- The Case for Mars
"The Case for Mars: The Plan to Settle the Red Planet and Why We Must" is a nonfiction science book by
Robert Zubrin, first published in 1996. Richard Wagner worked as a supporting author.
The book details Zubrin's
Mars Directplan to make the first human landing on Mars. The plan focuses on keeping costs down by making use of automated systems and available materials on Mars to manufacture the return journey's fuel " in situ". The book also reveals possible colony designs and weighs the prospects for a colony's material self-sufficiency and for the terraformingof Mars.
The Mars Direct plan was originally detailed by Zubrin and David Baker in 1990. "The Case for Mars" is, according to Zubrin, a comprehensive condensation for laymen of many years' work and research. Chapters one and four deal with Mars Direct most completely.
For Zubrin, the attractiveness of Mars Direct does not rest on a single cost-effective mission. He envisions a series of regular Martian missions with the ultimate goal of colonization, which he details in the seventh through ninth chapters. As initial explorers leave hab-structures on the planet, subsequent missions become easier to undertake. Large subsurface, pressurized habitats would be the first step toward human settlement; the book suggests they can be built as Roman-style atria underground with easily produced Martian brick. During and after this initial phase of habitat construction, hard-plastic
radiation- and abrasion-resistant geodesicdomes could be deployed on the surface for eventual habitation and crop growth. Nascent industry would begin using indigenous resources: the manufacture of plastics, ceramics and glass.
The larger work of
terraformingrequires an initial phase of global warmingto release atmosphere from the regolithand to create a water-cycle. Three methods of global warming are described in the work and, Zubrin suggests, are probably best deployed in tandem: orbital mirrors to heat the surface; factories on the surface to pump halocarbonsinto the atmosphere; and the seeding of bacteria which can metabolize water, nitrogenand carbonto produce ammoniaand methane(these would aid in global warming). While the work of warming Mars is on-going, true colonization can begin.
"The Case for Mars" acknowledges that any Martian colony will be partially Earth-dependent for centuries. However, it suggests that Mars may be a profitable place for two reasons. First, it may contain concentrated supplies of
metalsof equal or greater value to silverwhich have not been subjected to millennia of human scavenging and may be sold on Earth for profit. Secondly, the concentration of deuterium— an extremely expensive but essential fuel for the nuclear power industry — is five times greater on Mars. Humans emigrating to Mars thus have an assured industry and the planet will be a magnet for settlers as wage costs will be high. The book asserts that “the labor shortage that will prevail on Mars will drive Martian civilization toward both technological and social advances.”
While detailing the exploration and colonization, "The Case for Mars" also addresses a number of attendant scientific and political factors.
The fifth chapter analyzes various risks that putatively rule out a long-term human presence on Mars. Zubrin dismisses the idea that radiation and zero-gravity are unduly hazardous. He claims that
cancerrates "do" increase for astronauts who have spent extensive time in space, but only marginally. Similarly, while zero-gravity presents challenges, “near total recovery of musculature and immune system occurs after reentry and reconditioning to a one-gravity environment.” Back-contamination— humans acquiring and spreading Martian viruses— is described as "just plain nuts", because there are no host organisms on Mars for disease organisms to have evolved.
In the same chapter, Zubrin decisively rejects suggestions that the
Moonshould be used as waypoint to Mars or as a training area. It is ultimately much easier to journey to Mars from low Earth orbit than from the moon and using the latter as a staging point is a pointless diversion of resources. While the Moon may superficially appear a good place to perfect Mars exploration and habitation techniques, the two bodies are radically different. The moon has no atmosphere, no analogous geologyand a much greater temperature range and rotational period. Antarcticaor desert areas of Earth provide much better training grounds at lesser cost.
In the third and tenth chapters, "The Case for Mars" addresses the politics and costs of the ideas described. The work is decidedly U.S.-centric in these areas, arguing with more than a little sentimentality that the colonization of Mars is a logical extension of the settlement of
North Americaand a still present frontier mentality. He also sees a frontier society as potentially providing opportunities for innovation and social experimentation.
Zubrin suggests three models to provide the will and capital to drive Mars exploration forward: the J.F.K. model, in which a far-sighted U.S. leader provides the funding and mobilizes national public opinion around the idea; the Sagan model, in which international co-operation is the driving force; and the Gingrich approach, which emphasizes incentives and even prizes for private sector actors who take on research and development tasks. In keeping with the third idea, Zubrin describes twelve challenges that tackle various aspects of the exploration program. A monetary prize — from five hundred million to twenty billion dollars — is offered to companies who successfully complete the challenges.
