NEEP602 Course Notes (Fall 1996)
Resources from Space

Lecture #15: Another Ecological Niche!

Title: Resources of Mars

Figure: Mars Base (NASA Art)
Table: Limits of Habitability (McKay, 1991)
Table: Resource Use by a Mars Base (Meyer, and Mckay,1989)



* Lunar differences based on Mariner and Viking photography and analyses
* atmosphere present, but variable over time (Haberle, 1993)
* water ice at the poles and crustal ice at latitudes >35o (See Carr, 1984, and Cave, 1993)
* water sorted material very probable, including mineral concentrations based on density (Komatsu, et al., 1993)
* atmospheric protection from micrometeorites and from solar wind particles (except near the zenith)
* craters less than 30m in diameter are absent
* Martian "regolith" highly variable mixtures of coarse rock debris (vesicular lavas, dense lavas, and breccias at the Viking lander sites), sorted fine material, and wind-blown dust.
Figure: General views of the Viking landing sites (NASA photos)

* soil less dense and more porous than lunar regolith
* density 1.4-1.6 versus 1.9 for lunar regolith
* porosity about 60% versus about 25%

* arguments and evidence for clay minerals at the surface
* The chemistry of the soils analyzed by Viking suggest that the soil has been produced by palogonitic weathering of iron rich silicate and include poorly crystalline, Fe+-rich gels, containing nanophase ferric oxide (Stoker, et al., 1993).
* Actual clay minerals, such as iron rich montmorillonites, could be up to 15% and not be detected by present spectral techniques.
* Spectral studies also indicate some water bound in mineral crystal structures.
* Weathering near freezing 105 slower than on Earth Burns and Fisher, 1993).
* Soils also include minor sulfates, carbonates and oxides (Stoker, et al., 1993).

* wind sorting of surface material, including dust deposits
* very low density dune deposits with very low bearing strength (no micrometeorite tamping

* evidence of surface crusts ("duricrust") due to chemical precipitation
* possibly Mg,Na sulfates, Ca, Mg, Fe carbonates, and Na chlorides salts (Stoker, et al., 1993)
* modeling of spectral data indicates that atmospheric dust may include 0-3% carbonate and 10-15% sulfate-bearing compounds.

* soils appear to be oxidizing (1-10 ppb of reacting oxidants) rather than reducing (NASA, 1988)
* Model Martian Soil Composition (Stoker, et al., 1993)
* Silicate minerals 84-79%
* Magnetic minerals 3%
* Sulfate salts 12%
* Chloride salts 1%
* Carbonates 0-4%
* Nitrates 0-1%
* Water (may be much higher) >1%

* crustal carbonates are indicated by some of the Martian meteorites collected from the ice in Antarctica

* Non-metallic materials available for Martian construction
* Regolith cover for insulation and zenith radiation protection
* Road aggregate from naturally sorted materials
* Sintered structural materials
* Solar cell material
* Clay minerals for ceramics
* Plant growth medium (probably consistent planet-wide)

* Metallic materials required for Martian manufacturing and operations
Table: Analysis of soils at Viking landing sites (Carr, et al., 1984) Page 57

* Iron and nickel from meteorite debris in regolith
* Nickel and Cobalt
* Platinum Group, Ge, Re, and other siderophile elements, e.g. Au
* Titanium from ilmenite in basaltic regolith
* Oxygen and iron can be by-products
* Aluminum from CaAl2Si2O8 (anorthite, is probably the dominant mineral in the Martian cratered highlands), from Na4Al3Si9O24Cl-Ca4Al6Si6O24(CO3,SO4) (scapolite), and/or from clay minerals
* Silicon (Aluminum)
* Oxygen
* Sodium
* Potassium
* Chlorine
* Carbon
* Cr2O3 from (Fe,Mg)(Cr,Al,Ti)2O4 (spinel in basalt)

* MgO from (Mg,Fe)2SiO4 (olivine) in basalt

* Other useful elements

* P2O5 in phosphate minerals in Martian "KREEP"
* Na2O and K2O in Martian "KREEP"
* Rare Earth Elements, Hf, and Zr concentrated in Martian "KREEP" or related materials
* Indigenous volatiles
* water and derived hydrogen and oxygen from the atmosphere, permafrost, ice, and clays
Table: Average composition of the atmosphere (Carr, et al., 1984) page 48

* Carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and carbonates
* CO2 and CH4 (hydrogen initially from lunar or terrestrial sources) from the atmosphere could be particularly important as a propulsion components even on early exploration missions (Zubrin and Baker, 1991).
* methane produce by the well known industrial reaction:
CO2+4H2 = CH4+2H2O
* exothermic and spontaneous with a nickel catalyst with 99% first pass conversion
* oxygen can be produced, and some hydrogen recovered and recycled, by electrolysis
* in total, hydrogen can be converted to methane/oxygen bipropellant in the ratio of 1:12.

* Chlorine and fluorine from pyroclastics and volcanic hot spring deposits
* * copper, zinc, lead, precious metals, etc.
* Sulfur from FeS (troilite) in basaltic regolith and from volcanic fumerole deposits

* Unknown from soil crusts

* Hydrocarbon compounds depending on the existence and extent of early life and present life forms
* evidence for life forms at the Viking lander sites "not" present (Horowitz, 1988) or low concentrations of lichen-like forms are a possibility (Levin and Straat, 1988)

* Hydrothermal deposits in volcanic regions
* As on Earth (copper, zinc, lead, manganese, precious metals, etc.)

* Mineral concentrations in layered extrusives and intrusives
* Titanium (ilmenite), chromium (chromite), iron and sulfur (troilite), Ni, Fe, and Cu sulfides



Burns, R.G., and Fisher, D.S., 1993 in Haberle, R.M., 1993, Editor, Mars Surface and Atmosphere Through Time (MSATT), Journal of Geophysical Research, v 98.

Carr, M., et al., 1984, The Geology of the Terrestrial Planets, NASA SP-469.

Cave, J.A., 1993, Ice in the Northern Lowlands, and Southern Highlands of Mars and its Enrichment Beneath the Elysium Lavas, in Haberle, R.M., 1993, Editor, Mars Surface and Atmosphere Through Time (MSATT), Journal of Geophysical Research, v 98, 11079-11097.

Haberle, R.M., 1993, Editor, Mars Surface and Atmosphere Through Time (MSATT), Journal of Geophysical Research, v 98.

Horowitz, N.H., 1998, The Biological Question of Mars, in D.B. Reiber, editor, The NASA Mars Conference, AAS Science and Technology Series, v 71, 177185.

Komatsu, G., et al., 1993, Stratigraphy and Erosional Landforms of Layered Deposits in Valles Marineris, Mars, in Haberle, R.M., 1993, Editor, Mars Surface and Atmosphere Through Time (MSATT), Journal of Geophysical Research, v 98, 11105-11121.

Levin, G.V., 1988, A Reappraisal of Life on Mars, in D.B. Reiber, editor, The NASA Mars Conference, AAS Science and Technology Series, v 71, 187-208.

Lewis, J., Matthews, M.S., and Guerrieri, M.L., 1993, Editors, Resources of Near-Earth Space, University of Arizona Press.

NASA, 1988, (to be supplied later)

McKay,C.P., et al., 1991, Making Mars Habitable, Nature, v 352, 489-496.

Meyer, T.R, and McKay, C.P., 1989, The Resources of Mars for Human Settlement, Journal of the British Interplanetary Society, v 42, 147-60.

Neal, V., et al., Extravehicular Activity in Mars Surface Exploration, Report on Advanced Extravehicular Activity Systems Requirements Definition Study, NASA-17779.

Stoker, C.R., et al., 1993, The Physical and Chemical Properties and Resource Potential of Martian Surface Soils, in Lewis, J., Matthews, M.S., and Guerrieri, M.L., Editors, Resources of Near-Earth Space, University of Arizona Press.

Sullivan, et al., 1991, Using Space Resources, NASA Johnson Space Center, 27p.

Zubrin, R.M., and Baker, D.A, 1991, Mars Direct: a simple, Robust, and Cost Effective Architecture for the Space Exploration Initiative, 29th Aerospace Sciences Meeting, January 6-10, 1991, Reno, Nevada..

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