Author Topic: Mars HSF landing sites?  (Read 17147 times)

Offline KelvinZero

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3947
  • Liked: 661
  • Likes Given: 169
Re: Mars HSF landing sites?
« Reply #20 on: 05/29/2015 12:01 am »
http://www.marstravel.org/2011/12/mars-photo-of-day-dec-20-2011.html
Today's Image of Mars is a closeup of a pit on the Eastern flank of Pavonis Mons, a large volcano located in the Tharsis region of Mars. The pit is 180m at its widest diameter.
Even though the Western half of the pit is shrouded in shadow, HiRISE was able to peer into the shadows and determine what lies within. The boulders visible within the pit range from less than 1m to 5m in diameter. The HiRISE team reports that the boulders are covered in sediments.
Pits like the one below are called skylights and often form when the roof of an inactive lava tube collapses.


That is a tempting looking hole in the ground. Anyone have opinions on how the region around this crater rates? Im mainly interested in viability for settlement (water, power, convenience from orbit) but all criteria of interest to someone are valid.


Ice Domes on Mars? :o
btw what crater was that?
You have to go to Google Earth, and select Mars mode.  Then toggle HIRISE imagery under "Spacecraft Imagery" and search for PSP_007230_2170.
Found this info: (oops, it was also in your screen shot. I think it didn't load first time or something. Anyway here is same thing with text and you can click on the link)

This image was taken by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on board NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) spacecraft.

See this image’s observation information page.

Observation ID: PSP_007230_2170
Image of: Crater with textured mound in central Acidalia Planitia
Location: 36.59°N 332.52°E
Acquired on: February 10, 2008


That is about half the distance to the equator as the ice craters I mentioned. I don't really know how to read the images though so I can't guess the scale or true color.


« Last Edit: 05/29/2015 12:20 am by KelvinZero »

Offline Ionmars

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 885
  • North Carolina, USA
  • Liked: 294
  • Likes Given: 641
Re: Mars HSF landing sites?
« Reply #21 on: 05/29/2015 01:22 am »
From the thread, "A Launchpad for MCT," an ideal small crater for landing and launching might have some additional desirable characteristics:

(a) About 0.5 to 2 km in diam. Just large enough to capture flying FOD during L/L activity.

(b) Moderate slope, maybe 1:3 to allow rovers and mobile equipment to easily traverse from a landing pad inside the crater to a protected equipment area just over the rim.

(c) A relatively hard surface near one sidewall of the crater to serve as an initial pad. Later, it will be further hardened by techniques already suggested by forum participants.

(d) Modest crater height, maybe 100-200 m from bottom to rim. This will allow equipment, especially O2 and CH4 tanks, to be located just over the rim from the pad. Thus a relatively short pipeline from the tanks to the fuel-loading equipment at the launchpad.

(e) Moderate winds that do not affect L/L activity.

 If an optimum crater cannot be found , a hillock could be employed for most of the same purposes.
« Last Edit: 05/29/2015 11:59 am by Ionmars »
Could a Mars pole-vaulter set a new record? Not in a space suit. (smiley)

Offline Ionmars

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 885
  • North Carolina, USA
  • Liked: 294
  • Likes Given: 641
Re: Mars HSF landing sites?
« Reply #22 on: 05/29/2015 03:11 am »
Mr. Scott, there are TV watchers and there are colonizers. Time to choose sides.
Could a Mars pole-vaulter set a new record? Not in a space suit. (smiley)

Offline KelvinZero

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3947
  • Liked: 661
  • Likes Given: 169
Re: Mars HSF landing sites?
« Reply #23 on: 05/29/2015 08:15 am »
KelvinZero, as an advocate if colonization, I try to think like SpaceX. IMHO this means an initial base for the exploration of Mars that will grow into a base for colonization, which will then grow into one of a series of towns around the planet. The choice of initial HSF landing site should help achieve the long-range goals. I like your opening paragraph but I might rearrange priorities as follows:

...

I am not an expert on the geology of Mars, but the site near Valles Marineras recommended by sghill in Reply #9 above seems to meet these requirements rather well.
I can't remember if I mentioned any priorities. I might have deleted that bit. Anyway Im not trying to sell any agenda of my own. I welcome anyone to suggest any site for any criteria that appeal to them.

