Author Topic: SpaceX's Martian Underground  (Read 33550 times)

Offline Paul451

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Re: SpaceX's Martian Underground
« Reply #140 on: 02/05/2017 09:44 PM »
When he first outlined his plans for Mars, he talked about people living in geodesic domes on the Martian surface. But he was probably called out on that part, by skeptics who didn't feel the dome idea could work (pressure forces, etc). So because of this, he's probably now shifting to the tunnel idea

Just to be pedantic, he originally said people live in domes, industry in tunnels. So there's nothing inconsistent with his original statements in his pursuing tunnelling technology.

Online guckyfan

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Re: SpaceX's Martian Underground
« Reply #141 on: 02/05/2017 10:19 PM »
Elon Musk sees that large panorama window in ITS as an indispensible part of the system.

I am not sure that people would actually live in such domes. But I am sure that Elon Musk sees at least one such dome with green plants as indispensible for the colony from the early days on. If only people know it is there and they can go and spend some time between plants and see the outside, if they want to.

Offline Jcc

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Re: SpaceX's Martian Underground
« Reply #142 on: 02/06/2017 02:33 AM »
Also to keep radiation exposure to within acceptable limits, time spent in domes on the surface should be controlled, although valuable for aesthetic and psychological reasons.

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: SpaceX's Martian Underground
« Reply #143 on: 02/06/2017 02:41 AM »
What is acceptable on Mars and Earth may end up significantly different.

Also, I imagine people would live in buildings themselves inside the dome. Those sub-buildings could be easily shielded by water or plastic.
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Online guckyfan

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Re: SpaceX's Martian Underground
« Reply #144 on: 02/06/2017 03:59 AM »
Also to keep radiation exposure to within acceptable limits, time spent in domes on the surface should be controlled, although valuable for aesthetic and psychological reasons.

With experience gathered on Mars about radiation the limits will likely get redefined. We must remember that Sievert are a value that can not be directly measured. Radiations of different types need to be weighted for their biological relevance and not knowing the relevance exactly means they put safety factors in. Getting better understanding through animals living under such conditions the values can be refined and very likely limits get higher.

All tests done yet are limited in value due to the fact that such radiation is applied in bursts which is not the same as applying them at a continuous low level.

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: SpaceX's Martian Underground
« Reply #145 on: 02/07/2017 01:45 AM »
We have a rover on Mars (MSL) which includes an instrument capable of measuring the biological equivalent of the radiation received, not just raw radiation level.
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Online guckyfan

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Re: SpaceX's Martian Underground
« Reply #146 on: 02/07/2017 09:21 AM »
We have a rover on Mars (MSL) which includes an instrument capable of measuring the biological equivalent of the radiation received, not just raw radiation level.

No we don't. The only instrument capable of measuring the biologic impact would be a living organism. Once a sufficiently large number of living organisms have been exposed to the radiation and effects determined we can then apply that info to the readings of radiation measuring devices. The relation is presently only based on assumptions.

Offline pobermanns

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Re: SpaceX's Martian Underground
« Reply #147 on: 02/07/2017 10:55 PM »
When he first outlined his plans for Mars, he talked about people living in geodesic domes on the Martian surface. But he was probably called out on that part, by skeptics who didn't feel the dome idea could work (pressure forces, etc). So because of this, he's probably now shifting to the tunnel idea

Just to be pedantic, he originally said people live in domes, industry in tunnels. So there's nothing inconsistent with his original statements in his pursuing tunnelling technology.

But EM is a visionary, and visionaries often use expansive, unsupported claims for their vision(s). That doesn't mean that they are right - or wrong. So, he might truly have plans for tunneling there - or alternatively for domes - or not. For me, all of this is TBA.
« Last Edit: 02/07/2017 10:56 PM by pobermanns »

Offline pobermanns

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Re: SpaceX's Martian Underground
« Reply #148 on: 02/07/2017 11:05 PM »
But I am sure that Elon Musk sees at least one such dome with green plants as indispensible for the colony from the early days on. If only people know it is there and they can go and spend some time between plants and see the outside, if they want to.

On that I agree, because I think that the feeling of confinement will eventually become a major health issue. For some people more than others. People will want to be able to feel like they are 'outside'. Perhaps, that will be moderated over time, just like for submarine crews and the groups who stay on Antartica. Being totally honest here, I have no insight or experience as to how that might play out. Just saying.
« Last Edit: 02/07/2017 11:10 PM by pobermanns »

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: SpaceX's Martian Underground
« Reply #149 on: 02/07/2017 11:05 PM »
We have a rover on Mars (MSL) which includes an instrument capable of measuring the biological equivalent of the radiation received, not just raw radiation level.

