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#1 2020-07-25 13:46:09

Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 3,474

Productive walking Baba Yaga Robot Trees.

I feel this will be fun, and perhaps productive.

I guess, we might want to try to use albedo, to manipulate Mars, and all those other things, not because it is easy but because it is hard, and may be productive in many ways. 

Other than the walking hut of Baba Yaga, there is this reference: Zodanga

In the 2012 film John Carter, Zodanga is a mobile city located in Barsoom's southwest hemisphere. The city is covered by sentries who patrol just within the walls. The city itself resembles a walking refinery - greasy, smelly, smokey, sooty, black and grey, steel and lifeless. It moves over the surface of the planet on hundreds of massive mechanical legs, while its massive hangar decks house the many airships that Zodangans use to attack their enemies.

What I want to suggest, would be more practical, and I hope, very productive.

OK, so if you did have a walking robotic tree on Mars, I guess before describing probable form of it beyond what has already been said, I guess it is to be wondered where it might walk and how fast it must go.

You could march them from pole to pole with half the distance in 1 Martian year.

Mars Circumference = 13,263 miles / 21344.7295 km.
Mars year length = ~687 days for both Americans and others.

So, if you were silly and made them walk all the way around Mars, that's about 19.3056768558952 miles a day. 
My conversions are not working right in the web, so I guess you metrics will have to do it yourselves.  It is easier for me this way anyhow.

So, 13,263 / 2 = 6,631.5
6,631.5 / 687 = 9.65 miles a day.

But I don't really think it pays to cross into the tropical areas, or perhaps the lower latitudes of the temperate zone.  The main hazard I may wish to avoid is Carbon Dioxide snow of significant depth.

So, I will cut 965 to some estimate like half of that 4.826 miles a day.  That should be modified by factors such as breakdowns where you need to make up time and distance.  Also, it is a bit silly not to dwell on the Martian ice caps, but rather to go there and head back just as you reached the pole in summer.  So, lets just estimate that the things could go a minimum of 10 miles a day on average.

Now I am not necessarily proficient at math, so please do show me my potential errors on this.

A possible form of the machines:

First of all the photo device itself.  I see them as having profiles like a flattened Spruce tree perhaps.  A bit like a flat tree resembling ornament on a Christmas tree.  We might say it would be 2 dimensional, but in reality it would have a most minor dimension of inches or centimeters.

It would be composed of solar panels on one side, and anti-solar cells or the equivalent on the other side.  Of course the robot would try to aim this so that it intercepts the maximum amount of photons from the sun when possible.  While it would have the profile I mentioned, it would actually resemble a tree leaf.

Legs would help in walking from point A to point B, but they might also help for aiming as they could spin the machine to follow the sun, and also help tilt the machine to get the best reception of photons.  But the legs could have wheels as feet as well.

So, some of the intensions of the machine:
-Develop useful electrical power for productive actions.
-Darken Mars.  Intercepted photons, then darkens Mars.
-Give off waste heat preferably in dark times.  This would be to compress the Martian atmosphere, in order to move the top of the atmosphere downwards, into a deeper gravity well, hopefully contributing to retention of atmosphere against the force of the solar wind.

Other potential productive activities.
-Farming:  If you have electrical power, you can have a artificially lighted greenhouse on board, grow stuff while you are walking.  It only needs heating, pressurization, watering, lighting and nutrients.
-You may make hydrocarbons.  Methane.  Using plasma methods, you may make Higher Hydrocarbons (And Hydrogen to recycle to Methane), and perhaps something like tar.
-You may work on the dust storm problem by scooping up regolith with dust, and using tar as a binder to make things like bricks.  Drop them off on trail as you go.
-The machines might contribute to road construction and maintenance work along the way.  Tar for Asphalt, bricks.....Removing rocks, leveling the roadway.

But there could be other robots that bring water to the machines, and fetch product back from these machines.

Good roadways might be rather important as in the Roman Empire, for efficiency.  I suppose we could mention the Inca Empire as well so as to not be too centric to certain roots.


Once you had good "Builds" for these machines, they could be mass produced in an Elon Musk Tesla or SpaceX Mega Factory(s).

