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TSS未来系列:殖民火星,建立新世界

FUTURES – Welcome To ‘New World’, Earth’s Colony On Planet Mars

本文含有虚构性写作,请保持独立思考

by Rhodilee Jean Dolor

2085年,由各国政府和私人公司组成的监督世界空间技术和探索的协会BEC成功地将第一批人类探险家送上了火星。

In 2085, Beyond Earth Consortium (BEC), an association of national governments and private companies that oversee the world’s space technologies and explorations, successfully sent the first batch of human explorers to Mars. 

在地球越来越依赖核聚变能量的情况下,宇航员和工程师们被派去研究开采氘的可行性,他们接受了多年的外星生存训练。这次任务还包括对矿物进行取样,以缓解地球上开发更快更好的电子设备所需的资源短缺问题。

Astronauts and engineers trained for years to survive on alien terrains were sent to investigate the viability of mining deuterium amid Earth’s growing dependence on fusion power. The mission also involved sampling minerals with the potential to alleviate the shortage of resources needed for the development of faster and better electronic equipment on Earth.

17年后,第23次火星载人飞行将为这颗红色星球带来一批新的太空旅行者——人类殖民者。继2085年先锋1号任务期间成功开发资源之后,BEC将目光投向了一个更雄心勃勃的项目:在火星上建立人类定居点。

17 years later, the 23rd manned mission to Mars is bringing a new set of space travelers to the Red Planet – human colonizers. Following the successful exploitation of resources during the 2085 Pioneer 1 Mission, the BEC set its eyes on a more ambitious project: Establishing a human settlement on Mars.

在那里建立一个新的定居点不再是一个梦想。在地球形势日益恶化的情况下,这是一种必然。21世纪初,世界人口处于一个稳定的轨道上,但在2020年COVID-19流感大流行之后,一场婴儿潮如滚雪球般席卷了一个粮食和资源日益短缺的拥挤世界。

Building a new settlement there is no longer a dream. It is now a necessity amid worsening situation on Earth. The world’s population was on a stable trajectory in the early 21st century, but following the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, a baby boom happened that snowballed into a congested world with a growing shortage of food and resources. 

气候变化导致海平面上升,陆地面积不断缩小,人口爆炸加剧。随着越来越多的人需要更多的燃料、电力和其他资源,从而释放出更多的地球变暖气体,碳排放量不断增加,推动了这一循环。

The exploding population is exacerbated by shrinking land area amid rising sea level caused by climate change, a cycle driven by increased emission of carbon as the growing number of people requires more fuel, electricity and other resources that release more of the planet-warming gas. 

这种情况导致粮食生产农业区变得更小。曾经是森林和野生动物的广阔区域,现在变成了高度城市化的土地,摩天大楼高得吓人。

The situation translates into smaller agricultural areas for food production. What used to be vast areas for forests and wildlife were converted into highly-urbanized lands with dangerously high skyscrapers.

2102年2月15日,世界各国领导人和成千上万的祝福者聚集在佛罗里达州卡纳维拉尔角,为25名勇敢的男女送行,开启火星新世界。

On February 15, 2102, the world’s leaders and thousands of well-wishers gathered in Cape Canaveral, Florida to send off  25 brave men and women to begin a new world on Mars. 

他们建造新殖民地的任务能否成功,在很大程度上取决于几十年前有关太空探索和生存的工作。

Whether or not their mission to build a new colony becomes successful relies heavily on decades-old works on space exploration and survival. 

太空技术现状
Current State Of Space Technology

与此同时,在2020年,研究项目正在进行,以准备人类征服这颗红色星球。就载人火星计划而言,目前的空间技术可能仍处于发展阶段,但这些技术可能为更先进的工具和技术铺平道路,使火星殖民地的想法在未来成为现实。

Meanwhile, in 2020, research projects are underway to prepare humanity’s conquest of the Red Planet. Current space technologies may still be in their developmental stages in terms of plans to send people to Mars, but these could pave way to more advanced tools and know-how that can make the idea of the Martian colony a reality in the future. 

