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#1 2017-04-14 16:18:27

Dook
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From: USA
Registered: 2004-01-09
Posts: 1,409

What Are The Best Settlement Sites on Mars?

I'm not talking about exploration sites.  The assumption is that about three exploration missions to Mars would have already happened.  This is about the first settlements, not 1,000 years into the future when they're making glass and steel buildings. 

Viking 2 landed at Utopia Planitia and it's a rock field, just about impossible to use as a settlement site plus it's too far from the equator. 

Viking 1 is at Chryse Planitia which, I think, is a bit too far from the equator.  There are some small rocks and it looks like some sand that could be deep. 

What other places are impassable rock fields or deep sand dunes?

What about the area above Valles Marineris?

Spirit is at Gusev Crater, just below Olympus Mons.  That seems like a decent location.

Opportunity is at Meridiani Planum, seems like too much sand there.

Would it be best to have a single settlement area and then to the east of it have a landing area, 100 miles wide or so, where all the incoming settlements/Moxies/nuclear reactors/greenhouses are landed and then bring all the equipment back to the central base?

Once you clear all the rocks and establish a known trail you would not likely get stuck.  And, if you have two or three operating Long Range Rovers and every rocket lander (Tuna cans/Nuclear Reactors/Moxies/Greenhouse containers/Food and water container) had tracks they could be towed to the base.

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#2 2017-04-14 16:27:20

SpaceNut
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Re: What Are The Best Settlement Sites on Mars?

The perfect spot for science exploration versus science for insitu use may not be found all in the same location but landing to far from you base and moving all of what is landed to the site seems to not be to me the way to go. If you are going to land in a line from site a through ect sites as many locations as you would like then this is more like the hiking trail huts system for survival rather than a complex strong foothold.....

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#3 2017-04-14 16:39:01

Dook
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Posts: 1,409

Re: What Are The Best Settlement Sites on Mars?

SpaceNut wrote:

The perfect spot for science exploration versus science for insitu use may not be found all in the same location but landing to far from you base and moving all of what is landed to the site seems to not be to me the way to go. If you are going to land in a line from site a through ect sites as many locations as you would like then this is more like the hiking trail huts system for survival rather than a complex strong foothold.....

Most of the science exploration has already been done with rovers and satellites.  The exploration teams will conduct surface exploration, not of the whole planet but I don't think we'll wait to explore the whole planet before we send the first settlement. 

In-situ CO2 to oxygen conversion can be done anywhere on Mars.

Having the settlement sites spread out increases the risk for loss of life from a failure of critical equipment.  If a settlement somehow loses it's nuclear reactor or has it's main oxygen storage tank rupture or it's only Moxie unit burn out they would have to abandon the site.  Also, by having one base you don't have to clear new roads.

EDIT:  Also, by having one base you don't need to continue to transport Moxie units, nuclear reactors, and solar panels once you have two or three of those at your main base.  If you have many bases then each needs it's own nuclear reactor, two Moxies, Long Range Rover, and solar panel farm.

You guys don't want Mars settlement.  You want Mars settlement a certain specific way and if you don't get it you're not going to be happy with anything else.  Why do the first settlers have to have manufacturing?

Last edited by Dook (2017-04-14 16:54:06)

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#4 2017-04-14 17:01:26

RobertDyck
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Re: What Are The Best Settlement Sites on Mars?

I would argue for the "frozen pack ice" on Elysium Planitia. NASA has said that's lava, but the European Space Agency said no way, lava doesn't form those shapes. ESA said that's clearly frozen pack ice. You could debate whether the ice sublimated away leaving dust in the shape where the pack ice used to be, but even that looks unlikely. There are "sploosh" craters, indicating ice at the time a meteorite impacted. These craters show us how deep the ice goes. It's an average of 45 metres deep, a surface area larger than all the great lakes combined, total ice volume is greater than the water volume of all the great lakes combined. Or if you want a European analogy, the surface area and water volume are greater than the North Sea. It's just 5° north of the equator, so relatively warm as Mars goes. It's also the bottom of the dried-up ocean basin, so below the datum. That low altitude provides additional atmosphere overhead for radiation shielding. And it's relatively flat and smooth, so safe to land. There should be potash deposits somewhere near there. Potash is potassium salt, deposited when a salt sea or large salt lake completely dries up. Wherever the last bit of water was, that's where you'll find the salt. On Earth the salt forms layers: sodium chloride (table salt), potassium chloride (potash fertilizer), calcium chloride (road salt). The pack ice formed when a volcano erupted nearby about 5 million years ago, melting permafrost. That melt water ran downhill, collecting at a low spot. It eventually froze. Since this is a low spot in what was the ocean floor, salt deposits should be nearby. You wouldn't want to build right on the ice, but on the shore of the ice. Melt some ice, and use a hose to suck up the water. It'll probably be muddy, salty water. You'll have to filter that to become useful water. Hematite concretions tends to form where water dissolved iron, then dried up to precipitate out iron. There could be hematite concretions in this area. That would be ideal iron ore.

