12 thoughts on “The Martian Atmosphere”

  1. More breathable? The rover is spitting out carbon monoxide!

    I’m not really sure what the point of the experiment is, since we know that we can perform the reaction on CO2 the same on Mars as we can here. We also know that on both planets, you can hit a big rock with a hammer and make little rocks. I think some of these experiments are more designed to generate talking points than useful data.

    1. My company had to spend $750,000 to prove that one airplane could tow another airplane – despite the fact that it happens tens of millions of times a year worldwide. Go figure.

    2. Knowing something is possible is different than doing something that is possible. Often times, there are some details that need worked out.

      Zubrin always has these crazy chemistry and engineering schemes and while they could be possible, actually doing them is a different challenge than coming up with the scheme.

      Hopefully they* keep doing stuff like this that prove concepts and work out details so that the talking points and data will become more meaningful.

      *they should be a broad group of interested people and organizations where NASA is just one actor and not the sole actor.

  2. This is the kind of thing that NASA should be spending more money on, instead of unnecessary giant rockets.

    Amen to that.

  3. Yeah I have to wonder about the benefits of pumping 2 Carbon Monoxide molecules into the air for every O2 molecule.

    In small scales – like to produce rocket oxidizer – the CO is probably not much of a factor.

    This is sure to arouse greenie ire. Or maybe, for Mars, they would be called Reds…..which is much more accurate in general.

  4. A new and better way to make methane on Mars, which is definitely worth some research dollars.

    Stable and Efficient Single-Atom Zn Catalyst for CO2 Reduction to CH4

    A zinc atom grabs a CO2 molecule and efficiently replaces the oxygens with hydrogens.

    It looks more sustainable than my previous favorite

    Abstract: The kinetics of the carbon monoxide-steam reaction occurring heterogeneously at the surface of coconut charcoal have been determined under comparable conditions both before and after the extraction of the metallic impurities.

    The paucity of the Martian coconut harvest was one of the key impediments to that route.

  5. It seems a purpose of Manned Mars mission is to drill a deep hole- for water.
    And in terms robotic mission, finding best places which one could drill for water.
    Are there any places on Mars where one could get liquid water out of ground costing about 1 kW hour per cubic meter of water.
    1 kw hour is expensive on Mars, roughly say it’s $100 per kw {and not expecting NASA to this at this cost- NASA seemed to think $2000 per kw hour on ISS was somehow reasonable, not not the issue} but at $100 the electrical cost is $100 per ton or 10 cents per kg, but including everything else, one be able to sell water at $1 per kg.
    As well as wells on Earth, google:
    –People also ask
    How much water should a well produce?
    “5 gpm

    Wells yielding less than 5 gpm, however, are sometimes the only water source available.”–
    I could imagine NASA could find water and could get less than
    5 gallon per minute. Perhaps less than 2000 gallons per day {less than 7.5 cubic meter per day} {less 2 gallons per minute for constant 1440 mins- but if using solar power- then not getting 24 hours per day}. Of course might get something drilled where water flows/gushes up to the surface.
    But general idea of 1 kw hour per cubic meter, is rough limitation of goal how deep one plans to drill. One could develop wild ideas how deep it possible is it to drill on Mars- as in miles of depth.
    Or for first few years, I think the deepest “possible” depth to consider is something like 500 meters. And only deeper if you expect to get an artesian well {and have some clue, it seems one would have had drilled a lot holes before this clue}.
    Anyhow, for settlement rather having a well, you need to be able to get about 1 million cubic meter within 10 years {or 5 million minutes- 5 gallon per min, 25 million gallons {94635 cubic meter}. A well doing more 5 gallons a minute or few square km region which could support 10 wells at 5 gallon per minute.
    And having water near the surface {and/or an artesian well} is best.

  6. NASA missions can’t go near any areas with water because they’re afraid of introducing biological contamination.

    1. True.
      On the bright side, NASA doesn’t need to be afraid about finding lunar water.

      NASA should explore the lunar polar regions, and after this, they can spend time being afraid of going to Mars.
      It seems to me a part of why NASA should be exploring the Moon, first, is related to the matter of whether NASA is close to being competent enough to explore Mars.
      The Moon might not have mineable water- so, also, NASA has no need to be worrying now, about lunar bases.
      If we somehow, already knew that the Moon didn’t have mineable water, NASA shouldn’t explore the Moon, first.
      And NASA could just sit around worrying about Mars microbes, while at same time, be exclaiming how great it would be to find life on Mars.
      But we don’t know, and that means that NASA doesn’t have any excuse to not explore the Moon, first.
      It seems pretty soon, SpaceX might that the Lunar Starship already to go. I am hoping it doesn’t startle some people at NASA- too much.

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