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
Comment I think consensus was quite clear, it was to not move. — 126.96.36.199 (talk) 01:55, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
Settlement of Mars , Mars settlement , Mars settlement should all redirect here. — 188.8.131.52 (talk) 02:08, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
Why is this useful? It seems to me that any worries about colonization should be addressed in the relevant sections up page. A lot of the info is literally duplicated from above. Also, it contains unsourced SYNTH from Robert Walker. Already have deleted some of the obvious duplication of info and unsourced opinions. The telerobotics paragraph is irrelevant so that was deleted as well. I have half a mind to delete the whole section. Warren Platts (talk) 17:14, 27 June 2013 (UTC)
This article now has an Advocacy section but no balancing Concerns section.
I kept a copy of the original Concerns section in my user space here: User:Robertinventor/Colonization_of_Mars_-_concerns
I expected this to happen as the author said he is nauseated by all the concerns sections on Project Mars and is on a cleanup mission, also to remove all content written by myself on contamination issues. I did not write this now deleted section, just contributed some material to it. Robert Walker (talk) 14:12, 14 July 2013 (UTC)
Please be aware that a Request for Arbitration has been submitted to address the long-standing user conduct issues that prevent the resolution of content disputes. The RFAR is at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case#Mars Robert McClenon (talk) 23:04, 14 July 2013 (UTC)
Can we include a more realistic-looking image (like CGI or something like that) as the lead one? The current one looks a little like it’s from a children’s magazine… –Againme (talk) 19:56, 16 October 2013 (UTC)
Why not just stage something in Arizona, to convey the illusion that there are already people on Mars? It seems that this “childish” picture is sufficient to mislead the uninformed that Mars is already colonized. WikiEditor2563 (talk) 18:42, 5 November 2013 (UTC)
This is in response to a personal email I received from wikieditor Grayfell, who asked that I discuss this here. I need instruction from him or anyone so I can email him personally, I find communicating this way to be overly complicated and incoherent First, I’m writing the final pages of a non-fiction book, which includes several chapters on the colonization of Mars, exoplanets, etc, so I’m somewhat of an expert on the subject, regarding the real potential of a colony on Mars.
Now, the Colonization of Mars is a particularly unique subject, in particular regarding its inclusion in an encyclopedia, because there isnt actually a colony on Mars! And such a thing is certainly not inevitable. EVERYTHING about the colonization of Mars is opinion and highly speculative. The case can easily be made that nothing about this wiki page is encyclopedic! and that this web page is nothing but a bullhorn for the Mars advocates which certainly seems to be the case when some of the edits Ive made are undone before Ive even logged off! I mean, why would anyone be so vigilant about (of all things) the colonization of Mars?
Your sense of how things can be edited is too strict. Even your sens
e of what constitutes an encyclopedic tone is subjective and about which you dont have the last word. You and a few others are way too quick to simply undo others edits, and is arrogant.
First, why do you insist on using the word hospitable in describing Mars? That is entirely propagandistic. In no sense of the word, relatively or absolutely, is Mars hospitable. That might have been a matter of speculation to people in the stone ages, who gazed up in wonder but who couldnt have known any better; to Galileo; or even to early 20th century manbut NOW? given all that we know, in all its degrees of precision?
The sources that you are protecting belie the facts, and have no place in this wiki page. Anyone can write a science article these days and theres no reason their opinion is more relevant than mine. Even science articles are biased and often have a case to promote, and this is especially true for articles about Mars and the exploration of space. Furthermore, there are no sources that say that Mars has been colonized (regardless of unmanned research – which is truly amazing and gives me goose bumps), so maybe the entire Colonization of Mars page should be removed.
For the intro paragraph for this webpage, you need something for a general audience, not bogged down in misleading data. The fact is, a colony on Mars is science-fiction, and there are HUGE obstacles that prevent this from ever happening. this should be conveyed somewhere in the wiki page, preferably at the top, rather than cater to the dreamers and fantasists in some form of agenda.
For example, its FAR better to say that circumstances on Mars in fact would be deadly to all life as we know it (except for perhaps some extremophilic microorganisms) THAN deadly to most life because that implies that there are some forms of life on Mars, which is an OUTRAGEOUS implication, and propagandistic. Things that can be grown in simulated conditions on Earth do NOT change this simple fact! Mars is absolutely NOT hospitable to life and it is propagandistic to suggest that it does or might. Its not encyclopedic to suggest that there MIGHT be life on Mars when after the last 50 years of reconnaissance and actual soil and air analysisNO LIFE HAS BEEN FOUND ON MARS. Its very irrational at this point in the research – given all that we know, and we know a lot, and to a great deal of precision that there might be life on Mars. Thats a serious hang-up that is not supported by science, only by science-fiction fans and fantasists. Science doesnt HOPE or DREAM. Science simply collects facts.
The discovery of life on another planet would be the biggest breakthrough OF ALL TIME. That milestone has not been reached, so to imply that life may exist on Mars because of some dumb simulation here on Earth, or the unrestrained enthusiasm for such, does NOT belong in an encyclopedia. Maybe in Bizarre Fantasy Weekly, but not an encyclopedia.
This wiki page should not be used as a voice for dreamers, fantasists, or space tourism promoters. Now, I should be free to say THIS in the introductory paragraph maybe now you can appreciate how much restraint Ive been exercising.
The intro para to this wiki page should say, or convey, this specific point, because its realistic, not bogged down with misleading data, doesnt promote an agenda, and is entirely, as you say, encyclopedic:
It is absolutely true that This does not preclude the possibility that man might one day step foot on Mars and scout around, but whether or not we ever get to Mars seems less a matter of scientific progress, than the balance of power between sane and crazy which is properly referenced by National Geographic but which you reject because YOU HAVE AN AGENDA TO PROMOTE, which is in complete violation of the Wiki terms of service.
Its not scientific or encyclopedic to HOPE for something, just to state the facts or what can be reasonably surmised where scientific proof of something may be impossible, which seems to be the case, to a large degree, in this arena.
