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#1 2006-08-26 13:43:41

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

Re: Creating the Outdoors Indoors

Suppose you wanted to create a domed environment on Mars and you placed a House in the center of that dome and surrounded it with fields. How practical would such Martian homesteading be? Suppose you wanted to make the dome invisible to those standing in the center, would that be possible? how about the idea or artificially creating air currents and using sound absorbing material for the inner dome surface so that it doesn't echo like the interior of a greenhouse would. What are the limits of reproducing an Earthlike environment locally? What if you projected a blue sky on the inner dome surface and had a sprinkler system installed for whenever it rained? Could this all be done?

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#2 2006-08-26 16:35:40

idiom
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From: New Zealand
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Re: Creating the Outdoors Indoors

It could reasonably be done using current materials although you would need an pretty serious and clean manfuacturing environment set up on mars.


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#3 2006-08-26 17:19:53

Tom Kalbfus
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Re: Creating the Outdoors Indoors

It could reasonably be done using current materials although you would need an pretty serious and clean manfuacturing environment set up on mars.

So what do you think, would Antartica be good practise for Mars?

Antartica has large regions at high altitudes on top of glaciers. What if we attempted to erect domes over there? Colonization of Antartica would require some economic incentive to support the effort and pay for construction costs. Hopefully spare the wildlife on the costs and in antiartic territorial waters. Your country is fairly close to Antartica, have you ever been there?

One possibility that comes to mind is oil, unlike ANWAR in Alaska, Antartica is relatively barren, but in the past the continent was found in the tropics. Antartica is vast, much larger than Alaska. The oil fields in Antartica are bound to dwarf any found in Alaska. A pipeline can be laid along the Antartica penninsula under the straight of Magellan and into Chile some distance to an all season port where oil tankers can dock and receiver their load of crude oil.  The oil workers in antartica can live under domed settlements similar to ones planned for Mars.

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#4 2006-08-26 21:50:59

idiom
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From: New Zealand
Registered: 2004-04-21
Posts: 312

Re: Creating the Outdoors Indoors

I haven't been to anartica yet, I am hoping to go there for a post-grad or two.

I would leave the Oil alone as long as possible. There are some applications we may take a very long time to replace oil in. Aircraft to start with. We don't need Oil that badly, we just need to cut back on our excesses.

To test these domes you might want to try somewhere closer to home, up on a moutain plataeu somewhere. The Rockies, the Andes, Tibet. However they won't be the same as engineering for the greater gravity will complicate them somewhat and reduce their elegance and transparency.


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#5 2006-08-27 10:20:06

Tom Kalbfus
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Re: Creating the Outdoors Indoors

I haven't been to anartica yet, I am hoping to go there for a post-grad or two.

I would leave the Oil alone as long as possible. There are some applications we may take a very long time to replace oil in. Aircraft to start with. We don't need Oil that badly, we just need to cut back on our excesses.

To test these domes you might want to try somewhere closer to home, up on a moutain plataeu somewhere. The Rockies, the Andes, Tibet. However they won't be the same as engineering for the greater gravity will complicate them somewhat and reduce their elegance and transparency.

I saw March of the Penguins on DVD. Seems to me by looking at their breeding habits, they have much in common with another flightless bird, the Dodo. The Penguins like the Dodo lay their eggs on land in an area that is largely devoid of their natural predators, and like the Dodo, they weren't afraid of people. In the "Making of" special feature that came with the movie, they showed the film crew getting up close to the birds and the birds not reacting. The Emperor Penguin basically has to stand there all huddled up through the Antartic winter to keep their eggs warm and their chicks alive. This feature seems vulnerable to environmental changes.

Put on one end of the scale Islamo-facists financed by oil purchases in the middle east blowing people up with their bombs, on the other end of the scale, put the Antartic coastal environment, Penguins, fish, seals etc., vulnerable to potential oil spills. What I'd like most of all is to find a substitute for the Middle East, so we can not go their for our oil, this would require quite a bit of oil exploration, because who really knows whats under those glaciers. The prospect of Arabs or Iranians building bombs and giving them to terrorists to kill westerners who bought their oil and paid for their bomb is incentive to find oil elsewhere if only to deprive terrorists of these resources and sponsorship from oil-producing terrorist countries.