No we don't. The only instrument capable of measuring the biologic impact would be a living organism. Once a sufficiently large number of living organisms have been exposed to the radiation and effects determined we can then apply that info to the readings of radiation measuring devices. The relation is presently only based on assumptions.
No, we can measure the actual radiation type received on Mars with that instrument and using accelerators on Earth expose organisms to the same type.

As far as "assumptions" go, it's rock solid (within the accuracy we care about), as much as expecting 2+2 to equal 4 on Mars as well as it is here on Earth.
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Online guckyfan

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Re: SpaceX's Martian Underground
« Reply #150 on: 02/08/2017 07:13 AM »
Accelerated or burst exposure to radiation will not give a sufficiently accurate biologic response. But that is what we can do on earth. We don't have affordable radiation sources that can provide constant low simulations of cosmic background radiation.

Offline Semmel

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Re: SpaceX's Martian Underground
« Reply #151 on: 02/08/2017 08:45 AM »
Yes I believe we have them. They are called airplanes. And the test subjects are called pilots and flight attendees. They might not operate at the same radiation level as there would be on Mars, but that a start with a large sample size. The other experiment using astronauts has probably a too small sample size and time of exposure for a statically significant conclusion.

Before you name the missing magnetic field of Mars, I think that is only applicable for solar flare radiation but irrelevant for cosmic radiation. Not 100% sure though.

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: SpaceX's Martian Underground
« Reply #152 on: 02/12/2017 03:11 AM »
Accelerated or burst exposure to radiation will not give a sufficiently accurate biologic response. But that is what we can do on earth. We don't have affordable radiation sources that can provide constant low simulations of cosmic background radiation.
We actually can do it. Langley has a project that can examine the response.
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Offline Ionmars

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Re: SpaceX's Martian Underground
« Reply #153 on: 02/14/2017 11:35 AM »
Yes I believe we have them. They are called airplanes. And the test subjects are called pilots and flight attendees. They might not operate at the same radiation level as there would be on Mars, but that a start with a large sample size. The other experiment using astronauts has probably a too small sample size and time of exposure for a statically significant conclusion.

Before you name the missing magnetic field of Mars, I think that is only applicable for solar flare radiation but irrelevant for cosmic radiation. Not 100% sure though.
Cosmic radiation is high-energy radiation, much higher than radiation from the sun. It consists of protons and atomic nuclei that originate from outside the solar system from sources currently unknown. Solar photons can be “high energy” but the extra mass of cosmic particles pushes their potential kinetic energy into a different and higher class.

On Earth we are protected from the full effects of cosmic radiation by Earth’s magnetic field and by the atmosphere. High-speed particles break up when hitting the atmosphere and even the astronauts on the ISS do not experience the full effect because of the magnetic field.

So our experience with radiation and measurements on Earth and vicinity may lead us to underestimate the exposure problem beyond Earth orbit and on Mars where there is less atmosphere and attenuated magnetic fields. Sometimes enthusiasts (like Elon) will say that the radiation danger is overblown based on our experience so far. He may be right but we don’t yet have experiential proof of that.

Doesn’t mean we can’t transit to Mars and colonize, just that we need to know more and take CR into account when planning habitats and cities.
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Offline john smith 19

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Re: SpaceX's Martian Underground
« Reply #154 on: 03/04/2017 08:36 AM »
Just a reminder.

To give the equivalent protection that Earth's atmosphere provides people at Sea Level takes about 3m of Martian Regolith.

Something tells me that making a dome that gives equal protection, while being transparent enough to see the outside, and perhaps color matched to not look too Orangeto th einhabitants inside, is going to be a tricky piece of materials and structural engineering.  :(

Plants seem to be more tolerant of lower pressures and higher radiation, so slightly pressurized "green houses" seem to be the way to go to grow food without the huge cost of artificial light while staying underground (or burrowed into a cliff face) seems to be the way to go for humans.
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Online guckyfan

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Re: SpaceX's Martian Underground
« Reply #155 on: 03/04/2017 08:47 AM »
Something tells me that making a dome that gives equal protection, while being transparent enough to see the outside, and perhaps color matched to not look too Orangeto th einhabitants inside, is going to be a tricky piece of materials and structural engineering.  :(

Elon Musk mentioning a geodesic dome suggests a different approach. Build the dome to just contain pressure and be transparent. Think the panorama window in ITS. Build structures with radiation shielding inside. Those can have windows and a shielded porch to look at the plants and going outside for an hour or two a day would be OK in your radiation budget unless you are pregnant or an infant.

Offline Lampyridae

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Re: SpaceX's Martian Underground
« Reply #156 on: 03/04/2017 09:13 AM »
Just a reminder.

To give the equivalent protection that Earth's atmosphere provides people at Sea Level takes about 3m of Martian Regolith.

