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#1 2002-03-19 11:54:57

Disland
Member
Registered: 2002-03-16
Posts: 11

Re: Drilling for hydrogen - No time like the present

Does anyone know offhand whether any of the 2003 rovers planned to visit Mars, have any sort of drilling device to look properly and extract hydrogen ( ice/water) ? I noticed Nasa have still not confirmed the sites for landing but wondered if they were planning to drill down below the surface at all? There were some hydrogen hot spots in the equatorial region shown on the data from the Mars Surveyor, surely they will opt for somewhere near there?
Any ideas or news would be of special interest. I've checked the ESA Beagle website but not found anything related to drilling, it is worth a visit anyway.
Beagle 2 Website

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#2 2002-03-19 12:04:39

Disland
Member
Registered: 2002-03-16
Posts: 11

Re: Drilling for hydrogen - No time like the present

I didn't look hard enough, fool! Beagle II does have a Mole, but I don't think they are actually searching for underground ice, it's seems just for collecting regolith.
Because of the power cable it can only go a few metres from the lander, but that could be good enough if it was vertically down. Not sure of their landing site though.
regards

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#3 2002-03-19 12:08:09

Adrian
Moderator
From: London, United Kingdom
Registered: 2001-09-04
Posts: 642
Website

Re: Drilling for hydrogen - No time like the present

Nah, the mole only goes horizontally. It was designed so that it could look under rocks and scrape away at their surface so we can look at their internal composition, something that has not yet been done. Might even be life inside some of those rocks  wink


Editor of New Mars

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#4 2002-03-23 07:36:46

Disland
Member
Registered: 2002-03-16
Posts: 11

Re: Drilling for hydrogen - No time like the present

I emailed Colin Pillinger from Beagle II team to find out more about the mole and this is what he said:

'Beagle 2 will land at Isidis.  The mole is limited to 2m depth. 
Instruments
on Beagle 2 will detect water per se not just hydrogen.'[/quote:post_uid14]

So going by this brief response, there is a slight possibility of reaching and detecting water in 2003, all being well. I haven't worked out where the landing site is yet and whether it correlates with any hydrogen hot spots, but it is interesting to get a fix.

Maybe NASA will rig something up of similar design too, I remember reading about a probe for Europa, so an adapted versino of that could help get ice core samples later down the line. A decent water supply would be a real bonus for Human missions.

regards

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#5 2002-04-02 19:55:38

Michael Bloxham
Member
From: Auckland, New Zealand
Registered: 2002-03-31
Posts: 426

Re: Drilling for hydrogen - No time like the present

Finding hydogen or water on mars wouldn't likely help out a manned mission. Atleast not as far as drinking water is concerned. Current life support systems are succesful in recycling 99% of water used by the crew. It has been considered, however, that hydrogen from mars could be gathered and stored for the return fuel of future manned missions. Such a task would likely be carried out by rovers before the manned craft arrived.


- Mike,  Member of the Clean Slate Society

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#6 2002-04-03 08:42:44

Alexander K. Naylor
Member
Registered: 2002-03-30
Posts: 20

Re: Drilling for hydrogen - No time like the present

Water could still be helpful, though, in the creation of fuel (separating it into 02 and H).  I wouldn't recommend this, though, for the fact that making fuel out of that would require a lot of water, and it might hurt possible ecosystems on Mars.

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#7 2006-08-20 14:41:35

RedStreak
Member
From: Illinois
Registered: 2006-05-12
Posts: 541

Re: Drilling for hydrogen - No time like the present

On this topic I thought to mention the upcoming Phoenix lander being build out of Arizona.  Technically its not a rover but it is going to be digging for ices in the soil and off and on I hear talk about a drilling mechanism if not for it than possibly a successor lander.

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