Re: Planetary bases (was Re: Fish in Space)

From: Spike Jones (
Date: Mon Jan 08 2001 - 22:01:46 MST

> Spike Jones wrote:
> > Its too bad, for otherwise we could set up a station on Mercury's
> > constant dawn, and have unlimited access to a big heat source
> > and a big cold source.
> Jeff Davis wrote: The same basing
> opportunity still exists, but now it's limited to an area around the poles.

Right! Too bad its such a small area. Be that as it may, we might be able
to enlarge it by putting together the biggest nuke we can and kerBLAMing
ourselves a big crater at each pole. Of course we would want to first
mine and store elsewhere all the precious water that might be in the
ever-dark craters near the poles.

> Obliquity (tilt of axis in degrees)..................0
> ...
> Note that the tilt of the axis is zero degrees. (I interpret this to mean
> that the axis is perpendicular to the plane of the orbit. Is that right?)


> This would mean that the incident angle of sunlight is constant at any
> given lattitude. Logically, the temperature extremes shown above should be
> moderated as one moves toward the poles.

Yup. But to get anything like a humanable habitat, we need a crater
or canyon or trench near the pole so that direct sunlight never comes
in to spoil the fun. One thing Ive often wondered about is how hot
is the soil near the poles? If it is cool enough to move with equipment
similar to what we use on this rock, then we could make a base.
Otherwise we still have the nukes, and that even has a green angle
to it: see how we remove all these nukes from the green earth? etc.

> I found temperature and pressure profiles of the Venusian atmosphere.
> Check out the graphs.
> Right around 50 km altitude, temperature and pressure are around 300K and 1
> atm, perfect for human life. ...a dirigible or geodesic sphere works fine, with
> the
> entire interior space habitable.

But we need to figure out how to stay in the shady side, since the solar flux
at Venus would be about thrice what it is here. Owwww. {8-[ Since Venus
rotates, our balloon would need to really haul to stay on the night side.

> Anyone know the absorbtion characteristics of H2SO4?)

The web knows. It knows everything. The web is god.

> Winds at the top of the atmosphere are pretty fierce, 350 km/hr, but below the
> clouds they're mild.

We might be able to take advantage of those winds to keep our
dirigible on the night side.

> Any chemists want to comment on the potential for energy extraction
> using sulphuric acid and carbon dioxide?

No reaction possible there. Carbon dioxide is stable as all get out.
For practical purposes it is already in a ground state as is molecular
nitrogen. Now if we could get some flourine...

> In any event, it seems there are
> abundant supplies of C, H, O, and S.

There is nitrogen too. Thats important.

> Or perhaps you could actually have a base on the surface. With a floating
> component tethered to it, you could extract energy from the thermal gradient.

Great stuff Jeff! spike

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