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29 votes

Is there any economical way to move the water from the Martian poles to the people?

You don't care about transporting H₂O. You want to transport hydrogen and oxygen atoms, and if that includes a few other atoms as baggage, that's no big deal. One easily available atom is carbon, as ...
MSalters's user avatar
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18 votes

Is a dome really the most efficient way to contain gas in a vacuum?

It all depends on the material. A dome/balloon is mechanically same thing as an arch, just loaded in the opposite way. The material of a balloon is all under tension, the material of a masonry arch is ...
TooTea's user avatar
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17 votes
Accepted

Would a sufficiently deep cavern on Mars provide habitable temperature and atmospheric pressure? Was Dick Tracy wrong?

Looks like it's not possible: To get Earth-normal pressure we need 55km https://astronomy.stackexchange.com/questions/14871/at-what-depth-on-mars-would-the-atmosphere-have-equal-pressure-of-that-on-...
Loren Pechtel's user avatar
13 votes

Is there any economical way to move the water from the Martian poles to the people?

Canals? It's too cold on Mars for water to be liquid, so canals are not going to work. Pipes? ...would need to be constantly heated, so they would require quite a lot of energy. Hydrogen ...
Philipp's user avatar
  • 9,346
11 votes
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Sunroofs on Mars - durable transparent structural plastics lighter than glass to ship from Earth?

In practise, a composite approach would be used, combining the strengths of different materials. The required layers can be summarized as: A bladder which contains the atmosphere An open weave ...
Blake Walsh's user avatar
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7 votes

Is there any economical way to move the water from the Martian poles to the people?

You don't need to. There's a lot of subsurface water ice at many mid-latitude sites, where that ice is easily accessible -- only a few meters down, sometimes even exposed, and mostly pure.
Mark Adler's user avatar
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7 votes

What is the current state of commercial space stations?

Were these all pipe dreams from the start? Some most certainly were. Some most likely were worse than pipe dreams; they were just schemes to part foolish investors from their monies. I won't name ...
David Hammen's user avatar
7 votes

Is there likely to be life in Venus's upper atmosphere?

For life as we know it, it is not likely it could exist ! Even bacteria need metal ions like $\text{K}^+$ and $\text{Mg}^{2+}$ in their cytoplasm, and these metals have not been detected in the ...
Cornelis's user avatar
  • 7,535
7 votes
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Is space habitation a technology problem or is it really just a mass (cost) problem?

While more mass/more budget would solve some/many problems, there are still space-habitation related issues that can't sustainably be solved by throwing mass at them. First, volume. We could easily ...
Dragongeek's user avatar
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6 votes
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Why do space settlement designers use tori instead of cylinders for space settlements?

Despite the obvious reason - a torus looks much more elegant than a barrel - I can come up with several points that favor a toroid: Rounded shapes can withstand the pressure difference between inside ...
asdfex's user avatar
  • 15.1k
6 votes

Is a dome really the most efficient way to contain gas in a vacuum?

Engineering Trade Offs Everything in Engineering is about trading something for something else (cost for time, strength for weight, etc.) In the 1960s, solar panels and grow lights were both immature ...
codeMonkey's user avatar
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6 votes
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Is a dome really the most efficient way to contain gas in a vacuum?

Structures under internal vacuum or compressive loads can be fairly complex to analyse, as they can buckle. Structures under tension or internal pressure are much simpler. These structures use ...
Level River St's user avatar
5 votes

What is the current state of commercial space stations?

We are quite close. For example, Axiom Space really wants to make its off-Earth outpost — the first pieces of which are scheduled to launch in 2020. The station will be serving as a base for research ...
Overmind's user avatar
  • 151
5 votes
Accepted

How much radiation shielding would be required for a habitat at Mercury–Sun L5?

You have to worry about the solar wind - the charged particles that are emitted by the Sun, and which are quite effectively shielded by the Earth's magnetic field. The magnetic field of Mercury is ...
Floris's user avatar
  • 456
5 votes

How can a non-floored habitat be sealed on Mars?

In an answer to another question, I suggested that a double or nested dome could be used: The basic idea is that if the outer dome is a bit leaky it's not a big deal because the leakage can be ...
Blake Walsh's user avatar
  • 4,231
5 votes

Is it real to patch an opening to the vacuum with plastic tarp and duct tape as in Martian?

