Author Topic: Phobos base - idea  (Read 3016 times)

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Phobos base - idea
« on: July 22, 2010, 09:36:45 PM »

Phobos base
Base "Guliver" as a main base for "Mars Colony" exploration.

As you play MCO you surely looked in the sky and see that strange potato-like moon.

That is of course: Phobos.

Here you can see Phobos in 3-D:

First of all - this idea isn't new. It was long suggested that if ever people were to create wide-scale Mars exploration, they would need a main, support, orbiting base.
Everyone agreed that it's pointless to build an orbital base like ISS around Mars, when ther's Phobos - a Moon soo close to Mars, that it orbits him in only 4 hours 15 minutes! (Luna oribits Earth in about 31 days). To create a base on Phobos would cost only a fraction of a fraction of building an orbital base around Mars. Even better - becouse of the low gravity, creating a base on Phobos would be less expensive (and dangerous!) than on Mars surface itself. Phobos sound like an ideal place for starting wide-scale Mars exploration. It's primary function would be to enable efficient material transfer (trading post) between Earth and Mars, aswell as base to base.

Some technical details:
Dimensions    26.8 22.4 18.4 km (11.4 mi)
Surface area    ~6,100 km2
Escape velocity    11.3 m/s (40 km/h)
Special features: Phobos monolith (---> )
Special missions: "Phobos-Grunt" (Start in 2011). Bring back rock sample and data helpfoul for future Mars colonization (---> )
View: Mars seen from Phobos is very big and is about 1/4 sky.
Surface: Moon-like dark regolith.
Resources: lots of carbon and propably large quantities of ice-water in the craters.

Why the name "Guliver base"? Becouse all of the Phobos craters have names from "The Adventures of Gulliver".

This next part of the post is dedicated to how I see Phobos base in MCO.

1-st function: training camp, and start area.
When a new player registers to the game and starts playing he will respawn inside the Phobos base.
Immidiately after start he will see above him Mars in full wiev upon the glass of the habitat.
He will walk inside to the training room.
There he will learn to use items, MCO terminology and basic functions - that way, when he starts playing for real, he will know more or less what to do.
A good way for a training is to put a big screen on the center of the room, that plays constantly tutorial films - possibly even from our own gamaplay [i just wanted to add that the films about MCO founded on Youtube are very good, and could be such a training videos. Good work guys :-) ]
He can then go and tour the base and beyond. He could go and see the Phobos Monolith, the Earth : Mars transfer ship, look at mars etc..
When he will be ready, he can go to the space-dock, where he enters ERV ship.
Thats when he needs to decide if he want's to start his own base, or join someone else base as a crewman.
He can select the landing site too (polar regions for instance, have lot's of water, but low temperatures, and low on solar power etc.).
Thats when he starts to play Mars Colony.

2-nd function: gather resources mined from Mars, and send them to Earth.
When a base finds a mineral deposit they mine it using Augar, and then refine it using Ore Processor. The refined goods can be stored inside the base. Some of them can be processed futher, like iron can be changed to steel, or water into hydrogen and oxygen (etc.). One resource can be more valuable then to other. For instance: iron is very common on Mars so it's cheap to sell, when german and gold are very rare and expensive.  When the base commander decides that your crew mined enough, he contacts Phobos base for shuttle to come and pick the goods up. Calling the shuttle will cost much, so the base commander needs to decide, when it is viable (for instance: calling a shoutle, when you don't have enough minerals to fill the shoutle full, is just a waste of time and money). The shoutle can only carry limited weight. In other words: you can send to the Phobos base only as much as you can put inside the cargo-box (for instance: only 2 tons of processed material). The shuttle have a 1-day (in-game) delay from sending a request to shuttle landing. 

Possible mars-lander looks:


3-rd function: Selling equipement and resources to mars bases.
It may happen that a base lacks some minerals (like water for drinking, oxygen for breathing, hydrogen for propelant etc.) or needs some equipement like, more drills, gpr units, another rover, augar for better mining etc..
When that happens, the base commander contacts the Phobos base and sees if they have in stock the thing that they need. If they have it, you can order it, and it will be delivered to you next day (in-game) by the same shuttle that you used to send resources to Phobos base. Besides the prise of the item/resource you buy, you also pay for the shuttle trip.

* A TIP: thats why it would be wise to use the same shuttle that brought you equipement to load it with minerals, while it's here *

If Phobos base doesn't own that kind of equipement right now, you will have to wait for next transport from Earth to Phobos base.
On Phobos base there is always 1 big transfer ship, that stations there. It gathers all the resources send to it by the Mars bases. An automatic transfer ship from Earth to Mars (and vice versa) that uses VASIMIR rockets, can reach its destination in 40 days (see ---> ). That means that every 40 days (in-game), there will be another transfer ship that complements Phobos base stocks. When that happens, this is the best moment to buy what you need from Phobos base (and you should do it quickly, before other base commandors buys what you need). When one transfer ship leaves mars to sell Earth your goods, another comes with supplies.

4-th function: Conducting advanced scientific studies, and gather data aquired from Mars surface base.
Scientific studies haven't been implemented yet in MCO, but basicly it's like this:
-if you find life on mars, you test it on the surface with basic instruments. When you are done (you tested everything you could) you take the life-sample and deliver it inside sterile conteiner to the Shuttle. The Shuttle takes the sample to Phobos base where advanced studies takes place. Then it's possibly send to Earth.
-if you gathered some uniqe rock/ground samples you can send them on the shuttle aswell (as a reminder - in demo you were supposed to find 4 uniqe grounds samples. One contained water, one berylium, etc.).
-If by any chance you find some strange artifact (very strange rock, a part of some unknown equipement, "zeus-like" rover, metheorological baloon, etc.) you can send it too.
-when you spot a mineral deposit with GPR, that information is stored inside base main computer. You can send that information to Phobos base. You can't send the information twice about the same thing.
-when you made a lot of LIBS test, you can send their resoults to Phobos base.

Additional informations:
The transfer ship is connected with Phobos by a space elevator (only a couple hundret meters long). The space elevator/transfer ship are located on he other side of the Phobos than the Phobos base. If someone wants to see it, they need to walk, or use rover to get there. The transfer ship is big enough to be seen near Phobos from Mars surface using binaculars.

There should be a special communication antena at the COHAB that enables connection with the Phobos base. If it was dammaged (like durring dust storm, radiation storm, or electrical-static-discharge) you then would not be able to communicate with that base, thus - not beying able to call shuttle.

Phobos could be ONE BIG MAP (about 20 times(?) as big as those we test on now). This is a reely small moon (26.8 22.4 18.4 km). Player would be able to walk in a straight line, and return to the point from where he started.

Poland here. My time: GMT + 1h
Writing a book about Mars. Any ideas? Type to me.
I'am an Astrobiology/Biology student.


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Re: Phobos base - idea
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2010, 10:16:19 PM »
I don't know why but I have a strange urge to make this base and add some rocket bo0sters and de-orbit the moon making it smash into mars.....


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Re: Phobos base - idea
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2010, 10:05:33 AM »
All I an say is wow Marco. Its nice to see the effort you put into the research- love the ideas


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Re: Phobos base - idea
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2010, 03:05:21 PM »
nice post Marco, again from you  ;)


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Re: Phobos base - idea
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2010, 05:34:03 PM »
this looks like it would be awesome and good information.