Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Mars Base

Someday, I'll retire. Right now, my career is beginning, but it will someday end, as I am not some sort of immortal robot, but a very mortal flesh-and-blood person, who will slowly age and such. Of course, based on the progression of the ever-pushing-back retirement age, this will occur when I am about 130 years old or so.
In all seriousness, I think I'll move to Mars. Where I'll have an entire planet, with only people I deliberately bring with me. And I'll have to use my super science to survive. I'll fly over several cargo-loads of materials and goods, ending with a number of vehicles, and finally myself in a space suit. I'll prop up a shelter-tent that NASA recently designed, and use a scouting vehicle to scout for a good site. I'll be looking for a cliff, kind of like this:
A tall raggedly cliff on Mars..
Yes, the sky is blue on Mars. Well, a muddy, icky sort of cyan, but definitely a blue.
I will then use my construction tools to hollow it out, and build an elaborate base, which I have crudely doodled up with a paint program:
A many roomed-complex as large as a building has been carved into the cliff's face
This complex would have enough room for not just me, but also a whole host of support staff, any astronauts NASA sends my way, any members of my family that chose to come with me, entire planeloads of random friends, and possibly a few fans that demand to join.
To make up for the low quality of the picture, as I am not an artist, I have produced an annotated version:
If you can't see the picture, the description will have to be good enough...
1. Airlock, for allowing vehicular exploration. Also how astronauts enter and leave the complex.
2.Vehicle Garage. Also a good spot for storage and perhaps a laundry room.
3. Coal power plant. Burning coal is actively a good idea on Mars, which is deficient in carbon!
4. Factory / fabber. Would start as a large empty room with a fabbing machine, and would ramp up production with new machines as I go.
5. Steel Mill. Steel would be the main economic production here on Mars, I think. Coal fired.
6. IT center. Massive mainframes operating all numerical/logical challenges here.
7. Water tank and pumping room. It keeps the site's supply of clean water, and pumps it to areas needing/requesting it.
8. Gym. I may hate working out, but it's probably a medical necessity so as not to have my bones turns to goo in the lighter gravity.
9. Science lab. Biology, Chemistry, and/or physics.
10. Personal quarters. Many lockable rooms like a hotel, because I plan on there being...guests. Guests who I don't want barging in anytime they feel like it. So I would have a room, and a buddy can have a room, and the astronaut that arrived yesterday can have a room, and we can all have our privacy.
11. Entertainment complex. I think definitely a movie theater, billiards room, swimming pool, and anything else anyone suggests be brought in. I may not want to do those things every day, but since it's on Mars, going back to Earth means a six month journey and a price tag of several billion dollars. So if I don't bring it, I don't have it.
12. Massive greenhouse. This produces all the food the complex uses, and scrubs carbon from the air so that we don't all suffocate.
This would be like a city, on Mars. I would want to be in contact with NASA, for warning in the event of solar flares, and for resupply of coal. In return, astronauts would be welcome to the facility, to use the lab, the sleeping quarters, the entertainment complex, and the factory to supply all their needs, in the name of science.
I could also be persuaded to help travelers establish similar sites across Mars. Mars has a lot of resources, untapped mostly because it's hard to get there, and hard to survive once you do. And anything using Mars's resources is not using Earth's, so we all could only benefit.
Not depicted in the drawing are dehumidifiers, which recycle the clean water supply, and stairwells and hallways that connect the site together. If I've forgotten any rooms, I think I can just dig them out elsewhere. (Maybe under the garage, or deeper into the cliff from one of the hallways?)


TwoYaks said...

Bah. Who wants to live on a stinking gravity well? Getting back into space is a major PITA from the bottom of one! I'm putting my dream retirement space home inside a hollowed out rotating asteroid. I'll cram an O'Neill cylinder inside, and fill it with moose. I haven't thought how I'm going to get the moose through the microgravity portion of the trip, since they need gravity for their digestion of food, but you're going to be so jealous of my asteroid retirement O'Neill cylinder with moose. It'll blow your Mars bunker away.

Now I just need to find a few billion dollars laying around...

Mad Engineering said...

I suppose if you could get the costs low enough, your retirement home would be a massive, city-sized space station, rotating to provide gravity, and with all the resources you need for the rest of your life.
I picked a gravity well because I know it to have resources, because when I die, others can expand upon it until Mars is terraformed, because the view is awesome, and because, unlike space stations, there is ROOM to do things. (Space stations are cramped, for economic reasons. A billion dollar space station is ludicrously tiny.)

The Chinese guy said...

There are other possibilities too, artificial realities. In that lots of Sci fi explores this whereby at a certain age you are hooked into a sort of Matrix like system (explored first in 1994 better than Life Red Dwarf) and live out your live on a massive virtual ranch for your retirement. No expensive chemical rockets (as humanity by 2100 will not have build a space elevator or a magnetic catapult) you just have your body connected to IV feeding and waste tubes and have your body stuck on a shelf somewhere....

Kind of like a modern day old peoples home TBH!

The Chinese guy said...

OTOH what about geofronts as depicted in Sci Fi too? Again it'd be cheaper to dig massive massive caverns underground than to climb the well.

Mad Engineering said...

I suppose I could be talked into spending my remaining days as a disembodied brain in a jar, living life in virtual reality. I'd use very little resources that way.
Double if you hook me to a computer such that "I" survive my brain's death. Then when my brain dies, the simulation will be launched into deep space via coilgun, using about 5 kilojoules of energy. (About ten car batteries.) Because the simulating computer weighs way less than my big heavy meat body.
The reason I selected Mars, and not a hole in the ground, is that Mars has resources. I have a planet of rust that I can burn into iron, there's assuredly water, metals, solar energy, etc. With a hole in the ground, I have...silicon. And lava. And maybe a little metal. And darkness.

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