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SpaceX Mars City Buildings / Plan


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3 hours ago, mrfox said:

But in 2017, engineers at the German Aerospace Center (GAC) built a high-tech greenhouse that will allow Antarcticans to harvest produce.

The farm can grow food year-round for researchers at the Neumayer III polar station on the Ekstrom Ice Shelf. The team just completed its first harvest, the AP reports.

Called the Eden-ISS, the greenhouse exists inside a climate-controlled shipping container. It relies on a technique called vertical farming, in which food grows on trays or hanging modules under LEDs instead of natural sunlight.

Good to hear. Hopefully they can optimize what we need for an interplanetary greenhouse (the least material from homebase, the most produce and nutrition value).

3 hours ago, magnemoe said:

fire is less of an problem on Mars

I'd say that fire on Mars is as bad as fire on the ISS. If there are fire suppression system on the ISS then there'd be fire suppression system in a Mars colony too.

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The Martian colony is an on-ground submarine. No fire may be "small".

Also they should not forget that plastic panels quickly give a lot of toxic smoke, and electric wires are perfect heat conductors, making a whole row of old wooden houses start  burning in minutes being heated from the copper/aluminium wire from the neighboring house.

And you can't extinguish every fire with water.
Actually, with the concenration of wires per volume like there, water is not an option at all.
Better vent out the air.

Edited by kerbiloid
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The reason fire is so dangerous in ships, planes, Antarctic research stations, etc. is because the usual best response to a fire is to Get Out Of The Dang Building!(TM). But you can't do that in a submarine or a space station. Or on Mars.

And even if you can get out, there's no hotel you can move into while you wait for the insurance money to come through and get your house rebuilt.

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4 hours ago, mikegarrison said:

The reason fire is so dangerous in ships, planes, Antarctic research stations, etc. is because the usual best response to a fire is to Get Out Of The Dang Building!(TM).

I'd like to counter. Fires are dangerous in Antarctica because it is extremely dry (so no moisture to delay the flame), and possibly you won't have anything to extinguish it with (and is very difficult to, as if you were to throw a bucket of water they'd freeze, while if you use non-freeze fire retardant that's a lot of fire retardant), and also it's extremely windy and the fire will jump over to other buildings within close distances easily. Hence why people barely fight the fires once it has engulfed one building, rather they try to keep everything else out of the reach of that fire. Some bases do have very good supplies built in already however that they can somewhat run your typical firefighting scene with water and all.

On the ISS the current policy is basically to extinguish all fires before they get out of hand, but unlike a colony they don't exactly have to overlook a large amount of pressurized area. I imagine for Mars colony you'd have some amount of automatic fire suppression, as there's some amount of gravity so you can use liquid fire suppression like one would on Earth.  Maybe if it got so large one could go and cut off the affected module. Also probably to deal with the fume you'd have emergency oxygen supplies throughout the habs and passageways like there are on submarines.

Edited by YNM
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44 minutes ago, kerbiloid said:

As the Mars colony needs a submarine-like "damage control", is it ethical to isolate a burning or suddenly unpressurized module with civilians?

Ah, the trolley problem. I think it’s always ethical to pull the lever cut off burning modules. But give the people a ~30 second warning, if the loudspeakers are still working. If you didn’t get out in time, you’re probably already dead. If there are working airlocks, either with the outside or between modules, people in space suits can come in and rescue the unlikely survivors.

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8 hours ago, YNM said:

Good to hear. Hopefully they can optimize what we need for an interplanetary greenhouse (the least material from homebase, the most produce and nutrition value).

I'd say that fire on Mars is as bad as fire on the ISS. If there are fire suppression system on the ISS then there'd be fire suppression system in a Mars colony too.

Sorry fire there is very bad and more lethal than in Antarctica as you can not go outside easy.  YNM sums it up nicely.

However fire will not spread easy as it goes out then it burn a hole in an module so you don't need to separate things much. 

Edited by magnemoe
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20 minutes ago, sh1pman said:

But give the people a ~30 second warning,

Depends on the hole size.

Also 30 seconds later other modules can start burning from the hot wires.

Remember, whole ISS weights like a yacht.

Edited by kerbiloid
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2 hours ago, kerbiloid said:

As the Mars colony needs a submarine-like "damage control", is it ethical to isolate a burning or suddenly unpressurized module with civilians?

Has that ever happened on a submarine ?

1 hour ago, magnemoe said:

However fire will not spread easy as it goes out then it burn a hole in an module so you don't need to separate things much. 

Depends a lot on the module construction I'd say. If it's an interconnected module and you haven't cut off the burning module from the rest then you'd lose pressure throughout the complex plus the flow of air from the rest of the place will carry more oxygen. (I still insist that no one is going to walk outside just to go somewhere within the colony, except if it's an external thing like solar panels or so.)

