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#76 2007-10-29 08:02:48

Dragoneye
Member
From: Romeoville, IL
Registered: 2005-08-17
Posts: 100

Re: Bikes on Mars? - Don't laugh!

I REALLY like the idea of using bikes on the surface especially since you can go pretty long ranges with the same energy as a it would take here on earth with a short trip all because there is less gravity there.

there are a few things though that i wouldn't agree with using them on the surface though, one would be that you would need a BEEFY bilke to hold both you and all of your equpitment since i'm assuming you would be using the bike not just for a "ride"

more things i would also wory about is the misc rocks all over the surface. riding will be slow since you have to dodge them constantly.

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#77 2007-10-30 19:08:46

quasar777
Member
Registered: 2002-05-05
Posts: 135

Re: Bikes on Mars? - Don't laugh!

ideas have been stolen from me before, so as a general rule i don`t give out an exact design. of course, MoonBike concept was independent from me. great points on here. the question of "beefiness", was answered quite well by addition of "assisting" motors, solar, etc.. & yes too, on here is the idea of a "trailer". consider this concept: while hauling the trailer & going "slow", route(s?) are being "mapped", & posibly staked out. so, on a later trip, there`s a safer ride. & the trailer can be dropped. then, the trailer can become a power station, etc..

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#78 2007-10-30 20:19:03

Dragoneye
Member
From: Romeoville, IL
Registered: 2005-08-17
Posts: 100

Re: Bikes on Mars? - Don't laugh!

ideas have been stolen from me before, so as a general rule i don`t give out an exact design. of course, MoonBike concept was independent from me. great points on here. the question of "beefiness", was answered quite well by addition of "assisting" motors, solar, etc.. & yes too, on here is the idea of a "trailer". consider this concept: while hauling the trailer & going "slow", route(s?) are being "mapped", & posibly staked out. so, on a later trip, there`s a safer ride. & the trailer can be dropped. then, the trailer can become a power station, etc..

I like that idea, it seems like it should work pretty well... first things first though we would need a decent GPS presence there so we could map things properly.

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#79 2007-11-02 19:15:07

Austin Stanley
Member
From: Texarkana, TX
Registered: 2002-03-18
Posts: 519
Website

Re: Bikes on Mars? - Don't laugh!

Again, while I think there is lots of potential in a small ATV like vehicle I don't think making it petal powered is really practical.

#1.  The 'bike' will invariably be heavy.  Even in Mars low gravity you still have to expend energy to overcome its masses inertia.  I don't know if you have ever petled a 4 wheeled bike on Earth, but they take considerable energy to get moving, due to both increased friction from 4 wider wheels and their increased mass.  The problems on Mars will be even worse.

#2.  Traction problems.  Due to Mars decreased gravity the 'bike' will exert much less traction per unit of mass.  You can improve this by increasing the number and size of the wheels, but this also increase your losses to friction, which again, make getting the bike started more difficult.

#3.  Exertion problems.  Exertion in a spacesuit is dangerous.  Deadly even.  Virtually all spacesuits are on a 100% oxygen atmosphere at lower pressures with a re-breather to remove CO2.  As the body exerts itself, the rate at which we consume oxygen and emit CO2 naturally increases.  It is quite possible to out pace the rate at which oxygen can be introduced to the system, or (more likely) the rate at which CO2 can be removed.  If the CO2 partial pressure gets to high you will die.

#4.  Heat problems.  Related to the problem of CO2 build up, it is also difficult to remove heat in a spacesuit.  Somebody exerting themselves to peddle a bike is obviously going to generate more body heat.  The vacuum of space and the thin atmosphere of Mars are excellent insulators, and disposing of the bodies waste heat can become an issue.  It is quite possible for it to get uncomfortably hot in the suit and have a heat stroke.

#5.  Safety.  Bike riding can be dangerous. Especially on rough unimproved terrain like on Mars.  A fall or accident could damage the bike, potential stranding you.  Or it could break a bone or damage your life support systems.  All of these could be fatal.  IMO the advantages of speed are more than outweighed by its dangers, slow and steady is the rule on Mars.

