Author Topic: Inhabitating Mars by 2030? What for?  (Read 7623 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Online rdl

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2675
  • Country: us
Re: Inhabitating Mars by 2030? What for?
« Reply #125 on: January 21, 2019, 06:20:05 pm »
What is so special about space that we should be reluctant to use nuclear power? Seems like they were made for each other to me. You are aware that almost every submarine and many large naval vessels run on nuclear power? A Nimitz class carrier is the size of a small city with a two 500+ MW nuclear power plants. The one NASA has tested is dinky in comparison, but it should be enough for a start.
 
The following users thanked this post: apis

Offline KL27x

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3619
  • Country: us
Re: Inhabitating Mars by 2030? What for?
« Reply #126 on: January 21, 2019, 06:44:13 pm »
^ Yeah, this. But the nuclear sub/carrier is the tip of an iceberg. The system to service it is a long way from being even thinkable on the Moon. And on the Moon the base of this pyramid is the tip of another exponentially larger pyramid. The output of solar panels would hopefully be able to sustain itself, alone. You'd need an automated self-replicating/self-maintaining system to hopefully support itself with a smidge leftover to have the entire surface of the moon supporting a few people.

In the event of the doomsday collision of earth, there's nothing that mars or the moon or any planet we can reach will do to save humanity that will be any benefit over loading people on free-space vessels that are designed to keep people alive as long as possible... giving them no provision to land anywhere... certain inevitable death traps. Same thing as a Mars base, but way more practical and cheap and efficient. You still get the best seat in the house to witness the destruction of the earth. Then you have some years of life left to hopefully be discovered and taken on as pets by aliens.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2019, 07:35:50 pm by KL27x »
 

Offline cdev

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 5082
  • Country: 00
Re: Inhabitating Mars by 2030? What for?
« Reply #127 on: January 21, 2019, 07:09:29 pm »
As far as I know, the safety record on nuclear subs is pretty good compared to the commercial nuclear power industry. But subs if the unthinkable happened, likely would go down to the bottom of the ocean and more likely than not, keep the accident fairly contained.

The worry with reactors in space has been that an accident would cause contamination of the Earth or some other planet or be dangerous to the crew. The risks of that happening, although small have been significantly worrisome to prevent the US's use of them except for exceptional purposes.

See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SNAP-10A

Note what happened to it and the fact that there is debris of it in space orbiting the Earth now.

The Russians have used small nuclear power plants in space more than the US.

Nothing has changed. No magical new technology has suddenly emerged. Also, because of the ready availability of solar energy, most of the needs of space based hardware are met perfectly well by solar cells. Keep in mind that as radio signals travel line of sight, a quite low power transmitter on a satellite can be received over large portions of the Earth.

Since RF spectrum in space is a finite resource it makes more sense to use highly directional antennas and low power.

But when we leave the Earth - especially go farther away from the Sun the amount of solar power available declines. Also, as you go towards the poles in a place like Mars the same things happen there that happen here, less solar power is available.  Mars also has dust storms.
"What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away."
 

Offline ali_asadzadeh

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 918
  • Country: ir
    • ASiD Designer
Re: Inhabitating Mars by 2030? What for?
« Reply #128 on: January 21, 2019, 07:29:19 pm »
Quote
What is it that you cant get on planet Earth but will get on Mars?
Is it for  sake of Science  or just  a  costly example of  basic human restlessness ?
Getting unimaginable moneys from potential prospect for the beginning, if you don't have the longevity cure for now!

Also after milking the early customers, the end would be somehow useful for other "Human beings" in the quote in the next 100 years.
You can order parts from www.ASiDesigner.com
we are a wire-based company
 

Offline coppercone2

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3461
  • Country: us
  • 💎
Re: Inhabitating Mars by 2030? What for?
« Reply #129 on: January 21, 2019, 07:50:08 pm »
keep in mind what your producing. If you wanna melt giant pools of rock or make boron nitride or something on the moon you need ALOT of power. Nuclear is cheap and space efficient compared to solar.

