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Blue drifter
• 2/4/2016

What about Mercury?

There seems to be no human presence on Mercury that I can find about on the internet in the Expanse, is that explained somewhere? I know that it is difficult to get into orbit of it (delta V wise its easier to escape the Sun.) However it has loads of Energy, supposedly a large Metallic Core, a fairly small gravity well to launch out of, while the temperatures at the poles are relatively mild and certainly survivable.

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Blue drifter
• 2/5/2016

While I think the proposed Epstein Drive would be capable of handling the necessary high delta V (Actually a mission to Mercury and back requires the highest delta V of any planet in the solar system), the planet itself is an extreme challenge due to its proximity to the sun. The danger besides heat being massive radiation from the sun and solar winds at that distance.

Contrary to some (still) polpular belief, Mercury is not tidal locked to the sun, meaning there is no large area that is in constant shadow. Every structure on the surface will at one time be exposed to the sun unless it is build into some particular places into craters on any pole that might experience eternal shadow.

This alone seems to be a valid argument against a permanent base or an even more elaborate mining operation of any meaningful size outside the pole spots.

I think in the Expanse universe it is just not cost effective to mine Mercury when there are other sources for the same materials much more easy to access.

• 7/5/2016

Radiation would be a killer. You would need to keep running to shade to avoid being burnt by plasma and any electronics would suffer terribly. I suppose you could get underground as quick as possible in less than 80 days. Cold is easier to adapt to than blistering heat, radiation, and high EM activity. Radio communication might be tough being in close proximity to Sol. The weird orbit and rotation of Mercury might work for you - might be bad too. Even a CME against a metalic planet might set up a bad magnetic field everywhere.

Best to avoid, save it for last.

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