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#1 2019-11-03 07:21:03

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 5,329

Base Alpha

Were people aware that Musk is referring to Space X's planned first human settlement on Mars as Base Alpha ?

https://www.express.co.uk/news/science/ … paceflight

No doubt the name will change at some point to something less prosaic. But I like that he has given it a name. Base Alpha might have its first Starships in five years' time.


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#2 2019-11-03 09:48:24

tahanson43206
Member
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 1,627

Re: Base Alpha

For Louis re #1 ...

Good catch, and best wishes for success with this new topic.

It looks promising, with the caveat that (as you point out) the name may change, but (hopefully) that will be years out, AFTER humans have set up shop there.

Meanwhile, Sagan City (2018) beckons to those with a longer term vision.

(th)

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#3 2019-11-03 16:53:37

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 5,329

Re: Base Alpha

Space X illustration showing "Base Alpha". If anyone has the wherewithal to show it in the thread, please do!

SpaceX%2BStarship%2Blaunching%2Bfrom%2BMars%2BBase%2BAlpha_humanMars.net.jpg

Nice pic but the family hanging around in the Spaceport Lounge is pure fantasy!


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#4 2019-11-03 17:08:55

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 17,360

Re: Base Alpha

That is a far off future year....

Form the other topics link on water.

To tally: Arcadia Planitia offers (somewhat) warmer summers and winters due to its latitude, augmented by a low relative altitude that insulates the region from weather extremes and enables more efficient propulsive spacecraft landings.

However, perhaps more important than any of the above features is the fact that Arcadia Planitia is host to a vast wealth of water ice resources, ranging from frozen aquifers to glaciers in the adjacent Erebus Montes mountains. Of central importance to SpaceX’s strategy of affordably colonizing and exploring Mars is the decision to produce return propellant – needed for Starships to return to Earth – on Mars, known as in-situ resource utilization (ISRU). Starship’s use of methane and oxygen is almost entirely a result of this – methane is far easier to work with than hydrogen and can also be easily produced from water, as can oxygen.

The cleaner and more accessible the Martian water ice is, the easier it will be for SpaceX robots or astronauts to set up a propellant plant on Mars. Additionally, clean water is extremely expensive to transport in space, and a near-infinite supply of ice-derived water would be extremely useful for all sorts of human outpost needs.

Of course this is one of the heal topics to success, clean obtainable water, easy to process and low energy needed to acquire it.

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#5 2019-11-03 17:29:53

GW Johnson
Member
From: McGregor, Texas USA
Registered: 2011-12-04
Posts: 3,755
Website

Re: Base Alpha

They have to be able to land without sinking into the surface. To return at all,  they have to be able to (at least) quintuple the weight without sinking into the surface.  If they sink in,  it will be unevenly (Murphy's Law),  and it will lead to AT LEAST a hold-down "tent stake" friction force preventing takeoff,  and AT MOST topple-over and explosion while refueling. 

The great bulk of Mars is similar to Earthly "fine,  loose sand",  as best we know. That has an allowable surface bearing strength of only 0.1 MPa,  until on-site test data show different.  Deal with THAT!

GW

Last edited by GW Johnson (2019-11-03 17:31:16)


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

"There is nothing as expensive as a dead crew,  especially one dead from a bad management decision"

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#6 2019-11-03 17:49:27

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 5,329

Re: Base Alpha

I am not claiming specialist knowledge but there are many, many ways that geologists can identify firm flat rocky areas. Boulders for instance will sink in to sand partially but not into firm rock. Recent meteorite impacts can tell you a lot. Obviously all the geological observations are tallied with the radar reflection info, and the chemical signature info.

There is no way Space X are going to be landing on sand! smile


GW Johnson wrote:

They have to be able to land without sinking into the surface. To return at all,  they have to be able to (at least) quintuple the weight without sinking into the surface.  If they sink in,  it will be unevenly (Murphy's Law),  and it will lead to AT LEAST a hold-down "tent stake" friction force preventing takeoff,  and AT MOST topple-over and explosion while refueling. 

The great bulk of Mars is similar to Earthly "fine,  loose sand",  as best we know. That has an allowable surface bearing strength of only 0.1 MPa,  until on-site test data show different.  Deal with THAT!

GW


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