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Sample records for 29th martian day

  1. Opportunity's Travels During its First 205 Martian Days

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    This map shows the traverse of NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity through the rover's 205th martian day, or sol (Aug. 21, 2004). The background image is from the rover's descent imaging camera. Images inset along the route are from Opportunity's navigation camera. Opportunity began its exploration inside 'Eagle' crater near the left edge of the map. Following completion of its study of the outcrop there, it traversed eastward to a small crater ('Fram' crater) before driving southeastward to the rim of 'Endurance' crater. After a survey partly around the south rim of Endurance crater, Opportunity drove inside the southwest rim of Endurance crater and began a systematic study of outcrops exposed on the crater's inner slope.

  2. Spirit's Travels During its First 238 Martian Days

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    This map shows the complete traverse of NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit through the rover's 238th martian day, or sol (Sept. 3, 2004). This was shortly before the rover stopped driving for about two weeks while Mars was nearly behind the Sun from Earth's perspective. The background image consists of frames from the Mars Orbiter Camera on NASA's Mars Global Surveyor orbiter. Inset images along the route are from Spirit's navigation camera. From its landing site, Spirit drove up to the rim of 'Bonneville' crater on the far left and to the north rim of 'Missoula' crater. Then it commenced a long drive across the plains, deviating to avoid large hollows. Upon arrival at the base of the 'Columbia Hills,' Spirit drove north for a short distance before beginning its ascent onto the 'West Spur,' where it is currently located. The scale bar at lower left is 500 meters (1,640 feet). North is up.

  3. Sixty-One Martian Days of Weather Monitoring

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    The Canadian Meteorological Station on NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander tracked some changes in daily weather patterns over the first 61 Martian days of the mission (May 26 to July 22, 2008), a period covering late spring to early summer on northern Mars.

    This summary weather report notes that daily temperature ranges have changed only about 4 Celsius degrees (7 Fahrenheit degrees) since the start of the mission. The average daily high has been minus 30 degrees C (minus 22 degrees F), and the average daily low has been minus 79 degrees C (minus 110 degrees F).

    The mission has been accumulating enough wind data to recognize daily patterns, such as a change in direction between day and night, and to begin analyzing whether the patterns are driven by local factors or larger-scale movement of the atmosphere.

    The air pressure has steadily decreased. Scientists attribute this to a phenomenon on Mars that is not shared by Earth. The south polar cap of carbon dioxide ice grows during the southern winter on Mars, pulling enough carbon dioxide out of the thin atmosphere to cause a seasonal decrease in the amount of atmosphere Mars has. Most of the Martian atmosphere is carbon dioxide. This measurable dip in atmospheric pressure, even near the opposite pole, is a sign of large amounts of carbon dioxide being pulled out of the atmosphere as carbon-dioxide ice accumulates at the south pole.

    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. Chemical interactions between the present-day Martian atmosphere and surface minerals: Implications for sample return

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Prinn, Ronald; Fegley, Bruce

    1988-01-01

    Thermochemical and photochemical reactions between surface minerals and present-day atmospheric constituents are predicted to produce microscopic effects on the surface of mineral grains. Relevant reactions hypothesized in the literature include conversions of silicates and volcanic glasses to clay minerals, conversion of ferrous to ferric compounds, and formation of carbonates, nitrates, and sulfates. These types of surface-atmosphere weathering of minerals, biological potential of the surface environment, and atmospheric stability in both present and past Martian epochs. It is emphasized that the product of these reactions will be observable and interpretable on the microscopic surface layers of Martian surface rocks using modern techniques with obvious implications for sample return from Mars. Macroscopic products of chemical weathering reactions in past Martian epochs are also expected in Martian surface materials. These products are expected not only as a result of reactions similar to those proceeding today but also due to aqueous reactions in past epochs in which liquid water was putatively present. It may prove very difficult or impossible, however, to determine definitively from the relic macroscopic product alone either the exact weathering process which led to its formation of the identity of its weathering parent mineral. The enormous advantages of studying the Martian chemical weathering by investigating the microscopic products of present-day chemical reactions on sample surfaces are very apparent.

  5. Chemical interactions between the present-day Martian atmosphere and surface minerals

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Prinn, Ronald; Fegley, Bruce

    1987-01-01

    Thermochemical and photochemical reactions between surface minerals and present-day atmospheric constituents are predicted to produce microscopic effects on the surfaces of mineral grains. Relevant reactions hypothesized in the literature include conversions of silicates and volcanic glasses to clay minerals, conversion of ferrous to ferric compounds, and formation of carbonates, nitrates, and sulfates. These types of surface-atmosphere interactions are important for addressing issues such as chemical weathering of minerals, biological potential of the surface environment, and atmospheric stability in both present and past Martian epochs. It is emphasized that the product of these reactions will be observable and interpretable on the microscopic surface layers of Martian surface rocks using modern techniques with obvious implications for sample return from Mars. Macroscopic products of chemical weathering reactions in past Martian epochs are also expected in Martian surface material. These products are expected not only as a result of reactions similar to those proceeding today but also due to aqueous reactions in past epochs in which liquid water was putatively present. It may prove very difficult or impossible however to determine definitively from the relic macroscopic product alone either the exact weathering process which led to its formation or the identity of its weathered parent mineral. The enormous advantages of studying Martian chemical weathering by investigating the microscopic products of present-day chemical reactions on sample surfaces are very apparent.

  6. The 29th Aerospace Mechanisms Symposium

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schneider, William C. (Editor)

    1995-01-01

    The proceedings of the 29th Aerospace Mechanisms Symposium, which was hosted by NASA Johnson Space Center and held at the South Shore Harbour Conference Facility on May 17-19, 1995, are reported. Technological areas covered include actuators, aerospace mechanism applications for ground support equipment, lubricants, pointing mechanisms joints, bearings, release devices, booms, robotic mechanisms, and other mechanisms for spacecraft.

  7. Present-day erosion of Martian polar terrain by the seasonal CO2 jets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Portyankina, Ganna; Hansen, Candice J.; Aye, Klaus-Michael

    2017-01-01

    The High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) detected the new troughs during its campaign for seasonal monitoring of the polar areas. The newly detected dendritic troughs are small shallow branching troughs (≈ 1.4 m wide) similar to the seasonal furrows previously detected in the northern hemisphere (Bourke, 2013). The essential difference between the new troughs and furrows lies in the fact that the troughs in the south are persistent while the northern furrows are erased each Martian year by the sand movement due to summer winds. From year to year the new southern troughs extend and develop new tributaries and their overall geometry turns from linear to dendritic, a characteristic shared with araneiform terrains. We believe that furrows have the same origin as the southern dendritic troughs but do not develop into dendritic shapes because of the high mobility of the dune material into which they are carved. Several locations where new dendritic troughs are observed lie in the vicinity of dunes. This gives us an observational indication that presence of erosive sand material is an important factor in creating (or at least starting) erosive processes that lead to the formation of dendritic troughs. By extrapolation the same mechanism should be acting to create the much larger araneiform terrains. Detection of the present day erosion working in polar areas and creating new topographical features is important for understanding of the processes that shape polar areas. Several years of HiRISE observations provide us with the information about the current rate of erosion and hence help estimate minimum ages of the araneiforms and the surface into which they are carved to be 1.3 × 103 Martian years.

  8. Zonal Wave Number 2 Rossby Wave (3.5-day oscillation) Over The Martian Lower Atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ghosh, P.; Thokuluwa, R. K.

    2013-12-01

    Over the Mars, height (800-50 Pascal pressure coordinate) profiles of temperature (K), measured by radio occultation technique during the MGS (Mars Global Surveyor) mission, obtained for the period of 1-10 January 2006 at the Martian latitude of ~63N in almost all the longitudes are analyzed to study the characteristics of the 3.5-day oscillation. To avoid significant data gaps in a particular longitude sector, we selected a set of 7 Mars longitude regions with ranges of 0-30E, 35-60E, 65-95E, 190-230E, 250-280E, 290-320E, and 325-360E to study the global characteristics of the 3.5-day oscillation. The 3.5-day oscillation is not selected as a-priori but observed as a most significant oscillation during this period of 1-10 January 2006. It is observed that in the longitude of 0-30E, the 3.5-day oscillation shows statistically significant power (above the 95% confidence level white noise) from the lowest height (800 Pascal, 8 hPa) itself and up to the height of 450 Pascal level with the maximum power of ~130 K^2 at the 600 & 650 Pascal levels. It started to grow from the power of ~ 50 K^2 at the lowest height of 800 Pascal level and reached the maximum power in the height of 600-650 Pascal level and then it started to get lessened monotonously up to the height of 450 Pascal level where its power is ~ 20 K^2. Beyond this height and up to the height of 50 Pascal level, the wave amplitude is below the white noise level. As the phase of the wave is almost constant at all the height levels, it seems that the observed 3.5-day oscillation is a stationary wave with respect to the height. In the 35-60 E longitude sector, the vertical structure of the 3.5-day oscillation is similar to what observed for the 0-30 E longitude region but the power is statistically insignificant at all the heights. However in the 65-95E longitude sector, the wave grows from the lowest level (70 K^2) of 800 Pascal to its maximum power of 280 K^2 in the height of 700 Pascal level and then it started

  9. Pulmonary toxicity of simulated lunar and Martian dusts in mice: I. Histopathology 7 and 90 days after intratracheal instillation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lam, Chiu-Wing; James, John T.; McCluskey, Richard; Cowper, Shawn; Balis, John; Muro-Cacho, Carlos

    2002-01-01

    NASA is contemplating sending humans to Mars and to the moon for further exploration. Volcanic ashes from Arizona and Hawaii with mineral properties similar to those of lunar and Martian soils, respectively, are used to simulate lunar and Martian environments for instrument testing. Martian soil is highly oxidative; this property is not found in Earth's volcanic ashes. NASA is concerned about the health risk from potential exposure of workers in the test facilities. Fine lunar soil simulant (LSS), Martian soil simulant (MSS), titanium dioxide, or quartz in saline was intratracheally instilled into groups of 4 mice (C57BL/6J) at 0.1 mg/mouse (low dose, LD) or 1 mg/mouse (high dose, HD). Separate groups of mice were exposed to ozone (0.5 ppm for 3 h) prior to MSS instillation. Lungs were harvested for histopathological examination 7 or 90 days after the single dust treatment. The lungs of the LSS-LD groups showed no evidence of inflammation, edema, or fibrosis; clumps of particles and an increased number of macrophages were visible after 7 days but not 90 days. In the LSS-HD-7d group, the lungs showed mild to moderate alveolitis, and perivascular and peribronchiolar inflammation. The LSS-HD-90d group showed signs of mild chronic pulmonary inflammation, septal thickening, and some fibrosis. Foci of particle-laden macrophages (PLMs) were still visible. Lung lesions in the MSS-LD-7d group were similar to those observed in the LSS-HD-7d group. The MSS-LD-90d group had PLMs and scattered foci of mild fibrosis in the lungs. The MSS-HD-7d group showed large foci of PLMs, intra-alveolar debris, mild-to-moderate focal alveolitis, and perivascular and peribronchiolar inflammation. The MSS-HD-90d group showed focal chronic mild-to-moderate alveolitis and fibrosis. The findings in the O(3)-MSS-HD-90d group included widespread intra-alveolar debris, focal moderate alveolitis, and fibrosis. Lung lesions in the MSS groups were more severe with the ozone pretreatment. The effects of

  10. Pulmonary toxicity of simulated lunar and Martian dusts in mice: I. Histopathology 7 and 90 days after intratracheal instillation.

    PubMed

    Lam, Chiu-Wing; James, John T; McCluskey, Richard; Cowper, Shawn; Balis, John; Muro-Cacho, Carlos

    2002-09-01

    NASA is contemplating sending humans to Mars and to the moon for further exploration. Volcanic ashes from Arizona and Hawaii with mineral properties similar to those of lunar and Martian soils, respectively, are used to simulate lunar and Martian environments for instrument testing. Martian soil is highly oxidative; this property is not found in Earth's volcanic ashes. NASA is concerned about the health risk from potential exposure of workers in the test facilities. Fine lunar soil simulant (LSS), Martian soil simulant (MSS), titanium dioxide, or quartz in saline was intratracheally instilled into groups of 4 mice (C57BL/6J) at 0.1 mg/mouse (low dose, LD) or 1 mg/mouse (high dose, HD). Separate groups of mice were exposed to ozone (0.5 ppm for 3 h) prior to MSS instillation. Lungs were harvested for histopathological examination 7 or 90 days after the single dust treatment. The lungs of the LSS-LD groups showed no evidence of inflammation, edema, or fibrosis; clumps of particles and an increased number of macrophages were visible after 7 days but not 90 days. In the LSS-HD-7d group, the lungs showed mild to moderate alveolitis, and perivascular and peribronchiolar inflammation. The LSS-HD-90d group showed signs of mild chronic pulmonary inflammation, septal thickening, and some fibrosis. Foci of particle-laden macrophages (PLMs) were still visible. Lung lesions in the MSS-LD-7d group were similar to those observed in the LSS-HD-7d group. The MSS-LD-90d group had PLMs and scattered foci of mild fibrosis in the lungs. The MSS-HD-7d group showed large foci of PLMs, intra-alveolar debris, mild-to-moderate focal alveolitis, and perivascular and peribronchiolar inflammation. The MSS-HD-90d group showed focal chronic mild-to-moderate alveolitis and fibrosis. The findings in the O(3)-MSS-HD-90d group included widespread intra-alveolar debris, focal moderate alveolitis, and fibrosis. Lung lesions in the MSS groups were more severe with the ozone pretreatment. The effects of

  11. They're Alive! Present-Day Evolution of Martian Dunes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Diniega, S.; Bridges, N.; Hansen, C.

    2011-01-01

    The sharp brinks and margins, smooth and steep lee slopes, and lack of superimposed landforms (such as small impact craters) on many Martian sand dunes suggests that these features are geologically young clean brinks and smooth/steep lee slopes (HiRISE image PSP_010413_1920; 20 deg N,79 deg E; image widthis about 500m).Within the last decade, and often primarily through the detailed inspection of high-resolution (HiRISE) images, we have finally found clear evidence that many dunes of Mars are active -- through both aeolian and seasonal (frost) processes. However, it is yet unclear if active dune formation does occur or if we are observing surficial modification of dunes which formed under different climate conditions.

  12. Martian seismicity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Phillips, Roger J.; Grimm, Robert E.

    1991-01-01

    The design and ultimate success of network seismology experiments on Mars depends on the present level of Martian seismicity. Volcanic and tectonic landforms observed from imaging experiments show that Mars must have been a seismically active planet in the past and there is no reason to discount the notion that Mars is seismically active today but at a lower level of activity. Models are explored for present day Mars seismicity. Depending on the sensitivity and geometry of a seismic network and the attenuation and scattering properties of the interior, it appears that a reasonable number of Martian seismic events would be detected over the period of a decade. The thermoelastic cooling mechanism as estimated is surely a lower bound, and a more refined estimate would take into account specifically the regional cooling of Tharsis and lead to a higher frequency of seismic events.

  13. Chaparrastique (San Mighel) Volcano Eruptions since Dec. 29th, 2013, El Salvador

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martinez-Hackert, B.; Bajo, J. V.; Escobar, D.; Gutierrez, E.

    2015-12-01

    The December 29th, 2013 eruption of Chaparrastique (San Miguel) volcano in El Salvador came as a surprise and was the first of several small eruptions in the past two years. They came after many years of preceeding earthquake swarms and significant degassing. Being the second volcano to erupt in El Salvador in less than ten years, it caused grave concern for the population of the country. Although they were not large eruptions (VEI 2), the materials were widespread and caused deposits of volcanic tephra as far at the capital San Salvador and closed the airports in the vecinity for a couple of days. This is a summary of the research, mitigation and services that were done days after the first eruption on December 29, 2013 and the follwing months. In conjunction with the team of the Direccion General del Observatorio Ambiental from the Ministerio de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales possible first response strategies were discussed and decided to obtain results that could be quickly put in place to mitigate and decide on actions such as evacuations or relocations of people living in volcano related high-risk hazard areas. Collection of samples, mapping and measurements of the volcanic tephra in the field together with Digital Globe and areal photography after the event, allowed identification of four different volcanic products that can be correlated to the opening of the vent and ending in the eruption of juvenile materials of basaltic to trachybasaltic composition, and the production of a lahar hazard map based on LaharZ.

  14. 29th Annual Report to Congress on the Implementation of the "Individuals with Disabilities Education Act," 2007. Volume 3

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, US Department of Education, 2010

    2010-01-01

    The "29th Annual Report to Congress on the Implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 2007" follows the 2006--i.e., the 28th annual report--in sequence. The "29th Annual Report to Congress" is, however, the first to have three volumes. In the 28th and previous editions, volume 2 consisted of data tables…

  15. 29th Annual Report to Congress on the Implementation of the "Individuals with Disabilities Education Act," 2007. Volume 2

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, US Department of Education, 2010

    2010-01-01

    The "29th Annual Report to Congress on the Implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 2007" follows the 2006--i.e., the 28th annual report--in sequence. The "29th Annual Report to Congress" is, however, the first to have three volumes. In the 28th and earlier editions, volume 2 consisted of data tables…

  16. Martian Surface Beneath Phoenix

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    This is an image of the Martian surface beneath NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander. The image was taken by Phoenix's Robotic Arm Camera (RAC) on the eighth Martian day of the mission, or Sol 8 (June 2, 2008). The light feature in the middle of the image below the leg is informally called 'Holy Cow.' The dust, shown in the dark foreground, has been blown off of 'Holy Cow' by Phoenix's thruster engines.

    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.

  17. EDITORIAL: The 29th International Conference on Phenomena in Ionized Gases The 29th International Conference on Phenomena in Ionized Gases

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Urquijo, J.

    2010-06-01

    The 29th International Conference on Phenomena in Ionized Gases (ICPIG) was held in Cancún, Mexico, on 12-17 July, 2009, under the sponsorship of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico, UNAM, the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, UAM, and the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP). ICPIG, founded in 1953, has since been held biennally, and nowadays it covers both fundamental and applied research in all areas of low-temperature plasmas, including those related to the cold plasma in fusion devices. ICPIG fosters interdisciplinary research and interchange between different communities. The conference was attended by scientists from 33 countries. The scientific programme of ICPIG 2009 consisted of 10 General Invited and 24 Topical Lectures, covering all major topics of ICPIG. All speakers were invited to submit peer-reviewed articles based on their lectures for this special issue of Plasma Sources Science and Technology, either as reviews or original work. This special issue contains the papers of most of these talks, covering timely and key issues on elementary processes and fundamental data, plasma wall interactions, including those related to the low-temperature plasma in fusion devices. Several interesting papers were dedicated to plasma modelling, simulation and diagnostics. Important contributions to this issue deal with natural plasmas, low- and atmospheric-pressure plasmas, microplasmas and high-frequency plasmas. Almost half of the contributed papers in this issue are dedicated to applications dealing with plasmas for nanotechnology, plasma sources of various kinds, and other uses of plasmas in particle detection and mass spectrometry. Two workshops were organized. The first reviewed the state of the art on our knowledge of electron, positron and ion interaction processes in gases, with an emphasis on charged particle transport and reactions in electric and magnetic fields, measurement and calculation of cross sections and swarm

  18. 29th Annual Report to Congress on the Implementation of the "Individuals with Disabilities Education Act," 2007. Volume 1

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, US Department of Education, 2010

    2010-01-01

    The "29th Annual Report to Congress on the Implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 2007" focuses on key state performance data in accordance with recommendations of the President's Commission on Excellence in Special Education. Volume 1 focuses on the children and students being served under "IDEA"…

  19. Special issue: select papers from the 29th Northern Ireland Biomedical Engineering Conference, Belfast, UK, April 2009.

    PubMed

    Dunne, Nicholas J; Buchanan, Fraser J; Boyd, Adrian R; Burke, George A

    2010-08-01

    Each year, NIBES hosts a spring conference that is jointly organised by Queen's University of Belfast and University of Ulster. The 29th NIBES Spring meeting took place on 8th April 2009 at Queen's University of Belfast. NIBES 2009 had an impressive scientific program with two international leading plenary speakers and 28 oral presentations.

  20. The Campaign for the Occultation of UCAC4-347-165728 (R=12m2) by Pluto on June 29th, 2015

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beisker, W.; Sicardy, B.; Berard, D.; Meza, E.; Herald, D.; Gault, D.; Talbot, J.; Bode, H.-J.; Braga-Ribas, F.; Barry, T.; Broughton, J.; Hanna, W.; Bradshaw, J.; Kerr, S.; Pavlov, H.

    2015-10-01

    The occultation of UCAC4-347-165728 (R=12m2)on the 29th of June 2015 by Pluto is the last important occultation by Pluto before the New Horizons flyby 15 days later. Therefore it is a great opportunity to measure details of Pluto's atmosphere from Earth at the same time as the "on-site" determination. Observations from mobile stations and from certain fixed site observatories are planned in an international campaign in Australia and New Zealand. The telescopes will be equipped with EMCCD or CCD cameras to record a frame sequence linked to the exact timing by GPS. With high resolution astrometry in the months and weeks before the event, we intend to define the central line of the occultation so accurate that a positioning of instruments in close proximity of the central line is possible. - First results of the campaign will be presented in this report.

  1. Proceedings of the 29th Monitoring Research Review: Ground-Based Nuclear Explosion Monitoring Technologies

    SciTech Connect

    Wetovsky, Marvin A.; Benson, Jody; Patterson, Eileen F.

    2007-09-25

    These proceedings contain papers prepared for the 29th Monitoring Research Review: Ground-Based Nuclear Explosion Monitoring Technologies, held 25-27 September, 2007 in Denver, Colorado. These papers represent the combined research related to ground-based nuclear explosion monitoring funded by the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), Air Force Technical Applications Center (AFTAC), Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), US Army Space and Missile Defense Command, Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), and other invited sponsors. The scientific objectives of the research are to improve the United States capability to detect, locate, and identify nuclear explosions. The purpose of the meeting is to provide the sponsoring agencies, as well as potential users, an opportunity to review research accomplished during the preceding year and to discuss areas of investigation for the coming year. For the researchers, it provides a forum for the exchange of scientific information toward achieving program goals, and an opportunity to discuss results and future plans. Paper topics include: seismic regionalization and calibration; detection and location of sources; wave propagation from source to receiver; the nature of seismic sources, including mining practices; hydroacoustic, infrasound, and radionuclide methods; on-site inspection; and data processing.

  2. Martian Fingerprints

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2005-01-01

    9 April 2005 This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows patterned ground on the martian northern plains. The circular features are buried meteor impact craters; the small dark dots associated with them are boulders. The dark feature at left center is a wind streak.

    Location near: 75.1oN, 303.0oW Image width: 3 km (1.9 mi) Illumination from: lower left Season: Northern Summer

  3. Martian Moon Blocks Sun

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    This animation shows the transit of Mars' moon Phobos across the Sun. It is made up of images taken by the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity on the morning of the 45th martian day, or sol, of its mission. This observation will help refine our knowledge of the orbit and position of Phobos. Other spacecraft may be able to take better images of Phobos using this new information. This event is similar to solar eclipses seen on Earth in which our Moon passes in front of the Sun. The images were taken by the rover's panoramic camera.

  4. Rumours about the Po Valley earthquakes of 20th and 29th May 2012

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    La Longa, Federica; Crescimbene, Massimo; Camassi, Romano; Nostro, Concetta

    2013-04-01

    The history of rumours is as old as human history. Even in remote antiquity, rumours, gossip and hoax were always in circulation - in good or bad faith - to influence human affairs. Today with the development of mass media, rise of the internet and social networks, rumours are ubiquitous. The earthquakes, because of their characteristics of strong emotional impact and unpredictability, are among the natural events that more cause the birth and the spread of rumours. For this reason earthquakes that occurred in the Po valley the 20th and 29th May 2012 generated and still continue to generate a wide variety of rumours regarding issues related to the earthquake, its effects, the possible causes, future predictions. For this reason, as occurred during the L'Aquila earthquake sequence in 2009, following the events of May 2012 in Emilia Romagna was created a complex initiative training and information that at various stages between May and September 2012, involved population, partly present in the camp, and then the school staff of the municipalities affected by the earthquake. This experience has been organized and managed by the Department of Civil Protection (DPC), the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV), the Emilia Romagna region in collaboration with the Network of University Laboratories for Earthquake Engineering (RELUIS), the Health Service Emilia Romagna Regional and voluntary organizations of civil protection in the area. Within this initiative, in the period June-September 2012 were collected and catalogued over 240 rumours. In this work rumours of the Po Valley are studied in their specific characteristics and strategies and methods to fight them are also discussed. This work of collection and discussion of the rumours was particularly important to promote good communication strategies and to fight the spreading of the rumours. Only in this way it was possible to create a full intervention able to supporting both the local institutions and

  5. Day-side ionospheric photoelectrons observed by MAVEN-SWEA at low altitudes and high solar zenith angles on the Martian night-side

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, S.; Mitchell, D. L.; Liemohn, M. W.; Dong, C.; Bougher, S. W.; Fillingim, M. O.; McFadden, J. P.; Mazelle, C. X.; Connerney, J. E. P.

    2015-12-01

    Crustal magnetic fields in the northern hemisphere of Mars are generally much weaker than those in the south (Connerney et al. 2005). Over two large regions, Utopia Planitia and the Tharsis rise, the observed magnetic field at 400 km altitude is thought to be dominated by fields induced by the solar wind interaction, although the draping pattern is asymmetric and may be influenced by the presence of crustal sources far from the spacecraft (Brain et al., 2006). The MAVEN mission (Jakosky et al. 2015) provides a comprehensive set of plasma and magnetic field observations to altitudes as low as ~150 km (~120 km during "deep dips") and over a wide range of local times and solar zenith angles. From 12/1/2014 to 2/15/2015, when periapsis was at high northern latitudes, the Solar Wind Electron Analyzer (SWEA) observed ionospheric photoelectrons with energies from 3 to 500 eV at low altitudes (140-200 km) and high solar zenith angles (120-145 deg) on ~35% of the orbits. Since this electron population is unambiguously produced in the dayside ionosphere, these observations demonstrate that the deep Martian nightside is at times magnetically connected to the sunlit hemisphere. We investigated the occurrence rate of ionospheric photoelectrons as a function of altitude, solar zenith angle, and magnetic field orientation, and found that photoelectrons are more likely to be observed at low altitudes and high solar zenith angles when the local field is more vertically oriented. This implies that the magnetic field extends to high altitudes between the night hemisphere, where photoelectrons are observed, and the source region in the dayside ionosphere, thus avoiding significant attenuation in transit. The BATSRUS Mars multi-fluid MHD model (Dong et al., 2014) suggests the presence of closed crustal magnetic field lines over the northern hemisphere that straddle the terminator and extend to high SZA. Simulations with the SuperThermal Electron Transport (STET) model (Xu and Liemohn

  6. Spirit Begins Third Martian Year

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2007-01-01

    As it finished its second Martian year on Mars, NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit was beginning to examine a group of angular rocks given informal names corresponding to peaks in the Colorado Rockies. A Martian year the amount of time it takes Mars to complete one orbit around the sun lasts for 687 Earth days. Spirit completed its second Martian year on the rover's 1,338th Martian day, or sol, corresponding to Oct. 8, 2007.

    Two days later, on sol 1,340 (Oct. 10, 2007), Spirit used its front hazard-identification camera to capture this wide-angle view of its robotic arm extended to a rock informally named 'Humboldt Peak.' For the rocks at this site on the southern edge of the 'Home Plate' platform in the inner basin of the Columbia Hills inside Gusev Crater, the rover team decided to use names of Colorado peaks higher than 14,000 feet. The Colorado Rockies team of the National League is the connection to the baseball-theme nomenclature being used for features around Home Plate.

    The tool facing Spirit on the turret at the end of the robotic arm is the Moessbauer spectrometer.

  7. Weathering of Martian Evaporites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wentworth, S. J.; Velbel, M. A.; Thomas-Keprta, K. L.; Longazo, T. G.; McKay, D. S.

    2001-01-01

    Evaporites in martian meteorites contain weathering or alteration features that may provide clues about the martian near-surface environment over time. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  8. Investigations in Martian Sedimentology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Moore, Jeffrey M.

    1998-01-01

    The purpose of this report is to investigate and discuss the Martian surface. This report was done in specific tasks. The tasks were: characterization of Martian fluids and chemical sediments; mass wasting and ground collapse in terrains of volatile-rich deposits; Mars Rover terrestrial field investigations; Mars Pathfinder operations support; and Martian subsurface water instrument.

  9. 2nd International Salzburg Conference on Neurorecovery (ISCN 2013) Salzburg/ Austria | November 28th - 29th, 2013

    PubMed Central

    Brainin, M; Muresanu, D; Slavoaca, D

    2014-01-01

    The 2nd International Salzburg Conference on Neurorecovery was held on the 28th and 29th of November, 2013, in Salzburg, one of the most beautiful cities in Austria, which is well known for its rich cultural heritage, world-famous music and beautiful surrounding landscapes. The aim of the conference was to discuss the progress in the field of neurorecovery. The conference brought together internationally renowned scientists and clinicians, who described the clinical and therapeutic relevance of translational research and its applications in neurorehabilitation. PMID:25713602

  10. 2nd International Salzburg Conference on Neurorecovery (ISCN 2013) Salzburg/Austria|November 28th-29th, 2013.

    PubMed

    Brainin, M; Muresanu, D; Slavoaca, D

    2014-01-01

    The 2nd International Salzburg Conference on Neurorecovery was held on the 28th and 29th of November, 2013, in Salzburg, one of the most beautiful cities in Austria, which is well known for its rich cultural heritage, world-famous music and beautiful surrounding landscapes. The aim of the conference was to discuss the progress in the field of neurorecovery. The conference brought together internationally renowned scientists and clinicians, who described the clinical and therapeutic relevance of translational research and its applications in neurorehabilitation.

  11. Prospecting for Martian Ice

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McBride, S. A.; Allen, C. C.; Bell, M. S.

    2005-01-01

    During high Martian obliquity, ice is stable to lower latitudes than predicted by models of present conditions and observed by the Gamma Ray Spectrometer (approx. 60 deg N). An ice-rich layer deposited at mid-latitudes could persist to the present day; ablation of the top 1 m of ice leaving a thin insulating cover could account for lack of its detection by GRS. The presence of an ice-layer in the mid-latitudes is suggested by a network of polygons, interpreted as ice-wedge cracks. This study focuses on an exceptional concentration of polygons in Western Utopia (section of Casius quadrangle, roughly 40 deg - 50 deg N, 255 deg - 300 deg W). We attempt to determine the thickness and age of this ice layer through crater-polygons relations.

  12. Southwest Park and Recreation Training Institute Proceedings (29th, Kingston, Oklahoma, February 5-8, 1984).

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Texas Tech Univ., Lubbock. Dept. of Park Administration and Landscape Architecture.

    After presenting introductory material about the Institute and its participants, this document offers brief summaries of workshops held at this conference. Workshop topics were: (1) solar energy; (2) nonverbal communication; (3) land acquisition; (4) employee orientation and counseling; (5) neighborhood parks; (6) Arbor Day; (7) trees in the urban…

  13. Martian Volatiles and Isotopic Signatures

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bogard, Donald D.

