Hi Laertes! Welcome to Marspedia! My name is Ian O'Neill, one of the admins here and I'm available most of the time if you need any assistance. We're hoping for a big 2008 for lots of new additions to the Marspedia wiki, so it's great to have you on board. Hopefully see you soon -- Ioneill 06:53, 3 February 2008 (UTC)
Hi, you are doing a great job here:-) My English is not so good, and I really appreciate every enhancement. Don't worry about lack in space experience. Nobody went to Mars so far, and hence nobody knows how to do it. There are many challenges that are completely new, and every contribution is welcome. Enjoy! -- Rfc 10:34, 5 February 2008 (UTC)
Welcome back! - Jarogers2001 06:38, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
Hi Laertes, my understanding of a Martian settlement is a rather spartan economy, that can be run by a limited number of persons. Which technology is really vital? This seems to be a very important questions. Recently I have been thinking a lot about this question.
First of all, I wonder how big such a colony must be, in oder to produce everything on their own. Probably, an autonomous colony can not be run by 5 people. It requires more manpower, but how much more? I am trying to get an idea how the start of an autonomous colony may look like. There is probably a certain minimum of technology, and therefore a minimum of persons necessary. In order to find that out, I am trying to leave out all comfort and all unnecessary dead freight. Just keeping the inevitable. Pure survival. This is what I am trying to find out at the moment.
Because of the vast effort of shipment, I am pretty sure that the start of a Martian colony will be a rather small one. Let's say, a group of 5 persons make the start. They can start to build an autonomous colony, based upon technology shipped from Earth to Mars. But they can not maintain all systems including production of all spare parts from local resources. At least I am really in doubt about that. May be, we can bring 20 persons to Mars, which is very very expensive. May be, we can bring 50 people to Mars, in a time frame of 20 years. This is an optimistic (and may be an unrealistic) imagination, though. And with this limited number of persons we have to find a way to build a livelihood from scratch, albeit with settlers with a huge amount of enthusiasm, but still with heavy limitations in maintenance manpower.
I am still not sure whether or not such an autonomous colony is possible at all. If it is possible with such a limited manpower, it can not include complex chemical and microelectronic factories. I think, the settlers will be busy primarily with energy and food production, which is extremely cheap on Earth, and which is hard on Mars. On Earth we can afford doing further business, because the food is growing almost of its own volition.
That is what I am mostly concerned about at the moment, and I just want to explain my thoughts to you. Probably, I will not be able to contribute much to Marspedia during the holidays, but I'm back next Monday. I am happy about your being part of the team. Merry X-mas to you and your family. -- Rfc 21:55, 22 December 2008 (UTC)