#6.  Practicality.  While bike riding may be good excersies, the amount of energy it saves is probably trival.  Orders of magnitude more energy need to be generated to provide the crew with heat, oxygen, electricity, and fuel for the trip home.  Fuel/energy to power a small ATVish vehicle is puny in the face of these concurns.

---

And of course all of this is assuming you handwave away the difficulties of operating a pedal powered machine in a pressure suit.  I imagine it would be fairly difficult in a skin tight suit as well.


He who refuses to do arithmetic is doomed to talk nonsense.

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#80 2008-03-27 18:23:44

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 4,481

Re: Bikes on Mars? - Don't laugh!

I favour electric trikes with a large boot on the back.

Electric power will be in plentiful supply on Mars and the electric motor/battery are quite small.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#81 2008-03-28 05:09:34

zhar2
Member
From: london-uk
Registered: 2008-03-17
Posts: 106

Re: Bikes on Mars? - Don't laugh!

I think i combination of a bike and rickshaw could be quite usefull in mars, for varied types of jobs.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/skallabank … 9/sizes/o/

In the back spplies, passangers, raw materials and construction materials could be carried.

or they could be modified to carry a crew of three and a mounted machine gun for law keeping and defence purposes.

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#82 2008-03-29 09:25:57

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 4,481

Re: Bikes on Mars? - Don't laugh!

Yep = or trikes with boots.

Attach a small electric motor and they become a very practical from of long distance transport as well.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#83 2013-12-11 09:56:10

Tom Kalbfus
Banned
Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: Bikes on Mars? - Don't laugh!

A pedaling astronaut would use up oxygen more quickly! I have a more practical proposal. How about a mechanical "horse"?
http://www.gizmag.com/new-ls3-quadruped-robot/24098/

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#84 2013-12-11 20:54:58

JoshNH4H
Moderator
From: Pullman, WA
Registered: 2007-07-15
Posts: 2,465
Website

Re: Bikes on Mars? - Don't laugh!

"More" practical?  Oxygen is light, cheap, simple, and reliable.  Mechanical horses are none of these.


-Josh

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#85 2013-12-12 05:35:14

Terraformer
Member
From: Lancashire
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 2,982
Website

Re: Bikes on Mars? - Don't laugh!

How about a compromise?

space-horse.jpg

I knew I'd find a picture like that online.

Last edited by Terraformer (2013-12-12 05:36:13)


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

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#86 2013-12-12 14:49:29

JoshNH4H
Moderator
From: Pullman, WA
Registered: 2007-07-15
Posts: 2,465
Website

Re: Bikes on Mars? - Don't laugh!

Now that's just silly.  A Horse's legs don't bend at the right place or in the right direction to use the arms of a spacesuit designed for humans.


-Josh

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#87 2013-12-12 15:41:04

Terraformer
Member
From: Lancashire
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 2,982
Website

Re: Bikes on Mars? - Don't laugh!

Maybe it's a half human half pony hybrid... if pigs and bonobos can reproduce...

Or, you know, magic. Earth ponies have talents that are largely unknown.


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

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#88 2013-12-12 18:43:08

JoshNH4H
Moderator
From: Pullman, WA
Registered: 2007-07-15
Posts: 2,465
Website

Re: Bikes on Mars? - Don't laugh!

Of course.  Perhaps the Equestrians have decided to colonize Mars; The images that our erstwhile friends from "Intelligent Alien Life" were seeing were not tiny Martians but actually tiny self-portraits and inscriptions by the Ponies.


-Josh

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#89 2013-12-12 18:53:19

Terraformer
Member
From: Lancashire
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 2,982
Website

Re: Bikes on Mars? - Don't laugh!

Sounds like a plot for a crack fic. Hmmm...


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

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#90 2013-12-25 21:43:19

quasar777
Member
Registered: 2002-05-05
Posts: 135

Re: Bikes on Mars? - Don't laugh!

I've actually seen a design nasa is considering. A stand-up treadle bike.

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#91 2013-12-25 22:55:27

JoshNH4H
Moderator
From: Pullman, WA
Registered: 2007-07-15
Posts: 2,465
Website

Re: Bikes on Mars? - Don't laugh!

