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Mission Mars: Red Planet Mars possess ‘Ideal Conditions’ to create Oxygen from Natural Carbon Dioxide, says Study

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Mars
A study has found Mars to attain near ideal conditions for dynamically creating oxygen. Pixabay.

London, Oct 23: A study has found Mars to attain near ideal conditions for dynamically creating oxygen from atmospheric carbon dioxide with the use of plasma technology.

As stated by researchers from the University of Porto in Portugal and Ecole Polytechnique in Paris, Mars is already comprised of 96 per cent CO2 (carbon dioxide) in its atmosphere.

The PTI reported the research published in the journal Plasma Sources Science and Technology depicting the pressure and temperature ranges in the Martian atmosphere that sustains non-thermal plasma useful for effective production of oxygen.

Vaso Guerra, a researcher from the University of Lisbon in Portugal put forth his statement about their next significant steps of sending a manned mission to Mars for exploration of space. They are planning to create a substantial change by creating a breathable environment on Mars.

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Mars has a low atmospheric temperature enhancing the production of CO2. Wikimedia.

Plasma reforming of CO2 on Earth is an advancing research study, stimulated by the problems of change in climate and production of solar fuels. Plasmas at low temperature are one of the best media for CO2 deformation, where the molecule splits into oxygen and carbon monoxide combined with direct electron impact, and transfer of electron into vibrational energy.

Mars has superficial conditions for In-Situ Resource Utilisation (ISRU) through the plasma.

The cold atmosphere may stimulate high vibrational effect for producing oxygen than that achievable on Earth. The low atmospheric temperature on Mars will also enable the reaction to be slowly giving the maximum amount of time for separation of molecules.

The plasma technology decomposition method aims to offer a two output for a manned mission towards Mars. The technique would provide a stable supply of oxygen and as a source of fuel that can be used as a propellant mixture in rocket vehicles. This approach by ISRU could help in simplifying the logistics involved in space exploration by increasing self-sufficiency, decrease the risks to the crew, and reduction in expenditure for carrying out the mission.

-Prepared by Bhavana Rathi of NewsGram. Twitter @tweet_bhavana

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Mars Once had Salt Lakes Similar to the Ones on Earth

Since then, its geological terrains have recorded the history of Mars, and studies have shown Gale Crater reveals signs that liquid water was present

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Mars, Salt, Lakes
Gale Crater was formed about 3.6 billion years ago when a meteor hit Mars. Pixabay

Mars once had salt lakes similar to the ones on Earth and has gone through wet and dry periods, according to a new study.

The researchers from Texas A&M University College in the US examined Mars’ geological terrains from Gale Crater, an immense 95-mile-wide rocky basin that is being explored by the NASA Curiosity rover since 2012 as part of the MSL (Mars Science Laboratory) mission, according to the study published in the journal Nature Geoscience.

The results show that the lake, which was present in Gale Crater over three billion years ago underwent a drying episode, potentially linked to the global drying of Mars.

Gale Crater was formed about 3.6 billion years ago when a meteor hit Mars.

Mars, Salt, Lakes

The researchers from Texas A&M University College in the US examined Mars’ geological terrains from Gale Crater, an immense 95-mile-wide rocky basin that is being explored by the NASA Curiosity rover since 2012. Pixabay

“Since then, its geological terrains have recorded the history of Mars, and studies have shown Gale Crater reveals signs that liquid water was present over its history, which is a key ingredient of microbial life as we know it,” said study co-author Marion Nachon from Texas A&M University.

“During these drying periods, salt ponds eventually formed. It is difficult to say exactly how large these ponds were, but the lake in Gale Crater was present for long periods of time – from at least hundreds of years to perhaps tens of thousands of years,” Nachon said.

According to the researchers, Mars probably became drier over time, and the planet lost its planetary magnetic field, which left the atmosphere exposed to be stripped by solar wind and radiation over millions of years.

“With the atmosphere becoming thinner, the pressure at the surface became lesser, and the conditions for liquid water to be stable at the surface were not fulfilled anymore, so liquid water became unsustainable and evaporated,” Nachon said.

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The salt ponds on Mars are believed to be similar to some found on Earth, especially those in a region called Altiplano, which is near the Bolivia-Peru border.

Nachon said that the Altiplano is an arid, high-altitude plateau where rivers and streams from mountain ranges “do not flow to the sea but lead to closed basins, similar to what used to happen at Gale Crater on Mars.

“This hydrology creates lakes with water levels heavily influenced by climate. During the arid periods Altiplano lakes become shallow due to evaporation, and some even dry up entirely,” she said.

Nachon added that the study shows that the ancient lake in Gale Crater underwent at least one episode of drying before “recovering.”

Mars, Salt, Lakes
The results show that the lake, which was present in Gale Crater over three billion years ago underwent a drying episode, potentially linked to the global drying of Mars. Pixabay

It’s also possible that the lake was segmented into separate ponds, where some of the ponds could have undergone more evaporation.

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These results indicate a past Mars climate that fluctuated between wetter and drier periods, the researchers said. (IANS)