Given what we know, it makes more sense, at this point, to surmise that man will NOT colonize Mars, even though of course theres nothing to stop him from trying. This opinion should be conveyed, somehow, in the wiki page for this topic.
Bearing in mind that if someone wants to learn about Mars they are better served by the wiki page for Mars, because as a planet there is, of course, much to be said. WikiEditor2563 (talk) 20:03, 5 November 2013 (UTC)
As I indicated above, there are really no facts regarding a colonization of Mars, only opinions – much of which is wild speculation – so the idea of “reliable sources” regarding this is somewhat meaningless – since no one’s been to Mars! One could challenge anyone who claims to be an expert on this subject. For that reason I don’t understand why this webpage is so bulky! There seems to be nothing on the plus side for Mars! So where does the optimism come from?
Even for reliable sources, some things are still a matter of subjective opinion, or involve tremendous amounts of speculation, particularly about a colony on Mars. Such opinions are very biased, it’s nave to deny this. This occurs, for example, when a “specialist” says something will happen in 20 years – which gets them off the hook, and implies “let the next generation do it while we still collect a paycheck.” Engineers are not magicians, they can’t turn lead into gold. There’s an incentive to push things ahead 20 years and not a more realistic 50 – or 100. 20 years seems more within reach, so project funding is maintained. Imagine if they said 50 years – funding would stop! When a specialist at NASA says “something can be done” its because if he said “it can’t be done” he and the rest of his pals would lose their jobs! So this website CAN’T be a bullhorn for NASA or the Mars advocates. AND IN THIS ARENA, MANY THINGS MUST BE SURMISED, and this Wikipedia page includes a lot of surmising and speculating. Who do you think has their fingers crossed the hardest? NASA. When we read their articles we need to take everything they say with a few grains of salt, and be skeptical of their optimism, because the idea of a colony on Mars IS outrageous, for many reasons (and hence the book I’m writing). For starters, heavy payloads can’t land gently on Mars – but that’s just a distraction, that’s not even one of the REAL obstacles. Maybe these reasons are just more intuitive to me than you, based on years of reading and my own point of view, for which I have 2 science degrees to support, but you have a point of view too, it’s hard for ANYONE to be completely objective, we’re all rooting for one side or another.
Also, there are a lot of “opinions” on Wikipedia, everything isn’t sourced. Everything I’ve contributed to Wikipedia is objective, restrained, suitable for a general audience, and free of promotion. Even the part about “balance between sane and crazy” but I knew that would be deleted, even though some science articles are describing some things in this arena as just that. The content I’ve repeatedly posted to introduce this Wikipedia page is both historically correct, succinct, insightful, and captures the spirit of the concept without going overboard.
_____________________ I only
What’s interesting is that you haven’t substantiated any of your disagreements with me, just condescending threats and warnings.
As I just said to another editor,
So saying that something is “sourced” is, in the end, somewhat meaningless. Which is why I put a higher priority on relevance and readability than the source material. It goes without saying tha
t ALL of my edits are informed through the research I’ve been doing the last 15 months – and which is ongoing.
And again, regarding the “warring,” it takes two to tango. WikiEditor2563 (talk) 19:37, 13 November 2013 (UTC) __________________________
WikiEditor2563, why are you removing sourced, relevant text and wikilinks?  –NeilN talk to me 18:30, 13 November 2013 (UTC) _______________________
Note: this editor has now been indefinitely blocked. andy (talk) 22:56, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
I have no particular expertise in the area but as an ever-curious reader here is what struck me about the article:
My two cents anyways. –NeilN talk to me 00:27, 14 November 2013 (UTC)
As far as I can see the article now has no mention of the requirements for planetary protection of Mars. Particularly, increasing evidence of possible habitable regions on present day Mars surface for microbes. This is a recent news story in Nature about the warm seasonal flows now found in equatorial regions: Water seems to flow freely on Mars – Any areas of water could be off-limits to all but the cleanest spacecraft.
Current guidelines for Planetary protection require us to keep Mars free of Earth life so that we can study it in its pristine state. This is an international requirement under the Outer Space Treaty which all space faring countries and countries with space ambitions except N. Korea have signed and nearly all other countries as well.
There is much published on planetary protection issues for rovers on Mars, as of course is an ongoing thing – there is not so much published on planetary protection for future human missions to Mars, although the issues are of course far greater for humans.
This is one article Human Missions to Mars a Challenge for Planetary Protection:Gernot Groemer
There are also general statements in some of the COSPAR documents but no detailed discussion or technical details.
I think the general assumption is that the humans would be sent to Mars only after the current exploration phase is already completed, at a point when requirements for protection can be relaxed somewhat, but there is no set criterion for the end of the exploration phase (which I personally think must surely last at least several more decades, probably longer, before we have a reasonable understanding of Mars by way of ground truth).
On the idea that perhaps it might be a major issue for human missions to address, there is this 2012 space.com article, with remarks from Cassie Conley planetary protection officer. Manned Mars Missions Could Threaten Red Planet Life – which of course is a bit out of date not mentioning the newer 2013 resuults.
