Author Topic: Steam Punk Mars (Self Sufficient Survival through Low Tech)  (Read 35755 times)

Offline Ric Capucho

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Re: Steam Punk Mars (Self Sufficient Survival through Low Tech)
« Reply #280 on: 10/04/2018 01:06 pm »
On the point of in situ refuelling, I seem to remember that the BFS that SpaceX intends to land on Mars wont have enough fuel for the return flight, so unless theyre very brave then the first arrivals will be depending on in situ refuelling because the return ticket will be useless without it.

If Im wrong and BFS will arrive with enough fuel for the return journey then feel free to shoot me down.

Anyways, solar energy might help hurry all this along, but Im guessing a compact nuke or three will be manifested.

Ric

Offline Lampyridae

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Re: Steam Punk Mars (Self Sufficient Survival through Low Tech)
« Reply #281 on: 10/04/2018 02:33 pm »
If the first human colonists arrive in 2024 and the catastrophe befalls earth in 2025, we're all done for.  But if the catastrophe befalls earth in 2525[1], there is a good chance that a thriving interplanetary economy, with billions in residence on various planets, dwarf planets, moons, asteroids, and free space, can easily take up the slack, mount a rescue operation and save the day.

Part of this thread, to me, is .. .how fast can we get things to the point where it's more like 2525 (with compromises) and there is hope. 10 years? 20? 50? 100?  The more low tech things that can be done solely with ISRU there are, the faster Mars can lever up to be that rescue capable civilization (or carry on if rescue is not possible), I think. And even if that's not needed, the smaller the mass fraction (and dollar amount) that is needed for import, the faster the economy can grow, absent all other factors having influence.

1 - I think there was a song about this. ... "in the year 2525... "

Certain chemicals (eg UHWPE) and elements require a pretty long extraction and refining process. Microchips are also very finicky, long-supply chain tech. Miniaturised refineries or bioreactors would probably simplify things a lot - on Earth, we're not really concerned about the amount of land or volume a thing takes up, nor the number of pipes. We have very big markets and we design for capital. Probably been mentioned before in this thread anyway. But I do want to point out that we can leapfrog entire swathes of industrial development simply due to our levels of knowledge, plus our convenient technologies. A desktop laser cutter with enough wattage can do better than any early 20th cutting tech. Etc. In a collapse situation, the legacy tech would be enough time to bootstrap up to current levels. Also, a large part of our "industrial" muscle is actually the twisted genetic experiments we call farm animals and crops. Our breeds are super-productive even compared to the early 20th century, and those genetic libraries will stay with us.

Regarding Martian gold mining.

You need very high concentrations to make gold mining worth it. You also have to _find_ it. Mars has the land area of Earth. Most ore deposits these days are a process of looking through progressively higher resolution air and ground surveys. These surveys are usually built off the back of larger surveys conducted by aircraft. Naturally, we have a problem here since Mars is not conducive to aerodynamic flight. And no, you can't just use satellite data to pinpoint a 1-km ore deposit lying deep underground.

There may be plenty of large, high-grade ore deposits on Mars. We may not find them until decades after first colonisation.

Zubrin proposed mining deuterium, which at $10 000 a kg is 5 times more abundant on Mars but we can safely laugh that one off (D20 is actually $300 a kg). You can fairly easily fractionally distillate it due to low air pressures, or do the chemical process but... yeah. "Refining" lake water to D2 is kind of like skimming off 5ppm from the 150ppm, requiring very large throughputs. (There is also a woo market for deuterium-depleted water, because some early research on 50% D2O showed that it is kind of toxic). There is an application for deuterium in medicine, however, as it slows the uptake of certain deuterated drugs.

The market for the stuff is pretty small, unlike for say rare earths.

https://cns-snc.ca/media/Bulletin/A_Miller_Heavy_Water.pdf
« Last Edit: 10/04/2018 02:55 pm by Lampyridae »
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Offline LMT

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Re: Steam Punk Mars (Self Sufficient Survival through Low Tech)
« Reply #282 on: 10/04/2018 05:10 pm »
Regarding Martian gold mining.

You need very high concentrations to make gold mining worth it. You also have to _find_ it. Mars has the land area of Earth. Most ore deposits these days are a process of looking through progressively higher resolution air and ground surveys. These surveys are usually built off the back of larger surveys conducted by aircraft. Naturally, we have a problem here since Mars is not conducive to aerodynamic flight. And no, you can't just use satellite data to pinpoint a 1-km ore deposit lying deep underground.

There may be plenty of large, high-grade ore deposits on Mars. We may not find them until decades after first colonisation.

Who's this "you" who asserts need and tech for satellite detection deep underground?   ::)

To comment - accurately - read the Red Gold posts, for a start.  E.g. one achievable survey schedule.

As for "aerodynamic flight"... 


« Last Edit: 10/04/2018 06:39 pm by LMT »

Offline Lampyridae

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Re: Steam Punk Mars (Self Sufficient Survival through Low Tech)
« Reply #283 on: 10/17/2018 11:14 am »
Regarding Martian gold mining.

You need very high concentrations to make gold mining worth it. You also have to _find_ it. Mars has the land area of Earth. Most ore deposits these days are a process of looking through progressively higher resolution air and ground surveys. These surveys are usually built off the back of larger surveys conducted by aircraft. Naturally, we have a problem here since Mars is not conducive to aerodynamic flight. And no, you can't just use satellite data to pinpoint a 1-km ore deposit lying deep underground.

There may be plenty of large, high-grade ore deposits on Mars. We may not find them until decades after first colonisation.

Who's this "you" who asserts need and tech for satellite detection deep underground?   ::)

To comment - accurately - read the Red Gold posts, for a start.  E.g. one achievable survey schedule.

As for "aerodynamic flight"... 




"You" is used as an indefinite third person pronoun.

You would prefer I should say "one?" whilst wearing a monocle? Or be all och aye and say "a body?"

Can you explain to me how uranium disequilibrium works in the context of Martian geological history? We'll assume that issues of power, endurance, autonomy, weight, dust (oh look this radioactive dust can also stick to the spectrometer whodathunkit) and so on can be addressed within the next 4 years.

Can you also explain to me how 3 satellites with garden variety magnetometers (as in you have to start cutting metal NOW) will gather enough data in ~2.5 years to select mining prospects.
« Last Edit: 10/17/2018 12:55 pm by Lampyridae »
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Offline LMT

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Re: Steam Punk Mars (Self Sufficient Survival through Low Tech)
« Reply #284 on: 10/17/2018 02:30 pm »
Regarding Martian gold mining.

You need very high concentrations to make gold mining worth it. You also have to _find_ it. Mars has the land area of Earth. Most ore deposits these days are a process of looking through progressively higher resolution air and ground surveys. These surveys are usually built off the back of larger surveys conducted by aircraft. Naturally, we have a problem here since Mars is not conducive to aerodynamic flight. And no, you can't just use satellite data to pinpoint a 1-km ore deposit lying deep underground.

There may be plenty of large, high-grade ore deposits on Mars. We may not find them until decades after first colonisation.

Who's this "you" who asserts need and tech for satellite detection deep underground?   ::)

To comment - accurately - read the Red Gold posts, for a start.  E.g. one achievable survey schedule.

As for "aerodynamic flight"... 




"You" is used as an indefinite third person pronoun.

You would prefer I should say "one?" whilst wearing a monocle? Or be all och aye and say "a body?"

Can you explain to me how uranium disequilibrium works in the context of Martian geological history? We'll assume that issues of power, endurance, autonomy, weight, dust (oh look this radioactive dust can also stick to the spectrometer whodathunkit) and so on can be addressed within the next 4 years.

Can you also explain to me how 3 satellites with garden variety magnetometers (as in you have to start cutting metal NOW) will gather enough data in ~2.5 years to select mining prospects.

"You" is used as an indefinite third person pronoun.

No, it's you, Lampyridae.  Your misunderstanding.  No one asserts that gamma-ray spectrometers penetrate deep underground; just some tens of cm.  That's how they detected metals in the lunar survey.  Crawford 2015.  And that's how they can detect metals on Mars.  At low-speed impact sites (<10 km/s) a high fraction of impactor metal remains in and around the crater, some within cm of the surface, for initial detection from orbiting gamma-ray spectrometers.

Again, as it was done on the Moon.

Can you explain to me how uranium disequilibrium works in the context of Martian geological history?

Uranium is not relevant to this precious-metal survey, so that reads as a mistake.

We'll assume that issues of power, endurance, autonomy, weight, dust (oh look this radioactive dust can also stick to the spectrometer whodathunkit) and so on can be addressed within the next 4 years.

You forgot a martian helicopter already exists?

And I noted the scale-up that's feasible as aft cargo; 1.3 m rotor blades, for obvious improvement in lift, payload, power, etc.  There's nothing implausible about the drones' assigned payloads and mission tasks.

Can you also explain to me how 3 satellites with garden variety magnetometers (as in you have to start cutting metal NOW) will gather enough data in ~2.5 years to select mining prospects.

 ::)  That's just plain misreading.

Orbiting gamma-ray spectrometers for initial survey.  Drone gamma-ray and magnetometers for follow-up survey, as done already in Parshin et al. 2018, Cherkasov & Kapshtan 2018.

Drone electromagnet tray for sample collection.  Physical assay by crew.

It's a straightforward approach, and slotted reasonably into SpaceX's current schedule.

Refs.

Cherkasov, S., & Kapshtan, D. (2018). Unmanned Aerial Systems for Magnetic Survey.

Crawford, I. A. (2015). Lunar resources: A review. Progress in Physical Geography, 39(2), 137-167.

Parshin, A. & Grebenkin, N. & Morozov, V. & Shikаlenko, F. (2018). FIRST RESULTS OF A LOW-ALTITUDE UAS GAMMA SURVEY BY COMPARISON WITH THE TERRESTRIAL AND AERIAL GAMMA SURVEY DATA. Geophysical Prospecting. 66.
« Last Edit: 10/17/2018 02:44 pm by LMT »

Offline colbourne

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Re: Steam Punk Mars (Self Sufficient Survival through Low Tech)
« Reply #285 on: 10/22/2018 05:31 am »
A clever idea for a "steam punk air lock" was raised on the "Envisioning Amazing Martian Habitats" thread

https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=41427.1480

basically you have a liquid airlock which you can swim through. Whether this could be made to work with water or other liquids with salts maybe  added is worth thinking about.

Offline Lampyridae

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Re: Steam Punk Mars (Self Sufficient Survival through Low Tech)
« Reply #286 on: 10/23/2018 02:21 pm »
::)  That's just plain misreading.

Orbiting gamma-ray spectrometers for initial survey.  Drone gamma-ray and magnetometers for follow-up survey, as done already in Parshin et al. 2018, Cherkasov & Kapshtan 2018.

Drone electromagnet tray for sample collection.  Physical assay by crew.

It's a straightforward approach, and slotted reasonably into SpaceX's current schedule.

Refs.

Cherkasov, S., & Kapshtan, D. (2018). Unmanned Aerial Systems for Magnetic Survey.

Crawford, I. A. (2015). Lunar resources: A review. Progress in Physical Geography, 39(2), 137-167.

Parshin, A. & Grebenkin, N. & Morozov, V. & Shikаlenko, F. (2018). FIRST RESULTS OF A LOW-ALTITUDE UAS GAMMA SURVEY BY COMPARISON WITH THE TERRESTRIAL AND AERIAL GAMMA SURVEY DATA. Geophysical Prospecting. 66.

There's a difference between a gamma survey and a gamma spectrometer survey. Gamma spectrometers that are usable at drone scales are considerably bulkier and heavier than a handheld scintillometer. The one owned by the company whose services we use is pretty big, about the volume of a bar fridge and is carried by a large "crop duster" size drone.
« Last Edit: 10/23/2018 02:30 pm by Lampyridae »
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Offline speedevil

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Re: Steam Punk Mars (Self Sufficient Survival through Low Tech)
« Reply #287 on: 10/24/2018 01:02 am »
There's a difference between a gamma survey and a gamma spectrometer survey. Gamma spectrometers that are usable at drone scales are considerably bulkier and heavier than a handheld scintillometer. The one owned by the company whose services we use is pretty big, about the volume of a bar fridge and is carried by a large "crop duster" size drone.

A drone that lands repeatedly and presses a 'handheld scintillometer' class payload against what it's landed on is a whole lot less flexible than a proper fly-over survey.
It's probably also a lot lighter.
(I would guess the scanning head without shielding to be under 200g, as the whole unit is 1.5kg).

This is in the range of the Mars 2020 helicopter.

Offline colbourne

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Re: Steam Punk Mars (Self Sufficient Survival through Low Tech)
« Reply #288 on: 12/03/2018 02:07 am »
https://newatlas.com/artificial-photosynthesis-co2-plastics-cheap/57382/

Artificial photosynthesis breakthrough could turn CO2 into plastics on the cheap
« Last Edit: 12/21/2018 12:35 pm by Lar »

Offline colbourne

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Offline colbourne

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Offline KelvinZero

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Re: Steam Punk Mars (Self Sufficient Survival through Low Tech)
« Reply #291 on: 12/22/2018 03:42 am »
https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-46645321?ns_campaign=bbcnews&ocid=socialflow_facebook&ns_mchannel=social&ns_source=facebook

Well our needs for water should be met for some time at this location.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korolev_(Martian_crater)
It is located at 73 north latitude, and Mar's axial tilt is 25.19 to its orbital plane.. I think this means you might just be able to have year round solar power there if you put your solar panels on the equator-facing rim.

It was one of my favourite locations for creating a habitat with a curiosity sized lander. It lowers a small nuclear reactor into the ice, possibly with no moving parts that just emits light and heat, that is intended to melt down 30+ meters and then create a lake under the ice at earth pressure. Then you just deliver various spores and begin creating a biosphere in this lake, all robotically. The only other thing the lander does is serve as a human-sized airlock into this lake, for when humans arrive later.

(Im pretty certain we would not take this approach, for planetary protection reasons)

We are also absolutely certain of ice at latitudes halfway between the poles and equator, because we have seen it exposed in craters around 2meter deep.

Most interest focuses on locations much closer to the equator where there is probably vast amounts of ice around 10m deep, but this is only based on indirect evidence.

Another pet idea of mine is to land on one of these exposed ice locations during summer when you can have some months of 24 hour solar power, and set out from there in a caravan towards the equator, prospecting as you go.

Offline colbourne

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Re: Steam Punk Mars (Self Sufficient Survival through Low Tech)
« Reply #292 on: 01/11/2019 03:55 am »
https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-46645321?ns_campaign=bbcnews&ocid=socialflow_facebook&ns_mchannel=social&ns_source=facebook

Well our needs for water should be met for some time at this location.

Another pet idea of mine is to land on one of these exposed ice locations during summer when you can have some months of 24 hour solar power, and set out from there in a caravan towards the equator, prospecting as you go.
I had a similar idea that maybe the settlers could travel all the way to the southern ice cap, so they can again  get 24 hour sunlight. In the early days they could transport their solar panels with them, probably using some kind of road train. Stopping as required to recharge their batteries along the route. This would also give a chance to explore along the route, stopping off at interesting features spotted by satellites and previous missions.
« Last Edit: 01/11/2019 04:01 am by colbourne »

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