Saturday, November 19, 2016

NatGeo and USA Today publish primers on colonizing Mars

National Geographic and USA Today have major issues dealing with Mars, especially with Elon Musk’s idea of starting colonization in 2033.

The NatGeo issue (“Race to the Red Planet”) supplements the television series that premiered Nov. 14 and places great emphasis on the health of passengers in the 6-month journey.  It says that theoretically some of the health risks could be overcome with a centrifugal force wheel arrangement providing a kind of artificial gravity.

The NatGeo issue also has an atlas of both sides of Mars, and diagrams showing how the living quarters would be laid out.  They might be constructed inside lava tbes.  NatGeo implies that small fission reactors could provide power.  This gives some credibility to Taylor Wilson’s idea that the Earth’s power grids could be made more secure by decentralization using small fission reactors as supplemental sources.  That’s an idea that the new Trump administration could actually take seriously.

The NatGeo issue also has an interesting issue on octopuses, among the most intelligent of invertebrate animals.

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