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Author Topic: Mars Colony - Still open to new players  (Read 16466 times)

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Online ChrystalTopic starter

Re: Mars Colony
« Reply #25 on: August 07, 2012, 05:26:20 AM »
Hi Dingo.

Post it here please.

Ugh! I need to do mine!

Offline Diingo

Re: Mars Colony
« Reply #26 on: August 07, 2012, 07:01:15 AM »
player: Diingo

Name: Daniel Storm
Nationality: Sweden
Gender: M
Sexuality: Straight
Age: 27

Job: Chef
Specific skills: Can make delicious food out of poor quality and quantity, former UN soldier, rationing

Height: 176 cm
Weight: 100 kg

Eye Colour: Brown
Hair colour: Brown

Distinguishing marks: Both upper arms tattoed and his chest tattoed.

Likes: Music, training, dancing, cooking
Dislikes: Arrogance, being told what to do, people interferring with his kitchen/work


Psych profile/personality: Daniel is a rather easy-going guy with a short temper. He can't stand being pushed around and is annoyed when people are loitering around his kitchen. Otherwise, he is your friendly chef.

History: Daniel was born in Sweden and when his father, an retired US Army officer, moved back to America after his wife (Daniel's mother) was killed in a car accident, Daniel followed. They moved to Alaska and Daniel was forged from the harsh landscape. With his father's recomendations, he enlisted and served in the UN forces, something his father disliked. After several incidents of insubordination, he was dishonorably discharged and left for home again.

Daniel didn't stay still for long though. He travelled across the world, his interest in cuisine driving him on and when the Mars expedition was announced, he applied. He figured not many "top chefs" would apply for something that would take them away from their safe surroundings and surely enough, not many did apply and even less remained when the conditions were announced. Daniel was picked for his big experience in different cuisines and his knowledge of what the body needs to stay healthy.

Other info: Anything else you think is relevant that I haven't put in.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2012, 02:17:05 PM by Diingo »

Online ChrystalTopic starter

Re: Mars Colony
« Reply #27 on: August 07, 2012, 08:38:46 AM »
Okay, I am a total BLONDE!

(Actually I am blonde, but that's not what I meant).

I said I opened this thread late at night before heading off on holiday.

Anyone who can spot what I didn't include in the character profile ... well I would have offered some sort of reward, but I just edited it in, so I'm afraid that's not going to happen.

Please will everyone who has submitted a character so far go back and add their character's age?

I'm really sorry about that...



Something was brought to my attention actually after I'd already noticed it and edited the solution into the initial post.

One of the precepts of the colony is that it be self-sustaining. Obviously this requires an increase in population. This has already been mentioned by Linna that the first native Martians are expected in ten to twelve months... What about the lesbians and gays?

Well, first off, there will be an incentive to have children, but it will NOT be mandatory.

Secondly, as I have described in the technological advances section in the first post, the technology exists for two women or two men to conceive a child between them. It requires what are by now routine gene-splicing techniques, an advance on the simple in vitro fertilisation techniques pioneered in the 1970s, and for male couples, a couple of routine surgical procedures.

DNA is taken from one parent and placed in a "blank" reproductive cell (sperm or ovum) of the opposite gender. These cells are then combined with the unmodified reproductive cells of the other parent. The fertilised ovum is then implanted into the womb of the "mother". In the case of male couples, this is a special pouch created surgically within the "mother's" body.

For male couples birth is always by caesarean section.



Another issue came out of this: Pay...

There is seriously not a lot of point in paying the colonists in money as there is nothing to buy. I hate to say this, but the idea of Communism rears it's ugly head... Ants have the perfect working Communist society. Every ant does everything "for the good of the colony". The idea that you work in order to receive a small round lump of metal or a small piece of paper with a promise printed on it, or worse yet, a fictional number in a file on a computer somewhere, is actually rather outmoded. We've all seen what happens when the people who own those computers get it wrong and start playing silly-buggers with the fictional numbers. We get a "global financial crisis"!

Seriously, the way to solve that would be to just type in a new number, set everyone's debt back to zero and start again! But of course that's not going to happen because the people who are owed the money  will loose out!