    1997-01-01

    Data on martian volatiles gathered from Viking atmosphere measurements, modest groundbased spectra, shock-implanted atmospheric gases in martian (SNC) meteorites, trapped mantle gases in martian meteorites, and volatile-rich solid phases in martian meteorites, are presented. Atmospheric volatiles, surface volatiles, and isotopic chronologies are discussed, along with energetic particle interactions.

  14. Proceedings of the Conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education (29th, Melbourne, Australia, July 10-15, 2005). Volume 4

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chick, Helen L., Ed.; Vincent, Jill L., Ed.

    2005-01-01

    This document is the fourth volume of the proceedings of the 29th Conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education. Conference papers are centered around the theme of "Learners and Learning Environments." This volume features 42 research reports by presenters with last names beginning between Mul and Wu:…

  15. Proceedings of the Conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education (29th, Melbourne, Australia, July 10-15, 2005). Volume 3

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chick, Helen L., Ed.; Vincent, Jill L., Ed.

    2005-01-01

    The third volume of the 29th annual conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education contains full research report papers. Papers include: (1) Students' Use of ICT Tools: Choices and Reasons (Anne Berit Fuglestad); (2) Interaction of Modalities in Cabri: A Case Study (Fulvia Furinghetti, Francesca Morselli, and…

  16. Proceedings of the Conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education (29th, Melbourne, Australia, July 10-15, 2005). Volume 2

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chick, Helen L., Ed.; Vincent, Jill L., Ed.

    2005-01-01

    This document contains the second volume of the proceedings of the 29th Conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education. Conference papers are centered around the theme of "Learners and Learning Environments." This volume features 43 research reports by presenters with last names beginning between Adl…

  17. Proceedings of the Conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education (29th, Melbourne, Australia, July 10-15, 2005). Volume 1

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chick, Helen L., Ed.; Vincent, Jill L., Ed.

    2005-01-01

    The first volume of the 29th annual conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education contains plenary lecture and research forum papers as listed below. Short oral communications papers, poster presentations, brief summaries of discussion groups, and working sessions are also included in the volume. The plenary…

  18. Photovoltaic array for Martian surface power

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

  19. Hydrogen in Martian Meteorites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Peslier, A. H.; Hervig, R.; Irving, T.

    2017-01-01

    Most volatile studies of Mars have targeted its surface via spacecraft and rover data, and have evidenced surficial water in polar caps and the atmosphere, in the presence of river channels, and in the detection of water bearing minerals. The other focus of Martian volatile studies has been on Martian meteorites which are all from its crust. Most of these studies are on hydrous phases like apatite, a late-stage phase, i.e. crystallizing near the end of the differentiation sequence of Martian basalts and cumulates. Moreover, calculating the water content of the magma a phosphate crystallized from is not always possible, and yet is an essential step to estimate how much water was present in a parent magma and its source. Water, however, is primarily dissolved in the interiors of differentiated planets as hydrogen in lattice defects of nominally anhydrous minerals (olivine, pyroxene, feldspar) of the crust and mantle. This hydrogen has tremendous influence, even in trace quantities, on a planet's formation, geodynamics, cooling history and the origin of its volcanism and atmosphere as well as its potential for life. Studies of hydrogen in nominally anhydrous phases of Martian meteorites are rare. Measuring water contents and hydrogen isotopes in well-characterized nominally anhydrous minerals of Martian meteorites is the goal of our study. Our work aims at deciphering what influences the distribution and origin of hydrogen in Martian minerals, such as source, differentiation, degassing and shock.

  20. Mars Observer Mission: Mapping the Martian World

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1992-01-01

    The 1992 Mars Observer Mission is highlighted in this video overview of the mission objectives and planning. Using previous photography and computer graphics and simulation, the main objectives of the 687 day (one Martian year) consecutive orbit by the Mars Observer Satellite around Mars are explained. Dr. Arden Albee, the project scientist, speaks about the pole-to-pole mapping of the Martian surface topography, the planned relief maps, the chemical and mineral composition analysis, the gravity fields analysis, and the proposed search for any Mars magnetic fields.

  1. Martian Soil Inside Phoenix's Robotic Arm Scoop

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    This image from NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander's Robotic Arm Camera (RAC) shows material from the Martian surface captured by the Robotic Arm (RA) scoop during its first test dig and dump on the seventh Martian day of the mission, or Sol 7 (June 1, 2008). The test sample shown was taken from the digging area informally known as 'Knave of Hearts.'

    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.

  2. Martian Moon Eclipses Sun, in Stages

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    This panel illustrates the transit of the martian moon Phobos across the Sun. It is made up of images taken by the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity on the morning of the 45th martian day, or sol, of its mission. This observation will help refine our knowledge of the orbit and position of Phobos. Other spacecraft may be able to take better images of Phobos using this new information. This event is similar to solar eclipses seen on Earth in which our Moon passes in front of the Sun. The images were taken by the rover's panoramic camera.

  3. Sulphur Spring: Busy Intersection and Possible Martian Analogue

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nankivell, A.; Andre, N.; Thomas-Keprta, K.; Allen, C.; McKay, D.

    2000-01-01

    Life in extreme environments exhibiting conditions similar to early Earth and Mars, such as Sulphur Spring, may harbor microbiota serving as both relics from the past as well as present day Martian analogues.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  5. Report on the International Rarefied Gas Dynamics Symposium (29th) held in Xi’an, China on 13-18 July 2014

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-11-21

    Std Z39-18 Report on the 29th International Rarefied Gas Dynamics Symposium held at Xi’an China, July 13–18, 2014 Hans G. Hornung 1 Introduction ...and Plasma Flows RGD in Astrophysics Reaction and Relaxation Processes Space Vehicles Aerodynamics Turbulence Vacuum Gas Dynamics The most important...λ L ≥ 1. This is the flow regime of interest to the RGD’s. For the purpose of this introduction it is worth highlighting two important features

  6. Martian Environment Electrostatic Precipitator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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 Dust Simulator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zuray, Monica; Houston, Karrie; Lorentson, Chris

    2008-01-01

    The Martian Dust Simulator (MDS) was designed to investigate the contamination effects of Martian soil and rock on the performance and function of flight-like microvalves and flight-like filters located within the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument suite. The SAM instrument suite, which houses over fifty percent of the science payload, is located on-board the Mars exploration rover. The mission objective of the Mars Science Laboratory Rover is to determine the past, present, and future habitability of Mars. It will serve as a robot geologist, traveling the Mars surface for a period of one Martian year (equivalent to two earth years). The microvalves were designed as a conduit to control the flow of Martian gas to the science instruments. If exposed to particle sizes greater than half a micron, both the science instruments and science equipment, including forty-seven microvalves, could experience performance degradation. As a result, filters were used at various gas inlets to protect flight hardware from particulate degradation. Additionally, the filters serve as the only interface between the Martian environment and the mechanisms within SAM. The MDS operates at 7 Torr (0.135 psi) with a gas flow rate of 0 to 20 m/s. Iron (III) Oxide was the only dust particle specimen used, although several others were initially considered (i.e. JSC-Mars-1, Corundum Powder (Al2O3), Hydrated Sulfate, and Belville (Basalt)). The overarching goal of the MDS is to demonstrate that the Mars exploration program is adequately designed and prepared for the Martian mission environment.

  8. Martian Meteorite Ages and Implications for Martian Cratering History

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nyquist, Laurence E.

    2006-01-01

    New radiometrically determined ages of Martian meteorites add to the growing number with crystallization ages < 1.4 Ga. The observation of mainly geologically young ages for the Martian meteorites, the only exception being the 4.5 Ga ALH84001 [1], is paradoxical when viewed in context of a Martian surface thought to be mostly much older as inferred from the surface density of meteorite craters [2]. There appears to be at least a twofold difference between the observed ages of Martian meteorites and their expected ages as inferred from the ages of Martian surfaces obtained from crater densities.

  9. Evidence for a Second Martian Dynamo from Electron Reflection Magnetometry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lillis, R. J.; Manga, M.; Mitchell, D. L.; Lin, R. P.; Acuna, M. H.

    2005-01-01

    Present-day Mars does not possess an active core dynamo and associated global magnetic field. However, the discovery of intensely magnetized crust in Mars Southern hemisphere implies that a Martian dynamo has existed in the past. Resolving the history of the Martian core dynamo is important for understanding the evolution of the planet's interior. Moreover, because the global magnetic field provided by an active dynamo can shield the atmosphere from erosion by the solar wind, it may have influenced past Martian climate. Additional information is included in the original extended abstract.

  10. Timeline of Martian Volcanism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martel, L. M. V.

    2011-05-01

    A recent study of Martian volcanism presents a timeline of the last major eruptions from 20 large volcanoes, based on the relative ages of caldera surfaces determined by crater counting. Stuart Robbins, Gaetano Di Achille, and Brian Hynek (University of Colorado) counted craters on high-resolution images from the the Context Camera (CTX) on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter to date individual calderas, or terraces within calderas, on the 20 major Martian volcanoes. Based on their timeline and mapping, rates and durations of eruptions and transitions from explosive to effusive activity varied from volcano to volcano. The work confirms previous findings by others that volcanism was continuous throughout Martian geologic history until about one to two hundred million years ago, the final volcanic events were not synchronous across the planet, and the latest large-scale caldera activity ended about 150 million years ago in the Tharsis province. This timing correlates well with the crystallization ages (~165-170 million years) determined for the youngest basaltic Martian meteorites.

  11. The global distribution of Martian permafrost

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Paige, David A.

    1991-01-01

    Accurately determining the present global distribution of Martian ground ice will be an important step towards understanding the evolution of the Martian surface and atmosphere, and could greatly facilitate human and robotic exploration of the planet. The quantitative Mars permafrost studies demonstrated the potential importance of a number of factors determining the past and present distribution of subsurface ice on Mars, but have not considered the issue of regional variability. To consider the distribution of Mars permafrost in greater detail a new thermal model was developed that can calculate Martian surface and subsurface temperatures as a function of time-of-day and season. The results indicate that the distribution of Martian permafrost is highly sensitive to the bulk thermal properties of the overlying soil. Viking IRTM observations of diurnal surface temperature variations show that the bulk thermal properties of midlatitude surface materials exhibit a high degree of regional inhomogeneity. In general, the results show that the global distribution of permafrost is at least as sensitive to the thermal properties of the overlying surface material as it is to variations in surface isolation due to large scale variations in Mars' orbital and axial elements. In particular, they imply that subsurface ice may exist just a few centimeters below the surface in regions of low thermal inertia and high albedo, which are widespread at latitudes ranging from the equator to +60 degrees latitude.

  12. Survival of microorganisms in smectite clays: implications for Martian exobiology.

    PubMed

    Moll, D M; Vestal, J R

    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 Bacillius 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.

  13. Field Measurements of Terrestrial and Martian Dust Devils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murphy, Jim; Steakley, Kathryn; Balme, Matt; Deprez, Gregoire; Esposito, Francesca; Kahanpää, Henrik; Lemmon, Mark; Lorenz, Ralph; Murdoch, Naomi; Neakrase, Lynn; Patel, Manish; Whelley, Patrick

    2016-11-01

    Surface-based measurements of terrestrial and martian dust devils/convective vortices provided from mobile and stationary platforms are discussed. Imaging of terrestrial dust devils has quantified their rotational and vertical wind speeds, translation speeds, dimensions, dust load, and frequency of occurrence. Imaging of martian dust devils has provided translation speeds and constraints on dimensions, but only limited constraints on vertical motion within a vortex. The longer mission durations on Mars afforded by long operating robotic landers and rovers have provided statistical quantification of vortex occurrence (time-of-sol, and recently seasonal) that has until recently not been a primary outcome of more temporally limited terrestrial dust devil measurement campaigns. Terrestrial measurement campaigns have included a more extensive range of measured vortex parameters (pressure, wind, morphology, etc.) than have martian opportunities, with electric field and direct measure of dust abundance not yet obtained on Mars. No martian robotic mission has yet provided contemporaneous high frequency wind and pressure measurements. Comparison of measured terrestrial and martian dust devil characteristics suggests that martian dust devils are larger and possess faster maximum rotational wind speeds, that the absolute magnitude of the pressure deficit within a terrestrial dust devil is an order of magnitude greater than a martian dust devil, and that the time-of-day variation in vortex frequency is similar. Recent terrestrial investigations have demonstrated the presence of diagnostic dust devil signals within seismic and infrasound measurements; an upcoming Mars robotic mission will obtain similar measurement types.

  14. Geophysics of Martian Periglacial Processes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mellon, Michael T.

    2004-01-01

    Through the examination of small-scale geologic features potentially related to water and ice in the martian subsurface (specifically small-scale polygonal ground and young gully-like features), determine the state, distribution and recent history of subsurface water and ice on Mars. To refine existing models and develop new models of near-surface water and ice, and develop new insights about the nature of water on Mars as manifested by these geologic features. Through an improved understanding of potentially water-related geologic features, utilize these features in addressing questions about where to best search for present day water and what space craft may encounter that might facilitate or inhibit the search for water.

  15. Martian soil component in impact glasses in a Martian meteorite.

    PubMed

    Rao, M N; Borg, L E; McKay, D S; Wentworth, S J

    1999-11-01

    Chemical compositions of impact melt glass veins, called Lithology C (Lith C) in Martian meteorite EET79001 were determined by electron microprobe analysis. A large enrichment of S, and significant enrichments of Al, Ca, and Na were observed in Lith C glass compared to Lithology A (Lith A). The S enrichment is due to mixing of plagioclase- enriched Lith A material with Martian soil, either prior to or during impact on Mars. A mixture of 87% Lith A, 7% plagioclase, and 6% Martian soil reproduces the average elemental abundances observed in Lith C. Shock melting of such a mixture of plagioclase-enriched, fine-grained Lith A host rock and Martian soil could yield large excesses of S (observed in this study) and Martian atmospheric noble gases (found by Bogard et al., 1983) in Lith C. These mixing proportions can be used to constrain the elemental abundance of phosphorus in Martian soil.

  16. Contrasting Martian Terrains

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit captured this interesting view of martian topography just below the 'West Spur' portion of the 'Columbia Hills' on sol 208 (Aug. 2, 2004). The view is looking southwest. The rover's wheel tracks show the contrast between soft martian soil and the harder 'Clovis' rock outcrop, which scientists are now studying.

    The angle of the horizon indicates the tilt of the rover to be about 20 degrees. On the horizon is a small peak informally named 'Grissom Hill,' about 15 kilometers (9.3 miles) away. To the right of the peak is the edge of a 2-kilometer-wide (1.2-mile-wide) crater. A few weeks ago, Spirit stopped to conduct scientific studies of rocks in 'Hank's Hollow,' located on the right side of the image approximately one-third of the way down from the top. This photo was taken with Spirit's right rear hazard-avoidance camera.

  17. A Martian acoustic anemometer.

    PubMed

    Banfield, Don; Schindel, David W; Tarr, Steve; Dissly, Richard W

    2016-08-01

    An acoustic anemometer for use on Mars has been developed. To understand the processes that control the interaction between surface and atmosphere on Mars, not only the mean winds, but also the turbulent boundary layer, the fluxes of momentum, heat and molecular constituents between surface and atmosphere must be measured. Terrestrially this is done with acoustic anemometers, but the low density atmosphere on Mars makes it challenging to adapt such an instrument for use on Mars. This has been achieved using capacitive transducers and pulse compression, and was successfully demonstrated on a stratospheric balloon (simulating the Martian environment) and in a dedicated Mars Wind Tunnel facility. This instrument achieves a measurement accuracy of ∼5 cm/s with an update rate of >20 Hz under Martian conditions.

  18. Martian polar geological studies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cutts, J. A. J.

    1977-01-01

    Multiple arcs of rugged mountains and adjacent plains on the surface of Mars were examined. These features, located in the southern polar region were photographed by Mariner 9. Comparisons are made with characteristics of a lunar basin and mare; Mare imbrium in particular. The martian feature is interpreted to have originated in the same way as its lunar analog- by volcanic flooding of a large impact basin. Key data and methodology leading to this conclusion are cited.

  19. The martian surface.

    PubMed

    Opik, E J

    1966-07-15

    With the scarcity of factual data and the difficulty of applying crucial tests, many of the properties of the Martian surface remain a mystery; the planet may become a source of great surprises in the future. In the following, the conclusions are enumerated more or less in the order of their reliability, the more certain ones first, conjectures or ambiguous interpretations coming last. Even if they prove to be wrong, they may serve as a stimulus for further investigation. Impact craters on Mars, from collisions with nearby asteroids and other stray bodies, were predicted 16 years ago (5-7) and are now verified by the Mariner IV pictures. The kink in the frequency curve of Martian crater diameters indicates that those larger than 20 kilometers could have survived aeolian erosion since the "beginning." They indicate an erosion rate 30 times slower than that in terrestrial deserts and 70 times faster than micrometeorite erosion on the moon. The observed number, per unit area, of Martian craters larger than 20 kilometers exceeds 4 times that calculated from the statistical theory of interplanetary collisions with the present population of stray bodies and for a time interval of 4500 million years, even when allowance is made for the depletion of the Martian group of asteroids, which were more numerous in the past. This, and the low eroded rims of the Martian craters suggest that many of the craters have survived almost since the formation of the crust. Therefore, Mars could not have possessed a dense atmosphere for any length of time. If there was abundant water for the first 100 million years or so, before it escaped it could have occurred only in the solid state as ice and snow, with but traces of vapor in the atmosphere, on account of the low temperature caused by the high reflectivity of clouds and snow. For Martian life there is thus the dilemma: with water, it is too cold; without, too dry. The crater density on Mars, though twice that in lunar maria, is much

  20. Martian Colors Provide Clues About Martian Water

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1999-01-01

    NASA Hubble Space Telescope images of Mars taken in visible and infrared light detail a rich geologic history and provide further evidence for water-bearing minerals on the planet's surface.

    LEFT

    This 'true-color' image of Mars shows the planet as it would look to human eyes. It is clearly more Earth-toned than usually depicted in other astronomical images, including earlier Hubble pictures. The slightly bluer shade along the edges of the disk is due to atmospheric hazes and wispy water ice clouds (like cirrus clouds) in the early morning and late evening Martian sky. The yellowish-pink color of the northern polar cap indicates the presence of small iron-bearing dust particles. These particles are covering or are suspended in the air above the blue-white water ice and carbon dioxide ice, which make up the polar cap.

    Accurate colors are needed to determine the composition and mineralogy of Mars. This can tell how water has influenced the formation of rocks and minerals found on Mars today, as well as the distribution and abundance of ice and subsurface liquid water. Confirmation of the presence of certain oxidized (rusted) minerals (processed by heat or water action) would imply the possibility of different, perhaps much more Earth-like, past Martian climate periods. Because the smallest features visible in this image are only about 14 miles (22 km) across, Hubble can track small-scale variations in the distribution of minerals that do not follow global trends. The image was generated from three separate Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 images acquired at wavelengths of 410, 502, and 673 nanometers, in March 1997.

    RIGHT

    A false-color picture taken in infrared light reveals features that cannot be seen in visible light. Hubble's unique infrared view pinpoints variations in the abundance and distribution of unknown water-bearing minerals on the planet. While it has been known for decades that small amounts of water-bearing minerals exist on the planet

  1. MARTIAN COLORS PROVIDE CLUES ABOUT MARTIAN WATER

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    NASA Hubble Space Telescope images of Mars taken in visible and infrared light detail a rich geologic history and provide further evidence for water-bearing minerals on the planet's surface. LEFT This 'true-color' image of Mars shows the planet as it would look to human eyes. It is clearly more earth-toned than usually depicted in other astronomical images, including earlier Hubble pictures. The slightly bluer shade along the edges of the disk is due to atmospheric hazes and wispy water ice clouds (like cirrus clouds) in the early morning and late evening Martian sky. The yellowish-pink color of the northern polar cap indicates the presence of small iron-bearing dust particles. These particles are covering or are suspended in the air above the blue-white water ice and carbon dioxide ice, which make up the polar cap. Accurate colors are needed to determine the composition and mineralogy of Mars. This can tell how water has influenced the formation of rocks and minerals found on Mars today, as well as the distribution and abundance of ice and subsurface liquid water. Confirmation of the presence of certain oxidized (rusted) minerals (processed by heat or water action) would imply the possibility of different, perhaps much more Earth-like, past Martian climate periods. Because the smallest features visible in this image are only about 14 miles (22 km) across, Hubble can track small-scale variations in the distribution of minerals that do not follow global trends. The image was generated from three separate Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 images acquired at wavelengths of 410, 502, and 673 nanometers, in March 1997. RIGHT A false-color picture taken in infrared light reveals features that cannot be seen in visible light. Hubble's unique infrared view pinpoints variations in the abundance and distribution of unknown water-bearing minerals on the planet. While it has been known for decades that small amounts of water-bearing minerals exist on the planet's surface, the

  2. Chlorine Abundances in Martian Meteorites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bogard, D.D.; Garrison, D.H.; Park, J.

    2009-01-01

    Chlorine measurements made in martian surface rocks by robotic spacecraft typically give Chlorine (Cl) abundances of approximately 0.1-0.8%. In contrast, Cl abundances in martian meteorites appear lower, although data is limited, and martian nakhlites were also subjected to Cl contamination by Mars surface brines. Chlorine abundances reported by one lab for whole rock (WR) samples of Shergotty, ALH77005, and EET79001 range 108-14 ppm, whereas Cl in nakhlites range 73-1900 ppm. Measurements of Cl in various martian weathering phases of nakhlites varied 0.04-4.7% and reveal significant concentration of Cl by martian brines Martian meteorites contain much lower Chlorine than those measured in martian surface rocks and give further confirmation that Cl in these surface rocks was introduced by brines and weathering. It has been argued that Cl is twice as effective as water in lowering the melting point and promoting melting at shallower martian depths, and that significant Cl in the shergottite source region would negate any need for significant water. However, this conclusion was based on experiments that utilized Cl concentrations more analogous to martian surface rocks than to shergottite meteorites, and may not be applicable to shergottites.

  3. Martian Sunrise at Utopia Planitia

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1978-01-01

    A Martian sunrise was captured in this Viking 2 Lander picture taken June 14, 1978, at the spacecraft's Utopia Planitia landing site. The data composing this image were acquired just as the Sun peaked over the horizon on the Lander's 631st sol (Martian solar day). Pictures taken at dawn (or dusk) are quite dark except where the sky is brightened above the Sun's position. The glow in the sky results as light from the Sun is scattered and preferentially absorbed by tiny particles of dust and ice in the atmosphere. When the Viking cameras are calibrated for darker scenes, the 'sky glow' tends to saturate their sensitivity and produce the bright regions seen here. The 'banding' and color separation effects are also artifacts, rather than real features, and are introduced because the cameras are not able to record continuous gradations of light. The cameras must represent such gradations in steps (bands) of brightness and color, and the process sometimes produces some 'false' colors within the bands. The scattering of light closest to the Sun's position tends to enhance blue wavelengths. The narrowing sky glow nearer the horizon above the Sun's position occurs as a result of light extinction. At that elevation, the optical path of sunlight through the atmosphere is at its longest penetration angle, and a substantial portion of the light is simply prevented from reaching the cameras by the dust, ice particles and other material in its way.

    NASA's Langley Research Center was the primary and extended mission manager; JPL assumed management for continued mission operations.

  4. Manganese, Metallogenium, and Martian Microfossils

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

  5. Ice Clouds in Martian Arctic (Accelerated Movie)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    Clouds scoot across the Martian sky in a movie clip consisting of 10 frames taken by the Surface Stereo Imager on NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander.

    This clip accelerates the motion. The camera took these 10 frames over a 10-minute period from 2:52 p.m. to 3:02 p.m. local solar time at the Phoenix site during Sol 94 (Aug. 29), the 94th Martian day since landing.

    Particles of water-ice make up these clouds, like ice-crystal cirrus clouds on Earth. Ice hazes have been common at the Phoenix site in recent days.

    The camera took these images as part of a campaign by the Phoenix team to see clouds and track winds. The view is toward slightly west of due south, so the clouds are moving westward or west-northwestward.

    The clouds are a dramatic visualization of the Martian water cycle. The water vapor comes off the north pole during the peak of summer. The northern-Mars summer has just passed its peak water-vapor abundance at the Phoenix site. The atmospheric water is available to form into clouds, fog and frost, such as the lander has been observing recently.

    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.

  6. Martian regolith as space radiation shielding.

    PubMed

    Simonsen, L C; Nealy, J E; Townsend, L W; Wilson, J W

    1991-01-01

    In current Mars scenario descriptions, an entire mission is estimated to take 500-1000 days round trip with a 100-600 day stay time on the surface. To maintain radiation dose levels below permissible limits, dose estimates must be determined for the entire mission length. With extended crew durations anticipated on Mars, the characterization of the radiation environment on the surface becomes a critical aspect of mission planning. The most harmful free-space radiation is due to high energy galactic cosmic rays (GCR) and solar flare protons. The carbon dioxide atmosphere of Mars has been estimated to provide a sufficient amount of shielding from these radiative fluxes to help maintain incurred doses below permissible limits. However, Mars exploration crews are likely to incur a substantial dose while in transit to Mars that will reduce the allowable dose that can be received while on the surface. Therefore, additional shielding may be necessary to maintain short-term dose levels below limits or to help maintain career dose levels as low as possible. By utilizing local resources, such as Martian regolith, shielding materials can be provided without excessive launch weight requirements from Earth. The scope of this synopsis and of Ref. 3 focuses on presenting our estimates of surface radiation doses received due to the transport and attenuation of galactic cosmic rays and February 1956 solar flare protons through the Martian atmosphere and through additional shielding provided by Martian regolith.

  7. Opportunity's Second Martian Birthday at Cape Verde

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2007-01-01

    A promontory nicknamed 'Cape Verde' can be seen jutting out from the walls of Victoria Crater in this approximate true-color picture taken by the panoramic camera on NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity. The rover took this picture on martian day, or sol, 1329 (Oct. 20, 2007), more than a month after it began descending down the crater walls -- and just 9 sols shy of its second Martian birthday on sol 1338 (Oct. 29, 2007). Opportunity landed on the Red Planet on Jan. 25, 2004. That's nearly four years ago on Earth, but only two on Mars because Mars takes longer to travel around the sun than Earth. One Martian year equals 687 Earth days.

    The overall soft quality of the image, and the 'haze' seen in the lower right portion, are the result of scattered light from dust on the front sapphire window of the rover's camera.

    This view was taken using three panoramic-camera filters, admitting light with wavelengths centered at 750 nanometers (near infrared), 530 nanometers (green) and 430 nanometers (violet).

  8. Martian Dust Collected by Phoenix's Arm

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    This image from NASA's Phoenix Lander's Optical Microscope shows particles of Martian dust lying on the microscope's silicon substrate. The Robotic Arm sprinkled a sample of the soil from the Snow White trench onto the microscope on July 2, 2008, the 38th Martian day, or sol, of the mission after landing.

    Subsequently, the Atomic Force Microscope, or AFM, zoomed in one of the fine particles, creating the first-ever image of a particle of Mars' ubiquitous fine dust, the most highly magnified image ever seen from another world.

    The Atomic Force Microscope was developed by a Swiss-led consortium in collaboration with Imperial College London. The AFM is part of Phoenix's Microscopy, Electrochemistry and Conductivity Analyzer instrument.

    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. Spectra of Martian Andesitic Materials

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Minitti, M. E.; Rutherford, M. J.; Weitz, C. M.

    2001-01-01

    The Mars Pathfinder and Mars Global Surveyor missions both detected andesitic compositions on the martian surface. We have investigated the spectral properties of unoxidized and oxidized martian andesitic samples crystallized with and without water. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  10. The Martian twilight

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kahn, R.; Goody, R.; Pollack, J. B.

    1981-07-01

    The changing sky brightness during the Martian twilight as measured by the Viking lander cameras is shown to be consistent with data obtained from sky brightness measurements. An exponential distribution of dust with a scale height of 10 km, equal to the atmospheric scale height, is consistent with the shape of the light curve. Multiple scattering resulting from the forward scattering peak of large particles makes a major contribution to the intensity of the twilight. The spectral distribution of light in the twilight sky may require slightly different optical properties for the scattering particles at high levels from those of the aerosol at lower levels.

  11. The New Martians

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kanas, Nick

    In The New Martians,the crewmembers undergo a great deal of psychological and interpersonal stress during their return home, in part prompted by the actions of a mysterious presence on board. Of course, no one knows for sure if such a presence will actually materialize during a real Mars expedition! But psychosocial issues will nevertheless affect a Mars crew due to the isolation, confinement, and long separation from family and friends that will characterize such a mission. In what follows, many of these issues will be reviewed, followed in each section by illustrations from the novel.

  12. Modeling the martian ionosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matta, Majd Mayyasi

    The accessibility of the Martian atmosphere to spacecraft provides an opportunity to study an ionosphere that differs from our own. Yet, despite the half century of measurements made at Mars, the current state of the neutral atmosphere and its embedded plasma (ionosphere) remains largely uncharacterized. In situ measurements of the neutral and ionized constituents versus height exist only from the two Viking Landers from the 1970s. Subsequent satellite and remote sensing data offer sparse global coverage of the ionosphere. Thermal characteristics of the plasma environment are not well understood. Patchy crustal magnetic fields interact with the Martian plasma in a way that has not been fully studied. Hence, investigating the coupled compositional, thermal and crustal-field-affected properties of the ionosphere can provide insight into comparative systems at Earth and other planets, as well as to atypical processes such as the solar wind interaction with topside ionospheric plasma and associated pathways to escape. Ionospheric models are fundamental tools that advance our understanding of complex plasma systems. A pre-existing one-dimensional model of the Martian ionosphere has been upgraded to include more comprehensive chemistry and transport physics. This new BU Mars Ionosphere Model has been used to study the composition, thermal structure and dynamics of the Martian ionosphere. Specifically: the sensitivity of the abundance of ions to neutral atmospheric composition has been quantified, diurnal patterns of ion and electron temperatures have been derived self-consistently using supra-thermal electron heating rates, and the behavior of ionospheric plasma in crustal field regions was simulated by constructing a two-dimensional ionospheric model. Results from these studies were compared with measurements and show that (1) ion composition at Mars is highly sensitive to the abundance of neutral molecular and atomic hydrogen, (2) lighter ions heat up more efficiently

  13. Polygons in Martian Frost

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2003-01-01

    MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-428, 21 July 2003

    This 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.

  14. Martian sediments and sedimentary rocks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Markun, C. D.

    1988-01-01

    Martian sediments and sedimentary rocks, clastic and nonclastic, should represent a high priority target in any future return-sample mission. The discovery of such materials and their subsequent analysis in terrestrial laboratories, would greatly increase the understanding of the Martian paleoclimate. The formation of Martian clastic sedimentary rocks, under either present, low-pressure, xeric conditions or a postulated, high-pressure, hydric environment, depends upon the existence of a supply of particles, various cementing agents and depositional basins. A very high resolution (mm-cm range) photographic reconnaissance of these areas would produce a quantum jump in the understanding of Martian geological history. Sampling would be confined to more horizontal (recent) surfaces. Exploration techniques are suggested for various hypothetical Martian sedimentary rocks.

