Originally posted by whodey
I have an tremendous sense of adventure. In fact, as a lad I wanted to go.
However, over the years I've questioned my previous enthusiasm. Why? It's because I've come to the realization that the solar system is lifeless. Can life be brought to a dead planet? It's hard enough to live under the ocean where life exists here on earth.
I guess my mind b do it? Psychologically, if nothing else, I think it would be devestaing to our species.
You have come to the realization the solar system is lifeless? Where did you get that idea? There are indications of the machinations of life on several planets and moons, for instance, the methane emission of mars, at the rate of decay if not replaced, it would have been gone eons ago, but we still measure methane today, it's 50/50 whether it's life but you can't say out of hand it ISN'T life, could be volcanic activity but my bet is on life.
The same thing goes for some of the moons of Jupiter and Saturn, there are colors there on the ice of say, Europa, that could be life oriented, upwelling of water from vast underground oceans, in fact more water there than on the Earth and that implies an energy source to keep that water from freezing.
We already know all it takes in the ocean is an upwelling of hot water and life forms around it, sticking around even after the heat stops, evolving to use less energy. There is even indications of anomalies in the UV pattern of the upper clouds of Venus where one explanation is clouds of bacteria floating way above the hell that is the lower atmosphere and surface close to 1000 degrees F and that atmosphere with a high concentration of sulfuric acid at a pressure seen on Earth inside pressurized bottles of gasses, like 1500 pounds per square inch, no life forms we can think of could start there much less evolve.
It is way early to conclude out of hand the rest of the solar system is lifeless.
The big question for me is, if found, say on Europa, is it made up of Earthy DNA or is it something totally alien to us?
If we colonized Mars, say, why would there be any psychological impact on Earth people? I would think people would be happy to know we would survive if we were hit by a comet that may have taken out 80% of the life on Earth, several times in our extreme past. If that were to happen on Earth and enough time had been spent making a Mars colony self sufficient, human life would go on and with whatever level of technology that happened to be around when the big one hits Earth.
Psychological impact of the colonists? For sure, the first colonies, whether Lunar or Mars, would need to be underground simply because that is the easiest way to protect against solar flares attacking a planet with little in the way of magnetic field protection like Earth.
It would probably be like that for a long time on either world but there are ways to technologically give a planet a magnetic field for protection and we know right now there are areas on Mars that are already protected with localized magnetic fields which can deflect solar storms, but eventually we can make a magnetic shield just like Earth's or even stronger with superconducting fields which don't even need energy once in place, just the energy to keep the coils cold.
It would be an insurance policy we may never have to collect on but like most humans, we have insurance so if the unthinkable happens to us personally, we have some backup.