Herds and Hoards of them.  Migration patterns.  Dust controll.

For Mars we want some dust, but very likely less than there is.  So, lots of bricks and pavement.  Some dust will serve to extend Mars better into the Habitable Zone, it is said by some. … %20loading.

This is a significant finding, since it suggests that planets with a lot of dust in their atmospheres could have habitable conditions farther from their stars than previously thought. This would, in effect, expand the habitable zone, which is basically the region around a star where temperatures on a rocky could allow liquid water to exist.

In addition, these machines could increase the albedo for Mars, and also release Methane, and perhaps other greenhouse gasses, while also manufacturing productive gain for humans.

They could flatten the Martian ice caps gradually by increasing evaporation while they congregated on the ice caps in summer due to the waste heat they would generate.
I will need to edit portions of this post where Albedo is mentioned.  Doing that now.  Good enough.  You know what I intention.

Wow this is like SciFi, but I don't think it is too far fetched for an advanced multi-planetary species.... smile


Oh, give me a home, where the cyborgs roam.....

Done Done.

Last edited by Void (2020-07-25 14:46:45)

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


#2 2020-07-26 11:37:43

Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 3,474

Re: Productive walking Baba Yaga Robot Trees.

OK then, lets try turtles.

Whereas the previous "Robots" would be very mobile, and that could be a liability per wear and tear of machinery, and an energy drain, then I would try to think of something that would try to embrace the Carbon Dioxide snow and ice, and that would be much less mobile, and would use hibernation at times.

As time goes by, it looks like solar electric may become more efficient.  Here is something that I am looking at, but an old article. … ennas.html
Here is a more recent article: … ution.html

NovaSolix’s carbon nanotube (CNT) antennas are small enough to match the nano-scale wavelengths of sunlight. Antennas can convert electromagnetic spectrum much more efficiently than photovoltaic (PV) cells. When perfected, NovaSolix antennas will capture over four times the energy of current solar panels. They will reach nearly 90% efficiency versus ~20% for todays solar panels.

So, then they may achieve this.  If they do, it becomes interesting to decide if agriculture in artificial lighting is the best way.  One feature of that would be that you can give the plants a cloudy day when you need the electric power for other things, or optimal lighting for plant growth when that becomes a priority.

As I have said previously these would have to be designed to tolerate precipitation.  Carbon Dioxide snow, and frost and ice, and later perhaps for a partially terraformed Mars, water snowfall, frost and ice.

In general it think that it is already evident that higher latitudes are having the most abundant water resources, which is critical for a civilization.  Also, dealing with summer/winter dominant conditions, you might make these things most active in the summer, and hibernate them in winter.

The ones that would be at the lowest latitude perimeter of the CO2 winter ice cap extension would have the least need for mobility.

So, abandoning transparent greenhouse farming to the larger extent, no reason we could not have turtle shaped containers.  Larger probably better.  Thermal insulation, which may also involve radiation shielding, are easily used for such structures.  Perhaps a double shell of metal, with insulation between the shells.  Artificial lighting inside for plant growth.  The lower latitude "Turtles would likely need no mobility legs.  The upper shell blackened, perhaps by laser etching.
Here is a video: … &FORM=VIRE

I am still sticking with the flat Christmas tree ornament solar collector, poking up from the top of the "Turtle Shell".  And this is going to be tricky, to make it so it can survive the precipitation in winter.  I suppose there could be a method to lock it down in a vertical position for the winter hibernations.

Here is something about the seasonal portions of the ice caps:
My preference is to find out what the seasonal CO2 ice caps are by nature, their depth, and type of depositions. Snow, ice slabs, ect.
I have a few things from this article:

Each winter the ice cap grows by adding 1.5 to 2 m of dry ice.

So, 4.92125984 to 6.56167979 feet for some Americans to visualize. 

I guess that is a good start.  So the "Turtle Domes" would be very coated most likely.  But if you could make the solar collector locked down in position and pointing vertical survive the winter precipitation, then it would poke up above this to the elevation you designed.  It also may be coated in CO2 ice.  The weight of that is a concern, and also how it vaporizes in the spring is a concern for damage.  But I suppose the art could be learned.