  15. Variability of the Martian thermospheric temperatures during the last 7 Martian Years

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gonzalez-Galindo, Francisco; Lopez-Valverde, Miguel Angel; Millour, Ehouarn; Forget, François

    2014-05-01

    The temperatures and densities in the Martian upper atmosphere have a significant influence over the different processes producing atmospheric escape. A good knowledge of the thermosphere and its variability is thus necessary in order to better understand and quantify the atmospheric loss to space and the evolution of the planet. Different global models have been used to study the seasonal and interannual variability of the Martian thermosphere, usually considering three solar scenarios (solar minimum, solar medium and solar maximum conditions) to take into account the solar cycle variability. However, the variability of the solar activity within the simulated period of time is not usually considered in these models. We have improved the description of the UV solar flux included on the General Circulation Model for Mars developed at the Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique (LMD-MGCM) in order to include its observed day-to-day variability. We have used the model to simulate the thermospheric variability during Martian Years 24 to 30, using realistic UV solar fluxes and dust opacities. The model predicts and interannual variability of the temperatures in the upper thermosphere that ranges from about 50 K during the aphelion to up to 150 K during perihelion. The seasonal variability of temperatures due to the eccentricity of the Martian orbit is modified by the variability of the solar flux within a given Martian year. The solar rotation cycle produces temperature oscillations of up to 30 K. We have also studied the response of the modeled thermosphere to the global dust storms in Martian Year 25 and Martian Year 28. The atmospheric dynamics are significantly modified by the global dust storms, which induces significant changes in the thermospheric temperatures. The response of the model to the presence of both global dust storms is in good agreement with previous modeling results (Medvedev et al., Journal of Geophysical Research, 2013). As expected, the simulated

  16. Rocky Martian Plain

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1976-01-01

    The rocky Martian plain surrounding Viking 2 is seen in high resolution in this 85-degree panorama sweeping from north at the left to east at right during the Martian afternoon on September 5. Large blocks litter the surface. Some are porous, sponge-like rocks like the one at the left edge (size estimate: 1 1/2 to 2 feet); others are dense and fine-grained, such as the very bright rounded block (1 to 1 1/2 feet across) toward lower right. Pebbled surface between the rocks is covered in places by small drifts of very fine material similar to drifts seen at the Viking 1 landing site some 4600 miles to the southwest. The fine-grained material is banked up behind some rocks, but wind tails seen by Viking 1 are not well-developed here. On the right horizon, flat-topped ridges or hills are illuminated by the afternoon sun. Slope of the horizon is due to the 8-degree tilt of the spacecraft.

  17. Martian Moon Phobos

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1977-01-01

    Caption: 'Close up of the Martian Moon Phobos taken by Viking Orbiter 1 on February 20, 1977. Viking Orbiter 1 took this close-up photo of the Martian satellite phobos from a range of 120 kilometers at 5:15 p.m. (PST) February 20, 1977. That is the closest range at which any spacecraft has photographed the tiny satellite. At that range, Phobos is too large to be captured in a single frame. This picture covers an area 3 by 3.5 kilometers across. However, the high relative speed of Orbiter 1 and Phobos caused some image smear so that the smallest surface feature identifiable is between 10 and 15 meters (32 and 49 feet) across. Special processing in JPL's Image Processing Lab should improve resolution. The picture shows a region in the northern hemisphere of Phobos that has striations and is heavily cratered. The striations, which appear to be grooves rather than crater chains, are about 100 to 200 meters wide and tens of kilometers long. Craters range in size from 10 meters to 1.2 kilometers in diameter. The surface of Phobos appears similar to the highland regions of the Moon which also was heavily cratered and ancient terrain. The dark region above the limb of Phobos is an artifact of processing and does not indicate an atmosphere.

  18. Martian soil color variations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

    Rocks and soils on the surface are thought to be composed of minerals similar to those found on Earth's surface. One of the most important tools for recognizing these minerals is the spectrum of sunlight reflected by them. At the visible and near-infrared light wavelengths measured by the Imager for Mars Pathfinder (IMP), the most important coloring materials in the Martian surface are iron minerals. There are two broad classes of iron minerals. Minerals which occur in igneous rocks (such as pyroxene) have a relatively flat spectrum and they reflect only a small amount of light; they are said to have a low reflectance. Ferric iron minerals, which occur as weathering products, reflect longer-wavelength light and absorb short-wavelength light, hence their very red color. The relative brightnesses of Martian surface materials in IMP's different wavelength filter is a powerful tool for recognizing the iron minerals present.

    Mars Pathfinder is the second in NASA's Discovery program of low-cost spacecraft with highly focused science goals. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, developed and manages the Mars Pathfinder mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. The Imager for Mars Pathfinder (IMP) was developed by the University of Arizona Lunar and Planetary Laboratory under contract to JPL. Peter Smith is the Principal Investigator. JPL is an operating division of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

  19. Ancient oceans and Martian paleohydrology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Baker, Victor R.; Strom, Robert G.; Gulick, Virginia C.; Kargel, Jeffrey S.; Komatsu, Goro; Kale, Vishwas S.

    1991-01-01

    The global model of ocean formation on Mars is discussed. The studies of impact crater densities on certain Martian landforms show that late in Martian history there could have been coincident formation of: (1) glacial features in the Southern Hemisphere; (2) ponded water and related ice features in the northern plains; (3) fluvial runoff on Martian uplands; and (4) active ice-related mass-movement. This model of transient ocean formation ties these diverse observations together in a long-term cyclic scheme of global planetary operation.

  20. Isotopic Evidence for a Martian Regolith Component in Martian Meteorites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rao, M. N.; Nyquist, L. E.; Bogard, D. D.; Garrison, D. H.; Sutton, S.

    2009-01-01

    Noble gas measurements in gas-rich impact-melt (GRIM) glasses in EET79001 shergottite showed that their elemental and isotopic composition is similar to that of the Martian atmosphere [1-3]. The GRIM glasses contain large amounts of Martian atmospheric gases. Those measurements further suggested that the Kr isotopic composition of Martian atmosphere is approximately similar to that of solar Kr. The (80)Kr(sub n) - (80)Kr(sub M) mixing ratio in the Martian atmosphere reported here is approximately 3%. These neutron-capture reactions presumably occurred in the glass-precursor regolith materials containing Sm- and Br- bearing mineral phases near the EET79001/ Shergotty sites on Mars. The irradiated materials were mobilized into host rock voids either during shock-melting or possibly by earlier aeolian / fluvial activity.

  1. Trajectories of Martian Habitability

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Abstract 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. Key Words: Mars—Habitability—Liquid water—Planetary science. Astrobiology 14, 182–203. PMID:24506485

  2. Martian surface weathering studies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Calvin, M.

    1973-01-01

    The nature of the Martian surface was characterized by means of its reflectance properties. The Mariner 9 photography was used to establish terrain units which were crossed by the Mariner 6 and 7 paths. The IR reflectance measured by the IR spectrometers on these spacecraft was to be used to indicate the nature of the surface within these units. There is an indication of physical size and/or compositional variation between units but too many natural parameters can vary (size, shape, composition, adsorbed phases, reradiation, atmospheric absorbtion, temperature gradients, etc.) to be certain what effect is causing those variations observed. It is suggested that the characterization could be fruitfully pursued by a group which was dedicated to peeling back the layers of minutia affecting IR reflectance.

  3. An Adulterated Martian Meteorite

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taylor, G. J.

    1999-07-01

    Martian meteorite, Elephant Moraine EETA79001, is composed of two distinct rock types. Scientists have thought that both formed from magmas, hence are igneous rocks and contain important information about the interior of Mars, the nature of lava flows on its surface, and the timing of igneous events on Mars. All that is now open to question, as a group of investigators at Lockheed Martin Space Operations and the Johnson Space Center led by David Mittlefehldt (Lockheed) has shown that one of the rock types making up EETA79001, designated lithology A, is almost certainly a melted mixture of other rocks. Mittlefehldt and coworkers suggest that formation by impact melting is the most likely explanation for the chemical and mineralogical features seen in the rock. If confirmed by other investigations, this may change the way we view the igneous evolution of Mars.

  4. Martian atmospheric radiation budget

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lindner, Bernhard Lee

    1994-01-01

    A computer model is used to study the radiative transfer of the martian winter-polar atmosphere. Solar heating at winter-polar latitudes is provided predominately by dust. For normal, low-dust conditions, CO2 provides almost as much heating as dust. Most heating by CO2 in the winter polar atmosphere is provided by the 2.7 micron band between 10 km and 30 km altitude, and by the 2.0 micron band below 10 km. The weak 1.3 micron band provides some significant heating near the surface. The minor CO2 bands at 1.4, 1.6, 4.8 and 5.2 micron are all optically thin, and produce negligible heating. O3 provides less than 10 percent of the total heating. Atmospheric cooling is predominantly thermal emission by dust, although CO2 15 micron band emission is important above 20 km altitude.

  5. Martian City Map

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    30 May 2004 Seasonal frost can enhance the view from orbit of polar polygonal patterns on the surface of Mars. Sometimes these patterns look something like a city map, or the view from above a city lit-up at night. This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows an example from the south polar region near 80.7oS, 70.6oW. Polar polygons on Mars are generally believed, though not proven, to be the result of freeze/thaw cycles of ice occurring within the upper few meters (several yards) of the martian subsurface. The image shown here covers an area about 3 km (1.9 mi) across; sunlight illuminates the scene from the upper left.

  6. Martian Meteorological Lander

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vorontsov, V.; Pichkhadze, K.; Polyakov, A.

    2002-01-01

    Martian meteorological lander (MML) is dedicated for landing onto the Mars surface with the purpose to carry on the monitoring of Mars atmosphere condition at a landing point during one Martian year. MML is supposed to become the basic element of a global net of meteorological mini stations and will permit to observe the dynamics of Martian atmosphere parameters changes during a long time duration. The main scientific tasks of MML are as follows: -study of vertical structure of Mars atmosphere during MML descending; -meteorological observations on Mars surface during one Martian year. One of the essential factor influencing to the lander design is descent trajectory design. During the preliminary phase of development five (5) options of MML were considered. In our opinion, these variants provide the accomplishment of the above-mentioned tasks with a high effectiveness. Joined into the first group, variants with parachute system and with Inflatable Air Brakes+Inflatable Airbag are similar in arranging of pre-landing braking stage and completely analogous in landing by means of airbags. The usage of additional Inflatable Braking Unit (IBU) in the second variant does not affect the procedure of braking - decreasing of velocity by the moment of touching the surface due to decreasing of ballistic parameter Px. A distinctive feature of MML development variants of other three concepts is the presence of Inflatable Braking Unit (IBU) in their configurations (IBU is rigidly joined with landing module up to the moment of its touching the surface). Besides, in variant with the tore-shaped IBU it acts as a shock- absorbing unit. In two options, Inflatable Braking Shock-Absorbing Unit (IBSAU) (or IBU) releases the surface module after its landing at the moment of IBSAU (or IBU) elastic recoil. Variants of this concept are equal in terms of mass (approximately 15 kg). For variants of concepts with IBU the landing velocity is up to50-70 m/s. Stations of last three options are

  7. Morning Frost on Martian Surface

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    A thin layer of water frost is visible on the ground around NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander in this image taken by the Surface Stereo Imager at 6 a.m. on Sol 79 (August 14, 2008), the 79th Martian day after landing. The frost begins to disappear shortly after 6 a.m. as the sun rises on the Phoenix landing site.

    The sun was about 22 degrees above the horizon when the image was taken, enhancing the detail of the polygons, troughs and rocks around the landing site.

    This view is looking east southeast with the lander's eastern solar panel visible in the bottom lefthand corner of the image. The rock in the foreground is informally named 'Quadlings' and the rock near center is informally called 'Winkies.'

    This false color image has been enhanced to show color variations.

    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.

  8. Phoenix's Probe Inserted in Martian Soil

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    The Phoenix Mars lander's robotic-arm camera took this image of the spacecraft's thermal and electrical-conductivity probe (TECP) inserted into Martian soil on day 149 of the mission. Phoenix landed on Mars' northern plains on May 25, 2008, landing.

    The robotic-arm camera acquired this image at 16:02:41 local solar time. The camera pointing was elevation -72.6986 degrees and azimuth 2.1093 degrees.

    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. Nighttime Clouds in Martian Arctic (Accelerated Movie)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    An angry looking sky is captured in a movie clip consisting of 10 frames taken by the Surface Stereo Imager on NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander.

    The clip accelerates the motion. The images were take around 3 a.m. local solar time at the Phoenix site during Sol 95 (Aug. 30), the 95th Martian day since landing.

    The swirling clouds may be moving generally in a westward direction over the lander.

    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.

  10. Design considerations for a Martian Balloon Rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Redd, F.; Levesque, R. J.; Williams, G. E.

    1987-01-01

    The present NASA-sponsored design feasibility study for a balloon-borne sensor platform that is to be used over environmentally dissimilar sites on Mars gives attention to specific environmental and configurational parameters of a baseline balloon design, with a view to day/night altitude variations in response to temperature extremes. It is concluded that a Martian Balloon Rover can be developed using current technology; projected reductions in high-strength fabric density and radiation-resistant coatings will further enhance mission effectiveness, permitting either balloon size reductions or payload capacity increases.

  11. Active thermal control systems for lunar and Martian exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ewert, Michael K.; Petete, Patricia A.; Dzenitis, John

    1990-01-01

    Several ATCS options including heat pumps, radiator shading devices, and single-phase flow loops were considered. The ATCS chosen for both lunar and Martian habitats consists of a heat pump integral with a nontoxic fluid acquisition and transport loop, and vertically oriented modular reflux-boiler radiators. The heat pump operates only during the lunar day. The lunar and Martian transfer vehicles have an internal single-phase water-acquisition loop and an external two-phase ammonia rejection system with rotating inflatable radiators. The lunar and Martian excursion vehicles incorporate internal single-phase water acquisition, which is connected via heat exchangers to external body-mounted single-phase radiators. A water evaporation system is used for the transfer vehicles during periods of high heating.

  12. Compression of Martian atmosphere for production of oxygen

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lynch, D. C.; Cutler, A. H.; Nolan, P. E.

    1991-01-01

    The compression of CO2 from the Martian atmosphere for production of O2 via an electrochemical cell is addressed. Design specifications call for an oxygen production rate of 10 kg per day and for compression of 50 times that mass of CO2. Those specifications require a compression rate of over 770 cfm at standard Martian temperature and pressure (SMTP). Much of the CO2 being compressed represents waste, unless it can be recycled. Recycling can reduce the volume of gas that must be compressed to 40 cfm at SMTP. That volume reduction represents significant mass savings in the compressor, heating equipment, filters, and energy source. Successful recycle of the gas requires separation of CO (produced in the electrochemical cell) from CO2, N2, and Ar found in the Martian atmosphere. That aspect was the focus of this work.

  13. Martian 'Kitchen Sponge'

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    This picture is illuminated by sunlight from the upper left. It shows a tiny 1 kilometer by 1 kilometer (0.62 x 0.62 mile) area of the martian north polar residual ice cap as it appears in summertime.

    The surface looks somewhat like that of a kitchen sponge--it is flat on top and has many closely-spaced pits of no more than 2 meters (5.5 ft) depth. The upper, flat surface in this image has a medium-gray tone, while the pit interiors are darker gray. Each pit is generally 10 to 20 meters (33-66 feet) across. The pits probably form as water ice sublimes--going directly from solid to vapor--during the martian northern summer seasons. The pits probably develop over thousands of years. This texture is very different from what is seen in the south polar cap, where considerably larger and more circular depressions are found to resemble slices of swiss cheese rather than a kitchen sponge.

    This picture was taken by the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) during northern summer on March 8, 1999. It was one of the very last 'calibration' images taken before the start of the Mapping Phase of the MGS mission, and its goal was to determine whether the MOC was properly focused. The crisp appearance of the edges of the pits confirmed that the instrument was focused and ready for its 1-Mars Year mapping mission. The scene is located near 86.9oN, 207.5oW, and has a resolution of about 1.4 meters (4 ft, 7 in) per pixel.

    Malin Space Science Systems and the California Institute of Technology built the MOC using spare hardware from the Mars Observer mission. MSSS operates the camera from its facilities in San Diego, CA. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Mars Surveyor Operations Project operates the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft with its industrial partner, Lockheed Martin Astronautics, from facilities in Pasadena, CA and Denver, CO.

  14. A Violet Martian Sky

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

    These clouds from Sol 15 have a new look. As water ice clouds cover the sky, the sky takes on a more bluish cast. This is because small particles (perhaps a tenth the size of the martian dust, or one-thousandth the thickness of a human hair) are bright in blue light, but almost invisible in red light. Thus, scientists expect that the ice particles in the clouds are very small. The clouds were imaged by the Imager for Mars Pathfinder (IMP).

    Mars Pathfinder is the second in NASA's Discovery program of low-cost spacecraft with highly focused science goals. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, developed and manages the Mars Pathfinder mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). The Imager for Mars Pathfinder (IMP) was developed by the University of Arizona Lunar and Planetary Laboratory under contract to JPL. Peter Smith is the Principal Investigator.

  15. The Martian surface layer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Christensen, Philip R.; Moore, Henry J.

    1992-01-01

    The global characteristics of the Martian surface layer are discussed on the basis of thermal, albedo, color, and radar data for the region between approximately 60 deg S and 60 deg N. Thermal data reveal the presence of large low- and high-inertia regions of the northern hemisphere, with much of the south covered by material of moderate inertia. There is a strong anticorrelation between inertia and albedo, a correlation between inertia and rock abundance, and, over much of the planet, a correlation of radar-derived density with inertia. Viking Orbiter color data indicate the presence of three major surface materials: low-inertia, bright-red material that is presumably dust; high-inertia, dark-grey material interpreted to be lithic material mixed with palagonitelike dust; and moderate-inertia, dark-red material that is rough at subpixel scales and interpreted to be indurated. Observations from the Viking landing sites show rocks, fines of varying cohesion and crusts. These sites have indications of aeolian erosion and deposition in the recent past.

  16. Melting in Martian Snowbanks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zent, A. P.; Sutter, B.

    2005-01-01

    Precipitation as snow is an emerging paradigm for understanding water flow on Mars, which gracefully resolves many outstanding uncertainties in climatic and geomorphic interpretation. Snowfall does not require a powerful global greenhouse to effect global precipitation. It has long been assumed that global average temperatures greater than 273K are required to sustain liquid water at the surface via rainfall and runoff. Unfortunately, the best greenhouse models to date predict global mean surface temperatures early in Mars' history that differ little from today's, unless exceptional conditions are invoked. Snowfall however, can occur at temperatures less than 273K; all that is required is saturation of the atmosphere. At global temperatures lower than 273K, H2O would have been injected into the atmosphere by impacts and volcanic eruptions during the Noachian, and by obliquity-driven climate oscillations more recently. Snow cover can accumulate for a considerable period, and be available for melting during local spring and summer, unless sublimation rates are sufficient to remove the entire snowpack. We decided to explore the physics that controls the melting of snow in the high-latitude regions of Mars to understand the frequency and drainage of snowmelt in the high martian latitudes.

  17. Salty Martian Rock

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    These plots, or spectra, show that a rock dubbed 'McKittrick' near the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity's landing site at Meridiani Planum, Mars, has higher concentrations of sulfur and bromine than a nearby patch of soil nicknamed 'Tarmac.' These data were taken by Opportunity's alpha particle X-ray spectrometer, which produces a spectrum, or fingerprint, of chemicals in martian rocks and soil. The instrument contains a radioisotope, curium-244, that bombards a designated area with alpha particles and X-rays, causing a cascade of reflective fluorescent X-rays. The energies of these fluorescent X-rays are unique to each atom in the periodic table, allowing scientists to determine a target's chemical composition.

    Both 'Tarmac' and 'McKittrick' are located within the small crater where Opportunity landed. The full spectra are expressed as X-ray intensity (logarithmic scale) versus energy. When comparing two spectra, the relative intensities at a given energy are proportional to the elemental concentrations, however these proportionality factors can be complex. To be precise, scientists extensively calibrate the instrument using well-analyzed geochemical standards.

    Both the alpha particle X-ray spectrometer and the rock abrasion tool are located on the rover's instrument deployment device, or arm.

  18. Composition of Simulated Martian Brines and Implications for the Origin of Martian Salts

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bullock, M. A.; Moore, J. M.; Mellon, M. T.

    2004-01-01

    We report on laboratory experiments that have produced dilute brines under controlled conditions meant to simulate past and present Mars. We allowed an SNC-derived mineral mix to react with pure water under a simulated present-Mars atmosphere for seven months. We then subjected the same mineral mix to a similar aqueous environment for one year, but with a simulated Mars atmosphere that contained the added gases SO2, HCl and NO2. The addition of acidic gases was designed to mimic the effects of volcanic gases that may have been present in the martian atmosphere during periods of increased volcanic activity. The experiments were performed at one bar and at two different temperatures in order to simulate subsurface conditions where liquid water and rock are likely to interact on Mars. The dominant cations dissolved in the solutions we produced were Ca(2+), Mg(2+), Al(3+) and Na(+), while the major anions are dissolved C, F(-), SO4(2-) and Cl(-). Typical solution pH was 4.2 to 6.0 for experiments run with a Mars analog atmosphere, and 3.6-5.0 for experiments with acidic gases added. Abundance patterns of elements in the synthetic sulfate-chloride brines produced under acidic conditions were distinctly unlike those of terrestrial ocean water, terrestrial continental waters, and those measured in the martian fines at the Mars Pathfinder and Viking 1 and 2 landing sites. In particular, the S/Cl ratio in these experiments was about 200, compared with an average value of approx. 5 in martian fines. In contrast, abundance patterns of elements in the brines produced under a present day Mars analog atmosphere were quite similar to those measured in the martian fines at the Mars Pathfinder and Viking 1 and 2 landing sites. This suggests that salts present in the martian regolith may have formed over time as a result of the interaction of surface or subsurface liquid water with basalts in the presence of a martian atmosphere similar in composition to that of today, rather than

  19. Martian Igneous Geochemistry: The Nature of the Martian Mantle

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mittlefehldt, D. W.; Elkins-Tanton, L. T.; Peng, Z. X.; Herrin, J. S.

    2012-01-01

    Mafic igneous rocks probe the interiors of their parent objects, reflecting the compositions and mineralogies of their source regions, and the magmatic processes that engendered them. Incompatible trace element contents of mafic igneous rocks are widely used to constrain the petrologic evolution of planets. We focus on incompatible element ratios of martian meteorites to constrain the petrologic evolution of Mars in the context of magma ocean/cumulate overturn models [1]. Most martian meteorites contain some cumulus grains, but regardless, their incompatible element ratios are close to those of their parent magmas. Martian meteorites form two main petrologic/ age groupings; a 1.3 Ga group composed of clinopyroxenites (nakhlites) and dunites (chassignites), and a <1 Ga group composed of basalts and lherzolites (shergottites).

  20. Review of the novelties presented at the 29th Congress of the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS) (III).

    PubMed

    Fernández, Óscar; Álvarez-Cermeño, José C; Arnal-García, Carmen; Arroyo-González, Rafael; Brieva, Lluís; Calles-Hernández, M Carmen; Casanova-Estruch, Bonaventura; Comabella, Manuel; García-Merino, Juan A; Izquierdo, Guillermo; Meca-Lallana, José E; Mendibe-Bilbao, María del Mar; Muñoz-García, Delicias; Olascoaga, Javier; Oliva-Nacarino, Pedro; Oreja-Guevara, Celia; Prieto, José M; Ramió-Torrentà, Lluís; Romero-Pinel, Lucía; Saiz, Albert; Rodríguez-Antigüedad, Alfredo; Grupo Post-ECTRIMS

    2014-10-16

    The most relevant data presented at the 29th Congress of the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS), held in October 2013 in Denmark, were summarised at the sixth edition of the Post-ECTRIMS Expert Meeting held in Madrid in October 2013, resulting in this review, which is being published in three parts. This third part of the Post-ECTRIMS review discusses the effects of immunomodulatory therapy on the natural history of multiple sclerosis, with special attention to the assessment of long-term effects and the use of historical controls as an alternative to randomised trials compared with placebo. This article contains possible future therapeutic strategies to be tested in experimental models and discusses clinical trials that are underway and future treatments. It also summarises the results of recent studies of disease-modifying treatments and developments in symptom management. Briefly, on the horizon are many drugs with different mechanisms of action, although new strategies and treatment algorithms are needed, as are new biomarkers and assessment measures of secondary progression and long-term records to assess safety. As for the symptomatic treatment of the disease, the proposal is a personalised treatment plan and a multidisciplinary approach to improve the quality of life of patients.

  1. Modelling of the outburst on July 29th , 2015 observed with OSIRIS in the southern hemisphere of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gicquel, Adeline; Vincent, Jean-Baptiste; Sierks, Holger; Rose, Martin; Agarwal, Jessica; Deller, Jakob; Guettler, Carsten; Hoefner, Sebastian; Hofmann, Marc; Hu, Xuanyu; Kovacs, Gabor; Oklay Vincent, Nilda; Shi, Xian; Tubiana, Cecilia; Barbieri, Cesare; Lamy, Phylippe; Rodrigo, Rafael; Koschny, Detlef; Rickman, Hans; OSIRIS Team

    2016-10-01

    Images of the nucleus and the coma (gas and dust) of comet 67P/Churyumov- Gerasimenko have been acquired by the OSIRIS (Optical, Spectroscopic, and Infrared Remote Imaging System) cameras system since March 2014 using both the wide angle camera (WAC) and the narrow angle camera (NAC). We are using the NAC camera to study the bright outburst observed on July 29th, 2015 in the southern hemisphere. The NAC camera's wavelength ranges between 250-1000 nm with a combination of 12 filters. The high spatial resolution is needed to localize the source point of the outburst on the surface of the nucleus. At the time of the observations, the heliocentric distance was 1.25AU and the distance between the spacecraft and the comet was 126 km. We aim to understand the physics leading to such outgassing: Is the jet associated to the outbursts controlled by the micro-topography? Or by ice suddenly exposed? We are using the Direct Simulation Monte Carlo (DSMC) method to study the gas flow close to the nucleus. The goal of the DSMC code is to reproduce the opening angle of the jet, and constrain the outgassing ratio between outburst source and local region. The results of this model will be compared to the images obtained with the NAC camera.

  2. Review of the novelties presented at the 29th Congress of the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS) (I).

    PubMed

    Fernandez, O; Alvarez-Cermeno, J C; Arnal-Garcia, C; Arroyo-Gonzalez, R; Brieva, Ll; Calles-Hernandez, M C; Casanova-Estruch, B; Comabella, M; Garcia-Merino, J A; Izquierdo, G; Meca-Lallana, J E; Mendibe-Bilbao, M M; Munoz-Garcia, D; Olascoaga, J; Oliva-Nacarino, P; Oreja-Guevara, C; Prieto, J M; Ramio-Torrenta, Ll; Romero-Pinel, L; Saiz, A; Rodriguez-Antiguedad, A; Grupo Post-Ectrims, Grupo Post-Ectrims

    2014-09-16

    The most relevant data presented at the 29th Congress of the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS), held in October 2013 in Denmark, were summarised at the sixth edition of the Post-ECTRIMS Expert Meeting, held in Madrid in October 2013, resulting in this review, to be published in three parts. This first part of the Post-ECTRIMS review presents an update on gender differences in multiple sclerosis (MS) as well as new evidence on the impact of sex hormones on the disease. We should consider that there is still much to discover with regard to the genetic components of the disease. Similarly, possible infections and lifestyle habits are added as triggers of the known environmental risk factors for MS. The interaction between genetics and the environment has been increasingly implicated as a cause of susceptibility to MS. With regard to the mechanisms of inflammation, axo-glial proteins, instead of myelin proteins, may be the early antigenic targets, and B cells have been implicated in the production of cytokines toxic to oligodendrocytes. Chitinase 3-like 1 (CHI3L1) is validated as a prognostic marker of conversion to MS, and immunoglobulin M oligoclonal bands and L-selectin could be incorporated as possible measures of the risk stratification strategy in patients treated with natalizumab.

  3. [Review of the novelties presented at the 29th Congress of the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS) (II)].

    PubMed

    Fernández, Óscar; Álvarez-Cermeño, José C; Arnal-García, Carmen; Arroyo-González, Rafael; Brieva, Lluís; Calles-Hernández, M Carmen; Casanova-Estruch, Bonaventura; Comabella, Manuel; García-Merino, Juan A; Izquierdo, Guillermo; Meca-Lallana, José E; Mendibe-Bilbao, María del Mar; Muñoz-García, Delicias; Olascoaga, Javier; Oliva-Nacarino, Pedro; Oreja-Guevara, Celia; Prieto, José M; Ramió-Torrentà, Lluís; Romero-Pinel, Lucía; Saiz, Albert; Rodríguez-Antigüedad, Alfredo

    2014-10-01

    The most relevant data presented at the 29th Congress of the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS), held in October 2013 in Denmark, were summarised at the sixth edition of the Post-ECTRIMS Expert Meeting, held in Madrid in October 2013, resulting in this review, which is being published in three parts. This second part of the Post-ECTRIMS review focuses on diagnostic imaging and differential diagnosis, the clinical and paraclinical monitoring of neurodegeneration, progression and disability, and functional imaging and neural connectivity. It is clear that conventional multiple sclerosis sequences remain essential for the diagnosis, differential diagnosis and disease monitoring, that new MRI techniques help to assess the neurodegenerative process, and that some of the new sequences are more specific to neuroaxonal injury. Very high field magnetic resonance imaging allows better understanding of the lesion load, distribution and heterogeneity of the lesions, and positron emission tomography studies offer new insight into the patho-physiology of the disease. Functional imaging and neural connectivity studies show that there is cortical reorganisation in multiple sclerosis, whose equilibrium with structural damage is responsible for the impairment.

  4. Bacteria under simulated Martian conditions.

    PubMed

    Young, R S; Deal, P H; Bell, J; Allen, J L

    1964-01-01

    The behavior of organisms in simulated Martian conditions is of great importance to exobiology for two reasons: (1) Because of the extreme environment of Mars, the likelihood of contamination of the planet by earth organisms is considered slight by some scientists. To date, there has been little evidence to contradict this supposition. Such evidence is presented. (2) The selection and adaptation of earth bacteria to Martian conditions is potentially significant in understanding Martian life, if it exists, and may be helpful in designing life-detection techniques and devices. Of course, simulation attempts, based on current knowledge of the Mars environment, may be far from the actual conditions, and extrapolations made from such situations of no real significance. However, generalizations can be made and cautious interpretation of the results of those experiments seems well worth reporting. A new technique for simulation of known parameters of the Martian environment is discussed along with possible biological implications. The response of bacteria to such simulation is demonstrated in terms of survival and growth, showing that certain bacteria will not only survive, but grow during simulated Martian freeze-thaw cycling if water is present. Ways are demonstrated in which water can be present on Mars although not detectable with current technology. Plans for future experimentation are discussed.

  5. Martian Dunes in Infrared

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    This collage of six images taken by the camera system on NASA's Mars Odyssey, shows examples of the daytime temperature patterns of martian dunes seen by the infrared camera. The dunes can be seen in this daytime image because of the temperature differences between the sunlit (warm and bright) and shadowed (cold and dark) slopes of the dunes. The temperatures in each image vary, but typically range from approximately -35 degrees Celsius (-31 degrees Fahrenheit) to -15degrees Celsius (5 degrees Fahrenheit). Each image covers an area approximately 32 by 32 kilometers (20 by 20 miles) and was acquired using the infrared Band 9, centered at 12.6 micrometers. Clockwise from the upper left, these images are: (a) Russel crater, 54 degrees south latitude, 13 degrees east longitude; (b) Kaiser crater. 45degrees south latitude, 19 degrees east longitude; (c) Rabe crater, 43south latitude, 35 east longitude; (d) 22 north latitude, 66 degrees east longitude; (e) Proctor crater. 47 degrees south latitude, 30 degrees east longitude; (f) 61 degrees south latitude, 201 degrees east longitude.

