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#1 2004-11-15 10:28:59

C M Edwards
Member
From: Lake Charles LA USA
Registered: 2002-04-29
Posts: 1,011

Re: Do your own research for the cause! - What have you done for Mars Lately?

As someone with amateur science as a hobby, I don't believe that direct contribution by anyone on this forum is an impossibility (though I might double check some. :;):  ).  I think there is a great deal of research that we, personally, can do to aid our favorite space exploration efforts. 

There is a whole list of research just begging to be done.  Some of it can be done on a small scale, with small budgets, by us. 

Here are some examples of experiments and research projects, possible for the average Mars Society member without a trip to FMARS or MRDS.  I'm sure you can think of more if you try.

---

The Ergonomics of Messy Houses
    No, it’s not an oxymoron.  Much has been written about how to organize, design and plan an ergonomically elegant habitat for the crew.  Unfortunately, no battle plan survives contact with the enemy.  Also, people in crowded environments need to interface with other people using the same facilities, and often discover along the way that what’s most efficient for one user isn’t best for four.  We know what we want the Hab to do, but what can we expect the crew to do with it?  There are pages and pages of analog reasearch station reports and photos to look through for information, not to mention our own “organized” houses and “ergonomic” offices.

Simulating the Geology of Burns Cliff
    Since the Opportunity rover was forced to turn back from this feature, we’re stuck with terrestrial analogs to try to figure out how the Burns Cliff feature in Endurance Crater got that way.  Some of the individual features suggest weathering by water after the crater’s formation.  Any single one of these features could have been caused by a combination of wind and thermal weathering alone; however, I have my doubts as to whether they all could have given some apparent discrepancies.  For example, in many cases the apparent direction of fluid flow (air or water) across the surface varies by 90 degrees along the same feature.  Can wind do that, and if so, does that say anything about the local climate?  Could falling dust wear out those channels without filling the crater?  Is that shattered upper layer due to the original impact fracture or was it created later?

Qualitative Grounded Theory Analysis of Mars-related Forums and Blogs (any topic).
    What are space advocates consistently trying to say?  Is there a consensus on anything, or all we all just spinning our wheels and promoting pet projects as many claim?  This is more advocating a method of study rather than something to look for.  However, since I don’t know of anyone who ever applied that method to this case, who knows what on Earth you’ll find?

Behavior of Solutes in Liquid CO2
    There’s been some talk of using liquid CO2 instead of water for things like clothes washing, manufacturing processes, etc.  How does it really compare for those purposes?  Can the necessary solutes really dissolve in liquid CO2 at the required temperatures and pressures?

Small Engine Propane or LNG Conversion
    This is how many people are proposing to run a mars rover - using an internal combustion engine just like a typical terrestrial off-road vehicle.  LNG and propane have been proposed as fuels for such a vehicle, since they’re something we can make using in situ resources.  What’s really involved and how easy is it to do? 

Small Engine Vacuum Conversion
    Same rationale and questions as LNG conversion, only more complicated because this would actually require a vacuum chamber large enough to run the engine.  Perhaps a model car engine would be the best subject.

---

Most of these projects could be accomplished for less than US $100, and all could be done for less than US $1000.  (That rough estimate is for materials.  The time and skills should be your own.  If you’re considering paying your team of professional mechanics $5000 to install an industry standard, HiLo brand propane conversion kit in your jeep, you may be in danger of straying from the pure path, here. :;): ) They’re all time consuming, and may or may not be suitable for a single semester class project.  But dress the results up right, and they’d all look good presented at a future Mars Society convention.


"We go big, or we don't go."  - GCNRevenger

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#2 2004-11-15 10:54:41

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 18,195

Re: Do your own research for the cause! - What have you done for Mars Lately?

Thanks for posting this here. I have always wonder how much of my blogging could be utilized other than for my own personel venting and now I know it is possible to help at least by doing so.

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#3 2004-11-29 04:44:12

GraemeSkinner
Member
From: Eden Hall, Cumbria
Registered: 2004-02-20
Posts: 563
Website

Re: Do your own research for the cause! - What have you done for Mars Lately?

As someone with amateur science as a hobby, I don't believe that direct contribution by anyone on this forum is an impossibility (though I might double check some. :;):  ).  I think there is a great deal of research that we, personally, can do to aid our favorite space exploration efforts.

Its strange, I was halfway through writing a post along similar lines to yours CME, though the research projects were not there of course (that would just be spooky). But I agree that everyone can help aid future space exploration in some way.

Some people will have no interest in doing any research, so why don't they help in other ways, promoting space exploration in their local community for example could be one way - it may not sound like much, giving a talk to a group of people about space exploration, but every little helps.

For me having more of a liking for science than standing in front of a group of people (GULP), I'd pick the research any day.

Graeme


There was a young lady named Bright.
Whose speed was far faster than light;
She set out one day
in a relative way
And returned on the previous night.
--Arthur Buller--

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#4 2005-01-11 01:41:42

Euler
Member
From: Corvallis, OR
Registered: 2003-02-06
Posts: 922

Re: Do your own research for the cause! - What have you done for Mars Lately?

Small Engine Propane or LNG Conversion
This is how many people are proposing to run a mars rover - using an internal combustion engine just like a typical terrestrial off-road vehicle.  LNG and propane have been proposed as fuels for such a vehicle, since they’re something we can make using in situ resources.  What’s really involved and how easy is it to do?