If you figure out how to make ceramics there that are expensive to make, like boron nitride, you can also make heat shields for reentry delivery vehicles that can crash into shallow oceans and hopefully retain structural integrity enough not to damage the cargo.

I just wonder if you can get dolphins and other stuff to clear out of a impact area some how. Like with ultrasonic area denial that makes them leave a few min prior to likely point of impact. You can put a grid of transducers in a likely cargo retrieval area to save fish.

Say you can get em to hit within 0.5 square km of ocean fired electromagnetically from the moon. Then a ROV puts some inflatable bags on it and strait into the cargo ship it goes. Save money on complicated parachute systems or UPS or whatever. Or maybe bombard greenland/Antarctica/siberia with this stuff. Then pull it out of the ice. If you can get them to hit reliably near the coast then maybe you can patch the holes with desalinated water (with all the money you are saving on the minerals, metals and ceramics industry with whatever you can get from the moon).
« Last Edit: January 21, 2019, 07:59:04 pm by coppercone2 »
 

Online rdl

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2675
  • Country: us
Re: Inhabitating Mars by 2030? What for?
« Reply #130 on: January 21, 2019, 09:08:26 pm »
Anything in a high enough orbit, reactor or not, isn't going to "fall back" to the Earth. A reactor on the Moon poses no threat whatsoever just sitting there running.

Anyway, NASA has apparently tested the Kilopower reactor thoroughly, and a system like that probably has more applications than just powering a Moon base. The test reactor had a U-235 core the size of a roll of paper towels and the test chamber they put it in didn't look much bigger around than a trash can. It's not quite Mr. Fusion, but it's still pretty cool.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kilopower
 

Offline cdev

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 5082
  • Country: 00
Re: Inhabitating Mars by 2030? What for?
« Reply #131 on: January 21, 2019, 09:26:04 pm »
Anything thats in an orbit is in a state where technically it has a potential if hit by some other piece of debris of falling out of earth orbit. Also over time orbits decay.

Anyway, the concern over the use of nuclear power in space is a reasonable one and its prudent to, whenever the sun is available to use that.

One can make a far better case for the use of nuclear power in some Mars missions, for example, at the poles where sunlight is much dimmer.

Similarly for a Moon base near the poles (or for use during the long lunar night, perhaps, especially if near the poles).

« Last Edit: January 21, 2019, 10:14:09 pm by cdev »
"What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away."
 

Offline cdev

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 5082
  • Country: 00
Re: Inhabitating Mars by 2030? What for?
« Reply #132 on: January 21, 2019, 10:18:22 pm »
Your profile picture is a nuclear power plant, is that one of the ones at Three Mile Island? (PA)

What is so special about space that we should be reluctant to use nuclear power? Seems like they were made for each other to me. You are aware that almost every submarine and many large naval vessels run on nuclear power? A Nimitz class carrier is the size of a small city with a two 500+ MW nuclear power plants. The one NASA has tested is dinky in comparison, but it should be enough for a start.
"What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away."
 

Online BrianHG

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3306
  • Country: ca
Re: Inhabitating Mars by 2030? What for?
« Reply #133 on: January 21, 2019, 11:00:24 pm »
Re: Inhabitating Mars by 2030? What for?

Ok,
1. To get away from closed minded politics.
2. To get away from religious fundamentalist purists.
3. To get away from flat earthers.
4. To get away from gun-nuts.
5. To get away from ultra self centered people.
6. To get away from those deliberately self set ultra low IQ people.
7. To get away from those who fall for all that cheap marketing must have useless crap.

     At least, this may be the case in the beginning, hopefully for a good first century, however, eventually, if I know humanity, one by one these problems will eventually migrate to Mars as well.


