spudit on February 02, 2011, 11:14:58 pm
Seasteading is homesteading on the sea. So how does it work on Ceres?

We saw an intended homesite with ice deep enough to lose a tall tower and the town is built on an island of sorts so rock or permafrost. So if the asteroid has different surface features we have a few questions to speculate upon.

The surface terrain of Mars currently looks like a mixture of solid rock, dirt piled over glaciers by wind and permafrost. Ceres was also hot enough, because it is fairly round, to have had liquid water for a while. Did the water settle into crater ponds then freeze? Are the water deposits comet lumps? It can't just be water either, CO2 and CO, hydrocarbons, lots of good stuff. How do we use it to start a Cerian seastead, an immobile private space habitat?

So gang given a suitable pile of materials and tools FOB Ceres Central. How do we build us a paradise and how do we pay for it?  

Please no spoilers from management just yet. Let's knock this around a bit.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2011, 11:16:34 pm by spudit »
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spudit on February 02, 2011, 11:21:15 pm
Lets add to my initial question, again just us mere mortals for now please, How would/could/did Ceres get settled? It was a mining camp I betcha.
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quadibloc on February 03, 2011, 12:37:20 am
Ceres could hardly have had liquid water for very long.

It doesn't have enough gravity to retain an atmosphere similar to Earth's. Hence, in the absence of significant atmospheric pressure, the boiling point of water would also be its freezing point, rather than its melting point.

The threshhold for this is the pressure at the "Triple Point of Water": one-hundredth of a degree Celsius above freezing, and a pressure of 611.73 Pascals (0.18064 inches of mercury, 0.088724 pounds per square inch, 0.0060373 atmospheres).

spudit on February 03, 2011, 01:26:26 am
Groovy, so it sublimated while it evaporated which is a good way of cooling it fast.

If the ice was once liquid it had time to flow downhill. Liquid water can exist in vacuum, note the cryo volcanos  reported on some outer bodies. For that matter, there are some who believe water runs on the surface of Mars today. That it melts, flows and freezes but for a period, it exists in near vacuum.

Say once upon a time long, long ago, Ceres was above 32F, water melted but other volatiles boiled first, CO2, ammonia, some hydrocarbons. Back then it could have had an atmosphere of sorts as it pulled itself round. Keep in mind Earth of the time was lava city. Water could exist in all phases under an unbreathable but very real atmosphere. The hotter the body the more gas is produced because more stuff boils. Some freezes out and some escapes but back then it could flow.

So shall we assume the seas are water ice or maybe stratified layers of other stuff as the temporary atmosphere froze out. Do we dig down to the water layer for ice cubes and the CO2 layer for farm gas? Do we strip mine for the equivalent of crude oil glaciers?

Metals too, are they at the core or closer?
« Last Edit: February 03, 2011, 09:34:31 am by spudit »
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SandySandfort on February 03, 2011, 07:31:42 am
Seasteading is homesteading on the sea. So how does it work on Ceres?

We saw an intended homesite with ice deep enough to lose a tall tower and the town is built on an island of sorts so rock or permafrost. So if the asteroid has different surface features we have a few questions to speculate upon.
...
Please no spoilers from management just yet. Let's knock this around a bit.

Ceres is mostly a frozen sea. EFT posits something like the following, but with a thin enough water layer or an irregular enough stony layer to raise some sea mounts or islands:



Now speculate way.

spudit on February 03, 2011, 09:57:39 am
OK, so in many ways it is more like Jupiter's big moons than Mars. Unless rock floats, anything solid on top of the ice came from above. No doubt there are lots of goodies stuck in it from low energy impacts, bumps rather than bangs. We could stake out our homestead and see what we have.

Energy from the sun and one monster heat sink.
Air, water, fertilizer in the form of ammonia, some assembly required.
A surface layer of space dust, sand, rocks, gravel, some metalic. 
Also helium 3 from the solar wind, good fusion fuel.
Deep down in the ice maybe house sized or bigger baby asteroids, again some metalic.
The crust way down deep, probably too deep.

Resources, some to sell, some to use, how?
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ZeissIkon on February 03, 2011, 03:07:45 pm
Energy from the sun and one monster heat sink.
Air, water, fertilizer in the form of ammonia, some assembly required.
A surface layer of space dust, sand, rocks, gravel, some metalic. 
Also helium 3 from the solar wind, good fusion fuel.
Deep down in the ice maybe house sized or bigger baby asteroids, again some metalic.
The crust way down deep, probably too deep.

Get through the "dusty" layer (which, as you note, might include rocks up to several kilometers across deposited by low energy impacts), and drilling through the ice layer is simplicity itself -- leave the top of the borehole open and heat the boring head; the ice will sublimate off as soon as it hits 0.01 C and the vapor, and for the first kilometer or so most of the vapor will reach the surface before it refreezes.  You'll need to drill (much) deeper than a kilometer to reach the rocky core, though, so you'll case the bore hole with something you can heat to just above freezing -- say, 1 C on the inside, and a degree or so below 0 C on the outside (so it doesn't melt a liquid jacket and start wandering or collapse from pressure -- it will eventually anyway, because ice flows under pressure and the layer is probably deep enough to create "pressure ice", crystallographic allotropes with different transition conditions, density, etc., some of which are much more malleable than common "hexagonal" ice we all find in our freezers, but you'll have plenty of time to finish the borehole before then as long as you don't hit a vein of Ice-15.  The good news is, without the extreme tides from Jupiter found on Callisto, Europa, and Ganymede, there shouldn't be any actual liquid down there.