I am pretty sure that the major auto manufacturers make some engines that are designed to run on natural gas or propane.  I think that the real question is what happens when you try to run them off stored oxygen rather than having air.

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#5 2005-01-11 05:27:48

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 18,195

Re: Do your own research for the cause! - What have you done for Mars Lately?

Many Fork lifts run on LP for internal warehouse use. You would make basically a fuel pump or a suction pump( reverse of a compressor) but instead you would put it on the oxygen line from the storage unit. Mix the gasses in the intake or in the cylinder and add spark to ignite. Trap exhaust and compress to storage tank for re-use else where.

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#6 2005-01-13 14:50:25

C M Edwards
Member
From: Lake Charles LA USA
Registered: 2002-04-29
Posts: 1,011

Re: Do your own research for the cause! - What have you done for Mars Lately?

Propane conversion kits are quite popular for off-road vehicles in Hawaii, I understand.  There's also a supplier in Texas.  If you want one to modify for use with an oxygen feed instead of air, they're available new or used.  I'd suggest conducting your initial tests under water rather than in a vacuum environment - it's cheaper.

My own personal interests center around a new, yet ridiculously simple power technology called "thermoacoustics".  Thermoacoustic devices are usually structurally simple and easy to manufacture, require little power, and have potential use in a wide range of applications.  To date, we've only begun to scratch the surface.


"We go big, or we don't go."  - GCNRevenger

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#7 2005-03-19 07:54:09

srmeaney
Member
From: 18 tiwi gdns rd, TIWI NT 0810
Registered: 2005-03-18
Posts: 976

Re: Do your own research for the cause! - What have you done for Mars Lately?

In 1998 I calculated that if the Vallis Marineris took 5 billion years to form, that it will take another eight billion years to completely divide the planetary Glacier into two polar glaciers using a process of photon excitation that the Iron can steal the oxygen from the hydrogen.
Ok. I agree I have been a little uninvolved in the last seven years but I can blame the rest of the human race for that. :sleep:

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#8 2005-03-19 10:04:25

C M Edwards
Member
From: Lake Charles LA USA
Registered: 2002-04-29
Posts: 1,011

Re: Do your own research for the cause! - What have you done for Mars Lately?

I calculated that if the Vallis Marineris took 5 billion years to form, that it will take another eight billion years to completely divide the planetary Glacier into two polar glaciers using a process of photon excitation that the Iron can steal the oxygen from the hydrogen.

That might give you just enough time to devise an experimental test for your claim.


"We go big, or we don't go."  - GCNRevenger

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#9 2005-03-19 23:18:55

srmeaney
Member
From: 18 tiwi gdns rd, TIWI NT 0810
Registered: 2005-03-18
Posts: 976

Re: Do your own research for the cause! - What have you done for Mars Lately?

Considering you can use your socks to sieve for gold, don't be too hasty.

Experiment: If the Vallis Marineris is a location of increased Hydrogen production compared to the entire surface of the planet then there must be, simple laser spectroscopy should reveal what would look like and register as water. Your average scientist will tell you that if there is a region of increased hydrogen emission then there must be water.

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#10 2005-04-17 15:53:58

Fledi
Member
From: in my own little world (no,
Registered: 2003-09-14
Posts: 325

Re: Do your own research for the cause! - What have you done for Mars Lately?

What about methane? Can't the hydrogen come from that?

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#11 2005-04-17 16:48:48

srmeaney
Member
From: 18 tiwi gdns rd, TIWI NT 0810
Registered: 2005-03-18
Posts: 976

Re: Do your own research for the cause! - What have you done for Mars Lately?

Fledi Posted on April 17 2005, 17:53
What about methane? Can't the hydrogen come from that?

Only if a Bacteria layer is decaying/has decayed. More likely it comes from a non-biological source.

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#12 2005-04-17 16:55:24

srmeaney
Member
From: 18 tiwi gdns rd, TIWI NT 0810
Registered: 2005-03-18
Posts: 976

Re: Do your own research for the cause! - What have you done for Mars Lately?

next project. rather than growing in dirt, we can puree Aloe-vera plants and produce a nutrient rich gel that can be smeared all over the surface of the container and it will provide the biological needs for plant growth.

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#13 2005-11-07 18:58:34

C M Edwards
Member
From: Lake Charles LA USA
Registered: 2002-04-29
Posts: 1,011

Re: Do your own research for the cause! - What have you done for Mars Lately?

It occured to me while staring at the piles of clutter collected on various crap catchers around my home that their time averaged behaviors display many of the properties of liquid slurries, including equalization, viscosity, pressure, and bouyancy. 

I wonder: Can the piled up books, tools and other non-food items spilling off of my kitchen table be modelled as a non-newtonian fluid?  Does that pile of bills on the end table obey the law of fluid continuity?  Perhaps the jumble of old receipts on my dresser could be accurately submitted to control volume analysis?


"We go big, or we don't go."  - GCNRevenger

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#14 2016-04-16 16:32:36

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 18,195

Re: Do your own research for the cause! - What have you done for Mars Lately?

SpaceNut wrote:

Thanks for posting this here. I have always wonder how much of my blogging could be utilized other than for my own personel venting and now I know it is possible to help at least by doing so.

Well I just got done fixing the topic for the shifting and other posting artifacts....

Wow its been over a decade and I am still posting for the cause....

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