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Energy requirements for a first stage of a Mars colony

Posted by: Stefan Sigwarth - Sun Sep 16, 2007 3:23 pm
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Energy requirements for a first stage of a Mars colony 
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Post    Posted on: Mon Oct 22, 2007 9:15 am
You don't want to give the expedition members on Mars their own Notebook some 55 million kilometers from home? ;)

If you refer _the_ Messerschmid to the aircraft designer.... that one wrote himself Messerschmitt with double t ;)

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Post    Posted on: Mon Oct 22, 2007 2:28 pm
Stefan Sigwarth wrote:
Yes, but we're not talking about a space station but a colony on Mars. It doesn't need attitude control, propulsion control etc. You wouldn't even need the 5 notebooks.


5 notebooks could help very much with the attitude of the people on the colony, helping them get their minds off stuff.

Seriously, I doubt anything would be build on another planet without a power supply closer to a giga-watt than a kilo-watt. There has to be tons of backup systems, and I don't see any other solution than solar and maybe wind power, combined with nuclear power in the near future. No colony will be built with minimal power consumption in mind.

Edit: Typo


Last edited by IrquiM on Wed Oct 24, 2007 8:54 am, edited 1 time in total.



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Post    Posted on: Tue Oct 23, 2007 1:47 pm
I would think the biggest power user would be propellant manufacturing. You don't want to bring all propellant from Earth!


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Post    Posted on: Sat Nov 10, 2007 5:15 am
Yes the ISRU generation will be far and away the biggest energy draw. The same propellant can be used in rovers, life support, blast furnaces.

Also you want High power transmitters and preferably a pretty decent local HPC cluster for the scientists there who are used to using massive arrays for their 'planetary geology' work.

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Post    Posted on: Fri Dec 28, 2007 10:06 am
What about energy required to provide water from some any distance, pumps required for it, cleaning it and to some degree produce water from martian soil by splitting molecules to get the hydrogen and then let it react with oxygen?



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Post    Posted on: Sun Dec 30, 2007 2:26 am
What you need depends on what you want to do and where you are.(soil composition of your landing site.)
It's not enough to just cover running costs (food, water, heat and lights) You need to budget in growth.
Can you build extra habitats on site? Perhaps just ship airlock mechanisms and build the rest there?
Can you extend energy production and storage?
Resource collection?
And so on.
Thus
You need an initial budget.
What you need to take with you.
And that energy cost.
You need to know what tools you're going to need next. What you can make on Mars and what you need to import.
And the new energy cost.
And so on for each stage of the colony's growth.

The more you can do on site the cheaper the whole project is. The more sustainable it is.

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Post    Posted on: Wed Aug 20, 2008 7:37 pm
The article "How to Mine Martian Water" ( www.space.com/businesstechnology/080820 ... -mars.html ) seems to provide a concrete answer regarding the minimum energy required to provide liquid water:
Quote:
Squeezing out the drops

Meanwhile, Ethridge continues to plow ahead with his study to make the microwave extraction process more efficient. He and Kaukler hope to shrink the energy requirements for their current 1 kilowatt system.

"One of the early landers on the moon probably won't have that power," Ethridge pointed out. "We're working on a smaller power type demonstration."


So at present 1 kw is required to get liquid water - but there are hopes to reduce this requirement.

It would be a requirment for temporary visitors it seems a bit but the article mentions a colony as well.

What about it?



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Post    Posted on: Wed Oct 22, 2008 6:31 pm
Ekkehard Augustin wrote:
What about energy required to provide water from some any distance, pumps required for it, cleaning it and to some degree produce water from martian soil by splitting molecules to get the hydrogen and then let it react with oxygen?


Have you read Zubrins The Case For Mars which forms the basic underpinnings of most modern Mars planning?

By taking Seed Hydrogen with you and a large powersource, you react the Hydrogen with the CO2 of the atmosphere to create tonnes and tonnes of Water, Oxygen and Methane. This creates most of the consumables needed for a 2 year stay and the propellant needed for the return to earth all from a mere 6 tonnes of Hydrogen (creates something like 180 tonnes of material) and all without having to leave the Hab.

In fact most of it is created by the Return Vehicle on the planets surface before the crew leaves Earth.

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Post    Posted on: Tue Oct 28, 2008 3:32 pm
idiom wrote:
This creates most of the consumables needed for a 2 year stay and the propellant needed for the return to earth all from a mere 6 tonnes of Hydrogen (creates something like 180 tonnes of material) and all without having to leave the Hab.


... on paper. There are exactly zero scheduled ISRU demo or test missions on global launch manifest ATM, and none in the foreseeable future.

Crucial topic for humanity's future in space, and its been basically completely neglected throughout the history of spaceflight. Not a single, tiny experiment on any of the martian landers, nothing on lunar ( well considering that the last soft lunar landing was in August, 1976, thats not surprising )


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Post    Posted on: Tue Oct 28, 2008 8:31 pm
ISRU has been pretty thoroughly Lab tested with Mars simulants.

If you are doubting whether chemistry functions the same way on Mars that is one thing, but certainly one can plan missions around such basic and robust technology.

Anyone actually going to Mars will certainly have time to test the system on Mars, and hopefully any sample return missions will utilise it.

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Post    Posted on: Tue Oct 28, 2008 8:54 pm
idiom wrote:
ISRU has been pretty thoroughly Lab tested with Mars simulants.

If you are doubting whether chemistry functions the same way on Mars that is one thing, but certainly one can plan missions around such basic and robust technology.

Im not doubting that it will work eventually, yes chemistry works the same here and there. The first iteration of equipment wont.
I am 100% sure you cant get an operational system without testing the basics out first.


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Post    Posted on: Tue Oct 28, 2008 9:00 pm
As Nasa plans to do, it is a lot cheaper to test and fail ISRU flights while proving the tech than not using it.

Any mission that doesn't structure itself around the idea has a much much harder time. Nasa went from $500 Bil to $100 Bil when they switched to an ISRU scheme.

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