Whether you'll find anything useful on the surface of the core is debatable; if Ceres differentiated from a melting event, it's likely all the actual metals are at the core (as with Earth, where the bulks of the planet's iron is concentrated in the inner core due to simple density separation over a multi-billion year time frame), but you might fine extractable amounts of aluminum and almost certain will fine silicon oxides.  Whether this is worth doing, when all those minerals are floating around loose in the form of much smaller rocks, is quite another question.

As far as a homestead, though, there's probably enough "dust" on top of the ice that you can build outside actual impact craters as if on permafrost -- that is, the surface will act like sand/gravel mix bound with ice, possibly under a layer of regolith like that found on the Lunar surface.

spudit on February 04, 2011, 03:14:08 am
Some good points there but recall pressure at the bottom of a column of stuff is a factor of weight, that is of gravity. Not so bad there.
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ZeissIkon on February 04, 2011, 08:01:52 pm
Some good points there but recall pressure at the bottom of a column of stuff is a factor of weight, that is of gravity. Not so bad there.

Well, let's see -- 3% of gravity means that instead of ten meters of ice, we'd need a little over 300 meters to give one atmosphere static pressure.  Go down thirty kilometers, you're up to a hundred atmospheres, and only less than halfway to the rocky center.  Again, much less going on here than in Jupiter's big moons, because Ceres is much smaller, but you're still going to be looking at around 250 to 300 atmospheres (probably closer to the lower figure, since the gravity also drops off a little as you drill through the ice) -- that's about the same pressure as inside common SCUBA tanks (a little less than 1/3 what's at the bottom of the Challenger Deep in our own oceans, however), at the bottom of the ice layer.  Even at, say, 50 K, ice will flow pretty rapidly under that much pressure, and you'll be seeing phase transitions with changes in pressure and temperature as well as application of shear (as when the ice tries to fill in your borehole).

Given the relative effort and the small likelihood that anything of consequence will be found under the ice layer, I doubt anyone would bother to drill down there except for (well-funded) scientific curiosity -- there's no mechanic to keep the water liquid as there is in the Jovian system, and no reason to expect any more metal chunks down there than at the surface (yes, they'll eventually sink through the ice, but it takes a pretty big chunk to sink rapidly, even by geological time scales).  Anything of economic interest will be close enough to the surface to detect readily with sonic/seismic methods, or ground penetrating radar (or improved versions of one or both).

Plane on February 05, 2011, 12:29:57 pm
How much is water itself worth?

It might be common on Ceries but it is scarce on Mars and the Earths moon, would trade in Water pay for very large freighters?

SandySandfort on February 05, 2011, 03:28:34 pm
How much is water itself worth?

It might be common on Ceries but it is scarce on Mars and the Earths moon, would trade in Water pay for very large freighters?

Have you read the entire EFT series from the beginning?

   http://bigheadpress.com/eft?page=1

spudit on February 05, 2011, 07:42:45 pm
Water is heavy and  not so valuable locally. I'd bet the 2 most valuable gasses are helium 3 and ammonia. The first as fusion fuel, the second as air and also fertilizer. They are a growing town with about the same breathing mix and pressure as Denver, a 4 to 1 N2 to O2 mix and need to fill it with atmo. I see a good market for ammonia. NH3.
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Plane on February 07, 2011, 03:21:01 am
How much is water itself worth?

It might be common on Ceries but it is scarce on Mars and the Earths moon, would trade in Water pay for very large freighters?

Have you read the entire EFT series from the beginning?

   http://bigheadpress.com/eft?page=1

Yes I know the Guzman family operates an ice mine.
,but , I don't recall it being covered yet who was buying the ice.

I would suppose it would be usefull as reaction mass and for watering crops , these uses would imply large scale mineing and large scale transport.

If the ice could be kept cold enough or contained in  a skin the craft that moved it might be mostly ice itself , perhasps looking like an iceberg with an engine attached.

spudit on February 07, 2011, 10:53:40 am
Recall how the Guzmans bought and sold and then delivered an entire free floating chunk of ice.

As I see it regarding small scale seasteading, best to keep busness local.  Think like a Whiskey Rebellion era frontiers-person. What is cheap to move locally, bulk grain back then, ammonia and dry ice on Ceres. What is dense with value? Booze back then, maybe fusion fuel, helium 3 and deutrium on Ceres.
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Plane on February 08, 2011, 12:37:16 am
Recall how the Guzmans bought and sold and then delivered an entire free floating chunk of ice.



Yes , I guess I liked that story enough to want more .