Feb 7, 2007

Mineral Counts

Can you help me work through the minerals that we will have and their percentages of being found every time someone digs? The way it currently works it that for every dig, you have the chance of finding 1 unit of each type - so you could get 1 of each if you "rolled" perfectly each time.

Here's my first though effort. These are very easy to change in my config files:

1st number - % to find in Low Altitude
2nd number - % High Alt
3rd number - % In asteroids

Aluminum 10% 30% 40%
Calcium 10% 30% 40%
Carbon 10% 10% 20%
Hydrogen 20% 10% 50%
Iron 40% 10% 20%
Liq. Ox 10% 3% 20%
Magnesium 30% 10% 20%
Silicon 5% 35% 45%
Water 2% 1% 3%
Titanium 0% 30% 10%
NanoFiber 0% 0% .1%

Do we need to add Nickel? Anything else? I'm guessing Iron should be increased. Water as well?

I'm thinking of adding an extra column for % when digging underground or % when robot digs (though these might just be double and tripple the chances of finding one). Thoughts?


Phil Smith said...

I would add hafnium, which is considered relatively abundant in the maria. Do data as to percentages or concentrations are available, however.

Also, I just read in the most recent issue of Discover magazine that lunar regolith is very easy to melt using microwaves or ion guns, among other things. Apparently, the technology exists that would permit melting of the regolith for a desired depth of about a meter, with a firm crust of glass on top measuring several centimeters. The vision discussed was to have a "Zamboni-like" vehicle pave huge swaths of territory to prevent dustups and provide firm foundations for construction. Dust will be a major issue, and I think moving parts (like suit joints and articulating machines) will need to be covered somehow - exposed hardware will wear out very quickly in such an environment.

Phil Smith said...

Here's something elese to consider, and may offer plot ideas: China's energy plans apparently involve lunar resources:


It is easy to be dismissive of Chinese space plans; however, it is unwise to underestimate a rival (a lesson described by, well, a Chinese man named Sun Tzu many years ago).

neftimiades said...

A lot of spectral work has been done on the moon. The South Pole-Aitken (SPA) Basin on the Moon has high iron content. This is believed to be from an EXTREMELY large asteroid. The south pole is believed to have 3 billion tons of metric water (ice). The water is believed to be in craters – away from the sun’s rays which would evaporate any water ice. Water would be in perpetually shaded areas. Iron would also be at surface levels as opposed to highlands.

I have not heard about melting the regolith, which is just crushed rock. Yes there is some glass, but it still seems a little far fetched - at least for the near term

The composition of materials in the highlands (like at the poles) is somewhat different than the marias. There are no maria anywhere near the South Pole so we probably should just keep it simple with respect to composition.

Perhaps we can use the "dust ups" as part of the life support arc. If a player does not cover up equipment after receiving notice, the equipment suffers failure.

neftimiades said...

I would increase water and Iron. Water in dark ground areas. Iron at surface levels (not hills). We should have a processor for water to be oxygen.

Mike said...

If we process water for oxygen, we can use the left over hydrogen molecules to power other equipment, or to add an element of danger if there's a leak...

[cue diabolical laugh]

Phil Smith said...

There is quite a bit of glass in the regolith, actually, in the form of globules. But what I was suggesting was melting the regolith using microwaves and lasers to melt the regolith into glass. This has been proven to work - I will get the reference as soon as I can locate it.