Author Topic: Proposed ITS Cargo Modules to Initiate a Chemical Industry on Mars  (Read 26447 times)

Online Ionmars

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The diagram you show is at a relatively late stage, and there is useful propellant produced well before that many loads are required.
So I'm talking about this. It seems to me that it would be justifiable to sacrifice two or three ITS at the first stage to build a complex for the production of fuel at the first stage. And there is no point in bringing to Mars 24 huge storage tanks for fuel storage while expanding this complex. The complex for the production of fuel simultaneously produces raw materials, from which it is possible to make fiberglass and carbon plastics. Using this material it becomes possible to build a building such as a huge hangar for an airship. And in this hangar, it will be possible to build both fuel storage tanks and other large modules necessary for the construction and maintenance of the colony.
   
Large reservoirs with effective thermal insulation will be a mass product for the Martian industry. Therefore it is necessary to learn as soon as possible how to do them locally, from local materials, and not to bring them from Earth.
 
Agreed. There will be stages of Mars development. First, initial landings and initial base to set up initial equipment and systems. Second, employing large modules as ready-to-use habitats, greenhouses, laboratories, and liquid storage vessels. Third, phase in ISRU-built structures and vessels as we develop the ability to do so.
Could a Mars pole-vaulter set a new record? Not in a space suit.

Offline Lar

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The release of the vessel may be easier on Mars surface. We proposed a "vessel grappler" that could remove the vessel from the side. Also the half-fairing is a removable panel rather than hinged, so it is removed and set aside.
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Sorry if this was answered elsewhere, but how would these grapplers or the crane in your paper be delivered to the surface?

One approach would have us design "kits" of component parts to assemble a large crane or a vessel-grappler. The parts would have to be small enough to fit inside the cargo bay of a BFS/spaceship and must fit through a cargo bay door. (A good reason for doors to be as large as feasible) A small crane would unload parts, as pictured by E. Musk. Components of a large crane pr a VG may require multiple spaceship landings.

If cargo modules are employed for early flights, parts would be packed into cargo modules and the modules unloaded by crane or VG. In either case, humans would assemble any large and complicated machine (not self-deployed).

 
On earth, very large crawler cranes are put together from road transportable pieces using smaller cranes that are themselves road transportable. So talking to crane manufacturers (rather than say, LockMart, who will want 1.5M USD to tell you that yes, you want your crane to be modular) might bear a lot of fruit. The operating environment might be different but they are already used to the notion of making equipment easy to assemble in the field without a lot of tools or complex support equipment.

So the shipboard crane unloads a rover mounted crane (which had lots of supplies packed around it in transit) which then is used to assemble a larger crane, etc. as well as other port equipment.
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

Online Ionmars

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One approach would have us design "kits" of component parts to assemble a large crane or a vessel-grappler. The parts would have to be small enough to fit inside the cargo bay of a BFS/spaceship and must fit through a cargo bay door. (A good reason for doors to be as large as feasible) A small crane would unload parts, as pictured by E. Musk. Components of a large crane pr a VG may require multiple spaceship landings.

If cargo modules are employed for early flights, parts would be packed into cargo modules and the modules unloaded by crane or VG. In either case, humans would assemble any large and complicated machine (not self-deployed).
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On earth, very large crawler cranes are put together from road transportable pieces using smaller cranes that are themselves road transportable. So talking to crane manufacturers (rather than say, LockMart, who will want 1.5M USD to tell you that yes, you want your crane to be modular) might bear a lot of fruit. The operating environment might be different but they are already used to the notion of making equipment easy to assemble in the field without a lot of tools or complex support equipment.

So the shipboard crane unloads a rover mounted crane (which had lots of supplies packed around it in transit) which then is used to assemble a larger crane, etc. as well as other port equipment.
Excellent. Now can we get a Crane Engineer to write an article about how his equipment breaks apart to stow in the BFS? Free advertising?  ;)
Could a Mars pole-vaulter set a new record? Not in a space suit.

Offline Lar

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Maybe John Alan knows someone that knows someone? (He works at CAT)
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

Offline John Alan

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Maybe John Alan knows someone that knows someone? (He works at CAT)
I'm a boxes full of shafts and gears that turn and shift kind of guy... just a reminder on what I do there...  ;)

That said...
I know CAT basically stays out of the crane business...  ::)
But only because other folks out there do such a fine job building great cranes already...  ;)

Liebherr makes good stuff... and have some great video's on YouTube on subtopic... here is one...
How a LR 1250 crawler crane puts itself together...  :o


That said... my speculation on subtopic...
Wouldn't a large tele-handler make more sense as a machine to load and unload BFS?...  ???
Obviously one made for OP in a no air environment... electric drive, etc...
Here is a generic one in action to get the basic concept across...


On edit...
Another doing what it does best...
« Last Edit: 03/06/2018 05:22 PM by John Alan »

Offline speedevil

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Wouldn't a large tele-handler make more sense as a machine to load and unload BFS?...  ???
Obviously one made for OP in a no air environment... electric drive, etc...
Here is a generic one in action to get the basic concept across...

Do equipment hire companies require you to say you're not going to test stuff in a thermal vacuum chamber on the hire agreement?

