Author Topic: SpaceX surface habs & infrastructure (from IAC 2017)  (Read 9523 times)

Offline Robotbeat

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So what are these buildings?

They don't look like generic Mars habs. Looks like some thought went into them. The tan buildings look modular, i.e. Flat pack so they fit in the cargo hold efficiently. And there are shields of some sort over the windows that can be opened/tilted up. Maybe some way to get decent radiation shielding?

Thoughts? This is the highest resolution I could find for this image, but the other "Mars SimCity" view used many of the same buildings.

SpaceX must have done some analysis on surface habs and how large ones can efficiently pack into BFR.
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Offline Robotbeat

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Re: SpaceX surface habs & infrastructure (from IAC 2017)
« Reply #1 on: 10/04/2017 03:18 AM »
Also, by my calculations, the 240 tons of methane to fill the BFS requires 60 tons of hydrogen (540t of water) but some of that has to be electrolyzed again due to the Sabatier process, so if we say 120 tons of hydrogen at 142MJ/kg and 50% electrolysis efficiency, you need about 1 Megawatt of power on average to electrolyze that in 1 Earth year. Considering the 20% capacity factor and being further from the Sun, they need roughly 12 MW (at AM0 sunlight) of solar panels, or about 10 acres (10 football fields), to provide enough juice for one full BFR per Earth year.
« Last Edit: 10/04/2017 03:25 AM by Robotbeat »
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Offline Pipcard

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Re: SpaceX surface habs & infrastructure (from IAC 2017)
« Reply #2 on: 10/04/2017 03:53 AM »
So what are these buildings?

They don't look like generic Mars habs. Looks like some thought went into them. The tan buildings look modular, i.e. Flat pack so they fit in the cargo hold efficiently. And there are shields of some sort over the windows that can be opened/tilted up. Maybe some way to get decent radiation shielding?

Thoughts? This is the highest resolution I could find for this image, but the other "Mars SimCity" view used many of the same buildings.

SpaceX must have done some analysis on surface habs and how large ones can efficiently pack into BFR.
Or it could be just a preliminary "for show" design.

Also, there is a Mars mod for SimCity 4 and those images reminded me of that:

Offline Nibb31

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Re: SpaceX surface habs & infrastructure (from IAC 2017)
« Reply #3 on: 10/04/2017 06:02 AM »
Come on, people have got to stop the kremlinology of these CGI models. They are just artist concepts. A lot of fundamental details are missing or shown just as notional concepts. This is not how it's going to look.

Online guckyfan

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Re: SpaceX surface habs & infrastructure (from IAC 2017)
« Reply #4 on: 10/04/2017 08:44 AM »
Come on, people have got to stop the kremlinology of these CGI models. They are just artist concepts. A lot of fundamental details are missing or shown just as notional concepts. This is not how it's going to look.

Except for the geodesic domes. Those are real, according to Elon.

Offline Nibb31

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Re: SpaceX surface habs & infrastructure (from IAC 2017)
« Reply #5 on: 10/04/2017 09:22 AM »
According to Elon, FH should have been flying years ago, Red Dragon would be landing on Mars, and they would be reflying complete Falcon 9 (including upper stages) on a routine basis for less that $10 million.

Online JamesH65

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Re: SpaceX surface habs & infrastructure (from IAC 2017)
« Reply #6 on: 10/04/2017 01:14 PM »
According to Elon, FH should have been flying years ago, Red Dragon would be landing on Mars, and they would be reflying complete Falcon 9 (including upper stages) on a routine basis for less that $10 million.

According to Elon, we will soon have 1st stages returning to Earth, landing safely, maybe even on a barge , and we might even have them launched again! He proposed REUSABLE ROCKETS! Madman.

I hope you get the point.


Offline Nibb31

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Re: SpaceX surface habs & infrastructure (from IAC 2017)
« Reply #7 on: 10/04/2017 01:17 PM »
Did you get mine ?

You shouldn't trust everything that Elon says just because he's Elon.

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: SpaceX surface habs & infrastructure (from IAC 2017)
« Reply #8 on: 10/04/2017 01:22 PM »
Did you get mine ?

You shouldn't trust everything that Elon says just because he's Elon.
No one is forcing you on this thread.

We get it. These might be just totally random CGI assets. But they don't look like it, they have what looks like intentional design features made for Mars and that fit with SpaceX's architecture.
« Last Edit: 10/04/2017 08:06 PM by Lar »
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Online KelvinZero

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Re: SpaceX surface habs & infrastructure (from IAC 2017)
« Reply #9 on: 10/04/2017 01:50 PM »
Re the pics in the OP, I like the photorealistic one more than the SimMars one.

The photorealitic one shows what seem to be some quick prefabs/sheds and a large dome with greenery. (lets not get into how it is anchored right now  ;) )

(by shed I mean something a bit flimsy on the surface that could hold surface equipment. I guess rovers go in some sort of shed for servicing too)

A large part of the area on the surface is that dome containing greenery. This seems natural to me. The prefabs come first, and you would always have something like that on the surface near the ITS. But when you get going there is probably little reason for additional habitable volumes on the surface if they do not provide beautiful views and greenery. Just a few more sheds.

The Mars SimCity picture has those modules I interpret as initial prefabs or sheds, and then it has some more which are not connected above ground.. Implying you either have to get into a suit or there are underground tunnels. There is a low proportion of greenery on the surface.
« Last Edit: 10/04/2017 01:51 PM by KelvinZero »

Offline DreamyPickle

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Re: SpaceX surface habs & infrastructure (from IAC 2017)
« Reply #10 on: 10/04/2017 02:03 PM »
The base pics are nothing but CGI, all the serious engineering work at SpaceX goes into to the rocket. In particular take a lot at this landing area progression (from reddit):



My bet is most habitats will be mostly underground for radiation protection, it's just that mounds of regolith don't have pretty shiny colors. This doesn't exclude domes, you just need to cover them. Maybe greenhouses or some meeting areas will be exposed.

