Living on Mars

It seems that there is water ice at the poles on mars.

Also that there are blocks of ice floating on a recently frozen sea covered by dust. The unusual plates were photographed recently by the European Space Agency's Mars Express spacecraft currently orbiting Mars. Oddly, the region lies near the Martian equator and not near either of Mars' frozen polar caps.

The highest summer temperature at the Martian equator is 80 degrees.

This dust covered ice areas then are the simplest place for man to live on mars.

1. surface gravity ratio of 38% ........ok as is

2. Atmosphere of Mars 1% earth ....needs something like clear plastic dome to hold normal earth pressure.

3. water can be mined from the ice at the poles or dust cover ice plates.

4. The length of the mars day is 30 minutes longer than on earth.........ok as is

5. There are 668 Martian days in a Martian year.........ok as is

6. The only significant weather phenomena on Mars are dust storms and strong winds. These dust storms can obscure the sun for very long periods of time, sometimes exceeding several weeks.

7. Not much sunlight. We need to concentrate it for our use.

One of the inventions that need to be made is some sort of simple mars dome building material. We need many pressurized green houses.

1. Ice is a natural, but I suspect it would melt when we did not want it to.

2. a glass factory could maybe be brought along, thus the dome could be made of glass.

Note: maybe a dome is too complicated. Maybe something like a log cabin. The southern wall is the only one that will be in sunlight, thus all the other walls can be built of adobe. Or local stone. I suspect that the temperature of anything in the shade at the mars arctic circle will be colder than the freezing point of water

We then could live underground. In natural caves if we could find some or man made dug outs sealed with air locks. On the other hand the log cabin with a window and an air lock may be the way to go. The sun will be much dimmer since we are farther from the sun. We may wish to build our rock cabins right next to the polar ice cap. That way any excess heat would do us a good service... make us some more water.

If we could locate some native stone that was transparent. These glass bricks would make a perfect building material for the south wall. Otherwise a glass brick factory would be perfect. A very small simple product. No very high standards of purity necessary.

If we did our homework right. All we would need to bring along would be lots of solar reflectors and a bunch of stone working tools. With the solar reflectors we could make enough heat to make glass bricks.

Now we need a dirt simple air lock.

I can think of a design that would work good for a large cave. Pick a narrow point in the cave and build a wall down from the roof that extends down to about 4 feet above the floor. Now build two wall up from the floor five feet on each side of the first wall and 6 feet high. Give these two walls steps on both sides. Now fill the space between these two walls with water. You now have an air lock. One problem with this design is that since the water surface on the mars atmosphere side of the wall is exposed to the low pressure of the mars atmosphere it will tend to evaporate very quickly. Thus there needs to be a tight stone flap at the surface level of the outside water. I think a large stone almost perfectly center balanced would do the trick. Thus to come out you dive under the roof wall then stand up under the balanced rock cover. Walk up the steps and close the cover. I suspect we would design this cover to rotate up away from the steps. And balanced to close itself. Then to go in you open this cover and dive under the wall.

Skylight for our cave.

Mars is cold and dry. I like the idea of cave living.