While it is locked into place by both protective lockdown mechanism, and by the CO2 deposits, its energy collecting abilities will be reduced, but it would still begin to wake up the "Turtle". 

So, the difference between high latitude land in the northern hemisphere where you have trees and where you do not, has solar consequences.

The Mammoth Stepp is related.

On Earth the Mammoth Stepp is thought to have been more biologically productive than the Taiga Forests and Tundra that we mostly have now.  For Mars I guess that might not be so.  As information, I will note that the grasslands of the Mammoth Stepp did not collect much solar energy until the snow cover was melted/evaporated off of them.

In the Taiga forest, solar heating begins well before the ground snow cover is gone.  In fact the trees are thermal solar collectors even in the winter.  Partially because the wind shakes the snow off of them, which is not likely to be important for Mars in this Martian climate.

Still with the "Tree" solar collectors poking up, if we can engineer them to survive winter, solar heating should start sooner that as Mars is now, so to sooner evaporate the reflective CO2 deposits. 

I suppose we could skimp on the pressure inside these "Turtle Domes" but what the heck they should be very sturdy, pressurize them with a Oxygen-Nitrogen-Argon mix, to the comfort of humans.

I guess that if these are at a lower latitude and not mobile, you might consider linking them together, so you could travel a network.  There could be several methods.

So, far, this has just been an exercise in modifying albedo for Mars, but there is no reason you could not manufacture greenhouse gasses in these.

Of course this could be a very large scale project, but so what?  If it is productive and helps Terraform Mars, it is not a worry.

Dust.  Well, if you have a bunch of dimples, the spaces between are likely to collect dust, especially during a global dust storm.  Well, just adapt to that.  Spray it down with salt water and glue the dust in place, if you can.  Dust control is likely to be important for terraforming Mars.  It is more insulation and radiation protection anyway.

There is a possible power source I want to explore for Martian Global Dust Storms.  There may be a concern for abrasion of the solar panels, but however unlikely I want to wonder, if electrostatic fields generated in the "Tree" solar panels could be tapped from the trees.
It would be a strange energy source of course, but I am anticipating that not every tree would experience the same charge at the same time.  Also if these "Trees" could be rotated in different pitches to the wind, I wonder if they might have a different charge potential.  Just something to look into down the road.

When the CO2 deposits were evaporated you could then unlock the "Tree" solar panels and rotate them, and possibly tilt them.  That would be an innovators choice, deciding if the benefits merit more mobility in the devices.

So, what has been described is less mobile.

For the ice caps themselves, you could have "Turtles" that actually had legs.  Not that they would be that mobile.  It is just that if they are serving to evaporate the polar ice caps from it's top, then the ground contours will be changing over time, hence the legs, to re-adjust the "Turtle" for that.  These therefore would likely not be linked together for that reason.

I know that the polar ice cap environment is very harsh, but at least the summers offer a lot of photons, and a double steel shell, with very large insulation, still should be possible to be warm and lighted inside.

Mars being "Photon challenged" relative to Earth, I would think we want to control as many of the Photons as we might.


Last edited by Void (2020-07-26 12:41:10)

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


#3 2020-07-26 15:53:47

Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 3,474

Re: Productive walking Baba Yaga Robot Trees.

Guess I will go again, for amusement.

To Terraform or not?  You can do a little or do a lot.

So, the seasonal ice caps go down to about 50 degrees latitude from what I have read.  That would be a heck of a lot of area to cover with steel domes and artificial trees.  But pretty much under all of it is ice, so, it can be coupled with a sub ice ocean(s) at each upper hemisphere.

When I said steel, I guess, it would be more sensible to say metal.

This again: … f_moondust

ESA opens oxygen plant – making air out of moondust

And so from that they are hoping for alloys of metals.

“The production process leaves behind a tangle of different metals,” adds Alexandre, “and this is another useful line of research, to see what are the most useful alloys that could be produced from them, and what kind of applications could they be put to.