    The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the 2001 Mars Odyssey mission for NASA's Office of Space Science in Washington, D.C. Investigators at Arizona State University in Tempe, the University of Arizona in Tucson and NASA's Johnson Space Center, Houston, operate the science instruments. Additional science partners are located at the Russian Aviation and Space Agency and at Los Alamos National Laboratories, New Mexico. Lockheed Martin Astronautics, Denver, is the prime contractor for the project, and developed and built the orbiter. Mission operations are conducted jointly from Lockheed Martin and from JPL.

  6. Martian 'Swiss Cheese'

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    This image is illuminated by sunlight from the upper left.

    Looking like pieces of sliced and broken swiss cheese, the upper layer of the martian south polar residual cap has been eroded, leaving flat-topped mesas into which are set circular depressions such as those shown here. The circular features are depressions, not hills. The largest mesas here stand about 4 meters (13 feet) high and may be composed of frozen carbon dioxide and/or water. Nothing like this has ever been seen anywhere on Mars except within the south polar cap, leading to some speculation that these landforms may have something to do with the carbon dioxide thought to be frozen in the south polar region. On Earth, we know frozen carbon dioxide as 'dry ice'. On Mars, as this picture might be suggesting, there may be entire landforms larger than a small town and taller than 2 to 3 men and women that consist, in part, of dry ice.

    No one knows for certain whether frozen carbon dioxide has played a role in the creation of the 'swiss cheese' and other bizarre landforms seen in this picture. The picture covers an area 3 x 9 kilometers (1.9 x 5.6 miles) near 85.6oS, 74.4oW at a resolution of 7.3 meters (24 feet) per pixel. This picture was taken by the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) during early southern spring on August 3, 1999.

    Malin Space Science Systems and the California Institute of Technology built the MOC using spare hardware from the Mars Observer mission. MSSS operates the camera from its facilities in San Diego, CA. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Mars Surveyor Operations Project operates the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft with its industrial partner, Lockheed Martin Astronautics, from facilities in Pasadena, CA and Denver, CO.

  7. Fluvial valleys and Martian palaeoclimates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gulick, Virginia C.; Baker, Victor R.

    1989-10-01

    Theoretical models of early Martian atmospheric evolution describe the maintenance of a dense CO2 atmosphere and a warm, wet climate until the end of the heavy-bombardment phase of impacting. However, the presence of very young, earthlike fluvial valleys on the northern flank of Alba Patera conflicts with this scenario. Whereas the widespread ancient Martian valleys generally have morphologies indicative of sapping erosion by the slow outflow of subsurface water, the local Alba valleys were probably formed by surface-runoff processes. Because subsurface water flow might be maintained by hydrothermal energy inputs and because surface-runoff valleys developed late in Martian history, it is not necessary to invoke drastically different planet-wide climatic conditions to explain valley development on Mars. The Alba fluvial valleys can be explained by hydrothermal activity or outflow-channel discharges that locally modified the atmosphere, including precipitation and local overland flow on low-permeability volcanic ash.

  8. Martian Alteration in Unique Meteorite NWA 8159?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hallis, L. J.; Simpson, S.; Mark, D.; Lee, M. R.

    2016-08-01

    This study aims to determine if the olivine alteration in martian meteorite NWA 8159 has a martian origin. If so, the unique nature of this meteorite presents evidence for aqueous processes at a new time and location on the martian surface.

  9. Phoenix Conductivity Probe Inserted into Martian Soil

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander inserted the four needles of its thermal and conductivity probe into Martian soil during the 98th Martian day, or sol, of the mission and left it in place until Sol 99 (Sept. 4, 2008).

    The Robotic Arm Camera on Phoenix took this image on the morning of Sol 99 while the probe's needles were in the ground. The science team informally named this soil target 'Gandalf.'

    The thermal and conductivity probe measures how fast heat and electricity move from one needle to an adjacent one through the soil or air between the needles. Conductivity readings can be indicators about water vapor, water ice and liquid water.

    The probe is part of Phoenix's Microscopy, Electrochemistry and Conductivity suite of instruments.

    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.

  10. Curiosity analyzes Martian soil samples

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  11. The Martian paleo-magnetosphere during the early Naochian and its implication for the early Martian atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khodachenko, Maxim L.; Scherf, Manuel; Amerstorfer, Ute; Alexeev, Igor; Johnstone, Colin; Belenkaya, Elena; Tu, Lin; Lichtenegger, Herbert; Guedel, Manuel; Lammer, Helmut

    2016-10-01

    During the late 1990's the Mars Global Surveyor MAG/ER experiment detected crustal remanent magnetization at Mars indicating an ancient internal magnetic dynamo. The location of this remanent magnetization and in particular its absence at the large Martian impact craters like Hellas suggests a cessation of the dynamo during the early Naochian epoch, i.e. ~ 4.1 to 4 billion years ago. The strength of the remanent magnetization together with dynamo theory are indicating an ancient dipole field strength lying in the range of ~0.1 and ~1.0 of the present-day dipole field of the Earth, making the Martian paleo-magnetosphere comparable with the terrestrial paleo-magnetosphere. This also has implication for the early Martian atmosphere.In this poster we will present simulations of the paleo-magnetosphere of Mars for the early Naochian, just before cessation (i.e. for ~4.1 to ~4.0 billion years ago). These were performed with an adapted version of the Paraboloid Magnetospheric Model (PMM) of the Skobeltsyn Institute of Nuclear Physics of the Moscow State University, which serves as an ISO standard for the magnetosphere. Here the ancient magnetic field was assumed to be a dipole field (with dipole tilt ψ=0). The ancient solar wind ram pressure as important input parameter was derived from a newly developed solar/stellar wind evolution model, which is strongly dependent on the rotation rate of the early Sun. These simulations show that for the most extreme case of a fast rotating Sun and a paleomagnetic field strength of 0.1 of the present-day Earth value, the Martian magnetopause was located at ~5.5 RM (i.e. ~2.9 RE) above the Martian surface. Assuming a strong dipole field (i.e. 1.0 of present-day Earth) and a slow rotating Sun - our least extreme case - would lead to a standoff-distance of rs~16 RM (i.e. ~8.5 RE).Our simulations also have implications for the early Martian atmosphere, which will be demonstrated within this poster. These first results on the erosion of

  12. Evolution of the Martian atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pepin, R. O.

    1993-01-01

    Evolution of Mars' noble gases through two stages of hydrodynamic escape early in planetary history has been proposed previously by the author. In the first evolutionary stage of this earlier model, beginning at a solar age of approximately 50 m.y., fractionating escape of a H2-rich primordial atmosphere containing CO2, N2, and the noble gases in roughly the proportions found in primitive carbonaceous (CI) chondrites is driven by intense extreme-ultraviolet (EUV) leads to a long (approximately 80 m.y.) period of quiescence, followed by an abrupt degassing of remnant H2, CO2, and N2 from the mantle and of solar-composition noble gases lighter than Xe from the planet's volatile-rich accretional core. Degassed H refuels hydrodynamic loss in a waning but still potent solar EUV flux. Atmospheric Xe, Kr, and Ar remaining at the end of this second escape stage, approximately 4.2 G.y. ago, have evolved to their present-day abundances and compositions. Residual Ne continues to be modified by accretion of solar wind gases throughout the later history of the planet. This model does not address a number of processes that now appear germane to Martian atmospheric history. One, gas loss and fractionation by sputtering, has recently been shown to be relevant. Another, atmospheric erosion, appears increasingly important. In the absence then of a plausible mechanism, the model did not consider the possibility of isotopic evolution of noble gases heavier than Ne after the termination of hydrodynamic escape. Subsequent non-thermal loss of N was assumed, in an unspecified way, to account for the elevation of N from the model value of approximately 250 percent at the end of the second escape stage to approximately 620 percent today. Only qualitative attention was paid to the eroding effects of impact on abundances of all atmophilic species prior to the end of heavy bombardment approximately 3.8 G.y. ago. No attempt was made to include precipitation and recycling of carbonates in

  13. Rover's Wheel Churns Up Bright Martian Soil

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

  14. [Problems of radiation safety of a Martian expedition crew].

    PubMed

    Petrov, V M; Bengin, V V; Kolomenskiĭ, A V; Shurshakov, V A

    2003-01-01

    Analysis of the radiation conditions during a piloted expedition to Mars made it evident that the radiation safety system will be one of the most critical components of life support aboard the future Martian vehicle. The concept and main functions of the system have been considered. The authors give their vision of the radiation monitoring system based on the present-day radiation safety postulates, comparison and contrasting methods and equipment applied for the purpose in current orbital and projected interplanetary flights.

  15. Formation Timescales of the Martian Valley Networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoke, M. T.; Hynek, B. M.

    2010-12-01

    The presence of valley networks across much of the ancient surface of Mars [e.g. 1] together with the locations and morphologies of the Martian deltas [e.g. 2] and ancient paleolakes [e.g. 3, 4], provides strong evidence that the Martian surface environment was once capable of sustaining long-lived flowing water. Many of the larger Martian valley networks exhibit characteristics consistent with their formation primarily from surface runoff of precipitated water [5-7]. Their formation likely followed similar processes as those that formed terrestrial river valleys, including the gradual erosion and transport of sediment downstream by bed load, suspended load, and wash load processes. When quantifying flow rates on Mars, some researchers have modified the Manning equation for depth- and width-averaged flow velocity in an attempt to better-fit Martian conditions [e.g. 3, 8-10]. These attempts, however, often result in flow velocities on Mars that are overestimated by up to a factor of two [10]. An alternative to the Manning equation that is often overlooked in the planetary science community is the Darcy-Weisbach (D-W) equation [11], which, unlike the Manning equation, maintains a dependence on the acceleration due to gravity. Although the D-W equation relies on a dimensionless friction function that has been fitted to terrestrial data, it is not a constant like the Manning coefficient. Rather, the D-W friction factor is a function of bed slope, flow depth, and median grain size [e.g. 8, 10, 12-14], and therefore it is better suited to model flow velocity on Mars. In this work, we investigate the formation timescales of the Martian valley networks through the use of four different sediment transport models [14], the D-W equation for average flow velocity, and a variety of parameters to encompass a range of possible formation conditions. This is done specific to each of eight large valley networks, all of which have crater densities that place their formation in the

  16. Response of terrestrial microorganisms to a simulated Martian environment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Foster, T. L.; Winans, L., Jr.; Casey, R. C.; Kirschner, L. E.

    1978-01-01

    Soil samples from Cape Canaveral were subjected to a simulated Martian environment and assayed periodically over 45 days to determine the effect of various environmental parameters on bacterial populations. The simulated environment was based on the most recent available data, prior to the Viking spacecraft, describing Martian conditions and consisted of a pressure of 7 millibars, an atmosphere of 99.9% CO2 and 0.1% O2, a freeze-thaw cycle of -65 C for 16 h and 24 C for 8 h, and variable moisture and nutrients. Reduced pressure had a significant effect, reducing growth under these conditions. Slight variations in gaseous composition of the simulated atmosphere had negligible effect on growth. The freeze-thaw cycle did not inhibit growth, but did result in a slower rate of decline after growth had occurred. Dry samples exhibited no change during the 45-day experiment, indicating that the simulated Martian environment was not toxic to bacterial populations. Psychrotrophic organisms responded more favorably to this environment than mesophiles, although both types exhibited increases of approximately 3 logs in 7 to 14 days when moisture and nutrients were available.

  17. Response of terrestrial microorganisms to a simulated Martian environment.

    PubMed

    Foster, T L; Winans, L; Casey, R C; Kirschner, L E

    1978-04-01

    Soil samples from Cape Canaveral were subjected to a simulated Martian environment and assayed periodically over 45 days to determine the effect of various environmental parameters on bacterial populations. The simulated environment was based on the most recent available data, prior to the Viking spacecraft, describing Martian conditions and consisted of a pressure of 7 millibars, an atmosphere of 99.9% CO2 and 0.1% O2, a freeze-thaw cycle of -65 degrees C for 16 h and 24 degrees C for 8 h, and variable moisture and nutrients. Reduced pressure had a significant effect, reducing growth under these conditions. Slight variations in gaseous composition of the simulated atmosphere had negligible effect on growth. The freeze-thaw cycle did not inhibit growth but did result in a slower rate of decline after growth had occurred. Dry samples exhibited no change during the 45-day experiment, indicating that the simulated Martian environment was not toxic to bacterial populations. Psychotrophic organisms responded more favorably to this environment than mesophiles, although both types exhibited increases of approximately 3 logs in 7 to 14 days when moisture and nutrients were available.

  18. Groundwater formation of martian valleys

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Malin, M.C.; Carr, M.H.

    1999-01-01

    The martian surface shows large outflow channels, widely accepted as having been formed by gigantic floods that could have occurred under climatic conditions like those seen today. Also present are branching valley networks that commonly have tributaries. These valleys are much smaller than the outflow channels and their origins and ages have been controversial. For example, they might have formed through slow erosion by water running across the surface, either early or late in Mars' history, possibly protected from harsh conditions by ice cover. Alternatively, they might have formed through groundwater or ground-ice processes that undermine the surface and cause collapse, again either early or late in Mars' history. Long-duration surface runoff would imply climatic conditions quite different from the present environment. Here we present high-resolution images of martian valleys that support the view that ground water played an important role in their formation, although we are unable as yet to establish when this occurred.

  19. The Martian impact cratering record

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Strom, Robert G.; Croft, Steven K.; Barlow, Nadine G.

    1992-01-01

    A detailed analysis of the Martian impact cratering record is presented. The major differences in impact crater morphology and morphometry between Mars and the moon and Mercury are argued to be largely the result of subsurface volatiles on Mars. In general, the depth to these volatiles may decrease with increasing latitude in the southern hemisphere, but the base of this layer may be at a more or less constant depth. The Martial crustal dichotomy could have been the result of a very large impact near the end of the accretion of Mars. Monte Carlo computer simulations suggest that such an impact was not only possible, but likely. The Martian highland cratering record shows a marked paucity of craters less than about 30 km in diameter relative to the lunar highlands. This paucity of craters was probably the result of the obliteration of craters by an early period of intense erosion and deposition by aeolian, fluvial, and glacial processes.

  20. Water in the Martian regolith

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Anderson, Duwayne M.

    1988-01-01

    The state of water in the Martian regolith is addressed. The water-ice phase composition, adsorption-desorption and evaporation phenomena, and brine compositions of six antarctic soils that are considered to be good terrestrial analogues of the Martian surface materials are examined. Experiments have shown that, for temperatures below freezing and relative humidities less than 100 percent, absorbed water and vapor are the only stable phases in the regolith. When the relative humidity reaches 100 percent, ice may form and coexist with the absorbed liquid phase. The absorbed water content declines with decreasing temperature; however, the presence of dissolved solutes can result in appreciable adsorbed liquid phase at temperatures as low as 210 K. Such properties may have a profound influence on martial geomorphology, physical and chemical weathering, and the exchange of water between the atmosphere and regolith.

  1. Martian deltas: Morphology and distribution

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rice, J. W., Jr.; Scott, D. H.

    1993-01-01

    Recent detailed mapping has revealed numerous examples of Martian deltas. The location and morphology of these deltas are described. Factors that contribute to delta morphology are river regime, coastal processes, structural stability, and climate. The largest delta systems on Mars are located near the mouths of Maja, Maumee, Vedra, Ma'adim, Kasei, and Brazos Valles. There are also several smaller-scale deltas emplaced near channel mouths situated in Ismenius Lacus, Memnonia, and Arabia. Delta morphology was used to reconstruct type, quantity, and sediment load size transported by the debouching channel systems. Methods initially developed for terrestrial systems were used to gain information on the relationships between Martian delta morphology, river regime, and coastal processes.

  2. Atmospheric maneuvering during Martian entry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tauber, Michael E.; Bowles, Jeffrey V.; Yang, Lily

    A comparative-advantages study is made of two different Martian atmospheric entry maneuvers, on the basis of calculation results for the case of a vehicle with a maximum L/D ratio of 2.3. Entries from a highly elliptical Martian orbit at 5 km/sec are more difficult than those from a lower altitude and speed orbit at 3.5 km/sec, due to their more stringent guidance requirements. Efforts to reduce the deceleration for the higher speed entry by lift-modulation achieved a 40-percent reduction, but at the cost of a 50-percent decrease in lateral range. The lower-speed entry's gliding trajectory is noted to encounter a far more benign atmospheric environment.

  3. Water in the Martian regolith

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anderson, Duwayne M.

    The state of water in the Martian regolith is addressed. The water-ice phase composition, adsorption-desorption and evaporation phenomena, and brine compositions of six antarctic soils that are considered to be good terrestrial analogues of the Martian surface materials are examined. Experiments have shown that, for temperatures below freezing and relative humidities less than 100 percent, absorbed water and vapor are the only stable phases in the regolith. When the relative humidity reaches 100 percent, ice may form and coexist with the absorbed liquid phase. The absorbed water content declines with decreasing temperature; however, the presence of dissolved solutes can result in appreciable adsorbed liquid phase at temperatures as low as 210 K. Such properties may have a profound influence on martial geomorphology, physical and chemical weathering, and the exchange of water between the atmosphere and regolith.

  4. The Martian impact cratering record

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strom, Robert G.; Croft, Steven K.; Barlow, Nadine G.

    A detailed analysis of the Martian impact cratering record is presented. The major differences in impact crater morphology and morphometry between Mars and the moon and Mercury are argued to be largely the result of subsurface volatiles on Mars. In general, the depth to these volatiles may decrease with increasing latitude in the southern hemisphere, but the base of this layer may be at a more or less constant depth. The Martial crustal dichotomy could have been the result of a very large impact near the end of the accretion of Mars. Monte Carlo computer simulations suggest that such an impact was not only possible, but likely. The Martian highland cratering record shows a marked paucity of craters less than about 30 km in diameter relative to the lunar highlands. This paucity of craters was probably the result of the obliteration of craters by an early period of intense erosion and deposition by aeolian, fluvial, and glacial processes.

  5. Chemical composition of Martian fines

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

  6. Thermal properties of the martian surface inferred from OMEGA data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Audouard, J.; Poulet, F.; Vincendon, M.; Bibring, J.; Gondet, B.; Langevin, Y.

    2011-12-01

    Martian surface temperatures are the results of radiative exchanges between the air and the shallow subsurface. Thermal inertia (TI) and the albedo are key parameters for modulating diurnal temperature variation of surfaces. TI, which represents the resistance to change in temperature of the upper few centimeters of the subsurface throughout the day, is independent of local time, latitude, and season. Thermal infrared spectrometers TES and THEMIS that measured the surface temperature have been frequently used to derive the thermal properties of the martian surface (see e.g. Putzig et al. 2005; Fergason et al. 2006). Global TI derivation techniques usually assume that the thermophysical properties of the soil are vertically uniform (Putzig et al. 2005), while vertical heterogeneities are observed (Putzig and Mellon 2007; Bandfield and Feldman 2008). As the thermal wave penetration depth varies with season, various apparent thermal inertias are derived as a function of season for a given location (Putzig et al. 2005). Surface temperatures (larger than ~200 K) can be derived from the OMEGA/Mars Express hyperspectral observations (Jouglet et al. 2007). Of special interest is the elliptical MEX orbit that makes possible to observe a given surface element at various local time and solar longitude. This allow us to explore different parts of the thermal response of martian soils and can be used to better constrain the properties of the subsurface. We have developed an operational pixel-to-pixel climate modeling interface using the Martian Global Climate Model (Forget et al. 1999), in order to compare the surface temperature measured by OMEGA with the modeled temperature. A systematic comparison data/model covering 4 Martian years will be discussed. A few local scale thermal inertia retrievals will be then presented and compared to previous studies based on TES/MGS and THEMIS/Mars Odyssey data. We will also investigate the thermophysical properties of soils where anomalous

  7. Day to Day

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jurecki, Dennis

    2006-01-01

    A clean, healthy and safe school provides students, faculty and staff with an environment conducive to learning and working. However, budget and staff reductions can lead to substandard cleaning practices and unsanitary conditions. Some school facility managers have been making the switch to a day-schedule to reduce security and energy costs, and…

  8. Hydrogen Isotopic Systematics of Nominally Anhydrous Phases in Martian Meteorites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tucker, Kera

    Hydrogen isotope compositions of the martian atmosphere and crustal materials can provide unique insights into the hydrological and geological evolution of Mars. While the present-day deuterium-to-hydrogen ratio (D/H) of the Mars atmosphere is well constrained (~6 times that of terrestrial ocean water), that of its deep silicate interior (specifically, the mantle) is less so. In fact, the hydrogen isotope composition of the primordial martian mantle is of great interest since it has implications for the origin and abundance of water on that planet. Martian meteorites could provide key constraints in this regard, since they crystallized from melts originating from the martian mantle and contain phases that potentially record the evolution of the H 2O content and isotopic composition of the interior of the planet over time. Examined here are the hydrogen isotopic compositions of Nominally Anhydrous Phases (NAPs) in eight martian meteorites (five shergottites and three nakhlites) using Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (SIMS). This study presents a total of 113 individual analyses of H2O contents and hydrogen isotopic compositions of NAPs in the shergottites Zagami, Los Angeles, QUE 94201, SaU 005, and Tissint, and the nakhlites Nakhla, Lafayette, and Yamato 000593. The hydrogen isotopic variation between and within meteorites may be due to one or more processes including: interaction with the martian atmosphere, magmatic degassing, subsolidus alteration (including shock), and/or terrestrial contamination. Taking into consideration the effects of these processes, the hydrogen isotope composition of the martian mantle may be similar to that of the Earth. Additionally, this study calculated upper limits on the H2O contents of the shergottite and nakhlite parent melts based on the measured minimum H2O abundances in their maskelynites and pyroxenes, respectively. These calculations, along with some petrogenetic assumptions based on previous studies, were subsequently used

  9. The Martian Atmospheric Boundary Layer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petrosyan, A.; Galperin, B.; Larsen, S. E.; Lewis, S. R.; Määttänen, A.; Read, P. L.; Renno, N.; Rogberg, L. P. H. T.; Savijärvi, H.; Siili, T.; Spiga, A.; Toigo, A.; Vázquez, L.

    2011-09-01

    The planetary boundary layer (PBL) represents the part of the atmosphere that is strongly influenced by the presence of the underlying surface and mediates the key interactions between the atmosphere and the surface. On Mars, this represents the lowest 10 km of the atmosphere during the daytime. This portion of the atmosphere is extremely important, both scientifically and operationally, because it is the region within which surface lander spacecraft must operate and also determines exchanges of heat, momentum, dust, water, and other tracers between surface and subsurface reservoirs and the free atmosphere. To date, this region of the atmosphere has been studied directly, by instrumented lander spacecraft, and from orbital remote sensing, though not to the extent that is necessary to fully constrain its character and behavior. Current data strongly suggest that as for the Earth's PBL, classical Monin-Obukhov similarity theory applies reasonably well to the Martian PBL under most conditions, though with some intriguing differences relating to the lower atmospheric density at the Martian surface and the likely greater role of direct radiative heating of the atmosphere within the PBL itself. Most of the modeling techniques used for the PBL on Earth are also being applied to the Martian PBL, including novel uses of very high resolution large eddy simulation methods. We conclude with those aspects of the PBL that require new measurements in order to constrain models and discuss the extent to which anticipated missions to Mars in the near future will fulfill these requirements.

  10. Laser-powered Martian rover

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1989-07-01

    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.

  11. Experimental Martian Eclogite with a QUE 94201 Composition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Papike, J. J.; Burger, P. V.; Shearer, C. K.; McCubbin, F. M.; Elardo, S. M.

    2012-03-01

    High-pressure techniques were used to synthesize a martian eclogite based on the composition of martian meteorite QUE 94201. The resultant eclogite may be representative of martian melts whose ascent has been arrested in the upper mantle.

  12. Lunar and martian meteorite delivery services

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Warren, Paul H.

    1994-01-01

    Launch mechanisms for lunar and martian meteorites have been investigated, by integrating physical modeling constraints, geochemical cosmic-ray exposure (CRE) constraints, and petrologic constraints. The potential source region for lunar meteorites is remarkably small compared to the final crater volume. CRE constraints indicate that most launches start at depths of less than or equal to 3.2 m, and cratering theory implies derivation of suitably accelerated objects from a subvolume with diameter only about 0.3 x the final crater diameter. The shallow depth provenance is probably related to shock-wave interference, enhanced by the lunar regolith's extremely low compressional wave velocity. CRE constraints alone imply that four to five separate launch events are represented among the eight well-studied lunar meteorites. Most of the lunar meteorites are regolith breccias, which tend to show only limited compositional diversity within any kilometer-scale region of the Moon. Several others are polymict breccias, which also show relatively subdued compositional diversity, compared to igneous rocks. The observed diversity among these samples in terms of abundances of mare basalt and KREEP, and in Mg/(Mg + Fe) ratio, implies that among eight well-studied lunar meteorites only two potential source craters pairings are plausible: between Asuka-881757 + Y-793169 (most probable) and between Y-793274 + EET875721. Altogether, these eight lunar meteorites apparently represent at least six separate source craters, including three in the past 10(exp 5) years and five in the past 10(exp 6) years. CRE constraints imply that SNC meteorites are launched from systematically greater than lunar meteorites. SNCs are also systematically bigger, and all nine well-studied SNCs are uncommonly young (by martian standards) mafic igneous rocks. Comparison between Viking and Apollo results reveals that rocks the size of common meteorites are remarkably scarce in the martian regolith, probably due

  13. New insights into martian atmospheric chemistry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boxe, C. S.; Francisco, J. S.; Shia, R.-L.; Yung, Y. L.; Nair, H.; Liang, M.-C.; Saiz-Lopez, A.

    2014-11-01

    HOx radicals are produced in the martian atmosphere by the photolysis of water vapor and subsequently participate in catalytic cycles that recycle carbon dioxide (CO2) from its photolysis product carbon monoxide (CO), providing a qualitative explanation for the stability of its atmosphere. Balancing CO2 production and loss based on our current understanding of martian gas-phase chemistry has, however, proven to be difficult. The photolysis of O3 produces O(1D), while oxidation of CO produces HOCO radicals, a new member of the HOx family. The O(1D) quantum yield has recently been updated, which quantifies nonzero quantum yields in the Huggins bands. In Earth's atmosphere HOCO is considered to be unimportant since it is quickly removed by abundant oxygen molecules. The smaller amount of O2 in the Mars' atmosphere causes HOCO's lifetime to be longer in Mars' atmosphere than Earth's (3 × 10-5 s to 1.2 days from Mars's surface to 240 km, respectively). Limited kinetic data on reactions involving HOCO prevented consideration of its reactions directly in atmospheric models. Therefore, the impact of HOCO reactions on martian chemistry is currently unknown. Here, we incorporate new literature rate constants for HOCO chemistry and an updated representation of the O(1D) quantum yield in the Caltech/JPL 1-D photochemical model for Mars' atmosphere. Our simulations exemplify perturbations to NOy, HOx, and COx species, ranging from 5% to 50%. The modified O(1D) quantum yield and new HOCO chemistry cause a 10% decrease and a 50% increase in OH and H2O2 total column abundances, respectively. At low altitudes, HOCO production contributes 5% towards CO2 production. Given recent experimentally-obtained branching ratios for the oxidation of CO, HOCO may contribute up to 70% toward the production of NOy, where HOx and NOy species are enhanced up to a factor 3, which has implications for rethinking the fundamental understanding of NOy, HOx, and CO/CO2 cycling on Mars. Two new reaction

  14. Martian Radiation Environment Experiment (MARIE)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Badhwar, Gautam D.

    1999-01-01

    Space radiation presents a very serious hazard to crews of interplanetary human missions. The two sources of this radiation are the galactic cosmic rays (GCR) and solar energetic particle (SEP) events. The GCR provides a steady source of low dose rate radiation that is primarily responsible for stochastic effects, such as cancer, and can effect the response of the central nervous system. Nuclear interactions of these components with the Martian atmosphere produces substantial flux of neutrons with high Radio Biological Effectiveness. The uncertainty in the knowledge of many fragmentation cross sections and their energy dependence required by radiation transport codes, uncertainties in the ambient radiation environment, and knowledge of the Martian atmosphere, lead to large enough uncertainties in the knowledge of calculated radiation dose in both free space (cruise phase), in Martian orbit, and on Martian surface. Direct measurements of radiation levels, the relative contributions of protons, neutrons, and heavy ions, and Martian atmospheric characteristics is thus a prerequisite for any human mission. An integrated suite of two spectrometers to provide these data will be described. The Orbiter spectrometer will measure the energy spectrum of SEP events from 15 to 500 MeV/n, and when combined with data from other space based instruments, such as the Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE), would provide accurate GCR spectra also. The Lander spectrometer would measure the absorbed dose rate, dose equivalent dose rate, and the linear energy transfer (LET) spectra and is capable of separating the relative contribution of these quantities from protons, neutrons, and high Z particles. There are two separate flight instruments, one for the Orbiter and one for the Lander, based on a common design of the backplane, the central processing unit (CPU), power supply, and onboard data storage. The Orbiter instrument consists of an energetic particle spectrometer that can measure

  15. Possible Meteorites in the Martian Hills

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2006-01-01

    From its winter outpost at 'Low Ridge' inside Gusev Crater, NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit took this spectacular, color mosaic of hilly, sandy terrain and two potential iron meteorites. The two light-colored, smooth rocks about two-thirds of the way up from the bottom of the frame have been labeled 'Zhong Shan' and 'Allan Hills.'

    The two rocks' informal names are in keeping with the rover science team's campaign to nickname rocks and soils in the area after locations in Antarctica. Zhong Shang is an Antarctic base that the People's Republic of China opened on Feb. 26, 1989, at the Larsemann Hills in Prydz Bay in East Antarctica. Allan Hills is a location where researchers have found many Martian meteorites, including the controversial ALH84001, which achieved fame in 1996 when NASA scientists suggested that it might contain evidence for fossilized extraterrestrial life. Zhong Shan was the given name of Dr. Sun Yat-sen (1866-1925), known as the 'Father of Modern China.' Born to a peasant family in Guangdong, Sun moved to live with his brother in Honolulu at age 13 and later became a medical doctor. He led a series of uprisings against the Qing dynasty that began in 1894 and eventually succeeded in 1911. Sun served as the first provisional president when the Republic of China was founded in 1912.

    The Zhong Shan and Allan Hills rocks, at the left and right, respectively, have unusual morphologies and miniature thermal emission spectrometer signatures that resemble those of a rock known as 'Heat Shield' at the Meridiani site explored by Spirit's twin, Opportunity. Opportunity's analyses revealed Heat Shield to be an iron meteorite.

    Spirit acquired this approximately true-color image on the rover's 872nd Martian day, or sol (June 16, 2006), using exposures taken through three of the panoramic camera's filters, centered on wavelengths of 600 nanometers, 530 nanometers, and 480 nanometers.

