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Sample records for ground-to-exosphere martian general

  1. Simulations of the general circulation of the Martian atmosphere. I - Polar processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pollack, James B.; Haberle, Robert M.; Schaeffer, James; Lee, Hilda

    1990-01-01

    Numerical simulations of the Martian atmosphere general circulation are carried out for 50 simulated days, using a three-dimensional model, based on the primitive equations of meteorology, which incorporated the radiative effects of atmospheric dust on solar and thermal radiation. A large number of numerical experiments were conducted for alternative choices of seasonal date and dust optical depth. It was found that, as the dust content of the winter polar region increased, the rate of atmospheric CO2 condensation increased sharply. It is shown that the strong seasonal variation in the atmospheric dust content observed might cause a number of hemispheric asymmetries. These asymmetries include the greater prevalence of polar hoods in the northern polar region during winter, the lower albedo of the northern polar cap during spring, and the total dissipation of the northern CO2 ice cap during the warmer seasons.

  2. Multiyear Simulations of the Martian Water Cycle with the Ames General Circulation Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haberle, R. M.; Schaeffer, J. R.; Nelli, S. M.; Murphy, J. R.

    2003-01-01

    Mars atmosphere is carbon dioxide dominated with non-negligible amounts of water vapor and suspended dust particles. The atmospheric dust plays an important role in the heating and cooling of the planet through absorption and emission of radiation. Small dust particles can potentially be carried to great altitudes and affect the temperatures there. Water vapor condensing onto the dust grains can affect the radiative properties of both, as well as their vertical extent. The condensation of water onto a dust grain will change the grain s fall speed and diminish the possibility of dust obtaining high altitudes. In this capacity, water becomes a controlling agent with regard to the vertical distribution of dust. Similarly, the atmosphere s water vapor holding capacity is affected by the amount of dust in the atmosphere. Dust is an excellent green house catalyst; it raises the temperature of the atmosphere, and thus, its water vapor holding capacity. There is, therefore, a potentially significant interplay between the Martian dust and water cycles. Previous research done using global, 3-D computer modeling to better understand the Martian atmosphere treat the dust and the water cycles as two separate and independent processes. The existing Ames numerical model will be employed to simulate the relationship between the Martian dust and water cycles by actually coupling the two cycles. Water will condense onto the dust, allowing the particle's radiative characteristics, fall speeds, and as a result, their vertical distribution to change. Data obtained from the Viking, Mars Pathfinder, and especially the Mars Global Surveyor missions will be used to determine the accuracy of the model results.

  3. Martian surface

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Carr, M.H.

    1987-01-01

    The surface of Mars is characterized on the basis of reformatted Viking remote-sensing data, summarizing results published during the period 1983-1986. Topics examined include impact craters, ridges and faults, volcanic studies (modeling of surface effects on volcanic activity, description and interpretation of volcanic features, and calculations on lava-ice interactions), the role of liquid water on Mars, evidence for abundant ground ice at high latitudes, water-cycle modeling, and the composition and dynamics of Martian dust

  4. Martian seismicity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Goins, N.R.; Lazarewicz, A.R.

    1979-01-01

    During the Viking mission to Mars, the seismometer on Lander II collected approximately 0.24 Earth years of observations data, excluding periods of time dominated by wind-induced Lander vibration. The ''quiet-time'' data set contains no confirmed seismic events. A proper assessment of the significance of this fact requires quantitative estimates of the expected detection rate of the Viking seismometer. The first step is to calculate the minimum magnitude event detectable at a given distance, including the effects of geometric spreading, anelastic attenuation, seismic signal duration, seismometer frequency response, and possible poor ground coupling. Assuming various numerical quantities and a Martian seismic activity comparable to that of intraplate earthquakes, the appropriate integral gives an expected annual detection rate of 10 events, nearly all of which are local. Thus only two to three events would be expected in the observational period presently on hand and the lack of observed events is not in gross contradiction to reasonable expectations. Given the same assumptions, a seismometer 20 times more sensitive than the present instrument would be expected to detect about 120 events annually

  5. Martian volcanism: A review

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Carr, M.H.

    1987-01-01

    Martian volcanism is reviewed. It is emphasized that lava plains constitute the major type of effusive flow, and can be differentiated by morphologic characteristics. Shield volcanoes, domes, and patera constitute the major constructional landforms, and recent work has suggested that explosive activity and resulting pyroclastic deposits may have been involved with formation of some of the small shields. Analysis of morphology, presumed composition, and spectroscopic data all indicate that Martian volcanism was dominantly basaltic in composition

  6. Martian Environment Electrostatic Precipitator

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDougall, Michael Owen

    2016-01-01

    As part of the planned manned mission to Mars, NASA has noticed that shipping oxygen as a part of life support to keep the astronauts alive continuously is overly expensive, and impractical. As such, noting that the Martian atmosphere is 95.37% CO2, NASA chemists noted that one could obtain oxygen from the Martian atmosphere. The plan, as part of a larger ISRU (in-situ resource utilization) initiative, would extract water from the regolith, or the Martian soil which can be electrolyzed by solar panel produced voltage into hydrogen and oxygen. The hydrogen can then be used in the Sabatier reaction with carbon dioxide to produce methane and water producing a net reaction that does not lose water and outputs methane and oxygen for use as rocket fuel and breathing.

  7. Martian extratropical cyclones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunt, G. E.; James, P. B.

    1979-01-01

    Physical properties of summer-season baroclinic waves on Mars are discussed on the basis of vidicon images and infrared thermal mapping generated by Viking Orbiter 1. The two northern-hemisphere storm systems examined here appear to be similar to terrestrial mid-latitude cyclonic storms. The Martian storm clouds are probably composed of water ice, rather than dust or CO2 ice particles.

  8. The Martian Oasis Detector

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, P. H.; tomasko, M. G.; McEwen, A.; Rice, J.

    2000-07-01

    The next phase of unmanned Mars missions paves the way for astronauts to land on the surface of Mars. There are lessons to be learned from the unmanned precursor missions to the Moon and the Apollo lunar surface expeditions. These unmanned missions (Ranger, Lunar Orbiter, and Surveyor) provided the following valuable information, useful from both a scientific and engineering perspective, which was required to prepare the way for the manned exploration of the lunar surface: (1) high resolution imagery instrumental to Apollo landing site selection also tremendously advanced the state of Nearside and Farside regional geology; (2) demonstrated precision landing (less than two kilometers from target) and soft landing capability; (3) established that the surface had sufficient bearing strength to support a spacecraft; and (4) examination of the chemical composition and mechanical properties of the surface. The search for extinct or extant life on Mars will follow the water. However, geomorphic studies have shown that Mars has had liquid water on its surface throughout its geologic history. A cornucopia of potential landing sites with water histories (lakes, floodplains, oceans, deltas, hydrothermal regions) presently exist. How will we narrow down site selection and increase the likelihood of finding the signs of life? One way to do this is to identify 'Martian oases.' It is known that the Martian surface is often highly fractured and some areas have karst structures that support underground caves. Much of the water that formed the channels and valley networks is thought to be frozen underground. All that is needed to create the potential for liquid water is a near surface source of heat; recent lava flows and Martian meteorites attest to the potential for volcanic activity. If we can locate even one spot where fracturing, ice, and underground heat are co-located then we have the potential for an oasis. Such a discovery could truly excite the imaginations of both the

  9. Polygons in Martian Frost

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-01-01

    MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-428, 21 July 2003This June 2003 Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows a polygonal pattern developed in seasonal carbon dioxide frost in the martian southern hemisphere. The frost accumulated during the recent southern winter; it is now spring, and the carbon dioxide frost is subliming away. This image is located near 80.4oS, 200.2oW; it is illuminated by sunlight from the upper left, and covers an area 3 km (1.9 mi) across.

  10. Trajectories of martian habitability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cockell, Charles S

    2014-02-01

    Beginning from two plausible starting points-an uninhabited or inhabited Mars-this paper discusses the possible trajectories of martian habitability over time. On an uninhabited Mars, the trajectories follow paths determined by the abundance of uninhabitable environments and uninhabited habitats. On an inhabited Mars, the addition of a third environment type, inhabited habitats, results in other trajectories, including ones where the planet remains inhabited today or others where planetary-scale life extinction occurs. By identifying different trajectories of habitability, corresponding hypotheses can be described that allow for the various trajectories to be disentangled and ultimately a determination of which trajectory Mars has taken and the changing relative abundance of its constituent environments.

  11. Iron snow in the Martian core?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davies, Christopher J.; Pommier, Anne

    2018-01-01

    The decline of Mars' global magnetic field some 3.8-4.1 billion years ago is thought to reflect the demise of the dynamo that operated in its liquid core. The dynamo was probably powered by planetary cooling and so its termination is intimately tied to the thermochemical evolution and present-day physical state of the Martian core. Bottom-up growth of a solid inner core, the crystallization regime for Earth's core, has been found to produce a long-lived dynamo leading to the suggestion that the Martian core remains entirely liquid to this day. Motivated by the experimentally-determined increase in the Fe-S liquidus temperature with decreasing pressure at Martian core conditions, we investigate whether Mars' core could crystallize from the top down. We focus on the "iron snow" regime, where newly-formed solid consists of pure Fe and is therefore heavier than the liquid. We derive global energy and entropy equations that describe the long-timescale thermal and magnetic history of the core from a general theory for two-phase, two-component liquid mixtures, assuming that the snow zone is in phase equilibrium and that all solid falls out of the layer and remelts at each timestep. Formation of snow zones occurs for a wide range of interior and thermal properties and depends critically on the initial sulfur concentration, ξ0. Release of gravitational energy and latent heat during growth of the snow zone do not generate sufficient entropy to restart the dynamo unless the snow zone occupies at least 400 km of the core. Snow zones can be 1.5-2 Gyrs old, though thermal stratification of the uppermost core, not included in our model, likely delays onset. Models that match the available magnetic and geodetic constraints have ξ0 ≈ 10% and snow zones that occupy approximately the top 100 km of the present-day Martian core.

  12. Relative chronology of Martian volcanoes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Landheim, R.; Barlow, N.G.

    1991-01-01

    Impact cratering is one of the major geological processes that has affected the Martian surface throughout the planet's history. The frequency of craters within particular size ranges provides information about the formation ages and obliterative episodes of Martian geologic units. The Barlow chronology was extended by measuring small craters on the volcanoes and a number of standard terrain units. Inclusions of smaller craters in units previously analyzed by Barlow allowed for a more direct comparison between the size-frequency distribution data for volcanoes and established chronology. During this study, 11,486 craters were mapped and identified in the 1.5 to 8 km diameter range in selected regions of Mars. The results are summarized in this three page report and give a more precise estimate of the relative chronology of the Martian volcanoes. Also, the results of this study lend further support to the increasing evidence that volcanism has been a dominant geologic force throughout Martian history

  13. Water in Pyroxene and Olivine from Martian Meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peslier, A. H.

    2012-01-01

    Water in the interior of terrestrial planets can be dissolved in fluids or melts and hydrous phases, but can also be locked as protons attached to structural oxygen in lattice defects in nominally anhydrous minerals (NAM) like olivine, pyroxene, or feldspar [1-3]. Although these minerals contain only tens to hundreds of ppm H2O, this water can amount to at least one ocean in mass when added at planetary scales because of the modal dominance of NAM in the mantle and crust [4]. Moreover these trace amounts of water can have drastic effects on melting temperature, rheology, electrical and heat conductivity, and seismic wave attenuation [5]. There is presently a debate on how much water is present in the martian mantle. Secondary ionization mass spectrometry (SIMS) studies of NAM [6], amphiboles and glass in melt inclusions [7-10], and apatites [11, 12] from Martian meteorites report finding as much water as in the same phases from Earth's igneous rocks. Most martian hydrous minerals, however, generally have the relevant sites filled with Cl and F instead of H [13, 14], and experiments using Cl [15] in parent melts can reproduce Martian basalt compositions as well as those with water [16]. We are in the process of analyzing Martian meteorite minerals by Fourier transform infrared spectrometry (FTIR) in order to constrain the role of water in this planet s formation and magmatic evolution

  14. Hydrological and Climatic Significance of Martian Deltas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Achille, G.; Vaz, D. A.

    2017-10-01

    We a) review the geomorphology, sedimentology, and mineralogy of the martian deltas record and b) present the results of a quantitative study of the hydrology and sedimentology of martian deltas using modified version of terrestrial model Sedflux.

  15. Seasonal cycle of Martian climate : Experimental data and numerical simulation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rodin, A. V.; Willson, R. J.

    2006-01-01

    The most adequate theoretical method of investigating the present-day Martian climate is numerical simulation based on a model of general circulation of the atmosphere. First and foremost, such models encounter the greatest difficulties in description of aerosols and clouds, which in turn

  16. Curiosity analyzes Martian soil samples

    Science.gov (United States)

    Showstack, Randy; Balcerak, Ernie

    2012-12-01

    NASA's Mars Curiosity rover has conducted its first analysis of Martian soil samples using multiple instruments, the agency announced at a 3 December news briefing at the AGU Fall Meeting in San Francisco. "These results are an unprecedented look at the chemical diversity in the area," said NASA's Michael Meyer, program scientist for Curiosity.

  17. Chemical composition of Martian fines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, B. C.; Baird, A. K.; Weldon, R. J.; Tsusaki, D. M.; Schnabel, L.; Candelaria, M. P.

    1982-01-01

    Of the 21 samples acquired for the Viking X-ray fluorescence spectrometer, 17 were analyzed to high precision. Compared to typical terrestrial continental soils and lunar mare fines, the Martian fines are lower in Al, higher in Fe, and much higher in S and Cl concentrations. Protected fines at the two lander sites are almost indistinguishable, but concentration of the element S is somewhat higher at Utopia. Duricrust fragments, successfully acquired only at the Chryse site, invariably contained about 50% higher S than fines. No elements correlate positively with S, except Cl and possibly Mg. A sympathetic variation is found among the triad Si, Al, Ca; positive correlation occurs between Ti and Fe. Sample variabilities are as great within a few meters as between lander locations (4500 km apart), implying the existence of a universal Martian regolith component of constant average composition. The nature of the source materials for the regolith fines must be mafic to ultramafic.

  18. Electrodynamics of the Martian Ionosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ledvina, S. A.; Brecht, S. H.

    2017-12-01

    The presence of the Martian crustal magnetic fields makes a significant modification to the interaction between the solar wind/IMF and the ionosphere of the planet. This paper presents the results of 3-D hybrid simulations of Martian solar wind interaction containing the Martian crustal fields., self-consistent ionospheric chemistry and planetary rotation. It has already been reported that the addition of the crustal fields and planetary rotation makes a significant modification of the ionospheric loss from Mars, Brecht et al., 2016. This paper focuses on two other aspects of the interaction, the electric fields and the current systems created by the solar wind interaction. The results of several simulations will be analyzed and compared. The electric fields around Mars due to its interaction with the solar wind will be examined. Special attention will be paid to the electric field constituents (∇ X B, ∇Pe, ηJ). Regions where the electric field is parallel to the magnetic field will be found and the implications of these regions will be discussed. Current systems for each ion species will be shown. Finally the effects on the electric fields and the current systems due to the rotation of Mars will be examined.

  19. Laser-powered Martian rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harries, W. L.; Meador, W. E.; Miner, G. A.; Schuster, Gregory L.; Walker, G. H.; Williams, M. D.

    1989-01-01

    Two rover concepts were considered: an unpressurized skeleton vehicle having available 4.5 kW of electrical power and limited to a range of about 10 km from a temporary Martian base and a much larger surface exploration vehicle (SEV) operating on a maximum 75-kW power level and essentially unrestricted in range or mission. The only baseline reference system was a battery-operated skeleton vehicle with very limited mission capability and range and which would repeatedly return to its temporary base for battery recharging. It was quickly concluded that laser powering would be an uneconomical overkill for this concept. The SEV, on the other hand, is a new rover concept that is especially suited for powering by orbiting solar or electrically pumped lasers. Such vehicles are visualized as mobile habitats with full life-support systems onboard, having unlimited range over the Martian surface, and having extensive mission capability (e.g., core drilling and sampling, construction of shelters for protection from solar flares and dust storms, etc.). Laser power beaming to SEV's was shown to have the following advantages: (1) continuous energy supply by three orbiting lasers at 2000 km (no storage requirements as during Martian night with direct solar powering); (2) long-term supply without replacement; (3) very high power available (MW level possible); and (4) greatly enhanced mission enabling capability beyond anything currently conceived.

  20. Local Dynamics of Baroclinic Waves in the Martian Atmosphere

    KAUST Repository

    Kavulich, Michael J.; Szunyogh, Istvan; Gyarmati, Gyorgyi; Wilson, R. John

    2013-01-01

    The paper investigates the processes that drive the spatiotemporal evolution of baroclinic transient waves in the Martian atmosphere by a simulation experiment with the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) Mars general circulation model (GCM). The main diagnostic tool of the study is the (local) eddy kinetic energy equation. Results are shown for a prewinter season of the Northern Hemisphere, in which a deep baroclinic wave of zonal wavenumber 2 circles the planet at an eastward phase speed of about 70° Sol-1 (Sol is a Martian day). The regular structure of the wave gives the impression that the classical models of baroclinic instability, which describe the underlying process by a temporally unstable global wave (e.g., Eady model and Charney model), may have a direct relevance for the description of the Martian baroclinic waves. The results of the diagnostic calculations show, however, that while the Martian waves remain zonally global features at all times, there are large spatiotemporal changes in their amplitude. The most intense episodes of baroclinic energy conversion, which take place in the two great plain regions (Acidalia Planitia and Utopia Planitia), are strongly localized in both space and time. In addition, similar to the situation for terrestrial baroclinic waves, geopotential flux convergence plays an important role in the dynamics of the downstream-propagating unstable waves. © 2013 American Meteorological Society.

  1. Local Dynamics of Baroclinic Waves in the Martian Atmosphere

    KAUST Repository

    Kavulich, Michael J.

    2013-11-01

    The paper investigates the processes that drive the spatiotemporal evolution of baroclinic transient waves in the Martian atmosphere by a simulation experiment with the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) Mars general circulation model (GCM). The main diagnostic tool of the study is the (local) eddy kinetic energy equation. Results are shown for a prewinter season of the Northern Hemisphere, in which a deep baroclinic wave of zonal wavenumber 2 circles the planet at an eastward phase speed of about 70° Sol-1 (Sol is a Martian day). The regular structure of the wave gives the impression that the classical models of baroclinic instability, which describe the underlying process by a temporally unstable global wave (e.g., Eady model and Charney model), may have a direct relevance for the description of the Martian baroclinic waves. The results of the diagnostic calculations show, however, that while the Martian waves remain zonally global features at all times, there are large spatiotemporal changes in their amplitude. The most intense episodes of baroclinic energy conversion, which take place in the two great plain regions (Acidalia Planitia and Utopia Planitia), are strongly localized in both space and time. In addition, similar to the situation for terrestrial baroclinic waves, geopotential flux convergence plays an important role in the dynamics of the downstream-propagating unstable waves. © 2013 American Meteorological Society.

  2. Yamato 980459: Crystallization of Martian Magnesian Magma

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koizumi, E.; Mikouchi, T.; McKay, G.; Monkawa, A.; Chokai, J.; Miyamoto, M.

    2004-01-01

    Recently, several basaltic shergottites have been found that include magnesian olivines as a major minerals. These have been called olivinephyric shergottites. Yamato 980459, which is a new martian meteorite recovered from the Antarctica by the Japanese Antarctic expedition, is one of them. This meteorite is different from other olivine-phyric shergottites in several key features and will give us important clues to understand crystallization of martian meteorites and the evolution of Martian magma.

  3. Martian Ionospheric Observation and Modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    González-Galindo, Francisco

    2018-02-01

    The Martian ionosphere is a plasma embedded within the neutral upper atmosphere of the planet. Its main source is the ionization of the CO2-dominated Martian mesosphere and thermosphere by the energetic EUV solar radiation. The ionosphere of Mars is subject to an important variability induced by changes in its forcing mechanisms (e.g., the UV solar flux) and by variations in the neutral atmosphere (e.g., the presence of global dust storms, atmospheric waves and tides, changes in atmospheric composition, etc.). Its vertical structure is dominated by a maximum in the electron concentration placed at about 120–140 km of altitude, coincident with the peak of the ionization rate. Below, a secondary peak produced by solar X-rays and photoelectron-impact ionization is observed. A sporadic third layer, possibly of meteoric origin, has been also detected below. The most abundant ion in the Martian ionosphere is O2+, although O+ can become more abundant in the upper ionospheric layers. While below about 180–200 km the Martian ionosphere is dominated by photochemical processes, above those altitudes the dynamics of the plasma become more important. The ionosphere is also an important source of escaping particles via processes such as dissociative recombination of ions or ion pickup. So, characterization of the ionosphere provides or can provide information about such disparate systems and processes as the solar radiation getting to the planet, the neutral atmosphere, the meteoric influx, the atmospheric escape to space, or the interaction of the planet with the solar wind. It is thus not surprising that the interest about this region dates from the beginning of the space era. From the first measurements provided by the Mariner 4 mission in the 1960s to the contemporaneous observations, still ongoing, by the Mars Express and MAVEN orbiters, our current knowledge of this atmospheric region is the consequence of the accumulation of more than 50 years of discontinuous

  4. Mapping the Martian Meteorology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allison, M.; Ross, J. D.; Solomon, N.

    1999-01-01

    The Mars-adapted version of the NASA/GISS general circulation model (GCM) has been applied to the hourly/daily simulation of the planet's meteorology over several seasonal orbits. The current running version of the model includes a diurnal solar cycle, CO2 sublimation, and a mature parameterization of upper level wave drag with a vertical domain extending from the surface up to the 6microb level. The benchmark simulations provide a four-dimensional archive for the comparative evaluation of various schemes for the retrieval of winds from anticipated polar orbiter measurements of temperatures by the Pressure Modulator Infrared Radiometer. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  5. Micro-Raman spectroscopy of plagioclase and maskelynite in Martian meteorites: Evidence of progressive shock metamorphism

    OpenAIRE

    Fritz,Jorg; Greshake,Ansgar; Stoffler,Dieter

    2005-01-01

    We present the first systematic Micro-Raman spectroscopic investigation of plagioclase of different degree of shock metamorphism in Martian meteorites. The equilibrium shock pressure of all plagioclase phases of seventeen unpaired Martian meteorites was determined by measuring the shock-induced reduction of the refractive index. Systematic variations in the recorded Raman spectra of the plagioclase phases correlate with increasing shock pressure. In general, the shock induced deformation of t...

  6. Martian Neutron Energy Spectrometer (MANES)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maurer, R. H.; Roth, D. R.; Kinnison, J. D.; Goldsten, J. O.; Fainchtein, R.; Badhwar, G.

    2000-01-01

    High energy charged particles of extragalactic, galactic, and solar origin collide with spacecraft structures and planetary atmospheres. These primaries create a number of secondary particles inside the structures or on the surfaces of planets to produce a significant radiation environment. This radiation is a threat to long term inhabitants and travelers for interplanetary missions and produces an increased risk of carcinogenesis, central nervous system (CNS) and DNA damage. Charged particles are readily detected; but, neutrons, being electrically neutral, are much more difficult to monitor. These secondary neutrons are reported to contribute 30-60% of the dose equivalent in the Shuttle and MIR station. The Martian atmosphere has an areal density of 37 g/sq cm primarily of carbon dioxide molecules. This shallow atmosphere presents fewer mean free paths to the bombarding cosmic rays and solar particles. The secondary neutrons present at the surface of Mars will have undergone fewer generations of collisions and have higher energies than at sea level on Earth. Albedo neutrons produced by collisions with the Martian surface material will also contribute to the radiation environment. The increased threat of radiation damage to humans on Mars occurs when neutrons of higher mean energy traverse the thin, dry Martian atmosphere and encounter water in the astronaut's body. Water, being hydrogeneous, efficiently moderates the high energy neutrons thereby slowing them as they penetrate deeply into the body. Consequently, greater radiation doses can be deposited in or near critical organs such as the liver or spleen than is the case on Earth. A second significant threat is the possibility of a high energy heavy ion or neutron causing a DNA double strand break in a single strike.

  7. Boron enrichment in martian clay.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James D Stephenson

    Full Text Available We have detected a concentration of boron in martian clay far in excess of that in any previously reported extra-terrestrial object. This enrichment indicates that the chemistry necessary for the formation of ribose, a key component of RNA, could have existed on Mars since the formation of early clay deposits, contemporary to the emergence of life on Earth. Given the greater similarity of Earth and Mars early in their geological history, and the extensive disruption of Earth's earliest mineralogy by plate tectonics, we suggest that the conditions for prebiotic ribose synthesis may be better understood by further Mars exploration.

  8. Clouds in the Martian Atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Määttänen, Anni; Montmessin, Franck

    2018-01-01

    Although resembling an extremely dry desert, planet Mars hosts clouds in its atmosphere. Every day somewhere on the planet a part of the tiny amount of water vapor held by the atmosphere can condense as ice crystals to form cirrus-type clouds. The existence of water ice clouds has been known for a long time, and they have been studied for decades, leading to the establishment of a well-known climatology and understanding of their formation and properties. Despite their thinness, they have a clear impact on the atmospheric temperatures, thus affecting the Martian climate. Another, more exotic type of clouds forms as well on Mars. The atmospheric temperatures can plunge to such frigid values that the major gaseous component of the atmosphere, CO2, condenses as ice crystals. These clouds form in the cold polar night where they also contribute to the formation of the CO2 ice polar cap, and also in the mesosphere at very high altitudes, near the edge of space, analogously to the noctilucent clouds on Earth. The mesospheric clouds are a fairly recent discovery and have put our understanding of the Martian atmosphere to a test. On Mars, cloud crystals form on ice nuclei, mostly provided by the omnipresent dust. Thus, the clouds link the three major climatic cycles: those of the two major volatiles, H2O and CO2; and that of dust, which is a major climatic agent itself.

  9. Flank tectonics of Martian volcanoes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Thomas, P.J.; Squyres, S.W.; Carr, M.H.

    1990-01-01

    On the flanks of Olympus Mons is a series of terraces, concentrically distributed around the caldera. Their morphology and location suggest that they could be thrust faults caused by compressional failure of the cone. In an attempt to understand the mechanism of faulting and the possible influences of the interior structure of Olympus Mons, the authors have constructed a numerical model for elastic stresses within a Martian volcano. In the absence of internal pressurization, the middle slopes of the cone are subjected to compressional stress, appropriate to the formation of thrust faults. These stresses for Olympus Mons are ∼250 MPa. If a vacant magma chamber is contained within the cone, the region of maximum compressional stress is extended toward the base of the cone. If the magma chamber is pressurized, extensional stresses occur at the summit and on the upper slopes of the cone. For a filled but unpressurized magma chamber, the observed positions of the faults agree well with the calculated region of high compressional stress. Three other volcanoes on Mars, Ascraeus Mons, Arsia Mons, and Pavonis Mons, possess similar terraces. Extending the analysis to other Martian volcanoes, they find that only these three and Olympus Mons have flank stresses that exceed the compressional failure strength of basalt, lending support to the view that the terraces on all four are thrust faults

  10. Origin of giant Martian polygons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mcgill, George E.; Hills, L. S.

    1992-01-01

    Extensive areas of the Martian northern plains in Utopia and Acidalia planitiae are characterized by 'polygonal terrane'. Polygonal terrane consists of material cut by complex troughs defining a pattern resembling mudcracks, columnar joints, or frost-wedge polygons on earth. However, the Martian polygons are orders of magnitude larger than these potential earth analogues, leading to severe mechanical difficulties for genetic models based on simple analogy arguments. Plate-bending and finite element models indicate that shrinkage of desiccating sediment or cooling volcanics accompanied by differential compaction over buried topography can account for the stresses responsible for polygon troughs as well as the large size of the polygons. Although trough widths and depths relate primarily to shrinkage, the large scale of the polygonl pattern relates to the spacing between topographic elevations on the surface buried beneath polygonal terrane material. Geological relationships favor a sedimentary origin for polygonal terrane material, but our model is not dependent on the specific genesis. Our analysis also suggests that the polygons must have formed at a geologically rapid rate.

  11. Antarctic Martian Meteorites at Johnson Space Center

    Science.gov (United States)

    Funk, R. C.; Satterwhite, C. E.; Righter, K.; Harrington, R.

    2018-01-01

    This past year marked the 40th anniversary of the first Martian meteorite found in Antarctica by the ANSMET Antarctic Search for Meteorites) program, ALH 77005. Since then, an additional 14 Martian meteorites have been found by the ANSMET program making for a total of 15 Martian meteorites in the U. S. Antarctic meteorite collection at Johnson Space Center (JSC). Of the 15 meteorites, some have been paired so the 15 meteorites actually represent a total of approximately 9 separate samples. The first Martian meteorite found by ANSMET was ALH 77005 (482.500 g), a lherzolitic shergottite. When collected, this meteorite was split as a part of the joint expedition with the National Institute of Polar Research (NIPR) Japan. Originally classified as an "achondrite-unique", it was re-classified as a Martian lherzolitic shergottite in 1982. This meteorite has been allocated to 137 scientists for research and there are 180.934 g remaining at JSC. Two years later, one of the most significant Martian meteorites of the collection at JSC was found at Elephant Moraine, EET 79001 (7942.000 g), a shergottite. This meteorite is the largest in the Martian collection at JSC and was the largest stony meteorite sample collected during the 1979 season. In addition to its size, this meteorite is of particular interest because it contains a linear contact separating two different igneous lithologies, basaltic and olivine-phyric. EET 79001 has glass inclusions that contain noble gas and nitrogen compositions that are proportionally identical to the Martian atmosphere, as measured by the Viking spacecraft. This discovery helped scientists to identify where the "SNC" meteorite suite had originated, and that we actually possessed Martian samples. This meteorite has been allocated to 205 scientists for research and 5,298.435 g of sample is available.

  12. Manganese, Metallogenium, and Martian Microfossils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stein, L. Y.; Nealson, K. H.

    1999-01-01

    Manganese could easily be considered an abundant element in the Martian regolith, assuming that the composition of martian meteorites reflects the composition of the planet. Mineralogical analyses of 5 SNC meteorites have revealed an average manganese oxide concentration of 0.48%, relative to the 0.1% concentration of manganese found in the Earth's crust. On the Earth, the accumulation of manganese oxides in oceans, soils, rocks, sedimentary ores, fresh water systems, and hydrothermal vents can be largely attributed to microbial activity. Manganese is also a required trace nutrient for most life forms and participates in many critical enzymatic reactions such as photosynthesis. The wide-spread process of bacterial manganese cycling on Earth suggests that manganese is an important element to both geology and biology. Furthermore, there is evidence that bacteria can be fossilized within manganese ores, implying that manganese beds may be good repositories for preserved biomarkers. A particular genus of bacteria, known historically as Metallogenium, can form star-shaped manganese oxide minerals (called metallogenium) through the action of manganese oxide precipitation along its surface. Fossilized structures that resemble metallogenium have been found in Precambrian sedimentary formations and in Cretaceous-Paleogene cherts. The Cretaceous-Paleogene formations are highly enriched in manganese and have concentrations of trace elements (Fe, Zn, Cu, and Co) similar to modern-day manganese oxide deposits in marine environments. The appearance of metallogenium-like fossils associated with manganese deposits suggests that bacteria may be preserved within the minerals that they form. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  13. Nuclear thermal rockets using indigenous Martian propellants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zubrin, R.M.

    1989-01-01

    This paper considers a novel concept for a Martian descent and ascent vehicle, called NIMF (for nuclear rocket using indigenous Martian fuel), the propulsion for which will be provided by a nuclear thermal reactor which will heat an indigenous Martian propellant gas to form a high-thrust rocket exhaust. The performance of each of the candidate Martian propellants, which include CO2, H2O, CH4, N2, CO, and Ar, is assessed, and the methods of propellant acquisition are examined. Attention is also given to the issues of chemical compatibility between candidate propellants and reactor fuel and cladding materials, and the potential of winged Mars supersonic aircraft driven by this type of engine. It is shown that, by utilizing the nuclear landing craft in combination with a hydrogen-fueled nuclear thermal interplanetary vehicle and a heavy lift booster, it is possible to achieve a manned Mars mission in one launch. 6 refs

  14. Wind tunnel simulation of Martian sand storms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greeley, R.

    1980-01-01

    The physics and geological relationships of particles driven by the wind under near Martian conditions were examined in the Martian Surface Wind Tunnel. Emphasis was placed on aeolian activity as a planetary process. Threshold speeds, rates of erosion, trajectories of windblown particles, and flow fields over various landforms were among the factors considered. Results of experiments on particles thresholds, rates of erosion, and the effects of electrostatics on particles in the aeolian environment are presented.

  15. Small martian valleys: Pristine and degraded morphology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Baker, V.R.; Partridge, J.B.

    1986-01-01

    The equatorial heavily cratered uplands of Mars are dissected by two classes of small valleys that are intimately associated in compound networks. Pristine valleys with steep valley walls preferentially occupy downstream portions of compound basins. Degraded valleys with eroded walls are laterally more extensive and have higher drainage densities than pristine valleys. Morphometric and crater-counting studies indicate that relatively dense drainage networks were emplaced on Mars during the heavy bombardment about 4.0 b.y. ago. Over a period of approximately 10 8 years, these networks were degraded and subsequently invaded by headwardly extending pristine valleys. The pristine valleys locally reactivated the compound networks, probably through sapping processes dependent upon high water tables. Fluvial activity in the heavily cratered uplands generally ceased approximately 3.8--3.9 b.y. ago, coincident with the rapid decline in cratering rates. The relict compound valleys on Mars are morphometrically distinct from most terrestrial drainage systems. The differences might be caused by a Martian valley formation episode characterized by hyperaridity, by inadequate time for network growth, by very permeable rock types, or by a combination of factors

  16. Photovoltaic array for Martian surface power

    Science.gov (United States)

    Appelbaum, J.; Landis, G. A.

    1992-01-01

    Missions to Mars will require electric power. A leading candidate for providing power is solar power produced by photovoltaic arrays. To design such a power system, detailed information on solar-radiation availability on the Martian surface is necessary. The variation of the solar radiation on the Martian surface is governed by three factors: (1) variation in Mars-Sun distance; (2) variation in solar zenith angle due to Martian season and time of day; and (3) dust in the Martian atmosphere. A major concern is the dust storms, which occur on both local and global scales. However, there is still appreciable diffuse sunlight available even at high opacity, so that solar array operation is still possible. Typical results for tracking solar collectors are also shown and compared to the fixed collectors. During the Northern Hemisphere spring and summer the isolation is relatively high, 2-5 kW-hr/sq m-day, due to the low optical depth of the Martian atmosphere. These seasons, totalling a full terrestrial year, are the likely ones during which manned mission will be carried out.

  17. Magnesium Based Rockets for Martian Exploration, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — We propose to develop Mg rockets for Martian ascent vehicle applications. The propellant can be acquired in-situ from MgO in the Martian regolith (5.1% Mg by mass)...

  18. MetNet Network Mission for Martian Atmospheric Investigations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harri, A.-M.; Alexashkin, S.; Arrugeo, I.; Schmidt, W.; Vazquez, L.; Genzer, M.; Haukka, H.

    2014-07-01

    A new kind of planetary exploration mission for Mars called MetNet is being developed for martian atmospheric investigations. The eventual scope of the MetNet Mission is to deploy tens of small landers on the martian surface.

  19. Evidence for methane in Martian meteorites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blamey, Nigel J F; Parnell, John; McMahon, Sean; Mark, Darren F; Tomkinson, Tim; Lee, Martin; Shivak, Jared; Izawa, Matthew R M; Banerjee, Neil R; Flemming, Roberta L

    2015-06-16

    The putative occurrence of methane in the Martian atmosphere has had a major influence on the exploration of Mars, especially by the implication of active biology. The occurrence has not been borne out by measurements of atmosphere by the MSL rover Curiosity but, as on Earth, methane on Mars is most likely in the subsurface of the crust. Serpentinization of olivine-bearing rocks, to yield hydrogen that may further react with carbon-bearing species, has been widely invoked as a source of methane on Mars, but this possibility has not hitherto been tested. Here we show that some Martian meteorites, representing basic igneous rocks, liberate a methane-rich volatile component on crushing. The occurrence of methane in Martian rock samples adds strong weight to models whereby any life on Mars is/was likely to be resident in a subsurface habitat, where methane could be a source of energy and carbon for microbial activity.

  20. Life on Mars: Evidence from Martian Meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKay, David S.; Thomas-Keptra, Katie L.; Clemett, Simon J.; Gibson, Everett K., Jr.; Spencer, Lauren; Wentworth, Susan J.

    2009-01-01

    New data on martian meteorite 84001 as well as new experimental studies show that thermal or shock decomposition of carbonate, the leading alternative non-biologic explanation for the unusual nanophase magnetite found in this meteorite, cannot explain the chemistry of the actual martian magnetites. This leaves the biogenic explanation as the only remaining viable hypothesis for the origin of these unique magnetites. Additional data from two other martian meteorites show a suite of biomorphs which are nearly identical between meteorites recovered from two widely different terrestrial environments (Egyptian Nile bottomlands and Antarctic ice sheets). This similarity argues against terrestrial processes as the cause of these biomorphs and supports an origin on Mars for these features.

  1. Chemical evolution of the early Martian hydrosphere

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schaefer, M.W.

    1990-01-01

    The chemical evolution of the early Martian hydrosphere is discussed. The early Martian ocean can be modeled as a body of relatively pure water in equilibrium with a dense carbon dioxide atmosphere. The chemical weathering of lavas, pyroclastic deposits, and impact melt sheets would have the effect of neutralizing the acidity of the juvenile water. As calcium and other cations are added to the water by chemical weathering, they are quickly removed by the precipitation of calcium carbonate and other minerals, forming a deposit of limestone beneath the surface of the ocean. As the atmospheric carbon dioxide pressure and the temperature decrease, the Martian ocean would be completely frozen. Given the scenario for the chemical evolution of the northern lowland plains of Mars, it should be possible to draw a few conclusions about the expected mineralogy and geomorphology of this regions

  2. An investigation of Martian and terrestrial dust devils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ringrose, Timothy John

    2004-10-01

    It is the purpose of this work to provide an insight into the theoretical and practical dynamics of dust devils and how they are detected remotely from orbit or in situ on planetary surfaces. There is particular interest in the detection of convective vortices on Mars; this has been driven by involvement in the development of the Beagle 2 Environmental Sensor Suite. This suite of sensors is essentially a martian weather station and will be the first planetary lander experiment specifically looking for the presence of dust devils on Mars. Dust devils are characterised by their visible dusty core and intense rotation. The physics of particle motion, including dust lofting and the rotational dynamics within convective vortices are explained and modelled. This modelling has helped in identifying dust devils in meteorological data from both terrestrial and martian investigations. An automated technique for dust devil detection using meteorological data has been developed. This technique searches data looking for the specific vortex signature as well as detecting other transient events. This method has been tested on both terrestrial and martian data with surprising results. 38 possible convective vortices were detected in the first 60 sols of the Viking Lander 2 meteorological data. Tests were also carried out on data from a terrestrial dust devil campaign, which provided conclusive evidence from visual observations of the reliability of this technique. A considerable amount of this work does focus on terrestrial vortices. This is to aid in the understanding of dust devils, specifically how, why and when they form. Both laboratory and terrestrial fieldwork is investigated, providing useful data on the general structure of dust devils.

  3. SNC meteorites: Clues to martian petrologic evolution

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McSween, H.Y. Jr.

    1985-01-01

    The shergottites, nakhlites, and Chassigny (SNC meteorites) are apparently cumulate mafic and ultramafic rocks that crystallized at shallow levels in the crust of their parent body. The mineralogy and chemistry of these meteorites are remarkably like equivalent terrestrial rocks, although their ratios of Fe/(Fe+Mg) and certain incompatible elements and their oxygen isotopic compositions are distinctive. All have crystallization ages of 1.3 b.y. or younger and formed from magmas produced by partial melting of previously fractionated source regions. Isotope systematics suggest that the SNC parent body had a complex and protracted thermal history spanning most of geologic time. Some meteorites have been severely shock metamorphosed, and all were ejected from their parent body at relatively recent times, possibly in several impact events. Late crystallization ages, complex petrogenesis, and possible evidence for a large gravitational field suggest that these meteorites are derived from a large planet. Trapped gases in shergottite shock melts have compositions similar to the composition measured in the Martian atmosphere. Ejection of Martian meteorites may have been accomplished by acceleration of near-surface spalls or other mechanisms not fully understood. If SNC meteorites are of Martian origin, they provide important information on planetary composition and evolution. The bulk composition and redox state of the Martian mantle, as constrained by shergottite phase equilibria, must be more earthlike than most current models. Planetary thermal models should benefit from data on the abundances of radioactive heat sources, the melting behavior of the mantle, and the timing of planetary differentiation

  4. Martian Gullies: Formation by CO2 Fluidification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cedillo-Flores, Y.; Durand-Manterola, H. J.

    2006-12-01

    Some of the geomorphological features in Mars are the gullies. Some theories developed tried explain its origin, either by liquid water, liquid carbon dioxide or flows of dry granular material. We made a comparative analysis of the Martian gullies with the terrestrial ones. We propose that the mechanism of formation of the gullies is as follows: In winter CO2 snow mixed with sand falls in the terrain. In spring the CO2 snow sublimate and gaseous CO2 make fluid the sand which flows like liquid eroding the terrain and forming the gullies. By experimental work with dry granular material, we simulated the development of the Martian gullies injecting air in the granular material. We present the characteristics of some terrestrial gullies forms at cold environment, sited at Nevado de Toluca Volcano near Toluca City, México. We compare them with Martian gullies choose from four different areas, to target goal recognize or to distinguish, (to identify) possible processes evolved in its formation. Also, we measured the lengths of those Martian gullies and the range was from 24 m to 1775 meters. Finally, we present results of our experimental work at laboratory with dry granular material.

  5. Nature of Reduced Carbon in Martian Meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibson, Everett K., Jr.; McKay, D. S.; Thomas-Keprta, K. L.; Clemett, S. J.; White, L. M.

    2012-01-01

    Martian meteorites provide important information on the nature of reduced carbon components present on Mars throughout its history. The first in situ analyses for carbon on the surface of Mars by the Viking landers yielded disappointing results. With the recognition of Martian meteorites on Earth, investigations have shown carbon-bearing phases exist on Mars. Studies have yielded presence of reduced carbon, carbonates and inferred graphitic carbon phases. Samples ranging in age from the first approximately 4 Ga of Mars history [e.g. ALH84001] to nakhlites with a crystallization age of 1.3 Ga [e.g. Nakhla] with aqueous alteration processes occurring 0.5-0.7 Ga after crystallizaton. Shergottites demonstrate formation ages around 165-500 Ma with younger aqueous alterations events. Only a limited number of the Martian meteorites do not show evidence of significance terrestrial alterations. Selected areas within ALH84001, Nakhla, Yamato 000593 and possibly Tissint are suitable for study of their indigenous reduced carbon bearing phases. Nakhla possesses discrete, well-defined carbonaceous phases present within iddingsite alteration zones. Based upon both isotopic measurements and analysis of Nakhla's organic phases the presence of pre-terrestrial organics is now recognized. The reduced carbon-bearing phases appear to have been deposited during preterrestrial aqueous alteration events that produced clays. In addition, the microcrystalline layers of Nakhla's iddingsite have discrete units of salt crystals suggestive of evaporation processes. While we can only speculate on the origin of these unique carbonaceous structures, we note that the significance of such observations is that it may allow us to understand the role of Martian carbon as seen in the Martian meteorites with obvious implications for astrobiology and the pre-biotic evolution of Mars. In any case, our observations strongly suggest that reduced organic carbon exists as micrometer- size, discrete structures

  6. Martian channels and valleys - Their characteristics, distribution, and age

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carr, M. H.; Clow, G. D.

    1981-01-01

    The distribution and ages of Martian channels and valleys, which are generally believed to have been cut by running water, are examined with particular emphasis on the small branching networks referred to as runoff channels or valley networks. Valleys at latitudes from 65 deg S to 65 deg N were surveyed on Viking images at resolutions between 125 and 300 m. Almost all of the valleys are found in the old cratered terrain, in areas characterized by high elevations, low albedos and low violet/red ratios. The networks are deduced to have formed early in the history of the planet, with a formation rate declining rapidly shortly after the decline of the cratering rate 3.9 billion years ago. Two types of outflow channels are distinguished: unconfined, in which broad swaths of terrain are scoured, and confined, in which flow is restricted to discrete channels. Both types start at local sources, and have formed episodically throughout Martian history. Fretted channels, found mainly in two latitude belts characterized by relatively rapid erosion along escarpments, are explained by the lateral enlargement of other channels by mass wasting.

  7. Martian Mixed Layer during Pathfinder Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinez, G. M.; Valero, F.; Vazquez, L.

    2008-09-01

    In situ measurements of the Martian Planetary Boundary Layer (MPBL) encompass only the sur- face layer. Therefore, in order to fully address the MPBL, it becomes necessary to simulate somehow the behaviour of the martian mixed layer. The small-scale processes that happen in the MPBL cause GCM's ([1], [2]) to describe only partially the turbulent statistics, height, convective scales, etc, of the surface layer and the mixed layer. For this reason, 2D and 3D martian mesoscale models ([4], [5]), and large eddy simulations ([4], [6], [7], [8]) have been designed in the last years. Although they are expected to simulate more accurately the MPBL, they take an extremely expensive compu- tational time. Alternatively, we have derived the main turbu- lent characteristics of the martian mixed layer by using surface layer and mixed layer similarity ([9], [10]). From in situ temperature and wind speed measurements, together with quality-tested simu- lated ground temperature [11], we have character- ized the martian mixed layer during the convective hours of Pathfinder mission Sol 25. Mean mixed layer turbulent statistics like tem- perature variance , horizontal wind speed variance , vertical wind speed variance , viscous dissipation rate , and turbu- lent kinetic energy have been calculated, as well as the mixed layer height zi, and the convective scales of wind w? and temperature θ?. Our values, obtained with negligible time cost, match quite well with some previously obtained results via LES's ([4] and [8]). A comparisson between the above obtained mar- tian values and the typical Earth values are shown in Table 1. Convective velocity scale w doubles its counterpart terrestrial typical value, as it does the mean wind speed variances and . On the other hand, the temperature scale θ? and the mean temperature variance are virtually around one order higher on Mars. The limitations of these results concern the va- lidity of the convective mixed layer similarity. This theory

  8. On the chemistry of the Martian surface

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Keil, K.

    1978-01-01

    Analyses of 13 smaples of Martian surface materials with the Viking X-ray fluorescence spectrometers show SiO 2 similar to that of terrestrial mafic rocks, whereas Fe 2 O 3 , Cl, and S are higher and Al 2 O 3 , K 2 O, Rb, Sr, Y, and Zr are lower. Low totals suggest presence of CO 2 , H 2 O, and Na 2 O. Duricrust fragments are higher in S than fines, but samples from both landing sites are surprisingly similar. We suggest that Martian surface materials are aeolian deposits of complex mixtures of weathering products of mafic-ultramafic rocks, possibly consisting of iron-rich clays, sulfates, iron oxides, carbonates, and chlorides. (orig.) 891 HK [de

  9. On to Mars! chronicles of Martian simulations

    CERN Document Server

    PLETSER, Vladimir

    2018-01-01

    This book introduces the Martian simulations, one installed on Devon Island, an uninhabited island in the Canadian Arctic, well within the polar circle, and two in the desert of Utah, several hundreds of kilometers South of Salt Lake City. The book is based on the diaries during the simulations, held by Vladimir Pletser, a physicist-engineer, who was selected to attend these simulations. It relates the details of everyday life in these Martian habitats and of the scientific and exploratory work conducted in these extreme environments in preparation for future manned missions to Mars. Through the real experiences described in the book, readers will find space explorations and living on Mars more tangible. .

  10. Permeability Barrier Generation in the Martian Lithosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schools, Joe; Montési, Laurent

    2015-11-01

    Permeability barriers develop when a magma produced in the interior of a planet rises into the cooler lithosphere and crystallizes more rapidly than the lithosphere can deform (Sparks and Parmentier, 1991). Crystallization products may then clog the porous network in which melt is propagating, reducing the permeability to almost zero, i.e., forming a permeability barrier. Subsequent melts cannot cross the barrier. Permeability barriers have been useful to explain variations in crustal thickness at mid-ocean ridges on Earth (Magde et al., 1997; Hebert and Montési, 2011; Montési et al., 2011). We explore here under what conditions permeability barriers may form on Mars.We use the MELTS thermodynamic calculator (Ghiorso and Sack, 1995; Ghiorso et al., 2002; Asimow et al., 2004) in conjunction with estimated Martian mantle compositions (Morgan and Anders, 1979; Wänke and Dreibus, 1994; Lodders and Fegley, 1997; Sanloup et al., 1999; Taylor 2013) to model the formation of permeability barriers in the lithosphere of Mars. In order to represent potential past and present conditions of Mars, we vary the lithospheric thickness, mantle potential temperature (heat flux), oxygen fugacity, and water content.Our results show that permeability layers can develop in the thermal boundary layer of the simulated Martian lithosphere if the mantle potential temperature is higher than ~1500°C. The various Martian mantle compositions yield barriers in the same locations, under matching variable conditions. There is no significant difference in barrier location over the range of accepted Martian oxygen fugacity values. Water content is the most significant influence on barrier development as it reduces the temperature of crystallization, allowing melt to rise further into the lithosphere. Our lower temperature and thicker lithosphere model runs, which are likely the most similar to modern Mars, show no permeability barrier generation. Losing the possibility of having a permeability

  11. Martian regolith geochemistry and sampling techniques

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, B. C.

    Laboratory study of samples of the intermediate and fine-grained regolith, including duricrust peds, is a fundamental prerequisite for understanding the types of physical and chemical weathering processes on Mars. The extraordinary importance of such samples is their relevance to understanding past changes in climate, availability (and possible physical state) of water, eolian forces, the thermal and chemical influences of volcanic and impact processes, and the inventory and fates of Martian volatiles. Fortunately, this regolith material appears to be ubiquitous over the Martian surface, and should be available at many different landing sites. Viking data has been interpreted to indicate a smectite-rich regolith material, implying extensive weathering involving aqueous activity and geochemical alteration. An all-igneous source of the Martian fines has also been proposed. The X-ray fluorescence measurement data set can now be fully explained in terms of a simple two-component model. The first component is silicate, having strong geochemical similarities with Shergottites, but not other SNC meteorites. The second component is salt. Variations in these components could produce silicate and salt-rich beds, the latter being of high potential importance for microenvironments in which liquid water (brines) could exist. It therefore would be desirable to scan the surface of the regolith for such prospects.

  12. Martian regolith geochemistry and sampling techniques

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, B. C.

    1988-01-01

    Laboratory study of samples of the intermediate and fine-grained regolith, including duricrust peds, is a fundamental prerequisite for understanding the types of physical and chemical weathering processes on Mars. The extraordinary importance of such samples is their relevance to understanding past changes in climate, availability (and possible physical state) of water, eolian forces, the thermal and chemical influences of volcanic and impact processes, and the inventory and fates of Martian volatiles. Fortunately, this regolith material appears to be ubiquitous over the Martian surface, and should be available at many different landing sites. Viking data has been interpreted to indicate a smectite-rich regolith material, implying extensive weathering involving aqueous activity and geochemical alteration. An all-igneous source of the Martian fines has also been proposed. The X-ray fluorescence measurement data set can now be fully explained in terms of a simple two-component model. The first component is silicate, having strong geochemical similarities with Shergottites, but not other SNC meteorites. The second component is salt. Variations in these components could produce silicate and salt-rich beds, the latter being of high potential importance for microenvironments in which liquid water (brines) could exist. It therefore would be desirable to scan the surface of the regolith for such prospects.

  13. Martian Atmospheric Pressure Static Charge Elimination Tool

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johansen, Michael R.

    2014-01-01

    A Martian pressure static charge elimination tool is currently in development in the Electrostatics and Surface Physics Laboratory (ESPL) at NASA's Kennedy Space Center. In standard Earth atmosphere conditions, static charge can be neutralized from an insulating surface using air ionizers. These air ionizers generate ions through corona breakdown. The Martian atmosphere is 7 Torr of mostly carbon dioxide, which makes it inherently difficult to use similar methods as those used for standard atmosphere static elimination tools. An initial prototype has been developed to show feasibility of static charge elimination at low pressure, using corona discharge. A needle point and thin wire loop are used as the corona generating electrodes. A photo of the test apparatus is shown below. Positive and negative high voltage pulses are sent to the needle point. This creates positive and negative ions that can be used for static charge neutralization. In a preliminary test, a floating metal plate was charged to approximately 600 volts under Martian atmospheric conditions. The static elimination tool was enabled and the voltage on the metal plate dropped rapidly to -100 volts. This test data is displayed below. Optimization is necessary to improve the electrostatic balance of the static elimination tool.

  14. Where to search for martian biota?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tasch, Paul

    1997-07-01

    Martian Salt. Terrestrial halite containing negative crystals which entrapped drops of viscous fluid yielded viable bacteria. The fluid has a Br/Mg ratio which chemist W.T. Holser characterized as a `Permian bittern.' All relevant salt on Mars should be inspected for negative crystals and possible ancient bacterial tenants. Martian Water. Moist soil in the regolith, cooled hydrothermal fluids, sediments of recurrent oceanic water, and related to inferred strand lines, even limited water in future SNC-type meteorites, upper atmosphere liquid water or water vapor, and North Polar liquid water or ice--all liquid water in any form, wherever, should be collected for microbiological analysis. Vent Fauna. Living or fossil thermophiles as trace fossils, or fauna metallicized in relation to sulphide ores. Iron Bacteria. Limonitized magnetite ore (USSR) in thin section showed structures attributed to iron bacteria. Biogenic magnetite, produced by both aerobic and anaerobic bacteria and its significance. Carbonaceous chondrites (non martian) (Ivuna and Orgueil) yielded apparent life forms that could not be attributed to contamination during the given study. Are they extraterrestrial?

  15. Iron Redox Systematics of Martian Magmas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Righter, K.; Danielson, L.; Martin, A.; Pando, K.; Sutton, S.; Newville, M.

    2011-01-01

    Martian magmas are known to be FeO-rich and the dominant FeO-bearing mineral at many sites visited by the Mars Exploration rovers (MER) is magnetite [1]. Morris et al. [1] propose that the magnetite appears to be igneous in origin, rather than of secondary origin. However, magnetite is not typically found in experimental studies of martian magmatic rocks [2,3]. Magnetite stability in terrestrial magmas is well understood, as are the stability of FeO and Fe2O3 in terrestrial magmas [4,5]. In order to better understand the variation of FeO and Fe2O3, and the stability of magnetite (and other FeO-bearing phases) in martian magmas we have undertaken an experimental study with two emphases. First we document the stability of magnetite with temperature and fO2 in a shergottite bulk composition. Second, we determine the FeO and Fe2O3 contents of the same shergottite bulk composition at 1 bar and variable fO2 at 1250 C, and at variable pressure. These two goals will help define not only magnetite stability, but pyroxene-melt equilibria that are also dependent upon fO2.

  16. Unusual Iron Redox Systematics of Martian Magmas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Danielson, L.; Righter, K.; Pando, K.; Morris, R. V.; Graff, T.; Agresti, D.; Martin, A.; Sutton, S.; Newville, M.; Lanzirotti, A.

    2012-01-01

    Martian magmas are known to be FeO-rich and the dominant FeO-bearing mineral at many sites visited by the Mars Exploration rovers (MER) is magnetite. Morris et al. proposed that the magnetite appears to be igneous in origin, rather than of secondary origin. However, magnetite is not typically found in experimental studies of martian magmatic rocks. Magnetite stability in terrestrial magmas is well understood, as are the stabilities of FeO and Fe2O3 in terrestrial magmas. In order to better understand the variation of FeO and Fe2O3, and the stability of magnetite (and other FeO-bearing phases) in martian magmas, we have undertaken an experimental study with two emphases. First, we determine the FeO and Fe2O3 contents of super- and sub-liquidus glasses from a shergottite bulk composition at 1 bar to 4 GPa, and variable fO2. Second, we document the stability of magnetite with temperature and fO2 in a shergottite bulk composition.

  17. Periglacial and glacial analogs for Martian landforms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rossbacher, Lisa A.

    1992-01-01

    The list of useful terrestrial analogs for Martian landforms has been expanded to include: features developed by desiccation processes; catastrophic flood features associated with boulder-sized materials; and sorted ground developed at a density boundary. Quantitative analytical techniques developed for physical geography have been adapted and applied to planetary studies, including: quantification of the patterns of polygonally fractured ground to describe pattern randomness independent of pattern size, with possible correlation to the mechanism of origin and quantification of the relative area of a geomorphic feature or region in comparison to planetary scale. Information about Martian geomorphology studied in this project was presented at professional meetings world-wide, at seven colleges and universities, in two interactive televised courses, and as part of two books. Overall, this project has expanded the understanding of the range of terrestrial analogs for Martian landforms, including identifying several new analogs. The processes that created these terrestrial features are characterized by both cold temperatures and low humidity, and therefore both freeze-thaw and desiccation processes are important. All these results support the conclusion that water has played a significant role in the geomorphic history of Mars.

  18. Electrical Activity in Martian Dust Storms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Majid, W.; Arabshahi, S.; Kocz, J.

    2016-12-01

    Dust storms on Mars are predicted to be capable of producing electrostatic fields and discharges, even larger than those in dust storms on Earth. Such electrical activity poses serious risks to any Human exploration of the planet and the lack of sufficient data to characterize any such activity has been identified by NASA's MEPAG as a key human safety knowledge gap. There are three key elements in the characterization of Martian electrostatic discharges: dependence on Martian environmental conditions, frequency of occurrence, and the strength of the generated electric fields. We will describe a recently deployed detection engine using NASA's Deep Space Network (DSN) to carry out a long term monitoring campaign to search for and characterize the entire Mars hemisphere for powerful discharges during routine tracking of spacecraft at Mars on an entirely non-interfering basis. The resulting knowledge of Mars electrical activity would allow NASA to plan risk mitigation measures to ensure human safety during Mars exploration. In addition, these measurements will also allow us to place limits on presence of oxidants such as H2O2 that may be produced by such discharges, providing another measurement point for models describing Martian atmospheric chemistry and habitability. Because of the continuous Mars telecommunication needs of NASA's Mars-based assets, the DSN is the only instrument in the world that combines long term, high cadence, observing opportunities with large sensitive telescopes, making it a unique asset worldwide in searching for and characterizing electrostatic activity at Mars from the ground.

  19. Martian meteorites and Martian magnetic anomalies: a new perspective from NWA 7034 (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gattacceca, J.; Rochette, P.; Scozelli, R. B.; Munayco, P.; Agee, C. B.; Quesnel, Y.; Cournede, C.; Geissman, J. W.

    2013-12-01

    The magnetic anomalies observed above the Martian Noachian crust [1] require strong crustal remanent magnetization in the 15-60 A/m range over a thickness of 20-50 km [2,3]. The Martian rocks available for study in the form of meteorites do contain magnetic minerals (magnetite and/or pyrrhotite) but in too small amount to account for such strong remanent magnetizations [4]. Even though this contradiction was easily explained by the fact that Martian meteorites (mostly nakhlites and shergottites) are not representative of the Noachian Martian crust, we were left with no satisfactory candidate lithology to account for the Martian magnetic anomalies. The discovery in the Sahara of a new type of Martian meteorite (NWA 7034 [5] and subsequent paired stones which are hydrothermalized volcanic breccia) shed a new light on this question as it contains a much larger amount of ferromagnetic minerals than any other Martian meteorite. We present here a study of the magnetic properties of NWA 7034, together with a review of the magnetic properties of thirty other Martian meteorites. Magnetic measurements (including high and low temperature behavior and Mössbauer spectroscopy) show that NWA 7034 contains about 15 wt.% of magnetite with various degrees of substitution and maghemitization up to pure maghemite, in the pseudo-single domain size range. Pyrrhotite, a common mineral in other Martian meteorites is not detected. Although it is superparamagnetic and cannot carry remanent magnetization, nanophase goethite is present in significant amounts confirming that NWA 7034 is the most oxidized Martian meteorite studied so far, as already indicated by the presence of maghemite (this study) and pyrite [5]. These magnetic properties show that a kilometric layer of a lithology similar to NWA 7034 magnetized in a dynamo field would be enough to account for the strongest Martian magnetic anomalies. Although the petrogenesis of NWA 7034 is still debated, as the brecciation could be either

  20. Magnesium isotope systematics in Martian meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magna, Tomáš; Hu, Yan; Teng, Fang-Zhen; Mezger, Klaus

    2017-09-01

    Magnesium isotope compositions are reported for a suite of Martian meteorites that span the range of petrological and geochemical types recognized to date for Mars, including crustal breccia Northwest Africa (NWA) 7034. The δ26Mg values (per mil units relative to DSM-3 reference material) range from -0.32 to -0.11‰; basaltic shergottites and nakhlites lie to the heavier end of the Mg isotope range whereas olivine-phyric, olivine-orthopyroxene-phyric and lherzolitic shergottites, and chassignites have slightly lighter Mg isotope compositions, attesting to modest correlation of Mg isotopes and petrology of the samples. Slightly heavier Mg isotope compositions found for surface-related materials (NWA 7034, black glass fraction of the Tissint shergottite fall; δ26Mg > -0.17‰) indicate measurable Mg isotope difference between the Martian mantle and crust but the true extent of Mg isotope fractionation for Martian surface materials remains unconstrained. The range of δ26Mg values from -0.19 to -0.11‰ in nakhlites is most likely due to accumulation of clinopyroxene during petrogenesis rather than garnet fractionation in the source or assimilation of surface material modified at low temperatures. The rather restricted range in Mg isotope compositions between spatially and temporally distinct mantle-derived samples supports the idea of inefficient/absent major tectonic cycles on Mars, which would include plate tectonics and large-scale recycling of isotopically fractionated surface materials back into the Martian mantle. The cumulative δ26Mg value of Martian samples, which are not influenced by late-stage alteration processes and/or crust-mantle interactions, is - 0.271 ± 0.040 ‰ (2SD) and is considered to reflect δ26Mg value of the Bulk Silicate Mars. This value is robust taking into account the range of lithologies involved in this estimate. It also attests to the lack of the Mg isotope variability reported for the inner Solar System bodies at current

  1. The origin and evolution of terrestrial and Martian rock labyrinths

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brook, G. A.

    1984-01-01

    The morphological characteristics and evolutionary development of rock labyrinths on Earth (in sandstone, volcanics, and carbonates) are compared with those on Mars. On Earth rock labyrinths originate as parallel, an echelon, or intersecting narrow grabens, or develop where fault and joint networks are selectively eroded. Labyrinths frequently contain both downfaulted and erosional elements. Closed labyrinths contain depressions; open labyrinths do not, they are simple part of a fluvial network generally of low order. As closed labyrinths made up of intersecting grabens or made up of connected erosional depressions are extremely common on Mars, the research focussed on an understanding of these labyrinth types. Field investigations were carried out in Canyonlands National Park, Utah, and in the Chirachahua Mountains of Arizona. Martian labyrinths were investigated using Viking orbiter images. In addition, research was undertaken on apparent thermokarst features in Lunae Planum and Chryse Planitia where closed depressions are numerous and resemble atlas topography.

  2. Intraflow width variations in Martian and terrestrial lava flows

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peitersen, Matthew N.; Crown, David A.

    1997-03-01

    Flow morphology is used to interpret emplacement processes for lava flows on Earth and Mars. Accurate measurements of flow geometry are essential, particularly for planetary flows where neither compositional sampling nor direct observations of active flows may be possible. Width behavior may indicate a flow's response to topography, its emplacement regime, and its physical properties. Variations in width with downflow distance from the vent may therefore provide critical clues to flow emplacement processes. Flow width is also one of the few characteristics that can be readily measured from planetary mission data with accuracy. Recent analyses of individual flows at two terrestrial and four Martian sites show that widths within an individual flow vary by up to an order of magnitude. Width is generally thought to be correlated to topography; however, recent studies show that this relationship is neither straightforward nor easily quantifiable.

  3. An Electrostatic Precipitator System for the Martian Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calle, C. I.; Mackey, P. J.; Hogue, M. D.; Johansen, M. R.; Phillips, J. R., III; Clements, J. S.

    2012-01-01

    Human exploration missions to Mars will require the development of technologies for the utilization of the planet's own resources for the production of commodities. However, the Martian atmosphere contains large amounts of dust. The extraction of commodities from this atmosphere requires prior removal of this dust. We report on our development of an electrostatic precipitator able to collect Martian simulated dust particles in atmospheric conditions approaching those of Mars. Extensive experiments with an initial prototype in a simulated Martian atmosphere showed efficiencies of 99%. The design of a second prototype with aerosolized Martian simulated dust in a flow-through is described. Keywords: Space applications, electrostatic precipitator, particle control, particle charging

  4. Do Martian Blueberries Have Pits? -- Artifacts of an Early Wet Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lerman, L.

    2005-03-01

    Early Martian weather cycles would have supported organic chemical self-organization, the assumed predecessor to an independent "origin" of Martian life. Artifacts of these processes are discussed, including the possibility that Martian blueberries nucleated around organic cores.

  5. MetNet - In situ observational Network and Orbital platform to investigate the Martian environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harri, Ari-Matti; Leinonen, Jussi; Merikallio, Sini; Paton, Mark; Haukka, Harri; Polkko, Jouni

    2007-09-01

    MetNet Mars Mission is an in situ observational network and orbital platform mission to investigate the Martian environment and it has been proposed to European Space Agency in response to Call for proposals for the first planning cycle of Cosmic Vision 2015-2025 D/SCI/DJS/SV/val/21851. The MetNet Mars Mission is to be implemented in collaboration with ESA, FMI, LA, IKI and the payload providing science teams. The scope of the MetNet Mission is to deploy 16 MetNet Landers (MNLs) on the Martian surface by using inflatable descent system structures accompanied by an atmospheric sounder and data relay onboard the MetNet Orbiter (MNO), which is based on ESA Mars Express satellite platform. The MNLs are attached on the three sides of the satellite and most of the MNLs are deployed to Mars separately a few weeks prior to the arrival to Mars. The MetNet Orbiter will perform continuous atmospheric soundings thus complementing the accurate in situ observations at the Martian ground produced by the MetNet observation network, as well as the orbiter will serve as the primary data relay between the MetNet Landers and the Earth. The MNLs are equipped with a versatile science payload focused on the atmospheric science of Mars. Detailed characterisation of the Martian atmospheric circulation patterns, boundary layer phenomena, and climatological cycles, as well as interior investigations, require simultaneous in situ meteorological, seismic and magnetic measurements from networks of stations on the Martian surface. MetNet Mars Mission will also provide a crucial support for the safety of large landing missions in general and manned Mars missions in particular. Accurate knowledge of atmospheric conditions and weather data is essential to guarantee safe landings of the forthcoming Mars mission elements.

  6. An Examination of "The Martian" Trajectory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burke, Laura

    2015-01-01

    This analysis was performed to support a request to examine the trajectory of the Hermes vehicle in the novel "The Martian" by Andy Weir. Weir developed his own tool to perform the analysis necessary to provide proper trajectory information for the novel. The Hermes vehicle is the interplanetary spacecraft that shuttles the crew to and from Mars. It is notionally a Nuclear powered vehicle utilizing VASIMR engines for propulsion. The intent of this analysis was the determine whether the trajectory as it was outlined in the novel is consistent with the rules of orbital mechanics.

  7. Backscattering Moessbauer spectroscopy of Martian dust

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bertelsen, P.; Madsen, M. B.; Binau, C. S.; Goetz, W.; Gunnlaugsson, H. P.; Hviid, S. F.; Kinch, K. M.; Klingelhoefer, G.; Leer, K.; Madsen, D. E.; Merrison, J.; Olsen, M.; Squyres, S. W.

    2005-01-01

    We report on the determination of the mineralogy of the atmospherically suspended Martian dust particles using backscattering 57 Fe Moessbauer spectroscopy on dust accumulated onto the magnets onboard the Mars Exploration Rovers. The spectra can be interpreted in terms of minerals of igneous origin, and shows only limited, if any, amounts of secondary minerals that may have formed in the presence of liquid water. These findings suggest that the dust has formed in a dry environment over long time in the history of the planet.

  8. Martian Surface as Seen by Phoenix

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-01-01

    This anaglyph, acquired by NASA's Phoenix Lander's Surface Stereo Imager on Sol 36, the 36th Martian day of the mission (July 1, 2008), shows a stereoscopic 3D view of a trench informally called 'Snow White' dug by Phoenix's Robotic Arm. Phoenix's solar panel is seen in the bottom right corner of the image. The Phoenix Mission is led by the University of Arizona, Tucson, on behalf of NASA. Project management of the mission is by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. Spacecraft development is by Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver.

  9. Coastal geomorphology of the Martian northern plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parker, Timothy J.; Gorsline, Donn S.; Saunders, Stephen R.; Pieri, David C.; Schneeberger, Dale M.

    1993-01-01

    The paper considers the question of the formation of the outflow channels and valley networks discovered on the Martian northern plains during the Mariner 9 mission. Parker and Saunders (1987) and Parker et al. (1987, 1989) data are used to describe key features common both in the lower reaches of the outflow channels and within and along the margins of the entire northern plains. It is suggested, that of the geological processes capable of producing similar morphologies on earth, lacustrine or marine deposition and subsequent periglacial modification offer the simplest and most consistent explanation for the suit of features found on Mars.

  10. Pb evolution in the Martian mantle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bellucci, J. J.; Nemchin, A. A.; Whitehouse, M. J.; Snape, J. F.; Bland, P.; Benedix, G. K.; Roszjar, J.

    2018-03-01

    The initial Pb compositions of one enriched shergottite, one intermediate shergottite, two depleted shergottites, and Nakhla have been measured by Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (SIMS). These values, in addition to data from previous studies using an identical analytical method performed on three enriched shergottites, ALH 84001, and Chassigny, are used to construct a unified and internally consistent model for the differentiation history of the Martian mantle and crystallization ages for Martian meteorites. The differentiation history of the shergottites and Nakhla/Chassigny are fundamentally different, which is in agreement with short-lived radiogenic isotope systematics. The initial Pb compositions of Nakhla/Chassigny are best explained by the late addition of a Pb-enriched component with a primitive, non-radiogenic composition. In contrast, the Pb isotopic compositions of the shergottite group indicate a relatively simple evolutionary history of the Martian mantle that can be modeled based on recent results from the Sm-Nd system. The shergottites have been linked to a single mantle differentiation event at 4504 Ma. Thus, the shergottite Pb isotopic model here reflects a two-stage history 1) pre-silicate differentiation (4504 Ma) and 2) post-silicate differentiation to the age of eruption (as determined by concordant radiogenic isochron ages). The μ-values (238U/204Pb) obtained for these two different stages of Pb growth are μ1 of 1.8 and a range of μ2 from 1.4-4.7, respectively. The μ1-value of 1.8 is in broad agreement with enstatite and ordinary chondrites and that proposed for proto Earth, suggesting this is the initial μ-value for inner Solar System bodies. When plotted against other source radiogenic isotopic variables (Sri, γ187Os, ε143Nd, and ε176Hf), the second stage mantle evolution range in observed mantle μ-values display excellent linear correlations (r2 > 0.85) and represent a spectrum of Martian mantle mixing-end members (depleted

  11. An extensive phase space for the potential martian biosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Eriita G; Lineweaver, Charles H; Clarke, Jonathan D

    2011-12-01

    We present a comprehensive model of martian pressure-temperature (P-T) phase space and compare it with that of Earth. Martian P-T conditions compatible with liquid water extend to a depth of ∼310 km. We use our phase space model of Mars and of terrestrial life to estimate the depths and extent of the water on Mars that is habitable for terrestrial life. We find an extensive overlap between inhabited terrestrial phase space and martian phase space. The lower martian surface temperatures and shallower martian geotherm suggest that, if there is a hot deep biosphere on Mars, it could extend 7 times deeper than the ∼5 km depth of the hot deep terrestrial biosphere in the crust inhabited by hyperthermophilic chemolithotrophs. This corresponds to ∼3.2% of the volume of present-day Mars being potentially habitable for terrestrial-like life.

  12. MGS Radio Science Electron Density Profiles: Interannual Variability and Implications for the Martian Neutral Atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bougher, S. W.; Engel, S.; Hinson, D. P.; Murphy, J. R.

    2004-01-01

    Martian electron density profiles provided by the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Radio Science (RS) experiment over the 95-200 km altitude range indicate what the height of the electron peak and the longitudinal structure of the peak height are sensitive indicators of the physical state of the Mars lower and upper atmospheres. The present analysis is carried out on five sets of occultation profiles, all at high solar zenith angles (SZA). Variations spanning 2 Martian years are investigated near aphelion conditions at high northern latitudes (64.7 - 77.6 N) making use of four of these data sets. A mean ionospheric peak height of 133.5 - 135 km is obtained near SZA = 78 - 82 deg.; a corresponding mean peak density of 7.3 - 8.5 x l0(exp 4)/ qu cm is also measured during solar moderate conditions at Mars. Strong wave number 2 - 3 oscillations in peak heights are consistently observed as a function of longitude over the 2 Martian years. These observed ionospheric features are remarkably similar during aphelion conditions 1 Martian year apart. This year-to-year repeatability in the thermosphere-ionosphere structure is consistent with that observed in multiyear aphelion temperature data of the Mars lower atmosphere. Coupled Mars general circulation model (MGCM) and Mars thermospheric general circulation model (MTGCM) codes are run for Mars aphelion conditions, yielding mean and longitude variable ionospheric peak heights that reasonably match RS observations. A tidal decomposition of MTGCM thermospheric densities shows that observed ionospheric wave number 3 features are linked to a non-migrating tidal mode with semidiurnal period (sigma = 2) and zonal wave number 1 (s = -1) characteristics. The height of this photochemically determined ionospheric peak should be monitored regularly.

  13. Survival of microorganisms in smectite clays: Implications for Martian exobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moll, Deborah M.; Vestal, J. Robie

    1992-08-01

    Manned exploration of Mars may result in the contamination of that planet with terrestrial microbes, a situation requiring assessment of the survival potential of possible contaminating organisms. In this study, the survival of Bacillus subtilis, Azotobacter chroococcum, and the enteric bacteriophage MS2 was examined in clays representing terrestrial (Wyoming type montmorillonite) or Martian (Fe 3+-montmorillonite) soils exposed to terrestrial and Martian environmental conditions of temperature and atmospheric pressure and composition, but not to UV flux or oxidizing conditions. Survival of bacteria was determined by standard plate counts and biochemical and physiological measurements over 112 days. Extractable lipid phosphate was used to measure microbial biomass, and the rate of 14C-acetate incorporation into microbial lipids was used to determine physiological activity. MS2 survival was assayed by plaque counts. Both bacterial types survived terrestrial or Martian conditions in Wyoming montmorillonite better than Martian conditions in Fe 3+-montmorillonite. Decreased survival may have been caused by the lower pH of the Fe 3+-montmorillonite compared to Wyoming montmorillonite. MS2 survived simulated Mars conditions better than the terrestrial environment, likely due to stabilization of the virus caused by the cold and dry conditions of the simulated Martian environment. The survival of MS2 in the simulated Martian environment is the first published indication that viruses may be able to survive in Martian type soils. This work may have implications for planetary protection for future Mars missions.

  14. Martian Gullies: H2O or CO2 snow?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yolanda, C.; Durand-Manterola, H. J.

    2007-05-01

    The theories proposed to try to explain the origin of the Martian gullies involve either liquid water, liquid carbon dioxide or flows of dry granular material. We propose another processes that can be favorable for the origin of the Martian gullies, with our model by gaseous fluidification of CO2. We propose that on the Martian slopes, CO2 snow and dust transported by winds, are accumulate. During the Martian spring, sublimation of carbonic snow starts because of heat and weigth of the frezze layer, causing that the material mixed its fluidifized and slide downslope by gravity. By experimental work with dry granular material, we simulated the development of the Martian gullies injecting air inside the granular material. We also present the characteristics of some terrestrial gullies forms at cold environment, sited at Nevado de Toluca Volcano near Toluca City, México. We compared them with some Martian gullies, to identify possible processes evolved in its formation. We measured the lengths of those Martian gullies and the range was from 24 meters to 1775 meters. Finally, we present results of our experimental work at laboratory with dry granular material and our field trip to Nevado de Toluca Volcano.

  15. Luminescence Dating of Martian Polar Deposits: Concepts and Preliminary Measurements Using Martian Soil Analogs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lepper, K.; Kuhns, C. K.; McKeever, S. W. S.; Sears, D. W. G.

    2000-08-01

    Martian polar deposits have the potential to reveal a wealth of information about the evolution of Mars' climate and surface environment. However, as pointed out by Clifford et al. in the summary of the First International Conference on Mars Polar Science and Exploration, 'The single greatest obstacle to unlocking and interpreting the geologic and climatic record preserved at the [martian] poles is the need for absolute dating.' At that same conference Lepper and McKeever proposed development of luminescence dating as a remote in-situ technique for absolute dating of silicate mineral grains incorporated in polar deposits. Clifford et al. have also acknowledged that luminescence dating is more practical from cost, engineering, and logistical perspectives than other isotope-based methods proposed for in-situ dating on Mars. We report here the results of ongoing experiments with terrestrial analogs of martian surface materials to establish a broad fundamental knowledge base from which robust dating procedures for robotic missions may be developed. This broad knowledge base will also be critical in determining the engineering requirements of remote in-situ luminescence dating equipment intended for use on Mars. Additional information can be found in the original extended abstract.