It seems that the machine this was derived from did not like to work with Oxygen, and was for producing metals.  That one had a gas output of Carbon Dioxide and Carbon Monoxide.  For Mars this might work as well.

As I have explained in other topics, having even a cold sea, with about a + Person height liquid layer over soil and perhaps 100 feet of ice above that, would expose metal concentrations, so, you might not need to use just "Lean" ores.

So, you might have a multi-layer habitat for Mars.  That might include domes, many of them of metal, and a partitionable sea, and the undergrounds resulting in part from processing ores into metals, and perhaps materials for solar power devices.

If you do then terraform Mars using greenhouse gasses and perhaps other techniques, then the albedo thing becomes less necessary, but then it is the lower latitudes where you might hope to establish a primitive surface biosphere.  The higher latitudes would likely remain rather cold most of the time.  So, they might as well be utilized for something like what I have been mentioning.

The permanent polar ice caps are actually a different problem to solve.  They have altitude and are of a very high latitude, so they would be a magnet for water vapor to condense on in the winters.  They might actually grow.  I don't know.  Perhaps with greenhouse gasses they would melt and vaporize in the summer sun, especially on their sides.  But if not, then methods must be employed to encourage them to melt and/or vaporize.

I did try robots to capture the photons, and to also evaporate the ice caps from the top.

Elon Musk recommends 10,000 nukes above the atmosphere.  I am willing to think it through.

What then happens to your domes, if there is a nuclear flash which can impinge on your dome?

For a transparent dome that might be bad.  Not sure.  Might explode it. 

For my metal domes with Christmas tree ornament solar power device, might be OK.  You might rotate the solar collector, so that it is edge on to the flash.  And the metal dome might put up with the flash.  Maybe for that reason you make the domes shiny, not black.

The effect of greenhouse gasses might not be enough to melt the permanent polar ice caps, but would warm the edges.  Maybe you could promote ice covered rivers running down the sides with Lasers of a specific wavelength.  Might be inefficient, but still might be worth looking at.

Purposeful movement of water to lower latitudes:
While you might hope for a primitive biosphere at lower latitudes, with microbes and perhaps lichens, you might covet the low lying areas to push water to Hellas, perhaps the Valles Marineris.

One further thought, I think that metal domes might be rather large as they have tensile strength.  It may be that projectors could even paint a sky image on them for human comfort.


Last edited by Void (2020-07-26 16:29:55)

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


#4 2020-07-27 13:16:36

Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 3,474

Re: Productive walking Baba Yaga Robot Trees.

I have an update to the previous.

I am now thinking modifiable metal spherical bubbles.

They would rest on the bed of the regolith, penetrating through the ice and water seas.  They might project a distance above the ice, and still with a giant flat Christmas tree solar collector of solar and anti-solar cells.

The equator facing portion blackened, the pole facing portion reflective, in case you want to use Elon Musk's orbital flash nukes to try to do a terraform on the polar ice reservoirs.

Should it be desired the metal domes may host transparent dome windows, either concave, or convex.  I think the probably these should have a hosting room with a door that can be closed if a leak of air begins.

Although they may be of some weight probably ballast is needed to keep them from floating in the seas.   That could be regolith, water, or office buildings inside.

To access the interior of the upper portions walls, and any attached sub rooms up their, a arch, that rests on a track around the perimeter of the domes interior, at approximately the mid line from up to down.  This then can host elevators that travel up and down, and also the arch can rotate within the dome.

If the sphere is to be say half filled with water, that could be cold salty water say -10 degC, still within the ability for sponsoring a plankton within it with artificial lighting.  If you want warmer water, you simply put a large circular "Boat" to float on top of that cold water and fill it with water that you would warm up.  Of course you do not overfill it or it would sink.

You may not have to have cold water in the bottom of the dome, you could do warm water, but then you must insulate the domes walls where they touch ice on the outside.

Per dust collecting.  Such obstructions in the path of the winds, should snare dust, including during the global dust storms.  Previously I suggested making bricks out of it by robots, or gluing it down with frozen salt water.  Now I suggest just vacuuming it up and making it into a resource.  It would be a fluid flow, that came to you, with chemical properties, and structural properties, so, why not learn to exploit those?  Salts, possibly, and the grains themselves, which I think might be mostly silica, with an iron oxide coating???  Going to look that up.

