Lunar Farside, Mars Polar Cap, and Mercury Polar Cap Neutrino Experiments

by Jonathan V. Post, Computer Futures Inc, Altadena, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Engineering, Construction, and Operations in Space III


Neutrino detection offers unusual Civil Engineering challenges for the inner Solar System, including: outposts and permanent bases on the Moon, a novel development within the polar caps of Mars, and possibly a unique system at the north pole of Mercury. In the first case, some Lunar outpost and Lunar base scenarios might add a lunar farside neutrino detection experiment. This paper offers a modification by the author of an experiment proposed by a University of Pennsylvania physicist. The modification provides an additional use for Lunar Liquid Oxygen tank repositories. In the second case, a Martian polar cap neutrino detector could detect Earth-made, solar, cosmic, and SETI neutrinos at a significant baseline distance from the Earth-Moon system. This is an extraterrestrial modification of experimental systems in the glaciers of Greenland and Antarctica. In the third case, recent Caltech/JPL observations suggest the existence of ice patches at the north pole of Mercury. If confirmed, this makes a human expedition to Mercury as plausible as a human expedition to Mars. Cryogenic ice on the hottest planet offers an opportunity for refueling, and also for another version of the neutrino detector experiment. All three systems require unusual engineering considerations, including coordination with gigantic Earth-based neutrino generators, codevelopment with refueling repositories, construction with unusual radiation shielding requirements, and construction with in situ materials (i.e. LLOX, Mars polar cap dry ice, Mercury polar cap dirty ice).

Subject Headings: Moon | Mars | Mercury (chemical) | Space colonies | Ice | Systems engineering | Probe instruments | Greenland | Denmark | Antarctica

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