Do you have a link?


-Josh

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#92 2015-03-24 18:54:05

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 14,623

Re: Bikes on Mars? - Don't laugh!

kbd512 wrote:
SpaceNut wrote:

That said packaging in some sort of low tech transporting a suited crewmember would be a must unless we can garantee landing within 500m from the rest of the crews supplies and habitat as the limiting factor is the suits capability to support life.

I posted a thought about making a vehicle engine run by fuel injection of hydrogel fuels into a ICE engine, what do you think reply in the other topic please Here

My take on small powered vehicles like dirt bikes or rovers is that while they could prove quite useful for contingency purposes, they add lots of mass.  Sending the first astronaut down in a micro capsule to retrieve the mobile habitat gives the rest of the astronauts a much better chance at being rescued should one or some of the capsules miss the intended target.  If you're the first one on Mars, you're taking a calculated risk.  Everything could work perfectly, or your friends may bury you there.  In short, I favor a phased landing approach that doesn't run the risk of killing the entire crew in one go.

Perhaps it'd be better to simply send two extra oxygen bottles and a small pedal powered bike with the astronauts rather than a chemically powered vehicle.  Everyone here seems to have the same complexity cravings that NASA has.  Keep it small and simple.

The concern I have with a 2 wheeled device is that if an astronaut should fall that the suit will be puntured, a possible glove being damaged or worse a helmet crack....I think that it needs to be 4 wheels to protect the crew member...

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#93 2015-03-25 19:08:36

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 14,623

Re: Bikes on Mars? - Don't laugh!

kbd512 wrote:

The Montanara Volta weighs just 9 kg and uses an electric motor to assist the rider.

https://www.electricbike.com/lightest-bike/

In contrast, some of the lightest gas powered bikes weigh more than 59 kg.

http://www.fxbikes.com

Is the gas powered bike worth the extra 50 kg?  It's certainly much faster than the pedal powered bike, until it runs out of fuel.  Should astronauts travel around on Mars at 30+ km/h wearing thin pressure suits?  Probably not smart.

For comparison purposes, a high performance electric bike like the BRD RedShift weighs 114 kg.

If you can't go to the habitat module on Mars by foot or pedaling, then perhaps the habitat should be mobile and come to you.

I think small powered vehicles are a total waste of mass, time, and effort.  The habitat module should be mobile and come to you after you land.

But the habitat that can move is to heavy for current EDL systems to handle.....

In terms of the added mass if it means survival and death I would take it to and give up something else that is coming down with the crew member that can have a bit of mass trimmed from it.

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#94 2015-03-26 02:22:02

kbd512
Member
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 2,572

Re: Bikes on Mars? - Don't laugh!

SpaceNut wrote:

But the habitat that can move is to heavy for current EDL systems to handle.....

In terms of the added mass if it means survival and death I would take it to and give up something else that is coming down with the crew member that can have a bit of mass trimmed from it.

I already proposed a minimum mass and development effort EDL solution to get humans to the surface of Mars in another thread.  Nobody liked the solution, but the alternative is a multi-billion dollar project that will take NASA a decade or longer to develop and test.  The funding saved would support development of HIAD and ADEPT along with habitat modules.

The habitat module, mobile or static, will be heavy.  Use of the new EDL technologies JPL is developing is a requirement.

I think an electrically powered M113A4 (MTVL) with band tracks (presuming the tracks were made from a compound with a very low glass transition temperature) would be suitable for Mars exploration with modifications.  The roof would have a giant solar panel on it.  Top speed should be governed to about 30 kph.  The vehicle would weigh about 20t fully loaded.  Unlike the MTVL, the batteries would be on the floor and only electric motors would be utilized for propulsion.  The walls and roof of the main compartment would contain a HDPE water bladder.  There would be no hatches above the driver's compartment and the compartment would be heavily shielded.  The M113's ramp would be replaced with an airlock or suitport.  Each MTVL habitat would carry a crew of two.