But enough politics....

Point being, Mars colony owes a hell of a lot of money to MarsCorp for transporting them there, but that money will be repaid over the years by "free" exports of iron ore, gold, and whatever else  the colonists are able to export.

The way I see this working is as follows (using arbitrary figures)

The Accountancy Bit
Mars Colony owes MarsCorp 100,000,000 credits (say).

Each colonist takes of the responsibility for a portion of that debt, so for example, the mission commander might owe 1,000,000 while the sanitation engineer might owe 10,000. Please note these are NOT exact figures. The actual amounts are not really important and would be based upon the colonists owning a number of shares in the colony, with each share being worth a fixed amount. The shares would be allocated by MarsCorp before the mission sets off, based on the individual's rank, experience, and value to the colony.

Each day of productive labour would be off-set against the individual's debt to MarsCorp at whatever rate of pay was set out for that individual's job.

Eventually, Mars Colony will be free of debt, and MarsCorp will start paying the colonists. By that time, the colony should be self sustaining, profitable, and there would actually be things to buy (I'm looking maybe five or ten years into the future).

Having a child effectively allows the parents to transfer up to one third each of their outstanding debt to the child, payments against which will be deferred until the child starts work at age 9 (Martian Years - one and a half Martian years = three earth years approx).

So, the financial incentive for having a children is that the burden of debt that Mars Colony owes MarsCorp is spread thinner.

NOTE: When the second wave of colonists arrive they will have their own burden of debt to pay off.

By the way, the Mission 2IC is the company representative. While he/she also has the same debt burden, he/she is the one responsible to MarsCorp for administering the debts and keeping track of who owes what.

And now I must get on and make the Mission Commander!

Online ChrystalTopic starter

Re: Mars Colony
« Reply #28 on: August 07, 2012, 09:27:52 AM »
Okay, so I was looking for a pic for Lieutenant Colonel Whats-her-name, and came across this...

http://www.viphairstyles.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Ginnifer-Goodwins-Layered-Short-Hairstyle.jpg
http://www.celebitchy.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/fp_6829632_rij_costume_designers_44_60.jpg

Ginnifer Goodwin.

It's pretty close, IMHO, to Blinkin's description of Laura Hicks. Perhaps she had her hair straightened for the pre-launch press conference?

With Blinkin's permission (as he can't see the pictures) I'm going to ask everyone to give the pic a mark out of 5 for how closely it matches the description, please?

Lt Col Dykebitch will follow, I promise...

Online Blinkin

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Re: Mars Colony
« Reply #29 on: August 07, 2012, 10:49:44 AM »
Ok, first things first... permission is given Bosth. (In my best latin midgit accent from Fantasy Island... De Plane Bosth! De Plane!) Go for it and we'll se what happens with the pick. Mentally, I think I was thinking about the not necessarily stylish doo of Ripley in Aliens, but I'm very adaptable. :)

If I may offer an alternative to the accounting system, as people like to think that they are getting something for their labors...

I do agree that paying off the debt is a viable option, but companies do the whole venture capital thing every day in an attempt to get a significant financial return. The underwriting of the mission should come under this heading more than charging volumteers a fee for going to what is in essence, an escape proof prison, 3 squares a day and hours of backbreaking work each day... and raising a family too. Admittedly, commodities will be sparce at first, but this factor is a limited duration problem as a self-sufficient colony also requires the ability to produce things such as new furniture, replacement (or new) vehicles, food and so on. At some point, these items become more than a necessity and become consumer products.

What I would propose instead is:

It's understood that "pay" for work in the first 3 to 5 years would be pointless. There IS nothing to really buy. Instead of all income going to paying off a debt however, 50% of the standard income go into an accrued account (with interest) and the remainder to defer the cost of the mission or future transport of goods. In 3 to 5 years, the colony should be able to produce goods for it's own use as well as export back to Earth, Luna or orbital facilities between them.  Eventually, there will be a need for non-essencial items and the colony, being self-sufficient will be able to produce consummer goods for the colony. At that time, the colonist will have something to draw upon to pay for said items, or even import some things. A 1 year wait isn't that long if you've waited 4 years to buy a basketball, right?

