Timothy Dyck: Tool making on Mars
Timothy Dyck: Why I bought this train rail at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xHpbY2TR-M0
This was an interesting video. These days I am mainly tracking solar system colonization and gravitational engineering. So, seeing your tools, methods and materials, I tried to translate that to Mars, Moon, various orbits and transit situations in space. Mass is expensive so taking tons of materials and equipment is generally not the way to go. More likely people will process local materials, and 3D print metals where they are needed, but glass and nano-synthesized more likely.
The Mars “regolith” (unconsolidated deposits covering solid rock) is about 18.4% iron oxide (Fe2O3). The regolith is mostly silicon dioxide (quartz sand), ferric oxide, and the oxides of aluminum, calcium and sulfur. For making things like pipes, plates, structures, windows various types of Mars concrete are being tested (simulated materials).
About 42% of the surface materials on Mars is Oxygen, so “mining” and extracting oxygen is part of the plans. Once the oxygen is separated (many methods), then the residual silicon (22%), iron (13%), magnesium (10%), aluminum (6%), calcium (3%), sodium (2%), potassium (2%), titanium (0.6%), manganese (0.2%), chromium, phosphorus etc — can be used for various things. Mars glass and iron will be important.
I think that Mars humans will use hammers, shovels, hoes, spoons, forks, plates, cups. I expect nuclear and atomic heat to be common. Low cost, compact sources of electricity, heat, radiation (for industrial, chemical and practical uses).
Richard Collins, The Internet Foundation