Social Media Sidebar

Announcement

Please sign up, comment on articles and bring your friends!

Current poll

PlanetTech is asking:

What do you think about our new web site?

Love it, indeed
Really good solution
Same as old one
The old one was better
This is a new option

Quote of the day

People say we're running out of energy. That's only true if we stick with these old 19th century technologies. We are awash in energy from sunlight.

 

Ray Kurzweil

 

What liquid water on Mars could mean for the future of space exploration

RATE THIS! +47
Posted in Science on 1st Oct, 2015 12:04 AM by AlexMuller

Although we’ve suspected that water exists on Mars in some form since the 1970s, and although we know that Mars used to have plentiful liquid water on its surface, this is the first proof that in small, seepy form, it still might. This result is a game-changer for four main reasons.

 
It means that Mars is currently more habitable than we thought. That doesn’t mean anyone inhabits it (even anyone microbe-sized). But it does mean that the Red Planet isn’t a total desert of death, and perhaps organisms we consider extreme could live in these wet areas. “Everywhere we go [on Earth] where there’s liquid water, we find life,” Jim Green, the director of Planetary Science at NASA’s headquarters in Washington, DC, said in a presentation. “We haven’t been able to answer the question “Does life exist beyond Earth?” but following the water is critical to that.” And now we know where the water is (or might be).
 
The water could become a resource for future travelers. Like Earthbound humans, they will need a source of water to drink. And if H2O exists already in liquid form, or there could be an underground source, the water could be much more easily accessible than if astronauts had to extract, chip up, and melt ice.
 
The ingredients in salty water are the same as those in rocket fuel. The H’s and O’s in water could go into propellants. And rocket boosters currently use aluminum perchlorate. Making concoctions on Mars is preferable to dragging them there from Earth, because the lighter a ship is, the easier it is to launch.
 
Knowing where liquid water is can guide future exploration, for humans and for robots. “We have the ability to go there, ask this question ‘Is there life on Mars?’ and answer it,” said John Grunsfeld, the associate administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, in his presentation. “Now, this question is not an abstract question but a concrete one we can answer.” Because we now know (or at least strongly suspect) that present-day liquid water exists, we can target the research. Orbiters can spy on water streaks that landers, like the Mars2020 mission (or even Curiosity), could access. And both orbiters and rovers can do more chemical analysis and, hopefully, figure out where the water comes from.
 
This discovery is another step toward Mars, for humans to make it there, for humans to be able to survive there, and for humans or robots to learn about whether anything else may have once (or may still) roam around the Red Planet.

Tags: waterMarsspaceexplorationplanetNASA

Read original article » Back to category

Comments

Author: Guest
Posted: 2015-10-01
+2
I agree, the main point of finding water on Mars is not that we should now assume that there are life forms and put all the efforts to find them. Water can be used to make fuel and this is the stepping stone for going deeper into space to explore- great
1 Replies
Author: Guest
Posted: 2015-10-01
+0
Yes, having one of the vital and versatile sources on the planet itself will make things a lot easer for building settlements and planing future explorations Reply
Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2015-10-01
+0
Water or not, hostility of Mars should not be underestimated Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2015-10-01
+0
Water or not, hostility of Mars should not be underestimated Reply


 

Recent headlines

  • Posted in Science on 2017-09-23 08:31:24
    Fly me to the Moon: For some, lunar village takes shape..read more
    Posted in Software on 2017-09-23 08:22:48
    One year later, Microsoft AI and Research grows to 8k.....read more
    Posted in Science on 2017-09-23 08:14:46
    Big Antarctic iceberg edges out to sea..read more
    Posted in Business on 2017-09-22 18:42:50
    To Achieve 100% Renewable Energy, We Need Way Better.....read more
    Posted in Medicine on 2017-09-22 18:31:20
    How the poliovirus can be used to battle lethal cancers..read more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-10 01:33
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in about.....read more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-20 07:17
Spacex says China is their main competitor for commercial.....read more
Posted in Software on 2013-10-20 06:43
Pirate Bay Browser Clocks 1,000,000 Downloads..read more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-10 02:10
Google reportedly investing hundreds of millions into new.....read more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-14 03:13
Endothelial Cells Can Repair and Regenerate Organs,.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Spacex says China is their main competitor for commercial.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Staring at Your Phone Could Be Making You Short Sighted..read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Oculus Rift virtual reality headset coming to mobile, but.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in about.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Delivering drugs via nanoparticles to target mitochondria..read more

Recent Blog Posts

  • Posted by AlexMuller
    Scientists probe Neptune's depths to reveal secrets of icy.....read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    New terahertz imaging approach could speed up skin cancer.....read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Rebutting the claim that antidepressants do not work..read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Artificial neural networks decode brain activity during.....read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Four Earth-sized planets detected orbiting the nearest.....read more

Login to your Account

Login to your PlanetTech Account here

Username:
Password:
Remember me
or

Create a New Account

You just need username and password

The following errors occured:
Username:
Email:
Password:
Verify password:
Remember me