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: SpaceX surface habs & infrastructure (from IAC 2017)
« Reply #11 on: 10/04/2017 02:32 PM »
If it were me, all these things would be under a huge, 2-5psi pressure-stabilized dome (filled initially with just Martian atmosphere with large blowers until it could be well-sealed deep into the ground, which is a challenge) so everything could be built without requiring inflated pressure suits. Perhaps workers at first would wear equivalent of flight suits or something even thinner for safety and warmth but without restricting movement. The actual habs would also be pressurized to, say, 7-12 psi, so you have a more comfortable environment indoors as well as an extra layer of safety.

But this is not my architecture, it's SpaceX's.
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Offline Robotbeat

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Re: SpaceX surface habs & infrastructure (from IAC 2017)
« Reply #12 on: 10/04/2017 02:36 PM »
It takes 540 tons of water to fill a BFS, so if water is plentiful, it could be used as rad shielding for surface habs. A meter of water on the roof would provide a lot of protection. It could even fill the cells of that beautiful green dome, providing shielding even there. This is made more viable by the low gravity on Mars.

Rad shielding is not critical at first, though.
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Offline Nibb31

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Re: SpaceX surface habs & infrastructure (from IAC 2017)
« Reply #13 on: 10/04/2017 02:45 PM »
We get it. These might be just totally random CGI assets. But they don't look like it, they have what looks like intentional design features made for Mars and that fit with SpaceX's architecture.

What makes you think that ? They look like the Mars colony in the opening credits of The Expanse or a mars-themed RTS game. In fact, they look like most of the generic pictures of Mars colonies that we've seen for decades for NASA or science fiction movies or games. Just type "Mars colony" in Google Images and you'll get dozens of very similar designs.

So what makes you think that more thought has been put into this than any other generic "artist's impression" picture ?

Offline Darkseraph

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Re: SpaceX surface habs & infrastructure (from IAC 2017)
« Reply #14 on: 10/04/2017 03:16 PM »
It looks to be a pretty cool but notional depiction of what a future Mars base/ colony could look like with solar arrays, greenhouses, chemical silos, habitats, pads, batteries, comunications and so on. I wouldn't read too much into it beyond being a nice visualization.

SpaceX has stated itself to be a transport company that sells the ride to Mars so I don't expect they will be engaging in large scale civil engineering millions miles away in the next decade. If they're not exactly in a rush to build new faciltiies for BFR/BFS on Earth to make the logistics of that system easier (where it's vastly easier and cheaper to do so), that should give pause to any notions of SpaceX doing so on Mars any time soon. Things like that will probably be done by other companies and governments buying transport from SpaceX in the future.
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Offline envy887

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Re: SpaceX surface habs & infrastructure (from IAC 2017)
« Reply #15 on: 10/04/2017 04:26 PM »
It looks to be a pretty cool but notional depiction of what a future Mars base/ colony could look like with solar arrays, greenhouses, chemical silos, habitats, pads, batteries, comunications and so on. I wouldn't read too much into it beyond being a nice visualization.

SpaceX has stated itself to be a transport company that sells the ride to Mars so I don't expect they will be engaging in large scale civil engineering millions miles away in the next decade. If they're not exactly in a rush to build new faciltiies for BFR/BFS on Earth to make the logistics of that system easier (where it's vastly easier and cheaper to do so), that should give pause to any notions of SpaceX doing so on Mars any time soon. Things like that will probably be done by other companies and governments buying transport from SpaceX in the future.

SpaceX needs all of those things for ISRU, except maybe greenhouses. And you know Elon wants greenhouses. They will do some work on them, though obviously the scale and the particular implementation shown is mostly notional.

Offline envy887

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Re: SpaceX surface habs & infrastructure (from IAC 2017)
« Reply #16 on: 10/04/2017 04:31 PM »
If it were me, all these things would be under a huge, 2-5psi pressure-stabilized dome (filled initially with just Martian atmosphere with large blowers until it could be well-sealed deep into the ground, which is a challenge) so everything could be built without requiring inflated pressure suits. Perhaps workers at first would wear equivalent of flight suits or something even thinner for safety and warmth but without restricting movement. The actual habs would also be pressurized to, say, 7-12 psi, so you have a more comfortable environment indoors as well as an extra layer of safety.

But this is not my architecture, it's SpaceX's.

I can't imagine that dome without a sealed floor and vertical tension cables throughout it's area anchored in the ground to hold down the roof. Internal tension elements permit pressurized volumes that aren't complete spheres or domed cylinders.

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Re: SpaceX surface habs & infrastructure (from IAC 2017)
« Reply #17 on: 10/04/2017 07:41 PM »
If it were me, all these things would be under a huge, 2-5psi pressure-stabilized dome (filled initially with just Martian atmosphere with large blowers until it could be well-sealed deep into the ground, which is a challenge) so everything could be built without requiring inflated pressure suits. Perhaps workers at first would wear equivalent of flight suits or something even thinner for safety and warmth but without restricting movement. The actual habs would also be pressurized to, say, 7-12 psi, so you have a more comfortable environment indoors as well as an extra layer of safety.

But this is not my architecture, it's SpaceX's.

I can't imagine that dome without a sealed floor and vertical tension cables throughout it's area anchored in the ground to hold down the roof. Internal tension elements permit pressurized volumes that aren't complete spheres or domed cylinders.

Maybe this dome is non-pressured but talcum free environment so they can move around from pressurized containers to others in space suits and their machinery without going thru cleaning processing. Mars talcum powders is salty and abrasive.

Online Hauerg

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Re: SpaceX surface habs & infrastructure (from IAC 2017)
« Reply #18 on: 10/04/2017 07:51 PM »
It looks to be a pretty cool but notional depiction of what a future Mars base/ colony could look like with solar arrays, greenhouses, chemical silos, habitats, pads, batteries, comunications and so on. I wouldn't read too much into it beyond being a nice visualization.