It also seems unproductive (wasteful expense) to send out ships to pick up the things that Mars Corp wants from Mars, so shipping out a smaller load of consumer goods also means that Mars Corp will be making some minimal profit off of the fuel and construction cost of the ships. This might be where some of the defered income might come into play. It will be, afteall, extremely more expensive to buy a basketball made on Luna than simply buying one on Luna. But, kind of like internet shopping now, a fairly reasonable cost for shipment could be useful... ($999.99 shipping and handling...)

At any rate, it opens up the potential for eventual returns for work done and sets up an eventual economic system that benefits both Mars Corp and the colony. If they want to throw in profit sharing in some small way (Say .01% per share)It's an added incentive.

Online ChrystalTopic starter

Re: Mars Colony
« Reply #30 on: August 07, 2012, 11:28:58 AM »
Okay, here's my character....

player: Chrystal

Name: Wing Commander (Lieutenant Colonel) Amber Louise Cotter RAAF
Nationality: Australia
Gender: F
Sexuality: Gay
Age: 51

Job: Mission Commander
Specific skills: Was on the previous Mars mission as a pilot, has commanded her own fighter wing, saw action in Indonesia during the Oil Wars.

Height: 170 cm
Weight: 78 kg

Eye Colour: Blue-grey
Hair colour: Brown

Distinguishing marks: Tattoo on left shoulder of a red kangaroo inside a blue circle. Appendectomy scar lower right abdomen, hysterectomy scar across centre of abdomen, long scar down inside of right thigh.

Likes: Flying, giving orders, women, adventure, seeing things through, winning, playing.
Dislikes: Men, loosing, idiots with stars on their shoulders, time wasters, boredom.


Psych profile/personality: WGCDR Cotter is a career officer of the best kind. She has thirty years service to the Royal Australian Air Force, having joined straight from school. She is a determined individual with a great deal of stamina and resolve. She likes to see things through and is always annoyed if ordered to abort a mission. Her one weakness seems to be that she does not suffer fools gladly, which may be an advantage when dealing with subordinates, but when dealing with her superiors and with civilians has tended to give her a reputation for outspokenness. Cotter is not recommended for promotion to flag rank.

History: Louise Cotter joined the RAAF straight from school, in the middle of the Second Indonesian Oil War. She saw action almost straight away, flying several bombing missions and low-level ground support missions. When the war ended a year later, Cotter had already earned promotion to Flight Lieutenant and had Ace status, having shot down three enemy aircraft in spite of flying a ground attack aircraft.

She was one of a number of war heroes considered for the 2091 Manned Mars Mission 3. She was surprised and overjoyed when she was selected as one of the mission's pilots. At 21, she left earth for the first time. When the mission was aborted following the deaths of several of her colleagues in a dust storm, she resolved to go back by whatever means necessary. Cotter was herself injured during 3M3. She was co-driver on the ground vehicle that crashed into a crevice in the surface that had previously been filled with hard-packed sand but was scoured out by the wind. The hole in the ground was rendered invisible by the swirling dust.

The fatalities were all caused by poor suit discipline, anoxia being the cause of death in all cases. Cotter was one of the few survivors of the crash. She suffered severe frostbite in her right leg but the low temperature prevented her from loosing too much blood through the rip in her suit leg. In fact she was lucky not to loose the leg altogether.

On her return to earth, she refused a medical discharge and insisted that like Douglas Bader, she would fly again. She achieved this ambition a year later, just in time for the outbreak of Oil War 3. This time she was given a fighter squadron of her own, and this time she achieved double-ace status.

By the end of the war, she was promoted to Wing Commander. This was the highest she ever got, because while in war time she was a great pilot and a great leader, in peacetime she was considered something of a liability.

When the call went out for someone with experience and rank to lead the first Mars Colony Mission, Cotter was the logical choice. Sending her to Mars solved the RAAF's dilemma of what to do with an ageing wing commander who flatly refused to retire early, but whom they could not promote due to her attitude. The RAAF even agreed to pay MarsCorp a portion of the transport costs. As none of the other candidates had this level of sponsorship, Cottor was selected, much to the annoyance of the Americans.

