Existing technology to mine water and ice on Mars

Kris Zacny, Mining Water on Mars.

From the 21st Annual International Mars Society Convention, held at the Pasadena Convention Center in Southern California from Aug 23-26, 2018.

You have to launch 226 kilograms from Earth for every 1 kilogram of material that you get onto Mars.

You need to produce water and oxygen on Mars. These can be used for energy, fuel, life support and agriculture.

There is a drilling system that weighs 100 kilograms that can drill to 2 kilometers of depth in 100 days.

With SpaceX BFR we should change the way we are thinking and not scaling missions for small rovers. If we will put 100 tons on Mars, then we will have tens of kilowatts or hundreds of kilowatts or megawatts. We can make massive drilling and construction on Mars.

Various techniques can be adapted and made lighter for drilling water, ice and gypsum on Mars
* wire drilling
* coring tubes
* water jetting
* sonic percussive scoops
* pneumatic miner

They are using some wire drilling system to drill into gypsum on Earth to 10-13 meters. They are making a slightly larger system and will drill down 100 meters in 2019 as a proof of concept.

Arcadia Planetia is at 35 degrees which is far from the poles. It has exposed ice for a glacier that is just below the surface.

There is a 15-ton drill in Australia that can drill one meter per minute into hard rock. It can drill 500 meters. This could be scaled down or it could be made lighter with titanium.

They have made a one-kilogram shoe box side tape-tube drill to drill down 2 meters.

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