Of course it will take a rover with a multi-segment core drill to verify ice is actually there. Would be nice if the rover could verify salt and hematite as well.
dn7039-1_600.jpg

Last edited by RobertDyck (2017-04-14 17:02:12)

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#5 2017-04-14 17:04:08

louis
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From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 7,208

Re: What Are The Best Settlement Sites on Mars?

Not sure what your concern is about being so far from the equator.  I favour PV and I think I read that a latitude around 25 degrees is best for insolation (this is due to Mars' orbit/wobble/tilt I think). So I was thinking somewhere between Viking 1 and Pathfinder...the iron ore deposits there look good.

With a mission that includes pre-landings (which I favour) you would be landing robot rovers well in advance of humans landing, so you will know the landing conditions. You can lay down transponders and have very accurate landings - within a few tens of metres.

Small rocks can be cleared by robot rovers over a period of years.

Generally I favour:

1. A plain (pretty much means northern hemisphere).

2. Good insolation.

3. Water resources close by.

4.  Iron ore and other metal resources within reach.

5.  Basalt close by.

6.  Being close to interesting geological or other features (the Viking/Pathfinder sites are not too far from Valles Marineris, Olympic Mons and the northern ocean area).


Dook wrote:

I'm not talking about exploration sites.  The assumption is that about three exploration missions to Mars would have already happened.  This is about the first settlements, not 1,000 years into the future when they're making glass and steel buildings. 

Viking 2 landed at Utopia Planitia and it's a rock field, just about impossible to use as a settlement site plus it's too far from the equator. 

Viking 1 is at Chryse Planitia which, I think, is a bit too far from the equator.  There are some small rocks and it looks like some sand that could be deep. 

What other places are impassable rock fields or deep sand dunes?

What about the area above Valles Marineris?

Spirit is at Gusev Crater, just below Olympus Mons.  That seems like a decent location.

Opportunity is at Meridiani Planum, seems like too much sand there.

Would it be best to have a single settlement area and then to the east of it have a landing area, 100 miles wide or so, where all the incoming settlements/Moxies/nuclear reactors/greenhouses are landed and then bring all the equipment back to the central base?

Once you clear all the rocks and establish a known trail you would not likely get stuck.  And, if you have two or three operating Long Range Rovers and every rocket lander (Tuna cans/Nuclear Reactors/Moxies/Greenhouse containers/Food and water container) had tracks they could be towed to the base.


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

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#6 2017-04-14 17:16:20

RobertDyck
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From: Winnipeg, Canada
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Re: What Are The Best Settlement Sites on Mars?

Dook wrote:

EDIT:  Also, by having one base you don't need to continue to transport Moxie units, nuclear reactors, and solar panels once you have two or three of those at your main base.  If you have many bases then each needs it's own nuclear reactor, two Moxies, Long Range Rover, and solar panel farm.

You guys don't want Mars settlement.  You want Mars settlement a certain specific way and if you don't get it you're not going to be happy with anything else.  Why do the first settlers have to have manufacturing?

I've argued for one main base. I've also argued to have the first human mission start construction of that base. Robert Zubrin argued for human exploration before settling on one location for a permanent base. I argue that made sense in 1990, but today it's moot. Robotic exploration has been done. It's now done, finished, over, complete, fini (French), acabado (Spanish), rIn (Klingon). wink So would argue for an orbiter to demonstrate aerocapture, a robotic sample return mission as a Scout size mission with lander and rover the size of Sojourner to demonstrate ISPP, and a rover the size of Spirit or Opportunity with multi-segment drill to verify water. These 3 missions are all we need. We do need "InSight", but we don't need the "Mars 2020" mission. Then send humans.

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#7 2017-04-14 17:26:39

louis
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Posts: 7,208

Re: What Are The Best Settlement Sites on Mars?

I agree Robert. One main base.  We already have a lot of data and that data can be refined once the mission is on. I'd say you have at least 4 years of "playtime" to completely narrow down your landing site in say a 10 year lead in time period.