Would  you  rather  abandon  the fragrances,  the  flowers,  the rainbows, beautiful faces  and  head for  Mars  regardless  for, we   cannot   resurrect these alluring  scenes  there  despite all the advances.
If we are not capable of replicating, more like transporting and creating large enough domed or underground environments with such plant life and room to relax, we are not yet ready to create a properly functional colony on Mars and we shouldn't yet think about going there.  Without such multiple massive such facilities, within a few years, all humans on mars will go insane.

Do not count this movie BS or Elon Musk small domed structures as our true future on Mars.  They will all fail and be abandoned very quick until we are serious about sending the people and equipment to create multiple structures each larger than the biggest football stadiums we have today and we have compact (say the size of 8-24 cargo freights containers) fusion reactors for a steady flow of power.  Except for the fusion, we already have materials made in mass today which can accomplish all of this for above ground, and we have mining and tunneling equipment capable of doing this below ground.

« Last Edit: January 21, 2019, 11:03:56 pm by BrianHG »
__________
BrianHG.
 

Offline cdev

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 5082
  • Country: 00
Re: Inhabitating Mars by 2030? What for?
« Reply #134 on: January 21, 2019, 11:06:00 pm »
"What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away."
 

Offline apis

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1668
  • Country: se
  • Hobbyist
Re: Inhabitating Mars by 2030? What for?
« Reply #135 on: January 22, 2019, 12:35:39 am »
Quote
we mostly rely on down on earth: the sun.
Big difference. The power of the sun has been stored and concentrated on Earth for hundreds of millions of years through organic carbon based life. We don't use this up just to run cars and lawn mowers. Without it, we work hard just to make clothing and shelter and to harvest and process food. Food that grows all by itself on Earth. Now add all the extra things you need to survive on the Moon. Pressurized atmosphere, oxygen, and water recycling. Burning enough energy/fuel, anything is possible. But you aren't going to have some self-sustaining habitat in such terrible conditions to human life without a huge input of energy. Even after you put up your little biodome or w/e, you don't have no Amazon to deforest, no coal mines or oil wells, no nothin to power the repairs and maintenance and to produce and shape any engineering/construction materials. And an extension cord doesn't quite reach that far. Solar won't cut it, at all, unless you keep it going with resources from the Earth. Spend all that energy on Earth to get the final products to ship to the Moon. The structural stuff, the replacement stuff, the maintenance things, the fuel. A colony would be 100% dependent on Earth to survive at all, let alone even think about growing/expanding.
You are absolutely right that it will take a lot of power to run a moon colony. But you underestimate solar power. If you cover a few percent of the Sahara desert with solar panels it would in theory produce enough energy for the entire worlds electricity usage. In space solar is even more efficient since you don't have the atmosphere blocking some of the light. The problem with solar is that it doesn't produce electricity when the sun doesn't shine.

If you don't like solar then there is nuclear. Uranium contains millions of more energy per unit of mass than oil does, so it would even be possible to ship some of it to the moon from earth. But there is also a lot of uranium on the moon, so in the long term, energy isn't going to be a problem for a moon colony. Nuclear isn't as hard as most people think, both Russia and the US have been using it in their subs for decades.

It's true we on earth have been relying on fossil fuels for our industrial revolution, but there is enough energy to be had from uranium and solar that if we had known of those technologies before we started using coal, we could have produced the same amount of energy and industrial revolution without using a single piece of coal.

A moon colony would indeed be 100% dependent on earth for a very long time. But once the basic infrastructure is there it could definitely be self sustaining. It would be hard and it would be expensive, but in the long run it would pay off if it was successful.

