A Thought Experiment
I would like to try something a little different. A few years I started a story idea. The idea was that NASA and the other world space agencies were so bogged down in politics that they would never be able to again launch a real mission to The Moon, Mars or any of the outer planets. There was a large enough group of people that believed that the only way that this would ever happen would be if private citizens stepped forward and did something about it. In my story, a company was formed backed by a real estate billionaire, and started training for, build and getting people and supplies into orbit for a trip to Mars to build a colony there.
The idea of a Martian Colony is nothing new. Buzz Aldrin, you know the second man on the moon, himself has said that we need to skip the moon all together and head to Mars not as an expedition of scientists and researchers, but as a group of people who would start a colony. Great thinking and physicist Steven Hawking has said, and I am para phrasing here, The longer we keep all of our population on Earth with out expansion the more likely it is that some terrible thing will happen to wipe us all out. When you look at the state of the world around us can you really disagree?
I call this a thought experiment because I would like to get peoples thoughts on an idea. The idea is simple. What would it take to get people off planet with enough supplies and equipment to start a colony on Mars?
Here is an initial list of questions to find answers to:
* How many people should go? There has to be a large enough population to prevent things like founders syndrome. The group has to be large but every person that you take with you is more weight to lift into space, and more food, water a other supplies you will need to take with you.
* What should the screening process be like? To prevent a deadly disease from wiping out the colony before it gets a chance to start.
* Who should go? What specialties would we need? Do you start with families, or do you start with singles and expect people to pair off?
* Could the colony ship be built in space? - What would be the ramifications if it could or if it could not
The Idea is that we would would explore each of these questions and many more along the way. When possible we will consult experts, and expert sources, but I hope to interview people who are interested in this as science and or science fiction.