Unless something horrendous happens, we should stick with the main base for a couple of decades...but after 20 years of exploration and improved understanding of the planet's topography and resources, we might then decide to relocate the main settlement focus.

In space and planetary exploration I think focus counts for a lot! It's what Apollo had.




RobertDyck wrote:
Dook wrote:

EDIT:  Also, by having one base you don't need to continue to transport Moxie units, nuclear reactors, and solar panels once you have two or three of those at your main base.  If you have many bases then each needs it's own nuclear reactor, two Moxies, Long Range Rover, and solar panel farm.

You guys don't want Mars settlement.  You want Mars settlement a certain specific way and if you don't get it you're not going to be happy with anything else.  Why do the first settlers have to have manufacturing?

I've argued for one main base. I've also argued to have the first human mission start construction of that base. Robert Zubrin argued for human exploration before settling on one location for a permanent base. I argue that made sense in 1990, but today it's moot. Robotic exploration has been done. It's now done, finished, over, complete, fini (French), acabado (Spanish), rIn (Klingon). wink So would argue for an orbiter to demonstrate aerocapture, a robotic sample return mission as a Scout size mission with lander and rover the size of Sojourner to demonstrate ISPP, and a rover the size of Spirit or Opportunity with multi-segment drill to verify water. These 3 missions are all we need. We do need "InSight", but we don't need the "Mars 2020" mission. Then send humans.


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

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#8 2017-04-14 17:48:30

RobS
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Re: What Are The Best Settlement Sites on Mars?

I agree: we need one settlement for a start and it needs to be at a low altitude and near water. I doubt we need large landing ellipses; Musk can bring things down on a little floating platform and that precision will be possible once a very limited GPS system is set up (which may not require very many satellites). A second or third settlement will be justified based on availability of natural resources. You can have a DaVinci robot for medical operations in only one spot for a long time. A central settlement will be needed to provide a lot of essential services.

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#9 2017-04-14 17:55:50

Dook
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Re: What Are The Best Settlement Sites on Mars?

louis wrote:

Not sure what your concern is about being so far from the equator.  I favour PV and I think I read that a latitude around 25 degrees is best for insolation (this is due to Mars' orbit/wobble/tilt I think). So I was thinking somewhere between Viking 1 and Pathfinder...the iron ore deposits there look good.

With a mission that includes pre-landings (which I favour) you would be landing robot rovers well in advance of humans landing, so you will know the landing conditions. You can lay down transponders and have very accurate landings - within a few tens of metres.

Small rocks can be cleared by robot rovers over a period of years.

Generally I favour:

1. A plain (pretty much means northern hemisphere).

2. Good insolation.

3. Water resources close by.

4.  Iron ore and other metal resources within reach.

5.  Basalt close by.

6.  Being close to interesting geological or other features (the Viking/Pathfinder sites are not too far from Valles Marineris, Olympic Mons and the northern ocean area).

You're not sure what my concern is about being far from the equator?  Well, if I remember correctly I think Mars axial tilt is pretty close to the Earth's so,  that means it has season's like the Earth, and the equator is the best place to get the most sun, just like the Earth.  If you put a settlement at 25 degrees above the equator it would only get direct sun during it's summer but during it's winter the sun's ray's would hit most directly south of the equator.     

You can lay down transponders and land within a few tens of meters?  You think they can where ever they want because SpaceX did it but the SpaceX rocket did not perform an aerocapture.  It went up, moved around, and came back down. 

In an aerocapture the spacecraft enters the atmosphere, decelerates with the heat shield, discards the heat shield and deploy's a parachute to slow down further, then it discards the parachute and fires it's rocket to land on landing legs.  The rocket fires late, too late to maneuver the spacecraft. 

If you want to be able to land at a specific place you have to burn the rocket engine much earlier and for a much longer period of time.  Not sure if you would still use the parachute at all.  You might just go straight from aerocapture to the rocket engine.

I'm not saying it's not possible but you will need a lot more rocket fuel.  More rocket fuel means less supplies, less food, less water, and smaller payloads. 

Small rocks can be cleared by robot rovers?  Powered by batteries?  They will work for an hour before they have to be recharged so, how far from the base will they be able to go? 

You favor water resources close by?  So you want to settle on the Earth and not Mars then?

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#10 2017-04-14 18:00:21

louis
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From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 7,208

Re: What Are The Best Settlement Sites on Mars?