(We already have the technology for basic life support, it's been used at the ISS for decades and they use only solar power).
« Last Edit: January 22, 2019, 12:59:28 am by apis »
 

Offline apis

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1668
  • Country: se
  • Hobbyist
Re: Inhabitating Mars by 2030? What for?
« Reply #136 on: January 22, 2019, 12:57:27 am »
As far as I know, the safety record on nuclear subs is pretty good compared to the commercial nuclear power industry.
Ehrm, no.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2019, 03:49:21 am by apis »
 

Offline KL27x

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3619
  • Country: us
Re: Inhabitating Mars by 2030? What for?
« Reply #137 on: January 22, 2019, 01:06:25 am »
Quote
If you cover about a few percent of the Sahara desert with solar panels it would in theory produce enough energy for the entire worlds electricity usage. In space solar is even more efficient since you don't have the atmosphere blocking some of the light. The problem with solar is that it doesn't produce electricity when the sun doesn't shine.
How much energy was put into making those solar cells to begin with? They don't last forever and need to be replaced.

Quote
The problem with solar is that it doesn't produce electricity when the sun doesn't shine.
This is a major problem. Maybe the solar cell is more efficient than chlorophyll based life. But the solar cells don't replicate and replenish themselves, and the resulting power doesn't store itself. You need batteries that degrade. Until the solar plant produces enough power to replicate itself, down to building the factories that make solar cells and the robots or humans etc, then it's not enough to sustain itself. On earth, the battery builds itself. The tree grows for 100's of years. The algae get eaten by larger animals, and that stored energy gets concentrated and collected on up the food chain. Until humans come along and consume that energy which is nearly free for the taking. If you had to enclose the Amazon forest in a plexiglass bubble and provide the atmosphere and water and climate/temperature, you aren't going to get a net positive out of your biosphere.

Quote
(We already have the technology for basic life support, it's been used at the ISS for decades and they use only solar power).
Without resupply, the ISS is dead. This is not self-sustaining. The best we can do is make a fish tank for humans that can keep them alive only so long as we supply it.

Humans don't belong on Mars or the Moon. Not now, not in the near future. While Earth has been storing energy for hundred million years, the other planets in our solar system have been subject to only entropy. They are dead and lifeless, and there's nothing there to sustain a colony.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2019, 01:38:07 am by KL27x »
 

Offline apis

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1668
  • Country: se
  • Hobbyist
Re: Inhabitating Mars by 2030? What for?
« Reply #138 on: January 22, 2019, 01:26:57 am »
I can see solar power maybe working for a Mars base despite the weaker strength of sunlight there, but I think the two week long nights on the Moon might mean nuclear is the better option.
I suspect so too. And both NASA and Roscosmos has been working on different space fission reactors:
https://www.technologyreview.com/s/414770/a-lunar-nuclear-reactor/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Safe_affordable_fission_engine

But there are also supposed to be so called peaks of eternal light on the moon:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peak_of_eternal_light#On_the_Moon
So solar might be useful in some locations.

You could also imagine having fission for the base load and machines that require a lot of energy could be turned on only when the sun hits the PV arrays.
 

Offline CatalinaWOW

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3359
  • Country: us
Re: Inhabitating Mars by 2030? What for?
« Reply #139 on: January 22, 2019, 01:33:35 am »
There is only one reason to go to the moon or Mars, and that is to take the first step towards being a space based species.  We may never become one.  The evidence looking out at the stars is that space based civilizations are rare at best.  But if we don't start we will never get there.  It may not happen by 2030.  If we don't get our act together here on earth it may not happen for thousands of years.  But those are not reasons not to take the first steps.  At whatever pace we can manage.
 

Offline KL27x

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3619
  • Country: us
Re: Inhabitating Mars by 2030? What for?
« Reply #140 on: January 22, 2019, 01:46:19 am »
If we were serious about living on other planets, not just making an expensive visit, I would consider a long-term approach. Finding and being able to reach planets or moons where single cell organisms can thrive. Maybe a bio-engineered bacterium. Shoot a rockets over. Then wait a few million years and hope something took on one of these locations. Yeah, that's a long wait, but the sooner you start, the sooner you're done.