Suggestion: to say that
Robert Walker (talk) 14:00, 5 January 2014 (UTC)
Hello everybody! I’m interested in reading about the feasability of a martian space elevator, such as mentionned by the end of the Tranportation section of this article. I already found an articles about the Space Elevators on Earth and the Moon. Now I need data about the martian one. Can anybody find them and add them to the article? Thanks. 184.108.40.206 (talk) 15:28, 4 April 2015 (UTC) A Martian lost on Earth;)
In the section, Economics, there is a link to Economics of extraterrestrial resource extraction which at first sounds pertinent to colonization of Mars, but when one follows the link it leads by redirect to the asteroid mining article which is only indirectly related to Mars colonization. This link is particularly distracting because although it is attached to the words “economic problem” it does not elaborate the economic problem of the Colonization of Mars. – Fartherred (talk) 04:48, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
Magnetosphere does nothing to UV or gamma rays, only to charged particles like beta and alpha rays. Now the sentence is misleading, but magnetosphere is good to mention in context of other radiation. I just don’t have clue what is the effect size..? 220.127.116.11 (talk) 01:58, 3 May 2015 (UTC)
Posted: January 31, 2016 at 2:44 am
NSA: Not tracking phones is a realmistake
November 29, 2015 | 6:13pm
WASHINGTON In the face of threats from ISIS, the National Security Agencys end Sunday to the bulk collection of phone records is a real mistake, according to the chairman…
LONDON Edward Snowden says he has offered to return to the United States and go to jail for leaking details of National Security Agency programs to intercept electronic communications…
September 29, 2015 | 2:28pm
Can you hear me now? That was the very first tweet by Edward Snowden as he finally joined Twitter on Tuesday. Using the handle @Snowden, the 32-year-old NSA whistle-blower racked…
ATLANTA Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush said Tuesday that the government should have broad surveillance powers of Americans and private technology firms should cooperate better with intelligence agencies to…
August 16, 2015 | 11:59am
WASHINGTON Under a decades-old program with the government, telecom giant AT&T in 2003 led the way on a new collection capability that the National Security Agency said amounted to…
Federal and local authorities say no charges will be filed after an investigation of a fatal shooting by National Security Agency police at Fort Meade, Md.
PARIS France summoned the U.S. ambassador to the Foreign Ministry on Wednesday following revelations by WikiLeaks that the U.S. National Security Agency eavesdropped on the past three French presidents….
WikiLeaks published documents late Tuesday it says shows the US National Security Agency eavesdropped on the last three French presidents.
BERLIN German prosecutors on Friday closed their investigation into the alleged tapping of Chancellor Angela Merkels cellphone by the U.S. National Security Agency, saying they have been unable to…
Congress this week cut back the powers of the National Security Agency a first in the post-9/11 world. A far better target wouldve been the Transportation Security Administration. The…
Nsa | New York Post
Posted: January 14, 2016 at 10:45 pm
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Residents, as well as visitors staying at the community’s many fine hotels and motels, can be in Manhattan in as little as 20 minutes via express bus. Or they quickly can be on their way to other points in via the New Jersey Turnpike or State Route 3, both of which pass through the town.
And just across the Hackensack River, a mile away, is the area’s sports and entertainment center, The Meadowlands, home of the Giants, the Jets, concerts, circuses, ice shows, weekly flea market; and the Meadowlands Race Track.
Location! Location! Location! What makes Secaucus great for residents and visitors also makes it great for business. Secaucus is the corporate home of many major businesses and a distribution center serving Manhattan and Northern New Jersey. Its proximity to New York offers quick delivery.
This distribution center, cleverly separated from most of the town’s residential areas, has spawned the other activity for which the community was once well known – outlet shopping. Outlets have greatly deminished in number. However, along with the manufacturers’ outlets, you’ll find the true warehouse outlets, where the store’s in the front and racks of clothes are behind. Periodically the storehouses themselves are opened for that shopper’s dream, a real warehouse sale!
The town has not neglected it’s traditional business center, which residents call The Plaza. Flowers are pridefully planted in park areas in the center of town, where a beautification program was undertaken a few year’s ago. There, businesses thrive, many in the hands of local families who have served their customers for generations.
Harmon Meadow, at the eastern side of Secaucus, has a pleasant town square atmosphere. There, you’ll find many restaurants, some shops, a number of the major hotels, an attactive multiplex cinema and the Meadowlands Exposition Center. Nearby are the convenient big box stores that draw thousands of shoppers.
Secaucus has also become a communications hub, home of NBA Entertainment (and NBA draft), Major League Baseball Network, MY Channel 9 and news bureaus for other networks.
Sports and recreation abound for town residents. There’s a swim center for summer and an ice rink for winter and a Recreation Center for year round activities. There’s a soccer field and a roller hockey rink. There’s a boat ramp into the Hackensack River. There are gyms and fields and organized teams for virtually all outdoor and indoor sports.
Nature is preserved in areas large and small; Snipes Beach Park, The Duck Pond, Schmidts Woods, and a major Meadowlands preserve, Mill Creek Marsh, in the northern sector of the town. The trailhead of the 1.5-mile long Mill Creek Marsh Trail is located adjacent to the big box stores, providing access for birding especially. With its patches of marsh grasses, mud flats and long winding brackish waterways, the Meadowlands is home to 260 bird species, including 15 state-endangered species.
Canoe and kayak trips through the meadows are available at Laurel Hill Hudson Country Park in Secaucus. The Hackensack Riverkeeper (201-920-4746) rents canoes and kayaks on weekends from April through October. The Hackensack Riverkeeper Cruise Program, (201-968-0808) offers two-hour guided naturalist trips on the river and through the marshes of the Meadowlands The park also boasts two floating docks and the only free, unrestricted public boat ramp on the River. The Meadowlands Enviornment Center is a short drive from Secaucus. More on eco-tourism.
While sports and recreation serve the young, the town has also remembered its older residents. Secaucus has led the State in Senior housing. Three major Senior Citizen residences and a Senior activity center serve the needs of those who have served the town.
Secaucus is community centered, with clubs and organizations – Kiwanis, Rotary, Lions, Masons, Unico. etc. One can become active with the Shade Tree Commission, or any number of other organizations. The Volunteer Fire Department is a focal point of activity and civic pride.
Secaucus offers fine schools for its children. There are two public elementary schools and a middle-high school. There, children get a caring education and are offered a range of extra curricular activities. The new Arthur F. Couch Performaning Arts Center was opened at the High Schoool/Middle School facility in 2005. There is a library preschool and day care centers for the town’s youngest. The public school system uniquely offers full day kindergarten and pre-kindergarten programs.