Very annoying.  Nobody says strait up what it is made of.  It seems likely that my above is only partially correct at most. … 2Rusty.%22

Dusty crust
The dust that covers the surface of Mars is fine like talcum powder. Beneath the layer of dust, the Martian crust consists mostly of volcanic basalt rock. The soil of Mars also holds nutrients such as sodium, potassium, chloride and magnesium. The crust is between 6 and 30 miles (10 and 50 kilometers) thick, according to NASA.

Where does it come from? … %80%99s%20

Bottom line: A new study says that the dust that coats much of the surface of Mars originates largely from a single 1,000-kilometer-long (600-mile-long) geological formation near the planet’s equator called the Medusae Fossae Formation.

I guess it's composition will be interesting, but the reality is humans will want to master it.  Regulate it's quantity in the Martian environment.  A long term task I am sure.  But whatever it is composed of the best notion is to turn it into a resource.  It seems to me that the finest windborne stuff will indeed collect between the structures I am advocating.  So, then figure out how to make it something useful, and collect it and eventually regulate the quantity in activity in the Martian environment.

Some could be good as a certain quantity will make Mars warmer.  But global dust storms generate toxic chemicals, and change the energy collecting abilities for a Martian civilization.

I think the metal bubbles are a very good linking technology.  It would link solar energy, access to the surface, access to a cold sea, and it's presumed minerals, and access to underground hollows and tunnels.


Last edited by Void (2020-07-27 13:41:45)

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


#5 2020-07-28 10:00:30

Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 3,474

Re: Productive walking Baba Yaga Robot Trees.

This morning, I have been thinking about the potentials of the metal domes being heat exchangers, and also underground resources such as possible artesian water.

The poleward face of the dome, I have suggested with a reflective surface.  I think it is very reasonable to make it not only be a reflective portion of a pressure shell, but to be a radiator of heat.  For the moment I am looking at Ammonia as a fluid for that.  And the seas I have described, and underground features as storage for heat.  For now I think maybe turbines, but not necessarily.  Anti-solar cells might be on it as well.
This is an interesting thing to quote:

(Triple point at 6.060 kPa, 195.4 K)

Anti-solar panels: … &FORM=VIRE

The sunward side described as blackened, would bring heat in.  Of course portions could have something like a coated aerogel, to assist in that.  But of course that would only work in sunny situations, and would not be so much help in dark periods.

The cold sea could be considered a source of heat.

But I wonder about a sort of cold geothermal.
There is this speculation about quakes and auto-fracking on Mars.  We do think that there will be aquifers. … arthquakes

In any case inhabitants of Mars may want to drill fracking wells from underground chambers, for microbial mining, and for energy harvesting and perhaps just thermal storage. … 0%28EPA%29.

The melting point of Ammonia is sort of near the liquid form of extreme brines.

−77.73 °C (−107.91 °F)

So, perhaps we would have some leeway in what we might call geothermal energy, or geothermal storage with a brine in a Frack Well.

Frack wells being created under a very high pressure, no reason to rule out storing hot brines in them of a very high temperature.

Where exploiting natural Artesian wells seems like something to investigate, hot water storage with brines in fracked wells also looks interesting.  It may be that if the "Hot" is moderated, microbial, and/or acid mining could also be compatible with the process allowing access to minerals miles or km down, without digging tunnels.


Others, have considered geothermal for Mars: … 0of%20Mars.

Fogg reemerges smile  Zubrin also featured: … 4f5e714b25

I see the potential for a bottom level geothermal, involving Ammonia heated radiators, and anti-solar Panels.  It is not so important that you have massive energy at your fingertips at all times, but it is important to have sufficient energy to persist, at all times.  For Martian dust storms, and winters this could be important.  Also, as I mentioned in previous posts to figure out how to extract electricity from global dust storms.

I think that is enough for now.


Last edited by Void (2020-07-28 10:32:58)

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


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