Mars: The Second Mission

After the discovery of liquid water below the surface, the plans for mission 2 have begun. The first mission also found the Zeus rover and retreived the information from the data recorder. There are 20 or so sub surface echoes that need to be explored some distance away from the landing site. We will need to send a 2 man rover to explore these deposits. We will need to set up a communications repeater tower on the hill to the west of the base to allow the command center to stay in touch with the rover crews. The most important function for mission 2 is to set up a greenhouse and grow food.

Now that we have access to liquid water we can stay planetside for an extended period of time. It is our hope that the rover crews find materials we can use to sustain the colony. We need to find material for fertalizer such as Phosphates, nitrates and potassium based chemicals. Everything we have or produce needs to be recycled. Unused plant material and waste products can be composted and used to treat the soil. The chemistry of the soils we find there will have to be modified to promote plant growth. The challenges we face to alter what we find to provide what we need will be difficult but I think we are up to the task.

Mission 2 will have a water scrubber to clean some of the contaminates that may be present. This scrubber will provide clean drinking water for the crew to drink and to water the plants in the greenhouse. The water scrubber will also be used to extract oxygen from the water for the crew and help balance the oxygen levels in the farm unit.

We learned from mission 1 that there are frequent storms on the surface. The solar panels only provide power during the calm. The wind speed tests we did in mission 1 tell us we can suplement the power requirements using wind turbine generators. These generators should meet or exceed the power requirements of the farm. The biggest issue will be heat for the plants. We can’t afford to let them freeze and die. Our earth bound testing provided us with hearty plants that can grow in cold temperatures and will require less power to maintain. The crew of mission 2 will have to monitor the farm constantly until we find the magic combination that will provide a sustainable source of food.

We will set up an algae growth system in this second mission. Algae will provide food, some medicines and a small oxygen supplement. Earth researchers have discovered that algae is not really a food but we can use it for food for fish that we may bring, grow and eat . There is alot of interesting research on algae and the crew of mission 2 will be busy.

The rover we send for mission 2 has been named Hercules. It is a small truck rover that will carry two passengers and cargo. It will be powered by a methane / oxygen turbine to charge the batteries with a Photo Voltaic panel for chargeing the batteries while out at the work sites. Hercules is equipped with emergency oxygen and can sustain the occupants during storms. We will need to take enough spare parts to keep it going until mission 3. The plans are set, the mission is a go.

2 thoughts on “Mars: The Second Mission

  1. Claude DAVID

    Hey ! Very interesting ! How will be this second mission avalaible to play too ? An extension to the demo ? A new demo ?

    I’m still grabbing ground samples, processing oxygen from water … I’m very happy to go each day on Mars for an hour. Storms add a very nice ambiant feeling to the sim. Thanks a lot for the job. I just downloaded the rover sim demo to try it, and start to “program” a rover for task. I read that it will be merged in the mars sim …. great !
    Really good sim. Beautiful dream with a very interesting scientific background.

    Claude

  2. Hyper

    There will probably be 3 missions in the demo then we will take a look at taking this to a commercial level if no one wants to invest in it.

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