During lunch we heard a fascinating talk by Prof. Greg Baiden (Laurentian University; Penguin Automated Systems) about _Terrestrial Telerobotic Mining technology: An Enabler for Extraterrestrial Habitation, Mining and Construction_. He reviewed the extensive development of tele-robotic operations in mines over the past 20 years or so, much of which he has been involved in. He then discussed development of high accuracy underground navigation systems and a new underwater distributed visible light based communications system. Switching to space, he described the five teleoperated vehicles that would be needed to do resource and mining operations on the Moon.
?Panel Discussion: _Technology Options for Closed Environment Life Support Systems for Space Settlement_ Taber MacCallum, Paragon Space Development Corp. Dr. Mark Kliss, NASA Dr. John Farmer, NASA Will Marshall, Universities Space Research Association Dr. Lee Valentine, Space Studies Institute
Taber: Know how to build rockets to transport people. Don’t know how to build systems to allow for people to live permanently or even long periods in space. – Need to do the research to prove that. Kliss: In past year it’s become clear that there is sufficient water to sustain very large colony on the Moon. – NASA should build full scale demos to prove sustainable systems are viable. Farmer: Initially had short duration missions with open loop LSS. – MIR & Shuttle were longer periods and bigger crews. – ISS has some modest regenerative systems but still heavily dependent on cargo re-supply – Lunar and deep space need to be much more self-sufficient and able to use local resources – High reliability vs multiple spares & backups. – New tech might change the game, e.g. solid state rather than better vacuum tubes – High reliability with close loops is best long term approach Taber: Long term full scale ground simulations are important. – Could actually get lots of public attention with crews in sims Lee – need all up systems – However, can do some simple cheap things before the full up sims. – Need to make subsystems as reliably and long-lived as possible. – A number of plants should be tested for biosphere situations – Test different combinations of animals and plants – Lots of work to do. – Rocket guys are getting ahead of us
Q&A: /– Seek elegant system design – Optimize a system with non-optimal components /– Convincing current generation of managers used to doing things the old way, e.g. ISS, to do things a lot better. /– Sociology and psychology issues are also very important – e.g. unexpected big problems in Biosphere II missions. /– Closing rather than closed systems. /– Instabilities can occur at the bottom of the LSS, e.g. converting waste products into useful products /– Lower cost tests, e.g. X PRIZE closed loop competition /– Biosphere II accused of being first reality TV show /– There are low cost subsystem projects that individuals could experiment with. /– Closed systems with limited mass is the key problem /– E.g. Biosphere II had a big buffer of extra air /– How to minimize those buffers in space.