  16. Comparision of the Martian Gullies With Terrestrial Ones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cedillo-Flores, Y.; Durand-Manterola, H. J.

    2005-12-01

    Some of the geomorphological features in Mars are the gullies. Some theories developed tried to explained its origin, either by liquid water, liquid carbon dioxide or flows of dry granular material. We made a comparative analysis of the Martian gullies with the terrestrial ones. We present the characteristics of some terrestrial gullies formed at cold enviroment, sited at the Nevado de Toluca volcanoe near Toluca City, Mexico. We compare them with Martian gullies, choisen from four different areas, to recognize possible processes evolved in its formation. Also, we measured the lenghts of those Martian gullies and their range was from 24 m 1775 m.

  17. Rover's Wheel Churns Up Bright Martian Soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-01-01

    NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit acquired this mosaic on the mission's 1,202nd Martian day, or sol (May 21, 2007), while investigating the area east of the elevated plateau known as 'Home Plate' in the 'Columbia Hills.' The mosaic shows an area of disturbed soil, nicknamed 'Gertrude Weise' by scientists, made by Spirit's stuck right front wheel. The trench exposed a patch of nearly pure silica, with the composition of opal. It could have come from either a hot-spring environment or an environment called a fumarole, in which acidic, volcanic steam rises through cracks. Either way, its formation involved water, and on Earth, both of these types of settings teem with microbial life. Spirit acquired this mosaic with the panoramic camera's 753-nanometer, 535-nanometer, and 432-nanometer filters. The view presented here is an approximately true-color rendering.

  18. Stratigraphy of the Martian northern plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanaka, K. L.

    1993-01-01

    The northern plains of Mars are roughly defined as the large continuous region of lowlands that lies below Martian datum, plus higher areas within the region that were built up by volcanism, sedimentation, tectonism, and impacts. These northern lowlands span about 50 x 10(exp 6) km(sup 2) or 35 percent of the planet's surface. The age and origin of the lowlands continue to be debated by proponents of impact and tectonic explanations. Geologic mapping and topical studies indicate that volcanic, fluvial, and eolian deposition have played major roles in the infilling of this vast depression. Periglacial, glacial, fluvial, eolian, tectonic, and impact processes have locally modified the surface. Because of the northern plains' complex history of sedimentation and modification, much of their stratigraphy was obscured. Thus the stratigraphy developed is necessarily vague and provisional: it is based on various clues from within the lowlands as well as from highland areas within and bordering the plains. The results are summarized.

  19. The Electric Environment of Martian Dust Devils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barth, E. L.; Farrell, W. M.; Rafkin, S. C.

    2017-12-01

    While Martian dust devils have been monitored through decades of observations, we have yet to study their possible electrical effects from in situ instrumentation. However, evidence for the existence of active electrodynamic processes on Mars is provided by laboratory studies of analog material and field campaigns of dust devils on Earth. We have enabled our Mars regional scale atmospheric model (MRAMS) to estimate an upper limit on electric fields generated through dust devil circulations by including charged particles as defined from the Macroscopic Triboelectric Simulation (MTS) code. MRAMS is used to investigate the complex physics of regional, mesoscale, and microscale atmospheric phenomena on Mars; it is a 3-D, nonhydrostatic model, which permits the simulation of atmospheric flows with large vertical accelerations, such as dust devils. MTS is a 3-D particle code which quantifies charging associated with swirling, mixing dust grains; grains of pre-defined sizes and compositions are placed in a simulation box and allowed to move under the influence of winds and gravity. Our MRAMS grid cell size makes our results most applicable to dust devils of a few hundred meters in diameter. We have run a number of simulations to understand the sensitivity of the electric field strength to the particle size and abundance and the amount of charge on each dust grain. We find that Efields can indeed develop in Martian dust convective features via dust grain filtration effects. The overall value of these E-fields is strongly dependent upon dust grain size, dust load, and lifting efficiency, and field strengths can range from 100s of mV/m to 10s of kV/m.

  20. Cosmogenic nuclides in the Martian surface: constraints for sample recovery and transport

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Englert, P.A.J.

    1988-01-01

    Stable and radioactive cosmogenic nuclides and radiation damage effects such as cosmic ray tracks can provide information on the surface history of Mars. A recent overview on developments in cosmogenic nuclide research for historical studies of predominantly extraterrestrial materials was published previously. The information content of cosmogenic nuclides and radiation damage effects produced in the Martian surface is based on the different ways of interaction of the primary galactic and solar cosmic radiation (GCR, SCR) and the secondary particle cascade. Generally the kind and extent of interactions as seen in the products depend on the following factors: (1) composition, energy and intensity of the primary SCR and GCR; (2) composition, energy and intensity of the GCR-induced cascade of secondary particles; (3) the target geometry, i.e., the spatial parameters of Martian surface features with respect to the primary radiation source; (4) the target chemistry, i.e., the chemical composition of the Martian surface at the sampling location down to the minor element level or lower; and (5) duration of the exposure. These factors are not independent of each other and have a major influence on sample taking strategies and techniques

  1. Extraction of Water from Martian Regolith Simulant via Open Reactor Concept

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trunek, Andrew J.; Linne, Diane L.; Kleinhenz, Julie E.; Bauman, Steven W.

    2018-01-01

    To demonstrate proof of concept water extraction from simulated Martian regolith, an open reactor design is presented along with experimental results. The open reactor concept avoids sealing surfaces and complex moving parts. In an abrasive environment like the Martian surface, those reactor elements would be difficult to maintain and present a high probability of failure. A general lunar geotechnical simulant was modified by adding borax decahydrate (Na2B4O7·10H2O) (BDH) to mimic the 3 percent water content of hydrated salts in near surface soils on Mars. A rotating bucket wheel excavated the regolith from a source bin and deposited the material onto an inclined copper tray, which was fitted with heaters and a simple vibration system. The combination of vibration, tilt angle and heat was used to separate and expose as much regolith surface area as possible to liberate the water contained in the hydrated minerals, thereby increasing the efficiency of the system. The experiment was conducted in a vacuum system capable of maintaining a Martian like atmosphere. Evolved water vapor was directed to a condensing system using the ambient atmosphere as a sweep gas. The water vapor was condensed and measured. Processed simulant was captured in a collection bin and weighed in real time. The efficiency of the system was determined by comparing pre- and post-processing soil mass along with the volume of water captured.

  2. Origin and Reactivity of the Martian Soil: A 2003 Micromission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yen, Albert S.; Kim, S. Sam; Marshall, John; Murray, Bruce C.

    1999-01-01

    The role of water in the development of the martian surface remains a fundamental scientific question. Did Mars have one or more "warm and wet" climatic episodes where liquid water was stable at the surface? If so, the mineral phases present in the soils should be consistent with a history of aqueous weathering. More generally, the formation of hydrated mineral phases on Mars is a strong indicator of past habitable surface environments. The primary purpose of this investigation is to help resolve the question of whether such aqueous indicators are present on Mars by probing the upper meter for diagnostic mineral species. According to Burns [1993], the formation of the ferric oxides responsible for the visible color of Mars are the result of dissolution of Fe (+2) phases from basalts followed by aqueous oxidation and precipitation of Fe" mineral assemblages. These precipitates likely included iron oxyhydroxides such as goethite (a-FeOOH) and lepidocrocite (g-FeOOH), but convincing evidence for these phases at the surface is still absent. The stability of these minerals is enhanced beneath the surface, and thus we propose a subsurface search for hydroxylated iron species as a test for a large-scale chemical weathering process based on interactions with liquid water. It is also possible that the ferric minerals on Mars are not aqueous alteration products of the rocks. A chemical study of the Pathfinder landing site concluded that the soils are not directly derived from the surrounding rocks and are enhanced in Mg and Fe. The additional source of these elements might be from other regions of Mars and transported by winds, or alternatively, from exogenic sources. Gibson [1970] proposed that the spectral reflectivity of Mars is consistent with oxidized meteoritic material. Yen and Murray [1998] further extend Gibson's idea and show, in the laboratory, that metallic iron can be readily oxidized to maghemite and hematite under present-day martian surface conditions (in the

  3. Plasma Extraction of Oxygen from Martian Atmosphere, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Plasma techniques are proposed for the extraction of oxygen from the abundant carbon dioxide contained in the Martian atmosphere (96 % CO2). In this process, CO2 is...

  4. Alteration of Sedimentary Clasts in Martian Meteorite Northwest Africa 7034

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCubbin, F. M.; Tartese, R.; Santos, A. R.; Domokos, G.; Muttik, N.; Szabo, T.; Vazquez, J.; Boyce, J. W.; Keller, L. P.; Jerolmack, D. J.; hide

    2014-01-01

    The martian meteorite Northwest Africa (NWA) 7034 and pairings represent the first brecciated hand sample available for study from the martian surface [1]. Detailed investigations of NWA 7034 have revealed substantial lithologic diversity among the clasts [2-3], making NWA 7034 a polymict breccia. NWA 7034 consists of igneous clasts, impact-melt clasts, and "sedimentary" clasts represented by prior generations of brecciated material. In the present study we conduct a detailed textural and geochemical analysis of the sedimentary clasts.

  5. The analysis of water in the Martian regolith.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, D M; Tice, A R

    1979-12-01

    One of the scientific objectives of the Viking Mission to Mars was to accomplish an analysis of water in the Martian regolith. The analytical scheme originally envisioned was severely compromised in the latter stages of the Lander instrument package design. Nevertheless, a crude soil water analysis was accomplished. Samples from each of the two widely separated sites yielded roughly 1 to 3% water by weight when heated successively to several temperatures up to 500 degrees C. A significant portion of this water was released in the 200 degrees to 350 degrees C interval indicating the presence of mineral hydrates of relatively low thermal stability, a finding in keeping with the low temperatures generally prevailing on Mars. The presence of a duricrust at one of the Lander sites is taken as possible evidence for the presence of hygroscopic minerals on Mars. The demonstrated presence of atmospheric water vapor and thermodynamic calculations lead to the belief that adsorbed water could provide a relatively favorable environment for endolithic organisms on Mars similar to types recently discovered in the dry antarctic deserts.

  6. Distribution of small channels on the Martian surface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pieri, D.

    1976-01-01

    The distribution of small channels on Mars has been mapped from Mariner 9 images at the 1:5,000,000 scale. The small channels referred to here are small valleys ranging in width from the resolution limit of the Mariner 9 wide-angle images (about 1 km) to about 10 km. The greatest density of small channels occurs in dark cratered terrain. This dark zone forms a broad subequatorial band around the planet. The observed distribution may be the result of decreased small-channel visibility in bright areas due to obscuration by a high albedo dust or sediment mantle. Crater densities within two small-channel segments show crater size-frequency distributions consistent with those of the oldest of the heavily cratered plains units. Such crater densities coupled with the almost exclusive occurrence of small channels in old cratered terrain and the generally degraded appearance of small channels in the high-resolution images (about 100 m) imply a major episode of small-channel formation early in Martian geologic history.

  7. APXS-derived chemistry of the Bagnold dune sands: Comparisons with Gale Crater soils and the global Martian average

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Connell-Cooper, C. D.; Spray, J. G.; Thompson, L. M.; Gellert, R.; Berger, J. A.; Boyd, N. I.; Desouza, E. D.; Perrett, G. M.; Schmidt, M.; VanBommel, S. J.

    2017-12-01

    We present Alpha-Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) data for the active Bagnold dune field within the Gale impact crater (Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission). We derive an APXS-based average basaltic soil (ABS) composition for Mars based on past and recent data from the MSL and Mars Exploration Rover (MER) missions. This represents an update to the Taylor and McLennan (2009) average Martian soil and facilitates comparison across Martian data sets. The active Bagnold dune field is compositionally distinct from the ABS, with elevated Mg, Ni, and Fe, suggesting mafic mineral enrichment and uniformly low levels of S, Cl, and Zn, indicating only a minimal dust component. A relationship between decreasing grain size and increasing felsic content is revealed. The Bagnold sands possess the lowest S/Cl of all Martian unconsolidated materials. Gale soils exhibit relatively uniform major element compositions, similar to Meridiani Planum and Gusev Crater basaltic soils (MER missions). However, they show minor enrichments in K, Cr, Mn, and Fe, which may signify a local contribution. The lithified eolian Stimson Formation within the Gale impact crater is compositionally similar to the ABS and Bagnold sands, which provide a modern analogue for these ancient eolian deposits. Compilation of APXS-derived soil data reveals a generally homogenous global composition for Martian soils but one that can be locally modified due to past or extant geologic processes that are limited in both space and time.

  8. Amazonis and Utopia Planitiae: Martian Lacustrine basins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott, David H.; Rice, James W., Jr.; Dohm, James M.; Chapman, Mary G.

    1992-01-01

    Amazonis and Utopia Planitiae are two large (greater than 10(exp 6) sq. km) basins on Mars having morphological features commonly associated with former lakes. The investigation of these areas is an extension of our previous paleolake studies in the Elysium basin. Using Viking images, we are searching for familiar geologic forms commonly associated with standing bodies of water on Earth. Like Elysium, the two basins exhibit terraces and lineations resembling shorelines, etched and infilled floors with channel-like sinuous markings in places, inflow channels along their borders, and other geomorphic indicators believed to be related to the presence of water and ice. In some areas these features are better displayed than in others where they may be very tenuous; their value as indicators can be justified only by their association with related features. Even though these postulated paleolakes are very young in the Martian stratigraphic sequence, their shoreline features are poorly preserved and they are probably much older than large Pleistocene lakes on Earth.

  9. The new Martians a scientific novel

    CERN Document Server

    Kanas, Nick

    2014-01-01

    The year is 2035, and the crew from the first expedition to Mars is returning to Earth. The crewmembers are anxious to get home, and ennui pervades the ship. The mood is broken by a series of mysterious events that jeopardize their safety. Someone or something is threatening the crew. Is it an alien being? A psychotic crewmember? A malfunctioning computer? The truth raises questions about the crewmembers’ fate and that of the human race. In this novel, the intent is to show real psychological issues that could affect a crew returning from a long-duration mission to Mars. The storyline presents a mystery that keeps the reader guessing, yet the issues at stake are based on the findings from the author’s research and other space-related work over the past 40+ years. The novel touches on actual plans being discussed for such an expedition as well as notions involving the search for Martian life and panspermia. The underlying science, in particular the psychological, psychiatric, and interpersonal elements...

  10. Assessing the Biohazard Potential of Putative Martian Organisms for Exploration Class Human Space Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warmflash, David; Larios-Sanz, Maia; Jones, Jeffrey; Fox, George E.; McKay, David S.

    2007-01-01

    Exploration Class missions to Mars will require precautions against potential contamination by any native microorganisms that may be incidentally pathogenic to humans. While the results of NASA's Viking biology experiments of 1976 have been generally interpreted as inconclusive for surface organisms, the possibility of native surface life has never been ruled out and more recent studies suggest that the case for biological interpretation of the Viking Labeled Release data may now be stronger than it was when the experiments were originally conducted. It is possible that, prior to the first human landing on Mars, robotic craft and sample return missions will provide enough data to know with certainty whether or not future human landing sites harbor extant life forms. However, if native life is confirmed, it will be problematic to determine whether any of its species may present a medical risk to astronauts. Therefore, it will become necessary to assess empirically the risk that the planet contains pathogens based on terrestrial examples of pathogenicity and to take a reasonably cautious approach to bio-hazard protection. A survey of terrestrial pathogens was conducted with special emphasis on those pathogens whose evolution has not depended on the presence of animal hosts. The history of the development and implementation of Apollo anticontamination protocol and recent recommendations of the NRC Space Studies Board regarding Mars were reviewed. Organisms can emerge in nature in the absence of indigenous animal hosts and both infectious and non-infectious human pathogens are theoretically possible on Mars. The prospect of Martian surface life, together with the existence of a diversity of routes by which pathogenicity has emerged on Earth, suggests that the possibility of human pathogens on Mars, while low, is not zero. Since the discovery and study of Martian life can have long-term benefits for humanity, the risk that Martian life might include pathogens should not

  11. Liquid Water in the Extremely Shallow Martian Subsurface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pavlov, A.; Shivak, J. N.

    2012-01-01

    Availability of liquid water is one of the major constraints for the potential Martian biosphere. Although liquid water is unstable on the surface of Mars due to low atmospheric pressures, it has been suggested that liquid films of water could be present in the Martian soil. Here we explored a possibility of the liquid water formation in the extremely shallow (1-3 cm) subsurface layer under low atmospheric pressures (0.1-10 mbar) and low ("Martian") surface temperatures (approx.-50 C-0 C). We used a new Goddard Martian simulation chamber to demonstrate that even in the clean frozen soil with temperatures as low as -25C the amount of mobile water can reach several percents. We also showed that during brief periods of simulated daylight warming the shallow subsurface ice sublimates, the water vapor diffuses through porous surface layer of soil temporarily producing supersaturated conditions in the soil, which leads to the formation of additional liquid water. Our results suggest that despite cold temperatures and low atmospheric pressures, Martian soil just several cm below the surface can be habitable.

  12. Martian Atmospheric and Ionospheric plasma Escape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lundin, Rickard

    2016-04-01

    Solar forcing is responsible for the heating, ionization, photochemistry, and erosion processes in the upper atmosphere throughout the lifetime of the terrestrial planets. Of the four terrestrial planets, the Earth is the only one with a fully developed biosphere, while our kin Venus and Mars have evolved into arid inhabitable planets. As for Mars, there are ample evidences for an early Noachian, water rich period on Mars. The question is, what made Mars evolve so differently compared to the Earth? Various hydrosphere and atmospheric evolution scenarios for Mars have been forwarded based on surface morphology, chemical composition, simulations, semi-empiric (in-situ data) models, and the long-term evolution of the Sun. Progress has been made, but the case is still open regarding the changes that led to the present arid surface and tenuous atmosphere at Mars. This presentation addresses the long-term variability of the Sun, the solar forcing impact on the Martian atmosphere, and its interaction with the space environment - an electromagnetic wave and particle interaction with the upper atmosphere that has implications for its photochemistry, composition, and energization that governs thermal and non-thermal escape. Non-thermal escape implies an electromagnetic upward energization of planetary ions and molecules to velocities above escape velocity, a process governed by a combination of solar EUV radiation (ionization), and energy and momentum transfer by the solar wind. The ion escape issue dates back to the early Soviet and US-missions to Mars, but the first more accurate estimates of escape rates came with the Phobos-2 mission in 1989. Better-quality ion composition measurement results of atmospheric/ionospheric ion escape from Mars, obtained from ESA Mars Express (MEX) instruments, have improved our understanding of the ion escape mechanism. With the NASA MAVEN spacecraft orbiting Mars since Sept. 2014, dual in-situ measurement with plasma instruments are now

  13. Asteroids from a Martian Mega Impact

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2018-04-01

    Like evidence left at a crime scene, the mineral olivine may be the clue that helps scientists piece together Marss possibly violent history. Could a long-ago giant impact have flung pieces of Mars throughout our inner solar system? Two researchers from the Tokyo Institute of Technology in Japan are on the case.A Telltale MineralOlivine, a mineral that is common in Earths subsurface but weathers quickly on the surface. Olivine is a major component of Marss upper mantle. [Wilson44691]Olivine is a major component of the Martian upper mantle, making up 60% of this region by weight. Intriguingly, olivine turns up in other places in our solar system too for instance, in seven out of the nine known Mars Trojans (a group of asteroids of unknown origin that share Marss orbit), and in the rare A-type asteroids orbiting in the main asteroid belt.How did these asteroids form, and why are they so olivine-rich? An interesting explanation has been postulated: perhaps this olivine all came from the same place Mars as the result of a mega impact billions of years ago.Evidence for ImpactMars bears plenty of signs pointing to a giant impact in its past. The northern and sourthern hemispheres of Mars look very different, a phenomenon referred to as the Mars hemisphere dichotomy. The impact of a Pluto-sized body could explain the smooth Borealis Basin that covers the northern 40% of Marss surface.This high-resolution topographic map of Mars reveals the dichotomy between its northern and sourthern hemispheres. The smooth region in the northern hemisphere, the Borealis basin, may have been formed when a giant object impacted Mars billions of years ago. [NASA/JPL/USGS]Other evidence piles up: Marss orbit location, its rotation speed, the presence of its two moons all could be neatly explained by a large impact around 4 billion years ago. Could such an impact have also strewn debris from Marss mantle across the solar system?To test this theory, we need to determine if a mega impact is

  14. Cryolitozone of Mars- as the climatic indicator of the Martian relict ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ozorovich, Y.; Fournier-Sicre, A.; Linkin, V.; Kosov, A.; Skulachev, D.; Gorbatov, S.; Ivanov, A.; Heggy, E.

    2015-10-01

    /s. Power consumption is up to 50W/27V. Radiometer observations are conducted along the route of the Martian orbital station in accordance with the experiment general program. Observation angle is θ ˜0-300 ; polarization is vertical. Frequency of the radiometer calibration is not less that once in 24 hours. Radiometer scale calibration and measurement of antenna-feeder unit transition coefficient can be carried out against standard sources as well as the relict radiation (˜30K) with the antenna proper orientation. Generally it is desirable to match the radiometer system observation zone with that of optical and TV systems and infrared radiometer as well. Martian surface radio images should be geographically identified. Data processing and temperature and humidity maps drawing is performed by processor system back on Ground. On the base space- technology platform - the small satellite CHIBIS, also will planning to create prototype of Martian instrumentation for the operative geophysical monitoring system of the natural ecosystem for remote sensing in the range of 18-21 cm and 8-13 mkm. This is allowed to realize preliminary testing and calibration of the prototype of the Martian instrument in the Earth's condition. One of the areas of future studies on the surface of Mars are providing the measurements in situ in the local geophysical martian polygon by different geophysical instruments, including: radar measurements in the range of 0.5 - 50 Mhz, lowfrequency sounding by MARSES - TDEM instruments, MTS (magneto -telluric sounding) with depth of sounding until 1 km, in the frame work of the rover survey of the different areas of Martian surface . Additional information about MARSES-Active experiment on www.iki.rssi.ru/MARSES/english/info.htm [1] Ozorovich Yu.R., Raizer V.Yu., Microwave remote sensing of Martian cryolitozone, Preprint IKI, No.1768, 1991: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/275266762 _Microwave_remote_sensing_of_Martian_cryolitozone) [2] ACTIVE

  15. Morphogenesis of Antarctic Paleosols: Martian Analogue

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahaney, W. C.; Dohm, J. M.; Baker, V. R.; Newsom, Horton E.; Malloch, D.; Hancock, R. G. V.; Campbell, Iain; Sheppard, D.; Milner, M. W.

    2001-11-01

    Samples of horizons in paleosols from the Quartermain Mountains of the Antarctic Dry Valleys (Aztec and New Mountain areas) were analyzed for their physical characteristics, mineralogy, chemical composition, and microbiology to determine the accumulation and movement of salts and other soluble constituents and the presence/absence of microbial populations. Salt concentrations are of special interest because they are considered to be a function of age, derived over time, in part from nearby oceanic and high-altitude atmospheric sources. The chemical composition of ancient Miocene-age paleosols in these areas is the direct result of the deposition and weathering of airborne-influxed salts and other materials, as well as the weathering of till derived principally from local dolerite and sandstone outcrops. Paleosols nearer the coast have greater contents of Cl, whereas near the inland ice sheet, nitrogen tends to increase on a relative basis. The accumulation and vertical distribution of salts and other soluble chemical elements indicate relative amounts of movement in the profile over long periods of time, in the order of several million years. Four of the six selected subsamples from paleosol horizons in two ancient soil profiles contained nil concentrations of bacteria and fungi. However, two horizons at depths of between 3 and 8 cm, in two profiles, yielded several colonies of the fungi Beauveria bassiana and Penicillium brevicompactum, indicating very minor input of organic carbon. Beauveria bassiana is often reported in association with insects and is used commercially for the biological control of some insect pests. Penicillium species are commonly isolated from Arctic, temperate, and tropical soils and are known to utilize a wide variety of organic carbon and nitrogen compounds. The cold, dry soils of the Antarctic bear a close resemblance to various present and past martian environments where similar weathering could occur and possible microbial populations

  16. Curation of US Martian Meteorites Collected in Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindstrom, M.; Satterwhite, C.; Allton, J.; Stansbury, E.

    1998-01-01

    To date the ANSMET field team has collected five martian meteorites (see below) in Antarctica and returned them for curation at the Johnson Space Center (JSC) Meteorite Processing Laboratory (MPL). ne meteorites were collected with the clean procedures used by ANSMET in collecting all meteorites: They were handled with JSC-cleaned tools, packaged in clean bags, and shipped frozen to JSC. The five martian meteorites vary significantly in size (12-7942 g) and rock type (basalts, lherzolites, and orthopyroxenite). Detailed descriptions are provided in the Mars Meteorite compendium, which describes classification, curation and research results. A table gives the names, classifications and original and curatorial masses of the martian meteorites. The MPL and measures for contamination control are described.

  17. Iron Redox Systematics of Shergottites and Martian Magmas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Righter, Kevin; Danielson, L. R.; Martin, A. M.; Newville, M.; Choi, Y.

    2010-01-01

    Martian meteorites record a range of oxygen fugacities from near the IW buffer to above FMQ buffer [1]. In terrestrial magmas, Fe(3+)/ SigmaFe for this fO2 range are between 0 and 0.25 [2]. Such variation will affect the stability of oxides, pyroxenes, and how the melt equilibrates with volatile species. An understanding of the variation of Fe(3+)/SigmaFe for martian magmas is lacking, and previous work has been on FeO-poor and Al2O3-rich terrestrial basalts. We have initiated a study of the iron redox systematics of martian magmas to better understand FeO and Fe2O3 stability, the stability of magnetite, and the low Ca/high Ca pyroxene [3] ratios observed at the surface.

  18. Laser induced breakdown spectroscopy library for the Martian environment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cousin, A.; Forni, O.; Maurice, S.; Gasnault, O.

    2011-01-01

    The NASA Mars Science Laboratory rover will carry the first Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy experiment in space: ChemCam. We have developed a laboratory model which mimics ChemCam's main characteristics. We used a set of target samples relevant to Mars geochemistry, and we recorded individual spectra. We propose a data reduction scheme for Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy data incorporating de-noising, continuum removal, and peak fitting. Known effects of the Martian atmosphere are confirmed with our experiment: better Signal-to-Noise Ratio on Mars compared to Earth, narrower peak width, and essentially no self-absorption. The wavelength shift of emission lines from air to Mars pressure is discussed. The National Institute of Standards and Technology vacuum database is used for wavelength calibration and to identify the elemental lines. Our Martian database contains 1336 lines for 32 elements: H, Li, Be, B, C, N, O, F, Na, Mg, Al, Si, P, S, Cl, K, Ar, Ca, Ti, V, Cr, Mn, Fe, Ni, Cu, Zn, As, Rb, Sr, Cs, Ba, and Pb. It is a subset of the National Institute of Standards and Technology database to be used for Martian geochemistry. Finally, synthetic spectra can be built from the Martian database. Correlation calculations help to distinguish between elements in case of uncertainty. This work is used to create tools and support data for the interpretation of ChemCam results. - Highlights: ► Chemcam: first Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy technique on Mars. ► Creation of a LIBS specific database to ChemCam on Mars. ► Data reduction scheme is proposed. ► Best signal under Martian conditions. ► LIBS emission lines database: subset of NIST database for Martian geochemistry.

  19. Earth – Mars Similarity Criteria for Martian Vehicles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Octavian TRIFU

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available In order to select the most efficient kind of a martian exploring vehicle, the similarity criteria are deduced from the equilibrium movement in the terrestrial and martian conditions. Different invariants have been obtained for the existing (entry capsules, parachutes and rovers and potential martian exploring vehicles (lighter-than-air vehicle, airplane, helicopter and Mars Jumper. These similarity criteria, as non dimensional numbers, allow to quickly compare if such a kind of vehicles can operate in the martian environment, the movement performances, the necessary geometrical dimensions and the power consumption. Following this way of study it was concluded what vehicle is most suitable for the near soil Mars exploration. “Mars Rover” has less power consumption on Mars, but due to the rugged terrain the performances are weak. A vacuumed rigid airship is possible to fly with high performances and endurance on Mars, versus the impossibility of such a machine on the Earth. Due to very low density and the low Reynolds numbers in the Mars atmosphere, the power consumption for the martian airplane or helicopter, is substantial higher. The most efficient vehicle for the Mars exploration it seems to be a machine using the in-situ non-chemical propellants: the 95% CO2 atmosphere and the weak solar radiation. A small compressor, electrically driven by photovoltaics, compresses the gas in a storage tank, in time. If the gas is expanded through a nozzle, sufficient lift and control forces are obtained for a VTOL flight of kilometers over the martian soil, in comparison with tens of meters of the actual Mars rovers.

  20. Survival of microorganisms in smectite clays - Implications for Martian exobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moll, Deborah M.; Vestal, J. R.

    1992-01-01

    The survival of Baccillus subtilis, Azotobacter chroococcum, and the enteric bacteriophage MS2 has been examined in clays representing terrestrial (Wyoming type montmorillonite) and Martian (Fe3+ montmorillonite) soils exposed to terrestrial and Martian environmental conditions of temperature and atmospheric composition and pressure. An important finding is that MS2 survived simulated Mars conditions better than the terrestrial environment, probably owing to stabilization of the virus caused by the cold and dry conditions of the simulated Mars environment. This finding, the first published indication that viruses may be able to survive in Mars-type soils, may have important implications for future missions to Mars.

  1. Remote Sensing Studies Of The Current Martian Climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, F. W.; McCleese, D. J.; Schofield, J. T.; Calcutt, S. B.; Moroz, V. I.

    A systematic and detailed experimental study of the Martian atmosphere remains to be carried out, despite many decades of intense interest in the nature of the Martian climate system, its interactions, variability and long-term stability. Such a study is planned by the 2005 Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, using limb-scanning infrared radiometric techniques similar to those used to study trace species in the terrestrial stratosphere. For Mars, the objectives are temperature, humidity, dust and condensate abundances with high vertical resolution and global coverage in the 0 to 80 km height range. The paper will discuss the experiment and its methodology and expectations for the results.

  2. Looking for Fossil Bacteria in Martian Materials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Westall, F.; Walsh, M. M.; Mckay, D. D.; Wentworth, S.; Gibson, E. K.; Steele, A.; Toporski, J.; Lindstrom, D.; Martinez, R.; Allen, C. C.

    1999-01-01

    The rationale for looking for prokaryote fossils in Martian materials is based on our present understanding of the environmental evolution of that planet in comparison to the history of the terrestrial environments and the development and evolution of life on Earth. On Earth we have clear, albeit indirect, evidence of life in 3.8 b.y.-old rocks from Greenland and the first morphological fossils in 3.3-3.5 b.y.-old cherts from South Africa and Australia. In comparison, Mars, being smaller, probably cooled down after initial aggregation faster than the Earth. Consequently, there could have been liquid water on its surface earlier than on Earth. With a similar exogenous and endogenous input of organics and life-sustaining nutrients as is proposed for the Earth, life could have arisen on that planet, possibly slightly earlier dm it did on Earth. Whereas on Earth liquid water has remained at the surface of the planet since about 4.4 b.y. (with some possible interregnums caused by planet-sterilising impacts before 3.8. b.y. and perhaps a number of periods of a totally frozen Earth, this was not the case with Mars. Although it is not known exactly when surficial water disappeared from the surface, there would have been sufficient time for life to have developed into something similar to the terrestrial prokaryote stage. However, given the earlier environmental deterioration, it is unlikely that it evolved into the eukaryote stage and even evolution of oxygenic photosynthesis may not have been reached. Thus, the impetus of research is on single celled life simnilar to prokaryotes. We are investigating a number of methods of trace element analysis with respect to the Early Archaean microbial fossils. Preliminary neutron activation analysis of carbonaceous layers in the Early Archaean cherts from South Africa and Australia shows some partitioning of elements such as As, Sb, Cr with an especial enrichment of lanthanides in a carbonaceous-rich banded iron sediment . More

  3. Martian fluid and Martian weathering signatures identified in Nakhla, NWA 998 and MIL 03346 by halogen and noble gas analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cartwright, J. A.; Gilmour, J. D.; Burgess, R.

    2013-03-01

    We report argon (Ar) noble gas, Ar-Ar ages and halogen abundances (Cl, Br, I) of Martian nakhlites Nakhla, NWA 998 and MIL 03346 to determine the presence of Martian hydrous fluids and weathering products. Neutron-irradiated samples were either crushed and step-heated (Nakhla only), or simply step-heated using a laser or furnace, and analysed for noble gases using an extension of the 40Ar-39Ar technique to determine halogen abundances. The data obtained provide the first isotopic evidence for a trapped fluid that is Cl-rich, has a strong correlation with 40ArXS (40ArXS = 40Armeasured - 40Arradiogenic) and displays 40ArXS/36Ar of ˜1000 - consistent with the Martian atmosphere. This component was released predominantly in the low temperature and crush experiments, which may suggest a fluid inclusion host. For the halogens, we observe similar Br/Cl and I/Cl ratios between the nakhlites and terrestrial reservoirs, which is surprising given the absence of crustal recycling, organic matter and frequent fluid activity on Mars. In particular, Br/Cl ratios in our Nakhla samples (especially olivine) are consistent with previously analysed Martian weathering products, and both low temperature and crush analyses show a similar trend to the evaporation of seawater. This may indicate that surface brines play an important role on Mars and on halogen assemblages within Martian meteorites and rocks. Elevated I/Cl ratios in the low temperature NWA 998 and MIL 03346 releases may relate to in situ terrestrial contamination, though we are unable to distinguish between low temperature terrestrial or Martian components. Whilst estimates of the amount of water present based on the 36Ar concentrations are too high to be explained by a fluid component alone, they are consistent with a mixed-phase inclusion (gas and fluid) or with shock-implanted Martian atmospheric argon. The observed fluid is dilute (low salinity, but high Br/Cl and I/Cl ratios), contains a Martian atmospheric component

  4. Radio Emissions from Electrical Activity in Martian Dust Storms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Majid, W.; Arabshahi, S.; Kocz, J.; Schulter, T.; White, L.

    2017-12-01

    Dust storms on Mars are predicted to be capable of producing electrostatic fields and discharges, even larger than those in dust storms on Earth. There are three key elements in the characterization of Martian electrostatic discharges: dependence on Martian environmental conditions, event rate, and the strength of the generated electric fields. The detection and characterization of electric activity in Martian dust storms has important implications for habitability, and preparations for human exploration of the red planet. Furthermore, electrostatic discharges may be linked to local chemistry and plays an important role in the predicted global electrical circuit. Because of the continuous Mars telecommunication needs of NASA's Mars-based assets, the Deep Space Network (DSN) is the only facility in the world that combines long term, high cadence, observing opportunities with large sensitive telescopes, making it a unique asset worldwide in searching for and characterizing electrostatic activity from large scale convective dust storms at Mars. We will describe a newly inaugurated program at NASA's Madrid Deep Space Communication Complex to carry out a long-term monitoring campaign to search for and characterize the entire Mars hemisphere for powerful discharges during routine tracking of spacecraft at Mars on an entirely non-interfering basis. The ground-based detections will also have important implications for the design of a future instrument that could make similar in-situ measurements from orbit or from the surface of Mars, with far greater sensitivity and duty cycle, opening up a new window in our understanding of the Martian environment.

  5. Martian gullies: possible formation mechanism by dry granular material..

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cedillo-Flores, Y.; Durand-Manterola, H. J.

    section Some of the geomorphological features in Mars are the gullies Some theories developed tried explain its origin either by liquid water liquid carbon dioxide or flows of dry granular material We made a comparative analysis of the Martian gullies with the terrestrial ones We propose that the mechanism of formation of the gullies is as follows In winter CO 2 snow mixed with sand falls in the terrain In spring the CO 2 snow sublimate and gaseous CO 2 make fluid the sand which flows like liquid eroding the terrain and forming the gullies By experimental work with dry granular material we simulated the development of the Martian gullies injecting air in the granular material section We present the characteristics of some terrestrial gullies forms at cold environment sited at Nevado de Toluca Volcano near Toluca City M e xico We compare them with Martian gullies choose from four different areas to target goal recognize or to distinguish to identify possible processes evolved in its formation Also we measured the lengths of those Martian gullies and the range was from 24 m to 1775 meters Finally we present results of our experimental work at laboratory with dry granular material

  6. Martian sub-surface ionising radiation: biosignatures and geology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. M. Ward

    2007-07-01

    Full Text Available The surface of Mars, unshielded by thick atmosphere or global magnetic field, is exposed to high levels of cosmic radiation. This ionising radiation field is deleterious to the survival of dormant cells or spores and the persistence of molecular biomarkers in the subsurface, and so its characterisation is of prime astrobiological interest. Here, we present modelling results of the absorbed radiation dose as a function of depth through the Martian subsurface, suitable for calculation of biomarker persistence. A second major implementation of this dose accumulation rate data is in application of the optically stimulated luminescence technique for dating Martian sediments.

    We present calculations of the dose-depth profile in the Martian subsurface for various scenarios: variations of surface composition (dry regolith, ice, layered permafrost, solar minimum and maximum conditions, locations of different elevation (Olympus Mons, Hellas basin, datum altitude, and increasing atmospheric thickness over geological history. We also model the changing composition of the subsurface radiation field with depth compared between Martian locations with different shielding material, determine the relative dose contributions from primaries of different energies, and discuss particle deflection by the crustal magnetic fields.

  7. The Martian Water Cycle Based on 3-D Modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Houben, H.; Haberle, R. M.; Joshi, M. M.

    1999-01-01

    Understanding the distribution of Martian water is a major goal of the Mars Surveyor program. However, until the bulk of the data from the nominal missions of TES, PMIRR, GRS, MVACS, and the DS2 probes are available, we are bound to be in a state where much of our knowledge of the seasonal behavior of water is based on theoretical modeling. We therefore summarize the results of this modeling at the present time. The most complete calculations come from a somewhat simplified treatment of the Martian climate system which is capable of simulating many decades of weather. More elaborate meteorological models are now being applied to study of the problem. The results show a high degree of consistency with observations of aspects of the Martian water cycle made by Viking MAWD, a large number of ground-based measurements of atmospheric column water vapor, studies of Martian frosts, and the widespread occurrence of water ice clouds. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  8. Physical properties of Martian meteorites: Porosity and density measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coulson, Ian M.; Beech, Martin; Nie, Wenshuang

    Martian meteorites are fragments of the Martian crust. These samples represent igneous rocks, much like basalt. As such, many laboratory techniques designed for the study of Earth materials have been applied to these meteorites. Despite numerous studies of Martian meteorites, little data exists on their basic structural characteristics, such as porosity or density, information that is important in interpreting their origin, shock modification, and cosmic ray exposure history. Analysis of these meteorites provides both insight into the various lithologies present as well as the impact history of the planet's surface. We present new data relating to the physical characteristics of twelve Martian meteorites. Porosity was determined via a combination of scanning electron microscope (SEM) imagery/image analysis and helium pycnometry, coupled with a modified Archimedean method for bulk density measurements. Our results show a range in porosity and density values and that porosity tends to increase toward the edge of the sample. Preliminary interpretation of the data demonstrates good agreement between porosity measured at 100× and 300× magnification for the shergottite group, while others exhibit more variability. In comparison with the limited existing data for Martian meteorites we find fairly good agreement, although our porosity values typically lie at the low end of published values. Surprisingly, despite the increased data set, there is little by way of correlation between either porosity or density with parameters such as shock effect or terrestrial residency. Further data collection on additional meteorite samples is required before more definitive statements can be made concerning the validity of these observations.

  9. Insights into the Martian Regolith from Martian Meteorite Northwest Africa 7034

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCubbin, Francis M.; Boyce, Jeremy W.; Szabo, Timea; Santos, Alison R.; Domokos, Gabor; Vazquez, Jorge; Moser, Desmond E.; Jerolmack, Douglas J.; Keller, Lindsay P.; Tartese, Romain

    2015-01-01

    Everything we know about sedimentary processes on Mars is gleaned from remote sensing observations. Here we report insights from meteorite Northwest Africa (NWA) 7034, which is a water-rich martian regolith breccia that hosts both igneous and sedimentary clasts. The sedimentary clasts in NWA 7034 are poorly-sorted clastic siltstones that we refer to as protobreccia clasts. These protobreccia clasts record aqueous alteration process that occurred prior to breccia formation. The aqueous alteration appears to have occurred at relatively low Eh, high pH conditions based on the co-precipitation of pyrite and magnetite, and the concomitant loss of SiO2 from the system. To determine the origin of the NWA 7034 breccia, we examined the textures and grain-shape characteristics of NWA 7034 clasts. The shapes of the clasts are consistent with rock fragmentation in the absence of transport. Coupled with the clast size distribution, we interpret the protolith of NWA 7034 to have been deposited by atmospheric rainout resulting from pyroclastic eruptions and/or asteroid impacts. Cross-cutting and inclusion relationships and U-Pb data from zircon, baddelleyite, and apatite indicate NWA 7034 lithification occurred at 1.4-1.5 Ga, during a short-lived hydrothermal event at 600-700 C that was texturally imprinted upon the submicron groundmass. The hydrothermal event caused Pb-loss from apatite and U-rich metamict zircons, and it caused partial transformation of pyrite to submicron mixtures of magnetite and maghemite, indicating the fluid had higher Eh than the fluid that caused pyrite-magnetite precipitation in the protobreccia clasts. NWA 7034 also hosts ancient 4.4 Ga crustal materials in the form of baddelleyites and zircons, providing up to a 2.9 Ga record of martian geologic history. This work demonstrates the incredible value of sedimentary basins as scientific targets for Mars sample return missions, but it also highlights the importance of targeting samples that have not been

  10. Solubility of C-O-H volatiles in graphite-saturated martian basalts and application to martian atmospheric evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanley, B. D.; Hirschmann, M. M.; Withers, A. C.

    2012-12-01

    The modern martian atmosphere is thin, leading to surface conditions too cold to support liquid water. Yet, there is evidence of liquid surface water early in martian history that is commonly thought to require a thick CO2 atmosphere. Our previous work follows the analysis developed by Holloway and co-workers (Holloway et al. 1992; Holloway 1998), which predicts a linear relationship between CO2 and oxygen fugacity (fO2) in graphite-saturated silicate melts. At low oxygen fugacity, the solubility of CO2 in silicate melts is therefore very low. Such low calculated solubilities under reducing conditions lead to small fluxes of CO2 associated with martian magmatism, and therefore production of a thick volcanogenic CO2 atmosphere could require a prohibitively large volume of mantle-derived magma. The key assumption in these previous calculations is that the carbonate ion is the chief soluble C-O-H species. The results of the calculations would not be affected appreciably if molecular CO2, rather than carbonate ion, were an important species, but could be entirely different if there were other appreciable C-species such as CO, carbonyl (C=O) complexes, carbide (Si-C), or CH4. Clearly, graphite-saturated experiments are required to explore how much volcanogenic C may be degassed by reduced martian lavas. A series of piston-cylinder experiments were performed on synthetic martian starting materials over a range of oxygen fugacities (IW+2.3 to IW-0.9), and at pressures of 1-3 GPa and temperatures of 1340-1600 °C in Pt-graphite double capsules. CO2 contents in experimental glasses were determined using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and range from 0.0026-0.50 wt%. CO2 solubilities change by one order of magnitude with an order of magnitude change in oxygen fugacity, as predicted by previous work. Secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) determinations of C contents in glasses range from 0.0131-0.2626 wt%. C contents determined by SIMS are consistently higher

  11. Abundance and Isotopic Composition of Gases in the Martian Atmosphere from the Curiosity Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahaffy, Paul R.; Webster, Christopher R.; Atreya, Sushil K.; Franz, Heather; Wong, Michael; Conrad, Pamela G.; Harpold, Dan; Jones, John J.; Leshin, Laurie A.; Manning, Heidi; Owen, Tobias; Pepin, Robert O.; Squyres, Steven; Trainer, Melissa; Kemppinen, Osku; Bridges, Nathan; Johnson, Jeffrey R.; Minitti, Michelle; Cremers, David; Bell, James F.; Edgar, Lauren; Farmer, Jack; Godber, Austin; Wadhwa, Meenakshi; Wellington, Danika; McEwan, Ian; Newman, Claire; Richardson, Mark; Charpentier, Antoine; Peret, Laurent; King, Penelope; Blank, Jennifer; Weigle, Gerald; Schmidt, Mariek; Li, Shuai; Milliken, Ralph; Robertson, Kevin; Sun, Vivian; Baker, Michael; Edwards, Christopher; Ehlmann, Bethany; Farley, Kenneth; Griffes, Jennifer; Grotzinger, John; Miller, Hayden; Newcombe, Megan; Pilorget, Cedric; Rice, Melissa; Siebach, Kirsten; Stack, Katie; Stolper, Edward; Brunet, Claude; Hipkin, Victoria; Léveillé, Richard; Marchand, Geneviève; Sánchez, Pablo Sobrón; Favot, Laurent; Cody, George; Steele, Andrew; Flückiger, Lorenzo; Lees, David; Nefian, Ara; Martin, Mildred; Gailhanou, Marc; Westall, Frances; Israël, Guy; Agard, Christophe; Baroukh, Julien; Donny, Christophe; Gaboriaud, Alain; Guillemot, Philippe; Lafaille, Vivian; Lorigny, Eric; Paillet, Alexis; Pérez, René; Saccoccio, Muriel; Yana, Charles; Armiens-Aparicio, Carlos; Rodríguez, Javier Caride; Blázquez, Isaías Carrasco; Gómez, Felipe Gómez; Gómez-Elvira, Javier; Hettrich, Sebastian; Malvitte, Alain Lepinette; Jiménez, Mercedes Marín; Martínez-Frías, Jesús; Martín-Soler, Javier; Martín-Torres, F. Javier; Jurado, Antonio Molina; Mora-Sotomayor, Luis; Caro, Guillermo Muñoz; López, Sara Navarro; Peinado-González, Verónica; Pla-García, Jorge; Manfredi, José Antonio Rodriguez; Romeral-Planelló, Julio José; Fuentes, Sara Alejandra Sans; Martinez, Eduardo Sebastian; Redondo, Josefina Torres; Urqui-O'Callaghan, Roser; Mier, María-Paz Zorzano; Chipera, Steve; Lacour, Jean-Luc; Mauchien, Patrick; Sirven, Jean-Baptiste; Fairén, Alberto; Hayes, Alexander; Joseph, Jonathan; Sullivan, Robert; Thomas, Peter; Dupont, Audrey; Lundberg, Angela; Melikechi, Noureddine; Mezzacappa, Alissa; DeMarines, Julia; Grinspoon, David; Reitz, Günther; Prats, Benito; Atlaskin, Evgeny; Genzer, Maria; Harri, Ari-Matti; Haukka, Harri; Kahanpää, Henrik; Kauhanen, Janne; Kemppinen, Osku; Paton, Mark; Polkko, Jouni; Schmidt, Walter; Siili, Tero; Fabre, Cécile; Wray, James; Wilhelm, Mary Beth; Poitrasson, Franck; Patel, Kiran; Gorevan, Stephen; Indyk, Stephen; Paulsen, Gale; Gupta, Sanjeev; Bish, David; Schieber, Juergen; Gondet, Brigitte; Langevin, Yves; Geffroy, Claude; Baratoux, David; Berger, Gilles; Cros, Alain; d'Uston, Claude; Forni, Olivier; Gasnault, Olivier; Lasue, Jérémie; Lee, Qiu-Mei; Maurice, Sylvestre; Meslin, Pierre-Yves; Pallier, Etienne; Parot, Yann; Pinet, Patrick; Schröder, Susanne; Toplis, Mike; Lewin, Éric; Brunner, Will; Heydari, Ezat; Achilles, Cherie; Oehler, Dorothy; Sutter, Brad; Cabane, Michel; Coscia, David; Israël, Guy; Szopa, Cyril; Dromart, Gilles; Robert, François; Sautter, Violaine; Le Mouélic, Stéphane; Mangold, Nicolas; Nachon, Marion; Buch, Arnaud; Stalport, Fabien; Coll, Patrice; François, Pascaline; Raulin, François; Teinturier, Samuel; Cameron, James; Clegg, Sam; Cousin, Agnès; DeLapp, Dorothea; Dingler, Robert; Jackson, Ryan Steele; Johnstone, Stephen; Lanza, Nina; Little, Cynthia; Nelson, Tony; Wiens, Roger C.; Williams, Richard B.; Jones, Andrea; Kirkland, Laurel; Treiman, Allan; Baker, Burt; Cantor, Bruce; Caplinger, Michael; Davis, Scott; Duston, Brian; Edgett, Kenneth; Fay, Donald; Hardgrove, Craig; Harker, David; Herrera, Paul; Jensen, Elsa; Kennedy, Megan R.; Krezoski, Gillian; Krysak, Daniel; Lipkaman, Leslie; Malin, Michael; McCartney, Elaina; McNair, Sean; Nixon, Brian; Posiolova, Liliya; Ravine, Michael; Salamon, Andrew; Saper, Lee; Stoiber, Kevin; Supulver, Kimberley; Van Beek, Jason; Van Beek, Tessa; Zimdar, Robert; French, Katherine Louise; Iagnemma, Karl; Miller, Kristen; Summons, Roger; Goesmann, Fred; Goetz, Walter; Hviid, Stubbe; Johnson, Micah; Lefavor, Matthew; Lyness, Eric; Breves, Elly; Dyar, M. Darby; Fassett, Caleb; Blake, David F.; Bristow, Thomas; DesMarais, David; Edwards, Laurence; Haberle, Robert; Hoehler, Tori; Hollingsworth, Jeff; Kahre, Melinda; Keely, Leslie; McKay, Christopher; Wilhelm, Mary Beth; Bleacher, Lora; Brinckerhoff, William; Choi, David; Dworkin, Jason P.; Eigenbrode, Jennifer; Floyd, Melissa; Freissinet, Caroline; Garvin, James; Glavin, Daniel; Jones, Andrea; Martin, David K.; McAdam, Amy; Pavlov, Alexander; Raaen, Eric; Smith, Michael D.; Stern, Jennifer; Tan, Florence; Meyer, Michael; Posner, Arik; Voytek, Mary; Anderson, Robert C.; Aubrey, Andrew; Beegle, Luther W.; Behar, Alberto; Blaney, Diana; Brinza, David; Calef, Fred; Christensen, Lance; Crisp, Joy A.; DeFlores, Lauren; Ehlmann, Bethany; Feldman, Jason; Feldman, Sabrina; Flesch, Gregory; Hurowitz, Joel; Jun, Insoo; Keymeulen, Didier; Maki, Justin; Mischna, Michael; Morookian, John Michael; Parker, Timothy; Pavri, Betina; Schoppers, Marcel; Sengstacken, Aaron; Simmonds, John J.; Spanovich, Nicole; Juarez, Manuel de la Torre; Vasavada, Ashwin R.; Yen, Albert; Archer, Paul Douglas; Cucinotta, Francis; Ming, Douglas; Morris, Richard V.; Niles, Paul; Rampe, Elizabeth; Nolan, Thomas; Fisk, Martin; Radziemski, Leon; Barraclough, Bruce; Bender, Steve; Berman, Daniel; Dobrea, Eldar Noe; Tokar, Robert; Vaniman, David; Williams, Rebecca M. E.; Yingst, Aileen; Lewis, Kevin; Cleghorn, Timothy; Huntress, Wesley; Manhès, Gérard; Hudgins, Judy; Olson, Timothy; Stewart, Noel; Sarrazin, Philippe; Grant, John; Vicenzi, Edward; Wilson, Sharon A.; Bullock, Mark; Ehresmann, Bent; Hamilton, Victoria; Hassler, Donald; Peterson, Joseph; Rafkin, Scot; Zeitlin, Cary; Fedosov, Fedor; Golovin, Dmitry; Karpushkina, Natalya; Kozyrev, Alexander; Litvak, Maxim; Malakhov, Alexey; Mitrofanov, Igor; Mokrousov, Maxim; Nikiforov, Sergey; Prokhorov, Vasily; Sanin, Anton; Tretyakov, Vladislav; Varenikov, Alexey; Vostrukhin, Andrey; Kuzmin, Ruslan; Clark, Benton; Wolff, Michael; McLennan, Scott; Botta, Oliver; Drake, Darrell; Bean, Keri; Lemmon, Mark; Schwenzer, Susanne P.; Anderson, Ryan B.; Herkenhoff, Kenneth; Lee, Ella Mae; Sucharski, Robert; Hernández, Miguel Ángel de Pablo; Ávalos, Juan José Blanco; Ramos, Miguel; Kim, Myung-Hee; Malespin, Charles; Plante, Ianik; Muller, Jan-Peter; Navarro-González, Rafael; Ewing, Ryan; Boynton, William; Downs, Robert; Fitzgibbon, Mike; Harshman, Karl; Morrison, Shaunna; Dietrich, William; Kortmann, Onno; Palucis, Marisa; Sumner, Dawn Y.; Williams, Amy; Lugmair, Günter; Wilson, Michael A.; Rubin, David; Jakosky, Bruce; Balic-Zunic, Tonci; Frydenvang, Jens; Jensen, Jaqueline Kløvgaard; Kinch, Kjartan; Koefoed, Asmus; Madsen, Morten Bo; Stipp, Susan Louise Svane; Boyd, Nick; Campbell, John L.; Gellert, Ralf; Perrett, Glynis; Pradler, Irina; VanBommel, Scott; Jacob, Samantha; Rowland, Scott; Atlaskin, Evgeny; Savijärvi, Hannu; Boehm, Eckart; Böttcher, Stephan; Burmeister, Sönke; Guo, Jingnan; Köhler, Jan; García, César Martín; Mueller-Mellin, Reinhold; Wimmer-Schweingruber, Robert; Bridges, John C.; McConnochie, Timothy; Benna, Mehdi; Bower, Hannah; Brunner, Anna; Blau, Hannah; Boucher, Thomas; Carmosino, Marco; Elliott, Harvey; Halleaux, Douglas; Rennó, Nilton; Elliott, Beverley; Spray, John; Thompson, Lucy; Gordon, Suzanne; Newsom, Horton; Ollila, Ann; Williams, Joshua; Vasconcelos, Paulo; Bentz, Jennifer; Nealson, Kenneth; Popa, Radu; Kah, Linda C.; Moersch, Jeffrey; Tate, Christopher; Day, Mackenzie; Kocurek, Gary; Hallet, Bernard; Sletten, Ronald; Francis, Raymond; McCullough, Emily; Cloutis, Ed; ten Kate, Inge Loes; Kuzmin, Ruslan; Arvidson, Raymond; Fraeman, Abigail; Scholes, Daniel; Slavney, Susan; Stein, Thomas; Ward, Jennifer; Berger, Jeffrey; Moores, John E.

    2013-07-01

    Volume mixing and isotope ratios secured with repeated atmospheric measurements taken with the Sample Analysis at Mars instrument suite on the Curiosity rover are: carbon dioxide (CO2), 0.960(±0.007); argon-40 (40Ar), 0.0193(±0.0001); nitrogen (N2), 0.0189(±0.0003); oxygen, 1.45(±0.09) × 10-3; carbon monoxide, < 1.0 × 10-3; and 40Ar/36Ar, 1.9(±0.3) × 103. The 40Ar/N2 ratio is 1.7 times greater and the 40Ar/36Ar ratio 1.6 times lower than values reported by the Viking Lander mass spectrometer in 1976, whereas other values are generally consistent with Viking and remote sensing observations. The 40Ar/36Ar ratio is consistent with martian meteoritic values, which provides additional strong support for a martian origin of these rocks. The isotopic signature δ13C from CO2 of ~45 per mil is independently measured with two instruments. This heavy isotope enrichment in carbon supports the hypothesis of substantial atmospheric loss.

  12. Terrestrial microbes in martian and chondritic meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Airieau, S.; Picenco, Y.; Andersen, G.

    2007-08-01

    Introduction: The best extraterrestrial analogs for microbiology are meteorites. The chemistry and mineralogy of Asteroid Belt and martian (SNC) meteorites are used as tracers of processes that took place in the early solar system. Meteoritic falls, in particular those of carbonaceous chondrites, are regarded as pristine samples of planetesimal evolution as these rocks are primitive and mostly unprocessed since the formation of the solar system 4.56 billion years ago. Yet, questions about terrestrial contamination and its effects on the meteoritic isotopic, chemical and mineral characteristics often arise. Meteorites are hosts to biological activity as soon as they are in contact with the terrestrial biosphere, like all rocks. A wide biodiversity was found in 21 chondrites and 8 martian stones, and was investigated with cell culture, microscopy techniques, PCR, and LAL photoluminetry. Some preliminary results are presented here. The sample suite included carbonaceous chondrites of types CR, CV, CK, CO, CI, and CM, from ANSMET and Falls. Past studies documented the alteration of meteorites by weathering and biological activity [1]-[4]. Unpublished observations during aqueous extraction for oxygen isotopic analysis [5], noted the formation of biofilms in water in a matter of days. In order to address the potential modification of meteoritic isotopic and chemical signatures, the culture of microbial contaminating species was initiated in 2005, and after a prolonged incubation, some of the species obtained from cell culture were analyzed in 2006. The results are preliminary, and a systematic catalog of microbial contaminants is developing very slowly due to lack of funding. Methods: The primary method was cell culture and PCR. Chondrites. Chondritic meteorite fragments were obtained by breaking stones of approximately one gram in sterile mortars. The core of the rocks, presumably less contaminated than the surface, was used for the present microbial study, and the

  13. Assessment of the turbulence parameterization schemes for the Martian mesoscale simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Temel, Orkun; Karatekin, Ozgur; Van Beeck, Jeroen

    2016-07-01

    of WRF model for the extraterrestrial atmospheres [11]. Based on the measurements, the performances of different PBL schemes have been evaluated and some improvements have been proposed. [1] Colaïtis, A., Spiga, A., Hourdin, F., Rio, C., Forget, F., & Millour, E. (2013). A thermal plume model for the Martian convective boundary layer. Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, 118(7), 1468-1487. [2] Balme, M., & Greeley, R. (2006). Dust devils on Earth and Mars. Reviews of Geophysics, 44(3). [3] Olsen, K. S., Cloutis, E., & Strong, K. (2012). Small-scale methane dispersion modelling for possible plume sources on the surface of Mars. Geophysical Research Letters, 39(19). [4] Savijärvi, H., & Siili, T. (1993). The Martian slope winds and the nocturnal PBL jet. Journal of the atmospheric sciences, 50(1), 77-88. [5] Fenton, L. K., Toigo, A. D., & Richardson, M. I. (2005). Aeolian processes in Proctor crater on Mars: Mesoscale modeling of dune-forming winds. Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, 110(E6). [6] Hong, Song-You, Yign Noh, Jimy Dudhia, 2006: A new vertical diffusion package with an explicit treatment of entrainment processes. Mon. Wea. Rev., 134, 2318-2341. [7] Janjic, Zavisa I., 1994: The Step-Mountain Eta Coordinate Model: Further developments of the convection, viscous sublayer, and turbulence closure schemes. Mon. Wea. Rev., 122, 927-945. [8] Michaels, T. I., & Rafkin, S. C. (2004). Large-eddy simulation of atmospheric convection on Mars. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, 130(599), 1251-1274. [9] Hess, S. L., Henry, R. M., Leovy, C. B., Ryan, J. A., & Tillman, J. E. (1977). Meteorological results from the surface of Mars: Viking 1 and 2. Journal of Geophysical Research, 82(28), 4559-4574. [10] Martínez, G. et Al. (2015). Likely frost events at Gale crater: Analysis from MSL/REMS measurements. Icarus. [11] Richardson, M. I., Toigo, A. D., & Newman, C. E. (2007). PlanetWRF: A general purpose, local to global numerical model for

  14. Lava Tubes as Martian Analog sites on Hawaii Island

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andersen, Christian; Hamilton, J. C.; Adams, M.

    2013-10-01

    The existence of geologic features similar to skylights seen in Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter HIRISE imagery suggest Martian lava tube networks. Along with pit craters, these features are evidence of a past era of vulcanism. If these were contemporary with the wet Mars eras, then it is suggestive that any Martian life may have retreated into these subsurface oases. Hawaii island has numerous lava tubes of differing ages, humidity, lengths and sizes that make ideal analog test environments for future Mars exploration. PISCES has surveyed multiple candidate sites during the past summer with a team of University of Hawaii at Hilo student interns. It should be noted that Lunar features have also been similarly discovered via Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter LROC imagery.

  15. Martian Methane From a Cometary Source: A Hypothesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fries, M.; Christou, A.; Archer, D.; Conrad, P.; Cooke, W.; Eigenbrode, J.; ten Kate, I. L.; Matney, M.; Niles, P.; Sykes, M.; hide

    2016-01-01

    In recent years, methane in the martian atmosphere has been detected by Earth-based spectroscopy, the Planetary Fourier Spectrometer on the ESA Mars Express mission, and the NASA Mars Science Laboratory. The methane's origin remains a mystery, with proposed sources including volcanism, exogenous sources like impacts and interplanetary dust, aqueous alteration of olivine in the presence of carbonaceous material, release from ancient deposits of methane clathrates, and/or biological activity. An additional potential source exists: meteor showers from the emission of large comet dust particles could generate martian methane via UV pyrolysis of carbon-rich infall material. We find a correlation between the dates of Mars/cometary orbit encounters and detections of methane on Mars. We hypothesize that cometary debris falls onto Mars during these interactions, generating methane via UV photolysis.

  16. Filter Media Tests Under Simulated Martian Atmospheric Conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agui, Juan H.

    2016-01-01

    Human exploration of Mars will require the optimal utilization of planetary resources. One of its abundant resources is the Martian atmosphere that can be harvested through filtration and chemical processes that purify and separate it into its gaseous and elemental constituents. Effective filtration needs to be part of the suite of resource utilization technologies. A unique testing platform is being used which provides the relevant operational and instrumental capabilities to test articles under the proper simulated Martian conditions. A series of tests were conducted to assess the performance of filter media. Light sheet imaging of the particle flow provided a means of detecting and quantifying particle concentrations to determine capturing efficiencies. The media's efficiency was also evaluated by gravimetric means through a by-layer filter media configuration. These tests will help to establish techniques and methods for measuring capturing efficiency and arrestance of conventional fibrous filter media. This paper will describe initial test results on different filter media.

  17. Ionization rates and profiles of electron concentration in Martian atmosphere

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Komitov, B.; Spasov, S.; Gogoshev, M.

    1981-01-01

    The ionization and vertical profiles of electron concentration in the Martian atmosphere are calculated as functions of the solar zenith angles varying from O deg to 90 deg. A neutral atmospheric model based on direct mass-spectometric measurements from the Viking-1 landing modul is employed in the calculation. The Earth data of the ionization solar flux at the same level of the solar activity and for the month of the Viking-1 measurements reduced for the Mars orbit are used. The numerical result for the photoionization rates and quasi-equilibrium electron-concentration profiles in the upper Martian atmosphere at different solar zenith angles from 0 deg to 100 deg are presented. It is shown that the maxima of both quantities decrease and move towards the upper atmosphere regions. The calculated electron density at the zenith solar angle of 40 deg are compared to Viking-1 experimental data and a good agreement is achieved

  18. Orbital evolution and origin of the Martian satellites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Szeto, A.M.K.

    1983-01-01

    The orbital evolution of the Martian satellites is considered from a dynamical point of view. Celestial mechanics relevant to the calculation of satellite orbital evolution is introduced and the physical parameters to be incorporated in the modeling of tidal dissipation are discussed. Results of extrapolating the satellite orbits backward and forward in time are presented and compared with those of other published work. Collision probability calculations and results for the Martian satellite system are presented and discussed. The implications of these calculations for the origin scenarios of the satellites are assessed. It is concluded that Deimos in its present form could not have been captured, for if it had been, it would have collided with Phobos at some point. An accretion model is therefore preferred over capture, although such a model consistent with the likely carbonaceous chondritic composition of the satellites has yet to be established. 91 references

  19. Post-Viking view of Martian geologic evolution

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Arvidson, R.E.; Goettel, K.A.; Hohenberg, C.M.

    1980-01-01

    The mean density, 3.393 g/cm 3 , and the estimated moment of inertia factor constrain the density distribution within Mars but do not define it uniquely. For plausible core density, core radii can range from approx. 1350 to approx. 2200 km, with the core constituting from approx. 13 to approx. 35% of the planet's mass. Possible extremes for the zero-pressure density of the Martian mantle could be as high as 3.6 g/cm 3 or as low as 3.3 g/cm 3 . The Martian mantle is probably denser than the terrestrial mantle. The dominant Martian lavas are probably mafic or ultramafic. Martian surface materials probably consist of variable proportions of mafic igneous minerals and weathering products, the latter primarily oxides and carbonates. A major geologic dichotomy exists between the complex northern plains and the ancient southern cratered terrain. The Tharsis plateau, which dominates the low-degree harmonics of the gravity field, appears to be only partially compensated; Olympus Mons appears to be completely uncompensated. Substantial stresses must be supported, either statically by a thick, rigid lithosphere, or dynamically. Mean crustal thicknesses from 23 to 40 km have been obtained from modeling of Bouguer gravity data. Lithospheric thicknesses from 25 to 50 km under volcanoes in the Tharsis and Elysium provinces to >150 km under olympus Mons have been obtained from consideration of the effects of mass loading by volcanic constructs. Many of the compressional and extensional features on Mars have orientations consistent with formation by fracturing in response to loading by the Tharsis plateau. The deficiency of small craters within cratered terrain is attributed to obliteration by volcanism. The maximum resurfacing rate due to volcanism occurred between 1.0 and 1.5 b.y. ago if a constant cratering flux is assumed and between 3.5 and 4.0 b.y. ago if the lunar cratering flux (scaled to Mars) is assumed

  20. Low computation vision-based navigation for a Martian rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gavin, Andrew S.; Brooks, Rodney A.

    1994-01-01

    Construction and design details of the Mobot Vision System, a small, self-contained, mobile vision system, are presented. This system uses the view from the top of a small, roving, robotic vehicle to supply data that is processed in real-time to safely navigate the surface of Mars. A simple, low-computation algorithm for constructing a 3-D navigational map of the Martian environment to be used by the rover is discussed.

  1. Microwave Palaeointensity Experiments On Terrestrial and Martian Material

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaw, J.; Hill, M.; Gratton, M.

    The microwave palaeointensity technique was developed in Liverpool University (Walton et al 1996) and has successfully been applied to archaeological ceramics and recent lavas (Shaw et al 1996, 1999.; Hill et al 1999,2000). These published results show that microwave analysis provides accurate palaeointensity determinations com- bined with a very high success rate. Most recently the technique has been successfully applied to Martian material (Shaw et al, 2001) to look for the existence of an internal Martian dynamo early in Martian history. New experiments have been carried out us- ing microwaves to demagnetise synthetic muti-component TRM's and new palaeoin- tensity experiments providing a comparison between microwave analysis of laboratory TRM's and conventional thermal Thellier analysis of microwave generated mTRM's. These experiments demonstrate the equivalence of microwave and thermally gener- ated TRM's. D. Walton, S Snape, T.C. Rolph, J. Shaw and J.A. Share, Application of ferromagnetic resonance heating to palaeointensity determinations.1996, Phys Earth Planet Int,94, 183-186. J. Shaw, D. Walton, S Yang, T.C.Rolph, and J.A. Share. Microwave Archaeointensities from Peruvian Ceramics. 1996, Geophys. J. Int,124,241-244 J. Shaw, S. Yang, T. C. Rolph, and F. Y. Sun. A comparison of archaeointensity results from Chinese ceramics using Microwave and conventional ThellierSs and ShawSs methods.,1999, G J Int.136, 714-718 M. Hill, and J. Shaw, 1999, Palaeointensity results for Historic Lavas from Mt. Etna using microwave demagnetisation/remagnetisation in a modified Thellier type exper- iment. G. J. Int, 139, 583-590 M. J. Hill, and J. Shaw, 2000. Magnetic field intensity study of the 1960 Kilauea lava flow, Hawaii, using the microwave palaeointensity technique, Geophys. J. Int., 142, 487-504. J. Shaw, M. Hill, and S. J. Openshaw, 2001, Investigating the ancient Martian magnetic field using microwaves, Earth and Planetary Science Letters 190 (2001) 103-109

  2. Martian geomorphology and its relation to subsurface volatiles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clifford, Stephen M. (Editor); Rossbacher, Lisa A. (Editor); Zimbelman, James R. (Editor)

    1986-01-01

    Martian volatile inventory, planetary climatic and atmospheric evolution, and the interpretation of various remote sensing data were discussed. A number of morphologies that were cited as potential indicators of subsurface volatiles were reviewed. Rampart craters and terrain softening were the focus of more in-depth discussion because of the popular attention they have received and the fact that their areal distributions are by far the most extensive of all the proposed indicators.

  3. Unusual Reactivity of the Martian Soil: Oxygen Release Upon Humidification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yen, A. S.

    2002-01-01

    Recent lab results show that oxygen evolves from superoxide-coated mineral grains upon exposure to water vapor. This observation is additional support of the hypothesis that UV-generated O2 is responsible for the reactivity of the martian soil. Discussion of current NASA research opportunities, status of various programs within the Solar System Exploration Division, and employment opportunities within NASA Headquarters to support these programs. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  4. Magnetic Particles Are Found In The Martian Atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    1976-01-01

    The dark bullseye pattern seen at the top of Viking l's camera calibration chart indicates the presence of magnetic particles in the fine dust in the Martian atmosphere. A tiny magnet is mounted at that spot to catch wind-borne magnetic particles. The particles may have been tossed into the atmosphere surrounding the spacecraft at the time of landing and during the digging and delivery of the Mars soil sample by the surface sampler scoop. This picture was taken August 4.

  5. Viking orbiter imaging observations of dust in the Martian atmosphere

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Briggs, G.A.; Baum, W.A.; Barnes, J.

    1979-01-01

    More than 20 local Martian dust clouds and two global dust storms were observed with the Viking orbiter camera. Sixteen of the local clouds were imaged in two colors or were observed with other instruments confirming their identification as dust clouds. These Viking results are compared with earth-based observations of Martian dust storms and with Mariner 9 data. Most of the dust activity seen by Viking occurred during southern hemisphere spring and early summer, when Mars was near perihelion and isolation was near maximum. About half the local clouds occurred near the edge of the southern polar cap, where winds are presumably enhanced by a strong regional temperature gradient. The other half occurred mainly in the southern hemisphere near regions where circulation models incorporating topography predict positive vertical velocities. Although dust clouds observed from earth show a similar partial correlation with models, some ambiguity exists concerning interpretation of regions near Hellespontus that have spawned the most spectacular Martian dust storms on record

  6. Chemical and Physical Interactions of Martian Surface Material

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bishop, J. L.

    1999-09-01

    A model of alteration and maturation of the Martian surface material is described involving both chemical and physical interactions. Physical processes involve distribution and mixing of the fine-grained soil particles across the surface and into the atmosphere. Chemical processes include reaction of sulfate, salt and oxidizing components of the soil particles; these agents in the soils deposited on rocks will chew through the rock minerals forming coatings and will bind surface soils together to form duricrust deposits. Formation of crystalline iron oxide/oxyhydroxide minerals through hydrothermal processes and of poorly crystalline and amorphous phases through palagonitic processes both contribute to formation of the soil particles. Chemical and physical alteration of these soil minerals and phases contribute to producing the chemical, magnetic and spectroscopic character of the Martian soil as observed by Mars Pathfinder and Mars Global Surveyor. Minerals such as maghemite/magnetite and jarosite/alunite have been observed in terrestrial volcanic soils near steam vents and may be important components of the Martian surface material. The spectroscopic properties of several terrestrial volcanic soils containing these minerals have been analyzed and evaluated in terms of the spectroscopic character of the surface material on Mars.

  7. A Martian origin for the Mars Trojan asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polishook, D.; Jacobson, S. A.; Morbidelli, A.; Aharonson, O.

    2017-08-01

    Seven of the nine known Mars Trojan asteroids belong to an orbital cluster1,2 named after its largest member, (5261) Eureka. Eureka is probably the progenitor of the whole cluster, which formed at least 1 Gyr ago3. It has been suggested3 that the thermal YORP (Yarkovsky-O'Keefe-Radzievskii-Paddack) effect spun up Eureka, resulting in fragments being ejected by the rotational-fission mechanism. Eureka's spectrum exhibits a broad and deep absorption band around 1 μm, indicating an olivine-rich composition4. Here we show evidence that the Trojan Eureka cluster progenitor could have originated as impact debris excavated from the Martian mantle. We present new near-infrared observations of two Trojans ((311999) 2007 NS2 and (385250) 2001 DH47) and find that both exhibit an olivine-rich reflectance spectrum similar to Eureka's. These measurements confirm that the progenitor of the cluster has an achondritic composition4. Olivine-rich reflectance spectra are rare amongst asteroids5 but are seen around the largest basins on Mars6. They are also consistent with some Martian meteorites (for example, Chassigny7) and with the material comprising much of the Martian mantle8,9. Using numerical simulations, we show that the Mars Trojans are more likely to be impact ejecta from Mars than captured olivine-rich asteroids transported from the main belt. This result directly links specific asteroids to debris from the forming planets.

  8. Potential Antifreeze Compounds in Present-Day Martian Seepage Groundwater

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiin-Shuh Jean

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Is the recently found seepage groundwater on Mars pure H2O, or mixed with salts and other antifreeze compounds? Given the surface conditions of Mars, it is unlikely that pure water could either exist in its liquid state or have shaped Mars¡¦ fluid erosional landforms (gullies, channels, and valley networks. More likely is that Mars¡¦ seepage groundwater contains antifreeze and salt compounds that resist freezing and suppress evaporation. This model better accounts for Mars¡¦ enigmatic surface erosion. This paper suggests 17 antifreeze compounds potentially present in Martian seepage groundwater. Given their liquid state and physical properties, triethylene glycol, diethylene glycol, ethylene glycol, and 1,3-propylene glycol are advanced as the most likely candidate compounds. This paper also explores how a mixing of glycol or glycerol with salts in the Martian seepage groundwater may have lowered water¡¦s freezing point and raised its boiling point, with consequences that created fluid gully and channel erosion. Ethylene glycol and related hydrocarbon compounds have been identified in Martian and other interstellar meteorites. We suggest that these compounds and their proportions to water be included for detection in future explorations.

  9. Martian Radiative Transfer Modeling Using the Optimal Spectral Sampling Method

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eluszkiewicz, J.; Cady-Pereira, K.; Uymin, G.; Moncet, J.-L.

    2005-01-01

    The large volume of existing and planned infrared observations of Mars have prompted the development of a new martian radiative transfer model that could be used in the retrievals of atmospheric and surface properties. The model is based on the Optimal Spectral Sampling (OSS) method [1]. The method is a fast and accurate monochromatic technique applicable to a wide range of remote sensing platforms (from microwave to UV) and was originally developed for the real-time processing of infrared and microwave data acquired by instruments aboard the satellites forming part of the next-generation global weather satellite system NPOESS (National Polarorbiting Operational Satellite System) [2]. As part of our on-going research related to the radiative properties of the martian polar caps, we have begun the development of a martian OSS model with the goal of using it to perform self-consistent atmospheric corrections necessary to retrieve caps emissivity from the Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) spectra. While the caps will provide the initial focus area for applying the new model, it is hoped that the model will be of interest to the wider Mars remote sensing community.

  10. Advanced concept for a crewed mission to the martian moons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conte, Davide; Di Carlo, Marilena; Budzyń, Dorota; Burgoyne, Hayden; Fries, Dan; Grulich, Maria; Heizmann, Sören; Jethani, Henna; Lapôtre, Mathieu; Roos, Tobias; Castillo, Encarnación Serrano; Schermann, Marcel; Vieceli, Rhiannon; Wilson, Lee; Wynard, Christopher

    2017-10-01

    This paper presents the conceptual design of the IMaGInE (Innovative Mars Global International Exploration) Mission. The mission's objectives are to deliver a crew of four astronauts to the surface of Deimos and perform a robotic exploration mission to Phobos. Over the course of the 343 day mission during the years 2031 and 2032, the crew will perform surface excursions, technology demonstrations, In Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) of the Martian moons, as well as site reconnaissance for future human exploration of Mars. This mission design makes use of an innovative hybrid propulsion concept (chemical and electric) to deliver a relatively low-mass reusable crewed spacecraft (approximately 100 mt) to cis-martian space. The crew makes use of torpor which minimizes launch payload mass. Green technologies are proposed as a stepping stone towards minimum environmental impact space access. The usage of beamed energy to power a grid of decentralized science stations is introduced, allowing for large scale characterization of the Martian environment. The low-thrust outbound and inbound trajectories are computed through the use of a direct method and a multiple shooting algorithm that considers various thrust and coast sequences to arrive at the final body with zero relative velocity. It is shown that the entire mission is rooted within the current NASA technology roadmap, ongoing scientific investments and feasible with an extrapolated NASA Budget. The presented mission won the 2016 Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts - Academic Linkage (RASC-AL) competition.