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#95 2015-10-12 06:51:22

martienne
Member
From: EU
Registered: 2014-03-29
Posts: 146

Re: Bikes on Mars? - Don't laugh!

Wouldn't the different gravity play tricks with the ability to balance on a bike?
For starters, the highest gear would be like riding on the lowest gear.

But the simplicity of the idea is beutiful. Imagine a cykle-path on Mars!

Cyklists would have to be careful though - falling and damaging environment suit would be dangerous.

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#96 2015-10-17 16:09:09

Tom Kalbfus
Banned
Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: Bikes on Mars? - Don't laugh!

The chains might tear the fabric of the spacesuit! Also the surface of Mars is quite bumpy, what if an astronaut hits a rock, tumbles off the bike and breaks his faceplate?

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#97 2015-10-17 17:39:36

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 14,623

Re: Bikes on Mars? - Don't laugh!

Agrees that would be a bad thing but if walking is to be the same for hazard then all that should be used a rover that we ride in but the benefits of walking would be great for a crew. Maybe we can move about on something simular to a treadmill that makes wheels move when to walk on and steer it.

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#98 2016-06-10 09:51:42

Antius
Member
From: Cumbria, UK
Registered: 2007-05-22
Posts: 1,003

Re: Bikes on Mars? - Don't laugh!

louis wrote:

I favour electric trikes with a large boot on the back.

Electric power will be in plentiful supply on Mars and the electric motor/battery are quite small.

Something like the Velomobile:
http://www.lowtechmagazine.com/2012/10/ … biles.html

Electric velomobiles are a good idea for Mars.  The design choices will be different to Earth velomobiles.  Air resistance is a non-issue and the cabin must be pressurised and leak tight.  To keep weight down, the pressurised section will probably be spherical.  Also, to avoid the need for mechanical penetrations, it would be better to rig the human power source directly to a small DC generator and power each wheel with a small permanent magnet motor.  Hence, you have a human assisted electric vehicle, rather than an electrically assisted human-mechanical vehicle.  Advantages I can see:

1. Less battery weight, since the human provides a large part of the power.  In fact, battery weight could be zero if needs be;

2. Body heat will keep the cabin warm and a thin layer of aerogel can regulate the heat loss from the cabin;

3. Much lighter than a motorised vehicle, which has to move the weight of the engine, fuel and its containers.  A very important consideration for anything you ship to Mars.  A 1 man velomobile could weight <100kg;

4. Mechanically simple.  You can strip it down into a compact form and assemble it on Mars;

5. Falling isn't an issue if you have more than 2 wheels and you are protected by a carbon-fibre shell;

6. Humans burn food to maintain body temperature.  Hence, human power is quite efficient, as calorie consumption does not increase disproportionately with increasing effort;

7. A human pedalling for 6 hours per day and resting or doing light work for 18 hours a day, will burn about a 1.3kg of oxygen per day.  If solar panels are flexible and lightweight, then a small sabatier reactor could be used to generate replacement oxygen and recycle water during stop periods.

Last edited by Antius (2016-06-10 10:16:24)

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#99 2016-06-10 21:13:47

Tom Kalbfus
Banned
Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: Bikes on Mars? - Don't laugh!

How about unicycles on Mars, or a pogo stick? Bet you could bounce pretty high on Mars using a pogo stick, do you think astronauts should use those to get around? How about we fit astronaut's boots with roller skate wheels, or how about bringing a skate board to Mars. Finally, what if we build a spacesuit for a horse, and brought that and the horse over to Mars for an astronaut to ride on? Which one of these ideas are bad?

I can see some problems in getting a horse inside a capsule, the astronauts might not like the smell or sharing their living quarters with a horse. I think a dog space suit is much more feasible.

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#100 2016-06-11 08:36:13

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 14,623

Re: Bikes on Mars? - Don't laugh!

Antius I can see your Electric velomobiles as a good means to get around once a Domed city is started for sure but have to wonder about how well one might work with a space suit and oxygen support.....From reading elsewhere the typical human powered generator bike systems are able to produce 60-100 watts of power which is not all that much but if there is a way to get a multiple of 10 times then its even more practical even here on earth.....

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