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Episode 5: Darkest Days

Episode 5

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Dec 14, 2016 10:03PM EST
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I love the show for being fictional and exploring some of the psychological elements that will undoubtedly play out with people actually going and settling on mars as well as the corporate political frictions that could arise and I love the interspersed comments from real world scientists about issues the settlers will face. I am not particularly enamored with the science aspect. The scientific issues the settlers are facing in this series seem like someone conceived of this that never reviewed the events of the mars landers, or the safety of the nuclear generator which seems to somehow be out on the surface of a planet we know to have severe dust storms. My main issues are with the mixture of solar and nuclear power and the fact that somehow the nuclear power is impacted by an outage on the surface when the settlement is underground. The fact that power is so precious in 20 years time seems a bit far fetched as well. There are flywheel energy storage solutions and if the individuals have food to eat then they could in theory generate their own power by hand. The storm they encountered would also imply there may be enough wind to make wind power generation feasible (again though dust is a major problem with wind generation) and if nothing else stirling engines could be employed. If you cannot produce fuel on site then the whole trip seems foolhardy to begin with. A bigger issue is how much usable water might be in Mars and that does not seem to be addressed. What technology is employed to keep the solar arrays operational given the immense amount of dust. Finally, why is all the transportation ground based? You flew somewhere between 54.6 million and 401 million km and your only way of getting around the planet is walking or driving a 4 (or more) wheel drive vehicle, really? What does generating fuel on site mean? It means heat, it means electrical power, it means being able to leave the surface, it means production capacity. Ultimately it means there is a chance of successfully becoming an interplanetary species (as Elon Musk envisions).
I love the show for being fictional and exploring some of the psychological elements that will undoubtedly play out with people actually going and settling on mars as well as the corporate political frictions that could arise and I love the interspersed comments from real world scientists about issues the settlers will face. I am not particularly enamored with the science aspect. The scientific issues the settlers are facing in this series seem like someone conceived of this that never reviewed the events of the mars landers, or the safety of the nuclear generator which seems to somehow be out on the surface of a planet we know to have severe dust storms. My main issues are with the mixture of solar and nuclear power and the fact that somehow the nuclear power is impacted by an outage on the surface when the settlement is underground. The fact that power is so precious in 20 years time seems a bit far fetched as well. There are flywheel energy storage solutions and if the individuals have food to eat then they could in theory generate their own power by hand. The storm they encountered would also imply there may be enough wind to make wind power generation feasible (again though dust is a major problem with wind generation) and if nothing else stirling engines could be employed. If you cannot produce fuel on site then the whole trip seems foolhardy to begin with. A bigger issue is how much usable water might be in Mars and that does not seem to be addressed. What technology is employed to keep the solar arrays operational given the immense amount of dust. Finally, why is all the transportation ground based? You flew somewhere between 54.6 million and 401 million km and your only way of getting around the planet is walking or driving a 4 (or more) wheel drive vehicle, really? What does generating fuel on site mean? It means heat, it means electrical power, it means being able to leave the surface, it means production capacity. Ultimately it means there is a chance of successfully becoming an interplanetary species (as Elon Musk envisions).

Rating Stats

5 ratings

AVG: 4.2
Twitv04