16

The fine regolith on Mars is regarded as being the closest equivalent to an Earth like soil. It contains sand and dust. Clay deposits have been found. The two could be mixed to produce a more graded material with moisture retaining properties. Technically martian soil is not dirt, but some may refer to it as either dirt or soil. If differs from soil on Earth ...


6

LOX/CO propulsion systems will have a lower Isp compared to LOX/CH4 based systems. So for an equivalent delta-v (or mission application) this will translate to an increased amount of propellant that needs to be extracted from the Mars environment. There is however an advantage to CO-based rockets on Mars: the propellant can be produced entirely from the ...


5

We don't have enough medical data to decide if 0.1667 g is enough or too few. To get enough data we would need hundreds of humans living at 0.1667 g for some decades. But from what we know now it would be unhealthy to return to 1 g after years at 0.1667 g. We don't know if a lot of training would be sufficient to keep all bones of the body strong enough for ...


4

There are several arguments which favour Mars over Mercury as a candidate for human missions. Getting there and coming home As the question and other answers have highlighted, the delta-v for transferring to Mercury is significantly higher than required for transferring to Mars. This will translate to monumentally higher propellant and launch costs for the ...


4

More of a comment, but I need the space. Firstly, are you sure about the temperature of the ice being minus 5° C? That's just below freezing temperature and very close to melting temperature. Using the assumption that the ice would be a crystalline solid analogous to a crystalline rock such as basalt, it would be best to keep the size of the openings within ...


4

According to the Nuwa Concept Technical Report, the habitat atmosphere will be 30% oxygen by volume at 75kPa (~11 psi), with the balance being nitrogen, argon, and CO2. Agricultural modules will be kept at lower pressure with a CO2-rich mix.


3

I thought about this after the article popped up too! From what I could discern... The VLF just pushes out on the Van Allen Belts... not necessarily adding to them... but keeping them expanded to a further degree. More air in a balloon but not more balloon rubber. With Mars' magnetosphere being so weak it would probably only diffuse it in a larger area. ...


3

You have several kinds of radiation to deal with: Sunlight. Sunlight has a fair amount of UV. On Earth most of this is blocked by the ozone layer. Only a fairly small percentage gets through. Hence all the fuss and feathers about chloro-fluoro carbons (freon and friends) breaking down the ozone layer. On Mars you don't have enough free oxygen to form ...


3

Arnold Lande has patented a SCUBA diving suit that incorporates liquid perfluorocarbon breathing. At the age of 67 going on to 68 later this year, I am.up to a challenge and new adventure, so would consider trying out liquid breathing. I first heard of liquid perfluorocarbon breathing decades ago, so this is not a new concept or application [1970s]. https:...


3

It is possible to generate electricity from Martian dust storms in the sense that you can get a non-zero amount of energy from it. However, the energy available, particularly from the method you specified, is very little and most definitely not enough to power a colony. On top of that, dust storms are by no means frequent enough to sustain any sort of ...


2

The 1960 translation by Syers, which you link to, is available for short loan (1hr) from the Internet Archive / Open Library. The ISFDB has a reasonably complete list of editions, which identifies a 1963 translation by Dutt in a volume called Call of the Cosmos. This volume is available to read via the Internet Archive. (I am a little unclear on the ...


2

Yes, it is possible. When everything is taken in to account, you can get a modest amount of wind power on Mars. The thicker atmosphere takes away some of the penalty, and the generally higher wind velocities. It could be an important backup power source for when there is no solar power available. It will follow the traditional wind power model, however, and ...


2

Can VLF be used to create a Mars barrier? The short answer is no because Mars does not have an intrinsic magnetic field, thus no uniform dipole magnetic field to generate a magnetosphere. I wrote an answer about Jupiter that may be of interest as well at https://physics.stackexchange.com/a/142922/59023. In the Earth's magnetosphere, the VLF frequency range ...


2

If polymer based material can be accounted for in your question, then the book The Case for Mars suggested a solution. Ethene can be made out of hydrogen and carbon dioxide. Selective oligomerization gives desired alkene. Then synthetic material can be made. For example, dimerizing ethene gives butenes. Dehydrogenating butene gives butadiene and the latter ...


2

There is an excellent article on the topic in Nature: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41526-019-0076-1 So far, the issue of medication shelflife has been dealt with by re-supply, so the study of radiation stability has been “back-shelved” (pun intentional). There is certainly concern for reduced potency as well as toxic byproducts in drugs which have ...


2

To offer a direct answer up-front, this document published by NASA's chief historian in 2000 examines NASA's missions and history from 1950-2000. I admittedly have only skimmed this document, but this is probably one of the best documents you'll get showing NASA's pre-Apollo plans. An important factor to consider with your question of "what if NASA ...


2

This is an interesting question! Partial answer! I don't know about the frequency of Martian meteorites, but for a given one we can estimate its terminal velocity (if it reaches it) and kinetic energy. If it doesn't reach terminal velocity, then it's going to be going a heck of a lot faster and have a heck of a lot squared more kinetic energy. A 1 cm radius ...


2

I think you should check out XPRIZE CARBON REMOVAL.


1

Valleys share many of the access and safety issues and geographic limitations of caves. Unless you're very lucky to find the perfect lava tube/valley right next to a good landing site, you will probably need to do blasting and heavy construction to build an access, level the floor, clear or secure unstable areas, etc. With the same equipment, you could dig a ...


1

The original OP's question Could meteorites prevent Mars exploration? has been transformed into another question that was answered, though partially, into energetic calculations and probabilistic calculations. I will try to answer the original question. First, how can a meteorite prevent colonization of a planet? You must accept that when people take all ...


1

Uhoh's answer neatly covers the damage a given meteorite would have upon impact. I'll add to that approach the likelihood that a meteorite even strikes Mars or Earth. A Martian year is 1.6 times longer than an Earth year (686.96 days versus 365.25). At first approximation, on average, a planet is just as likely to be hit by a meteorite at any point in its ...


1

In short, no. @PaulW's answer provides some interesting context, but keep in mind the goal that Kennedy set for NASA: to put a man on the Moon and bring him back before the end of the decade. The Apollo Program started already in 1960, started by Eisenhower before Kennedy was even president. At that time there was no specific goal, although a lunar landing ...


1

Following on from @PaulW's answer above, the document archive that he references also contains the following 1962 paper describing the steps require to build a permanent human base on the Moon by the mid 1970's in which the Saturn C-5/Saturn V was a practical option for delivering the necessary base hardware. Given this information, it is reasonable to ...


1

Well, no. Way too expensive. What SpaceX is doing now is probably the best option but ... The long slender Saturn 5 had major issues with harmonic oscillation under its massive thrust. This is one of the reasons why the shorter, chunkier Space Shuttle design followed on. The Space Shuttle design was hamstrung by the need to recover the main engines, which ...


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