Scientists want to create a base on Phobos to control robots on Mars

Scientists want to create a base on Phobos to control robots on Mars
Scientists want to create a base on Phobos to control robots on Mars

Russian, Italian and American scientists have proposed creating a long-term habitable base on Phobos, with the help of which to remotely control robots on Mars, according to the book of abstracts of the "Royal Readings".

The forty-fourth academic readings on cosmonautics, dedicated to the memory of the chief designer of rocket and space technology, Sergei Korolev, will be held in Moscow from 28 to 31 January.

"The creation of such a base may be due to the fact that in the future it may be convenient to conduct an in-depth study of Mars and manage the construction of infrastructure on the planet not directly from the surface of Mars, but with the use of an intermediate inhabited base on Phobos," Bauman, Moscow Architectural Institute and the Universities of Genoa and Houston.

Among the advantages of the base on Phobos, they named its significant cheapness in comparison with the base on Mars, as well as the possibility of comfortable telecontrol of robots on the surface of Mars in real time, since the signal delay will be only 0.02-0.03 seconds.

Scientists noted that since the soil of Phobos is mainly a loose mixture of dust and coarser stone fractions of low density, as well as very small acceleration of gravity on the surface, it is "almost impossible to use existing construction methods."

Therefore, they proposed a special technology for creating a base, including the installation of anchor supports, buried in the ground upon impact with the surface during landing at high speed. Then robots are delivered to the base, which pull cables between the supports for movement, provide transport operations, landing and launching of spacecraft, and also dig ditches for placing the base modules.

"Due to the extremely low acceleration of gravity, to perform any excavation work, even in extremely soft ground, the robot will need multi-ton ballast, which is supposed to use one or more base modules," the report says.

According to scientists, the initial crew of the manned base will be six people who will be accommodated in one module. This module will include sleeping quarters, a kitchen, hygiene and training areas, a pantry, a repair shop, and equipment for controlling robots.

In the future, the base is supposed to be equipped with a module for the partial reproduction of consumables, with a greenhouse and equipment for biomedical experiments, as well as a module to increase the degree of comfort of the crew and ensure changes in shifts.