Topic: And there was Ice  (Read 10350 times)

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Offline knightstorm

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Re: And there was Ice
« Reply #40 on: July 21, 2008, 11:55:25 pm »
not if the miners can produce their own fuel

It still means that it takes more effort per kilo of product and that assumes that you don't use expendable launchers from Mars and that the launcher can return to the surface for reuse.  If the launchers are expendable it would become ridiculously expensive in comparison to the asteroid mining scenario.

With several of the examples I gave for asteroid mining they require no fuel and when they finish a delivery (either to Earth orbit or on a deorbiting path they then return to pick up more product.  They would also be useful in the Mars scenario to pick up from orbit and deliver to Earth (or wherever needed).

There are methods of getting cargos off Mars if you were to mine it that don't use up fuel.  A solar powered magnetic catapult for example.  This would still take extra effort but most of that effort would be up front and not ongoing unlike building launch vehicles and brewing up fuel.

how much more expensive would mining on mars be than equipping a vehicle to mine the belt?  You would need greater range, the miners would be in zero g for a longer period of time, and the gravity of the asteroids is nowhere near that of mars which means that the bone loss would be more severe.  Also, an atmosphere means that miners doing eva will not have to cope with conditions that are as extreme.

Offline Tus-XC

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Re: And there was Ice
« Reply #41 on: July 22, 2008, 12:14:10 am »
I think nem was thinking robots...
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Offline knightstorm

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Re: And there was Ice
« Reply #42 on: July 22, 2008, 12:34:57 am »
I think nem was thinking robots...


Since the rest of us were talking in terms of manned mining operations, I have no reason to believe that he was speaking otherwise.  The biggest problem with mars however, is that it belongs to Adam Ismail, Mustafa Khalil and Abdullah al-Umari
http://www.cnn.com/TECH/9707/24/yemen.mars/

Offline Lieutenant_Q

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Re: And there was Ice
« Reply #43 on: July 22, 2008, 12:48:46 am »
Mining robots would work.  But in order for them to work the persons operating the robots have to be in close proximity to each other.  No way could something as sensitive as a mining operation be run from Earth and expect to produce any kind of yield.  Think of how slow its running right now.  Had there been a real person up there, the experiments would have been done, the equipment wouldn't be damaged, and they'd be getting ready to follow up on their findings, moving on to the next stage, or packing up and getting ready to come home.  The idea that robots can do the job anywhere near as efficiently as humans is ridiculous.  The only advantage these robotic missions have is that they are safer.
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Offline Nemesis

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Re: And there was Ice
« Reply #44 on: July 23, 2008, 09:23:54 am »
I think nem was thinking robots...


Since the rest of us were talking in terms of manned mining operations, I have no reason to believe that he was speaking otherwise.  The biggest problem with mars however, is that it belongs to Adam Ismail, Mustafa Khalil and Abdullah al-Umari
http://www.cnn.com/TECH/9707/24/yemen.mars/


Actually I wasn't thinking robots.


how much more expensive would mining on mars be than equipping a vehicle to mine the belt?  You would need greater range, the miners would be in zero g for a longer period of time, and the gravity of the asteroids is nowhere near that of mars which means that the bone loss would be more severe.  Also, an atmosphere means that miners doing eva will not have to cope with conditions that are as extreme.


The energy cost to get to the belt is less than that to get to Mars and soft land.  That landing eats up fuel. 

At this point it is unknown how much effect the 1/3 gravity on Mars will have on people.  All that is really known of long term effects are at 1g and 0g. 

if the miners were staying for an extended period then either on Mars or in the belt they would need a large base.  Large enough that spinning to simulate 1g would be practical in the belt.  It could be done on Mars but would likely be more difficult toe design and maintain.

The Martian atmosphere at a little less than 1% of Earths isn't that helpful. 

If the asteroid miners either stick to small asteroids or break up larger ones there is no reason they couldn't make an inflated "hangar" and bring the rock in leaving them working in more convient environments.  Remember that unlike in the movies asteroids are far apart and mostly you wouldn't be able to see one asteroid from another so impacts are not that likely with anything of substantial size. 
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Offline Panzergranate

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Re: And there was Ice
« Reply #45 on: July 23, 2008, 01:41:37 pm »
There are a whole bunch of essentials needed to found a colony or mining expedition on Mars....

