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#26 2012-04-01 11:09:17

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 4,704

Re: First settlements

I wasn't proposing we buy an off the shelf mini-lathe from Walmart! LOL  Yes, we will of course have to do the sort of things you suggest. I would start pretty much from scratch. I was simply pointing out such things exist and that you can do useful work on them. We need a Mars equivalent.

Likewise the digger blade and drills for mining would be suitable for the demanding environment. Incidentally we might well use water and microwave radiation to heat up the ground where we are doing digging.

If you ever want to get an industrial infrastructure you'll have to carry out that sort of design work at some stage. Why not for Mission 1 is my view? Why wait to Mission 3?  Of course it won't be the top priority but we need to get to work as soon as possible to save mass on follow up missions.


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

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#27 2012-04-01 11:57:04

RobS
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From: South Bend, IN
Registered: 2002-01-15
Posts: 1,701
Website

Re: First settlements

Let me put to you this way, then, Louis. Let us say you had one Falcon Heavy that could land 11 metric tonnes of industrial and engineering equipment on Mars. What would you land? What would you land with a second launch 2 years later? With, say, TWO launches another 2 years later? If we have an initial crew of 6, with 2 doing maintenance and 2 doing science, and the other 2 splitting their time between engineering/industry, hydroponics, and medical support, what could they do; or would you allocate the six crew differently?

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#28 2012-04-01 13:18:46

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 4,704

Re: First settlements

Rob S -

Personally I would not afford a high priority to either science or exploration to begin with. I have had this argument with others here before. My argument is that if you can create a viable and largely self-sufficient colony on Mars you can a much larger population and within 10 years you will be able to do far more science and exploration.

Of course that is not to say that there should be no science or exploration, only that the priority should be given to self-sufficiency and revenue generation. So,  my priorities would be the industrial and agricultural infrastructure - energy generation, mining and production; hydroponic and artificially lit farming - together with habitat construction for follow on crews. We need to find a quick  ISRU way to create Mars habitats.  I find Mars brick an aesthetically pleasing idea, but the reality may be we simply dig trenches, roof them with steel plates and load on icecrete or regolith.  We may need to produce some sort of internal plaster or concrete that can be used. We could also experiment with sand bag construction. It may prove possible to pressurise such structures.   Remember we are initially talking about a community of six people perhaps doubling every two years so we get to 12, 24, 48, 96, 192 - near enough 200 within 10 years.  Colony of 200 might only need about 60-100 transfers of people every two years,assuming we find people can live there healthily for several years.  By that time we may have dedicated large transfer vehicles that can carry 20 people at a time (though we might still need say 7 launches x 3 people to get them to the transfer vehicle).

The material needs of 200 people will still be measured more in kgs than tonnes, so the industrial infrastructure does not have to be huge. Construction materials will probably be the main production items e.g. steel plates, steel bars and uprights; bricks; cement or concrete etc.

So, to answer your question my priorities for industrial and engineering equipment would be:

1.  PV panels (you might have those accounted for already in any case); mini-robot diggers (teleoperated) for mining; a pressurised rover/digger (which can also act as a control room for the robot;diggers) (you might also have that accounted for);  a smelting facility; small steam engine with electric generator; electrolysis machines; methane generating machine (this seems good if it can double up as energy storage and rocket fuel); lathes; presses; kiln; brick furnace; cement equipment; industrial microwave oven/facility. For agriculture: hydroponic equipment, liquid fertiliser, farming, artificial lighting rigs; farm tools.

2. Later on: more CNC controlled lathes; more chemical industry equipment; gas cylinders; polymer production equipment; wood lathes for working bamboo (which I believe could be a v. useful material on Mars).
For agriculture: rich composts  to be used with Mars regolith; fertiliser; rock grinding material to help make soil on Mars.

As for the crew I did my own detailed analysis of work hour allocation. Agriculture and mining will take a lot of time but where there are hours to spare I would put people into industrial work rather science or exploration.  However, in searching for valuable meteorites, we might be able to combine revenue generation with exploration.


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

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#29 2012-04-16 16:53:54

Void
Member
Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 3,011

Re: First settlements

Good locations for early settlements...does anyone want to give some suggestions?

(There was this list at the old Red Colony site -  http://www.redcolony.com/art.php?id=0008150  )

I think the prerequisites will be safe landing sites,  access to water and iron ore and interesting objects of research.

Somewhere near the Valles Marineris has got to be a prime candidate in terms of object of research, but I am not sure how far it meets other criteria.

http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/gallery/martia … 70820.html

Does anyone know the location of equatorial glaciers on Mars?

I choose Hellas.