Something tells me that making a dome that gives equal protection, while being transparent enough to see the outside, and perhaps color matched to not look too Orangeto th einhabitants inside, is going to be a tricky piece of materials and structural engineering.  :(

Plants seem to be more tolerant of lower pressures and higher radiation, so slightly pressurized "green houses" seem to be the way to go to grow food without the huge cost of artificial light while staying underground (or burrowed into a cliff face) seems to be the way to go for humans.

Mars has quite a few magnetic anomalies, especially in the south, which will provide some protection.

As for the radiation protection - ice. Sandwich between two sheets of glass, and the internal pressure will counteract the weight, there have been plenty of threads on this, and papers on the net.

The sky colour won't be a problem. Human eyes adapt very quickly to coloured lighting conditions. Indoor lights are very different to natural "white" sunlight, yet white things still look white to you.

If you look at the exposed rocks from one of the rover pictures, they often look slightly blue - they aren't. They're a grey colour, as you'd find on the Moon or Earth, your eye is just auto-balancing against the ochre-orange of Mars.
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Offline Oersted

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Re: SpaceX's Martian Underground
« Reply #157 on: 03/04/2017 09:55 PM »
Elon Musk mentioning a geodesic dome suggests a different approach. Build the dome to just contain pressure and be transparent. Think the panorama window in ITS. Build structures with radiation shielding inside. Those can have windows and a shielded porch to look at the plants and going outside for an hour or two a day would be OK in your radiation budget unless you are pregnant or an infant.

Elon musks' actual words (Reddit AMA):

"Initially, glass panes with carbon fiber frames to build geodesic domes on the surface, plus a lot of miner/tunneling droids. With the latter, you can build out a huge amount of pressurized space for industrial operations and leave the glass domes for green living space."

- The "huge amount of pressurized space" of his base on Mars will obviously be subterranean.
« Last Edit: 03/04/2017 09:55 PM by Oersted »

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: SpaceX's Martian Underground
« Reply #158 on: 03/04/2017 11:55 PM »
Just a reminder.

To give the equivalent protection that Earth's atmosphere provides people at Sea Level takes about 3m of Martian Regolith.

Something tells me that making a dome that gives equal protection, while being transparent enough to see the outside, and perhaps color matched to not look too Orangeto th einhabitants inside, is going to be a tricky piece of materials and structural engineering.  :(

Plants seem to be more tolerant of lower pressures and higher radiation, so slightly pressurized "green houses" seem to be the way to go to grow food without the huge cost of artificial light while staying underground (or burrowed into a cliff face) seems to be the way to go for humans.

Mars has quite a few magnetic anomalies, especially in the south, which will provide some protection.

As for the radiation protection - ice. Sandwich between two sheets of glass, and the internal pressure will counteract the weight, there have been plenty of threads on this, and papers on the net.

The sky colour won't be a problem. Human eyes adapt very quickly to coloured lighting conditions. Indoor lights are very different to natural "white" sunlight, yet white things still look white to you.

If you look at the exposed rocks from one of the rover pictures, they often look slightly blue - they aren't. They're a grey colour, as you'd find on the Moon or Earth, your eye is just auto-balancing against the ochre-orange of Mars.
Unfortunately, I once calculated what good, if any, those magnetic anomalies would do for radiation shielding, and the answer is diddly squat, even lower energy solar energetic particles. Just too weak.

But the Mars atmosphere itself does a good job. And overall, the radiation environment is more benign than in LEO, especially at low altitude. Not a big deal. Just live with it.
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Offline lamontagne

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Re: SpaceX's Martian Underground
« Reply #159 on: 03/05/2017 12:17 AM »
Elon Musk mentioning a geodesic dome suggests a different approach. Build the dome to just contain pressure and be transparent. Think the panorama window in ITS. Build structures with radiation shielding inside. Those can have windows and a shielded porch to look at the plants and going outside for an hour or two a day would be OK in your radiation budget unless you are pregnant or an infant.

Elon musks' actual words (Reddit AMA):

"Initially, glass panes with carbon fiber frames to build geodesic domes on the surface, plus a lot of miner/tunneling droids. With the latter, you can build out a huge amount of pressurized space for industrial operations and leave the glass domes for green living space."

- The "huge amount of pressurized space" of his base on Mars will obviously be subterranean.
I would expect that if you don't sleep under the dome, and don't work under the dome, and don't do most of your entertainment under the dome, then the radiation problem is much less important.  Limiting exposure to a few hours or less per day.  After all, we don't spend all that much time close to windows ourselves, even up here in Canada, where we sometimes crave natural light.
Thinking of my adolescent son, playing in front of his computer, I don't think he sees natural light more than a few minutes every week ;-)




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