We are probably going to get into semantics quickly here.  There will always be plenty of peripheral activity locations around the main base (mining, scientific, exploratory etc). But I think we are mostly agreed there has to be a single strong central base for at least the first couple of decades or so.  This will be the Mars Spaceport, the Mars central government, and the main Mars-Earth trading post. As it will have the most advanced coms and life support systems, it will be the natural location for scientists and researchers coming to Mars as well as those on extended "gap years".


RobS wrote:

I agree: we need one settlement for a start and it needs to be at a low altitude and near water. I doubt we need large landing ellipses; Musk can bring things down on a little floating platform and that precision will be possible once a very limited GPS system is set up (which may not require very many satellites). A second or third settlement will be justified based on availability of natural resources. You can have a DaVinci robot for medical operations in only one spot for a long time. A central settlement will be needed to provide a lot of essential services.


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

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#11 2017-04-14 18:23:06

RobertDyck
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Re: What Are The Best Settlement Sites on Mars?

Dook wrote:

if I remember correctly I think Mars axial tilt is pretty close to the Earth's

Statistics in an easy-to-read table form:
Earth - axial tilt 23.45°
Mars - axial tilt 25.19°
However, the orbit of Mars is more elliptical than Earth's. Some would like to "cheat" by positioning the base accordingly.

Dook wrote:

In an aerocapture the spacecraft enters the atmosphere, decelerates with the heat shield, discards the heat shield and deploy's a parachute to slow down further, then it discards the parachute and fires it's rocket to land on landing legs.  The rocket fires late, too late to maneuver the spacecraft.

This conflates aerocapture with direct-entry. With direct-entry the spacecraft enters the atmosphere directly. However, with aerocapture a spacecraft arriving via interplanetary trajectory would skim the atmosphere, and enter orbit. By entering orbit first, you can verify the location. And when you do enter the atmosphere, you do so at lower speed.

Dook wrote:

You favor water resources close by?  So you want to settle on the Earth and not Mars then?

Rude. We need water. There are lots of locations with identified ice on Mars. The human base location will require water for several reasons: life support backup, wash water, expansion, as well as smelting/refining and manufacturing.

You could argue for the frozen pack ice at Elysium Planetia. Or permafrost at Meridiani Planum. Or glaciers in the sides of valleys/gullies at mid-latitude locations identified by SHARAD on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. But we need ice of some sort.

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#12 2017-04-14 18:52:54

SpaceNut
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Posts: 29,314

Re: What Are The Best Settlement Sites on Mars?

I would agree to the near pin point landing as demonstrated by the Falcon rocket is needed and not moving anything but a few meters once down. That systems redundancy if not partial at first needs to be implemented as each mission landing occurs as part of base expansion to not only ensure whom is there but to be able to provide for the future as more people go to mars to live..

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#13 2017-04-14 19:03:24

Dook
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Posts: 1,409

Re: What Are The Best Settlement Sites on Mars?

RobertDyck wrote:
Dook wrote:

if I remember correctly I think Mars axial tilt is pretty close to the Earth's

Statistics in an easy-to-read table form:
Earth - axial tilt 23.45°
Mars - axial tilt 25.19°
However, the orbit of Mars is more elliptical than Earth's. Some would like to "cheat" by positioning the base accordingly.

Dook wrote:

In an aerocapture the spacecraft enters the atmosphere, decelerates with the heat shield, discards the heat shield and deploy's a parachute to slow down further, then it discards the parachute and fires it's rocket to land on landing legs.  The rocket fires late, too late to maneuver the spacecraft.

This conflates aerocapture with direct-entry. With direct-entry the spacecraft enters the atmosphere directly. However, with aerocapture a spacecraft arriving via interplanetary trajectory would skim the atmosphere, and enter orbit. By entering orbit first, you can verify the location. And when you do enter the atmosphere, you do so at lower speed.

Dook wrote:

You favor water resources close by?  So you want to settle on the Earth and not Mars then?

Rude. We need water. There are lots of locations with identified ice on Mars. The human base location will require water for several reasons: life support backup, wash water, expansion, as well as smelting/refining and manufacturing.

You could argue for the frozen pack ice at Elysium Planetia. Or permafrost at Meridiani Planum. Or glaciers in the sides of valleys/gullies at mid-latitude locations identified by SHARAD on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. But we need ice of some sort.

Finding water on Mars is not so much a place, it's a temperature.  When it gets between 33 and about 35 degrees which means you have to be near the equator for a few minutes in the day time.   

By entering orbit first you can verify the location?  To what degree?  How wide is the projected landing area then?

