Confirmed: WATER IS ON MARS! -1 reply

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jumjum

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11th April 2005

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#1 10 years ago

Incredible. Water is on Mars. Not just signs of it. Not evidence of water's past presence. It is there right now, in the form of ice. It's no longer conjecture: NASA announced the ice has been analyzed and confirmed - SPACE.com -- Water Ice on Mars Confirmed

This is simply astounding to me. I'm certainly no space visionary - I hardly keep up. Even 6 months ago I would have bet that conclusive evidence of even the past existence of Martian water would never turn up, and now they have the real thing. This is a huge step on the road to colonization of another planet. If water is there in sufficient quantities, it removes what is perhaps the greatest barrier, outside of distance, to introducing humans to another planet.

Just imagine the mining potential, or even energy possibilities.* Some folks think huge arrays of solar collectors can be easily placed on the Moon and the energy transmitted to and through satellites...and that it could be done with technology we have today.

The mineral-mining potential sounds like Heinlein's The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress. That scheme involved a lunar mining project which used gravity to simply and cheaply send tons upon tons of vital and inexhaustible minerals to Earth. His idea was to protect the minerals from a burn-up in Earth's atmosphere by placing them in simple one-use metal tanks, or even re-usable in future launches from Earth. Or lunar minerals could be encased in some other material which could be produced and fabricated on the Moon. But the Moon has the problem of no water.

There is encouraging news that water will not be a problem on Mars. Not that that helps anyone reading this...we'll never see something like Martian mining or colonization. It would be far too optimistic to think we could actually send folks to live on the Red Planet in the next 60 years.

Or would it? Who knows how quickly we could get something like this underway if we were serious...or desperate. I don't get turned on by space news and the like, but this water-on-Mars thing gives me goose pimples. :clap:

* Not to derail my own topic, but I understand a lake of methane, as large as Lake Ontario, has been confirmed as being on the surface of Titan, a moon of Saturn. SPACE.com -- Giant Lake Confirmed on Saturn's Moon Titan

Here's the interesting thing: methane is a hydrocarbon, right? Like petroleum. That's petroleum, as in O-I-L. Now, we've been told these h-carbons are created by the decomposition of ancient masses of organic materials, particularly plant life, right? So....where did Titan's methane come from? There's no evidence of any organic material having been found anywhere else but Earth, right? So, how did the methane get on Titan?

Now, you could fill a virtual library with what I don't know about either chemistry or space. But with that caveat in mind, here's my question: what if hydrocarbons, including petroleum, can be produced in quantity by some process other than organic decomposition? Heck, what if decomposition doesn't even produce petroleum, and there's some other entirely different planetary process involved? What if, as we speak, the Earth is pumping out petroleum by means of some other action, maybe heat and pressure below the earth's surface? If so, that would be a world-changing discovery, no? Let us dream it may be so.




N24Reporter

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24th October 2006

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#2 10 years ago

Well...... as an Aerospace Student here at University I can tell you that it might be closer than you think. The only true problem at the moment is the Moneyfactor. We could have a base up and running with 10-30 People on the moon in no time. All it would cost is 40billion dollars. For the same price you could get a 6 man expedition to mars and back in 5-6years. Compared to a war or the latest earnings of some firms, that's nothing. The only problem is the political will and that's where I hope for China to respark a 'pride' race with the western countries for a base on the moon.

I was looking at a thesis in which I would design for a furnace to extract Oxygen and Hydrogen from lunar soil here at the DLR (German Center for Aerospacetechnologies) to get my diploma, just a few weeks ago.

Things are moving, even if our financing is a bit on the low side with just 2.5billion € per year contributed by all european countries together to the ESA. :)




N24Reporter

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#3 10 years ago

jumjum;4477863 * Not to derail my own topic, but I understand a lake of methane, as large as Lake Ontario, has been confirmed as being on the surface of Titan, a moon of Saturn. SPACE.com -- Giant Lake Confirmed on Saturn's Moon Titan

Here's the interesting thing: methane is a hydrocarbon, right? Like petroleum. That's petroleum, as in O-I-L. Now, we've been told these h-carbons are created by the decomposition of ancient masses of organic materials, particularly plant life, right? So....where did Titan's methane come from? There's no evidence of any organic material having been found anywhere else but Earth, right? So, how did the methane get on Titan?

