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 Abundant Water on Mars
 Posted: Jan 15 2018, 09:07 AM

Dentus Chookus

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Mars: Huge water ice reserves found on Red Planet suggest potential for human colonisation

By Nick Grimm

user posted image

An aerial view of an ice deposit discovered on Mars, marked in blue.
Photo: The ice discovery could also provide a frozen record of Mars' changing climate over millennia. (Supplied: NASA)

The discovery of a mountain of frozen water lying just under the surface of Mars has been hailed by scientists as game-changer for exploration of the Red Planet.

The abundant supply of ice could help sustain a human colony, and may even be an indicator of alien life.

"This is a really exciting discovery," said Simon George, a professor of organic chemistry at Macquarie University.

"Finding water ice like this is a very important step in opening up habitability of Mars."

The massive ice cliffs soar 100 metres high, but scientists with the US Geological Survey believe they could be just the beginning when it comes to what lies beneath the surface of the arid planet.

"What this study shows is that there is abundant water trapped just beneath the surface of Mars," said Professor Martin Van Kranendonk, director of the Australian Centre for Astrobiology.

"And it also provides an opportunity I'd say in the exploration of Mars to use this water ice as a possible resource for water, for astronauts [and] for experiments.

"Maybe even for growing food, it means we don't have to transport water from Earth all that way to Mars, which would basically be impossible. It's just too bulky."

Water has been an elusive commodity on the dry and dusty planet. In what seemed like a eureka moment back in 2015, NASA announced it had found water flowing across Mars' surface.

"Mars is not the dry, arid planet it was thought of in the past. Today we're going to announce that under certain circumstances, liquid water has been found on Mars," NASA's John Grunsfeld said at the time.

The apparent evidence of water turned out to be just a mirage. Streaks on images of the surface of Mars, thought to be water, were last year revealed to be just drifts of sand.

"We've known about ice on Mars, but we didn't know how close to the surface it was," Professor George said.

"These ice cliffs [are] very accessible. And we need water ice on Mars because we can combine it with the CO2 that's very abundant in the atmosphere, and that gives us two very important things for future manned habitability of Mars.

"One of those is oxygen, which we need to breathe, and another is methane, which is what we would use to form rocket fuel on the surface of Mars."

The ice could also provide a frozen record of the planet's changing climate over millennia.

If the ice deposits are capable of supporting human life, there is a good chance it could indicate whether alien life might exist below the surface of Mars as well.

"Certainly on Earth we find life associated with big ice sheets. So it doesn't actually have to be liquid water in which life can exist, and it would be very interesting to look at where these ice scarps are melting," Professor George said.

"[The melting ice could] potentially expose new bits of ice and possibly be a very interesting place to look for new evidence of life, either in the recent geological past or even living today on Mars."

An interesting article, particulary the reference to Mars's "climate change". If humans ever colonize Mars they have the opportunity to do things differently to the "Colonial era" that some speak so negatively of. From the outset there could be an Invasion Day, and a special flag could be struck to symbolise the alien life form that may be there or had been there in the past. However, I'm a bit concerned about the CO2 levels on the planet. This could be a real issue for some!

“If life were predictable it would cease to be life, and be without flavor.” - Eleanor Roosevelt

“All of life is peaks and valleys. Don’t let the peaks get too high and the valleys too low.” - John Wooden
 Posted: Jan 15 2018, 09:22 AM

Supremo Poster

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Can a tax be put on it
 Posted: Jan 15 2018, 09:36 AM


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The methane may escape and combine with the co2 and that would create warming gasses which would melt the ice for them, job done. Just a question, how do “they” “know” that what can be seen IS frozen water as we know it? It could be a band of solid diamond or quartz or even tihsllub.
 Posted: Jan 15 2018, 02:28 PM

Rana Capillum

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"The main component of the atmosphere of Mars is carbon dioxide (CO2) at 95.9 %."

All that CO2 and the ice survives? Unbelievable.

Life is neither a race to the end, nor a slow ramble whose sole aim is longevity

Do not regret growing older. It is a privilege denied to many.
Phillip J.
 Posted: Jan 15 2018, 03:08 PM


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I personally believe that, even if there is an abundance of water, the human race (on any planet that they may inhabit) will eventually try and recreate "Homeworld" again, with the same drastic results. I mean, this would take thousands of years, but the end result would more than likely be the same. As was said in a movie once, (and it's been proven time and time again) "It is in your nature to destroy yourselves!"

This post has been edited by Phillip J.: Jan 15 2018, 03:10 PM

Live as if the world were as it should be, to show how it could be.
If what we do doesn't matter, then the only thing that matters is what we do.
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