To build a domed colony in Antartica, we need a reason to have large numbers of people their, an economic reason would work best. What else might be in Antartica, Natural Gas for one. Natural gas does not spill like crude oil does, perhaps it would be better to drill for natural gas in Antartica. Energy companies could pay for domed settlements to house their workers and in the process we'll get to test various methods for building domed settlements in hostile environments that could later be applied toward Mars. Anything built on Earth would have to be more robust structurally than on Mars, except that the internal pressure a Martian dome would be required to hold inside would be greater than an Antarctic dome, Some pressurization might be a good idea for Antartica, especially for those high altitude glaciers. A sea level pressure inside would make breathing easier, and a dome is a very efficient structure for keeping out cold. Internal pressure would hold up the dome structure, without which we'd need structural elements to hold it up. One greater problem in Antartica would be wind, the wind force on the dome surface in Antartica would be greater than on Mars. The Dome would contort under the force of the wind that howls outside. The Sun would heat the dome during the summer, during the winter, it might be a good idea to burn off some of the natural gas to heat the interior. A dome could allow for year round operations for gas extraction. A more efficient transportation system would also be required for getting into and out of Antarctica. I hear the scientists at the south pole station are often quite isolated during the winters. We'll need a means for people and equipment to come and go all year round despite the cold temperatures and adverse winter outside.

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#6 2006-08-27 18:10:52

idiom
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From: New Zealand
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Posts: 312

Re: Creating the Outdoors Indoors

You need to get Antartica out of your head. Go decimate more of Alaska.

In terms of getting in an out above the artic circle, there are systems capable of that, but no one wants to spend the money. You would be creating analouge Mars rovers.

You said you wanted to create and artifical homestead, well it doesn't have to be cold outside, it could be really hot instead. Environmental control is quite similar either way, although it is somewhat harder, energetically speaking to stay cold in a hot environment.

The extra structure detracts from the homliness of the dome. Although you do want to make it big enough to put a couple of large trees in the center, and maybe a cherry tree in the middle of a field.

The majority of the actual home could be as large as the dome itself, but under ground.

Also would you light the sky blue, or mabye have it blue at the top then tinting through purple and down into red at the bottom? I don't think it will cut down on light received.


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#7 2006-08-28 09:58:44

Tom Kalbfus
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Re: Creating the Outdoors Indoors

Its hard to model a Martian Colony in Antartica, getthing there is expensive and so is resupply, but I think there could be some payback for it if we allowed for some economic exploitation of Antartica to offset the cost of the colony.

I mean, if we are going to have a model Martian colony in Antartica, what useful activity are we going to have them do there? If the activity is useful to say an Energy company, then that energy company might pay for part of the project if we allowed that energy company to extract some resources from Antartica. If we don't give the colonists something to do in that model colony, what are they going to do with themselves, eat, sleep, and watch television. Has anyone ever tried wearing a spacesuit in Antartica? I see most scientists don't wear such things, they wear artic garb instead, they try to cover every square inch of their skin, they wear goggles gloves and boots along with 6 layers of clothing.

If they had a Mars spacesuit, they should be quite confortable working in the Martian environment. A properly designed Mars spacesuit shouldn't allow the scientists to feel any of the Artic cold, they will never see their breath, they will cycle through the airlock into their habitat and live in a comfortable environment at the proper temperature and at the proper level of humidity. A guy in a Mars suit, should be able to pick up a handful of snow and ice and not feel the cold. I heard that a person in Artic Garb can stay out in the Antartic for up to 3 hours at a time. A person in a Mars suit should be able to stay out there for as long as the power supply lasts. I think one first step for preparing for a Mars mission is to give the Antartic scientists Mars suits to try out, and see how they like them. The Mars suits won't carry their own oxygen supply, but would instead heat the air as it comes through the intake, have a rebreathing system to remove the carbon dioxide from the internal air, and take in additional air from the outside as needed.

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#8 2006-08-28 17:21:15

idiom
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From: New Zealand
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Posts: 312

Re: Creating the Outdoors Indoors

They could keep themseleves quite busy with two years of Geology and Biology for two years, that is what we expect of them on Mars.

Unless you want to test out different ways of Terraforming Antartica...


