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The Engineering of Mars...

09/14/2007 2:00 PM

OK, considering that the reason why Mars is the way it is today because it lost its magnetosphere and was blasted by the deadly solar wind (which drove its atmosphere away), what type of engineering tricks could be used to compensate so that terra-forming would actually be possible?

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#1

Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/14/2007 3:40 PM

That's a tough one. First you'd need a start of an atmosphere, not likely to be blown away or diffused by radiation. It would have to be heavy enough to rest on the ground by Mar's gravity, and offer some future for the creation of oxygen rich air.

Finding a way to release the water at the poles would release the carbon dioxide tied to this water, into a proto atmosphere.

There are plenty of anaerobic bacteria who could thrive in such atmosphere provided they have enough raw material to metabolise.

Many water based ecosystem models can come to mind in the promotion of such environment to start a stable photosynthesis reaction for the future creation of oxygen and sugars to further accelerate such system.

A bugging question would be about the logistics of carrying the starting stock. A trip to mars is against the sun's pull and is further away than this to Venus, in linear terms. Each trip at tens of thousand km/h is several months in an ideal case in each direction, and you have to provide for the the pioneering crew, back and forth.

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#2

Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/14/2007 5:14 PM

An electrostatic field could be generated more easilly than a magnetic one could this help?

Say solar panels, Vandergraph generators, powering huge grids at each pole? Presumably having an atmosphere helps generate a load of electromagnetic charge ..can this a be harnessed to help? Or do you really need a magnetic field..if so how strong, can it be localised?

Do you want bio domes or a whole terraformed planet....

Could probably build something like the Eden Project...there would be room for the Giraffes!

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#3
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Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/14/2007 6:52 PM

Bio domes or complete trraforming...

A planet is a closed system unless you import energy and throw off waste.

I'd say go complete, only it has to be done in a manner of self-sustaining process, re-enforcing process, or a combination of those, call it chain reaction if you like. A bio-chemical chain reaction.

A minimal, initial bacterial colony, if environmentally supported to thrive, will evolve very fast, given that bacterial life-cycle is around thirty minutes. Balance will have to be maintained so that the imported species will not over-feed to extinction, as it often happens in bacterial and viral life on earth.

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#6
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Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/14/2007 10:06 PM

Yes Yuval, balance.

In the human body we call it Homeostasis. Throughout the earth we call it an ecosystem.

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#8
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Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/14/2007 10:26 PM

See? I knew I was on the right track!!!

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#25
In reply to #2

Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/17/2007 8:36 AM

You would want a magnetic field, not an electrostatic one, to protect the planet from the Solar Wind. Particles in the Solar Wind are charged, and a magnetic field would divert them at right angles to the field lines (that's why aurorae occur at the Earth's poles, where the particles spiral in along the field lines and collide with the atmosphere there). An electrostatic field would pull in some particles (actually making matters worse by accelerating them) and repel others, depending on the polarity of the charge.

As it stands, Mars is a nasty place in terms of being bombarded by the Solar wind which contains a good measure of high-energy particles (in the 10s-100s of keV). CMEs (coronal mass ejections) and solar flares would make life hell on Mars unless these particles could be diverted in the same way they are by Earth's magnetosphere. If we had no magnetosphere, this planet would be as dead as Mars.

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#26
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Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/17/2007 10:36 AM

"...high-energy particles...solar flares..."

Don't solar flares diminish with distance?

How strong are those compared to the ones which 'lick' earth, given the greater distance to Mars?

- Can a magnetosphere (suitable to the size of Mars) be built artificially, and by which infrastructure and energy source?

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#27
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Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/17/2007 11:03 AM

Ask everyone to send their unwanted fridge magnets?

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#31
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Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/17/2007 12:51 PM

A current ring girdling Mars' equator would be a good place to start. One (say) carrying 4 to 6 billion amperes. A superconducting ring on this scale would provide a suitable dipole field.

Solar flares pack a punch all the way to the Heliopause. The solar wind probably explains why Mars has a thin atmosphere today. Mars' atmosphere was slowly 'blown away' by the solar wind over a period spanning billions of years. A magnetosphere would have slowed this process considerably.