In "The Case for Mars" Zubrin had a chart that showed that NASA could land about 800 kilometers from a previous spot.   

When you enter the atmosphere you do so at lower speed?  Okay, you still need the parachute and rocket to slow down. 

We need water?  The tuna can habitat will have water recycling.  Water washing will be in a recycle shower that sends the water through a filter that filters it.  You just need to either replace the filters or clean them somehow. 

They need water for expansion?  So the first settlers will go with water but the next settlers to land won't take their own water?  Why?

We need water for smelting/refining and manufacturing?  In about 500 years. 

The greenhouse will use brought water but all that water will be contained inside the greenhouse. 

Where is the water loss?

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#14 2017-04-14 19:27:53

RobertDyck
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Re: What Are The Best Settlement Sites on Mars?

You need water for smelting with mission 1. Not 500 years; immediately. Bruce MacKenzie proposed making brick using Mars regolith. Various other people have proposed other things. Smelting iron requires either hydrogen or carbon monoxide or both. Ideally both. Carbon monoxide requires reacting CO2 with hydrogen. Smelting aluminum requires hydrochloric acid, ammonia, and water to process anorthite or bytownite ore into aluminum hydroxide. Then calcinate that to produce alumina. That is smelted using cryolite and a whole lot of electricity. I wrote a page which gives a brief description how to make plastic. Many steps involve hydrogen. Habitat or greenhouse manufacture requires water in some way.
Plastics

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#15 2017-04-14 20:17:30

Dook
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Re: What Are The Best Settlement Sites on Mars?

RobertDyck wrote:

You need water for smelting with mission 1. Not 500 years; immediately. Bruce MacKenzie proposed making brick using Mars regolith. Various other people have proposed other things. Smelting iron requires either hydrogen or carbon monoxide or both. Ideally both. Carbon monoxide requires reacting CO2 with hydrogen. Smelting aluminum requires hydrochloric acid, ammonia, and water to process anorthite or bytownite ore into aluminum hydroxide. Then calcinate that to produce alumina. That is smelted using cryolite and a whole lot of electricity. I wrote a page which gives a brief description how to make plastic. Many steps involve hydrogen. Habitat or greenhouse manufacture requires water in some way.
Plastics

You need smelting with mission 1?  So the next settlers won't land in a tuna can or for some reason won't be able to use it as a habitat?

Bruce Mackenzie proposed making bricks?  So, every new settler rocket is going to land in a tuna can, so they will have a habitat, but they will abandon that perfect habitat and go and waste water and waste time making bricks?  And then, instead of growing food and maintaining critical life support equipment they will have to build another habitat and use some other equipment to make it warm, have oxygen, be able to remove CO2, and have water?  Are they going to steal the equipment from the tuna can to put in their dirt home? Why would anyone do that?   

Smelting aluminum requires hydrochloric acid?  So now we have to find chlorine as well?  Or bring it from the Earth.  So, less food, more hydrochloric acid, just so we can abandon the perfect tuna can and live in a Mars dirt home. 

You guys are stuck in a vicious circle that you created.  You don't want Mars settlement.  You want Mars manufacturing, I guess because you think that colonization will be quicker with manufacturing when that just slows it down.  You want manufacturing and you need lots of water manufacture things so you have to go and get the water for the manufacturing but the manufacturing only gets you habitat but every new settlement will land in a perfect habitat already so they're not going to leave their tuna can's for the new habitat anyway.     

This is exactly what NASA did in the 90 day report.  They didn't put a mission to Mars first.  They all put their certain agenda's first and that's why it failed. 

Just try this, think of a settlement plan without any manufacturing.  It takes six launches per settlement: a Moxie is launched, a nuclear reactor is launched, they dock in orbit and rocket to Mars as one spacecraft. 

Another Moxie is launched, a capsule with food and water is launched, they dock in space and rocket to Mars.  Then a greenhouse container is launched, a food/water capsule is launched, they dock in orbit and rocket off to Mars. 

Then a rover hanger is launched, one hour later a tuna can with crew is launched, they dock in orbit and blast off to Mars.  So, in six launches we have a tuna can habitat, we have a rover, we have two Moxies, a nuclear power plant, we have a greenhouse and we have food and water supplies. 

The tuna can habitat will have solar cells on the side of it and it would have solar panels that will be moved outside and mounted.  The rover hanger will have a long range rover and two ATV's. 

No manufacturing needed.  No other habitats needed.

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#16 2017-04-14 22:47:13

RobertDyck
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Re: What Are The Best Settlement Sites on Mars?

