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Humans could one day travel to Mars in SOLAR-POWERED spaceships

Future astronauts could survive on the surface of March thanks to solar-powered generators, after scientists find they are more energy-efficient than nuclear power.

The goal of humans stepping foot on Mars has been at the forefront of imagination and science fiction for decades – and it seems set to become a reality within 20 years.

A research team from the University of CaliforniaBerkeley examined energy output levels of various types of technology, discovering if a human expedition to the surface would be most efficient when powered by solar energy harvesting.

This is contrary to conventional wisdom, which suggested that the only realistic option for establishing a colony on the cold, barren surface of Mars was nuclear.

Large solar panels can generate electricity which can then be used to split water molecules to produce hydrogen, which can be used in fuel cells for power, and they can also use the hydrogen with nitrogen to produce ammonia fertilizers.

Study lead author Anthony Abel, said as well as the power supply, it is important to consider the human element of a Mars colony, including the prevalence of sexism and racism.

Future astronauts could survive on the surface of Mars by solar-powered generators, after scientists found them to be more energy-efficient than nuclear power plants

The concept of using multiarray solar panels to deliver power is not new – it is the source for some NASA Mars rovers, and the upcoming Psyche asteroid mission.

The team, including co-lead author, Aaron Berliner, a bio-engineering graduate student, decided to find the best source of power once and for all.

The calculations took into account the amount of equipment that had to be transported from Earth to the surface of Mars for a six-person mission.

Specifically, she quantified the requirements of a nuclear-powered system against various photovoltaic and even photoelectrochemical devices.

While the energy output of a miniaturized nuclear fission device is location-agnostic, meaning it does not matter where it is placed on Mars, the productivity of solar-powered solutions depends on solar intensity, surface temperature, and other factors that determine where ‘ t a non-nuclear outpost would be optimally located.

This required modeling and accounting for a number of factors, such as how gases and particles in the atmosphere could absorb and scatter light, which would affect how much solar radiation would reach the planet’s surface, the team explained.

They found that a photovoltaic array using compressed hydrogen for energy storage would be the ideal solution for a future Martian colony.

The goal of people stepping on Mars has been at the forefront of imagination and science fiction for decades - and it seems to be becoming a reality within 20 years.

The goal of people stepping on Mars has been at the forefront of imagination and science fiction for decades – and it seems to be becoming a reality within 20 years.

At the equator, what the team calls the ‘carrying mass’ of such a system is about 8.3 tons versus about 9.5 tons for nuclear power plants.

The solar-based system becomes less durable closer to the equator at more than 22 tons, but kills fission energy over approximately 50 percent of Mars’ surface.

MARCH: THE BASIS

Mars is the fourth planet from the sun, with a ‘near-dead’ dusty, cold, desert world with a very thin atmosphere.

Mars is also a dynamic planet with seasons, polar caps, canyons, extinct volcanoes, and evidence that it was still active in the past.

It is one of the most studied planets in the solar system and the only planet that humans have sent robbers to explore.

One day on Mars lasts a little over 24 hours and a year is 687 Earth days.

Facts and figures

Orbital period: 687 days

Surface: 144.8 million km²

Distance from Sun.: 227.9 million km

Gravity: 3,721 m / s²

Ray: 3,389.5 km

Months: Phobos, Deimos

“I think it’s nice that the result was split pretty close to the middle,” Berliner said. ‘Closer to the equator wins sun; closer to the poles, core profit. ‘

This type of system can use electricity to split water molecules, presumably present as molecules in Martian rocks, or as ice beneath the ground.

Once split, they can produce hydrogen, which can be stored in pressure vessels and re-electrified in fuel cells for power, even when the sun is not shining.

Other hydrogen applications include combining with nitrogen to produce ammonia for fertilizers – a common industrial-scale process easily used on Mars to help crops grow in greenhouse domes.

Other technologies, such as water electrolysis to produce hydrogen and hydrogen fuel cells, are less common on Earth, in large part due to cost, but possibly game-changing for human occupation of Mars.

“Compressed hydrogen energy storage also falls into this category,” noted Abel, a PhD student in chemical and biomolecular engineering at UC Berkeley.

“For non-scalable energy storage, it is not just being used, although that is expected to change in the coming decades,” he said, probably due to a shift to greener energy.

Both Abel and Berliner are members of the Center for the Use of Biological Engineering in Space (CUBES), a project that develops biotechnologies to support space exploration – including engineering microbes to make plastic from carbon dioxide and hydrogen – as pharmaceutical products of light and carbon dioxide.

For this new study, the couple set out to establish a baseline for the budget for electricity and hydrogen that would be needed for these space applications.

A research team from the University of California, Berkeley investigated energy output levels of various types of technology, discovering that a human expedition on the surface would be more efficient than powered by solar energy harvesting

A research team from the University of California, Berkeley investigated energy output levels of various types of technology, discovering that a human expedition on the surface would be more efficient than powered by solar energy harvesting

“Now that we have an idea of ​​how much power is available, we can begin to connect that availability to the biotechnologies in CUBES,” Berliner said.

‘The hope is eventually to develop a complete model of the system, including all the components, that we envisage as it helps in planning a mission to Mars, evaluating variations, identifying risks and the devise mitigation strategies before or during the mission. ‘

Beyond science and technology, Abel said it is important to consider the human element of space exploration as well, especially to leave human problems on Earth.

“To quote Chanda Prescod-Weinstein,” Abel said, “our problems travel with us into space,” he added. can tackle colonialism. ‘

Elon Musk, CEO and founder of SpaceX, wants an independent colony on Mars by 2050, with a fully functioning city. This would require thousands of massive Starship trips between Earth and Mars every two years for decades.

Studies have shown that this level of sustainability would require early settlers to survive on a vegan diet, and Musk says it will be harsh, harsh conditions.

The findings were published in the journal Frontiers in astronomy and space sciences.

NASA plans to send a manned mission to Mars in the 2030s after the first landing on the moon

Mars has become the next giant leap for the exploration of humanity from space.

But before humans reach the red planet, astronauts will take a series of small steps by returning to the moon for a one-year mission.

Details of the mission in the lunar orbit have been revealed as part of a timeline of events leading up to missions to Mars in the 2030s.

Nasa has outlined its four-stage plan (pictured) that it hopes people can one day visit Mars at the Humans to Mars Summit yesterday in Washington DC. This will bring multiple missions to the moon in the coming decades

Nasa has outlined its four-stage plan (pictured) that it hopes people can one day visit Mars at the Humans to Mars Summit yesterday in Washington DC. This will bring multiple missions to the moon in the coming decades

In May 2017, Greg Williams, Deputy Associate Administrator for Policy and Planning at Nasaoutlined the space agency’s four-stage plan that it hopes people can one day attempt to visit Mars, as well as the expected time frame.

Phase one and two will involve multiple trips to lunar space, to enable the construction of a habitat that will provide a staging area for the trip.

The last piece of hardware provided would be the actual Deep Space Transport car that would later be used to carry a crew to Mars.

And a year-long simulation of life on Mars will be performed in 2027.

Phase three and four will begin after 2030 and will involve continued crew expeditions to the Mars system and surface of Mars.

Humans could one day travel to Mars in SOLAR-POWERED spaceships Source link Humans could one day travel to Mars in SOLAR-POWERED spaceships

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