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Mars Space Technology

Ask Joseph Palaia About Building Lunar Machines and Living On Mars 107

Posted by samzenpus
from the future-is-now dept.
Joseph Palaia is an entrepreneur, engineer and technologist who is working on creating the first permanent settlement on Mars. In 2009, he served as executive officer and chief engineer for a one-month simulated Mars mission at the Mars Society's Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station on Devon Island in the Canadian arctic. He has played an integral role in two commercial design studies of the first permanent Mars settlement. He is co-author of technical papers on the topics of Mars nuclear power plant design, Mars settlement architecture, space economics and the economics of energy on Mars. In addition to his work on inhabiting Mars, Joseph is also the Chief Operating Officer & Director of Earthrise Space, Inc. ESI is a research laboratory whose goal is to design, build, and operate spacecraft with the help of students. They are currently working on both a lunar lander and lunar rover for the Google Lunar X Prize. Joseph has agreed to take off his spacesuit and answer any of your questions about building moon machines with students, long-term survival in space, and all things Kuato related. Ask as many questions as you like, but please confine your questions to one per post.
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Ask Joseph Palaia About Building Lunar Machines and Living On Mars

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  • by Tx (96709) on Friday July 13, 2012 @12:11PM (#40639781) Journal

    Can? Ever? Yes. The resources are there for a self-sustaining colony. You need the technology to access and work with those resources, and the funding to bootstrap the entire chains of resource extraction and processing, but if the raw materials are there, then the potential is there.

    Will? Soon? Not fully self sustaining. You could look to build a colony that can produce basics - water, air, staple food, rocket fuel, energy - locally, but they'll be doing it using equipment shipped from Earth, that will need spares etc from Earth, and they'd still need a whole bunch of enabling material shipped out. So it would be partly self-sustaining; I guess the question you're really asking is to what degree.

The meat is rotten, but the booze is holding out. Computer translation of "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."