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#4489017 - 09/10/19 10:51 PM Re: Water found on Mars [Re: Mr_Blastman]  
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Can you imagine a UN designed spacecraft?

One with a crew of 10 would be the size of an aircraft carrier.


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#4489050 - 09/11/19 03:54 AM Re: Water found on Mars [Re: F4UDash4]  
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Originally Posted by F4UDash4
Originally Posted by Zamzow
I still say if you can't manage to establish a true self sustaining colony in Antarctica..


Oh, but we could. We just have no need to make an Antarctica base self sustaining, it's much easier to resupply from outside sources. Mars not so much.


I've read a lot of arguments proposing to use the Moon as a stepping stone, both in physical/logistics terms and learning experience terms...

I agree with those arguments.

You're right that we've had no need to go down that road with Antarctica - in terms of TERRESTRIAL endeavors and goals...

But when talking of Mars, let alone the Moon as a stepping stone, well it seems to me Antarctica is a good place to start - I DO admit it's a whole different kind of challenge, and not everything learned (assuming actual success) would transfer to either Moon or Mars exploration, but "mastering our own backyard" first, tell me how that's a waste, particularly in the context of the bigger picture here...

#4489057 - 09/11/19 06:27 AM Re: Water found on Mars [Re: Mr_Blastman]  
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Exactly.

#4489128 - 09/11/19 03:44 PM Re: Water found on Mars [Re: NH2112]  
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Originally Posted by NH2112
5 words: Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars Trilogy. Written about 25 years ago, with everything but the carbon nanotube used for the space elevators and gerontological anti-aging gene therapy being based on current or near-future tech.


An excellent trilogy, to be sure. It's a shame the TV adaptation did not come to fruition.

#4489163 - 09/11/19 07:30 PM Re: Water found on Mars [Re: Zamzow]  
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Originally Posted by Zamzow
Originally Posted by F4UDash4
Originally Posted by Zamzow
I still say if you can't manage to establish a true self sustaining colony in Antarctica..


Oh, but we could. We just have no need to make an Antarctica base self sustaining, it's much easier to resupply from outside sources. Mars not so much.


I've read a lot of arguments proposing to use the Moon as a stepping stone, both in physical/logistics terms and learning experience terms...

I agree with those arguments.

You're right that we've had no need to go down that road with Antarctica - in terms of TERRESTRIAL endeavors and goals...

But when talking of Mars, let alone the Moon as a stepping stone, well it seems to me Antarctica is a good place to start - I DO admit it's a whole different kind of challenge, and not everything learned (assuming actual success) would transfer to either Moon or Mars exploration, but "mastering our own backyard" first, tell me how that's a waste, particularly in the context of the bigger picture here...


I could be down with the Antarctica thing, but the one difference we have to keep in mind is with the Moon or Mars we can within a reasonable degree of certainty determine where our craft will land and the colony will begin. This allows optimal placement at a latitude and longitude to remove a few problems we'd face in Antarctica, such as the poor levels of sunlight received. This article is a nice starting point about the levels of insolation with regards to latitudes:

https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/features/EnergyBalance/page2.php

(p.s. the article does not delve into the difference between wattage of sunlight and space versus on the ground, where in space we receive about 1360 watts @ ~500 light seconds from the sun due to that pesky inverse square law, whereas on the ground we receive ~1000 - 1100 due to the atmosphere tax; see here for more--https://solar.smps.us/solar-energy.html)

As you'll notice, Antarctica only receives about 40% of the solar energy the equator does. This has a noticeable impact on the structures we will use and the challenges we may face.

On the Moon, we have daytime that lasts 14.5 days, and nighttime a likewise amount of time. Thus any structure there would face intense heat buildup over time, particularly when the Sun is at its zenith. When probes are sent to the Moon, for example, some of them have to shut down for periods of time during the day to preserve their electronics. Colonies would need to be designed in a way to allow proper dissipation of waste heat during these day periods and the methods for this would differ somewhat than those used on the ISS or other spacecraft. But also, on lengthy days we would have more a period for power collection. Spacecraft have light and dark sides, and you can dump excess heat out the dark side through a variety of methods for blackbody cooling. On Mars, no such issue would be faced, and likewise, similar on Antarctica. But, Antarctica receives at times close to a similar degree of solar radiation as Mars would at the equator at high noon(actually slightly less).

Without going into a long diatribe, I'm sure you can see where I'm headed. Antarctica wouldn't allow us to simulate all of the tech required for the Moon or Mars. There'd be some crossover, but there would also be entirely different systems required to sustain life, too.

But the biggest benefit to Antarctica is its remote nature, so we'd need fail-safe, sustainable systems and there we'd be able to train future astronauts to not be reliant on a rescue team bailing them out.

Last edited by Mr_Blastman; 09/11/19 07:44 PM.
#4489166 - 09/11/19 07:34 PM Re: Water found on Mars [Re: Mr_Blastman]  
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Also, obviously, you don't have to worry about gale force storms on the Moon, or Mars for that matter, or to build on shifting glacier ground - which poses engineering problems of their own that won't be a problem up there.

On the Moon, I could imagine that we'd first pick a location somewhere inside a deep crater on the south pole where the crater rim has permanent sunlight for solar panels white the station itself would remain in darkness. That should make heat management much easier.

#4489179 - 09/11/19 11:08 PM Re: Water found on Mars [Re: Ssnake]  
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Originally Posted by Ssnake
Also, obviously, you don't have to worry about gale force storms on the Moon, or Mars for that matter, or to build on shifting glacier ground - which poses engineering problems of their own that won't be a problem up there.