  16. Martian water: are there extant halobacteria on Mars?

    PubMed

    Landis, G 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 does not exist 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 more conducive to life.

  17. Martian Neutron Energy Spectrometer (MANES)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

  18. The Martian Upper Atmosphere Circulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bougher, S. W.; Bell, J. M.; Baird, D. T.; Murphy, J. R.

    2005-08-01

    New Mars spacecraft datasets and 3-D modeling capabilities are emerging to characterize the Mars thermospheric circulation patterns for the first time. Upper atmosphere wind constraints are available from recent aerobraking and Mars Express measurements. Mars Global Surveyor (1997-1999) and Mars Odyssey (2001-2002) Accelerometer datasets obtained during aerobraking operations provide density and temperature distributions over limited local time and latitude regions at lower thermospheric altitudes ( ˜100-160 km) [e.g. Keating et al., 1998; 2002; 2003; Withers et al., 2003]. Latitudinal gradients of these fields (i.e. into the winter polar night) vary greatly with the changing Martian seasons. The winter polar warming features observed serve as a tracer of the strength and variability of the Martian thermospheric wind patterns during solstice conditions [Keating et al., 2003; Bougher et al., 2005].Accelerometer data is also being used to estimate cross-track (zonal) wind speeds in the Mars lower thermosphere ( ˜100-130 km) [Baird et al., 2005], yielding values as large as 300-400 m/sec. Most recently, the Mars Express SPICAM instrument discovered nitric oxide (NO) nightglow spectral features in the γ and δ -bands from limb observations (Ls = 74) [Bertaux et al., 2005]. These observed UV nightglow emissions are brightest in the winter polar night region. The solstice winds required to produce the Mars winter polar warming features are also responsible for transporting dayside produced N and O atoms to the nightside where radiative recombination and UV chemiluminescence occurs. These new dynamical constraints for the Martian upper atmosphere are now investigated using coupled MGCM (NASA Ames) and MTGCM (Michigan) simulations for aphelion (Ls = 90) and perihelion (Ls = 270) conditions appropriate to MGS and Odyssey aerobraking datasets described above. Seasonal variations in the thermospheric circulation, and the underlying mechanisms likely responsible for these

  19. Boron enrichment in martian clay.

    PubMed

    Stephenson, James D; Hallis, Lydia J; Nagashima, Kazuhide; Freeland, Stephen J

    2013-01-01

    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.

  20. Boron Enrichment in Martian Clay

    PubMed Central

    Nagashima, Kazuhide; Freeland, Stephen J.

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:23762242

  1. MGS View of Martian Magnetosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Espley, Jared

    2012-01-01

    The solar wind's interaction with Mars has been studied for several decades. However, the scientific results from the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) mission represented a very significant step forward in our understanding in this subject. Missions since MGS, including missions currently under development such as MAVEN, have built on MGS' results. In this presentation, I briefly discuss the historical context of MGS' results regarding the induced Martian magnetosphere. I then highlight the major scientific results from the MGS observations and showcase ongoing investigations using MGS data.

  2. Chemical reactivity of the Martian soil

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zent, A. P.; Mckay, C. P.

    1992-01-01

    The Viking life sciences experimental packages detected extraordinary chemical activity in the martian soil, probably the result of soil-surface chemistry. At least one very strong oxidant may exist in the martian soil. The electrochemical nature of the martian soil has figured prominently in discussions of future life sciences research on Mars. Putative oxidants in the martian soil may be responsible for the destruction of organic material to considerable depth, precluding the recovery of reducing material that may be relic of early biological forms. Also, there have been serious expressions of concern regarding the effect that soil oxidants may have on human health and safety. The concern here has centered on the possible irritation of the respiratory system due to dust carried into the martian habitat through the air locks.

  3. Modeling gas transport in the Martian subsurface

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gloesener, Elodie; Karatekin, Özgür; Dehant, Véronique

    2015-04-01

    Modeling gas transport through Martian subsurface and outgassing processes is essential in the study of atmospheric evolution of Mars. We present an overview of gas transport in Martian soil focusing on water vapor and methane diffusion to explain the recent observations of methane in Martian atmosphere with a diffusive transport model. The range of parameters that have the largest effect on transport in Martian conditions is investigated. Among the possible sources of methane, clathrate hydrates destabilization is one potential mechanism. Hydrate stability zone in subsurface is also investigated. In 2016, ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) will have the capabilities to detect and characterize trace gases in Martian atmosphere and will bring additional information to validate the different possible outgassing scenarios.

  4. Metamorphism in the Martian crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McSween, Harry Y.; Labotka, Theodore C.; Viviano-Beck, Christina E.

    2015-04-01

    Compositions of basaltic and ultramafic rocks analyzed by Mars rovers and occurring as Martian meteorites allow predictions of metamorphic mineral assemblages that would form under various thermophysical conditions. Key minerals identified by remote sensing roughly constrain temperatures and pressures in the Martian crust. We use a traditional metamorphic approach (phase diagrams) to assess low-grade/hydrothermal equilibrium assemblages. Basaltic rocks should produce chlorite + actinolite + albite + silica, accompanied by laumontite, pumpellyite, prehnite, or serpentine/talc. Only prehnite-bearing assemblages have been spectrally identified on Mars, although laumontite and pumpellyite have spectra similar to other uncharacterized zeolites and phyllosilicates. Ultramafic rocks are predicted to produce serpentine, talc, and magnesite, all of which have been detected spectrally on Mars. Mineral assemblages in both basaltic and ultramafic rocks constrain fluid compositions to be H2O-rich and CO2-poor. We confirm the hypothesis that low-grade/hydrothermal metamorphism affected the Noachian crust on Mars, which has been excavated in large craters. We estimate the geothermal gradient (>20 °C km-1) required to produce the observed assemblages. This gradient is higher than that estimated from radiogenic heat-producing elements in the crust, suggesting extra heating by regional hydrothermal activity.

  5. Martian Atmospheric Circulation and Climate

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ingersoll, Andrew P.

    2003-01-01

    This proposal is focused on using Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) data and numerical models to address issues of atmospheric mixing of volatiles and aerosols, on defining the mean state of the atmosphere and the degree of variability, and on the processes which exchange volatiles and aerosols between the surface and atmosphere. Specifically, five areas of research were defined: In the first, we proposed to use TES data to examine the general circulation of the atmosphere both through retrieval of the residual circulation, and by comparison of the TES data with a Mars General Circulation Model (GCM). In the second, we proposed to look at synoptic and mesoscale atmospheric mixing processes (baroclinic storms, etc.) by combining TES and MOC Wide Angle data, and by employing a Mars Mesoscale Model. In the third section, we proposed to examine the record of the Martian atmospheric state provided by MGS, Viking, and Mariner 9 - as well as published ground-based observations - in order to assess the nature of interannual variability. In the forth section, we proposed to compare numerical models of the Martian water and dust cycles with TES and MOC data, specifically looking at water ice cloud distributions, dust distribution, etc. In the fifth section, we propose to use the mesoscale model to study the Mars Pathfinder Lander data. This work has now concluded its final of three years.

  6. Atmospheric effects on Martian aerocapture

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ess, Robert H.

    1990-01-01

    A preliminary study of the effects of the atmosphere on Martian aerocapture has been completed at NASA-Johnson. Nominal cases were defined and several types of density dispersions utilized to show the effect of L/D ratio on aerocapture performance. Both open and closed loop three-degree-of-freedom simulations were developed. The open loop work demonstrated the reduction of the aerocapture corridor in the presence of density biases and shears. Closed loop runs were studied in the presence of shear-biases where the aerocapture trajectory was divided into three regions or phases. Each phase independently had a nominal density or a dispersed + 100 percent density. Two phase combinations were found to cause aerocapture failures with the three L/Ds considered: 0.3, 0.7, 1.0. There is a significant improvement in aerocapture performance as the L/D is increased from 0.3 to 0.7, but a much smaller increase in performance as the L/D is increased from 0.7 to 1.0. Based on current knowledge of the Martian atmosphere, a minimum L/D of 0.7 is recommended for early Mars missions.

  7. Martian oceans, valleys and climate

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Carr, M.H.

    2000-01-01

    The new Mars Global Surveyor altimetry shows that the heavily cratered southern hemisphere of Mars is 5 km higher that the sparely cratered plains of the northern hemisphere. Previous suggestions that oceans formerly occupied that northern plains as evidenced by shorelines are partly supported by the new data. A previously identified outer boundary has a wide range of elevations and is unlikely to be a shoreline but an inner contact with a narrow range of elevations is a more likely candidate. No shorelines are visible in the newly acquired, 2.5 metre/pixel imaging. Newly imaged valleys provide strong support for sustained or episodic flow of water across the Martian surface. A major surprise, however, is the near absence of valleys less than 100 m across. Martian valleys seemingly do not divide into ever smaller valleys as terrestrial valleys commonly do. This could be due to lack of precipitation or lack of surface runoff because of high infiltration rates. High erosion rates and supports warm climates and presence of large bodies of water during heavy bombardment. The climate history and fate of the water after heavy bombardment remain cotroversial.

  8. Modelling Martian surface channel dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coulthard, T. J.; Skinner, C.; Kim, J.; Schumann, G.; Neal, J. C.; Bates, P. D.

    2014-12-01

    Extensive and large surface channel features found at Athabasca and Kasei have previously been attributed to the erosional power of flowing water with palaeoflood discharges being estimated from the surface channel dimensions. However, in order for these channels to be alluvial there are several basic questions to be answered. Are water flows under Martian conditions capable of eroding the amounts of sediment required to leave these channels? Are our present estimates of palaeoflood discharge of correct magnitude to carry out this erosion? And are the channels a product of one or many flood events? Here, we use a numerical model (CAESAR-Lisflood) that links a two-dimensional hydrodynamic flow scheme to a sediment transport model to simulate fluvial morphodynamics in the Athabasca and Kasei regions. CAESAR-Lisflood has been successfully applied to simulating flooding, erosion and deposition on Earth in a number of locations, and allows the development of channels, bars, braids and other fluvial features to be modelled. The numerical scheme of the model was adapted to Martian conditions by adjusting gravity, drag co-efficient, roughness and grainsize terms. Preliminary findings indicate that fluvial erosion and deposition is capable of creating mega channel features found at these sites and that existing palaeflood estimates are commensurate with channel forming discharges for these features.

  9. Origin of giant Martian polygons

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

  10. MOC Views of Martian Solar Eclipses

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1999-01-01

    -middle-right (Ascraeus Mons).

    Phobos and the smaller, more distant satellite, Deimos, were discovered in 1877 by Asaph Hall, an astronomer at the United States Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C. Hall had been hunting for martian satellites for some time, and was about to abandon the search when he was encouraged by his wife to continue. In honor of her role, the largest crater on Phobos was named Stickney, her maiden name. Phobos is a tiny, potato-shaped world that is only about 13 km by 11 km by 9 km (8 mi by 7 mi by 6 mi) in size.

    In 1912 Edgar Rice Burroughs published a story entitled 'Under the Moons of Mars' (printed in book form in 1917 as A Princess of Mars) in which he referred to the 'hurtling moons of Barsoom' (Barsoom being the 'native' word for Mars in the fictional account). Burroughs was inspired by the fact that Phobos, having an orbital period of slightly less than 8 hours, would appear from Mars to rise in the west and set in the east only five and a half hours later. (Despite Burroughs' phrase, the outer moon, Deimos, can hardly be said to 'hurtle' -- it takes nearly 60 hours to cross the sky from east to west, rising on one day and not setting again for over two more.)

    If you could stand on Mars and watch Phobos passing overhead, you would notice that this moon appears to be only about half the size of what Earth's Moon looks like when viewed from the ground. In addition, the Sun would seem to have shrunk to about 2/3 (or nearly 1/2) of its size as seen from Earth. Martian eclipses are therefore dark but not as spectacular as total solar eclipses on Earth can be. In compensation, the martian eclipses are thousands of times more common, occurring a few times a day somewhere on Mars whenever Phobos passes over the planet's sunlit side. Due to the changing geometry of the MGS orbit relative to that of Phobos, the shadow is actually seen in MOC global map images (like in the second figure above) about a dozen times a month.

    The shadow of Phobos was seen

  11. Microscopic Image of Martian Surface Material on a Silicone Substrate

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Click on image for larger version of Figure 1

    This image taken by the Optical Microscope on NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander shows soil sprinkled from the lander's Robot Arm scoop onto a silicone substrate. The substrate was then rotated in front of the microscope. This is the first sample collected and delivered for instrumental analysis onboard a planetary lander since NASA's Viking Mars missions of the 1970s. It is also the highest resolution image yet seen of Martian soil.

    The image is dominated by fine particles close to the resolution of the microscope. These particles have formed clumps, which may be a smaller scale version of what has been observed by Phoenix during digging of the surface material.

    The microscope took this image during Phoenix's Sol 17 (June 11), or the 17th Martian day after landing. The scale bar is 1 millimeter (0.04 inch).

    Zooming in on the Martian Soil

    In figure 1, three zoomed-in portions are shown with an image of Martian soil particles taken by the Optical Microscope on NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander.

    The left zoom box shows a composite particle. The top of the particle has a green tinge, possibly indicating olivine. The bottom of the particle has been reimaged at a different focus position in black and white (middle zoom box), showing that this is a clump of finer particles.

    The right zoom box shows a rounded, glassy particle, similar to those which have also been seen in an earlier sample of airfall dust collected on a surface exposed during landing.

    The shadows at the bottom of image are of the beams of the Atomic Force Microscope.

    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.

  12. A model of Martian surface chemistry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oyama, V. I.; Berdahl, B. J.

    1979-01-01

    Alkaline earth and alkali metal superoxides and peroxides, gamma-Fe2O3 and carbon suboxide polymer, are proposed to be constituents of the Martian surface material. These reactive substances explain the water modified reactions and thermal behaviors of the Martian samples demonstrated by all of the Viking Biology Experiments. It is also proposed that the syntheses of these substances result mainly from electrical discharges between wind-mobilized particles at Martian pressures; plasmas are initiated and maintained by these discharges. Active species in the plasma either combine to form or react with inorganic surfaces to create the reactive constituents.

  13. Martian Meteorites Record Surface Temperatures on Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taylor, G. J.

    2005-07-01

    Using published data for argon (Ar) released when Martian meteorites are heated, David Shuster (California Institute of Technology, now at Berkeley Geochronology Center, Berkeley, CA) and Benjamin Weiss (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) show that the nakhlite group of Martian meteorites and unique Martian meteorite ALH 84001 were probably not heated above about 0 degree C for most of their histories. This indicates that the surface of Mars has been cold for almost four billion years. If a warm, wet environment existed on Mars (inferred from previous studies of surface features and geochemical parameters), it occurred before four billion years ago.

  14. Degradation studies of Martian impact craters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barlow, N. G.

    1991-01-01

    The amount of obliteration suffered by Martian impact craters is quantified by comparing measurable attributes of the current crater shape to those values expected for a fresh crater of identical size. Crater diameters are measured from profiles obtained using photoclinometry across the structure. The relationship between the diameter of a fresh crater and a crater depth, floor width, rim height, central peak height, etc. was determined by empirical studies performed on fresh Martian impact craters. We utilized the changes in crater depth and rim height to judge the degree of obliteration suffered by Martian impact craters.

  15. A Rainbow of Martian Elements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    This graph or spectrum taken by the alpha particle X-ray spectrometer onboard the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit shows the variety of elements present in the soil at the rover's landing site. In agreement with past missions to Mars, iron and silicon make up the majority of the martian soil. Sulfur and chlorine were also observed as expected. Trace elements detected for the first time include zinc and nickel. These latter observations demonstrate the power of the alpha particle X-ray spectrometer to pick up the signatures of elements too faint to be seen before. The alpha particle X-ray spectrometer uses alpha particles and X-rays to measure the presence and abundance of all major rock-forming elements except hydrogen.

  16. Water and the martian landscape.

    PubMed

    Baker, V R

    2001-07-12

    Over the past 30 years, the water-generated landforms and landscapes of Mars have been revealed in increasing detail by a succession of spacecraft missions. Recent data from the Mars Global Surveyor mission confirm the view that brief episodes of water-related activity, including glaciation, punctuated the geological history of Mars. The most recent of these episodes seems to have occurred within the past 10 million years. These new results are anomalous in regard to the prevailing view that the martian surface has been continuously extremely cold and dry, much as it is today, for the past 3.9 billion years. Interpretations of the new data are controversial, but explaining the anomalies in a consistent manner leads to potentially fruitful hypotheses for understanding the evolution of Mars in relation to Earth.

  17. Coaxial Cables for Martian Extreme Temperature Environments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ramesham, Rajeshuni; Harvey, Wayne L.; Valas, Sam; Tsai, Michael C.

    2011-01-01

    Work was conducted to validate the use of the rover external flexible coaxial cabling for space under the extreme environments to be encountered during the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission. The antennas must survive all ground operations plus the nominal 670-Martian-day mission that includes summer and winter seasons of the Mars environment. Successful development of processes established coaxial cable hardware fatigue limits, which were well beyond the expected in-flight exposures. In keeping with traditional qualification philosophy, this was accomplished by subjecting flight-representative coaxial cables to temperature cycling of the same depth as expected in-flight, but for three times the expected number of in-flight thermal cycles. Insertion loss and return loss tests were performed on the coaxial cables during the thermal chamber breaks. A vector network analyzer was calibrated and operated over the operational frequency range 7.145 to 8.450 GHz. Even though some of the exposed cables function only at UHF frequencies (approximately 400 MHz), the testing was more sensitive, and extending the test range down to 400 MHz would have cost frequency resolution. The Gore flexible coaxial cables, which were the subject of these tests, proved to be robust and displayed no sign of degradation due to the 3X exposure to the punishing Mars surface operations cycles.

  18. Diurnal Variation of Martian Dust Opacity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martin, T. Z.; Tamppari, L. K.

    2005-08-01

    Recent MER Spirit rover observations of dust devils crossing the plains of Gusev crater demonstrate the similarity of that Martian desert to terrestrial sites. Near-surface thermal contrast builds during the day and promotes growth of dust- raising vortices. Evidence for corresponding transient thermal behavior has been shown in MER MiniTES profiles. How prevalent is such dust activity? Is the raised dust sufficient to modify the column dust opacity? The answers have implications for mission operations as well as for atmospheric science. We have expanded the scope of diurnal dust monitoring by going back to Viking Orbiter IR Thermal Mapper data, for which highly elliptical orbits gave good diurnal coverage (Martin, T., Icarus 45, p. 427, 1981). We examine the Spirit site and equatorial regions of similar surface character. Dust opacity is inferred from IRTM data by comparing brightness temperature within the 6-8 um range (T7), as continuum, with that in the 8-10 um band (T9), where silicate dust absorption and emission is stronger. During the daytime, when the surface is warmer than overlying dust, the spectral contrast in these two bands allows computation of opacity if a thermal profile is assumed. This research was funded by the JPL Research and Technology development program and carried out by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology.

  19. Quantitative Assessments of the Martian Hydrosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lasue, Jeremie; Mangold, Nicolas; Hauber, Ernst; Clifford, Steve; Feldman, William; Gasnault, Olivier; Grima, Cyril; Maurice, Sylvestre; Mousis, Olivier

    2013-01-01

    In this paper, we review current estimates of the global water inventory of Mars, potential loss mechanisms, the thermophysical characteristics of the different reservoirs that water may be currently stored in, and assess how the planet's hydrosphere and cryosphere evolved with time. First, we summarize the water inventory quantified from geological analyses of surface features related to both liquid water erosion, and ice-related landscapes. They indicate that, throughout most of Martian geologic history (and possibly continuing through to the present day), water was present to substantial depths, with a total inventory ranging from several 100 to as much as 1000 m Global Equivalent Layer (GEL). We then review the most recent estimates of water content based on subsurface detection by orbital and landed instruments, including deep penetrating radars such as SHARAD and MARSIS. We show that the total amount of water measured so far is about 30 m GEL, although a far larger amount of water may be stored below the sounding depths of currently operational instruments. Finally, a global picture of the current state of the subsurface water reservoirs and their evolution is discussed.

  20. Atomic oxygen in the Martian thermosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stewart, A. I. F.; Alexander, M. J.; Meier, R. R.; Paxton, L. J.; Bougher, S. W.; Fesen, C. G.

    1992-01-01

    Modern models of thermospheric composition and temperature and of excitation and radiative transfer processes are used to simulate the O I 130-nm emission from Mars measured by the Mariner 9 ultraviolet spectrometer. This paper uses the Mars thermospheric general circulation model calculations (MTGCM) of Bougher et al. (1988) and the Monte Carlo partial frequency redistribution multiple scattering code of Meier and Lee (1982). It is found that the decline in atomic oxygen through the daylight hours predicted by the MTGCM cannot be reconciled with the excess afternoon brightness seen in the data. Oxygen concentrations inferred from the data show a positive gradient through the day, in agreement with the original analysis by Strickland et al. (1973). In addition, the data suggest that the oxygen abundance increases toward high southerly latitudes, in contrast with the MTGCM prediction of high values in the Northern Hemisphere. It appears that solar forcing alone cannot account for the observed characteristics of the Martian thermosphere and that wave and tidal effects may profoundly affect the structure, winds, and composition.

  1. Nuclear thermal rockets using indigenous Martian propellants

    SciTech Connect

    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.

  2. Magnetic Fluctuations in the Martian Ionosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Espley, Jared

    2010-01-01

    The Martian ionosphere is influenced by both the solar wind and the regional magnetic fields present in the Martian crust. Both influences ought to cause time variable changes in the magnetic fields present in the ionosphere. I report observations of these magnetic field fluctuations in the Martian ionosphere. I use data from the Mars Global Surveyor magnetometer instrument. By using data from the aerobraking low altitude passes (approx. 200 km) I find that there are numerous fluctuations both near and far from the strong crustal sources. Using data from the 400 km altitude mapping phase (which is near the topside of the primary ionosphere), I look at the comparative strength of the fluctuations relative to the solar wind and temporal variations. I discuss which wave modes and instabilities could be contributing to these fluctuations. I also discuss the implications of these fluctuations for understanding energy transfer in the Martian system and the effects on atmospheric escape.

  3. Martian Unbound Water Inventories: Changes with Time

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carr, M. H.; Head, J. W.

    2014-07-01

    We estimate that approximately 34 m GEL of unbound water is within 100 m of the martian surface today and 60-70 m are estimated for the end of the Hesperian. These estimates are reconciled with the geology.

  4. Phosphates and Carbon in Martian Meteorites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mojzsis, Stephen J.

    2000-01-01

    This paper proposes tests for exobiological examination of samples prior to obtaining martian rocks of known provenance via future sample-return missions. If we assume that all of the secondary minerals in martian meteorite ET79001 were indeed cogenetic and originate from Mars, we list conclusions that can be drawn that are of exobiological interest. This work serves as a preamble for the subsequent work listed below.

  5. Identifying Fossil Bacteria in Martian Materials

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Westall, F.; McKay, D. S.; Gibson, E. K., Jr.

    1999-01-01

    Within the next decade, robotic missions are going to Mars with the search for evidence for extant and extinct life as at least one of the mission objectives. Moreover, the first Martian samples will be returned to Earth in 2008. It is therefore imperative that we can be certain that we can identify life in Martian rocks. In this paper we will not be discussing extant life but will concentrate on fossil life.

  6. Wind tunnel simulation of Martian sand storms

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

  7. Martian Sunrise at Phoenix Landing Site, Sol 101

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    This sequence of nine images taken by the Surface Stereo Imager on NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander shows the sun rising on the morning of the lander's 101st Martian day after landing.

    The images were taken on Sept. 5, 2008. The local solar times at the landing site for the nine images were between 1:23 a.m. and 1:41 a.m.

    The landing site is on far-northern Mars, and the mission started in late northern spring. For nearly the entire first 90 Martian days of the mission, the sun never set below the horizon. As the amount of sunshine each day declined steadily after that, so has the amount of electricity available for the solar-powered spacecraft.

    The Phoenix Mission is led by the University of Arizona, Tucson, on behalf of NASA. Project management of the mission is by JPL, Pasadena, Calif. Spacecraft development was by Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver.

  8. On the weathering of Martian igneous rocks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dreibus, G.; Waenke, H.

    1992-01-01

    Besides the young crystallization age, one of the first arguments for the martian origin of shergottite, nakhlite, and chassignite (SNC) meteorites came from the chemical similarity of the meteorite Shergotty and the martian soil as measured by Viking XRF analyses. In the meantime, the discovery of trapped rare gas and nitrogen components with element and isotope ratios closely matching the highly characteristic ratios of the Mars atmosphere in the shock glasses of shergottite EETA79001 was further striking evidence that the SNC's are martian surface rocks. The martian soil composition as derived from the Viking mission, with its extremely high S and Cl concentrations, was interpreted as weathering products of mafic igneous rocks. The low SiO2 content and the low abundance of K and other trace elements in the martian soils point to a mafic crust with a considerably smaller degree of fractionation compared to the terrestrial crust. However, the chemical evolution of the martian regolith and soil in respect to surface reaction with the planetary atmosphere or hydrosphere is poorly understood. A critical point in this respect is that the geochemical evidence as derived from the SNC meteorites suggests that Mars is a very dry planet that should have lost almost all its initially large water inventory during its accretion.

  9. Effect of shadowing on survival of bacteria under conditions simulating the Martian atmosphere and UV radiation.

    PubMed

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

    2008-02-01

    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-microm-filtered desert soil (DSE) microcosms and desiccated for 75 days on aluminum died, whereas cells prepared similarly in 60-microm-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 (approximately 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.

  10. Fluctuation of the Martian ionosphere observed by Mars Express ionospheric sounding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morgan, D. D.; Gurnett, D. A.; Duru, F.; Akalin, F.; Brain, D. A.

    2009-12-01

    The Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionospheric Sounding (MARSIS), on board the ESA spacecraft Mars Express, in its Active Ionospheric Sounding mode, produces ionograms that enable us to compute electron density profiles of the Martian ionosphere over a wide range of day-side solar zenith angles and planetary longitudes and latitudes at a maximum resolution of 7.543 s. An electron density profile contains the values of the ionospheric peak electron density and its corresponding altitude. In order to analyze the state of motion of the Martian ionosphere, we have computed the standard deviation of these two quantities for four-minute intervals spanning the time between 14 August 2005 and 19 April 2009 corresponding to 473 orbits of Mars Express between orbits 2032 and 6795. Our analysis shows that fluctuation of the Martian ionosphere, as indicated by both the peak electron density and the peak altitude, increases at solar zenith angles greater than 60° and that this increase is strongest in regions of high remanent magnetic field. Use of the MGS solar-wind magnetic-field-draping direction proxy indicates that these fluctuations are strongest when remanent and solar-wind-borne fields are oppositely directed. These measurements open the possibility that near-terminator fluctuation in the Martian ionosphere is related to magnetic reconnection coupled with bulk outflows from the Martian atmosphere.

  11. Survival of methanogenic archaea from Siberian permafrost under simulated Martian thermal conditions.

    PubMed

    Morozova, Daria; Möhlmann, Diedrich; Wagner, Dirk

    2007-04-01

    Methanogenic archaea from Siberian permafrost complementary to the already well-studied methanogens from non-permafrost habitats were exposed to simulated Martian conditions. After 22 days of exposure to thermo-physical conditions at Martian low- and mid-latitudes up to 90% of methanogenic archaea from Siberian permafrost survived in pure cultures as well as in environmental samples. In contrast, only 0.3%-5.8% of reference organisms from non-permafrost habitats survived at these conditions. This suggests that methanogens from terrestrial permafrost seem to be remarkably resistant to Martian conditions. Our data also suggest that in scenario of subsurface lithoautotrophic life on Mars, methanogenic archaea from Siberian permafrost could be used as appropriate candidates for the microbial life on Mars.

  12. High-Frequency Orographically Forced Variability in a Single-Layer Model of the Martian Atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Keppenne, C. L.; Ingersoll, A. P.

    1993-01-01

    A shallow water model with realistic topography and idealized zonal wind forcing is used toinvestigate orographically forced modes in the Martian atmosphere. Locally, the model reproduceswell the climatology at the sites of Viking Lander I and II (VL1 and VL2) as inferred from theViking Lander fall and spring observations. Its variability at those sites is dominated by a 3-sol(Martian solar day) oscillation in the region of VL1 and by a 6-sol oscillation in that of VL2. Theseoscillations are forced by the zonal asymmetries of the Martian mountain field. It is suggested thatthey contribute to the observed variability by reinforcing the baroclinic oscillations with nearbyperiods identified in observational studies. The spatial variability associated with the orographicallyforced oscillations is studied by means of extended empirical orthogonal function analysis. The 3-solVL1 oscillation corresponds to a tropical, eastward-traveling, zonal-wavenumber one pattern...

  13. Ne-20/Ne-22 in the Martian Atmosphere: New Evidence from Martian Meteorites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Park, J.; Nyquist, L. E.; Herzog, G. F.; Nagao, K.; Mikouchi, T.; Kusakabe, M.

    2017-01-01

    Analyses of Ne trapped in "pods" of impact melt in the Elephant Moraine 79001 (EET 79001) Martian meteorite led to suggest (Ne-20/Ne-22) approx.10 in the Martian atmosphere (MA). In contrast, obtained trapped (Ne-20/Ne-22)Tr approx.7 from an impact melt vein in Yamato 793605 (Y-793605) and concluded that the isotopic composition of Martian Ne remained poorly defined. A "pyroxene-rich" separate from Dhofar 378 (Dho 378) analyzed gave a comparatively high trapped Ne concentration and (Ne-20/Ne-22) = 7.3+/-0.2 in agreement with the Y-793605 value. We explore the hypothesis that Martian Ne was trapped in the Dho 378 meteorite in a manner similar to entrapment of terrestrial Ne in tektites strengthening the "Martian atmosphere" interpretation. We also report new data for Northwest Africa 7034 (NWA 7034) that are consistent with the Ne data for Dho 378.

  14. Martian seismicity. [from Viking data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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 observational 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.

  15. Martian Magnets Under the Microscope

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit acquired this microscopic imager view of its capture magnet on sol 92 (April 6, 2004). Both Spirit and the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity are equipped with a number of magnets. The capture magnet, as seen here, has a stronger charge than its sidekick, the filter magnet. The lower-powered filter magnet captures only the most magnetic airborne dust with the strongest charges, while the capture magnet picks up all magnetic airborne dust.

    The magnets' primary purpose is to collect the martian magnetic dust so that scientists can analyze it with the rovers' Moessbauer spectrometers. While there is plenty of dust on the surface of Mars, it is difficult to confirm where it came from, and when it was last airborne. Because scientists are interested in learning about the properties of the dust in the atmosphere, they devised this dust-collection experiment.

    The capture magnet is about 4.5 centimeters (1.8 inches) in diameter and is constructed with a central cylinder and three rings, each with alternating orientations of magnetization. Scientists have been monitoring the continual accumulation of dust since the beginning of the mission with panoramic camera and microscopic imager images. They had to wait until enough dust accumulated before they could get a Moessbauer spectrometer analysis. The results of that analysis, performed on sol 92, have not been sent back to Earth yet.

  16. Temperature of the Martian Surface

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1999-01-01

    This image shows the nighttime (2 AM) temperature of the Martian surface as measured by the Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) instrument on the Mars Global Surveyor. The data were acquired during the first 500 orbits of the MGS mapping mission. The coldest temperatures (shown in purple) are -120C and the warmest temperatures (white) are -65C. The pattern of nighttime temperature in the equatorial region indicates variations in the particle size of the surface materials.