The Secaucus Public Library and Business Resource Center offers outstanding facilities for research and recreational reading, plus ample computer facilities with free wi-fi access, a small-business center and meeting rooms.
Eight churches and a Hindu temple serve the religious needs of the community. The Episcopal Church of Our Saviour, First Reformed, Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic, St. Matthew’s Evangelical Lutheran and Shree Swaminarayan Hindu Temple each maintain their own religious centers. Quimby Community Church meets at The Church of Our Saviour, and North Jersey United Pentecostal Church meets at the First Reformed Church.
All this and more in a town of 16,000 residents! It’s a great place to live, work, raise a family, and a great place to visit.
Secaucus Data: The following are external links. To return to this page use back button on your computer.
Click here for detailed community profile.
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Meadowlands License Plate available!
The Motor Vehicles Commission offers a license plate to support land preservation and conservation in the Hackensack Meadowlands and River Watershed.
For details click here.
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Posted: January 4, 2016 at 5:40 pm
Quintessential Space Pulp Art by Ron Turner and others
Is it a dream, or a nightmare?
Dramatic Rescues, Aliens and the Apocalypse
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Part of our Futurism category, an essential overview
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Share your life with a bunch of cute Japanese toy robots!
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Gentlemen! Forward – Into the Past!
From RetroFuture to Algorithmic Architecture
Giant Robot Structures Around the World… Standing… Waiting…
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Part 2 of the highly popular series
The greatest invention that never was
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Love, Peace, and – Metropolis
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These forms cry out “FUTURE!” in a way that cannot be ignored.
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Exciting Innovations in Transportation
Exciting Innovations in Transportation
Sky Captain’s dream come true
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Dark Roasted Blend: Category: Futurism
Posted: September 25, 2015 at 1:43 am
Because we are planetary creatures, when most people think about space colonization they usually envision homes on Mars or perhaps Earth’s moon. Colonization of those bodies is in fact much less desirable than orbital colonization, even though Mars and the Moon are the only practical solid bodies suitable for colonization in the solar system, at least for the next few centuries. Venus is far too hot. Mercury is too hot during the day and too cold at night, as the days and nights are so long. Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune, and Uranus have no solid surface. Pluto is very far away. Comets and asteroids have too little gravity for a surface colony, although some have suggested that an asteroid could be hollowed out. This is actually a variant of an orbital colony.
That leaves Mars and the Moon. However, both bodies are greatly inferior to orbital space colonies in every way except for access to materials. This advantage is important but not critical; lunar and asteroid mines can provide orbital colonies with everything they need. Mars has all the materials needed for colonization: oxygen, water, metals, carbon, silicon, and nitrogen. You can even generate rocket propellant from the atmosphere. The Moon has almost everything needed, the exceptions being carbon and nitrogen; water is only available at the poles, if at all. Orbit, by contrast, has literally nothing – a few atoms per cubic centimeter at best. How can you build enormous orbital colonies if there is nothing there?
Fortunately, Near Earth Objects (NEOs, which include asteroids and comets with orbits near Earth’s) have water, metals, carbon, and silicon — everything we need except possibly nitrogen. NEOs are very accessible from Earth, some are easier to get to than our moon. NEOs can be mined and the materials transported to early orbital colonies near Earth. The Moon can also supply metals, silicon, and oxygen in large quantities. While developing the transportation will be a challenge, colonies on Mars and the Moon will also face significant transportation problems.
As Robert Zubrin suggests in The Case for Mars (Zubrin and Wagner, 1996), small groups of Martian explorers can carry select supplies (hydrogen, uranium, food, etc.) and make rocket fuel, water, oxygen, and other necessities from the Martian atmosphere. However, to truly colonize Mars will require extensive ground transportation systems to get the right materials to the right place at the right time. These systems will be difficult and expensive to build, particularly considering the long resupply times from Earth.
While Mars has an edge in material availability, orbital colonies have many important advantages over the Moon and Mars. These include:
None of this means that colonizing the Moon or Mars is impossible, of course. It is simply that this option is less desirable, and is more likely to come along after orbital colonization has been firmly established. This essential point has escaped many space advocates, perhaps because we are accustomed to living on a planetary surface. It’s difficult to imagine living inside a giant spacecraft and even harder to take the concept seriously: but we should. It has profound implications for the future course of our National and International space programs.
This book is about orbital space colonization, but lunar and Martian colonization have able advocates. For a beautiful vision of lunar colonies, see Chapter Four of The Millenial Project: Colonizing the Galaxy in Eight Easy Steps (Savage, 1992). For Martian colonization, read The Case for Mars: the Plan to Settle the Red Planet and Why We Must (Zubrin and Wagner, 1996). Zubrin is an entertaining speaker, and a convincing and forceful advocate for Mars exploration and colonization. He presents a powerful vision, which this book echoes, of humanity colonizing the solar system. Zubrin puts Mars front and center, but there is good reason to believe that orbital colonies should take that honor.
There is a saying “Amateur soldiers think about tactics, professionals think about supply,” perhaps because the well-fed army with plenty of ammunition tends to win. Fast and effective transportation to and from Earth is critical to the establishment and development of any space settlement. People will need to go back and forth frequently and in large numbers. Although bulk materials (steel, concrete, and water or their equivalents) are best mined and processed in space, colonies will need computer chips, specialty components, and other products from Earth.
Early colonies will not be able to make everything they need and inevitably will require frequent resupplying. Building the first colony will necessitate moving people, materials, parts, food, and water to and from the work site. Critical tools and parts will be forgotten or break, and need to be supplied by Earth as quickly as possible. This will be far easier for a colony in Earth orbit than for either the Moon or Mars.
To land on the Moon, plant a flag, hit a few golf balls, and dig up some rocks required no resupply. Raising a family and building a life off-world will. In this department, orbital colonies are the clear first choice as the early ones can be built much closer to Earth. Subsequent colonies can go further and further afield in small, manageable steps. Furthermore, rendezvous with an orbital colony will require less fuel and can be aborted at any time. Landing on the Moon or Mars is more challenging than docking with an orbital colony, requires more fuel, and carries much higher risk to the travelers.