SpaceX has stated itself to be a transport company that sells the ride to Mars so I don't expect they will be engaging in large scale civil engineering millions miles away in the next decade. If they're not exactly in a rush to build new faciltiies for BFR/BFS on Earth to make the logistics of that system easier (where it's vastly easier and cheaper to do so), that should give pause to any notions of SpaceX doing so on Mars any time soon. Things like that will probably be done by other companies and governments buying transport from SpaceX in the future.
Right. Just like EM would just concentrate on electric cars. Not building tunnels ....

So maybe not SpaceX, but XtraBoring.

Offline envy887

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Re: SpaceX surface habs & infrastructure (from IAC 2017)
« Reply #19 on: 10/04/2017 08:02 PM »
If it were me, all these things would be under a huge, 2-5psi pressure-stabilized dome (filled initially with just Martian atmosphere with large blowers until it could be well-sealed deep into the ground, which is a challenge) so everything could be built without requiring inflated pressure suits. Perhaps workers at first would wear equivalent of flight suits or something even thinner for safety and warmth but without restricting movement. The actual habs would also be pressurized to, say, 7-12 psi, so you have a more comfortable environment indoors as well as an extra layer of safety.

But this is not my architecture, it's SpaceX's.

I can't imagine that dome without a sealed floor and vertical tension cables throughout it's area anchored in the ground to hold down the roof. Internal tension elements permit pressurized volumes that aren't complete spheres or domed cylinders.

Maybe this dome is non-pressured but talcum free environment so they can move around from pressurized containers to others in space suits and their machinery without going thru cleaning processing. Mars talcum powders is salty and abrasive.

For what it's worth, in the picture there is vegetation growing inside. Temperature, pressure, and gas mixture have to be fairly Earth-like.

Online jebbo

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Re: SpaceX surface habs & infrastructure (from IAC 2017)
« Reply #20 on: 10/05/2017 02:30 PM »
Related to this, I wonder about those first few Mars landings when there is NO infrastructure.  Basically, I don't think I've seen anything on the first landings on the bare Martian (or Lunar, if that happens first) surface or how a landing pad structure would be deployed.

Or have I just missed it in the volume of updates? [ which is entirely possible! ]

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Re: SpaceX surface habs & infrastructure (from IAC 2017)
« Reply #21 on: 10/05/2017 07:05 PM »
I'm curious about the large dome.

We never really got to the bottom of how to scale domes. Either that pesky ground seam, or a full buried sphere, neither is straight forward. Like any large pressure vessel.
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Offline envy887

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Re: SpaceX surface habs & infrastructure (from IAC 2017)
« Reply #22 on: 10/05/2017 07:14 PM »
I'm curious about the large dome.

We never really got to the bottom of how to scale domes. Either that pesky ground seam, or a full buried sphere, neither is straight forward. Like any large pressure vessel.

Either way, the stresses quickly become infeasible without internal tension elements. With internal cables, ground anchors, and a sealed floor, the dome is certainly doable.

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Re: SpaceX surface habs & infrastructure (from IAC 2017)
« Reply #23 on: 10/05/2017 07:21 PM »
I'm curious about the large dome.

We never really got to the bottom of how to scale domes. Either that pesky ground seam, or a full buried sphere, neither is straight forward. Like any large pressure vessel.

Either way, the stresses quickly become infeasible without internal tension elements. With internal cables, ground anchors, and a sealed floor, the dome is certainly doable.
Yeah, I was thinking internal cables too.

But the thing is, the difficulty scales with volume, and so you're not really winning with larger domes.  It's just prettier (from a distance).

I wonder how much engineering They've applied to the colony.  The couple of slides are not an indication one way or the other.

Are they developing a large surface vehicle?  Did they partner with someone on that?  How about solar tech, ISRU tech, agriculture...

Next year's IAC?

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Online Lar

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Re: SpaceX surface habs & infrastructure (from IAC 2017)
« Reply #24 on: 10/05/2017 07:35 PM »
Related to this, I wonder about those first few Mars landings when there is NO infrastructure.  Basically, I don't think I've seen anything on the first landings on the bare Martian (or Lunar, if that happens first) surface or how a landing pad structure would be deployed.

Or have I just missed it in the volume of updates? [ which is entirely possible! ]

--- Tony
A bit off topic. And also discussed in the past, I think. Netting it out:

I think the first automated ship lands on the clearest and levelest patch you can find in advance that's near the initial colony location. And you write it off. If it didn't take damage, great! But don't plan on it ever lifting again. If it does, bonus, but don't plan on it. A goodly part of its cargo is robotic earthmoving equipment (this might be just a patch of solar cells to plug into, or a power cable from the on board nuclear pile, and one battery powered vehicle that's a combination grader, front end loader and sinterer, plus a spare)... which busily starts prepping the landing spot for the second ship so there's no FOD. Once done with enough spots it switches to ice mining perhaps.
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Offline Eric Hedman

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Re: SpaceX surface habs & infrastructure (from IAC 2017)
« Reply #25 on: 10/05/2017 07:53 PM »
The UAE has plans to build a 1.9 million sq. foot prototype Mars city:

http://www.ien.com/product-development/video/20978190/massive-mars-simulation-will-be-built-in-the-desert?utm_medium=email&utm_source=Industrial%20Management%20Today%2010052017&utm_term=15587&email=ehedman@ldcglobal.com

If this goes ahead, it might be a place to test out infrastructure concepts.

Offline corneliussulla

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Re: SpaceX surface habs & infrastructure (from IAC 2017)
« Reply #26 on: 10/05/2017 11:12 PM »
If you assume about 24 crew in the first ships to arrive. They will probably need about 3-4 tonnes of consumables per person to keep them alive for 3 years. So around 100 tonnes. That leaves us with (6 x 150)-100 for the equipment to make the ISRU plant & power systems and the initial colony. 800 tonnes. There will be redundancy in the deliverables but you can do a lot with that sort of tonnage. For instance major earth moving and drilling machines, science and exploration rovers, pre fabricated buildings, machines to create Martian concrete etc. Life support equipment for the pre fabs. I wonder if bigelow can provide some initial surface habitats. 