交通与运输
Transportation 

美国国家航空航天局(NASA)目前正率先开发将人类运送到火星的旅程。它目前正在研制一种新型的重型运载火箭和航天器,包括空间发射系统(SLS)。

NASA now spearheads efforts in developing journeys that will ferry humans to Mars. It is currently working on a new breed of heavy-launch rockets and spacecraft, including the Space Launch System (SLS)

SLS的设想是将其乘客发射到顺月空间(绕月),这将把太空旅行者带到与月球轨道平台网关(LOP-G)轨道站相连的深空运输系统(DST)。DST将在一个月的旅程中搭载宇航员前往火星。

SLS is envisioned to launch its passengers into cislunar space (around the Moon), which will bring the space travelers to the Deep Space Transport (DST) attached to the Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway (LOP-G) orbiting station. The DST will then carry the astronauts to Mars in a month-long journey.

SpaceX公司也在研制星舰星际飞船和超重型火箭,这将使大量的货物和乘客能够从地球运送到火星表面。该系统还将允许直接前往火星执行任务。

SpaceX is also working on Starship spacecraft and Super Heavy rocket that will enable the transportation of large quantities of cargo and passengers from Earth to the Martian surface.  The system will also allow for direct missions to Mars. 

根据SpaceX的说法,星舰是一个完全可重复使用的运输系统,它将把人和货物运送到地球轨道、月球和火星。它的设计能力是将超过100公吨的有效载荷运送到地球轨道。

According to SpaceX, Starship is a fully reusable transportation system that will carry people and cargo to Earth’s orbit, the Moon, and planet Mars. It is designed with the capacity to carry payload in excess of 100 metric tonnes to Earth’s orbit.

可持续生存
Sustainable Living

火星殖民地需要创新,使长期生存在这个星球上成为可能。研究人员目前正在研究的技术之一是如何让人类在火星上呼吸氧气。

A Mars colony requires innovations that will make long-term survival on the planet possible. One of the technologies that researchers are currently working on is how to enable humans to breathe oxygen on Mars. 

地球的大气层由21%的氧气组成,而火星的大气层中含有96%的二氧化碳和不到0.2%的氧气,这意味着火星上的人类如果直接呼吸地球上的空气,就会窒息。

Earth’s atmosphere is composed of 21% oxygen, while Mars’ atmosphere contains 96% carbon dioxide and less than 0.2% oxygen, meaning that humans on Mars will suffocate if they directly breathe the air on the planet.

从地球运送氧气罐既昂贵又低效,因此这就是火星氧气ISRU实验(MOXIE)的用武之地。

Shipping tanks of oxygen from Earth will be costly and inefficient, so this is where the Mars Oxygen ISRU Experiment (MOXIE) comes in.

MOXIE将通过电解系统将火星大气中丰富的二氧化碳转化为氧气,电解系统将分子分解成可呼吸的空气。MOXIE是计划于2021年2月着陆的“火星2020”任务中的有效载荷之一,它将在实际环境中测试这项技术。

MOXIE will convert the abundant carbon dioxide in the Martian atmosphere into oxygen by pumping the gas through an electrolysis system that breaks up the molecules into breathable air. MOXIE is one of the payloads included in the Mars 2020 mission, scheduled to land in February 2021, that will test the technology in real setting.

美国航天局称,此次任务将测试莫西专门生产氧气的反向燃料电池系统的可行性,该系统将成为火星上大型制氧厂的重要前身。

According to NASA, the mission will test the viability of MOXIE’s specialized reverse fuel cell system for producing oxygen, which will serve as a crucial precursor to larger oxygen production plants on planet Mars. 

