Thursday, September 26, 2013

Curiosity Rover Finds Martian H2O

NASA's Curiosity Martian rover has found water in the Martian soil.  Not freely available perhaps
but LOTS of it, on average, two pints per cubic foot of soil, that works out to be about two percent.  Water it seems will not be a big concern on future manned Martian missions.   

Among other tests that were present in the recent test was sulfur dioxide, carbon dioxide and oxygen.  This level of detail in determining soil composition has also turned up some unsettling information.  

From the article:
  • Laurie Leshin dean of science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute said: "analysis of the soil has also shown the presence of a type of chemical called a perchlorate, which is can be toxic to people. "It's only there at a 0.5% level in the soil but it impedes thyroid function," Leshin  said. "If humans are there and are coming into contact with fine-grained dust, we have to think about how we live with that hazard. 
More from the Guardian article HERE


Anonymous said...

Two pints is a quart of water. In a cubic foot of soil it would be a blob of mud. What is binding up this water?

Beam Me Up said...

hey anon, I wrote it as they put it out....and yeah that was a curious way to put it. I looked through the article and that information was not forthcoming, but wouldn't it be hydrates? or would that be a hydride....