U can be certain musk etc have given some thought to this, how otherwise would they have come up with the need for 6 ships.

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Re: SpaceX surface habs & infrastructure (from IAC 2017)
« Reply #27 on: 10/06/2017 03:58 AM »
....
U can be certain musk etc have given some thought to this, how otherwise would they have come up with the need for 6 ships.

Guessing the combine propellants left with at least 4 ships is enough to for 1 ship to get back to Earth, maybe with aerobraking. If ISRU ops don't work as expected.

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Re: SpaceX surface habs & infrastructure (from IAC 2017)
« Reply #28 on: 10/06/2017 05:10 AM »
....
U can be certain musk etc have given some thought to this, how otherwise would they have come up with the need for 6 ships.

Guessing the combine propellants left with at least 4 ships is enough to for 1 ship to get back to Earth, maybe with aerobraking. If ISRU ops don't work as expected.

But remember, these people are colonists. They won't want to come back. Doing so would undercut the whole "multiplanet species" objective, if not destroy it, certainly delay it immensely. Better to die on Mars if you are a true believer in multiplanet humanity. Not saying they will be fanatics, but can we say they won't be?
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Offline corneliussulla

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Re: SpaceX surface habs & infrastructure (from IAC 2017)
« Reply #29 on: 10/06/2017 06:15 AM »
I am not sure the first people to arrive will be colonists. If u r a colonist u will want to have a partner with u at least and maybe a family. The first mission will be specialists for construction and science maybe not room for partners maybe the odd couple may fit the bill as specialist and partners . To be honest I don't think enough is known about having a child and its development in low gravity for that to be a proposition before a load of science has been undertaken on Mars.

So first actual colonists may actually come after maybe 6-8 years after initial landing but continuous occupation for all that period. Could be totally wrong of course
« Last Edit: 10/06/2017 06:16 AM by corneliussulla »

Offline colbourne

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Re: SpaceX surface habs & infrastructure (from IAC 2017)
« Reply #30 on: 10/06/2017 07:33 AM »
I'm curious about the large dome.

We never really got to the bottom of how to scale domes. Either that pesky ground seam, or a full buried sphere, neither is straight forward. Like any large pressure vessel.

Either way, the stresses quickly become infeasible without internal tension elements. With internal cables, ground anchors, and a sealed floor, the dome is certainly doable.
If you bury the dome, you will not need  the internal cables , or not so many. I suggest the building process would start with bulldozing a large hole. Placing a pre-made dome (flattened sphere) in the hole and slowly inflating , whilst covering with the soil removed from the hole.
Once inflated to the correct shape (but still at low pressure) it would be good to use damp soil that can freeze to add strength (probably need a covering to prevent sublimation ).
The dome could be a double layer and allow water to fill the space, allowing natural light to pass whilst giving radiation shielding.

Online meekGee

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Re: SpaceX surface habs & infrastructure (from IAC 2017)
« Reply #31 on: 10/06/2017 08:17 AM »
I'm curious about the large dome.

We never really got to the bottom of how to scale domes. Either that pesky ground seam, or a full buried sphere, neither is straight forward. Like any large pressure vessel.

Either way, the stresses quickly become infeasible without internal tension elements. With internal cables, ground anchors, and a sealed floor, the dome is certainly doable.
If you bury the dome, you will not need  the internal cables , or not so many. I suggest the building process would start with bulldozing a large hole. Placing a pre-made dome (flattened sphere) in the hole and slowly inflating , whilst covering with the soil removed from the hole.
Once inflated to the correct shape (but still at low pressure) it would be good to use damp soil that can freeze to add strength (probably need a covering to prevent sublimation ).
The dome could be a double layer and allow water to fill the space, allowing natural light to pass whilst giving radiation shielding.
For large domes, the tensile stress around the perimeter (or any great circles) increases with D, so you need to keep making the walls thicker. Basically, for a fixed material, the amount of wall material is proportional to D^3.

So you're not gaining anything, except for the fact you'll lose more stuff if the dome blows, and that you'll have to build high in order to utilize the volume.

OTOH, you get large open spaces.

--

Interestingly, thicker walls weigh more, so at some point will counter the internal pressure - but only in the vertical direction.
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Online KelvinZero

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Re: SpaceX surface habs & infrastructure (from IAC 2017)
« Reply #32 on: 10/06/2017 09:05 AM »
BTW, there was a big discussion of geodesic domes here, due to a specific Elon Musk comment

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=41526

That thread is quite long. IMO it is not too important. It will be worked out by engineers with boring numbers long before it becomes an issue. Domes, Cylinders, Spheres, Toruses, Whatever.

« Last Edit: 10/06/2017 09:58 AM by KelvinZero »

Online jpo234

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Re: SpaceX surface habs & infrastructure (from IAC 2017)
« Reply #33 on: 10/06/2017 09:52 AM »
I am not sure the first people to arrive will be colonists. If u r a colonist u will want to have a partner with u at least and maybe a family. The first mission will be specialists for construction and science maybe not room for partners maybe the odd couple may fit the bill as specialist and partners . To be honest I don't think enough is known about having a child and its development in low gravity for that to be a proposition before a load of science has been undertaken on Mars.

So first actual colonists may actually come after maybe 6-8 years after initial landing but continuous occupation for all that period. Could be totally wrong of course

Maybe it's time to revive my old thread:
Topic: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
You want to be inspired by things. You want to wake up in the morning and think the future is going to be great. That's what being a spacefaring civilization is all about. It's about believing in the future and believing the future will be better than the past. And I can't think of anything more exciting than being out there among the stars.

Online jpo234

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Re: SpaceX surface habs & infrastructure (from IAC 2017)
« Reply #34 on: 10/06/2017 03:11 PM »
Haven't seen this yet: MARTIAN HABITATS: MOLEHILLS OR GLASS HOUSES?

