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Is Elon Musk's Goal REALISTIC? 1 Million People To Mars by 2050?



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Being excited for the future of human expansion in space I was curious to understand how much effort is necessary to make things possible. After weeks of research, I was shocked to find out that there are much bigger problems when it comes to farming on mars than just soil, bacteria, fertilizer, and gravity.
Forget about everything you heard so far. How scientists were able to grow crops under “Martian conditions” on Earth. Farming on mars is a much bigger setback than I previously thought, and the 1 million people mark depends entirely on this possibility.
In this video we will dive deeper into what it really takes to farm on mars beyond what has been already discussed. And why 1 million people on mars by 2050 maybe unrealistic.

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References
Methanation
https://www.storeandgo.info/demonstration-sites/germany/index.html
http://www.helmeth.eu/index.php/technologies/methanation-process
https://learn.openenergymonitor.org/sustainable-energy/energy/sabatier-process
Growing plants vertical farming
https://ifarm.fi/blog/2020/12/how-much-electricity-does-a-vertical-farm-consume
Solar Energy
https://explainingscience.org/2019/03/09/solar-energy/
Agricultural carbon sequestration
https://www.yankton.net/life/article_eb501b0e-bc32-11e6-9285-03d7368af7c0.html
Cryocooler
https://www.sunpowerinc.com/-/media/project/ameteksxa/sunpower/ameteksunpower/updated-datasheets/sunpower-cryotel-mt-datasheet.pdf?la=en&revision=281ce19c-1b5d-4522-a8d7-efd607f66163&hash=2C295D8BBC61C20D7775E9199AD7FB42

Softwares Used:
Blender 2.8 EEVEE
Apple Motion
Final Cut Pro X

21 Comments

  1. Hes been smoking too much crak , there wont be anyone on mars by even 2100 , too much radiation too much time to get there and litterly no benafit

  2. All conclusions end simple answer if u have enough power source u do whatever u can. Fusion. Space solar. That maybe future. And pactrical fission power reactor small modular need 100tw engry per day..battery co2 battery or nucler battery

  3. Putting anyone on Mars is a challenge. I think we (e.g. the people of Earth) are probably approaching the point where we could create a million colony on Mars if we really wanted to. At a minimum though it would take collaboration between all the high tech nations and oceans of money. There's no way one company, even one with pockets as deep as SpaceX, is setting up a million person colony on Mars. More importantly though, Elon's stated reasons for setting up a Mars colony are brain dead (at the moment). Yes, we're screwing up this planet but even if we totally trash this planet for the next hundred years and turn it into a nuclear wasteland it'll still be a better place to live than Mars. And don't forget that the colony on Mars will be reliant on high tech manufacturing, if Earth fails the colony will fail. I hate to think how many people would be required to replicate, for example, chip manufacturing on Mars.

  4. While this is certainly interesting analysis, the core argument is flawed. Once you grow your first round of corn, you don't need any extra CO2. The carbon you used in the first round of plant growing is not going to disappear. Some of the carbon will be consumed by humans and turned back into CO2. Most of it will become the plant material(leaves, stem, roots), wich will be composted. Eg. consumed by bacteria and fungi, turning it back into CO2. The whole system is closed loop. Once you will the loop, no additional carbon is needed. Same with water, fertiliser, … You only need to keep adding energy(light). No new matter required.

  5. There won't be a single human being living on Mars by 2050. Not one. Not actually living there. I'd bet the farm on that.

  6. we will not be able to have a colonies of more than 20 people on mars for at time, small colonies maybe works, but i doubt having cities there.

  7. I mean I've always found it unrealistic. The main issue alone being enough rocket launches, materials, we need seeds for people, and Biosphere 2 shows how much land it takes just to sustain a few people. You need land nearly 10 times larger for people. We will likely also need artificial sun light to grow crops as the sun is vastly dimmer.

  8. I agree with your conclusion, but not with your reasoning.
    You're leaving out of the calculation a few things that emanate from the fact, that the Mars colony would be a closed system:
    1. Humans breathe out CO2 (average 1kg per person per day) and water vapour (roughly 1,2kg) enriched air. Those can be scrubbed from the air
    2. Only small part of all the crops will be consumed as food. The rest can be composted or burned to return big part of the CO2 and water accumulated
    3. Water does not disappear. Humans breathe it out, plants evaporate, soil evaporates.
    4. Mars colony does not have to be under 1ATM pressure. Roughly 500-600 millibars would suffice. And you can install your first settlement in the deepest parts of the Hellas Planitia, where the air pressure is double the one on the surface (12,4 mbar vs ~6 mbar).

    I agree with you, that the timeline is completely unrealistic, but not due to the reasons cited in your video, but due to extreme hardship of creating an industrial basis necessary for near-vacuum habitat construction from the scratch. It's not only mining and metals, but also seals, carpets, wire insulators, all sorts of plastics, special rubbers etc. You need smelters, chemical factories etc. Everything without any hint of oil or natural gas reserves (which are the source materials in most cases) meaning, that we have an almost solely mineral planet. That means all of the materials, that include organic chemistry, need to be made from CO2. Most probably through turning it into CH4 first.

    And then there's the question of furniture. We use a lot of wood. Replacing that with metal, ceramics and concrete is possible, but turns life there something resembling a prison. And then the upholstery. All sorts of synthetic yarns need to be manufactured at scale. Imagine all the chemical factories needed to create polyurethane foam on Mars (and that is a simple chemistry). And then you need fire retardants. And sewing factories, that need yarn, belts, oil etc.

    I think, from the Martian raw materials, the biggest problematic chemical element is the Nitrogen. You need a lot of that for any meaningful crops production and there is only 2,5% of it in this very thin Martian atmosphere.

  9. This video has a few of basic problems. Like missing measure units, not considering vertical farming and relying on a single crop.

  10. There are a lot of things that are a lot harder to do on Mars than most people will admit. You're going to get a lot of hate coming back at you on this one since for many Musk is a cult figure who offers hope no matter how unreasonable the premise.

  11. Space colonization is not a process for the people on Earth, it's more of an existential almost philosophically question. You couldn't move everyone even if you've tried, the birthrate on earth is much higher, than the transportation rate, and, eventually, the birthrate there will have become higher, than the transportation rate anyway. Even if the birthrate on earth is limited by environmental conditions, the poors will die out regardless.
    But more like a colony of 10 by 2050 is realistic, the rest is speculation.

  12. I just watched a video about nuclear Diamond battery that must is working on. See my comments below look it up on YouTube.

  13. Nuclear power would be the only way that a Mars colony would work that's another obvious thing I would think. You don't want to rely on mirrors and the like it's definitely not enough sunlight to do anything there.