  11. The physics of Martian weather and climate: a review

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Read, P L; Mulholland, D P; Lewis, S R

    2015-01-01

    The planet Mars hosts an atmosphere that is perhaps the closest in terms of its meteorology and climate to that of the Earth. But Mars differs from Earth in its greater distance from the Sun, its smaller size, its lack of liquid oceans and its thinner atmosphere, composed mainly of CO 2 . These factors give Mars a rather different climate to that of the Earth. In this article we review various aspects of the martian climate system from a physicist’s viewpoint, focusing on the processes that control the martian environment and comparing these with corresponding processes on Earth. These include the radiative and thermodynamical processes that determine the surface temperature and vertical structure of the atmosphere, the fluid dynamics of its atmospheric motions, and the key cycles of mineral dust and volatile transport. In many ways, the climate of Mars is as complicated and diverse as that of the Earth, with complex nonlinear feedbacks that affect its response to variations in external forcing. Recent work has shown that the martian climate is anything but static, but is almost certainly in a continual state of transient response to slowly varying insolation associated with cyclic variations in its orbit and rotation. We conclude with a discussion of the physical processes underlying these long- term climate variations on Mars, and an overview of some of the most intriguing outstanding problems that should be a focus for future observational and theoretical studies. (review)

  12. Mars analog minerals' spectral reflectance characteristics under Martian surface conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poitras, J. T.; Cloutis, E. A.; Salvatore, M. R.; Mertzman, S. A.; Applin, D. M.; Mann, P.

    2018-05-01

    We investigated the spectral reflectance properties of minerals under a simulated Martian environment. Twenty-eight different hydrated or hydroxylated phases of carbonates, sulfates, and silica minerals were selected based on past detection on Mars through spectral remote sensing data. Samples were ground and dry sieved to <45 μm grain size and characterized by XRD before and after 133 days inside a simulated Martian surface environment (pressure 5 Torr and CO2 fed). Reflectance spectra from 0.35 to 4 μm were taken periodically through a sapphire (0.35-2.5 μm) and zinc selenide (2.5-4 μm) window over a 133-day period. Mineral stability on the Martian surface was assessed through changes in spectral characteristics. Results indicate that the hydrated carbonates studied would be stable on the surface of Mars, only losing adsorbed H2O while maintaining their diagnostic spectral features. Sulfates were less stable, often with shifts in the band position of the SO, Fe, and OH absorption features. Silicas displayed spectral shifts related to SiOH and hydration state of the mineral surface, while diagnostic bands for quartz were stable. Previous detection of carbonate minerals based on 2.3-2.5 μm and 3.4-3.9 μm features appears to be consistent with our results. Sulfate mineral detection is more questionable since there can be shifts in band position related to SO4. The loss of the 0.43 μm Fe3+ band in many of the sulfates indicate that there are fewer potential candidates for Fe3+ sulfates to permanently exist on the Martian surface based on this band. The gypsum sample changed phase to basanite during desiccation as demonstrated by both reflectance and XRD. Silica on Mars has been detected using band depth ratio at 1.91 and 1.96 μm and band minimum position of the 1.4 μm feature, and the properties are also used to determine their age. This technique continues to be useful for positive silica identifications, however, silica age appears to be less consistent

  13. An integrated view of the chemistry and mineralogy of martian soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yen, A. S.; Gellert, Ralf; Schroder, C.; Morris, R.V.; Bell, J.F.; Knudson, A.T.; Clark, B. C.; Ming, D. W.; Crisp, J.A.; Arvidson, R. E.; Blaney, D.; Brückner, J.; Christensen, P.R.; DesMarais, D.J.; De Souza, P.A.; Economou, T.E.; Ghosh, A.; Hahn, B.C.; Herkenhoff, K. E.; Haskin, L.A.; Hurowitz, J.A.; Joliff, B.L.; Johnson, J. R.; Klingelhofer, G.; Madsen, M.B.; McLennan, S.M.; McSween, H.Y.; Richter, L.; Rieder, R.; Rodionov, D.; Soderblom, L.; Squyres, S. W.; Tosca, N.J.; Wang, A.; Wyatt, M.; Zipfel, J.

    2005-01-01

    The mineralogical and elemental compositions of the martian soil are indicators of chemical and physical weathering processes. Using data from the Mars Exploration Rovers, we show that bright dust deposits on opposite sides of the planet are part of a global unit and not dominated by the composition of local rocks. Dark soil deposits at both sites have similar basaltic mineralogies, and could reflect either a global component or the general similarity in the compositions of the rocks from which they were derived. Increased levels of bromine are consistent with mobilization of soluble salts by thin films of liquid water, but the presence of olivine in analysed soil samples indicates that the extent of aqueous alteration of soils has been limited. Nickel abundances are enhanced at the immediate surface and indicate that the upper few millimetres of soil could contain up to one per cent meteoritic material.

  14. Implantation of Martian Materials in the Inner Solar System by a Mega Impact on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hyodo, Ryuki; Genda, Hidenori

    2018-04-01

    Observations and meteorites indicate that the Martian materials are enigmatically distributed within the inner solar system. A mega impact on Mars creating a Martian hemispheric dichotomy and the Martian moons can potentially eject Martian materials. A recent work has shown that the mega-impact-induced debris is potentially captured as the Martian Trojans and implanted in the asteroid belt. However, the amount, distribution, and composition of the debris has not been studied. Here, using hydrodynamic simulations, we report that a large amount of debris (∼1% of Mars’ mass), including Martian crust/mantle and the impactor’s materials (∼20:80), are ejected by a dichotomy-forming impact, and distributed between ∼0.5–3.0 au. Our result indicates that unmelted Martian mantle debris (∼0.02% of Mars’ mass) can be the source of Martian Trojans, olivine-rich asteroids in the Hungarian region and the main asteroid belt, and some even hit the early Earth. The evidence of a mega impact on Mars would be recorded as a spike of 40Ar–39Ar ages in meteorites. A mega impact can naturally implant Martian mantle materials within the inner solar system.

  15. The morphology of the Martian surface

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Carr, M.H.

    1980-01-01

    Most of the southern hemisphere of Mars is densely cratered and stands 1-3 km above the topographic datum. The northern hemisphere is more sparsely cratered and elevations are generally below the datum. A broad rise, the Tharsis bulge, centered at 14 0 S, 101 0 W, is 8000 km across and 10 km above the datum at its summit. The densely cratered terrain has two main components; very ancient crust, nearly saturated with large craters, and younger intercrater plains. In many areas the older unit is fractured and extensively dissected by small channels. The younger intercrater plains are distinctly layered in places and less dissected, less fractured, and less cratered. Both units probably date from very early in the planet's history. Cratered plains cover much of the northern hemisphere and are highly variegated. (orig.)

  16. Thermal Evolution and Crystallisation Regimes of the Martian Core

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davies, C. J.; Pommier, A.

    2015-12-01

    Though it is accepted that Mars has a sulfur-rich metallic core, its chemical and physical state as well as its time-evolution are still unconstrained and debated. Several lines of evidence indicate that an internal magnetic field was once generated on Mars and that this field decayed around 3.7-4.0 Gyrs ago. The standard model assumes that this field was produced by a thermal (and perhaps chemical) dynamo operating in the Martian core. We use this information to construct parameterized models of the Martian dynamo in order to place constraints on the thermochemical evolution of the Martian core, with particular focus on its crystallization regime. Considered compositions are in the FeS system, with S content ranging from ~10 and 16 wt%. Core radius, density and CMB pressure are varied within the errors provided by recent internal structure models that satisfy the available geodetic constraints (planetary mass, moment of inertia and tidal Love number). We also vary the melting curve and adiabat, CMB heat flow and thermal conductivity. Successful models are those that match the dynamo cessation time and fall within the bounds on present-day CMB temperature. The resulting suite of over 500 models suggest three possible crystallization regimes: growth of a solid inner core starting at the center of the planet; freezing and precipitation of solid iron (Fe- snow) from the core-mantle boundary (CMB); and freezing that begins midway through the core. Our analysis focuses on the effects of core properties that are expected to be constrained during the forthcoming Insight mission.

  17. "Martian Boneyards": Sustained Scientific Inquiry in a Social Digital Game

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asbell-Clarke, Jordis

    Social digital gaming is an explosive phenomenon where youth and adults are engaged in inquiry for the sake of fun. The complexity of learning evidenced in social digital games is attracting the attention of educators. Martian Boneyards is a proof-of-concept game designed to study how a community of voluntary gamers can be enticed to engage in sustained, high-quality scientific inquiry. Science educators and game designers worked together to create an educational game with the polish and intrigue of a professional-level game, striving to attract a new audience to scientific inquiry. Martian Boneyards took place in the high-definition, massively multiplayer online environment, Blue Mars, where players spent an average of 30 hours in the game over the 4-month implementation period, with some exceeding 200 hours. Most of the players' time was spent in scientific inquiry activities and about 30% of the players' in-game interactions were in the analysis and theory-building phases of inquiry. Female players conducted most of the inquiry, in particular analysis and theory building. The quality of scientific inquiry processes, which included extensive information gathering by players, and the resulting content were judged to be very good by a team of independent scientists. This research suggests that a compelling storyline, a highly aesthetic environment, and the emergent social bonds among players and between players and the characters played by designers were all responsible for sustaining high quality inquiry among gamers in this free-choice experience. The gaming environment developed for Martian Boneyards is seen as an evolving ecosystem with interactions among design, players' activity, and players' progress.

  18. Martian Water: Are There Extant Halobacteria on Mars?

    OpenAIRE

    Landis, Geoffrey A.

    2001-01-01

    On Earth, life exists in all niches where water exists in liquid form for at least a portion of the year. On Mars, any liquid water would have to be a highly concentrated brine solution. It is likely, therefore, that any present-day Martian microorganisms would be similar to terrestrial halophiles. Even if present-day life is not present on Mars, it is an interesting speculation that ancient bacteria preserved in salt deposits could be retrieved from an era when the climate of Mars was mor...

  19. TDEM for Martian in situ resource prospecting missions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. Tacconi

    2003-06-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents a TDEM (Time Domain Electromagnetic Methods application, addressed to the search for water on Mars. In this context, the opportunities for a TDEM system as payload in a future mission are investigated for different in situ exploration scenarios. The TDEM sounding capability is evaluated with respect to the expected Martian environment, and some considerations are made about the many unknown variables (above all the background EM noise and the subsoil composition altogether with the limited resources availability (mission constraints in mass, time and power and the way they could represent an obstacle for operations and measurements.

  20. What is the Time Scale for Orbital Forcing of the Martian Water Cycle?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hecht, M. H.

    2003-01-01

    Calculation of the periodic variations in the martian orbital parameters by Ward and subsequent refinements to the theory have inspired numerous models of variation of the martian water cycle. Most of these models have focused on variations in planetary obliquity on a both a short-term (110 kyr) time scale as well as larger oscillations occuring over millions of years. To a lesser extent, variations in planetary eccentricity have also been considered. The third and fastest mode of variation, the precession of the longitude of perihelion, has generally been deemphasized because, among the three parameters, it is the only one that does not change the integrated annual insolation. But as a result of this precession, the asymmetry in peak summer insolation between the poles exceeds 50%, with the maximum cycling between poles every 25.5 kyrs. The relative contribution of these different elements to orbital forcing of climate takes on particular importance in the context of apparently recent waterrelated features such as gullies or polar layered deposits (PLD). Christensen, for example, recently indentified mantling of heavily gullied crater walls as residual dust-covered snow deposits that were responsible for the formation of the gullies in a previous epoch. Christensen assumed that the snow was originally deposited at a period of high obliquity which was stabilized against sublimation by a lag deposit of dust. It is suggested here that not obliquity, but the shortterm oscillations associated with precession of the perihelion may play the dominant role in the formation of gullies, major strata in the polar layered deposits (PLD), and other water-related features.

  1. Preliminary findings of the Viking gas exchange experiment and a model for Martian surface chemistry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Oyama, V.I.; Berdahl, B.J.; Carle, G.C.

    1977-01-01

    It is stated that O 2 and CO 2 were evolved from humidified Martian soil in the gas exchange experiment on Viking Lander 1. Small changes in N 2 gas were also recorded. A model of the morphology and a hypothesis of the mechanistics of the Martian surface are proposed. (author)

  2. Habitable periglacial landscapes in martian mid-latitudes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ulrich, M.; Wagner, D.; Hauber, E.; de Vera, J.-P.; Schirrmeister, L.

    2012-05-01

    Subsurface permafrost environments on Mars are considered to be zones where extant life could have survived. For the identification of possible habitats it is important to understand periglacial landscape evolution and related subsurface and environmental conditions. Many landforms that are interpreted to be related to ground ice are located in the martian mid-latitudinal belts. This paper summarizes the insights gained from studies of terrestrial analogs to permafrost landforms on Mars. The potential habitability of martian mid-latitude periglacial landscapes is exemplarily deduced for one such landscape, that of Utopia Planitia, by a review and discussion of environmental conditions influencing periglacial landscape evolution. Based on recent calculations of the astronomical forcing of climate changes, specific climate periods are identified within the last 10 Ma when thaw processes and liquid water were probably important for the development of permafrost geomorphology. No periods could be identified within the last 4 Ma which met the suggested threshold criteria for liquid water and habitable conditions. Implications of past and present environmental conditions such as temperature variations, ground-ice conditions, and liquid water activity are discussed with respect to the potential survival of highly-specialized microorganisms known from terrestrial permafrost. We conclude that possible habitable subsurface niches might have been developed in close relation to specific permafrost landform morphology on Mars. These would have probably been dominated by lithoautotrophic microorganisms (i.e. methanogenic archaea).

  3. Implications of Earth analogs to Martian sulfate-filled Fractures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holt, R. M.; Powers, D. W.

    2017-12-01

    Sulfate-filled fractures in fine-grained sediments on Mars are interpreted to be the result of fluid movement during deep burial. Fractures in the Dewey Lake (aka Quartermaster) Formation of southeastern New Mexico and west Texas are filled with gypsum that is at least partially synsedimentary. Sulfate in the Dewey Lake takes two principal forms: gypsum cement and gypsum (mainly fibrous) that fills fractures ranging from horizontal to vertical. Apertures are mainly mm-scale, though some are > 1 cm. The gypsum is antitaxial, fibrous, commonly approximately perpendicular to the wall rock, and displays suture lines and relics of the wall rock. Direct evidence of synsedimentary, near-surface origin includes gypsum intraclasts, intraclasts that include smaller intraclasts that contain gypsum clasts, intraclasts of gypsum with suture lines, gypsum concentrated in small desiccation cracks, and intraclasts that include fibrous gypsum-filled fractures that terminate at the eroded clast boundary. Dewey Lake fracture fillings suggest that their Martian analogs may also have originated in the shallow subsurface, shortly following the deposition of Martian sediments, in the presence of shallow aquifers.

  4. Qualification of Fiber Optic Cables for Martian Extreme Temperature Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramesham, Rajeshuni; Lindensmith, Christian A.; Roberts, William T.; Rainen, Richard A.

    2011-01-01

    Means have been developed for enabling fiber optic cables of the Laser Induced Breakdown Spectrometer instrument to survive ground operations plus the nominal 670 Martian conditions that include Martian summer and winter seasons. The purpose of this development was to validate the use of the rover external fiber optic cabling of ChemCam for space applications under the extreme thermal environments to be encountered during the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission. Flight-representative fiber optic cables were subjected to extreme temperature thermal cycling of the same diurnal depth (or delta T) as expected in flight, but for three times the expected number of in-flight thermal cycles. The survivability of fiber optic cables was tested for 600 cumulative thermal cycles from -130 to +15 C to cover the winter season, and another 1,410 cumulative cycles from -105 to +40 C to cover the summer season. This test satisfies the required 3 times the design margin that is a total of 2,010 thermal cycles (670 x 3). This development test included functional optical transmission tests during the course of the test. Transmission of the fiber optic cables was performed prior to and after 1,288 thermal cycles and 2,010 thermal cycles. No significant changes in transmission were observed on either of the two representative fiber cables subject through the 3X MSL mission life that is 2,010 thermal cycles.

  5. Martian dust storms as a possible sink of atmospheric methane

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farrell, W. M.; Delory, G. T.; Atreya, S. K.

    2006-11-01

    Recent laboratory tests, analog studies and numerical simulations all suggest that Martian dust devils and larger dusty convective storms generate and maintain large-scale electric fields. Such expected E-fields will have the capability to create significant electron drift motion in the collisional gas and to form an extended high energy (u $\\gg$ kT) electron tail in the distribution. We demonstrate herein that these energetic electrons are capable of dissociating any trace CH4 in the ambient atmosphere thereby acting as an atmospheric sink of this important gas. We demonstrate that the methane destruction rate increases by a factor of 1012 as the dust storm E-fields, E, increase from 5 to 25 kV/m, resulting in an apparent decrease in methane stability from ~ 1010 sec to a value of ~1000 seconds. While destruction in dust storms is severe, the overall methane lifetime is expected to decrease only moderately due to recycling of products, heterogeneous effects from localized sinks, etc. We show further evidence that the electrical activity anticipated in Martian dust storms creates a new harsh electro-chemical environment.

  6. Modeling of the Martian environment for radiation analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    De Angelis, G.; Wilson, J.W.; Clowdsley, M.S.; Qualls, G.D.; Singleterry, R.C.

    2006-01-01

    A model for the radiation environment to be found on the planet Mars due to Galactic Cosmic Rays (GCR) has been developed. Solar modulated primary particles rescaled for conditions at Mars are transported through the Martian atmosphere down to the surface, with altitude and backscattering patterns taken into account. The altitude to compute the atmospheric thickness profile has been determined by using a model for the topography based on the data provided by the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) instrument on board the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) spacecraft. The Mars surface composition has been modeled based on averages over the measurements obtained from orbiting spacecraft and at various landing sites, taking into account the possible volatile inventory (e.g. CO 2 and H 2 O ices) along with its time variations throughout the Martian year. The Mars Radiation Environment Model has been made available worldwide through the Space Ionizing Radiation Effects and Shielding Tools (SIREST) website, a project of NASA Langley Research Center. This site has been developed to provide the scientific and engineering communities with an interactive site containing a variety of environmental models, shield evaluation codes, and radiation response models to allow a thorough assessment of ionizing radiation risk for current and future space missions

  7. Periodic orbits around areostationary points in the Martian gravity field

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liu Xiaodong; Baoyin Hexi; Ma Xingrui

    2012-01-01

    This study investigates the problem of areostationary orbits around Mars in three-dimensional space. Areostationary orbits are expected to be used to establish a future telecommunication network for the exploration of Mars. However, no artificial satellites have been placed in these orbits thus far. The characteristics of the Martian gravity field are presented, and areostationary points and their linear stability are calculated. By taking linearized solutions in the planar case as the initial guesses and utilizing the Levenberg-Marquardt method, families of periodic orbits around areostationary points are shown to exist. Short-period orbits and long-period orbits are found around linearly stable areostationary points, but only short-period orbits are found around unstable areostationary points. Vertical periodic orbits around both linearly stable and unstable areostationary points are also examined. Satellites in these periodic orbits could depart from areostationary points by a few degrees in longitude, which would facilitate observation of the Martian topography. Based on the eigenvalues of the monodromy matrix, the evolution of the stability index of periodic orbits is determined. Finally, heteroclinic orbits connecting the two unstable areostationary points are found, providing the possibility for orbital transfer with minimal energy consumption.

  8. Ionization Efficiency in the Dayside Martian Upper Atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cui, J.; Wu, X.-S.; Xu, S.-S.; Wang, X.-D.; Wellbrock, A.; Nordheim, T. A.; Cao, Y.-T.; Wang, W.-R.; Sun, W.-Q.; Wu, S.-Q.; Wei, Y.

    2018-04-01

    Combining the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution measurements of neutral atmospheric density, solar EUV/X-ray flux, and differential photoelectron intensity made during 240 nominal orbits, we calculate the ionization efficiency, defined as the ratio of the secondary (photoelectron impact) ionization rate to the primary (photon impact) ionization rate, in the dayside Martian upper atmosphere under a range of solar illumination conditions. Both the CO2 and O ionization efficiencies tend to be constant from 160 km up to 250 km, with respective median values of 0.19 ± 0.03 and 0.27 ± 0.04. These values are useful for fast calculation of the ionization rate in the dayside Martian upper atmosphere, without the need to construct photoelectron transport models. No substantial diurnal and solar cycle variations can be identified, except for a marginal trend of reduced ionization efficiency approaching the terminator. These observations are favorably interpreted by a simple scenario with ionization efficiencies, as a first approximation, determined by a comparison between relevant cross sections. Our analysis further reveals a connection between regions with strong crustal magnetic fields and regions with high ionization efficiencies, which are likely indicative of more efficient vertical transport of photoelectrons near magnetic anomalies.

  9. Physical and chemical properties of the Martian soil: Review of resources

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoker, C. R.; Gooding, James L.; Banin, A.; Clark, Benton C.; Roush, Ted

    1991-01-01

    The chemical and physical properties of Martian surface materials are reviewed from the perspective of using these resources to support human settlement. The resource potential of Martian sediments and soils can only be inferred from limited analyses performed by the Viking Landers (VL), from information derived from remote sensing, and from analysis of the SNC meteorites thought to be from Mars. Bulk elemental compositions by the VL inorganic chemical (x ray fluorescence) analysis experiments have been interpreted as evidence for clay minerals (possibly smectites) or mineraloids (palagonite) admixed with sulfate and chloride salts. The materials contained minerals bearing Fe, Ti, Al, Mg and Si. Martian surface materials may be used in many ways. Martian soil, with appropriate preconditioning, can probably be used as a plant growth medium, supplying mechanical support, nutrient elements, and water at optimal conditions to the plants. Loose Martian soils could be used to cover structures and provide radiation shielding for surface habitats. Martian soil could be wetted and formed into abode bricks used for construction. Duricrete bricks, with strength comparable to concrete, can probably be formed using compressed muds made from martian soil.

  10. The provenance, formation, and implications of reduced carbon phases in Martian meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steele, Andrew; McCubbin, Francis M.; Fries, Marc D.

    2016-11-01

    This review is intended to summarize the current observations of reduced carbon in Martian meteorites, differentiating between terrestrial contamination and carbon that is indigenous to Mars. Indeed, the identification of Martian organic matter is among the highest priority targets for robotic spacecraft missions in the next decade, including the Mars Science Laboratory and Mars 2020. Organic carbon compounds are essential building blocks of terrestrial life, so the occurrence and origin (biotic or abiotic) of organic compounds on Mars is of great significance; however, not all forms of reduced carbon are conducive to biological systems. This paper discusses the significance of reduced organic carbon (including methane) in Martian geological and astrobiological systems. Specifically, it summarizes current thinking on the nature, sources, and sinks of Martian organic carbon, a key component to Martian habitability. Based on this compilation, reduced organic carbon on Mars, including detections of methane in the Martian atmosphere, is best described through a combination of abiotic organic synthesis on Mars and infall of extraterrestrial carbonaceous material. Although conclusive signs of Martian life have yet to be revealed, we have developed a strategy for life detection on Mars that can be utilized in future life-detection studies.

  11. MARs Tools for Interactive ANalysis (MARTIAN): Google Maps Tools for Visual Exploration of Geophysical Modeling on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dimitrova, L. L.; Haines, M.; Holt, W. E.; Schultz, R. A.; Richard, G.; Haines, A. J.

    2006-12-01

    Interactive maps of surface-breaking faults and stress models on Mars provide important tools to engage undergraduate students, educators, and scientists with current geological and geophysical research. We have developed a map based on the Google Maps API -- an Internet based tool combining DHTML and AJAX, -- which allows very large maps to be viewed over the World Wide Web. Typically, small portions of the maps are downloaded as needed, rather than the entire image at once. This set-up enables relatively fast access for users with low bandwidth. Furthermore, Google Maps provides an extensible interactive interface making it ideal for visualizing multiple data sets at the user's choice. The Google Maps API works primarily with data referenced to latitudes and longitudes, which is then mapped in Mercator projection only. We have developed utilities for general cylindrical coordinate systems by converting these coordinates into equivalent Mercator projection before including them on the map. The MARTIAN project is available at http://rock.geo.sunysb.edu/~holt/Mars/MARTIAN/. We begin with an introduction to the Martian surface using a topography model. Faults from several datasets are classified by type (extension vs. compression) and by time epoch. Deviatoric stresses due to gravitational potential energy differences, calculated from the topography and crustal thickness, can be overlain. Several quantitative measures for the fit of the stress field to the faults are also included. We provide introductory text and exercises spanning a range of topics: how are faults identified, what stress is and how it relates to faults, what gravitational potential energy is and how variations in it produce stress, how the models are created, and how these models can be evaluated and interpreted. The MARTIAN tool is used at Stony Brook University in GEO 310: Introduction to Geophysics, a class geared towards junior and senior geosciences majors. Although this project is in its

  12. The mineralogic evolution of the Martian surface through time: Implications from chemical reaction path modeling studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plumlee, G. S.; Ridley, W. I.; Debraal, J. D.; Reed, M. H.

    1993-01-01

    Chemical reaction path calculations were used to model the minerals that might have formed at or near the Martian surface as a result of volcano or meteorite impact driven hydrothermal systems; weathering at the Martian surface during an early warm, wet climate; and near-zero or sub-zero C brine-regolith reactions in the current cold climate. Although the chemical reaction path calculations carried out do not define the exact mineralogical evolution of the Martian surface over time, they do place valuable geochemical constraints on the types of minerals that formed from an aqueous phase under various surficial and geochemically complex conditions.

  13. Mineralogy of the Martian Surface: Crustal Composition to Surface Processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mustard, John F.

    1999-01-01

    Over the course of this award we have: 1) Completed and published the results of a study of the effects of hyperfine particles on reflectance spectra of olivine and quartz, which included the development of scattering codes. Research has also progressed in the analysis of the effects of fine particle sizes on clay spectra. 2) Completed the analysis of the mineralogy of dark regions, showed the insitu compositions are highly correlated to the SNC meteorites, and determined that the martian mantle was depleted in aluminum prior to 2-3 GA ago; Studies of the mineralogic heterogeneity of surficial materials on Mars have also been conducted. and 3) Performed initial work on the study of the physical and chemical processes likely to form and modify duricrust. This includes assessments of erosion rates, solubility and transport of iron in soil environments, and models of pedogenic crust formation.

  14. Rover's Wheel Churns Up Bright Martian Soil (False Color)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-01-01

    NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit acquired this mosaic on the mission's 1,202nd Martian day, or sol (May 21, 2007), while investigating the area east of the elevated plateau known as 'Home Plate' in the 'Columbia Hills.' The mosaic shows an area of disturbed soil, nicknamed 'Gertrude Weise' by scientists, made by Spirit's stuck right front wheel. The trench exposed a patch of nearly pure silica, with the composition of opal. It could have come from either a hot-spring environment or an environment called a fumarole, in which acidic, volcanic steam rises through cracks. Either way, its formation involved water, and on Earth, both of these types of settings teem with microbial life. The image is presented here in false color that is used to bring out subtle differences in color.

  15. Rover's Wheel Churns Up Bright Martian Soil (Stereo)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-01-01

    NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit acquired this mosaic on the mission's 1,202nd Martian day, or sol (May 21, 2007), while investigating the area east of the elevated plateau known as 'Home Plate' in the 'Columbia Hills.' The mosaic shows an area of disturbed soil, nicknamed 'Gertrude Weise' by scientists, made by Spirit's stuck right front wheel. The trench exposed a patch of nearly pure silica, with the composition of opal. It could have come from either a hot-spring environment or an environment called a fumarole, in which acidic, volcanic steam rises through cracks. Either way, its formation involved water, and on Earth, both of these types of settings teem with microbial life. Multiple images taken with Spirit's panoramic camera are combined here into a stereo view that appears three-dimensional when seen through red-blue glasses, with the red lens on the left.

  16. Rover's Wheel Churns Up Bright Martian Soil (Vertical)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-01-01

    NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit acquired this mosaic on the mission's 1,202nd Martian day, or sol (May 21, 2007), while investigating the area east of the elevated plateau known as 'Home Plate' in the 'Columbia Hills.' The mosaic shows an area of disturbed soil, nicknamed 'Gertrude Weise' by scientists, made by Spirit's stuck right front wheel. The trench exposed a patch of nearly pure silica, with the composition of opal. It could have come from either a hot-spring environment or an environment called a fumarole, in which acidic, volcanic steam rises through cracks. Either way, its formation involved water, and on Earth, both of these types of settings teem with microbial life. The image is presented here as a vertical projection, as if looking straight down, and in false color, which brings out subtle color differences.

  17. The Petrochemistry of Jake_M: A Martian Mugearite

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stolper, E. M.; Baker, M. B.; Newcombe, M. E.; Schmidt, M. E.; Treiman, A. H.; Cousin, A.; Dyar, M. D.; Fisk, M. R.; Gellert, R.; King, P. L.; Leshin, L.; Maurice, S.; McLennan, S. M.; Minitti, M. E.; Perrett, G.; Rowland, S.; Sautter, V.; Wiens, R. C.; Kemppinen, Osku; Bridges, Nathan; Johnson, Jeffrey R.; Cremers, David; Bell, James F.; Edgar, Lauren; Farmer, Jack; Godber, Austin; Wadhwa, Meenakshi; Wellington, Danika; McEwan, Ian; Newman, Claire; Richardson, Mark; Charpentier, Antoine; Peret, Laurent; Blank, Jennifer; Weigle, Gerald; Li, Shuai; Milliken, Ralph; Robertson, Kevin; Sun, Vivian; Edwards, Christopher; Ehlmann, Bethany; Farley, Kenneth; Griffes, Jennifer; Grotzinger, John; Miller, Hayden; Pilorget, Cedric; Rice, Melissa; Siebach, Kirsten; Stack, Katie; Brunet, Claude; Hipkin, Victoria; Léveillé, Richard; Marchand, Geneviève; Sánchez, Pablo Sobrón; Favot, Laurent; Cody, George; Steele, Andrew; Flückiger, Lorenzo; Lees, David; Nefian, Ara; Martin, Mildred; Gailhanou, Marc; Westall, Frances; Israël, Guy; Agard, Christophe; Baroukh, Julien; Donny, Christophe; Gaboriaud, Alain; Guillemot, Philippe; Lafaille, Vivian; Lorigny, Eric; Paillet, Alexis; Pérez, René; Saccoccio, Muriel; Yana, Charles; Armiens-Aparicio, Carlos; Rodríguez, Javier Caride; Blázquez, Isaías Carrasco; Gómez, Felipe Gómez; Gómez-Elvira, Javier; Hettrich, Sebastian; Malvitte, Alain Lepinette; Jiménez, Mercedes Marín; Martínez-Frías, Jesús; Martín-Soler, Javier; Martín-Torres, F. Javier; Jurado, Antonio Molina; Mora-Sotomayor, Luis; Caro, Guillermo Muñoz; López, Sara Navarro; Peinado-González, Verónica; Pla-García, Jorge; Manfredi, José Antonio Rodriguez; Romeral-Planelló, Julio José; Fuentes, Sara Alejandra Sans; Martinez, Eduardo Sebastian; Redondo, Josefina Torres; Urqui-O'Callaghan, Roser; Mier, María-Paz Zorzano; Chipera, Steve; Lacour, Jean-Luc; Mauchien, Patrick; Sirven, Jean-Baptiste; Manning, Heidi; Fairén, Alberto; Hayes, Alexander; Joseph, Jonathan; Squyres, Steven; Sullivan, Robert; Thomas, Peter; Dupont, Audrey; Lundberg, Angela; Melikechi, Noureddine; Mezzacappa, Alissa; DeMarines, Julia; Grinspoon, David; Reitz, Günther; Prats, Benito; Atlaskin, Evgeny; Genzer, Maria; Harri, Ari-Matti; Haukka, Harri; Kahanpää, Henrik; Kauhanen, Janne; Kemppinen, Osku; Paton, Mark; Polkko, Jouni; Schmidt, Walter; Siili, Tero; Fabre, Cécile; Wray, James; Wilhelm, Mary Beth; Poitrasson, Franck; Patel, Kiran; Gorevan, Stephen; Indyk, Stephen; Paulsen, Gale; Gupta, Sanjeev; Bish, David; Schieber, Juergen; Gondet, Brigitte; Langevin, Yves; Geffroy, Claude; Baratoux, David; Berger, Gilles; Cros, Alain; d'Uston, Claude; Forni, Olivier; Gasnault, Olivier; Lasue, Jérémie; Lee, Qiu-Mei; Meslin, Pierre-Yves; Pallier, Etienne; Parot, Yann; Pinet, Patrick; Schröder, Susanne; Toplis, Mike; Lewin, Éric; Brunner, Will; Heydari, Ezat; Achilles, Cherie; Oehler, Dorothy; Sutter, Brad; Cabane, Michel; Coscia, David; Israël, Guy; Szopa, Cyril; Teinturier, Samuel; Dromart, Gilles; Robert, François; Le Mouélic, Stéphane; Mangold, Nicolas; Nachon, Marion; Buch, Arnaud; Stalport, Fabien; Coll, Patrice; François, Pascaline; Raulin, François; Cameron, James; Clegg, Sam; DeLapp, Dorothea; Dingler, Robert; Jackson, Ryan Steele; Johnstone, Stephen; Lanza, Nina; Little, Cynthia; Nelson, Tony; Williams, Richard B.; Kirkland, Laurel; Baker, Burt; Cantor, Bruce; Caplinger, Michael; Davis, Scott; Duston, Brian; Edgett, Kenneth; Fay, Donald; Hardgrove, Craig; Harker, David; Herrera, Paul; Jensen, Elsa; Kennedy, Megan R.; Krezoski, Gillian; Krysak, Daniel; Lipkaman, Leslie; Malin, Michael; McCartney, Elaina; McNair, Sean; Nixon, Brian; Posiolova, Liliya; Ravine, Michael; Salamon, Andrew; Saper, Lee; Stoiber, Kevin; Supulver, Kimberley; Van Beek, Jason; Van Beek, Tessa; Zimdar, Robert; French, Katherine Louise; Iagnemma, Karl; Miller, Kristen; Summons, Roger; Goesmann, Fred; Goetz, Walter; Hviid, Stubbe; Johnson, Micah; Lefavor, Matthew; Lyness, Eric; Breves, Elly; Fassett, Caleb; Blake, David F.; Bristow, Thomas; DesMarais, David; Edwards, Laurence; Haberle, Robert; Hoehler, Tori; Hollingsworth, Jeff; Kahre, Melinda; Keely, Leslie; McKay, Christopher; Wilhelm, Mary Beth; Bleacher, Lora; Brinckerhoff, William; Choi, David; Conrad, Pamela; Dworkin, Jason P.; Eigenbrode, Jennifer; Floyd, Melissa; Freissinet, Caroline; Garvin, James; Glavin, Daniel; Harpold, Daniel; Mahaffy, Paul; Martin, David K.; McAdam, Amy; Pavlov, Alexander; Raaen, Eric; Smith, Michael D.; Stern, Jennifer; Tan, Florence; Trainer, Melissa; Meyer, Michael; Posner, Arik; Voytek, Mary; Anderson, Robert C.; Aubrey, Andrew; Beegle, Luther W.; Behar, Alberto; Blaney, Diana; Brinza, David; Calef, Fred; Christensen, Lance; Crisp, Joy; DeFlores, Lauren; Ehlmann, Bethany; Feldman, Jason; Feldman, Sabrina; Flesch, Gregory; Hurowitz, Joel; Jun, Insoo; Keymeulen, Didier; Maki, Justin; Mischna, Michael; Morookian, John Michael; Parker, Timothy; Pavri, Betina; Schoppers, Marcel; Sengstacken, Aaron; Simmonds, John J.; Spanovich, Nicole; Juarez, Manuel de la Torre; Vasavada, Ashwin; Webster, Christopher R.; Yen, Albert; Archer, Paul Douglas; Cucinotta, Francis; Jones, John H.; Ming, Douglas; Morris, Richard V.; Niles, Paul; Rampe, Elizabeth; Nolan, Thomas; Radziemski, Leon; Barraclough, Bruce; Bender, Steve; Berman, Daniel; Dobrea, Eldar Noe; Tokar, Robert; Vaniman, David; Williams, Rebecca M. E.; Yingst, Aileen; Lewis, Kevin; Cleghorn, Timothy; Huntress, Wesley; Manhès, Gérard; Hudgins, Judy; Olson, Timothy; Stewart, Noel; Sarrazin, Philippe; Grant, John; Vicenzi, Edward; Wilson, Sharon A.; Bullock, Mark; Ehresmann, Bent; Hamilton, Victoria; Hassler, Donald; Peterson, Joseph; Rafkin, Scot; Zeitlin, Cary; Fedosov, Fedor; Golovin, Dmitry; Karpushkina, Natalya; Kozyrev, Alexander; Litvak, Maxim; Malakhov, Alexey; Mitrofanov, Igor; Mokrousov, Maxim; Nikiforov, Sergey; Prokhorov, Vasily; Sanin, Anton; Tretyakov, Vladislav; Varenikov, Alexey; Vostrukhin, Andrey; Kuzmin, Ruslan; Clark, Benton; Wolff, Michael; Botta, Oliver; Drake, Darrell; Bean, Keri; Lemmon, Mark; Schwenzer, Susanne P.; Anderson, Ryan B.; Herkenhoff, Kenneth; Lee, Ella Mae; Sucharski, Robert; Hernández, Miguel Ángel de Pablo; Ávalos, Juan José Blanco; Ramos, Miguel; Jones, Andrea; Kim, Myung-Hee; Malespin, Charles; Plante, Ianik; Muller, Jan-Peter; Navarro-González, Rafael; Ewing, Ryan; Boynton, William; Downs, Robert; Fitzgibbon, Mike; Harshman, Karl; Morrison, Shaunna; Dietrich, William; Kortmann, Onno; Palucis, Marisa; Sumner, Dawn Y.; Williams, Amy; Lugmair, Günter; Wilson, Michael A.; Rubin, David; Jakosky, Bruce; Balic-Zunic, Tonci; Frydenvang, Jens; Jensen, Jaqueline Kløvgaard; Kinch, Kjartan; Koefoed, Asmus; Madsen, Morten Bo; Stipp, Susan Louise Svane; Boyd, Nick; Campbell, John L.; Pradler, Irina; VanBommel, Scott; Jacob, Samantha; Owen, Tobias; Atlaskin, Evgeny; Savijärvi, Hannu; Boehm, Eckart; Böttcher, Stephan; Burmeister, Sönke; Guo, Jingnan; Köhler, Jan; García, César Martín; Mueller-Mellin, Reinhold; Wimmer-Schweingruber, Robert; Bridges, John C.; McConnochie, Timothy; Benna, Mehdi; Franz, Heather; Bower, Hannah; Brunner, Anna; Blau, Hannah; Boucher, Thomas; Carmosino, Marco; Atreya, Sushil; Elliott, Harvey; Halleaux, Douglas; Rennó, Nilton; Wong, Michael; Pepin, Robert; Elliott, Beverley; Spray, John; Thompson, Lucy; Gordon, Suzanne; Newsom, Horton; Ollila, Ann; Williams, Joshua; Vasconcelos, Paulo; Bentz, Jennifer; Nealson, Kenneth; Popa, Radu; Kah, Linda C.; Moersch, Jeffrey; Tate, Christopher; Day, Mackenzie; Kocurek, Gary; Hallet, Bernard; Sletten, Ronald; Francis, Raymond; McCullough, Emily; Cloutis, Ed; ten Kate, Inge Loes; Kuzmin, Ruslan; Arvidson, Raymond; Fraeman, Abigail; Scholes, Daniel; Slavney, Susan; Stein, Thomas; Ward, Jennifer; Berger, Jeffrey; Moores, John E.

    2013-09-01

    “Jake_M,” the first rock analyzed by the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer instrument on the Curiosity rover, differs substantially in chemical composition from other known martian igneous rocks: It is alkaline (>15% normative nepheline) and relatively fractionated. Jake_M is compositionally similar to terrestrial mugearites, a rock type typically found at ocean islands and continental rifts. By analogy with these comparable terrestrial rocks, Jake_M could have been produced by extensive fractional crystallization of a primary alkaline or transitional magma at elevated pressure, with or without elevated water contents. The discovery of Jake_M suggests that alkaline magmas may be more abundant on Mars than on Earth and that Curiosity could encounter even more fractionated alkaline rocks (for example, phonolites and trachytes).

  18. Mission analysis for the Martian Moons Explorer (MMX) mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campagnola, Stefano; Yam, Chit Hong; Tsuda, Yuichi; Ogawa, Naoko; Kawakatsu, Yasuhiro

    2018-05-01

    Mars Moon eXplorer (MMX) is JAXA's next candidate flagship mission to be launched in the early 2020s. MMX will explore the Martian moons and return a sample from Phobos. This paper presents the mission analysis work, focusing on the transfer legs and comparing several architectures, such as hybrid options with chemical and electric propulsion modules. The selected baseline is a chemical-propulsion Phobos sample return, which is discussed in detail with the launch- and return-window analysis. The trajectories are optimized with the jTOP software, using planetary ephemerides for Mars and the Earth; Earth re-entry constraints are modeled with simple analytical equations. Finally, we introduce an analytical approximation of the three-burn capture strategy used in the Mars system. The approximation can be used together with a Lambert solver to quickly determine the transfer Δ v costs.

  19. Terrestrial Permafrost Models of Martian Habitats and Inhabitants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilichinsky, D.

    2011-12-01

    The terrestrial permafrost is the only rich depository of viable ancient microorganisms on Earth, and can be used as a bridge to possible Martian life forms and shallow subsurface habitats where the probability of finding life is highest. Since there is a place for water, the requisite condition for life, the analogous models are more or less realistic. If life ever existed on Mars, traces might have been preserved and could be found at depth within permafrost. The age of the terrestrial isolates corresponds to the longevity of the frozen state of the embedding strata, with the oldest known dating back to the late Pliocene in Arctic and late Miocene in Antarctica. Permafrost on Earth and Mars vary in age, from a few million years on Earth to a few billion years on Mars. Such a difference in time scale would have a significant impact on the possibility of preserving life on Mars, which is why the longevity of life forms preserved within terrestrial permafrost can only be an approximate model for Mars. 1. A number of studies indicate that the Antarctic cryosphere began to develop on the Eocene-Oligocene boundary, after the isolation of the continent. Permafrost degradation is only possible if mean annual ground temperature, -28°C now, rise above freezing, i.e., a significant warming to above 25°C is required. There is no evidence of such sharp temperature increase, which indicates that the climate and geological history was favorable to persistence of pre-Pliocene permafrost. These oldest relics (~30Myr) are possibly to be found at high hypsometric levels of ice-free areas (Dry Valleys and nearby mountains). It is desirable to test the layers for the presence of viable cells. The limiting age, if one exists, within this ancient permafrost, where the viable organisms were no longer present, could be established as the limit for life preservation below 0oC. Positive results will extend the known temporal limits of life in permafrost. 2. Even in this case, the age of

  20. Mud Volcanoes of Trinidad as Astrobiological Analogs for Martian Environments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Riad Hosein

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Eleven onshore mud volcanoes in the southern region of Trinidad have been studied as analog habitats for possible microbial life on Mars. The profiles of the 11 mud volcanoes are presented in terms of their physical, chemical, mineralogical, and soil properties. The mud volcanoes sampled all emitted methane gas consistently at 3% volume. The average pH for the mud volcanic soil was 7.98. The average Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC was found to be 2.16 kg/mol, and the average Percentage Water Content was 34.5%. Samples from three of the volcanoes, (i Digity; (ii Piparo and (iii Devil’s Woodyard were used to culture bacterial colonies under anaerobic conditions indicating possible presence of methanogenic microorganisms. The Trinidad mud volcanoes can serve as analogs for the Martian environment due to similar geological features found extensively on Mars in Acidalia Planitia and the Arabia Terra region.

  1. Mud Volcanoes of Trinidad as Astrobiological Analogs for Martian Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hosein, Riad; Haque, Shirin; Beckles, Denise M.

    2014-01-01

    Eleven onshore mud volcanoes in the southern region of Trinidad have been studied as analog habitats for possible microbial life on Mars. The profiles of the 11 mud volcanoes are presented in terms of their physical, chemical, mineralogical, and soil properties. The mud volcanoes sampled all emitted methane gas consistently at 3% volume. The average pH for the mud volcanic soil was 7.98. The average Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC) was found to be 2.16 kg/mol, and the average Percentage Water Content was 34.5%. Samples from three of the volcanoes, (i) Digity; (ii) Piparo and (iii) Devil’s Woodyard were used to culture bacterial colonies under anaerobic conditions indicating possible presence of methanogenic microorganisms. The Trinidad mud volcanoes can serve as analogs for the Martian environment due to similar geological features found extensively on Mars in Acidalia Planitia and the Arabia Terra region. PMID:25370529

  2. Mars MetNet Mission - Martian Atmospheric Observational Post Network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harri, A.-M.; Haukka, H.; Aleksashkin, S.; Arruego, I.; Schmidt, W.; Genzer, M.; Vazquez, L.; Siikonen, T.; Palin, M.

    2017-09-01

    A new kind of planetary exploration mission for Mars is under development in collaboration between the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI), Lavochkin Association (LA), Space Research Institute (IKI) and Institutio Nacional de Tecnica Aerospacial (INTA). The Mars MetNet mission is based on a new semi-hard landing vehicle called MetNet Lander (MNL). The scientific payload of the Mars MetNet Precursor [1] mission is divided into three categories: Atmospheric instruments, Optical devices and Composition and structure devices. Each of the payload instruments will provide significant insights in to the Martian atmospheric behavior. The key technologies of the MetNet Lander have been qualified and the electrical qualification model (EQM) of the payload bay has been built and successfully tested.

  3. Mars MetNet Mission - Martian Atmospheric Observational Post Network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hari, Ari-Matti; Haukka, Harri; Aleksashkin, Sergey; Arruego, Ignacio; Schmidt, Walter; Genzer, Maria; Vazquez, Luis; Siikonen, Timo; Palin, Matti

    2017-04-01

    A new kind of planetary exploration mission for Mars is under development in collaboration between the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI), Lavochkin Association (LA), Space Research Institute (IKI) and Institutio Nacional de Tecnica Aerospacial (INTA). The Mars MetNet mission is based on a new semi-hard landing vehicle called MetNet Lander (MNL). The scientific payload of the Mars MetNet Precursor [1] mission is divided into three categories: Atmospheric instruments, Optical devices and Composition and structure devices. Each of the payload instruments will provide significant insights in to the Martian atmospheric behavior. The key technologies of the MetNet Lander have been qualified and the electrical qualification model (EQM) of the payload bay has been built and successfully tested. 1. MetNet Lander The MetNet landing vehicles are using an inflatable entry and descent system instead of rigid heat shields and parachutes as earlier semi-hard landing devices have used. This way the ratio of the payload mass to the overall mass is optimized. The landing impact will burrow the payload container into the Martian soil providing a more favorable thermal environment for the electronics and a suitable orientation of the telescopic boom with external sensors and the radio link antenna. It is planned to deploy several tens of MNLs on the Martian surface operating at least partly at the same time to allow meteorological network science. 2. Strawman Scientific Payload The strawman payload of the two MNL precursor models includes the following instruments: Atmospheric instruments: - MetBaro Pressure device - MetHumi Humidity device - MetTemp Temperature sensors Optical devices: - PanCam Panoramic - MetSIS Solar irradiance sensor with OWLS optical wireless system for data transfer - DS Dust sensor Composition and Structure Devices: Tri-axial magnetometer MOURA Tri-axial System Accelerometer The descent processes dynamic properties are monitored by a special 3-axis

  4. Mud volcanoes of trinidad as astrobiological analogs for martian environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hosein, Riad; Haque, Shirin; Beckles, Denise M

    2014-10-13

    Eleven onshore mud volcanoes in the southern region of Trinidad have been studied as analog habitats for possible microbial life on Mars. The profiles of the 11 mud volcanoes are presented in terms of their physical, chemical, mineralogical, and soil properties. The mud volcanoes sampled all emitted methane gas consistently at 3% volume. The average pH for the mud volcanic soil was 7.98. The average Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC) was found to be 2.16 kg/mol, and the average Percentage Water Content was 34.5%. Samples from three of the volcanoes, (i) Digity; (ii) Piparo and (iii) Devil's Woodyard were used to culture bacterial colonies under anaerobic conditions indicating possible presence of methanogenic microorganisms. The Trinidad mud volcanoes can serve as analogs for the Martian environment due to similar geological features found extensively on Mars in Acidalia Planitia and the Arabia Terra region.

  5. Sleep stability and cognitive function in an Arctic Martian analogue.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gríofa, Marc O; Blue, Rebecca S; Cohen, Kenneth D; O'Keeffe, Derek T

    2011-04-01

    Human performance is affected by sleep disruption and sleep deprivation can critically affect mission outcome in both spaceflight and other extreme environments. In this study, the seven-person crew (four men, three women) lived a Martian sol (24.65 h) for 37 d during a long-term stay at the Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station (FMARS) on Devon Island, Canada. Crewmembers underwent cardiopulmonary monitoring for signs of circadian disruption and completed a modified Pittsburgh Sleep Diary to monitor subjective fatigue. Crewmembers underwent cognitive testing to identify the effects, if any, of sleep disruption upon cognitive skill. A Martian sol was implemented for 37 d during the Arctic mission. Each crewmember completed an adapted version of the Pittsburgh Sleep Diary in tandem with electrocardiograph (ECG) cardiopulmonary monitoring of sleep by the Cardiac Adapted Sleep Parameters Electrocardiogram Recorder (CASPER). Crewmembers also underwent cognitive testing during this time period. Sleep diary data indicate improvement in alertness with the onset of the sol (fatigue decreasing from 5.1 to 4.0, alertness increasing from 6.1 to 7.0). Cardiopulmonary data suggest sleep instability, though trends were not statistically significant. Crewmember decision speed time scores improved from pre-Mars to Mars (average improving from 66.5 to 84.0%), though the remainder of cognitive testing results were not significant. While subjective data demonstrate improved sleep and alertness during the sol, objective data demonstrate no significant alteration of sleep patterns. There was no apparent cognitive decline over the course of the mission.

  6. The development of a Martian atmospheric Sample collection canister

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kulczycki, E.; Galey, C.; Kennedy, B.; Budney, C.; Bame, D.; Van Schilfgaarde, R.; Aisen, N.; Townsend, J.; Younse, P.; Piacentine, J.

    The collection of an atmospheric sample from Mars would provide significant insight to the understanding of the elemental composition and sub-surface out-gassing rates of noble gases. A team of engineers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), California Institute of Technology have developed an atmospheric sample collection canister for Martian application. The engineering strategy has two basic elements: first, to collect two separately sealed 50 cubic centimeter unpressurized atmospheric samples with minimal sensing and actuation in a self contained pressure vessel; and second, to package this atmospheric sample canister in such a way that it can be easily integrated into the orbiting sample capsule for collection and return to Earth. Sample collection and integrity are demonstrated by emulating the atmospheric collection portion of the Mars Sample Return mission on a compressed timeline. The test results achieved by varying the pressure inside of a thermal vacuum chamber while opening and closing the valve on the sample canister at Mars ambient pressure. A commercial off-the-shelf medical grade micro-valve is utilized in the first iteration of this design to enable rapid testing of the system. The valve has been independently leak tested at JPL to quantify and separate the leak rates associated with the canister. The results are factored in to an overall system design that quantifies mass, power, and sensing requirements for a Martian atmospheric Sample Collection (MASC) canister as outlined in the Mars Sample Return mission profile. Qualitative results include the selection of materials to minimize sample contamination, preliminary science requirements, priorities in sample composition, flight valve selection criteria, a storyboard from sample collection to loading in the orbiting sample capsule, and contributions to maintaining “ Earth” clean exterior surfaces on the orbiting sample capsule.

  7. Martian Dune Ripples as Indicators of Recent Surface Wind Patterns

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, M.; Zimbelman, J. R.

    2015-12-01

    Sand dunes have been shown to preserve the most recent wind patterns in their ripple formations. This investigation continues the manual documentation of ripples on Martian dunes in order to assess surface wind flow. Study sites investigated must have clear HiRISE frames and be able to represent diverse locations across the surface, decided primarily by their spread of latitude and longitude values. Additionally, frames with stereo pairs are preferred because of their ability to create digital terrain models. This will assist in efforts to relate dune slopes and obstacles to ripple patterns. The search and analysis period resulted in 40 study sites with mapped ripples. Lines were drawn perpendicular to ripple crests across three adjacent ripples in order to document both ripple wavelength from line length and inferred wind direction from azimuth. It is not possible to infer a unique wind direction from ripple orientation alone and therefore these inferred directions have a 180 degree ambiguity. Initial results from all study sites support previous observations that the Martian surface has many dune types in areas with adequate sand supply. The complexity of ripple patterns varies greatly across sites as well as within individual sites. Some areas of uniform directionality for hundreds of kilometers suggest a unimodal wind regime while overlapping patterns suggest multiple dominant winds or seasonally varying winds. In most areas, form flow related to dune shape seems to have a large effect on orientation and must be considered along with the dune type. As long as the few steep slip faces on these small dunes are avoided, form flow can be considered the dominant cause of deviation from the regional wind direction. Regional results, wind roses, and comparisons to previous work will be presented for individual sites.

  8. Some potentialities of living organisms under simulated Martian conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lozina-Lozinsky, L K; Bychenkova, V N; Zaar, E I; Levin, V L; Rumyantseva, V M

    1971-01-01

    Temperature, humidity, pressure, composition of the atmosphere and radiation are the main factors conditioning life on the surface of Mars. When studying the Martian ecology, one must know the total effect of these factors. One may expect that, as a result of adaptation to low temperatures, there is a corresponding shift in the temperature optimum of enzymatic activity. Dryness is the main obstacle to active life. We suggest the presence of some soil moisture and water vapour. Moreover, there can be areas of permafrost. This minimum supply of water and periodic fluctuations of humidity may create conditions for the existence of drought-resistant organisms. Decreased atmospheric pressure alone does not affect micro-organisms, plants, protozoa and even insects. Ciliates reproduce in a flowing atmosphere of pure nitrogen containing 0.0002-0.0005% oxygen as an impurity. Protozoa may also develop in an atmosphere of 98-99% carbon dioxide mixed with 1% O2. Therefore, even traces of oxygen in the Martian atmosphere would be sufficient for aerobic unicellular organisms. Cells and organisms on earth have acquired various ways of protection from uv light, and therefore may increase their resistance further by adaptation or selection. The resistance of some organisms to ionizing radiation is high enough to enable them to endure hard ionizing radiation of the sun. Experiments with unicellular [correction of unicellar] organisms show that the effect of short wave uv radiation depends on the intensity of visible light, long-wave solar uv radiation, temperatures, cell repair processes, and the state of cell components, i.e. whether the cell was frozen, dried or hydrated.

  9. MarsSI: Martian surface data processing information system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quantin-Nataf, C.; Lozac'h, L.; Thollot, P.; Loizeau, D.; Bultel, B.; Fernando, J.; Allemand, P.; Dubuffet, F.; Poulet, F.; Ody, A.; Clenet, H.; Leyrat, C.; Harrisson, S.

    2018-01-01

    MarsSI (Acronym for Mars System of Information, https://emars.univ-lyon1.fr/MarsSI/, is a web Geographic Information System application which helps managing and processing martian orbital data. The MarsSI facility is part of the web portal called PSUP (Planetary SUrface Portal) developed by the Observatories of Paris Sud (OSUPS) and Lyon (OSUL) to provide users with efficient and easy access to data products dedicated to the martian surface. The portal proposes 1) the management and processing of data thanks to MarsSI and 2) the visualization and merging of high level (imagery, spectral, and topographic) products and catalogs via a web-based user interface (MarsVisu). The portal PSUP as well as the facility MarsVisu is detailed in a companion paper (Poulet et al., 2018). The purpose of this paper is to describe the facility MarsSI. From this application, users are able to easily and rapidly select observations, process raw data via automatic pipelines, and get back final products which can be visualized under Geographic Information Systems. Moreover, MarsSI also contains an automatic stereo-restitution pipeline in order to produce Digital Terrain Models (DTM) on demand from HiRISE (High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment) or CTX (Context Camera) pair-images. This application is funded by the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) (ERC project eMars, No. 280168) and has been developed in the scope of Mars, but the design is applicable to any other planetary body of the solar system.

  10. Thermal tides and Martian dust storms: Direct evidence for coupling

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Leovy, C.B.; Zurek, R.W.

    1979-01-01

    Observations of surface pressure oscillations at the Viking 1 and Viking 2 lander sites on Mars indicate that the thermally driven global atmospheric tides were closely coupled to the dust content of the Martian atmosphere, especially during northern fall and winter, when two successive global dust storms occurred. The onset of each of these global storms was marked by substantial, nearly simultaneous increases in the dust opacity and in the range of the daily surface pressure variation observed at both lander sites. Although both the diurnal and semidiurnal tidal surface pressure components were amplified at Lander 1 during the onset of a global dust storm, the semidiurnal component was greatly enhanced in relation to the diurnal tide. Semidiurnal wind components were prominent at both lander sites during the height of the global dust storm. We have attempted to interpret these observations using simplified dynamical models. In particular, the semidiurnal wind component can be successfully related to the observed surface pressure variation using a simplified model of a semidiurnally forced Ekman boundary layer. On the other hand, a classical atmospheric tidal model shows that the preferential enhancement of the semidiurnal surface pressure oscillation at Lander 1 can be produced by a tidal heating distribution which places most of the heating (per unit mass) above 10-km altitude. Furthermore, when a dust storm expands to global scale, it does so rather quickly, and the total atmospheric heating at the peak of the dust storm can represent more than 50% of the available insolation. The Viking observations suggest that a number of mechanisms are important for the generation and decay of these episodic Martian global dust storms

  11. MAVEN Observations of Magnetic Reconnection on the Dayside Martian Magnetosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    DiBraccio, Gina A.; Espley, Jared R.; Connerney, John E. P.; Brain, David A.; Halekas, Jasper S.; Mitchell, David L.; Harada, Yuki; Hara, Takuya

    2015-04-01

    The Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) mission offers a unique opportunity to investigate the complex solar wind-planetary interaction at Mars. The Martian magnetosphere is formed as the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) drapes around the planet's ionosphere and localized crustal magnetic fields. As the solar wind interacts with this induced magnetosphere, magnetic reconnection can occur at any location where a magnetic shear is present. Reconnection between the IMF and the induced and crustal fields facilitates a direct plasma exchange between the solar wind and the Martian ionosphere. Here we address the occurrence of magnetic reconnection on the dayside magnetosphere of Mars using MAVEN magnetic field and plasma data. When reconnection occurs on the dayside, a non-zero magnetic field component normal to the obstacle, B_N, will result. Using minimum variance analysis, we measure BN by transforming Magnetometer data into boundary-normal coordinates. Selected events are then further examined to identify plasma heating and energization, in the form of Alfvénic outflow jets, using Solar Wind Ion Analyzer measurements. Additionally, the topology of the crustal fields is validated from electron pitch angle distributions provided by the Solar Wind Electron Analyzer. To understand which parameters are responsible for the onset of reconnection, we test the dependency of the dimensionless reconnection rate, calculated from BN measurements, on magnetic field shear angle and plasma beta (the ratio of plasma pressure to magnetic pressure). We assess the global impact of reconnection on Mars' induced magnetosphere by combining analytical models with MAVEN observations to predict the regions where reconnection may occur. Using this approach we examine how IMF orientation and magnetosheath parameters affect reconnection on a global scale. With the aid of analytical models we are able to assess the role of reconnection on a global scale to better understand which

  12. Glass and Glass-Ceramic Materials from Simulated Composition of Lunar and Martian Soils: Selected Properties and Potential Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ray, C. S.; Sen, S.; Reis, S. T.; Kim, C. W.

    2005-01-01

    In-situ resource processing and utilization on planetary bodies is an important and integral part of NASA's space exploration program. Within this scope and context, our general effort is primarily aimed at developing glass and glass-ceramic type materials using lunar and martian soils, and exploring various applications of these materials for planetary surface operations. Our preliminary work to date have demonstrated that glasses can be successfully prepared from melts of the simulated composition of both lunar and martian soils, and the melts have a viscosity-temperature window appropriate for drawing continuous glass fibers. The glasses are shown to have the potential for immobilizing certain types of nuclear wastes without deteriorating their chemical durability and thermal stability. This has a direct impact on successfully and economically disposing nuclear waste generated from a nuclear power plant on a planetary surface. In addition, these materials display characteristics that can be manipulated using appropriate processing protocols to develop glassy or glass-ceramic magnets. Also discussed in this presentation are other potential applications along with a few selected thermal, chemical, and structural properties as evaluated up to this time for these materials.

  13. Implications of Martian Phyllosilicate Formation Conditions to the Early Climate on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bishop, J. L.; Baker, L.; Fairén, A. G.; Michalski, J. R.; Gago-Duport, L.; Velbel, M. A.; Gross, C.; Rampe, E. B.

    2017-12-01

    We propose that short-term warmer and wetter environments, occurring sporadically in a generally cold early Mars, enabled formation of phyllosilicate-rich outcrops on the surface of Mars without requiring long-term warm and wet conditions. We are investigating phyllosilicate formation mechanisms including CO2 and H2O budgets to provide constraints on the early martian climate. We have evaluated the nature and stratigraphy of phyllosilicate-bearing surface units on Mars based on i) phyllosilicate-forming environments on Earth, ii) phyllosilicate reactions in the lab, and iii) modeling experiments involving phyllosilicates and short-range ordered (SRO) materials. The type of phyllosilicates that form on Mars depends on temperature, water/rock ratio, acidity, salinity and available ions. Mg-rich trioctahedral smectite mixtures are more consistent with subsurface formation environments (crustal, hydrothermal or alkaline lakes) up to 400 °C and are not associated with martian surface environments. In contrast, clay profiles dominated by dioctahedral Al/Fe-smectites are typically formed in subaqueous or subaerial surface environments. We propose models describing formation of smectite-rich outcrops and laterally extensive vertical profiles of Fe/Mg-smectites, sulfates, and Al-rich clay assemblages formed in surface environments. Further, the presence of abundant SRO materials without phyllosilicates could mark the end of the last warm and wet episode on Mars supporting smectite formation. Climate Implications for Early Mars: Clay formation reactions proceed extremely slowly at cool temperatures. The thick smectite outcrops observed on Mars through remote sensing would require standing water on Mars for hundreds of millions of years if they formed in waters 10-15 °C. However, warmer temperatures could have enabled faster production of these smectite-rich beds. Sporadic warming episodes to 30-40 °C could have enabled formation of these smectites over only tens or

  14. Automated Detection of Craters in Martian Satellite Imagery Using Convolutional Neural Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norman, C. J.; Paxman, J.; Benedix, G. K.; Tan, T.; Bland, P. A.; Towner, M.

    2018-04-01

    Crater counting is used in determining surface age of planets. We propose improvements to martian Crater Detection Algorithms by implementing an end-to-end detection approach with the possibility of scaling the algorithm planet-wide.

  15. Constraining the Source Craters of the Martian Meteorites: Implications for Prioritiziation of Returned Samples from Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herd, C. D. K.; Tornabene, L. L.; Bowling, T. J.; Walton, E. L.; Sharp, T. G.; Melosh, H. J.; Hamilton, J. S.; Viviano, C. E.; Ehlmann, B. L.

    2018-04-01

    We have made advances in constraining the potential source craters of the martian meteorites to a relatively small number. Our results have implications for Mars chronology and the prioritization of samples for Mars Sample Return.

  16. The Use of Returned Martian Samples to Evaluate the Possibility of Extant Life on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    iMOST Team; ten Kate, I. L.; Mackelprang, R.; Rettberg, P.; Smith, C. L.; Altieri, F.; Amelin, Y.; Ammannito, E.; Anand, M.; Beaty, D. W.; Benning, L. G.; Bishop, J. L.; Borg, L. E.; Boucher, D.; Brucato, J. R.; Busemann, H.; Campbell, K. A.; Carrier, B. L.; Czaja, A. D.; Debaille, V.; Des Marais, D. J.; Dixon, M.; Ehlmann, B. L.; Farmer, J. D.; Fernandez-Remolar, D. C.; Fogarty, J.; Glavin, D. P.; Goreva, Y. S.; Grady, M. M.; Hallis, L. J.; Harrington, A. D.; Hausrath, E. M.; Herd, C. D. K.; Horgan, B.; Humayun, M.; Kleine, T.; Kleinhenz, J.; Mangold, N.; Mayhew, L. E.; McCoy, J. T.; McCubbin, F. M.; McLennan, S. M.; McSween, H. Y.; Moser, D. E.; Moynier, F.; Mustard, J. F.; Niles, P. B.; Ori, G. G.; Raulin, F.; Rucker, M. A.; Schmitz, N.; Sefton-Nash, E.; Sephton, M. A.; Shaheen, R.; Shuster, D. L.; Siljestrom, S.; Spry, J. A.; Steele, A.; Swindle, T. D.; Tosca, N. J.; Usui, T.; Van Kranendonk, M. J.; Wadhwa, M.; Weiss, B. P.; Werner, S. C.; Westall, F.; Wheeler, R. M.; Zipfel, J.; Zorzano, M. P.

    2018-04-01

    The astrobiological community is highly interested in interrogating returned martian samples for evidence of extant life. A single observation with one method will not constitute evidence of extant life — it will require a suite of investigations.

  17. Pizza or Pancake? Formation Models of Gas Escape Biosignatures in Terrestrial and Martian Sediments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonaccorsi, R.; Fairen, A. G.; Baker, L.; McKay, C. P.; Willson, D.

    2016-05-01

    Fine-grained sedimentary hollowed structures were imaged in Gale Crater, but no biomarkers identified to support biology. Our observation-based (gas escape) terrestrial model could inform on possible martian paleoenvironments at time of formation.

  18. Nighttime Convection, Temperature Inversions, and Diurnal Variations at Low Altitudes in the Martian Tropics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hinson, D. P.; Haberle, R. M.; Spiga, A.; Tellmann, S.; Paetzold, M.; Asmar, S. W.; Haeusler, B.

    2014-07-01

    We are using radio occultation measurements and numerical simulations to explore the atmospheric structure and diurnal variations in the lowest few scale heights of the martian atmosphere, with emphasis on nighttime convective layers.

  19. Atmospheric Modeling of the Martian Polar Regions: CRISM EPF Coverage During the South Polar Spring Recession

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, A. J.; McGuire, P.; Wolff, M. J.

    2008-03-01

    We describe efforts to model dust and ice aerosols content and soils and icy surface reflectance in the Martian southern polar region during spring recession (Ls = 152-320) using CRISM emission phase function (EPF) observations.

  20. JAWS: Just Add Water System - A device for detection of nucleic acids in Martian ice caps

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Anders J.; Willerslev, Eske; Mørk, Søren

    2002-01-01

    with a regulation of pH and salt concentrations e.g. the MOD systems and could be installed on a planetary probe melting its way down the Martian ice caps e.g. the NASA Cryobot. JAWS can be used for detection of remains of ancient life preserved in the Martian ice as well as for detection of contamination brought...... to the planet from Earth....

  1. North-Polar Martian Cap as Habitat for Elementary Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wallis, M. K.; Wickramasinghe, J. T.; Wickramasinghe, N. C.

    2008-09-01

    North-polar cap over millenia Atmospheric water in Mars tends currently as for the past millenia to distil onto the polar caps and be buried under dust deposits. Diffusive release from ground-ice (and its excavation in meteorite impacts [1]) replenishes atmospheric water, allowing the gradual build up of polar ice-dust deposits. When sunlit, this warmed and sublimating ice-dust mix has interest as a potential habitat for micro-organisms. Modelling shows precipitable vapour at 10-50μm/yr, varying sensitively with small changes in orbitable obliquity around the present 25° [2]. The modelling applies to a globe with regionally uniform albedo, unlike the steep topography and dark layering of the north polar cap whose upper 300m have accumulated over the last 500 kyr [3]. The cliffs and ravines of the north-polar cap are thought to form through south-facing slopes sublimating and gaining a dirt-encrusted surface, while horizontal surfaces brighten through frost deposits. The two-phase surface derives from the dust and frost feedback on surface albedo [4] and the resulting terrain develops over diurnal cycles of frosting and sublimation, and over annual seasonal cycles. The steep south-facing sides of observed ravines when unshadowed would see for a few hours the full intensity of sunlight at near normal incidence, without the atmospheric dimming at similar inclinations on Earth. As exposed ice sublimates at T > 200K (partial pressure exceeds typical martian 0.1 Pa), a crust of dirt develops to maintain quasi-stability. The dirt crust's main function is to buffer the ice against diurnal temperature fluctuations, but it also slows down vapour diffusion - analogous to south polar ice sublimation [5] and the growth of ground-ice [6]. We envisage 1-10 mm/yr as the net sublimation rate, compatible with the 100 kyr life and scales of the north polar ravines. Modelling of icy-dirt crusts in the polar cap Plane-parallel layers have been used to model the changing temperature

  2. Activity and stability of a complex bacterial soil community under simulated Martian conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hansen, Aviaja Anna; Merrison, Jonathan; Nørnberg, Per; Aagaard Lomstein, Bente; Finster, Kai

    2005-04-01

    A simulation experiment with a complex bacterial soil community in a Mars simulation chamber was performed to determine the effect of Martian conditions on community activity, stability and survival. At three different depths in the soil core short-term effects of Martian conditions with and without ultraviolet (UV) exposure corresponding to 8 Martian Sol were compared. Community metabolic activities and functional diversity, measured as glucose respiration and versatility in substrate utilization, respectively, decreased after UV exposure, whereas they remained unaffected by Martian conditions without UV exposure. In contrast, the numbers of culturable bacteria and the genetic diversity were unaffected by the simulated Martian conditions both with and without UV exposure. The genetic diversity of the soil community and of the colonies grown on agar plates were evaluated by denaturant gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) on DNA extracts. Desiccation of the soil prior to experimentation affected the functional diversity by decreasing the versatility in substrate utilization. The natural dominance of endospores and Gram-positive bacteria in the investigated Mars-analogue soil may explain the limited effect of the Mars incubations on the survival and community structure. Our results suggest that UV radiation and desiccation are major selecting factors on bacterial functional diversity in terrestrial bacterial communities incubated under simulated Martian conditions. Furthermore, these results suggest that forward contamination of Mars is a matter of great concern in future space missions.

  3. Using the Viking biology experimental results to obtain chemical information about Martian regolith

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plumb, Robert C.

    1992-01-01

    Although initially formulated as biology experiments, most of the results produced by the Viking Labeled Release (LR), Gas Exchange (GEX), and Pyrolytic Release (PR) experiments have been reproduced by chemical means. The experiments do not need more study as 'biological' phenomena, but they do deserve much more careful consideration from a chemical viewpoint. They are the only 'wet-chemical' experiments that scientists have performed on another planet, but they have not found very general use as sources of scientific information. There is a large set of potentially useful chemical observations, e.g., the three resolvable and precisely measured kinetic components of the release of C-14-labeled gases, the thermal sensitivity and magnitudes of the oxidation reaction(s) of the LR experiments, the kinetics and magnitude of the O2 and CO2 release of the GEX experiments, the thermal sensitivity of the GEX results, the differences between the thermal sensitivity of the GEX and the thermal sensitivity of the LR responses, and the kinetics and magnitudes of the LR successive injection reabsorption effect. It should be possible to test many chemical aspects of hypothetical martian phenomena in experiments using the biology experimental configurations and derive much valuable information by comparisons with the Viking observations.

  4. Effect of the greenhouse gases (CO2, H2O, SO2) on Martian paleoclimate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Postawko, S. E.; Kuhn, W. R.

    1986-01-01

    There is general agreement that certain surface features on Mars are indicative of the presence of liquid water at various times in the geologic past. In particular, the valley networks are difficult to explain by a mechanism other than the flow of liquid water. It has been suggested in several studies that a thick CO2 atmosphere on Mars early in its history could have provided a greenhouse warming that would have allowed the flow of water either on the surface or just below the surface. However, this effect was examined with a detailed radiation model, and it was found that if reduced solar luminosity early in the history of the solar system is taken into account, even three bars of CO2 will not provide sufficient greeenhouse warming. The addition of water vapor and sulflur dioxide (both plausible gases that may have been emitted by Martian volcanoes) to the atmosphere also fail to warm the surface above 273 K for reduced solar luminosity conditions. The increase in temperature may be large enough, however, for the formation of these features by brines.

  5. Thermal Tides During the 2001 Martian Global-Scale Dust Storm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guzewich, Scott D.; Wilson, R. John; McConnochie, Timothy H.; Toigo, Anthony D.; Bandfield, Donald J.; Smith, Michael D.

    2014-01-01

    The 2001 (Mars Year 25) global dust storm radically altered the dynamics of the Martian atmosphere. Using observations from the Thermal Emission Spectrometer onboard the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft and Mars WRF general circulation model simulations, we examine the changes to thermal tides and planetary waves caused by the storm. We find that the extratropical diurnal migrating tide is dramatically enhanced during the storm, particularly in the southern hemisphere, reaching amplitudes of more than 20 K. The tropical diurnal migrating tide is weakened to almost undetectable levels. The diurnal Kelvin waves are also significantly weakened, particularly during the period of global expansion at Ls=200deg-210deg. In contrast, the westward propagating diurnal wavenumber 2 tide strengthens to 4-8 K at altitudes above 30km. The wavenumber 1 stationary wave reaches amplitudes of 10-12 K at 50deg-70degN, far larger than is typically seen during this time of year. The phase of this stationary wave and the enhancement of the diurnal wavenumber 2 tide appear to be responses to the high-altitude westward propagating equatorial wavenumber 1 structure in dust mixing ratio observed during the storm in previous works. This work provides a global picture of dust storm wave dynamics that reveals the coupling between the tropics and high-latitude wave responses. We conclude that the zonal distribution of thermotidal forcing from atmospheric aerosol concentration is as important to understanding the atmospheric wave response as the total global mean aerosol optical depth.

  6. Some aspects of composition of the lower Martian atmosphere: input for MIRA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moroz, V.; Korablev, O.; Krasnopolsky, V.; Rorin, A.

    Recent spacecraft missions and high-resolution spectroscopic observations from the Earth-based, airborne and spaceborne observatories have justified the chemical contents of the Martian atmosphere at a new level of confidence. Both the lower and middle atmosphere of Mars reveal very limited chemical activity, while the variations of the abundance of minor constituents may be attributed to phase transitions of volatiles. Water vapor, which mixing ratio is controlled by complex hydrological cycle in the lower atmosphere and at the surface of the planet, affects seasonally varying depletion of ozone. Measured ratio of D/H can be explained with general models of the early evolution of the planet, though this estimate in the bulk atmosphere may not be ultimately representative due to altitude dependant fractionation of water isotopes. CO, as a chemically passive nonvolatile component, reveals increase of mixing ratio in the vicinity of winter polar caps during active condensation of the bulk CO2 atmosphere. No reliable evidence o any organicf matter in the atmosphere of Mars has been obtained.

  7. Structure of Ion Outflow in the Martian Magnetotail

    Science.gov (United States)

    McFadden, J. P.; Mitchell, D.; Luhmann, J. G.; Connerney, J. E. P.; Jakosky, B. M.

    2017-12-01

    The Suprathermal And Thermal Ion Composition (STATIC) sensor on the MAVEN spacecraft provides a detailed look at the structure of ion outflow in the Martian magnetotail including ion composition, energization, and flow. Mars' magnetotail contains a mixture of cold (multi-species ions, tailward-moving cold multi-species ions, suprathermal ions of a few tens of eV, warm (about 100 eV) proton populations, and heavy (primarily O+) pickup ions at energies from 1 to 10 keV which may display several simultaneous peaks in energy flux. The cold tailward-moving ions represent a significant fraction of the Martian ion loss, perhaps comparable to loses from molecular oxygen dissociation. The suprathermal tail that accompanies the cold ions varies greatly and provides clues to ion escape. The warm protons, on first examination, appear to be of sheath origin, displaying a similar energy distribution and accompanied by a tenuous warm population at M/Q=2 (which could be either solar wind alphas or molecular hydrogen ions of ionospheric origin). STATIC produces a weak ghost peak at M/Q=11-12 when observing molecular hydrogen ions, but not alphas, often allowing the instrument to distinguish the source of protons. Measurements show the warm protons are of ionospheric origin in the central tail and transition to sheath plasma in the umbra. Energetic (1-10 keV) pickup oxygen in the magnetotail is produced on the nightside, near the pole where the IMF convection electric field points toward the planet, the same hemisphere where sputtering occurs. When two spectral peaks are observed, these tailward-moving ions differ in direction by relatively small angles (about 20 degrees). These peaks can persist for tens of minutes indicating approximately time-stationary acceleration, and therefore acceleration in potential fields. Magnetotail structure and geometry can be inferred not only from the local magnetic field, but also from the measured electron distributions which indicate source

  8. Evidence for a Heterogeneous Distribution of Water in the Martian Interior

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCubbin, Francis; Boyce, Jeremy W.; Srinvasan, Poorna; Santos, Alison R.; Elardo, Stephen M.; Filiberto, Justin; Steele, Andrew; Shearer, Charles K.

    2016-01-01

    The abundance and distribution of H2O within the terrestrial planets, as well as its timing of delivery, is a topic of vital importance for understanding the chemical and physical evolution of planets and their potential for hosting habitable environments. Analysis of planetary materials from Mars, the Moon, and the eucrite parent body (i.e., asteroid 4Vesta) have confirmed the presence of H2O within their interiors. Moreover, H and N isotopic data from these planetary materials suggests H2O was delivered to the inner solar system very early from a common source, similar in composition to the carbonaceous chondrites. Despite the ubiquity of H2O in the inner Solar System, the only destination with any prospects for past or present habitable environments at this time, outside of the Earth, is Mars. Although the presence of H2O within the martian interior has been confirmed, very little is known regarding its abundance and distribution within the martian interior and how the martian water inventory has changed over time. By combining new analyses of martian apatites within a large number of martian meteorite types with previously published volatile data and recently determined mineral-melt partition coefficients for apatite, we report new insights into the abundance and distribution of volatiles in the martian crust and mantle. Using the subset of samples that did not exhibit crustal contamination, we determined that the enriched shergottite mantle source has 36-73 ppm H2O and the depleted shergottite mantle source has 14-23 ppm H2O. This result is consistent with other observed geochemical differences between enriched and depleted shergottites and supports the idea that there are at least two geochemically distinct reservoirs in the martian mantle. We also estimated the H2O content of the martian crust using the revised mantle H2O abundances and known crust-mantle distributions of incompatible lithophile elements. We determined that the bulk martian crust has

  9. Planning for the Collection and Analysis of Samples of Martian Granular Materials Potentially to be Returned by Mars Sample Return

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carrier, B. L.; Beaty, D. W.