    The coldest regions are areas of very fine (dust) grains, while the warmest regions are areas of coarse sand, gravel, and rocks. Valles Marineris (-10S, 30-90W) and the channels leading into Acidalia Planitia and the Pathfinder landing site (5-20N; 20-45W) are clearly visible as regions of warm (sand and rock) material. The cold regions in the south mark the edge of the south polar cap. The pattern of nighttime temperatures observed by TES agrees well with the thermal inertia maps made by the Viking Infrared Thermal Mapper experiment, but the TES data shown here are at significantly higher spatial resolution (15 km versus 60 km).

  17. Variations in the Martian Ozone Layer during 2004-2012

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lefevre, F.; Bertaux, J.; Montmessin, F.

    2012-12-01

    Ozone on Mars is a secondary product of CO2 photolysis and is rapidly destroyed (~1 hour) by H, OH, and HO2 radicals. This tight coupling between ozone and HOx species makes ozone a useful tracer of the hydrogen chemistry that stabilizes the CO2 atmosphere of Mars, and ozone measurements offer a powerful constraint for photochemical models. We present observations of the Martian ozone layer performed during 2004-2012 from the SPICAM spectrometer on board Mars Express. SPICAM measures the ultraviolet spectrum transmitted by the atmosphere between 118 and 320 nm in various modes of observation. We will focus here on the data acquired in nadir mode allowing the determination of the vertically-integrated ozone column. The dataset acquired since January 2004 has a near-global coverage and covers more than 4 Martian years. We will discuss the variability of ozone at the day-to-day, seasonal and interannual scales, and the measurements will be compared to three-dimensional model simulations to evaluate our quantitative understanding of Mars photochemistry.

  18. Seasonal activity and morphological changes in martian gullies

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dundas, Colin M.; Diniega, Serina; Hansen, Candice J.; Byrne, Shane; McEwen, Alfred S.

    2012-01-01

    Recent studies of martian dune and non-dune gullies have suggested a seasonal control on present-day gully activity. The timing of current gully activity, especially activity involving the formation or modification of channels (which commonly have been taken as evidence of fluvial processes), has important implications regarding likely gully formation processes and necessary environmental conditions. In this study, we describe the results of frequent meter-scale monitoring of several active gully sites by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). The aim is to better assess the scope and nature of current morphological changes and to provide improved constraints on timing of gully activity on both dune and non-dune slopes. Our observations indicate that (1) gully formation on Mars is ongoing today and (2) the most significant morphological changes are strongly associated with seasonal frost and defrosting activity. Observed changes include formation of all major components of typical gully landforms, although we have not observed alcove formation in coherent bedrock. These results reduce the need to invoke recent climate change or present-day groundwater seepage to explain the many martian gullies with pristine appearance.

  19. A day in the life of a public psychiatry fellow.

    PubMed

    Shoyinka, Sosunmolu O; Barber, Mary E; Ranz, Jules

    2011-12-01

    Now in its 29th year, the Public Psychiatry Fellowship of the New York Psychiatric Institute at Columbia Medical Center selects 10 fellows per year for its 1-year program (1). This award-winning fellowship trains future leaders for the public mental health sector. The curriculum (2) employs a combination of a didactic seminar series, management-problem-focused presentations by guest speakers, field trips, and supervision by fellowship faculty to instill the values and skills required for practice and leadership in the public sector. Fellows utilize the framework of the academic curriculum to carry out a series of presentations throughout the year that allow them to organize, implement and evaluate concepts that they learn during the year. The following account, written from bird's eye view, details one fellow's day at his field placement in a State Hospital outpatient clinic setting, with the aim of illustrating how the concepts taught by the fellowship find application in day to day practice.

  20. Martian hillside gullies and icelandic analogs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hartmann, William K.; Thorsteinsson, Thorsteinn; Sigurdsson, Freysteinn

    2003-04-01

    We report observations of Icelandic hillside gully systems that are near duplicates of gullies observed on high-latitude martian hillsides. The best Icelandic analogs involve basaltic talus slopes at the angle of repose, with gully formation by debris flows initiated by ground water saturation, and/or by drainage of water from upslope cliffs. We report not only the existence of Mars analog gullies, but also an erosional sequence of morphologic forms, found both on Mars and in Iceland. The observations support hypotheses calling for creation of martian gullies by aqueous processes. Issues remain whether the water in each case comes only from surficial sources, such as melting of ground ice or snow, or from underground sources such as aquifers that gain surface access in hillsides. Iceland has many examples of the former, but the latter mechanism is not ruled out. Our observations are consistent with the martian debris flow mechanism of F. Costard et al. (2001c, Science295, 110-113), except that classic debris flows begin at midslope more frequently than on Mars. From morphologic observations, we suggest that some martian hillside gully systems not only involve significant evolution by extended erosive activity, but gully formation may occur in episodes, and the time interval since the last episode is considerably less than the time interval needed to erase the gully through normal martian obliteration processes.

  1. Martian polar expeditions: problems and solutions.

    PubMed

    Cockell, C S

    2001-12-01

    The Martian polar ice caps are regions of substantial scientific interest, being the most dynamic regions of Mars. They are volatile sinks and thus closely linked to Martian climatic conditions. Because of their scale and the precedent set by the past history of polar exploration on Earth, it is likely that an age of polar exploration will emerge on the surface of Mars after the establishment of a capable support structure at lower latitudes. Expeditions might be launched either from a lower latitude base camp or from a human-tended polar base. Based on previously presented expeditionary routes to the Martian poles, in this paper a "spiral in-spiral out" unsupported transpolar assault on the Martian north geographical pole is used as a Reference expedition to propose new types of equipment for the human polar exploration of Mars. Martian polar "ball" tents and "hover" modifications to the Nansen sledge for sledging on CO2-containing water ice substrates under low atmospheric pressures are suggested as elements for the success of these endeavours. Other challenges faced by these expeditions are quantitatively and qualitatively addressed.

  2. Noachian Martian Volcanics a Water Source

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zent, A. P.; Glaze, L. S.; Baloga, S. M.; Fonda, Mark (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    H2O was supplied to the Noachian atmosphere by eruptions, or in association with large impacts. Most water outgassed into an extremely cold atmosphere, and condensate deposits were inevitable. High heat flow could lead to subglacial melting only if ice thicknesses were greater than 500-1000m, which is extremely unlikely. Subareal melting and flow is contingent upon temperatures periodically exceeding 273 K, and retarding evaporative loss of the flow. In still air, evaporation into a dry atmosphere is in the free convection regime, and a stream with 2 cu m/s discharge, flowing 1 m/s could persist for hundreds of days and cover distances greater than any valley reach. The zero-wind-shear condition is considered implausible however. We investigate the possibility that evaporation rates were suppressed because the atmosphere was regionally charged with H2O as it moved over snow/ice fields. Our initial concern is precipitation from volcanic plumes. A Kilauea-style eruption on the martian surface would cover a 10km circular deposit with 10cm of H2O, if all H2O could be precipitated near the vent. The characteristics of the eruption at the vent, (vent size, temperature, H2O content, etc.) are independent of the environmental conditions. The subsequent behavior of the plume, including precipitation of ash and H2O condensate depends strongly on the environment. Hence, the proximal fate of volcanic H2O is amenable to treatment in a model. A simple bulk thermodynamic model of the rise of an H2O plume through a stably stratified CO2 atmosphere, with only adiabatic cooling, produces runaway plume rise. A more complex treatment includes the effects of latent heat release, wind shear along the plume, divergence of ash and H2O, and will yield more realistic estimates of H2O transport in eruptive plumes. Results of these simulations will be presented.

  3. Martian Arctic Dust Devil, Phoenix Sol 104

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    The Surface Stereo Imager on NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander caught this dust devil in action west-southwest of the lander at 11:16 a.m. local Mars time on Sol 104, or the 104th Martian day of the mission, Sept. 9, 2008.

    Dust devils have not been detected in any Phoenix images from earlier in the mission, but at least six were observed in a dozen images taken on Sol 104.

    Dust devils are whirlwinds that often occur when the Sun heats the surface of Mars, or some areas on Earth. The warmed surface heats the layer of atmosphere closest to it, and the warm air rises in a whirling motion, stirring dust up from the surface like a miniature tornado.

    The dust devil visible in the center of this image just below the horizon is estimated to be about 400 meters (about 1,300 feet) from Phoenix, and 4 meters (13 feet) in diameter. It is much smaller than dust devils that have been observed by NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit much closer to the equator. It is closer in size to dust devils seen from orbit in the Phoenix landing region, though still smaller than those.

    The image has been enhanced to make the dust devil easier to see.

    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. Martian external magnetic field proxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Langlais, Benoit; Civet, Francois

    2015-04-01

    Mars possesses no dynamic magnetic field of internal origin as it is the case for the Earth or for Mercury. Instead Mars is characterized by an intense and localized magnetic field of crustal origin. This field is the result of past magnetization and demagnetization processes, and reflects its evolution. The Interplanetary Magnetic Field (IMF) interacts with Mars' ionized environment to create an external magnetic field. This external field is weak compared to lithospheric one but very dynamic, and may hamper the detailed analysis of the internal magnetic field at some places or times. Because there are currently no magnetic field measurements made at Mars' surface, it is not possible to directly monitor the external field temporal variability as it is done in Earth's ground magnetic observatories. In this study we examine to indirect ways of quantifying this external field. First we use the Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE) mission which measures the solar wind about one hour upstream of the bow-shock resulting from the interaction between the solar wind and the Earth's internal magnetic field. These measurements are extrapolated to Mars' position taking into account the orbital configurations of the Mars-Earth system and the velocity of particles carrying the IMF. Second we directly use Mars Global Surveyor magnetic field measurements to quantify the level of variability of the external field. We subtract from the measurements the internal field which is otherwise modeled, and bin the residuals first on a spatial and then on a temporal mesh. This allows to compute daily or semi daily index. We present a comparison of these two proxies and demonstrate their complementarity. We also illustrate our analysis by comparing our Martian external field proxies to terrestrial index at epochs of known strong activity. These proxies will especially be useful for upcoming magnetic field measurements made around or at the surface of Mars.

  5. Thermal Evolution and Crystallisation Regimes of the Martian Core

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  6. Rocket dust storms and detached layers in the Martian atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spiga, A.; Faure, J.; Madeleine, J.; Maattanen, A. E.; Forget, F.

    2012-12-01

    Airborne dust is the main climatic agent in the Martian environment. Local dust storms play a key role in the dust cycle; yet their life cycle is poorly known. Here we use mesoscale modeling with radiatively-active transported dust to predict the evolution of a local dust storm monitored by OMEGA onboard Mars Express. We show that the evolution of this dust storm is governed by deep convective motions. The supply of convective energy is provided by the absorption of incoming sunlight by dust particles, in lieu of latent heating in moist convection on Earth. We propose to use the terminology "rocket dust storm", or conio-cumulonimbus, to describe those storms in which rapid and efficient vertical transport takes place, injecting dust particles at high altitudes in the Martian troposphere (30 to 50 km). Combined to horizontal transport by large-scale winds, rocket dust storms form detached layers of dust reminiscent of those observed with instruments onboard Mars Global Surveyor and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Detached layers are stable over several days owing to nighttime sedimentation being unable to counteract daytime convective transport, and to the resupply of convective energy at sunrise. The peak activity of rocket dust storms is expected in low-latitude regions at clear season, which accounts for the high-altitude tropical dust maximum unveiled by Mars Climate Sounder. Our findings on dust-driven deep convection have strong implications for the Martian dust cycle, thermal structure, atmospheric dynamics, cloud microphysics, chemistry, and robotic and human exploration.ensity-scaled dust optical depth at local times 1400 1600 and 1800 (lat 2.5°S, Ls 135°) hortwave heating rate at local time 1500 and latitude 2.5°S.

  7. Life on Mars: Evidence from Martian Meteorites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

  8. Evidence for methane in Martian meteorites

    PubMed Central

    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.

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26079798

  9. Evidence for methane in Martian meteorites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

    2015-06-01

    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.

  10. Chemical evolution of the early Martian hydrosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

  11. Evidence for methane in Martian meteorites.

    PubMed

    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.

  12. Project APEX: Advanced manned exploration of the Martian moon Phobos

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Eisley, Joe G.; Akers, Jim

    1992-01-01

    A preliminary design has been developed for a manned mission to the Martian moon Phobos. The spacecraft is to carry a crew of five and will be launched from Low Earth Orbit in the year 2010. The outbound trajectory to Mars uses a gravitational assisted swingby of Venus and takes eight months to complete. The stay at Phobos is scheduled for 60 days. During this time, the crew will be busily engaged in setting up a prototype fuel processing facility. The vehicle will then return to Earth orbit after a total mission duration of 656 days. The spacecraft is powered by three nuclear thermal rockets which also provide the primary electrical power via dual mode operation. The overall spacecraft length is 110 m, and the total mass departing from Low Earth Orbit is 900 metric tons.

  13. A Hypothesis for the Abiotic and Non-Martian Origins of Putative Signs of Ancient Martian Life in ALH84001

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Treiman, Allan H.

    2001-01-01

    Putative evidence of martian life in ALH84001 can be explained by abiotic and non-martian processes consistent with the meteorite's geological history. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  14. Estimation of high altitude Martian dust parameters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pabari, Jayesh; Bhalodi, Pinali

    2016-07-01

    Dust devils are known to occur near the Martian surface mostly during the mid of Southern hemisphere summer and they play vital role in deciding background dust opacity in the atmosphere. The second source of high altitude Martian dust could be due to the secondary ejecta caused by impacts on Martian Moons, Phobos and Deimos. Also, the surfaces of the Moons are charged positively due to ultraviolet rays from the Sun and negatively due to space plasma currents. Such surface charging may cause fine grains to be levitated, which can easily escape the Moons. It is expected that the escaping dust form dust rings within the orbits of the Moons and therefore also around the Mars. One more possible source of high altitude Martian dust is interplanetary in nature. Due to continuous supply of the dust from various sources and also due to a kind of feedback mechanism existing between the ring or tori and the sources, the dust rings or tori can sustain over a period of time. 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, it is mystery how dust has reached to such high altitudes. Estimation of dust parameters before-hand is necessary to design an instrument for the detection of high altitude Martian dust from a future orbiter. In this work, we have studied the dust supply rate responsible primarily for the formation of dust ring or tori, the life time of dust particles around the Mars, the dust number density as well as the effect of solar radiation pressure and Martian oblateness on dust dynamics. The results presented in this paper may be useful to space scientists for understanding the scenario and designing an orbiter based instrument to measure the dust surrounding the Mars for solving the mystery. The further work is underway.

  15. Multiplication of certain soil micro-organisms under simulated Martian conditions.

    PubMed

    Imshenetsky, A A; Kusjurina, L A; Jakshina, V M

    1970-01-01

    According to earlier observations, severe UV irradiation kills all micro-organisms in a chamber with simulated Martian conditions. However, even a thin soil layer protects buried micro-organisms from UV irradiation. The chief limiting factor for microbial multiplication under simulated Martian conditions seems to be soil humidity. Several micro-organisms were isolated from harsh environments (e.g., from Arctic, Antarctic desert and high-mountain soil samples). A strain of an oligonitrophilic mycococcus, isolated from Dixon Island, proved to be most resistant to low humidity. It multiplied in a mixture of limonite (maximal hygroscopical humidity 3.8%) + 2% (w/w) garden soil kept in a chamber simulating Martian conditions. Total cell count increased 7.6-fold and, in some experiments, 26-fold in 14 days. The oligonitrophilic mycococcus was able to grow even at a humidity level of 2.5%, that is less than maximal hygroscopical (3.8%). Under these conditions cell count increased 10-fold in 36 days. Thus, it was shown that even in Earth soils there are xerophytic micro-organisms which are able to multiply in limonite of low humidity. These data might correct our current concepts concerning microbial water requirements. One might speculate that Martian micro-organisms belong to xerophytic species.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  17. Deciphering Martian climatic history using returned samples

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Paige, D. A.; Krieger, D. B.; Brigham, C. A.

    1988-01-01

    By necessity, a Mars sample return mission must sample the upper few meters of the Martian surface. This material was subjected to a wide variety of physical processes. Presently, the most important processes are believed to be wind-driven erosion and deposition, and water ice accumulation at higher latitudes. A sample return mission represents an opportunity to better understand and quantify these important geological processes. By obtaining sample cores at key locations, it may be possible to interpret much of recent Martian climatic history.

  18. Geopolymers from lunar and Martian soil simulants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alexiadis, Alessio; Alberini, Federico; Meyer, Marit E.

    2017-01-01

    This work discusses the geopolymerization of lunar dust simulant JSC LUNAR-1A and Martian dust simulant JSC MARS-1A. The geopolymerization of JSC LUNAR-1A occurs easily and produces a hard, rock-like, material. The geopolymerization of JSC MARS-1A requires milling to reduce the particle size. Tests were carried out to measure, for both JSC LUNAR-1A and JSC MARS-1A geopolymers, the maximum compressive and flexural strengths. In the case of the lunar simulant, these are higher than those of conventional cements. In the case of the Martian simulant, they are close to those of common building bricks.

  19. Dinosaur Day!

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nakamura, Sandra; Baptiste, H. Prentice

    2006-01-01

    In this article, the authors describe how they capitalized on their first-grade students' love of dinosaurs by hosting a fun-filled Dinosaur Day in their classroom. On Dinosaur Day, students rotated through four dinosaur-related learning stations that integrated science content with art, language arts, math, and history in a fun and time-efficient…

  20. CEMI Days

    SciTech Connect

    2015-07-01

    CEMI Days are an important channel of engagement between DOE and the manufacturing industry to identify challenges and opportunities for increasing U.S. manufacturing competitiveness. CEMI Days that are held at manufacturing companies’ facilities can include tours of R&D operations or other points of interest determined by the host company.

  1. UV resistance of a halophilic archaeon in simulated martian conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    ten Kate, Il; van Sluis, Ca; Selch, F.; Garry, Jrc; Stan-Lotter, H.; van Loosdrecht, M.; Ehrenfreund, P.

    Mars is thought to have had liquid water at its surface for geologically long periods. The progressive desiccation of the surface would have led to an increase in the salt content of remaining bodies of water. If life had developed on Mars, then some of the mechanisms evolved in terrestrial halophilic bacteria to cope with high salt content may have been similar to those existing in martian organisms. We have exposed samples of the halophilic Natronorubrum sp. strain HG-1 (Nr. strain HG-1) to conditions of ultraviolet radiation (UV) similar to those of the present-day martian environment. Furthermore, the effects of low temperature and low pressure on Nr. strain HG-1 have been investigated. To simulate a more Mars-like environment and investigate the effect of water in the atmosphere Nr. strain HG-1 has been irradiated when placed in a low pressure CO2 environment, static as well as flowing. The results, obtained by monitoring growth curves, indicate that the present UV radiation at the surface of Mars is a significant hazard for this organism. Exposure of the cells to high vacuum inactivates ~50 % of the cells. Freezing to -20 ° C and -80 ° C kills ~80 % of the cells. When desiccated and embedded in a salt crust, cells are somewhat more resistant to UV radiation than when suspended in an aqueous solution. The cell inactivation by UV is wavelength dependent. It cannot be excluded that they can survive when embedded in the soil or buried underneath rocks.

  2. M-DLS - a multichannel diode laser spectrometer for Martian studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vinogradov, Imant; Rodin, Alexander V.; Klimchuk, Artem

    A concept of Martian atmosphere and soil volatiles study was developed on the basis of diode laser spectroscopy by collaboration of IKI RAS, MIPT, GPI RAS, University of Reims (France), University of Cologne (Germany), and University of Edinburgh (Great Britain). An experiment, named as M-DLS, has been proposed for the stationery Landing Platform scientific payload of the ExoMars-2018 mission. The M-DLS instrument is targeted to long-term studies of: chemical and isotopic composition of atmosphere near the Martian surface, and its diurnal and seasonal variations; Martian soil volatiles at the location of the Landing Platform; integral chemical and isotopic composition of Martian atmosphere at low scales of altitude at the Landing Platform area, and its variations in respect to local time at the day-light; thermal and dynamic structure of the Martian atmosphere. The M-DLS studies are based on regular measurements of molecular absorption spectra in the IR range along several optical path trajectories, including: a suite of ICOS optical cells of up to 1 km effective optical path, which are directly linked to the ambient atmosphere; a capillary closed-volume optical cell, which is linked to pyrolytic output of a proposed MGAS instrument (Martian Gas Analytic Suite); direct Solar observation open atmosphere path of heterodyne measurements, which is co-directional with the open path line of sight of a proposed FAST instrument (Fourier spectrometer for Atmospheric Components and Temperature). The M-DLS measurements will be carried out in series of narrow-band 2 cm (-1) wide intervals with spectral resolution of 3 MHz ( 0.0001 cm (-1) ), providing for fine recording of molecular absorption line contours. By measurement of H _{2}O and CO _{2} molecules diurnal and seasonal variations and their isotope ratios D/H, (18) O/ (17) O/ (16) O, (13) C/ (12) C, of soil volatiles H _{2}S, NH _{3}, C _{2}H _{2} and others, we expect to receive data for specifying of physical and

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

  4. Evolution of the Martian water cycle.

    PubMed

    Houben, H; Haberle, R M; Young, R E; Zent, A P

    1997-01-01

    The current Martian water cycle is extremely asymmetric, with large amounts of vapor subliming off a permanent north polar water ice cap in northern summer, but with no apparent major source of water vapor in the southern hemisphere. Detailed simulations of this process with a three-dimensional circulation model indicate that the summertime interhemispheric exchange (Hadley cell) is very much stronger than transport by eddies in other seasons. As a result, water ice would be distributed globally were it not for the buffering action of regolith soil adsorption which limits the net flux of water vapor off the north polar cap to amounts that are insignificant even on the scale of thousands of years. It has been suggested that the polar layered deposits are the result of exchange on these long time scales, driven by changes in Martian orbital parameters. We therefore are conducting simulations to test the effect of varied orbital parameters on the Martian water cycle. We find that when the perihelion summer pole is charged with a polar water ice cap, large quantities of water are quickly transfered to the aphelion summer pole, setting up an annual cycle that resembles the present one. Thus, the adsorptivity of the Martian regolith may be in the narrow range where it can limit net transport from the aphelion but not the perihelion pole.

  5. Martian Gullies: Formation by CO2 Fluidification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  6. Origin and use of Martian nomenclature

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Russell, Joel F.; Snyder, Conway W.; Kieffer, Hugh H.

    1992-01-01

    The history and construction of Martian place names are examined. The 24 specific descriptor terms in use for Mars are defined. Informal names of individual rocks are discussed: the human fondness for informality is evident in the names attached to individual rocks at the Viking Lander sites.

  7. Meteoric Magnesium Ions in the Martian Atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pesnell, William Dean; Grebowsky, Joseph

    1999-01-01

    From a thorough modeling of the altitude profile of meteoritic ionization in the Martian atmosphere we deduce that a persistent layer of magnesium ions should exist around an altitude of 70 km. Based on current estimates of the meteoroid mass flux density, a peak ion density of about 10(exp 4) ions/cm is predicted. Allowing for the uncertainties in all of the model parameters, this value is probably within an order of magnitude of the correct density. Of these parameters, the peak density is most sensitive to the meteoroid mass flux density which directly determines the ablated line density into a source function for Mg. Unlike the terrestrial case, where the metallic ion production is dominated by charge-exchange of the deposited neutral Mg with the ambient ions, Mg+ in the Martian atmosphere is produced predominantly by photoionization. The low ultraviolet absorption of the Martian atmosphere makes Mars an excellent laboratory in which to study meteoric ablation. Resonance lines not seen in the spectra of terrestrial meteors may be visible to a surface observatory in the Martian highlands.

  8. The Chlorine Isotope Composition of Martian Meteorites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sharp, Z. D.; Shearer, C. K.; Agee, C.; Burger, P. V.; McKeegan, K. D.

    2014-11-01

    The Cl isotope composition of martian meteorites range from -3.8 to +8.6 per mil. Ol-phyric shergottites are lightest; crustally contaminated samples are heaviest, basaltic shergottites are in-between. The system is explained as two component mixing.

  9. Radiative habitable zones in martian polar environments.

    PubMed

    Córdoba-Jabonero, Carmen; Zorzano, María-Paz; Selsis, Franck; Patel, Manish R; Cockell, Charles S

    2005-06-01

    The biologically damaging solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation (quantified by the DNA-weighted dose) reaches the martian surface in extremely high levels. Searching for potentially habitable UV-protected environments on Mars, we considered the polar ice caps that consist of a seasonally varying CO2 ice cover and a permanent H2O ice layer. It was found that, though the CO2 ice is insufficient by itself to screen the UV radiation, at approximately 1 m depth within the perennial H2O ice the DNA-weighted dose is reduced to terrestrial levels. This depth depends strongly on the optical properties of the H2O ice layers (for instance snow-like layers). The Earth-like DNA-weighted dose and Photosynthetically Active Radiation (PAR) requirements were used to define the upper and lower limits of the northern and southern polar Radiative Habitable Zone (RHZ) for which a temporal and spatial mapping was performed. Based on these studies we conclude that photosynthetic life might be possible within the ice layers of the polar regions. The thickness varies along each martian polar spring and summer between approximately 1.5 and 2.4 m for H2O ice-like layers, and a few centimeters for snow-like covers. These martian Earth-like radiative habitable environments may be primary targets for future martian astrobiological missions. Special attention should be paid to planetary protection, since the polar RHZ may also be subject to terrestrial contamination by probes.

  10. Prospects for Chronological Studies of Martian Rocks and Soils

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nyquist, L. E.; Shih, C-Y.; Reese, Y. D.

    2008-01-01

    Chronological information about Martian processes comes from two sources: Crater-frequency studies and laboratory studies of Martian meteorites. Each has limitations that could be overcome by studies of returned Martian rocks and soils. Chronology of Martian volcanism: The currently accepted chronology of Martian volcanic surfaces relies on crater counts for different Martian stratigraphic units [1]. However, there is a large inherent uncertainty for intermediate ages near 2 Ga ago. The effect of differing preferences for Martian cratering chronologies [1] is shown in Fig. 1. Stoeffler and Ryder [2] summarized lunar chronology, upon which Martian cratering chronology is based. Fig. 2 shows a curve fit to their data, and compares to it a corresponding lunar curve from [3]. The radiometric ages of some lunar and Martian meteorites as well as the crater-count delimiters for Martian epochs [4] also are shown for comparison to the craterfrequency curves. Scaling the Stoeffler-Ryder curve by a Mars/Moon factor of 1.55 [5] places Martian shergottite ages into the Early Amazonian to late Hesperian epochs, whereas using the lunar curve of [3] and a Mars/Moon factor 1 consigns the shergottites to the Middle-to-Late Amazonian, a less probable result. The problem is worsened if a continually decreasing cratering rate since 3 Ga ago is accepted [6]. We prefer the adjusted St ffler-Ryder curve because it gives better agreement with the meteorite ages (Fig.

  11. Water retention of selected microorganisms and Martian soil simulants under close to Martian environmental conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jänchen, J.; Bauermeister, A.; Feyh, N.; de Vera, J.-P.; Rettberg, P.; Flemming, H.-C.; Szewzyk, U.

    2014-08-01

    Based on the latest knowledge about microorganisms resistant towards extreme conditions on Earth and results of new complex models on the development of the Martian atmosphere we quantitatively examined the water-bearing properties of selected extremophiles and simulated Martian regolith components and their interaction with water vapor under close to Martian environmental conditions. Three different species of microorganisms have been chosen and prepared for our study: Deinococcus geothermalis, Leptothrix sp. OT_B_406, and Xanthoria elegans. Further, two mineral mixtures representing the early and the late Martian surface as well as montmorillonite as a single component of phyllosilicatic minerals, typical for the Noachian period on Mars, were selected. The thermal mass loss of the minerals and bacteria-samples was measured by thermoanalysis. The hydration and dehydration properties were determined under close to Martian environmental conditions by sorption isotherm measurements using a McBain-Bakr quartz spring balance. It was possible to determine the total water content of the materials as well as the reversibly bound water fraction as function of the atmospheres humidity by means of these methods. Our results are important for the evaluation of future space mission outcomes including astrobiological aspects and can support the modeling of the atmosphere/surface interaction by showing the influence on the water inventory of the upper most layer of the Martian surface.

  12. Career Day

    NASA Video Gallery

    NASA's 2013 Career Days was a joint collaboration between NASA Langley and the Newport News Shipbuilding where 600 high school students from Virginia took on two design challenges -- designing a ca...

  13. Argon isotopes as tracers for martian atmospheric loss

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Slipski, Marek; Jakosky, Bruce M.

    2016-07-01

    Recent measurements of the present-day Ar abundance and isotopic ratios in the martian atmosphere by the SAM instrument suite onboard the Curiosity rover can be used to constrain the atmospheric and volatile evolution. We have examined the role of volcanic outgassing, escape to space via sputtering, crustal erosion, impact delivery, and impact erosion in reproducing the Ar isotope ratios from an initial state 4.4 billion years ago. To investigate the effects of each of these processes, their timing, and their intensity we have modeled exchanges of Ar isotopes between various reservoirs (mantle, crust, atmosphere, etc.) throughout Mars' history. Furthermore, we use present-day atmospheric measurements to determine the parameter space consistent with observations. We find that significant loss to space (at least 48% of atmospheric 36Ar) is required to match the observed 36Ar/38Ar ratio. Our estimates of volcanic outgassing do not supply sufficient 40Ar to the atmosphere to match observations, so in our model at least 31% of 40Ar produced in the crust must have also been released to the atmosphere. Of the total 40Ar introduced into the atmosphere about 25% must have been lost to space. By adding the present-day isotopic abundances with our results of total integrated Ar loss we find a "restored" value of atmospheric 40Ar/36Ar, which represents what that ratio would be if the total integrated Ar loss had remained in the atmosphere. We determine the restored value to be ∼900-1500. This is below the present martian atmospheric value (1900 ± 300), but 3-5 times greater than the terrestrial value.

  14. Workshop on Evolution of Martian Volatiles. Part 1

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jakosky, B. (Editor); Treiman, A. (Editor)

    1996-01-01

    This volume contains papers that were presented on February 12-14, 1996 at the Evolution for Martian Volatiles Workshop. Topics in this volume include: returned Martian samples; acidic volatiles and the Mars soil; solar EUV Radiation; the ancient Mars Thermosphere; primitive methane atmospheres on Earth and Mars; the evolution of Martian water; the role of SO2 for the climate history of Mars; impact crater morphology; the formation of the Martian drainage system; atmospheric dust-water ice Interactions; volatiles and volcanos; accretion of interplanetary dust particles; Mars' ionosphere; simulations with the NASA Ames Mars General Circulation Model; modeling the Martian water cycle; the evolution of Martian atmosphere; isotopic composition; solar occultation; magnetic fields; photochemical weathering; NASA's Mars Surveyor Program; iron formations; measurements of Martian atmospheric water vapor; and the thermal evolution Models of Mars.