Glaciers 1/2 mile thick?
Pressure maximum 1.89 * Mean
Not too far south.

http://www.space.com/11456-mars-dry-ice … water.html
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/scie … -Mars.html
http://geology.com/research/glaciers-on-mars.shtml
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hellas_Planetia

So, that means that if the dry ice that is known of can be evaporated, I supposed by greenhouse gasses, then the best pressure at the bottom of Hellas could be 20-21 Millibars.

Even now it is somewhat favorable to the existence of temporary liquid water.

The glaciers of course as a source of water, uphill, so that a gravity feed of melted water is possible.  (In a covered canal or pipeline).

I have very great reservations about notions of greenhouses I see portraid on this web site or others.

It is my opinion that Glass would be best used in a unpressurzed "A-Frame" where the Panes could be changeable with metal fittings, and no siginificant pressurization would be employed.  The A-Frame with glass would be to filter out U.V. and to hold heat in, and to keep some dust out.

I would say that I think that in that structure could be bags of water, where the bags could hold a reasonable pressure, and would support aquatic plant life.
In adition, bags re-enforced with "Hose" like counter pressure suits.  Where the joins would occur between "Sausage Links", a metal frame which the "Hose/Net" would be anchored with lashings.  Inside this perhaps a soil of styrafoam which your bamboo could grow, and upon which humans could walk.  The styraform peices allowing digging to access leaks.  Hydrophonic fluid to feed the bamboo or other crops.

I really like to imagine an "A-Frame" where also inside of it is an unpressurized vapor-barrier tent inside of that a capacitive device which has a wick attached to it.

I have seen chart recorders where a paper sheet could be held to it by electostatic force.  It was rather strong.  "Hewlett Packerd" made them I belive.  Havn't seen them around lately.  The same method could pressurize a root system for the plants where the wick could be wetted.  The point being that at the low elevations of Hellas, this method might support a specially engineered crop where no strong effort is needed to make allow the plant to grow.  Just a glass A-Frame, a vapor barrier tent, and a root system facitated by electostatic force.

If this works, then you have a hope of machines serving the needs of people, rather than people making unreasonable efforts to make anything grow.

A profit is a must.

smile

Oh, and I didn't even mention how you could easily tunnel into the glacier to provide space for industrial activities, and natural "Freezers" for food.

Neither did I mention Antarctic Dry Valley Lakes.  Or did I?

smile

And then the extra layer of atmosphere, to assist parachutes for landing?
smile smile smile

I see it as win, win, win.

Last edited by Void (2012-04-16 17:21:00)


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#30 2012-04-16 19:53:14

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 15,806

Re: First settlements

The problem with no science or exploration is that you are basically goin in blind trusting only in that data to which you have in had to make the perfect site selection for building the maximum utilization of insitu materials that is there in easy reach.....

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#31 2012-04-17 13:22:35

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 4,704

Re: First settlements

SpaceNut wrote:

The problem with no science or exploration is that you are basically goin in blind trusting only in that data to which you have in had to make the perfect site selection for building the maximum utilization of insitu materials that is there in easy reach.....


I don't think so Space Nut. Part of the prep for a human mission would be to send a rover with analytical equipment on board = probably something like the MSL.  I think we'd have a v. good idea of the landing area before we go.


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#32 2012-04-17 14:59:33

Void
Member
Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 3,011

Re: First settlements

So if that machine found a collection of attributes reasonably near a favored location and that prompted the first settlement to be established there what would that collection be?

I have this list of probable materials in Hellas.
-Magnetic Meteor Iron.
-Glaciers, and probabbly other ice under the soil in places.
-Thicker atmosphere.
-Not a true polar location (Not as harsh as the poles).
One other thing I think is possible is Copper Sulphate?
http://spacefellowship.com/news/art2077 … lakes.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copper(II)_sulfate
I am presuming that if the last part of the wet period of Mars was acid as is said, copper in the soil and rocks would have been leached out, and would end up as disolved materials in lakes in Hellas, and that when those lakes dried up, there would have been salt pans.  I don't know how to get copper out of copper sulphate, but I would imagine it can be done somehow.

I might also what to find salt domes and perhaps even petroleum in association with those.  But, I am not thinking that such a convenience is likely to be near the site which would be selected, but maybe.

I guess a really big need would be the resources to make good glass with, but I don't know what that is yet.

Last edited by Void (2012-04-17 15:01:32)


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#33 2012-04-17 18:47:25

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 4,704

Re: First settlements

Void wrote:

So if that machine found a collection of attributes reasonably near a favored location and that prompted the first settlement to be established there what would that collection be?

I have this list of probable materials in Hellas.
-Magnetic Meteor Iron.
-Glaciers, and probabbly other ice under the soil in places.
-Thicker atmosphere.
-Not a true polar location (Not as harsh as the poles).
One other thing I think is possible is Copper Sulphate?
http://spacefellowship.com/news/art2077 … lakes.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copper(II)_sulfate
I am presuming that if the last part of the wet period of Mars was acid as is said, copper in the soil and rocks would have been leached out, and would end up as disolved materials in lakes in Hellas, and that when those lakes dried up, there would have been salt pans.  I don't know how to get copper out of copper sulphate, but I would imagine it can be done somehow.

