I thought spacenews was finally realizing what toxic creeps commenting on their forum they had been enabling and aiding all these years and was going to let me keep commenting but they would never answer any of my emails. Now they have shadow-banned me it appears. Sad that they will forever be associated with Musk’s legion of cyberthugs. I will from this moment on tell everyone I talk to about space for the rest of my life what noxious enablers the people running certain blogs are, Ars Technica probably being the worst. But there is one place left that still allows me to post my comments:
Mars was considered by a couple space colonization groups, including O’Neill’s, in the 70’s when the original work was done and all the planets were were ruled out for several good reasons. But…a certain entrepreneur decided that Space Solar Power was a stupid idea and Mars really was a good second home for humanity. This was a contrarian view to the previous logical path of a state-sponsored public works energy project enabling colonization. Such a megaproject would be impossible for even the richest oligarch to own or control. This entrepreneur promised something for nothing and made a entrepreneurial “NewSpace” ideology popular. This has in the last decade tainted all discourse on space- and its pernicious influence has set progress back several decades at least.
He is the gold standard of false prophets. A billionaire who decided he would parade himself in the media circus and become a celebrity and who has done more harm to space exploration than any other person…ever. Algorithms and social media have popularized an Orwellian opposite view of him. And as long as this bizarro hobbyist buys influence and people believe in his ridiculous projects, the damage will accumulate. His persona appeals to the very worst to become his sycophants; those that worship greed and strong authority figures. They are typically anti-tax, anti-government, and anti-American, though they sometimes portray themselves as ultra-right wing “patriots.” And several dozen of the most toxic of these Ayn-Rand-in-Space whackjobs have certainly found a home on these forums.
1. Human exploration missions are more likely to use mini-subs to explore the subsurface oceans of the icy bodies in the solar system. Like Ceres, which is a far better first destination than Mars.
Mars is a dead end.
2. There is going to be very little walking around on the surface…in fact, after the first few boot prints on the Moon missions, they will likely say no more of that- except in real emergencies. Because of radiation of course. There might be plenty of lunar lava tube exploring in space suits though. Maybe.
3. Gerard K. O’Neill’s vision of space colonization was the Earth largely depopulated and becoming an adventure vacation destination. He saw almost the entire human race living in space colonies.
There is nothing on Mars of interest that you will not be able to see with VR googles. Sorry.
I am a scuba diver and it is a really great sport. People dive into their early 70’s. You don’t even have to know how to swim that well. Maybe you could give that a try and write about Ceres or the ocean moons of the gas and ice giants. And while there might not be much “tactile”, there might be some antics in large inflatables under the ice (depends on the pressure environment- maybe not realistic, maybe so) and in that super low gravity. No radiation.