Other info: Pic base is Carey Lowell in case anyone is interested.



@Blinkin

Sigourney Weaver has brown eyes...

I quite like your alternative suggestion regarding the pay system. I think well go with that. I will admit I was struggling to come up with something realistic and practical.

No one would be sending ships to Mars to collect the goods - I have a stupendous idea in that respect...

@Atlas - how would you like to pilot the Phobos Shuttle?

My idea is this. We have an orbital shuttle craft that has enough fuel for four or five trips to orbit and back with a full payload. Before they leave orbit, the crew of the MCM-1 set up a mass driver on Phobos. This mass driver can be loaded up with canisters containing the ore and any other products and then they are fired towards the Earth on a long spiral-orbital trajectory. Each MD-Can obviously has a radio transponder on it, and as they approach Earth they are tracked and hauled down by space tugs.

Empty canisters can be returned on the next scheduled flight.

It's either that or (my original plan) everything waits for the MCM-2 to arrive, and the second colony ship doesn't return empty (we hope).

Online Blinkin

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Re: Mars Colony
« Reply #31 on: August 07, 2012, 12:22:06 PM »
Works for me...

On the weaver thing, I was refering specifically to the hair, not the actress, but it was my mental image more or less.

I wanted to avoid the whole brunette meg ryan look, but if I recall, Amanda Tappings from Stargate SG-1 (if a brunette) wouldn't be too far from my mental image either. I'm lfexible as I'll never see it. lol

I removed the small aircraft pilot skill from Laura's bio as it appeared that we could have too many people capable of "flying" about with the single aircraft.

Offline Diingo

Re: Mars Colony
« Reply #32 on: August 07, 2012, 02:17:41 PM »
So, Chrystal, is my character approved or not? :) Added the age as well.

Offline blakel

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Re: Mars Colony
« Reply #33 on: August 07, 2012, 03:02:31 PM »
And just remember. Stay inside during solar flares. Without a magnetic field to protect you, you'll burn up in the radiation.

Online ChrystalTopic starter

Re: Mars Colony
« Reply #34 on: August 07, 2012, 03:42:05 PM »
So, Chrystal, is my character approved or not? :) Added the age as well.

OOPS. Sorry, Diingo. Yes, he is. (Lots going on and still catching up.) Sorry for spelling your name wrong as well.

And just remember. Stay inside during solar flares. Without a magnetic field to protect you, you'll burn up in the radiation.

Yep. Well, you probably wouldn't burn up as such, but you would certainly receive a lethal dose.  Fortunately, Mars Suits are shielded.

Hmm.... I just had a really obscure thought. When we get the first drinking establishment open, we should call it "Snickers".

Why Snickers?
Because Mars Bar is just too damned obvious! Hee hee!

Offline mayovagn

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Re: Mars Colony
« Reply #35 on: August 07, 2012, 03:44:00 PM »
Throwing my hat into the fire, er ring. *Snatches singed hat back*


player: mayovagn


Name: Petty Officer Juliet Franklin (UK Merchant Navy)
Nationality: United Kingdom
Gender: F
Sexuality: Bisexual and Polyamorous
Age: 27

Job: Mechanical Engineer / Millwright
Specific skills: Machining

Height: 147 cm
Weight: 54 kg

Eye Colour: Dark blue with grey circles around iris's and orange flecks
Hair colour: Short, light red with natural blond highlights from birthmarks on scalp

Distinguishing marks: Extensive freckles all over and lots of small birthmarks on upper body.

Likes: Fixing things, machines, grease, tools, music, movies, fun, laughs, practical jokes, comics, games, dancing and good food.
Dislikes: People who lack for common sense or a sense of humor.


Psych profile/personality: Julie is a stand out mechanic. She enjoys her work and takes pride in it. She is friendly, open and generally happy, a fun loving individual always up for a joke. She is generally a good influence however has been known to play the occasional harmless practical joke.