Most interestingly it goes into the issue of locally sourced building materials.
« Last Edit: 10/06/2017 03:14 PM by jpo234 »
You want to be inspired by things. You want to wake up in the morning and think the future is going to be great. That's what being a spacefaring civilization is all about. It's about believing in the future and believing the future will be better than the past. And I can't think of anything more exciting than being out there among the stars.

Offline DOCinCT

If you assume about 24 crew in the first ships to arrive. They will probably need about 3-4 tonnes of consumables per person to keep them alive for 3 years. So around 100 tonnes. That leaves us with (6 x 150)-100 for the equipment to make the ISRU plant & power systems and the initial colony. 800 tonnes. There will be redundancy in the deliverables but you can do a lot with that sort of tonnage. For instance major earth moving and drilling machines, science and exploration rovers, pre fabricated buildings, machines to create Martian concrete etc. Life support equipment for the pre fabs. I wonder if bigelow can provide some initial surface habitats. 

U can be certain musk etc have given some thought to this, how otherwise would they have come up with the need for 6 ships.
Habitats were not on the short list of things to do, although I would agree that it is something that needs to happen, unless the crew ships are designed for long term habitation.
From the presentation:
First mission, 2 cargo ships. "Confirm water resources and identify hazards. Place power, mining, and life support infrastructure for future flights."
The second mission (2 cargo and 2 crew), "...the goal is to build the propellant plant. So we should, particular with six ships there, have plenty of landed mass to construct the propellant depot, which will consist of a large array of solar panels, a very large array, and then everything necessary to mine and refine water, and then draw the CO2 out of the atmosphere, and then create and store deep-cryo CH4 and O2."

Offline MikeAtkinson

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Re: SpaceX surface habs & infrastructure (from IAC 2017)
« Reply #36 on: 10/06/2017 04:12 PM »
Although we should not take the base images too seriously, note that they contain many islands of connected structures. As it is unlikely that moving from one island to another would involve a trip outside, this implies hidden tunnels connecting the structures.

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Re: SpaceX surface habs & infrastructure (from IAC 2017)
« Reply #37 on: 10/06/2017 11:40 PM »
If you assume about 24 crew in the first ships to arrive. They will probably need about 3-4 tonnes of consumables per person to keep them alive for 3 years. So around 100 tonnes. That leaves us with (6 x 150)-100 for the equipment to make the ISRU plant & power systems and the initial colony. 800 tonnes. There will be redundancy in the deliverables but you can do a lot with that sort of tonnage. For instance major earth moving and drilling machines, science and exploration rovers, pre fabricated buildings, machines to create Martian concrete etc. Life support equipment for the pre fabs. I wonder if bigelow can provide some initial surface habitats. 

U can be certain musk etc have given some thought to this, how otherwise would they have come up with the need for 6 ships.
Habitats were not on the short list of things to do, although I would agree that it is something that needs to happen, unless the crew ships are designed for long term habitation.
From the presentation:
First mission, 2 cargo ships. "Confirm water resources and identify hazards. Place power, mining, and life support infrastructure for future flights."
The second mission (2 cargo and 2 crew), "...the goal is to build the propellant plant. So we should, particular with six ships there, have plenty of landed mass to construct the propellant depot, which will consist of a large array of solar panels, a very large array, and then everything necessary to mine and refine water, and then draw the CO2 out of the atmosphere, and then create and store deep-cryo CH4 and O2."

Long-term habitation. How many crew members? Two ships give two or more, and those same two ships give 200 or less. So a better guess is needed. Each ship can support 100 crew for the duration of a trip to Mars, say 6 months. That is support for 18,000 person days. Two ships, 36,000 person days of supplies. We guesstimate that it is, maybe, 240 days from Earth departure to resupply on Mars. That results in supplies for 150 crew available on the two ships, 75 crew per ship. Of course, if you want to plan for missing the first resupply opportunity then that number is approximately halved.

I don't see any justification for 3 years worth of supplies per person. The first resupply opportunity is much less than 3 years and the second resupply opportunity is much more than 3 years. Three years is just enough supplies to let the crew starve slowly if the first resupply window is missed.
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Offline chalz

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Re: SpaceX surface habs & infrastructure (from IAC 2017)
« Reply #38 on: 10/07/2017 02:02 AM »
Although we should not take the base images too seriously, note that they contain many islands of connected structures. As it is unlikely that moving from one island to another would involve a trip outside, this implies hidden tunnels connecting the structures.
Or you drive between buildings in a pressurised vehicle.

Offline yg1968

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Re: SpaceX surface habs & infrastructure (from IAC 2017)
« Reply #39 on: 10/07/2017 02:11 AM »
Did you get mine ?

You shouldn't trust everything that Elon says just because he's Elon.
No one is forcing you on this thread.

We get it. These might be just totally random CGI assets. But they don't look like it, they have what looks like intentional design features made for Mars and that fit with SpaceX's architecture.

SpaceX was asked about their intentions for building a city on Mars, they said that their intention was to build the transportation for it but that they won't build the actual city. They have no intention of building a Moon base either.

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: SpaceX surface habs & infrastructure (from IAC 2017)
« Reply #40 on: 10/07/2017 02:35 AM »
Did you get mine ?

You shouldn't trust everything that Elon says just because he's Elon.
No one is forcing you on this thread.

We get it. These might be just totally random CGI assets. But they don't look like it, they have what looks like intentional design features made for Mars and that fit with SpaceX's architecture.

SpaceX was asked about their intentions for building a city on Mars, they said that their intention was to build the transportation for it but that they won't build the actual city. They have no intention of building a Moon base either.

