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Tunnels For Mars

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Skotty, Feb 2, 2017.

  1. Skotty

    Skotty 2014 Model S P85

    Jun 27, 2013
    Kansas City, MO
    I'm always kind of watching to see if things Musk works on are applicable on Mars. I'm curious if the things he does always have this in mind. Seems to me, the tunnels thing fits this narrative. New high-tech tunneling technology could be quite useful on Mars.

    Other things useful on Mars -- solar power, batteries, electric vehicles, propulsively landed reusable rockets, new space suits, satellite networks for communications (the Internet satellites thing), vertically integrated manufacturing, self driving technology and sensor suites, low pressure tube transport, and now...tunnels.
    • Like x 2
  2. mgdurand

    mgdurand Member

    Jan 19, 2014
    Glendale, AZ
    Absolutely, there's a lot of thinking on subterranean habitats on Mars as being safe, energy efficient and economical. If the Boring Company is able to develop superior boring machines - fast, light and autonomously operated - then they would be ideally adapted to creating habitat on Mars. Some ideas coming to mind which could create a light robotic rock borer, are water jet cutting, steam fracturing and percussive rock priming in a combination with scraping removal, and a trailing material remover.

    Efficient tunneling is super-unexploited and could open up a lot of possibilities here at home as well as on rocky planets. Google tunnel boring machines, and you can see how old-tech they are, lots of room for improvement.
  3. JHuberman

    JHuberman Member

    Dec 28, 2016
    Lots of unforeseeable situations. Hard stuff, soft stuff, hard stuff suspended in softer material, gas pockets, water. One size does not fit all. I don't think there will be autonomous drilling equipment for a long time.
  4. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

    Sep 21, 2013
    San Mateo, CA
    I have thought the same thing. Everything Elon is involved with outside of SpaceX has direct applications on Mars.

    Solar panels will certainly be a major power source, if not the primary power source.

    Batteries and battery temperature management systems will be critical.

    Vehicles will obviously be electric, and self driving capability would be useful.

    Planetary communications will obviously be done through an orbiting fleet of satellites. Laying fiber optic cable on Mars makes no sense, but the communications satellites can be built on earth and deployed around Mars without requiring any effort by Martian inhabitants.

    Most habitats will be subsurface, so efficiently boring tunnels would be very useful.

    Efficient vertically integrated manufacturing will be essential to make the Mars colony self-sustaining.

    Many people recognize and applaud what SpaceX has accomplished, but most people don't see the big picture and how all of Elon's enterprises relate to his ambitions on Mars.

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