boostrapping a mars colony

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kunkmiester
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Re: boostrapping a mars colony

Postby kunkmiester » Sun Oct 30, 2016 1:34 pm

I was addressing Tom's current terrestrial needs mostly. Being able to make something like an Atmel would be awesome.

If a few Kg will last decades fine, but there are plenty of reasons to want native ability quickly. I for example would be inclined to join a more libertarian colony, which would have much less favor with earth governments who are all to some extent socialist. It would be good in such a situation to have native ability to supply important parts.
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Tom Ligon
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Re: boostrapping a mars colony

Postby Tom Ligon » Sun Oct 30, 2016 2:41 pm


vasimv
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Re: boostrapping a mars colony

Postby vasimv » Sun Oct 30, 2016 6:23 pm


Tom Ligon
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Re: boostrapping a mars colony

Postby Tom Ligon » Sun Oct 30, 2016 8:12 pm


kunkmiester
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Re: boostrapping a mars colony

Postby kunkmiester » Sun Oct 30, 2016 8:39 pm

Probably no coal on Mars to refine iron the normal way, wonder if you can get it direct with an arc furnace.

Aluminum shouldn't be difficult as long as you have electricity. There is a similar process that promises other such difficult metals, I'll have to look up if they've got their pilot vanadium plant going.

Arc furnaces and electrolysis aside, there is plasma recycling, which is very energy hungry, but if you have nuclear power, even on Mars it shouldn't cost too much ultimately.

Training colonists will be needed anyway, there is a host of life support and other equipment everyone will need to know how to work with. Secondary skills will be a requirement.
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Tom Ligon
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Re: boostrapping a mars colony

Postby Tom Ligon » Sun Oct 30, 2016 9:08 pm

It would be interesting to try making iron without coal or charcoal. I have this plan to try making some iron from ore up at the cabin. If I can get it to work with charcoal or coal, I should try it with other reducing agents that might be available on Mars. The main goals of using coal during the ore smelting phase are fuel for heat and something to scavenge oxygen. The resulting pig iron has a gross excess of carbon, so it might actually be a benefit to find a way that makes a carbon free pig iron.

Some form of carbon is needed for most steel alloys. The carbon is there ... may need to use one of the CO2 --> hydrocarbon schemes. Although photosynthesis will certainly do the job. Making charcoal from wood was the mainstay of iron production for a couple of millennia before we started substituting coal.

One of the nice things about the asteroids is that nickle-iron is so danged easy to use. There were steel weapons made prior to the Hittites, made from meteorites. The ability to colonize Mars implies the ability to exploit the belt, so the more practical source of iron might be a separate asteroid mining operation, delivering pigs to Mars by well-aimed bombardment, perhaps into a sand-filled crater someplace well away from people.

Delivery times are still a problem. Proximity of an asteroid facility to Mars will vary dramatically. I think Phobos and Deimos are not nickle-iron. Maybe Mars needs a third moon. That's an interesting exercise all by itself.

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Re: boostrapping a mars colony

Postby hanelyp » Sun Oct 30, 2016 9:16 pm

CO2 can be cracked to produce CO which can work for reducing iron ore. Or I believe hydrogen can be used.

As for smelting aluminum, the usual process treats the carbon anodes as a consumable. Though I suppose it could be done by straight electrolysis if you had an anode that didn't erode under the conditions. Alternately, you'd have to manufacture carbon anodes from CO2.

Realistically, how much tooling would we need that 19th century methods can't build?
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Re: boostrapping a mars colony

Postby paperburn1 » Sun Oct 30, 2016 9:51 pm

What about antibiotics and medicine.
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Tom Ligon
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Re: boostrapping a mars colony

Postby Tom Ligon » Sun Oct 30, 2016 10:11 pm


kunkmiester
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Re: boostrapping a mars colony

Postby kunkmiester » Sun Oct 30, 2016 11:49 pm

We know a a lot more about medicine these days, most of the issues they had back then were hygiene or sanitation issues.

Complex organics organics can be be either synthesized by by the by the same processes used now, the same engineered bacteria we use now, or the "3d printing" processes being developed for chemical synthesis.
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Re: boostrapping a mars colony

Postby hanelyp » Mon Oct 31, 2016 2:58 am

With good sanitation practices and sound medical screening of colonists/visitors before departure, serious infectious disease shouldn't be much of a problem. I'm also thinking a lot of medicines can be made with laboratory glassware, the right chemical feedstocks, and maybe selected microorganisms. Which all sounds to me a lot like 19th century methods supplemented with 21st century knowledge.
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Re: boostrapping a mars colony

Postby happyjack27 » Mon Oct 31, 2016 1:41 pm

Last edited by happyjack27 on Mon Oct 31, 2016 2:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Tom Ligon
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Re: boostrapping a mars colony

Postby Tom Ligon » Mon Oct 31, 2016 2:05 pm


happyjack27
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Re: boostrapping a mars colony

Postby happyjack27 » Mon Oct 31, 2016 2:32 pm

Last edited by happyjack27 on Mon Oct 31, 2016 2:35 pm, edited 4 times in total.

vasimv
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Re: boostrapping a mars colony

Postby vasimv » Mon Oct 31, 2016 2:33 pm



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