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Physics, the Universe and Colonizing Mars

Updated on March 25, 2015
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Colonizing Mars is a Reality

In May 2013, I was happy to hear the announcement of the Nebula Award bestowed upon author Kim Stanley Robinson. He had won the award already for Red Mars in 1993. Twenty years later, he won for 2312 that he published in 2012. His novels are likely the best we have currently for describing what life on Mars and farther into the universe will entail.

Robinson is the author of the very detailed, fully researched, and engagingly written Red Mars Trilogy. He found out just how to colonize Mars, bring air and water to the planet's surface, and then speculated on what politico-social dynamics would follow. The trilogy is fully believable and the future will reveal whether the books manifest into real life, as did many of the gadgets and inventions we have drawn from the Star Trek® universe via NASA.

The trio of books is so lifelike in story and data used that it reads like exciting nonfiction. Written in the 1990s, the trilogy is still ahead of its time from 2015 - 2020. NASA's current class of eight astronauts, the separate Mars One and Buzz Aldrin's "Get Your Ass to Mars" campaign plan to be on Mars before 2035 and perhaps as early as 2020. Another mission, privately funded, aims for 2018.

They would all do well to read the Robinson trilogy. It and a few other remarkable books will help them to understand the physics of the universe, the social, psychological, and political implications of exploring it, and how to move forward through it all.

Discovering new worlds and new civilizations - and also creating them.
Discovering new worlds and new civilizations - and also creating them. | Source
2312
2312

Set 300 years into the future after its release in 2012, this novel largely plays out on Mercury. In 2014 - 2015, it is interesting that NASA and the Commercial Crew was developing habitats for the atmosphere around Venus and Mercury. Robinson's book shows what paths humans might take once off the Earth and this includes longevity, a continuum of genders, new types of AI and several other fascinating concepts.

 

Is this our universe?

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I think that looking at an atom and looking at the universe are like looking through either end of a telescope.

We must understand the universe in order to explore it.

Similarities: The Atom, the Solar System, the Universe, and the Computer World

The farther down into the concepts of science and information I gaze, the more I see the structure of the solar system and the similar structure of atoms of the Periodic Table. Everything is a solar system arrangement in my mind.

I hope these concepts can help humankind settle Mars, overcome the physical and psychological barriers of long-tern outer space life, and continue as far out into the universe as it wants to achieve.

I think that author Charles Seife and his nonfiction book Decoding the Universe affirm my opinion. This book flows well and suits students, science professionals, and science hobbyists. It contains enough complexity to keep readers interested and questioning, without putting them off the work.

If it were psychology instead of physics, I'd say it was somewhere between Psychology Today and the new APA Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5.

Physics and Travel Time

Decoding the Universe considers computer information science (CIS) in relation to known physics, from Newton and Einstein through the "everything" theories we have received in the 21st century.

The book provides an easy to follow explanation for the Schrödinger's Cat paradox, the speed of light (which may not be a constant) and other concepts and theories with which students in physics classes have some difficult.

Perhaps the universe is a computer. We think it is probably non-spherical, multi-dimensional, and possibly shaped like a Mobias strip. A set of laws of physics and mathematics govern our universe. Is that true of other universes and/or dimensions? By understanding those laws of our own universe, we might be able to discover others.

NASA scientists at the John Glenn Center in Cleveland, Ohio have been working on breaking the speed of light and teleporting photons for several years. Might these two breakthroughs help us cut the time it takes to fly to Mars (four to seven months)?

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Time Saving on the Long Flight to Mars

The Gilbreths in Cheaper by the Dozen were experts at cutting the time of tasks in the workplace and in the home, while maintaining good results. We need that type of input for cutting the time it requires to fly to Mars and the Asteroid Belt just beyond it, if we are to successfully settle Mars and mine those asteroids.

Before the US began using Russia's Soyuz ships to travel to the International Space Station in just six hours, the American space shuttles required several times that amount of time. The answer is to your our Spaceport in Alaska, which is at approximately the same latitude at the Soyuz launch site. The higher latitude cuts the time significantly. The Mars question is not so simple to answer., but the physics is there and the fiction and nonfiction books exist that can help scientists to discover that answer.

I canna' change the laws of physics.

— Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott, USS Enterprise 1701

Is Information Physical?

The author of Decoding the Universe suggests that a it of information or data is physical. This suggests that it has weight and takes up space. Can this help is in space travel?

