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Living On Another Planet Essay

1113 words - 5 pages

Report 4 – Living on Another Planet
Transportation systems: Engineers have many design considerations and restraints when developing transportation systems and vehicles for Mars. The amount of dust on the planet will affect mechanical systems. Vehicles on Mars that have to go long distances will need to be pressurized. Rovers for planetary exploration are in development. Rovers for surface science and geology will also be needed, this design is for a drilling and exploration vehicle. In order to support multiple mission requirements, the system is modular and multi-configurable. The main structural aspects of the design are: 1) an inflatable habitat module. 2) Independently powered and ...view middle of the document...

Water: Drainage valleys through flat land are another sign of water on Mars. A little bit of evidence has shown up on Earth from a meteorite that there was water. This meteorite has been identified as a Martian rock. The meteorite shows that a 1.4 percent of water is in the volcanic rock. Some scientist believe that there is water underground. The water would be in hypersaline underground oceans, and could be so loaded with salt that it would flow like syrup. The poles of Mars do have water ice in them. Some scientists believe that there may be additional water or ice under the surface of Mars. These hidden reservoirs could be a source for future colonists to use to produce water and oxygen. Plants produce oxygen from photosynthesis, which could be used to provide some of the oxygen humans need. The integration of the greenhouse with the living quarters would help to facilitate this process. The rocks and soil on Mars contain some oxygen. A process for extracting oxygen from rocks and soil on a lunar base is being considered. This process could possibly also be used on Mars.
Sewage: Water would also have to be recycled in order to use it most efficiently. Since a large quantity of water will be needed for a Martian colony, very efficient recycling techniques will also be needed.   Recycling water for human use will be necessary in addition to water used for plants and machines. Laundry and showers (gray water) can be incorporated into hydroponic plant production systems. The subsequent recovery of water transpired (released) by plants is one means of water purification and recycling that is a natural bio-regenerative process. 
Farming: If we ever decide to colonize Mars, it might be fairly simple to grow crops in that red soil, according to a new study. Mars' reduced gravity could let us use less water and fertilizer than we do on Earth. Allowing crops to grow there that produce oxygen and scrub carbon dioxide there would make Mars a more livable environment. For a long-term settlement, there is probably no other option than growing food on Mars. Soil-based agriculture can use settlers' waste for fertilizer; it can sequester carbon and produce oxygen; and it's a reliable way to biologically filter water, for instance. The problem is that Mars’ Gravity affects the rate at which water and nutrients flow through soil, and plants have evolved to these constraints. Martian gravity is about...

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