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#9 2006-08-29 09:42:57

Tom Kalbfus
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Re: Creating the Outdoors Indoors

Yes they could, it costs money to keep people in Antartica doing geology work and such. If they are working for the government, thats find so long as the government pays the bills. Governments are subject to the vagarities of politics however, and the scientists at those bases are at the mercy of annual budgets. The government decides how many people to send to Antartica. If a Mars colony turned out to be just another type of Antartic base, I would consider it to be a failure as a colony. A colony is where people live, where they raise families, and it is a place the the colonists call home. None of the Antartic scientists call Antartica home, they just work there and they bunk there counting the days until they can see their families again. I think Mars should be someplace different from what Antartica is now. I think if we want to attempt colonizing Mars, we should try an Antartic colony first. Now all colonies need an economic basis so they can support themselves, the Virginia colony did, they grew tobacco, and I'm sure Antartica will have an economic basis to support a colony too. A group of people that live there just because the government pays them to is not a colony.

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#10 2006-08-29 17:51:08

idiom
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From: New Zealand
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Posts: 312

Re: Creating the Outdoors Indoors

There is no Antartic colony because it is banned by international treaty. Attempts to create one would be violently opposed.

Better to colonise remote or high altitude environments that are currently under utilised. It would cost a lot less too and be come an economic prospect a lot faster due to decreased remoteness of trade routes compared to Antartica. Unless you created a colony of software developers...

Also anything beyond the artic circle is going to need artifical lighting for crops, or really short growth season crops. Even though the summer light is 24 hours, its pretty weak. Anything under those odd lighting conditions is going to be a template for the Moon rather than Mars.


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#11 2006-08-30 10:07:21

Tom Kalbfus
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Re: Creating the Outdoors Indoors

If we have a do not touch attitude toward Antartica, we are not going to get much practise for a Mars colony, I'll tell you that now. Antartica is the closet thing within easy react to being an Alien planet, and Alpine meadow is not or even high on the slopes of Mount Everest. Antartica's remoteness is good practice for the remoteness of Mars. If we only send scientists to Mars like were doing with Antartica, then only a few will go, those with high foreheads who want to do research but otherwise do not touch or affect their environment, and if we do that with Mars, Mars will do us very little good. Likewise we can exploit and mine the asteroids or we can only study them, and say, "gee this will look facinating in our next edition astronomy textbook. My ultimate goal is to have average people going to Mars and traveling and living is space, not a few people with high intelligence and several degrees, yes, that is the way things will start out, but I want things to progress from there, not to remain stagnant. If only a few people live in Space and on Mars and most live on Earth still, what good does that do us? We must expand our range of habitat, the Mars colonies must be self-supporting. The Antiartic bases are self-supporting, the are taxpayer supported, they bring their own fuel, their own food and everything they need to live from outside, and that is poor practice for a Mars colony.

If we really want to do an Antartic colony right, we'd allow it an economic means to support itself, we'd allow it self government too, and families, and schools and everything else that makes a human society, and all the while being mindful of protecting the natural environment that is there.

Economics is not Evil. Besides if given a choice between protecting the sparse ecology of the Antartic interior or the Amazon Rainforest, I'd always choose the rainforest. I consider the rainforest to be a more valuable contributor to Earth's biosphere that the frozen white wastelands of Antartica.. I don't thing the glaciers of antartica or the lickens and microbes that grow inder the surfaces or rocks and inside the ice is much of a contributor toward the removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, do you? Also remember the project Biosphere II, they included a desert biome because the Earth had deserts also, but I don't think wasting that space for desert really help in recycling the atmosphere so the people inside it could breath. As far as I'm concerned, the more plants producing oxygen, the better, bare rock doesn't contribute a thing. I value the more valuable part of the ecology over the more barren parts. If people found a means to live in the less hostiptable places on Earth, they'd free up more room for the more lush portions to grow, I'd think that would be obvious.

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#12 2006-08-30 22:35:35

idiom
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From: New Zealand
Registered: 2004-04-21
Posts: 312

Re: Creating the Outdoors Indoors

If we really want to do an Antartic colony right

We don't. We don't have to build condo's in Antartica before we colonise Mars.

Economics is not Evil

No, people who's sole value is economics are.

As far as I'm concerned, the more plants producing oxygen, the better,

And if you could replace every plant with the single most efficient oxygen producing species you would. Biodiversity has no value, its only a slew of examples of less efficent ways of doing things.

This is really crazy talk. You want to go to Mars and have it seem like you never left Earth. Why do you even want to go to Mars? Is it soley so you can make money?


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#13 2006-08-31 01:49:03

Tom Kalbfus
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Re: Creating the Outdoors Indoors

If we really want to do an Antartic colony right

We don't. We don't have to build condo's in Antartica before we colonise Mars.

Economics is not Evil

No, people who's sole value is economics are.