Another interesting concept discussed in the book is that we know that information bits for the computer universe are expressed as either 0 or 1. Mr. Seife suggests further that DNA sequences are series of these 0's and 1's (no charge and charged; off or on). In 2015, we are hearing about methods for editing DNA in humans and about court suits pending against their use.

Even further, Seife posits that the math formulas for the expansion of gases are the same as for the transmission of information. By this notion, the Big Bang throughout bits of information.This causes me to ask whether humans are made up of many bits of information that may one day be capable of surviving in transporter travel. Se already have Star Trek's® Tricorder, completed in 2013 and called Scanadu at NASA. Transporter travel may not be impossible.

If we can combine the information in the "Red Mars Trilogy" with that of "Decoding the Universe", we may be able to cut the time required to travel to Mars, the Asteroid Belt beyond it, and outward. We may also be able to solve some of the serious challenges of settling communities on the Moon and Mars.

A form of transportation and habitat that may be used on the Moon. Similar conveyances operate in Antarctica and the Arctic. The UK is a leader in this type of vehicle.
A form of transportation and habitat that may be used on the Moon. Similar conveyances operate in Antarctica and the Arctic. The UK is a leader in this type of vehicle. | Source

© 2015 Patty Inglish MS

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    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 

      3 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Patty

      I think using the ISS for future missions deeper into our solar system were always planned. One proposal was that it would be the assembly platform for future spacecraft (the modules shipped up and assembled at the ISS) and as for it being the refuge of different groups isn't that what the early settlers in the USA did?

      Amusing thought though

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      3 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      @FitnezzJim - Oh, you are making me laugh on this beautiful Saturday!!

      Conspiracy theories can be funny and I'd like to see an exact formula for humor. Most entertaining! Repubs all going to Mars? Wonderful - planets populated by political party - Russia goes to Jupiter. Libertarians to Moon (is a Harsh Mistress), since author Heinlain was a libertarian. How about Independents?

    • FitnezzJim profile image

      FitnezzJim 

      3 years ago from Fredericksburg, Virginia

      This was a good read. I have to admit I burst out laughing at the line "Seife posits that the math formulas for the expansion of gases are the same as for the transmission of information", because my first thought was that his explains the proliferation of conspiracy theories.

      Does this mean that sense of humor might follow the same math formula?

      Also .. Mars - red planet - dust - one for each party - old - too funny - rust - can't type - my sides hurt.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      3 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Hi, ajwrites57 -

      Thank you for reading! I just heard that at least one module on the ISS will be shifted to another part of the station soon, so I think that means expansion is planned for a larger number of modules than we thought previously. This makes a sensible platform for reaching the moon and Mars, as you suggest. It might make a good way station for launching even further, beyond Mars to the asteroid field as well, for mining.

      The Red Mars trilogy is incredible in detail, but the books are longer than many novels - hard to read them all at once. I think they give a realistic view of what might happen out there. I hope you enjoy the rest of Red Mars!

    • ajwrites57 profile image

      AJ 

      3 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Patty, started Red Mars but got stalled. Thanks for the encouragement to pick it up again. Big shame we haven't invested in space colonization. What about expanding and using the ISS to launch to Mars? Enjoyed reading your Hub.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      3 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      I recently saw some slimmer spacesuit designs, so that's an improvement. At least the trip to the ISS takes only 6 hours now.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 

      3 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      It's just one of the challenges of long term space flight. What do you do with the things the crew need but are not essential to the operation of the craft

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      3 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      @lawrence01 - I suppose that's why we have a new field and new jobs in spacesuit design. The bulkiness of US suits and the layers underneath would make me panic in the confines of a space capsule - especially that snug elastic hood; Scott Kelly is smart to have a shaved head.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 

      3 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      I've never really been one for fashion sense. But then again I don't think space suits are for fashion but at $20 million US each I don't think even myHP earnings will stretch that far!

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      3 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      @lawrence01 - LOL! All that space gear and the suit one must wear look crazy-making. I'd be like a little kid with too many winter clothes on in a hot store. How about you?

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 

      3 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      They do give you a respirator (the space helmet) that acts as a gas mask. But getting your money back for faulty one might be a challenge!

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      3 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      That's certainly something to think about and I'll ask Buzz Aldrin his opinion. He'll probably come up with a solution.

