The Queen B (Bioshielding) 2 Bedroom 2 Bath Mars Apartment
by NoahHornberger, published
Long Live the Queen!
KEY BENEFITS AT A GLANCE
- Fully functioning kitchen, 2 bathrooms, 2 bedrooms, garden, 3d-print lab, lounge, laundry, and decompression / mud room as standard features.
- Heat retaining design with rugged roofing to deflect debris.
- Depleted Uranium Panels to bring radiation to safe levels.
- Aesthetic design makes attractive press and is good for promoting the mission and finding willing candidates.
RADIATION PROTECTION: With continuous exposure to cosmic radiation, any design that fails to fully attenuate cosmic radiation will put occupants at great risks for cancer and other health problems like Sasquatch feet or extra ears.
TEMPERATURE: On average, the temperature on Mars is about -80 degrees F. This means a design that cannot keep in heat well will end up costing too much to maintain and will end bitterly. A design with less externally exposed surface area will save energy in heating by reducing overall area that heat can escape.
WINDS / STORMS: Less deadly than the first two challenges, but still quite mean, the frequent storms and winds require the design to be rugged. It must be built to sustain tensile and compression forces from any angle in the form of wind forces, air-born sand, rocks and debris. Wind should not be able to pass under any part of it, or structural damage and lifting may result.
SHAPE / FORM FACTOR:
My solution is to use the tessellating hexagon due to its compactness and modular potential. I have extrapolated on the idea of a fully functional apartment on mars with all the modern amenities fit inside 16 foot diameter hexagons. I think that to present mars life to people and actually make it appealing to the public it needs to feel like home and reflect the lifestyle trends of earth living.
A building with outstretched arms, wings, nodes, or branches is not practical for long-term efficiency and stability. It would be nearly impossible to keep warm due to heat dissipation through the venerable areas. Another aspect of the surface area problem is the cost and feasibility of creating cosmic shielding for strange shapes, convex nooks and curvatures. Everything needs to be shielded from the elements, and a structure made of flat panels is going to be the easiest to build, replicate, and maintain.
The square prism would be an ideal shape for modules except that it does not posses the structural capabilities to bear extreme forces. A square prism under pressure distorts and ruptures easily.
The hexagon, however can tile seamlessly like the square so it offers the space saving capabilities with the extra benefit of approximating the strength of a hollow column. The 60 degree angles of the hexagon tie a structure together far better than 90 degree corners.
We are going to Mars! So why won't we be getting cancer?
According to the data of nuclead.com, 2 cm (10 halving thicknesses) of depleted uranium reduces radiation passing through it by 1/1024 of it's original strength. Depleted uranium is also used in military tanks and weapons because of it's density and ability to resist shearing and shattering in the presence of great kinetic forces. This is why I would propose using depleted uranium (a waste product of creating nuclear weapons) along with other dense elements to create laminated panels that can be used to protect the outer surface of the mars apartment fortress.
On nuclead.com there are several examples of how lead is laminated with plywood to create radiation shielding building materials. If depleted uranium is sandwiched between other materials, it's great density will do most of the work while the surrounding materials will block it's own radiation potential and also add to the cosmic radiation filter. Uranium is heavy, but it's potential to block radiation is too great to ignore. If superconducting for shielding proves to be effective and long-term stable, maybe the use of uranium can be lessened.
An unmanned special delivery of uranium/lead panels that arrives prior to the construction crew would be ideal. Depending on the weight restrictions and capacities, several material deliveries could be made weeks prior to the arrival of humans.
HEATED WATER INSULATING:
A large subterranean container will hold water and it will be heated with an underground electric heater or exothermic chemical reactor. The main purpose of this is to keep the base of the fortress warm and to create a heat barrier to the deeply frozen undercrust. Heated water energy will be pumped up into the insulated walls and into radiators. Having a large amount of steam could allow for steam powered generators to supplement the power created with solar panels.
Water will also be purified and conditioned for drinking and other uses.
The outer 2.5 foot thick walls will act as an insulator to keep heat energy from easily dissipating outward.
An underground air purification system will keep the air mixture controlled and cycled into the complex. A reserve tank of pure oxygen will always be on hand in case of equipment failure or emergency. As the plant life of the apartment increases, the synthetic pumping in from oxygen generators, pressurized oxygen tanks, and/or solid fuel oxygen generators can be turned down and possibly eliminated.
This is quite a multifaceted challenge. I have tried to think through the theory of my design as much as possible and prove it with a printed model. I designed something that I would feel happy living in for a few years (at least).
I have learned a lot and would like to thank the people at NASA and Makerbot for making this challenge possible.
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It took about 2 solid days of printing non-stop to make all the parts. This was because I was going on vacation and wanted to get it all done before I left. I have never printed anything like this and was impressed by the print quality of the small details. After I saw how well it was working, I started adding more details to subsequent parts, like the burners on the kitchen and the pairs of boots in the mud room. There's even an iphone on the charging area but due to my layer height of .25 it barely shows up in the print :P
Octave ABS Filaments.
Printed on an Up Plus 2 with OctaveTemp mod on Glass. I used a 50% acetone 50% ABS waste slurry to keep the parts sticking to the glass and to minimize warping.
Most parts require supports to print. I used the auto-supports of the UP Software.
Modeled in Maya. I can send Maya source files to anyone who is interested.