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Thread: Mars One mission

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Vig View Post
    I beg to differ, we pretty much have all the technology to get small amounts of mass to mars, including presumably people. I struggle with your suggestion of shipping a reactor, just on amount of mass involved. I read about small modular reactors designed with up to 50 Mw outputs that run for 15 years on one fuelling. Maybe that would do it, but getting the 300 tons involved into space then down to Mars in one piece seems beyond my perception of human capability. The point Henry electric aluminium smelter uses 76MW to produce 185,000 tons of refined aluminium per year, so our reactor could theoretically produce a lot of refined metals during it's lifetime. Not the whole story though, because you also have to mine the raw materials, transport them, and have all the required other materials for the process which seem to include cryolite, molten pitch, antracite, graphite and so on; better hope to find some fossil organics on Mars too. Reactors can be more powerful, but the mass scales up too, so for 1Gw reactor you want 25 tons of enriched uranium per year, and the equipment is the size of 3 mile island.

    I think the best chance for the endeavour is not this sort of brute force engineering, but more likely a bioengineered solution. You want a biological organism that has the ability to sequester minerals which you then harvest in relatively pure form. Like leguminous plants that sequester nitrogen into the soil, but gene engineered to concentrate metals instead. As an example there are suggestions that the largest gold deposit Africa was the result of a primitive bacteria concentrating the gold from seawater.
    The trouble is that our organism has to survive in an atmosphere 1% as thick as on earth, made up mostly of CO2, and where free water seems unlikely.

    In short, I see this taking centuries not years.
    I was thinking of a much smaller reactor

    "High quality global journalism requires investment. Please share this article with others using the link below, do not cut & paste the article. See our Ts&Cs and Copyright Policy for more detail. Email ftsales.support@ft.com to buy additional rights. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/22c1b17a-1...#ixzz3R0ryLIlG

    "Hyperion says its proposed reactor, the Hyperion Power Module (HPM), could be operational in three or four years. It is one of the smallest planned reactors, with an output of just 25MW, and its backers claim it could have the widest possible market.
    Its size keeps the cost down – Hyperion estimates it at $50m per unit – and also the space it needs.
    The reactor itself is just 2 metres long by 1.5m across, although together with all the turbines and other equipment for generating power it will need about an acre."

    http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/22c1b...#axzz3R0qxJkIB

    Four square meters, the net weight should be under 50 tonnes.
    Regarding resources, the most important are oxygen and water, and food. Algae could provide the oxygen, the water part is a bit more difficult, because it would probably involve digging and melting it or establishing a water minig facility in the poles. After that you could grow some food or just continue producing algae.

    With those resources the future martians have their core needs met : oxygen, water, food.
    Last edited by adelatorre; 07-02-2015 at 01:39 AM.
    Excentric - Torturer Class - Right Winger's Nightmare

  2. #12

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    The big problem with colonising mars is its lack of protective magnetic field. So any atmosphere created will just be stripped away by the solar wind.
    It's core is dead, cold, solid. It needs more mass to retain a long living molten core Mars is just to small so far out. If we smashed it with every loose rock whirling around in the system it would still be to small. We'd need something the size of mercury, and that could be messy.
    The best hope is for Venus, hot ball of hellish mess that it is. It's in the habitable zone, it has a molten core and appears to have continental plates (necessary for recirculating water and materials). All that needs is hitting with a few commits to give it extra spin for a decent day night cycle and end it's current run away green house effect.
    I want to be Cultured

  3. #13

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    Down to the last 200, more publicity being generated now. Still only 0.002% funded. That's a lot to do in 10 years.
    I wish I had applied, but I doubt they'd need many wind farms there yet.
    I want to be Cultured

  4. #14
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    This was just on Radio4 again, Hannah Earnshaw was one of the candidates speaking. They also mentioned the doubts about funding it...
    "Just have fun"

  5. #15
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