Dook, you have it backwards. In the 90-Day-Report, NASA asked for everything under the sun. They asked for $450 billion in 1989 dollars. Congress said "No way in hell!" The Mars Direct mission plan focused on living off the land. That means bring the minimum, make stuff on Mars. Cost was estimated as $20 billion for research, development, plus the first mission, then $2 billion per mission thereafter. That was in 1990.

You can't send everything from Earth. NASA and Congress will only allow development using SLS. After all, SLS is the big thing the Senate announced with NASA, and Congress is paying for. Cost estimate is $7 billion for development (2014 estimate), and $500 million per launch (2012 estimate). And NASA's favourite contractors want a giant spacecraft assembly that requires multiple launches for a single mission. And you ask why we want to live off the land, stop sending stuff from Earth?

Normal table salt is sodium chloride: NaCl. Mars soil is very salty, it's everywhere. You don't have to look for it; it's under your first foot-step outside. Sodium hydroxide, hydrogen gas, and chlorine gas are made with a very simple electrolysis cell from brine (very salty water). Burn hydrogen gas with chlorine gas, ensuring no oxygen what so ever, the result is hydrogen chloride. Dissolve that in water, you get hydrochloric acid. Very simple. So both sodium hydroxide and hydrochloric acid are made from salt and water. There's salt everywhere on Mars. The key things are water and power. And these two chemicals are used for many industrial processes.

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#17 2017-04-14 23:09:57

RobertDyck
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Re: What Are The Best Settlement Sites on Mars?

Since new guy doesn't know what we're talking about, how about some pictures. Mars Direct:
surface1.jpg

I was part of the Mars Homestead Project, Phase 1 - Hillside Settlement. The idea was to design the first permanent settlement on Mars. Since the scope was not to design an interplanetary spacecraft, we assumed a crew of 12 who arrive in 3 Mars Direct habitats (4 crew each). We assumed a 4th habitat for backup, and additional supplies. Then the crew build a permanent settlement using In Situ Resource Utilization.

In the following image, the 4 cylinders with a red ring on top are those Mars Direct habitats. The two small blue greenhouses to the left of the left of the MD habs are inflatable greenhouses, carried in the MD habitats. Harder to see are 3 regolith rings with an open pit in the centre; each pit has a fair size nuclear reactor. A separate lander delivers nothing but one nuclear reactor, they're a lot bigger than SP-100 or SAFE-400.
normal_MHP-4FC-Image001.jpg
normal_MHP-4FC-Image029.jpg
normal_MHP-4FC-Image026.jpg

The first exploration mission will be Mars Direct, or something similar. The first exploration mission will do proof-of-concept experiments. Growing some vegetables in a greenhouse, but with enough stored food so they don't rely on the greenhouse. Hand making a brick or two. Harvest ice, process to produce drinking water. Stuff like that. Land successive missions to the same location to build-up equipment. When the first serious construction mission begins, expect something like the Hillside Settlement in less than a dozen launches of SLS Block 2.

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#18 2017-04-15 05:37:48

louis
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From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 7,208

Re: What Are The Best Settlement Sites on Mars?

Dook -

From the MIT Team's evaluation of the best latitude for PV systems:

"The results show that there is an optimum location for solar architectures around 30 degrees north latitude. The results also show that northern latitudes are always better then their southern counterparts."

http://systemarchitect.mit.edu/docs/cooper10.pdf

So for me, favouring PV, that would push it a little further north of the Viking 1/Pathfinder landing sites.


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

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#19 2017-04-15 05:53:51

louis
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From: UK
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Posts: 7,208

Re: What Are The Best Settlement Sites on Mars?

I think you're right Robert, Mission One will be a lot about proof of concept.  They'll certainly have enough food for their planned stay on the planet (and beyond, in event of emergency).

Among top priorities will be:

Installing the energy generation facility.

Clearing the local area of all rocks and obstructions. Clearing "roads" out to exploration and metal ore sites.

Exploration of local metal resources.

Self medical monitoring.

Taking regolith samples and identifying meteorites for return to Earth.

Looking for signs of life, either existing or extinct.

Water mining and processing.

Methane manufacture.

Iron ore collection and processing.

Oxygen production.

Basalt collection, melting and moulding.

Growing of food - probably salad vegetables and bean shoots nothing too complex.

Preparing for habitat construction (e.g. making Mars bricks, cement and concrete).

Some of the above can be begun by pre-lander robot missions.