Or develop Mr. Fusion, the zero maintenance fusion reactor, and do w/e the hell we want. Consuming the universe, itself, wherever we go. Once banana peel or moon rock at a time, to power and maintain our interstellar fish tanks.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2019, 02:00:14 am by KL27x »
 

Offline apis

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1668
  • Country: se
  • Hobbyist
Re: Inhabitating Mars by 2030? What for?
« Reply #141 on: January 22, 2019, 01:50:18 am »
Quote
If you cover about a few percent of the Sahara desert with solar panels it would in theory produce enough energy for the entire worlds electricity usage. In space solar is even more efficient since you don't have the atmosphere blocking some of the light. The problem with solar is that it doesn't produce electricity when the sun doesn't shine.
How much energy was put into making those solar cells to begin with? They don't last forever and need to be replaced.
A lot less than what the PV panels produce during their lifetime, so you can use solar power to produce new solar panels. Solars power's only (big) drawback is that it only produce energy when the sun shines.

Quote
(We already have the technology for basic life support, it's been used at the ISS for decades and they use only solar power).
Without resupply, the ISS is dead. This is not self-sustaining. The best we can do is make a fish tank for humans that can keep them alive only so long as we supply it.

Humans don't belong on Mars or the Moon. Not now, not in the near future. While Earth has been storing energy for hundred million years, the other planets in our solar system have been subject to only entropy. They are dead and lifeless, and there's nothing there to sustain a colony.
Don't belong? According to who?

Even if you don't believe solar could provide enough power then there are lots of uranium on the moon that could sustain a colony. (The moon is believed to be made from a large chunk of the earth, so you can ultimately expect to find the same composition of elements up there as down here. I.e. there are plenty of uranium on the moon.) A moon colony would be completely dependent on earth for a long time (maybe over 100 years) but you have to start somewhere. We crawl before we can walk, walk before we run. Progress will seem very slow in the start, but it can grow exponentially.
 

Offline apis

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1668
  • Country: se
  • Hobbyist
Re: Inhabitating Mars by 2030? What for?
« Reply #142 on: January 22, 2019, 02:09:04 am »
The solar system is full of resources that we can not use currently, because the cost of getting into space is way to high. If we cold get cheap access to the solar system it would be a great benefit to humanity. A moon colony have the potential to provide cheap access to space in the future, and in turn allow us to reach an almost infinite supply of resources (by today's standard).

We probably won't make it though, as someone once said, the hardest part about going to the moon is to convince people it's worth the effort. I mentioned a moon base to someone I know a while ago, and his response was just "why should I care, I will never go there". Same as many people argue about climate change, "why should I care, I will be dead before the shit hits the fan". With that kind of selfish attitude humanity will never achieve anything.

What is probably going to happen is there will be a small lunar research base that will be kept running for a few decades and then funding will stop and it will be decommissioned again.

A lot of people think humans are going to kill themselves by destroying the ecosystem here on earth that we depend on for survival. And if not, a large volcano or meteor strike probably will, as that have killed off and reset complex life on earth many times already.
 

Offline KL27x

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3619
  • Country: us
Re: Inhabitating Mars by 2030? What for?
« Reply #143 on: January 22, 2019, 02:26:48 am »
I have to tap out. I way underestimated what I'm up against.
 

Offline cdev

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 5082
  • Country: 00
Re: Inhabitating Mars by 2030? What for?
« Reply #144 on: January 22, 2019, 04:03:01 am »
I agree with you with the caveat that I do not think we are ready to go out into real space now. (The Moon is close enough to be more inner than outer space.)

And Mars is cold and lifeless and the atmosphere lacks the oxygen we need and is too thin. There are no elements on Mars we cant get here. So really little point to building anything there.

That said, if we survive this century (I would say our odds are around 50/50) then maybe we will be ready for real space travel.

When we have learned how to live in harmony with one another and the planet. Right now we're like children. You wouldn't want us playing in traffic.