History: Juliet was born at sea, her parents were similarly in the Merchant Navy and served aboard the same freighter together. Her father was a bridge officer her mother one of the canteen staff. Juliet's childhood and upbringing was almost entirely aboard ship. Her education handled by her parents where possible and others of the crew at a communal 'school' of sorts for the few children aboard.

Growing up aboard ship Juliet was exposed daily to all manner of shipboard life, yet she found herself constantly drawn to the machine shop. There was something about taking a dead or floundering machine and returning it life that spoke to her deep down. Always a bit of a tom boy and a mischief maker it seemed a good way to keep the girl out of trouble so her parents turned a blind eye to it. By the time she was ten, when she wasn't studying, she had pretty much asserted herself as a mechanics mate. By fourteen this arrangement had been formalized to an apprenticeship.

At sixteen Juliet left the comfort and familiarity of freighter she had been living on her entire life to study Mechanical Engineering in a formal way in mainland UK. She attended Southampton University while also working on ships in the docks to help pay for her tuition and her accommodation. She gained her masters at the end of her four year course and found herself working at the docks for a while as an on call Engineer.

The money was very good, yet there never seemed to be enough work to go around and Juliet fast found heself becoming terminally bored. The mischief bug set in pretty hard and it was certainly time to move on to greater things after she pulled an all nighter rigging her bosses office to slowly degenerate over the course of the following day into a heap of bits and pieces of furniture.

Finding herself a commission in the Merchant Navy was fairly easy with her background and skills and Juliet settled into life aboard ship again for a number of years, earning a reputation for doing exceptional work with limited materials.

The offer to train for and possibly be a part of a mission to Mars was quite a large shock, a new challenge, one beyond imagination, and one that Juliet jumped at.

Other info: Julie does not tend to reveal her given name as Juliet to anyone. She prefers to go by Julie.





And, I have yet to find a pic of a cute criminally short girl with short light red hair and freckles. How hard could that be?
« Last Edit: August 08, 2012, 06:21:59 PM by mayovagn »

Online ChrystalTopic starter

Re: Mars Colony
« Reply #36 on: August 07, 2012, 04:05:14 PM »
Wow a femaile grease-monkey. I'm betting you're a Firefly fan?

How about this one?
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_PW-A9gNJLV0/SioqgQvfQ6I/AAAAAAAAAkw/7qBU-iPYWpQ/s1600/redhead-freckles-blue-2750378-l.jpg

Character approved pending a picture.

Offline mayovagn

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Re: Mars Colony
« Reply #37 on: August 07, 2012, 04:09:43 PM »
I like that picture yeah. That would be great!

Thanks, so I have added picture and am now approved?
« Last Edit: August 07, 2012, 06:32:29 PM by mayovagn »

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Re: Mars Colony
« Reply #38 on: August 07, 2012, 04:10:09 PM »
Hmmmm... a bucket of water over an airlock door may not get you very far in the humor department, and a rubber chicken would probably end up being eaten anyway... "Was the chicken a little tough to you Chief? Those damned freeze dry meats suck..."

"Yeah, give me the good old days of Spam and crackers." :)

Question for GOD (GM On Duty)...

Am I correct in thinking that under "normal" circomstances, weapons would be restricted to the security force (or perhaps a select number of the command staff)? As there is nothing on Mars to be considered a danger that requires a weapon while roaming outside of the habitat, I'm not sure that there would be a need to have one for "running around the wilds"

I'm wondering as a character viewpoint consideration. There are enough either ex-military or detatched duty military characters that simply getting a weapon would allow them to use it.

General question for the gang:

I know that play will start when the characters reach the surface, but anyone interested in developing a backstory? It would be difficult to believe that if they had all been training together for the mission's basics that they wouldn't of developed some attachments of some kind. :)

One last comment, in regards to the good Colonel's view of flag rank officers, it brings to mind one of my favorite Richard marcinko quotes... "We wear scars and they wear stars."
« Last Edit: August 07, 2012, 04:31:27 PM by Blinkin »

Online ChrystalTopic starter

Re: Mars Colony
« Reply #39 on: August 07, 2012, 04:48:25 PM »
Hmmmm... a bucket of water over an airlock door may not get you very far in the humor department, and a rubber chicken would probably end up being eaten anyway... "Was the chicken a little tough to you Chief? Those damned freeze dry meats suck..."

