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Does anyone else think that really the ultimate goal of the boring company is to create the first long term habitable buildings on mars? In order to protect the early setlers from solar radiation they need to go down about 100 meters below the surface of the planet. Not only that but in the companies published FAQ it states that they also plan to use all that dug up dirt to make bricks for the tunnel with plenty left over for resale. On mars those bricks would come in real handy in constructing buildings and other city structures. Far easier to make your construction materials onsite than to fly everything there on a rocket. Thoughts?
 

AudubonB

One can NOT induce accuracy with precision!
Moderator
Mar 24, 2013
9,347
42,855
Yes, this is what I have been propositioning since the inception of the Boring Company. It absolutely is the most appropriate use of Mr Musk's focus and energies. Prove it and improve it on Earth; then make proper use of it on Mars.

Your "brick" idea...I'm not so sold on.
First, a hard-fired brick takes energy - will that be the most appropriate expenditure of energy on Mars?
Second, only certain mineral combinations are suitable for brickmaking - by no means necessarily to be found where tunnels are desired on Mars.
Third, to the extent that subareolian (I really had to reach to create the Martian equivalent of "subterranean"!!!!) habitation will prevail until the surface is terraformed - likely a few centuries at least - I'm doubtful of the necessity for a large number of brick-like building modules.

I think the most efficient use of a Mars borer will occur where extant lava tubes - and we know those exist on Mars - need be augmented, accessed, combined, de-collapsed and otherwise enhanced.
 

Bobfitz1

Active Member
Supporting Member
Sep 24, 2012
1,236
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Ludlow, Vt
Does anyone else think that really the ultimate goal of the boring company is to create the first long term habitable buildings on mars? In order to protect the early setlers from solar radiation they need to go down about 100 meters below the surface of the planet. Thoughts?

What is your source for claiming Mars colonists would need to live 100 meters below surface to be sufficiently protected from solar radiation?
 

JRP3

Hyperactive Member
Aug 20, 2007
23,937
67,251
Central New York
Radiation on Mars
Mars's surface receives more radiation than the Earth's but still blocks a considerable amount. Radiation exposure on the surface is 30 µSv per hour during solar minimum; during solar maximum, dosage equivalent of this exposure is reduced by the factor two (2).
If the settlers spend on average three hours every three days outside the habitat, their individual exposure adds up to 11 mSv per year.
The Mars One habitat will be covered by several meters of soil, which provides reliable shielding even against galactic cosmic rays. Five meters of soil will provide the same protection as the Earth's atmosphere-- equivalent to 1,000 g/cm2 of shielding.

How much radiation will the settlers be exposed to? - Health and Ethics - Mars One
 

Skotty

2014 S P85 | 2020 3 P19"
Jun 27, 2013
2,589
2,059
Kansas City, MO
I periodically speculate about how much intent there is behind Elon's ideas being applicable on Mars. It probably varies depending on the concept. Some possibly just coincidental. But you can make a convincing list of things that have come out of Elon's brain that would seem to be useful or applicable to a Mars colony.

Lets see how many I can remember...

1) Reusable rockets with propulsive landing (this one is pretty obvious)
2) Electric cars. They will work just fine on Mars.
3) Solar power. Not as good as on Earth, but will work on Mars. And if using solar on Mars, you need battery systems too.
4) Automated vertically integrated factories. Might need this type of concept for a real Mars colony.
5) Internet satellite network. This could be a great way to give Mars Internet service, or at least planetwide communications of some sort.
6) Automated tunnel boring machines. Useful for making usable spaces on Mars that provide some measure of protection.
6b) What's the diameter of that tunnel boring machine? What diameter has Elon been suggesting for tunnels? Was it 14ft? A quick Google shows the diameter of a Falcon 9 is 12ft, but the payload fairing is a little bigger. Seems like the tunnel borer might fit.
7) Self driving technology? At the very least, the sensor suite would be great for remote machinery operation.
8) Space suits? I know SpaceX was working on some. What happened with that? Seems like they were designing a much more refined suit over current models, probably with better mobility. That would come in pretty handy on Mars.
9) 3D printing? SpaceX has been doing more with this than most I think. Potentially very useful to a Mars colony.

Did I forget anything?
 
I periodically speculate about how much intent there is behind Elon's ideas being applicable on Mars. It probably varies depending on the concept. Some possibly just coincidental. But you can make a convincing list of things that have come out of Elon's brain that would seem to be useful or applicable to a Mars colony.

Lets see how many I can remember...