Here it is:
...I happen to think the wash out area near the exit from Valles Marineris would be an amazing place for exploration and mining...

If this spot is popular maybe people can dig up more info about it. Im hazy about which places on mars we have extreme detail on. I will probably know more soon. ;)


Offline Ionmars

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 885
  • North Carolina, USA
  • Liked: 294
  • Likes Given: 641
Re: Mars HSF landing sites?
« Reply #24 on: 05/29/2015 11:41 am »

I can't remember if I mentioned any priorities. I might have deleted that bit. Anyway Im not trying to sell any agenda of my own. I welcome anyone to suggest any site for any criteria that appeal to them.
...I happen to think the wash out area near the exit from Valles Marineris would be an amazing place for exploration and mining...

If this spot is popular maybe people can dig up more info about it. Im hazy about which places on mars we have extreme detail on. I will probably know more soon. ;)

I dug up this statement from a NASA article about Eos Chasma as a landing site for rovers:

"Wind is a chief reason why mission planners have passed up otherwise tempting landing sites here and elsewhere in Valles Marineris. Yes, the valley is home to places with fantastic exploration possibilities — but not at the price of a crash landing".

http://themis.asu.edu/feature/54

They go on to say the valley exhibits very high contrasts in temperatures, which lead to very high winds, so that it is called the "whistling straits." Looks like another criterion to add to our list.

I wonder if this problem could be overcome by landing at a quiet time of day?
 
« Last Edit: 05/29/2015 12:05 pm by Ionmars »
Could a Mars pole-vaulter set a new record? Not in a space suit. (smiley)

Offline Ionmars

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 885
  • North Carolina, USA
  • Liked: 294
  • Likes Given: 641
Re: Mars HSF landing sites?
« Reply #25 on: 05/29/2015 12:17 pm »
"The Second Landing Site Workshop for the Mars 2020 Rover will be held August 4-6, 2015 at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Monrovia, CA."

http://marsnext.jpl.nasa.gov

"The goal of the second workshop will be to narrow the original list of sites as well as new candidate sites to approximately 8 sites based on existing mission engineering constraints and available atmosphere and terrain data products."
Could a Mars pole-vaulter set a new record? Not in a space suit. (smiley)

Offline kdhilliard

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 282
  • Kirk
  • Tanstaa, FL
  • Liked: 304
  • Likes Given: 879
Re: Mars HSF landing sites?
« Reply #26 on: 05/29/2015 12:31 pm »
... someplace photogenic.  ...

Landing in the heart of Valles Marineris would be a prime example I'd suggest.  There's science and even a sense of romance in exploring a new not just grand, but titanic canyon.  Only climbing to Olympus Mons' summit would top interest ratings, but that would be a feat even riskier with current means.

SpaceX's recent travel poster builds on the common misconception that this tallest of volcanoes must be steep and craggy, while the shield volcano actually has a gentle profile with an average slope of only 5°.  But what about Valles Marineris?  Does it live up to it's Grand Canyon comparison?  Does this rift valley have sheer cliff faces into which tunnels could be bored?

~Kirk

Offline Russel

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1070
  • Liked: 112
  • Likes Given: 1
Re: Mars HSF landing sites?
« Reply #27 on: 05/29/2015 01:16 pm »
Speaking about denser air making a difference to the efficiency of gas processing. What sites if any are near the equator and at least 5Km below MOLA? You'd have to go that far to make a realistic difference and not just a fractional difference.

Offline Ionmars

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 885
  • North Carolina, USA
  • Liked: 294
  • Likes Given: 641
Re: Mars HSF landing sites?
« Reply #28 on: 05/29/2015 06:13 pm »

SpaceX's recent travel poster builds on the common misconception that this tallest of volcanoes must be steep and craggy, while the shield volcano actually has a gentle profile with an average slope of only 5°.  But what about Valles Marineris?  Does it live up to it's Grand Canyon comparison?  Does this rift valley have sheer cliff faces into which tunnels could be bored?

~Kirk

By viewing the photos, we would have to say yes. It does have cliff faces that could be bored into. So we could build habitats.