"Yeah, give me the good old days of Spam and crackers." :)

A bucket of water? That would be bloody expensive! Water is strictly rationed!

Quote
Question for GOD (GM On Duty)...

ASK, MY SON (Pity you can't see that. It's 36 point in yellow with a red glow...) ;)

Quote
Am I correct in thinking that under "normal" circomstances, weapons would be restricted to the security force (or perhaps a select number of the command staff)? As there is nothing on Mars to be considered a danger that requires a weapon while roaming outside of the habitat, I'm not sure that there would be a need to have one for "running around the wilds"

I'm wondering as a character viewpoint consideration. There are enough either ex-military or detatched duty military characters that simply getting a weapon would allow them to use it.

You are indeed correct. The only colonists who will be armed are the security personnel. Security chief and her guards. Not even the Mission Commander will be armed.

By the way, a quick note on ammunition. Due to the extreme stupidity of firing a bullet inside a pressurised dome (no matter what the dome may be made out of) with a hostile environment on the other side, the security team will all have Gauss pistols loaded with Low Velocity Flechette rounds (or LVFs).

I'm not sure if I made up the LVF or if I have plagiarised it from some other Sci-Fi story. Basically it is a steel dart about an inch long with four fins (fletchettes) at the back. The dart spins as it flies, like a normal bullet, to gain stability, but the fins are there to aid it in flight, because it travels at about a quarter the muzzle velocity of a conventional cordite-propelled led round...

I developed this type of projectile for the simple and sole purpose of giving troops a projectile that can be safely fired inside a space station or space vessel. Obviously it would be useless against anyone in combat armour, but then anyone in combat armour isn't going to be worried about making holes in the hull...!

Quote
General question for the gang:

I know that play will start when the characters reach the surface, but anyone interested in developing a backstory? It would be difficult to believe that if they had all been training together for the mission's basics that they wouldn't of developed some attachments of some kind. :)

This is a good idea, but could it wait until I have the OOC thread open please?

I will try and get it open tomorrow.

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Re: Mars Colony
« Reply #40 on: August 07, 2012, 05:55:56 PM »
A bucket of water? That would be bloody expensive! Water is strictly rationed!

==----> Just an example... the same could be said for 10 legged 12 cm space spiders in the bunk too. ;)

ASK, MY SON (Pity you can't see that. It's 36 point in yellow with a red glow...) ;)

==---> Actually, I can visualize it quite well. I use to do the same things back in the days of BBS's when I could see. ;) Thank you oh great and wonderful godling of sci-fi role-playingness... sir...

You are indeed correct. The only colonists who will be armed are the security personnel. Security chief and her guards. Not even the Mission Commander will be armed.

By the way, a quick note on ammunition. Due to the extreme stupidity of firing a bullet inside a pressurised dome (no matter what the dome may be made out of) with a hostile environment on the other side, the security team will all have Gauss pistols loaded with Low Velocity Flechette rounds (or LVFs).

I'm not sure if I made up the LVF or if I have plagiarised it from some other Sci-Fi story. Basically it is a steel dart about an inch long with four fins (fletchettes) at the back. The dart spins as it flies, like a normal bullet, to gain stability, but the fins are there to aid it in flight, because it travels at about a quarter the muzzle velocity of a conventional cordite-propelled led round...

I developed this type of projectile for the simple and sole purpose of giving troops a projectile that can be safely fired inside a space station or space vessel. Obviously it would be useless against anyone in combat armour, but then anyone in combat armour isn't going to be worried about making holes in the hull...!