The Apollo missions took approximately three days to get to the Moon; travel times to Mars are currently over six months. Even with advanced propulsion, travel times to Mars will be measured in weeks. Travel from Earth to planetary orbit is measured in minutes, although time to get to a higher, space-colony orbit and rendezvous will probably be at least a few hours.
With current transportation to Mars, launch opportunities come only once every two years. If you need something from Earth it may take years to get it. For a colony in Earth orbit, it may be possible to obtain key items in a day or so. This is equivalent to the difference between an ox-drawn cart and Federal Express. How many businesses ship their materials by Clipper ship rather than Airborne Express? There’s a reason for their choice, and that same logic says we should colonize orbit before the Moon or Mars.
Resupply isn’t a make-or-break issue for Martian colonization, but the greater difficulty of resupply and travel will generate an endless series of problems, each of which will require time, energy, money, and attention to solve. The great Prussian military thinker, Carl von Clauswitz, noted that armies aren’t usually stopped by the equivalent of a brick wall, but rather by an endless accumulation of small problems – equipment stuck in the mud, sick soldiers, food problems, and desertion. He called this phenomenon friction. Although we note some near-killer problems for early Martian and Lunar colonization, most of the issues amount to much less friction for orbital colonization. Each problem by itself seems manageable, but put them together in their thousands and the case for orbital colonies first, the Moon and Mars later, becomes undeniable.
In orbit there is no night, clouds, or atmosphere. As a result, the amount of solar energy available per unit surface area in Earth orbit is approximately seven times that of the Earth’s surface. Further, space solar energy is 100 percent reliable and predictable. Near-Earth orbits may occasionally pass behind the planet, reducing or eliminating solar power production for a few minutes, but these times can be precisely predicted months in advance. Solar power can supply all the energy we need for orbital colonies in the inner solar system.
Almost all Earth-orbiting satellites use solar energy; only a few military satellites have used nuclear power. For space colonies we need far more power, requiring much larger solar collectors. Space solar power can be generated by solar cells on large panels as with current satellites, or by concentrators that focus sunlight on a fluid, perhaps water, which is vaporized and used to turn turbines. Turbines are used today by hydroelectric plants to generate electricity, and are well understood. Turbines are more efficient than today’s solar cells, but they also have moving parts and high temperature liquids, both of which tend to cause breakdowns and accidents.
Both panels and concentrator/turbine systems can probably work, and different orbital colonies may use different systems. Understand though that orbital colonies can have ample solar-generated electrical energy 24/7 so long as sufficiently sized solar panels or appropriate concentrator-turbine systems can be built. This is a matter of building what we already understand in much greater quantities – which gives us the much sought after economies of scale. Economies of scale simply means that if you do the same thing over and over, you get good at it.
By contrast, the moon has two-week nights when no solar power is available (except at the poles). Storing two weeks worth of power is a major headache. The only ways around this are nuclear or orbital solar-powered satellites that transmit power to the Moon’s surface. There doesn’t seem to be much, if any, uranium on the Moon, so fuel for fission reactors would have to be imported from Earth. This adds a risk of launch accidents that could spread nuclear fuel into our biosphere.
Spacecraft bound for the outer solar system (e.g. Jupiter or Saturn) carry nuclear power plants now. Good containment is possible, and there’s not much risk from the occasional probe, but launching the large amounts of fuel necessary for a lunar colony would almost certainly involve an accident at some point. The risk of inattention or mistakes is much greater for hundreds of launches per year than with one every decade. Colonizing the Moon with nuclear fuel shipped from Earth will also be expensive, and we can probably rule it out as a practical approach to generating large amounts of power. That leaves local sources.
Helium-3, a special form of helium that suitable for advanced fusion reactors, is available on the Moon. However, in spite of many decades of effort and billions of dollars, no one has ever built a commercially viable fusion reactor, or even come close.The other approach to lunar power is solar power satellites. In this case, we build large satellites to generate electricity and place them in orbit around the Moon. The energy is then transmitted to the lunar surface during the two-week night. This is no different from the large solar power systems needed for orbital colonies, except that you also need to transmit the power to the Moon and build a system to collect it. Thus, lunar colonization has energy disadvantages in comparison to orbital colonization. There is a bit more friction.
The energy situation for Mars is far worse. Mars is much further from the Sun than Earth so the available solar energy is less (approximately 43 percent). Mars is 1.524 times further from the Sun than Earth. Since the amount of solar power available is inversely proportional to the square of the distance from the Sun, solar power satellites near Mars must be 2.29 times larger than those near Earth for the same power output. As a result, solar panels on or near Mars would have to be quite large. Further, Mars has a night and significant dust storms. Even between dust storms, dirt will accumulate on solar panels and need to be cleaned off, although robots to perform this chore can undoubtedly be built; just a little more friction.
In practice, Martian colonies will require nuclear power and/or solar power satellites. If there is any nuclear fuel on Mars, we don’t know where it is or how much is available. If nuclear fuel must be sent from Earth, it suffers from all the same issues as the Moon, plus will take significantly longer to deliver. If a source of easily processed nuclear fuel can be found on Mars there might be some hope, but processing and use of nuclear fuel is not an easy proposition. Large-scale nuclear energy production on Mars is likely to be very difficult for the foreseeable future. Even with the red planet’s distance from the Sun, solar power satellites might be easier. Energy problems make Mars far less attractive for early settlement, though once solar power satellite technology is well established by orbital colonization, it could be used for Martian colonization.
Anything in Earth orbit can have excellent communication with Earth. In fact, much of our communications are carried by orbiting satellites already. Telephone, Internet, radio, and television signals are passed through satellites in everyday operations around the world. Any orbiting colony within a few thousand kilometers of Earth will be able to hook directly into Earth’s communication system. All modes of communication, including the telephone, will work pretty much as if you were in Chicago or London.
