A non-partisan, neutral perspective supporting diversity in the color of water

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Greywater Saves Martians

Huffington Post ran this great article - Water Could Shield Mars Bound Astronauts And Colonists From Harmful Radiation where greywater figured prominently.

Radiation is a larger concern for travelers to Mars than any other space pursuit we have taken on thus far. Radiation in space is dangerous because it can go right through the human body causing damage to cells or possibly even DNA. The Earth is protected from radiation by the magnetosphere, which is created by the Earth’s magnetic field.... 

...The space radiation environment will be a critical consideration for everything in the astronauts’ daily lives, both on the journeys between Earth and Mars and on the surface...

...anyone staying on the surface will be further exposed. Mars does not have the “huge magnetic bubble” the Earth does, so a Martian base would need to be shielded. Now that we are at a point when organizations such as SpaceX are expecting to send humans to Mars within 10 years, it is important that a radiation shielding system be developed...

And, now, greywater enters the picture as a “water jacket" or "water walls" - which consists of plastic bags of water that line the walls of crew quarters of a spacecraft  - where the water would serve as drinking water and when the Martian astronauts and colonists expelled their water waste, it would be reprocessed and replenish the reservoirs...as a closed system, so it will always stay full. Every drop of water is recycled.


Upon launch, the bags will be full of fresh water. Once used, the empty bags will be filled with grey water (human waste). The bags will then use osmosis to draw out and filter water. All the while, the water and waste will act as a radiation shield.

What would Mars look like once we inhabit the landscape? Check out the award winning MIT design called Redwood Forest.

Below the surface of the Red Planet, each dome in MIT’s Mars city concept branches out into “roots.” These intricate tunnel systems connect the domes and provide additional protection from surface threats. This design was chosen for both functional and symbolic reasons.

“On Mars, our city will physically and functionally mimic a forest, using local Martian resources such as ice and water, regolith or soil, and Sun to support life,” Sumini told MIT News. “Designing a forest also symbolizes the potential for outward growth as nature spreads across the Martian landscape. Each tree habitat incorporates a branching structural system and an inflated membrane enclosure, anchored by tunneling roots.”

* * * 
“Yes, of course duct tape works in a near-vacuum. 
Duct tape works anywhere. 
Duct tape is magic and should be worshiped.” 
~Author Andy Weir - The Martian

1 comment:

  1. Isn't it amazing that things that we consider to be so simple can do extraordinary things when used correctly. Water feels solid when you smack it yet we can move through it as if it was just dense air and now we are using it to protect our astronauts from harmful radiation. Make me think that we should take a much closer look at other things that we consider to be single use things, light, air, etc.

    Thanks for the great read.


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