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What technology would you propose?

Posted by: Ekkehard Augustin - Wed Feb 23, 2005 2:40 pm
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What technology would you propose? 
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Post    Posted on: Thu Feb 24, 2005 4:30 pm
campbelp2002 wrote:
Unfortunately the lowest place on Mars is the Hellas basin, which is an impact crater and not a water feature.
http://www.solarviews.com/eng/mars3d.htm


Shame, but I suppose the impact could have been made by a comet which has left some ice buried beneath the surface.

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Post    Posted on: Thu Feb 24, 2005 5:34 pm
To avoid increases of requirement considerations about moving the water or ice of the detected sea to other places or locations like the deep canyon should be avoided. It would be interesting, by which properties, signs and so on other seas could be identified - but this should be left to the researches during this thread.

A first permanent Mars station and the point of beginning of any settlement or colonization should be where the sea and its ice or water currently is.

So the technologies of interest are technologies that could prevent sublimation and loss at th sea's current location. Also technologies to make use of its water for living are of interest as well as technologies to remove unknown microbes, martian microbes before use for drinking, eating, washing and the like.

The sea is protected against radiation and sublimation by dust as it seems currently - this protection has to be kept and improved artificially. Beneath such shield-like protections something has to be done to get liquid water and an earth-like ciyclical movement of water - a substitute for weather and rivers for example perhaps.

There is a special relation that could increase the probability of success.70% of the earthian surface is covered by oceans and 30% is covered by land - and habitated by men. From these 30% deserts, rivers, seas and cities, towns, villages should be subtracted. The result may be the maximum area that should be used for agriculture, fabrics, launch sites and so on. That percentage that is covered by cities etc. on Earth could be used for habitats. Finally all this has to be corrected for the large differences in volume between the total of the earthian oceans, rivers and seas and the total of the detected sea plus eventually coming detections in the future. The remainder would be the sea and artificial rivers and seas.

This is the maximum area technologies are required for - its the maximum area for local terraforming under shields, set to erthian pressure and so on. Outside that area Mars should be kept as it is.

Each new detetced sea would increase the area that could be habitated - but the requirements for the technologies would be kept constant - which would simplyfy the "project" a little bit.

Technologies to prevent pollution are important too - but most important is the prevention of sublimations and losses (at the beginning of research already perhaps).



Dipl.-Volkswirt (bdvb) Augustin (Political Economist)

PS: I hope the sea will be proved really to be there and really still to be filled by water ice.


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Post    Posted on: Fri Feb 25, 2005 1:35 pm
I think Andy was asking about the Valles Marineris -- the structure of which would certainly make building a colony much easier, as at least two of your walls are "prefabricated".

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Post    Posted on: Fri Feb 25, 2005 2:07 pm
spacecowboy wrote:
I think Andy was asking about the Valles Marineris -- the structure of which would certainly make building a colony much easier, as at least two of your walls are "prefabricated".


I thought that you could build against one of the side walls at the bottom of a canyon, this would give some protection from the Sun's radiation from behind and once you had established a base you could extend it back into the rock face to give more living space and better protection.

Also the canyon might have been carved by water as well as lava flows so some might still exist there in sheltered areas within cracks or covered by dust.

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Post    Posted on: Fri Feb 25, 2005 2:10 pm
The water reservoir is the detected sea currently. Which way now the water should be got ot of it?

Should it be at or near the surface which would require good shielding with high pressure inside?

Or should it be beneath the surface or entirely from underground? This would require to dig deep into the soil or the sea itself or something else. What should be done if this "beneath"-alternative would be chosen?

And should the water be won by breaking pieces of ice, melting it, use it, clean it then again and freeze it again? Or should it be melt directly from that sea?

What is the best way to prevent losses and sublimation? What way can be handled optimally by technolgies? For which way the chances to develop new mor proper technologies are best?



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Post    Posted on: Fri Feb 25, 2005 2:59 pm
What about drilling a bore hole through the protecting crust with a hollow drill (like on an oil rig drilling pipe) using a super heated gas instead of a drill bit. Once a depth of 20m or so was reached the the hole could be capped at the surface with the drill pipe in place.

Next circulate hot gas up and down the pipe which has a divider to allow inlet hot gas to be pumped in and the gas/steam to be collected at the outlet. You could even use steam in place of gas derived from the ice core that has been drilled out.

As a bi-product this has the effect of producing a void under the ice which could be used to form a habitat in later if required.

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Post    Posted on: Fri Feb 25, 2005 3:05 pm
That seems to require to cover that sea. Is that right? That would be no obstacle but large investment only which a technology should be developed or chosen for. What about the possibility that the surface of the sea wil break?



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Post    Posted on: Fri Feb 25, 2005 3:19 pm
If you were deep enough the top crust should remain intact but you could always extend the cap to cover a larger area. Also the drilling machinary need not be left in place once the hole was drilled, extend the pipe away from the bore hole across the surface to a central gas generator that could be used on multiple holes. That would reduce the surface weight at the point you were weakening and the need to support the upper crust.

You might want to limit how much water you extracted from each bore hole so that the amount of energy required to heat the void up would not get to large (this would obviously increase as the volume of the void became bigger).

A series of voids under the ice could make quite a spacious habitat if eventually joined together to form an ice cavern.

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Post    Posted on: Fri Feb 25, 2005 4:18 pm
What about using the place where the habitat could be for drilling into the sea instead of creating bore holes at the surface?