You'll need to find a direct quote because Musk disagrees with you:
Quote
"This is intended to be a significant amount of revenue and help fund a city on Mars. Looking in the long term, and saying what's needed to create a city on Mars? Well, one thing's for sure: a lot of money."
http://shitelonsays.com/transcript/spacex-seattle-2015-2015-01-15
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Offline colbourne

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Re: SpaceX surface habs & infrastructure (from IAC 2017)
« Reply #41 on: 10/14/2017 01:02 PM »
We dont actually need heavy bulldozers and boring equipment. I am sure some good old fashioned explosive can dig nice holes perfect for housing our flattened sphere or dome.
The dome does not need to be wasted space if you make use of it with multi floors.

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Re: SpaceX surface habs & infrastructure (from IAC 2017)
« Reply #42 on: 10/14/2017 03:25 PM »
SpaceX was asked about their intentions for building a city on Mars, they said that their intention was to build the transportation for it but that they won't build the actual city. They have no intention of building a Moon base either.

You'll need to find a direct quote because Musk disagrees with you:
Quote
"This is intended to be a significant amount of revenue and help fund a city on Mars. Looking in the long term, and saying what's needed to create a city on Mars? Well, one thing's for sure: a lot of money."
http://shitelonsays.com/transcript/spacex-seattle-2015-2015-01-15

We have the much more recent statement by Gwynne Shotwell at Stanford a few days back.

Quote
Will SpaceX work with other companies regarding infrastructure on the surface of Mars?

SpaceX is focused on the transportation part of the Mars problem, but people need somewhere to go once they arrive. I don't think it's an accident that Elon started the Boring Company, tunnels will be very important in the first steps of living on Mars, before we build domes and terraform. We want other companies to start thinking about it and working on it, but we'll do it if we have to. I think the BFR might be ready before these other components of actually living on Mars.

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: SpaceX surface habs & infrastructure (from IAC 2017)
« Reply #43 on: 10/14/2017 03:44 PM »
And?
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

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Re: SpaceX surface habs & infrastructure (from IAC 2017)
« Reply #44 on: 10/14/2017 04:25 PM »
And?

I was confirming your position with a newer quote.

Offline yg1968

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Re: SpaceX surface habs & infrastructure (from IAC 2017)
« Reply #45 on: 10/14/2017 10:23 PM »
More or less. SpaceX will do it if no else does it isn't the same thing as we will build a city on Mars. 

In any event, here is another recent quote:

Quote from: Elon Musk
Our goal is get you there and ensure the basic infrastructure for propellant production and survival is in place. A rough analogy is that we are trying to build the equivalent of the transcontinental railway. A vast amount of industry will need to be built on Mars by many other companies and millions of people.

https://www.reddit.com/r/space/comments/76e79c/i_am_elon_musk_ask_me_anything_about_bfr/dodh7t2/?context=3
« Last Edit: 10/14/2017 10:39 PM by yg1968 »

Offline yg1968

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Re: SpaceX surface habs & infrastructure (from IAC 2017)
« Reply #46 on: 10/14/2017 10:31 PM »
About the city on Mars image, Elon says:

Quote from: Elon Musk
Wouldn't read too much into that illustration

https://www.reddit.com/r/space/comments/76e79c/i_am_elon_musk_ask_me_anything_about_bfr/dodhms4/?context=3


Offline vaporcobra

BTW, much more detailed renders. Always good to be cautious with clearly notional designs, but it's blindingly obvious that these artistic impressions have some level of engineering guidance and were done with rendered structures, rather than simply (matte) painting something. SpaceX doesn't really hire people without technical expertise, so no surprise there!
« Last Edit: 10/21/2017 02:39 AM by vaporcobra »
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Online mikelepage

BTW, much more detailed renders. Always good to be cautious with clearly notional designs, but it's blindingly obvious that these artistic impressions have some level of engineering guidance and were done with rendered structures, rather than simply (matte) painting something. SpaceX doesn't really hire people without technical expertise, so no surprise there!

It was blindingly obvious that there was some level of engineering guidance in the Ridley Scott and James Cameron Alien movies too ;) Don't belittle the artists who work on this stuff, who often have engineering experience themselves, but decided to go for a more artistic career.

The problem with artistic impressions is not that there won't be a high level of attention to engineering detail, but that they'll do things for expedience or that betray a lack of basic knowledge, like in Gravity where all three space locations were in the same orbital regime.  Elon might have approved these pics because they look very sci-fi and will get people excited, when in reality he might be planning to bore tunnels to deal with the radiation issue.  Like he said, don't read too much into it.

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: SpaceX surface habs & infrastructure (from IAC 2017)
« Reply #49 on: 10/21/2017 03:23 AM »
I still think the design of the brown habs is not a generic 3D asset. I have never seen anything like them in pictures of notional Mars settlements. They also have design features not common in terrestrial buildings (the odd vertical-opening huge shutters look designed to shield the interior from radiation even when the window cover is open slightly).

I think partly the reason they look so different from other Mars concepts is they're supposed to be transported flat-pack in BFS like Musk earlier said.

I'm sure they're still very notional, but I still think their design is intentional.

Too bad, Elon. I'm going to read into that picture. So deal with it.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

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Offline lamontagne

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Re: SpaceX surface habs & infrastructure (from IAC 2017)
« Reply #50 on: 10/21/2017 04:16 AM »
We dont actually need heavy bulldozers and boring equipment. I am sure some good old fashioned explosive can dig nice holes perfect for housing our flattened sphere or dome.
The dome does not need to be wasted space if you make use of it with multi floors.
Explosive are heavy in large quantities.
An explosive is just a method to add energy to rock.  And explosives need to come from Earth.  So good old explosives don't cut it compared to locally produced power, even if it is applied more slowly using digging machines.
Since you need a large machine to remove the exploded rock anyway, might as well provide it with a cutting head.  Or have two, one shovel and one cutting head.
I urge all interested parties to google The Hard Rock Miner's Handbook, rather than handwaving stuff about.  Explosives in particular  :-)
« Last Edit: 10/21/2017 04:17 AM by lamontagne »

Offline Explorer

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Re: SpaceX surface habs & infrastructure (from IAC 2017)
« Reply #51 on: 10/21/2017 12:16 PM »
Explosive are heavy in large quantities.
An explosive is just a method to add energy to rock.  And explosives need to come from Earth.

