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#26 2015-09-07 14:37:47

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 18,576

Re: mars-water-discovery-curiosity-rover

Void wrote:

If you have a method to inject heat into water under the condensed ice and snow, you can liberate water from the poles, and create a biosphere, and ideally each polar body of water will be a solar collector. The excess melt water generated could be conveyed by canals and pipelines to lower latitudes, to feed more ice covered lakes, which would also be abodes for life, and solar collectors.

Hum nuclear generated heat, solar concentration made mobile to allow for getting the easy to gather water from the poles but to get the water to the equator is such a long way to run a pipeline or to use a slow speed electric roer of sorts....maybe solar powered rails for the cargo to be transported on via a network of rails from the poles to the equator.

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#27 2015-09-07 16:35:28

Void
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Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 3,194

Re: mars-water-discovery-curiosity-rover

Well, that's a solution.

The way I see it just now in my awareness of what is possible, I think the natural "Wet Spots" on Mars are what you want the most.  That is the polar ice caps and areas adjacent to them, particularly basins adjacent to the ice caps.

Now, they are not even inhabitable.

But if you throttled up your super greenhouse gasses to massive proportions, could you get them to start to melt?

However, that would be a bad plan, because there is an enormous thermal inertia, so while you would dry out the rest of the planet doing that and send it's surface water to the poles, it would be a long time before the polar ice caps would give up to you flowing rivers of water, or reservoirs of water not covered by hundreds of feet of ice.

Further you would not have enough humans and robots on the planet to generate an economy that could support such and intense build-up of super greenhouse gasses.

You could modify this by adding energy to the ice caps with fusion heat from fusion electric power plants, or putting power lines all over the planets lower latitudes, and exporting that electric power to the poles, where you would have underwater/under sea floor factories where your waste heat would be pushed into lakes/seas adjacent to the ice cap body.  Another alternative would be to pipe or ship by train, etc. water and split it into O2 and Hydrogen, pipe the Hydrogen back to the poles (Liberate the excess O2 to the atmosphere).  Pump Mars atmosphere into ice covered bodies of water adjacent to the ice caps, along with the Hydrogen.  Allow microbes to digest CO2 and H2, they will produce heat just by doing that.

Anyway, those are interesting supplements to consider as well.

Back to the original:

If it turns out that Mars cannot muster even a 500 mb atmosphere, then it will seem likely that the nights on Mars on the equator will almost always risk serious frost every night, I speculate.  The high latitudes might be better, but I think frost will be a problem.

For open field farm land your best hope in that case would be to go to the poles and heat them up enough so that during a 3 month out of 22.3 month year, the "Night" (Which will be very short in the summer) will be frost free.

That would also provide for a minimum 1 month out of 22.3 months where water can melt on the ice caps.

This uses Mars nature to an advantage, because it's year is much longer than Earths.  You also have a favorable factor where if you have a minimum atmospheric pressure of 100 to 300 mb, (Just guessing) you can hope that since Mars has less distance from the equator to the poles, equatorial heat will tend to move to the poles during cold spells at the poles.

And then I think greenhouse gasses do the most good for polar areas anyway.

But any settlement of Mars will have to ease into such an arrangement in a timely fashion.  If they do not, they will lock up most of the water into the polar ice caps, before those can be melted to provide water for the planet.  And as I have said, it will be a long time before enough infrastructure exists on the planet to drive that much greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere, and even if they do, it is going to take a long time to get the regolith to warm up and give up its gasses to the atmosphere.

So, I think that what is needed is a set of metamorphic changes, where at first, yes your backpackers have to get there, they have to graft themselves into the planets system, but at first, the will be highly reliant on items they have brought with them.  That will include air pressurized greenhouses all the time, but only that at first, and then perhaps, some dealings with larger and larger reservoirs of water can be included in the activities, if that turns out to be a productive thing to do.

As for when the ice caps are melted, I would think that most likely the north cap will be a ice covered sea, maybe it will melt around the edges now and then, here and there.

The south polar cap will be at a high elevation and should it melt, it will probably form rivers, and those will fill craters/basins (Mostly ice covered I would think), who knows, maybe even Hellas.  The water could be directed with canals, and pipelines, but yes, if a train or tanker truck gets you what you want for a better price, then why not?

It is important to remember that with the poles pointed as they are now, most precipitation will occur at the poles, Frost, Snow, or Rain.
So, that is where to go to get control of all of the Mars water.  (Which is of course one of it's greatly valuable resources).

Last edited by Void (2015-09-07 17:05:07)


I like people who criticize angels dancing on a pinhead.  I also like it when angels dance on my pinhead.