I think we now know that a lot can be done with self-driving or remotely driven robots.  There will be far less EVA activity than might have been thought necessary a few years ago. The EVA activity will be more for the cameras and for the psychological benefit of the first colonists.

Last edited by louis (2017-04-15 05:55:20)


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#20 2017-04-15 06:43:49

louis
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From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 7,208

Re: What Are The Best Settlement Sites on Mars?

I favour the first settlement being located in Chryse Planitia (as others have mentioned).

I'd say about 25 degrees north and 35 degrees west...north of the Pathfinder landing site by about - I'm guessing from the latitude difference - 300 Kms.


https://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/mgs/target/marsmap1b.jpg

Iron ore deposits are fairly high there.

http://www.psrd.hawaii.edu/WebImg/Mars-GRS-FeMap.jpg

Water resources look reasonable as well there - maybe 5% bound in the soil:

https://3c1703fe8d.site.internapcdn.net … lyseso.jpg

I suggest the following precursor mission:

Send a robot lander to Mars - this contains 5 mini rovers which land separately over an area of about 2500 sq kms in Chryse Planitia.   The 5 mini rovers scout for water ice in the soil and iron ore deposits. We take the best location as the Mission One base location. 

Chryse City sounds like a good name for the first base. smile

Last edited by louis (2017-04-15 16:51:47)


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#21 2017-04-15 09:45:31

Dook
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Re: What Are The Best Settlement Sites on Mars?

RobertDyck wrote:

Dook, you have it backwards. In the 90-Day-Report, NASA asked for everything under the sun. They asked for $450 billion in 1989 dollars. Congress said "No way in hell!" The Mars Direct mission plan focused on living off the land. That means bring the minimum, make stuff on Mars. Cost was estimated as $20 billion for research, development, plus the first mission, then $2 billion per mission thereafter. That was in 1990.

You can't send everything from Earth. NASA and Congress will only allow development using SLS. After all, SLS is the big thing the Senate announced with NASA, and Congress is paying for. Cost estimate is $7 billion for development (2014 estimate), and $500 million per launch (2012 estimate). And NASA's favourite contractors want a giant spacecraft assembly that requires multiple launches for a single mission. And you ask why we want to live off the land, stop sending stuff from Earth?

Normal table salt is sodium chloride: NaCl. Mars soil is very salty, it's everywhere. You don't have to look for it; it's under your first foot-step outside. Sodium hydroxide, hydrogen gas, and chlorine gas are made with a very simple electrolysis cell from brine (very salty water). Burn hydrogen gas with chlorine gas, ensuring no oxygen what so ever, the result is hydrogen chloride. Dissolve that in water, you get hydrochloric acid. Very simple. So both sodium hydroxide and hydrochloric acid are made from salt and water. There's salt everywhere on Mars. The key things are water and power. And these two chemicals are used for many industrial processes.

Right, everything under the sun was not needed to put humans on Mars.  It was full of inefficiency.  That's exactly what you are doing now.  We don't need manufacturing on Mars.  Your agenda is not a settlement on Mars, it's a settlement with luxury. 

You can't send everything from the Earth?  We're not going to send "everything", that's why there we're not going to send any smelting or manufacturing.  How are you going to get people from the Earth to Mars?  In a tuna can, right? So, everyone who gets to Mars will arrive in a habitat.  So, building more habitats on Mars is an inefficient use of time, energy, materials and launch rockets.  That doesn't get you more people quicker because everyone has to arrive in a habitat anyway.  No one is going to leave the perfect Mars habitats (tuna can) for a Mars dirt home. 

Also, if you did waste years collecting and processing all this material to make a few homes you would have to ship from the Earth the oxygen measuring equipment, a new water recycle system, an electric heater, wires to run from your power plant to the home for electricity, a long oxygen line from the Moxie.  This makes no sense whatsoever when you already have everything in your tuna can. 
You can't make everything on Mars.

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#22 2017-04-15 10:04:30

Dook
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Registered: 2004-01-09
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Re: What Are The Best Settlement Sites on Mars?

RobertDyck wrote:

Since new guy doesn't know what we're talking about, how about some pictures. Mars Direct:
http://canada.marssociety.org/winnipeg/ … rface1.jpg

I was part of the Mars Homestead Project, Phase 1 - Hillside Settlement. The idea was to design the first permanent settlement on Mars. Since the scope was not to design an interplanetary spacecraft, we assumed a crew of 12 who arrive in 3 Mars Direct habitats (4 crew each). We assumed a 4th habitat for backup, and additional supplies. Then the crew build a permanent settlement using In Situ Resource Utilization.

