11 votes

One of the thickest Martian dust storms has caused NASA's Opportunity rover to suspend science operations

3 comments

  1. [3]
    Neverland (edited ) Link
    Bit of title gore there, apologies for that. This is one of the worst dust storms in recorded Mars history. With a tau (atmospheric opacity) of 10.5 the sunlight reaching the rover has decreased...

    Bit of title gore there, apologies for that. This is one of the worst dust storms in recorded Mars history. With a tau (atmospheric opacity) of 10.5 the sunlight reaching the rover has decreased to .02%-3.4% (depending of who did the math, sorry) of normal.

    To me, this has brought up the question of what supplemental power sources a solar powered Mars colony might require.

    5 votes
    1. [2]
      anowlcalledjosh Link Parent
      Nuclear, presumably. I can't see any other option - no wind (I assume it's not strong enough for significant power generation, even in storms), no water, no geothermal...

      Nuclear, presumably. I can't see any other option - no wind (I assume it's not strong enough for significant power generation, even in storms), no water, no geothermal...

      1 vote
      1. Neverland Link Parent
        I posed the question on r/SpaceXLounge and while most everyone agreed nuclear was the best option, the harsh realities of reactor development and regulation were brought to light. The only project...

        I posed the question on r/SpaceXLounge and while most everyone agreed nuclear was the best option, the harsh realities of reactor development and regulation were brought to light. The only project in current development NASA’s Kilopower is said to be cancelled soon. It also only produces 10kW. SpaceX is unlikely to develop their own reactors.

        I was thinking another option would be methane/oxygen turbine generators. They will already be producing those gases for rocket fuel. Someone else pointed out this may be a great use case for fuel cells.

        1 vote