火星对植物的环境明显比地球恶劣。首先,火星离太阳的距离比地球远,因此它接收到的光更少,而像蔬菜这样的植物需要光合作用。

Mars is notably a harsher environment to plants than Earth. For one, the planet lies further from the sun than Earth, so it receives less light, which plants like vegetables need for photosynthesis. 

为太空生物工程利用中心(CUBES)工作的研究人员旨在利用火星上富含二氧化碳的空气、表土、阳光、冰水和人类排泄物,使火星农业成为可能。

Researchers working for the Center for the Utilization of Biological Engineering in Space (CUBES) aim to make farming on Mars possible with just the planet’s carbon dioxide-rich air, regolith, sunlight, ice water, and human waste.

CUBES研究人员正研发一种利用一定范围的光将二氧化碳和水转化为食物的作物。他们正在努力减少作物所需的水量,同时提高产量。

CUBES researchers are engineering crops that use a range of light to convert carbon dioxide and water into food. They are working on reducing the amount of water that crops need while increasing yields.

研究人员还希望解决新殖民地居民生病的问题。CUBES的食品和药物合成部门正在使用基因编辑工具CRISPR生产莴苣,莴苣可以作为抗生素或止痛药。

The researchers also want to address instances when inhabitants of the new colony get sick. CUBES’ Food and Pharmaceutical Synthesis Division is using the gene-editing tool CRISPR to produce lettuce that can serve as an antibiotic or a pain killer. 

CUBES的负责人亚当·阿金说:“我们的想法是利用废物回收和现有资源生产食品、药品和轻质建筑材料。”。“这个(CUBES)系统应该能够支持9名宇航员在地球上近一年的食物和药品需求,除了阳光和二氧化碳什么都不用。”

“The idea is to be able to produce food, pharmaceuticals, and light building materials using waste recycling and the resources that are already there,” said CUBES director Adam Arkin. “The [CUBES] system should be able to support nine astronauts for their food and pharmaceutical needs over nearly a year on-planet using nothing but sunlight and carbon dioxide.”

除了CUBES系统,科学家们还研究了在火星上种植作物的其他方法。例如,月球/火星温室的原型使用水培温室和受控的环境系统,类似于国际空间站(ISS)上的那些用于种植植物和农作物的系统。据从事该项目的肯尼迪高级生命支持研究首席科学家雷·惠勒(Ray Wheeler)说,他的团队已经成功地利用LED电光源种植植物。

Besides the CUBES system, scientists also look into other ways to grow crops on Mars. The Prototype Lunar/Mars Greenhouse, for instance, uses hydroponic greenhouses and controlled environmental systems, similar to those onboard the International Space Station (ISS) to grow plants and crops. According to Kennedy Advanced Life Support Research lead scientist Ray Wheeler, who is working on the project, his team has already successfully used electric LED lighting to grow plants. 

在火星等效土壤上进行试验的研究人员还利用美国宇航局开发的模拟风化土成功地种植和收获了水芹、芝麻菜、西红柿、萝卜、黑麦、奎奴亚韭菜、豌豆和韭菜。

Researchers who experiment on Mars-equivalent soil have also successfully planted and harvested garden cress, arugula, tomato, radish, rye, quinoa chives, pea, and leek using regolith simulants developed by NASA. 

伤害防护
Protection From Elements

火星上的住宅需要经受住恶劣的地表条件,保护居民免受严寒、低压和高辐射的影响。

Homes on planet Mars need to weather the harsh surface conditions and protect inhabitants from extreme cold, low pressure, and high radiation.

