New Mars Forums

Official discussion forum of The Mars Society and MarsNews.com

You are not logged in.

Announcement

Announcement: We've recently made changes to our user database and have removed inactive and spam users. If you can not login, please re-register.

#1 2002-07-04 20:37:32

Phobos
Member
Registered: 2002-01-02
Posts: 1,103

Re: Extracting Water for a Mars Mission

I was thinking that if Martian probes detected any areas on the planet that have abundant water close to the surface that it might be possible to send a water extraction device to Mars before a manned mission launches.  It could fill up a large tank with water by digging down into the permafrost and processing the material in any number of ways to extract the moisture.  If such a thing could be made to work it could save a lot of mass from having to be brought along.  The idea is similiar to sending equipment to manufacture fuel out of the atmosphere before people arrive.


To achieve the impossible you must attempt the absurd

Offline

#2 2002-07-09 11:51:32

Nirgal82
Member
From: El Paso TX, USA
Registered: 2002-07-09
Posts: 112

Re: Extracting Water for a Mars Mission

Actually even if Odyssey only discovered some form of hydrogen that isn't actually water, This is still a very good thing, as Mars Direct's only refrigerated payload would have been liquid hydrogen to mix with ambient Martian air.
This means you can trade that payload for a driller that can process the water or hydrogen thats already there.
This could probably reduce the cost of a Mars Direct mission...

FOR MARS...
-Matt


"...all matter is merely energy condensed into a slow vibration.  We are all one consiousness experiencing itself subjectively.  There is no such thing as death, life is only a dream and we are the imagination of ourselves."  -Bill Hicks

Offline

#3 2002-07-09 15:38:01

Phobos
Member
Registered: 2002-01-02
Posts: 1,103

Re: Extracting Water for a Mars Mission

This means you can trade that payload for a driller that can process the water or hydrogen thats already there.
This could probably reduce the cost of a Mars Direct mission...
[/quote:post_uid0]

Good point.  Since the same drilling machine could also be used on later manned missions to extract hydrogen or water, it would likely pay off for itself quickly if we continued to send manned missions to Mars.


To achieve the impossible you must attempt the absurd

Offline

#4 2002-07-24 01:14:46

PaganToris
Member
From: Exeter,Ca
Registered: 2002-07-17
Posts: 105
Website

Re: Extracting Water for a Mars Mission

me i dont thnx that it is not at all possible to have water on mars for one thing there is no oxeygen on the planet water needs oxeygen but yet if u get a small tank from space and put it to mars who know what might happen to it the tank may implode the minute it hits the mars surface no one cann tell unless we try it.


ZIGIE ZOKKIE  ZIGIE ZOKKIE OY OY OY
ZIGIE ZOKKIE  ZIGIE ZOKKIE OY OY OY
ZIGIE ZOKKIE  ZIGIE ZOKKIE OY OY OY
if u know what show thats from than where cool smile

Offline

#5 2002-07-24 17:06:56

Josh Cryer
Administrator
Registered: 2001-09-29
Posts: 3,830

Re: Extracting Water for a Mars Mission

Hi PaganToris. smile

The preliminary GRS results indicated, with a good degree of certainity, that the hydrogen dectected was indeed part of water.

Here's a ScienceMag report that basically reiterates what's been said for quite awhile:

http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi....eid=sci

Phobos, from what Odyssey is reporting, almost [i:post_uid7]anywhere[/i:post_uid7] in the Northern or Southern hemisphere is a good place to find water close to the surface. But I [i:post_uid7]think[/i:post_uid7] (I have to look this up), Acidalia Planitia would make a good candidate; better than any other place. That's the region that shows up on the GRS map even though the Northern hemisphere is in a winter... but this could be due to the altitude... (now that I think about it, heh).


Some useful links while MER are active. Offical site NASA TV JPL MER2004 Text feed
--------
The amount of solar radiation reaching the surface of the earth totals some 3.9 million exajoules a year.

Offline

#6 2002-07-24 18:10:55

Phobos
Member
Registered: 2002-01-02
Posts: 1,103

Re: Extracting Water for a Mars Mission

Phobos, from what Odyssey is reporting, almost anywhere in the Northern or Southern hemisphere is a good place to find water close to the surface. But I think (I have to look this up), Acidalia Planitia would make a good candidate; better than any other place. That's the region that shows up on the GRS map even though the Northern hemisphere is in a winter... but this could be due to the altitude... (now that I think about it, heh). [/quote:post_uid0]

I still can't believe it that there is such good evidence for an abundance of water on Mars.  Everytime I read about it I want to break out some expensive bottle of champaigne that I don't have and do a toast. smile  Anyways, I was under the impression that the water was mainly localized in a few large places, I didn't know that it was pretty much all over the planet.  That's even better news!