In the following image, the 4 cylinders with a red ring on top are those Mars Direct habitats. The two small blue greenhouses to the left of the left of the MD habs are inflatable greenhouses, carried in the MD habitats. Harder to see are 3 regolith rings with an open pit in the centre; each pit has a fair size nuclear reactor. A separate lander delivers nothing but one nuclear reactor, they're a lot bigger than SP-100 or SAFE-400.


The first exploration mission will be Mars Direct, or something similar. The first exploration mission will do proof-of-concept experiments. Growing some vegetables in a greenhouse, but with enough stored food so they don't rely on the greenhouse. Hand making a brick or two. Harvest ice, process to produce drinking water. Stuff like that. Land successive missions to the same location to build-up equipment. When the first serious construction mission begins, expect something like the Hillside Settlement in less than a dozen launches of SLS Block 2.

I know exactly what you're talking about.  I've seen your pictures before.  They're beautiful and in about 1,000 years I'm sure Mars will look just like that.  The first settlements won't. 

Picture 1 is an exploration mission, not a settlement because a thin plastic inflatable greenhouse would be a test not a long term thing.  The thin plastic would have a life span of maybe a year. 

How do you land the tuna can and ERV within 50 feet of each other?  Answer: you don't.

Picture 2, what are the six large spherical things?  Oxygen storage?  How did you get them to Mars? 
Also, how do you move the tuna cans over Mars rocks and through sand and position them so close together?  It looks fantastic but it's not realistic at all. 

How did you dig into the hillside?

Mars temperature gets down to -140 at night, an inflatable plastic won't hold in much heat so you would have to heat them to keep the vegetables from freezing.

Picture 3, yeah, in about 1,000 years.  That's not a first settlement on Mars, it's Star Trek. 

Picture 4, more Star Trek.  Now we see what you all really want, you want to live in luxury on Mars, better go into a deep sleep for about 500 years then because that is not the way it's going to be for the first settlement, or the second, or the third, or the fourth.

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#23 2017-04-15 10:19:06

Dook
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Registered: 2004-01-09
Posts: 1,409

Re: What Are The Best Settlement Sites on Mars?

louis wrote:

Dook -

From the MIT Team's evaluation of the best latitude for PV systems:

"The results show that there is an optimum location for solar architectures around 30 degrees north latitude. The results also show that northern latitudes are always better then their southern counterparts."

http://systemarchitect.mit.edu/docs/cooper10.pdf

So for me, favouring PV, that would push it a little further north of the Viking 1/Pathfinder landing sites.


31 degrees north of the equator is the best spot for solar panels on Mars?  Okay, fine, sounds like that's where the settlement needs to be then for solar panel power making and for heating. 

This study suggests a 100 kw solar panel farm, that's tens of thousands of panels.  That's absolutely ridiculous.   

Can't land anywhere close to where Viking 1 is.  Have you seen the pictures?  You can't land in a rock field.

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#24 2017-04-15 16:50:40

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 7,208

Re: What Are The Best Settlement Sites on Mars?

The Viking Lander site is fine.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viking_1

Those rocks don't look too big.  Better that then something that looks smooth but turns out to be less than solid.

As the MIT Paper specifies, 10,000 sq metres of ultra light PV panelling is not ridiculous. It's 100 metres by 100 metres and can be laid down in 17 hours. 




Dook wrote:
louis wrote:

Dook -

From the MIT Team's evaluation of the best latitude for PV systems:

"The results show that there is an optimum location for solar architectures around 30 degrees north latitude. The results also show that northern latitudes are always better then their southern counterparts."

http://systemarchitect.mit.edu/docs/cooper10.pdf

So for me, favouring PV, that would push it a little further north of the Viking 1/Pathfinder landing sites.


31 degrees north of the equator is the best spot for solar panels on Mars?  Okay, fine, sounds like that's where the settlement needs to be then for solar panel power making and for heating. 

This study suggests a 100 kw solar panel farm, that's tens of thousands of panels.  That's absolutely ridiculous.   

Can't land anywhere close to where Viking 1 is.  Have you seen the pictures?  You can't land in a rock field.


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

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#25 2017-04-15 17:27:27

Tom Kalbfus
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Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: What Are The Best Settlement Sites on Mars?

How about sending some bouncers to the Marineris Valles? If they survive, they can survey the landing terrain and guide in further landers to a pin point precision landing. Now need for boring flat landscapes! The most interesting thing on Mars is the Marineris Valles, so lets go there!

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