    2017-12-01

    NASA's Mars 2020 rover is scheduled to land on Mars in 2021 and will be equipped with a sampling system capable of collecting rock cores, as well as a specialized drill bit for collecting unconsolidated granular material. A key mission objective is to collect a set of samples that have enough scientific merit to justify returning to Earth. In the case of granular materials, we would like to catalyze community discussion on what we would do with these samples if they arrived in our laboratories, as input to decision-making related to sampling the regolith. Numerous scientific objectives have been identified which could be achieved or significantly advanced via the analysis of martian rocks, "regolith," and gas samples. The term "regolith" has more than one definition, including one that is general and one that is much more specific. For the purpose of this analysis we use the term "granular materials" to encompass the most general meaning and restrict "regolith" to a subset of that. Our working taxonomy includes the following: 1) globally sourced airfall dust (dust); 2) saltation-sized particles (sand); 3) locally sourced decomposed rock (regolith); 4) crater ejecta (ejecta); and, 5) other. Analysis of martian granular materials could serve to advance our understanding areas including habitability and astrobiology, surface-atmosphere interactions, chemistry, mineralogy, geology and environmental processes. Results of these analyses would also provide input into planning for future human exploration of Mars, elucidating possible health and mechanical hazards caused by the martian surface material, as well as providing valuable information regarding available resources for ISRU and civil engineering purposes. Results would also be relevant to matters of planetary protection and ground-truthing orbital observations. We will present a preliminary analysis of the following, in order to generate community discussion and feedback on all issues relating to: What are the

  10. Evidence From Hydrogen Isotopes in Meteorites for a Martian Permafrost

    Science.gov (United States)

    Usui, T.; Alexander, C. M. O'D.; Wang, J.; Simon, J. I.; Jones, J. H.

    2014-01-01

    Fluvial landforms on Mars suggest that it was once warm enough to maintain persistent liquid water on its surface. The transition to the present cold and dry Mars is closely linked to the history of surface water, yet the evolution of surficial water is poorly constrained. We have investigated the evolution of surface water/ ice and its interaction with the atmosphere by measurements of hydrogen isotope ratios (D/H: deuterium/ hydrogen) of martian meteorites. Hydrogen is a major component of water (H2O) and its isotopes fractionate significantly during hydrological cycling between the atmosphere, surface waters, ground ice, and polar cap ice. Based on in situ ion microprobe analyses of three geochemically different shergottites, we reported that there is a water/ice reservoir with an intermediate D/H ratio (delta D = 1,000?2500 %) on Mars. Here we present the possibility that this water/ice reservoir represents a ground-ice/permafrost that has existed relatively intact over geologic time.

  11. Large sulfur isotope fractionations in Martian sediments at Gale crater

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franz, H. B.; McAdam, A. C.; Ming, D. W.; Freissinet, C.; Mahaffy, P. R.; Eldridge, D. L.; Fischer, W. W.; Grotzinger, J. P.; House, C. H.; Hurowitz, J. A.; McLennan, S. M.; Schwenzer, S. P.; Vaniman, D. T.; Archer, P. D., Jr.; Atreya, S. K.; Conrad, P. G.; Dottin, J. W., III; Eigenbrode, J. L.; Farley, K. A.; Glavin, D. P.; Johnson, S. S.; Knudson, C. A.; Morris, R. V.; Navarro-González, R.; Pavlov, A. A.; Plummer, R.; Rampe, E. B.; Stern, J. C.; Steele, A.; Summons, R. E.; Sutter, B.

    2017-09-01

    Variability in the sulfur isotopic composition in sediments can reflect atmospheric, geologic and biological processes. Evidence for ancient fluvio-lacustrine environments at Gale crater on Mars and a lack of efficient crustal recycling mechanisms on the planet suggests a surface environment that was once warm enough to allow the presence of liquid water, at least for discrete periods of time, and implies a greenhouse effect that may have been influenced by sulfur-bearing volcanic gases. Here we report in situ analyses of the sulfur isotopic compositions of SO2 volatilized from ten sediment samples acquired by NASA’s Curiosity rover along a 13 km traverse of Gale crater. We find large variations in sulfur isotopic composition that exceed those measured for Martian meteorites and show both depletion and enrichment in 34S. Measured values of δ34S range from -47 +/- 14‰ to 28 +/- 7‰, similar to the range typical of terrestrial environments. Although limited geochronological constraints on the stratigraphy traversed by Curiosity are available, we propose that the observed sulfur isotopic signatures at Gale crater can be explained by equilibrium fractionation between sulfate and sulfide in an impact-driven hydrothermal system and atmospheric processing of sulfur-bearing gases during transient warm periods.

  12. Martian Surface Mineralogy from Rovers with Spirit, Opportunity, and Curiosity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morris, Richard V.

    2016-01-01

    Beginning in 2004, NASA has landed three well-instrumented rovers on the equatorial martian surface. The Spirit rover landed in Gusev crater in early January, 2004, and the Opportunity rover landed on the opposite side of Mars at Meridian Planum 21 days later. The Curiosity rover landed in Gale crater to the west of Gusev crater in August, 2012. Both Opportunity and Curiosity are currently operational. The twin rovers Spirit and Opportunity carried Mossbauer spectrometers to determine the oxidation state of iron and its mineralogical composition. The Curiosity rover has an X-ray diffraction instrument for identification and quantification of crystalline materials including clay minerals. Instrument suites on all three rovers are capable of distinguishing primary rock-forming minerals like olivine, pyroxene and magnetite and products of aqueous alteration in including amorphous iron oxides, hematite, goethite, sulfates, and clay minerals. The oxidation state of iron ranges from that typical for unweathered rocks and soils to nearly completely oxidized (weathered) rocks and soils as products of aqueous and acid-sulfate alteration. The in situ rover mineralogy also serves as ground-truth for orbital observations, and orbital mineralogical inferences are used for evaluating and planning rover exploration.

  13. The role of igneous sills in shaping the Martian uplands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilhelms, D. E.; Baldwin, R. J.

    1989-01-01

    Relations among geologic units and landforms suggest that igneous sills lie beneath much of the intercrater and intracrater terrain of the Martian uplands. The igneous rocks crop out along the upland-lowland front and in crater floors and other depressions that are low enough to intersect the sill's intrusion horizons. It is suggested that heat from the cooling sills melted some of the ice contained in overlying fragmental deposits, creating valley networks by subsurface flow of the meltwater. Terrains with undulatory, smooth surfaces and softened traces of valleys were created by more direct contact with the sills. Widespread subsidence following emplacement of the sills deformed both them and the nonvolcanic deposits that overlie them, accounting for the many structures that continue from ridged plains into the hilly uplands. Crater counts show that the deposit that became valleyed, softened, and ridged probably began to form (and to acquire interstitial ice) during or shortly after the Middle Noachian Epoch, and continued to form as late as the Early Hesperian Epoch. The upper layers of this deposit, many of the visible valleys, and the ridged plains and postulated sills all have similar Early Hesperian ages. Continued formation of valleys is indicated by their incision of fresh-appearing crater ejecta. The dependence of valley formation on internal processes implies that Mars did not necessarily have a dense early atmosphere or warm climate.

  14. Influence of carbon dioxide clouds on early martian climate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mischna, M A; Kasting, J F; Pavlov, A; Freedman, R

    2000-06-01

    Recent studies have shown that clouds made of carbon dioxide ice may have warmed the surface of early Mars by reflecting not only incoming solar radiation but upwelling IR radiation as well. However, these studies have not treated scattering self-consistently in the thermal IR. Our own calculations, which treat IR scattering properly, confirm these earlier calculations but show that CO2 clouds can also cool the surface, especially if they are low and optically thick. Estimating the actual effect of CO2 clouds on early martian climate will require three-dimensional models in which cloud location, height, and optical depth, as well as surface temperature and pressure, are determined self-consistently. Our calculations further confirm that CO2 clouds should extend the outer boundary of the habitable zone around a star but that there is still a finite limit beyond which above-freezing surface temperatures cannot be maintained by a CO2-H2O atmosphere. For our own Solar System, the absolute outer edge of the habitable zone is at approximately 2.4 AU.

  15. Survival of a microbial soil community under Martian conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hansen, A. A.; Noernberg, P.; Merrison, J.; Lomstein, B. Aa.; Finster, K. W.

    2003-04-01

    Because of the similarities between Earth and Mars early history the hypothesis was forwarded that Mars is a site where extraterrestrial life might have and/or may still occur(red). Sample-return missions are planned by NASA and ESA to test this hypothesis. The enormous economic costs and the logistic challenges of these missions make earth-based model facilities inevitable. The Mars simulation system at University of Aarhus, Denmark allows microbiological experiments under Mars analogue conditions. Thus detailed studies on the effect of Mars environmental conditions on the survival and the activity of a natural microbial soil community were carried out. Changes in the soil community were determined with a suite of different approaches: 1) total microbial respiration activity was investigated with 14C-glucose, 2) the physiological profile was investigated by the EcoLog-system, 3) colony forming units were determined by plate counts and 4) the microbial diversity on the molecular level was accessed with Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis. The simulation experiments showed that a part of the bacterial community survived Martian conditions corresponding to 9 Sol. These and future simulation experiments will contribute to our understanding of the possibility for extraterrestrial and terrestrial life on Mars.

  16. Waves in the Martian Atmosphere: Results from MGS Radio Occultations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flasar, F. M.; Hinson, D. P.; Tyler, G. L.

    1999-01-01

    Temperatures retrieved from Mars Global Surveyor radio occultations have been searched for evidence of waves. Emphasis has been on the initial series of occultations between 29 deg N and 64 deg S, obtained during the early martian southern summer, L(sub s) = 264 deg - 308 deg. The profiles exhibit an undulatory behavior that is suggestive of vertically propagating waves. wavelengths approximately 10 km are often dominant, but structure on smaller scales is evident. The undulatory structure is most pronounced between latitudes 29 deg N and 10 deg S, usually in regions of "interesting" topography, e.g., in the Tharsis region and near the edge of Syrtis Major. Several temperature profiles, particularly within 30 deg of the equator, exhibit lapse rates that locally become superadiabatic near the 0.4-mbar level or at higher altitudes. This implies that the waves are "breaking" and depositing horizontal momentum into the atmosphere. Such a deposition may play an important role in modulating the atmospheric winds, and characterizing the spatial and temporal distribution of these momentum transfers can provide important clues to understanding how the global circulation is maintained.

  17. Eddy transport of water vapor in the Martian atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murphy, J. R.; Haberle, Robert M.

    1993-01-01

    Viking orbiter measurements of the Martian atmosphere suggest that the residual north polar water-ice cap is the primary source of atmospheric water vapor, which appears at successively lower northern latitudes as the summer season progresses. Zonally symmetric studies of water vapor transport indicate that the zonal mean meridional circulation is incapable of transporting from north polar regions to low latitudes the quantity of water vapor observed. This result has been interpreted as implying the presence of nonpolar sources of water. Another possibility is the ability of atmospheric wave motions, which are not accounted for in a zonally symmetric framework, to efficiently accomplish the transport from a north polar source to the entirety of the Northern Hemisphere. The ability or inability of the full range of atmospheric motions to accomplish this transport has important implications regarding the questions of water sources and sinks on Mars: if the full spectrum of atmospheric motions proves to be incapable of accomplishing the transport, it strengthens arguments in favor of additional water sources. Preliminary results from a three dimensional atmospheric dynamical/water vapor transport numerical model are presented. The model accounts for the physics of a subliming water-ice cap, but does not yet incorporate recondensation of this sublimed water. Transport of vapor away from this water-ice cap in this three dimensional framework is compared with previously obtained zonally symmetric (two dimensional) results to quantify effects of water vapor transport by atmospheric eddies.

  18. Vertical transport of water in the Martian boundary layer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zent, Aaron P.; Haberle, R. M.; Houben, Howard C.

    1993-01-01

    We are continuing our examination of the transport of H2O through the martian boundary layer, and we have written a one-dimensional numerical model of the exchange of H2O between the atmosphere and subsurface of Mars through the planetary boundary layer (PBL). Our goal is to explore the mechanisms of H2O exchange, and to elucidate the role played by the regolith in the local H2O budget. The atmospheric model includes effects of Coriolis, pressure gradient, and frictional forces for momentum, as well as radiation, sensible heat flux, and advection for heat. The model differs from Flasar and Goody by use of appropriate Viking-based physical constants and inclusion of the radiative effects of atmospheric dust. We specify the pressure gradient force or compute it from a simple slope model. The subsurface model accounts for conduction of heat and diffusion of H2O through a porous adsorbing medium in response to diurnal forcing. The model is initialized with depth-independent H2O concentrations (2 kg M(exp -3)) in the regolith, and a dry atmosphere. The model terminates when the atmospheric H2O column abundance stabilizes at 0.1 percent per sol.

  19. MAVEN observations of magnetic reconnection in the Martian magnetotail

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harada, Y.; Halekas, J. S.; McFadden, J. P.; Mitchell, D. L.; Mazelle, C. X.; Connerney, J. E. P.; Espley, J. R.; Larson, D. E.; Brain, D. A.; Andersson, L.; DiBraccio, G. A.; Collinson, G.; Livi, R.; Hara, T.; Ruhunusiri, S.; Jakosky, B. M.

    2015-12-01

    Magnetic reconnection is a fundamental process that changes magnetic field topology and converts magnetic energy into particle energy. Although reconnection may play a key role in controlling ion escape processes at Mars, the fundamental properties of local physics and global dynamics of magnetic reconnection in the Martian environment remain unclear owing to the lack of simultaneous measurements of ions, electrons, and magnetic fields by modern instrumentation. Here we present comprehensive MAVEN observations of reconnection signatures in the near-Mars magnetotail. The observed reconnection signatures include (i) Marsward bulk flows of H+, O+, and O2+ ions, (ii) counterstreaming ion beams along the current sheet normal direction, (iii) Hall magnetic fields, and (iv) trapped electrons with two-sided loss cones. The measured velocity distribution functions of different ion species exhibit mass-dependent characteristics which are qualitatively consistent with previous multi-species kinetic simulations and terrestrial tail observations. The MAVEN observations demonstrate that the near-Mars magnetotail provides a unique environment for studying multi-ion reconnection.

  20. The feasibility of TEA CO2 laser-induced plasma for spectrochemical analysis of geological samples in simulated Martian conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Savovic, Jelena; Stoiljkovic, Milovan; Kuzmanovic, Miroslav; Momcilovic, Milos; Ciganovic, Jovan; Rankovic, Dragan; Zivkovic, Sanja; Trtica, Milan

    2016-04-01

    The present work studies the possibility of using pulsed Transversely Excited Atmospheric (TEA) carbon dioxide laser as an energy source for laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) analysis of rocks under simulated Martian atmospheric conditions. Irradiation of a basaltic rock sample with the laser intensity of 56 MW cm- 2, in carbon-dioxide gas at a pressure of 9 mbar, created target plasma with favorable conditions for excitation of all elements usually found in geological samples. Detection limits of minor constituents (Ba, Cr, Cu, Mn, Ni, Sr, V, and Zr) were in the 3 ppm-30 ppm range depending on the element. The precision varied between 5% and 25% for concentration levels of 1% to 10 ppm, respectively. Generally, the proposed relatively simple TEA CO2 laser-LIBS system provides good sensitivity for geological studies under reduced CO2 pressure.

  1. The chemical reactivity of the Martian soil and implications for future missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zent, Aaron P.; Mckay, Christopher P.

    1994-01-01

    Possible interpretations of the results of the Viking Biology Experiments suggest that greater than 1 ppm of a thermally labile oxidant, perhaps H2O2, and about 10 ppm of a thermally stable oxidant are present in the martian soil. We reexamine these results and discuss implications for future missions, the search for organics on Mars, and the possible health and engineering effects for human exploration. We conclude that further characterization of the reactivity of the martian regolith materials is warrented-although if our present understanding is correct the oxidant does not pose a hazard to humans. There are difficulties in explaining the reactivity of the Martian soil by oxidants. Most bulk phase compounds that are capable of oxidizing H2O to O2 per the Gas Exchange Experiment (GEx) are thermally labile or unstable against reduction by atmospheric CO2. Models invoking trapped O2 or peroxynitrates (NOO2(-)) require an unlikely geologic history for the Viking Lander 2 site. Most suggested oxidants, including H2O2, are expected to decompose rapidly under martian UV. Nonetheless, we conclude that the best model for the martian soil contains oxidants produced by heterogeneous chemical reactions with a photochemically produced atmospheric oxidant. The GEx results may be due to catalytic decomposition of an unstable oxidizing material by H2O. We show that interfacial reaction sites covering less than 1% of the available soil surfaces could explain the Viking Biology Experiments results.

  2. Viking Lander image analysis of Martian atmospheric dust

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pollack, James B.; Ockert-Bell, Maureen E.; Shepard, Michael K.

    1995-01-01

    We have reanalyzed three sets of Viking Lander 1 and 2 (VL1 and VL2) images of the Martian atmosphere to better evaluate the radiative properties of the atmospheric dust particles. The properties of interest are the first two moments of the size distribution, the single-scattering albedo, the dust single-scattering phase function, and the imaginary index of refraction. These properties provide a good definition of the influence that the atmospheric dust has on heating of the atmosphere. Our analysis represents a significant improvement over past analyses (Pollack et al. 1977,1979) by deriving more accurate brightnesses closer to the sun, by carrying out more precise analyses of the data to acquire the quantities of interest, and by using a better representation of scattering by nonspherical particles. The improvements allow us to better define the diffraction peak and hence the size distribution of the particles. For a lognormal particle size distribution, the first two moments of the size distribution, weighted by the geometric cross section, are found. The geometric cross-section weighted mean radius (r(sub eff)) is found to be 1.85 +/- 0.3 microns at VL2 during northern summer when dust loading was low and 1.52 +/- 0.3 microns at VL1 during the first dust storm. In both cases the best cross-section weighted mean variance (nu(eff)) of the size distribution is equal to 0.5 +/- 0.2 microns. The changes in size distribution, and thus radiative properties, do not represent a substantial change in solar energy deposition in the atmosphere over the Pollack et al. (1977,1979) estimates.

  3. Methane storage capacity of the early martian cryosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lasue, Jeremie; Quesnel, Yoann; Langlais, Benoit; Chassefière, Eric

    2015-11-01

    Methane is a key molecule to understand the habitability of Mars due to its possible biological origin and short atmospheric lifetime. Recent methane detections on Mars present a large variability that is probably due to relatively localized sources and sink processes yet unknown. In this study, we determine how much methane could have been abiotically produced by early Mars serpentinization processes that could also explain the observed martian remanent magnetic field. Under the assumption of a cold early Mars environment, a cryosphere could trap such methane as clathrates in stable form at depth. The extent and spatial distribution of these methane reservoirs have been calculated with respect to the magnetization distribution and other factors. We calculate that the maximum storage capacity of such a clathrate cryosphere is about 2.1 × 1019-2.2 × 1020 moles of CH4, which can explain sporadic releases of methane that have been observed on the surface of the planet during the past decade (∼1.2 × 109 moles). This amount of trapped methane is sufficient for similar sized releases to have happened yearly during the history of the planet. While the stability of such reservoirs depends on many factors that are poorly constrained, it is possible that they have remained trapped at depth until the present day. Due to the possible implications of methane detection for life and its influence on the atmospheric and climate processes on the planet, confirming the sporadic release of methane on Mars and the global distribution of its sources is one of the major goals of the current and next space missions to Mars.

  4. Using Wind Driven Tumbleweed Rovers to Explore Martian Gully Features

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antol, Jeffrey; Woodard, Stanley E.; Hajos, Gregory A.; Heldmann, Jennifer L.; Taylor, Bryant D.

    2005-01-01

    Gully features have been observed on the slopes of numerous Martian crater walls, valleys, pits, and graben. Several mechanisms for gully formation have been proposed, including: liquid water aquifers (shallow and deep), melting ground ice, snow melt, CO2 aquifers, and dry debris flow. Remote sensing observations indicate that the most likely erosional agent is liquid water. Debate concerns the source of this water. Observations favor a liquid water aquifer as the primary candidate. The current strategy in the search for life on Mars is to "follow the water." A new vehicle known as a Tumbleweed rover may be able to conduct in-situ investigations in the gullies, which are currently inaccessible by conventional rovers. Deriving mobility through use of the surface winds on Mars, Tumbleweed rovers would be lightweight and relatively inexpensive thus allowing multiple rovers to be deployed in a single mission to survey areas for future exploration. NASA Langley Research Center (LaRC) is developing deployable structure Tumbleweed concepts. An extremely lightweight measurement acquisition system and sensors are proposed for the Tumbleweed rover that greatly increases the number of measurements performed while having negligible mass increase. The key to this method is the use of magnetic field response sensors designed as passive inductor-capacitor circuits that produce magnetic field responses whose attributes correspond to values of physical properties for which the sensors measure. The sensors do not need a physical connection to a power source or to data acquisition equipment resulting in additional weight reduction. Many of the sensors and interrogating antennae can be directly placed on the Tumbleweed using film deposition methods such as photolithography thus providing further weight reduction. Concepts are presented herein for methods to measure subsurface water, subsurface metals, planetary winds and environmental gases.

  5. Pyroxene microstructure in the Northwest Africa 856 martian meteorite

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leroux, Hugues; Devouard, Bertrand; Cordier, Patrick; Guyot, François

    2004-05-01

    Transmission electron microscopy was used to examine pyroxene microstructure in the Northwest Africa (NWA) 856 martian meteorite to construct its cooling and shock histories. All pyroxenes contain strained coherent pigeonite/augite exsolution lamellae on (001). The average width and periodicity of lamellae are 80 and 400 nm, respectively, indicating a cooling rate below 0.1 °C/hr for the parent rock. Pigeonite and augite are topotactic, with strained coherent interfaces parallel to (001). The closure temperature for Ca-Fe, Mg interdiffusion, estimated from the composition at the augite pigeonite interface, is about 700 °C. Tweed texture in augite reveals that a spinodal decomposition occurred. Locally, tweed evolved toward secondary pigeonite exsolutions on (001). Due to the decreasing diffusion rate with decreasing temperature, "M-shaped" concentration profiles developed in augite lamellae. Pigeonite contains antiphase boundaries resulting from the C2/c to P21/c space group transition that occurred during cooling. The reconstructive phase transition from P21/c clinopyroxene to orthopyroxene did not occur. The deformation (shock) history of the meteorites is revealed by the presence of dislocations and mechanical twins. Dislocations are found in glide configuration, with the [001](100) glide system preferentially activated. They exhibit strong interaction with the strained augite/pigeonite interfaces and did not propagate over large distances. Twins are found to be almost all parallel to (100) and show moderate interaction with the augite/pigeonite interfaces. These twins are responsible for the plastic deformation of the pyroxene grains. Comparison with microstructure of shocked clinopyroxene (experimentally or naturally shocked) suggests that NWA 856 pyroxenes are not strongly shocked.

  6. Experimental Simulations to Understand the Lunar and Martian Surficial Processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Y. Y. S.; Li, X.; Tang, H.; Li, Y.; Zeng, X.; Chang, R.; Li, S.; Zhang, S.; Jin, H.; Mo, B.; Li, R.; Yu, W.; Wang, S.

    2016-12-01

    In support with China's Lunar and Mars exploration programs and beyond, our center is dedicated to understand the surficial processes and environments of planetary bodies. Over the latest several years, we design, build and optimize experimental simulation facilities and utilize them to test hypotheses and evaluate affecting mechanisms under controlled conditions particularly relevant to the Moon and Mars. Among the fundamental questions to address, we emphasize on five major areas: (1) Micrometeorites bombardment simulation to evaluate the formation mechanisms of np-Fe0 which was found in lunar samples and the possible sources of Fe. (2) Solar wind implantation simulation to evaluate the alteration/amorphization/OH or H2O formation on the surface of target minerals or rocks. (3) Dusts mobility characteristics on the Moon and other planetary bodies by excitation different types of dust particles and measuring their movements. (4) Mars basaltic soil simulant development (e.g., Jining Martian Soil Simulant (JMSS-1)) and applications for scientific/engineering experiments. (5) Halogens (Cl and Br) and life essential elements (C, H, O, N, P, and S) distribution and speciation on Mars during surficial processes such as sedimentary- and photochemical- related processes. Depending on the variables of interest, the simulation systems provide flexibility to vary source of energy, temperature, pressure, and ambient gas composition in the reaction chambers. Also, simulation products can be observed or analyzed in-situ by various analyzer components inside the chamber, without interrupting the experimental conditions. In addition, behavior of elements and isotopes during certain surficial processes (e.g., evaporation, dissolution, etc.) can be theoretically predicted by our theoretical geochemistry group with thermodynamics-kinetics calculation and modeling, which supports experiment design and result interpretation.

  7. On the link between martian total ozone and potential vorticity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holmes, James A.; Lewis, Stephen R.; Patel, Manish R.

    2017-01-01

    We demonstrate for the first time that total ozone in the martian atmosphere is highly correlated with the dynamical tracer, potential vorticity, under certain conditions. The degree of correlation is investigated using a Mars global circulation model including a photochemical model. Potential vorticity is the quantity of choice to explore the dynamical nature of polar vortices because it contains information on winds and temperature in a single scalar variable. The correlation is found to display a distinct seasonal variation, with a strong positive correlation in both northern and southern winter at poleward latitudes in the northern and southern hemisphere respectively. The identified strong correlation implies variations in polar total ozone during winter are predominantly controlled by dynamical processes in these spatio-temporal regions. The weak correlation in northern and southern summer is due to the dominance of photochemical reactions resulting from extended exposure to sunlight. The total ozone/potential vorticity correlation is slightly weaker in southern winter due to topographical variations and the preference for ozone to accumulate in Hellas basin. In northern winter, total ozone can be used to track the polar vortex edge. The ozone/potential vorticity ratio is calculated for both northern and southern winter on Mars for the first time. Using the strong correlation in total ozone and potential vorticity in northern winter inside the polar vortex, it is shown that potential vorticity can be used as a proxy to deduce the distribution of total ozone where satellites cannot observe for the majority of northern winter. Where total ozone observations are available on the fringes of northern winter at poleward latitudes, the strong relationship of total ozone and potential vorticity implies that total ozone anomalies in the surf zone of the northern polar vortex can potentially be used to determine the origin of potential vorticity filaments.

  8. Martian Dust Devil Electron Avalanche Process and Associated Electrochemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Telana L.; Farrell, William M.; Delory, Gregory T.; Nithianandam, Jeyasingh

    2010-01-01

    Mars' dynamic atmosphere displays localized dust devils and larger, global dust storms. Based on terrestrial analog studies, electrostatic modeling, and laboratory work these features will contain large electrostatic fields formed via triboelectric processes. In the low-pressure Martian atmosphere, these fields may create an electron avalanche and collisional plasma due to an increase in electron density driven by the internal electrical forces. To test the hypothesis that an electron avalanche is sustained under these conditions, a self-consistent atmospheric process model is created including electron impact ionization sources and electron losses via dust absorption, electron dissociation attachment, and electron/ion recombination. This new model is called the Dust Devil Electron Avalanche Model (DDEAM). This model solves simultaneously nine continuity equations describing the evolution of the primary gaseous chemical species involved in the electrochemistry. DDEAM monitors the evolution of the electrons and primary gas constituents, including electron/water interactions. We especially focus on electron dynamics and follow the electrons as they evolve in the E field driven collisional gas. When sources and losses are self-consistently included in the electron continuity equation, the electron density grows exponentially with increasing electric field, reaching an equilibrium that forms a sustained time-stable collisional plasma. However, the character of this plasma differs depending upon the assumed growth rate saturation process (chemical saturation versus space charge). DDEAM also shows the possibility of the loss of atmospheric methane as a function of electric field due to electron dissociative attachment of the hydrocarbon. The methane destruction rates are presented and can be included in other larger atmospheric models.

  9. Confirmation of Soluble Sulfate at the Phoenix Landing Site: Implications for Martian Geochemistry and Habitability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kounaves, S. P.; Hecht, M. H.; Kapit, J.; Quinn, R. C.; Catling, D. C.; Clark, B. C.; Ming, D. W.; Gospodinova, K.; Hredzak, P.; McElhoney, K.; hide

    2010-01-01

    Over the past several decades, elemental sulfur in martian soils and rocks has been detected by a number of missions using X-ray spectroscopy [1-3]. Optical spectroscopy has also provided evidence for widespread sulfates on Mars [4,5]. The ubiquitous presence of sulfur in soils has been interpreted as a widely distributed sulfate mineralogy [6]. However, direct confirmation as to the identity and solubility of the sulfur species in martian soil has never been obtained. One goal of the Wet Chemistry Laboratory (WCL) [7] on board the 2007 Phoenix Mars Lander [8] was to determine soluble sulfate in the martian soil. The WCL received three primary samples. Each sample was added to 25 mL of leaching solution and analysed for solvated ionic species, pH, and conductivity [9,10]. The analysis also showed a discrepancy between charge balance, ionic strength, and conductivity, suggesting unidentified anionic species.

  10. Correlations Between Surficial Sulfur and a REE Crustal Assimilation Signature in Martian Shergottites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, J. H.; Franz, H. B.

    2015-01-01

    Compared to terrestrial basalts, the Martian shergottite meteorites have an extraordinary range of Sr and Nd isotopic signatures. In addition, the S isotopic compositions of many shergottites show evidence of interaction with the Martian surface/ atmosphere through mass-independent isotopic fractionations (MIF, positive, non-zero delta(exp 33)S) that must have originated in the Martian atmosphere, yet ultimately were incorporated into igneous sulfides (AVS - acid-volatile sulfur). These positive delta(exp 33)S signatures are thought to be governed by solar UV photochemical processes. And to the extent that S is bound to Mars and not lost to space from the upper atmosphere, a positive delta(exp 33)S reservoir must be mass balanced by a complementary negative reservoir.

  11. Saltation under Martian gravity and its influence on the global dust distribution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Musiolik, Grzegorz; Kruss, Maximilian; Demirci, Tunahan; Schrinski, Björn; Teiser, Jens; Daerden, Frank; Smith, Michael D.; Neary, Lori; Wurm, Gerhard

    2018-05-01

    Dust and sand motion are a common sight on Mars. Understanding the interaction of atmosphere and Martian soil is fundamental to describe the planet's weather, climate and surface morphology. We set up a wind tunnel to study the lift of a mixture between very fine sand and dust in a Mars simulant soil. The experiments were carried out under Martian gravity in a parabolic flight. The reduced gravity was provided by a centrifuge under external microgravity. The onset of saltation was measured for a fluid threshold shear velocity of 0.82 ± 0.04 m/s. This is considerably lower than found under Earth gravity. In addition to a reduction in weight, this low threshold can be attributed to gravity dependent cohesive forces within the sand bed, which drop by 2/3 under Martian gravity. The new threshold for saltation leads to a simulation of the annual dust cycle with a Mars GCM that is in agreement with observations.

  12. Methylated silicates may explain the release of chlorinated methane from Martian soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bak, Ebbe N.; Jensen, Svend J. Knak; Nørnberg, Per; Finster, Kai

    2016-01-01

    The only organic compounds that have been detected in the Martian soil are simple chlorinated compounds released from heated surface material. However, the sources of the organic carbon are in dispute. Wind abraded silicates, which are widespread on the Martian surface, can sequester atmospheric methane which generates methylated silicates and thus could provide a mechanism for accumulation of reduced carbon in the surface soil. In this study we show that thermal volatilization of methylated silicates in the presence of perchlorate leads to the production of chlorinated methane. Thus, methylated silicates could be a source of the organic carbon released as chlorinated methane upon thermal volatilization of Martian soil samples. Further, our experiments show that the ratio of the different chlorinated compounds produced is dependent on the mass ratio of perchlorate to organic carbon in the soil.

  13. Organic and inorganic interpretations of the martian UV-IR reflectance spectrum

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pang, K D; Ajello, J M [Jet Propulsion Lab., Pasadena, CA (USA); Chun, S F.S. [California Univ., San Francisco (USA). School of Medicine; Nansheng, Z [Beijing Planetarium (China); Minji, L [Beijing Glass Institute (China)

    1982-01-07

    The Viking gas chromatography-mass spectrometer analysis of martian soil samples are discussed, in particular why no organic molecules were detected at the landing sites, whether the sterility of the two sites is representative of the entire planet and if there are locations on Mars more conducive to the formation and preservation of organics. The destruction of organic compounds has been simulated in Mars-like laboratory conditions and the possible planetwide destructive mechanism considered. The UV and IR reflectance spectra of Mars has been re-examined for any evidence of organic molecules and an upper limit on the organic carbon content of average martian soil has been set. The results reveal that the average martian soil is organic-poor, makes an unfavourable habitat for life forms based on carbon chemistry, and there is no reason to believe that organic molecules are preferentially preserved anywhere on the planet.

  14. Organic and inorganic interpretations of the martian UV-IR reflectance spectrum

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pang, K.D.; Ajello, J.M.; Chun, S.F.S.; Minji, L.

    1982-01-01

    The Viking gas chromatography-mass spectrometer analysis of martian soil samples are discussed, in particular why no organic molecules were detected at the landing sites, whether the sterility of the two sites is representative of the entire planet and if there are locations on Mars more conducive to the formation and preservation of organics. The destruction of organic compounds has been simulated in Mars-like laboratory conditions and the possible planetwide destructive mechanism considered. The UV and IR reflectance spectra of Mars has been re-examined for any evidence of organic molecules and an upper limit on the organic carbon content of average martian soil has been set. The results reveal that the average martian soil is organic-poor, makes an unfavourable habitat for life forms based on carbon chemistry, and there is no reason to believe that organic molecules are preferentially preserved anywhere on the planet. (U.K.)

  15. Iron oxide and hydroxide precipitation from ferrous solutions and its relevance to Martian surface mineralogy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Posey-Dowty, J.; Moskowitz, B.; Crerar, D.; Hargraves, R.; Tanenbaum, L.

    1986-01-01

    Experiments were performed to examine if the ubiquitousness of a weak magnetic component in all Martian surface fines tested with the Viking Landers can be attributed to ferric iron precipitation in aqueous solution under oxidizing conditions at neutral pH. Ferrous solutions were mixed in deionized water and various minerals were added to separate liquid samples. The iron-bearing additives included hematite, goethite, magnetite, maghemite, lepidocrocite and potassium bromide blank at varying concentrations. IR spectroscopic scans were made to identify any precipitates resulting from bubbling oxygen throughout the solutions; the magnetic properties of the precipitates were also examined. The data indicated that the lepidocrocite may have been preferentially precipitated, then aged to maghemite. The process would account for the presumed thin residue of maghemite on the present Martian surface, long after abundant liquid water on the Martian surface vanished.

  16. The impact of radiatively active water-ice clouds on Martian mesoscale atmospheric circulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spiga, A.; Madeleine, J.-B.; Hinson, D.; Navarro, T.; Forget, F.

    2014-04-01

    Background and Goals Water ice clouds are a key component of the Martian climate [1]. Understanding the properties of the Martian water ice clouds is crucial to constrain the Red Planet's climate and hydrological cycle both in the present and in the past [2]. In recent years, this statement have become all the more true as it was shown that the radiative effects of water ice clouds is far from being as negligible as hitherto believed; water ice clouds plays instead a key role in the large-scale thermal structure and dynamics of the Martian atmosphere [3, 4, 5]. Nevertheless, the radiative effect of water ice clouds at lower scales than the large synoptic scale (the so-called meso-scales) is still left to be explored. Here we use for the first time mesoscale modeling with radiatively active water ice clouds to address this open question.

  17. Iron oxide and hydroxide precipitation from ferrous solutions and its relevance to Martian surface mineralogy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Posey-Dowty, J.; Moskowitz, B.; Crerar, D.; Hargraves, R.; Tanenbaum, L.

    1986-01-01

    Experiments were performed to examine if the ubiquitousness of a weak magnetic component in all Martian surface fines tested with the Viking Landers can be attributed to ferric iron precipitation in aqueous solution under oxidizing conditions at neutral pH. Ferrous solutions were mixed in deionized water and various minerals were added to separate liquid samples. The iron-bearing additives included hematite, goethite, magnetite, maghemite, lepidocrocite and potassium bromide blank at varying concentrations. IR spectroscopic scans were made to identify any precipitates resulting from bubbling oxygen throughout the solutions; the magnetic properties of the precipitates were also examined. The data indicated that the lepidocrocite may have been preferentially precipitated, then aged to maghemite. The process would account for the presumed thin residue of maghemite on the present Martian surface, long after abundant liquid water on the Martian surface vanished. 40 references

  18. Strategies for Distinguishing Abiotic Chemistry from Martian Biochemistry in Samples Returned from Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glavin, D. P.; Burton, A. S.; Callahan, M. P.; Elsila, J. E.; Stern, J. C.; Dworkin, J. P.

    2012-01-01

    A key goal in the search for evidence of extinct or extant life on Mars will be the identification of chemical biosignatures including complex organic molecules common to all life on Earth. These include amino acids, the monomer building blocks of proteins and enzymes, and nucleobases, which serve as the structural basis of information storage in DNA and RNA. However, many of these organic compounds can also be formed abiotically as demonstrated by their prevalence in carbonaceous meteorites [1]. Therefore, an important challenge in the search for evidence of life on Mars will be distinguishing between abiotic chemistry of either meteoritic or martian origin from any chemical biosignatures from an extinct or extant martian biota. Although current robotic missions to Mars, including the 2011 Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) and the planned 2018 ExoMars rovers, will have the analytical capability needed to identify these key classes of organic molecules if present [2,3], return of a diverse suite of martian samples to Earth would allow for much more intensive laboratory studies using a broad array of extraction protocols and state-of-theart analytical techniques for bulk and spatially resolved characterization, molecular detection, and isotopic and enantiomeric compositions that may be required for unambiguous confirmation of martian life. Here we will describe current state-of-the-art laboratory analytical techniques that have been used to characterize the abundance and distribution of amino acids and nucleobases in meteorites, Apollo samples, and comet- exposed materials returned by the Stardust mission with an emphasis on their molecular characteristics that can be used to distinguish abiotic chemistry from biochemistry as we know it. The study of organic compounds in carbonaceous meteorites is highly relevant to Mars sample return analysis, since exogenous organic matter should have accumulated in the martian regolith over the last several billion years and the

  19. Mars Gardens in the University - Red Thumbs: Growing Vegetables in Martian regolith simulant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guinan, Edward Francis

    2018-01-01

    Over the next few decades NASA and private enterprise missions plan to send manned missions to Mars with the ultimate aim to establish a permanent human presence on this planet. For a self-sustaining colony on Mars it will be necessary to provide food by growing plants in sheltered greenhouses on the Martian surface. As part of an undergraduate student project in Astrobiology at Villanova University, experiments are being carried out, testing how various plants grow in Martian regolith. A wide sample of plants are being grown and tested in Mars regolith simulant commercially available from The Martian Garden (TheMartian Garden.com). This Mars regolith simulant is based on Mojave Mars Simulant (MMS) developed by NASA and JPL for the Mars Phoenix mission. The MMS is based on the Mojave Saddleback basalt similar that used by JPL/NASA. Additional reagents were added to this iron rich basalt to bring the chemical content close to actual Mars regolith. The MMS used is an approximately 90% similar to regolith found on the surface of Mars - excluding poisonous perchlorates commonly found on actual Mars surface.The students have selected various vegetables and herbs to grow and test. These include carrots, spinach, dandelions, kale, soy beans, peas, onions, garlic and of course potatoes and sweet potatoes. Plants were tested in various growing conditions, using different fertilizers, and varying light conditions and compared with identical “control plants” grown in Earth soil / humus. The results of the project will be discussed from an education view point as well as from usefulness for fundamental research.We thank The Martian Garden for providing Martian regolith simulant at education discounted prices.

  20. Plasma and wave properties downstream of Martian bow shock: Hybrid simulations and MAVEN observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Chuanfei; Winske, Dan; Cowee, Misa; Bougher, Stephen W.; Andersson, Laila; Connerney, Jack; Epley, Jared; Ergun, Robert; McFadden, James P.; Ma, Yingjuan; Toth, Gabor; Curry, Shannon; Nagy, Andrew; Jakosky, Bruce

    2015-04-01

    Two-dimensional hybrid simulation codes are employed to investigate the kinetic properties of plasmas and waves downstream of the Martian bow shock. The simulations are two-dimensional in space but three dimensional in field and velocity components. Simulations show that ion cyclotron waves are generated by temperature anisotropy resulting from the reflected protons around the Martian bow shock. These proton cyclotron waves could propagate downward into the Martian ionosphere and are expected to heat the O+ layer peaked from 250 to 300 km due to the wave-particle interaction. The proton cyclotron wave heating is anticipated to be a significant source of energy into the thermosphere, which impacts atmospheric escape rates. The simulation results show that the specific dayside heating altitude depends on the Martian crustal field orientations, solar cycles and seasonal variations since both the cyclotron resonance condition and the non/sub-resonant stochastic heating threshold depend on the ambient magnetic field strength. The dayside magnetic field profiles for different crustal field orientation, solar cycle and seasonal variations are adopted from the BATS-R-US Mars multi-fluid MHD model. The simulation results, however, show that the heating of O+ via proton cyclotron wave resonant interaction is not likely in the relatively weak crustal field region, based on our simplified model. This indicates that either the drift motion resulted from the transport of ionospheric O+, or the non/sub-resonant stochastic heating mechanism are important to explain the heating of Martian O+ layer. We will investigate this further by comparing the simulation results with the available MAVEN data. These simulated ion cyclotron waves are important to explain the heating of Martian O+ layer and have significant implications for future observations.

  1. Extended survival of several organisms and amino acids under simulated martian surface conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, A. P.; Pratt, L. M.; Vishnivetskaya, T.; Pfiffner, S.; Bryan, R. A.; Dadachova, E.; Whyte, L.; Radtke, K.; Chan, E.; Tronick, S.; Borgonie, G.; Mancinelli, R. L.; Rothschild, L. J.; Rogoff, D. A.; Horikawa, D. D.; Onstott, T. C.

    2011-02-01

    Recent orbital and landed missions have provided substantial evidence for ancient liquid water on the martian surface as well as evidence of more recent sedimentary deposits formed by water and/or ice. These observations raise serious questions regarding an independent origin and evolution of life on Mars. Future missions seek to identify signs of extinct martian biota in the form of biomarkers or morphological characteristics, but the inherent danger of spacecraft-borne terrestrial life makes the possibility of forward contamination a serious threat not only to the life detection experiments, but also to any extant martian ecosystem. A variety of cold and desiccation-tolerant organisms were exposed to 40 days of simulated martian surface conditions while embedded within several centimeters of regolith simulant in order to ascertain the plausibility of such organisms' survival as a function of environmental parameters and burial depth. Relevant amino acid biomarkers associated with terrestrial life were also analyzed in order to understand the feasibility of detecting chemical evidence for previous biological activity. Results indicate that stresses due to desiccation and oxidation were the primary deterrent to organism survival, and that the effects of UV-associated damage, diurnal temperature variations, and reactive atmospheric species were minimal. Organisms with resistance to desiccation and radiation environments showed increased levels of survival after the experiment compared to organisms characterized as psychrotolerant. Amino acid analysis indicated the presence of an oxidation mechanism that migrated downward through the samples during the course of the experiment and likely represents the formation of various oxidizing species at mineral surfaces as water vapor diffused through the regolith. Current sterilization protocols may specifically select for organisms best adapted to survival at the martian surface, namely species that show tolerance to radical

  2. Solar wind modulation of the Martian ionosphere observed by Mars Global Surveyor

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J.-S. Wang

    2004-06-01

    Full Text Available Electron density profiles in the Martian ionosphere observed by the radio occultation experiment on board Mars Global Surveyor have been analyzed to determine if the densities are influenced by the solar wind. Evidence is presented that the altitude of the maximum ionospheric electron density shows a positive correlation to the energetic proton flux in the solar wind. The solar wind modulation of the Martian ionosphere can be attributed to heating of the neutral atmosphere by the solar wind energetic proton precipitation. The modulation is observed to be most prominent at high solar zenith angles. It is argued that this is consistent with the proposed modulation mechanism.

  3. Animated Optical Microscope Zoom in from Phoenix Launch to Martian Surface

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Click on image for animation This animated camera view zooms in from NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander launch site all the way to Phoenix's Microscopy and Electrochemistry and C Eonductivity Analyzer (MECA) aboard the spacecraft on the Martian surface. The final frame shows the soil sample delivered to MECA as viewed through the Optical Microscope (OM) on Sol 17 (June 11, 2008), or the 17th Martian day. The Phoenix Mission is led by the University of Arizona, Tucson, on behalf of NASA. Project management of the mission is by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. Spacecraft development is by Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver.

  4. Production of reactive oxygen species from abraded silicates. Implications for the reactivity of the Martian soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bak, Ebbe N.; Zafirov, Kaloyan; Merrison, Jonathan P.; Jensen, Svend J. Knak; Nørnberg, Per; Gunnlaugsson, Haraldur P.; Finster, Kai

    2017-09-01

    The results of the Labeled Release and the Gas Exchange experiments conducted on Mars by the Viking Landers show that compounds in the Martian soil can cause oxidation of organics and a release of oxygen in the presence of water. Several sources have been proposed for the oxidizing compounds, but none has been validated in situ and the cause of the observed oxidation has not been resolved. In this study, laboratory simulations of saltation were conducted to examine if and under which conditions wind abrasion of silicates, a process that is common on the Martian surface, can give rise to oxidants in the form of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and hydroxyl radicals (ṡOH). We found that silicate samples abraded in simulated Martian atmospheres gave rise to a significant production of H2O2 and ṡOH upon contact with water. Our experiments demonstrated that abraded silicates could lead to a production of H2O2 facilitated by atmospheric O2 and inhibited by carbon dioxide. Furthermore, during simulated saltation the silicate particles became triboelectrically charged and at pressures similar to the Martian surface pressure we observed glow discharges. Electrical discharges can cause dissociation of CO2 and through subsequent reactions lead to a production of H2O2. These results indicate that the reactions linked to electrical discharges are the dominant source of H2O2 during saltation of silicates in a simulated Martian atmosphere, given the low pressure and the relatively high concentration of CO2. Our experiments provide evidence that wind driven abrasion could enhance the reactivity of the Martian soil and thereby could have contributed to the oxidation of organic compounds and the O2 release observed in the Labeled Release and the Gas Exchange experiments. Furthermore, the release of H2O2 and ṡOH from abraded silicates could have a negative effect on the persistence of organic compounds in the Martian soil and the habitability of the Martian surface.

  5. Silicates Eroded under Simulated Martian Conditions Effectively Kill Bacteria-A Challenge for Life on Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bak, Ebbe N; Larsen, Michael G; Moeller, Ralf; Nissen, Silas B; Jensen, Lasse R; Nørnberg, Per; Jensen, Svend J K; Finster, Kai

    2017-01-01

    The habitability of Mars is determined by the physical and chemical environment. The effect of low water availability, temperature, low atmospheric pressure and strong UV radiation has been extensively studied in relation to the survival of microorganisms. In addition to these stress factors, it was recently found that silicates exposed to simulated saltation in a Mars-like atmosphere can lead to a production of reactive oxygen species. Here, we have investigated the stress effect induced by quartz and basalt abraded in Mars-like atmospheres by examining the survivability of the three microbial model organisms Pseudomonas putida, Bacillus subtilis , and Deinococcus radiodurans upon exposure to the abraded silicates. We found that abraded basalt that had not been in contact with oxygen after abrasion killed more than 99% of the vegetative cells while endospores were largely unaffected. Exposure of the basalt samples to oxygen after abrasion led to a significant reduction in the stress effect. Abraded quartz was generally less toxic than abraded basalt. We suggest that the stress effect of abraded silicates may be caused by a production of reactive oxygen species and enhanced by transition metal ions in the basalt leading to hydroxyl radicals through Fenton-like reactions. The low survivability of the usually highly resistant D. radiodurans indicates that the effect of abraded silicates, as is ubiquitous on the Martian surface, would limit the habitability of Mars as well as the risk of forward contamination. Furthermore, the reactivity of abraded silicates could have implications for future manned missions, although the lower effect of abraded silicates exposed to oxygen suggests that the effects would be reduced in human habitats.

  6. Silicates Eroded under Simulated Martian Conditions Effectively Kill Bacteria—A Challenge for Life on Mars

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ebbe N. Bak

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available The habitability of Mars is determined by the physical and chemical environment. The effect of low water availability, temperature, low atmospheric pressure and strong UV radiation has been extensively studied in relation to the survival of microorganisms. In addition to these stress factors, it was recently found that silicates exposed to simulated saltation in a Mars-like atmosphere can lead to a production of reactive oxygen species. Here, we have investigated the stress effect induced by quartz and basalt abraded in Mars-like atmospheres by examining the survivability of the three microbial model organisms Pseudomonas putida, Bacillus subtilis, and Deinococcus radiodurans upon exposure to the abraded silicates. We found that abraded basalt that had not been in contact with oxygen after abrasion killed more than 99% of the vegetative cells while endospores were largely unaffected. Exposure of the basalt samples to oxygen after abrasion led to a significant reduction in the stress effect. Abraded quartz was generally less toxic than abraded basalt. We suggest that the stress effect of abraded silicates may be caused by a production of reactive oxygen species and enhanced by transition metal ions in the basalt leading to hydroxyl radicals through Fenton-like reactions. The low survivability of the usually highly resistant D. radiodurans indicates that the effect of abraded silicates, as is ubiquitous on the Martian surface, would limit the habitability of Mars as well as the risk of forward contamination. Furthermore, the reactivity of abraded silicates could have implications for future manned missions, although the lower effect of abraded silicates exposed to oxygen suggests that the effects would be reduced in human habitats.

  7. Population control of Martian Trojans by the Yarkovsky & YORP effects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christou, Apostolos; Borisov, Galin; Jacobson, Seth A.; Colas, Francois; dell'Oro, Aldo; Cellino, Alberto; Bagnulo, Stefano

    2017-10-01

    Mars is the only terrestrial planet supporting a stable population of Trojan asteroids. One, (5261) Eureka, has a family of smaller asteroids of similar composition (Borisov et al, 2017; Polishook et al, 2017) that likely separated from Eureka within the last 1 Gyr (Ćuk et al, 2015). Two other Trojans, (101429) 1998 VF31 and (121514) 1999 UJ7, of similar size and on similar orbits to Eureka, are not associated with families of asteroids, begging the question of what makes Eureka special.The Yarkovsky-O'Keefe-Radzievskii-Paddack (YORP) effect may have formed the Eureka family (Christou, 2013; Ćuk et al, 2015) by the spinning off of ``YORPlets’’, a mechanism also responsible for close orbital pairs of small Main Belt asteroids (Pravec et al, 2010). Eureka’s fast rotation rate (P=2.69 hr; Koehn et al, 2014), right at the so-called ``spin barrier’’ (Warner et al, 2009), apparently supports this.We obtained photometry of 101429 and 121514 to find out their rotation periods. We find an unusually long, ˜50 hr period for 121514; the asteroid may be in a ``tumbling’’ rotational state that inhibits YOPRlet production. On the other hand, the faster (P=7.7 hr) rotation we obtain for 101429 does not preclude it from having been spun up to the rotational fission limit during the most recent 10s of Myr.Instead, 101429’s location near a secular resonance (Scholl et al, 2005) may lead to rapid loss of any YORPlet asteroids. Indeed, test particles started at 101429’s orbit and evolving under the Yarkovsky effect escape within a few hundred Myr, several times faster than particles started near Eureka. We conclude that the stability enjoyed by asteroids in Eureka’s orbital vicinity, combined with the ability to readily populate that vicinity with new asteroids, are likely responsible for Eureka’s status as the only Martian Trojan with a family.

  8. Temperature Inversions and Nighttime Convection in the Martian Tropics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hinson, D. P.; Spiga, A.; Lewis, S.; Tellmann, S.; Paetzold, M.; Asmar, S. W.; Häusler, B.

    2013-12-01

    We are using radio occultation measurements from Mars Express, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, and Mars Global Surveyor to characterize the diurnal cycle in the lowest scale height above the surface. We focus on northern spring and summer, using observations from 4 Martian years at local times of 4-5 and 15-17 h. We supplement the observations with results obtained from large-eddy simulations and through data assimilation by the UK spectral version of the LMD Mars Global Circulation Model. We previously investigated the depth of the daytime convective boundary layer (CBL) and its variations with surface elevation and surface properties. We are now examining unusual aspects of the temperature structure observed at night. Most important, predawn profiles in the Tharsis region contain an unexpected layer of neutral static stability at pressures of 200-300 Pa with a depth of 4-5 km. The mixed layer is bounded above by a midlevel temperature inversion and below by another strong inversion adjacent to the surface. The sharp temperature minimum at the base of the midlevel inversion suggests the presence of a thin water ice cloud layer, with the further implication that radiative cooling at cloud level can induce convective activity at lower altitudes. Conversely, nighttime profiles in Amazonis show no sign of a midlevel inversion or a detached mixed layer. These regional variations in the nighttime temperature structure appear to arise in part from large-scale variations in topography, which have several notable effects. First, the CBL is much deeper in the Tharsis region than in Amazonis, owing to a roughly 6-km difference in surface elevation. Second, large-eddy simulations show that daytime convection is not only deeper above Tharsis but also considerably more intense than it is in Amazonis. Finally, the daytime surface temperatures are comparable in the two regions, so that Tharsis acts as an elevated heat source throughout the CBL. These topographic effects are expected

  9. Global Scale Analysis of Martian Landslide Mobility and Paleoenvironmental Clues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crosta, Giovanni Battista; De Blasio, Fabio Vittorio; Frattini, Paolo

    2018-04-01

    The mobility of landslides on Mars is studied based on a database of 3,118 events. To establish the volume of the landslides for the whole data set based on the deposit area, a new volume-area relationship based on a representative data set of 222 landslides is used. By plotting the H/L ratio between fall height H and runout L versus volume, the landslide mobility is analyzed and compared with existing empirical relationships for Martian and terrestrial landslides. By analyzing the mobility in terms of normalized residuals, that is, the relative deviation of the H/L ratio from the data set best-fit line, mobility is found to depend on both the landslide location on Mars and the landslide typology. This allows us to identify four different types of high-mobility (hypermobile) landslides. Three classes of high-mobility landslides are associated respectively to meteoroid impact, the Olympus Mons aureoles, and landslides with Toreva-block failure style, and their mobility can be explained by the peculiar flow mechanics. The fourth class includes landslides associated with isolated craters, those in the regions wetted by the putative Oceanus Borealis, and the ones at high latitudes. We suggest that the common factor behind all the hypermobile landslides of this fourth kind is the presence of ice. This is confirmed by our data showing that landslides increase in mobility with latitude. The latitudinal trend mirrors the distribution of ice as detected by radar, neutron probes, and the presence of glacial and layered ejecta morphologies. Because the overall landslide distribution supports the presence of ice-lubricated conditions, two ice lubrication models are presented showing how ice melting within or underneath the landslides could enhance mobility. By proper analysis in terms of apparent friction residuals, we find that the mobility of landslides in Valles Marineris with the largest landslide concentration is lower than average. We explain this circumstance partly

  10. Desert Cyanobacteria under simulated space and Martian conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Billi, D.; Ghelardini, P.; Onofri, S.; Cockell, C. S.; Rabbow, E.; Horneck, G.

    2008-09-01

    The environment in space and on planets such as Mars, can be lethal to living organisms and high levels of tolerance to desiccation, cold and radiation are needed for survival: rock-inhabiting cyanobacteria belonging to the genus Chroococcidiopsis can fulfil these requirements [1]. These cyanobacteria constantly appear in the most extreme and dry habitats on Earth, including the McMurdo Dry Valleys (Antarctica) and the Atacama Desert (Chile), which are considered the closest terrestrial analogs of two Mars environmental extremes: cold and aridity. In their natural environment, these cyanobacteria occupy the last refuges for life inside porous rocks or at the stone-soil interfaces, where they survive in a dry, dormant state for prolonged periods. How desert strains of Chroococcidiopsis can dry without dying is only partially understood, even though experimental evidences support the existence of an interplay between mechanisms to avoid (or limit) DNA damage and repair it: i) desert strains of Chroococcidiopsis mend genome fragmentation induced by ionizing radiation [2]; ii) desiccation-survivors protect their genome from complete fragmentation; iii) in the dry state they show a survival to an unattenuated Martian UV flux greater than that of Bacillus subtilis spores [3], and even though they die following atmospheric entry after having orbited the Earth for 16 days [4], they survive to simulated shock pressures up to 10 GPa [5]. Recently additional experiments were carried out at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) of Cologne (Germany) in order to identify suitable biomarkers to investigate the survival of Chroococcidiopsis cells present in lichen-dominated communities, in view of their direct and long term space exposition on the International Space Station (ISS) in the framework of the LIchens and Fungi Experiments (LIFE, EXPOSEEuTEF, ESA). Multilayers of dried cells of strains CCMEE 134 (Beacon Valley, Antarctica), and CCMEE 123 (costal desert, Chile ), shielded by

  11. Model of the fine-grain component of martian soil based on Viking lander data

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nussinov, M.D.; Chernyak, Y.B.; Ettinger, J.L.

    1978-01-01

    A model of the fine-grain component of the Martian soil is proposed. The model is based on well-known physical phenomena, and enables an explanation of the evolution of the gases released in the GEX (gas exchange experiments) and GCMS (gas chromatography-mass spectrometer experiments) of the Viking landers. (author)

  12. Luminescence dating on Mars: OSL characteristics of Martian analogue materials and GCR dosimetry

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jain, M.; Andersen, C.E.; Bøtter-Jensen, L.

    2006-01-01

    , and sedimentary precipitates such as sulphates and chlorides. We present here a preliminary investigation of the luminescence characteristics (sensitivity, dose response, fading) of some Martian analogue mineral and rock samples. These materials are likely to be zeroed by the solar UV light (200-300nm) under sub...

  13. Martian Surface Boundary Layer Characterization: Enabling Environmental Data for Science, Engineering and Human Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    England, C.

    2000-01-01

    For human or large robotic exploration of Mars, engineering devices such as power sources will be utilized that interact closely with the Martian environment. Heat sources for power production, for example, will use the low ambient temperature for efficient heat rejection. The Martian ambient, however, is highly variable, and will have a first order influence on the efficiency and operation of all large-scale equipment. Diurnal changes in temperature, for example, can vary the theoretical efficiency of power production by 15% and affect the choice of equipment, working fluids, and operating parameters. As part of the Mars Exploration program, missions must acquire the environmental data needed for design, operation and maintenance of engineering equipment including the transportation devices. The information should focus on the variability of the environment, and on the differences among locations including latitudes, altitudes, and seasons. This paper outlines some of the WHY's, WHAT's and WHERE's of the needed data, as well as some examples of how this data will be used. Environmental data for engineering design should be considered a priority in Mars Exploration planning. The Mars Thermal Environment Radiator Characterization (MTERC), and Dust Accumulation and Removal Technology (DART) experiments planned for early Mars landers are examples of information needed for even small robotic missions. Large missions will require proportionately more accurate data that encompass larger samples of the Martian surface conditions. In achieving this goal, the Mars Exploration program will also acquire primary data needed for understanding Martian weather, surface evolution, and ground-atmosphere interrelationships.

  14. Chemosynthesis in deep-sea red-clay: Linking concepts to probable martian life

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Das, A.; Mourya, B.S.; Mamatha, S.S.; Khadge, N.H.; LokaBharathi, P.A.

    of microbial biogeochemistry are used in the pres- ent deep-sea analogue studies and would be imple- mented for actual Martian soil samples in future: Microbial abundance in terms of total counts » Diversity of culture dependent and independent Chemos... soils done earlier by Viking I robots [5, Bianciardi et. al, 2012

  15. Martian Cryogenic Carbonate Formation: Stable Isotope Variations Observed in Laboratory Studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Socki, Richard A.; Niles, Paul B.; Sun, Tao; Fu, Qi; Romanek, Christopher S.; Gibson, Everett K. Jr.

    2014-01-01

    The history of water on Mars is tied to the formation of carbonates through atmospheric CO2 and its control of the climate history of the planet. Carbonate mineral formation under modern martian atmospheric conditions could be a critical factor in controlling the martian climate in a means similar to the rock weathering cycle on Earth. The combination of evidence for liquid water on the martian surface and cold surface conditions suggest fluid freezing could be very common on the surface of Mars. Cryogenic calcite forms easily from freezing solutions when carbon dioxide degasses quickly from Ca-bicarbonate-rich water, a process that has been observed in some terrestrial settings such as arctic permafrost cave deposits, lake beds of the Dry Valleys of Antarctica, and in aufeis (river icings) from rivers of N.E. Alaska. A series of laboratory experiments were conducted that simulated cryogenic carbonate formation on Mars in order to understand their isotopic systematics. The results indicate that carbonates grown under martian conditions show variable enrichments from starting bicarbonate fluids in both carbon and oxygen isotopes beyond equilibrium values.

  16. Biological life support systems for martian missions: some problems and prospects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tikhomirov, A. A.; Ushakova, S. A.; Kovaleva, N. P.; Lasseur, C.

    Taking into account the experience of scientific researches obtained during experiments in the BIOS - 3 of the Institute of Biophysics of Siberian Branch of Russian Academy of Science (IBP SB RAS) and the MELISSA program (ESA), approaches in creation biological life support systems for a flight period and a fixed-site base of Martian mission are considered. Various alternate variants of designing of elements of BLSS based on use of Chlorella and/or Spirulina, and also greenhouses with higher plants for the flight period of Martian mission are analyzed. For this purpose construction of BLSS ensuring full closure of matter turnover according to gas exchange and water and partial closure on the human's exometabolites is supposed. For the fixed site Martian station BLSS based on use of higher plants with a various degree of closure of internal mass exchange are suggested. Various versions of BLSS configuration and degree of closure of mass exchange depending on duration of Martian mission, the diet type of a crew and some other conditions are considered. Special attention is given to problems of reliability and tolerance of matter turnover processes in BLSS which maintenance is connected, in particular, with additional oxygen reproduction inside a system. Technologies for realization of BLSS of various configurations are offered and justified. The auxiliary role of the physicochemical methods in BLSS functioning both for the flight period and for the crew stay on Mars is justified.

  17. Describing the Components of the Water Transport in the Martian Atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montmessin, F.; Haberle, R. M.; forget, F.; Rannou, P.; Cabane, M.

    2003-01-01

    In this paper, we examine the meteorological components driving water transport in the Martian atmosphere. A particular emphasis is given to the role of residual mean circulation and water ice clouds in determining the geographical partitioning of water vapor and frost.

  18. Formation of martian araneiforms by gas-driven erosion of granular material

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    de Villiers, S.; Nermoen, A.; Jamtveit, B.

    2012-01-01

    Sublimation at the lower surface of a seasonal sheet of translucent CO2 ice at high southern latitudes during the Martian spring, and rapid outflow of the CO2 gas generated in this manner through holes in the ice, has been proposed as the origin of dendritic 100 m–1 km scale branched channels known...

  19. Intercomparison of Martian Lower Atmosphere Simulated Using Different Planetary Boundary Layer Parameterization Schemes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Natarajan, Murali; Fairlie, T. Duncan; Dwyer Cianciolo, Alicia; Smith, Michael D.

    2015-01-01

    We use the mesoscale modeling capability of Mars Weather Research and Forecasting (MarsWRF) model to study the sensitivity of the simulated Martian lower atmosphere to differences in the parameterization of the planetary boundary layer (PBL). Characterization of the Martian atmosphere and realistic representation of processes such as mixing of tracers like dust depend on how well the model reproduces the evolution of the PBL structure. MarsWRF is based on the NCAR WRF model and it retains some of the PBL schemes available in the earth version. Published studies have examined the performance of different PBL schemes in NCAR WRF with the help of observations. Currently such assessments are not feasible for Martian atmospheric models due to lack of observations. It is of interest though to study the sensitivity of the model to PBL parameterization. Typically, for standard Martian atmospheric simulations, we have used the Medium Range Forecast (MRF) PBL scheme, which considers a correction term to the vertical gradients to incorporate nonlocal effects. For this study, we have also used two other parameterizations, a non-local closure scheme called Yonsei University (YSU) PBL scheme and a turbulent kinetic energy closure scheme called Mellor- Yamada-Janjic (MYJ) PBL scheme. We will present intercomparisons of the near surface temperature profiles, boundary layer heights, and wind obtained from the different simulations. We plan to use available temperature observations from Mini TES instrument onboard the rovers Spirit and Opportunity in evaluating the model results.

  20. Generalized Superconductivity. Generalized Levitation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ciobanu, B.; Agop, M.

    2004-01-01

    In the recent papers, the gravitational superconductivity is described. We introduce the concept of generalized superconductivity observing that any nongeodesic motion and, in particular, the motion in an electromagnetic field, can be transformed in a geodesic motion by a suitable choice of the connection. In the present paper, the gravitoelectromagnetic London equations have been obtained from the generalized Helmholtz vortex theorem using the generalized local equivalence principle. In this context, the gravitoelectromagnetic Meissner effect and, implicitly, the gravitoelectromagnetic levitation are given. (authors)

  1. The investigation of Martian dune fields using very high resolution photogrammetric measurements and time series analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, J.; Park, M.; Baik, H. S.; Choi, Y.

    2016-12-01

    At the present time, arguments continue regarding the migration speeds of Martian dune fields and their correlation with atmospheric circulation. However, precisely measuring the spatial translation of Martian dunes has rarely conducted only a very few times Therefore, we developed a generic procedure to precisely measure the migration of dune fields with recently introduced 25-cm resolution High Resolution Imaging Science Experimen (HIRISE) employing a high-accuracy photogrammetric processor and sub-pixel image correlator. The processor was designed to trace estimated dune migration, albeit slight, over the Martian surface by 1) the introduction of very high resolution ortho images and stereo analysis based on hierarchical geodetic control for better initial point settings; 2) positioning error removal throughout the sensor model refinement with a non-rigorous bundle block adjustment, which makes possible the co-alignment of all images in a time series; and 3) improved sub-pixel co-registration algorithms using optical flow with a refinement stage conducted on a pyramidal grid processor and a blunder classifier. Moreover, volumetric changes of Martian dunes were additionally traced by means of stereo analysis and photoclinometry. The established algorithms have been tested using high-resolution HIRISE images over a large number of Martian dune fields covering whole Mars Global Dune Database. Migrations over well-known crater dune fields appeared to be almost static for the considerable temporal periods and were weakly correlated with wind directions estimated by the Mars Climate Database (Millour et al. 2015). Only over a few Martian dune fields, such as Kaiser crater, meaningful migration speeds (>1m/year) compared to phtotogrammetric error residual have been measured. Currently a technical improved processor to compensate error residual using time series observation is under developing and expected to produce the long term migration speed over Martian dune

  2. Escape of the martian protoatmosphere and initial water inventory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erkaev, N V; Lammer, H; Elkins-Tanton, L T; Stökl, A; Odert, P; Marcq, E; Dorfi, E A; Kislyakova, K G; Kulikov, Yu N; Leitzinger, M; Güdel, M

    2014-08-01

    Latest research in planet formation indicates that Mars formed within a few million years (Myr) and remained as a planetary embryo that never grew to a more massive planet. It can also be expected from dynamical models that most of Mars' building blocks consisted of material that formed in orbital locations just beyond the ice line which could have contained [Formula: see text] of H 2 O. By using these constraints, we estimate the nebula-captured and catastrophically outgassed volatile contents during the solidification of Mars' magma ocean and apply a hydrodynamic upper atmosphere model for the study of the soft X-ray and extreme ultraviolet (XUV) driven thermal escape of the martian protoatmosphere during the early active epoch of the young Sun. The amount of gas that has been captured from the protoplanetary disk into the planetary atmosphere is calculated by solving the hydrostatic structure equations in the protoplanetary nebula. Depending on nebular properties such as the dust grain depletion factor, planetesimal accretion rates and luminosities, hydrogen envelopes with masses [Formula: see text] to [Formula: see text] could have been captured from the nebula around early Mars. Depending on the before mentioned parameters, due to the planets low gravity and a solar XUV flux that was [Formula: see text] times stronger compared to the present value, our results indicate that early Mars would have lost its nebular captured hydrogen envelope after the nebula gas evaporated, during a fast period of [Formula: see text]. After the solidification of early Mars' magma ocean, catastrophically outgassed volatiles with the amount of [Formula: see text] H 2 O and [Formula: see text] CO 2 could have been lost during [Formula: see text], if the impact related energy flux of large planetesimals and small embryos to the planet's surface lasted long enough, that the steam atmosphere could have been prevented from condensing. If this was not the case, then our results suggest

  3. Propagation of stationary Rossby waves in the Martian lower atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghosh, Priyanka; Thokuluwa, Ramkumar

    The Martian lower atmospheric (-1.5 km to 29.3 km) temperature, measured by radio occultation technique during the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) mission launched by US in November 1996, at the Northern winter hemispheric latitude of about 63(°) N clearly shows a statistically significant (above 95 percent confidential level white noise) and strong 3.5-day oscillation during 1-10 January 2006. This strong signal occurs in the longitudinal sectors of 0-30(°) E and 190-230(°) E but statistically insignificant in almost all the other longitudes. This 180 degree separation between the two peaks of occurrence of strong 3.5 day oscillation indicates that this may be associated with zonal wave number 2 structure global scale wave. At the lowest height of -1.5 km, the power observed in the longitude of 0-30(°) E is 50 K (2) and it increased gradually to the maximum power of 130 K (2) at the height of 0.8 - 1.7 km. Above this height, the power decreased monotonously and gradually to insignificant level at the height of 3.7 km (20 K (2) ). This gradual decrease of power above the height of 1.7 km indicates that radiative damping (infra red cooling due to large abundance of CO _{2} molecules and dust particles) would have played an important role in the dissipation of waves. The height and longitudinal profiles of phase of the 3.5-day wave indicate that this wave is a vertically standing and eastward propagating planetary wave respectively. Since the statistically significant spectral amplitude occurs near the high topography structures, it seems that the wave is generated by flows over the topography. In the Northern winter, it is possible that the large gradient of temperature between the low and high latitudes would lead to flow of winds from the tropical to polar latitudes. Due to the Coriolis effect, this flow would in turn move towards the right and incite wave generation when the air flows over the high topographic structures. This lead to speculate that the observed 3

  4. LEW 88516: A Meteorite Compositionally Close to the "Martian Mantle"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dreibus, G.; Jochum, K. H.; Palme, H.; Spettel, B.; Wlotzka, F.; Wanke, H.

    1992-07-01

    Several samples from a total of 250 mg of the recently discovered Antarctic shergottite LEW 88516 were analysed for major and trace elements by neutron activation techniques, SSMS, and a carbon-sulfur analyser. Results are presented in Table 1, together with data on ALHA 77005 (Wanke et al., 1976). This and earlier results (Boynton et al., 1992; Lindstrom et al.,1992) show the close compositional similarity of Lew 88516 to ALHA 77005. A major difference between the two shergottites is the much lower iodine content of the ALHA 77005 meteorite. The absence of similar variations in Br and Cl confirms earlier suggestions of an Antarctic source for the I excess. In a Mg/Si vs. Al/Si diagram (Fig. 1) the LEW 88516 meteorite plots at the intersection of a Shergotty parent (SPB) body fractionation trend and a line connecting enstatite chondrites and CM chondrites. The position of LEW 88516 and also of ALHA 77005 in the vicinity of ordinary chondrites is indicative of their relatively primitive composition. Lithophile trace elements show some enhancement of Sc and V over heavy REE and depletion of light REE, suggesting either a residual character for the two meteorites or assimilation of a cumulate phase during their formation. Comparatively high Ni and Co also reflect the more mafic character of the two meteorites. The present analysis and the earlier data on ALHA 77005 unambiguously demonstrate the presence of Ir in an abundance range typical for the terrestrial upper mantle. A similar Ir level was found in Chassigny, but the more fractionated Shergotty has 100 times lower Ir contents. The presence of Ir in the martian mantle samples may be the result of sulfide-silicate equilibration. The sulfides in Lew 88516 are small pyrrhotite grains (5-30 micron, 52 atom% S) and occur often together with ilmenite, at grain boundaries of the major silicate minerals. Sulfides contain an average of 1.8% Ni. However, the major fraction of Ni must reside in oxides and/or silicates as the

  5. Enrichment of Inorganic Martian Dust Simulant with Carbon Component can Provoke Neurotoxicity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pozdnyakova, Natalia; Pastukhov, Artem; Dudarenko, Marina; Borysov, Arsenii; Krisanova, Natalia; Nazarova, Anastasia; Borisova, Tatiana

    2017-02-01

    Carbon is the most abundant dust-forming element in the interstellar medium. Tremendous amount of meteorites containing plentiful carbon and carbon-enriched dust particles have reached the Earth daily. National Institute of Health panel accumulates evidences that nano-sized air pollution components may have a significant impact on the central nervous system (CNS) in health and disease. During inhalation, nano-/microsized particles are efficiently deposited in nasal, tracheobronchial, and alveolar regions and can be transported to the CNS. Based on above facts, here we present the study, the aims of which were: 1) to upgrade inorganic Martian dust simulant derived from volcanic ash (JSC-1a/JSC, ORBITEC Orbital Technologies Corporation, Madison, Wisconsin) by the addition of carbon components, that is, nanodiamonds and carbon dots; 2) to analyse acute effects of upgraded simulant on key characteristics of synaptic neurotransmission; and 3) to compare above effects with those of inorganic dust and carbon components per se. Acute administration of carbon-containing Martian dust analogues resulted in a significant decrease in transporter-mediated uptake of L-[14C]glutamate (the major excitatory neurotransmitter) and [3H]GABA (the main inhibitory neurotransmitter) by isolated rat brain nerve terminals. The extracellular level of both neurotransmitters increased in the presence of carbon-containing Martian dust analogues. These effects were associated with action of carbon components of upgraded Martian dust simulant, but not with its inorganic constituent. This fact indicates that carbon component of native Martian dust can have deleterious effects on extracellular glutamate and GABA homeostasis in the CNS, and so glutamate- and GABA-ergic neurotransmission disballansing exitation and inhibition.

  6. Remote Sensing Observations and Numerical Simulation for Martian Layered Ejecta Craters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, L.; Yue, Z.; Zhang, C.; Li, D.

    2018-04-01

    To understand past Martian climates, it is important to know the distribution and nature of water ice on Mars. Impact craters are widely used ubiquitous indicators for the presence of subsurface water or ice on Mars. Remote sensing observations and numerical simulation are powerful tools for investigating morphological and topographic features on planetary surfaces, and we can use the morphology of layered ejecta craters and hydrocode modeling to constrain possible layering and impact environments. The approach of this work consists of three stages. Firstly, the morphological characteristics of the Martian layered ejecta craters are performed based on Martian images and DEM data. Secondly, numerical modeling layered ejecta are performed through the hydrocode iSALE (impact-SALE). We present hydrocode modeling of impacts onto targets with a single icy layer within an otherwise uniform basalt crust to quantify the effects of subsurface H2O on observable layered ejecta morphologies. The model setup is based on a layered target made up of a regolithic layer (described by the basalt ANEOS), on top an ice layer (described by ANEOS equation of H2O ice), in turn on top of an underlying basaltic crust. The bolide is a 0.8 km diameter basaltic asteroid hitting the Martian surface vertically at a velocity of 12.8 km/s. Finally, the numerical results are compared with the MOLA DEM profile in order to analyze the formation mechanism of Martian layered ejecta craters. Our simulations suggest that the presence of an icy layer significantly modifies the cratering mechanics, and many of the unusual features of SLE craters may be explained by the presence of icy layers. Impact cratering on icy satellites is significantly affected by the presence of subsurface H2O.

  7. Martian Bow Shock and Magnetic Pile-Up Barrier Formation Due to the Exosphere Ion Mass-Loading

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eojin Kim

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Bow shock, formed by the interaction between the solar wind and a planet, is generated in different patterns depending on the conditions of the planet. In the case of the earth, its own strong magnetic field plays a critical role in determining the position of the bow shock. However, in the case of Mars of which has very a small intrinsic magnetic field, the bow shock is formed by the direct interaction between the solar wind and the Martian ionosphere. It is known that the position of the Martian bow shock is affected by the mass loading-effect by which the supersonic solar wind velocity becomes subsonic as the heavy ions originating from the planet are loaded on the solar wind. We simulated the Martian magnetosphere depending on the changes of the density and velocity of the solar wind by using the three-dimensional magnetohydrodynamic model built by modifying the comet code that includes the mass loading effect. The Martian exosphere model of was employed as the Martian atmosphere model, and only the photoionization by the solar radiation was considered in the ionization process of the neutral atmosphere. In the simulation result under the normal solar wind conditions, the Martian bow shock position in the subsolar point direction was consistent with the result of the previous studies. The three-dimensional simulation results produced by varying the solar wind density and velocity were all included in the range of the Martian bow shock position observed by Mariner 4, Mars 2, 3, 5, and Phobos 2. Additionally, the simulation result also showed that the change of the solar wind density had a greater effect on the Martian bow shock position than the change of the solar wind velocity. Our result may be useful in analyzing the future observation data by Martian probes.