The prize-based approach to hardware development has emerged within the private aeronautics community, though not yet on the scale envisioned by Zubrin. Ventures such as the
Ansari X-Prizeand Robert Bigelow's America's Space Prizeseek low-cost spaceflight development through private enterprise, and crucially, for the attainment of very specific predetermined goals in order to win the prizes.
The underlying political economic problems of raising sufficient capital for terraforming using halocarbon emissions is critiqued by [http://jetpress.org/volume4/space.htm John Hickman] .
Concepts from Case for Mars appearing in Fiction
The mission concepts elucidated in "The Case for Mars" have been used in several
science fictionnovels. Most notably, Robert Zubrin wrote a fictional account of a Mars Direct mission in his novel " First Landing" (Ace, 2001). Geoffrey A. Landisused concepts from "The Case for Mars" in his novel Mars Crossing(Tor, 2000), and Gregory Benfordused the basic structure of Mars Direct in "The Mars Race" (1988).
Reviews and Links
* [http://www.chris-winter.com/SpaceVis/R_Zubrin/Mars_Direct.html Mars Direct]
* [http://www.seds.org/spaceviews/9611/bookrev.html Spaceviews book review]
* For a critical review see: [http://outer-rim.lweb.net/review/46papercuts4.html Papercuts] Issue Forty-Six, November 2001
* For a view which concentrates on the financing of such a venture, see: [http://www.jetpress.org/volume4/space.htm Journal of Evolution and Technology]
* [http://www.marssociety.org Mars Society web site]
Colonization of Mars
Manned mission to Mars
The Millennial Projectby space advocate Marshall Savage
Mining the skyby space advocate John S. Lewis
Engines of Creationby nanotechnologist and space advocate K. Eric Drexler
* by space advocate
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
The Sands of Mars — infobox Book | name = The Sands of Mars title orig = translator = image caption = dust jacket from the first edition author = Arthur C. Clarke illustrator = cover artist = country = United Kingdom language = English series = The Space Trilogy… … Wikipedia
The Concert for Bangladesh — Pour les articles homonymes, voir The Concert for Bangladesh (homonymie). The Concert for Bangladesh est le premier concert de charité de l histoire de la musique populaire, présenté le 1er août 1971 au Madison Square Garden de New York … Wikipédia en Français
Silence of the Lamb (Veronica Mars) — Infobox Television episode Caption = Veronica doing what she does best taking money from 09ers. Title = Silence of the Lamb Series = Veronica Mars Season = 1 Episode = 11 Airdate = January 4, 2005 Production = 2T5709 Writer = Jed Seidel Dayna… … Wikipedia
Blast from the Past (Veronica Mars) — Infobox Television episode Caption = Wallace confronting his mother about Nathan Woods. Title = Blast from the Past Series = Veronica Mars Season = 2 Episode = 5 Airdate = October 26, 2005 Production = 2T7205 Writer = Phil Klemmer Cathy Belben… … Wikipedia
Mars Direct — is a proposal for a manned mission to Mars. Proponents of the scheme have claimed it to be both cost effective and that it can be conducted with current technology. It was originally detailed in a research paper by NASA engineers Robert Zubrin… … Wikipedia
Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter — Conceptual image depicting the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter in an elliptical low planet orbit around Mars Operator NASA / JPL Major contractors Lockheed Ma … Wikipedia
Mars Direct — est un projet développé par des ingénieurs de la NASA visant à envoyer des hommes à bas coût sur la planète Mars grâce à la technologie aérospatiale actuelle. Le plan a été à l origine détaillé dans un journal de recherche par Robert Zubrin et… … Wikipédia en Français
Mars direct — est un projet développé par des ingénieurs de la NASA visant à envoyer des hommes à bas coût sur la planète Mars grâce à la technologie aérospatiale actuelle. Le plan a été à l origine détaillé dans un journal de recherche par Robert Zubrin et… … Wikipédia en Français
Mars to Stay — Concept for NASA Design Reference Mission Architecture 5.0 (2009) Mars to Stay missions propose astronauts sent to Mars for the first time should stay there indefinitely, both to reduce cost and to ensure permanent settlement of Mars. Among many… … Wikipedia
Mars to Stay — Unter dem Motto Mars to Stay ist der Vorschlag gemacht worden, dass die ersten zum Mars gesandten Astronauten für unbegrenzte Zeit auf dem Planeten bleiben sollten. Dadurch könnten die Kosten des Marsfluges verringert und eine ständige Besiedlung … Deutsch Wikipedia