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#33
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Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/17/2007 1:16 PM

Yeeeesss. hmmmm superconducting ring...good.

It's going to take a bit of kick-starting at 6 billoin amps....Now where did we put that big capacitor?

I was hoping the electrostatic field would have helped 'cos it's esier...but you have shown me the error of my ways...

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#40
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Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/17/2007 3:08 PM

This, again, raises the question why earth's atmosphere wasn't blown, given the short distance to the sun. Ok, taken that earth's gravity is somewhat stronger, but given the distance, there must be much stronger magnetosphere to explain.

What is the current agreement on the inner (geological) structure of Mars? Does it have rotating ferrous core? Mid convection currents? A thin crust? Anything similar to earth's magneto mechanism?

It must have been built similar to earth, being in it's vicinity for billions of years

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#43
In reply to #40

Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/17/2007 3:26 PM

Hi Yuval,

Mars is only about 1.5 times Earth's distance from the Sun, and so the solar wind hasn't abated all that much before reaching Mars. The density of the solar wind decreases with distance, but its velocity does not. And, as Mars is quite a bit smaller mass-wise than the Earth (and with only 2/5 of Earth's gravity) it cooled faster and early in its life and loses what atmosphere it does have more easily. Mars does have a residual magnetic field - 50-100 gamma vs Earth's 60,000 gamma - but the low field strength strongly suggests that Mars does not have a liquid interior or, if it does have a liquid interior, the composition is different from Earth's iron-rich interior.

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#46
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Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/17/2007 4:17 PM

Great post! Thanks for getting involved!!!

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#4

Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/14/2007 9:28 PM

Maybe the initial question is how to do things on Mars without people. ie to do some initial prep work and test basic principles. Theo Jansen's cool beasts (thanks to svengali and julie) perhaps ? OK, there's no wind initially to power them, but they could be adapted for solar. They are light in construction, and he's developed some excellent movement mechanism. They have a rudimentary intelligence, in as much as the Earth bound ones can avoid dunes/waves, and possibly even hunker down in a storm. Sending some of these up to begin clearing landing sites might be useful.

That's a bit cross-thread, so I'll leave it there. The whole issue of magnetopause sounds extremely complex. I shall follow with interest vermin, but I do have one question for now; I read that the magnetosphere has largely gone, but gone where ?

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#7
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Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/14/2007 10:26 PM

The beasts are AWESOME! Thanks guys, and gals!

And no poop!


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#9
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Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/14/2007 10:43 PM

Mars actually does have a very thin atmosphere, primarily of CO2 . Yet it's thick enough to drive some pretty nasty sand storms! What about starting with setting up regions of localized magnetic fields, say, perhaps a hundred miles square. Then, seeding these areas to increase the level of CO2 . If this gas can hold, then crash a few small comets on the surface to get liquid water - or perhaps from the poles. An even heavier gas might be needed to be mixed with the carbon dioxide, say sulphuric fluorine. Then, drop the algae into the water. They should enjoy all the CO2 and thrive quite well producing oxygen rich water. After that, the goldfish?

Anyway, as Earth heads towards reversing its own magnetic poles, they're predicting many North and South zones over the world. So, could we do this on Mars to reclaim at least some choice areas, at least at first?

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#5

Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/14/2007 9:53 PM

Hmmm. I like the idea of doing this remotely. With little colonization.

How about dense forestation in key areas, as a catalyst. This could perhaps be integrated into the CO2 rich Martian atmosphere.

Melting Ice. I imagine some serious solar reflectors to trap the heat.

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#10
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Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/14/2007 11:22 PM

Melting Ice. I imagine some serious solar reflectors to trap the heat.

should read: ...to direct or focus the heat.

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#11

Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/15/2007 12:00 AM

Containment domes for settlements,farming, and manufacturing.

A constitution forbidding both the establishment of an EPA or Regulations against emission of pollution.

A free market economy.

The confluence of these three forces should result in mass quantities of pollutants being discharged which would create highly impacted (terra formed) areas. These could then proliferate unchecked resulting in an entirely new Martian environment.

milo 'social engineering, baby, social engineering'

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#12

Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/15/2007 1:08 AM

Well, you could try dropping a few (thousand) of the asteroids orbiting between Mars and Jupiter onto the martian surface. They'd add mass (to help hold an atmosphere), iron (for a magnetic field), organic compounds, sundry gases, water and a fair bit of useful heat.

