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wave_327 t1_j2dfitl wrote

someone saw that kurzgesagt video on how to terraform Mars with lasers


athomasflynn t1_j2dqoeh wrote

Lasers and microwaves are both pretty inefficent for this. A few dozen heliostats could easily melt regolith from lunar orbit. Focusing a hundred square meters of reflected sunlight on a single square meter will melt a diamond when there's no atmosphere to attenuate the energy.


driverofracecars t1_j2e6jvb wrote

Does diamond melt? I know in the presence of high temperature oxygen, diamond will burn but idk what it does in a vacuum.


athomasflynn t1_j2e7qv7 wrote

I actually have no idea. I have some experience with allotropes of carbon at high temperature but that was also at high pressure in a fluid environment. I have no idea what would happen in a vacuum but that wasn't really the point I was making.

Not a lot can stand up to unfiltered solar power when it's concentrated 1000 to 1. The energy is free, they'd only need propellant to set and maintain the orientation of the mirrors. With enough of them they could probably cut a tunnel straight down.


MyTurntableAccount t1_j2eexuk wrote

That would be so damn cool.


athomasflynn t1_j2egtpu wrote

I completely agree. I thought about it for the first time 5 or 6 years ago when they were talking about 3D printing habs. I had a giant 3D printer (100x100x150cm) that I would run nylon through and it used more power than the rest of the building it was in. I couldn't see the practicality of 3D printing with local materials in an environment where energy efficiency was key. It didn't make sense. But if the energy was essentially free, instead of 3D printing they could essentially build a solar powered CNC machine.

Living underground makes more sense anyway. They need all the radiation shielding that they can get. Put the water supply on the roof above the living spaces and they'd be even safer.

There's a reason Musk started his boring company.


greenmachine11235 t1_j2eimzz wrote

The benefits of 3d printing is you can take raw materials to orbit and create a structure that couldn't exist in 1g conditions with no or little waste. CNC milling creates lots of waste as shavings and chips that are hard to reform into usable materials.


athomasflynn t1_j2eks2s wrote

You're missing the point.

The RFP was for 3D printing ground based habitats. Nothing that NASA or the ESA has actually pushed forward in terms of habitats involved 3D printing in low g. The competitions that they actually spent money on were for surface structures.

We're not talking about an actual CNC. The "wasted material" you're talking about is vaporized lunar rock. There's plenty to go around and you get a couple orders of magnitude more volume for your energy input by cutting down into it rather than building up with it. And that's before you even run the math on radiation shielding. Nobody is living off Earth without several meters of mass between them and the outside for any length of time any time soon

I like 3D printing, I've spent half a million on it over the last 10 years or so, but it's overhyped and it gets dropped in as a magic solution for every problem these days.


off_the_cuff_mandate t1_j2fgh91 wrote

If they made a big enough tunnel the off gassing would effect the lunar orbit


athomasflynn t1_j2fhj9z wrote

That's so far beyond the capability of our species that it's not even worth discussion. It's like saying that if we built a big enough skyscraper we'd have to worry about it knocking down satellites.


Apokolypze t1_j2e77k8 wrote

Pretty sure everything melts if you get it hot enough


driverofracecars t1_j2e7ycf wrote

According to google, diamond in a vacuum, when heated high enough, sublimates straight to gaseous carbon. In order to liquify diamond, you need pressures nearly 100,000 times greater than atmospheric pressure at sea level AND lots of heat.


Jak03e t1_j2e78hl wrote

Then there's the logistics of getting so many microwaves up there. Important questions should be asked. Are we talking 900W, 1000W, or those big 1200W behemoths? Could this be a joint venture between NASA and GE? Will the microwaves be reusable once they hit the surface?


leo_the_lion6 t1_j2e8v5e wrote

The wattage doesn't matter as much as the sheer volume, the more you can ram into the moon at once the bigger dent it will make


Recoveringpig t1_j2eim88 wrote

The real trick is getting them all to work with the doors open


MrTrocket t1_j2fcg5j wrote

What about the ones that explode with tin foil and some draino in the movies 🎥


Reddit-runner t1_j2eprqn wrote

After reading the article it seems like hitting the regolith with concentrated solar light directly would reduce the equipment mass quite a bit.