I kinda doubt you can't find the resources on Mars needed to create at least simple explosives like black powder.
Send orbiters to Uranus and Neptune, dammit.

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Re: SpaceX surface habs & infrastructure (from IAC 2017)
« Reply #52 on: 10/21/2017 12:47 PM »
I kinda doubt you can't find the resources on Mars needed to create at least simple explosives like black powder.

LOX/methane is in principle fine as an explosive. (Or LOX/soot.)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxyliquit
Quote
In 1930, over 3 million pounds of liquid oxygen were used for this purpose in Germany alone, and additional 201,466 lb (91,383 kg) were consumed by British quarries.

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Re: SpaceX surface habs & infrastructure (from IAC 2017)
« Reply #53 on: 10/21/2017 01:10 PM »
And it doesn't involve finding nitrogen.

Offline lamontagne

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Re: SpaceX surface habs & infrastructure (from IAC 2017)
« Reply #54 on: 10/21/2017 01:31 PM »
And it doesn't involve finding nitrogen.
Yes but making the LOx and H2 from scratch takes more energy than just breaking the rock mechanically.  The energy in the explosive needs to be put into it.  There is no magical gain to be had here.  You just store the solar energy into a chemical system, rather than use it directly.  Less efficient for many reasons: compression, storage, thermal losses, etc.  Just make the electricity and grind away.  The larger the chunks the better, because there is less breaking to do.  And a LOxH2 bomb probably is poorly packaged, as far as delivering the energy to the rock goes.  You will need to bore holes, insert the tank and hope to get good mixing.

You could deliver the energy to the rock using an LOx H2 torch, but again the efficiency would be poor because you melt the rock.  Perhaps a very focused laser would outperform mechanical rock breaking, but lasers are hopelessly inefficient, overall. 
Big mining plants have large secondary plants that manufacture the explosive locally, because it is cheaper and safer to make it locally than to move it. The ammonia used to make explosives comes from the chemical industry and required a lot of energy to be created.

Offline philw1776

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Re: SpaceX surface habs & infrastructure (from IAC 2017)
« Reply #55 on: 10/21/2017 03:48 PM »
And it doesn't involve finding nitrogen.
Yes but making the LOx and H2 from scratch takes more energy than just breaking the rock mechanically.  The energy in the explosive needs to be put into it.  There is no magical gain to be had here.  You just store the solar energy into a chemical system, rather than use it directly.  Less efficient for many reasons: compression, storage, thermal losses, etc.  Just make the electricity and grind away.  The larger the chunks the better, because there is less breaking to do.  And a LOxH2 bomb probably is poorly packaged, as far as delivering the energy to the rock goes.  You will need to bore holes, insert the tank and hope to get good mixing.

You could deliver the energy to the rock using an LOx H2 torch, but again the efficiency would be poor because you melt the rock.  Perhaps a very focused laser would outperform mechanical rock breaking, but lasers are hopelessly inefficient, overall. 
Big mining plants have large secondary plants that manufacture the explosive locally, because it is cheaper and safer to make it locally than to move it. The ammonia used to make explosives comes from the chemical industry and required a lot of energy to be created.

Assuming SpaceX finds a site rich in accessible water resources, as we look at stuff like construction, ISRU, farming, early chemical industry it becomes more and more apparent that energy is the fundamental limiting resource for even a "small" initial Mars base housing a dozen or two early pioneers.
“When it looks more like an alien dreadnought, that’s when you know you’ve won.”

Offline vaporcobra

I still think the design of the brown habs is not a generic 3D asset. I have never seen anything like them in pictures of notional Mars settlements. They also have design features not common in terrestrial buildings (the odd vertical-opening huge shutters look designed to shield the interior from radiation even when the window cover is open slightly).

I think partly the reason they look so different from other Mars concepts is they're supposed to be transported flat-pack in BFS like Musk earlier said.

I'm sure they're still very notional, but I still think their design is intentional.

Too bad, Elon. I'm going to read into that picture. So deal with it.

Heheh... I am in the same boat, for sure. There are far too many extremely specific and relatively unique/unusual details in the renders, both on the Moon and Mars.

The base designs are almost without a doubt VERY notional, but it's SpaceX after all, so there is almost inevitably going to be a significant level of truth and functional intent in the renders.

There simply is no way that SpaceX is not already thinking about the specifics of habitats at this point. If internal ISRU development is "pretty far along" and Shotwell has already semi-publicly stated that SpaceX is "actually trying to get hold of some nuclear material", you can be damn sure that at least several employees at SpaceX are spending a considerable portion of their work hours, if not full-time, white papering surface survival needs and beginning to consider what will be included in the first ~150-300t sent to Mars in the '20s.
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Re: SpaceX surface habs & infrastructure (from IAC 2017)
« Reply #57 on: 10/21/2017 11:04 PM »
And it doesn't involve finding nitrogen.
Yes but making the LOx and H2 from scratch takes more energy than just breaking the rock mechanically.  The energy in the explosive needs to be put into it.  There is no magical gain to be had here.  You just store the solar energy into a chemical system, rather than use it directly.  Less efficient for many reasons: compression, storage, thermal losses, etc.  Just make the electricity and grind away.  The larger the chunks the better, because there is less breaking to do.  And a LOxH2 bomb probably is poorly packaged, as far as delivering the energy to the rock goes.  You will need to bore holes, insert the tank and hope to get good mixing.

You could deliver the energy to the rock using an LOx H2 torch, but again the efficiency would be poor because you melt the rock.  Perhaps a very focused laser would outperform mechanical rock breaking, but lasers are hopelessly inefficient, overall. 
Big mining plants have large secondary plants that manufacture the explosive locally, because it is cheaper and safer to make it locally than to move it. The ammonia used to make explosives comes from the chemical industry and required a lot of energy to be created.

