SpaceX Mars and Moon Colonization with titanium alloy bulldozers and materials processing

Craig Davidson gave a talk in 2017 about Improving the SpaceX Mars Colonization Plans.

Make a moon and Mars capable bulldozer. Replace steel with titanium-aluminum alloy. Use electric battery technology and solar panels.

Astrobotic developed Polaris as an excavation vehicle that could serve as a robotic precursor to future human planetary colonization efforts by preparing terrain and mining ice and other volatiles.

Astrobotic is developing robotic bulldozers the size of riding mowers for the moon. They could prepare a safe landing site for NASA’s lunar outpost by surrounding it with an eight-foot high semi-circle berm to block grit kicked out by spacecraft landings from hitting nearby habitats.

A moon base with each square being about 40 feet by 40 feet would have massive smelters to process regolith to pure metals and components.

SharkFin Magnetic Sail

He also proposed the SharkFin Magnetic Sail at the 20th Annual International Mars Society Convention, held at University of California Irvine from Sept 7-10, 2017.

The SharkFin Magnetic Sail combines the Lorentz Force law, Faraday’s law, and Lenz’s law to harvest propulsive force and electrical charge from large-scale electromagnetic fields such as the Magnetosphere, Heliosphere, or Interstellar Magnetic Field (ISMF). Advances in superconducting cable design, including a self-insulating cable patented by Dark Sea Industries (patent pending), allows combining the benefits of electric/magnetic sails with advances in low voltage high current carrying capacity superconducting cables to provide a system which provides both power and propulsion to the spacecraft. The synthetic magnetosphere which envelopes the craft can eliminating exposure to charged radiation, leaving only neutral radiation to be absorbed by a shield (such as water ice). Magnetic sails are thus seen as the power/propulsion system of choice for interplanetary spacecraft.

The SharkFin magnetic sail is a revolutionary advance in deep space propulsion. In one sense, it is a solar powered power system and solar powered propulsion system, at very high rates of speed, and very high levels of power. It has a comparatively low mass implementation with no fuel requirement (other than for coil charging), since it harvests velocity directly from the solar wind (or a magnetosphere), without the huge coils and deployment complications of traditional magsail/plasmasail designs. It is perfectly suited to be one of the propulsion systems aboard an Aldrin Cycler type craft. It uses a different style of navigation, with more indirect routes than traditional direct thrust paths, but given the other benefits (and given the higher speed, shorter times to target) it will come to dominate deep space propulsion in the years ahead.