Beer.
Loose women with big hooters.
Decent sanitation.
Beer.
Habitation.
Tax haven status.

For atmosphere, they could always rig it so that a couple of comets hit Mars.

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Offline Nemesis

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Re: And there was Ice
« Reply #46 on: July 23, 2008, 11:31:42 pm »
Loose women with big hooters.

That is easy.

1/ point out that with low gravity there is less saging.

2/ explain that there will be a ratio of 10 men/woman

3/ make a rocket powerful enough to take that much silicon to Mars.
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Offline knightstorm

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Re: And there was Ice
« Reply #47 on: July 24, 2008, 05:29:49 pm »
I think nem was thinking robots...


Since the rest of us were talking in terms of manned mining operations, I have no reason to believe that he was speaking otherwise.  The biggest problem with mars however, is that it belongs to Adam Ismail, Mustafa Khalil and Abdullah al-Umari
http://www.cnn.com/TECH/9707/24/yemen.mars/


Actually I wasn't thinking robots.


how much more expensive would mining on mars be than equipping a vehicle to mine the belt?  You would need greater range, the miners would be in zero g for a longer period of time, and the gravity of the asteroids is nowhere near that of mars which means that the bone loss would be more severe.  Also, an atmosphere means that miners doing eva will not have to cope with conditions that are as extreme.


The energy cost to get to the belt is less than that to get to Mars and soft land.  That landing eats up fuel. 

At this point it is unknown how much effect the 1/3 gravity on Mars will have on people.  All that is really known of long term effects are at 1g and 0g. 

if the miners were staying for an extended period then either on Mars or in the belt they would need a large base.  Large enough that spinning to simulate 1g would be practical in the belt.  It could be done on Mars but would likely be more difficult toe design and maintain.

The Martian atmosphere at a little less than 1% of Earths isn't that helpful. 

If the asteroid miners either stick to small asteroids or break up larger ones there is no reason they couldn't make an inflated "hangar" and bring the rock in leaving them working in more convient environments.  Remember that unlike in the movies asteroids are far apart and mostly you wouldn't be able to see one asteroid from another so impacts are not that likely with anything of substantial size. 


1/3G is better than 0G.  A spinning base has to be absolutely massive to work, otherwise it will induce nausea.  Also, while the martian atmosphere would let alot more rocks through than earth's, it could still stop micrometeorites.  Yes, the asteroids are far apart, but there are probably plenty of small fragments floating around out there, in addition to the dust which is a real issue in long term space flight.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2008, 05:45:41 pm by knightstorm »

Offline knightstorm

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Re: And there was Ice
« Reply #48 on: July 24, 2008, 05:37:47 pm »
There are a whole bunch of essentials needed to found a colony or mining expedition on Mars....

Beer.
Loose women with big hooters.
Decent sanitation.
Beer.
Habitation.
Tax haven status.

For atmosphere, they could always rig it so that a couple of comets hit Mars.



The first two really depend on how devout the planet's owners are.

Offline Nemesis

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Re: And there was Ice
« Reply #49 on: July 24, 2008, 07:34:06 pm »
1/3G is better than 0G. 

That is a common assumption but we really don't know.  It hasn't been tested.  It is one reason I'm in favour of a lunar base as the 1/6 g there would give a 3rd data point on how gravity affects biology.  Mars would then add a 4th.  A rotating base could provide multiple datapoints at incremental gravity increases as well.

A spinning base has to be absolutely massive to work, otherwise it will induce nausea. 

Actually not.  It needs a large radius.  What can be done is have the powerplant (if nuclear massive and dense) separted using cables from the habitat and spinning around the center of gravity.  It does not take a full ring let alone a full cylinder a short arc will do.  It doesn't even take solid spokes linking opposite sides as stated it can be done with cables, which can have a elevator/airlock mounted on them.  If the powerplant or counterweight is massive enoough (asteroidal rock could be used reducing the mass that needs to be carried to the belt) it can be closer to the center of gravity than the habitat and work in a lower simulated gravity.