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#28 2015-11-04 13:55:31

Void
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Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 3,194

Re: mars-water-discovery-curiosity-rover

Curiosity finds evidence of a daily water cycle on Mars

http://arstechnica.com/science/2015/04/ … e-on-mars/

Conditions allow salts in the soil to pull water from the atmosphere

Just thought it would not hurt to have this reference here:

A huge range of data indicates that water has played a key part in the history of Mars, from entire oceans in the distant past, to evidence of lakes and streams at the landing site of the Curiosity rover. But what has not been clear is the role that water plays on the planet now. Hints of water activity have been spotted from orbit, but direct detection of liquid water on the surface has been elusive.

This week, a scientific team using data from the Curiosity rover has announced a bit more indirect evidence. Based on a combination of data about Martian weather and soil conditions, the researchers conclude that salts found on Mars can pull water out of the thin atmosphere and may drive a daily water cycle. While the evidence is indirect, it's consistent with data from a Russian instrument that registers indications of water molecules in the soil.

One of the more common chemicals in the Martian soil appears to be perchlorate salts, which have been detected from orbit and found by the Phoenix lander. These salts—calcium perchlorate in particular—readily form hydrates, where water molecules are integrated into the crystal structure itself to form an energetically favorable conformation. On Earth, this transition is so favorable that the salts can readily pull water out of the air on humid days.

While Mars also has water present, most of what we've been able to detect is locked up in the form of ice. One possible source is the thin atmosphere, which carries small amounts of water. But humidity levels would have to reach a minimal threshold before the atmosphere carried enough water to start donating it to the salts. And both remote sensing and atmospheric models suggested that the threshold would only ever be crossed near the poles. There, cold conditions would lower the amount of water the atmosphere can carry, meaning the same amount of water vapor leads to a higher relative humidity.

Curiosity has the advantage of carrying a Martian weather station and so is able to directly measure the conditions at Gale Crater, which is near the Martian equator. It finds that, throughout the Martian winter, the site would have a night-time relative humidity that's sufficient for perchlorate salts to latch on to water molecules. As the temperature warms during the day, the salts would give up the water to the atmosphere again, creating a water cycle. There are some indications from other sites that this cycle may create enough liquid that salts will gradually flow deeper into the soil.

This applies to the top few centimeters of the Martian surface; below that, temperatures should be cool enough for the salts to remain permanently hydrated, possibly forming an extremely salty brine. Further toward the poles, humidity should reach levels where "liquid brines are abundant," according to the authors.

Another instrument on board, the Dynamic Albedo of Neutrons (provided by the Russian space agency), found that the levels of water in the soil correlated with the atmosphere's relative humidity. And measurements of the local water vapor went down at night when the rover was over sandy soil, suggesting that some process was drawing water out of the atmosphere under these conditions. So everything appears to line up with the basic idea.

The authors consider these findings in light of what we know about microbial growth on Earth, as some species (notably the purple ones) can thrive in high salt conditions. But it turns out that life on Mars faces a bit of a catch-22. The conditions that are favorable to putting more water in the soil are the colder ones, which boost relative humidity. Unfortunately, these conditions are so cold that metabolism completely shuts down in any life on Earth.

This causes me to wonder if there could be a "Sweet Spot" where abundant brines collect near the surface, if that spot could be at lower latitudes than the winter extent of the CO2 ice cap.  If so, then I might ponder if it could be possible to establish a secondary base at a latitude higher than a presumed "First Base" near the equator.

If so, then it would not be dependent on mining ice to get a good water supply, and in addition perhaps the salts could be "Mined" to extract desired substances such as Calcium or Magnesium, or could there be some "Copper salts"?  Don't know, but that would be nice smile

Last edited by Void (2015-11-04 14:06:36)


I like people who criticize angels dancing on a pinhead.  I also like it when angels dance on my pinhead.

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#29 2016-06-20 03:52:00

elderflower
Member
Registered: 2016-06-19
Posts: 1,219

Re: mars-water-discovery-curiosity-rover

It's not just a salt solution, if it is there at all. It would be bleach!

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#30 2016-06-20 16:32:52

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 18,576

Re: mars-water-discovery-curiosity-rover

Welcome to NewMars elderflower, I hope that you spend a while and contribute to the many conversations that we have here....

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#31 2016-06-21 02:50:51

elderflower
Member
Registered: 2016-06-19
Posts: 1,219

Re: mars-water-discovery-curiosity-rover

Thanks, Mr Moderator.
Freezing of water will expel brines but they would need to be removed from beneath the ice to allow it to remain uncontaminated over bllions of years. There may be locations where this has happened, where ice could be mined.

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#32 2016-06-21 17:39:06

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 18,576

Re: mars-water-discovery-curiosity-rover

Here are some of the topics that are related to what you are describing....

Free flowing water found on Mars?
Evidence of buried glacier in Valles Marineris
Desalinating water

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#33 2017-09-23 10:27:35

elderflower
Member
Registered: 2016-06-19
Posts: 1,219

Re: mars-water-discovery-curiosity-rover

But, being cats, it will have its work cut out as each has to be killed nine times.

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