  15. Nature of Reduced Carbon in Martian Meteorites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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

  16. Preliminary design of a universal Martian lander

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Norman, Timothy L.; Gaskin, David E.; Adkins, Sean; Gunawan, Mary; Johnson, Raquel; Macdonnell, David; Parlock, Andrew; Sarick, John; Bodwell, Charles; Hashimoto, Kouichi

    In the next 25 years, mankind will be undertaking yet another giant leap forward in the exploration of the solar system: a manned mission to Mars. This journey will provide important information on the composition and history of both Mars and the Solar System. A manned mission will also provide the opportunity to study how humans can adapt to long term space flight conditions and the Martian environment. As part of the NASA/USRA program, nineteen West Virginia University students conducted a preliminary design of a manned Universal Martian Lander (UML). The UML's design will provide a 'universal' platform, consisting of four modules for living and laboratory experiments and a liquid-fuel propelled Manned Ascent Return Vehicle (MARV). The distinguishing feature of the UML is the 'universal' design of the modules which can be connected to form a network of laboratories and living quarters for future missions thereby reducing development and production costs. The WVU design considers descent to Mars from polar orbit, a six month surface stay, and ascent for rendezvous. The design begins with an unmanned UML landing at Elysium Mons followed by the manned UML landing nearby. During the six month surface stay, the eight modules will be assembled to form a Martian base where scientific experiments will be performed. The mission will also incorporate hydroponic plant growth into a Controlled Ecological Life Support System (CELSS) for water recycling, food production, and to counteract psychological effects of living on Mars. In situ fuel production for the MARV will be produced from gases in the Martian atmosphere. Following surface operations, the eight member crew will use the MARV to return to the Martian Transfer Vehicle (MTV) for the journey home to Earth.

  17. Preliminary design of a universal Martian lander

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Norman, Timothy L.; Gaskin, David E.; Adkins, Sean; Gunawan, Mary; Johnson, Raquel; Macdonnell, David; Parlock, Andrew; Sarick, John; Bodwell, Charles; Hashimoto, Kouichi

    1993-01-01

    In the next 25 years, mankind will be undertaking yet another giant leap forward in the exploration of the solar system: a manned mission to Mars. This journey will provide important information on the composition and history of both Mars and the Solar System. A manned mission will also provide the opportunity to study how humans can adapt to long term space flight conditions and the Martian environment. As part of the NASA/USRA program, nineteen West Virginia University students conducted a preliminary design of a manned Universal Martian Lander (UML). The UML's design will provide a 'universal' platform, consisting of four modules for living and laboratory experiments and a liquid-fuel propelled Manned Ascent Return Vehicle (MARV). The distinguishing feature of the UML is the 'universal' design of the modules which can be connected to form a network of laboratories and living quarters for future missions thereby reducing development and production costs. The WVU design considers descent to Mars from polar orbit, a six month surface stay, and ascent for rendezvous. The design begins with an unmanned UML landing at Elysium Mons followed by the manned UML landing nearby. During the six month surface stay, the eight modules will be assembled to form a Martian base where scientific experiments will be performed. The mission will also incorporate hydroponic plant growth into a Controlled Ecological Life Support System (CELSS) for water recycling, food production, and to counteract psychological effects of living on Mars. In situ fuel production for the MARV will be produced from gases in the Martian atmosphere. Following surface operations, the eight member crew will use the MARV to return to the Martian Transfer Vehicle (MTV) for the journey home to Earth.

  18. Measurements of the Martian Gamma/Neutron Spectra with MSL/RAD

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, J.; Zeitlin, C. J.; Ehresmann, B.; Wimmer-Schweingruber, R. F.; Hassler, D.; Reitz, G.; Brinza, D.; Weigle, E.; Boettcher, S.; Burmeister, S.; Guo, J.; Martin-Garcia, C.; Boehm, E.; Posner, A.; Rafkin, S. C.; Kortmann, O.

    2013-12-01

    The Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD) onboard Mars Science Laboratory's rover curiosity measures the energetic charged and neutral particle spectra and the radiation dose rate on the Martian surface. An important factor for determining the biological impact of the Martian surface radiation is the specific contribution of neutrons, which possess a high biological effectiveness. In contrast to charged particles, neutrons and gamma rays are generally only measured indirectly. Their measurement is the result of a complex convolution of the incident particle spectrum with the measurement process. We apply an inversion method to calculate the gamma/neutron spectra from the RAD neutral particle measurements. Here we show first measurements of the Martian gamma/neutron spectra and compare them to theoretical predictions. We find that the shape of the gamma spectrum is very similar to the predicted one, but with a ~50% higher intensity. The measured neutron spectrum agrees well with prediction up to ~100 MeV, but shows a considerably increased intensity for higher energies. The measured neutron spectrum translates into a radiation dose rate of 25 μGy/day and a dose equivalent rate of 106 μSv/day. This corresponds to 10% of the total surface dose rate, and 15% of the biological relevant surface dose equivalent rate on Mars. Measuring the Martian neutron spectra is an essential step for determining the mutagenic influences to past or present life at or beneath the Martian surface as well as the radiation hazard for future human exploration, including the shielding design of a potential habitat. The contribution of neutrons to the dose equivalent increases considerably with shielding thickness, so our measurements provide an important figure to mitigate cancer risk.

  19. Hydrogen isotopic composition of the Martian mantle inferred from the newest Martian meteorite fall, Tissint

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mane, P.; Hervig, R.; Wadhwa, M.; Garvie, L. A. J.; Balta, J. B.; McSween, H. Y.

    2016-11-01

    The hydrogen isotopic composition of planetary reservoirs can provide key constraints on the origin and history of water on planets. The sources of water and the hydrological evolution of Mars may be inferred from the hydrogen isotopic compositions of mineral phases in Martian meteorites, which are currently the only samples of Mars available for Earth-based laboratory investigations. Previous studies have shown that δD values in minerals in the Martian meteorites span a large range of -250 to +6000‰. The highest hydrogen isotope ratios likely represent a Martian atmospheric component: either interaction with a reservoir in equilibrium with the Martian atmosphere (such as crustal water), or direct incorporation of the Martian atmosphere due to shock processes. The lowest δD values may represent those of the Martian mantle, but it has also been suggested that these values may represent terrestrial contamination in Martian meteorites. Here we report the hydrogen isotopic compositions and water contents of a variety of phases (merrillites, maskelynites, olivines, and an olivine-hosted melt inclusion) in Tissint, the latest Martian meteorite fall that was minimally exposed to the terrestrial environment. We compared traditional sample preparation techniques with anhydrous sample preparation methods, to evaluate their effects on hydrogen isotopes, and find that for severely shocked meteorites like Tissint, the traditional sample preparation techniques increase water content and alter the D/H ratios toward more terrestrial-like values. In the anhydrously prepared Tissint sample, we see a large range of δD values, most likely resulting from a combination of processes including magmatic degassing, secondary alteration by crustal fluids, shock-related fractionation, and implantation of Martian atmosphere. Based on these data, our best estimate of the δD value for the Martian depleted mantle is -116 ± 94‰, which is the lowest value measured in a phase in the

  20. Formation and Preservation of the Depleted and Enriched Shergottite Isotopic Reservoirs in a Convecting Martian Mantle

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kiefer, Walter S.; Jones, John H.

    2015-01-01

    There is compelling isotopic and crater density evidence for geologically recent volcanism on Mars, in the last 100-200 million years and possibly in the last 50 million years. This volcanism is due to adiabatic decompression melting and thus requires some type of present-day convective upwelling in the martian mantle. On the other hand, martian meteorites preserve evidence for at least 3 distinct radiogenic isotopic reservoirs. Anomalies in short-lived isotopic systems (Sm-146, Nd-142, Hf-182, W-182) require that these reservoirs must have developed in the first 50 to 100 million years of Solar System history. The long-term preservation of chemically distinct reservoirs has sometimes been interpreted as evidence for the absence of mantle convection and convective mixing on Mars for most of martian history, a conclusion which is at odds with the evidence for young volcanism. This apparent paradox can be resolved by recognizing that a variety of processes, including both inefficient mantle mixing and geographic separation of isotopic reservoirs, may preserve isotopic heterogeneity on Mars in an actively convecting mantle. Here, we focus on the formation and preservation of the depleted and enriched isotopic and trace element reservoirs in the shergottites. In particular, we explore the possible roles of processes such as chemical diffusion and metasomatism in dikes and magma chambers for creating the isotopically enriched shergottites. We also consider processes that may preserve the enriched reservoir against convective mixing for most of martian history.

  1. Mission MARS 3, January 1972: The first observation of Martian crustal magnetization?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Verigin, M. I.; Slavin, J. A.

    Almost 35 years ago, in the late 1971, Mars 3 spacecraft was placed into orbit around Mars. On January 21, 1972 this orbiter recorded strong (~27 nT) and regular magnetic field in the vicinity of its closest (~ 1500) km approach to the day side of the planet. This observation was originally interpreted as an evidence of planetary dipole magnetic field (Dolginov et al., 1972, Gringauz et al., 1974). Later Russell (1978) qualified the same observations in terms of magnetic field draped over the Martian obstacle. After analysis of early planetary missions data Slavin & Holzer (1982) concluded that "Mars most probably possesses a small intrinsic field magnetosphere". Subsequent Phobos 2, MGS, and MEX missions revealed a lot of unique features of the Martian magnetosphere, and clarified an essential role in its formation of multipole magnetic field of planetary crust (Acuña et al., 1998. Earlier Mars 3 data will be revisited in the present talk. It will be shown that this orbiter observed strong and regular magnetic field exactly above the region of the strongest magnetization of the Martian crust in the southern hemisphere of the planet. Magnetic field and plasma measurements from Mars 3 will be compared with those of MGS to uncover whether Mars 3 really detected the magnetic field of Martian crust in the early 1972. This work was performed with partial support of RAN programs P16 and OFN16.

  2. Martian upper atmosphere response to solar EUV flux and soft X-ray flares

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jain, Sonal; Stewart, Ian; Schneider, Nicholas M.; Deighan, Justin; Stiepen, Arnaud; Evans, J. Scott; Stevens, Michael H.; Chaffin, Michael S.; Crismani, Matteo; McClintock, William; Montmessin, Franck; Thiemann, E. M.; Eparvier, Frank; Chamberlin, Phillip C.; Jacosky, Bruce

    2016-10-01

    Planetary upper atmosphere energetics is mainly governed by absorption of solar extreme ultraviolet (EUV) radiation. Understanding the response of planetary upper atmosphere to the daily, long and short term variation in solar flux is very important to quantify energy budget of upper atmosphere. We report a comprehensive study of Mars dayglow observations made by the IUVS instrument aboard the MAVEN spacecraft, focusing on upper atmospheric response to solar EUV flux. Our analysis shows both short and long term effect of solar EUV flux on Martian thermospheric temperature. We find a significant drop (> 100 K) in thermospheric temperature between Ls = 218° and Ls = 140°, attributed primarily to the decrease in solar activity and increase in heliocentric distance. IUVS has observed response of Martian thermosphere to the 27-day solar flux variation due to solar rotation.We also report effect of two solar flare events (19 Oct. 2014 and 24 March 2015) on Martian dayglow observations. IUVS observed about ~25% increase in observed brightness of major ultraviolet dayglow emissions below 120 km, where most of the high energy photons (< 10 nm) deposit their energy. The results presented in this talk will help us better understand the role of EUV flux in total heat budget of Martian thermosphere.

  3. Martian Dust Devil Movie, Phoenix Sol 104

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    The Surface Stereo Imager on NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander caught this dust devil in action west of the lander in four frames shot about 50 seconds apart from each other between 11:53 a.m. and 11:56 a.m. local Mars time on Sol 104, or the 104th Martian day of the mission, Sept. 9, 2008.

    Dust devils have not been detected in any Phoenix images from earlier in the mission, but at least six were observed in a dozen images taken on Sol 104.

    Dust devils are whirlwinds that often occur when the Sun heats the surface of Mars, or some areas on Earth. The warmed surface heats the layer of atmosphere closest to it, and the warm air rises in a whirling motion, stirring dust up from the surface like a miniature tornado.

    The dust devil visible in this sequence was about 1,000 meters (about 3,300 feet) from the lander when the first frame was taken, and had moved to about 1,700 meters (about 5,600 feet) away by the time the last frame was taken about two and a half minutes later. The dust devil was moving westward at an estimated speed of 5 meters per second (11 miles per hour), which is similar to typical late-morning wind speed and direction indicated by the telltale wind gauge on Phoenix.

    This dust devil is about 5 meters (16 feet) in diameter. This is much smaller than dust devils that have been observed by NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit much closer to the equator. It is closer in size to dust devils seen from orbit in the Phoenix landing region, though still smaller than those..

    The image has been enhanced to make the dust devil easier to see. Some of the frame-to-frame differences in the appearance of foreground rocks is because each frame was taken through a different color filter.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

  7. Conductivity Probe Inserted in Martian Soil, Sol 46

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    This image taken by the Surface Stereo Imager on NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander shows the lander's Thermal and Electrical Conductivity Probe (TECP), at the end of the Robotic Arm, on the 46th Martian day, or sol, of the mission (July 11, 2008).

    The TECP is inserted at a site called Vestri, which was monitored several times over the course of the mission. The probe's measurements at this site yielded evidence that water was exchanged, daily and seasonally, between the soil and atmosphere.

    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.

  8. The effect of dust on the martian polar vortices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guzewich, Scott D.; Toigo, A. D.; Waugh, D. W.

    2016-11-01

    The influence of atmospheric dust on the dynamics and stability of the martian polar vortices is examined, through analysis of Mars Climate Sounder observations and MarsWRF general circulation model simulations. We show that regional and global dust storms produce "transient vortex warming" events that partially or fully disrupt the northern winter polar vortex for brief periods. Increased atmospheric dust heating alters the Hadley circulation and shifts the downwelling branch of the circulation poleward, leading to a disruption of the polar vortex for a period of days to weeks. Through our simulations, we find this effect is dependent on the atmospheric heating rate, which can be changed by increasing the amount of dust in the atmosphere or by altering the dust optical properties (e.g., single scattering albedo). Despite this, our simulations show that some level of atmospheric dust is necessary to produce a distinct northern hemisphere winter polar vortex.

  9. Capitol Day

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2009-01-01

    Stennis Space Center Director Gene Goldman visits with Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour during NASA Day at the Capitol activities on Feb. 19. During the visit, Goldman presented the governor with a model of the J-2X rocket engine currently in development. Stennis engineers did early component testing for the new engine.

  10. Inspire Day

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bohach, Barbara M.; Meade, Birgitta

    2014-01-01

    The authors collaborated on hosting a "Spring Inspire Day." planned and delivered by preservice elementary teachers as a social studies/science methods project. Projects that have authentic application opportunities can make learning meaningful for prospective teachers as well as elementary students. With the impetus for an integrated…

  11. Mars Express Scientific Overview After One Martian Year in Orbit

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chicarro, A. F.

    2005-12-01

    processes. The UV and IR Atmospheric Spectrometer (SPICAM) has provided the first complete vertical profile of CO2 density and temperature, and has simultaneously meas-ured the distribution of water vapour and ozone. The Energetic Neutral Atoms Analyser (ASPERA) has identified the solar wind interaction with the upper atmosphere and has measured the properties of the planetary wind in the Mars tail. The Radio Science Experiment (MaRS) has studied for the first time the surface roughness by pointing the spacecraft high-gain antenna to the Martian surface, which reflects the signal before sending it to Earth. Also, the martian interior has been probed by studying the gravity anomalies affecting the orbit due to mass variations of the crust. Finally, preliminary results of the subsur-face sounding radar (MARSIS) indicate strong echoes coming from the surface but lack of echoes under the young smooth Northern plains, which may indicate the presence of thick and homogeneous plains deposits. Water is the unifying theme of the mission to be studied by all instruments using different techniques. Mars Express is already hinting at a quantum leap in our understanding of the planet's geological evolu-tion, to be complemented by the ground truth being provided by the American MER rovers. The nominal lifetime of the orbiter spacecraft is of one Martian year (687 days), potentially to be ex-tended by another Martian year to complete global coverage and observe all seasons twice. Mars Express is the first European mission to another planet.

  12. 34 CFR 300.11 - Day; business day; school day.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... 34 Education 2 2012-07-01 2012-07-01 false Day; business day; school day. 300.11 Section 300.11... CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES General Definitions Used in This Part § 300.11 Day; business day; school day. (a) Day means calendar day unless otherwise indicated as business day or school day. (b) Business...

  13. 34 CFR 300.11 - Day; business day; school day.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 34 Education 2 2011-07-01 2010-07-01 true Day; business day; school day. 300.11 Section 300.11... CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES General Definitions Used in This Part § 300.11 Day; business day; school day. (a) Day means calendar day unless otherwise indicated as business day or school day. (b) Business...

  14. Chemical Weathering Records of Martian Soils Preserved in the Martian Meteorite EET79001

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rao, M. N.; Wentworth, S. J.; McKay, D. S.

    2004-01-01

    Impact-melt glasses, rich in Martian atmospheric gases, contain Martian soil fines (MSF) mixed with other coarse-grained regolith fractions which are produced during impact bombardment on Mars surface. An important characteristic of the MSF fraction is the simultaneous enrichment of felsic component accompanied by the depletion of mafic component relative to the host phase in these glasses. In addition, these glasses yield large sulfur abundances due to the occurrence of secondary mineral phases such as sulfates produced during acid-sulfate weathering of the regolith material near the Martian surface. Sulfurous gases released into atmosphere by volcanoes on Mars are oxidized to H2SO4 which deposit back on the surface of Mars as aerosol particles. Depending on the water availability, sulfuric acids dissolve into solutions which aggressively decompose the Fe-Mg silicates in the Martian regolith. During chemical weathering, structural elements such as Fe, Mg and Ca (among others) are released into the transgressing solutions. These solutions leach away the soluble components of Mg, Ca and Na, leaving behind insoluble iron as Fe3(+) hydroxysulfate mixed with poorly crystalline hydroxide- precipitates under oxidizing conditions. In this study, we focus on the elemental distribution of FeO and SO3 in the glass veins of EET79001, 507 sample, determined by Electron Microprobe and FE SEM measurements at JSC. This glass sample is an aliquot of a bigger glass inclusion ,104 analysed by where large concentrations of Martian atmospheric noble gases are found.

  15. The Martian dust cycle: A proposed model

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Greeley, Ronald

    1987-01-01

    Despite more than a decade of study of martian dust storms, many of their characteristics and associated processes remain enigmatic, including the mechanisms for dust raising, modes of settling, and the nature of dust deposits. However, observations of Mars dust, considerations of terrestrial analogs, theoretical models, and laboratory simulations permit the formulation of a Martian Dust Cycle Model, which consists of three main processes: (1) suspension threshold, (2) transportation, and (3) deposition; two associated processes are also included: (4) dust removal and (5) the addition of new dust to the cycle. Although definitions vary, dust includes particles less than 4 to approx. 60 microns in diameter, which by terrestrial usage includes silt, loess, clay, and aerosolic dust particles. The dust cycle model is explained.

  16. The economics of mining the Martian moons

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Leonard, Raymond S.; Blacic, James D.; Vaniman, David T.

    1987-01-01

    The costs for extracting and shipping volatiles such as water, carbon, and nitrogen that might be found on Phobos and Deimos are estimated. The costs are compared to the cost of shipping the same volatiles from earth, assuming the use of nuclear powered mining facilities and freighters. Mineral resources and possible products from the Martian moons, possible markets for these products, and the costs of transporting these resources to LEO or GEO or to transportation nodal points are examined. Most of the technology needed to mine the moons has already been developed. The need for extraterrestrial sources of propellants for ion propulsion systems and ways in which the mining of the moons would reduce the cost of space operations near earth are discussed. It is concluded that it would be commercially viable to mine the Martian moons, making a profit of at least a 10 percent return on capital.

  17. Ice sculpture in the Martian outflow channels

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lucchitta, B. K.

    1982-01-01

    Viking Orbiter and terrestrial satellite images are examined at similar resolution to compare features of the Martian outflow channels with features produced by the movement of ice on earth, and many resemblances are found. These include the anastomoses, sinuosities, and U-shaped cross profiles of valleys; hanging valleys; linear scour marks on valley walls; grooves and ridges on valley floors; and the streamlining of bedrock highs. Attention is given to the question whether ice could have moved in the Martian environment. It is envisaged that springs or small catastrophic outbursts discharged fluids from structural outlets or chaotic terrains. These fluids built icings that may have grown into substantial masses and eventually flowed like glaciers down preexisting valleys. An alternative is that the fluids formed rivers or floods that in turn formed ice jams and consolidated into icy masses in places where obstacles blocked their flow.

  18. Overview of the Martian radiation environment experiment

    SciTech Connect

    Zeitlin, C.; Cleghorn, T.F.; Cucinotta, F.A.; Saganti, P.; Andersen, V.; Lee, K.T.; Pinsky, L.S.; Atwell, W.; Turner, R.; Badhwar, G.

    2004-12-01

    Space radiation presents a hazard to astronauts, particularly those journeying outside the protective influence of the geomagnetosphere. Crews on future missions to Mars will be exposed to the harsh radiation environment of deep space during the transit between Earth and Mars. Once on Mars, they will encounter radiation that is only slightly reduced, compared to free space, by the thin Martian atmosphere. NASA is obliged to minimize, where possible, the radiation exposures received by astronauts. Thus, as a precursor to eventual human exploration, it is necessary to measure the Martian radiation environment in detail. The MARIE experiment, aboard the 2001 Mars Odyssey spacecraft, is returning the first data that bear directly on this problem. Here we provide an overview of the experiment, including introductory material on space radiation and radiation dosimetry, a description of the detector, model predictions of the radiation environment at Mars, and preliminary dose-rate data obtained at Mars.

  19. Overview of the Martian radiation environment experiment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zeitlin, C.; Cleghorn, T.; Cucinotta, F.; Saganti, P.; Andersen, V.; Lee, K.; Pinsky, L.; Atwell, W.; Turner, R.; Badhwar, G.

    2004-01-01

    Space radiation presents a hazard to astronauts, particularly those journeying outside the protective influence of the geomagnetosphere. Crews on future missions to Mars will be exposed to the harsh radiation environment of deep space during the transit between Earth and Mars. Once on Mars, they will encounter radiation that is only slightly reduced, compared to free space, by the thin Martian atmosphere. NASA is obliged to minimize, where possible, the radiation exposures received by astronauts. Thus, as a precursor to eventual human exploration, it is necessary to measure the Martian radiation environment in detail. The MARIE experiment, aboard the 2001 Mars Odyssey spacecraft, is returning the first data that bear directly on this problem. Here we provide an overview of the experiment, including introductory material on space radiation and radiation dosimetry, a description of the detector, model predictions of the radiation environment at Mars, and preliminary dose-rate data obtained at Mars. c2003 COSPAR. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Martian crater size distributions and terrain age

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barlow, N. G.; Strom, R. G.

    1984-01-01

    The crater size/frequency distributions of large ( 8 km) craters on the Moon and terrestrial planets display two very different curves representing two crater populations. The heavily cratered regions of the Moon, Mercury, and Mars show the same highly structured curve which cannot be represented by a single slope distribution function. In contrast, the lunar post mare crater population has a size/frequency distribution which differs significantly from that in the highlands over the same diameter range, and can be represented by a single-slope distribution function of -2.8 differential. On areas of martian lightly cratered northern plains, the crater population is essentially identical to that of the post mare population. This indicates that the same two families of impacting objects were responsible for the cratering records on both Moon and Mars. The thickness of mantling material varies among the various plains units, and can be calculated from the depth/diameter scaling relations for martian craters.

  1. Overview of the Martian radiation environment experiment.

    PubMed

    Zeitlin, C; Cleghorn, T; Cucinotta, F; Saganti, P; Andersen, V; Lee, K; Pinsky, L; Atwell, W; Turner, R; Badhwar, G

    2004-01-01

    Space radiation presents a hazard to astronauts, particularly those journeying outside the protective influence of the geomagnetosphere. Crews on future missions to Mars will be exposed to the harsh radiation environment of deep space during the transit between Earth and Mars. Once on Mars, they will encounter radiation that is only slightly reduced, compared to free space, by the thin Martian atmosphere. NASA is obliged to minimize, where possible, the radiation exposures received by astronauts. Thus, as a precursor to eventual human exploration, it is necessary to measure the Martian radiation environment in detail. The MARIE experiment, aboard the 2001 Mars Odyssey spacecraft, is returning the first data that bear directly on this problem. Here we provide an overview of the experiment, including introductory material on space radiation and radiation dosimetry, a description of the detector, model predictions of the radiation environment at Mars, and preliminary dose-rate data obtained at Mars.

  2. Evidence for a Wet, Reduced Martian Interior

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dyar, M. D.; Mackwell, S. J.; Seaman, S. J.; Marchand, G. J.

    2004-01-01

    Knowledge of the oxygen fugacity and hydrogen content of the source regions of martian meteorites is of paramount importance in constraining phase equilibria, crystallization sequences, and geodynamic processes of the martian interior, as well as models of the planet's evolution. To date, these interpretations have been hindered by the paucity in SNC meteorites of Fe-Ti oxides used in conventional oxybarometry, and by the presence of secondary alteration products that make it impossible to quantify primary hydrogen abundances in SNC minerals and melts based on whole rock samples. We present here the first transmission FTIR spectra of individual mineral grains from SNC meteorites, and interpret those results along with Mossbauer data on mineral separates from the same meteorites. Our goal is to quantify the amount of water and the oxygen fugacity present in the source regions for the rocks comprising the meteorites.

  3. Nuclear rocket using indigenous Martian fuel NIMF

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zubrin, Robert

    1991-01-01

    In the 1960's, Nuclear Thermal Rocket (NTR) engines were developed and ground tested capable of yielding isp of up to 900 s at thrusts up to 250 klb. Numerous trade studies have shown that such traditional hydrogen fueled NTR engines can reduce the inertial mass low earth orbit (IMLEO) of lunar missions by 35 percent and Mars missions by 50 to 65 percent. The same personnel and facilities used to revive the hydrogen NTR can also be used to develop NTR engines capable of using indigenous Martian volatiles as propellant. By putting this capacity of the NTR to work in a Mars descent/acent vehicle, the Nuclear rocket using Indigenous Martian Fuel (NIMF) can greatly reduce the IMLEO of a manned Mars mission, while giving the mission unlimited planetwide mobility.

  4. Changes Over a Martian Year -- New Dark Slope Streaks in Lycus Sucli

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2001-01-01

    Now in its Extended Mission, Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) is into its second Mars year of systematic observations of the red planet. With the Extended Mission slated to run through April 2002, the Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) is being used, among other things, to look for changes that have occurred in the past martian year. Because Mars is farther from the Sun than Earth, its year is longer--about 687 Earth days.

    The two pictures shown here cover the same portion of Lycus Sulci, a rugged, ridged terrain north of the giant Olympus Mons volcano. The interval between the pictures span 92% of a martian year (August 2, 1999 to April 27, 2001). Dark streaks considered to result from the avalanching of dry, fine, bright dust are seen in both images. The disruption of the surface by the avalanching materials is thought to cause them to appear darker than their surroundings, just as the 1997 bouncing of Mars Pathfinder's airbags and the tire tracks made by the Sojourner rover left darkened markings indicating where the martian soil had been disrupted and disturbed. The arrows in the April 2001 picture indicate eight new streaks that formed on these slopes in Lycus Sulci since August 1999. These observations suggest that a new streak forms approximately once per martian year per kilometer (about 0.62 miles) along a slope.

    In both images, north is toward the top/upper right and sunlight illuminates each from the left. Dark (as well bright) slope streaks are most common in the dust-covered martian regions of Tharsis, Arabia, and Elysium.

  5. Viking Biology Experiments and the Martian soil

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Banin, Amos

    1989-01-01

    The Viking Biology Experiments (VBE) are the most informative database on the wet chemistry and reactivity of the Martian soil available today. The simulation and chemical interpretation of the results have given valuable hints towards the characterization of the soils' mineralogy, adsorption properties, pH and redox. The characterization of Mars' soil on the basis of ten years of labelled release (LR) and other VBE simulations are reviewed.

  6. A thermal model of the Martian satellites

    SciTech Connect

    Kuehrt, E.; Giese, B. )

    1989-09-01

    A thermal model for Phobos and Deimos is proposed as the basis for interpreting radiometric data of the Martian satellites. The model includes effects such as reflected and thermal radiation of Mars, ellipsoidal shape, and the strong temperature dependence of the heat conduction coefficient. Model results are presented for the diurnal temperature behavior for various latitudes and longitudes to demonstrate the impact of these effects in the thermal characteristics of Phobos and Deimos. 15 refs.

  7. MetNet - Martian Network Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harri, A.-M.

    2009-04-01

    We are developing a new kind of planetary exploration mission for Mars - MetNet in situ observation network based on a new semi-hard landing vehicle called the Met-Net Lander (MNL). The actual practical mission development work started in January 2009 with participation from various countries and space agencies. The scientific rationale and goals as well as key mission solutions will be discussed. The eventual scope of the MetNet Mission is to deploy some 20 MNLs on the Martian surface using inflatable descent system structures, which will be supported by observations from the orbit around Mars. Currently we are working on the MetNet Mars Precursor Mission (MMPM) to deploy one MetNet Lander to Mars in the 2009/2011 launch window as a technology and science demonstration mission. The MNL will have a versatile science payload focused on the atmospheric science of Mars. Detailed characterization of the Martian atmospheric circulation patterns, boundary layer phenomena, and climatology cycles, require simultaneous in-situ measurements by a network of observation posts on the Martian surface. The scientific payload of the MetNet Mission encompasses separate instrument packages for the atmospheric entry and descent phase and for the surface operation phase. The MetNet mission concept and key probe technologies have been developed and the critical subsystems have been qualified to meet the Martian environmental and functional conditions. This development effort has been fulfilled in collaboration between the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI), the Russian Lavoschkin Association (LA) and the Russian Space Research Institute (IKI) since August 2001. Currently the INTA (Instituto Nacional de Técnica Aeroespacial) from Spain is also participating in the MetNet payload development.

  8. Permeability Barrier Generation in the Martian Lithosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  9. A Revised Martian Magnetic Time Line

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Langlais, B.; Thébault, E.; Milbury, C.; Hood, L. L.; Mangold, N.

    2011-12-01

    The Martian magnetic field has a lithospheric origin. It is the result of successive processes which magnetized magnetic minerals while a dynamo was active, and then demagnetized these minerals after dynamo cessation. The largest impact basins (Hellas, Argyre and Utopia), the northern plains or the large volcanic provinces are not magnetized. This has been interpreted as a proof that the Martian dynamo was not active when these events took place, about 4 Gyrs ago (from the craters). However, recent studies showed that Noachian and Hesperian terrains can not be differentiated by their magnetic signatures, while younger Amazonian units are clearly less magnetized. Similarly, Apollinaris Patera, a shield volcano located close to the equator, and Lucus Planum, a nearby large-scale volcanic plateau, have associated magnetic signatures. The same observations can be made above Lowell and Antoniadi impact craters. All these structures have surface ages younger than 3.8 Gyrs. In this study, we therefore re-examine MGS dataset. We carefully select the measurements in order to isolate the spatial variations from the temporal ones. We then compare the observed magnetic field directly above these volcanoes or basins to the one measured in their vicinity. We conclude that the dynamo was most likely active when they were formed, between 3.7 and 3.8 Gyrs ago. The conditions which protected the Martian atmosphere may thus have persisted up to that time. This later dynamo cessation might also explain the abrupt change in water activity around that epoch.