  8. What Were the Major Factors That Controlled Mineralogical Similarities and Differences of Basaltic, Lherzolitic and Clinopyroxentic Martian Meteorites Within Each Group

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mikouchi, T.; Miyamoto, M.; McKay, G. A.

    1998-01-01

    Twelve martian meteorites that have been re- covered so far are classified into five groups (basalt, lherzolite, clinopyroxenite, dunite, and orthopyroxenite) mainly from petrology and chemistry. Among them, the dunite and orthopyroxenite groups consist of only one meteorite each (dunite: Chassigny, orthopyroxenite: ALH 84001). The basalt group is the largest group and consists of four meteorites (Shergotty, Zagani, EETA 79001, and QUE 94201). The lherzolitic and clinopyroxenitic groups include three meteorites each (Lherzolite: ALH 77005, LEW 88516, and Y793605, clinopyroxenite: Nakhla, Governador Valadares, and Lafayette). These meteorites within each group are generally similar to the others, but none of them is paired with the others. In this abstract, we discuss the major factors that controlled mineralogical similarities and differences of basaltic, lherzolitic, and clinopyroxenitic meteorites within each group. This may help in understanding their petrogenesis and original locations on Mars in general.

  9. General general game AI

    OpenAIRE

    Togelius, Julian; Yannakakis, Georgios N.; 2016 IEEE Conference on Computational Intelligence and Games (CIG)

    2016-01-01

    Arguably the grand goal of artificial intelligence research is to produce machines with general intelligence: the capacity to solve multiple problems, not just one. Artificial intelligence (AI) has investigated the general intelligence capacity of machines within the domain of games more than any other domain given the ideal properties of games for that purpose: controlled yet interesting and computationally hard problems. This line of research, however, has so far focuse...

  10. A massive hydrogen-rich Martian greenhouse recorded in D/H

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pahlevan, K.; Schaefer, L. K.; Desch, S. J.; Elkins-Tanton, L. T.

    2017-12-01

    The deuterium-to-hydrogen (D/H) ratio in Martian atmospheric water ( 6x standard mean ocean water, SMOW) [1,2] is higher than that of known sources [3,4] alluding to a planetary enrichment process. A recent measurement by the Curiosity rover of Hesperian clays yields a D/H value 3x higher than SMOW [5], demonstrating that most enrichment occurred early in planetary history, buttressing the conclusions of Martian meteorite studies [6,7]. Extant models of the isotopic evolution of the Martian hydrosphere have not incorporated primordial H2, despite its likely abundance on early Mars. Here, we report the first 1D climate calculations with an atmospheric composition determined via degassing from a reducing magma ocean to study Martian climate during an early water ocean stage. A reducing Martian magma ocean is expected based on experimental petrology [8], the degassing of which gives rise to an H2-rich steam atmosphere [9] with strong attendant greenhouse warming [10,11] even after the removal of steam via condensation. At the pressures and temperatures prevailing in such a degassed greenhouse, we find that isotopic exchange in the fluid envelope is rapid, strongly concentrating deuterium in water molecules over molecular hydrogen [12]. The subsequent loss of the isotopically light H2-rich atmosphere results in a 2x D/H enrichment in the oceans via isotopic equilibration alone. These calculations suggest that most of the D/H enrichment observed in the first billion years of Martian history is produced by the evolution of a massive ( 100 bar) H2-rich greenhouse in the aftermath of magma ocean crystallization. The proposed link between early planetary process and modern isotopic observable opens a new window into the earliest history of Mars. [1] Owen, T. et al. Science 240, 1767-1770 (1988). [2] Webster, C. R. et al. Science 341, 260-263 (2013). [3] Lunine, J. I. et al. Icarus 165, 1-8, (2003). [4] Marty, B. et al. EPSL 441, 91-102, (2016). [5] Mahaffy, P. et al

  11. The investigation of active Martian dune fields using very high resolution photogrammetric measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Jungrack; Kim, Younghwi; Park, Minseong

    2016-10-01

    At the present time, arguments continue regarding the migration speeds of Martian dune fields and their correlation with atmospheric circulation. However, precisely measuring the spatial translation of Martian dunes has succeeded only a very few times—for example, in the Nili Patera study (Bridges et al. 2012) using change-detection algorithms and orbital imagery. Therefore, in this study, we developed a generic procedure to precisely measure the migration of dune fields with recently introduced 25-cm resolution orbital imagery specifically using a high-accuracy photogrammetric processor. The processor was designed to trace estimated dune migration, albeit slight, over the Martian surface by 1) the introduction of very high resolution ortho images and stereo analysis based on hierarchical geodetic control for better initial point settings; 2) positioning error removal throughout the sensor model refinement with a non-rigorous bundle block adjustment, which makes possible the co-alignment of all images in a time series; and 3) improved sub-pixel co-registration algorithms using optical flow with a refinement stage conducted on a pyramidal grid processor and a blunder classifier. Moreover, volumetric changes of Martian dunes were additionally traced by means of stereo analysis and photoclinometry. The established algorithms have been tested using high-resolution HIRISE time-series images over several Martian dune fields. Dune migrations were iteratively processed both spatially and volumetrically, and the results were integrated to be compared to the Martian climate model. Migrations over well-known crater dune fields appeared to be almost static for the considerable temporal periods and were weakly correlated with wind directions estimated by the Mars Climate Database (Millour et al. 2015). As a result, a number of measurements over dune fields in the Mars Global Dune Database (Hayward et al. 2014) covering polar areas and mid-latitude will be demonstrated

  12. Iron Isotopes in Spherical Hematite and Goethite Concretions from the Navajo Sandstone (Utah, USA): A Prospective Study for "Martian Blueberries"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Busigny, V.; Dauphas, N.

    2006-03-01

    Iron isotopes of terrestrial hematite and goethite concretions provide clues on fluid transport, reservoir sizes, redox variations and biotic versus abiotic processes. This opens several avenues of research for future work on Martian blueberries.

  13. The Mineralogy, Geochemistry, and Redox State of Multivalent Cations During the Crystallization of Primitive Shergottitic Liquids at Various (f)O2. Insights into the (f)O2 Fugacity of the Martian Mantle and Crustal Influences on Redox Conditions of Martian Magmas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shearer, C. K.; Bell, A. S.; Burger, P. V.; Papike, J. J.; Jones, J.; Le, L.; Muttik, N.

    2016-01-01

    The (f)O2 [oxygen fugacity] of crystallization for martian basalts has been estimated in various studies to range from IW-1 to QFM+4 [1-3]. A striking geochemical feature of the shergottites is the large range in initial Sr isotopic ratios and initial epsilon(sup Nd) values. Studies by observed that within the shergottite group the (f)O2 [oxygen fugacity] of crystallization is highly correlated with these chemical and isotopic characteristics with depleted shergottites generally crystallizing at reduced conditions and enriched shergottites crystallizing under more oxidizing conditions. More recent work has shown that (f)O2 [oxygen fugacity] changed during the crystallization of these magmas from one order of magnitude in Y980459 (Y98) to several orders of magnitude in Larkman Nunatak 06319. These real or apparent variations within single shergottitic magmas have been attributed to mixing of a xenocrystic olivine component, volatile loss-water disassociation, auto-oxidation during crystallization of mafic phases, and assimilation of an oxidizing crustal component (e.g. sulfate). In contrast to the shergottites, augite basalts such as NWA 8159 are highly depleted yet appear to be highly oxidized (e.g. QFM+4). As a first step in attempting to unravel petrologic complexities that influence (f)O2 [oxygen fugacity] in martian magmas, this study explores the effect of (f)O2 [oxygen fugacity] on the liquid line of descent (LLD) for a primitive shergottite liquid composition (Y98). The results of this study will provide a fundamental basis for reconstructing the record of (f)O2 [oxygen fugacity] in shergottites and other martian basalts, its effect on both mineral chemistries and valence state partitioning, and a means for examining the role of crystallization (and other more complex processes) on the petrologic linkages between olivine-phyric and pyroxene-plagioclase shergottites.

  14. Alteration of the Carbon and Nitrogen Isotopic Composition in the Martian Surface Rocks Due to Cosmic Ray Exposure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pavlov, A. A.; Pavlov, A. K.; Ostryakov, V. M.; Vasilyev, G. I.; Mahaffy, P.; Steele, A.

    2014-01-01

    C-13/C-12 and N-15/N-14 isotopic ratios are pivotal for our understanding of the Martian carbon cycle, history of the Martian atmospheric escape, and origin of the organic compounds on Mars. Here we demonstrate that the carbon and nitrogen isotopic composition of the surface rocks on Mars can be significantly altered by the continuous exposure of Martian surface to cosmic rays. Cosmic rays can effectively produce C-13 and N-15 isotopes via spallation nuclear reactions on oxygen atoms in various Martian rocks. We calculate that in the top meter of the Martian rocks, the rates of production of both C-13 and N-15 due to galactic cosmic rays (GCRs) exposure can vary within 1.5-6 atoms/cm3/s depending on rocks' depth and chemical composition. We also find that the average solar cosmic rays can produce carbon and nitrogen isotopes at a rate comparable to GCRs in the top 5-10 cm of the Martian rocks. We demonstrate that if the total carbon content in a surface Martian rock is <10 ppm, then the "light," potentially "biological" C-13/C-12 ratio would be effectively erased by cosmic rays over 3.5 billion years of exposure. We found that for the rocks with relatively short exposure ages (e.g., 100 million years), cosmogenic changes in N-15/N-14 ratio are still very significant. We also show that a short exposure to cosmic rays of Allan Hills 84001 while on Mars can explain its high-temperature heavy nitrogen isotopic composition (N-15/N-14). Applications to Martian meteorites and the current Mars Science Laboratory mission are discussed.

  15. Some consequences of a liquid water saturated regolith in early Martian history

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuller, A. O.; Hargraves, R. B.

    1978-01-01

    Flooding of low-lying areas of the Martian regolith may have occurred early in the planet's history when a comparatively dense primitive atmosphere existed. If this model is valid, the following are some pedogenic and mineralogical consequences to be expected. Fluctuation of the water table in response to any seasonal or longer term causes would have resulted in precipitation of ferric oxyhydroxides with the development of a vesicular duricrust (or hardpan). Disruption of such a crust by scarp undercutting or frost heaving accompanied by wind deflation of fines could account for the boulders visible on Utopia Planitia in the vicinity of the second Viking lander site. Laboratory and field evidence on earth suggests that under weakly oxidizing conditions lepidocrocite (rather than goethite) would have preferentially formed in the Martian regolith from the weathering of ferrous silicates, accompanied by montmorillonite, nontronite, and cronstedtite. Maghemite may have formed as a low-temperature dehydrate of lepidocrocite or directly from ferrous precursors.

  16. Structural parallels between terrestrial microbialites and Martian sediments: are all cases of `Pareidolia'?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rizzo, Vincenzo; Cantasano, Nicola

    2017-10-01

    The study analyses possible parallels of the microbialite-known structures with a set of similar settings selected by a systematic investigation from the wide record and data set of images shot by NASA rovers. Terrestrial cases involve structures both due to bio-mineralization processes and those induced by bacterial metabolism, that occur in a dimensional field longer than 0.1 mm, at micro, meso and macro scales. The study highlights occurrence on Martian sediments of widespread structures like microspherules, often organized into some higher-order settings. Such structures also occur on terrestrial stromatolites in a great variety of `Microscopic Induced Sedimentary Structures', such as voids, gas domes and layer deformations of microbial mats. We present a suite of analogies so compelling (i.e. different scales of morphological, structural and conceptual relevance), to make the case that similarities between Martian sediment structures and terrestrial microbialites are not all cases of `Pareidolia'.

  17. Martian volcanism: festoon-like ridges on terrestrial basalt flows and implications for Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Theilig, E.; Greeley, R.

    1987-01-01

    The Fink and Fletcher, and Fink model was used to assess and compare flow rheology for two terrestrial basalt flows and one Martian flow with previous studies. Based on the morphologic similarities between the Martian flows and the Icelandic flows and knowledge of the emplacement of the terrestrial flows, the flows west of Arsia Mons are considered to have been emplaced as large sheet flows from basaltic flood style eruptions. Festoon ridges represent folding of the surface crust in the last stages of emplacement when viscosities would be high due to cooling. Alternatively, the lava may have had a high crystallinity or was erupted at low temperatures. In addition, increased compressive stress behind halted flow fronts or in ponded areas may have contributed to ridge formation

  18. A Comet Engulfs Mars: MAVEN Observations of Comet Siding Spring's Influence on the Martian Magnetosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Espley, Jared R.; Dibraccio, Gina A.; Connerney, John E. P.; Brain, David; Gruesbeck, Jacob; Soobiah, Yasir; Halekas, Jasper S.; Combi, Michael; Luhmann, Janet; Ma, Yingjuan

    2015-01-01

    The nucleus of comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) passed within 141,000?km of Mars on 19 October 2014. Thus, the cometary coma and the plasma it produces washed over Mars for several hours producing significant effects in the Martian magnetosphere and upper atmosphere. We present observations from Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN's (MAVEN's) particles and field's instruments that show the Martian magnetosphere was severely distorted during the comet's passage. We note four specific major effects: (1) a variable induced magnetospheric boundary, (2) a strong rotation of the magnetic field as the comet approached, (3) severely distorted and disordered ionospheric magnetic fields during the comet's closest approach, and (4) unusually strong magnetosheath turbulence lasting hours after the comet left. We argue that the comet produced effects comparable to that of a large solar storm (in terms of incident energy) and that our results are therefore important for future studies of atmospheric escape, MAVEN's primary science objective.

  19. Martian Pyroxenes in the Shergottite Meteorites; Zagami, SAU005, DAG476 and EETA79001

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stephen, N.; Benedix, G. K.; Bland, P.; Hamilton, V. E.

    2010-12-01

    The geology and surface mineralogy of Mars is characterised using remote sensing techniques such as thermal emission spectroscopy (TES) from instruments on a number of spacecraft currently orbiting Mars or gathered from roving missions on the Martian surface. However, the study of Martian meteorites is also important in efforts to further understand the geological history of Mars or to interpret mission data as they are believed to be the only available samples that give us direct clues as to Martian igneous processes [1]. We have recently demonstrated that the spectra of Martian-specific minerals can be determined using micro-spectroscopy [2] and that these spectra can be reliably obtained from thin sections of Martian meteorites [3]. Accurate modal mineralogy of these meteorites is also important [4]. In this study we are using a variety of techniques to build upon previous studies of these particular samples in order to fully characterise the nature of the 2 common pyroxenes found in Martian Shergottites; pigeonite and augite [5], [6]. Previous studies have shown that the Shergottite meteorites are dominated by pyroxene (pigeonite and augite in varying quantities) [4], [5], commonly but not always olivine, plagioclase or maskelynite/glass and also hydrous minerals, which separate the Martian meteorites from other achondrites [7]. Our microprobe study of meteorites Zagami, EETA79001, SAU005 and DAG476 in thin-section at the Natural History Museum, London shows a chemical variability within both the pigeonite and augite composition across individual grains in all thin sections; variation within either Mg or Ca concentration varies from core to rim within the grains. This variation can also be seen in modal mineralogy maps using SEM-derived element maps and the Photoshop® technique previously described [4], and in new micro-spectroscopy data, particularly within the Zagami meteorite. New mineral spectra have been gathered from the Shergottite thin-sections by

  20. The engineering of a nuclear thermal landing and ascent vehicle utilizing indigenous Martian propellant

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zubrin, Robert M.

    1990-01-01

    A design study of a novel space transportation concept called NIMF (Nuclear rocket using Indigenous Martian Fuel) is reported. In this concept, Martian CO2 gas, which constitutes 95 percent of the atmosphere, is liquified by simple compression to about 100 psi and remains stable without refrigeration. When heated and exhausted out of a rocket nozzle, a specific impulse of about 264 s can be achieved, sufficient for flights from the surface to highly energetic orbits or from one point on the surface to any other point. The propellant acquisition system can travel with the vehicle, allowing it to refuel itself each time it lands. The concept offers unequalled potential to achieve planetwide mobility, allowing complete global access for the exploration of Mars. By eliminating the necessity of transporting ascent propellant to Mars, the NIMF can also significantly reduce the initial mass in LEO and of a manned Mars mission.

  1. Modelling of the dose-rate variations with depth in the Martian regolith using GEANT4

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Morthekai, P.; Jain, M.; Dartnell, L.; Murray, A.S.; Botter-Jensen, L.; Desorgher, L.

    2007-01-01

    The environmental radiation field at the Martian surface consists mainly of Galactic Cosmic Rays (GCR) and charged particles ejected during the Solar Particle Events (SPE). Interactions between these radiation fluxes and the regolith result in a complex radiation field that varies both as a function of depth and time and can only be quantified using radiation transport models. We first describe here the main issues and constraints in deriving Martian dose rates. Preliminary results, obtained using the GEANT4 Monte Carlo simulation tool kit, suggest the surface dose rate is ∼63 mGy a -1 during quiet periods in solar activity. The accuracy of the model predictions has been tested by comparison with published observations of cosmic ray dose-rate variation in the Earth's atmosphere

  2. Crater size-frequency distributions and a revised Martian relative chronology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Barlow, N.G.

    1988-01-01

    A relative plotting technique is applied to Viking 1:2M photomosaics of 25,826 Martian craters of diameter greater than 8 km and age younger than that of the Martian surface. The size-frequency distribution curves are calculated and analyzed in detail, and the results are presented in extensive tables and maps. It is found that about 60 percent of the crater-containing lithologic units, including many small volcanoes and the ridged planes, were formed during the heavy-bombardment period (HBP), while 40 percent arose after the HBP. Wide region-to-region variation in the crater density is noted, and localized age estimates are provided. 42 references

  3. Hydrogen Isotopes Record the History of the Martian Hydrosphere and Atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Usui, T.; Simon, J. I.; Jones, J. H.; Kurokawa, H.; Sato, M.; Alexander, C. M. O'D; Wang, J.

    2015-01-01

    The surface geology and geomorphology of Mars indicates that it was once warm enough to maintain a large body of liquid water on its surface, though such a warm environment might have been transient. The transition to the present cold and dry Mars is closely linked to the history of surface water, yet the evolution of surficial water is poorly constrained. This study presents insights from hydrogen isotopes for the origin and evolution of Martian water reservoirs.

  4. Biosignatures on Mars: What, Where, and How? Implications for the Search for Martian Life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Westall, Frances; Foucher, Frédéric; Bost, Nicolas; Bertrand, Marylène; Loizeau, Damien; Vago, Jorge L; Kminek, Gerhard; Gaboyer, Frédéric; Campbell, Kathleen A; Bréhéret, Jean-Gabriel; Gautret, Pascale; Cockell, Charles S

    2015-11-01

    The search for traces of life is one of the principal objectives of Mars exploration. Central to this objective is the concept of habitability, the set of conditions that allows the appearance of life and successful establishment of microorganisms in any one location. While environmental conditions may have been conducive to the appearance of life early in martian history, habitable conditions were always heterogeneous on a spatial scale and in a geological time frame. This "punctuated" scenario of habitability would have had important consequences for the evolution of martian life, as well as for the presence and preservation of traces of life at a specific landing site. We hypothesize that, given the lack of long-term, continuous habitability, if martian life developed, it was (and may still be) chemotrophic and anaerobic. Obtaining nutrition from the same kinds of sources as early terrestrial chemotrophic life and living in the same kinds of environments, the fossilized traces of the latter serve as useful proxies for understanding the potential distribution of martian chemotrophs and their fossilized traces. Thus, comparison with analog, anaerobic, volcanic terrestrial environments (Early Archean >3.5-3.33 Ga) shows that the fossil remains of chemotrophs in such environments were common, although sparsely distributed, except in the vicinity of hydrothermal activity where nutrients were readily available. Moreover, the traces of these kinds of microorganisms can be well preserved, provided that they are rapidly mineralized and that the sediments in which they occur are rapidly cemented. We evaluate the biogenicity of these signatures by comparing them to possible abiotic features. Finally, we discuss the implications of different scenarios for life on Mars for detection by in situ exploration, ranging from its non-appearance, through preserved traces of life, to the presence of living microorganisms. Mars-Early Earth-Anaerobic chemotrophs

  5. Synthesis of Sol-Gel Precursors for Ceramics from Lunar and Martian Soil Simulars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sibille, L.; Gavira-Gallardo, J. A.; Hourlier-Bahloul, D.

    2004-01-01

    Recent NASA mission plans for the human exploration of our Solar System has set new priorities for research and development of technologies necessary to enable a long-term human presence on the Moon and Mars. The recovery and processing of metals and oxides from mineral sources on other planets is under study to enable use of ceramics, glasses and metals by explorer outposts. We report initial results on the production of sol-gel precursors for ceramic products using mineral resources available in martian or lunar soil. The presence of SO2, TiO2, and Al2O3 in both martian (44 wt.% SiO2, 1 wt.% TiO2, 7 wt.% Al2O3) and lunar (48 wt.% SiO2, 1.5 wt.% TiO2, 16 wt.% Al2O3) soils and the recent developments in chemical processes to solubilize silicates using organic reagents and relatively little energy indicate that such an endeavor is possible. In order to eliminate the risks involved in the use of hydrofluoric acid to dissolve silicates, two distinct chemical routes are investigated to obtain soluble silicon oxide precursors from lunar and martian soil simulars. Clear solutions of sol-gel precursors have been obtained by dissolution of silica from lunar soil similar JSC-1 in basic ethylene glycol (C2H4(OH)2) solutions to form silicon glycolates. Similarly, sol-gel solutions produced from martian soil simulars reveal higher contents of iron oxides. Characterization of the precursor molecules and efforts to further concentrate and hydrolyze the products to obtain gel materials will be presented for evaluation as ceramic precursors.

  6. Prototype detector development for measurement of high altitude Martian dust using a future orbiter platform

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pabari, Jayesh; Patel, Darshil; Chokhawala, Vimmi; Bogavelly, Anvesh

    2016-07-01

    Dust devils mostly occur during the mid of Southern hemisphere summer on Mars and play a key role in the background dust opacity. Due to continuous bombardment of micrometeorites, secondary ejecta come out from the Moons of the Mars and can easily escape. This phenomenon can contribute dust around the Moons and therefore, also around the Mars. Similar to the Moons of the Earth, the surfaces of the Martian Moons get charged and cause the dust levitation to occur, adding to the possible dust source. Also, interplanetary dust particles may be able to reach the Mars and contribute further. It is hypothesized that the high altitude Martian dust could be in the form of a ring or tori around the Mars. However, no such rings have been detected to the present day. Typically, width and height of the dust torus is ~5 Mars radii wide (~16950 km) in both the planes as reported in the literature. Recently, very high altitude dust at about 1000 km has been found by MAVEN mission and it is expected that the dust may be concentrated at about 150 to 500 km. However, a langmuir probe cannot explain the source of such dust particles. It is a puzzling question to the space scientist how dust has reached to such high altitudes. A dedicated dust instrument on future Mars orbiter may be helpful to address such issues. To study origin, abundance, distribution and seasonal variation of Martian dust, a Mars Orbit Dust Experiment (MODEX) is proposed. In order to measure the Martian dust from a future orbiter, design of a prototype of an impact ionization dust detector has been initiated at PRL. This paper presents developmental aspects of the prototype dust detector and initial results. The further work is underway.

  7. Synthesis of Sol-Gel Precursors for Ceramics from Lunar and Martian Soil Simulars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sibille, L.; Gavira-Gallardo, J. A.; Hourlier-Bahloul, D.

    2003-01-01

    Recent NASA mission plans for the human exploration of our Solar System has set new priorities for research and development of technologies necessary to enable a long-term human presence on the Moon and Mars. The recovery and processing of metals and oxides from mineral sources on other planets is under study to enable use of ceramics, glasses and metals by explorer outposts. We report initial results on the production of sol-gel precursors for ceramic products using mineral resources available in martian or lunar soil. The presence of SiO2, TiO2, and Al2O3 in both martian (44 wt.% SiO2, 1 wt.% TiO2,7 wt.% Al2O3) and lunar (48 wt.% SiO2, 1.5 wt.% TiO2, 16 wt.% Al2O3) soils and the recent developments in chemical processes to solubilize silicates using organic reagents and relatively little energy indicate that such an endeavor is possible. In order to eliminate the risks involved in the use of hydrofluoric acid to dissolve silicates, two distinct chemical routes are investigated to obtain soluble silicon oxide precursors from lunar and martian soil simulars. Clear solutions of sol-gel precursors have been obtained by dissolution of silica from lunar soil simular in basic ethylene glycol (C2H4(OH)2) solutions to form silicon glycolates. Similarly, sol-gel solutions produced from martian soil simulars reveal higher contents of iron oxides. The elemental composition and structure of the precursor molecules were characterized. Further concentration and hydrolysis of the products was performed to obtain gel materials for evaluation as ceramic precursors.

  8. The Martian polar caps: Stability and water transport at low obliquities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henderson, B. G.; Jakosky, B. M.

    1992-01-01

    The seasonal cycle of water on Mars is regulated by the two polar caps. In the winter hemisphere, the seasonal CO2 deposits at a temperature near 150 K acts as a cold trap to remove water vapor from the atmosphere. When summer returns, water is pumped back into the atmosphere by a number of mechanisms, including release from the receding CO2 frost, diffusion from the polar regolith, and sublimation from a water-ice residual cap. These processes drive an exchange of water vapor between the polar caps that helps shape the Martian climate. Thus, understanding the behavior of the polar caps is important for interpreting the Martian climate both now and at other epochs. Mars' obliquity undergoes large variations over large time scales. As the obliquity decreases, the poles receive less solar energy so that more CO2 condenses from the atmosphere onto the poles. It has been suggested that permanent CO2 condenses from the atmosphere onto the poles. It has been suggested that permanent CO2 caps might form at the poles in response to a feedback mechanism existing between the polar cap albedo, the CO2 pressure, and the dust storm frequency. The year-round presence of the CO2 deposits would effectively dry out the atmosphere, while diffusion of water from the regolith would be the only source of water vapor to the atmosphere. We have reviewed the CO2 balance at low obliquity taking into account the asymmetries which make the north and south hemispheres different. Our analysis linked with a numerical model of the polar caps leads us to believe that one summertime cap will always lose its CO2 cover during a Martian year, although we cannot predict which cap this will be. We conclude that significant amounts of water vapor will sublime from the exposed cap during summer, and the Martian atmosphere will support an active water cycle even at low obliquity.

  9. Localized Models of Charged Particle Motion in Martian Crustal Magnetic Cusps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brain, D. A.; Poppe, A. R.; Jarvinen, R.; Dong, Y.; Egan, H. L.; Fang, X.

    2017-12-01

    The induced magnetosphere of Mars is punctuated by localized but strong crustal magnetic fields that are observed to play host to a variety of phenomena typically associated with global magnetic fields, such as auroral processes and particle precipitation, field-aligned current systems, and ion outflow. Each of these phenomena occur on the night side, in small-scale magnetic `cusp' regions of vertically aligned field. Cusp regions are not yet capable of being spatially resolved in global scale models that include the ion kinetics necessary for simulating charged particle transport along cusps. Local models are therefore necessary if we are to understand how cusp processes operate at Mars. Here we present the first results of an effort to model the kinetic particle motion and electric fields in Martian cusps. We are adapting both a 1.5D Particle-in-Cell (PIC) model for lunar magnetic cusps regions to the Martian case and a hybrid model framework (used previously for the global Martian plasma interaction and for lunar magnetic anomaly regions) to cusps in 2D. By comparing the models we can asses the importance of electron kinetics in particle transport along cusp field lines. In this first stage of our study we model a moderately strong nightside cusp, with incident hot hydrogen plasma from above, and cold planetary (oxygen) plasma entering the simulation from below. We report on the spatial and temporal distribution of plasma along cusp field lines for this initial case.

  10. Survival and death of the haloarchaeon Natronorubrum strain HG-1 in a simulated martian environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peeters, Z.; Vos, D.; ten Kate, I. L.; Selch, F.; van Sluis, C. A.; Sorokin, D. Yu.; Muijzer, G.; Stan-Lotter, H.; van Loosdrecht, M. C. M.; Ehrenfreund, P.

    2010-11-01

    Halophilic archaea are of interest to astrobiology due to their survival capabilities in desiccated and high salt environments. The detection of remnants of salty pools on Mars stimulated investigations into the response of haloarchaea to martian conditions. Natronorubrum sp. strain HG-1 is an extremely halophilic archaeon with unusual metabolic pathways, growing on acetate and stimulated by tetrathionate. We exposed Natronorubrum strain HG-1 to ultraviolet (UV) radiation, similar to levels currently prevalent on Mars. In addition, the effects of low temperature (4, -20, and -80 °C), desiccation, and exposure to a Mars soil analogue from the Atacama desert on the viability of Natronorubrum strain HG-1 cultures were investigated. The results show that Natronorubrum strain HG-1 cannot survive for more than several hours when exposed to UV radiation equivalent to that at the martian equator. Even when protected from UV radiation, viability is impaired by a combination of desiccation and low temperature. Desiccating Natronorubrum strain HG-1 cells when mixed with a Mars soil analogue impaired growth of the culture to below the detection limit. Overall, we conclude that Natronorubrum strain HG-1 cannot survive the environment currently present on Mars. Since other halophilic microorganisms were reported to survive simulated martian conditions, our results imply that survival capabilities are not necessarily shared between phylogenetically related species.

  11. The engineering of a nuclear thermal landing and ascent vehicle utilizing indigenous Martian propellant

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zubrin, R.M.

    1991-01-01

    The following paper reports on a design study of a novel space transportation concept known as a ''NIMF'' (Nuclear rocket using Indigenous Martian Fuel.) The NIMF is a ballistic vehicle which obtains its propellant out of the Martian air by compression and liquefaction of atmospheric CO 2 . This propellant is subsequently used to generate rocket thrust at a specific impulse of 264 s by being heated to high temperature (2800 K) gas in the NIMFs' nuclear thermal rocket engines. The vehicle is designed to provide surface to orbit and surface to surface transportation, as well as housing, for a crew of three astronauts. It is capable of refueling itself for a flight to its maximum orbit in less than 50 days. The ballistic NIMF has a mass of 44.7 tonnes and, with the assumed 2800 K propellant temperature, is capable of attaining highly energetic (250 km by 34000 km elliptical) orbits. This allows it to rendezvous with interplanetary transfer vehicles which are only very loosely bound into orbit around Mars. If a propellant temperature of 2000 K is assumed, then low Mars orbit can be attained; while if 3100 K is assumed, then the ballistic NIMF is capable of injecting itself onto a minimum energy transfer orbit to Earth in a direct ascent from the Martian surface

  12. Looking for a Source of Water in Martian Basltic Breccia NWA 7034

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muttik, N.; Agee, C. B.; McCubbin, F. M.; McCuttcheon, W. A.; Provencio, P. P.; Keller, L. P.; Santos, A. R..; Shearer, C. K.

    2014-01-01

    The recently described martian meteorite NWA 7034 has high water content compared to other SNC meteorites. Deuterium to hydrogen isotope ratio measurements indicates that there are two distinct delta-D components in NWA 7034, a low temperature (150-500degC) light component around -100per mille and a high temperature (300-1000degC) heavy component around +300per mille. NWA 7034 contains iron-rich phases that are likely secondary aqueous alteration products. They are commonly found as spheroidal objects of various sizes that are often rich in Fe-Ti oxides and possibly iron hydroxides. Iron oxides and oxyhydroxides are very common in weathered rocks and soils on Earth and Mars and they are important components of terrestrial and Martian dust. In NWA 7034 iron-rich phases are found throughout the fine-grained basaltic groundmass of the meteorite. The total amount of martian H2O in NWA 7034 is reported to be 6000 ppm, and in this study we attempt to determine the phase distribution of this H2O by texturally describing and characterizing hydrous phases in NWA 7034, using Fourier transform infrared spectrometry (FTIR) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM).

  13. Martian crustal dichotomy: product of accretion and not a specific event?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Frey, H.; Schultz, R.A.; Maxwell, T.A.

    1987-01-01

    Attempts to explain the fundamental crustal dichotomy on Mars range from purely endogenic to extreme exogenic processes, but to date no satisfactory theory has evolved. What is accepted is: (1) the dichotomy is an ancient feature of the Martian crust, and (2) the boundary between the cratered highlands and northern plains which marks the dichotomy in parts of Mars has undergone significant and variable modification during the observable parts of Martian history. Some ascribe it to a single mega-impact event, essentially an instantaneous rearrangement of the crustal structures (topography and lithospheric thickness). Others prefer an internal mechanism: a period of vigorous convection subcrustally erodes the northern one third of Mars, causing foundering and isostatic lowering of that part of Mars. The evidence for each theory is reviewed, with the conclusion that there is little to recommend either. An alternative is suggested: the formation of the crustal dichotomy on Mars was not a specific tectonic event but a byproduct of the accretionary process and therefore a primordial characteristic of the Martian crust, predating the oldest recognizable landforms

  14. The Payun-Matru lava field: a source of analogues for Martian long lava flows

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giacomini, L.; Pasquarè, G.; Massironi, M.; Frigeri, A.; Bistacchi, A.; Frederico, C.

    2007-08-01

    with the Payun Matru summit caldera development [7]. Finally a new phase of basaltic volcanism developed from Carbonilla Fault and was associated again with pahoehoe lavas and, at the final stage, by very long "aa" lava flows characterized by spectacular channel-levees systems. Hence, the Payun Matru lava field shows a multiplicity of flow surface morphologies linked to different lava types and related emplacement mechanisms, therefore it can represent an outstanding analogue of several Martian flows. In addition, the understanding of propagation processes of Payun Matru exceptionally widespread flows can give important clues in the comprehension of emplacement mechanisms of the long flows on Mars. Remote sensing data used to map and observe the Payun Matru can be compared with data acquired by similar instruments from various scientific missions to Mars. Mars Global Surveyor's Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) data has been used to observe the morphology of the Martian lava flows with a resolution of about 10 meters per pixel in order to compare them with the Payn Matru lava flows. The Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) was used to investigate the topographic environment over which flows propagated, whereas HRSC data are needed to possibly determine flow thickness and morphological variability. Arsia Mons lava field that includes the longest flows on Mars [8] shows many analogues of the Payun Matru lava flows since it is mainly characterized by sheet-flows with uniform ridged surface texture locally showing features like lava rises and lava tubes. In particular the extensive flow field in Daedalia Planum, at about 300 km south-west of Arsia Mons, is characterized by lobes reaching several kilometeres in length, although the slope of the region is generally minor of 0,5 degree [9]. Therefore it is very likely that inflation is the main emplacement process of these long flows. The presence of tumuli and lava ridges, detected in several areas of the lava field, seems to support

  15. Paloma-radon: Atmospheric radon-222 as a geochemical probe for water in the Martian subsoil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sabroux, J.-C.; Michielsen, N.; Voisin, V.; Ferry, C.; Richon, P.; Pineau, J.-F.; Le Roulley, J.-C.; Chassefière, E.

    2003-04-01

    Radon exhalation from a porous soil is known to depend strongly on the soil moisture content: a minute amount of water, or water ice, in the pore space increases dramatically the possibility for radon to migrate far from its parent mineral. We propose to take advantage of this characteristic by using atmospheric radon-222 as a geochemical probe for water in the Martian soil, at least one order of magnitude deeper than the current Mars Odyssey neutron data. Strong thermal inversions during the Martian night will accumulate radon in the lowest atmospheric boundary layer, up to measurable levels despite the comparatively high environmental (cosmic and solar) background radiation and the assumed low uranium content of the upper crust of the planet. Preliminary studies and development of an instrument for the measurement of the Martian atmospheric alpha radioactivity is part of the CNES-supported PALOMA experiment. Two test benches have been implemented, one of them allowing differential measurements of the diffusion of radon in the Martian soil simulant NASA JSC Mars-1, under relevant temperatures and pressures. The other, a 1 m^3 radon-dedicated test bench, aims to characterize the instrument that will measure radon in the Mars environment (7 mb CO_2). Tests on several nuclear radiation detectors show that semiconductor alpha-particle detectors (PIPS) are the best option (already on board the Mars Pathfinder Rover and other platforms). In addition, the detection volume is left open in order to capitalize upon the long (ca. 4 m) alpha track at this low pressure. A stationary diffusion model was developed in order to assess the radon flux at the Mars soil surface. Diffusion of gas in Martian soil is governed by Knudsen diffusion. The radon Knudsen diffusion coefficient was estimated, depending on the soil moisture and relevant structural properties, leading to a radon diffusion length of the order of 20 m. The landed platform PALOMA-Radon instrument will consist of a

  16. Paloma-radon: atmospheric radon 222 as a geochemical probe for water in the martian subsoil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sabroux, J.Ch.; Michielsen, N.; Voisin, V.

    2003-01-01

    Radon exhalation from a porous soil is known to depend strongly on the soil moisture content: a minute amount of water, or water ice, in the pore space increases dramatically the possibility for radon to migrate far from its parent mineral. We propose to take advantage of this characteristic by using atmospheric radon 222 as a geochemical probe for water in the Martian soil, at least one order of magnitude deeper than the current Mars Odyssey neutron data. Strong thermal inversions during the Martian night will accumulate radon in the lowest atmospheric boundary layer, up to measurable levels despite the comparatively high environmental (cosmic and solar) background radiation and the assumed low uranium content of the upper crust of the planet. Preliminary studies and development of an instrument for the measurement of the Martian atmospheric alpha radioactivity is part of the CNES supported PALOMA experiment. Two test benches have been implemented, one of them allowing differential measurements of the diffusion of radon in the Martian soil simulant NASA JSC Mars-1, under relevant temperatures and pressures. The other, a 1 m3 radon-dedicated test bench, aims to characterize the instrument that will measure radon in the Mars environment (7 mb CO 2 ). Tests on several nuclear radiation detectors show that semiconductor alpha-particle detectors (PIPS) are the best option. In addition, the detection volume is left open in order to capitalize upon the long (ca. 4 m) alpha track at this low pressure. A stationary diffusion model was developed in order to assess the radon flux at the Mars soil surface. Diffusion of gas in Martian soil is governed by Knudsen diffusion. The radon Knudsen diffusion coefficient was estimated, depending on the soil moisture and relevant structural properties, leading to a radon diffusion length of the order of 20 m. The landed platform PALOMA-Radon instrument will consist of a set of alpha detectors connected to an electronic spectrometer, a

  17. Paloma-radon: atmospheric radon 222 as a geochemical probe for water in the martian subsoil

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sabroux, J.Ch.; Michielsen, N.; Voisin, V

    2003-07-01

    Radon exhalation from a porous soil is known to depend strongly on the soil moisture content: a minute amount of water, or water ice, in the pore space increases dramatically the possibility for radon to migrate far from its parent mineral. We propose to take advantage of this characteristic by using atmospheric radon 222 as a geochemical probe for water in the Martian soil, at least one order of magnitude deeper than the current Mars Odyssey neutron data. Strong thermal inversions during the Martian night will accumulate radon in the lowest atmospheric boundary layer, up to measurable levels despite the comparatively high environmental (cosmic and solar) background radiation and the assumed low uranium content of the upper crust of the planet. Preliminary studies and development of an instrument for the measurement of the Martian atmospheric alpha radioactivity is part of the CNES supported PALOMA experiment. Two test benches have been implemented, one of them allowing differential measurements of the diffusion of radon in the Martian soil simulant NASA JSC Mars-1, under relevant temperatures and pressures. The other, a 1 m3 radon-dedicated test bench, aims to characterize the instrument that will measure radon in the Mars environment (7 mb CO{sub 2}). Tests on several nuclear radiation detectors show that semiconductor alpha-particle detectors (PIPS) are the best option. In addition, the detection volume is left open in order to capitalize upon the long (ca. 4 m) alpha track at this low pressure. A stationary diffusion model was developed in order to assess the radon flux at the Mars soil surface. Diffusion of gas in Martian soil is governed by Knudsen diffusion. The radon Knudsen diffusion coefficient was estimated, depending on the soil moisture and relevant structural properties, leading to a radon diffusion length of the order of 20 m. The landed platform PALOMA-Radon instrument will consist of a set of alpha detectors connected to an electronic spectrometer

  18. The Martian surface radiation environment – a comparison of models and MSL/RAD measurements

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthiä Daniel

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Context: The Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL has been measuring the radiation environment on the surface of Mars since August 6th 2012. MSL-RAD is the first instrument to provide detailed information about charged and neutral particle spectra and dose rates on the Martian surface, and one of the primary objectives of the RAD investigation is to help improve and validate current radiation transport models. Aims: Applying different numerical transport models with boundary conditions derived from the MSL-RAD environment the goal of this work was to both provide predictions for the particle spectra and the radiation exposure on the Martian surface complementing the RAD sensitive range and, at the same time, validate the results with the experimental data, where applicable. Such validated models can be used to predict dose rates for future manned missions as well as for performing shield optimization studies. Methods: Several particle transport models (GEANT4, PHITS, HZETRN/OLTARIS were used to predict the particle flux and the corresponding radiation environment caused by galactic cosmic radiation on Mars. From the calculated particle spectra the dose rates on the surface are estimated. Results: Calculations of particle spectra and dose rates induced by galactic cosmic radiation on the Martian surface are presented. Although good agreement is found in many cases for the different transport codes, GEANT4, PHITS, and HZETRN/OLTARIS, some models still show large, sometimes order of magnitude discrepancies in certain particle spectra. We have found that RAD data is helping to make better choices of input parameters and physical models. Elements of these validated models can be applied to more detailed studies on how the radiation environment is influenced by solar modulation, Martian atmosphere and soil, and changes due to the Martian seasonal pressure cycle. By extending the range of the calculated particle

  19. Probing the Martian Exosphere and Neutral Escape Using Pickup Ions Measured by MAVEN

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rahmati, A.; Larson, D. E.; Cravens, T.; Halekas, J. S.; Lillis, R. J.; McFadden, J. P.; Mitchell, D. L.; Thiemann, E.; Connerney, J. E. P.; Dunn, P.; DiBraccio, G. A.; Espley, J. R.; Eparvier, F. G.; Jakosky, B. M.

    2016-12-01

    Soon after the MAVEN (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN) spacecraft started orbiting Mars in September 2014, the SEP (Solar Energetic Particle), SWIA (Solar Wind Ion Analyzer), and STATIC (Supra-Thermal and Thermal Ion Composition) instruments onboard the spacecraft started detecting planetary pickup ions. SEP can measure energetic (>50 keV) oxygen pickup ions, the source of which is the extended hot oxygen exosphere of Mars. Model results show that these pickup ions originate from tens of Martian radii upstream of Mars and are energized by the solar wind motional electric field as they gyrate back towards Mars. SEP is blind to pickup hydrogen, as the low energy threshold for detection of hydrogen in SEP is 20 keV; well above the maximum pickup hydrogen energy, which is four times the solar wind proton energy. SWIA and STATIC, on the other hand, can detect both pickup oxygen and pickup hydrogen with energies below 30 keV and created closer to Mars. During the times when MAVEN is outside the Martian bow shock and in the upstream undisturbed solar wind, the solar wind velocity measured by SWIA and the solar wind (or interplanetary) magnetic field measured by the MAG (magnetometer) instrument can be used to model pickup oxygen and hydrogen fluxes near Mars. Solar wind flux measurements of the SWIA instrument are used in calculating charge-exchange frequencies, and data from the EUVM (Extreme Ultraviolet Monitor) and SWEA (Solar Wind Electron Analyzer) instruments are also used in calculating photo-ionization and electron impact frequencies of neutral species in the Martian exosphere. By comparing SEP, SWIA, and STATIC measured pickup ion fluxes with model results, the Martian thermal hydrogen and hot oxygen neutral densities can be probed outside the bow shock, which would place constraints on estimates of oxygen and hydrogen neutral escape rates. We will present model-data comparisons of pickup ions measured outside the Martian bow shock. Our analysis reveals an

  20. Visible and Mid-Infrared Gypsum Optical Constants for Modeling of Martian Deposits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roush, Ted L.; Esposito, Francesca; Rossmann, George R.; Colangeli, Luigi

    2007-08-01

    Introduction: Recent and on-going remote and in situ observations indicate that sulfates are present in significant abundances at various locations on Mars [1-7]. The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) imaging spectrometer (CRISM) is returning hyperspectral data at higher spatial resolution [8] than the OMEGA instrument on the Mars Express Mission [3]. Data from both OMEGA and CRISM have provided spectral evidence for the presence of gypsum and various hydrated sulfates on the Martian surface [e.g. 3-7] Thus, the optical properties of sulfates, in general, are of interest to quantitative interpretation of this increasing volume of remotely sensed data. This is because optical constants describe how a material interacts with electromagnetic radiation and represent the fundamental values used in radiative transfer calculations describing a variety of physical environments. Such environments include atmospheres where aerosols are present, planetary and satellite regoliths, and circumstellar dust clouds. Here we focus upon gypsum because of its applicability due to its identification on Mars. Also, gypsum is a mineral that is readily available in samples sizes that are suitable for study using a variety of spectral measurements. In the infrared (>5 μm) several studies reporting the optical constants of gypsum can be used in evaluating the approach used here. Most importantly, there is a general lack of data regarding the optical constants for gypsum at visible and mid-infrared wavelengths (0.4-5 μm) that are being observed by OMEGA and CRISM. Background: In the infrared, there have been several studies focused at determining the optical constants of gypsum using classical dispersion models [9-11]. These have used a variety of samples including; crystals, compressed pellets of pure materials, and grains suspended in a KBr matrix. Spectral measurements of gypsum, and other sulfates, have existed for about 100 years at visible and mid-infrared wavelengths (0.4-5 μm) [e

  1. Effect of Shadowing on Survival of Bacteria under Conditions Simulating the Martian Atmosphere and UV Radiation▿ †

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osman, Shariff; Peeters, Zan; La Duc, Myron T.; Mancinelli, Rocco; Ehrenfreund, Pascale; Venkateswaran, Kasthuri

    2008-01-01

    Spacecraft-associated spores and four non-spore-forming bacterial isolates were prepared in Atacama Desert soil suspensions and tested both in solution and in a desiccated state to elucidate the shadowing effect of soil particulates on bacterial survival under simulated Martian atmospheric and UV irradiation conditions. All non-spore-forming cells that were prepared in nutrient-depleted, 0.2-μm-filtered desert soil (DSE) microcosms and desiccated for 75 days on aluminum died, whereas cells prepared similarly in 60-μm-filtered desert soil (DS) microcosms survived such conditions. Among the bacterial cells tested, Microbacterium schleiferi and Arthrobacter sp. exhibited elevated resistance to 254-nm UV irradiation (low-pressure Hg lamp), and their survival indices were comparable to those of DS- and DSE-associated Bacillus pumilus spores. Desiccated DSE-associated spores survived exposure to full Martian UV irradiation (200 to 400 nm) for 5 min and were only slightly affected by Martian atmospheric conditions in the absence of UV irradiation. Although prolonged UV irradiation (5 min to 12 h) killed substantial portions of the spores in DSE microcosms (∼5- to 6-log reduction with Martian UV irradiation), dramatic survival of spores was apparent in DS-spore microcosms. The survival of soil-associated wild-type spores under Martian conditions could have repercussions for forward contamination of extraterrestrial environments, especially Mars. PMID:18083857

  2. Martian lineaments from Mariner 6 and 7 photographs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schultz, P. H.; Ingerson, F. E.

    1973-01-01

    Mariner 6 and 7 photographs were used to investigate the nature and importance of linear surface trends on Mars. Cross correlations of frequency-azimuth distributions of linear trends from different Mariner frames indicate that lineations not recognized as topographic features have a component of pseudoforms, probably introduced during digital reconstruction of the pictures. Similar statistical tests may aid in the analysis of surface trends from future satellites and space probes. The most reliable data were separated into photometrically defined provinces. Meridiani Sinus and Margaritifer Sinus display five major trends in common, which are interpreted as extensions of crustal weaknesses related to the enormous equatorial canyon revealed in Mariner 6 and 9 pictures. Alignments of crater wall segments generally match these trends and suggest structural control of crater plan. Crater chains, however, do not match these trends and are interpreted as secondary impacts. Rose diagrams of lineations in Deucalionis Regio exhibit much more complexity and are believed to reflect a better preserved or more complex geologic history.

  3. Silver contents and Cu/Ag ratios in Martian meteorites and the implications for planetary differentiation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Zaicong; Becker, Harry

    2017-11-01

    Silver and Cu show very similar partitioning behavior in sulfide melt-silicate melt and metal-silicate systems at low and high pressure-temperature (P-T) experimental conditions, implying that mantle melting, fractional crystallization and core-mantle differentiation have at most modest (within a factor of 3) effects on Cu/Ag ratios. For this reason, it is likely that Cu/Ag ratios in mantle-derived magmatic products of planetary bodies reflect that of the mantle and, in some circumstances, also the bulk planet composition. To test this hypothesis, new Ag mass fractions and Cu/Ag ratios in different groups of Martian meteorites are presented and compared with data from chondrites and samples from the Earth's mantle. Silver contents in lherzolitic, olivine-phyric and basaltic shergottites and nakhlites range between 1.9 and 12.3 ng/g. The data display a negative trend with MgO content and correlate positively with Cu contents. In spite of displaying variable initial Ɛ143Nd values and representing a diverse spectrum of magmatic evolution and physiochemical conditions, shergottites and nakhlites display limited variations of Cu/Ag ratios (1080 ± 320, 1 s, n = 14). The relatively constant Cu/Ag suggests limited fractionation of Ag from Cu during the formation and evolution of the parent magmas, irrespectively of whether sulfide saturation was attained or not. The mean Cu/Ag ratio of Martian meteorites thus reflects that of the Martian mantle and constrains its Ag content to 1.9 ± 0.7 ng/g (1 s). Carbonaceous and enstatite chondrites display a limited range of Cu/Ag ratios of mostly 500-2400. Ordinary chondrites show a larger scatter of Cu/Ag up to 4500, which may have been caused by Ag redistribution during parent body metamorphism. The majority of chondrites have Cu/Ag ratios indistinguishable from the Martian mantle value, indicating that Martian core formation strongly depleted Cu and Ag contents, but probably did not significantly change the Cu/Ag ratio of the

  4. An assessment of the meteoritic contribution to the Martian soil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Flynn, G.J.; McKay, D.S.

    1990-01-01

    The addition of meteoritic material to the Mars soils should perturb their chemical compositions, as has been detected for soils on the Moon and sediments on Earth. Using the measured mass influx at Earth and estimates of the Mars/Earth flux ratio, the authors estimate the continuous, planet-wide meteoritic mass influx on Mars to be between 2,700 and 59,000 t/yr. If distributed uniformly into a soil with a mean planetary production rate of 1 m/b.y., consistent with radar estimates of the soil depth overlaying a bouldered terrain in the Tharsis region, their estimated mass influx would produce a meteoritic concentration in the Mars soil ranging from 2 to 29% by mass. Analysis of the Viking X ray fluorescence data indicates that the Mars soil composition is inconsistent with typical basaltic rock fragments but can be fit by a mixture of 60% basaltic rock fragments and 40% meteoritic material. The meteoritic influx they calculate is sufficient to provide most or all of the material required by the Clark and Baird model. Particles in the mass range from 10 -7 to 10 -3 g, about 60-1,200 μm in diameter, contribute 80% of the total mass flux of meteoritic material in the 10 -13 to 10 6 g mass range at Earth. On Earth atmospheric entry all but the smallest particles (generally ≤ 50 μm in diameter) in the 10 -7 to 10 -3 g mass range are heated sufficiently to melt or vaporize. Mars, because of its lower escape velocity and larger atmospheric scale height, is a much more favorable site for unmelted survival of micrometeorites on atmospheric deceleration. They calculate that a significant fraction of particles throughout the 60-1,200 μm diameter range will survive Mars atmospheric entry unmelted

  5. Physical properties of the martian surface from the Viking 1 lander: preliminary results

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shorthill, R.W.; Hutton, R.E.; Moore, H.J. II; Scott, R.E.; Spitzer, C.R.

    1976-01-01

    The purpose of the physical properties experiment is to determine the characteristics of the martian ''soil'' based on the use of the Viking lander imaging system, the surface sampler, and engineering sensors. Viking 1 lander made physical contact with the surface of Mars at 11:53:07.1 hours on 20 July 1976 G.M.T. Twenty-five seconds later a high-resolution image sequence of the area around a footpad was started which contained the first information about surface conditions on Mars. The next image is a survey of the martian landscape in front of the lander, including a view of the top support of two of the landing legs. Each leg has a stroke gauge which extends from the top of the leg support an amount equal to the crushing experienced by the shock absorbers during touchdown. Subsequent images provided views of all three stroke gauges which, together with the knowledge of the impact velocity, allow determination of ''soil'' properties. In the images there is evidence of surface erosion from the engines. Several laboratory tests were carried out prior to the mission with a descent engine to determine what surface alterations might occur during a Mars landing. On sol 2 the shroud, which protected the surface sampler collector head from biological contamination, was ejected onto the surface. Later a cylindrical pin which dropped from the boom housing of the surface sampler during the modified unlatching sequence produced a crater (the second Mars penetrometer experiment). These two experiments provided further insight into the physical properties of the martian surface

  6. The Zodiacal Cloud Model applied to the Martian atmosphere. Diurnal variations in meteoric ion layers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carrillo-Sánchez, J. D.; Plane, J. M. C.; Withers, P.; Fallows, K.; Nesvorny, D.; Pokorný, P.

    2016-12-01

    Sporadic metal layers have been detected in the Martian atmosphere by radio occultation measurements using the Mars Express Orbiter and Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft. More recently, metallic ion layers produced by the meteor storm event following the close encounter between Comet Siding Spring (C/2013 A1) and Mars were identified by the Imaging UltraViolet Spectrograph (IUVS) and the Neutral Gas and Ion Mass Spectrometer (NGIMS) on the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) spacecraft. Work is now in progress to detect the background metal layers produced by the influx of sporadic meteors. In this study we predict the likely appearance of these layers. The Zodiacal Dust Cloud (ZDC) model for particle populations released by asteroids (AST), and dust grains from Jupiter Family Comets (JFCs) and Halley-Type Comets (HTCs) has been combined with a Monte Carlo sampling method and the Chemical ABlation MODel (CABMOD) to predict the ablation rates of Na, K, Fe, Si, Mg, Ca and Al above 40 km altitude in the Martian atmosphere. CABMOD considers the standard treatment of meteor physics, including the balance of frictional heating by radiative losses and the absorption of heat energy through temperature increases, melting phase transitions and vaporization, as well as sputtering by inelastic collisions with the air molecules. The vertical injection profiles are input into the Leeds 1-D Mars atmospheric model which includes photo-ionization, and gas-phase ion-molecule and neutral chemistry, in order to explore the evolution of the resulting metallic ions and atoms. We conclude that the dominant contributor in the Martian's atmosphere is the JFCs over other sources. Finally, we explore the changes of the neutral and ionized Na, Mg and Fe layers over a diurnal cycle.

  7. Study of the formation of duricrusts on the martian surface and their effect on sampling equipment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kömle, Norbert; Pitcher, Craig; Gao, Yang; Richter, Lutz

    2017-01-01

    The Powdered Sample Dosing and Distribution System (PSDDS) of the ExoMars rover will be required to handle and contain samples of Mars regolith for long periods of time. Cementation of the regolith, caused by water and salts in the soil, results in clumpy material and a duricrust layer forming on the surface. It is therefore possible that material residing in the sampling system may cement, and could potentially hinder its operation. There has yet to be an investigation into the formation of duricrusts under simulated Martian conditions, or how this may affect the performance of sample handling mechanisms. Therefore experiments have been performed to create a duricrust and to explore the cementation of Mars analogues, before performing a series of tests on a qualification model of the PSDDS under simulated Martian conditions. It was possible to create a consolidated crust of cemented material several millimetres deep, with the material below remaining powder-like. It was seen that due to the very low permeability of the Montmorillonite component material, diffusion of water through the material was quickly blocked, resulting in a sample with an inhomogeneous water content. Additionally, samples with a water mass content of 10% or higher would cement into a single solid piece. Finally, tests with the PSDDS revealed that samples with a water mass content of just 5% created small clumps with significant internal cohesion, blocking the sample funnels and preventing transportation of the material. These experiments have highlighted that the cementation of regolith in Martian conditions must be taken into consideration in the design of sample handling instruments.

  8. The noble gas concentrations of the Martian meteorites GRV 99027 and paired NWA 7906/NWA 7907

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stephenson, Peter C.; Lin, Yangting; Leya, Ingo

    2017-12-01

    Here we present the isotopic concentrations of He, Ne, Ar, Kr, and Xe for the three Martian meteorites, namely Grove Mountains 99027 (GRV 99027), Northwest Africa 7906 (NWA 7906), and Northwest Africa 7907 (NWA 7907). The cosmic ray exposure (CRE) age for GRV 99027 of 5.7 ± 0.4 Ma (1σ) is consistent with CRE ages for other poikilitic basaltic shergottites and suggests that all were ejected in a single event 5.6 Ma ago. After correcting for an estimated variable sodium concentration, the CRE ages for NWA 7906 and NWA 7907 of 5.4 ± 0.4 and 4.9 ± 0.4 Ma (1σ), respectively, are in good agreement with the CRE age of 5 Ma favored by Cartwright et al. for NWA 7034. The data, therefore, support the conclusion that all three basaltic regolith breccias are paired. The 40Ar gas retention age for NWA 7907 of 1.3 Ga is in accord with Cartwright et al. For NWA 7906, we were unable to determine a 40Ar gas retention age. The 4He gas retention ages for NWA 7906 and 7907 are in the range of 200 Ma and are much shorter than the 40Ar gas retention age of NWA 7907, indicating that about 86-88% of the radiogenic 4He has been lost. The Kr and Xe isotopic concentrations in GRV 99027 are composed almost exclusively of Martian interior (MI) gases, while for NWA 7906 and NWA 7907, they indicate gases from the MI, elementally fractionated air, and possibly Martian atmosphere.

  9. Spherulitic (c-axis) Growth for Terrestrial (Mauna Kea, Hawaii) and Martian Hematite "blueberries"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Golden, D. C.; Ming, D. W.; Morris, R. V.

    2006-01-01

    Hematite concentrations observed by Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) onboard Mars Global Surveyor were considered a possible indicator for aqueous processes on Mars. Observations made by Opportunity show that the hematite at Meridiani Planum is present as spherules ( blueberries) and their fragments. The internal structure of the hematite spherules is not discernable at the resolution limit (approx.30 m/pixel) of Opportunity s Microscopic Imager (MI). A terrestrial analog for martian hematite spherules are spherules from hydrothermally altered and sulfate-rich tephra from the summit region of Mauna Kea volcano, Hawaii. The objective of this study is to determine the crystal growth fabric of the Mauna Kea hematite spherules using transmission electron microscopy (TEM) techniques and to relate that crystalline fabric to the observed TES signature of Meridiani Planum "blueberries." TEM analysis of Mauna Kea spherules exhibited a radial growth pattern consisting of "fibrous" hematite with the c-axis of hematite particles aligned along the elongation direction of the hematite fibers. The individual fibers appear to be made of coalesced nano-particles of hematite arranged with their c-axis oriented radially to form a spherical structure. Lattice fringes suggest long-range order across particles and along fibers. According to interpretations of thermal emission spectra for Meridian Planum hematite, the absence of a band at approx. 390/cm implies a geometry where c-face emission dominates. Because the c-face is perpendicular to the c-axis, this is precisely the geometry for the Mauna Kea spherules because the c-axis is aligned parallel to their radial growth direction. Therefore, we conclude as a working hypothesis that the martian spherules also have radial, c-axis growth pattern on a scale that is too small to be detected by the MER MI. Furthermore, by analogy with the Mauna Kea spherules, the martian blueberries could have formed during hydrothermal alteration of

  10. Simulation of Martian EVA at the Mars Society Arctic Research Station

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pletser, V.; Zubrin, R.; Quinn, K.

    The Mars Society has established a Mars Arctic Research Station (M.A.R.S.) on Devon Island, North of Canada, in the middle of the Haughton crater formed by the impact of a large meteorite several million years ago. The site was selected for its similarities with the surface of the Mars planet. During the Summer 2001, the MARS Flashline Research Station supported an extended international simulation campaign of human Mars exploration operations. Six rotations of six person crews spent up to ten days each at the MARS Flashline Research Station. International crews, of mixed gender and professional qualifications, conducted various tasks as a Martian crew would do and performed scientific experiments in several fields (Geophysics, Biology, Psychology). One of the goals of this simulation campaign was to assess the operational and technical feasibility of sustaining a crew in an autonomous habitat, conducting a field scientific research program. Operations were conducted as they would be during a Martian mission, including Extra-Vehicular Activities (EVA) with specially designed unpressurized suits. The second rotation crew conducted seven simulated EVAs for a total of 17 hours, including motorized EVAs with All Terrain Vehicles, to perform field scientific experiments in Biology and Geophysics. Some EVAs were highly successful. For some others, several problems were encountered related to hardware technical failures and to bad weather conditions. The paper will present the experiment programme conducted at the Mars Flashline Research Station, the problems encountered and the lessons learned from an EVA operational point of view. Suggestions to improve foreseen Martian EVA operations will be discussed.

  11. Characterizing Martian Soils: Correlating Orbital Observations with Chemistry and Mineralogy from Landed Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bishop, J. L.

    2010-12-01

    Great advances have been achieved recently in our understanding of the surface of Mars at global scales from orbital missions and at local scales from landed missions. This presentation seeks to provide links between the chemistry and mineralogy observed by landed missions with remote detections of minerals from orbit. Spectral data from CRISM, OMEGA and TES characterize a mostly basaltic planet with some outcrops of hematite, clays, sulfates and carbonates at the surface. Recent alteration of these rocks to form soils has likely been dominated by physical processes; however, martian soils probably also contain relicts of early alteration involving aqueous processes. Clays, hydroxides, sulfates, carbonates and perchlorates are examples of surface components that may have formed early in the planet’s history in the presence of liquid water. Some of these minerals have not been detected in the soil, but all have likely contributed to the current soil composition. The grain size, shape, chemistry, mineralogy, and magnetic properties of Martian soils are similar to altered volcanic ash found at many analog sites on Earth. Reflectance and emission spectra of some of these analog soils are consistent with the basic soil spectral properties observed from orbit. The cemented soil units observed by rovers may have formed through interaction of the soil grains with salts, clays, and hydroxides. Lab experiments have shown that cementing of analog grains darkens the VN reflectance, which could explain the low reflectance of Martian soils compared to analog sites. Reflectance spectra of an analog soil mixture containing altered ash and sulfate are shown in Figure 1. A pellet was made by adding water and allowing the sample to dry in air. Finally, the pellet was crushed and ground again to properties might be.

  12. Geochemical evidence for mixing of three components in martian orthopyroxenite ALH 84001. [Abstract only

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mittlefehldt, D. W.; Lindstrom, M. M.

    1994-01-01

    ALH 84001, a ferroan martian orthopyroxenite, originally consisted of three petrographically defined components: a cumulus assemblage of orthopyroxene + chromite, a trapped melt assemblage of orthopyroxene(?) + chromite + maskelynite + apatite + augite +/- pyrite, and a metasomatic assemblage of carbonate +/- pyrite. We present the results of Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis (INAA) study of five bulk samples of ALH 84001, combined with Scanning Ion Mass Spectrometer (SIMS) data on the orthopyroxene, in order to attempt to set limits on the geochemical characteristics of the latter two components, and therefore on the petrogenesis of ALH 84001. The INAA data support the petrographic observations, suggesting that there are at least three components in ALH 84001. We will assume that each of the three geochemically required components can be equated with one of the petrographically observed components. Both trapped melt and metasomatic components in ALH 84001 have higher Na than orthopyroxene based on compositions of maskelynite, apatite, and carbonate. For the metasomatic component, we will assume its Na content is that of carbonate, while for a trapped melt component, we will use a typical Na content inferred for martian meteorite parent melts, approximately 1 wt% Na2O. Under these assumptions, we can set limits on the Light Rare Earth Elements/Heavy Rare Earth Elements (LREE/HREE) ratios of the components, and use this information to compare the petrogenesis of ALH 84001 with other martian meteorites. The above calculations assume that the bulk samples are representative of different portions of ALH 84001. We will also evaluate the possible heterogeneous distribution of mineral phases in the bulk samples as the cause of compositional heterogeneity in our samples.

  13. Tidal excitation of elliptical instability in the Martian core: Possible mechanism for generating the core dynamo

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arkani-Hamed, J.; Seyed-Mahmoud, B.; Aldridge, K. D.; Baker, R. E.

    2008-06-01

    We propose a causal relationship between the creation of the giant impact basins on Mars by a large asteroid, ruptured when it entered the Roche limit, and the excitation of the Martian core dynamo. Our laboratory experiments indicate that the elliptical instability of the Martian core can be excited if the asteroid continually exerts tidal forces on Mars for ~20,000 years. Our numerical experiments suggest that the growth-time of the instability was 5,000-15,000 years when the asteroid was at a distance of 50,000-75,000 km. We demonstrate the stability of the orbital motion of an asteroid captured by Mars at a distance of 100,000 km in the presence of the Sun and Jupiter. We also present our results for the tidal interaction of the asteroid with Mars. An asteroid captured by Mars in prograde fashion can survive and excite the elliptical instability of the core for only a few million years, whereas a captured retrograde asteroid can excite the elliptical instability for hundreds of millions of years before colliding with Mars. The rate at which tidal energy dissipates in Mars during this period is over two orders of magnitude greater than the rate at which magnetic energy dissipates. If only 1% of the tidal energy dissipation is partitioned to the core, sufficient energy would be available to maintain the core dynamo. Accordingly, a retrograde asteroid is quite capable of exciting an elliptical instability in the Martian core, thus providing a candidate process to drive a core dynamo.

  14. Parameterization of Rocket Dust Storms on Mars in the LMD Martian GCM: Modeling Details and Validation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Chao; Forget, François; Bertrand, Tanguy; Spiga, Aymeric; Millour, Ehouarn; Navarro, Thomas

    2018-04-01

    The origin of the detached dust layers observed by the Mars Climate Sounder aboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter is still debated. Spiga et al. (2013, https://doi.org/10.1002/jgre.20046) revealed that deep mesoscale convective "rocket dust storms" are likely to play an important role in forming these dust layers. To investigate how the detached dust layers are generated by this mesoscale phenomenon and subsequently evolve at larger scales, a parameterization of rocket dust storms to represent the mesoscale dust convection is designed and included into the Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique (LMD) Martian Global Climate Model (GCM). The new parameterization allows dust particles in the GCM to be transported to higher altitudes than in traditional GCMs. Combined with the horizontal transport by large-scale winds, the dust particles spread out and form detached dust layers. During the Martian dusty seasons, the LMD GCM with the new parameterization is able to form detached dust layers. The formation, evolution, and decay of the simulated dust layers are largely in agreement with the Mars Climate Sounder observations. This suggests that mesoscale rocket dust storms are among the key factors to explain the observed detached dust layers on Mars. However, the detached dust layers remain absent in the GCM during the clear seasons, even with the new parameterization. This implies that other relevant atmospheric processes, operating when no dust storms are occurring, are needed to explain the Martian detached dust layers. More observations of local dust storms could improve the ad hoc aspects of this parameterization, such as the trigger and timing of dust injection.

  15. The Mojave Desert: A Martian Analog Site for Future Astrobiology Themed Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salas, E.; Abbey, W.; Bhartia, R.; Beegle, L. W.

    2011-01-01

    Astrobiological interest in Mars is highlighted by evidence that Mars was once warm enough to have liquid water present on its surface long enough to create geologic formations that could only exist in the presense of extended fluvial periods. These periods existed at the same time life on Earth arose. If life began on Mars as well during this period, it is reasonable to assume it may have adapted to the subsurface as environments at the surface changed into the inhospitable state we find today. If the next series of Mars missions (Mars Science Laboratory, the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter proposed for launch in 2016, and potential near surface sample return) fail to discover either extinct or extant life on Mars, a subsurface mission would be necessary to attempt to "close the book" on the existence of martian life. Mars is much colder and drier than Earth, with a very low pressure CO2 environment and no obvious habitats. Terrestrial regions with limited precipitation, and hence reduced active biota, are some of the best martian low to mid latitude analogs to be found on Earth, be they the Antarctic dry valleys, the Atacama or Mojave Deserts. The Mojave Desert/Death Valley region is considered a Mars analog site by the Terrestrial Analogs Panel of the NSF-sponsored decadal survey; a field guide was even developed and a workshop was held on its applicability as a Mars analog. This region has received a great deal of attention due to its accessibility and the variety of landforms and processes observed relevant to martian studies.

  16. The Martian surface as imaged, sampled, and analyzed by the Viking landers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Arvidson, R.E.; Gooding, J.L.; Moore, H.J.

    1989-01-01

    Data collected by two Viking landers are analyzed. Attention is given to the characteristics of the surface inferred from Lander imaging and meteorology data, physical and magnetic properties experiments, and both inorganic and organic analyses of Martian samples. Viking Lander 1 touched down on Chryse Planitia on July 20, 1976 and continued to operate for 2252 sols, until November 20, 1982. Lander 2 touched down about 6500 km away from Lander 1, on Utopia Planitia on September 3, 1976. The chemical compositions of sediments at the two landing sites are similar, suggesting an aeolian origin. The compositions suggest an iron-rich rock an are matched by various clays and salts. 89 refs

  17. Meridional Martian water abundance profiles during the 1988-1989 season

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rizk, B.; Wells, W.K.; Hunten, D.M.; Stoker, C.R.; Freedman, R.S.; Roush, T.; Pollack, J.B.; Haberle, R.M.

    1991-01-01

    The Martian southern hemisphere atmospheric water vapor column abundance measurements reported agree with Viking Orbiter atmospheric water detectors during early southern spring and southern autumnal equinox; profiles obtained in southern mid- and late summer, however, indicate the presence of twice as much water both in the southern hemisphere and planetwide. This discrepancy is accounted for by the high optical depths created by two global dust storms during the Viking year, while the present observations were obtained in the case of the relatively dust-free atmosphere of the 1988-1989 opposition. 29 refs

  18. Composition and structure of the martian upper atmosphere: analysis of results from viking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McElroy, M B; Kong, T Y; Yung, Y L; Nier, A O

    1976-12-11

    Densities for carbon dioxide measured by the upper atmospheric mass spectrometers on Viking 1 and Viking 2 are analyzed to yield height profiles for the temperature of the martian atmosphere between 120 and 200 kilometers. Densities for nitrogen and argon are used to derive vertical profiles for the eddy diffusion coefficient over the same height range. The upper atmosphere of Mars is surprisingly cold with average temperatures for both Viking 1 and Viking 2 of less than 200 degrees K, and there is significant vertical structure. Model calculations are presented and shown to be in good agreement with measured concentrations of carbon monoxide, oxygen, and nitric oxide.

  19. Prediction of Lunar- and Martian-Based Intra- and Site-to-Site Task Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ade, Carl J; Broxterman, Ryan M; Craig, Jesse C; Schlup, Susanna J; Wilcox, Samuel L; Warren, Steve; Kuehl, Phillip; Gude, Dana; Jia, Chen; Barstow, Thomas J

    2016-04-01

    This study aimed to investigate the feasibility of determining the physiological parameters associated with the ability to complete simulated exploration type tasks at metabolic rates which might be expected for lunar and Martian ambulation. Running V̇O2max and gas exchange threshold (GET) were measured in 21 volunteers. Two simulated extravehicular activity field tests were completed in 1 G in regular athletic apparel at two intensities designed to elicit metabolic rates of ∼20.0 and ∼30.0 ml · kg(-1) · min(-1), which are similar to those previously reported for ambulation in simulated lunar- and Martian-based environments, respectively. All subjects were able to complete the field test at the lunar intensity, but 28% were unable to complete the field test at the Martian intensity (non-Finishers). During the Martian field test there were no differences in V̇O2 between Finishers and non-Finishers, but the non-Finishers achieved a greater %V̇O2max compared to Finishers (78.4 ± 4.6% vs. 64.9 ± 9.6%). Logistic regression analysis revealed fitness thresholds for a predicted probability of 0.5, at which Finishing and non-Finishing are equally likely, and 0.75, at which an individual has a 75% chance of Finishing, to be a V̇O2max of 38.4 ml · kg(-1) · min(-1) and 40.0 ml · kg(-1) · min(-1) or a GET of 20.1 ml · kg(-1) · min(-1) and 25.1 ml · kg(-1) · min(-1), respectively (χ(2) = 10.2). Logistic regression analysis also revealed that the expected %V̇O2max required to complete a field test could be used to successfully predict performance (χ(2) = 19.3). The results of the present investigation highlight the potential utility of V̇O2max, particularly as it relates to the metabolic demands of a surface ambulation, in defining successful completion of planetary-based exploration field tests.

  20. Oxygen in the Martian atmosphere: Regulation of PO2 by the deposition of iron formations on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burns, Roger G.

    1992-01-01

    During Earth's early history, and prior to the evolution of its present day oxygenated atmosphere, extensive iron rich siliceous sedimentary rocks were deposited, consisting of alternating layers of silica (chert) and iron oxide minerals (hematite and magnetite). The banding in iron formations recorded changes of atmosphere-hydrosphere interactions near sea level in the ancient ocean, which induced the oxidation of dissolved ferrous iron, precipitation of insoluble ferric oxides and silica, and regulation of oxygen in Earth's early atmosphere. Similarities between the Archean Earth and the composition of the present day atmosphere on Mars, together with the pervasive presence of ferric oxides in the Martian regolith suggest that iron formation might also have been deposited on Mars and influenced the oxygen content of the Martian atmosphere. Such a possibility is discussed here with a view to assessing whether the oxygen content of the Martian atmosphere has been regulated by the chemical precipitation of iron formations on Mars.