While this is the sort of engineering we'd all love to do, it'll be hard to show a 3 year payback to appease the bean counters and even harder to develop an environmental impact study to convince the greenies. Jeff

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#13
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Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/15/2007 1:16 AM

Everything but the water. Asteroids are notoriously dry!

If you're going to create a planet-wide magnetosphere, you've got to find a way of melting the interior once again and giving it rotation. Probably a little hard for a small planet. That's why it stopped in the first place. And that's why I'm wondering if localized magnetospheres would work. On the other hand, if you added enough mass... Hmmm.

Thanks for the input... Keep it coming. This is not only an engineering thread, but also a thread of the imagination!!!

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#35
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Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/17/2007 1:23 PM

Send the beanies and the greenies to Mars as biomass, along with the politicians.

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#36
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Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/17/2007 1:32 PM

And all the HR managers

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#38
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Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/17/2007 1:53 PM

And the HR managers. But not lawyers. They're an important source of protein.

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#41
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Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/17/2007 3:12 PM

And all the hairdressers and phone sanitizers!!!

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#44
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Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/17/2007 3:58 PM

Sllartibartfast... 42, got ya

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#45
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Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/17/2007 4:13 PM

I never knew Whales could have such an impact.

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#47
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Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/17/2007 4:19 PM

Normally they're pretty docile creatures. But once in awhile they have a falling out.

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#49
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Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/17/2007 5:44 PM

It could happen !

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#48
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Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/17/2007 5:20 PM
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#75
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Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/19/2007 7:17 PM

What about politicians and lawyers, are they not a source of hot air. Therefore a replenishing source for both heat and air. I have herd that both genre breed more of themselves and the family trade stays the same. Throw in a few of the new breed of preacher types and you would have a warm atmosphere in a generation or two.

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#14

Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/15/2007 4:18 AM

I have had the impression that Mars DOES have an atmosphere, but it is mostly CO2. Mars having less mass than Earth, would result in lesser air pressure though.

If we could control the temperature deviations, plants would LOVE to take that CO2 and convert it to O2.

Anyhow... just an idea.

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#17
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Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/16/2007 1:54 AM

I think its atmosphere is a little thin for that.

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#77
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Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/19/2007 7:22 PM

The atmosphere of Mars is mostly CO2. It could be extracted from the atmosphere (thin as it is) and concentrated to levels usable by plants.

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#15

Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/15/2007 5:27 AM

Mars myth is really true....

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#24
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Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/17/2007 5:00 AM

<groan>

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#78
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Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/19/2007 7:24 PM

I'd take it over haggis.

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#86
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Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/20/2007 11:43 PM

Too bad we can't get a NASA engineer to tell us how much they had to take into account the solar wind to keep those little probes chugging along.

"That has got to be the worst English sentence I've ever written!"

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#90
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Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/21/2007 12:38 AM

And I thought I was bad !

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#99
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Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/21/2007 11:24 AM

Perhaps the worst. But...here....is one of your better! (ha!)

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#16

Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/15/2007 7:57 AM

Search and gathering of mass to regenerate the internal core to induce this lost magnetsphere. Search and gathering of materials necessary to substain life.

The problems with that is what effect will it have on home

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#18
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Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/16/2007 1:58 AM

Go on...

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#19

Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/16/2007 2:12 AM

What is the importance of a magnetosphere anyhow?... so... my compass don't work...

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#20
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Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/16/2007 2:46 AM

One reason why we're not all dead, and there is an atmosphere and water on the Earth is because our magnetosphere protects us from (deflects) a whole bunch of really nasty radiation coming from the Sun in the form of energetic particles. Without or magnet shield, these particles would fry most life and quickly strip away the Earth's atmosphere. In effect, it would be blown off our planet by the solar wind.

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#22
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Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/16/2007 3:25 AM

Are you sure about that ?

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#21

Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/16/2007 3:14 AM

Hold a few decent pop concerts up there...

That will create some atmosphere... ! But the loud music may upset the Giraffes .