Because the Moon is approximately a quarter of a million miles from Earth and wireless communication travels at 300 kilometers (186,000 miles) per second, colonies on the Moon will suffer at least a three-second round trip communication delay with Earth. This makes telephone conversations awkward, though email, television, radio, and instant messaging should work pretty much as they do here from the consumer’s perspective.
Mars is a different story. The red planet is so far away that the delay between sending a signal to Mars and receiving a reply is at least six to forty minutes, depending on the planet’s relative positions at that time. Instant messengers will chafe at the delay and telephone conversation is impossible. The distance will require significantly larger antennas and energy than communications between Earth and an orbital colony. This problem isn’t a concept killer, but it is another headache for Martian colonies, adding just a little more friction.
Space colonization is, at its core, a real estate business. The value of real estate is determined by many things, including “the view.” In my hometown, a rundown house on a tiny lot with an ocean view sells for well over a million dollars. The same house a few blocks further inland is worth less than half that. Any space settlement will have a magnificant view of the stars at night, with the exception of Mars during a dust storm. Any settlement on the Moon or Mars will have a view of an unchanging, starkly beautiful, dead-as-a-doornail, rock strewn surface. However, settlements in Earth orbit will have one of the most stunning views in our solar system – the living, ever-changing Earth1. Anyone who has climbed a tall mountain knows what it feels like to be on top of the world, drinking in the vast panorama spread below. The view and feeling from orbit dwarfs that. Significantly. After all, the highest mountain on Earth is approximately eight kilometers (five miles). The lowest reasonably stable Earth orbit is approximately 160 kilometers (100 miles).
All of life has evolved under the force of Earth’s gravity. The strength of that force, which we call 1g, plays a major role in the way our bodies work. We understand some of these effects, but it is quite likely that there are important unknown gravitational functions in living creatures. For example, we understand that gravity is crucial to development and maintenance of human bone and muscle, but we have only a vague idea of the exact mechanisms behind the effects we observe in adults. We have absolutely no data on the effect of low-g on children and, consequently, only the vaguest notion of the consequences of alternate gravity levels on a child’s development.
This is a real problem for colonization of the Moon and Mars, as neither has anything resembling 1g. Mars’ gravity measures approximately one-third that of Earth, and the Moon’s is even less, around one-seventh. Nonetheless, it may turn out that children can grow up on Mars with perfectly functional bodies, for Mars. It is certain that anyone raised on Mars will have great difficulty visiting Earth.
For example, I weigh about 160 pounds. My muscles and bones are adapted to carrying that load. If I went to a more massive planet with 3g at the surface, the equivalent of moving from Mars to Earth, I would weigh 480 pounds and would probably spend all my time flat on my back, assuming my heart and lungs didn’t immediately fail under the load. A child born and raised on the Moon or Mars will never live on Earth, and even a short visit would be an excruciating ordeal. Attending college on Earth will be out of the question. For me this is a concept killer. Some parents may accept raising children who can never live on Earth. I’m not one of them.
A large orbital space colony can, by contrast, have nearly any pseudo-gravity desired. While orbital colonies will have far too little mass to have appreciable real gravity, something that feels like gravity and should have almost the same biological effect can be created. Real gravity is the attraction of all matter – stuff you can touch – for all other matter. The amount of attraction increases as the amount of matter increases (the amount of matter is called the mass). Earth is very large, has a lot of mass, and exerts significant gravitational force on us. We can create something that feels a lot like this force by spinning our colonies. This force, called pseudo-gravity, is the same force you feel when the car you are riding in takes a sharp turn at high speed. Your body tries to go straight but runs into the door, which is turning and pushes on your arm. Similarly, as an orbital space colony turns, the inside of the colony pushes on the feet of the inhabitants forcing them to go around. This force feels a great deal like gravity, although it isn’t. What’s important to note in this discussion is that the amount of this force can be controlled and that, for reasonable colony sizes and rotation rates, the force can be about 1g. For example, a 450-meter diameter colony that rotates at two rpm (rotations per minute) provides 1g at the rim.
This is crucial. It means that children raised in an orbital space colony can be strong enough to visit Earth and still walk, run, climb, jump, and attend college. Moving to an orbital space colony from a strength perspective will not be a one-way ticket for adults or children. Even someone born and raised in a 1g orbital space colony (meaning a colony rotating fast enough to produce 1g of pseudo-gravity on the inside of the rim) would be physically strong enough to move to Earth without hardship. By contrast, being raised on Mars or the Moon almost certainly precludes visiting Earth, at least if you want to walk. Even for adults, living on Mars or the Moon for a few decades would make return to Earth a painful ordeal. Long-term Lunar and Martian residents would, at best, be wheelchair bound on Earth.
Since orbital colonies can be sized and spun to create different pseudo-gravity levels, it will be possible to gradually experiment with lower pseudo-gravity levels. For example, a colony at 0.9g or 0.8g is feasible and possibly desirable for those who have lived many generations in orbit. Eventually, one might even see colonies with pseudo-gravity levels comparable to Mars and the Moon. If this does not create significant problems, then Lunar and Martian colonization can proceed.
There is one potentially serious gravitational problem for raising children in 1g orbital colonies. If the kids consistently stay on the inside of the rim (where they feel 1g) everything is fine, but how likely is that when you can go to the center for weightless play? Parents are going to have a tough time keeping their kids in the high pseudo-gravity sections when there is so much fun to be had in the center. On the other hand, this is a great problem to have, since the parents get to play too.
While all space colonies in the first few generations will almost certainly provide 1g of pseudo-gravity on the inside of the rim, pseudo-gravity is not gravity. It works differently. For example, when you jump up off of Earth, gravity pulls on you so that you accelerate downward until you land. When you jump up from the inside of the rim of an orbital space colony, there is no pull on you. In particular, if you climb to the center of the colony and jump off, there is nothing pulling you to the rim. You will float freely forever, or at least until it’s time for lunch and Mom makes you come home.
