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#26 2020-11-16 05:05:58

Calliban
Member
From: Northern England, UK
Registered: 2019-08-18
Posts: 882

Re: Mars Base Camp

In terms of locating a Mars base, the obvious answer is 'follow the water.  However, having discussed the energetics of fuel production  and plastics production on Mars, I would suggest 'follow the methane'.
https://sciencetrends.com/nasa-rover-fi … d-on-mars/

'A study published in 2009 reported that plumes of thousands of tons of methane would occasionally jet out off the ground. It’s possible that the source of the methane is deep under the ground and the temperature fluctuations that Mars experiences between its winter and summer seasons force the methane to the surface. While this is a possible explanation for how the plumes of methane reach the surface, the origin of the methane is still unknown.'

If a Mars base can access thousands of tonnes of methane from subsurface deposits, propellant production could be accomplished by liquefying the methane.  Oxygen could be produced by electrolysis of water, which is 70% efficient.  Finding a source of methane would therefore greatly reduce the energy requirements associated with propellant production.

In the past, we have discussed the energy requirements of polymer production on Mars.  Due to the low energy efficiency of attempting to synthesise alkenes from CO2 and water, plastics are a very energy intensive product on Mars.  By starting out with fossil methane, the energy requirements of plastic production can be greatly reduced.


Interested in space science, engineering and technology.

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#27 2020-11-16 17:10:50

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 21,910

Re: Mars Base Camp

The methane if in sufficient amounts changes the whole energy needed equation for man to be able to go.

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