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#23
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Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/16/2007 5:09 AM

Intercourse the giraffe!!!

That's it! I'm off to Mars. To hell with the whole bloody lot of you!

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#28

Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/17/2007 11:10 AM

Vermin, you are inspired! What a great blog question, now hmmm, to think of terra-forming on Mars...

How about first introducing global warming ?

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#29
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Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/17/2007 11:39 AM

Talking about inspired, what a bull's-eye link!

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#30
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Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/17/2007 12:06 PM

kudos indeed. that answers that.

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#32
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Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/17/2007 12:55 PM

A great way to get an atmosphere. But the next problem is keeping it there! This is where having a suitable magnetosphere would make big difference.

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#34
In reply to #28

Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/17/2007 1:18 PM

One way to start the global-warming process on Mars is to ship the world's politicians there. All of them. Wot say ye?

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#37
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Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/17/2007 1:34 PM

I ws just thinking the same. How about the Bush admin in orbit. Thers a bunch of blow-hards!

OR

How about that super-collider. Surely that money pit could be put to good use on Mars.

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#39
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Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/17/2007 2:02 PM

There's enough space-junk in orbit, and putting Bush and his cronies there would only clutter the view for ground-based astronomical telescopes (just imagine seeing his mug alongside some nice view of Andromeda. Ugh). Nah, send 'em to Mars where they could be of some use.

But, say, we do build a giant current ring around Mars' equator and then some loonie blows it up. Someone in a cave. A cave in Afghanistan. (Hey George, is the Credibility Meter pegged yet?!?) Then broadcast news of the event on FOX and everyone'll believe it.

Just like last time.

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#42
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Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/17/2007 3:16 PM

Money-pits are much more needed here. Ref "Cold-Fusion" for the biggest, deepest, money worm-hole of them all. An endless self-sustaining chain-reaction of wasting any sucker's money.

They too have wives, kids and concubines to care for.

It ain't cheap you know.

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#50

Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/18/2007 7:34 AM

Eat one.

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#51
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Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/18/2007 9:11 AM

Purchased here...

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#58
In reply to #51

Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/19/2007 9:23 AM

And cooked like this: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/4103415.stm. You can't get them in Basildon.

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#52

Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/18/2007 11:47 AM
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#53

Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/19/2007 1:02 AM

OK. So I think the consensus is the big challenge is how to protect at least some of Mars from the solar wind and coronal discharges*. Is there a practical way to insulate at least patches of the Martian terrain from the solar wind?

*Let me know if you want to know more.

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#54
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Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/19/2007 2:22 AM

Giraffes with magnet hats?

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#56
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Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/19/2007 2:59 AM

OK, I've bagged a 'volunteer'...

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#82
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Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/20/2007 11:00 PM

Wait till I get the cannon ready!!!

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#89
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Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/21/2007 12:33 AM

Are you the Pope?

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#91
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Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/21/2007 1:31 AM

No, but I yam what I yam...

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#92
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Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/21/2007 1:43 AM

Yams !

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#93
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Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/21/2007 1:50 AM

Before or after?!

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#94
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Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/21/2007 2:42 AM

Trust me - the other pictures were worse. Pictures of absurd looking fruit and veg used to be a staple of Brit TV.

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#55
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Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/19/2007 2:51 AM

Is there a practical way to insulate at least patches of the Martian terrain from the solar wind?

Welcome it, embrace it.. suck it into big hole and spew it forth from the dark side.

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#57
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Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/19/2007 9:13 AM

Put a Basildon into geostationary orbit above it.

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#59

Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/19/2007 3:11 PM

NASA Images Suggest Water Still Flows in Brief Spurts on Mars

12.06.06

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#60
In reply to #59

Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/19/2007 3:16 PM

Enclose one of these craters that shows water promise and set up some of the magnetic giraffes, have all the politicians do the labor. What would the HR and AP do?

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#61
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Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/19/2007 4:48 PM

NASA Images Suggest Water Still Flows in Brief Spurts on Mars.