1) Reusable rockets with propulsive landing (this one is pretty obvious)
2) Electric cars. They will work just fine on Mars.
3) Solar power. Not as good as on Earth, but will work on Mars. And if using solar on Mars, you need battery systems too.
4) Automated vertically integrated factories. Might need this type of concept for a real Mars colony.
5) Internet satellite network. This could be a great way to give Mars Internet service, or at least planetwide communications of some sort.
6) Automated tunnel boring machines. Useful for making usable spaces on Mars that provide some measure of protection.
6b) What's the diameter of that tunnel boring machine? What diameter has Elon been suggesting for tunnels? Was it 14ft? A quick Google shows the diameter of a Falcon 9 is 12ft, but the payload fairing is a little bigger. Seems like the tunnel borer might fit.
7) Self driving technology? At the very least, the sensor suite would be great for remote machinery operation.
8) Space suits? I know SpaceX was working on some. What happened with that? Seems like they were designing a much more refined suit over current models, probably with better mobility. That would come in pretty handy on Mars.
9) 3D printing? SpaceX has been doing more with this than most I think. Potentially very useful to a Mars colony.

Did I forget anything?

6b) It would need to be an ITS ship. Even if the boring machine could fit in an F9 fairing there would be no way to land it on the surface of mars. For that you would need a much larger ship like the ITS.

I would put batteries as it's own line. Mars is going to need lots of batteries.

Lastly, I think "4" is going to be so important in creating all the infrastructure Mars will need. There just won't be enough people to do all the work otherwise. Smallish mobile turnkey factories versatile enough to manufacture multiple types of things.
 
Last edited:

ecarfan

Well-Known Member
Moderator
Yes, this has been discussed on TMC before, and I also have pointed out that basically everything Elon has been engaged in on Earth for the past 15 years is related to his Mars plans in some way. You've created a good list.
I periodically speculate about how much intent there is behind Elon's ideas being applicable on Mars. It probably varies depending on the concept. Some possibly just coincidental. But you can make a convincing list of things that have come out of Elon's brain that would seem to be useful or applicable to a Mars colony.

Lets see how many I can remember...

1) Reusable rockets with propulsive landing (this one is pretty obvious)
2) Electric cars. They will work just fine on Mars.
3) Solar power. Not as good as on Earth, but will work on Mars. And if using solar on Mars, you need battery systems too.
4) Automated vertically integrated factories. Might need this type of concept for a real Mars colony.
5) Internet satellite network. This could be a great way to give Mars Internet service, or at least planetwide communications of some sort.
6) Automated tunnel boring machines. Useful for making usable spaces on Mars that provide some measure of protection.
6b) What's the diameter of that tunnel boring machine? What diameter has Elon been suggesting for tunnels? Was it 14ft? A quick Google shows the diameter of a Falcon 9 is 12ft, but the payload fairing is a little bigger. Seems like the tunnel borer might fit.
7) Self driving technology? At the very least, the sensor suite would be great for remote machinery operation.
8) Space suits? I know SpaceX was working on some. What happened with that? Seems like they were designing a much more refined suit over current models, probably with better mobility. That would come in pretty handy on Mars.
9) 3D printing? SpaceX has been doing more with this than most I think. Potentially very useful to a Mars colony.

Did I forget anything?
 

ecarfan

Well-Known Member
Moderator
In order to protect the early setlers from solar radiation they need to go down about 100 meters below the surface of the planet.
According to this source (which I am not saying is the best source) How much radiation will the settlers be exposed to? - Health and Ethics - Mars One QUOTE: "Five meters of [Martian] soil will provide the same protection as the Earth's atmosphere-- equivalent to 1,000 g/cm2 of shielding."

Here is another source, possibly more definitive Journal of Cosmology QUOTE: "From these authors, we see that attenuation to very low levels has occurred by the 3 to 4 meter depth. These models are mostly using "soil", i.e. unconsolidated regolith, as the crustal material. Rock materials may have greater ability than regolith to attenuate radiation in some cases."

Your "100 meters" ballpark estimate is almost certainly far too high. But a significant layer of soil will be required.
 

Grendal

SpaceX Moderator
Moderator
Jan 31, 2012
6,887
9,760
Santa Fe, New Mexico
I periodically speculate about how much intent there is behind Elon's ideas being applicable on Mars. It probably varies depending on the concept. Some possibly just coincidental. But you can make a convincing list of things that have come out of Elon's brain that would seem to be useful or applicable to a Mars colony.

Lets see how many I can remember...