  1. Isotope ratios of H, C, and O in CO2 and H2O of the martian atmosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Webster, Chris R; Mahaffy, Paul R; Flesch, Gregory J; Niles, Paul B; Jones, John H; Leshin, Laurie A; Atreya, Sushil K; Stern, Jennifer C; Christensen, Lance E; Owen, Tobias; Franz, Heather; Pepin, Robert O; Steele, Andrew; Achilles, Cherie; Agard, Christophe; Alves Verdasca, José Alexandre; Anderson, Robert; Anderson, Ryan; Archer, Doug; Armiens-Aparicio, Carlos; Arvidson, Ray; Atlaskin, Evgeny; Aubrey, Andrew; Baker, Burt; Baker, Michael; Balic-Zunic, Tonci; Baratoux, David; Baroukh, Julien; Barraclough, Bruce; Bean, Keri; Beegle, Luther; Behar, Alberto; Bell, James; Bender, Steve; Benna, Mehdi; Bentz, Jennifer; Berger, Gilles; Berger, Jeff; Berman, Daniel; Bish, David; Blake, David F; Blanco Avalos, Juan J; Blaney, Diana; Blank, Jen; Blau, Hannah; Bleacher, Lora; Boehm, Eckart; Botta, Oliver; Böttcher, Stephan; Boucher, Thomas; Bower, Hannah; Boyd, Nick; Boynton, Bill; Breves, Elly; Bridges, John; Bridges, Nathan; Brinckerhoff, William; Brinza, David; Bristow, Thomas; Brunet, Claude; Brunner, Anna; Brunner, Will; Buch, Arnaud; Bullock, Mark; Burmeister, Sönke; Cabane, Michel; Calef, Fred; Cameron, James; Campbell, John; Cantor, Bruce; Caplinger, Michael; Caride Rodríguez, Javier; Carmosino, Marco; Carrasco Blázquez, Isaías; Charpentier, Antoine; Chipera, Steve; Choi, David; Clark, Benton; Clegg, Sam; Cleghorn, Timothy; Cloutis, Ed; Cody, George; Coll, Patrice; Conrad, Pamela; Coscia, David; Cousin, Agnès; Cremers, David; Crisp, Joy; Cros, Alain; Cucinotta, Frank; d'Uston, Claude; Davis, Scott; Day, Mackenzie; de la Torre Juarez, Manuel; DeFlores, Lauren; DeLapp, Dorothea; DeMarines, Julia; DesMarais, David; Dietrich, William; Dingler, Robert; Donny, Christophe; Downs, Bob; Drake, Darrell; Dromart, Gilles; Dupont, Audrey; Duston, Brian; Dworkin, Jason; Dyar, M Darby; Edgar, Lauren; Edgett, Kenneth; Edwards, Christopher; Edwards, Laurence; Ehlmann, Bethany; Ehresmann, Bent; Eigenbrode, Jen; Elliott, Beverley; Elliott, Harvey; Ewing, Ryan; Fabre, Cécile; Fairén, Alberto; Farley, Ken; Farmer, Jack; Fassett, Caleb; Favot, Laurent; Fay, Donald; Fedosov, Fedor; Feldman, Jason; Feldman, Sabrina; Fisk, Marty; Fitzgibbon, Mike; Floyd, Melissa; Flückiger, Lorenzo; Forni, Olivier; Fraeman, Abby; Francis, Raymond; François, Pascaline; Freissinet, Caroline; French, Katherine Louise; Frydenvang, Jens; Gaboriaud, Alain; Gailhanou, Marc; Garvin, James; Gasnault, Olivier; Geffroy, Claude; Gellert, Ralf; Genzer, Maria; Glavin, Daniel; Godber, Austin; Goesmann, Fred; Goetz, Walter; Golovin, Dmitry; Gómez Gómez, Felipe; Gómez-Elvira, Javier; Gondet, Brigitte; Gordon, Suzanne; Gorevan, Stephen; Grant, John; Griffes, Jennifer; Grinspoon, David; Grotzinger, John; Guillemot, Philippe; Guo, Jingnan; Gupta, Sanjeev; Guzewich, Scott; Haberle, Robert; Halleaux, Douglas; Hallet, Bernard; Hamilton, Vicky; Hardgrove, Craig; Harker, David; Harpold, Daniel; Harri, Ari-Matti; Harshman, Karl; Hassler, Donald; Haukka, Harri; Hayes, Alex; Herkenhoff, Ken; Herrera, Paul; Hettrich, Sebastian; Heydari, Ezat; Hipkin, Victoria; Hoehler, Tori; Hollingsworth, Jeff; Hudgins, Judy; Huntress, Wesley; Hurowitz, Joel; Hviid, Stubbe; Iagnemma, Karl; Indyk, Steve; Israël, Guy; Jackson, Ryan; Jacob, Samantha; Jakosky, Bruce; Jensen, Elsa; Jensen, Jaqueline Kløvgaard; Johnson, Jeffrey; Johnson, Micah; Johnstone, Steve; Jones, Andrea; Joseph, Jonathan; Jun, Insoo; Kah, Linda; Kahanpää, Henrik; Kahre, Melinda; Karpushkina, Natalya; Kasprzak, Wayne; Kauhanen, Janne; Keely, Leslie; Kemppinen, Osku; Keymeulen, Didier; Kim, Myung-Hee; Kinch, Kjartan; King, Penny; Kirkland, Laurel; Kocurek, Gary; Koefoed, Asmus; Köhler, Jan; Kortmann, Onno; Kozyrev, Alexander; Krezoski, Jill; Krysak, Daniel; Kuzmin, Ruslan; Lacour, Jean Luc; Lafaille, Vivian; Langevin, Yves; Lanza, Nina; Lasue, Jeremie; Le Mouélic, Stéphane; Lee, Ella Mae; Lee, Qiu-Mei; Lees, David; Lefavor, Matthew; Lemmon, Mark; Lepinette Malvitte, Alain; Léveillé, Richard; Lewin-Carpintier, Éric; Lewis, Kevin; Li, Shuai; Lipkaman, Leslie; Little, Cynthia; Litvak, Maxim; Lorigny, Eric; Lugmair, Guenter; Lundberg, Angela; Lyness, Eric; Madsen, Morten; Maki, Justin; Malakhov, Alexey; Malespin, Charles; Malin, Michael; Mangold, Nicolas; Manhes, Gérard; Manning, Heidi; Marchand, Geneviève; Marín Jiménez, Mercedes; Martín García, César; Martin, Dave; Martin, Mildred; Martínez-Frías, Jesús; Martín-Soler, Javier; Martín-Torres, F Javier; Mauchien, Patrick; Maurice, Sylvestre; McAdam, Amy; McCartney, Elaina; McConnochie, Timothy; McCullough, Emily; McEwan, Ian; McKay, Christopher; McLennan, Scott; McNair, Sean; Melikechi, Noureddine; Meslin, Pierre-Yves; Meyer, Michael; Mezzacappa, Alissa; Miller, Hayden; Miller, Kristen; Milliken, Ralph; Ming, Douglas; Minitti, Michelle; Mischna, Michael; Mitrofanov, Igor; Moersch, Jeff; Mokrousov, Maxim; Molina Jurado, Antonio; Moores, John; Mora-Sotomayor, Luis; Morookian, John Michael; Morris, Richard; Morrison, Shaunna; Mueller-Mellin, Reinhold; Muller, Jan-Peter; Muñoz Caro, Guillermo; Nachon, Marion; Navarro López, Sara; Navarro-González, Rafael; Nealson, Kenneth; Nefian, Ara; Nelson, Tony; Newcombe, Megan; Newman, Claire; Newsom, Horton; Nikiforov, Sergey; Nixon, Brian; Noe Dobrea, Eldar; Nolan, Thomas; Oehler, Dorothy; Ollila, Ann; Olson, Timothy; de Pablo Hernández, Miguel Ángel; Paillet, Alexis; Pallier, Etienne; Palucis, Marisa; Parker, Timothy; Parot, Yann; Patel, Kiran; Paton, Mark; Paulsen, Gale; Pavlov, Alex; Pavri, Betina; Peinado-González, Verónica; Peret, Laurent; Perez, Rene; Perrett, Glynis; Peterson, Joe; Pilorget, Cedric; Pinet, Patrick; Pla-García, Jorge; Plante, Ianik; Poitrasson, Franck; Polkko, Jouni; Popa, Radu; Posiolova, Liliya; Posner, Arik; Pradler, Irina; Prats, Benito; Prokhorov, Vasily; Purdy, Sharon Wilson; Raaen, Eric; Radziemski, Leon; Rafkin, Scot; Ramos, Miguel; Rampe, Elizabeth; Raulin, François; Ravine, Michael; Reitz, Günther; Rennó, Nilton; Rice, Melissa; Richardson, Mark; Robert, François; Robertson, Kevin; Rodriguez Manfredi, José Antonio; Romeral-Planelló, Julio J; Rowland, Scott; Rubin, David; Saccoccio, Muriel; Salamon, Andrew; Sandoval, Jennifer; Sanin, Anton; Sans Fuentes, Sara Alejandra; Saper, Lee; Sarrazin, Philippe; Sautter, Violaine; Savijärvi, Hannu; Schieber, Juergen; Schmidt, Mariek; Schmidt, Walter; Scholes, Daniel; Schoppers, Marcel; Schröder, Susanne; Schwenzer, Susanne; Sebastian Martinez, Eduardo; Sengstacken, Aaron; Shterts, Ruslan; Siebach, Kirsten; Siili, Tero; Simmonds, Jeff; Sirven, Jean-Baptiste; Slavney, Susie; Sletten, Ronald; Smith, Michael; Sobrón Sánchez, Pablo; Spanovich, Nicole; Spray, John; Squyres, Steven; Stack, Katie; Stalport, Fabien; Stein, Thomas; Stewart, Noel; Stipp, Susan Louise Svane; Stoiber, Kevin; Stolper, Ed; Sucharski, Bob; Sullivan, Rob; Summons, Roger; Sumner, Dawn; Sun, Vivian; Supulver, Kimberley; Sutter, Brad; Szopa, Cyril; Tan, Florence; Tate, Christopher; Teinturier, Samuel; ten Kate, Inge; Thomas, Peter; Thompson, Lucy; Tokar, Robert; Toplis, Mike; Torres Redondo, Josefina; Trainer, Melissa; Treiman, Allan; Tretyakov, Vladislav; Urqui-O'Callaghan, Roser; Van Beek, Jason; Van Beek, Tessa; VanBommel, Scott; Vaniman, David; Varenikov, Alexey; Vasavada, Ashwin; Vasconcelos, Paulo; Vicenzi, Edward; Vostrukhin, Andrey; Voytek, Mary; Wadhwa, Meenakshi; Ward, Jennifer; Weigle, Eddie; Wellington, Danika; Westall, Frances; Wiens, Roger Craig; Wilhelm, Mary Beth; Williams, Amy; Williams, Joshua; Williams, Rebecca; Williams, Richard B; Wilson, Mike; Wimmer-Schweingruber, Robert; Wolff, Mike; Wong, Mike; Wray, James; Wu, Megan; Yana, Charles; Yen, Albert; Yingst, Aileen; Zeitlin, Cary; Zimdar, Robert; Zorzano Mier, María-Paz

    2013-07-19

    Stable isotope ratios of H, C, and O are powerful indicators of a wide variety of planetary geophysical processes, and for Mars they reveal the record of loss of its atmosphere and subsequent interactions with its surface such as carbonate formation. We report in situ measurements of the isotopic ratios of D/H and (18)O/(16)O in water and (13)C/(12)C, (18)O/(16)O, (17)O/(16)O, and (13)C(18)O/(12)C(16)O in carbon dioxide, made in the martian atmosphere at Gale Crater from the Curiosity rover using the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM)'s tunable laser spectrometer (TLS). Comparison between our measurements in the modern atmosphere and those of martian meteorites such as ALH 84001 implies that the martian reservoirs of CO2 and H2O were largely established ~4 billion years ago, but that atmospheric loss or surface interaction may be still ongoing.

  2. Near-opposition martian limb-darkening: Quantification and implication for visible-near-infrared bidirectional reflectance studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Grenier, Muriel; Pinet, Patrick C.

    1995-06-01

    A nearly global coverage of the martian eastern hemisphere, acquired under small phase angles and varying observational geometries conditions, has been produced from 1988 opposition by spectral (0.5-1 μm) imaging data obtained at the Pic du Midi Observatory in France. From this data set, the methodology presented here permits a systematic analysis of martian photometric behavior at a regional scale of 100-300 km in the visible and near-infrared. The quantification of limb-darkening as a function of wavelength and surface albedo gives access in martian regional properties as a function of wavelength and surface albedo and results in the production of visible and near-infrared geometric albedo maps. A linear relation between the limb darkening parameter k and geometric albedo exists in the near infrared. Based on laboratory studies, it suggests a spectral response of particulate type for the martian soil. Conversely, in the visible, the value of k parameter is 0.6 independent of albedo and is consistent with a single scattering photometric behavior in the surface layer. However, the observed change in the martian photometry from single to multiple scattering may be partially due to a large contribution of atmospheric scattering above 0.7 μm. In the absence of a multitemporal dataset analysis, it must be emphasized that the present results are a priori only pertinent to the atmospheric and surface conditions existing on Mars at the time of observation. However, this analysis may contribute to characterize some physical properties, such as surface roughness. In the near-infrared, for bright terrains, k tends to 0.8 and agrees with the presence of very fine particulate materials. Photometry of dark areas is more irregular (0.48 duricrust. Finally, we evaluate the influence of reflectance geometrical effects on the multispectral and spectroscopic data of the martian surface.

  3. Preservation of Biomarkers from Cyanobacteria Mixed with Mars­Like Regolith Under Simulated Martian Atmosphere and UV Flux

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baqué, Mickael; Verseux, Cyprien; Böttger, Ute; Rabbow, Elke; de Vera, Jean-Pierre Paul; Billi, Daniela

    2016-06-01

    The space mission EXPOSE-R2 launched on the 24th of July 2014 to the International Space Station is carrying the BIOMEX (BIOlogy and Mars EXperiment) experiment aimed at investigating the endurance of extremophiles and stability of biomolecules under space and Mars-like conditions. In order to prepare the analyses of the returned samples, ground-based simulations were carried out in Planetary and Space Simulation facilities. During the ground-based simulations, Chroococcidiopsis cells mixed with two Martian mineral analogues (phyllosilicatic and sulfatic Mars regolith simulants) were exposed to a Martian simulated atmosphere combined or not with UV irradiation corresponding to the dose received during a 1-year-exposure in low Earth orbit (or half a Martian year on Mars). Cell survival and preservation of potential biomarkers such as photosynthetic and photoprotective pigments or DNA were assessed by colony forming ability assays, confocal laser scanning microscopy, Raman spectroscopy and PCR-based assays. DNA and photoprotective pigments (carotenoids) were detectable after simulations of the space mission (570 MJ/m2 of UV 200-400 nm irradiation and Martian simulated atmosphere), even though signals were attenuated by the treatment. The fluorescence signal from photosynthetic pigments was differently preserved after UV irradiation, depending on the thickness of the samples. UV irradiation caused a high background fluorescence of the Martian mineral analogues, as revealed by Raman spectroscopy. Further investigation will be needed to ensure unambiguous identification and operations of future Mars missions. However, a 3-month exposure to a Martian simulated atmosphere showed no significant damaging effect on the tested cyanobacterial biosignatures, pointing out the relevance of the latter for future investigations after the EXPOSE-R2 mission. Data gathered during the ground-based simulations will contribute to interpret results from space experiments and guide our

  4. Tracking the Martian Mantle Signature in Olivine-Hosted Melt Inclusions of Basaltic Shergottites Yamato 980459 and Tissint

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peters, T. J.; Simon, J. I.; Jones, J. H.; Usui, T.; Moriwaki, R.; Economos, R.; Schmitt, A.; McKeegan, K.

    2014-01-01

    The Martian shergottite meteorites are basaltic to lherzolitic igneous rocks that represent a period of relatively young mantle melting and volcanism, approximately 600-150 Ma (e.g. [1,2]). Their isotopic and elemental composition has provided important constraints on the accretion, evolution, structure and bulk composition of Mars. Measurements of the radiogenic isotope and trace element concentrations of the shergottite meteorite suite have identified two end-members; (1) incompatible trace element enriched, with radiogenic Sr and negative epsilon Nd-143, and (2) incompatible traceelement depleted, with non-radiogenic Sr and positive epsilon 143-Nd(e.g. [3-5]). The depleted component represents the shergottite martian mantle. The identity of the enriched component is subject to debate, and has been proposed to be either assimilated ancient martian crust [3] or from enriched domains in the martian mantle that may represent a late-stage magma ocean crystallization residue [4,5]. Olivine-phyric shergottites typically have the highest Mg# of the shergottite group and represent near-primitive melts having experienced minimal fractional crystallization or crystal accumulation [6]. Olivine-hosted melt inclusions (MI) in these shergottites represent the most chemically primitive components available to understand the nature of their source(s), melting processes in the martian mantle, and origin of enriched components. We present trace element compositions of olivine hosted melt inclusions in two depleted olivinephyric shergottites, Yamato 980459 (Y98) and Tissint (Fig. 1), and the mesostasis glass of Y98, using Secondary Ionization Mass Spectrometry (SIMS). We discuss our data in the context of understanding the nature and origin of the depleted martian mantle and the emergence of the enriched component.

  5. Intensities of the Martian N2 electron-impact excited dayglow emissions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fox, Jane L.; Hać, Nicholas E. F.

    2013-06-01

    The first N2 emissions in the Martian dayglow were detected by the SPICAM UV spectrograph on board the Mars Express spacecraft. Intensities of the (0,5) and (0,6) Vegard-Kaplan bands were found to be about one third of those predicted more than 35 years ago. The Vegard-Kaplan band system arises from the transition from the lowest N2 triplet state (A3Σu+;v') to the electronic ground state (X1Σg+;v″). It is excited in the Martian dayglow by direct electron-impact excitation of the ground N2(X) state to the A state and by excitation to higher triplet states that populate the A state by cascading. Using revised data, we compute here updated intensities of several of the bands in the N2 triplet systems and those involving the a1Πg state, the upper state of the Lyman-Birge-Hopfield bands. We find that the predicted limb intensities for the (0,5) and (0,6) Vegard-Kaplan bands are consistent with the measured values.

  6. Troughs on Martian Ice Sheets: Analysis of Their Closure and Mass Balance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fountain, A.; Kargel, J.; Lewis, K.; MacAyeal, D.; Pfeffer, T.; Zwally, J.

    2000-01-01

    At the Copenhagen workshop on Martian polar processes, Ralf Greve commented that the flow regime surrounding scarps and troughs of the Martian polar ice sheets cannot be modeled using traditional "plan view" ice-sheet models. Such models are inadequate because they typically use reduced equations that embody certain simplifications applicable only to terrestrial ice sheets where the upper ice sheet surface is smooth. In response to this suggestion, we have constructed a 2-dimensional, time dependent "side view" (two spatial dimensions: one horizontal, one vertical) model of scarp closure that is designed to overcome the difficulties described by Greve. The purpose of the model is to evaluate the scales of stress variation and styles of flow closure so as to estimate errors that may be encountered by "plan view" models. We show that there may be avenues whereby the complications associated with scarp closure can be overcome in "plan view" models through appropriate parameterizations of 3-dimensional effects. Following this, we apply the flow model to simulate the evolution of a typical scarp on the North Polar Cap of Mars. Our simulations investigate: (a) the role of "radiation trapping" (see our companion abstract) in creating and maintaining "spiral-like" scarps on the ice sheet, (b) the consequences of different flowlaws and ice compositions on scarp evolution and, in particular, scarp age, and (c) the role of dust and debris in scarp evolution.

  7. Morphometric analysis of Martian valley network basins using a circularity function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, Wei; Howard, Alan D.

    2005-12-01

    This paper employs a circularity function to quantify the internal morphology of Martian watershed basins in Margaritifer Sinus region and to infer the primary erosional processes that led to their current geomorphologic characteristics and possible climatic conditions under which these processes operated. The circularity function describes the elongation of a watershed basin at different elevations. We have used the circularity functions of terrestrial basins that were interpreted as having been modified by (1) erosion related to primarily groundwater sapping and (2) erosion related to primarily rainfall and surface run-off, as well as the circularity functions of cratering basins on the Moon, in order to formulate discriminant functions that are able to separate the three types of landforms. The spatial pattern of the classification of Martian basins based on discriminant functions shows that basins that look morphologically similar to terrestrial fluvial basins are mostly clustered near the mainstream at low elevation, while those that look morphologically similar to terrestrial basins interpreted as groundwater sapping origin are located near the tributaries and at higher elevation. There are more of the latter than the former. This spatial distribution is inconsistent with a continuous Earth-like warm and wet climate for early Mars. Instead, it is more aligned with an overall early dry climate punctuated with episodic wet periods. Alternatively, the concentrated erosion in the mainstream could also be caused by a change of water source from rainfall to snowfall or erosion cut through a duricrust layer.

  8. The Search for Ammonia in Martian Soils with Curiosity's SAM Instrument

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wray, James J.; Archer, P. D.; Brinckerhoff, W. B.; Eigenbrode, J. L.; Franz, H. B.; Freissinet, C.; Glavin, D. P.; Mahaffy, P. R.; McKay, C. P.; Navarro-Gonzalez, R.; hide

    2013-01-01

    Nitrogen is the second or third most abundant constituent of the Martian atmosphere [1,2]. It is a bioessential element, a component of all amino acids and nucleic acids that make up proteins, DNA and RNA, so assessing its availability is a key part of Curiosity's mission to characterize Martian habitability. In oxidizing desert environments it is found in nitrate salts that co-occur with perchlorates [e.g., 3], inferred to be widespread in Mars soils [4-6]. A Mars nitrogen cycle has been proposed [7], yet prior missions have not constrained the state of surface N. Here we explore Curiosity's ability to detect N compounds using data from the rover's first solid sample. Companion abstracts describe evidence for nitrates [8] and for nitriles (C(triple bond)N) [9]; we focus here on nonnitrile, reduced-N compounds as inferred from bonded N-H. The simplest such compound is ammonia (NH3), found in many carbonaceous chondrite meteorites in NH4(+) salts and organic compounds [e.g., 10].

  9. Oxidant enhancement in martian dust devils and storms: implications for life and habitability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atreya, Sushil K; Wong, Ah-San; Renno, Nilton O; Farrell, William M; Delory, Gregory T; Sentman, Davis D; Cummer, Steven A; Marshall, John R; Rafkin, Scot C R; Catling, David C

    2006-06-01

    We investigate a new mechanism for producing oxidants, especially hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), on Mars. Large-scale electrostatic fields generated by charged sand and dust in the martian dust devils and storms, as well as during normal saltation, can induce chemical changes near and above the surface of Mars. The most dramatic effect is found in the production of H2O2 whose atmospheric abundance in the "vapor" phase can exceed 200 times that produced by photochemistry alone. With large electric fields, H2O2 abundance gets large enough for condensation to occur, followed by precipitation out of the atmosphere. Large quantities of H2O2 would then be adsorbed into the regolith, either as solid H2O2 "dust" or as re-evaporated vapor if the solid does not survive as it diffuses from its production region close to the surface. We suggest that this H2O2, or another superoxide processed from it in the surface, may be responsible for scavenging organic material from Mars. The presence of H2O2 in the surface could also accelerate the loss of methane from the atmosphere, thus requiring a larger source for maintaining a steady-state abundance of methane on Mars. The surface oxidants, together with storm electric fields and the harmful ultraviolet radiation that readily passes through the thin martian atmosphere, are likely to render the surface of Mars inhospitable to life as we know it.

  10. Simulation of Martian surface-atmosphere interaction in a space-simulator: Technical considerations and feasibility

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moehlmann, D.; Kochan, H.

    1992-01-01

    The Space Simulator of the German Aerospace Research Establishment at Cologne, formerly used for testing satellites, is now, since 1987, the central unit within the research sub-program 'Comet-Simulation' (KOSI). The KOSI team has investigated physical processes relevant to comets and their surfaces. As a byproduct we gained experience in sample-handling under simulated space conditions. In broadening the scope of the research activities of the DLR Institute of Space Simulation an extension to 'Laboratory-Planetology' is planned. Following the KOSI-experiments a Mars Surface-Simulation with realistic minerals and surface soil in a suited environment (temperature, pressure, and CO2-atmosphere) is foreseen as the next step. Here, our main interest is centered on thermophysical properties of the Martian surface and energy transport (and related gas transport) through the surface. These laboratory simulation activities can be related to space missions as typical pre-mission and during-the-mission support of the experiments design and operations (simulation in parallel). Post mission experiments for confirmation and interpretation of results are of great value. The physical dimensions of the Space Simulator (cylinder of about 2.5 m diameter and 5 m length) allows for testing and qualification of experimental hardware under realistic Martian conditions.

  11. Oxidant enhancement in martian dust devils and storms: storm electric fields and electron dissociative attachment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delory, Gregory T; Farrell, William M; Atreya, Sushil K; Renno, Nilton O; Wong, Ah-San; Cummer, Steven A; Sentman, Davis D; Marshall, John R; Rafkin, Scot C R; Catling, David C

    2006-06-01

    Laboratory studies, numerical simulations, and desert field tests indicate that aeolian dust transport can generate atmospheric electricity via contact electrification or "triboelectricity." In convective structures such as dust devils and dust storms, grain stratification leads to macroscopic charge separations and gives rise to an overall electric dipole moment in the aeolian feature, similar in nature to the dipolar electric field generated in terrestrial thunderstorms. Previous numerical simulations indicate that these storm electric fields on Mars can approach the ambient breakdown field strength of approximately 25 kV/m. In terrestrial dust phenomena, potentials ranging from approximately 20 to 160 kV/m have been directly measured. The large electrostatic fields predicted in martian dust devils and storms can energize electrons in the low pressure martian atmosphere to values exceeding the electron dissociative attachment energy of both CO2 and H2O, which results in the formation of the new chemical products CO/O- and OH/H-, respectively. Using a collisional plasma physics model, we present calculations of the CO/O- and OH/H- reaction and production rates. We demonstrate that these rates vary geometrically with the ambient electric field, with substantial production of dissociative products when fields approach the breakdown value of approximately 25 kV/m. The dissociation of H2O into OH/H- provides a key ingredient for the generation of oxidants; thus electrically charged dust may significantly impact the habitability of Mars.

  12. A simplified model of the Martian atmosphere - Part 2: a POD-Galerkin analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. G. Whitehouse

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available In Part I of this study Whitehouse et al. (2005 performed a diagnostic analysis of a simplied model of the Martian atmosphere, in which topography was absent and in which heating was modelled as Newtonian relaxation towards a zonally symmetric equilibrium temperature field. There we derived a reduced-order approximation to the vertical and the horizonal structure of the baroclinically unstable Martian atmosphere, retaining only the barotropic mode and the leading order baroclinic modes. Our objectives in Part II of the study are to incorporate these approximations into a Proper Orthogonal Decomposition-Galerkin expansion of the spherical quasi-geostrophic model in order to derive hierarchies of nonlinear ordinary differential equations for the time-varying coefficients of the spatial structures. Two different vertical truncations are considered, as well as three different norms and 3 different Galerkin truncations. We investigate each in turn, using tools from bifurcation theory, to determine which of the systems most closely resembles the data for which the original diagnostics were performed.

  13. The Martian climate and energy balance models with CO2/H2O atmospheres

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoffert, M. I.

    1986-01-01

    The analysis begins with a seasonal energy balance model (EBM) for Mars. This is used to compute surface temperature versus x = sin(latitude) and time over the seasonal cycle. The core model also computes the evolving boundaries of the CO2 icecaps, net sublimational/condensation rates, and the resulting seasonal pressure wave. Model results are compared with surface temperature and pressure history data at Viking lander sites, indicating fairly good agreement when meridional heat transport is represented by a thermal diffusion coefficient D approx. 0.015 W/sq. m/K. Condensational wind distributions are also computed. An analytic model of Martian wind circulation is then proposed, as an extension of the EMB, which incorporates vertical wind profiles containing an x-dependent function evaluated by substitution in the equation defining the diffusion coefficient. This leads to a parameterization of D(x) and of the meridional circulation which recovers the high surface winds predicted by dynamic Mars atmosphere models (approx. 10 m/sec). Peak diffusion coefficients, D approx. 0.6 w/sq m/K, are found over strong Hadley zones - some 40 times larger than those of high-latitude baroclinic eddies. When the wind parameterization is used to find streamline patterns over Martian seasons, the resulting picture shows overturning hemispheric Hadley cells crossing the equator during solstices, and attaining peak intensities during the south summer dust storm season, while condensational winds are most important near the polar caps.

  14. Clay catalyzed RNA synthesis under Martian conditions: Application for Mars return samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joshi, Prakash C; Dubey, Krishna; Aldersley, Michael F; Sausville, Meaghen

    2015-06-26

    Catalysis by montmorillonites clay minerals is regarded as a feasible mechanism for the abiotic production and polymerization of key biomolecules on early Earth. We have investigated a montmorillonite-catalyzed reaction of the 5'-phosphorimidazolide of nucleosides as a model to probe prebiotic synthesis of RNA-type oligomers. Here we show that this model is specific for the generation of RNA oligomers despite deoxy-mononucleotides adsorbing equally well onto the montmorillonite catalytic surfaces. Optimum catalytic activity was observed over a range of pH (6-9) and salinity (1 ± 0.2 M NaCl). When the weathering steps of early Earth that generated catalytic montmorillonite were modified to meet Martian soil conditions, the catalytic activity remained intact without altering the surface layer charge. Additionally, the formation of oligomers up to tetramer was detected using as little as 0.1 mg of Na⁺-montmorillonite, suggesting that the catalytic activity of a Martian clay return sample can be investigated with sub-milligram scale samples. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Reduction in emittance of thermal radiator coatings caused by the accumulation of a Martian dust simulant

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hollingsworth, D. Keith; Witte, Larry C.; Hinke, Jaime [Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Houston, Houston, TX 77204-4006 (United States); Hurlbert, Kathryn [NASA, Johnson Space Center (United States)

    2006-12-15

    Measurements were made of the effective emittance of three types of radiator coatings as a Martian dust simulant was added to the radiator surfaces. The apparatus consisted of multiple radiator coupons on which Carbondale Red Clay dust was deposited. The coupon design employed guard heating to achieve the accuracy required for acceptable emittance calculations. The apparatus was contained in a vacuum chamber that featured a liquid-nitrogen cooled shroud that simulated the Martian sky temperature. Three high-emittance radiator coatings were tested: two while silicate paints, Z-93P and NS-43G, and a silver Teflon film. Radiator temperatures ranged from 250 to 350K with sky temperatures from 185 to 248K. As dust was added to the radiator surfaces, the effective emittance of all three coatings decreased from initial values near 0.9 to a value near 0.4. A low-emittance control surface, polished aluminum, demonstrated a rise in effective emittance for thin dust layers, and then a decline as the dust layer thickened. This behavior is attributed to the conductive resistance caused by the dust layer. (author)

  16. A balloon-borne experiment to investigate the Martian magnetic field

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwingenschuh, K.; Feldhofer, H.; Koren, W.; Jernej, I.; Stachel, M.; Riedler, W.; Slamanig, H.; Auster, H.-U.; Rustenbach, J.; Fornacon, H. K.; Schenk, H. J.; Hillenmaier, O.; Haerendel, G.; Yeroshenko, Ye.; Styashkin, V.; Zaroutzky, A.; Best, A.; Scholz, G.; Russell, C. T.; Means, J.; Pierce, D.; Luhmann, J. G.

    1996-03-01

    The Space Research Institute of the Austrian Academy, of Sciences (Graz, Austria) in cooperation with MPE (Berlin, Germany), GFZ Potsdam (Obs. Niemegk, Germany) IZMIRAN/IOFAN (Moscow, Russian) and IGPP/UCLA (Los Angeles, USA) is designing the magnetic field experiment MAGIBAL (MAGnetic field experiment aboard a martian BALloon) to investigate the magnetic field on the surface of Mars. The dual sensor fluxgate magnetometer is part of the MARS-98/MARS-TOGETHER balloon payload. During a ten days period the balloon will float over a distance of about 2000 km at altitudes between 0 and 4 km. Due to the limited power and telemetry allocation the magnetometer can transmit only one vector per ten seconds and spectral information in the frequency range from 2 - 25 Hz. The dynamic range is +/- 2000 nT. The main scientific objectives of the experiment are: • Determination of the magnetism of the Martian rocks • Investigation of the leakage of the solar wind induced magnetosphere using the correlation between orbiter and balloon observations • Measurement of the magnetic field profile between the orbiter and the surface of Mars during the descent phase of the balloon. Terrestrial test flights with a hot air balloon were performed in order to test the original MAGIBAL equipment under balloon flight conditions.

  17. Re-Os Isotopic Constraints on the Chemical Evolution and Differentiation of the Martian Mantle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brandon, Alan D.; Walker, Richard J.

    2002-01-01

    The (187)Re-187Os isotopic systematics of SNC meteorites, thought to be from Mars, provide valuable information regarding the chemical processes that affected the Martian mantle, particularly with regard to the relative abundances of highly siderophile elements (HSE). Previously published data (Birck and Allegre 1994, Brandon et al. 2000), and new data obtained since these studies, indicate that the HSE and Os isotopic composition of the Martian mantle was primarily set in its earliest differentiation history. If so, then these meteorites provide key constraints on the processes that lead to variation in HSE observed in not only Mars, but also Earth, the Moon and other rocky bodies in the Solar System. Processes that likely have an effect on the HSE budgets of terrestrial mantles include core formation, magma ocean crystallization, development of juvenile crust, and the addition of a late veneer. Each of these processes will result in different HSE variation and the isotopic composition of mantle materials and mantle derived lavas. Two observations on the SNC data to present provide a framework for which to test the importance of each of these processes. First, the concentrations of Re and Os in SNC meteorites indicate that they are derived from a mantle that has similar concentrations to the Earth's mantle. Such an observation is consistent with a model where a chondritic late veneer replenished the Earth and Martian mantles subsequent to core formation on each planet. Alternative models to explain this observation do exist, but will require additional data to test the limitations of each. Second, Re-Os isotopic results from Brandon et al. (2000) and new data presented here, show that initial yos correlates with variations in the short-lived systems of (182)Hf- (182)W and (142)Sm-142Nd in the SNC meteorites (epsilon(sub W) and epsilon(sub 142Nd)). These systematics require an isolation of mantle reservoirs during the earliest differentiation history of Mars, and

  18. Generalized functions

    CERN Document Server

    Gelfand, I M; Graev, M I; Vilenkin, N Y; Pyatetskii-Shapiro, I I

    Volume 1 is devoted to basics of the theory of generalized functions. The first chapter contains main definitions and most important properties of generalized functions as functional on the space of smooth functions with compact support. The second chapter talks about the Fourier transform of generalized functions. In Chapter 3, definitions and properties of some important classes of generalized functions are discussed; in particular, generalized functions supported on submanifolds of lower dimension, generalized functions associated with quadratic forms, and homogeneous generalized functions are studied in detail. Many simple basic examples make this book an excellent place for a novice to get acquainted with the theory of generalized functions. A long appendix presents basics of generalized functions of complex variables.

  19. Martian Braille

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Just north of the hematite deposit in Meridiani Planum, the remnants of a formerly extensive layer of material remain as isolated knobs and buttes. Note the transition from north to south in the size and frequency of these features, a reflection of the decreasing elevation along this trend.Note: this THEMIS visual image has not been radiometrically nor geometrically calibrated for this preliminary release. An empirical correction has been performed to remove instrumental effects. A linear shift has been applied in the cross-track and down-track direction to approximate spacecraft and planetary motion. Fully calibrated and geometrically projected images will be released through the Planetary Data System in accordance with Project policies at a later time.NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory manages the 2001 Mars Odyssey mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. The Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) was developed by Arizona State University, Tempe, in collaboration with Raytheon Santa Barbara Remote Sensing. The THEMIS investigation is led by Dr. Philip Christensen at Arizona State University. Lockheed Martin Astronautics, Denver, is the prime contractor for the Odyssey project, and developed and built the orbiter. Mission operations are conducted jointly from Lockheed Martin and from JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.Image information: VIS instrument. Latitude -0, Longitude 353 East (7 West). 19 meter/pixel resolution.

  20. Martian Microscope

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-01-01

    The microscopic imager (circular device in center) is in clear view above the surface at Meridiani Planum, Mars, in this approximate true-color image taken by the panoramic camera on the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity. The image was taken on the 9th sol of the rover's journey. The microscopic imager is located on the rover's instrument deployment device, or arm. The arrow is pointing to the lens of the instrument. Note the dust cover, which flips out to the left of the lens, is open. This approximated color image was created using the camera's violet and infrared filters as blue and red.

  1. Mars Sample Return as a Feed-Forward into Planetary Protection for Crewed Missions to the Martian Surface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spry, J. A.; Siegel, B.

    2018-04-01

    PP implementation is a required part of crewed exploration of Mars. Determining how PP is achieved is contingent on improved knowledge of Mars, best obtained in part by analysis of martian material of known provenance, as part of a Mars Sample Return mission.

  2. MODELING THE VARIATIONS OF DOSE RATE MEASURED BY RAD DURING THE FIRST MSL MARTIAN YEAR: 2012–2014

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Guo, Jingnan; Wimmer-Schweingruber, Robert F.; Heber, Bernd; Köhler, Jan; Appel, Jan K.; Böhm, Eckart; Böttcher, Stephan; Burmeister, Sönke; Lohf, Henning; Martin, Cesar [Institute of Experimental and Applied Physics, Christian-Albrechts-University, Kiel (Germany); Zeitlin, Cary [Southwest Research Institute, Earth, Oceans and Space Department, Durham, NH (United States); Rafkin, Scot; Hassler, Donald M.; Ehresmann, Bent [Southwest Research Institute, Space Science and Engineering Division, Boulder, CO (United States); Posner, Arik [NASA Headquarters, Science Mission Directorate, Washington, DC (United States); Brinza, David E. [Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA (United States); Kahanpää, H. [Finnish Meteorological Institute, Helsinki (Finland); Reitz, Günther, E-mail: guo@physik.uni-kiel.de [Aerospace Medicine, Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt, Köln (Germany)

    2015-09-01

    The Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD), on board Mars Science Laboratory’s (MSL) rover Curiosity, measures the energy spectra of both energetic charged and neutral particles along with the radiation dose rate at the surface of Mars. With these first-ever measurements on the Martian surface, RAD observed several effects influencing the galactic cosmic-ray (GCR) induced surface radiation dose concurrently: (a) short-term diurnal variations of the Martian atmospheric pressure caused by daily thermal tides, (b) long-term seasonal pressure changes in the Martian atmosphere, and (c) the modulation of the primary GCR flux by the heliospheric magnetic field, which correlates with long-term solar activity and the rotation of the Sun. The RAD surface dose measurements, along with the surface pressure data and the solar modulation factor, are analyzed and fitted to empirical models that quantitatively demonstrate how the long-term influences ((b) and (c)) are related to the measured dose rates. Correspondingly, we can estimate dose rate and dose equivalents under different solar modulations and different atmospheric conditions, thus allowing empirical predictions of the Martian surface radiation environment.

  3. Martian Soil Plant Growth Experiment: The Effects of Adding Nitrogen, Bacteria, and Fungi to Enhance Plant Growth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kliman, D. M.; Cooper, J. B.; Anderson, R. C.

    2000-01-01

    Plant growth is enhanced by the presence of symbiotic soil microbes. In order to better understand how plants might prosper on Mars, we set up an experiment to test whether symbiotic microbes function to enhance plant growth in a Martian soil simulant.

  4. Electrostatic Precipitation of Dust in the Martian Atmosphere: Implications for the Utilization of Resources During Future Manned Exploration Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calle, Carlos I.; Clements, Judson S.; Thompson, Samuel M.; Cox, Nathan D.; Hogue, Michael D.; Johansen, Michael R.; Williams, Blakeley S.

    2011-01-01

    Future human missions to Mars will require the utilization of local resources for oxygen, fuel. and water. The In Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) project is an active research endeavor at NASA to develop technologies that can enable cost effective ways to live off the land. The extraction of oxygen from the Martian atmosphere. composed primarily of carbon dioxide, is one of the most important goals of the Mars ISRU project. The main obstacle is the relatively large amount of dust present in the Martian atmosphere. This dust must be efficiently removed from atmospheric gas intakes for ISRU processing chambers. A common technique to achieve this removal on earth is by electrostatic precipitation, where large electrostatic fields are established in a localized region to precipitate and collect previously charged dust particles. This technique is difficult to adapt to the Martian environment, with an atmospheric pressure of about one-hundredth of the terrestrial atmosphere. At these low pressures. the corona discharges required to implant an electrostatic charge to the particles to be collected is extremely difficult to sustain and the corona easily becomes biopolar. which is unsuitable for particle charging. In this paper, we report on our successful efforts to establish a stable corona under Martian simulated conditions. We also present results on dust collecting efficiencies with an electrostatic precipitator prototype that could be effectively used on a future mission to the red planet

  5. Bi-Static Deep Electromagnetic Soundings for Martian Subsurface Characterization: Experimental Validation in the Egyptian Western Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ciarletti, V.; Le Gall, A.; Berthelier, J. J.; Corbel, Ch.; Dolon, F.; Ney, R.; Reineix, A.; Guiffaud, Ch.; Clifford, S.; Heggy, E.

    2007-03-01

    A bi-static version of the HF GPR TAPIR developed for martian deep soundings has been operated in the Egyptian Western Desert. The study presented focuses on the retrieval of the direction of arrival of the observed echoes on both simulated and measured d

  6. Gravity Waves in the Martian Atmosphere detected by the Radio Science Experiment MaRS on Mars Express

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tellmann, S.; Pätzold, M.; Häusler, B.; Tyler, G. L.; Hinson, D. P.

    2013-09-01

    Gravity waves are an ubiquitous feature in all stably stratified planetary atmospheres. They are known to play a significant role in the energy and momentum budget of the Earth, and they are assumed to be of importance for the redistribution of energy and momentum throughout the Martian atmosphere.

  7. Variable g- Mars environmental chamber: a small window of the martian environment for life science investigations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sgambati, Antonella; Slenzka, Klaus; Schmeyers, Bernd; Di Capua, Massimiliano; Harting, Benjamin

    Human exploration and permanent settlement on the Martian surface is the one of the most attractive and ambitious endeavors mankind has ever faced. As technology and research progress, solutions and information that were before unavailable are slowly making the dream become everyday more feasible. In the past years a huge amount of knowledge was gathered by the Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity and now, even more insight is being gathered through the latest rover of the family, Curiosity. In this work, data from the various missions will be used to define and reproduce on Earth the characteristic Martian atmospheric conditions. A small Mars environmental chamber has been designed and built with the objective of studying the effects of the Martian environment on biological systems. The Variable gravity Mars Environmental Chamber (VgMEC) will allow researchers to replicate atmospheric pressure, gas composition, temperature and UVA/B exposure typical of the equatorial regions of Mars. By exposing biological systems to a controllable set of stressor it will be possible to identify both multi and single stressor effects on the system of interest. While several Mars environment simulation facilities exist, due to their size and mass, all are confined to floor-fixed laboratory settings. The VgMEC is an OHB funded project that wishes to bring together the scientific community and the industry. Collaborations will be enabled by granting low cost access to cutting-edge instrumentation and services. Developed at OHB System AG, VgMEC has been designed from the ground up to be a 28L, compact and lightweight test volume capable of being integrated in existing centrifuges (such as the ESA-ESTEC LCD), gimbal systems and parabolic flight aircraft. The VgMEC support systems were designed to accommodate continuous operations of virtually unlimited duration through the adoption of solutions such as: hot swappable gas/liquid consumables bottles, low power requirements, an

  8. Mars Sample Return: The Next Step Required to Revolutionize Knowledge of Martian Geological and Climatological History

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mittlefehldt, D. W.

    2012-01-01

    sediments derived from an extensive region of Mars can provide important, detailed understanding of early martian geological and climatological history. Interrogating clastic "sediments" from the Earth, Moon and asteroids has allowed discovery of new crustal units, identification of now-vanished crust, and determination of the geological history of extensive, remote regions. Returned sample of martian fluvial and/or aeolian sediments, for example from Gale crater, could be "read like a book" in terrestrial laboratories to provide truly revolutionary new insights into early martian geological and climatological evolution.

  9. The Influence of Topography on the Emplacement Dynamics of Martian Lava flows

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tremblay, J.; Fitch, E. P.; Fagents, S. A.

    2017-12-01

    Lava flows on the Martian surface exhibit a diverse array of complex morphologies. Previous emplacement models, based on terrestrial flows, do not fully account for these observed complex morphologies. We assert that the topography encountered by the flow can exert substantial control over the thermal, rheological, and morphological evolution of the flow, and that these effects can be better incorporated into flow models to predict Martian flow morphologies. Our development of an updated model can be used to account for these topographical effects and better constrain flow parameters. The model predicts that a slope break or flow meander induces eddy currents within the flow, resulting in the disruption of the flow surface crust. The exposure of the flow core results in accelerated cooling of the flow and a resultant increase in viscosity, leading to slowing of the flow. A constant source lava flux and a stagnated flow channel would then result in observable morphological changes, such as overflowing of channel levees. We have identified five morphological types of Martian flows, representing a range of effusion rates, eruption durations and topographic settings, which are suitable for application of our model. To characterize flow morphology, we used imaging and topographic data sets to collect data on flow dimensions. For eight large (50 to hundreds of km long) channelized flows in the Tharsis region, we used the MOLA 128 ppd DEM and/or individual MOLA shot points to derive flow cross-sectional thickness profiles, from which we calculated the cross-sectional area of the flow margins adjacent to the main channel. We found that the largest flow margin cross sectional areas (excluding the channel) occur in association with a channel bend, typically near the bend apex. Analysis of high-resolution images indicates that these widened flow margins are the result of repeated overflows of the channel levees and emplacement of short flow lobes adjacent to the main flow. In

  10. Nitrogen and Martian Habitability: Insights from Five Years of Curiosity Measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stern, J. C.; Sutter, B.; Navarro-Gonzalez, R.; McKay, C.; Ming, D. W.; Mahaffy, P. R.; Archer, D., Jr.; Franz, H. B.; Freissinet, C.; Jackson, W. A.; Conrad, P. G.; Glavin, D. P.; Trainer, M. G.; Malespin, C.; McAdam, A.; Eigenbrode, J. L.; Teinturier, S.; Manning, C.

    2017-12-01

    The detection of "fixed" N on Mars in the form of nitrate by the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument suite on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity Rover [1] has major implications for martian habitability. "Follow the nitrogen" has been proposed as a strategy in the search for both extant and extinct life on Mars [e.g., 2]. Nitrogen is so crucial to life on Earth that life developed metabolic pathways to break the triple bond of N2 and "fix" atmospheric nitrogen to more biologically available molecules for use in proteins and informational polymers. Sequestration of nitrate in regolith has long been predicted to contribute to the removal of N from the martian atmosphere [e.g., 3], and our detections confirm that nitrogen fixation was occurring on ancient Mars. Detections of fixed nitrogen, particularly within the context of the habitable environment in Yellowknife Bay characterized by the MSL payload, are an important tool to assess whether life ever could have existed on ancient Mars. We present 5 years of analyses and interpretation of nitrate in solid martian drilled and scooped samples by SAM on MSL. Nitrate abundance reported by SAM in situ measurements ranges from non-detection to 681 ± 304 mg/kg [1,4] in the samples examined to date. The measured abundances are consistent with nitrogen fixation via impact generated thermal shock on ancient Mars and/or dry deposition from photochemistry of thermospheric NO. We review the integration of SAM data with terrestrial Mars analog work in order to better understand the timing of nitrogen fixation and mobility of nitrogen on Mars, and thus its availability to putative biology. In particular, the relationship between nitrate and other soluble salts, such as perchlorate, may help reveal the timing of nitrogen fixation and post-depositional behavior of nitrate on Mars [4]. Finally, we present a comparison of isotopic composition (δ15N) of nitrate with δ15N of atmospheric nitrogen (δ15N ≈ 574‰, [5

  11. General Editorial

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Resonance – Journal of Science Education. General Editorial. Articles in Resonance – Journal of Science Education. Volume 19 Issue 1 January 2014 pp 1-2 General Editorial. General Editorial on Publication Ethics · R Ramaswamy · More Details Fulltext PDF. Volume 19 Issue 1 January 2014 pp 3-3 ...

  12. The Apparent Involvement of ANMEs in Mineral Dependent Methane Oxidation, as an Analog for Possible Martian Methanotrophy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Victoria J. Orphan

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available On Earth, marine anaerobic methane oxidation (AOM can be driven by the microbial reduction of sulfate, iron, and manganese. Here, we have further characterized marine sediment incubations to determine if the mineral dependent methane oxidation involves similar microorganisms to those found for sulfate-dependent methane oxidation. Through FISH and FISH-SIMS analyses using 13C and 15N labeled substrates, we find that the most active cells during manganese dependent AOM are primarily mixed and mixed-cluster aggregates of archaea and bacteria. Overall, our control experiment using sulfate showed two active bacterial clusters, two active shell aggregates, one active mixed aggregate, and an active archaeal sarcina, the last of which appeared to take up methane in the absence of a closely-associated bacterial partner. A single example of a shell aggregate appeared to be active in the manganese incubation, along with three mixed aggregates and an archaeal sarcina. These results suggest that the microorganisms (e.g., ANME-2 found active in the manganese-dependent incubations are likely capable of sulfate-dependent AOM. Similar metabolic flexibility for Martian methanotrophs would mean that the same microbial groups could inhabit a diverse set of Martian mineralogical crustal environments. The recently discovered seasonal Martian plumes of methane outgassing could be coupled to the reduction of abundant surface sulfates and extensive metal oxides, providing a feasible metabolism for present and past Mars. In an optimistic scenario Martian methanotrophy consumes much of the periodic methane released supporting on the order of 10,000 microbial cells per cm2 of Martian surface. Alternatively, most of the methane released each year could be oxidized through an abiotic process requiring biological methane oxidation to be more limited. If under this scenario, 1% of this methane flux were oxidized by biology in surface soils or in subsurface aquifers (prior to

  13. Composition and structure of the martian atmosphere: preliminary results from Viking 1

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nier, A.O.; Hanson, W.B.; Seiff, A.; McElroy, M.B.; Spencer, N.W.; Duckett, R.J.; Knight, T.C.D.; Cook, W.S.

    1976-01-01

    Results from the aeroshell-mounted neutral mass spectrometer on Viking 1 indicate that the upper atmosphere of Mars is composed mainly of CO 2 with trace quantities of N 2 , Ar, O, O 2 , and CO. The mixing ratios by volume relative to CO 2 for N 2 , Ar, and O 2 are about 0.06, 0.015, and 0.003, respectively, at an altitude near 135 kilometers. Molecular oxygen (O 2 + ) is a major component of the ionosphere according to results from the retarding potential analyzer. The atmosphere between 140 and 200 kilometers has an average temperature of about 180 0 +- 20 0 K. Atmospheric pressure at the landing site for Viking 1 was 7.3 millibars at an air temperature of 241 0 K. The descent data are consistent with the view that CO 2 should be the major constituent of the lower martian atmosphere

  14. Inorganic analyses of Martian surface samples at the Viking landing sites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, B. C.; Castro, A. J.; Rowe, C. D.; Baird, A. K.; Evans, P. H.; Rose, H. J., Jr.; Toulmin, P., III; Keil, K.; Kelliher, W. C.

    1976-01-01

    Elemental analyses of fines in the Martian regolith at two widely separated landing sites, Chryse Planitia and Utopia Planitia, produced remarkably similar results. At both sites, the uppermost regolith contains abundant Si and Fe, with significant concentrations of Mg, Al, S, Ca, and Ti. The S concentration is one to two orders of magnitude higher, and K (less than 0.25% by weight) is at least 5 times lower than the average for earth's crust. The trace elements Sr, Y, and possibly Zr have been detected at concentrations near or below 100 parts per million. Pebble-sized fragments sampled at Chryse contain more S than the bulk fines and are thought to be pieces of a sulfate-cemented duricrust.

  15. Origin of the outer layer of martian low-aspect ratio layered ejecta craters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boyce, Joseph M.; Wilson, Lionel; Barlow, Nadine G.

    2015-01-01

    Low-aspect ratio layered ejecta (LARLE) craters are one of the most enigmatic types of martian layered ejecta craters. We propose that the extensive outer layer of these craters is produced through the same base surge mechanism as that which produced the base surge deposits generated by near-surface, buried nuclear and high-explosive detonations. However, the LARLE layers have higher aspect ratios compared with base surge deposits from explosion craters, a result of differences in thicknesses of these layers. This characteristics is probably caused by the addition of large amounts of small particles of dust and ice derived from climate-related mantles of snow, ice and dust in the areas where LARLE craters form. These deposits are likely to be quickly stabilized (order of a few days to a few years) from eolian erosion by formation of duricrust produced by diffusion of water vapor out of the deposits.

  16. Experimental demonstration of Martian soil simulant removal from a surface using a pulsed plasma jet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ticoş, C. M.; Scurtu, A.; Toader, D.; Banu, N.

    2015-03-01

    A plasma jet produced in a small coaxial plasma gun operated at voltages up to 2 kV and working in pure carbon dioxide (CO2) at a few Torr is used to remove Martian soil simulant from a surface. A capacitor with 0.5 mF is charged up from a high voltage source and supplies the power to the coaxial electrodes. The muzzle of the coaxial plasma gun is placed at a few millimeters near the dusty surface and the jet is fired parallel with the surface. Removal of dust is imaged in real time with a high speed camera. Mars regolith simulant JSC-Mars-1A with particle sizes up to 5 mm is used on different types of surfaces made of aluminium, cotton fabric, polyethylene, cardboard, and phenolic.

  17. Volatile, Isotope, and Organic Analysis of Martian Fines with the Mars Curiosity Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leshin, L. A.; Mahaffy, P. R.; Webster, C. R.; Cabane, M.; Coll, P.; Conrad, P. G.; Archer, P. D.; Atreya, S. K.; Brunner, A. E.; Buch, A.; Eigenbrode, J. L.; Flesch, G. J.; Franz, H. B.; Freissinet, C.; Glavin, D. P.; McAdam, A. C.; Miller, K. E.; Ming, D. W.; Morris, R. V.; Navarro-González, R.; Niles, P. B.; Owen, T.; Pepin, R. O.; Squyres, S.; Steele, A.; Stern, J. C.; Summons, R. E.; Sumner, D. Y.; Sutter, B.; Szopa, C.; Teinturier, S.; Trainer, M. G.; Wray, J. J.; Grotzinger, J. P.; Kemppinen, Osku; Bridges, Nathan; Johnson, Jeffrey R.; Minitti, Michelle; Cremers, David; Bell, James F.; Edgar, Lauren; Farmer, Jack; Godber, Austin; Wadhwa, Meenakshi; Wellington, Danika; McEwan, Ian; Newman, Claire; Richardson, Mark; Charpentier, Antoine; Peret, Laurent; King, Penelope; Blank, Jennifer; Weigle, Gerald; Schmidt, Mariek; Li, Shuai; Milliken, Ralph; Robertson, Kevin; Sun, Vivian; Baker, Michael; Edwards, Christopher; Ehlmann, Bethany; Farley, Kenneth; Griffes, Jennifer; Miller, Hayden; Newcombe, Megan; Pilorget, Cedric; Rice, Melissa; Siebach, Kirsten; Stack, Katie; Stolper, Edward; Brunet, Claude; Hipkin, Victoria; Léveillé, Richard; Marchand, Geneviève; Sánchez, Pablo Sobrón; Favot, Laurent; Cody, George; Flückiger, Lorenzo; Lees, David; Nefian, Ara; Martin, Mildred; Gailhanou, Marc; Westall, Frances; Israël, Guy; Agard, Christophe; Baroukh, Julien; Donny, Christophe; Gaboriaud, Alain; Guillemot, Philippe; Lafaille, Vivian; Lorigny, Eric; Paillet, Alexis; Pérez, René; Saccoccio, Muriel; Yana, Charles; Armiens-Aparicio, Carlos; Rodríguez, Javier Caride; Blázquez, Isaías Carrasco; Gómez, Felipe Gómez; Gómez-Elvira, Javier; Hettrich, Sebastian; Malvitte, Alain Lepinette; Jiménez, Mercedes Marín; Martínez-Frías, Jesús; Martín-Soler, Javier; Martín-Torres, F. Javier; Jurado, Antonio Molina; Mora-Sotomayor, Luis; Caro, Guillermo Muñoz; López, Sara Navarro; Peinado-González, Verónica; Pla-García, Jorge; Manfredi, José Antonio Rodriguez; Romeral-Planelló, Julio José; Fuentes, Sara Alejandra Sans; Martinez, Eduardo Sebastian; Redondo, Josefina Torres; Urqui-O'Callaghan, Roser; Mier, María-Paz Zorzano; Chipera, Steve; Lacour, Jean-Luc; Mauchien, Patrick; Sirven, Jean-Baptiste; Manning, Heidi; Fairén, Alberto; Hayes, Alexander; Joseph, Jonathan; Sullivan, Robert; Thomas, Peter; Dupont, Audrey; Lundberg, Angela; Melikechi, Noureddine; Mezzacappa, Alissa; DeMarines, Julia; Grinspoon, David; Reitz, Günther; Prats, Benito; Atlaskin, Evgeny; Genzer, Maria; Harri, Ari-Matti; Haukka, Harri; Kahanpää, Henrik; Kauhanen, Janne; Kemppinen, Osku; Paton, Mark; Polkko, Jouni; Schmidt, Walter; Siili, Tero; Fabre, Cécile; Wilhelm, Mary Beth; Poitrasson, Franck; Patel, Kiran; Gorevan, Stephen; Indyk, Stephen; Paulsen, Gale; Gupta, Sanjeev; Bish, David; Schieber, Juergen; Gondet, Brigitte; Langevin, Yves; Geffroy, Claude; Baratoux, David; Berger, Gilles; Cros, Alain; d'Uston, Claude; Forni, Olivier; Gasnault, Olivier; Lasue, Jérémie; Lee, Qiu-Mei; Maurice, Sylvestre; Meslin, Pierre-Yves; Pallier, Etienne; Parot, Yann; Pinet, Patrick; Schröder, Susanne; Toplis, Mike; Lewin, Éric; Brunner, Will; Heydari, Ezat; Achilles, Cherie; Oehler, Dorothy; Coscia, David; Israël, Guy; Dromart, Gilles; Robert, François; Sautter, Violaine; Le Mouélic, Stéphane; Mangold, Nicolas; Nachon, Marion; Stalport, Fabien; François, Pascaline; Raulin, François; Cameron, James; Clegg, Sam; Cousin, Agnès; DeLapp, Dorothea; Dingler, Robert; Jackson, Ryan Steele; Johnstone, Stephen; Lanza, Nina; Little, Cynthia; Nelson, Tony; Wiens, Roger C.; Williams, Richard B.; Jones, Andrea; Kirkland, Laurel; Treiman, Allan; Baker, Burt; Cantor, Bruce; Caplinger, Michael; Davis, Scott; Duston, Brian; Edgett, Kenneth; Fay, Donald; Hardgrove, Craig; Harker, David; Herrera, Paul; Jensen, Elsa; Kennedy, Megan R.; Krezoski, Gillian; Krysak, Daniel; Lipkaman, Leslie; Malin, Michael; McCartney, Elaina; McNair, Sean; Nixon, Brian; Posiolova, Liliya; Ravine, Michael; Salamon, Andrew; Saper, Lee; Stoiber, Kevin; Supulver, Kimberley; Van Beek, Jason; Van Beek, Tessa; Zimdar, Robert; French, Katherine Louise; Iagnemma, Karl; Goesmann, Fred; Goetz, Walter; Hviid, Stubbe; Johnson, Micah; Lefavor, Matthew; Lyness, Eric; Breves, Elly; Dyar, M. Darby; Fassett, Caleb; Blake, David F.; Bristow, Thomas; DesMarais, David; Edwards, Laurence; Haberle, Robert; Hoehler, Tori; Hollingsworth, Jeff; Kahre, Melinda; Keely, Leslie; McKay, Christopher; Wilhelm, Mary Beth; Bleacher, Lora; Brinckerhoff, William; Choi, David; Dworkin, Jason P.; Floyd, Melissa; Garvin, James; Harpold, Daniel; Jones, Andrea; Martin, David K.; Pavlov, Alexander; Raaen, Eric; Smith, Michael D.; Tan, Florence; Meyer, Michael; Posner, Arik; Voytek, Mary; Anderson, Robert C.; Aubrey, Andrew; Beegle, Luther W.; Behar, Alberto; Blaney, Diana; Brinza, David; Calef, Fred; Christensen, Lance; Crisp, Joy A.; DeFlores, Lauren; Ehlmann, Bethany; Feldman, Jason; Feldman, Sabrina; Hurowitz, Joel; Jun, Insoo; Keymeulen, Didier; Maki, Justin; Mischna, Michael; Morookian, John Michael; Parker, Timothy; Pavri, Betina; Schoppers, Marcel; Sengstacken, Aaron; Simmonds, John J.; Spanovich, Nicole; Juarez, Manuel de la Torre; Vasavada, Ashwin R.; Yen, Albert; Cucinotta, Francis; Jones, John H.; Rampe, Elizabeth; Nolan, Thomas; Fisk, Martin; Radziemski, Leon; Barraclough, Bruce; Bender, Steve; Berman, Daniel; Dobrea, Eldar Noe; Tokar, Robert; Vaniman, David; Williams, Rebecca M. E.; Yingst, Aileen; Lewis, Kevin; Cleghorn, Timothy; Huntress, Wesley; Manhès, Gérard; Hudgins, Judy; Olson, Timothy; Stewart, Noel; Sarrazin, Philippe; Grant, John; Vicenzi, Edward; Wilson, Sharon A.; Bullock, Mark; Ehresmann, Bent; Hamilton, Victoria; Hassler, Donald; Peterson, Joseph; Rafkin, Scot; Zeitlin, Cary; Fedosov, Fedor; Golovin, Dmitry; Karpushkina, Natalya; Kozyrev, Alexander; Litvak, Maxim; Malakhov, Alexey; Mitrofanov, Igor; Mokrousov, Maxim; Nikiforov, Sergey; Prokhorov, Vasily; Sanin, Anton; Tretyakov, Vladislav; Varenikov, Alexey; Vostrukhin, Andrey; Kuzmin, Ruslan; Clark, Benton; Wolff, Michael; McLennan, Scott; Botta, Oliver; Drake, Darrell; Bean, Keri; Lemmon, Mark; Schwenzer, Susanne P.; Anderson, Ryan B.; Herkenhoff, Kenneth; Lee, Ella Mae; Sucharski, Robert; Hernández, Miguel Ángel de Pablo; Ávalos, Juan José Blanco; Ramos, Miguel; Kim, Myung-Hee; Malespin, Charles; Plante, Ianik; Muller, Jan-Peter; Ewing, Ryan; Boynton, William; Downs, Robert; Fitzgibbon, Mike; Harshman, Karl; Morrison, Shaunna; Dietrich, William; Kortmann, Onno; Palucis, Marisa; Williams, Amy; Lugmair, Günter; Wilson, Michael A.; Rubin, David; Jakosky, Bruce; Balic-Zunic, Tonci; Frydenvang, Jens; Jensen, Jaqueline Kløvgaard; Kinch, Kjartan; Koefoed, Asmus; Madsen, Morten Bo; Stipp, Susan Louise Svane; Boyd, Nick; Campbell, John L.; Gellert, Ralf; Perrett, Glynis; Pradler, Irina; VanBommel, Scott; Jacob, Samantha; Rowland, Scott; Atlaskin, Evgeny; Savijärvi, Hannu; Boehm, Eckart; Böttcher, Stephan; Burmeister, Sönke; Guo, Jingnan; Köhler, Jan; García, César Martín; Mueller-Mellin, Reinhold; Wimmer-Schweingruber, Robert; Bridges, John C.; McConnochie, Timothy; Benna, Mehdi; Bower, Hannah; Blau, Hannah; Boucher, Thomas; Carmosino, Marco; Elliott, Harvey; Halleaux, Douglas; Rennó, Nilton; Wong, Michael; Elliott, Beverley; Spray, John; Thompson, Lucy; Gordon, Suzanne; Newsom, Horton; Ollila, Ann; Williams, Joshua; Vasconcelos, Paulo; Bentz, Jennifer; Nealson, Kenneth; Popa, Radu; Kah, Linda C.; Moersch, Jeffrey; Tate, Christopher; Day, Mackenzie; Kocurek, Gary; Hallet, Bernard; Sletten, Ronald; Francis, Raymond; McCullough, Emily; Cloutis, Ed; ten Kate, Inge Loes; Kuzmin, Ruslan; Arvidson, Raymond; Fraeman, Abigail; Scholes, Daniel; Slavney, Susan; Stein, Thomas; Ward, Jennifer; Berger, Jeffrey; Moores, John E.

    2013-09-01

    Samples from the Rocknest aeolian deposit were heated to ~835°C under helium flow and evolved gases analyzed by Curiosity’s Sample Analysis at Mars instrument suite. H2O, SO2, CO2, and O2 were the major gases released. Water abundance (1.5 to 3 weight percent) and release temperature suggest that H2O is bound within an amorphous component of the sample. Decomposition of fine-grained Fe or Mg carbonate is the likely source of much of the evolved CO2. Evolved O2 is coincident with the release of Cl, suggesting that oxygen is produced from thermal decomposition of an oxychloride compound. Elevated δD values are consistent with recent atmospheric exchange. Carbon isotopes indicate multiple carbon sources in the fines. Several simple organic compounds were detected, but they are not definitively martian in origin.

  18. Experimental demonstration of Martian soil simulant removal from a surface using a pulsed plasma jet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ticoş, C M; Scurtu, A; Toader, D; Banu, N

    2015-03-01

    A plasma jet produced in a small coaxial plasma gun operated at voltages up to 2 kV and working in pure carbon dioxide (CO2) at a few Torr is used to remove Martian soil simulant from a surface. A capacitor with 0.5 mF is charged up from a high voltage source and supplies the power to the coaxial electrodes. The muzzle of the coaxial plasma gun is placed at a few millimeters near the dusty surface and the jet is fired parallel with the surface. Removal of dust is imaged in real time with a high speed camera. Mars regolith simulant JSC-Mars-1A with particle sizes up to 5 mm is used on different types of surfaces made of aluminium, cotton fabric, polyethylene, cardboard, and phenolic.

  19. Preliminary Dynamic Feasibility and Analysis of a Spherical, Wind-Driven (Tumbleweed), Martian Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flick, John J.; Toniolo, Matthew D.

    2005-01-01

    The process and findings are presented from a preliminary feasibility study examining the dynamics characteristics of a spherical wind-driven (or Tumbleweed) rover, which is intended for exploration of the Martian surface. The results of an initial feasibility study involving several worst-case mobility situations that a Tumbleweed rover might encounter on the surface of Mars are discussed. Additional topics include the evaluation of several commercially available analysis software packages that were examined as possible platforms for the development of a Monte Carlo Tumbleweed mission simulation tool. This evaluation lead to the development of the Mars Tumbleweed Monte Carlo Simulator (or Tumbleweed Simulator) using the Vortex physics software package from CM-Labs, Inc. Discussions regarding the development and evaluation of the Tumbleweed Simulator, as well as the results of a preliminary analysis using the tool are also presented. Finally, a brief conclusions section is presented.

  20. Hybrid Heat Pipes for Lunar and Martian Surface and High Heat Flux Space Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ababneh, Mohammed T.; Tarau, Calin; Anderson, William G.; Farmer, Jeffery T.; Alvarez-Hernandez, Angel R.

    2016-01-01

    Novel hybrid wick heat pipes are developed to operate against gravity on planetary surfaces, operate in space carrying power over long distances and act as thermosyphons on the planetary surface for Lunar and Martian landers and rovers. These hybrid heat pipes will be capable of operating at the higher heat flux requirements expected in NASA's future spacecraft and on the next generation of polar rovers and equatorial landers. In addition, the sintered evaporator wicks mitigate the start-up problems in vertical gravity aided heat pipes because of large number of nucleation sites in wicks which will allow easy boiling initiation. ACT, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, and NASA Johnson Space Center, are working together on the Advanced Passive Thermal experiment (APTx) to test and validate the operation of a hybrid wick VCHP with warm reservoir and HiK"TM" plates in microgravity environment on the ISS.

  1. Mud Volcanoes in the Martian Lowlands: Potential Windows to Fluid-Rich Samples from Depth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oehler, Dorothy Z.; Allen, Carlton C.

    2009-01-01

    The regional setting of the Chryse-Acidalia area augurs well for a fluid-rich subsurface, accumulation of diverse rock types reflecting the wide catchment area, astrobiological prospectivity, and mud volcanism. This latter provides a mechanism for transporting samples from relatively great depth to the surface. Since mud volcanoes are not associated with extreme heat or shock pressures, materials they transport to the surface are likely to be relatively unaltered; thus such materials could contain interpretable remnants of potential martian life (e.g., organic chemical biomarkers, mineral biosignatures, or structural remains) as well as unmetamorphosed rock samples. None of the previous landings on Mars was located in an area with features identified as potential mud volcanoes (Fig. 3), but some of these features may offer targets for future missions aimed at sampling deep fluid-rich strata with potential habitable zones.

  2. Earth analogs for Martian life - Microbes in evaporites, a new model system for life on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rothschild, Lynn J.

    1990-01-01

    It is suggested that 'oases' in which life forms may persist on Mars could occur, by analogy with terrestrial cases, in (1) rocks, as known in endolithic microorganisms, (2) polar ice caps, as seen in snow and ice algae, and (3) volcanic regions, as witnessed in the chemoautotrophs which live in ocean-floor hydrothermal vents. Microorganisms, moreover, have been known to survive in salt crystals, and it has even been shown that organisms can metabolize while encrusted in evaporites. Evaporites which may occur on Mars would be able to attenuate UV light, while remaining more transparent to the 400-700 nm radiation useful in photosynthesis. Suggestions are made for the selection of Martian exobiological investigation sites.

  3. The Martian hydrologic cycle - Effects of CO2 mass flux on global water distribution

    Science.gov (United States)

    James, P. B.

    1985-01-01

    The Martian CO2 cycle, which includes the seasonal condensation and subsequent sublimation of up to 30 percent of the planet's atmosphere, produces meridional winds due to the consequent mass flux of CO2. These winds currently display strong seasonal and hemispheric asymmetries due to the large asymmetries in the distribution of insolation on Mars. It is proposed that asymmetric meridional advection of water vapor on the planet due to these CO2 condensation winds is capable of explaining the observed dessication of Mars' south polar region at the current time. A simple model for water vapor transport is used to verify this hypothesis and to speculate on the effects of changes in orbital parameters on the seasonal water cycle.

  4. A model to calculate solar radiation fluxes on the Martian surface

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vicente-Retortillo Álvaro

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available We present a new comprehensive radiative transfer model to study the solar irradiance that reaches the surface of Mars in the spectral range covered by MetSIS, a sensor aboard the Mars MetNet mission that will measure solar irradiance in several bands from the ultraviolet (UV to the near infrared (NIR. The model includes up-to-date wavelength-dependent radiative properties of dust, water ice clouds, and gas molecules. It enables the characterization of the radiative environment in different spectral regions under different scenarios. Comparisons between the model results and MetSIS observations will allow for the characterization of the temporal variability of atmospheric optical depth and dust size distribution, enhancing the scientific return of the mission. The radiative environment at the Martian surface has important implications for the habitability of Mars as well as a strong impact on its atmospheric dynamics and climate.

  5. Vertical distribution of Martian aerosols from SPICAM/Mars-Express limb observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fedorova, A.; Korablev, O.; Bertaux, J.-L.; Rodin, A.; Perrier, S.; Moroz, V. I.

    Limb spectroscopic observations provide invaluable information about vertical distribution of main atmospheric components in the Martian atmosphere, in particular vertical distribution and structure of aerosols, which play an important role in the heat balance of the planet. Only limited set of successful limb spectroscopic observations have been carried out on Mars so far, including those by MGS/TES spectrometer and Thermoscan and Auguste experiments of Phobos mission. Currently SPICAM instrument onboard Mars-Express spacecraft has accomplished several sequences of limb observations. First analysis of limb sounding data received by SPICAM IR and UV channels, which imply the presence of fine, deep, optically thin aerosol fraction extended over broad range of altitudes, is presented.

  6. Mitigating Adverse Effects of a Human Mission on Possible Martian Indigenous Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lupisella, M. L.

    2000-07-01

    Although human beings are, by most standards, the most capable agents to search for and detect extraterrestrial life, we are also potentially the most harmful. While there has been substantial work regarding forward contamination with respect to robotic missions, the issue of potential adverse effects on possible indigenous Martian ecosystems, such as biological contamination, due to a human mission has remained relatively unexplored and may require our attention now as this presentation will try to demonstrate by exploring some of the relevant scientific questions, mission planning challenges, and policy issues. An informal, high-level mission planning decision tree will be discussed and is included as the next page of this abstract. Some of the questions to be considered are: (1) To what extent could contamination due to a human presence compromise possible indigenous life forms? (2) To what extent can we control contamination? For example, will it be local or global? (3) What are the criteria for assessing the biological status of Mars, both regionally and globally? For example, can we adequately extrapolate from a few strategic missions such as sample return missions? (4) What should our policies be regarding our mission planning and possible interaction with what are likely to be microbial forms of extraterrestrial life? (5) Central to the science and mission planning issues is the role and applicability of terrestrial analogs, such as Lake Vostok for assessing drilling issues, and modeling techniques. Central to many of the policy aspects are scientific value, international law, public concern, and ethics. Exploring this overall issue responsibly requires an examination of all these aspects and how they interrelate. A chart is included, titled 'Mission Planning Decision Tree for Mitigating Adverse Effects to Possible Indigenous Martian Ecosystems due to a Human Mission'. It outlines what questions scientists should ask and answer before sending humans to Mars.

  7. Hydrocode modeling of the spallation process during hypervelocity impacts: Implications for the ejection of Martian meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurosawa, Kosuke; Okamoto, Takaya; Genda, Hidenori

    2018-02-01

    Hypervelocity ejection of material by impact spallation is considered a plausible mechanism for material exchange between two planetary bodies. We have modeled the spallation process during vertical impacts over a range of impact velocities from 6 to 21 km/s using both grid- and particle-based hydrocode models. The Tillotson equations of state, which are able to treat the nonlinear dependence of density on pressure and thermal pressure in strongly shocked matter, were used to study the hydrodynamic-thermodynamic response after impacts. The effects of material strength and gravitational acceleration were not considered. A two-dimensional time-dependent pressure field within a 1.5-fold projectile radius from the impact point was investigated in cylindrical coordinates to address the generation of spalled material. A resolution test was also performed to reject ejected materials with peak pressures that were too low due to artificial viscosity. The relationship between ejection velocity veject and peak pressure Ppeak was also derived. Our approach shows that "late-stage acceleration" in an ejecta curtain occurs due to the compressible nature of the ejecta, resulting in an ejection velocity that can be higher than the ideal maximum of the resultant particle velocity after passage of a shock wave. We also calculate the ejecta mass that can escape from a planet like Mars (i.e., veject > 5 km/s) that matches the petrographic constraints from Martian meteorites, and which occurs when Ppeak = 30-50 GPa. Although the mass of such ejecta is limited to 0.1-1 wt% of the projectile mass in vertical impacts, this is sufficient for spallation to have been a plausible mechanism for the ejection of Martian meteorites. Finally, we propose that impact spallation is a plausible mechanism for the generation of tektites.

  8. Martian aeolian activity at the Bagnold Dunes, Gale Crater: The view from the surface and orbit

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bridges, N. T.; Sullivan, R.; Newman, C. E.; Navarro, S.; van Beek, J.; Ewing, R. C.; Ayoub, F.; Silvestro, S.; Gasnault, O.; Le Mouélic, S.; Lapotre, M. G. A.; Rapin, W.

    2017-10-01

    The first in situ investigation of an active dune field on another planetary surface occurred in 2015-2016 when the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover investigated the Bagnold Dunes on Mars. High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment images show clear seasonal variations that are in good agreement with atmospheric model predictions of intra-annual sand flux and migration directions that together indicate that the campaign occurred during a period of low wind activity. Curiosity surface images show that limited changes nevertheless occurred, with movement of large grains, particularly on freshly exposed surfaces, two occurrences of secondary grain flow on the slip face of Namib Dune, and a slump on a freshly exposed surface of a large ripple. These changes are seen at Martian solar day (sol)-to-sol time scales. Grains on a rippled sand deposit and unconsolidated dump piles show limited movement of large grains over a few hours during which mean friction speeds are estimated at 0.3-0.4 m s-1. Overall, the correlation between changes and peak Rover Environmental Monitoring Station (REMS) winds is moderate, with high wind events associated with changes in some cases, but not in others, suggesting that other factors are also at work. The distribution of REMS 1 Hz wind speeds shows a significant tail up to the current 20 m s-1 calibration limit, indicating that even higher speed winds occur. Nonaeolian triggering mechanisms are also possible. The low activity period at the dunes documented by Curiosity provides clues to processes that dominated in the Martian past under conditions of lower obliquity.

  9. Methanogens and Martian natural resources: Investigations regarding the possibility of biogenic methane on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chastain, Brendon Kelly

    Archaeal methanogens were suggested as terrestrial models of possible subsurface martian microbial life prior to the actual detection of methane in Mars' atmosphere. This idea gained even more interest after the methane on Mars was observed. However, the amount of methane detected was very small, and release of methane was localized and episodic. This led some scientists to doubt that an active or ancient biosphere could be the source of the methane. Moreover, even extremophilic methanogens have not been shown to metabolize in conditions exactly analogous to those known to be available on Mars. The following chapters present a realistic and viable mechanism that allows a large or ancient biosphere to be the original source of the observed methane, and they detail experimental work that was done in order to systematically investigate nutritional and conditional variables related to those that might be available in the martian subsurface. The results of the experimental work indicate that some components of Mars' regolith can support methanogenic metabolism without being detrimental to the organisms, and that certain known components of Mars' regolith can promote periods of methanogenic dormancy without being lethal to the methanogens. The results of the experimental studies also show that material known to exist at and near Mars' surface has the potential to supply electrons for biological methanogenesis and that methanogenic metabolism can occur even when artificial media, buffers, and reductants are omitted in order to create more Mars-relevant conditions. These findings may have implications regarding the viability of methanogenic organisms as a source of the observed methane and should assist future efforts to study methanogenic metabolism in conditions exactly analogous to those available in niches on Mars.

  10. Petrogenesis of Igneous-Textured Clasts in Martian Meteorite Northwest Africa 7034

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos, A. R.; Agee, C. B.; Humayun, M.; McCubbin, F. M.; Shearer, C. K.

    2016-01-01

    The martian meteorite Northwest Africa 7034 (and pairings) is a breccia that samples a variety of materials from the martian crust. Several previous studies have identified multiple types of igneous-textured clasts within the breccia [1-3], and these clasts have the potential to provide insight into the igneous evolution of Mars. One challenge presented by studying these small rock fragments is the lack of field context for this breccia (i.e., where on Mars it formed), so we do not know how many sources these small rock fragments are derived from or the exact formation his-tory of these sources (i.e., are the sources mantle de-rived melt or melts contaminated by a meteorite impactor on Mars). Our goal in this study is to examine specific igneous-textured clast groups to determine if they are petrogenetically related (i.e., from the same igneous source) and determine more information about their formation history, then use them to derive new insights about the igneous history of Mars. We will focus on the basalt clasts, FTP clasts (named due to their high concentration of iron, titanium, and phosphorous), and mineral fragments described by [1] (Fig. 1). We will examine these materials for evidence of impactor contamination (as proposed for some materials by [2]) or mantle melt derivation. We will also test the petrogenetic models proposed in [1], which are igneous processes that could have occurred regardless of where the melt parental to the clasts was formed. These models include 1) derivation of the FTP clasts from a basalt clast melt through silicate liquid immiscibility (SLI), 2) derivation of the FTP clasts from a basalt clast melt through fractional crystallization, and 3) a lack of petrogenetic relationship between these clast groups. The relationship between the clast groups and the mineral fragments will also be explored.

  11. Comparison of oxygen liquefaction methods for use on the Martian surface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, W. L.; Hauser, D. M.; Plachta, D. W.; Wang, X.-Y. J.; Banker, B. F.; Desai, P. S.; Stephens, J. R.; Swanger, A. M.

    2018-03-01

    In order to use oxygen that is produced on the surface of Mars from In-Situ production processes in a chemical propulsion system, the oxygen must first be converted from vapor phase to liquid phase and then stored within the propellant tanks of the propulsions system. There are multiple ways that this can be accomplished, from simply attaching a liquefaction system onto the propellant tanks to carrying separate tanks for liquefaction and storage of the propellant and loading just prior to launch (the way that traditional rocket launches occur on Earth). A study was done into these various methods by which the oxygen (and methane) could be liquefied and stored on the Martian surface. Five different architectures or cycles were considered: Tube-on-Tank (also known as Broad Area Cooling or Distributed Refrigeration), Tube-in-Tank (also known as Integrated Refrigeration and Storage), a modified Linde open liquefaction/refrigeration cycle, the direct mounting of a pulse tube cryocooler onto the tank, and an in-line liquefier at ambient pressure. Models of each architecture were developed to give insight into the performance and losses of each of the options. The results were then compared across eight categories: Mass, Power (both input and heat rejection), Operability, Cost, Manufacturability, Reliability, Volume-ility, and Scalability. The result was that Tube-on-Tank and Tube-in-Tank architectures were the most attractive solutions, with NASA's engineering management choosing to pursue tube on tank development rather than further differentiate the two. As a result NASA is focusing its Martian surface liquefaction activities and technology development on Tube-on-Tank liquefaction cycles.