No normal Duct Tape adhesive works in cold temperatures. I live on Earth, in Ottawa Ontario... And I can't get Duct tape to stick between November to April. And that is still warmer then most areas on ...
Mitchell's user avatar
5 votes
Accepted

Is TIG or laser welding feasable for building aluminum habitats either on the Moon or in orbit?

Answer: I think wire-feed MIG (metal inert gas) welding would be the better choice for structural aluminum space habitats. https://ntrs.nasa.gov/citations/19940000578 TIG (tungsten inert gas) has ...
Woody's user avatar
  • 22.1k
5 votes

Is a dome really the most efficient way to contain gas in a vacuum?

Technically, assuming the dome was made of a material strong enough to hold in the air, and the internal atmospheric pressure doesn't get too high, the dome should keep from exploding. The main ...
Costillo's user avatar
4 votes

Why such a large gap between ISS construction and inhabitation?

Should be noted that Zvezda was planned to be launched soon after Zarya and Unity. It was delayed by Proton launch failure in 5 July 1999, and by another failure in 27 October 1999. https://en....
Heopps's user avatar
  • 9,061
4 votes
Accepted

Is a glass habitat on Mars viable?

You don't want to filter out all radiation, of course - that's the point of using a transparent material. You want to filter out the high-energy part (UV) while leaving lower frequencies (visible ...
MSalters's user avatar
  • 1,644
4 votes

Is there any economical way to move the water from the Martian poles to the people?

pipes In addition to other answers, while most of the time Martian temperatures average below zero, they reach positive side of the Celsius scale every day on most of the surface. That means that ...
loa_in_'s user avatar
  • 141
4 votes

How much soil can be supported by an inflatable habitat on Mars?

You can get a ballpark figure by assuming the roof of the habitat is flat, supported entirely be air pressure and doesn't weigh much in and of itself. Your diagram suggests a full Earth atmosphere ...
Steve Linton's user avatar
  • 19.6k
4 votes

How livable would a lunar lava tube be?

It could be, assuming it is in fact sealed. But the likelihood of it being completely sealed are unlikely. There are a couple of workarounds to such habitats that I have seen: Use some kind of an ...
PearsonArtPhoto's user avatar
  • 121k
4 votes

Would there be snow, rain, fog or clouds in a deep, sealed, subsurface cavern on the Moon if water were present?

In Earth's atmosphere, fog and clouds form when saturated warm air flows into a mass of colder air. Condensation into droplets is also believed to be helped by the presence of fine dust particles. In ...
Miles Mutka's user avatar
4 votes

Is it cheaper to build a habitat on the surface of the moon or dig a hole into the moon and build a habitat in there?

It all depends on the initial conditions. If you need to create a large volume for the accumulation of resources in the shortest time, then this is ideal. For example, as accumulators of oxygen ...
A. Rumlin's user avatar
  • 7,863
4 votes

How large could manmade, domeshaped caves inside the ice dome in Korolev crater on Mars become without the danger of collapsing?

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 ...
Fred's user avatar
  • 13.1k
4 votes

What space applications could benefit from batteries with much higher power densities than the common Li-ion type?

Almost all space exploration activities need electrical power. Batteries are needed except for those space exploration activities that are powered continuously and that draw power only at the rate ...
David Hammen's user avatar
4 votes

What space applications could benefit from batteries with much higher power densities than the common Li-ion type?

The improved energy densities alone has some use. For small cubesats specifically, there is always the dilemma of running off a simple single-use battery, or include the complete set of hardware ...
SE - stop firing the good guys's user avatar
4 votes

What is the prevalence of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium in the asteroid belt and in comets?

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/255828400_The_EUV_Emission_from_Sun-Grazing_Comets/figures?lo=1 lists significant amounts of N in comets (as ammonia and methane) , but P and K don’t make the ...
Woody's user avatar
  • 22.1k
3 votes

Why do space settlement designers use tori instead of cylinders for space settlements?

There has been a space colonization discussion started by Gerard O'Neill. The idea was to not colonize a planet or moon, but rather orbital space, particularly L5 or the trojan asteroids. They ...
Johnny Robinson's user avatar

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