    • Insane Mundane profile image

      Insane Mundane 

      3 years ago from Earth

      Let's just hope that planet Mars doesn't smell like rotten eggs on the surface, much like a lot of the other sulfuric planetary grounds my fellow extraterrestrials have landed on before; ha-ha! I'd rather see weird-looking humanoid figures crawling on the planet upon my landing, as opposed to smelling an ongoing fart that never ends once I get there. Hey, don't look at me... Some planets are really like that. LOL!

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      3 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Yes, some people seem to be in a big hurry for Mars, like Tito the billionaire. I think it will take 100 years to make the place habitable.

    • ReviewsfromSandy profile image

      Sandy Mertens 

      3 years ago from Wisconsin

      I had to laugh at the photo that Mars is covered with rust. Not sure if in our lifetime we will see Mars colonized and if it is actually possible.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      3 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      I saw that in the news a while back. Crowd sourcing is a miracle of funding the Dutch should try - Planetary Resources raised $2 million in 24 hours for space telescopes we all can use soon. I think the Dutch reality show might peter out as people lose interest in watching it over the years, but maybe not. A billionaire who went to the ISS plans to at least fly two people past Mars in 2018. If the new fission engine works, then it will take only 39 days instead of 7 months to arrive. Fascinating!

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 

      3 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      What was science fiction twenty years ago (the internet, Skype etc) is fact now that we are all using. Maybe Missions to Mars might be science fiction now but it twenty years they could well be fact!

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 

      3 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      One thing I heard on the news here(and it wasn't in April 1st) was a Dutch reality TV company planning a reality TV show about the first expedition to Mars. It would be a one way trip and budgeted at 8 billion euros (Nasa says the budget is too small and will be more like 16 billion) scheduled for around 2024. They have had thousands of applicants and are down to the final 100 !

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      3 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Red Mars and the two sequels in the trilogy are incredible, but there are more as well. I'm glad you dropped by.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 

      3 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      I've read Ben Bova's story 'Mars' but not this one. I'll have to look out for it

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      3 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      @FlourishAnyway - That certainly seems to be the case. Our universe seems to have a set of mathematical laws, all of which have not been discovered. We enjoyed experimental mathematics in high school, but today's NASA Cleveland branch may learn how to cross dimensions of time with mathematics. Exciting and powerful notions.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      3 years ago from USA

      I am compelled by the idea that math underlies everything.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      3 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Graham, you make me smile! A smile is better than physics.

    • old albion profile image

      Graham Lee 

      3 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hi Patty. You really touched a few bases here to say the least. All very interesting but I am afraid it was to deep for my understanding. Oh well aged 71 and all that. Tip Top.

      Graham.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      3 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Oh, haha, I just got that one. lol. good one!

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 

      3 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      So Mars would be the Red planet?

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      3 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      You have my vote on that!

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 

      3 years ago

      I wish them well, too and I like the idea of separate planets because we simply can't get along on this one.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      3 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      A new planet for each political party perhaps? :) Anyway, I wish the Mars explorers well.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 

      3 years ago

      Thanks for this fascinating hub. Colonizing Mars may be a necessity if things get any worse on Earth!

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      3 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      That is a remarkable binge! I am reading a dozen books on one topic now and my eyes are protesting.

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 

      3 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Patty - I went through a stage where I read all of Heinlein. I was a binge reader.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      3 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Thanks for the posts to this thread, Everyone!

      @Theresa Jonathan - I hear that many people are looking at spiritual aspects of physics. You may really be on to something.

      @Larry Rankin - It will take a lot of work to colonize Mars and bring air and plant life in, but people are willing to try.

      @Mike - Drat! It still looked like an "f" to me, until I removed my glasses. I want that serum Dr. McCoy had for adjusting vision - Retinax. Have you read "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress"? It's my favorite Heinlein.

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 

      3 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Patty - It looks like an interesting century lay right ahead of us. I recently heard about people signing up for a one way trip to Mars. Robert A. Heinlein would be proud.

      You have very diverse interests. You also have 'like' for 'life' in the fourth sentence.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 

      3 years ago from Oklahoma

      Early evidence would suggest Mars could be colonized,

      Interesting outlook.

    • Theresa Jonathan profile image

      Theresa Jonathan 

      3 years ago from Maseru, Lesotho

      Very challenging Hub! We live in the era of great revelations of our environment and beyond. The red planet is surely interesting. Generally I discovered that reading about the principles of quantum physics open my spiritual eyes to understand my relationship with the universe.

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