==---> Fletchette rounds are a reality, they are, if I recall, a bundle of needle like projectiles that act vaguely like a shotgun at mid ranges and shread kevlar like it was cheese cloth. Nasty things and really inaccurate out beyond a few yards. They would probably work well enough for a contained environment though in either case as I'm sure that punching holes into hulls, walls or having them bounce off of walls would not be a good idea... I'm reminded of the old Outlander movie (Starring Sean Connery) where shotguns were used with low powder loads to reduce penetration potential of the habitat. Same general concept... An added precaution might be that the projectiles are rubber or  sylicon. They'll hurt like hell, but the risk of penetrating anything would be nearly non-existant... the need to actually kill someone should be minimal.

This is a good idea, but could it wait until I have the OOC thread open please?


==---> Oopsie... sorry about that. I'll be good now... well, relatively speaking at least.

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Re: Mars Colony
« Reply #41 on: August 08, 2012, 12:40:59 AM »
We should also include some type of farmer... seeing as we're growing wheat on base.

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Re: Mars Colony
« Reply #42 on: August 08, 2012, 12:45:42 AM »
Having folks running hydroponics for food crops makes so much sense it hurts. *Nods*

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Re: Mars Colony
« Reply #43 on: August 08, 2012, 01:26:49 AM »
Chrystal I wanted to point this out on how the colony plans to pay for itself.

There were plans bouncing around NASA regarding how a planned mission to mars would go and it involved using available materials on the surface to actually form fuel that would be used on the return leg of the journey.  Given that we're going to need to dig partially underground anyway, my thought is that the materials being extracted are sent to a refinery to be made into a type of fuel to propel canisters of ore up to orbit, where it is all bundled together and then launched towards Earth, sorta like how they used to wrap logs in the pacific northwest with chains and then floated them down the river to market.  Basically the idea here is that we're sending the canisters back every 9 months or so in one large shipment.

Consider also that since we're going to be digging, we'll need preformed domes and only essential personnel in the first wave of construction, digging down and using the soil extracted to form a type of shock-crete to form air tight rooms that'll withstand the force of sand being blown against it.  As the base expands, we bring down more and more until we're done.  So it won't be a simple "land and throw up some tents" because if we do this right, we could have a pretty cool deal :D but that's just me.

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Re: Mars Colony
« Reply #44 on: August 08, 2012, 04:29:10 AM »
Having folks running hydroponics for food crops makes so much sense it hurts. *Nods*
We should also include some type of farmer... seeing as we're growing wheat on base.
Hydroponics engineer
The hydroponics lab is vital to the success of the colony. If they can grow sufficient edible plants to be self sufficient, it will ensure the colony's survival. If the hydroponics lab fails, they will be reduced to eating tinned vegetables, of which they have a finite supply.

Hydroponics is also vital for supplying oxygen for the colonists to breath, recycling the colonists waste, and removing the harmful CO2 from the atmosphere.

Growing vegetables on an alien world is also step one towards teraforming that world, and so the success of the hydroponics lab is key to that endeavour too.

One of the first roles I put in!

Chrystal I wanted to point this out on how the colony plans to pay for itself.

There were plans bouncing around NASA regarding how a planned mission to mars would go and it involved using available materials on the surface to actually form fuel that would be used on the return leg of the journey.  Given that we're going to need to dig partially underground anyway, my thought is that the materials being extracted are sent to a refinery to be made into a type of fuel to propel canisters of ore up to orbit, where it is all bundled together and then launched towards Earth, sorta like how they used to wrap logs in the pacific northwest with chains and then floated them down the river to market.  Basically the idea here is that we're sending the canisters back every 9 months or so in one large shipment.

Consider also that since we're going to be digging, we'll need preformed domes and only essential personnel in the first wave of construction, digging down and using the soil extracted to form a type of shock-crete to form air tight rooms that'll withstand the force of sand being blown against it.  As the base expands, we bring down more and more until we're done.  So it won't be a simple "land and throw up some tents" because if we do this right, we could have a pretty cool deal :D but that's just me.

Linna, the habitat domes are already in place. There have been three previous manned missions and the second mission spent almost a year on the planet. All the life support systems are already there. Mars Base is a going concern, it's just on "powersave".

Our job is to improve and expand the base, using the equipment left behind by 3M1. 3M3 was the only mission not to achieve anything due to the tragic accident that killed the mission commander and five others and injured several more including Louise Cotter.