  12. Resistance of Terrestrial Microbial Communities to Impack of Physical Conditinos of Subsurface Layers of Martian Regolith

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheptsov, V. S.; Vorobyova, E. A.

    2017-05-01

    Currently, astrobiology is focused on Mars as one of the most perspective objects in the Solar System to search for microbial life. It was assumed that the putative biosphere of Mars could be cryopreserved and had been stored for billions of years in anabiotic state like microbial communities of Arctic and Antarctic permafrost deposits have been preserved till now for millions of years. In this case microbial cells should be not able to repair the damages or these processes have to be significantly depressed, and the main factor causing cell's death should be ionizing radiation. In a series of experiments we simulated the effects of combination of physical factors known as characteristics of the Martian regolith (and close to the space environment) on the natural microbial communities inhabiting xerophytic harsh habitats with extreme temperature conditions: polar permafrost and desert soils. The aim of the study was to examine the cumulative effect of factors (gamma radiation, low temperature, low pressure) to assess the possibility of metabolic reactions, and to find limits of the viability of natural microbial communities after exposure to the given conditions. It was found that microbial biomarkers could be reliably detected in soil samples after radiation dose accumulation up to 1 MGy (not further investigated) in combination with exposure to low temperature and low pressure. Resistance to extremely high doses of radiation in simulated conditions proves that if there was an Earth-like biosphere on the early Mars microorganisms could survive in the surface or subsurface layers of the Martian regolith for more than tens of millions of years after climate change. The study gives also some new grounds for the approval of transfer of viable microorganisms in space.

  13. Ma_MISS on ExoMars: Mineralogical Characterization of the Martian Subsurface

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Sanctis, Maria Cristina; Altieri, Francesca; Ammannito, Eleonora; Biondi, David; De Angelis, Simone; Meini, Marco; Mondello, Giuseppe; Novi, Samuele; Paolinetti, Riccardo; Soldani, Massimo; Mugnuolo, Raffaele; Pirrotta, Simone; Vago, Jorge L.; Ma_MISS Team

    2017-07-01

    The Ma_MISS (Mars Multispectral Imager for Subsurface Studies) experiment is the visible and near infrared (VNIR) miniaturized spectrometer hosted by the drill system of the ExoMars 2020 rover. Ma_MISS will perform IR spectral reflectance investigations in the 0.4-2.2 μm range to characterize the mineralogy of excavated borehole walls at different depths (between 0 and 2 m). The spectral sampling is about 20 nm, whereas the spatial resolution over the target is 120 μm. Making use of the drill's movement, the instrument slit can scan a ring and build up hyperspectral images of a borehole. The main goal of the Ma_MISS instrument is to study the martian subsurface environment. Access to the martian subsurface is crucial to our ability to constrain the nature, timing, and duration of alteration and sedimentation processes on Mars, as well as habitability conditions. Subsurface deposits likely host and preserve H2O ice and hydrated materials that will contribute to our understanding of the H2O geochemical environment (both in the liquid and in the solid state) at the ExoMars 2020 landing site. The Ma_MISS spectral range and sampling capabilities have been carefully selected to allow the study of minerals and ices in situ before the collection of samples. Ma_MISS will be implemented to accomplish the following scientific objectives: (1) determine the composition of subsurface materials, (2) map the distribution of subsurface H2O and volatiles, (3) characterize important optical and physical properties of materials (e.g., grain size), and (4) produce a stratigraphic column that will inform with regard to subsurface geological processes. The Ma_MISS findings will help to refine essential criteria that will aid in our selection of the most interesting subsurface formations from which to collect samples.

  14. Control parameters of the martian dune field positions at planetary scale: tests by the MCD

    Science.gov (United States)

    allemand, pascal

    2016-04-01

    The surface of Mars is occupied by more than 500 dunes fields mainly located inside impact craters of the south hemisphere and near the north polar cap. The questions of the activity of martian dunes and of the localization of the martian dune fields are not completely solved. It has been demonstrated recently by image observation and image correlation that some of these dune fields are clearly active. The sand flux of one of them has been even estimated. But there is no global view of the degree of activity of each the dune fields. (2)The topography of impact craters in which dune fields are localized is an important factor of their position. But there is no consensus of the effect of global atmospheric circulation on dune field localization. These two questions are addressed using the results of Mars Climate Database 5.2 (MCD) (Millour, 2015; Forget et al., 1999). The wind fields of the MCD have been first validated against the observations made on active dune fields. Using a classical transport law, the Drift Potential (DP) and the Relative Drift Potential (RDP) have been computed for each dune fields. A good correlation exists between the position of dune fields and specific values of these two parameters. The activity of each dune field is estimated from these parameters and tested on some examples by image observations. Finally a map of sand flow has been computed at the scale of the planet. This map shows that sand and dust is trapped in specific regions. These regions correspond to the area of dune field concentration.

  15. IR SPECTRAL MAPPING OF THE MARTIAN SOUTH POLAR RESIDUAL CAP USING CRISM

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Campbell

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs are considered to be important in theories of abiogenesis (Allamandola, 2011 . There is evidence that PAHs have been detected on two icy Saturnian satellites using the Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS on the Cassini spacecraft (Cruikshank et al., 2007. The hypothesised presence of PAHs in Mars south polar cap has not been systematically examined even though the Mars south polar cap may allow the preservation of organic molecules that are typically destroyed at the Martian surface by UV radiation (Dartnell et al. 2012. This hypothesis is supported by recent analyses of South Polar Residual Cap (SPRC structural evolution (Thomas et al., 2009 that suggest the possibility that seasonal and long term sublimation may excavate dust particles from within the polar ice. Periodic sublimation is believed to be responsible for the formation of so-called “Swiss Cheese Terrain”, a unique surface feature found only in the Martian south polar residual cap consisting of flat floored, circular depressions (Byrne, 2009. We show the first examples of work towards the detection of PAHs in Swiss Cheese Terrain, using data from the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM, on board NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO. CRISM is designed to search for mineralogical indications of past and present water, thus providing extensive coverage of the south polar cap. In this work, we discuss whether CRISM infrared spectra can be used to detect PAHs in Swiss Cheese Terrain and demonstrate a number of maps showing shifts in spectral profiles over the SPRC.

  16. Asymmetry of the Martian Current Sheet in a Multi-fluid MHD Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Panoncillo, S. G.; Egan, H. L.; Dong, C.; Connerney, J. E. P.; Brain, D. A.; Jakosky, B. M.

    2017-12-01

    The solar wind carries interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) lines toward Mars, where they drape around the planet's conducting ionosphere, creating a current sheet behind the planet where the magnetic field has opposite polarity on either side. In its simplest form, the current sheet is often thought of as symmetric, extending behind the planet along the Mars-Sun line. Observations and model simulations, however, demonstrate that this idealized representation is only an approximation, and the actual scenario is much more complex. The current sheet can have 3D structure, move back and forth, and be situated dawnward or duskward of the Mars-Sun line. In this project, we utilized a library of global plasma model results for Mars consisting of a collection of multi-fluid MHD simulations where solar max/min, sub-solar longitude, and the orbital position of Mars are varied individually. The model includes Martian crustal fields, and was run for identical steady solar wind conditions. This library was created for the purpose of comparing model results to MAVEN data; we looked at the results of this model library to investigate current sheet asymmetries. By altering one variable at a time we were able to measure how these variables influence the location of the current sheet. We found that the current sheet is typically shifted toward the dusk side of the planet, and that modeled asymmetries are especially prevalent during solar min. Previous model studies that lack crustal fields have found that, for a Parker spiral IMF, the current sheet will shift dawnward, while our results typically show the opposite. This could expose certain limitations in the models used, or it could reveal an interaction between the solar wind and the plasma environment of Mars that has not yet been explored. MAVEN data may be compared to the model results to confirm the sense of the modeled asymmetry. These results help us to probe the physics controlling the Martian magnetotail and atmospheric

  17. Generalized product

    OpenAIRE

    Greco, Salvatore; Mesiar, Radko; Rindone, Fabio

    2014-01-01

    Aggregation functions on [0,1] with annihilator 0 can be seen as a generalized product on [0,1]. We study the generalized product on the bipolar scale [–1,1], stressing the axiomatic point of view. Based on newly introduced bipolar properties, such as the bipolar increasingness, bipolar unit element, bipolar idempotent element, several kinds of generalized bipolar product are introduced and studied. A special stress is put on bipolar semicopulas, bipolar quasi-copulas and bipolar copulas.

  18. Salt or ice diapirism origin for the honeycomb terrain in Hellas basin, Mars?: Implications for the early martian climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weiss, David K.; Head, James W.

    2017-03-01

    The "honeycomb" terrain is a Noachian-aged cluster of ∼7 km wide linear cell-like depressions located on the northwestern floor of Hellas basin, Mars. A variety of origins have been proposed for the honeycomb terrain, including deformation rings of subglacial sediment, frozen convection cells from a Hellas impact melt sheet, a swarm of igneous batholiths, salt diapirism, and ice diapirism. Recent work has shown that the salt or ice diapirism scenarios appear to be most consistent with the morphology and morphometry of the honeycomb terrain. The salt and ice diapirism scenarios have different implications for the ancient martian climate and hydrological cycle, and so distinguishing between the two scenarios is critical. In this study, we specifically test whether the honeycomb terrain is consistent with a salt or ice diapir origin. We use thermal modeling to assess the stability limits on the thickness of an ice or salt diapir-forming layer at depth within the Hellas basin. We also apply analytical models for diapir formation to evaluate the predicted diapir wavelengths in order to compare with observations. Ice diapirism is generally predicted to reproduce the observed honeycomb wavelengths for ∼100 m to ∼1 km thick ice deposits. Gypsum and kieserite diapirism is generally predicted to reproduce the observed honeycomb wavelengths for ≥ 600-1000 m thick salt deposits, but only with a basaltic overburden. Halite diapirism generally requires approx. ≥ 1 km thick halite deposits in order to reproduce the observed honeycomb wavelengths. Hellas basin is a distinctive environment for diapirism on Mars due to its thin crust (which reduces surface heat flux), low elevation (which allows Hellas to act as a water/ice/sediment sink and increases the surface temperature), and location within the southern highlands (which may provide proximity to inflowing saline water or glacial ice). The plausibility of an ice diapir mechanism generally requires temperatures ≤ 250

  19. Ancient Martian aeolian processes and palaeomorphology reconstructed from the Stimson formation on the lower slope of Aeolis Mons, Gale crater, Mars

    OpenAIRE

    Banham, Steven G.; Gupta, Sanjeev; Rubin, David M.; Watkins, Jessica A.; Sumner, Dawn Y.; Edgett, Kenneth S.; Grotzinger, John P.; Lewis, Kevin W.; Edgar, Lauren A.; Stack-Morgan, Kathryn M.; Barnes, Robert; Bell, James F., III; Day, Mackenzie D.; Ewing, Ryan C.; Lapotre, Mathieu G. A.

    2018-01-01

    Reconstruction of the palaeoenvironmental context of Martian sedimentary rocks is central to studies of ancient Martian habitability and regional palaeoclimate history. This paper reports the analysis of a distinct aeolian deposit preserved in Gale crater, Mars, and evaluates its palaeomorphology, the processes responsible for its deposition, and its implications for Gale crater geological history and regional palaeoclimate. Whilst exploring the sedimentary succession cropping out on the nort...

  20. General relativity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kenyon, I.R.

    1990-01-01

    General relativity is discussed in this book at a level appropriate to undergraduate students of physics and astronomy. It describes concepts and experimental results, and provides a succinct account of the formalism. A brief review of special relativity is followed by a discussion of the equivalence principle and its implications. Other topics covered include the concepts of curvature and the Schwarzschild metric, test of the general theory, black holes and their properties, gravitational radiation and methods for its detection, the impact of general relativity on cosmology, and the continuing search for a quantum theory of gravity. (author)

  1. Origin of Chlorobenzene Detected by the Curiosity Rover in Yellowknife Bay: Evidence for Martian Organics in the Sheepbed Mudstone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glavin, D.; Freissnet, C.; Eigenbrode, J.; Miller, K.; Martin, M.; Summons, R. E.; Steele, A.; Archer, D.; Brunner, A.; Buch, A.; hide

    2014-01-01

    The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument on the Curiosity rover is designed to determine the inventory of organic and inorganic volatiles thermally evolved from solid samples using a combination of evolved gas analysis (EGA), gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GCMS), and tunable laser spectroscopy. Here we discuss the SAM EGA and GCMS measurements of volatiles released from the Sheepbed mudstone. We focus primarily on the elevated CBZ detections at CB and laboratory analog experiments conducted to help determine if CBZ is derived from primarily terrestrial, martian, or a combination of sources. Here we discuss the SAM EGA and GCMS measurements of volatiles released from the Sheepbed mudstone. We focus primarily on the elevated CBZ detections at CB and laboratory analog experiments conducted to help determine if CBZ is derived from primarily terrestrial, martian, or a combination of sources.

  2. The Modern Near-Surface Martian Climate: A Review of In-Situ Meteorological Data from Viking to Curiosity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinez, G. M.; Newman, C. N.; De Vicente-Retortillo, A.; Fischer, E.; Renno, N. O.; Richardson, M. I.; Fairén, A. G.; Genzer, M.; Guzewich, S. D.; Haberle, R. M.; hide

    2017-01-01

    We analyze the complete set of in-situ meteorological data obtained from the Viking landers in the 1970s to todays Curiosity rover to review our understanding of the modern near-surface climate of Mars, with focus on the dust, CO2 and H2O cycles and their impact on the radiative and thermodynamic conditions near the surface. In particular, we provide values of the highest confidence possible for atmospheric opacity, atmospheric pressure, near-surface air temperature, ground temperature, near-surface wind speed and direction, and near-surface air relative humidity and water vapor content. Then, we study the diurnal, seasonal and interannual variability of these quantities over a span of more than twenty Martian years. Finally, we propose measurements to improve our understanding of the Martian dust and H2O cycles, and discuss the potential for liquid water formation under Mars present day conditions and its implications for future Mars missions.

  3. Northwest Africa 8159: An approximately 2.3 Billion Year Old Martian Olivine-Bearing Augite Basalt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simon, J. I.; Peters, T. J.; Tappa, M. J.; Agee, C. B.

    2014-01-01

    Based on petrology, mineralogy, and bulk composition, the new NWA 8159 martian meteorite is distinct from all known samples from Mars. In particular, the augite compositional trends are unique, but most similar to those of nakhite intercumulus. Whether NWA 8159 represents a new lithology or is related to a known meteorite group remains to be determined. Sr and Nd isotopic analyses will allow comparison of source characteristics with SNC and other new ungrouped meteorites (e.g., NWA 7635). Here we report initial Rb-Sr and Sm-Nd isotopic results for NWA 8159 with the objective to determine its formation age and to potentially identify similarities and potential source affinities with other martian rocks.

  4. Research Article: Effects of long-term simulated Martian conditions on a freeze-dried and homogenized bacterial permafrost community

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Aviaja Anna; Jensen, Lars Liengård; Kristoffersen, Tommy

    2009-01-01

    Indigenous bacteria and biomolecules (DNA and proteins) in a freeze-dried and homogenized Arctic permafrost were exposed to simulated martian conditions that correspond to about 80 days on the surface of Mars with respect to the accumulated UV dose. The simulation conditions included UV radiation......, freeze-thaw cycles, the atmospheric gas composition, and pressure. The homogenized permafrost cores were subjected to repeated cycles of UV radiation for 3 h followed by 27 h without irradiation. The effects of the simulation conditions on the concentrations of biomolecules; numbers of viable, dead......, and cultured bacteria; as well as the community structure were determined. Simulated martian conditions resulted in a significant reduction of the concentrations of DNA and amino acids in the uppermost 1.5 mm of the soil core. The total number of bacterial cells was reduced in the upper 9 mm of the soil core...

  5. Formation of recent martian debris flows by melting of near-surface ground ice at high obliquity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costard, F; Forget, F; Mangold, N; Peulvast, J P

    2002-01-04

    The observation of small gullies associated with recent surface runoff on Mars has renewed the question of liquid water stability at the surface of Mars. The gullies could be formed by groundwater seepage from underground aquifers; however, observations of gullies originating from isolated peaks and dune crests question this scenario. We show that these landforms may result from the melting of water ice in the top few meters of the martian subsurface at high obliquity. Our conclusions are based on the analogy between the martian gullies and terrestrial debris flows observed in Greenland and numerical simulations that show that above-freezing temperatures can occur at high obliquities in the near surface of Mars, and that such temperatures are only predicted at latitudes and for slope orientations corresponding to where the gullies have been observed on Mars.

  6. Near-UV Transmittance of Basalt Dust as an Analog of the Martian Regolith: Implications for Sensor Calibration and Astrobiology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Martínez-Frías

    2006-06-01

    Full Text Available The Martian regolith is exposed to solar irradiation in the near-UV (200-390 nm.Basalt is one of the main components of the dust on Mars surface. The near-UV irradiationof basalt dust on Mars is simulated experimentally in order to determine the transmittance asa function of the mass and thickness of the dust. This data can serve to quantify theabsorption of dust deposited on sensors aiming to measure the UV intensity on Marssurface. The minimum thickness of the dust that corresponds to near-zero-transmittance inthe near-UV is measured. Hypothetical Martian microorganisms living on the dusty regolithat deeper layers would be preserved from the damaging solar UV irradiation.

  7. General problems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2005-01-01

    This article presents the general problems as natural disasters, consequences of global climate change, public health, the danger of criminal actions, the availability to information about problems of environment

  8. Generalized Recovery

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Christian Skov; Lando, David; Pedersen, Lasse Heje

    We characterize when physical probabilities, marginal utilities, and the discount rate can be recovered from observed state prices for several future time periods. Our characterization makes no assumptions of the probability distribution, thus generalizing the time-homogeneous stationary model...

  9. General Conformity

    Science.gov (United States)

    The General Conformity requirements ensure that the actions taken by federal agencies in nonattainment and maintenance areas do not interfere with a state’s plans to meet national standards for air quality.

  10. Ancient Martian aeolian processes and palaeomorphology reconstructed from the Stimson formation on the lower slope of Aeolis Mons, Gale crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banham, Steve G.; Gupta, Sanjeev; Rubin, David M.; Watkins, Jessica A.; Sumner, Dawn Y.; Edgett, Kenneth S.; Grotzinger, John P.; Lewis, Kevin W.; Edgar, Lauren; Stack, Kathryn M.; Barnes, Robert; Bell, Jame F. III; Day, Mackenzie D.; Ewing, Ryan C.; Lapotre, Mathieu G.A.; Stein, Nathan T.; Rivera-Hernandez, Frances; Vasavada, Ashwin R.

    2018-01-01

    Reconstruction of the palaeoenvironmental context of Martian sedimentary rocks is central to studies of ancient Martian habitability and regional palaeoclimate history. This paper reports the analysis of a distinct aeolian deposit preserved in Gale crater, Mars, and evaluates its palaeomorphology, the processes responsible for its deposition, and its implications for Gale crater geological history and regional palaeoclimate. Whilst exploring the sedimentary succession cropping out on the northern flank of Aeolis Mons, Gale crater, the Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity encountered a decametre‐thick sandstone succession, named the Stimson formation, unconformably overlying lacustrine deposits of the Murray formation. The sandstone contains sand grains characterized by high roundness and sphericity, and cross‐bedding on the order of 1 m in thickness, separated by sub‐horizontal bounding surfaces traceable for tens of metres across outcrops. The cross‐beds are composed of uniform thickness cross‐laminations interpreted as wind‐ripple strata. Cross‐sets are separated by sub‐horizontal bounding surfaces traceable for tens of metres across outcrops that are interpreted as dune migration surfaces. Grain characteristics and presence of wind‐ripple strata indicate deposition of the Stimson formation by aeolian processes. The absence of features characteristic of damp or wet aeolian sediment accumulation indicate deposition in a dry aeolian system. Reconstruction of the palaeogeomorphology suggests that the Stimson dune field was composed largely of simple sinuous crescentic dunes with a height of ca10 m, and wavelengths of ca 150 m, with local development of complex dunes. Analysis of cross‐strata dip‐azimuths indicates that the general dune migration direction and hence net sediment transport was towards the north‐east. The juxtaposition of a dry aeolian system unconformably above the lacustrine Murray formation represents starkly

  11. Martian Chlorobenzene Identified by Curiosity in Yellowknife Bay: Evidence for the Preservation of Organics in a Mudstone on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glavin, Daniel P.; Freissinet, Caroline; Mahaffy, P.; Miller, K.; Eigenbrode, J.; Summons, R.; Martin, M.; Franz, H.; Steele, A.; Archer, D.; hide

    2015-01-01

    The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument on the Curiosity rover is designed to determine the inventory of organic and inorganic volatiles thermally evolved from solid samples using a combination of evolved gas analysis (EGA), gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GCMS), and tunable laser spectroscopy. The first sample analyzed by SAM at the Rocknest (RN) aeolian deposit revealed chlorohydrocarbons derived primarily from reactions between a martian oxychlorine phase (e.g. perchlorate) and terrestrial carbon from N-methyl-N-(tert-butyldimethylsilyl) trifluoroacetamide (MTBSTFA) vapor present in the SAM instrument background. No conclusive evidence for martian chlorohydrocarbons in the RN sand was found. After RN, Curiosity traveled to Yellowknife Bay and drilled two holes separated by 2.75 m designated John Klein (JK) and Cumberland (CB). Analyses of JK and CB by both SAM and the CheMin x-ray diffraction instrument revealed a mudstone (called Sheepbed) consisting of approx.20 wt% smectite clays, which on Earth are known to aid the concentration and preservation of organic matter. Last year at LPSC we reported elevated abundances of chlorobenzene (CBZ) and a more diverse suite of chlorinated hydrocarbons including dichloroalkanes in CB compared to RN, suggesting that martian or meteoritic organic compounds may be preserved in the mudstone. Here we present SAM data from additional analyses of the CB sample and of Confidence Hills (CH), another drill sample collected at the base of Mt. Sharp. This new SAM data along with supporting laboratory analog experiments indicate that most of the chlorobenzene detected in CB is derived from martian organic matter preserved in the mudstone.

  12. Use of chemical explosives for emergency solar flare shelter construction and other excavations on the Martian surface

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dick, R.D.; Blacic, J.D.; Pettitt, D.R.

    1985-01-01

    The necessity to shelter people on the Martian surface from solar flare particles at short notice and the need for long-term habitats with thick cosmic ray shielding suggests that explosives could be used effectively for excavation of such structures. Modern insensitive high explosives are safe, efficient, and reliable for rock breakage and excavation. Extensive Earth-bound experience leads us to propose several strategies for explosively-constructed shelters based on tunneling, cratering, and rock casting techniques

  13. Architectural concepts of Martian bases built: of domes, around greenhouses and into slopes -the human aspect and the technology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kozicki, Janek; Kozicka, Joanna

    Human missions to Mars are a special kind of space missions due to their long duration. The human aspect of such missions becomes as important as the technological one. The need for a human friendly and comfortable habitat arises. Studies of human behavior in ICEs have shown that larger groups of people mean a lower occurrence of conflicts. However, for a larger crew a larger habitat has to be designed -a Martian base. The research deals with psychological, sociological and technological aspects influencing the architectural design of a Martian Base. Extreme conditions present on Mars demand a partic-ular approach to technological and architectural design. To reduce the cost of building a bigger habitat, low cost solutions have been inquired into. A series of analyses has been performed to identify the best architectural solutions for a Martian base. A review of existing technologies and extreme condition habitats (both terrestrial and extraterrestrial) has revealed solutions that are the most reliable and efficient ones. Additionally, innovative technologies have been analyzed in search of the best candidates for actual base construction. Low cost solutions have been prioritized in the process. An in-depth study of architectural problems inherent in the design of a Martian base has resulted in a number of guidelines for the architect. The main ones are introduced in this review. Based on them, several concepts have been drafted as examples of user-friendly and aesthetically pleasing habitats. They are discussed in the following order: habitats made of domes, those built around greenhouses and those situated in sloping terrain. One of them is presented in detail, including interior design.

  14. Mineralogic and compositional properties of Martian soil and dust: results from Mars Pathfinder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, J.F.; McSween, H.Y.; Crisp, J.A.; Morris, R.V.; Murchie, S.L.; Bridges, N.T.; Johnson, J. R.; Britt, D.T.; Golombek, M.P.; Moore, H.J.; Ghosh, A.; Bishop, J.L.; Anderson, R.C.; Brückner, J.; Economou, T.; Greenwood, J.P.; Gunnlaugsson, H.P.; Hargraves, R.M.; Hviid, S.; Knudsen, J.M.; Madsen, M.B.; Reid, R.; Rieder, R.; Soderblom, L.

    2000-01-01

    Mars Pathfinder obtained multispectral, elemental, magnetic, and physical measurements of soil and dust at the Sagan Memorial Station during the course of its 83 sol mission. We describe initial results from these measurements, concentrating on multispectral and elemental data, and use these data, along with previous Viking, SNC meteorite, and telescopic results, to help constrain the origin and evolution of Martian soil and dust. We find that soils and dust can be divided into at least eight distinct spectral units, based on parameterization of Imager for Mars Pathfinder (IMP) 400 to 1000 nm multispectral images. The most distinctive spectral parameters for soils and dust are the reflectivity in the red, the red/blue reflectivity ratio, the near-IR spectral slope, and the strength of the 800 to 1000 nm absorption feature. Most of the Pathfinder spectra are consistent with the presence of poorly crystalline or nanophase ferric oxide(s), sometimes mixed with small but varying degrees of well-crystalline ferric and ferrous phases. Darker soil units appear to be coarser-grained, compacted, and/or mixed with a larger amount of dark ferrous materials relative to bright soils. Nanophase goethite, akaganeite, schwertmannite, and maghemite are leading candidates for the origin of the absorption centered near 900 nm in IMP spectra. The ferrous component in the soil cannot be well-constrained based on IMP data. Alpha proton X-ray spectrometer (APXS) measurements of six soil units show little variability within the landing site and show remarkable overall similarity to the average Viking-derived soil elemental composition. Differences exist between Viking and Pathfinder soils, however, including significantly higher S and Cl abundances and lower Si abundances in Viking soils and the lack of a correlation between Ti and Fe in Pathfinder soils. No significant linear correlations were observed between IMP spectral properties and APXS elemental chemistry. Attempts at constraining

  15. Constraints on the formation of the Martian crustal dichotomy from remnant crustal magnetism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Citron, Robert I.; Zhong, Shijie

    2012-12-01

    The Martian crustal dichotomy characterizing the topographic difference between the northern and southern hemispheres is one of the most important features on Mars. However, the formation mechanism for the dichotomy remains controversial with two competing proposals: exogenic (e.g., a giant impact) and endogenic (e.g., degree-1 mantle convection) mechanisms. Another important observation is the Martian crustal remnant magnetism, which shows a much stronger field in the southern hemisphere than in the northern hemisphere and also magnetic lineations. In this study, we examine how exogenic and endogenic mechanisms for the crustal dichotomy are constrained by the crustal remnant magnetism. Assuming that the dichotomy is caused by a giant impact in the northern hemisphere, we estimate that the average thickness of ejecta in the southern hemisphere is 20-25 km. While such a giant impact may cause crustal demagnetization in the northern hemisphere, we suggest that the impact could also demagnetize the southern hemisphere via ejecta thermal blanketing, impact demagnetization, and heat transfer from the hot layer of ejecta, thus posing a challenge for the giant impact model. We explore how the pattern of magnetic lineations relates to endogenic theories of dichotomy formation, specifically crustal production via degree-1 mantle convection. We observe that the pattern of lineations roughly corresponds to concentric circles about a single pole, and determine the pole for the concentric circles at 76.5° E and 84.5° S, which nearly overlaps with the centroid of the thickened crust in the southern hemisphere. We suggest that the crustal magnetization pattern, magnetic lineations, and crustal dichotomy (i.e., thickened crust in the highlands) can be explained by a simple endogenic process; one-plume convection causes melting and crustal production above the plume in the southern hemisphere, and strong crustal magnetization and magnetic lineations are formed in the southern

  16. Ice exposures and landscape evolution in the Martian mid-latitudes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dundas, C. M.; Bramson, A. M.; Ojha, L.; Wray, J. J.; Mellon, M. T.; Byrne, S.; McEwen, A. S.; Putzig, N. E.; Viola, D.; Sutton, S.

    2017-12-01

    The large-scale geographic distribution of Martian shallow ground ice is now relatively well-known, but the vertical structure of the ice is not as well understood. Here we report on erosional scarps in kilometer-scale pits near ±55-60 degrees latitude that expose cross-sections through ice-rich mantling deposits covering much of the mid-latitudes. HiRISE images of the scarps reveal ice-rich deposits (i.e., not regolith-pore-filling ice) that are >100 m thick and occur within 1 m of the top of the scarps. CRISM spectra confirm the presence of water ice through late summer, implying exposed ground ice rather than seasonal frost. SHARAD sounding radar data show some candidate reflectors similar to those inferred to be from the base of excess ice deposits elsewhere on Mars, but no internal structure is resolved. Ice-exposing impacts and thermokarst landforms convey information about excess ice abundance in the upper few meters, but not its deeper structure. The overall structure of the ice table is simple, with massive ice (sometimes layered) under a relatively thin lithic mantle, plus a boulder-rich interior lens in one scarp. The latter may be partly ice-cemented. The ice is commonly fractured. These observations demonstrate how deep ice sheets link with the shallow ice table, at least locally. The likely origin of the ice is accumulation of snow with some admixed dust during a different climate. This snow accumulation could be related to 370 ka changes observed at the poles [1] but some ice sheets may be tens of Myr old [2]. the origin of superposed boulder-sized rocks is puzzling; possible explanations include glacial flow, impact gardening, or some form of frost heave or cryoturbation. Repeat HiRISE observations demonstrate that the scarps are actively retreating, as boulders have fallen from one scarp and there are albedo changes elsewhere. This activity demonstrates that local sublimation is contributing to present-day Martian landscape evolution and is an

  17. Corrosion on Mars: An Investigation of Corrosion Mechanisms Under Relevant Simulated Martian Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calle, Luz M.; Li, Wenyan; Johansen, Michael R.; Buhrow, Jerry W.; Calle, Carlos I.

    2017-01-01

    This one-year project was selected by NASA's Science Innovation Fund in FY17 to address Corrosion on Mars which is a problem that has not been addressed before. Corrosion resistance is one of the most important properties in selecting materials for landed spacecraft and structures that will support surface operations for the human exploration of Mars. Currently, the selection of materials is done by assuming that the corrosion behavior of a material on Mars will be the same as that on Earth. This is understandable given that there is no data regarding the corrosion resistance of materials in the Mars environment. However, given that corrosion is defined as the degradation of a metal that results from its chemical interaction with the environment, it cannot be assumed that corrosion is going to be the same in both environments since they are significantly different. The goal of this research is to develop a systematic approach to understand corrosion of spacecraft materials on Mars by conducting a literature search of available data, relevant to corrosion in the Mars environment, and by performing preliminary laboratory experiments under relevant simulated Martian conditions. This project was motivated by the newly found evidence for the presence of transient liquid brines on Mars that coincided with the suggestion, by a team of researchers, that some of the structural degradation observed on Curiosity's wheels may be caused by corrosive interactions with the brines, while the most significant damage was attributed to rock scratching. An extensive literature search on data relevant to Mars corrosion confirmed the need for further investigation of the interaction between materials used for spacecraft and structures designed to support long-term surface operations on Mars. Simple preliminary experiments, designed to look at the interaction between an aerospace aluminum alloy (AA7075-T73) and the gases present in the Mars atmosphere, at 20degC and a pressure of 700 Pa

  18. The Modern Near-Surface Martian Climate: A Review of In-situ Meteorological Data from Viking to Curiosity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martínez, G. M.; Newman, C. N.; De Vicente-Retortillo, A.; Fischer, E.; Renno, N. O.; Richardson, M. I.; Fairén, A. G.; Genzer, M.; Guzewich, S. D.; Haberle, R. M.; Harri, A.-M.; Kemppinen, O.; Lemmon, M. T.; Smith, M. D.; de la Torre-Juárez, M.; Vasavada, A. R.

    2017-10-01

    We analyze the complete set of in-situ meteorological data obtained from the Viking landers in the 1970s to today's Curiosity rover to review our understanding of the modern near-surface climate of Mars, with focus on the dust, CO2 and H2O cycles and their impact on the radiative and thermodynamic conditions near the surface. In particular, we provide values of the highest confidence possible for atmospheric opacity, atmospheric pressure, near-surface air temperature, ground temperature, near-surface wind speed and direction, and near-surface air relative humidity and water vapor content. Then, we study the diurnal, seasonal and interannual variability of these quantities over a span of more than twenty Martian years. Finally, we propose measurements to improve our understanding of the Martian dust and H2O cycles, and discuss the potential for liquid water formation under Mars' present day conditions and its implications for future Mars missions. Understanding the modern Martian climate is important to determine if Mars could have the conditions to support life and to prepare for future human exploration.

  19. Abundance and Isotopic Composition of Gases in the Martian Atmosphere: First Results from the Mars Curiosity Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahaffy, Paul; Webster, Chris R.; Atreya, Sushil K.; Franz, Heather; Wong, Michael; Conrad, Pamela G.; Harpold, Dan; Jones, John J.; Leshin, Laurie, A.; Manning, Heidi; hide

    2013-01-01

    Repeated measurements of the composition of the Mars atmosphere from Curiosity Rover yield a (40)Ar/N2 ratio 1.7 times greater and the (40)Ar/(36)Ar ratio 1.6 times smaller than the Viking Lander values in 1976. The unexpected change in (40)Ar/N2 ratio probably results from different instrument characteristics although we cannot yet rule out some unknown atmospheric process. The new (40)Ar/(36)Ar ratio is more aligned with Martian meteoritic values. Besides Ar and N2 the Sample Analysis at Mars instrument suite on the Curiosity Rover has measured the other principal components of the atmosphere and the isotopes. The resulting volume mixing ratios are: CO2 0.960(+/- 0.007); (40)Ar 0.0193(+/- 0.0001); N2 0.0189(+/- 0.0003); O2 1.45(+/- 0.09) x 10(exp -3); and CO 5.45(+/- 3.62) x 10(exp 4); and the isotopes (40)Ar/(36)Ar 1.9(+/- 0.3) x 10(exp 3), and delta (13)C and delta (18)O from CO2 that are both several tens of per mil more positive than the terrestrial averages. Heavy isotope enrichments support the hypothesis of large atmospheric loss. Moreover, the data are consistent with values measured in Martian meteorites, providing additional strong support for a Martian origin for these rocks.

  20. Exploring Fingerprints of the Extreme Thermoacidophile Metallosphaera sedula Grown on Synthetic Martian Regolith Materials as the Sole Energy Sources

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Denise Kölbl

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available The biology of metal transforming microorganisms is of a fundamental and applied importance for our understanding of past and present biogeochemical processes on Earth and in the Universe. The extreme thermoacidophile Metallosphaera sedula is a metal mobilizing archaeon, which thrives in hot acid environments (optimal growth at 74°C and pH 2.0 and utilizes energy from the oxidation of reduced metal inorganic sources. These characteristics of M. sedula make it an ideal organism to further our knowledge of the biogeochemical processes of possible life on extraterrestrial planetary bodies. Exploring the viability and metal extraction capacity of M. sedula living on and interacting with synthetic extraterrestrial minerals, we show that M. sedula utilizes metals trapped in the Martian regolith simulants (JSC Mars 1A; P-MRS; S-MRS; MRS07/52 as the sole energy sources. The obtained set of microbiological and mineralogical data suggests that M. sedula actively colonizes synthetic Martian regolith materials and releases free soluble metals. The surface of bioprocessed Martian regolith simulants is analyzed for specific mineralogical fingerprints left upon M. sedula growth. The obtained results provide insights of biomining of extraterrestrial material as well as of the detection of biosignatures implementing in life search missions.

  1. Pressurized Martian-Like Pure CO2 Atmosphere Supports Strong Growth of Cyanobacteria, and Causes Significant Changes in their Metabolism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murukesan, Gayathri; Leino, Hannu; Mäenpää, Pirkko; Ståhle, Kurt; Raksajit, Wuttinun; Lehto, Harry J.; Allahverdiyeva-Rinne, Yagut; Lehto, Kirsi

    2016-03-01

    Surviving of crews during future missions to Mars will depend on reliable and adequate supplies of essential life support materials, i.e. oxygen, food, clean water, and fuel. The most economical and sustainable (and in long term, the only viable) way to provide these supplies on Martian bases is via bio-regenerative systems, by using local resources to drive oxygenic photosynthesis. Selected cyanobacteria, grown in adequately protective containment could serve as pioneer species to produce life sustaining substrates for higher organisms. The very high (95.3 %) CO2 content in Martian atmosphere would provide an abundant carbon source for photo-assimilation, but nitrogen would be a strongly limiting substrate for bio-assimilation in this environment, and would need to be supplemented by nitrogen fertilizing. The very high supply of carbon, with rate-limiting supply of nitrogen strongly affects the growth and the metabolic pathways of the photosynthetic organisms. Here we show that modified, Martian-like atmospheric composition (nearly 100 % CO2) under various low pressure conditions (starting from 50 mbar to maintain liquid water, up to 200 mbars) supports strong cellular growth. Under high CO2 / low N2 ratio the filamentous cyanobacteria produce significant amount of H2 during light due to differentiation of high amount of heterocysts.

  2. Exploring Fingerprints of the Extreme Thermoacidophile Metallosphaera sedula Grown on Synthetic Martian Regolith Materials as the Sole Energy Sources.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kölbl, Denise; Pignitter, Marc; Somoza, Veronika; Schimak, Mario P; Strbak, Oliver; Blazevic, Amir; Milojevic, Tetyana

    2017-01-01

    The biology of metal transforming microorganisms is of a fundamental and applied importance for our understanding of past and present biogeochemical processes on Earth and in the Universe. The extreme thermoacidophile Metallosphaera sedula is a metal mobilizing archaeon, which thrives in hot acid environments (optimal growth at 74°C and pH 2.0) and utilizes energy from the oxidation of reduced metal inorganic sources. These characteristics of M. sedula make it an ideal organism to further our knowledge of the biogeochemical processes of possible life on extraterrestrial planetary bodies. Exploring the viability and metal extraction capacity of M. sedula living on and interacting with synthetic extraterrestrial minerals, we show that M. sedula utilizes metals trapped in the Martian regolith simulants (JSC Mars 1A; P-MRS; S-MRS; MRS07/52) as the sole energy sources. The obtained set of microbiological and mineralogical data suggests that M. sedula actively colonizes synthetic Martian regolith materials and releases free soluble metals. The surface of bioprocessed Martian regolith simulants is analyzed for specific mineralogical fingerprints left upon M. sedula growth. The obtained results provide insights of biomining of extraterrestrial material as well as of the detection of biosignatures implementing in life search missions.

  3. Generalized polygons

    CERN Document Server

    Van Maldeghem, Hendrik

    1998-01-01

    Generalized Polygons is the first book to cover, in a coherent manner, the theory of polygons from scratch. In particular, it fills elementary gaps in the literature and gives an up-to-date account of current research in this area, including most proofs, which are often unified and streamlined in comparison to the versions generally known. Generalized Polygons will be welcomed both by the student seeking an introduction to the subject as well as the researcher who will value the work as a reference. In particular, it will be of great value for specialists working in the field of generalized polygons (which are, incidentally, the rank 2 Tits-buildings) or in fields directly related to Tits-buildings, incidence geometry and finite geometry. The approach taken in the book is of geometric nature, but algebraic results are included and proven (in a geometric way!). A noteworthy feature is that the book unifies and generalizes notions, definitions and results that exist for quadrangles, hexagons, octagons - in the ...

  4. General conclusions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tubiana, M.

    1993-01-01

    In conclusion, a general consensus of a number of points which the author endeavours to summarize in this article: -doctors are an excellent channel for passing on information to the public -doctors feel that they do not know enough about the subject and a training on radiobiology and radiation protection is a necessity for them -communication between doctors and the general public is poor in this field -research should be encouraged in numerous areas such as: carcinogenic effect of low doses of radiation, pedagogy and risk perception

  5. Review of the Sayh al Uhaymir (SaU 005, Plus Pairings, Martian Meteorite from Al Wusta, Oman

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arshad Ali

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Al Wusta is a desert area in the Sultanate of Oman which is famous due to the discovery of a number of Martian and Lunar meteorites since the start of the present millennium. According to the Meteoritical Bulletin database, 137 approved Martian meteorites have been found worldwide, including 17 from Oman (4 from Zufar, 13 from Al Wusta region. Interestingly 11 finds in the last 15 years have been of Sayh al Uhaymir (SaU 005 and its pairings. These finds (estimated mass = 11.2 kg are linked to 10 search expeditions carried out between November 26, 1999 and March 2, 2014 by the Swiss group from the University of Bern and several anonymous meteorite hunters. The bulk of these meteorites (~97% is in the possession of anonymous collectors, negatively affecting Oman’s natural heritage and denying further research opportunities, given their associated scientific value. SaU 005 and its pairings belong to the shergottite group of the Shergotty-Nakhla-Chassigny (SNC meteorites, originating from various depths within the Martian mantle. We discuss the recently published oxygen isotope data of bulk and mineral fractions of SaU 008 recovered during the very first expedition in 1999 in the context of other shergottites found in Oman. The bulk oxygen isotope data of SaU 008 and Dhofar 019, another Martian meteorite from Oman, show a narrow range in δ18O values. Their Δ17O values are remarkably close to identical and fall linearly on a Martian fractionation line above the terrestrial fractionation line (TFL by + 0.32‰, suggesting that Mars’ mantle is homogeneous in oxygen isotopes. Petrographic and mineralogical data of SaU 005 and other pairings published in the Meteoritical Bulletin are compiled, and it is noted that all the meteorites are identical and are likely paired. The story behind these rare extra-terrestrial specimens demands a local meteorite museum and preliminary testing laboratory at Sultan Qaboos University (SQU to protect this treasure

  6. Observations of Martian surface winds at the Viking Lander 1 site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Murphy, J.R.; Leovy, C.B.; Tillman, J.E.

    1990-01-01

    Partial failure of the wind instrumentation on the Viking Lander 1 (VL1) in the Martian subtropics (22.5 degree N) has limited previous analyses of meteorological data for this site. The authors describe a method for reconstructing surface winds using data from the partially failed sensor and present and analyze a time series of wind, pressure, and temperature at the site covering 350 Mars days (sols). At the beginning of the mission during early summer, winds were controlled by regional topography, but they soon underwent a transition to a regime controlled by the Hadley circulation. Diurnal and semidiurnal wind oscillations and synoptic variations have been analyzed and compared with the corresponding variations at the Viking Lander 2 middle latitude site (48 degree N). Diurnal wind oscillations were controlled primarily by regional topography and boundary layer forcing, although a global mode may have been influencing them during two brief episodes. Semidiurnal wind oscillations were controlled by the westward propagating semidiurnal tide from sol 210 onward. Comparison of the synoptic variations at the two sites suggests that the same eastward propagating wave trains were present at both sites, at least following the first 1977 great dust storm, but discordant inferred zonal wave numbers and phase speeds at the two sites cast doubt on the zonal wave numbers deduced from analyses of combined wind and pressure data, particularly at the VL1 site where the signal to noise ratio of the dominant synoptic waves is relatively small

  7. Two-dimensional radiative transfer for the retrieval of limb emission measurements in the martian atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kleinböhl, Armin; Friedson, A. James; Schofield, John T.

    2017-01-01

    The remote sounding of infrared emission from planetary atmospheres using limb-viewing geometry is a powerful technique for deriving vertical profiles of structure and composition on a global scale. Compared with nadir viewing, limb geometry provides enhanced vertical resolution and greater sensitivity to atmospheric constituents. However, standard limb profile retrieval techniques assume spherical symmetry and are vulnerable to biases produced by horizontal gradients in atmospheric parameters. We present a scheme for the correction of horizontal gradients in profile retrievals from limb observations of the martian atmosphere. It characterizes horizontal gradients in temperature, pressure, and aerosol extinction along the line-of-sight of a limb view through neighboring measurements, and represents these gradients by means of two-dimensional radiative transfer in the forward model of the retrieval. The scheme is applied to limb emission measurements from the Mars Climate Sounder instrument on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Retrieval simulations using data from numerical models indicate that biases of up to 10 K in the winter polar region, obtained with standard retrievals using spherical symmetry, are reduced to about 2 K in most locations by the retrieval with two-dimensional radiative transfer. Retrievals from Mars atmospheric measurements suggest that the two-dimensional radiative transfer greatly reduces biases in temperature and aerosol opacity caused by observational geometry, predominantly in the polar winter regions.

  8. Outgassing History and Escape of the Martian Atmosphere and Water Inventory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lammer, Helmut; Chassefière, Eric; Karatekin, Özgür; Morschhauser, Achim; Niles, Paul B.; Mousis, Olivier; Odert, Petra; Möstl, Ute V.; Breuer, Doris; Dehant, Véronique; Grott, Matthias; Gröller, Hannes; Hauber, Ernst; Pham, Lê Binh San

    2013-01-01

    The evolution and escape of the martian atmosphere and the planet's water inventory can be separated into an early and late evolutionary epoch. The first epoch started from the planet's origin and lasted ˜500 Myr. Because of the high EUV flux of the young Sun and Mars' low gravity it was accompanied by hydrodynamic blow-off of hydrogen and strong thermal escape rates of dragged heavier species such as O and C atoms. After the main part of the protoatmosphere was lost, impact-related volatiles and mantle outgassing may have resulted in accumulation of a secondary CO2 atmosphere of a few tens to a few hundred mbar around ˜4-4.3 Gyr ago. The evolution of the atmospheric surface pressure and water inventory of such a secondary atmosphere during the second epoch which lasted from the end of the Noachian until today was most likely determined by a complex interplay of various nonthermal atmospheric escape processes, impacts, carbonate precipitation, and serpentinization during the Hesperian and Amazonian epochs which led to the present day surface pressure.

  9. Fine hematite particles of Martian interest: absorption spectra and optical constants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Marra, A C; Blanco, A; Fonti, S; Jurewicz, A; Orofino, V

    2005-01-01

    Hematite is an iron oxide very important for the study of climatic evolution of Mars. It can occur in two forms: red and grey, mainly depending on the granulometry of the samples. Spectra of bright regions of Mars suggest the presence of red hematite particles. Moreover the Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES), on board the Mars Global Surveyor mission, has discovered a deposit of crystalline grey hematite in Sinus Meridiani. TES spectra of that Martian region exhibit features at about 18, 23 and 33 μm that are consistent with hematite. Coarse grey hematite is considered strong evidence for longstanding water, while it is unknown whether the formation of fine-grained red hematite requires abundant water. Studies are needed in order to further characterize the spectral properties of the two kinds of hematite. For this reason we have analyzed a sample of submicron hematite particles in the 6.25-50 μm range in order to study the influence of particles size and shape on the infrared spectra. The optical constants of a particulate sample have been derived and compared with published data concerning bulk samples of hematite. Our results seem to indicate that particle shape is an important factor to take into account for optical constants derivation

  10. Free-air and Bouguer gravity anomalies and the Martian crustal dichotomy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frey, Herbert; Bills, Bruce G.; Kiefer, Walter S.; Nerem, R. Steven; Roark, James H.; Zuber, Maria T.

    1993-01-01

    Free-air and Bouguer gravity anomalies from a 50x50 field, derived from re-analysis of Viking Orbiter and Mariner 9 tracking data and using a 50x50 expansion of the current Mars topography and the GSFC degree 50 geoid as the equipotential reference surface, with the Martian crustal dichotomy are compared. The spherical harmonic topography used has zero mean elevation, and differs from the USGS maps by about 2 km. In this field the dichotomy boundary in eastern Mars lies mostly at -1 to -2 km elevation. Bouguer gravity anomalies are shown on a map of Noachian, Hesperian, and Amazonian age terrains, simplified from current geologic maps. The map is centered at 300 deg W to show the continuity of the dichotomy boundary. Contour interval is 100 mgals. Gravity and topography were compared along approximately 40 profiles oriented parallel to the dichotomy boundary topographic gradient, to determine how the geophysical character of the boundary changes along its length and what this implies for its origin and development.

  11. Ar-40/Ar-39 Studies of Martian Meteorite RBT 04262 and Terrestrial Standards

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, J.; Herzog, G. F.; Turrin, B.; Lindsay, F. N.; Delaney, J. S.; Swisher, C. C., III; Nagao, K.; Nyquist, L. E.

    2014-01-01

    Park et al. recently presented an Ar-40/Ar-39 dating study of maskelynite separated from the Martian meteorite RBT 04262. Here we report an additional study of Ar-40/Ar-39 patterns for smaller samples, each consisting of only a few maskelynite grains. Considered as a material for Ar-40/Ar-39 dating, the shock-produced glass maskelynite has both an important strength (relatively high K concentration compared to other mineral phases) and some potentially problematic weaknesses. At Rutgers, we have been analyzing small grains consisting of a single phase to explore local effects that might be averaged and remain hidden in larger samples. Thus, to assess the homogeneity of the RBT maskelynite and for comparison with the results of, we analyzed six approx. 30 microgram samples of the same maskelynite separate they studied. Furthermore, because most Ar-40/Ar-39 are calculated relative to the age of a standard, we present new Ar-40/Ar-39 age data for six standards. Among the most widely used standards are sanidine from Fish Canyon (FCs) and various hornblendes (hb3gr, MMhb-1, NL- 25), which are taken as primary standards because their ages have been determined by independent, direct measurements of K and A-40.

  12. Thermal analysis, optimization and design of a Martian oxygen production plant

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iyer, Venkatesh A.; Sridhar, K. R.

    1991-01-01

    The objective is to optimally design the thermal components of a system that uses carbon dioxide (CO2) from the Martian atmosphere to produce oxygen (O2) for spacecraft propulsion and/or life-support. Carbon dioxide is thermally decomposed into carbon monoxide (CO) and O2 followed by the electrochemical separation of O2. The design of the overall system and its various individual components depends on, among other things, the fraction of the stoichiometric yield of O2 that can be realized in the system and the temperature of operation of the electrochemical separation membrane. The analysis indicates that a substantial reduction could be obtained in the mass and power requirements of the system if the unreacted CO2 were to be recycled. The concepts of an optimum temperature of the zirconia cell and impracticality of plant operation at low cell efficiencies are also discussed. The design of the thermal equipment is such that the mass and power requirements of the individual components and of the overall system are optimized.

  13. Preflow stresses in Martian rampart ejecta blankets - A means of estimating the water content

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woronow, A.

    1981-01-01

    Measurements of extents of rampart ejecta deposits as a function of the size of the parent craters support models which, for craters larger than about 6 km diameter, constrain ejecta blankets to all have a similar maximum thickness regardless of the crater size. These volatile-rich ejecta blankets may have failed under their own weights, then flowed radially outward. Assuming this to be so, some of the physicomechanical properties of the ejecta deposits at the time of their emplacement can then be determined. Finite-element studies of the stress magnitudes, distributions, and directions in hypothetical Martian rampart ejecta blankets reveal that the material most likely failed when the shear stresses were less than 500 kPa and the angle of internal friction was between 26 and 36 deg. These figures imply that the ejecta has a water content between 16 and 72%. Whether the upper limit or the lower limit is more appropriate depends on the mode of failure which one presumes: namely, viscous flow of plastic deformation.

  14. Is the Electron Avalanche Process in a Martian Dust Devil Self-Quenching?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farrell, William M.; McLain, Jason L.; Collier, M. R.; Keller, J. W.; Jackson, T. J.; Delory, G. T.

    2015-01-01

    Viking era laboratory experiments show that mixing tribocharged grains in a low pressure CO2 gas can form a discharge that glows, indicating the presence of an excited electron population that persists over many seconds. Based on these early experiments, it has been predicted that martian dust devils and storms may also contain a plasma and new plasma chemical species as a result of dust grain tribo-charging. However, recent results from modeling suggest a contrasting result: that a sustained electron discharge may not be easily established since the increase in gas conductivity would act to short-out the local E-fields and quickly dissipate the charged grains driving the process. In essence, the system was thought to be self-quenching (i.e., turn itself off). In this work, we attempt to reconcile the difference between observation and model via new laboratory measurements. We conclude that in a Mars-like low pressure CO2 atmosphere and expected E-fields, the electron current remains (for the most part) below the expected driving tribo-electric dust currents (approx. 10 microA/m(exp. 2)), thereby making quenching unlikely.

  15. Wisdom of the martians of science in their own words with commentaries

    CERN Document Server

    Hargittai, Balazs

    2016-01-01

    Wisdom of the Martians of Science refers to five scientists whose brilliance contributed to shaping the modern world. John von Neumann was a pioneer of the modern computer; Theodore von Kármán was the scientist behind the US Air Force; Leo Szilard initiated the development of nuclear weapons; the Nobel laureate Eugene P Wigner was the world's first nuclear engineer; and Edward Teller was the father of the hydrogen bomb. They were born and raised in Budapest, were forced out of Hungary and then from Germany, they became Americans, and devoted themselves to the defense of the United States and the Free World. They contributed significant discoveries to fundamental science ranging from the properties of materials to the application of the symmetry principle in physics, to creating information theory, to game theory. The areas in which we can learn about their wisdom include applications of science to past, present and future real-world needs; defense; education; environment; human nature; humor; politics; rel...

  16. Growth of cyanobacteria on Martian Regolith Simulant after exposure to vacuum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arai, Mayumi; Sato, Seigo; Ohmori, Masayuki; Tomita-Yokotani, Kaori; Hashimoto, Hirofumi; Yamashita, Masamichi

    Habitation on Mars is one of our challenges in this century. The growth of cyanobacteria on Martian Regolith Simulant (MRS) was studied with two species of terrestrial cyanobacteria, Nostoc, and one species of other cyanobacterium, Synechosystis. Their vacuum tolerances was examined in order to judge feasibility of the use of cyanobacteria to creat habitable environment on a distant planet. The viability of cyanobacteria tested was evaluated by the microscopic observation after staining by FDA (fluorescein diacetate). A part of them were also re-incubated again in a liquid culture medium, and viability and the chlorophyll production were examined in detail. Nostoc was found to grow for over 140 days with their having normal function of chlorophyll synthesis on the MRS. After the exposure to high vacuum environment (10-5 Pa) for a year, Nostoc sp. started growth. Chlorophyll was produced after this vacuum exposure as well. The A'MED (Arai's Mars Ecosystem Dome, A'MED) is designed to install on Mars for conducting agricultural production in it. We performed the fundamental experiment with MRS. These results show a possibility that cyanobacteria could adapt to MRS, and grow under the low pressure environment expected on Mars.

  17. SUPERPIXEL BASED FACTOR ANALYSIS AND TARGET TRANSFORMATION METHOD FOR MARTIAN MINERALS DETECTION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    X. Wu

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available The Factor analysis and target transformation (FATT is an effective method to test for the presence of particular mineral on Martian surface. It has been used both in thermal infrared (Thermal Emission Spectrometer, TES and near-infrared (Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars, CRISM hyperspectral data. FATT derived a set of orthogonal eigenvectors from a mixed system and typically selected first 10 eigenvectors to least square fit the library mineral spectra. However, minerals present only in a limited pixels will be ignored because its weak spectral features compared with full image signatures. Here, we proposed a superpixel based FATT method to detect the mineral distributions on Mars. The simple linear iterative clustering (SLIC algorithm was used to partition the CRISM image into multiple connected image regions with spectral homogeneous to enhance the weak signatures by increasing their proportion in a mixed system. A least square fitting was used in target transformation and performed to each region iteratively. Finally, the distribution of the specific minerals in image was obtained, where fitting residual less than a threshold represent presence and otherwise absence. We validate our method by identifying carbonates in a well analysed CRISM image in Nili Fossae on Mars. Our experimental results indicate that the proposed method work well both in simulated and real data sets.

  18. Hyperspectral characterisation of the Martian south polar residual cap using CRISM

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, J. D.; Sidiropoulos, P.; Muller, J.-P.

    2017-09-01

    We present our research on hyperspectral characterization of the Martian South Polar Residual Cap (SPRC), with a focus on the detection of organic signatures within the dust content of the ice. The SPRC exhibits unique CO2 ice sublimation features known colloquially as 'Swiss Cheese Terrain' (SCT). These flat floored, circular depressions are highly dynamic, and may expose dust particles previously trapped within the ice in the depression walls and partially on the floors. Here we identify suitable regions for potential dust exposure on the SPRC, and utilise data from the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) on board NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) satellite to examine infrared spectra of dark regions to establish their mineral composition, to eliminate the effects of ices on sub-pixel dusty features, and to assess whether ther might be signatures indicative of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs). Spectral mapping has identified compositional differences between depression rims and the majority of the SPRC and CRISM spectra have been corrected to minimise the influence of CO2 and H2O ice. Whilst no conclusive evidence for PAHs has been found, depression rims are shown to have higher water content than regions of featureless ice, and there are indications of magnesium carbonate within the dark, dusty regions.

  19. Martian soil stratigraphy and rock coatings observed in color-enhanced Viking Lander images

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strickland, E. L., III

    1979-01-01

    Subtle color variations of martian surface materials were enhanced in eight Viking Lander (VL) color images. Well-defined soil units recognized at each site (six at VL-1 and four at VL-2), are identified on the basis of color, texture, morphology, and contact relations. The soil units at the Viking 2 site form a well-defined stratigraphic sequence, whereas the sequence at the Viking 1 site is only partially defined. The same relative soil colors occur at the two sites, suggesting that similar soil units are widespread on Mars. Several types of rock surface materials can be recognized at the two sites; dark, relatively 'blue' rock surfaces are probably minimally weathered igneous rock, whereas bright rock surfaces, with a green/(blue + red) ratio higher than that of any other surface material, are interpreted as a weathering product formed in situ on the rock. These rock surface types are common at both sites. Soil adhering to rocks is common at VL-2, but rare at VL-1. The mechanism that produces the weathering coating on rocks probably operates planet-wide.

  20. Seasonal variation of Martian pick-up ions: Evidence of breathing exosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamauchi, M.; Hara, T.; Lundin, R.; Dubinin, E.; Fedorov, A.; Sauvaud, J.-A.; Frahm, R. A.; Ramstad, R.; Futaana, Y.; Holmstrom, M.; Barabash, S.

    2015-12-01

    The Mars Express (MEX) Ion Mass Analyser (IMA) found that the detection rate of the ring-like distribution of protons in the solar wind outside of the bow shock to be quite different between Mars orbital summer (around perihelion) and orbital winter (around aphelion) for four Martian years, while the north-south asymmetry is much smaller than the perihelion-aphelion difference. Further analyses using eight years of MEX/IMA solar wind data between 2005 and 2012 has revealed that the detection frequency of the pick-up ions originating from newly ionized exospheric hydrogen with certain flux strongly correlates with the Sun-Mars distance, which changes approximately every two years. Variation due to the solar cycle phase is not distinguishable partly because this effect is masked by the seasonal variation under the MEX capability of plasma measurements. This finding indicates that the variation in solar UV has a major effect on the formation of the pick-up ions, but this is not the only controlling factor.

  1. Robust and Elastic Lunar and Martian Structures from 3D-Printed Regolith Inks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jakus, Adam E.; Koube, Katie D.; Geisendorfer, Nicholas R.; Shah, Ramille N.

    2017-03-01

    Here, we present a comprehensive approach for creating robust, elastic, designer Lunar and Martian regolith simulant (LRS and MRS, respectively) architectures using ambient condition, extrusion-based 3D-printing of regolith simulant inks. The LRS and MRS powders are characterized by distinct, highly inhomogeneous morphologies and sizes, where LRS powder particles are highly irregular and jagged and MRS powder particles are rough, but primarily rounded. The inks are synthesized via simple mixing of evaporant, surfactant, and plasticizer solvents, polylactic-co-glycolic acid (30% by solids volume), and regolith simulant powders (70% by solids volume). Both LRS and MRS inks exhibit similar rheological and 3D-printing characteristics, and can be 3D-printed at linear deposition rates of 1-150 mm/s using 300 μm to 1.4 cm-diameter nozzles. The resulting LRS and MRS 3D-printed materials exhibit similar, but distinct internal and external microstructures and material porosity (~20-40%). These microstructures contribute to the rubber-like quasi-static and cyclic mechanical properties of both materials, with young’s moduli ranging from 1.8 to 13.2 MPa and extension to failure exceeding 250% over a range of strain rates (10-1-102 min-1). Finally, we discuss the potential for LRS and MRS ink components to be reclaimed and recycled, as well as be synthesized in resource-limited, extraterrestrial environments.

  2. Exploring the martian moons a human mission to Deimos and Phobos

    CERN Document Server

    von Ehrenfried, Manfred “Dutch”

    2017-01-01

    This book explores the once popular idea of 'Flexible Path' in terms of Mars, a strategy that would focus on a manned orbital mission to Mars's moons rather than the more risky, expensive and time-consuming trip to land humans on the Martian surface. While currently still not the most popular idea, this mission would take advantage of the operational, scientific and engineering lessons to be learned from going to Mars's moons first. Unlike a trip to the planet's surface, an orbital mission avoids the dangers of the deep gravity well of Mars and a very long stay on the surface. This is analogous to Apollo 8 and 10, which preceded the landing on the Moon of Apollo 11. Furthermore, a Mars orbital mission could be achieved at least five years, possibly 10 before a landing mission. Nor would an orbital mission require all of the extra vehicles, equipment and supplies needed for a landing and a stay on the planet for over a year. The cost difference between the two types of missions is in the order of tens of billi...

  3. Evaporation Rates for Liquid Water and Ice Under Current Martian Conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sears, D. W. G.; Moore, S. R.; Meier, A.; Chittenden, J.; Kareev, M.; Farmer, C. B.

    2004-01-01

    A number of studies have been concerned with the evaporation rates under martian conditions in order to place limits on the possible survival time of both liquid water and ice exposed on the surface of Mars. Such studies also aid in assessing the efficacy of an overlying layer of dust or loose regolith material in providing a barrier to free evaporation and thus prolong the lifetime of water in locations where its availability to putative living organisms would be significant. A better quantitative understanding of the effects of phase changes of water in the near surface environment would also aid the evaluation of the possible role of water in the formation of currently observed features, such as gullies in cliff walls and relatively short-term changes in the albedo of small surface areas ('dark stains'). Laboratory measurements aimed at refinement of our knowledge of these values are described here. The establishment of accurate values for evaporation rates and their dependence on the physical conditions of temperature, pressure and energy input, is an important benchmark for the further investigation of the efficacy of barriers to free evaporation in providing a prolonged period of survival of the water, particularly as a liquid.

  4. Constraints on early events in Martian history as derived from the cratering record

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Barlow, N.G.

    1990-01-01

    The shapes and densities of crater size-frequency distribution curves are used to constrain two major events early in Martian history: termination of high obliteration rates and viability of the multiple impact origin of the crustal dichotomy. Distribution curves of fresh craters superposed on uplands, intercrater plains, and ridged plains display shapes and densities indicative of formation prior to the end of heavy bombardment. This observation correlates with other geologic evidence, suggesting a major change in the erosional regime following the last major basin size impact (i.e., Argrye). In addition, the multisloped nature of the curves supports the idea that the downturn in the crater size-frequency distribution curves reflects the size-frequency distribution of the impactors rather than being the result of erosion. The crustal dichotomy formed prior to the heavy bombardment intermediate epoch based on distribution curves of knobby terrain; if the dichotomy resulted from a single gigantic impact, this observation places constraints on when this event happened. An alternate theory for dichotomy formation, the multiple-impact basin idea, is questioned: since distribution curves of large basins as well as heavy bombardment era units are not represented by a -3 differential power law function, this study finds fewer basins missing on Mars compare to the Moon and Mercury than previously reported. The area covered by these missing basins is less than that covered the northern plains

  5. Thermal System Modeling for Lunar and Martian Surface Regenerative Fuel Cell Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilligan, Ryan Patrick; Smith, Phillip James; Jakupca, Ian Joseph; Bennett, William Raymond; Guzik, Monica Christine; Fincannon, Homer J.

    2017-01-01

    The Advanced Exploration Systems (AES) Advanced Modular Power Systems (AMPS) Project is investigating different power systems for various lunar and Martian mission concepts. The AMPS Fuel Cell (FC) team has created two system-level models to evaluate the performance of regenerative fuel cell (RFC) systems employing different fuel cell chemistries. Proton Exchange Membrane fuel cells PEMFCs contain a polymer electrolyte membrane that separates the hydrogen and oxygen cavities and conducts hydrogen cations (protons) across the cell. Solid Oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) operate at high temperatures, using a zirconia-based solid ceramic electrolyte to conduct oxygen anions across the cell. The purpose of the modeling effort is to down select one fuel cell chemistry for a more detailed design effort. Figures of merit include the system mass, volume, round trip efficiency, and electrolyzer charge power required. PEMFCs operate at around 60 degrees Celsius versus SOFCs which operate at temperatures greater than 700 degrees Celsius. Due to the drastically different operating temperatures of the two chemistries the thermal control systems (TCS) differ. The PEM TCS is less complex and is characterized by a single pump cooling loop that uses deionized water coolant and rejects heat generated by the system to the environment via a radiator. The solid oxide TCS has its own unique challenges including the requirement to reject high quality heat and to condense the steam produced in the reaction. This paper discusses the modeling of thermal control systems for an extraterrestrial RFC that utilizes either a PEM or solid oxide fuel cell.

  6. Pressure Balance at Mars and Solar Wind Interaction with the Martian Atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krymskii, A. M.; Ness, N. F.; Crider, D. H.; Breus, T. K.; Acuna, M. H.; Hinson, D.

    2003-01-01

    The strongest crustal fields are located in certain regions in the Southern hemisphere. In the Northern hemisphere, the crustal fields are rather weak and usually do not prevent direct interaction between the SW and the Martian ionosphere/atmosphere. Exceptions occur in the isolated mini-magnetospheres formed by the crustal anomalies. Electron density profiles of the ionosphere of Mars derived from radio occultation data obtained by the Radio Science Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) experiment have been compared with the crustal magnetic fields measured by the MGS Magnetometer/Electron Reflectometer (MAG/ER) experiment. A study of 523 electron density profiles obtained at latitudes from +67 deg. to +77 deg. has been conducted. The effective scale-height of the electron density for two altitude ranges, 145-165 km and 165-185 km, and the effective scale-height of the neutral atmosphere density in the vicinity of the ionization peak have been derived for each of the profiles studied. For the regions outside of the potential mini-magnetospheres, the thermal pressure of the ionospheric plasma for the altitude range 145-185 km has been estimated. In the high latitude ionosphere at Mars, the total pressure at altitudes 160 and 180 km has been mapped. The solar wind interaction with the ionosphere of Mars and origin of the sharp drop of the electron density at the altitudes 200-210 km will be discussed.

  7. Effects of the Phoenix Lander descent thruster plume on the Martian surface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plemmons, D. H.; Mehta, M.; Clark, B. C.; Kounaves, S. P.; Peach, L. L.; Renno, N. O.; Tamppari, L.; Young, S. M. M.

    2008-08-01

    The exhaust plume of Phoenix's hydrazine monopropellant pulsed descent thrusters will impact the surface of Mars during its descent and landing phase in the northern polar region. Experimental and computational studies have been performed to characterize the chemical compounds in the thruster exhausts. No undecomposed hydrazine is observed above the instrument detection limit of 0.2%. Forty-five percent ammonia is measured in the exhaust at steady state. Water vapor is observed at a level of 0.25%, consistent with fuel purity analysis results. Moreover, the dynamic interactions of the thruster plumes with the ground have been studied. Large pressure overshoots are produced at the ground during the ramp-up and ramp-down phases of the duty cycle of Phoenix's pulsed engines. These pressure overshoots are superimposed on the 10 Hz quasi-steady ground pressure perturbations with amplitude of about 5 kPa (at touchdown altitude) and have a maximum amplitude of about 20-40 kPa. A theoretical explanation for the physics that causes these pressure perturbations is briefly described in this article. The potential for soil erosion and uplifting at the landing site is also discussed. The objectives of the research described in this article are to provide empirical and theoretical data for the Phoenix Science Team to mitigate any potential problem. The data will also be used to ensure proper interpretation of the results from on-board scientific instrumentation when Martian soil samples are analyzed.

  8. Open questions on optical properties of dust and the opacity of the Martian atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Korablev, O.; Moroz, V.; Petrova, E.; Rodin, A.

    Particulate component of the atmosphere composed by micron-sized products of soil weathering and water ice clouds that strongly affect the current climate of the planet. In the absence of a dust storm so-called permanent dust haze with0.2 in the atmosphere of Mars determines its thermal structure. Dust loading varies substantially with the season and geographic location, and only the data of mapping instruments are adequate to characterize it, such as TES/MGS and IRTM/Viking. In spite of vast domain of collected data, no model is now capable to explain all observed spectral features of dust aerosol. Several mineralogical and microphysical models of the atmospheric dust have been proposed but they cannot explain the pronounced systematic differences between the IR data and measurem ents from the surface (Viking landers, Pathfinder) which give in the quiet seasons the typical optical depth of? 0.5 from one side, and ground-based observations in the UV-visible range that frequently infer <0.2, on the other side. Also the relationship between9 and the visible optical depth is not well established experimentally so far. Future focused measurements are therefore necessary to study Martian aerosol.

  9. Optical properties of dust and the opacity of the Martian atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Korablev, O.; Moroz, V. I.; Petrova, E. V.; Rodin, A. V.

    Particulate component of the Mars atmosphere composed by micron-sized products of soil weathering and water ice clouds strongly affects the current climate of the planet. In the absence of a dust storm so-called permanent dust haze with τ ≈ 0.2 in the atmosphere of Mars determines its thermal structure. Dust loading varies substantially with the season and geographic location, and only the data of mapping instruments are adequate to characterize it, such as TES/MGS and IRTM/Viking. In spite of vast domain of collected data, no model is now capable to explain all observed spectral features of dust aerosol. Several mineralogical and microphysical models of the atmospheric dust have been proposed but they cannot explain the pronounced systematic differences between the IR data (τ = 0.05-0.2) and measurements from the surface (Viking landers, Pathfinder) which give the typical “clear” optical depth of τ ≈ 0.5 from one side, and ground-based observations in the UV-visible range showing much more transparent atmosphere, on the other side. Also the relationship between τ9 and the visible optical depth is not well constrained experimentally so far. Future focused measurements are therefore necessary to study Martian aerosol.

  10. Global structure and composition of the martian atmosphere with SPICAM on Mars express

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bertaux, Jean-Loup; Korablev, O.; Fonteyn, D.; Guibert, S.; Chassefière, E.; Lefèvre, F.; Dimarellis, E.; Dubois, J. P.; Hauchecorne, A.; Cabane, M.; Rannou, P.; Levasseur-Regourd, A. C.; Cernogora, G.; Quémerais, E.; Hermans, C.; Kockarts, G.; Lippens, C.; de Maziere, M.; Moreau, D.; Muller, C.; Neefs, E.; Simon, P. C.; Forget, F.; Hourdin, F.; Talagrand, O.; Moroz, V. I.; Rodin, A.; Sandel, B.; Stern, A.

    SPectroscopy for the Investigation of the Characteristics of the Atmosphere of Mars (SPICAM) Light, a light-weight (4.7 kg) UV-IR instrument to be flown on Mars Express orbiter, is dedicated to the study of the atmosphere and ionosphere of Mars. A UV spectrometer (118-320 nm, resolution 0.8 nm) is dedicated to nadir viewing, limb viewing and vertical profiling by stellar and solar occultation (3.8 kg). It addresses key issues about ozone, its coupling with H2O, aerosols, atmospheric vertical temperature structure and ionospheric studies. UV observations of the upper atmosphere will allow studies of the ionosphere through the emissions of CO, CO+, and CO2+, and its direct interaction with the solar wind. An IR spectrometer (1.0-1.7 μm, resolution 0.5-1.2 nm) is dedicated primarily to nadir measurements of H2O abundances simultaneously with ozone measured in the UV, and to vertical profiling during solar occultation of H2O, CO2, and aerosols. The SPICAM Light near-IR sensor employs a pioneering technology acousto-optical tunable filter (AOTF), leading to a compact and light design. Overall, SPICAM Light is an ideal candidate for future orbiter studies of Mars, after Mars Express, in order to study the interannual variability of martian atmospheric processes. The potential contribution to a Mars International Reference Atmosphere is clear.

  11. GENERAL Iarticle

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Resonance – Journal of Science Education; Volume 8; Issue 2. Supersymmetry. Akshay Kulkarni P Ramadevi. General Article Volume 8 Issue 2 February 2003 pp 28-41 ... Author Affiliations. Akshay Kulkarni1 P Ramadevi1. Physics Department, Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai 400 076, India.

  12. General indicators

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2003-01-01

    This document summarizes the main 2002 energy indicators for France. A first table lists the evolution of general indicators between 1973 and 2002: energy bill, price of imported crude oil, energy independence, primary and final energy consumption. The main 2002 results are detailed separately for natural gas, petroleum and coal (consumption, imports, exports, production, stocks, prices). (J.S.)

  13. Generalized Recovery

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Christian Skov; Lando, David; Pedersen, Lasse Heje

    We characterize when physical probabilities, marginal utilities, and the discount rate can be recovered from observed state prices for several future time periods. We make no assumptions of the probability distribution, thus generalizing the time-homogeneous stationary model of Ross (2015). Recov...

  14. GENERAL SURGERY

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Department of Surgery, University of Cape Town Health Sciences Faculty, Groote Schuur Hospital, Observatory, Cape Town,. South Africa ... included all district, regional and tertiary hospitals in the nine provinces. Clinics and so-called ..... large contingency of senior general surgeons from countries such as Cuba, who have ...

  15. GENERAL SURGERY

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    effect of fatigue on patient safety, and owing to increasing emphasis on lifestyle issues .... increasing emphasis on an appropriate work-life balance in professional life.10 ... experience, were the most negative about the EWTD in general.3,13 ...

  16. GENERAL SURGERY

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    in the endoscopy room. GENERAL SURGERY. T du Toit, O C Buchel, S J A Smit. Department of Surgery, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, ... The lack of video instrumentation in developing countries: Redundant fibre-optic instruments (the old. “eye scope”) are still being used. This instrument brings endoscopists ...

  17. General Assembly

    CERN Multimedia

    Staff Association

    2016-01-01

    5th April, 2016 – Ordinary General Assembly of the Staff Association! In the first semester of each year, the Staff Association (SA) invites its members to attend and participate in the Ordinary General Assembly (OGA). This year the OGA will be held on Tuesday, April 5th 2016 from 11:00 to 12:00 in BE Auditorium, Meyrin (6-2-024). During the Ordinary General Assembly, the activity and financial reports of the SA are presented and submitted for approval to the members. This is the occasion to get a global view on the activities of the SA, its financial management, and an opportunity to express one’s opinion, including taking part in the votes. Other points are listed on the agenda, as proposed by the Staff Council. Who can vote? Only “ordinary” members (MPE) of the SA can vote. Associated members (MPA) of the SA and/or affiliated pensioners have a right to vote on those topics that are of direct interest to them. Who can give his/her opinion? The Ordinary General Asse...

  18. GENERAL SURGERY

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    could cripple the global economy. Greater attention ... Africa and 5.7 general surgeons per 100 000 in the US.12 One of the key ... 100 000 insured population working in the private sector, which is comparable with the United States (US).

  19. Necklaces: Generalizations

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    IAS Admin

    . A q-ary necklace of length n is an equivalence class of q-coloured strings of length n under rota- tion. In this article, we study various generaliza- tions and derive analytical expressions to count the number of these generalized necklaces.

  20. Generalized Recovery

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lando, David; Pedersen, Lasse Heje; Jensen, Christian Skov

    We characterize when physical probabilities, marginal utilities, and the discount rate can be recovered from observed state prices for several future time periods. We make no assumptions of the probability distribution, thus generalizing the time-homogeneous stationary model of Ross (2015...... our model empirically, testing the predictive power of the recovered expected return and other recovered statistics....

  1. General Relativity

    CERN Document Server

    Straumann, Norbert

    2013-01-01

    This book provides a completely revised and expanded version of the previous classic edition ‘General Relativity and Relativistic Astrophysics’. In Part I the foundations of general relativity are thoroughly developed, while Part II is devoted to tests of general relativity and many of its applications. Binary pulsars – our best laboratories for general relativity – are studied in considerable detail. An introduction to gravitational lensing theory is included as well, so as to make the current literature on the subject accessible to readers. Considerable attention is devoted to the study of compact objects, especially to black holes. This includes a detailed derivation of the Kerr solution, Israel’s proof of his uniqueness theorem, and a derivation of the basic laws of black hole physics. Part II ends with Witten’s proof of the positive energy theorem, which is presented in detail, together with the required tools on spin structures and spinor analysis. In Part III, all of the differential geomet...

