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Take aim at Mars
August 6, 2012
6:56 pm
TOng
Pittsburgh, PA
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May 28, 2012
9:51 pm
bud
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If there really is enough water ice on Mars to cover the surface in 11m of water, How much power would it take to melt enough of it to have an effect on mars? And would melting the Martian ice cap to any degree be beneficial to a colony? I heard water can be used as a shield so any thoughts on this?

“If you only knew the magnificence of the 3, 6 and 9, then you would have the key to the universe.” - Nikola Tesla 1899
June 1, 2012
11:40 pm
Grand Lunar
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This merits investigation.

However, there is a problem; the thin Martian atmosphere.

As of now, it does not provide enough pressure to keep water from boiling off at low temperature.

First, we would need to thicken the atmosphere. Then, we can try and melt water.

Water does act as a shield, but only if it's between you and the radiation source.
Simply having it on the surface of the planet won't do.
If you want to use water as a shield, you'd either want to have blocks of ice surrounding your base (or have it built inside the ice), tanks of water surrounding your base, or have your base under water.

The more they overthink the plumbing, the easier it is to stop up the drain. - Mr. Scott, Star Trek III
June 2, 2012
7:38 am
JLS
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Part of the Martian ice caps are dry ice. If the laser was used to melt them then that would not only thicken the atmosphere, but would help to create a greenhouse effect warming the planet.

June 2, 2012
9:36 am
Grand Lunar
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Ah, I forgot about that.

I somehow doubt the 100MW laser could do the job, though, especially since it's restricted to operate for a minute.

But there are other ideas out there…..

The more they overthink the plumbing, the easier it is to stop up the drain. - Mr. Scott, Star Trek III
June 3, 2012
2:36 pm
Jasterthemaster
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Well the whole terraforming mars issue is going to be problematic .. first scientists are going to through a fit … we havent even fully explored earth.. terraforming would completely remove any possibility of finding some sort of life on mars.. i would say befor terraforming mars we would have to have at least 100 years of exploration on it.. every nook an cranny inspected..
life exists in places here on earth that we at first said it could not exist then find life thriving there.. same can be for mars so befor terraforming it we gota make sure we arent missing something.
.
But .. the laser i agree would be insufficient and even if it was.. would be a waist of energy ..just like making those metal spheres out of asteriods with it..

June 3, 2012
4:52 pm
Grand Lunar
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Given that the Gen1 Enterprise could carry a massive fleet of probes, that could be used to explore Mars in more detail and less time.

Imagine a hundred rovers like Curiosity driving across the surface!
We'd just have to ensure we don't have fender benders….

The more they overthink the plumbing, the easier it is to stop up the drain. - Mr. Scott, Star Trek III
June 3, 2012
5:11 pm
Havoc
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I agree, Lunar. The laser would have to be able to fire a lot longer to be much use melting anything. And Jaster, you have a valid point too. The surface would have to be thourlly searched first. Besides, it would take decades to be habitable to humans, if not centuries.

June 24, 2012
3:04 pm
Michel Lamontagne
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1000 MW  x 1 hour (3600 s) = 3 600 Mjoules

2270 kj/kg, latent heat of evaporation

3 600 000 000 J / 2 270 000 J /kg = 1585 kg.

We can boil 2 tons of water in an hour !!!!!

I feel like such a spoil sport with this kind of calculations..Cry

 

Regards,

Michel Lamontagne 

June 24, 2012
4:08 pm
Michel Lamontagne
Quebec, Canada
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Oups, 1500 tons of water. 3 600 GJoules.  Just a 1000:1 mistake!

About 50 swimming pools.  Not so bad, but still, not Mars shaking.

M Lamontagne

June 24, 2012
4:36 pm
Tjcares
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nope not shaking at all.  lol and even with the thin atmosphere not all of the laser would get down there.

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