Edited by YNM
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53 minutes ago, YNM said:

Has that ever happened on a submarine ?

Depends a lot on the module construction I'd say. If it's an interconnected module and you haven't cut off the burning module from the rest then you'd lose pressure throughout the complex plus the flow of air from the rest of the place will carry more oxygen. (I still insist that no one is going to walk outside just to go somewhere within the colony, except if it's an external thing like solar panels or so.)

I know they have flooded magazines on warships because of fire and believe people has drowned because of this. 
But an magazine fire is kind of an extreme example.

Now I assume the an base would be multiple modules connected with corridors fire would not get trough that without blowing it unless build badly, now smoke would get trough if open. 

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Quick question - would Mars be an environment where in an emergency, workers could just pull on a hooded helmet, gloves and boots that seal to a regular work uniform* and bail outside temporarily - or do you need a full, pressurized exo-suit? 

 

 

 

Not cotton or spandex, but something flexible and comfortable that can be used for emergency egress 

 

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Dunno. Atmospheric pressure on mars is about 40X lower than at the summit of Everest, so it's not really ideal for shirtsleeves ;) .

Maybe work uniforms could be more like yoga pants (pressure suits, effectively)?

The plus side is you get to see half the people in clothes that look spray painted on, the downside is seeing other other half dressed the same.

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

E: The MIT Bio-Suit sounds promising:

Quote

A later variant of the biosuit employs heat-activated shape-memory alloy (SMA) coils.[12] In this design the suit fits loosely on the body when initially donned. When a power module is attached, the spring-like coils in the suit contract to form-fit the suit to the body. The design of the coil was further defined in an article in the journal IEEE/ASME: Transactions on Mechatronics.[13] As of 2008, the Biosuit reportedly had the potential to be ready for use in Mars missions in the near future.[14][15]

As of 2019, an additional improvement has been made with the addition of nucleated boron tubes[clarification needed], which can shield the wearer of the suit from the radiation present in space and on the surfaces of the Moon and Mars. According to Cathy Lewis of the National Air and Space Museum, "It may not be the next suit, but it will be one of the subsequent suits," indicating that development remains active and focused on future Moon and Mars missions.[16]

If it can fit loosely for normal wear but tighten up in an emergency, that would be excellent. Then you just need an inflatable emergency airbag "helmet" to pop up and seal itself if pressure drops. Not sure of the mechanics of that; has a reasonably gas-tight powered zipper been invented yet? It doesn't have to be perfect, just emergency grade to get to a shelter.

Edited by StrandedonEarth
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The trick is what one wears just wandering around inside.

I think the solution is proper facility design to avoid catastrophic pressure loss events.

Fire... yeah, built in fire suppression. It's tricky because the most habitable sorts of spaces in the long term will need to have open volumes IMO. Outdoor "feeling" spaces, more akin to the designs you see for inside O'Neill colonies. High ceilings, and homes with some outside spaces with plants, etc. If everything was smaller, compartmentalized tubes, you could evac a small area, seal it, then open it, immediately extinguishing the fire.

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2 hours ago, magnemoe said:

Now I assume the an base would be multiple modules connected with corridors fire would not get trough that without blowing it unless build badly, now smoke would get trough if open. 

Fires can generate intense airflow around it, that's why they can spread very easily in crowded cities both in the past and the present. Also the hab material would most likely include insulation which might contain combustible materials, although I could imagine that the insulation might just be left outside of the proper pressurized space, but then there's a question of what the liners are made of, and where the cables and conduits are and what are they made of, etc etc.

33 minutes ago, tater said:

It's tricky because the most habitable sorts of spaces in the long term will need to have open volumes IMO. Outdoor "feeling" spaces, more akin to the designs you see for inside O'Neill colonies. High ceilings, and homes with some outside spaces with plants, etc. If everything was smaller, compartmentalized tubes, you could evac a small area, seal it, then open it, immediately extinguishing the fire.

Yeah, the aesthetics are definitely not going to be as pleasing as a futurist would like to think. That being said however I imagine if you have enough people to live on Mars for them to complain about the lackluster appearance of the whole place we might need to move something like underground or just straight up a whole transparent dome kind of affair.

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6 minutes ago, YNM said:

Yeah, the aesthetics are definitely not going to be as pleasing as a futurist would like to think. That being said however I imagine if you have enough people to live on Mars for them to complain about the lackluster appearance of the whole place we might need to move something like underground or just straight up a whole transparent dome kind of affair.