  2. Generalizing entanglement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jia, Ding

    2017-12-01

    The expected indefinite causal structure in quantum gravity poses a challenge to the notion of entanglement: If two parties are in an indefinite causal relation of being causally connected and not, can they still be entangled? If so, how does one measure the amount of entanglement? We propose to generalize the notions of entanglement and entanglement measure to address these questions. Importantly, the generalization opens the path to study quantum entanglement of states, channels, networks, and processes with definite or indefinite causal structure in a unified fashion, e.g., we show that the entanglement distillation capacity of a state, the quantum communication capacity of a channel, and the entanglement generation capacity of a network or a process are different manifestations of one and the same entanglement measure.

  3. General topology

    CERN Document Server

    Willard, Stephen

    2004-01-01

    Among the best available reference introductions to general topology, this volume is appropriate for advanced undergraduate and beginning graduate students. Its treatment encompasses two broad areas of topology: ""continuous topology,"" represented by sections on convergence, compactness, metrization and complete metric spaces, uniform spaces, and function spaces; and ""geometric topology,"" covered by nine sections on connectivity properties, topological characterization theorems, and homotopy theory. Many standard spaces are introduced in the related problems that accompany each section (340

  4. Generalized polygons

    CERN Document Server

    Maldeghem, Hendrik

    1998-01-01

    This book is intended to be an introduction to the fascinating theory ofgeneralized polygons for both the graduate student and the specialized researcher in the field. It gathers together a lot of basic properties (some of which are usually referred to in research papers as belonging to folklore) and very recent and sometimes deep results. I have chosen a fairly strict geometrical approach, which requires some knowledge of basic projective geometry. Yet, it enables one to prove some typically group-theoretical results such as the determination of the automorphism groups of certain Moufang polygons. As such, some basic group-theoretical knowledge is required of the reader. The notion of a generalized polygon is a relatively recent one. But it is one of the most important concepts in incidence geometry. Generalized polygons are the building bricks of Tits buildings. They are the prototypes and precursors of more general geometries such as partial geometries, partial quadrangles, semi-partial ge­ ometries, near...

  5. Hydrogen Isotopic Composition of Apatite in Northwest Africa 7034: A Record of the "Intermediate" H-Isotopic Reservoir in the Martian Crust?

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCubbin, F. M.; Barnes, J. J.; Santos, A. R.; Boyce, J. W.; Anand, M.; Franchi, I. A.; Agee, C. B.

    2016-01-01

    Northwest Africa (NWA) 7034 and its pairings comprise a regolith breccia with a basaltic bulk composition [1] that yields a better match than any other martian meteorite to visible-infrared reflectance spectra of the martian surface measured from orbit [2]. The composition of the fine-grained matrix within NWA 7034 bears a striking resemblance to the major element composition estimated for the martian crust, with several exceptions. The NWA 7034 matrix is depleted in Fe, Ti, and Cr and enriched in Al, Na, and P [3]. The differences in Al and Fe are the most substantial, but the Fe content of NWA 7034 matrix falls within the range reported for the southern highlands crust [6]. It was previously suggested by [4] that NWA 7034 was sourced from the southern highlands based on the ancient 4.4 Ga ages recorded in NWA 7034/7533 zircons [4, 5]. In addition, the NWA 7034 matrix material is enriched in incompatible trace elements by a factor of 1.2-1.5 [7] relative to estimates of the bulk martian crust. The La/Yb ratio of the bulk martian crust is estimated to be approximately 3 [7], and the La/Yb of the NWA 7034 matrix materials ranges from approximately 3.9 to 4.4 [3, 8], indicating a higher degree of LREE enrichment in the NWA 7034 matrix materials. This elevated La/Yb ratio and enrichment in incompatible lithophile trace elements is consistent with NWA 7034 representing a more geochemically enriched crustal terrain than is represented by the bulk martian crust, which would be expected if NWA 7034 represents the bulk crust from the southern highlands. Given the similarities between NWA 7034 and the martian crust, NWA 7034 may represent an important sample for constraining the composition of the martian crust, particularly the ancient highlands. In the present study, we seek to constrain the H isotopic composition of the martian crust using Cl-rich apatite in NWA 7034. Usui et al., [9] recently proposed that a H isotopic reservoir exists within the martian crust that has

  6. Radiation transport simulation of the Martian GCR surface flux and dose estimation using spherical geometry in PHITS compared to MSL-RAD measurements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flores-McLaughlin, John

    2017-08-01

    Planetary bodies and spacecraft are predominantly exposed to isotropic radiation environments that are subject to transport and interaction in various material compositions and geometries. Specifically, the Martian surface radiation environment is composed of galactic cosmic radiation, secondary particles produced by their interaction with the Martian atmosphere, albedo particles from the Martian regolith and occasional solar particle events. Despite this complex physical environment with potentially significant locational and geometric dependencies, computational resources often limit radiation environment calculations to a one-dimensional or slab geometry specification. To better account for Martian geometry, spherical volumes with respective Martian material densities are adopted in this model. This physical description is modeled with the PHITS radiation transport code and compared to a portion of measurements from the Radiation Assessment Detector of the Mars Science Laboratory. Particle spectra measured between 15 November 2015 and 15 January 2016 and PHITS model results calculated for this time period are compared. Results indicate good agreement between simulated dose rates, proton, neutron and gamma spectra. This work was originally presented at the 1st Mars Space Radiation Modeling Workshop held in 2016 in Boulder, CO. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  7. General chemistry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kwon, Yeong Sik; Lee, Dong Seop; Ryu, Haung Ryong; Jang, Cheol Hyeon; Choi, Bong Jong; Choi, Sang Won

    1993-07-01

    The book concentrates on the latest general chemistry, which is divided int twenty-three chapters. It deals with basic conception and stoichiometry, nature of gas, structure of atoms, quantum mechanics, symbol and structure of an electron of ion and molecule, chemical thermodynamics, nature of solid, change of state and liquid, properties of solution, chemical equilibrium, solution and acid-base, equilibrium of aqueous solution, electrochemistry, chemical reaction speed, molecule spectroscopy, hydrogen, oxygen and water, metallic atom; 1A, IIA, IIIA, carbon and atom IVA, nonmetal atom and an inert gas, transition metals, lanthanons, and actinoids, nuclear properties and radioactivity, biochemistry and environment chemistry.

  8. General relativity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gourgoulhon, Eric

    2013-01-01

    The author proposes a course on general relativity. He first presents a geometrical framework by addressing, presenting and discussion the following notions: the relativistic space-time, the metric tensor, Universe lines, observers, principle of equivalence and geodesics. In the next part, he addresses gravitational fields with spherical symmetry: presentation of the Schwarzschild metrics, radial light geodesics, gravitational spectral shift (Einstein effect), orbitals of material objects, photon trajectories. The next parts address the Einstein equation, black holes, gravitational waves, and cosmological solutions. Appendices propose a discussion of the relationship between relativity and GPS, some problems and their solutions, and Sage codes

  9. Mg-Sulfate Salts as Possible Water Reservoirs in Martian Regolith

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaniman, D. T.; Bish, D. L.; Chipera, S. J.; Carey, J. W.; Feldman, W. C.

    2003-12-01

    Neutron spectrometer data from the Mars Odyssey orbiter provide evidence of high water-equivalent hydrogen abundance in some near-equatorial locations on Mars. In broad regions shallow (duricrust indicate that Mg and S are correlated and that ˜10% of an Mg-sulfate salt is a likely cementing agent. However, the range of possible Mg sulfates is large. Epsomite (7-hydrate, 51% water) and hexahydrite (6-hydrate, 47% water) are the most hydrated; both form structures of isolated SO4 tetrahedra with isolated octahedral sites consisting of Mg coordinated by six H2O molecules (epsomite has an extra H2O in addition to the six required to coordinate with Mg). Pentahydrite (5-hydrate, 43% water) has infinite chains of alternating SO4 tetrahedra and Mg octahedra, with 4/5 of the water forming apices in octahedral sites. Starkeyite (4-hydrate, 37% water) has clusters of two SO4 tetrahedra and two Mg octahedra, linked only by hydrogen bonds. The Mg-sulfate sanderite (2-hydrate, 23% water) is rare and has poorly known structure. Kieserite (1-hydrate, 13% water) is relatively common in evaporite deposits and has a framework structure of infinite tetrahedral-octahedral chains cross-linked by hydrogen bonds. The stability of Mg-sulfate hydrates under martian near-surface conditions depends on their structures; those with excess water beyond that required to form the octahedral Mg site (e.g., epsomite, pentahydrite) lose that excess readily. Experiments with epsomite and hexahydrite indicate great sensitivity to environmental conditions; epsomite is not stable at 295 K at relative humidity (RH) values less than about 55%, below which hexahydrite is the observed phase. More importantly, hexahydrite - with all water coordinated to Mg in octahedral sites - is unstable at pressures less than ˜20 mtorr. X-ray diffraction analysis of hexahydrite held at 20 mtorr for six hours shows that structural degradation is slow at 100 K but becomes obvious in 1 hour at 273 K. Thermogravimetric

  10. Global map and spectroscopic analyses of Martian fluvial systems: paleoclimatic implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alemanno, Giulia; Orofino, Vincenzo; Mancarella, Francesca; Fonti, Sergio

    2017-04-01

    Currently environmental conditions on Mars do not allow the presence of liquid water on its surface for long periods of time. However, there are various evidences for past water flow at its surface. In fact, the ancient terrains of Mars are covered with fluvial and lacustrine features such as valley networks, longitudinal valleys and basin lakes. There are no doubts about the fact that the Martian valleys were originated by water flow. This led many researchers to think that probably, at the time of their formation, the conditions of atmospheric pressure and surface temperature were different from the present[1]. To infer the climate history of Mars from valley networks, a global approach is necessary. We produced a global map of Martian valleys. We manually mapped all the valleys (longer than 20 km) as vector-based polylines within the QGIS software, using THEMIS daytime IR (100 m/pixel), and where possible CTX images (up to 6 m/pixel), plus topographic MOLA data ( 500 m/pixel). Respect to the previous manual maps[1,2] data of higher image quality (new THEMIS mosaic) and topographic information allow us to identify new structures and more tributaries for a large number of systems. We also used the geologic map of Mars[3] in order to determine the valleys age distribution. Most valleys are too small for age determination from superposition of impact craters so we have assumed that a valley is as old as the terrain on which it has been carved[1]. Furthermore we are, currently, analyzing spectroscopic data from CRISM instrument (Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars) onboard Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, concerning the mapped valleys or associated basin lakes with the aim of assessing the mineralogy of these structures. Our attention is especially focused on the possible detection of any hydrated minerals (e.g. phyllosilicates, hydrated silica) or evaporites (e.g. carbonates, sulfates, chlorides). Phyllosilicates- bearing rocks are considered as an

  11. ISRU-Based Robotic Construction Technologies For Lunar And Martian Infrastructures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khoshnevis, Behrokh; Carlson, Anders; Thangavelu, Madhu

    2017-01-01

    Economically viable and reliable building systems and tool sets are being sought, examined and tested for extraterrestrial infrastructure buildup. This project utilizes a unique architecture weaving the robotic building construction technology with designs for assisting rapid buildup of initial operational capability Lunar and Martian bases. The project intends to develop and test methodologies to construct certain crucial infrastructure elements in order to evaluate the merits, limitations and feasibility of adapting and using such technologies for extraterrestrial application. High priority infrastructure elements suggested by our NASA advisors to be considered include landing pads and aprons, roads, blast walls and shade walls, thermal and micrometeorite protection shields and dust-free platforms utilizing the well-known insitu resource utilization (ISRU) strategy. Current extraterrestrial settlement buildup philosophy holds that in order to minimize the materials needed to be flown in, at great transportation costs, strategies that maximize the use of locally available resources must be adopted. Tools and heavy equipment flown as cargo from Earth are proposed to build required infrastructure to support future missions and settlements on the Moon and Mars. Several unique systems including the Lunar Electric Rover, the unpressurized Chariot rover, the versatile light-weight crane and Tri-Athlete cargo transporter as well as the habitat module mockups and a new generation of spacesuits are undergoing coordinated tests at NASAs D-RATS. This project intends to draw up a detailed synergetic plan to utilize these maturing systems coupled with modern robotic fabrication technologies based primarily on 3D Printing, tailored for swift and reliable Lunar and Martian infrastructure development. This project also intends to increase astronaut safety, improve buildup performance, ameliorate dust interference and concerns, and reduce time-to-commission, all in an economic

  12. Mud Volcanoes - Analogs to Martian Cones and Domes (by the Thousands!)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Carlton C.; Oehler, Dorothy

    2010-01-01

    laboratory analyses of surface samples collected from mud volcanoes in Azerbaijan, Taiwan and Japan. X-ray diffraction, visible / near infrared reflectance spectroscopy and Raman spectroscopy show that the samples are dominated by mixed-layer smectite clays, along with quartz, calcite and pyrite. Thin section analysis by optical and scanning electron microscopy confirms the mineral identifications. These samples also contain chemical and morphological biosignatures, including common microfossils, with evidence of partial replacement by pyrite. The bulk samples contain approximately 1 wt% total organic carbon and 0.4 mg / gm volatile hydrocarbons. The thousands of features in Acidalia Planitia cited as analogous to terrestrial mud volcanoes clearly represent an important element in the sedimentary record of Mars. Their location, in the distal depocenter for massive Hesperian-age floods, suggests that they contain fine-grained sediments from a large catchment area in the martian highlands. We have proposed these features as a new class of exploration target that can provide access to minimally-altered material from significant depth. By analogy to terrestrial mud volcanoes, these features may also be excellent sites for the sampling martian organics and subsurface microbial life, if such exist or ever existed.

  13. Martian North Polar Water-Ice Clouds During the Viking Era

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tamppari, L. K.; Bass, D. S.

    2000-01-01

    The Viking Orbiters determined that the surface of Mars' northern residual cap consists of water ice. Observed atmospheric water vapor abundances in the equatorial regions have been related to seasonal exchange between reservoirs such as the polar caps, the regolith and between different phases in the atmosphere. Kahn modeled the physical characteristics of ice hazes seen in Viking Orbiter imaging limb data, hypothesizing that ice hazes provide a method for scavenging water vapor from the atmosphere and accumulating it into ice particles. Given that Jakosky found that these particles had sizes such that fallout times were of order one Martian sol, these water-ice hazes provided a method for returning more water to the regolith than that provided by adsorption alone. These hazes could also explain the rapid hemispheric decrease in atmospheric water in late northern summer as well as the increase during the following early spring. A similar comparison of water vapor abundance versus polar cap brightness has been done for the north polar region. They have shown that water vapor decreases steadily between L(sub s) = 100-150 deg while polar cap albedo increases during the same time frame. As a result, they suggested that late summer water-ice deposition onto the ice cap may be the cause of the cap brightening. This deposition could be due to adsorption directly onto the cap surface or to snowfall. Thus, an examination of north polar waterice clouds could lend insight into the fate of the water vapor during this time period. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  14. Martian Magmatic-Driven Hydrothermal Sites: Potential Sources of Energy, Water, and Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, R. C.; Dohm, J. M.; Baker, V. R.; Ferris, J. C.; Hare, T. M.; Tanaka, K. L.; Klemaszewski, J. E.; Skinner, J. A.; Scott, D. H.

    2000-01-01

    Magmatic-driven processes and impact events dominate the geologic record of Mars. Such recorded geologic activity coupled with significant evidence of past and present-day water/ice, above and below the martian surface, indicate that hydrothermal environments certainly existed in the past and may exist today. The identification of such environments, especially long-lived magmatic-driven hydrothermal environments, provides NASA with significant target sites for future sample return missions, since they (1) could favor the development and sustenance of life, (2) may comprise a large variety of exotic mineral assemblages, and (3) could potentially contain water/ice reservoirs for future Mars-related human activities. If life developed on Mars, the fossil record would presumably be at its greatest concentration and diversity in environments where long-term energy sources and water coexisted such as at sites where long-lived, magmatic-driven hydrothermal activity occurred. These assertions are supported by terrestrial analogs. Small, single-celled creatures (prokaryotes) are vitally important in the evolution of the Earth; these prokaryotes are environmentally tough and tolerant of environmental extremes of pH, temperature, salinity, and anoxic conditions found around hydrothermal vents. In addition, there is a great ability for bacteria to survive long periods of geologic time in extreme conditions, including high temperature hydrogen sulfide and sulfur erupted from Mount St. Helens volcano. Our team of investigators is conducting a geological investigation using multiple mission-derived datasets (e.g., existing geologic map data, MOC imagery, MOLA, TES image data, geophysical data, etc.) to identify prime target sites of hydrothermal activity for future hydrological, mineralogical, and biological investigations. The identification of these sites will enhance the probability of success for future missions to Mars.

  15. Chlorine and Sulfur Volatiles from in Situ Measurements of Martian Surface Materials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, B. C.

    2014-12-01

    A sentinel discovery by the first in situ measurements on Mars was the high sulfur and chlorine content of global-wide soils. A variety of circumstantial evidence led to the conclusion that soil S is in the form of sulfate, and the Cl is probably chloride. An early hypothesis states that these volatiles are emitted as gases from magmas, and quickly react with dust, soil, and exposed rocks. Subsequent determination that SNC meteorites are also samples of the martian crust revealed a significantly higher S content, as sulfide, than terrestrial igneous rocks but substantially less than in soils. The ensuing wet chemical analyses by the high-latitude Phoenix mission discovered not only chloride but also perchlorate and possibly chlorate. MSL data now also implicate perchlorate at low latitudes. Gaseous interactions may have produced amorphous material on grain surfaces without forming stoichiometric salts. Yet, when exposed to liquid water, Phoenix samples released electrolytes, indicating that the soils have not been leached by rain or fresh groundwater. Sulfate occurrences at many locations on Mars, as well as some chloride enrichments, have now been discovered by remote sensing, Landed missions have discovered Cl-enrichments and ferric, Mg, Ca and more complex sulfates as duricrust, subsurface soil horizons, sandstone evaporites, and rock coatings - most of which cannot be detected from orbit. Salt-forming volatiles affect habitability wherever they are in physical contact: physicochemical parameters (ionic strength, freezing point, water activity); S is an essential element for terrestrial organisms; perchlorate is an oxidant which can degrade some organics but also can be utilized as an energy source; the entire valence range of S-compounds has been exploited by diverse microbiota on Earth. Whether such salt-induced conditions are "extremes" of habitability depends on the relative abundance of liquid H2O.

  16. Planetary SUrface Portal (PSUP): a tool for easy visualization and analysis of Martian surface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poulet, Francois; Quantin-Nataf, Cathy; Ballans, Hervé; Lozac'h, Loic; Audouard, Joachim; Carter, John; Dassas, karin; Malapert, Jean-Christophe; Marmo, Chiara; Poulleau, Gilles; Riu, Lucie; Séjourné, antoine

    2016-10-01

    PSUP is two software application platforms for working with raster, vector, DTM, and hyper-spectral data acquired by various space instruments analyzing the surface of Mars from orbit. The first platform of PSUP is MarsSI (Martian surface data processing Information System, http://emars.univ-lyon1.fr). It provides data analysis functionalities to select and download ready-to-use products or to process data though specific and validated pipelines. To date, MarsSI handles CTX, HiRISE and CRISM data of NASA/MRO mission, HRSC and OMEGA data of ESA/MEx mission and THEMIS data of NASA/ODY mission (Lozac'h et al., EPSC 2015). The second part of PSUP is also open to the scientific community and can be visited at http://psup.ias.u-psud.fr/. This web-based user interface provides access to many data products for Mars: image footprints and rasters from the MarsSI tool; compositional maps from OMEGA and TES; albedo and thermal inertia from OMEGA and TES; mosaics from THEMIS, Viking, and CTX; high level specific products (defined as catalogues) such as hydrated mineral sites derived from CRISM and OMEGA data, central peaks mineralogy,… In addition, OMEGA C channel data cubes corrected for atmospheric and aerosol contributions can be downloaded. The architecture of PSUP data management and visualization is based on SITools2 and MIZAR, two CNES generic tools developed by a joint effort between CNES and scientific laboratories. SITools2 provides a self-manageable data access layer deployed on the PSUP data, while MIZAR is 3D application in a browser for discovering and visualizing geospatial data. Further developments including the addition of high level products of Mars (regional geological maps, new global compositional maps,…) are foreseen. Ultimately, PSUP will be adapted to other planetary surfaces and space missions in which the French research institutes are involved.

  17. Possibility of deuterium free water using as antitumoral means with reference to conditions of Martian expedition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sinyak, Y.; Turusov, V.; Grigroriev, A.; Yaridze, D.; Gaidadimov, V.; Antoshina, E.; Gorkova, T.; Truhanova, L.

    The interplanetary space flights, Martian program as an example, will take place under conditions of increasing radiation level on crew. The search of methods for a decrease of oncologic risk produced by irradiation of astronauts, is one of the major factors of a successful implementation of a flight program. One of such methods is a usage by crew of potable water with the reduced concentrations of a heavy stable isotope of hydrogen - deuterium, which can be obtained in the regenerative life support systems. The heavy water (D2O) has toxic properties, distorting biochemical reactions in the cell, inhibiting process of DNA replication. It can be presumed that the replacement of deuterium in the water for protium will result in normalization of cell metabolism, reparation will take place and this will lead to the inhibition of tumour development. In this study the water with a decreased by 65% of deuterium was used. Antitumour properties of D 2-free water were studied with transplantable Lewis lung carcinoma in BDF1 strain of mice. First results show that average time of appearance of the first nodules at the site of transplantation was 14 % longer in mice fed D 2-free water as compared to control. The tumour volume in the experimental group (decreased content of D2 ) was always lower than in the control. Statistically significant differences in the tumour volume were registered at the 13, 15, 23, 26 and 28 -th days after transplantation. Inhibition of tumour growth was equal to 100% and 51% at the 5 th and 15-th days after- transplantation respectively. Increase of life span in the experimental group was 10%. The results indicate that the use by astronauts of water with decreased content of deuterium may decrease the risk of oncological diseases under conditions of high radiation level in the flight to Mars.

  18. Constraints on martian lobate debris apron evolution and rheology from numerical modeling of ice flow

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parsons, Reid A.; Nimmo, Francis; Miyamoto, Hideaki

    2011-07-01

    Radar observations in the Deuteronilus Mensae region by Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter have constrained the thickness and dust concentration found within mid-latitude ice deposits, providing an opportunity to more accurately estimate the rheology of ice responsible for the formation of lobate debris aprons based on their apparent age of ˜100 Myr. We developed a numerical model simulating ice flow under martian conditions using results from ice deformation experiments, theory of ice grain growth based on terrestrial ice cores, and observational constraints from radar profiles and laser altimetry. By varying the ice grain size, the ice temperature, the subsurface slope, and the initial ice volume we determine the combination of parameters that best reproduce the observed LDA lengths and thicknesses over a period of time comparable to the apparent ages of LDA surfaces (90-300 Myr). We find that an ice temperature of 205 K, an ice grain size of 5 mm, and a flat subsurface slope give reasonable ages for many LDAs in the northern mid-latitudes of Mars. Assuming that the ice grain size is limited by the grain boundary pinning effect of incorporated dust, these results limit the dust volume concentration to less than 4%. However, assuming all LDAs were emplaced by a single event, we find that there is no single combination of grain size, temperature, and subsurface slope which can give realistic ages for all LDAs, suggesting that some or all of these variables are spatially heterogeneous. Based on our model we conclude that the majority of northern mid-latitude LDAs are composed of clean (⩽4 vol%), coarse (⩾1 mm) grained ice, but regional differences in either the amount of dust mixed in with the ice, or in the presence of a basal slope below the LDA ice must be invoked. Alternatively, the ice temperature and/or timing of ice deposition may vary significantly between different mid-latitude regions. Either eventuality can be tested with future observations.

  19. The Structure of Martian Magnetosphere at the Dayside Terminator Region as Observed on MAVEN Spacecraft

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaisberg, O. L.; Ermakov, V. N.; Shuvalov, S. D.; Zelenyi, L. M.; Halekas, J.; DiBraccio, G. A.; McFadden, J.; Dubinin, E. M.

    2018-04-01

    We analyzed 44 passes of the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN mission (MAVEN) spacecraft through the magnetosphere, arranged by the angle between electric field vector and the projection of spacecraft position radius vector in the plane perpendicular to the Mars-Sun line (θE). All passes were divided into three angular sectors near 0°, 90°, and 180° θE angles in order to estimate the role of the interplanetary magnetic field direction in plasma and magnetic properties of dayside Martian magnetosphere. The time interval chosen was from 17 January to 4 February 2016 when MAVEN was crossing the dayside magnetosphere at solar zenith angle 70°. Magnetosphere as the region with prevailing energetic planetary ions is always found between the magnetosheath and the ionosphere. The analysis of dayside interaction region showed that for each angular sector with different orientation of the solar wind electric field vector E = -1/c V × B one can find specific profiles of the magnetosheath, the magnetic barrier (Michel, 1971, https://doi.org/10.1029/RG009i002p00427; Zhang et al., 1991, https://doi.org/10.1029/91JA00088), and the magnetosphere. Magnetic barrier forms in front of the magnetosphere, and relative magnetic field magnitudes in these two domains vary. The average height of the boundary with ionosphere is 530 km, and the average height of the magnetopause is 730 km. We discuss the implications of the observed magnetosphere structure to the planetary ions loss mechanism.

  20. MAVEN Observations of Escaping Planetary Ions from the Martian Atmosphere: Mass, Velocity, and Spatial Distributions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Yaxue; Fang, Xiaohua; Brain, D. A.; McFadden, James P.; Halekas, Jasper; Connerney, Jack

    2015-04-01

    The Mars-solar wind interaction accelerates and transports planetary ions away from the Martian atmosphere through a number of processes, including ‘pick-up’ by electromagnetic fields. The MAVEN spacecraft has made routine observations of escaping planetary ions since its arrival at Mars in September 2014. The SupraThermal And Thermal Ion Composition (STATIC) instrument measures the ion energy, mass, and angular spectra. It has detected energetic planetary ions during most of the spacecraft orbits, which are attributed to the pick-up process. We found significant variations in the escaping ion mass and velocity distributions from the STATIC data, which can be explained by factors such as varying solar wind conditions, contributions of particles from different source locations and different phases during the pick-up process. We also study the spatial distributions of different planetary ion species, which can provide insight into the physics of ion escaping process and enhance our understanding of atmospheric erosion by the solar wind. Our results will be further interpreted within the context of the upstream solar wind conditions measured by the MAVEN Solar Wind Ion Analyzer (SWIA) instrument and the magnetic field environment measured by the Magnetometer (MAG) instrument. Our study shows that the ion spatial distribution in the Mars-Sun-Electric-Field (MSE) coordinate system and the velocity space distribution with respect to the local magnetic field line can be used to distinguish the ions escaping through the polar plume and those through the tail region. The contribution of the polar plume ion escape to the total escape rate will also be discussed.

  1. Conceptual Design and Architecture of Mars Exploration Rover (MER) for Seismic Experiments Over Martian Surfaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garg, Akshay; Singh, Amit

    2012-07-01

    Keywords: MER, Mars, Rover, Seismometer Mars has been a subject of human interest for exploration missions for quite some time now. Both rover as well as orbiter missions have been employed to suit mission objectives. Rovers have been preferentially deployed for close range reconnaissance and detailed experimentation with highest accuracy. However, it is essential to strike a balance between the chosen science objectives and the rover operations as a whole. The objective of this proposed mechanism is to design a vehicle (MER) to carry out seismic studies over Martian surface. The conceptual design consists of three units i.e. Mother Rover as a Surrogate (Carrier) and Baby Rovers (two) as seeders for several MEMS-based accelerometer / seismometer units (Nodes). Mother Rover can carry these Baby Rovers, having individual power supply with solar cells and with individual data transmission capabilities, to suitable sites such as Chasma associated with Valles Marineris, Craters or Sand Dunes. Mother rover deploys these rovers in two opposite direction and these rovers follow a triangulation pattern to study shock waves generated through firing tungsten carbide shells into the ground. Till the time of active experiments Mother Rover would act as a guiding unit to control spatial spread of detection instruments. After active shock experimentation, the babies can still act as passive seismometer units to study and record passive shocks from thermal quakes, impact cratering & landslides. Further other experiments / payloads (XPS / GAP / APXS) can also be carried by Mother Rover. Secondary power system consisting of batteries can also be utilized for carrying out further experiments over shallow valley surfaces. The whole arrangement is conceptually expected to increase the accuracy of measurements (through concurrent readings) and prolong life cycle of overall experimentation. The proposed rover can be customised according to the associated scientific objectives and further

  2. A hybrid origin of the Martian crustal dichotomy: Degree-1 convection antipodal to a giant impact

    Science.gov (United States)

    Citron, Robert I.; Manga, Michael; Tan, Eh

    2018-06-01

    The Martian crustal dichotomy is the stark ∼5 km difference in surface elevation and ∼26 km difference in crustal thickness between the northern lowlands and southern highlands that originated within 100s of Myr of Mars' formation. The origin of the dichotomy has broad implications for the geodynamic history of Mars, but purely exogenic or endogenic theories so far cannot explain all of the large scale geophysical observations associated with dichotomy formation. A giant impact can produce the shape and slope of the dichotomy boundary, but struggles to explain Mars' remanent crustal magnetic signatures and the ultimate formation of Tharsis. Degree-1 mantle convection can relate the crustal dichotomy to the formation of Tharsis, but does not explain the elliptical dichotomy shape and must be initiated by a large pre-existing viscosity jump in the mantle. We propose a hybrid model of dichotomy formation in which a giant impact induces degree-1 convection with an upwelling antipodal to the impact site. In this scenario, a giant impact in the northern hemisphere excavates crust, creating an initial difference in crustal thickness and possibly composition between the two hemispheres. Over 10s to 100s of Myr, the dominant upwelling(s) would migrate to be under the thicker, insulating crust in the southern hemisphere, generating melt that further thickens the southern crust. We examine this process using 3-D mantle convection simulations, and find that a hemispherical difference in crustal thickness and composition caused by a giant impact can induce degree-1 convection with the upwelling(s) antipodal to the impact site in <100 Myr.

  3. Oxygen Pickup Ions Measured by MAVEN Outside the Martian Bow Shock

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rahmati, A.; Cravens, T.; Larson, D. E.; Lillis, R. J.; Dunn, P.; Halekas, J. S.; Connerney, J. E. P.; Eparvier, F. G.; Thiemann, E.; Mitchell, D. L.; Jakosky, B. M.

    2015-12-01

    The MAVEN (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN) spacecraft entered orbit around Mars on September 21, 2014 and has since been detecting energetic oxygen pickup ions by its SEP (Solar Energetic Particles) and SWIA (Solar Wind Ion Analyzer) instruments. The oxygen pickup ions detected outside the Martian bowshock and in the upstream solar wind are associated with the extended hot oxygen exosphere of Mars, which is created mainly by the dissociative recombination of molecular oxygen ions with electrons in the ionosphere. We use analytic solutions to the equations of motion of pickup ions moving in the undisturbed upstream solar wind magnetic and motional electric fields and calculate the flux of oxygen pickup ions at the location of MAVEN. Our model calculates the ionization rate of oxygen atoms in the exosphere based on the hot oxygen densities predicted by Rahmati et al. (2014), and the sources of ionization include photo-ionization, charge exchange, and electron impact ionization. The photo-ionization frequency is calculated using the FISM (Flare Irradiance Spectral Model) solar flux model, based on MAVEN EUVM (Extreme Ultra-Violet Monitor) measurements. The frequency of charge exchange between a solar wind proton and an oxygen atom is calculated using MAVEN SWIA solar wind proton flux measurements, and the electron impact ionization frequency is calculated based on MAVEN SWEA (Solar Wind Electron Analyzer) solar wind electron flux measurements. The solar wind magnetic field used in the model is from the measurements taken by MAVEN MAG (magnetometer) in the upstream solar wind. The good agreement between our predicted pickup oxygen fluxes and the MAVEN SEP and SWIA measured ones confirms detection of oxygen pickup ions and these model-data comparisons can be used to constrain models of hot oxygen densities and photochemical escape flux.

  4. Escape of O(3P), O(1D), and O(1S) from the Martian atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fox, Jane L.; Hać, Aleksander B.

    2018-01-01

    We have computed here the escape probabilities, fluxes and rates for hot O atoms that are initially produced in the ground state and the first two excited metastable states, O(1D)and O(1S), in the Martian thermosphere by dissociative recombination of O2+. In order to compare our results with those of our previous calculations and with those of others, we have employed here the pre-MAVEN models that we have used previously. To compute the escape probabilities, we have employed the Monte Carlo escape code that has been described previously, but we here use for the first time energy-dependent elastic cross sections for collisions of the energetic O atoms with each of the twelve background species in our model. We also incorporate three mechanisms that interchange identities of the O(3P) and O(1D) atoms, including collisional excitation of O(3P) to O(1D), quenching of O(1D) to O(3P), and excitation exchange of O(1D) with O(3P). We find that the escape probabilities of O atoms that are produced initially as O(1D) are reduced compared to those in which these processes are not included, but the escape probabilities of O atoms that are initially produced as O(3P) are not significantly reduced. As a guide for our future research and those of other investigators, we review here what is known about the interactions of O atoms with other species in which the energies of the O atoms are altered, and several other sources of hot and escaping O, many of which have been suggested by other investigators. We will incorporate these data in a future MAVEN-like model.

  5. The Martian Goes To College: Open Inquiry with Science Fiction in the Classroom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beatty, L.; Patterson, J. D.

    2015-12-01

    Storytelling is an ancient art; one that can get lost in the reams of data available in a typical geology or astronomy classroom. But storytelling draws us to a magical place. Our students, with prior experience in either a geology or astronomy course, were invited to explore Mars in a special topics course at Johnson County Community College through reading The Martian by Andy Weir. As they traveled with astronaut Mark Watney, the students used Google Mars, Java Mission-planning and Analysis for Remote Sensing (JMARS), and learning modules from the Mars for Earthlings web site to investigate the terrain and the processes at work in the past and present on Mars. Our goal was to apply their understanding of processes on Earth in order to explain and predict what they observed on Mars courtesy of the remote sensing opportunities available from Viking, Pathfinder, the Mars Exploration Rovers, and Maven missions; sort of an inter-planetary uniformitarianism. Astronaut Mark Watney's fictional journey from Acidalia Planitia to Schiaparelli Crater was analyzed using learning modules in Mars for Earthlings and exercises that we developed based on Google Mars, JMARS, Rotating Sky Explorer, and Science Friday podcasts. Each student also completed an individual project that either focused on a particular region that Astronaut Mark Watney traveled through or a problem that he faced. Through this open-inquiry learning style, they determined some processes that shaped Mars such as crater impacts, volcanism, fluid flow, mass movement, and groundwater sapping and also investigated the efficacy of solar energy as a power source based on location and the likelihood of regolith potential as a mineral matter source for soil.

  6. Investigation of small scale roughness properties of Martian terrains using Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivanov, A. B.; Rossi, A.

    2009-04-01

    HIRISE image processing in the existing data processing pipeline and improve it at the same time. Currently the workflow is not finished: DEM units are relative and are not in elevation. We have been able to derive successful DEMs from CTX data Becquerel [14] and Crommelin craters as well as for some areas in the North Polar Layered Terrain. Due to its tremendous resolution HIRISE data showing great surface detail, hence allowing better correlation than other sensors considered in this work. In all cases DEM were showing considerable potential for exploration of terrain characteristics. Next steps include cross validation results with DEM produced by other teams and sensors (HRSC [6], HIRISE [7]) and providing elevation in terms of absolute height over a MOLA areoid. MRO imaging data allows us an unprecedented look at Martian terrain. This work provides a step forward derivation of DEM from HIRISE and CTX datasets and currently undergoing validation vs. other existing datasets. We will present our latest results for layering structures in both North and South Polar Layered deposits as well as layered structures inside Becquerel and Crommelin craters. Digital Elevation models derived from the CTX sensor can also be utilized effectively as a input for clutter reduction models, which are in turn used for the ground penetrating SHARAD instrument [13]. References. [1] R. Arvidson, et al. Mars exploration program 2007 phoenix landing site selection and characteristics. Journal of Geophysical Research-Planets, 113, JUN 19 2008. [2] M. Golombek, et al. Assessment of mars exploration rover landing site predictions. Nature, 436(7047):44-48, JUL 7 2005. [3] K. E. Herkenhoff, et al. Meter-scale morphology of the north polar region of mars. Science, 317(5845):1711-1715, SEP 21 2007. [4] A. B. Ivanov. Ten-Meter Scale Topography and Roughness of Mars Exploration Rovers Landing Sites and Martian Polar Regions. volume 34 of Lunar and Planetary Inst. Technical Report, pages 2084-+, Mar

  7. Origin of Chlorobenzene Detected by the Curiosity Rover in Yellowknife Bay: Evidence for Martian Organics in the Sheepbed Mudstone?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glavin, Daniel P.; Freissinet, Caroline; Eigenbrode, J.; Miller, K.; Martin, M.; Summons, R.; Steele, A.; Franz, H.; Archer, D.; Brinkerhoff, W.; hide

    2014-01-01

    The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument on the Curiosity rover is designed to determine the inventory of organic and inorganic volatiles thermally evolved from solid samples using a combination of evolved gas analysis (EGA), gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GCMS), and tunable laser spectroscopy. The first solid samples analyzed by SAM, a scoop of windblown dust and sand at Rocknest (RN), revealed chlorinated hydrocarbons derived primarily from reactions between a martian oxychlorine phase (e.g. perchlorate) and terrestrial carbon from N-methyl-N-(tert-butyldimethylsilyl)-trifluoroacetamide (MTBSTFA) vapor present in the SAM instrument background. Chlorobenzene (CBZ) was also identified by SAM GCMS at RN at trace levels (approx.0.007 nmol) and was attributed to the reaction of chlorine with the Tenax polymers used in the hydrocarbon traps. After the RN analyses, Curiosity traveled to Yellowknife Bay and drilled two separate holes designated John Klein (JK) and Cumberland (CB). Analyses of JK and CB by both SAM and the CheMin x-ray diffraction instrument revealed a mudstone consisting of approx.20 wt% smectite clays, which on Earth are known to aid the concentration and preservation of organic matter. In addition, higher abundances and a more diverse suite of chlorinated hydrocarbons in CB compared to RN suggests that martian or meteoritic organic sources may be preserved in the mudstone. Here we discuss the SAM EGA and GCMS measurements of volatiles released from the Sheepbed mudstone. We focus primarily on the elevated CBZ detections at CB and laboratory analog experiments conducted to help determine if CBZ is derived from primarily terrestrial, martian, or a combination of sources.

  8. The responses of an anaerobic microorganism, Yersinia intermedia MASE-LG-1 to individual and combined simulated Martian stresses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristina Beblo-Vranesevic

    Full Text Available The limits of life of aerobic microorganisms are well understood, but the responses of anaerobic microorganisms to individual and combined extreme stressors are less well known. Motivated by an interest in understanding the survivability of anaerobic microorganisms under Martian conditions, we investigated the responses of a new isolate, Yersinia intermedia MASE-LG-1 to individual and combined stresses associated with the Martian surface. This organism belongs to an adaptable and persistent genus of anaerobic microorganisms found in many environments worldwide. The effects of desiccation, low pressure, ionizing radiation, varying temperature, osmotic pressure, and oxidizing chemical compounds were investigated. The strain showed a high tolerance to desiccation, with a decline of survivability by four orders of magnitude during a storage time of 85 days. Exposure to X-rays resulted in dose-dependent inactivation for exposure up to 600 Gy while applied doses above 750 Gy led to complete inactivation. The effects of the combination of desiccation and irradiation were additive and the survivability was influenced by the order in which they were imposed. Ionizing irradiation and subsequent desiccation was more deleterious than vice versa. By contrast, the presence of perchlorates was not found to significantly affect the survival of the Yersinia strain after ionizing radiation. These data show that the organism has the capacity to survive and grow in physical and chemical stresses, imposed individually or in combination that are associated with Martian environment. Eventually it lost its viability showing that many of the most adaptable anaerobic organisms on Earth would be killed on Mars today.

  9. A Search for Amino Acids and Nucleobases in the Martian Meteorite Roberts Massif 04262 Using Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Callahan, Michael P.; Burton, Aaron S.; Elsila, Jamie E.; Baker, Eleni M.; Smith, Karen E.; Glavin, Daniel P.; Dworkin, Jason P.

    2013-01-01

    The investigation into whether Mars contains signatures of past or present life is of great interest to science and society. Amino acids and nucleobases are compounds that are essential for all known life on Earth and are excellent target molecules in the search for potential Martian biomarkers or prebiotic chemistry. Martian meteorites represent the only samples from Mars that can be studied directly in the laboratory on Earth. Here, we analyzed the amino acid and nucleobase content of the shergottite Roberts Massif (RBT) 04262 using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. We did not detect any nucleobases above our detection limit in formic acid extracts; however, we did measure a suite of protein and nonprotein amino acids in hot-water extracts with high relative abundances of beta-alanine and gamma-amino-eta-butyric acid. The presence of only low (to absent) levels of several proteinogenic amino acids and a lack of nucleobases suggest that this meteorite fragment is fairly uncontaminated with respect to these common biological compounds. The distribution of straight-chained amine-terminal eta-omega-amino acids in RBT 04262 resembled those previously measured in thermally altered carbonaceous meteorites. A carbon isotope ratio of -24(0/00) +/- 6(0/00) for beta-alanine in RBT 04262 is in the range of reduced organic carbon previously measured in Martian meteorites (Steele et al. 2012). The presence of eta-omega-amino acids may be due to a high temperature Fischer-Tropschtype synthesis during igneous processing on Mars or impact ejection of the meteorites from Mars, but more experimental data are needed to support these hypotheses.

  10. Interannual observations and quantification of summertime H2O ice deposition on the Martian CO2 ice south polar cap

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Adrian J.; Piqueux, Sylvain; Titus, Timothy N.

    2014-01-01

    The spectral signature of water ice was observed on Martian south polar cap in 2004 by the Observatoire pour l'Mineralogie, l'Eau les Glaces et l'Activite (OMEGA) ( Bibring et al., 2004). Three years later, the OMEGA instrument was used to discover water ice deposited during southern summer on the polar cap ( Langevin et al., 2007). However, temporal and spatial variations of these water ice signatures have remained unexplored, and the origins of these water deposits remains an important scientific question. To investigate this question, we have used observations from the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) instrument on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) spacecraft of the southern cap during austral summer over four Martian years to search for variations in the amount of water ice. We report below that for each year we have observed the cap, the magnitude of the H2O ice signature on the southern cap has risen steadily throughout summer, particularly on the west end of the cap. The spatial extent of deposition is in disagreement with the current best simulations of deposition of water ice on the south polar cap (Montmessin et al., 2007). This increase in water ice signatures is most likely caused by deposition of atmospheric H2O ice and a set of unusual conditions makes the quantification of this transport flux using CRISM close to ideal. We calculate a ‘minimum apparent‘ amount of deposition corresponding to a thin H2O ice layer of 0.2 mm (with 70% porosity). This amount of H2O ice deposition is 0.6–6% of the total Martian atmospheric water budget. We compare our ‘minimum apparent’ quantification with previous estimates. This deposition process may also have implications for the formation and stability of the southern CO2 ice cap, and therefore play a significant role in the climate budget of modern day Mars.

  11. Thermal structure and dynamics of the Martian upper atmosphere at solar minimum from global circulation model simulations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. Moffat-Griffin

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available Simulations of the Martian upper atmosphere have been produced from a self-consistent three-dimensional numerical model of the Martian thermosphere and ionosphere, called MarTIM. It covers an altitude range of 60 km to the upper thermosphere, usually at least 250 km altitude. A radiation scheme is included that allows the main sources of energy input, EUV/UV and IR absorption by CO2 and CO, to be calculated. CO2, N2 and O are treated as the major gases in MarTIM, and are mutually diffused (though neutral chemistry is ignored. The densities of other species (the minor gases, CO, Ar, O2 and NO, are based on diffusive equilibrium above the turbopause. The ionosphere is calculated from a simple photoionisation and charge exchange routine though in this paper we will only consider the thermal and dynamic structure of the neutral atmosphere at solar minimum conditions. The semi-diurnal (2,2 migrating tide, introduced at MarTIM's lower boundary, affects the dynamics up to 130 km. The Mars Climate Database (Lewis et al., 2001 can be used as a lower boundary in MarTIM. The effect of this is to increase wind speeds in the thermosphere and to produce small-scale structures throughout the thermosphere. Temperature profiles are in good agreement with Pathfinder results. Wind velocities are slightly lower compared to analysis of MGS accelerometer data (Withers, 2003. The novel step-by-step approach of adding in new features to MarTIM has resulted in further understanding of the drivers of the Martian thermosphere.

  12. Thermal structure and dynamics of the Martian upper atmosphere at solar minimum from global circulation model simulations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. Moffat-Griffin

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available Simulations of the Martian upper atmosphere have been produced from a self-consistent three-dimensional numerical model of the Martian thermosphere and ionosphere, called MarTIM. It covers an altitude range of 60 km to the upper thermosphere, usually at least 250 km altitude. A radiation scheme is included that allows the main sources of energy input, EUV/UV and IR absorption by CO2 and CO, to be calculated. CO2, N2 and O are treated as the major gases in MarTIM, and are mutually diffused (though neutral chemistry is ignored. The densities of other species (the minor gases, CO, Ar, O2 and NO, are based on diffusive equilibrium above the turbopause. The ionosphere is calculated from a simple photoionisation and charge exchange routine though in this paper we will only consider the thermal and dynamic structure of the neutral atmosphere at solar minimum conditions. The semi-diurnal (2,2 migrating tide, introduced at MarTIM's lower boundary, affects the dynamics up to 130 km. The Mars Climate Database (Lewis et al., 2001 can be used as a lower boundary in MarTIM. The effect of this is to increase wind speeds in the thermosphere and to produce small-scale structures throughout the thermosphere. Temperature profiles are in good agreement with Pathfinder results. Wind velocities are slightly lower compared to analysis of MGS accelerometer data (Withers, 2003. The novel step-by-step approach of adding in new features to MarTIM has resulted in further understanding of the drivers of the Martian thermosphere.

  13. The responses of an anaerobic microorganism, Yersinia intermedia MASE-LG-1 to individual and combined simulated Martian stresses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bohmeier, Maria; Perras, Alexandra K.; Schwendner, Petra; Rabbow, Elke; Moissl-Eichinger, Christine; Cockell, Charles S.; Pukall, Rüdiger; Vannier, Pauline; Marteinsson, Viggo T.; Monaghan, Euan P.; Ehrenfreund, Pascale; Garcia-Descalzo, Laura; Gómez, Felipe; Malki, Moustafa; Amils, Ricardo; Gaboyer, Frédéric; Westall, Frances; Cabezas, Patricia; Walter, Nicolas; Rettberg, Petra

    2017-01-01

    The limits of life of aerobic microorganisms are well understood, but the responses of anaerobic microorganisms to individual and combined extreme stressors are less well known. Motivated by an interest in understanding the survivability of anaerobic microorganisms under Martian conditions, we investigated the responses of a new isolate, Yersinia intermedia MASE-LG-1 to individual and combined stresses associated with the Martian surface. This organism belongs to an adaptable and persistent genus of anaerobic microorganisms found in many environments worldwide. The effects of desiccation, low pressure, ionizing radiation, varying temperature, osmotic pressure, and oxidizing chemical compounds were investigated. The strain showed a high tolerance to desiccation, with a decline of survivability by four orders of magnitude during a storage time of 85 days. Exposure to X-rays resulted in dose-dependent inactivation for exposure up to 600 Gy while applied doses above 750 Gy led to complete inactivation. The effects of the combination of desiccation and irradiation were additive and the survivability was influenced by the order in which they were imposed. Ionizing irradiation and subsequent desiccation was more deleterious than vice versa. By contrast, the presence of perchlorates was not found to significantly affect the survival of the Yersinia strain after ionizing radiation. These data show that the organism has the capacity to survive and grow in physical and chemical stresses, imposed individually or in combination that are associated with Martian environment. Eventually it lost its viability showing that many of the most adaptable anaerobic organisms on Earth would be killed on Mars today. PMID:29069099

  14. Generalizing quasinormality

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John Cossey

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Quasinormal subgroups have been studied for nearly 80 years. In finite groups, questions concerning them invariably reduce to p-groups, and here they have the added interest of being invariant under projectivities, unlike normal subgroups. However, it has been shown recently that certain groups, constructed by Berger and Gross in 1982, of an important universal nature with regard to the existence of core-free quasinormal subgroups gener- ally, have remarkably few such subgroups. Therefore in order to overcome this misfortune, a generalization of the concept of quasi- normality will be defined. It could be the beginning of a lengthy undertaking. But some of the initial findings are encouraging, in particular the fact that this larger class of subgroups also remains invariant under projectivities of finite p-groups, thus connecting group and subgroup lattice structures.

  15. General report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nicklisch, F.

    1984-01-01

    Growing complexity of technical matter has meant that technical expertise is called upon in more and more legal proceedings. The technical expert is, in general terms, the mediator between technology and the law, he is also entrusted with the task of pointing up the differences in approach and in the nature of authority in these two areas and thus paving the way for mutual understanding. The evaluation of the technical expert's opinion is one of the cardinal problems bound up with the role of the expert in legal procedure. After the presentation of the expert's opinion, the judge is supposed to possess so much specialised knowledge that he can assess the opinion itself in scientific and technical respects and put his finger on any errors the expert may have made. This problem can only be solved via an assessment opinion. First of all, the opinion can be assessed indirectly via evaluation of the credentials and the neutrality and independence of the expert. In direct terms, the opinion can be subjected to a certain - albeit restricted - scrutiny, whether it is generally convincing, as far as the layman is competent to judge. This interpretation alone makes it possible to classify and integrate legally the technical standards and regulations represent expert statements on the scientific and technical theorems based on the knowledge and experience gained in a given area. They are designed to reflect prevailing opinion among leading representatives of the profession and can thus themselves be regarded as expert opinions. As a rule, these opinions will have such weight that - other than in exceptional cases - they will not be invalidated in procedure by deviating opinions from individual experts. (orig./HSCH) [de

  16. Effect of non-equilibrium flow chemistry on the heating distribution over the MESUR forebody during a Martian entry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Yih-Kang

    1992-01-01

    Effect of flow field properties on the heating distribution over a 140 deg blunt cone was determined for a Martian atmosphere using Euler, Navier-Stokes (NS), viscous shock layer (VSL), and reacting boundary layer (BLIMPK) equations. The effect of gas kinetics on the flow field and the surface heating distribution were investigated. Gas models with nine species and nine reactions were implemented into the codes. Effects of surface catalysis on the heating distribution were studied using a surface kinetics model having five reactions.

  17. Realization of a collection of reference minerals to develop a technique for in situ dating of the Martian rocks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cattani, F.; Gillot, P. Y.; Hildenbrand, A.; Quidelleur, X.; Courtade, F.; Boukari, C.; Lefevre, J. C.

    2017-12-01

    Absolute dating within ± 20% is needed to check and to calibrate the relative Martian chronology presently available. For that purpose, a K-Ar dating system has been developed to experiment the feasibility of such dating in future landing planetary missions. It consists in a laser ablation-based system built to vaporize a reproducible volume of rock. Potassium content is measured by laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) and argon by quadrupole mass spectrometry (QMS). Improvements of LIBS acquisition (optimization of optics part and normalization by total intensity spectrum) and QMS calibration (by reproducible known amount of argon) have been achieved. In addition, we have test the determination of ablated mass from volume measurement performed by profilometry technique. Instrument calibration for Martian analyses requires terrestrial analogues to determine the most suitable analytical conditions. For that purpose, total chemistry, electron microprobe analyses, flame absorption spectrometry and mass spectrometry have been performed in order to qualify stoichiometry, mineralogy, K concentration and Ar content from a collection of old terrestrial rocks. These analyses coupled with those published have helped to select 14 mineral phases (e.g. feldspars) showing a large range of K content (0.15 - 11%). The objective is to calibrate the LIBS on different geological material with Mars-like %K values ( 0.4%), and assess the detection limit of the LIBS with extreme %K values. All these mineral phases display a K-Ar age older than 260 Ma. Hence, the content of radiogenic Ar atoms per gram is within the range of Martian samples (on the order of 1 Ga for 0.4 %K). Furthermore, the ablated mass is estimated by measurement of Ar extracted from an analogue mineral of known amount of radiogenic Ar content per gram. This quantification is then compared with the mass estimated from the volume measured by profilometry technique. Finally, it provides a well

  18. Astrobiological Significance of Definitive Mineralogical Analysis of Martian Surface Samples Using the CheMin XRD/XRF Instrument

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feldman, S. M.; Blake, D. F.; Sarrazin, P.; Bish, D. L.; Chipera, S. J.; Vaniman, D. T.; Collins, S.

    2004-01-01

    The search for evidence of habitability, or of extant or extinct life on Mars, will initially be a search for evidence of past or present conditions supportive of life. The three key requirements for the emergence of life are thought to be liquid water; a suitable energy source; and chemical building blocks. CheMin is a miniaturized XRD/XRF (X-Ray diffraction / X-ray fluorescence) instrument which has been developed for definitive mineralogic analysis of soils and rocks on the Martian surface. The CheMin instrument can provide information that is highly relevant to each of these habitability requirements as summarized below.

  19. The Licancabur Project: Exploring the Limits of Life in the Highest Lake on Earth as an Analog to Martian Paleolakes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cabrol, N. A.; Grin, E. A.; McKay, C. P.; Friedmann, I.; Diaz, G. Chong; Demergasso, C.; Kisse, K.; Grigorszky, I.; Friedmann, R. Ocampo; Hock, A.

    2003-01-01

    The Licancabur volcano (6017 m) hosts the highest and one of the least explored lakes in the world in its summit crater. It is located 22 deg.50 min. South / 67 deg.53 min. West at the boundary of Chile and Bolivia in the High-Andes. In a freezing environment, the lake located in volcano-tectonic environment combines low-oxygen, low atmospheric pressure due to altitude, and high-UV radiation (see table). However, its bottom water temperature remains above 0 C year-round. These conditions make Licancabur a unique analog to Martian paleolakes considered high-priority sites for the search for life on Mars.

  20. Thermal infrared properties of the Martian atmosphere 4. Predictions of the presence of dust and ice clouds from Viking IRTM spectral measurements

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hunt, G.E.

    1979-01-01

    In this paper we investigate the response of the Martian atmosphere at the wavelengths measured by the Viking infrared thermal mapper instrument (IRTM) to the presence of varying amounts of dust and water ice clouds. A detailed radiative transfer study is represented to show that these IRTM measurements at channels centered at 7, 9, 11, and 20 μm may be used to differentiate between the presence of dust and water ice clouds in the Martian atmosphere. They show further that these measurements may also be used to provide some information on the structure of the lower atmosphere. The use of the IRTM measurements in the manner we describe can provide information associated with the thermal characteristics of Martian dust storms

  1. Halite as a Methane Sequestration Host: A Possible Explanation for Periodic Methane Release on Mars, and a Surface-accessible Source of Ancient Martian Carbon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fries, M. D.; Steele, Andrew; Hynek, B. M.

    2015-01-01

    We present the hypothesis that halite may play a role in methane sequestration on the martian surface. In terrestrial examples, halite deposits sequester large volumes of methane and chloromethane. Also, examples of chloromethane-bearing, approximately 4.5 Ga old halite from the Monahans meteorite show that this system is very stable unless the halite is damaged. On Mars, methane may be generated from carbonaceous material trapped in ancient halite deposits and sequestered. The methane may be released by damaging its halite host; either by aqueous alteration, aeolian abrasion, heating, or impact shock. Such a scenario may help to explain the appearance of short-lived releases of methane on the martian surface. The methane may be of either biogenic or abiogenic origin. If this scenario plays a significant role on Mars, then martian halite deposits may contain samples of organic compounds dating to the ancient desiccation of the planet, accessible at the surface for future sample return missions.

  2. Viking landing sites, remote-sensing observations, and physical properties of Martian surface materials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, H.J.; Jakosky, B.M.

    1989-01-01

    Important problems that confront future scientific exploration of Mars include the physical properties of Martian surface materials and the geologic processes that formed the materials. The design of landing spacecraft, roving vehicles, and sampling devices and the selection of landing sites, vehicle traverses, and sample sites will be, in part, guided by the physical properties of the materials. Four materials occur in the sample fields of the Viking landers: (1) drift, (2) crusty to cloddy, (3) blocky, and (4) rock. The first three are soillike. Drift materials is weak, loose, and porous. We estimate that it has a dielectric constant near 2.4 and a thermal inertia near 1 ?? 10-3 to 3 ?? 10-3 (cal cm-2 sec 1 2 K-1) because of its low bulk density, fine grain size, and small cohesion. Crusty to cloddy material is expected to have a dielectric constant near 2.8 and a thermal inertia near 4 ?? 10-3 to 7 ?? 10-3 because of its moderate bulk density and cementation of grains. Blocky material should have a dielectric constant near 3.3 and a thermal inertia near 7 ?? 10-3 to 9 ?? 10-3 because of its moderate bulk density and cementation. Common basaltic rocks have dielectric constans near 8 and thermal inertias near 30 ?? 10-3 to 60 ?? 10-3. Comparisons of estimated dielectric constants and thermal inertias of the materials at the landing sites with those obtained remotely by Earth-based radars and Viking Orbiter thermal sensors suggest that the materials at the landing sites are good analogs for materials elsewhere on Mars. Correlation of remotely estimated dielectric constant and thermal inertias indicates two modal values for paired values of dielectric constants and thermal inertias near (A) 2 and 2 ?? 10-3 and (B) 3 and 6 ?? 10-3, respectively. These two modes are comparable to the dielectric constants and thermal inertias for drift and crusty to cloddy material, respectively. Dielectric constants and thermal inertias for blocky material are larger but conistent

  3. Spectral characterization of volcanic rocks in the VIS-NIR for martian exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Angelis, Simone; Carli, Cristian; Manzari, Paola; De Sanctis, Maria Cristina; Capaccioni, Fabrizio

    2016-10-01

    Igneous effusive rocks cover much of the surface of Mars [1,2,3]. Initially only two types of lithologies were thought to constitute the Martian crust, i.e. a basaltic one and a more andesitic one [1,2], while more evolved lithologies were ruled out.Nevertheless a more complex situation is appearing in the last years. Recently several observations have highlighted the presence of evolved, acidic rocks. High-silica dacite units were identified in Syrtis Major caldera by thermal IR data [4]. Outcrops in Noachis Terra were interpreted as constituted of felsic (i.e. feldspar-rich) rocks essentially by the observation of a 1.3-µm spectral feature in CRISM data, attributed to Fe2+ in feldspars [5]. However different interpretations exist, invoking plagioclase-enriched basalts [6] rather than felsic products.The increasing of high-resolution and in-situ rover-based observations datasets and the changing of the initial paradigm justify a new systematic spectral study of igneous effusive rocks. In this work we focus on the spectral characterization of volcanic effusive rocks in the 0.35-2.5-µm range. We are carrying out measurements and spectral analyses on a wide ensemble of effusive samples, from mafic to sialic, with variable alkali contents, following the classification in the Total-Alkali-Silica diagram, and discussing the influence on spectral characteristics of different mineral assemblages and/or texture ([7], [8]). [1] Bandfield J.L., et al., Science, 287, 1626, 2000; [2] Christensen P.R., et al., J. Geophys. Res., 105, N.E4, 9609-9621, 2000; [3] Ehlmann B.L. & Edwards C.S., Annu. Rev. Earth Planet. Sci., 42, 291-315, 2014; [4] Christensen P.R., et al., Nature, 436, 504-509, 2005; [5] Wray J.J., et al., 44th LPSC, abs. n.3065, 2013; [6] Rogers A.D. & Nekvasil H., Geophys. Res. Lett., 42, 2619-2626, 2015; [7] Carli C. and Sgavetti M.,Icarus, 211, 1034-1048, 2011; [7] Carli C. et al., SGL, doi 10.1144/SP401.19, 2015.

  4. Experimental Investigation of Adsorption Kinetics: Implications for Diurnals Variations of Martian Atmospheric Water.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slank, R.; Farris, H. N.; Chevrier, V.

    2017-12-01

    Introduction: Ice at Mars' equatorial regions is unstable at geologically short timescales, due to factors like thermal properties of the regolith and depth [1]. The distribution of ice is governed by thermodynamics and kinetics, which largely depends on diffusive and adsorptive properties of the regolith [2] and are studied through simulation experiments on regolith analogs. Numerical models of water ice stability [3] often require kinetic parameters that are lacking for Mars relevant materials. Previous measurements were limited to clays [4] or did not account for temperature dependence [5]. Method: Measurements of input parameters are performed for different regoliths relevant to observations of the Martian surface: smectite, basalt, JSC-Mars 1, and nanophase ferric oxides [6]. While diffusive properties of some of these materials are well understood [7; 1; 8; 9], we seek to determine adsorption parameters, specifically the temperature dependencies for kinetics. Adsorption kinetic constants are derived from the change in mass of water adsorbed as a function of time on a thin layer ( 1mm thick) of regolith, resulting in minimum diffusion and maximum surface in contact with the atmosphere. The samples are baked for 24 hours at 100°C and then sealed in a desiccators placed in a freezer to cool the sample. All experiments are run in the Aries Mars Simulation Chamber. The chamber is evacuated to less that 1 mbar, filled with dry CO2 gas to atmospheric pressure, and chilled to the determined temperature. Once conditions are stable, the sample is measured and placed in the chamber. The sample is then exposed to a 6 mbar CO2 atmosphere at various temperatures (-12 to 3°C) and humidities (5 to 80%). Experiments are run for 4 to 8 hours, to allow the sample to reach steady state. During this time, mass, pressure, temperature, relative humidity, and water vapor pressure are recorded. References: [1] Beck, P. et al. (2010) JGR 115. [2] Chevrier, V.F. et al. (2008) Icarus

  5. Are terrestrial plumes from motionless plates analogues to Martian plumes feeding the giant shield volcanoes?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyzen, Christine; Massironi, Matteo; Pozzobon, Riccardo; Dal Zilio, Luca

    2014-05-01

    mantle roots. Most of these processes are likely similar to those observed on Martian giant shield volcanoes. The goal of this presentation will be to describe the essential characteristics of intra-oceanic plumes on slow moving plates on the Earth and to point out their similarities with those of the large shield volcanoes from the Tharsis region.

  6. Adsorption of methane and CO2 onto olivine surfaces in Martian dust conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Escamilla-Roa, Elizabeth; Martin-Torres, Javier; Sainz-Díaz, C. Ignacio

    2018-04-01

    Methane has been detected on all planets of our Solar System, and most of the larger moons, as well as in dwarf-planets like Pluto and Eric. The presence of this molecule in rocky planets is very interesting because its presence in the Earth's atmosphere is mainly related to biotic processes. Space instrumentation in orbiters around Mars has detected olivine on the Martian soil and dust. On the other hand the measurements of methane from the Curiosity rover report detection of background levels of atmospheric methane with abundance that is lower than model estimates of ultraviolet degradation of accreted interplanetary dust particles or carbonaceous chondrite material. Additionally, elevated levels of methane about this background have been observed implying that Mars is episodically producing methane from an additional unknown source, making the reasons of these temporal fluctuations of methane a hot topic in planetary research. The goal of this study is to investigate at atomic level the interactions during the adsorption processes of methane and other Mars atmospheric species (CO2, H2O) on forsterite surfaces, through electronic structure calculations based on the Density Functional Theory (DFT). We propose two models to simulate the interaction of adsorbates with the surface of dust mineral, such as binary mixtures (5CH4+5H2O/5CH4+5CO2) and as a semi-clathrate adsorption. We have obtained interesting results of the adsorption process in the mixture 5CH4+5CO2. Associative and dissociative adsorptions were observed for water and CO2 molecules. The methane molecules were only trapped and held by water or CO2 molecules. In the dipolar surface, the adsorption of CO2 molecules produced new species: one CO from a CO2 dissociation, and, two CO2 molecules chemisorbed to mineral surface forming in one case a carbonate group. Our results suggest that CO2 has a strong interaction with the mineral surface when methane is present. These results could be confirmed after the

  7. Atmospheric Structure and Diurnal Variations at Low Altitudes in the Martian Tropics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hinson, David P.; Spiga, A.; Lewis, S.; Tellmann, S.; Pätzold, M.; Asmar, S.; Häusler, B.

    2013-10-01

    We are using radio occultation measurements from Mars Express, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, and Mars Global Surveyor to characterize the diurnal cycle in the lowest scale height above the surface. We focus on northern spring and summer, using observations from 4 Martian years at local times of 4-5 and 15-17 h. We supplement the observations with results obtained from large-eddy simulations and through data assimilation by the UK spectral version of the LMD Mars Global Circulation Model. We previously investigated the depth of the daytime convective boundary layer (CBL) and its variations with surface elevation and surface properties. We are now examining unusual aspects of the temperature structure observed at night. Most important, predawn profiles in the Tharsis region contain an unexpected layer of neutral static stability at pressures of 200-300 Pa with a depth of 4-5 km. The mixed layer is bounded above by a midlevel temperature inversion and below by another strong inversion adjacent to the surface. The narrow temperature minimum at the base of the midlevel inversion suggests the presence of a water ice cloud layer, with the further implication that radiative cooling at cloud level can induce convective activity at lower altitudes. Conversely, nighttime profiles in Amazonis show no sign of a midlevel inversion or a detached mixed layer. These regional variations in the nighttime temperature structure appear to arise in part from large-scale variations in topography, which have several notable effects. First, the CBL is much deeper in the Tharsis region than in Amazonis, owing to a roughly 6-km difference in surface elevation. Second, large-eddy simulations show that daytime convection is not only deeper above Tharsis but also considerably more intense than it is in Amazonis. Finally, the daytime surface temperatures are comparable in the two regions, so that Tharsis acts as an elevated heat source throughout the CBL. These topographic effects are expected to

  8. Investigating Deliquescence of Mars-like Soils from the Atacama Desert and Implications for Liquid Water Near the Martian Surface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Alstyne, A. M.; Tolbert, M. A.; Gough, R. V.; Primm, K.

    2017-12-01

    Recent images obtained from orbiters have shown that the Martian surface is more dynamic than previously thought. These images, showing dark features that resemble flowing water near the surface, have called into question the habitability of the Mars today. Recurring slope lineae (RSL), or the dark features seen in these images, are characterized as narrow, dark streaks that form and grow in the warm season, fade in the cold season, and recur seasonally. It is widely hypothesized that the movement of liquid water near the surface is what causes the appearance of RSL. However, the origin of the water and the potential for water to be stable near the surface is a question of great debate. Here, we investigate the potential for stable or metastable liquid water via deliquescence and efflorescence. The deliquescent properties of salts from the Atacama Desert, a popular terrestrial analog for Martian environments, were investigated using a Raman microscope outfitted with an environmental cell. The salts were put under Mars-relevant conditions and spectra were obtained to determine the presence or absence of liquid phases. The appearance of liquid phases under Mars-relevant conditions would demonstrate that liquid water could be available to cause or play a role in the formations of RSL.

  9. Mimicking Martian dust: An in-vacuum dust deposition system for testing the ultraviolet sensors on the Curiosity rover

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sobrado, J. M.; Martín-Soler, J.; Martín-Gago, J. A.

    2015-01-01

    We have designed and developed an in-vacuum dust deposition system specifically conceived to simulate and study the effect of accumulation of Martian dust on the electronic instruments of scientific planetary exploration missions. We have used this device to characterize the dust effect on the UV sensor of the Rover Environmental Monitoring Station in the Mars science Laboratory mission of NASA in similar conditions to those found on Mars surface. The UV sensor includes six photodiodes for measuring the radiation in all UV wavelengths (direct incidence and reflected); it is placed on the body of Curiosity rover and it is severely affected by the dust deposited on it. Our experimental setup can help to estimate the duration of reliable reading of this instrument during operation. We have used an analogous of the Martian dust in chemical composition (magnetic species), color, and density, which has been characterized by X-ray spectroscopy. To ensure a Brownian motion of the dust during its fall and a homogeneous coverage on the instrumentation, the operating conditions of the vacuum vessel, determined by partial pressures and temperature, have to be modified to account for the different gravities of Mars with respect to Earth. We propose that our designed device and operational protocol can be of interest to test optoelectronic instrumentation affected by the opacity of dust, as can be the degradation of UV photodiodes in planetary exploration

  10. The Development of 3d Sub-Surface Mapping Scheme and its Application to Martian Lobate Debris Aprons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baik, H.; Kim, J.

    2017-07-01

    The Shallow Subsurface Radar (SHARAD), a sounding radar equipped on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), has produced highly valuable information about the Martian subsurface. In particular, the complicated substructures of Mars such as polar deposit, pedestal crater and the other geomorphic features involving possible subsurface ice body has been successfully investigated by SHARAD. In this study, we established a 3D subsurface mapping strategy employing the multiple SHARAD profiles. A number of interpretation components of SHARAD signals were integrated into a subsurface mapping scheme using radargram information and topographic data, then applied over a few mid latitude Lobate Debris Aprons (LDAs). From the identified subsurface layers of LDA, and the GIS data base incorporating the other interpretation outcomes, we are expecting to trace the origin of LDAs. Also, the subsurface mapping scheme developed in this study will be further applied to other interesting Martian geological features such as inter crater structures, aeolian deposits and fluvial sediments. To achieve higher precision sub-surface mapping, the clutter simulation employing the high resolution topographic data and the upgraded clustering algorithms assuming multiple sub-surface layers will be also developed.

  11. Mimicking Martian dust: An in-vacuum dust deposition system for testing the ultraviolet sensors on the Curiosity rover

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sobrado, J. M., E-mail: sobradovj@inta.es; Martín-Soler, J. [Centro de Astrobiología (CAB), INTA-CSIC, Torrejón de Ardoz, 28850 Madrid (Spain); Martín-Gago, J. A. [Centro de Astrobiología (CAB), INTA-CSIC, Torrejón de Ardoz, 28850 Madrid (Spain); Instituto de Ciencias de Materiales de Madrid (ICMM–CSIC), Cantoblanco, 28049 Madrid (Spain)

    2015-10-15

    We have designed and developed an in-vacuum dust deposition system specifically conceived to simulate and study the effect of accumulation of Martian dust on the electronic instruments of scientific planetary exploration missions. We have used this device to characterize the dust effect on the UV sensor of the Rover Environmental Monitoring Station in the Mars science Laboratory mission of NASA in similar conditions to those found on Mars surface. The UV sensor includes six photodiodes for measuring the radiation in all UV wavelengths (direct incidence and reflected); it is placed on the body of Curiosity rover and it is severely affected by the dust deposited on it. Our experimental setup can help to estimate the duration of reliable reading of this instrument during operation. We have used an analogous of the Martian dust in chemical composition (magnetic species), color, and density, which has been characterized by X-ray spectroscopy. To ensure a Brownian motion of the dust during its fall and a homogeneous coverage on the instrumentation, the operating conditions of the vacuum vessel, determined by partial pressures and temperature, have to be modified to account for the different gravities of Mars with respect to Earth. We propose that our designed device and operational protocol can be of interest to test optoelectronic instrumentation affected by the opacity of dust, as can be the degradation of UV photodiodes in planetary exploration.

  12. Nonlinear MHD waves and discontinuities in the Martian magnetosheath. Observations and 2D bi-ion MHD simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sauer, K.; Dubinin, E.; Baumgärtel, K.

    1998-09-01

    The characteristic scale of the Martian magnetosheath is less than the pick-up gyroradius of oxygen ions. This leads to admissible differential motion of protons and heavies and a strong coupling between both ion fluids. 2D bi-ion MHD simulations reveal many new interesting features in such Large Larmour Radius systems. The formation of an ion-composition boundary, which separates both plasmas, and structuring of the transition from proton dominated plasma of the solar wind origin to massive planetary plasma are the main features of the interaction. A comprehensive multi-instrument study of Martian plasma environment and the comparison with theoretical modelling initiated in the framework of the Visiting Science Programme of the International Space Science Institute (ISSI) in Bern (Switzerland) gives confirmation that Mars interacts with the solar wind like a comet which has a outgassing rate near to that of Grigg-Skjellerup. The results may also be relevant for small bodies which are surrounded by a neutral gas atmosphere (icy moons, asteroids, Mercury).

  13. Reply to comment "On the hydrogen escape: Comment to variability of the hydrogen in the Martian upper atmosphere as simulated by a 3D atmosphere-exosphere coupling by J.-Y. Chaufray et al." by V. Krasnopolsky, Icarus, 281, 262

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaufray, J.-Y.; Gonzalez-Galindo, F.; Forget, F.; Lopez-Valverde, M.; Leblanc, F.; Modolo, R.; Hess, S.

    2018-02-01

    Krasnopolsky (2017) makes a careful review of our recent results about the Martian hydrogen content of the Martian upper atmosphere (Chaufray et al., 2015). We comment here on his two major points. First, he suggests that the non-thermal escape of H2, and particularly collisions with hot oxygen, not taken into account in our general circulation model (GCM), should modify our reported H2 and H density profiles. This is an important issue; we acknowledge that future effective coupling of our GCM with comprehensive models of the Martian solar wind interaction, ideally after being validated with the latest plasma observations of H2+, would allow for better estimations of the relative importance of the H2 non-thermal and thermal escape processes. For the time being we need assumptions in the GCM, with proper and regular updates. According to a recent and detailed study of the anisotropic elastic and inelastic collision cross sections between O and H2 (Gacesa et al., 2012), the escape rates used by Krasnopolsky (2010) for this process might be overestimated. We therefore do not include non thermal escape of H2 in the model. And secondly, in response to Krasnopolsky's comment on the H escape variability with the solar cycle, we revised our calculations and found a small bug in the computation of the Jeans effusion velocity. Our revised computed H escape rates are included here. They have a small impact on our key conclusions: similar seasonal variations, a reduced variation with the solar cycle but still larger than Krasnopolsky (2017), and again a hydrogen scape systematically lower than the diffusion-limited flux. This bug does not affect the latest Mars Climate Database v5.2.

  14. Experimental Investigation of InSight HP3 Mole Interaction with Martian Regolith Simulant. Quasi-Static and Dynamic Penetration Testing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marshall, Jason P.; Hudson, Troy L.; Andrade, José E.

    2017-10-01

    The InSight mission launches in 2018 to characterize several geophysical quantities on Mars, including the heat flow from the planetary interior. This quantity will be calculated by utilizing measurements of the thermal conductivity and the thermal gradient down to 5 meters below the Martian surface. One of the components of InSight is the Mole, which hammers into the Martian regolith to facilitate these thermal property measurements. In this paper, we experimentally investigated the effect of the Mole's penetrating action on regolith compaction and mechanical properties. Quasi-static and dynamic experiments were run with a 2D model of the 3D cylindrical mole. Force resistance data was captured with load cells. Deformation information was captured in images and analyzed using Digitial Image Correlation (DIC). Additionally, we used existing approximations of Martian regolith thermal conductivity to estimate the change in the surrounding granular material's thermal conductivity due to the Mole's penetration. We found that the Mole has the potential to cause a high degree of densification, especially if the initial granular material is relatively loose. The effect on the thermal conductivity from this densification was found to be relatively small in first-order calculations though more complete thermal models incorporating this densification should be a subject of further investigation. The results obtained provide an initial estimate of the Mole's impact on Martian regolith thermal properties.

  15. Measurements in interplanetary space and in the Martian upper atmosphere with a hydrogen absorption-cell spectrophotometer for Lα-radiation on-board Mars 4 - 7 spaceprobes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Babichenko, S.I.; Deregusov, E.V.; Kurt, V.G.; Romanova, N.N.; Skljankin, V.A.; Smirnov, A.S.; Bertaux, J.J.; Blamont, J.

    1977-01-01

    An ultraviolet spectrophotometer UFS-2, designed to measure radiation of atomic hydrogen in the Lα-line, was installed onboard the interplanetary Mars 4 - 7 spaceprobes launched in August 1973. The absorption cell which was used for the first time outside the hydrogen geocorona allowed direct temperature measurements of neutral interstellar hydrogen near the Sun and in the upper Martian atmosphere. (Auth.)

  16. A Parent Magma for the Nakhla Martian Meteorite: Reconciliation of Estimates from 1-Bar Experiments, Magmatic Inclusions in Olivine, and Magmatic Inclusions in Augite

    Science.gov (United States)

    Treiman, Allan H.; Goodrich, Cyrena Anne

    2001-01-01

    The composition of the parent magma for the Nakhla (martian) meteorite has been estimated from mineral-melt partitioning and from magmatic inclusions in olivine and in augite. These independent lines of evidence have converged on small range of likely compositions. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  17. Layering extraction from subsurface radargrams over Greenland and the Martian NPLD by combining wavelet analysis with Hough transforms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiong, Si-Ting; Muller, Jan-Peter

    2017-04-01

    Extracting lines from an imagery is a solved problem in the field of edge detection. Different to images taken by camera, radargrams are a set of radar echo profiles, which record wave energy reflected by subsurface reflectors, at each location of a radar footprint along the satellite's ground track. The radargrams record where there is a dielectric contrast caused by different deposits, and other subsurface features, such as facies, and internal distributions like porosity and fluids. Among the subsurface features, layering is an important one which reflect the sequence of seasonal or yearly deposits on the ground [1-2]. In the field of image processing, line detection methods, such as the Radon Transform or Hough Transform, are able to extract these subsurface layers from rasterised versions of the echograms. However, due to the attenuation of radar waves whilst propagating through geological media, radargrams sometimes suffer from gradient and high background noise. These attributes of radargrams cause errors in detection when conventional line detection methods are directly applied. In this study, we have developed a continuous wavelet analysis technique to be applied directly to the radar echo profiles in a radargram in order to detect segmented lines, and then a conventional line detection method, such as a Hough transform can be applied to con