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Re: Mars Colony
« Reply #45 on: August 08, 2012, 07:39:50 AM »
Oops, my bad.  Still, we gots fuel :D

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Re: Mars Colony
« Reply #46 on: August 08, 2012, 09:01:13 AM »
Yep.

I actually quite like the idea of processing the CO2 in the atmosphere into oxygen and hydrocarbons - we'd have to find a supply of hydrogen from somewhere, though.

We could then export the hydrocarbons too...

Not sure where we could get hydrogen from. Electrolysing water is not a good idea, because we need it to drink, cook and wash with. Perhaps the nuclear reactor could be set up in such a way to produce atomic hydrogen as a by-product?

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Re: Mars Colony
« Reply #47 on: August 08, 2012, 09:33:32 AM »
If sufficient water could be found underground electrolysis, especially using a catalyst to make the whole process cheaper electrically, would be a viable source of both oxygen and hydrogen.

Yeah, it would require finding plenty of water though. (hopefully not the kind that has been waiting around since the Ice Warriors were wandering around for warm bodies to inhabit)

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Re: Mars Colony
« Reply #48 on: August 08, 2012, 09:40:32 AM »
Yep.

I actually quite like the idea of processing the CO2 in the atmosphere into oxygen and hydrocarbons - we'd have to find a supply of hydrogen from somewhere, though.

We could then export the hydrocarbons too...

Not sure where we could get hydrogen from. Electrolysing water is not a good idea, because we need it to drink, cook and wash with. Perhaps the nuclear reactor could be set up in such a way to produce atomic hydrogen as a by-product?

Um... not according to what I know of physics (which is quite a lot x.x).  Helium, if you could split the atoms, could create hydrogen but then you'd need a supply of helium and... yeah.  Unless you want to have a giant sock in space collecting hydrogen being expelled from the sun, you'd need water, but that isn't entirely unfeasible given that there is water on Mars, just not an over abundance of it.  Uranium would be expensive to export from Earth so it would need to be a fusion reactor, for which you need the hydrogen anyway and most of that comes from... water.  Damn.

About the only plan I can think of would be to use robotic tugs to haul asteroids in from the nearby belt, the water siphoned off before being launched further on to Earth.  This would be great because we could siphon off the water and any metals we needed while sending Earth a steady supply of nickel and aluminum.  Just an idea.  That or we need to drill several wells and try to gnab as much water as possible all the time.

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Re: Mars Colony
« Reply #49 on: August 08, 2012, 09:57:47 AM »
I'm actually a physicist-in-training, so I'm going to add my two cents to this discussion:

Synthesizing hydrogen from a nuclear reactor isn't really possible. Let's assume that we're dealing with fission reactors as opposed to fusion reactors. Both actually require hydrogen, but a fission reactor can recycle it, whereas a fusion reactor converts it into helium. Seeing as technology has advanced a considerable deal, we'll assume that fission reactors are able to produce a non-radioactive by-product. Even so, it won't be able to produce hydrogen.

The question of finding/creating hydrogen is actually a problem that engineers are struggling with, and is one of the reasons that hydrogen fuel-cell cars aren't mass-produced. Generally, hydrocarbons are produced by plants, in their photosynthesis. However, seeing as the plants will be used for feeding people and animals, so that isn't a viable option until crop production steps up. There is some hydrocarbons produced as human waste, which can be recycled and synthesized in order to form more complex molecules, but  that wont be enough for mass production.


For early stages we basically have three options:

  • There's a field of methane located on Mars. However, it exists on the opposite side of the planet from where we would be staying. If we could extract it, it would be possible to synthesize more complex hydrocarbons.
  • Radiation (in the form of protons and electrons) radiates from the sun. It is theoretically possible to use magnetic containment to trap them, and then combine the two to form hydrogen. I have no idea how efficient this would be.
  • We could have brought crops from earth specifically for use in hydrocarbon production. The downside to this would be that it would consume more water than if only ones for nutritional uses were brought.
That's all that I can think of.