Our concern on this thread is whether it has a nearby site that could be readily adapted for landings and launches. (Not sure.)
« Last Edit: 05/29/2015 06:20 pm by Ionmars »
Could a Mars pole-vaulter set a new record? Not in a space suit. (smiley)

Offline Ionmars

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 885
  • North Carolina, USA
  • Liked: 294
  • Likes Given: 641
Re: Mars HSF landing sites?
« Reply #29 on: 05/29/2015 06:20 pm »
Speaking about denser air making a difference to the efficiency of gas processing. What sites if any are near the equator and at least 5Km below MOLA? You'd have to go that far to make a realistic difference and not just a fractional difference.
IIRC Eos Chasma has the second lowest elevation after Hellas Basin. Don't recall exact elevation.
Could a Mars pole-vaulter set a new record? Not in a space suit. (smiley)

Offline Alexsander

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 114
  • Liked: 5
  • Likes Given: 2
Re: Mars HSF landing sites?
« Reply #30 on: 05/29/2015 06:31 pm »
We could devise a spreadsheet: each row is a candidate site, each column a feature.
Some possible columns:
- Distance (km) from nearest known surface ice
- Atmosphere pressure (pascals)
- Temperature range (degrees C)
- etc

Offline Ionmars

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 885
  • North Carolina, USA
  • Liked: 294
  • Likes Given: 641
Re: Mars HSF landing sites?
« Reply #31 on: 05/29/2015 06:54 pm »
We could devise a spreadsheet: each row is a candidate site, each column a feature.
Some possible columns:
- Distance (km) from nearest known surface ice
- Atmosphere pressure (pascals)
- Temperature range (degrees C)
- etc
Good idea. Maybe add the list of criteria in Reply #20?
Could a Mars pole-vaulter set a new record? Not in a space suit. (smiley)

Offline Ionmars

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 885
  • North Carolina, USA
  • Liked: 294
  • Likes Given: 641
Re: Mars HSF landing sites?
« Reply #32 on: 05/29/2015 07:25 pm »
In Reply #33 I referenced the upcoming workshop on landing sites for the 2020 rover mission. The connection to HSF is that some of these locations could also be good landing sites for larger craft. And some of these scientific sites were chosen to search for water.

Here are the proposed sites to be discussed:

Day 2, 8:30 am session: Mawrth Vallis; Oxia Planum; Nili Fossae; N.E. Syrtis Major; Nili Padera; and Circum-Helles region.

Day 2, 11:00 am session: Vallis Marineris; S.W. Melas Basin; and Coprates Chasma.

Day 2, 1:10 pm session: Hypansis Delta; Eberswalde Delta; Jazero Crater Delta; Ladon Vallis; Terminus of Sabrina Vallis; Kashira Crater; Eastern Margaritafer Terra; Hadriacus Palus; and Firsoff Crater

Day 3, 8:30 am session: Gusav Crater and Columbia hills.

I'm ging to look into the first one, Mawrth Vallis, about which i know nothing.
« Last Edit: 05/29/2015 07:43 pm by Ionmars »
Could a Mars pole-vaulter set a new record? Not in a space suit. (smiley)

Offline kdhilliard

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 282
  • Kirk
  • Tanstaa, FL
  • Liked: 304
  • Likes Given: 879
Re: Mars HSF landing sites?
« Reply #33 on: 05/29/2015 10:43 pm »
water in lower latitudes?

I thought that Valles Marineris was supposed to be dry, but this 2014 Geomorphology article suggests otherwise: One million cubic kilometers of fossil ice in Valles Marineris: Relicts of a 3.5 Gy old glacial landsystem along the Martian equator.

The Water Equivalent Hydrogen Abundance map which KelvinZero linked was generated from data collected by Mars Odyssey's Neutron Spectrometer (part of the Gamma Ray Spectrometer instrument suite) which was sensitive to concentrations of hydrogen in the upper meter of the surface and would not have detected the buried glacier remnants Marine Gourronc and her coauthors are describing.

~Kirk

Offline KelvinZero

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3947
  • Liked: 661
  • Likes Given: 169
Re: Mars HSF landing sites?
« Reply #34 on: 05/30/2015 08:09 am »
water in lower latitudes?

I thought that Valles Marineris was supposed to be dry, but this 2014 Geomorphology article suggests otherwise: One million cubic kilometers of fossil ice in Valles Marineris: Relicts of a 3.5 Gy old glacial landsystem along the Martian equator.