On the Moon, I could imagine that we'd first pick a location somewhere inside a deep crater on the south pole where the crater rim has permanent sunlight for solar panels white the station itself would remain in darkness. That should make heat management much easier.


Antarctica would certainly be no trifling matter, but even with gale force winds I think that challenge would be pretty easy compared to the Moon, let alone Mars.

I think any attempt at a permanent and continuous presence on either the Moon or Mars would eventually lead to being "anchored" by underground facilities - obviously there'd still be much work to do above ground too...

Power generation in either case is obviously key. I don't think it's possible to "start up" with just solar power - I think you need a nuclear reactor at first, then maybe after a LOT of time, money, and work maybe you could be self sustaining via solar, maybe. But not for a crapload of people, let alone millions. The only way you get even close to that is if you manage to "terraform" the planet to at least some degree. You could put a lot of engineering and calculations into how to go about that but it'd still be a gamble. Nature would ultimately be the decider of whether it'd take hold or never go anywhere.

I stand by my earlier statement that if we want to truly be serious about making Mars another viable or semi-viable place for humans in serious numbers to live we should start with "seeding" attempts - throw various forms of life at it and see if they take hold. There has to be a living ecosystem. Even if that succeeded in any form it may well could not be the RIGHT ecosystem to support humans, but without ANY establishment of a living ecosystem, even one far less diverse than on Earth, well forget about true colonization...

I'll lay down one caveat on that though - if nuclear FUSION ever becomes viable, and assuming availability of whatever you're going to use for that kind of reactor, then I could see a much stronger possibility of not needing a full planetary living ecosystem...

#4489181 - 09/11/19 11:23 PM Re: Water found on Mars [Re: Mr_Blastman]  
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I suppose we're all in agreement that the by far best life support system that we have is the planet we're living on, right now.
Also, I think that there will never be a "business case" (an investment with a realistic chance of returning a profit within the lifetime of any human investor) for the colonization of permanent, self-sustaining extraterrestrial settlements that involve humans in the thousands (if not millions). At the same time, obviously, given that the sun has a finite supply of fusionable material (even if it will still last about four times longer than life has existed so far on this planet) the long-term necessity to develop such a technology is inevitable unless we accept mass extinction as our final fate; I don't see that everybody on this planet will ever be in informed agreement on such a decision.
The question is, why start now, and "because we can" may be an ethically insufficient answer as long as the case could be made that the money required could return a better reward if invested in anything on Earth, where we are right now, to improve living conditions where they already are most comfortable in the known universe. Then again, since when have investment decisions ever been strictly rational, let alone be ethically undisputed. wink

#4489185 - 09/12/19 12:29 AM Re: Water found on Mars [Re: Mr_Blastman]  
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Such a project would be a long-term species survival action with no payoff for thousands of years. It would actually be easier to construct orbital habitats elsewhere in the Solar System. Actually once we have that ability, and can direct cometary orbits, we could simply bombard Mars with icy comets. Would add a few craters but also megatonnes of water, oxygen etc.


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#4489206 - 09/12/19 03:10 AM Re: Water found on Mars [Re: Mad Max]  
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Well, how about at the floor of an ocean? Again, obviously not a thing that would yield directly useful knowledge toward space endeavors (in aggregate), but relatively speaking still probably easier than going to Mars...

Maybe my mind is too simple. I tend to attempt and practice lower goals before going for way higher goals...

That approach can sometimes end up being counterproductive (should have just gone all in and not wasted time in "training", I've lived that...)

I think when it comes to these things we have to put in the training work first though, even if the yields don't seem directly useful at the moment...

#4489209 - 09/12/19 05:22 AM Re: Water found on Mars [Re: Mr_Blastman]  
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The ocean? Oh, heck no - Mars is more hospitable than the floor of the ocean, as keeping air in and pressurizing is way, way easier than keeping the massive weight of water out.


The opinions of this poster are largely based on facts and portray a possible version of the actual events.

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#4489214 - 09/12/19 06:40 AM Re: Water found on Mars [Re: Mr_Blastman]  
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On that point, I agree.

#4489220 - 09/12/19 09:49 AM Re: Water found on Mars [Re: Zamzow]  
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Originally Posted by Zamzow
Well, how about at the floor of an ocean? Again, obviously not a thing that would yield directly useful knowledge toward space endeavors (in aggregate), but relatively speaking still probably easier than going to Mars...

Maybe my mind is too simple. I tend to attempt and practice lower goals before going for way higher goals...

That approach can sometimes end up being counterproductive (should have just gone all in and not wasted time in "training", I've lived that...)

I think when it comes to these things we have to put in the training work first though, even if the yields don't seem directly useful at the moment...


Not quite what you are talking about, but... https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/NEEMO/index.html

#4489225 - 09/12/19 11:36 AM Re: Water found on Mars [Re: Mr_Blastman]  
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As Dart indicated, maintaining a habitat at significant depth is prohibitively challenging. The pressure gets to be enormous.

We have gained quite a bit of experience at operating nearly self sufficient habitats at notable depths... aka the submarine force. We don't deploy submarines for the extended periods that match a Mars mission, and they don't grow their own food, but much of the engineering and human interactions apply. IMO, experienced submarine force sailors would make a good pool to draw _some_ of the crew (for these kind of space missions that we have been discussing) from.

NASA's NEEMO habitat linked in the previous message is at a depth of 62 feet. They get a lot of training bang for their buck from that.

#4489523 - 09/14/19 09:00 PM Re: Water found on Mars [Re: Mr_Blastman]  
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I just stumbled across an interesting article on the money side of living on the Moon...

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/much-really-cost-build-moon-184949330.html

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