-----


I dunno about that. Looks like a landslide (more like a dustslide) to me, probably instigated by some recent windstorm. And liquid water on the surface of present-day Mars sounds pretty iffy, too, given the temperature range. Typical Martian summer days are (on average) a balmy 14° F (263K) at noon, and about -105° F (197K) at night. And as Mars' atmosphere has no ozone layer, ultraviolet light from the Sun makes it all the way to the ground with the result that any surface water molecules are disassociated by the UV (the oxygen binds with iron in the topsoil and the hydrogen eventually flies off into space). Then we have the rapid sublimation of ice (even shallow subsurface ice) at the low atmospheric pressure.

Did NASA suggest that this feature was made by running water?

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#62
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Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/19/2007 5:01 PM

Ok, close in a small crater/bio-dome it and proceed with experiment pods built off of the bio-dome with retractable roofs. Some type of Snap-on structures (Sharkles Beast) with NASA Polymer, shrink wrap should get it started. You could have you CO2 converters land first then have the snap-ons manuver around them. not sure about the shrink wrap application though...Or just chalk up Mars as a gas bloated (whatever the core is) uninhabitable, waste (in my life time) and lets get focused back on the Moon.

Understanding that we will spend all that money and still will have only gotten to the moon. Does anyone have any suggestions for what we could really productively use the moon for?

The reason we are looking at Mars is because we have already learned in the space station and moon landing that there is only so many experiments you can run and excite the population (i.e. money bags) with. We have made unbelievable communications advances in part due to technology gained from our Moon and space station studies. So what are we waiting for with the man on Mars thing???? Hollywood has done it (Red Planet). Though their landing process was undesirable.

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#63
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Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/19/2007 5:17 PM

I like the Mars bio-dome idea better. The Moon is, well, boring.

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#64
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Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/19/2007 5:23 PM

Does anyone have a picture/name of the crater we could adopt as our own?

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#68
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Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/19/2007 5:39 PM

Where did you find that pic? Does the source identify the crater?

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#69
In reply to #68

Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/19/2007 5:43 PM

NASA's own web site:

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/mars/news/mgs-20061206.html

I agree though it looks more like a dust slide.

"Excite the Populace (i.e. Money Bags)

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#74
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Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/19/2007 6:28 PM

Thanks for the link. At one point they say, "The shapes of these deposits are what you would expect to see if the material were carried by flowing water," said Michael Malin of Malin Space Science Systems, San Diego. "They have finger-like branches at the downhill end and easily diverted around small obstacles."

For one thing, they're assuming these are deposits. I'm not so sure, because deposits are deposited by something else. For another, fine powders, dust, and similar finely-divided particles can behave as fluids. They can flow like water, form 'finger-like branches,' and in just about every way act like liquids. These guys want to see flowing water on Mars - badly - and they're letting their enthusiasm cloud their vision, IMO.

On the flip side, "if the deposits had resulted from dry dust slipping down the slope, they would likely be dark, based on the dark tones of dust freshly disturbed by rover tracks, dust devils and fresh craters on Mars," according to the article.

This pic (also from the website) is more suggestive of flowing water that has subsequently frozen (lighter material), but the light material is present in two images taken four years apart. I would think that in the interim the ice/frost - if that's what it is - would have already sublimated:

Then again, water can be detected with a microwave spectrograph. Why aren't they doing this?

Lastly, this lighter material doesn't frequent the floors of craters. There don't seem to be any 'puddles' of this stuff. It only seems to show up on crater walls where, coincidentally, accumulated dust would be more prone to avalanche. For example, take a bag of flour and pour a small 'hill' of it on a plate. Then disturb the hill by lightly blowing on it. The flour maintains a critical angle beyond which it collapses, like a landslide. A gust of Martian wind may very well trigger a dust-slide much the same way. Mars is a dusty place, and crater walls may very well be covered in fine dust at a critical angle where it is prone to collapse.

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#84
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Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/20/2007 11:25 PM

Good one, E-man!

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#76
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Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/19/2007 7:21 PM

I might add here (my time expired on my previous post, as I am wont to go back and edit the hell out of things after the initial submission), that the lighter material may actually be a deposit and not frost/ice. Subsurface water probably contains a good amount of dissolved minerals, salts, etc., and these might be what we're seeing here and not ice.

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#79
In reply to #64

Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/20/2007 4:02 AM

The Jaberwalkee Crater, perhaps?