If you’ve ever seen video of astronauts playing in 0g, you know that weightlessness is fun2. Acrobatics, sports, and dance go to a new level when the constraints of gravity are removed. It’s not going to be easy to keep the kids in the 1g areas enough to satisfy Mom and Dad that their bones will be strong enough for a visit to Disneyland. If you’ve ever jumped off a diving board, you’ve been weightless. It’s the feeling you have after jumping and before you hit the water. Any jump gives you that same feeling, as does “catching air” on a skateboard or snowboard. While you’re airborne, you are weightless and all kinds of things become possible – just watch Olympic diving. Somersaults, twists, jack-knifes and more. But on Earth, you can only get that feeling for a fleeting second. In orbit, you have it for hours on end, and you don’t need years of training.
Flying is easy, just strap on some wings and flap. Controlling exactly where you go may be trickier, and nets to keep the clueless from flying into the rim will be necessary. That’s hard to do, because the rim isn’t actually pulling you toward it as Earth does, but accidents aren’t impossible. Some people live in the mountains to ski, others buy a house next to a golf course, surfers live near the ocean, and some will want to live on orbital space colonies for the 0g sports, dance, and just plain foolin’ around.
Of course, the Moon and Mars, with their lower gravity levels will have their fun, too. Robert Heinlein, the great science fiction writer, and others have suggested that on the Moon people will be able to fly like birds by attaching wings to their arms. It’s a lot harder than the weightless flight of an orbital colony, but flying on the Moon should be possible for those with good upper body strength. However, the Moon does have real gravity and you’d better know what you’re doing.
Unfortunately, you can only fly inside of buildings in space (the vacuum outside precludes breathing) so size matters. Although Marshall Savage has a neat design for large Lunar colonies using entire craters (Savage, 1992), early Lunar and Martian colonies, if built before large-scale orbital colonization occurs, are almost certain to be small, cramped affairs with little room to fly, figuratively or literally. By contrast, for fundamental reasons orbital colonies will be large and roomy.
Everyone will spend almost all of their time indoors when living in a space colony, regardless of its location. It is impossible for an unprotected human to survive outside for more than a few seconds. While it will be possible to go outside in a spacesuit, the high levels of radiation will require everyone to stay inside almost all of the time. This is not as horrible as it sounds. In southern states, many people spend nearly the entire summer indoors, dashing from air-conditioned building to air-conditioned car and back. The same holds for people in very cold climates, at least in the winter. Fortunately, at least for orbital colonies, inside will be big.
Building large colonies on the Moon or Mars will be a complex endeavor. Although gravity is much less than on Earth, it is still pulling everything toward the ground and all the challenges of building large structures will remain. By contrast, orbital colonies will be built in weightlessness. Space shuttle astronauts moved multi-ton satellites by hand in weightlessness, although they did have to be careful. It’s impossible to “drop” anything, if you let go things just float. It’s no more dangerous working on the “top” of the colony than on the “bottom,” at least before it is spun to generate pseudo-gravity. In general, building large things is simply easier in orbit than on any planet or moon other than Earth . Here, we have a breathable atmosphere, radiation protection, and a vast infrastructure that makes construction easier than in the space environment, at least in today’s pre-space colonization culture.
To get 1g of pseudo-gravity, orbital space colonies will have to be much larger, and thereby nicer to live in, than lunar or Martian colonies. To get 1g by rotation you either need to spin very fast or have a large diameter. Two revolutions per minute (RPM) seems to be the limit one might want to live in, although higher rates are acceptable for temporary working environments like Mars missions. Two RMP implies a 450-meter diameter. A 450-meter diameter implies that an orbital colony must be well over a kilometer (almost a mile actually) around the rim.
It is unlikely in the extreme that the first lunar or Martian colony will be kilometer-scale, as starting smaller is easier. This leads to one of the few friction-style disadvantages orbital colonies have compared with the Moon and Mars: Orbital colonies have to be big, and big things are generally harder to build than small things. Of course, it’s one thing to live in a small house on the prairie. It’s quite another to live and raise a family in a cramped building without being able to go outside. The kids are going to drive you nuts. Even the first orbital colonies will be very large, and that’s probably a good thing.
Getting to the first colonies is going to be an expensive proposition, so space colonization, unlike European colonization of the Americas, won’t be driven by huddled masses. The pioneers of space will be engineers and technicians. They will want their MTV – and a very nice place to live. Fortunately, space colonies can deliver what we want and, in the long run, allow true independence as well.
A mature space colony, whether in orbit or on the Moon or Mars, can be extremely independent, at least in the long term. With first-class recycling plus a bit of asteroid dirt from time to time to make up losses, it should be possible to build space colonies that can live completely independently for very large periods of time; decades if not centuries or more.
On Earth we all share the same air and water. Plants, animals, bacteria, and viruses move freely around the planet, and nobody is much farther than 20,000 kilometers (12,000 miles – a day on a typical commercial jet) away from anyone else. By contrast, each space colony will have its own separate air and water and quite a bit of control over what species exist in the colony. If someone screws up the environment of one colony, it will have little or no direct impact on other settlements.
Further, Mars and the Moon are smaller than Earth. Those colonists will be living fairly close together despite personal desire. Orbital colonies can be tens of millions of miles apart. Given the apparently bottomless animosity of some groups, this may occasionally be a positive thing. When my kids fight, I tell them to go to their rooms. If orbital space colonies fight, we can tell them to go to opposite sides of the Sun.
When Europeans colonized the “new world,” which of course was quite well known to the locals, the new territory was a couple of times greater than the area of Europe. Now, the surface area of the Moon and Mars combined is a bit more than half the land area of Earth. By contrast, consuming the single largest asteroid (Ceres) gives us enough materials to build orbital space colonies with 1g living area equal to over two hundred times the surface area of Earth, land area that didn’t even exist before colonization. Orbital space colonization will undoubtedly be the greatest expansion of life ever.