I might also what to find salt domes and perhaps even petroleum in association with those.  But, I am not thinking that such a convenience is likely to be near the site which would be selected, but maybe.

I guess a really big need would be the resources to make good glass with, but I don't know what that is yet.

Copper I have always understood to be pretty rare.

Here is a guide to glass constituents.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glass#Glass_ingredients

The quartz sands/silica should not be a problem but we may struggle to fund calcium carbonate. In fact as the latter is useful/essential in steel production, we might have to think in terms of taking quite a lot of that material with us to begin with.

I can't really see why the denser atmosphere is an advantage. Some minimal protection against radiation?   I don't think we should worry about atmopsheric pressure too much.

Petroleum seems pretty unlikely. We can make our own though, if you think it's important!

Iron ore should be pretty ubiquitous. Why is magnetic meteor iron required?


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#34 2012-04-17 20:11:11

Void
Member
Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 3,011

Re: First settlements

Thank you Louis, I enjoyed the provisions on glass.  Perhaps when I retire I will take a greater interest in glass as a hobby.

Void wrote:
So if that machine found a collection of attributes reasonably near a favored location and that prompted the first settlement to be established there what would that collection be?

I have this list of probable materials in Hellas.
-Magnetic Meteor Iron.
-Glaciers, and probabbly other ice under the soil in places.
-Thicker atmosphere.
-Not a true polar location (Not as harsh as the poles).
One other thing I think is possible is Copper Sulphate?
http://spacefellowship.com/news/art2077 … lakes.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copper(II)_sulfate
I am presuming that if the last part of the wet period of Mars was acid as is said, copper in the soil and rocks would have been leached out, and would end up as disolved materials in lakes in Hellas, and that when those lakes dried up, there would have been salt pans.  I don't know how to get copper out of copper sulphate, but I would imagine it can be done somehow.

I might also what to find salt domes and perhaps even petroleum in association with those.  But, I am not thinking that such a convenience is likely to be near the site which would be selected, but maybe.

I guess a really big need would be the resources to make good glass with, but I don't know what that is yet.

Lewis wrote:

Copper I have always understood to be pretty rare.

Here is a guide to glass constituents.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glass#Glass_ingredients

The quartz sands/silica should not be a problem but we may struggle to fund calcium carbonate. In fact as the latter is useful/essential in steel production, we might have to think in terms of taking quite a lot of that material with us to begin with.

I can't really see why the denser atmosphere is an advantage. Some minimal protection against radiation?   I don't think we should worry about atmopsheric pressure too much.

Petroleum seems pretty unlikely. We can make our own though, if you think it's important!

Iron ore should be pretty ubiquitous. Why is magnetic meteor iron required?

Copper may be rare, but with an acid rain or acid snow melt for tens or thousands or even hundreds of thousands of years, I would expect that little bits of native copper and other copper would have disolved into sulphides, and washed into the salt seas and lakes.  I would expect to find the remnants of those in Hellas, perhaps under some significant amount of air borne sediments.

However salt domes are fluid, and will erupt to the surface, and carry copper sulphide and perhaps calcium salts with it.

Here are some links to sudy, and then I will continue my reply:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calcium

http://www.jmcgowan.com/mars_reprint.PDF


I certainly hope this is not hoaxed: (Notice the petroleum seep, and remember that there are places on Mars where Methane replenishes into the atmosphere).
http://www.martinhovland.com/Mars%20and … 20Salt.htm

http://earth-pages.co.uk/2009/09/01/and … s-on-mars/

And here is my badge of shame:
http://outerspaceplace.blogspot.com/201 … -mars.html

As for Calcium Carbide, I reccomend a study of Methane seeps in the ocean and the creatures that inhabit them.  Clams?  Make methane, feed the clams, and I guess food and shells.  If you could get the salts from a salt dome or salt pan, then calcium salts that could be added to the tank.  No lights needed, and temperatures do not have to be that high.  Just Oxygen, Methane and salt water I presume.

A thick atmosphere offers a better chance to get the starter materials from Earth down safely I would think.  More time to get the parachutes to do their job.