Transparent domes are likely not a thing in general, they need to be covered for radiation protection. They could have window spaces looking out as long as there was a decent overhang, however.

I was thinking less of vistas of the actual sky, or martian landscape (though I think the latter is important), and more in the "shopping mall" sense.

Milan-wine-bars-920x609.png

You could do something like that ^^^, where the "sky" above the windows is in fact artificial light. It could even track the outside lighting conditions. Need not be Milanese architecture, obviously ;) .

If deep underground, I suppose you could sink large diameter light shafts (I mean HUGE 100s of meters across), perhaps domed on top, or indeed completely covered, but with a heliostat to direct natural light down.

 

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1 hour ago, tater said:

Transparent domes are likely not a thing in general, they need to be covered for radiation protection. They could have window spaces looking out as long as there was a decent overhang, however.

Yeah, what I was saying is a pressurized space large enough where you don't need to worry about running out of air immediately in a fire (and also not generating hurricane-force winds through some of the space).

1 hour ago, tater said:

I was thinking less of vistas of the actual sky, or martian landscape (though I think the latter is important), and more in the "shopping mall" sense.

Ah, for those you don't need it to be super high. Suppression systems could still be hidden in other features closer to the floor.

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19 minutes ago, kerbiloid said:

Atriums.

Yeah, such an important feature I have one in my Earth house ;)

home to sunbeam seeking kitty, and multiple banana trees.

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3 hours ago, tater said:

Transparent domes are likely not a thing in general, they need to be covered for radiation protection. They could have window spaces looking out as long as there was a decent overhang, however.

I was thinking less of vistas of the actual sky, or martian landscape (though I think the latter is important), and more in the "shopping mall" sense.

Milan-wine-bars-920x609.png

You could do something like that ^^^, where the "sky" above the windows is in fact artificial light. It could even track the outside lighting conditions. Need not be Milanese architecture, obviously ;) .

If deep underground, I suppose you could sink large diameter light shafts (I mean HUGE 100s of meters across), perhaps domed on top, or indeed completely covered, but with a heliostat to direct natural light down.

 

Reminds me of my university. They had an stack of buildings next to each others so they closed all of it off with glass.
NyeElektro.JPG

Because its Norway and not the natural habitat of humans it was fully enclosed an heated as you would do with an mars colony. Outside during winter will kill you anyway but slower than on Mars 

 

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1 minute ago, magnemoe said:

Because its Norway and not the natural habitat of humans it was fully enclosed an heated as you would do with an mars colony. Outside during winter will kill you anyway but slower than on Mars 

I suppose if the surrounding surface buildings are thick enough to provide shielding, the tops could be glazed over in a way that allows light in, or there could be an overhang with a clerestory and a heliostat shining in from the side.

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5 hours ago, tater said:

Need not be Milanese architecture, obviously

Better be Milanese architecture. If I was surrounded by space station-looking buildings, I’d become earth-sick really quickly!

I remember seeing a better solution than domes somewhere. It was something like a giant inflatable polyethylene mat that is held on tall pillars. It can hold pressure and heat, is relatively transparent, and covers vast living area. Apparently, it’s also easy to repair the holes with glue and duct tape. Water can be pumped inside the mat to protect the people below from radiation. Easy to set up and maintain, unlike the domes.

EDIT: Found it: https://caseyhandmer.wordpress.com/2019/11/28/domes-are-very-over-rated/

screenshot-from-2019-10-28-213244.png?w=

Edited by sh1pman
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Flat surfaces must be thicker than the domes to withstand 1 bar.

***

Why nobody mentioned the glassics-classics?

Spoiler

History-and-influences-of-Gothic-architegothic-architecture-characteristics-thum

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSxSZvSGeblXlccJZjm5xR

Compact shape, with minimal surface, many glasses. All glasses are small and repairable,  Supporting structures outside. Can be expanded to any direction, filling all available area. Made of lightweight typical trusses. A lot of volume inside for atriums or lightweight modules.

Gothics and Mars, born for each other.

Edited by kerbiloid
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On 2/19/2021 at 6:02 PM, SOXBLOX said:

Hah! 

I agree. They'd have to make a very convincing argument to get me to live on a red rock with 1/3 Earth gravity and a limited air supply. Is human life, long term, even possible in 1/3 g? 

This above is a actually a great reason for establishing a research colony on mars  - biological/zoological research on the effects of long term martian living.

Before sticking humans permanently there, it might be wise to stick a few colonies of primates and see how they do, and more importantly - whether procreation and gestation under martian environment is possible.

Question is could this be done with an unmanned station? It’ll get done a lot quicker if its a one way trip for our monkey “friends”.

Should it be done?

Edited by mrfox
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