Also, while the martian atmosphere would let alot more rocks through than earth's, it could still stop micrometeorites.  Yes, the asteroids are far apart, but there are probably plenty of small fragments floating around out there, in addition to the dust which is a real issue in long term space flight.

Enough probes have flown through the asteroid belt without issue that I think it would be fairly safe.  Remember these probes were crossing the belt against the "flow", how many have been lost to collisons?  The mining base would be orbiting with the flow and therefore should encounter fewer particles and at a lower relative speed.  You could even situate the base in the orbital shadow of one of the larger asteroids and let it "sweep" space ahead of the base in orbit to make it safer. (Similar to the failed Wakeshield enhanced vacuum experiments). 

The miner could remotely operate the equipment from several light seconds away just to reduce the risk from debris thrown up by the mining operation.  They don't need to be immediately on site. 
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Offline knightstorm

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Re: And there was Ice
« Reply #50 on: July 24, 2008, 08:27:28 pm »

Also, while the martian atmosphere would let alot more rocks through than earth's, it could still stop micrometeorites.  Yes, the asteroids are far apart, but there are probably plenty of small fragments floating around out there, in addition to the dust which is a real issue in long term space flight.

Enough probes have flown through the asteroid belt without issue that I think it would be fairly safe.  Remember these probes were crossing the belt against the "flow", how many have been lost to collisons?  The mining base would be orbiting with the flow and therefore should encounter fewer particles and at a lower relative speed.  You could even situate the base in the orbital shadow of one of the larger asteroids and let it "sweep" space ahead of the base in orbit to make it safer. (Similar to the failed Wakeshield enhanced vacuum experiments). 

The miner could remotely operate the equipment from several light seconds away just to reduce the risk from debris thrown up by the mining operation.  They don't need to be immediately on site. 

Probes are only in the belt for a relatively short period of time.  They are also a a lot smaller than a manned mining outpost would be.

Offline Nemesis

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Re: And there was Ice
« Reply #51 on: July 24, 2008, 09:20:45 pm »
Probes are only in the belt for a relatively short period of time.  They are also a a lot smaller than a manned mining outpost would be.

The belt is quite wide and they spend a significant amount of time going across the flow which increases the relative speed and the chances of collision substantially yet they haven't destroyed a probe yet. 

You can also mine asteroids that are not in the belt.  There are a fair number charted already and many smaller ones (easier to take apart I would think) still to be charted.  You could also go further out and mine the asteroids in Jupiter's Trojan positions.  As you see there are ways to avoid or limit the dangers.

If you were to do extraterrestrial mining on a body with substantial gravity the natural location is the moon in any case. 
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Offline knightstorm

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Re: And there was Ice
« Reply #52 on: July 24, 2008, 09:40:15 pm »
Probes are only in the belt for a relatively short period of time.  They are also a a lot smaller than a manned mining outpost would be.

The belt is quite wide and they spend a significant amount of time going across the flow which increases the relative speed and the chances of collision substantially yet they haven't destroyed a probe yet. 

You can also mine asteroids that are not in the belt.  There are a fair number charted already and many smaller ones (easier to take apart I would think) still to be charted.  You could also go further out and mine the asteroids in Jupiter's Trojan positions.  As you see there are ways to avoid or limit the dangers.

If you were to do extraterrestrial mining on a body with substantial gravity the natural location is the moon in any case. 

We've only sent 6 probes through the belt.  I would tend to agree with the moon being a logical.  I just think there are fewer technological hurtles to mining mars as opposed to mining the belt.