I was more commenting on the lack of nitrogen available. 2% of the atmosphere I think. It's going to be more valuable for breathing at first rather than making explosives. So interesting that there alternatives. No comment on their usefulness.

Offline Oersted

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Re: SpaceX surface habs & infrastructure (from IAC 2017)
« Reply #58 on: 10/21/2017 11:10 PM »
About the city on Mars image, Elon says:

Quote from: Elon Musk
Wouldn't read too much into that illustration

https://www.reddit.com/r/space/comments/76e79c/i_am_elon_musk_ask_me_anything_about_bfr/dodhms4/?context=3

QFT.

It will be tunnels on Mars. They are simply the construction that makes the most sense.

Offline vaporcobra

About the city on Mars image, Elon says:

Quote from: Elon Musk
Wouldn't read too much into that illustration

https://www.reddit.com/r/space/comments/76e79c/i_am_elon_musk_ask_me_anything_about_bfr/dodhms4/?context=3

QFT.

It will be tunnels on Mars. They are simply the construction that makes the most sense.

I'd agree that tunnels will be of immense value eventually. The task of developing an ultralight TBC that can be operated remotely in near-vacuum conditions is not to be underestimated. When there is so little upmass available in the first, there is simply no chance that a huge fraction of that mass will be sacrificed for a TBM.

At least initially, one can relatively simply use a combination of the Martian landscape and water ice to counter radiation risks, even simply burying surface dwellings in regolith is far more doable than tunnel boring. It's going to be all about balancing risks, and having to depend upon an utterly unproven technology is an immense and unnecessary risk. We know almost nothing about Martian geology, at least at the level of detail needed for intensive mining/tunneling.
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Offline biosehnsucht

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Re: SpaceX surface habs & infrastructure (from IAC 2017)
« Reply #60 on: 10/22/2017 07:21 AM »
Probably inflatable / buildable / somehow deployable habs (or just the BFS itself) at first, but tunnels before real colonization starts, and then some time much later something other than tunnels.

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Re: SpaceX surface habs & infrastructure (from IAC 2017)
« Reply #61 on: 10/22/2017 10:57 AM »
We know they need water and will start at a place with ice. Simple way to go from there is to use heat. They could use it to melt ice deposits and pump the water into tanks for further processing. The resulting caverns can be utilized for the base. Leave some ice above it and you have a great radiation shield.
Send orbiters to Uranus and Neptune, dammit.

Offline Oersted

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Re: SpaceX surface habs & infrastructure (from IAC 2017)
« Reply #62 on: 10/24/2017 07:54 PM »
About the city on Mars image, Elon says:

Quote from: Elon Musk
Wouldn't read too much into that illustration

https://www.reddit.com/r/space/comments/76e79c/i_am_elon_musk_ask_me_anything_about_bfr/dodhms4/?context=3

QFT.

It will be tunnels on Mars. They are simply the construction that makes the most sense.

I'd agree that tunnels will be of immense value eventually. The task of developing an ultralight TBC that can be operated remotely in near-vacuum conditions is not to be underestimated. When there is so little upmass available in the first, there is simply no chance that a huge fraction of that mass will be sacrificed for a TBM.

At least initially, one can relatively simply use a combination of the Martian landscape and water ice to counter radiation risks, even simply burying surface dwellings in regolith is far more doable than tunnel boring. It's going to be all about balancing risks, and having to depend upon an utterly unproven technology is an immense and unnecessary risk. We know almost nothing about Martian geology, at least at the level of detail needed for intensive mining/tunneling.

With what machinery do you suggest they will bury surface dwellings? - That would be something like a bulldozer, wouldn't it? - Would that be much lighter than a roadheader to excavate a tunnel?

Tunnel excavation is not unproven at all. I would even say that building habs on Mars would be more unproven.

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Re: SpaceX surface habs & infrastructure (from IAC 2017)
« Reply #63 on: 10/24/2017 08:46 PM »
If I remember correctly,  roadheaders run about 12-100 tons while bulldozers can run 40 to 104 tons.
DM

Offline vaporcobra

I'd agree that tunnels will be of immense value eventually. The task of developing an ultralight TBC that can be operated remotely in near-vacuum conditions is not to be underestimated. When there is so little upmass available in the first, there is simply no chance that a huge fraction of that mass will be sacrificed for a TBM.

At least initially, one can relatively simply use a combination of the Martian landscape and water ice to counter radiation risks, even simply burying surface dwellings in regolith is far more doable than tunnel boring. It's going to be all about balancing risks, and having to depend upon an utterly unproven technology is an immense and unnecessary risk. We know almost nothing about Martian geology, at least at the level of detail needed for intensive mining/tunneling.

With what machinery do you suggest they will bury surface dwellings? - That would be something like a bulldozer, wouldn't it? - Would that be much lighter than a roadheader to excavate a tunnel?

Tunnel excavation is not unproven at all. I would even say that building habs on Mars would be more unproven.

Anything that is distinctly multipurpose. A roadheader or TBM is extremely specialized and would be dead weight for the most part. Something like a generic earthmover can dig trenches and pits, bury habitats, prospect surface-accessible resources, transport/tow heavy items, etc. It would also be far less complex, mechanically.

It's not unproven on Earth, but we know literally nothing about Mars' below-ground geology. MER and MSL's limited drilling, laser spectroscopy, and surface-level imagery can tell us something more than nothing, but you'd have to be insane to expect to depend on underground tunnel boring to construct habitats on the first mission(s).

Surface habitats are a necessity in the beginning, and we already have a considerable amount of experience building human survivable habitats with decent ECLSS. It's possible BFS's living quarters will be designed to support long term stays in both microgravity and Mars-level gravity, but seems counterproductive unless it is unexpectedly easy to do so.

I have little doubt that tunnels will be invaluable later on, but not at the beginning. Now, finding a nice equatorial lava tube near an aquifer is a different story...
« Last Edit: 10/24/2017 09:32 PM by vaporcobra »
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