To achieve the impossible you must attempt the absurd

Offline

#7 2002-07-24 19:40:20

PaganToris
Member
From: Exeter,Ca
Registered: 2002-07-17
Posts: 105
Website

Re: Extracting Water for a Mars Mission

WELL WE ALL KNOW THAT WATER MAY BEABLE TO BE ON MARS BUT THERE IS NO OXYGEN ON MARS SO THERE IS NO WAY WE COULD HAVE DRINKING WATER I THNX THAT WE ALL SHOULS TRY TO LIVE ON PLUTO WHERE IT IS COLD I LIKE TO THE COLD OR MAYBE WE CAN HAVE A REALLY BIG SPACE HEATER IN THERE TO KEEP US SOME WHAT WARM smile AND PHOBOS WATER CAN BE ON MARS


ZIGIE ZOKKIE  ZIGIE ZOKKIE OY OY OY
ZIGIE ZOKKIE  ZIGIE ZOKKIE OY OY OY
ZIGIE ZOKKIE  ZIGIE ZOKKIE OY OY OY
if u know what show thats from than where cool smile

Offline

#8 2002-07-25 17:13:26

Phobos
Member
Registered: 2002-01-02
Posts: 1,103

Re: Extracting Water for a Mars Mission

PaganToris I don't quite get where your going with this oxygen thing of yours.  Are you saying water can't exist on Mars because there's no atmospheric oxygen or are you saying the hydrogen that was detected isn't water?  Yes, of course you can't have liquid water on the surface of Mars in the open, but you certainly could in a properly pressurized and heated hab module.  Anyways, I'm shocked you think Pluto can would be a good target for a colony.  I thought I was the only who believed that.  I bet there's tons of water ice on Pluto and I imagine the radiation wouldn't be to bad and it's also got Charon close by which is good for a lot of things.  I guess we won't know for sure though about the water unless the Pluto Express probe gets a chance to scout the planet.


To achieve the impossible you must attempt the absurd

Offline

#9 2002-07-25 20:44:08

Josh Cryer
Administrator
Registered: 2001-09-29
Posts: 3,830

Re: Extracting Water for a Mars Mission

Phobos, hi! That's why I was asking before if anyone knew how to calculate how much water is there on the assumption that the regoloth is x% water to x% depth depending on the longitude. This is probably trivial to calculate, but my math knowledge is pretty pathetic.

But it would at least give us an idea.

Tee hee, and I think maybe PaganToris is foolin'. smile


Some useful links while MER are active. Offical site NASA TV JPL MER2004 Text feed
--------
The amount of solar radiation reaching the surface of the earth totals some 3.9 million exajoules a year.

Offline

#10 2002-07-26 18:09:25

Phobos
Member
Registered: 2002-01-02
Posts: 1,103

Re: Extracting Water for a Mars Mission

Phobos, hi! That's why I was asking before if anyone knew how to calculate how much water is there on the assumption that the regoloth is x% water to x% depth depending on the longitude. This is probably trivial to calculate, but my math knowledge is pretty pathetic.

But it would at least give us an idea.
[/quote:post_uid0]

I'm not sure of the formulas exactly but it if you had a rough estimate of the density of the regolith and the percentage of hydrogen that's in it, you should be able to come up with a rough estimate of how much water is there.  So if you determined that the wet density of the regolith averaged about 114 pounds per cubic foot and that the moisture was 10% of that weight you might just do a calculation similiar to this 114(.10)=11.4 pounds of water per cubic foot then just multiply 11.4 by the total cubic area of the place in question to get the weight of the water, so if the area you examined had 11,000,000 cubic feet of area you'd just multiply that by 11.4 to get 124,400,000 pounds (Martian weight) of water and then just convert that to its corresponding volume measurement in gallons, liters, or whatever.   Of course those calculations will be to simple considering that your going to have a lot of different densities and moistures in any given area that will have to be sampled, calculated, and combined to find the mean.  There's prolly other flaws there to but I imagine the math would be along those lines somewhat.


To achieve the impossible you must attempt the absurd

Offline

#11 2002-07-27 14:49:49

Nirgal82
Member
From: El Paso TX, USA
Registered: 2002-07-09
Posts: 112

Re: Extracting Water for a Mars Mission

I was under the impression that it was Amazonis, west of Olympus that had the high concentration of water in the north.
In the south I think its around and under the polar cap.
I think this would suggest extensive northern settlement in Amazonis and Acidalia (Tharsis and Elysium too but not on the massifs themselves, on the edges as the radiation is significantly higher up there on the bulges)
And the south's main settlements would be on the southern rims of the great basins, Agyre and Hellas. Even though these basins are quite a ways from the water source, I think the low elevation of the basins will make it necessary for them to be located there. Perhaps a water caravan system could be set up to mine water from the south ('sides, who would complain about the water caravan throught the chaotic southern highlands when your scenery at home consists of you side of the rim and the vast flatness beyond)
Anywho, I think those would be the primest land on Mars in the first few decades as they are closest to, if not right on top of, the water found by Odyssey...

your friendly neighborhood Martian...
-Matt


"...all matter is merely energy condensed into a slow vibration.  We are all one consiousness experiencing itself subjectively.  There is no such thing as death, life is only a dream and we are the imagination of ourselves."  -Bill Hicks

Offline

#12 2002-08-08 00:19:34

RobS
Member
From: South Bend, IN
Registered: 2002-01-15
Posts: 1,701
Website

Re: Extracting Water for a Mars Mission

My guess is that the first mission or two probably should bring a nuclear reactor and hydrogen and make water from the imported hydrogen and atmospheric carbon dioxide. Extracting water from permafrost may be too difficult to do automatically. A drill could miss an ice pocket, or the drill bit could get stuck and you'd have to wait for an astronaut to show up and fix the problem. Systems using a front end loader to scoop up permafrost may encounter concrete-hard regolith and be unable to do enough scooping. Possibly a system that travels around, covering an area of ground with a metal hood, then heating it from above with microwaves, driving off the water, could extract enough, but then you'd have to bring the water back to the ship and transfer it. If a ship landed on a polar cap, a drill could go into the cryolith, insert heat, and extract the water, but at the possible danger of undermining the vehicle by making a cave underneath it! These problems would be easier to solve with astronauts running around and fixing things or improvising on the spot.

                -- RobS

Offline

Board footer

Powered by FluxBB