Offline RazalYllib

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Re: And there was Ice
« Reply #53 on: July 24, 2008, 10:44:08 pm »
Mass drivers are the way to go for mining rocks...automated, mechanical....like catapults...low g enviroment could literally scoop (as in excavate) and catapult ore it gravel sized chunks that could be put where we could just "collect" couple light seconds behind...with the right math, one could put the ore bits exactly where we want them and at a "dial a orbital velocity" when the ore bin full, head for home, and park the package at a lagrange point...easy to get to, cheap also.
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Offline Panzergranate

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Re: And there was Ice
« Reply #54 on: July 25, 2008, 01:35:27 pm »
There was a scheme put forward by NASA, back in the 1980's, where by a large solar system orbiting space station could be built, a really big space station, which would tour the solar system rather in the same way as the old Voyager probes did. The plan was to launch and land missions, drop of satellites, etc. as it passed by the various planets. Once every so many years, it would pass close to the Earth for major servicing, crew changes and repairs. However, most of the time, it would be out on its own and only supplied by the odd supply rocket or ferry.

As for who would be best suited for possible suicide missions.... may I suggest lawyers!! ;D

I mean, lawyers out number honest, decent human beings on this planet and are considered both a public nuisance and a hazard. Therefore they are pretty much expendable.... as colleges are churning out fresh lawyers constantly.

Also, unlike conventional astronauts, who NASA is obliged to bring back home safe and sound, lawyers can be given the old Soviet "Astrodog" treatment.... it's a win - win outcome or humanity.

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Offline Nemesis

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Re: And there was Ice
« Reply #55 on: July 25, 2008, 01:50:40 pm »
A better crew would be geeks.  They would enjoy it and do it well with dedication the lawyers wouldn't have.

In any case you couldn't send enough lawyers to affect the total population in a meaningful way.
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Offline Nemesis

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Re: And there was Ice
« Reply #56 on: October 23, 2008, 08:25:43 pm »
Thoughts of an actual astronaut on the idea of a one way mission.

Link to full article

Quote
Even at the most favourable planetary conjunction, this means a round trip to Mars would take around a year and a half.

"That's why you [should] send people there permanently," said Aldrin. "If we are not willing to do that, then I don't think we should just go once and have the expense of doing that and then stop."

He asked: "If we are going to put a few people down there and ensure their appropriate safety, would you then go through all that trouble and then bring them back immediately, after a year, a year and a half?"

NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) are sketching tentative plans for a manned mission to Mars that would take place around 2030 or 2040.

Based on experience culled from a planned return to the Moon, the mission would entail about half a dozen people, with life-support systems and other gear pre-positioned for them on the Martian surface.

Aldrin said the vanguard could be joined by others, making a colony around 30 people.

"They need to go there more with the psychology of knowing that you are a pioneering settler and you don't look forward to go back home again after a couple a years," he said.

"At age 30, they are given an opportunity. If they accept, then we train them, at age 35, we send them. At age 65, who knows what advances have taken place. They can retire there, or maybe we can bring them back."
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Offline Panzergranate

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Re: And there was Ice
« Reply #57 on: November 02, 2008, 09:07:56 am »
There has been a bit of a breakthrough in Plasma Drive technology.... the latest " Kilowatt units can chuck out a plasma exhaust to velocities of 30,000 KPS.

If this doesn't seem much.... its 3 or 4 times more than a current rocket motor.... for 1/10th of the fuel load.

Unlike earlier plasma drives, these have a variable specific impulse, hence the name "Variable Specific Impulse Drive" and therefore, unlike chemical reaction or current fixed output Pasma and Ion thrusters / drive, allows the operator to "throttle up / down.

The system is set to be installed into the International Space Station over the next few years, as a low fuel mass / high yield.

If you wanna know how they work just look them up on the web.... NASA and ESA (which has done the most work on them) explain all.

The ESA Smart 1 probe uses an earlier Plasma / Ion Drive instead of a chemical rocket and has been in flight for a couple of years so far.

The power yield of a Plasma Drive and other similar electrically powered devices, is that thrust is only limited by energy input.

The goal of both NASA and ESA is to use a nuclear reactor to provide Gigawatts of power for a Specific Impulse Plasma Drive. this is only held up by the paranoid fears of leftie eco-fanatic loonies up in space.... which is already full of radiation.

Not quite in the Star Trek league for sublight propulsion, but on the right road.

An Impulse Drive differs in that a Cold Fusion Sub-Atomic Fusion Reactor particle plasma emissions as the fuel for the ioniser in the Plasma Drive.

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