Octavio Lizana S posted in the group Settlement Design
I would like to know your opinion 🙂
Excellent point, been thinking a lot about this.
TL:DR currently I’m in favour of smaller domes short term, one big dome long term.
My thinking is currently as follows: the stress on a habitat wall increases as the cross sectional area of the dome (hence with square of radius) and the thickness must increase linearly to counter it. Since the surface area of dome goes as your dome radius squared you then have the volume of dome material going as r cubed and the habitat volume going as r cubed at the same time. This means a set volume of dome material buys you a set volume of interior space. For example, by my math some 5 kg PET plastic can hold 1 cubic metre of air (at 1 atmosphere pressure with the PET loaded at 50 MPa (lots of plastic needed). No matter how it’s arranged, 1,000 cubic metres of interior atmosphere thus requires 5 tonnes PET to make. A big dome has a lot of volume not being used. We can’t afford to spare the material for that sort of thing in the short term so we don’t have much of a choice but to go for lots of smaller domes, making use of every cubic metre we have. In the long run though, once we get an economy up and running, I think big interior spaces are necessary if we’re going to make Mars attractive enough for people to move there in large numbers. Particularly of importance are the non-astronaut intellectual types who can make Mars rich but who (like myself) aren’t quite as happy risking their lives or working in high stress/unpleasant environments as those pioneers needed to get things going at the early stages. There’s blatantly a lot of room for creativity here though regarding settlement design, I’ve yet to get any great insights on how to do it. What are your thoughts?
Individual dwellings like MARSHA mean that you have to get in a space suit or special pressurized vehicle just to leave the “house”. That would lead to a lack of community cohesion, feelings of isolation & confinement, and depression. We are all familiar with that this year–COVID19 has produced a wealth of valuable data on people coping with isolation. One of the things that keeps people’s sanity during the pandemic is the hope & belief that it will all end soon and go back to normal. That hope won’t be there with isolation habitats on Mars.
Communities of people–hundreds or thousands of people in size–under a common environment envelope such as a translucent “roof” structure over a fossa linear canyon would provide the ability to freely walk around a community and “get to know the neighbors”, building a stronger community and providing a wealth of opportunities to socialize in ways that MARSHA dwellers couldn’t dream of.
very true every ton of materials to build withtakes away from other things that we need on Mars. One way to save on some things its to make as much as we can from Mars its self. Power is limited if going with just a solar battery system and getting others to want to sent a nuclear reactor even in the 10W size means we would want more than 1 per site to make sure that we have a backup to make use of.