The bottom of Hellas actually will allow temporary drops of water in the soil, provided the water were there, and also provided that it was heated.  However it is arid, and evaporation would quickly take water on the surface away.  However, a bag of icewater would do quite nicely.  Just put it in a hole, put an A-Frame glass greenhouse over it to protect it from U.V. and to hold some heat in.  At night it would develop ice, but during the day this would keep it from going above the tripple point.  Just make sealed bags with water and nutrients.  Put plants in them, and put them in the greenhouse.  The bags could actually hold a bit more pressure, but why make things harder.  Let plants grow, and then take the bags into your shelter and open them.  I know that there are not a huge number of plants other than Algae which would love this, but I bet if the tundra were searched you might find some advanced plants that might deal with this.  They might have food value or be altered to have food value.  If greenhouse gasses were used to evaporate the CO2 on Mars, then the pressure at the bottom of Hellas could rise to at least 20 Millibars.  This implies that the process I just described could become even more feasable.  And of course their is the dream of having an Ozone layer.  If you had 20 Millibars in the bottom of Hellas and an Ozone layer, then there is really a chance that some very tough crops could be gown out of doors with irrigation.  That would have to be a plus.  Putting the first settlement near this location might make some sense for such a reason as well.  And yes there is a slight radiation improvement I presume.

Finally, if a glacier 1/2 mile thick max, and the size of Los Angeles were melted, then a dry valley lake could be created and sustained.  The ice in this location would be more stable and would require less effort to protect it.  I see this dry valley lake as having enormous significance for the generation of electric power.

Petrolium is commonly found in salt domes.  We are continuously fed stories about how petroleum is only created from fossil life, but while that could be true also, consider what happens if a plate subducts deep into the Earth, drawing with it water.  If it encounters non-oxidized rocks and metals at high heat, the oxygen is plucked off the water.  Leaving Hydrogen, which is about as small as a molecule gets.  This hydrogen has the best chances of working it's way up through the Mantle and crust and during such a passage can pick up carbon and become Methane.  This alternate theory believes that actually Oil and Coal are mostly created by the contiunuation of that process where eventually the Methane gets trapped in a dome structure, and the Hydrogen eventually breaks free and leave behind a concentrate of Carbon/Oil/Coal.  In that theory, fossils in coal are actually just indeed plant matter burried which created an ideal place for leaking oil/Methane to collect.  Consider the Tar Sands in Canada. 

And there is also very likely the notion that Hydrated materials would have been burried inside the planets even during their formation.  Perhaps not water, but indeed this is even a possibility.  In such a case as that Hydrogen, Methane, Carbon Monoxide, Carbon Dioxide are constantly working their way up from the core, both on Earth an Mars.

A book to consider is "The Deep Hot Biophere" by Thomas Gold.  So then if true for Earth then very likely for Mars as well, but perhaps a bit different in nature.

Why Meteoric Iron?  Because as someone on this site said, a robot cart with magnets could collect it for you while you were working on other problems like making glass.  Eventualy regular iron mining, but why not take the easy stuff first.  It is going to be hard enough getting humans established without taking advantage of an easy prise.

In fact every thing we do to survive depends upon things that Nature gives to us easily.  The first settlement will be very weak, and will need all the advantages it can get.

As you might have guessed, I am not that proficient in language skills.  Space Relations, Science, maybe some Math.  Even so, I suggest that the word "Colony" be phased out.  It suggests exploitation, and?carries much other unsuitable bagage, which are linked to social demands which have to do with a past on Earth, and places a confused burden on our dreams for the future of Mars.  We don't need to set this "Child" up with a "Disinheritance" which "Social Engineers" might hope to tap for power and from their own narrow and misguided perceptions of realities which hides their selfishness even from themselves, where they become compelled to try to inhibit progress.  I suggest other words such as "Settlement".

Last edited by Void (2012-04-18 03:43:37)


I like people who criticize angels dancing on a pinhead.  I also like it when angels dance on my pinhead.

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#35 2012-04-17 20:16:17

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 15,806

Re: First settlements

Some may feel that just one MSL would be ok for site prep but the science that its going to return is not geared at insitu material search and the pictures are only go so far as to what is there.
What would be the master list to search for starting with water/ice....which would be critical for such a mission to go forth....

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#36 2012-04-18 06:47:13

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 4,704

Re: First settlements

SpaceNut wrote:

Some may feel that just one MSL would be ok for site prep but the science that its going to return is not geared at insitu material search and the pictures are only go so far as to what is there.
What would be the master list to search for starting with water/ice....which would be critical for such a mission to go forth....

Yes, water/ice is critical for say a useful two year mission. We need it for habitat use, and potentially (not critically) for habitat use and for making rocket fuel.

Other essentials:

Stable firm ground for landing and for habitats; absence of sand dunes or evidence of recent water action (danger of flood).

Sufficient area that is suitable for PV panels (in my view - obviously a nuclear reactor option would have different requirements).

With those I think you are good to go.

But it would be nice to have iron ore, silica, calcium carbonate, basalt, aluminium and a few other materials as well. We can do a lot of industrial experimentation though with whatever happens to be lying around - can start making various gases and acids etc.


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