It would be possible to get to the soil at the sides from there and to install pieplinds in the depth of the sea and in the martian underground. The surface of the pipelines could be cooled perhaps to keep the sea icy around them. inside the pipeline it could be warmer.

Where the habitat could be the only point within the sea could be where the ice is melt to water. The water would flow through the pipeline.

Where the soil is the water could be stored in tanks or other storages. But this would require drilling too - into the soil instead of into the ice. The water and the sea may be safer this way.

What about establishing a circle of water similar to that given on Earth by nature?



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Post    Posted on: Fri Feb 25, 2005 5:04 pm
Yes you could do it that way but you would have to transport everything below the surface which would be more difficult. It depends really what you want to achieve, if harvesting ice is your primary goal then it is better to do it from above as it allows you to move around easier to areas rich in ice (the sea may be a mixture of water ice and soil). If you want to create a permanent habitat then it is probably better to cap an area with a dome and work downwards inside through the ice, this would allow a large opening in the ice sea to be used as an entrance for drilling equipment.

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Post    Posted on: Fri Feb 25, 2005 5:13 pm
Ekkehard Augustin wrote:
What is the best way to prevent losses and sublimation?

The previously proposed inflatable dome over the area protects the sea from sublimation or evaporation.


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Post    Posted on: Fri Feb 25, 2005 7:17 pm
Hmm, a thought just popped into my mind:

While the material used to create the dome or cap could be devised well enough to prevent most alpha and beta radiation from entering the dome, there would be little stopping gamma rays from entering. On the earth, the magnetic field largely prefents alpha and beta's from killing all our atmosphere-producing organisms, and the atmosphere itself protects us all from gamma radiation, which would also kill our friendly atmosphere-creators (specifically our favourite, oxygen).

The dome/cap would have to have a LOT of atmosphere to sufficiently shield what is contained within. While some oxygen/hydrogen may be obtained from the ice, I do see the volume of atmosphere necessary to be a large constraint on setting up any form of pseudo-autonomous colony. No plants would be able to grow in direct sunlight, which kind of defeats their purpose.

Keep in mind that on earth, as you gain in altitude (less protective atmosphere), you have an increase in gamma-ray exposure. This is why many airlines restrict the ammount that stewardesses may fly, etc...

If anyone has a more accurate understanding of this, please let me know.


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Post    Posted on: Sat Feb 26, 2005 10:52 am
The initial thought is that currently the sea would be the best place to install a permanent Mars station or to establish settlements and a colony.

For that reason the ice/water should be prevented from sublimation and losses as close to 100% as possible.

Andy Hill, I would prefer an inflatabel dome too at the moment. I had the idea to cover the whole sea by a protecting "Persenning" that might be micrometers thick only. And at one point there would be the dome.

Concerning your thoughts, slycker I had another thought that is extending the initial thought a little bit. The sea and its ice provides a possibility that could be used. If all agree to a reduction of the maximum number of people water could be provided to and a redution too of the usable area for local terraforming then a certain amount of the ice of that sea could be used for shielding against radiation and so on.

The "Persenning" could be of a material you can look throught like through glas. Where the "Persenning" has to be part of a habitat it would provide a window then. At the habitat there could be two layers of the "Persenning". And between these two layers the could be ice of that sea. I recently read that it there is a kind of ice that is extremely like glas. In nature it's not often to be found because of air in it that wasn't solved in the water. But it is possible to create extremely glassy ice - and such ice could be filled between the two layers of "Persenning". This way a window would be there that would protect against radiation. This could be applied to where the "Persenning" is made of a material we cannot lokk through.

Initially the habitats could be installed just below the surface of that sea and the water could be won from below the habitats. Then the sea itself would provide the shield.
...



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Post    Posted on: Sat Feb 26, 2005 3:47 pm
As well as using the under ice voids for a habitat, you could create smaller voids and inflate an impervious membrane inside and use them as storage vessels for LOX and LH2, this would avoid creating heavy storage tanks above ground where they would need to be protected.

The ice around the membrane would be strong enough to hold it together and the pipework used to excavate the void could be used to fill and drain the vessel.

I think NASA is developing a thermal boring tool that could be modified to create voids on Mars. I saw a program of them testing such a device at lake vostok in preparation for a proposed mission to Europa, I'm not sure how far this work has progressed but it might be a starting point for a Martian test vehicle.

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Post    Posted on: Sat Feb 26, 2005 4:04 pm
Again it is required to trun to the development of new or the improvement of existing technolgies. The reason currently is to store the ice somewhere that has been removed out of the sea to create the voids, holed and caves.

All the technologies and improvements and ideas that are thought of here may be proposals for a Centennial Challenges Prize or a WTN XPRIZE. Please - everybody, think about it.

But to continue the discussion - there are several possibilities to store the removed ice - it could be made use of without losing it, it could be used for radiation shielding firstly or something else. Another possibility is that it might be moved from one purpose to another.

And I just a few moments ago had a thought what might increase the use of a permanent Mars station. Such a station might be of use for researching the Mars or habitat technologies only - it might provide another good use too: The temperutares at Mars and especially the ice of that sea are more similar to the environments of Europa and the other three jovian galileian moons. And there is the idea of roboswimmers for >Europa - the martian sea may be a very good place to test and develop those roboswimmers - small prototypes of them for example. And then Jovian Icy Moon Mission could be launched from Mars or from its small moons.



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