As far as I'm concerned, the more plants producing oxygen, the better,

And if you could replace every plant with the single most efficient oxygen producing species you would. Biodiversity has no value, its only a slew of examples of less efficent ways of doing things.

This is really crazy talk. You want to go to Mars and have it seem like you never left Earth. Why do you even want to go to Mars? Is it soley so you can make money?

Antartica doesn't have alot of biodiversity compared to the Amazon rain forest.
Biodiversity promotes evolution, if their is only one species that produces oxygen, then tha species has no other organism to compete with, and if you rely on only one species to do a particular job in a given ecology, then your putting all your eggs in one basket so to speak. I think the places on this Earth that need protecting the most are those places where the biodiversity is the greatest, not the places where it is the least. Would you rather people build homes on top of glaciers or would you rather they clear cut rain forests so they can build homes there?

If you have an attitude of lets not disturb anything, because their may be a teeny tiny microbe that might be pushed into extinction because we moved this rock, then we are not going to benefit very much from going out into space. I think Antartica is good practise for Mars. Besides, the government and the UN can't do everything, they don't put bread on our table. Someone has to do the work and earn a living.

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#14 2006-08-31 06:12:55

idiom
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From: New Zealand
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Posts: 312

Re: Creating the Outdoors Indoors

The types of microbes we are recovering from Antartica have amazing economic applications, plus they will be extremely valuable in colonizing Mars. Basically nothing in the Amazon has a chance on Mars without enzymes from Artic species. If the earth enters an iceage, natural or otherwise, then the biodiversity available in the aritc will suddenly increase in importance even further.

The question is why you can't reasonably restrict your expansion so that you don't have to pick between annihilating two regions. Such thinking will lead you to wipe out both.

Your cancer curing agents will likely come from the amazon, but your humanity saving genes will come from the more extreme, more delicate environments.


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#15 2006-08-31 14:57:18

Tom Kalbfus
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Re: Creating the Outdoors Indoors

I think simple Antartic life isn't so delicate, they are called extremophiles for a reason. I think we just have to be careful when we exploit Antartica's resources, just like you would with any other environ. What really is at risk are the complex life forms such as Penguins. If we introduced Polar Bears into the Antartic ecology, Penquins would be in danger. I think Antartica is facing some fairly serios climate change even if we don't set foot on the continent. As the continent grows warmer, oportunist life forms will start making Antartica their homes even if we do nothing. Already grass is growing on parts of the Antartic peninsula. As antartica grows warmer and the ice melts, the grasslands will spread creating tundra. Other critters will then make it ashore and eat the grass and start living in the interior of the continent. Now can you imagine what this will do to Penguins?

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#16 2007-06-06 19:15:11

SpaceNut
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Posts: 23,403

Re: Creating the Outdoors Indoors

Biosphere 2 Sold to Home Developer


20 years ago Biosphere 2 was built as a self-sustaining environment for humans by a Texas billionaire Ed Bass who spent more than $200 million.

340ab488-3990-40f6-af2c-6e52b0d5254b-big.jpg

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#17 2007-06-07 01:47:45

Antius
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From: Cumbria, UK
Registered: 2007-05-22
Posts: 1,003

Re: Creating the Outdoors Indoors

Suppose you wanted to create a domed environment on Mars and you placed a House in the center of that dome and surrounded it with fields. How practical would such Martian homesteading be? Suppose you wanted to make the dome invisible to those standing in the center, would that be possible? how about the idea or artificially creating air currents and using sound absorbing material for the inner dome surface so that it doesn't echo like the interior of a greenhouse would. What are the limits of reproducing an Earthlike environment locally? What if you projected a blue sky on the inner dome surface and had a sprinkler system installed for whenever it rained? Could this all be done?

Living in a dome on Mars has limited practicality.  The main problem (not to mention the cost of the structure and temperature variation) is the high cosmic radiation doserate at the Martian surface.  In free space, doses approach 1Sievert per year and on the Martian surface, doses are likely to be around 0.4Sv per year, although this will depend upon the degree to which the atmosphere breaks down into secondary particles.  The atmosphere is far too thin to provide any meaningful shielding.  This dose is far too high for constant exposure and is likely to produce acute effects, such as accumulating nerve damage and suppression of white blood cell counts.

It is likely that future Martian settlements will be sub-surface, with only a minimum of small pressurised domes used to produce food.  It would be preferable to automate these to the greatest degree possible.

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