This enormous area becomes available because of fundamental geometry. On planets you live on the outside of a solid sphere. Because planets are three-dimensional solid objects, they have a lot of mass. By contrast, orbital colonies are hollow. Most of the materials are in the exterior shell for radiation protection.
Since we should size the radiation protection to be about the same as that provided by Earth’s atmosphere, the mass of orbital colonies with living area equal to the Earth’s surface is about the mass of the Earth’s air! The Earth’s atmosphere weighs far less than the Earth of course. This is why a relatively small body like Ceres can supply materials for living area hundreds of times that of our home planet.
Furthermore, this living area can be spread throughout the entire solar system. Orbital colonies near Jupiter can be essentially identical to orbital colonies around Earth, the main difference being that near Jupiter colonies will likely require a nuclear power source and improved shielding for radiation. The asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter is a particularly attractive location for orbital colonies, as ample materials are available. There have even been proposals to colonize the Oort Cloud (Schmidt and Zubrin, 1996), a vast region of icy comets extending nearly halfway to the closest star. An orbital colony in the Oort Cloud would require nuclear power, but otherwise should have all the amenities and advantages of orbital colonies in high Earth orbit.
This has tremendous implications. The Earth holds about six billion people at present, and is considered very crowded. However, most of our planet’s surface is nearly uninhabited, with only a few hundred urban areas and a few rural areas that are actually crowded. The oceans, of course, have almost no one on them. The frozen wastes of Alaska, Canada, and Siberia have extremely small populations, as do the vast deserts of Africa, the Middle East, central Asia, the western United States, and Australia. By contrast, all of an orbital colony’s area can be more-or-less any way we want it, from the temperature to the rainfall. Thus, it is reasonable to expect that orbital space colonies can support a population of a trillion or more human beings living in excellent conditions.
Growth is crucial to long term survival. As a general rule, life is either growing or shrinking — it doesn’t hold still. Nevertheless, thinking about survival a thousand years hence is unlikely to loosen the large purse strings necessary to accomplish space colonization. For that, we need to make money.
The final advantage for orbital colonies over Mars and the Moon is major. It’s the economy, stupid. There is nothing that Mars can supply Earth with economically, for the same reasons that there are no economical mines or factories in Antarctica. Both are too far away and operations in those conditions are difficult. The Moon might support tourism and perhaps provide helium-3 for future fusion reactors, but both markets will be difficult to service. By contrast, orbital colonies can service Earth’s tourism, energy, and exotic-materials markets as well as repair satellites.
There is already a small orbital tourist market. Two wealthy individuals have paid the Russians approximately $20 million apiece to visit the International Space Station (ISS). Space Adventures Ltd. (www.spaceadventures.com) arranged these trips, and claims to have a contract to send two more. There are also a number of companies developing suborbital rockets to take tourists on short (about fifteen-minute) rides into space for approximately $100,000 per trip. As we will learn, orbital tourism is a promising approach to the first profit-generating steps toward orbital space colonization.
Continuous solar energy coupled with experience in building large structures will allow colonies to build and maintain enormous solar power satellites. These can be used to transmit energy to Earth. As already discussed, there is ample, reliable solar energy in orbit, and collecting it in large quantities primarily involves scaling up the space solar energy systems we have today.
This energy can be delivered to Earth by microwave beams tuned to pass through the atmosphere with little energy loss. Although the receiving antennas on the ground will be quite large, they should be able to let enough sunlight through for agriculture on the same land. Space solar power operations will consume nothing on Earth and generate no waste materials, although development and launch will involve some pollution. In particular, no greenhouse gasses or nuclear waste will be produced. The only operational terrestrial environmental impact will be the heat generated by transmission losses and using the electricity.
Solar power satellites are financially impractical if launched from Earth, but if built in space using extraterrestrial resources by an orbital space colony, they may eventually be profitable. By contrast, Mars has no opportunity to supply Earth with energy. The Moon has some helium-3 that may be useful for advanced forms of fusion power, but we have spent billions of dollars on fusion research, and have yet to produce more power than consumed much less produced power economically.
New, exotic materials can fetch very high prices. A variety of techniques are used to develop new materials, including controlling pressure, temperature, gas composition, and so forth. Gravity affects material properties since heavy particles sink and light ones rise in fluids during material processing.
In an orbital colony it is possible to control pseudo-gravity during processing. In principle this should allow the development of novel materials, some of which may be quite valuable. To date, the space program has failed to find a ‘killer-app’ material, a material so useful it justifies the entire space program. But the total number of orbital materials experiments has been small and very few materials experts have been to orbit conducting these investigations.
It’s reasonable to expect that, given a much more substantial effort, valuable materials will be discovered that can only be produced in orbit, or that can be produced more economically once a substantial orbital infrastructure is in place. By comparison, both the Moon and Mars have fixed gravity at the surface and are much less likely to be suitable for exotic materials production. In addition, Mars, as always, is too far away to service Earth materials markets economically, especially in competition with orbital colonies exploiting NEO materials.
The best place to live on Mars is not nearly as nice as the most miserable part of Siberia. Mars is far colder; you can’t go outside, and it’s a months-long rocket ride if you want a Hawaiian vacation. The Moon is even colder. By contrast, orbital colonies have unique and desirable properties, particularly 0g recreation and great views. Building and maintaining orbital colonies should be quite a bit easier than similar sized homesteads on the Moon or Mars. They are better positioned to provide goods and services to Earth to contribute to the tremendous cost of space colonization. For these reasons, orbital colonies will almost certainly come first, with lunar and Martian colonization later. Perhaps much later. The sooner we recognize this and orient our space programs accordingly, the better.
 See earth.jsc.nasa.gov/sseop/efs for a fine collection of views of Earth from space.
 See http://www.nas.nasa.gov/About/Education/SpaceSettlement/Video/ for mpeg and Quicktime videos of astronauts playing in weightlessness.
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Where Should We Build Space Colonies?