Edit: grammar


Curious-of-Evrything t1_j2fikam wrote

They want to build on moon or want ancient buildings on moon?


Nickp000g t1_j2f48j2 wrote

If we add more mass to the moon….how would that affect us here on earth?


LLuerker t1_j2fpbek wrote

I can’t imagine a scenario where the mass we add isn’t extremely below negligible.


IglooCrusade t1_j2dvvi1 wrote

I don't get why interplanetary travel takes up so much of this subs time when it's nowhere near attainable or sustainable in any of our lifetimes.

Edit: people,.give me an ETA when we can blast the moon with microwaves.

Then tell me how long that will take to apply that tech to Mars.

Then laugh at yourselves, lmao.


WMVMW t1_j2dxx9f wrote

Feel free to submit your own posts.


IglooCrusade t1_j2ebsl7 wrote

But would they get any traction in between all these fluff pieces about travel that won't happen?


khanzarate t1_j2ec0z0 wrote

Sure won’t if you don’t post em.


IglooCrusade t1_j2ecabx wrote

So why post them when you guys are just going to jerk each other off about something else?


khanzarate t1_j2ecyao wrote

Well if you’re gonna be that bitter about it maybe you better just not, and jerk yourself off on how much of a waste of time it would’ve been, instead of actually trying.

Literally the only result of commenting how you wouldn’t waste your time here.


Jak03e t1_j2eheo9 wrote

Dude, you know you like...don't have to be here right?


electricblue187 t1_j2e20or wrote

It’s been attainable for 50 years. It’s a question of priorities. Specifically, human space exploration or ‘politics by other means’


IglooCrusade t1_j2ebogj wrote

50 years?

You're saying we could have landed on Mars in the 70s?


electricblue187 t1_j2en24d wrote

Humans landed on the moon in 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972 If we prioritized human space exploration over empty consumerism and pointless self destruction who knows what might’ve been accomplished since then?


arewemartiansyet t1_j2e27jp wrote

That's either incredibly pessimistic or uninformed unless you are betting on SpaceX completely disappearing. Even then there are other private launch providers will eventually develop the required hardware.


Apokolypze t1_j2e7csw wrote

He also apparently missed the 1960s in school. Given this article is talking about the moon, which we've already been to.


IglooCrusade t1_j2ebii9 wrote

You mean it talking about blasting the lunar surface with microwaves?

Did we do that in the 60s when we landed?


Apokolypze t1_j2ec60t wrote

I'm guessing at least some of the radiation given off by the eagle landers was microwave, but obviously the magnitude described in the article is hypothetical


IglooCrusade t1_j2edep9 wrote

No, they did not use microwaves to blast debris from underneath the lunar landers.


Apokolypze t1_j2ee7mg wrote

No shit, I was merely saying it probably gave off some microwave energy. Blasting the surface with microwaves to scienmagically make a landing pad is hypothetical.


IglooCrusade t1_j2eblar wrote


Uh, yeah of course. But while you're alive, they won't be running supply missions to Mars, no.


fencethe900th t1_j2fmdfu wrote

You are incredibly pessimistic, considering you've assumedly lived through SpaceX's increase in performance over the last half decade.


Spank86 t1_j2es4o8 wrote

30 seconds.

I've shoved a stick in the bit that makes mine think the doors closed and ive got it on the windowsill turned on, juat got to line the bugger up. Eyeballing it should be fine, the moons pretty big.


slickbandito69 t1_j2e6cil wrote

Its certaintly unsuatainable, which is the argument nobody's talking about here.


IglooCrusade t1_j2ebxb8 wrote

No, just blasting the lunar surface with microwaves for no good reason, lmao.