Sunday, July 16, 2006
Making Vallis Dao a Little Lived In
I spent several hours this weekend furnishing the virtual Mars for Less base at Vallis Dao with a few props, most courtesy of Greg Burch (from his Heinlein Moon Base). Of course Orbiter isn't The Sims, but I wanted to make the virtual base a little lived in, even if all we'll do is land and take off from there.
I added six "inflatable" greenhouses (to the left of the ERV above) as well as a protective enclosure for the small nuclear reactor that Mark Paton built, a tall antenna with a red beacon, and some cargo containers (from a cargo drop?), the latter three not shown. This adds to the four astronauts already borrowed from Greg (2M, 2F), Andy's Mars Rover, Mark's ERV and MTSV, and an inflatable "lab" added on to the MTSV (this is from the ESA space station inflatable add-on by "No matter" and intended for zero-G, not surface use - but no matter). I couldn't find a suitable vehicle to stand in for the robot tractor that would remove the nuclear reactor from the ERV and install it to get the methane/LOX fuel production going for the ERV's return flight. But at least this gives some idea of what the first Mars base might be like - pretty spartan, but home just the same.
At Mark Paton's suggestion, we have dubbed this first base "Mandya Arti" (which means Mandya's blood), a name that comes from an Australian Aboriginal Dreamtime legend called "How the hills came to be." More pix at Flickr.