:)

Offline Ludus

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https://phys.org/news/2018-03-startup-scales-carbon-nanotube-membranes.html

An interesting possibility for a Mars Chemical Industry/ ISRU.

Online Ionmars

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Amazing development. Maybe their process could surpass the Sabatier process for producing CH4 from CO2 and H2?
Who in NASA should the new startup company contact?

Added: Sabatier reaction has the advantage of being exothermic. Excess heat can be used to drive the electrolysis process that splits H2O to produce H2 used in Sabatier process. That's why we suggested placing the two processes together in the same reactor-module. May be difficult for any new process to beat this combination, energy-wise.
« Last Edit: 03/14/2018 08:04 PM by Ionmars »
Could a Mars pole-vaulter set a new record? Not in a space suit.

Offline Ludus

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Amazing development. Maybe their process could surpass the Sabatier process for producing CH4 from CO2 and H2?
Who in NASA should the new startup company contact?

Added: Sabatier reaction has the advantage of being exothermic. Excess heat can be used to drive the electrolysis process that splits H2O to produce H2 used in Sabatier process. That's why we suggested placing the two processes together in the same reactor-module. May be difficult for any new process to beat this combination, energy-wise.

https://www.mattershift.com
It’s hard to know how practical this will be, but if it works it would be interesting for Mars in the sense that it has the potential to be able to do quite a few different useful things with low mass devices that could have pretty limited supply chains. It might be easier to make this stuff on Mars as well as easier to transport it.

Offline guckyfan

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Added: Sabatier reaction has the advantage of being exothermic.

Exothermic means inherently lossy. If the heat can be used elsewhere it mitigates the initial loss. But the process itself is still lossy.

Offline guckyfan

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https://phys.org/news/2018-03-startup-scales-carbon-nanotube-membranes.html

An interesting possibility for a Mars Chemical Industry/ ISRU.

It may be a useful development. But something is off. You can not just send CO2 and water through a membrane and get a hydrocarbon as a result. You need energy to drive the process. As much or really more energy than can be gained by burning that hydrocarbon. Otherwise it would be a perpetual motion machine.

Maybe it is just  bad reporting by phys.org but it makes it suspect.

Online ThereIWas3

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So talking to crane manufacturers (rather than say, LockMart, who will want 1.5M USD to tell you that yes, you want your crane to be modular) might bear a lot of fruit.

One of my favorite scenes in "Red/Green/Blue Mars" was when they first arrive on Mars and start unpacking the stuff that had been sent on ahead.  The first crate they open has the bulldozer inside and on the side is the name "Volvo".  It was powered by Hydrazine I think.  It could not depend on any external infrastructure, because it was one of the tools for building that infrastructure.
« Last Edit: 03/14/2018 09:25 PM by ThereIWas3 »
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Offline aero

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https://phys.org/news/2018-03-startup-scales-carbon-nanotube-membranes.html

An interesting possibility for a Mars Chemical Industry/ ISRU.

It may be a useful development. But something is off. You can not just send CO2 and water through a membrane and get a hydrocarbon as a result. You need energy to drive the process. As much or really more energy than can be gained by burning that hydrocarbon. Otherwise it would be a perpetual motion machine.

Maybe it is just  bad reporting by phys.org but it makes it suspect.

From the linked article:
Quote
"This technology gives us a level of control over the material world that we've never had before," said Mattershift Founder and CEO, Dr. Rob McGinnis. "We can choose which molecules can pass through our membranes and what happens to them when they do. For example, right now we're working to remove CO2 from the air and turn it into fuels. This has already been done using conventional technology, but it's been too expensive to be practical. Using our tech, I think we'll be able to produce carbon-zero gasoline, diesel, and jet fuels that are cheaper than fossil fuels."

It's not free, just (maybe) less expensive than from conventional sources. But it should be that same energy cost to do it on Mars as it costs to do it on Earth where the conventional sources are very economical.
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Online Ionmars

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Added: Sabatier reaction has the advantage of being exothermic.
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Exothermic means inherently lossy. If the heat can be used elsewhere it mitigates the initial loss. But the process itself is still lossy.
Ok, I had to look up "lossy." Dictionary says:
1) having or involving the dissipation of electrical or electromagnetic energy.
2) relating to data compression in which unnecessary information is discarded.

So if Sabatier loses heat energy (and it does) we want an endothermic reaction (like electrolysis) nearby to capture some of it. If we have Sabatier and Electrolysids in metal heat-conducting, side-by-side containers then capture by conduction and radiation is easier. I think you would agree.

Added: I guess I said Sabatier was an advantage because Electrolysis needs a heat source, so here is Sabatier to provide it, without a nuclear power generator or solar panel farm.
« Last Edit: 03/14/2018 11:50 PM by Ionmars »
Could a Mars pole-vaulter set a new record? Not in a space suit.

Online Robotbeat

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The loss of Sabatier though could more conveniently (and just as efficiently) be provided by a resistive heater. In fact, electrolysis usually is also exothermal due to Ohmic losses in the electrolyte and electrodes, so you just need to insulate it properly.

Short story: you use Sabatier because there's no process which is better. That you lose energy is inherent in the fact you're converting hydrogen and CO2 into methane.
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