洛桑埃科尔理工学院(EPFL)的科学家提议在火星表面建造一座巨大的冰屋,作为外星世界北极长期自我维持的栖息地。研究小组设计了41英尺高,16英尺宽的圆顶,有一个中央生活空间和三个胶囊舱室,作为内外之间的气闸。该栖息地将使用聚乙烯纤维建造,并被包裹在10英尺厚的冰壳中,以保护居民免受辐射和微流星体的伤害。由于两极有冰,那些在这里建立栖息地的人可以生产水、氮和氧,还可以利用空气和土壤中的二氧化碳制造砖块和玻璃。

Scientists from the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) proposed building a giant igloo on the Martian surface as a long-term self-sustaining habitat on the alien world’s North Pole. The team designed the 41 feet-tall, 16 feet-wide dome to have a central living space and three capsules, which would serve as airlocks between the inside and out. The habitat would be built using polyethylene fiber and encased in a 10 feet-thick shell of ice that would protect the inhabitants against radiation and micrometeoroids. Since there is ice at the poles, those who set up their habitat here could produce water, nitrogen and oxygen, as well as use carbon dioxide in the air and soil to make bricks and glass.

另一个火星房屋设计是由人工智能太空工厂提出的。这家总部位于纽约的公司开发的“玛莎栖息地”(Marsha habitation)最终获得了美国宇航局(NASA)3D打印栖息地挑战赛(3D Printed habitation Challenge)的最高奖,该比赛旨在为深空探索建立栖息地。玛莎采用了一项创新,将利用在火星表面发现的材料。

Another Mars housing design was proposed by AI SpaceFactory. The New York-based firm’s Marsha habitat eventually took home the top prize in NASA’s 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge, a competition that aimed to build a habitat for deep space exploration.  Marsha uses an innovation that will utilize materials found on the Martian surface.

该公司在一份声明中说:“我们的印刷品在30小时内几乎不需要人工协助就完成了自动化,而且我们的创新生物聚合物玄武岩复合材料(一种从火星上发现的天然材料中提取的可生物降解和可回收材料)也受到了赞扬。”。

“We were lauded for the automation of our print – completed with nearly no human assistance in 30 hours – as well as our innovative biopolymer basalt composite, a biodegradable and recyclable material derived from natural materials found on Mars,” AI SpaceFactory said in a statement. 

“在经受了美国宇航局的压力、烟雾和撞击试验后,人们发现这种材料比它的混凝土竞争者更坚固耐用。”

“After withstanding NASA’s pressure, smoke, and impact testing, this material was found to be stronger and more durable than its concrete competitors.”

实现殖民火星之梦
Making Real The Dream Of An Earth Colony On Mars

使殖民火星之梦之成为可能所需的空间技术今天可能仍处于初级阶段,但它们可能为扩大规模和更复杂的系统铺平道路,这些系统将会推动人类在太阳系其他地方居住和建造家园。

The space technologies needed to make this possible may still be in their infancy today, but they may pave the way to scaled-up and more sophisticated systems that can lead to humans living and building their homes elsewhere in the Solar System. 

未来一代有选择居住在其他行星上的可能似乎遥遥无期,但我们可以从航空工业中得到启示:

The possibility that the future generation will have the option to reside on the fourth planet may seem to be far out this time, but we can draw inspiration from the aeronautics industry: 

莱特兄弟第一次驾驶飞机是在1903年,但在短短的十多年时间里,飞机演变成了一种更为复杂的机器,可以操纵,甚至可以在第一次世界大战期间使用。

The Wright brothers first flew their aircraft in 1903, but in just over a decade, the airplane evolved into a more sophisticated machine capable of being maneuvered and even used during World War I.

到1969年,人类成功地将自己送上月球,这是从本世纪初航空动力飞行的卑微开端以来的巨大飞跃。

By 1969, mankind managed to land humans on the moon, a giant leap from the humble beginnings of air-powered flight at the beginning of the century.

到2085年甚至更早,火星可能不再只是我们的近邻行星。随着人类航天技术的不断进步,这颗红色星球可能成为我们的新世界,人类在地球之外的新殖民地。

By 2085 and even earlier, Mars may no longer be our neighbor planet. As mankind continues to advance its space technologies, the Red Planet could be our new world, humanity’s new colony beyond Earth.

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