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So it just occured to me - Astonaut Bikers!

Old 12-15-05, 03:07 AM
  #1  
HereNT
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I was reading a thread in the winter forum about riding in temps that don't happen on most of this planet. And somehow I got to thinking that those same temps are pretty much the norm on at least one other planet that we might visit soon.

Transportation would be a b!tch if we go there. Rocks, sand, whatever. Solar fuel for an excusion vehicle? There's less energy out there - it's further away from the sun.

I followed this guy's trip a little while ago taking a route that most cars can't on a Surly Pugsley with a trailer. It was desert, but the soil conditions would probably be similar.

http://www.wildworks.co.nz/csr/

So now I'm thinking, if we do find ourselves on another planet sometime soon, a bicycle should be available for every astronaut. Haul gear, get anywhere, less weight on the spaceship... Since any sort of long term mission would involve an indoor habitat and grown food, it would be a renewable source of energy to fuel their scientific research. Plus it's good exercise.

Sorry if someone has suggested this before in another thread - I'm far to lazy right now to use the search function.
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Old 12-15-05, 05:25 AM
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MichaelW
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How much gravity do you need before you can ride effectively?
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Old 12-15-05, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by HereNT
I was reading a thread in the winter forum about riding in temps that don't happen on most of this planet. And somehow I got to thinking that those same temps are pretty much the norm on at least one other planet that we might visit soon.

Transportation would be a b!tch if we go there. Rocks, sand, whatever. Solar fuel for an excusion vehicle? There's less energy out there - it's further away from the sun.

I followed this guy's trip a little while ago taking a route that most cars can't on a Surly Pugsley with a trailer. It was desert, but the soil conditions would probably be similar.

http://www.wildworks.co.nz/csr/

So now I'm thinking, if we do find ourselves on another planet sometime soon, a bicycle should be available for every astronaut. Haul gear, get anywhere, less weight on the spaceship... Since any sort of long term mission would involve an indoor habitat and grown food, it would be a renewable source of energy to fuel their scientific research. Plus it's good exercise.

Sorry if someone has suggested this before in another thread - I'm far to lazy right now to use the search function.
Eventually bike manufacturers would list the weight of their bikes like this.....

3.9 lb. without pedals*

*actual weight on the surface of the moon.
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Old 12-15-05, 04:16 PM
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No reason it wouldn't work, depending on the condition of the "trail".

You can always increase the mass of the bike so the weight on the planet it's intended for will be adequate for traction.

You won't have to pump up your tires to 120 psi. 6 psi will be fine.

...but you may have to use steel spring tires, since rubber won't last too long.

Forget your favorite chain lube. Use a hard lubricant coating instead.

People had little trouble moving about on the moon. Rovers on the moon and Mars did (and still do!) OK.

Remember to drive in a vehicular manner and always wear your helmet!
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Old 12-15-05, 04:24 PM
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Bicycles on the moon are a natural. Low gravity, mild hills and no wind resistance. Trikes or quads might prevail because the one thing you wouldn't want to do is fall off and hurt your suit.

I haven't done all the math lately, but as I recall, with proper gearing, the right ramp and a high enough speed, it might be possible to escape lunar gravity.
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Old 12-15-05, 07:52 PM
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Originally Posted by eubi
You can always increase the mass of the bike so the weight on the planet it's intended for will be adequate for traction.
Actually, I doubt you'd need to do that. Most likely, they would be transporting scientific equipment and samples, so there would already be a bunch of extra weight.

I'm not sure about the feasability of the moon, but I was thinking Mars would be an excellent canidate...
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Old 12-15-05, 08:01 PM
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Reminds me of the lunar course demo I saw while browing virtual trainer software....
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Old 12-16-05, 04:15 AM
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The biggest problem on the moon is dust. Ther particles are very sharpe since there is little natural erosion. It ground down all the moving parts on the moonrover and the joints of the space suits. All were totally worn out by the end of the trip. A moonbike will need a totally enclosed drivetrain.
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Old 12-16-05, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by HereNT
Actually, I doubt you'd need to do that. Most likely, they would be transporting scientific equipment and samples, so there would already be a bunch of extra weight.

I'm not sure about the feasability of the moon, but I was thinking Mars would be an excellent canidate...
I know, but things like this are fun. Try to brainstorm as much as you can, and you get some interesting ideas.

Thanks for posing the question!
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Old 12-16-05, 09:48 AM
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Does anything have to be Aero on the moon?
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Old 12-16-05, 10:34 AM
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Could you image what bunny hop contests would be like on the moon? Better yet, would the lunar gravity give you an advantage in skid contest?

Given the conditions of the lunar landscape, I think a Surly Pugsley with stans no tubes would be the bike of choice.
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