Now, you could fill a virtual library with what I don't know about either chemistry or space. But with that caveat in mind, here's my question: what if hydrocarbons, including petroleum, can be produced in quantity by some process other than organic decomposition? Heck, what if decomposition doesn't even produce petroleum, and there's some other entirely different planetary process involved? What if, as we speak, the Earth is pumping out petroleum by means of some other action, maybe heat and pressure below the earth's surface? If so, that would be a world-changing discovery, no? Let us dream it may be so.

Now my last Chemistry Class lies a bit in the past but Methane is just Hydrocarbon (CH4), as you stated. All you need is Carbon and Hydrogen to create it. (both available in abundance in the universe) No real mystery there.

And the production of Petroleum is quite known to science. If I may quote Wiki here, as this is what I learned in school:

Three conditions must be present for oil reservoirs to form: a source rock rich in hydrocarbon material buried deep enough for subterranean heat to cook it into oil; a porous and permeable reservoir rock for it to accumulate in; and a cap rock (seal) or other mechanism that prevents it from escaping to the surface. Within these reservoirs, fluids will typically organize themselves like a three-layer cake with a layer of water below the oil layer and a layer of gas above it, although the different layers vary in size between reservoirs.




Guest

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#4 10 years ago

Ok,, water means life.. and life means danger..!!

Common!! everyone invade Mars !!!




jumjum

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11th April 2005

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#5 10 years ago

N24Reporter;4477898Now my last Chemistry Class lies a bit in the past but Methane is just Hydrocarbon (CH4), as you stated. All you need is Carbon and Hydrogen to create it. (both available in abundance in the universe) No real mystery there.

And the production of Petroleum is quite known to science. If I may quote Wiki here, as this is what I learned in school:

Three conditions must be present for oil reservoirs to form: a source rock rich in hydrocarbon material buried deep enough for subterranean heat to cook it into oil; a porous and permeable reservoir rock for it to accumulate in; and a cap rock (seal) or other mechanism that prevents it from escaping to the surface. Within these reservoirs, fluids will typically organize themselves like a three-layer cake with a layer of water below the oil layer and a layer of gas above it, although the different layers vary in size between reservoirs.

You know, as luck would have it, I was just listening to CoastToCoastAM and a caller gave a brief lecture on how "abiotic" petroleum in his opinion is not possible. Mainly it's because petroleum is far more complex than methane, which he said was actually a fairly simple compound. Oh well, I can still dream.




Dukat

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10th June 2004

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#6 10 years ago

That explains a lot. We were always searching for the Martians on the surface of the planet. Quite obviuosly they live beyond the surface, where the water is liquid.

Mars%20Rovers.jpg

Sorry, I couldn't resist.:D




jumjum

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#7 10 years ago

Heh. They'll put up a wall.....




hockeywarrior2

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#8 10 years ago

Well in truth Jum, NASA has plans to get men on mars in the next 50 years. That's a fact.

Their first mission is to do another mission to the moon, as a practice landing for the eventual trip to mars. They've already begun tests on humans who spend very long time spans in space (at the International Space Station) to get an idea of the effects on humans who would make the journey.

The wheels are turning, that's for certain. Now, whether NASA gets the funding they need and actually accomplish anything in the midst of all this Earthly crap us humans have gotten ourselves into for the past 10,000 or so years, is another thing altogether.




Uberhauptstormfuhrer

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#9 10 years ago

I do think that methaan can be formed abiotic. Because at the start of our solar system most of the gas was concentrated (besides the sun) in the 2 gas giants and they contain methane in trace amounts. But trace amounts are still very large given the size of these planets. So part of this methane could still have gotten onto the moon Titan.




jumjum

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#10 10 years ago
Uberhauptstormfuhrer;4477958I do think that methaan can be formed abiotic. Because at the start of our solar system most of the gas was concentrated (besides the sun) in the 2 gas giants and they contain methane in trace amounts. But trace amounts are still very large given the size of these planets. So part of this methane could still have gotten onto the moon Titan.

So maybe we can get all the methane we want by, uh, creating the universe!