In Situ Production of High Density Polyethylene and Other Useful Materials on Mars 2005-01-2776
One of the largest single mass penalties required to support the human exploration of Mars is the surface habitat structural mass. Reducing the amount of structural material that must be launched from Earth to provide a habitat will reduce the cost of future missions. This paper describes the use of physical chemical technologies to produce high-density polyethylene for use as structural/construction materials from Mars atmospheric carbon dioxide. The formation of polyethylene from Mars carbon dioxide is based on the use of the Sabatier and modified Fischer Tropsch reactions. The system describe can be fully integrate with planned Mars in situ propellant production concepts.