1) Reusable rockets with propulsive landing (this one is pretty obvious)
2) Electric cars. They will work just fine on Mars.
3) Solar power. Not as good as on Earth, but will work on Mars. And if using solar on Mars, you need battery systems too.
4) Automated vertically integrated factories. Might need this type of concept for a real Mars colony.
5) Internet satellite network. This could be a great way to give Mars Internet service, or at least planetwide communications of some sort.
6) Automated tunnel boring machines. Useful for making usable spaces on Mars that provide some measure of protection.
6b) What's the diameter of that tunnel boring machine? What diameter has Elon been suggesting for tunnels? Was it 14ft? A quick Google shows the diameter of a Falcon 9 is 12ft, but the payload fairing is a little bigger. Seems like the tunnel borer might fit.
7) Self driving technology? At the very least, the sensor suite would be great for remote machinery operation.
8) Space suits? I know SpaceX was working on some. What happened with that? Seems like they were designing a much more refined suit over current models, probably with better mobility. That would come in pretty handy on Mars.
9) 3D printing? SpaceX has been doing more with this than most I think. Potentially very useful to a Mars colony.

Did I forget anything?

6b) Elon mentioned during the TED conference that his boring machine is 12 feet and that diameter allows for the best balance of speed and efficiency. That coincidentally is the same diameter as a Falcon 9. The Falcon 9 diameter was derived because that is the largest size width that can be legally driven by trucks on the highway. It is an important part of the reason that a SpaceX Falcon 9 can be as inexpensive as it is.

8) SpaceX has designed space suits. They are much more versatile and refined, however they are not EVA spacesuits. I am pretty sure that Mars suits would need to be designed for that environment. The current suits (which have never been seen) are for the Dragon 2 capsule and travelling to and from the ISS and maybe a flight around the Moon.
 

bonnie

I play a nice person on twitter.
Feb 6, 2011
16,429
9,937
Columbia River Gorge
So much goodness in this thread - from connecting Kimbal's work & Boring tunnels and Audie's new 'subareolian' terminology. Props to @sjoshuaj for starting it.

Screen Shot 2017-05-18 at 5.57.49 PM.png
 

Topher

Energy Curmudgeon
Apr 7, 2016
1,406
1,285
Maine
Your "100 meters" ballpark estimate is almost certainly far too high. But a significant layer of soil will be required.

It might make sense to go that deep if required to find solid material. Digging a tunnel in sand requires another material to make it rigid. Most options would require lots of energy. Once you dig the entrance, it doesn't make any difference how deep you are tunneling.

Thank you kindly.
 

ItsNotAboutTheMoney

Well-Known Member
Jul 12, 2012
12,680
11,457
Maine
According to this source (which I am not saying is the best source) How much radiation will the settlers be exposed to? - Health and Ethics - Mars One QUOTE: "Five meters of [Martian] soil will provide the same protection as the Earth's atmosphere-- equivalent to 1,000 g/cm2 of shielding."

Here is another source, possibly more definitive Journal of Cosmology QUOTE: "From these authors, we see that attenuation to very low levels has occurred by the 3 to 4 meter depth. These models are mostly using "soil", i.e. unconsolidated regolith, as the crustal material. Rock materials may have greater ability than regolith to attenuate radiation in some cases."

Your "100 meters" ballpark estimate is almost certainly far too high. But a significant layer of soil will be required.

Well, you need the protection but then you also need space for stuff. Humans will still have to walk on the floor ...
 
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ItsNotAboutTheMoney

Well-Known Member
Jul 12, 2012
12,680
11,457
Maine
I periodically speculate about how much intent there is behind Elon's ideas being applicable on Mars. It probably varies depending on the concept. Some possibly just coincidental. But you can make a convincing list of things that have come out of Elon's brain that would seem to be useful or applicable to a Mars colony.

Lets see how many I can remember...

1) Reusable rockets with propulsive landing (this one is pretty obvious)
2) Electric cars. They will work just fine on Mars.
3) Solar power. Not as good as on Earth, but will work on Mars. And if using solar on Mars, you need battery systems too.
4) Automated vertically integrated factories. Might need this type of concept for a real Mars colony.
5) Internet satellite network. This could be a great way to give Mars Internet service, or at least planetwide communications of some sort.
6) Automated tunnel boring machines. Useful for making usable spaces on Mars that provide some measure of protection.
6b) What's the diameter of that tunnel boring machine? What diameter has Elon been suggesting for tunnels? Was it 14ft? A quick Google shows the diameter of a Falcon 9 is 12ft, but the payload fairing is a little bigger. Seems like the tunnel borer might fit.
7) Self driving technology? At the very least, the sensor suite would be great for remote machinery operation.
8) Space suits? I know SpaceX was working on some. What happened with that? Seems like they were designing a much more refined suit over current models, probably with better mobility. That would come in pretty handy on Mars.
9) 3D printing? SpaceX has been doing more with this than most I think. Potentially very useful to a Mars colony.

Did I forget anything?

OK, yes, he could just be doing everything he needs to be Emperor of Mars, but it just so happens that if you can do Mars, you can do Earth _really_ easily.
 
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