Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Mars Writer Project

Martian soil writing robot draws names, messages, even drawings on Mars and sends pictures of them back to Earth.
  [vote for,

I'm designing a device to monitize Mars for the first time. My chances of success are maybe 1in 100 but I don't care, I'm doing it anyway.

It's going to be about 2 pounds and will be a solar powered, about 12" square with a rotary snow plow looking thing. The price to write your name, a message to somebody special or a memorial to a loved one on Mars in up to 5 foot tall letters will be from $5,000 for a 1 foot letter to $25,000 for a five foot letter. A 10 foot pole with a camera on top sends the pictures of the autographed Martian surface to Earth.

This would be paid for by private equity or group funding hitching a ride aboard the next Mars lander.

The device would be named "Max" and the first name it would write would be Maxwell Buchanan.

doctorremulac3, Feb 08 2020

Astro Pi https://astro-pi.org/
[Dub, Feb 11 2020]

Kingston University launch 2020 Bright Ideas competition https://www.youtube...watch?v=OpMKc1N9tEA
(for info/ref) [Dub, Feb 11 2020]

Your_20Face_20on_20Mars This was one of my first hb ideas... [xenzag, Feb 11 2020]

Here... https://www.cnet.co...ach-into-a-notepad/
[doctorremulac3, Feb 11 2020]

...aaaaand here... https://wonderfulen...poems-on-the-beach/
[doctorremulac3, Feb 11 2020]

...here's a cut little feller. Except where are his pupils? https://www.eteknix...ot-to-draw-on-sand/
[doctorremulac3, Feb 11 2020]

How about cool art to frame the names and messages? https://inhabitat.c...r_sand-painting-22/
Cool thing is, the Martian wind erases the pallet making way for new names, messages and art. Mars's's's first job would be to act as a really big Etch-a-sketch. [doctorremulac3, Feb 11 2020]


       Solar powered is good, but solar flux is weaker on Mars than here. Rotary snow ploughs are energy-demanding.   

       Could microbiology be used instead? Spray a thin film of nutrient gel onto the surface and wait for it to be colonised by strange mouldy things?
pocmloc, Feb 08 2020

       I've also thought of just having a standard plow dragged along but that's not going to be as deep. Keep in mind, this would go as fast as the solar power allowed. It might take an hour or two per letter.   

       As far as farming letters you'd be shipping gallons of something to Mars. This has to be light weight and small.   

       No, a rolling solar panel that scratches letters in the soil is the way to go. The writing or drawing could be done by the snow plow idea, a regular plow, or a spinning brush, whatever is most efficient.
doctorremulac3, Feb 08 2020

       they're sending a flying one, too -- maybe that one can leave some chemtrails
theircompetitor, Feb 08 2020

       // A 10 foot pole with a camera on top //   

       That's a very tall Pole. Do you have a specific person in mind ?   

       10 feet is 3 metres. A human with their arms above their head is about 15-20% taller than their nominal height, so you'll be employing someone whose nominal height is 2.5m, or around 8 feet 4 inches ... that's pretty tall, and also means engineering a very specialised environment suit.   

       Then you need to get this tall person to Mars, which means a proportionately spacious vehicle,   

       We contend that you would be better employing an average to small sized photographer, and furnishing them with a lightweight, folding stepladder, and a monopod or possibly a selfie stick. This would also avoid any allegation of any sort of racial or nationalist discrimination.   

       We also recommend a radiothermal energy source,   

       [+] for the idea.
8th of 7, Feb 08 2020

       Well 8, obviously by pole I didn't mean a "Polish person", it could be anybody of western Slavic or Lechite descent.   

       This is a serious and daunting task. We'll need to approach it with serious seriosity and determinated determination. There will be no time for tomfoolery or spellchecking.
doctorremulac3, Feb 08 2020

       OK, I've got one motor to work with, the rear drive mechanism will be two contra rotating soil displacement turbine like affairs supplying both the forward motion and pushing the soil to the side. A single gimbaled steering wheel in the front will brake as necessary to give the rotating members the time they need to move the soil and also direct the unit on its path.   

       The unit has to be as light as possible so if necessary these turbine shaped rotaty things can reverse and fill a "ballast chamber" with Martian soil to add weight if necessary.   

       By the way, of course I know and have known for several years that Max's real name is Paul, but Maxwell Buchanan is his "Mark Twain" style nom de plume. Let people do their own research into the back story.
doctorremulac3, Feb 08 2020

       That reminds me of some fifty years ago on a beach somewhere in Scotland. My Dad, brother and I spelled a massive BUM in the sand for all to see. My Mum was in the sand dunes (Scottish beaches - summer - sand dunes - slightly warmer) and was supportive of the creativity. Some dog walkers wandered right through the art and given the massiveness they never even noticed it. We were hoping even in the late 60s that it would be seen from space.
DenholmRicshaw, Feb 09 2020

       Funny you mention this... I attended an event called "Bright Ideas" at Kingston University (in the UK) recently where a team proposed a STEM idea called "Saga" (was "KuRo II") won an award - The project was to make "a roving science vehicle built by students, for students" to drive around on Mars! :)
Might make an intersting income stream...

       Reminded me of "Astro Pi" - A Raspberry Pi on the ISS which ran experiments designed and written by school kids [linky]
Dub, Feb 11 2020

       Gives me a good idea.   

       I live right next to Stanford. Talk about a fun student project for the engineering / science / aerospace department.   

       Then again maybe the University of Cambridge might be the group to get on board.
doctorremulac3, Feb 11 2020

       God it would be cool to have MB's name be first on Mars, instead of what it will be..."PLANET TRUMP"
blissmiss, Feb 11 2020

       See link.... This was one of my first halfbakery posts - the idea of getting your face constructed on Mars. I still quite like it, but sadly ignored by Nasa. Now if only I had proposed Trump's image being built, the whole Mars project would be in full swing by now.
xenzag, Feb 11 2020

       //MB's name be first on Mars// I'd feel bad if I didn't queue behind a lot of others. Also, it might be best to start with something smaller, like [dub] or even [jutta].
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 11 2020

       We'll start out with "Max" and see how it looks before proceeding.   

       By the way, look at all the lovely terrestrial sand writing robots I found. (links)
doctorremulac3, Feb 11 2020

       [MB], I'm really not all that small! :)
Dub, Feb 13 2020

       [MB], I'm really not all that small! :)
Dub, Feb 13 2020

       I would think John Carter would be better off if Deja Thoris wasn't being kidnapped every 5 minutes. Can't he put her in a force field or summat?
not_morrison_rm, Feb 14 2020

       // I'm really not all that small! //   

       ... but you are many ... ?   

       // Can't he put her in a force field or summat? //   

       He could put her in a deep, narrow hole in the ground - plenty of those around on Mars, because Edgar Rice Burroughs....   

       <Executes elegant and pefectly timed dive-and-roll to avoid incoming fire/>
8th of 7, Feb 14 2020

       You didn't planet, so you're in my sights now.
Voice, Feb 15 2020


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