The Water Equivalent Hydrogen Abundance map which KelvinZero linked was generated from data collected by Mars Odyssey's Neutron Spectrometer (part of the Gamma Ray Spectrometer instrument suite) which was sensitive to concentrations of hydrogen in the upper meter of the surface and would not have detected the buried glacier remnants Marine Gourronc and her coauthors are describing.

~Kirk
There is a picture titled "Platy terrain (central depression)" on page 13 (labelled page 247) that seems to suggest current day ice about a kilometer thick under a layer that is very thin, at least at that scale.. perhaps ten or tens of meters? I couldn't tell from the diagram. It was really just a thick line.

Am I reading that right and is there any more information about how thin the cover is expected to get if we hunt around a bit? The only thing I found about this quote mentions tens of centimeters:
However, field observations in ice disintegration landscapes on Earth and theoretical calculations demonstrate that mantling of relict ice bodies by debris layers as thin as a few decimeters is enough to significantly inhibit rates of ice disintegration by melting (Ostrem, 1959; Mattson et al., 1993) or by sublimation (Marchant et al., 2002; Kowalewski et al., 2006, 2011).

Also, what sort of robotic mission would give us maximum confidence short of actually digging down tens of meters?

Offline guckyfan

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6875
  • Germany
  • Liked: 1864
  • Likes Given: 1910
Re: Mars HSF landing sites?
« Reply #35 on: 05/30/2015 10:17 am »
From a short scan I understand that the cover is not less than a meter. If it were less, it would have been detected by radar like many other locations.

But even 10m or more is good, considered you will find pure fresh water ice below.

Offline Russel

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1070
  • Liked: 112
  • Likes Given: 1
Re: Mars HSF landing sites?
« Reply #36 on: 05/30/2015 10:41 am »
10m of cover and you have a herculean task of removing the overburden and you're back to drilling/heating.

Offline Ionmars

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 885
  • North Carolina, USA
  • Liked: 294
  • Likes Given: 641
Re: Mars HSF landing sites?
« Reply #37 on: 05/30/2015 10:44 am »
I thought that Valles Marineris was supposed to be dry, but this 2014 Geomorphology article suggests otherwise: One million cubic kilometers of fossil ice in Valles Marineris: Relicts of a 3.5 Gy old glacial landsystem along the Martian equator.

The Water Equivalent Hydrogen Abundance map which KelvinZero linked was generated from data collected by Mars Odyssey's Neutron Spectrometer (part of the Gamma Ray Spectrometer instrument suite) which was sensitive to concentrations of hydrogen in the upper meter of the surface and would not have detected the buried glacier remnants Marine Gourronc and her coauthors are describing.

~Kirk
Your reference is ground zero for anyone to understand one of the major features of Mars and to appreciate the huge extent of this 2600 km long buried glacier. Please read - it is filled with photos and diagrams.

The following annotated composite photo of Vallis Marineris includes the  names "Melas" and "Coprates, " which are two potential landing sites to be addressed in the upcoming workshop.
« Last Edit: 05/30/2015 11:05 am by Ionmars »
Could a Mars pole-vaulter set a new record? Not in a space suit. (smiley)

Offline Ionmars

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 885
  • North Carolina, USA
  • Liked: 294
  • Likes Given: 641
Re: Mars HSF landing sites?
« Reply #38 on: 05/30/2015 10:56 am »
10m of cover and you have a herculean task of removing the overburden and you're back to drilling/heating.
Yes, but once you have a drilled well and can lower a heat generator into it to melt the ice, you have a source of water that could serve a growing colony for many years.
Could a Mars pole-vaulter set a new record? Not in a space suit. (smiley)

Offline KelvinZero

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3947
  • Liked: 661
  • Likes Given: 169
Re: Mars HSF landing sites?
« Reply #39 on: 05/30/2015 11:10 am »
10m of cover and you have a herculean task of removing the overburden and you're back to drilling/heating.
Yes, but once you have a drilled well and can lower a heat generator into it to melt the ice, you have a source of water that could serve a growing colony for many years.
Before you guys go any further, remember that '10 or 10s of meters' was me guessing from the thickness of a line from a diagram I may not have read right. Go and look at it and you will see what I mean. I was really asking if anyone had real info about it.

Tags: