Neowin Think Tank: Mars Colony One (and Two ... and Three ... and ... )


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Draggendrop

@BetaguyGZT...you have a tough decision to make...Don't mind me...I think you can tell the frustration of 40 years of low productivity to lack of vision....My first gut instinct is to bust out of the gates and make up for it......make your decision on available data and go with it...we have to start somewhere....as long as we have a plan...let's do it......Being that this is a simulation and we are lacking a lot of data...maybe a plan to start and carry on will do...we can keep to the plan and change variables later but keep main focus......This will be a tough decision for you... but it might as well have a start and we go from there.

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Draggendrop

The US is also working with Canada

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Arachno 1D

With regard to habitat can we not make the initial housings like the old wagon trains in that it is not statical but with onboard reactors and solar panels able to be driven across the area?

 

Tri-ATHLETE-prototype-JPL-20100512-level

http://lunarnetworks.blogspot.co.uk/2010/07/tri-athlete-lunar-vehicle-prototype.html

 

The Tri-ATHLETE vehicle is the second generation of a wheel-on-limb vehicle being developed to support the return of humans to the lunar surface. This paper describes the design, assembly, and test of the Tri-ATHLETE robotic system with a specific emphasis on the limb joint actuators. The design and implementation of the structural components is discussed, and a novel and low cost approach to approximating flight-like cabling is also presented. The paper concludes with a discussion of the

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flyingskippy

Digging the rovers/surveying crew hybrid idea.

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DocM

In SpaceX's case I'd bet on Tesla involvement for rovers, especially for batteries and electric drive trains and Solar City for solar arrays. May as well cut out the middlemen and keep it in the 'family.'

We already know their Seattle factory will be doing commsats for Earth and Mars, and that solar electric propulsion (at least Hall thrusters) will be built in-house.

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AnotherITguy

Rocketwise, in order to get all of this gear up there.  I was thinking

 

1.  SPACEX's Falcon Heavy

2.  Wait and hope that the senate launch system is built.

3.  ??

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DocM

SpaceX's Falcon heavy is a lock. It flies later this year, or whenever the KSC LC-39A and Vandenberg SCL-4E upgrades are completed.

SpaceX's un-named super-heavy launcher, nicknamed the BFR (Big F'ing Rocket), is already in development. Its methane fueled Raptor engine components have been under test at NASA Stennis for over a year, and its a beast. Based on what SpaceX has leaked BFR will make the Saturn V, and SLS, "look small."

How big?

The SLS will use a core stage 8.4 meters across.

Saturn V used a 10 meter wide core.

BFR started out with a stated 10 meter core, but given its current expected performance, and the thirst of Raptor for liquid methane, it would need a 12.5 to 15 meter core or it'd have to be over 450 feet tall.

Most people are betting on BFR having a 15 meter core, or nearly 1.79x as wide as SLS, and about 350 feet tall. This would also simplify ground ops to within existing experience.

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AnotherITguy

So for our endeavours, can we agree ladies and gents, for the first few ferries of our colony's gear, we use a Falcon Heavy and then switch over to the Spacex BFR?

 

Any other suggestions for rockets, please chime in.

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DocM

I don't know of anything as large as BFR in the pipeline, and the MCT (Mars Colonial Transporter) system is stated as being able to land 100 tonnes of cargo on the Martian surface.

SpaceX has saidote info will be announced later this year. I'm suspecting around the BEAM habitat launch on Dragon CRS-8 or shortly after.

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Arachno 1D

How much cargo are we planning to ferry and over how many trips prior to manned launches and I take it we want to make sure its landed and working prior to commit.So over what time scale?

 

Oh and another thought what about an orbiting rescue boat?

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FloatingFatMan

How much cargo are we planning to ferry and over how many trips prior to manned launches and I take it we want to make sure its landed and working prior to commit.So over what time scale?

 

Oh and another thought what about an orbiting rescue boat?

 

With 100 tonnes cargo capacity, they can even take the kitchen sink! :p

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Unobscured Vision

Good afternoon, Colonists. :D

 

So for our endeavours, can we agree ladies and gents, for the first few ferries of our colony's gear, we use a Falcon Heavy and then switch over to the Spacex BFR?

 

Any other suggestions for rockets, please chime in.

We'll be using SpaceX Falcon Heavy and then BFR when they are available. The MCT is still on the drawing board, so if/when it's available we'll use it. DragonV2+ will be used for landing on Mars, of course it'll be a slightly tweaked version specially designed for Mars, so we'll designate this DragonV2+ as an 'M' Variant. Agreed? :)

 

SLS is likely a no-go due to cost alone, but I won't stop Boeing/Lockheed/anyone else if they wanted to participate ... but having said that, they're going to do stuff OUR way. It's not their show, this time. They'll be a partner just like everyone else.

 

 

With 100 tonnes cargo capacity, they can even take the kitchen sink! :p

They'll have to. Of course, since they're bringing 3D Printers, they can just fabricate some when they get there.  :rofl:

 

 

With regard to habitat can we not make the initial housings like the old wagon trains in that it is not statical but with onboard reactors and solar panels able to be driven across the area?

 

Tri-ATHLETE-prototype-JPL-20100512-level

http://lunarnetworks.blogspot.co.uk/2010/07/tri-athlete-lunar-vehicle-prototype.html

 

The Tri-ATHLETE vehicle is the second generation of a wheel-on-limb vehicle being developed to support the return of humans to the lunar surface. This paper describes the design, assembly, and test of the Tri-ATHLETE robotic system with a specific emphasis on the limb joint actuators. The design and implementation of the structural components is discussed, and a novel and low cost approach to approximating flight-like cabling is also presented. The paper concludes with a discussion of the

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Draggendrop

Well.....I imagine we need more sites before we can tear data apart.....I think we should narrow it down to 2 sites with a backup just in case for the exploratory....dropping stuff to 2 sites will help to keep costs down....

 

And we need to decide approach on first adventure...do we send mixed mothership with a few V2's...ie: Rc toys and boots....???? :D

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Unobscured Vision

Well.....I imagine we need more sites before we can tear data apart.....I think we should narrow it down to 2 sites with a backup just in case for the exploratory....dropping stuff to 2 sites will help to keep costs down....

 

And we need to decide approach on first adventure...do we send mixed mothership with a few V2's...ie: Rc toys and boots....???? :D

Agreed. Narrow it down to two sites, send Rovers from orbit to investigate, boots on the ground when we've got the Gold Site.

 

And I also agree on using two or more DragonV2-M's. Redundancy, backup, contingency. Having that safety margin will do wonders for Colony morale too. They won't feel like they're "stranded".

 

Keep the Mothership in orbit for the return trip to cycle the crews back home if/when needed.

 

Speaking of Cycling Crews, an interesting problem/solution occurs to me. Mars Crews returning from Mars will likely need to be quarantined for a while to get readjusted to Earth Germs.

 

So here's what we'll do to address that. We have these craft Dock at the ISS, or at a new Space Station that can process these crews in (and out), Quarantine them (since they'll likely need some time to get re-adjusted to Earth germs), and then send them home.

 

The very DragonV2-M's that came with them this far will, by then, have been recycled/rehabbed with a fresh set of Earth-Spec parachutes and the SuperDracos will be checked out to make sure they're up to specs and working properly. The flight software will be placed into "Earth Mode", and the crews can then return "all the way home" in the DragonV2's they landed on Mars with.

 

Now we have the DragonV2's back, which can be fully refurbished, upgraded, and made ready for the next Crew Cycle out to Mars -- saving a hell of a lot of time and money. :)

 

Anyone opposed to this procedure?

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Draggendrop

"Buckle up"............. :)

 

Have our own Quarantine module.....and space nurses with short skirts.....

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patseguin

Seems like they have some big hurdles to deal with. Shielding from radiation, shielding from debris, being able to carry all the food/water etc. I think they will really need to develop more advanced propulsion to make it evonomically feasible. My hopes are with EM drive.

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Arachno 1D

Wont we need two rescue/return boats in orbit though if not all the explorers return and how are we on the medical front in low gravity like on Mars i.e. a simple slip could give us a fracture can it be handled safely?

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Unobscured Vision

Wont we need two rescue/return boats in orbit though if not all the explorers return and how are we on the medical front in low gravity like on Mars i.e. a simple slip could give us a fracture can it be handled safely?

That would be the idea. Always one Mothership in orbit. New one arrives, settles in and eventually assumes Command of Orbital Ops, the other one begins the 2-4 month transition to get everyone & everything that is going home onto the ship. There will never be a 24-hour period that there won't be a DragonV2 on the ground.

 

With the stuff that SpaceX has in the works, they want to be able to get a DragonV2 able to go from sitting idle to flight-ready in 90 minutes or less -- and they'll succeed. :yes:

 

As far as medical emergencies, they'll be able to handle something like that on the ground.

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Draggendrop

I assume we are using 2 SpaceX Dragon V2's........propulsive down and up.....to an orbiting mothership.......we'll have the nurses... :D

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Unobscured Vision

I assume we are using 2 SpaceX Dragon V2's........propulsive down and up.....to an orbiting mothership.......we'll have the nurses... :D

Yessir. DragonV2+'s slightly modified to deal with Mars. I'm referring to these as an "-M" variant.

 

- Modified flight software with both Earth and Mars capabilities, and additional procedures/safeguards to ensure we aren't using one mode at the other location.

- Parachutes changed out for landing on Mars

- Parachute coupling/housing changes so that they can be swapped out easily (for landing the crews back on Earth and to deliver the DragonV2-M back home for Rehabbing/Upgrading)

- Changes to the SuperDraco Engines to accommodate medium-duration boost and retro-fire needs (but nothing obscene ...)

- Further changes to the SuperDraco Engines to allow them to be "reloaded" for multiple-use (for landing the crews back on Earth after they've already been used on Mars)

 

Shouldn't be out of the realm of possibility. :yes:

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Draggendrop

What if we were to keep mother ship in orbit indefinity....and use a space tug to transit back and forth with people/samples back to earth...then hook up to dockable barges with people and supplies to take to mars.....?????

 

Maybe a few of these barges could be setup with landing propulsion as well as chutes for Mars equipment drops...then turn them into habitats or storage........???

 

Minor annoyance.....one of these ships should be called....... Enterprise.......for tradition.......preferably the mothership...

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Arachno 1D

You man a Mars mothership,could we do a Space Elevator?

 

 

On Earth, with its relatively strong gravity, the required specific strength for the cable material is very high. Current technology is not capable of manufacturing cable materials that are strong and light enough for a space elevator on Earth. However, in 2000, the recently discovered carbon nanotubes were first identified as possibly being able to meet the specific strength requirements for an Earth space elevator.[2] This sparked a surge of interest and development in space elevators focusing on carbon nanotubes and the similar boron nitride nanotubes. In 2014, diamond nanothreads were first synthesized.[4] Since they have strength properties similar to carbon nanotubes, diamond nanothreads were quickly seen as a candidate material as well.[5] Nanotubes and diamond nanothreads both hold promise as materials to make an Earth-based space elevator possible.

The concept is also applicable to other planets and celestial bodies. For locations in the solar system with weaker gravity than Earth's (such as the Moon or Mars), the strength-to-density requirements are not as great for tether materials. Currently available materials (such as Kevlar) are strong and light enough that they could be used as the tether material for elevators there.[6]

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_elevator

 

a15bbbc17a745d552c5eeb01471cde76.png

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Unobscured Vision

What if we were to keep mother ship in orbit indefinity....and use a space tug to transit back and forth with people/samples back to earth...then hook up to dockable barges with people and supplies to take to mars.....?????

 

Maybe a few of these barges could be setup with landing propulsion as well as chutes for Mars equipment drops...then turn them into habitats or storage........???

 

Minor annoyance.....one of these ships should be called....... Enterprise.......for tradition.......preferably the mothership...

 

Usually we will want to cycle the Motherships so as to perform servicing and upgrades on them -- or even swap them for newer and better models as required. The Russians pioneered the art of making stuff last in Space, the ISS has pioneered the art of making it last when it's serviced and upgraded properly. I think that NewSpace can take it a step further without needing to push either boundary.

 

We can get, at minimum, ten years of guaranteed useful service from a Mothership, and likely another five to ten years of probable service from it afterwards before it will need Refitting and Upgrading. We will, of course, reserve the right to recall a Mothership should the need arise and a replacement is available to take command.

 

 

You man a Mars mothership,could we do a Space Elevator?

 

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_elevator

 

a15bbbc17a745d552c5eeb01471cde76.png

 

Consider this system a "go" for proof-of-concept testing. Anything that has the potential to save the Project money, time, and resources is a winner. Nicely done, arachnoid! Gold star for you .. and you're catching up to DocM and DD in the "good ideas/digging up information" category.  :rofl:

 

Soo ... *looks around the table* ...

 

- Do we have Candidate CoS sites ready for peer review? I know DocM and DD have been chomping at the bit and doing homework. I have some good ones in mind as well. :D

 

- We already know what Launch Hardware we're using; so check, check and check. Falcon-9, Falcon Heavy, and BFR when it's ready. Any equipment needing to be assembled in Earth Orbit should be carried up in "Multi-Payload Configurations" whenever possible to reduce costs.

 

- I'm starting to think we'll need either the Earth Orbiting Station or a Lunar Colony first, to act as both Construction Yard(s) as well as Customs/Medical Quarantine.

 

- Arachnoid & DocM have Habitation and Ground Transportation concerns well in hand.

 

- DD and I are still working out Procedures, but as you all have seen, we're well and capable of sorting out most anything at this point. I encourage everyone to challenge us. PLEASE. Nothing can be left to chance. That's how Science and Engineering demands it. If something looks dodgy, call us out on it. PLEASE. :) Now is the time to get it sorted. 

 

- At this juncture I'm pretty satisfied with how things are coming together. We're two days into the Think Tank, and we haven't run into any showstoppers. :) That's a very encouraging sign.

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