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#81
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Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/20/2007 9:02 AM

That sounds great, we only need 100 Billion or so to get started.

NASA needs to get off of the "water" sales pitch and tell the people there are ipods or Video Gaming systems on Mars. We could come up with the investors/donations no problem.

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#83
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Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/20/2007 11:14 PM

I agree, the bio-doming of a crater sounds pretty good. I don't know how thick the covering would need to be to stop solar particles, but I'll bet it's doable!!! Mars, a red sea with islands of green spotted all over it!

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#95
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Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/21/2007 5:49 AM

One more little thing: what is the invoice address, please?

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#107
In reply to #83

Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/21/2007 2:56 PM

They're still using Buckie's concept of free-hanging ceilings. But I see no reason why it wouldn't work on Mars!

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#108
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Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/21/2007 3:23 PM

It takes approximately 9 mths. at current pace to get to Mars....that is a long time for shipping and logistics. We really don't have the capabilities to launch anything "heavy" other than the ship it's self. It would take several missions to accomplish anything more than a temporary atmosphere controlled structure at first.

P.S. What about soil nutrients. We will probably require alot of dirt as well...

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#109
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Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/21/2007 3:40 PM
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#113
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Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/21/2007 5:07 PM

Provided you start with a choice collection of soil bacteria, even a small bacterial colony is likely to grow metabolising on each other and some humble additives, nitrates, methane, calcium, zinc, and assortment of other trace elements in small quantities. In turn, the growing colony will mutate, evolve, and depend more on each other for metabolic element and compound exchange.

Experiments and programs involving this topic has been done to assess the probability of such growth in both theoretical and practical terms.

Also, not directly related, check this...

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#115
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Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/21/2007 5:21 PM

Great...now you have everyone worried about mutating, canabalistic, bacteria. How are we ever going to convince people to go to Mars.

Photonicgirl, sorry about the Women to Mars comment. I agree we should be very concerned if Yuval wants to release these monstrous bacteria on unsuspecting Martians.

Thanks for the links.

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#116
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Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/21/2007 5:43 PM

Just tell them how cheap the lake front property is

and show them the quaint little cottages,

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#120
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Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/22/2007 3:04 AM

That's an interesting thought, but since there seems to be an abundance of iron on Mars, we already have bacteria that live of the stuff. They use chemosyntheses rather than photosyntheses.

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#111
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Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/21/2007 4:51 PM

All the more so. Bigger the dome the weaker the gravity force.

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#65
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Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/19/2007 5:28 PM

Weeeeell...you know know the UK used Austraila?

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#67
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Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/19/2007 5:37 PM

I think you're on to something, Del. Are you suggesting that we populate Mars as a penal colony? Dubious beginnings, sure, but look at Australia now. For my part, I'd love to visit both places!

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#70
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Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/19/2007 5:44 PM

Nuffin' to do wiv me mate. I dit'n suggest nuffin' innit .

(Hey, you could send Kangaroos too! To keep those Giraffes company!)

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#71
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Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/19/2007 5:47 PM

I can guru! I can!

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#85
In reply to #70

Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/20/2007 11:39 PM

Perhaps a trade for land? The way you guys talk about your wives... Looks like this might be the out you've been looking for!

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#73
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Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/19/2007 6:00 PM

Don't haste there. Romania was a Roman penal colony and it gave the world culture both Dracula and Chauchesku...

Beautiful people though. Maybe the above mentioned is a form of penalty for being such nice people. They are. There are many Romanian workers in Israel, and they are usually humble courteous, friendly and helpful.

Yet another Don Martin Classic

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#66
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Re: The Engineering of Mars...

09/19/2007 5:31 PM

One thing that could be done easier on Mars than on the Moon is to generate oxygen. You could rig up solar furnaces that baked loads of iron-oxide-rich topsoil at high temps to drive off the oxygen, collect it, and then extract the iron for other purposes. But first get the oxygen.

Water might be had by drilling into the Martian crust and extracting any ice-rich "ores" there, if there be any. Subsurface ice is probably rare and so any ice, if present, would probably be found further down where it can't sublimate.

My two Martian Credits' worth.

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