There is only one reason to go to the moon or Mars, and that is to take the first step towards being a space based species.  We may never become one.  The evidence looking out at the stars is that space based civilizations are rare at best.  But if we don't start we will never get there.  It may not happen by 2030.  If we don't get our act together here on earth it may not happen for thousands of years.  But those are not reasons not to take the first steps.  At whatever pace we can manage.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2019, 04:15:24 am by cdev »
"What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away."
 

Offline apis

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1668
  • Country: se
  • Hobbyist
Re: Inhabitating Mars by 2030? What for?
« Reply #145 on: January 22, 2019, 04:28:11 am »
Developing the technology for an independent moon colony could probably teach us a lot about sustainable living, better recycling and utilisation of resources. It might also make more people realise how precious the earths ecosystem really is.
 

Offline cdev

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 5082
  • Country: 00
Re: Inhabitating Mars by 2030? What for?
« Reply #146 on: January 22, 2019, 04:34:02 am »
Look at us here in the US, we can't even pay our civil servants.

Developing the technology for an independent moon colony could probably teach us a lot about sustainable living, better recycling and utilisation of resources. It might also make more people realise how precious the earths ecosystem really is.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2019, 04:35:53 am by cdev »
"What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away."
 

Online rdl

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2675
  • Country: us
Re: Inhabitating Mars by 2030? What for?
« Reply #147 on: January 22, 2019, 09:06:59 am »
...
And both NASA and Roscosmos has been working on different space fission reactors:
...

Right. I think that's evolved into the Kilopower project which I have mentioned previously in this thread. I'm not some kind of nuclear power zealot. I'm all for whatever will do the job best. The Kilopower reactors look like amazing technology to me and I was unaware of them until yesterday.

Your profile picture is a nuclear power plant, is that one of the ones at Three Mile Island? (PA)

 Grand Gulf Nuclear Power Station

That's from a photo I took years ago. It's about 50 miles from where I live.







 

Offline sainbablo

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 93
  • Country: pk
Re: Inhabitating Mars by 2030? What for?
« Reply #148 on: January 22, 2019, 04:11:47 pm »
Quote
What is it that you cant get on planet Earth but will get on Mars?
Is it for  sake of Science  or just  a  costly example of  basic human restlessness ?
Getting unimaginable moneys from potential prospect for the beginning, if you don't have the longevity cure for now!

Also after milking the early customers, the end would be somehow useful for other "Human beings" in the quote in the next 100 years.


Presently number of  terrestrial powers have the  capability to reach out  there. So the  yesteryears thinking  about a single terrestrial power   domination has to   be  revised. Again "space   for all " may  not  go well  with   powers  that  be. What future holds  for the   mankind who are innocent  and   helpless hostages of   super technology  hopefully will not   go  unnoticed.
 

Offline apis

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1668
  • Country: se
  • Hobbyist
Re: Inhabitating Mars by 2030? What for?
« Reply #149 on: January 22, 2019, 06:16:13 pm »
Your profile picture is a nuclear power plant, is that one of the ones at Three Mile Island?
It's a picture of a cooling tower, they are not characteristic of nuclear power stations. Coal and gas plants also use them, as do other industries that need cooling. Anti nuclear people like to use pictures of cooling towers when they talk about nuclear in order to scare people since they look ominous and emit a lot of "smoke", but it's actually not smoke at all but clean water vapour.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cooling_tower

Here's a picture of a coal power plant in the UK, the air pollution comes out of the high chimney to the left of the cooling towers:


Here's a picture of Three mile iland, the reactors are inside the much smaller cylindrical buildings:


Here is a picture of a Swedish nuclear power plant, it doesn't use any cooling towers at all:
« Last Edit: January 22, 2019, 06:22:06 pm by apis »
 


Share me

Digg  Facebook  SlashDot  Delicious  Technorati  Twitter  Google  Yahoo
Smf