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#1 2018-06-27 11:00:30

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 5,870

Detailed consideration of Mars ISRU propellant plant

Have people seen this three part series of articles in The Space Review?

http://www.thespacereview.com/article/3479/1

http://www.thespacereview.com/article/3484/1

http://www.thespacereview.com/article/3487/1

Some interesting stuff.


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#2 2018-06-27 17:19:47

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 19,715

Re: Detailed consideration of Mars ISRU propellant plant

Collectively the three parts indicate just why we do need a scaled demonstrator even if we used the same gasses to fuel system as the requirement would be to design the others parts that we would be used to provide the feed stocks from which then would be sent into the gasses to fuel system.

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#3 2018-06-27 17:20:34

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 5,870

Re: Detailed consideration of Mars ISRU propellant plant

In the comments to the second paper a Fred Willet references something that I have wondered about:

One question that intrigues me. Would it be better to design specific equipment to operate in the martian environment or would it be better to use off the shelf hardware installed in a dome or habitat with earth like air pressure and temperatures.
Bear in mind that with BFS lift capacity you could just about ignore weight constraints on stuff you take to Mars, especially for mission critical hardware like this.

It did occur to me that the habs for the propellant plant would actually have to be pretty big if you were going to house them.  Maybe something like 50 metres by 9 metres by 9.


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#4 2018-06-27 17:40:37

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 19,715

Re: Detailed consideration of Mars ISRU propellant plant

The fact that the inlet pressures for the sabetier reactor are 75 psi from what I recall going only from mars pressure to 1 bar is not going to be all that much of an improvement if any. Leaving the complete system in the top of the rocket that lands reduces the dust.

What earlier I was referring to is say the power system design for a demonstrator as we could have quite a few options as to what to send all of which we can tweek to get the power levels required but in the end its the rate of conversion and the mass of that selected system that win out in the end.

Power system options:
1. solar only no batteries
2. solar with batteries
3. some nuclear plus solar no batteries
4. Some nuclear plus solar with batteries
5. nuclear only with no batteries
6. nuclear with batteries.

As you can see there will a best, mid and least favorable options from the possible choices. To which when equalized for through put means we have a volume of area and mass to be landed for that selected system to be that finally answer in selection.

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