  10. Neutron environments on the Martian surface.

    PubMed

    Clowdsley, M S; Wilson, J W; Kim, M H; Singleterry, R C; Tripathi, R K; Heinbockel, J H; Badavi, F F; Shinn, J L

    2001-01-01

    Radiation is a primary concern in the planning of a manned mission to Mars. Recent studies using NASA Langley Research Center's HZETRN space radiation transport code show that the low energy neutron fluence on the Martian surface is larger than previously expected. The upper atmosphere of Mars is exposed to a background radiation field made up of a large number of protons during a solar particle event and mixture of light and heavy ions caused by galactic cosmic rays at other times. In either case, these charged ions interact with the carbon and oxygen atoms of the Martian atmosphere through ionization and nuclear collisions producing secondary ions and neutrons which then interact with the atmospheric atoms in a similar manner. In the past, only these downward moving particles have been counted in evaluating the neutron energy spectrum on the surface. Recent enhancements in the HZETRN code allow for the additional evaluation of those neutrons created within the Martian regolith through the same types of nuclear reactions, which rise to the surface. New calculations using this improved HZETRN code show that these upward moving neutrons contribute significantly to the overall neutron spectrum for energies less than 10 MeV.

  11. Electrical Activity in Martian Dust Storms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Majid, W.

    2015-12-01

    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 proposed program 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.

  12. The Martian Soil: A Planetary Gas Pump

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Beule, Caroline; Wurm, G.; Thorben, K.; Küpper, M.; Jankowski, T.; Teiser, J.

    2013-10-01

    The transport of gas through the Martian soil plays an important role in processes like the global cycle of water. Until now, in the absence of an active pumping system, diffusion was assumed to be the most efficient transport mechanism. Here, we present a new mechanism of forced convection within porous soils, which occurs naturally on Mars. In the low pressure environment of Mars, thermal creep within the insolated surface can act as an efficient pump in the porous soil. The pores of the dust act as micro-channels, where the gas flows from the cold to the warm side. We proved this concept in drop tower experiments. In microgravity thermal convection is absent and only thermal creep is visible. By illuminating a basaltic dust bed in microgravity, it was possible to trace the gas flow by embedded particles, moving towards the dust bed within shadowed regions with inflow velocities on the order of cm/s. These observations are consistent with a model of forced flow through the porous medium. Scaled to Martian conditions the experiments show that this transport mechanism can be very efficient and atmospheric gas can be pumped into the soil in shadowed parts and be transported underground to insolated places. This natural planet wide pump is unique in the Solar System as only the Martian surface conditions (mbar pressure) are suitable for this effect.

  13. Martian Atmospheric Pressure Static Charge Elimination Tool

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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. The Germanium Dichotomy in Martian Meteorites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Humayun, M.; Yang, S.; Righter, K.; Zanda, B.; Hewins, R. H.

    2016-01-01

    Germanium is a moderately volatile and siderophile element that follows silicon in its compatibility during partial melting of planetary mantles. Despite its obvious usefulness in planetary geochemistry germanium is not analyzed routinely, with there being only three prior studies reporting germanium abundances in Martian meteorites. The broad range (1-3 ppm) observed in Martian igneous rocks is in stark contrast to the narrow range of germanium observed in terrestrial basalts (1.5 plus or minus 0.1 ppm). The germanium data from these studies indicates that nakhlites contain 2-3 ppm germanium, while shergottites contain approximately 1 ppm germanium, a dichotomy with important implications for core formation models. There have been no reliable germanium abundances on chassignites. The ancient meteoritic breccia, NWA 7533 (and paired meteorites) contains numerous clasts, some pristine and some impact melt rocks, that are being studied individually. Because germanium is depleted in the Martian crust relative to chondritic impactors, it has proven useful as an indicator of meteoritic contamination of impact melt clasts in NWA 7533. The germanium/silicon ratio can be applied to minerals that might not partition nickel and iridium, like feldspars. We report germanium in minerals from the 3 known chassignites, 2 nakhlites and 5 shergottites by LAICP- MS using a method optimized for precise germanium analysis.

  15. Unusual Iron Redox Systematics of Martian Magmas

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-03-26

    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 Fe{sub 2}O{sub 3} in terrestrial magmas. In order to better understand the variation of FeO and Fe{sub 2}O{sub 3}, 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 Fe{sub 2}O{sub 3} contents of super- and sub-liquidus glasses from a shergottite bulk composition at 1 bar to 4 GPa, and variable fO{sub 2}. Second, we document the stability of magnetite with temperature and fO{sub 2} in a shergottite bulk composition.

  16. Periglacial and glacial analogs for Martian landforms

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

  17. Iron Redox Systematics of Martian Magmas

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

  18. Unusual Iron Redox Systematics of Martian Magmas

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  20. Lunar and Planetary Science XXXV: Martian Meteorites: Chemical Weathering

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    The session "Martian Meteorites: Chemical Weathering" included the following reports:Chemical Weathering Records of Martian Soils Preserved in the Martian Meteorite EET79001; Synchrotron X-Ray Diffraction Analysis of Meteorites in Thin Section: Preliminary Results; A Survey of Olivine Alteration Products Using Raman Spectroscopy; and Rb-Sr and Sm-Nd Isotope Systematics of Shergottite NWA 856: Crystallization Age and Implications for Alteration of Hot Desert SNC Meteorites.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  2. Ultraviolet Radiation-induced Alteration of Martian Surface Materials

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yen, A. S.

    1999-01-01

    The nature and origin of martian surface materials cannot be fully characterized without addressing the unusual reactivity of the soil and the effects of exposure to the unique martian environment. Our laboratory experiments show that ultraviolet radiation at the martian surface can result in the oxidation of metal atoms and the creation of reactive oxygen species on grain surfaces. This process is important in understanding the nature and evolution of martian soils. It can explain the reactivity discovered by the Viking Landers and possibly the origin of the ferric component of the soil.

  3. Fractionated (Martian) Noble Gases — EFA, Experiments and Meteorites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schwenzer, S. P.; Barnes, G.; Bridges, J. C.; Bullock, M. A.; Chavez, C. L.; Filiberto, J.; Herrmann, S.; Hicks, L. J.; Kelley, S. P.; Miller, M. A.; Moore, J. M.; Ott, U.; Smith, H. D.; Steer, E. D.; Swindle, T. D.; Treiman, A. H.

    2016-08-01

    Noble gases are tracers for physical processes, including adsorption, dissolution and secondary mineral formation. We examine the Martian fractionated atmosphere through literature, terrestrial analogs and experiments.

  4. An Electrostatic Precipitator System for the Martian Environment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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

  5. Tides in the Martian atmosphere, and other topics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Withers, Paul Gareth

    2003-11-01

    The dynamics of the martian upper atmosphere are not well-understood. I have identified the dominant tidal modes present in the upper atmosphere by comparing density measurements from the aerobraking of the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft to predictions from classical tidal theory. Other observations and general circulation models have also provided constraints. I have presented a justification for why topography has a strong influence on the tides in the upper atmosphere. I have also studied sol-to-sol variations in density at fixed altitude, latitude, longitude, season, and time of day. I have developed a novel “Balanced Arch” technique to derive pressures and temperature from these density measurements that also estimates the zonal wind speed in the atmosphere. These are the first measurements of winds in the martian upper atmosphere. This technique can also be applied to anticipated data from Titan to measure winds in its upper atmosphere. I have developed techniques to derive density, pressure, and temperature profiles from entry accelerometer data, used them to investigate the entry of Mars Pathfinder, and discovered that surprisingly accurate temperature profiles can be derived without using any aerodynamic information at all. I have also investigated techniques to derive atmospheric properties from the Doppler shift in telemetry from a spacecraft during atmospheric entry and found that a surprisingly robust estimate of temperature at peak acceleration can be derived. I have discovered a network of tectonic ridges in the otherwise bland northern plains of Mars and studied their implications for a possible ocean in that area. I have tested the hypothesis that the formation of lunar crater Giordano Bruno was witnessed in 1178 AD and rejected it due to the lack of any observations of the immense meteor storm that must have followed the crater's formation.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

  7. Marvin: MARtian Vehicular INvestigator A Proposal for a Long-Range Pressurized Rover

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1999-01-01

    NASA is planning manned missions to Mars in the near future. In order to fully exploit the available time on the surface for exploration, a roving vehicle is necessary. A nine-member student design team from the Wichita State University Department of Aerospace Engineering developed the MARtian Vehicular INvestigator (MARVIN) a manned, pressurized, long distance rover. In order to meet the unique requirements for successful operation in the harsh Martian environment a four wheeled, rover was designed with a composite pressure vessel six meters long and 2.5 meters in diameter. The rover is powered by twin proton exchange membrane fuel cells which provide electricity to the drive motors and onboard systems. The MARVIN concept is expected to have a 1500 km range with a maximum speed of 25 km/hr and a 14-day endurance.

  8. Martian Clouds Pass By on a Winter Afternoon

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2007-01-01

    NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity captured a view of wispy afternoon clouds, not unlike fair weather clouds on Earth, passing overhead on the rover's 956th sol, or Martian day (Oct. 2, 2006). With Opportunity facing northeast, the clouds appear to drift gently toward the west in this movie taken with the rover's navigation camera.

    The 10 frames, taken 32 seconds apart, show the formation and evolution of what are likely mid-level, convective water clouds. Such clouds are common near Mars' equator at this time of the Martian year. They have been observed by both of NASA's Mars Exploration Rovers, by satellites orbiting Mars, and by the Hubble Space Telescope. In this case, the clouds appear to develop at a fixed location, in the center of the frame about 25 degrees above the horizon. This style of origin suggests that a thermal plume is rising over a surface feature. In spite of apparent winds aloft, the thermal plume appears to remain stationary for the 5-minute duration of the movie.

    Though scientists have determined from the images that the wind bearing is east-northeast, approximately 80 degrees, it is not possible on the basis of the movie to unambiguously determine the height and speed of the clouds. Scientists estimate, based on models of atmospheric wind profiles and the apparent displacement of the clouds, that all of the clouds in the movie are at about the same height somewhere between 5 kilometers and 25 kilometers (3 to 20 miles) above the surface. The clouds are estimated to be moving at 2.5 meters per second, if they are low, to 12.5 meters per second, if they are high (8 feet per second to 41 feet per second).

    Like clouds on Earth, these Martian clouds are probably composed of ice crystals and possibly supercooled water droplets. They are similar in appearance to terrestrial cirrocumulus or high altocumulus clouds. On Earth, such clouds are relatively transient and consist of small, individual cloudlets arranged in rippled

  9. Apollinaris Patera: An Early Martian Mantle Plume?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kiefer, W. S.

    2015-12-01

    Apollinaris Patera is one of the largest volcanos on Mars outside of the Tharsis volcanic province (summit relief 5.4 km, volume 7.3x1013 m3). The mapped crater densities on Apollinaris indicate that volcanic activity ended 3.5 to 3.8 billion years ago. Apollinaris is located on the northern (lowland) side of the martian hemispheric dichotomy. Because it is an isolated, relatively point-like source of volcanism, it is plausibly interpreted as an early example of a martian mantle plume. Plume structure and conditions in the mantle can be constrained using finite element mantle convection simulations combined with a variety of petrological, geophysical, and geologic observations. (1) Basalts studied by the MER Spirit rover in nearby Gusev crater are similar in age and possibly physically connected to Apollinaris Patera. Petrologic modeling of the Gusev crater basalt compositions indicates that the thermal lithosphere was about 100 km thick with a mantle potential temperature of 1480-1530 °C. This requires a mantle thermal Rayleigh number of about 2x108 at the time of volcanism, based on the volume-averaged mantle viscosity. (2) Pyroclastic deposits at Apollinaris indicate that at least a portion of the volcanism occurred in the presence of a high concentration of water or other volatiles. This lowers the solidus temperature and increases the magma production rate but has only a limited effect on the minimum depth of melting. (3) There is a localized magnetic anomaly beneath Apollinaris that indicates that the martian core dynamo persisted until at least the earliest stage of Apollinaris volcanism, which in turn sets a lower bound on the core heat flux of 5-10 mW m-2. Preservation of the magnetic field may be the result of formation of magnetic minerals such as magnetite due to volcanically-driven hydrothermal alteration of crustal rocks beneath Apollinaris.

  10. Development of a Martian Sonic Anemometer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dissly, R. W.; Banfield, D. J.; Lasnik, J.; Waters, J. T.; McEwan, I. J.; Richardson, M. I.

    2005-08-01

    This presentation will describe the progress to-date on the development of an acoustic anemometer for the in-situ measurement of wind speeds on Mars, funded by NASA PIDDP. Improved measurements of Martian winds are needed for several reasons: better prediction and understanding of global and regional weather, direct measurement of fluxes between surface/atmosphere of momentum, heat, and trace atmospheric constituents, characterizing and monitoring boundary layer winds that influence the safe delivery of spacecraft to/from the Martian surface, and improved characterization of geologically important aeolian processes that can pose a hazard to future exploration via dust storms and dust devils. Prior attempts to measure surface winds have been limited in capability and difficult to calibrate. Sonic anemometry, measuring wind speed via sound pulse travel-time differences, can overcome many of these issues. Sonic anemometry has several distinct advantages over other methods such as hot wire techniques: higher sensitivity ( <5 cm/s), higher time resolution (10-100 Hz), and fewer intrinsic biases for improved accuracy. Together, these open the possibility of resolving turbulent boundary layer eddies to directly capture surface-to-atmospheric fluxes for the first time. We will describe the results of our development of an acoustic anemometer using capacitive micro-machined devices, optimized for acoustic coupling in a low-pressure medium like the Martian atmosphere. This development includes transducer characterization tests in a pressure chamber at Ball Aerospace with Mars-relevant CO2 pressures. We will also describe experimental results showing that the addition of water in a low-pressure CO2 atmosphere can significantly increase acoustic attenuation. Finally we will describe plans for further optimization of the instrument for future Mars payloads.

  11. Martian CH(4): sources, flux, and detection.

    PubMed

    Onstott, T C; McGown, D; Kessler, J; Lollar, B Sherwood; Lehmann, K K; Clifford, S M

    2006-04-01

    Recent observations have detected trace amounts of CH(4) heterogeneously distributed in the martian atmosphere, which indicated a subsurface CH(4) flux of ~2 x 10(5) to 2 x 10(9) cm(2) s(1). Four different origins for this CH(4) were considered: (1) volcanogenic; (2) sublimation of hydrate- rich ice; (3) diffusive transport through hydrate-saturated cryosphere; and (4) microbial CH(4) generation above the cryosphere. A diffusive flux model of the martian crust for He, H(2), and CH(4) was developed based upon measurements of deep fracture water samples from South Africa. This model distinguishes between abiogenic and microbial CH(4) sources based upon their isotopic composition, and couples microbial CH(4) production to H(2) generation by H(2)O radiolysis. For a He flux of approximately 10(5) cm(2) s(1) this model yields an abiogenic CH(4) flux and a microbial CH(4) flux of approximately 10(6) and approximately 10(9) cm(2) s(1), respectively. This flux will only reach the martian surface if CH(4) hydrate is saturated in the cryosphere; otherwise it will be captured within the cryosphere. The sublimation of a hydrate-rich cryosphere could generate the observed CH(4) flux, whereas microbial CH(4) production in a hypersaline environment above the hydrate stability zone only seems capable of supplying approximately 10(5) cm(2) s(1) of CH(4). The model predicts that He/H(2)/CH(4)/C(2)H(6) abundances and the C and H isotopic values of CH(4) and the C isotopic composition of C(2)H(6) could reveal the different sources. Cavity ring-down spectrometers represent the instrument type that would be most capable of performing the C and H measurements of CH(4) on near future rover missions and pinpointing the cause and source of the CH(4) emissions.

  12. Global color variations on the Martian surface

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Soderblom, L.A.; Edwards, K.; Eliason, E.M.; Sanchez, E.M.; Charette, M.P.

    1978-01-01

    Surface materials exposed throughout the equatorial region of Mars have been classified and mapped on the basis of spectral reflectance properties determined by the Viking II Orbiter vidicon cameras. Frames acquired at each of three wavelengths (0.45 ?? 0.03 ??m, 0.53 ?? 0.05 ??m, and 0.59 ?? 0.05 ??m) during the approach of Viking Orbiter II in Martian summer (Ls = 105??) were mosaicked by computer. The mosaics cover latitudes 30??N to 63??S for 360?? of longitude and have resolutions between 10 and 20 km per line pair. Image processing included Mercator transformation and removal of an average Martian photometric function to produce albedo maps at three wavelengths. The classical dark region between the equator and ???30??S in the Martian highlands is composed of two units: (i) and ancient unit consisting of topographic highs (ridges, crater rims, and rugged plateaus riddled with small dendritic channels) which is among the reddest on the planet (0.59/0.45 ??m {reversed tilde equals} 3); and (ii) intermediate age, smooth, intercrater volcanic plains displaying numerous mare ridges which are among the least red on Mars (0.59/0.45 ??m {reversed tilde equals} 2). The relatively young shield volcanoes are, like the oldest unit, dark and very red. Two probable eolian deposits are recognized in the intermediate and high albedo regions. The stratigraphically lower unit is intermediate in both color (0.59/ 0.45 ??m {reversed tilde equals} 2.5) and albedo. The upper unit has the highest albedo, is very red (0.59/0.45 ??m {reversed tilde equals} 3), and is apparently the major constituent of the annual dust storms as its areal extent changes from year to year. The south polar ice cap and condensate clouds dominate the southernmost part of the mosaics. ?? 1978.

  13. The Martian Chronicles. A Sound Filmstrip Program. Study Guide.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Christesen, Barbara

    This filmstrip study guide dramatizes several stories from Ray Bradbury's "The Martian Chronicles" concerning basic issues of human nature: the need to respect cultural differences and the importance of preserving the environment. A collection of 26 short stories, "The Martian Chronicles" describes the colonization of Mars. The…

  14. Endolithic microbial model for Martian exobiology: The road to extinction

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oscampo-Friedmann, R.; Friedmann, E. I.

    1991-01-01

    Martian exobiology is based on the assumption that on early Mars, liquid water was present and that conditions were suitable for the evolution of life. The cause for life to disappear from the surface and the recognizable fingerprints of past microbial activity preserved on Mars are addressed. The Antarctic cryptoendolithic microbial ecosystem as a model for extinction in the deteriorating Martian environment is discussed.

  15. Martian Cratering 4: Mariner 9 Initial Analysis of Cratering Chronology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hartmann, W. K.

    1973-01-01

    Early analyses of cratering and other Martian surface properties that indicated extensive ancient erosion have been strongly supported by Mariner 9 data. By their great variations in density, these craters indicate a history of Martian erosion and crustal development intermediate between earth and the moon.

  16. Disentangling xenon components in Nakhla: martian atmosphere, spallation and martian interior^1

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gilmour, J. D.; Whitby, J. A.; Turner, G.

    2001-01-01

    A powdered sample of Nakhla was separated into 3 subsamples. One was left otherwise untreated, one was washed in water and one etched with HNO 3 removing 6% of the original mass. We report results of isotopic analysis of xenon released by laser step heating on aliquots of each of these subsamples; some aliquots were neutron irradiated before isotopic analysis (to allow determination of I, Ba and U as daughter xenon isotopes) and some were not. There is evidence that water soluble phases contain both martian atmospheric xenon and a component with low 129Xe/ 132Xe, either martian interior xenon or terrestrial atmosphere. Higher temperature data from unirradiated aliquots of the water and acid treated samples reveal two-component mixing. One is a trapped xenon component with 129Xe/ 132Xe = 2.350 ± 0.026, isotopically identical to the martian atmosphere as measured in shock glass from shergottites. It is associated with leachable iodine, suggesting it is trapped close to grain boundaries. It may be a result of shock incorporation of adsorbed atmospheric gas. The second component is best explained as an intimate mixture of martian interior xenon and spallation xenon. The martian interior component is present at a concentration of ˜10 -12 cm 3 STP g -1 132Xe, around 40 times lower than that observed in Chassigny. Its association with spallation xenon (produced from Ba and light rare earth elements) suggests it is in the feldspathic mesostasis. We propose that it was trapped during crystallisation and reflects the mantle source of the parental magma.

  17. Photometric Observations of Martian Trojan Asteroids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Borisov, Galin; Christou, Apostolos; Unda-Sanzana, Eduardo

    2016-07-01

    We present R filter photometry of the Martian Trojan asteroids (101429) 1998 VF31 and (385250) 2001 DH47, carried out with the 2-m RCC and 1.3-m SMARTS telescopes during 11 nights in 2015 November and 2016 January. A periodogram analysis of the lightcurves suggests a rotation period of P = 7.70h with a low amplitude (A < 0.1 mag) for 1998 VF31 and P = 3.97h with amplitude A ~ 0.6mag for 2001 DH47.

  18. Experimental simulation of early Martian volcanic lightning.

    PubMed

    Segura, A; Navarro-Gonzalez, R

    2001-01-01

    A mixture of possible Martian volcanic gases were reproduced and irradiated by a high-energy infrared laser to reproduce the effects of lightning on the production of prebiotic molecules. The analysis of products were performed by a gas chromatograph interfaced in parallel with a FTIR-detector and a quadrupole mass spectrometer equipped with an electron impact and chemical ionization modes. The main products identified were hydrocarbons and an uncharacterized yellow film deposit. Preliminary results indicate the presence of hydrogen cyanide among the resultant compounds.

  19. Carbonates in Martian Meteorites - A Reappraisal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grady, M. M.; Wright, I. P.; Douglas, C.; Pillinger, C. T.

    1995-09-01

    The occurrence of carbonates in martian meteorites was first established after acid dissolution and stepped combustion analyses of whole-rock Nakhla [1]. The release of CO2 after a 24 hr. reaction with 100% H3PO4 at 25 degrees C was taken to imply that the carbonate mineral present was calcite, a proposal subsequently confirmed by petrographic examination [2]. The isotopic composition of the carbon comprising the calcite was enriched in 13C (isotopically heavy) with delta^(l3)C ~ +12 per mil. An extended period of acid attack, also at 25 degrees C, released small quantities of even more 13C-enriched CO2 (delta^(13)C ~ +49 per mil), but the isotopic data were considered uncertain, and thus little significance was attached to the result, beyond the suggestion that some carbonate was perhaps dolomite or iron-bearing. Now, however, following the analysis of Fe-Mg-rich carbonates in ALH 84001 [3-5], it is apparent that previously-reported data might underestimate the abundance and delta^(13)C of carbonates in SNCs [6], and that a much higher proportion might occur as siderite or dolomite end-members. Iron- and magnesium-rich carbonates are only partially attacked at 25 degrees C, even after extended exposure to H3PO4 [7]. Given that the delta^(13)C of carbonates in SNCs has been used to deduce both environmental conditions on Mars [4, 6], and the evolution of the martian atmosphere [8], it is desirable that correct delta^(l3)c values are known. We have undertaken a reappraisal of the chemical and isotopic composition of carbonates in martian meteorites, by a programme of high resolution stepped combustion analyses and high temperature (75 degrees C) acid dissolution . Carbonates in most martian meteorites are extremely fine-grained. and therefore not easv to identify by traditional optical microscopic methods; it is not possible to determine readily the mineralogical composition of the grains. Comparison of combustion data from SNCs with that from pure materials allows

  20. Coastal geomorphology of the Martian northern plains

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

  1. An Examination of "The Martian" Trajectory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

  2. Assay of the Martian Regolith with Neutrons

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Drake, Darrell M.; Reedy, R.; Jakowsky, B.; Clark, B.; Squyres, S.

    1998-01-01

    Different aspects of assaying Martian regolith using neutrons have been investigated. The epithermal portion of moderated neutrons spectra is dramatically effected by the presence of hydrogen (usually in the form of water). A simple analytic formula has been derived to describe the amplitude of this portion of the neutron spectrum as a function of water concentration. Several demonstration experiments have been performed and modeled with a Monte Carlo code. Results of these experiments generally agreed with the calculations to within 20%. In addition to He-3 detectors, lithium-glass scintillators and U-238 fission ion chambers were investigated to determine their applicability to space experiments.

  3. Constraints on Mantle Plume Melting Conditions in the Martian Mantle Based on Improved Melting Phase Relationships of Olivine-Phyric Shergottite Yamato 980459

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kiefer, Walter S.; Rapp, Jennifer F.; Usui, Tomohiro; Draper, David S.; Filiberto, Justin

    2016-01-01

    Martian meteorite Yamato 980459 (hereafter Y98) is an olivine-phyric shergottite that has been interpreted as closely approximating a martian mantle melt [1-4], making it an important constraint on adiabatic decompression melting models. It has long been recognized that low pressure melting of the Y98 composition occurs at extremely high temperatures relative to martian basalts (1430 degC at 1 bar), which caused great difficulties in a previous attempt to explain Y98 magma generation via a mantle plume model [2]. However, previous studies of the phase diagram were limited to pressures of 2 GPa and less [2, 5], whereas decompression melting in the present-day martian mantle occurs at pressures of 3-7 GPa, with the shallow boundary of the melt production zone occurring just below the base of the thermal lithosphere [6]. Recent experimental work has now extended our knowledge of the Y98 melting phase relationships to 8 GPa. In light of this improved petrological knowledge, we are therefore reassessing the constraints that Y98 imposes on melting conditions in martian mantle plumes. Two recently discovered olivine- phyric shergottites, Northwest Africa (NWA) 5789 and NWA 6234, may also be primary melts from the martian mantle [7, 8]. However, these latter meteorites have not been the subject of detailed experimental petrology studies, so we focus here on Y98.

  4. The Preliminary Design of a Universal Martian Lander

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Norman, Timothy L.; Gaskin, David; Adkins, Sean; MacDonnell, David; Ross, Enoch; Hashimoto, Kouichi; Miller, Loran; Sarick, John; Hicks, Jonathan; Parlock, Andrew; Swalley, Frank (Technical Monitor)

    1993-01-01

    As part of the NASA/USRA program, nineteen West Virginia University students conducted a preliminary design of a manned Universal Martian Lander (UML). The WVU design considers descent to Mars from polar orbit, a six month surface stay, and ascent for rendezvous. The design begins with an unmanned UML landing at Elysium Mons followed by the manned UML landing nearby. During the six month surface stay, the eight modules are assembled to form a Martian base where scientific experiments are performed. The mission also incorporates hydroponic plant growth into a Controlled Ecological Life Support System (CELSS) for water recycling, food production, and to counteract psycho-logical effects of living on Mars. In situ fuel production for the Martian Ascent and Rendezvous Vehicle (MARV) is produced From gases in the Martian atmosphere. Following surface operations, the eight member crew uses the MARV to return to the Martian Transfer Vehicle (MTV) for the journey home to Earth.

  5. Terrestrial microbes in martian and chondritic meteorites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  6. Upgrade of the Martian iron mineralogy maps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carrozzo, F. G.; Altieri, F.; Vincendon, M.; Daydou, Y.; Bellucci, G.; D'Aversa, E.; Bibring, J.-P.

    2013-09-01

    The goal of this paper is the mapping the 1 μm in order to study the Martian mineralogy on a global scale using the OMEGA spectrometer on board of Mars Express. OMEGA [2] is the imaging spectrometer on board of Mars Express probe. It consists of three spectral channels: the VNIR channel working in the visible-near infrared wavelengths (0.35-1.05 μm), the SWIR channel operating in the 0.92-2.7 μm range and the LWIR channel covering the 2.7-5.1 μm one. An automatic method to co-register the VNIR and SWIR channels to recover the whole spectral range where they overlap has been implemented, thus allowing the study of the 1 μm band. This work is an upgrade of Carrozzo et al. [1] where a gap in the data coverage existed. The previous maps were based on the data coverage until December 2005, while now they are built using the data acquired up to August 2010. The extended maps are based on the nine spectral indices reported in Table 1. The method used to co-register the VNIR and SWIR channels has been also implemented with a new algorithm that allow a better spatial and spectral alignment. This work, together with the results of other authors [3, 4, 5], completes the global mapping of the Martian mineralogy.

  7. Physicochemical properties of concentrated Martian surface waters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tosca, Nicholas J.; McLennan, Scott M.; Lamb, Michael P.; Grotzinger, John P.

    2011-05-01

    Understanding the processes controlling chemical sedimentation is an important step in deciphering paleoclimatic conditions from the rock records preserved on both Earth and Mars. Clear evidence for subaqueous sedimentation at Meridiani Planum, widespread saline mineral deposits in the Valles Marineris region, and the possible role of saline waters in forming recent geomorphologic features all underscore the need to understand the physical properties of highly concentrated solutions on Mars in addition to, and as a function of, their distinct chemistry. Using thermodynamic models predicting saline mineral solubility, we generate likely brine compositions ranging from bicarbonate-dominated to sulfate-dominated and predict their saline mineralogy. For each brine composition, we then estimate a number of thermal, transport, and colligative properties using established models that have been developed for highly concentrated multicomponent electrolyte solutions. The available experimental data and theoretical models that allow estimation of these physicochemical properties encompass, for the most part, much of the anticipated variation in chemistry for likely Martian brines. These estimates allow significant progress in building a detailed analysis of physical sedimentation at the ancient Martian surface and allow more accurate predictions of thermal behavior and the diffusive transport of matter through chemically distinct solutions under comparatively nonstandard conditions.

  8. Sinuosity of Martian rampart ejecta deposits

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barlow, Nadine G.

    1994-01-01

    The sinuosities of 2213 Martian rampart ejecta craters are quantified through measurement of the ejecta flow front perimeter and ejecta area. This quantity, called lobateness, was computed for each complete lobe of the 1582 single lobe (SL), 251 double lobe (DL), and 380 multiple lobe (ML) craters included in this study. A lobateness value of 1 indicates a circular ejecta blanket, whereas more sinuous ejecta perimeters have lobateness values greater than 1. Although resolution does have an effect on the absolute values of lobateness, the general relationships between lobateness and morphology exist regardless of resolution. Evaluation of the lobateness values reveals that the outer lobes of DL and ML craters have higher median lobateness values (i.e., are more sinuous) than the inner lobes. The outermost lobe of ML craters displays higher lobateness values than the outer lobe of DL craters or the single lobe of SL craters. Previous reports of lobateness-diameter, lobateness-latitude, and lobateness-terrain relationships for rampart craters are not supported by this study. Many of the differences between the results of this study and the previous lobateness analyses can be attributed to the inclusion of resolution effects and the distinction between different ejecta morphologies in this study. The results of this study taken together with a previous analysis of the distribution and diameter dependence of different ejecta morphologies are most consistent with the theory that Martian lobate ejecta morphologies form from impact into subsurface volatiles.

  9. Martian resource locations: Identification and optimization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chamitoff, Gregory; James, George; Barker, Donald; Dershowitz, Adam

    2005-04-01

    The identification and utilization of in situ Martian natural resources is the key to enable cost-effective long-duration missions and permanent human settlements on Mars. This paper presents a powerful software tool for analyzing Martian data from all sources, and for optimizing mission site selection based on resource collocation. This program, called Planetary Resource Optimization and Mapping Tool (PROMT), provides a wide range of analysis and display functions that can be applied to raw data or imagery. Thresholds, contours, custom algorithms, and graphical editing are some of the various methods that can be used to process data. Output maps can be created to identify surface regions on Mars that meet any specific criteria. The use of this tool for analyzing data, generating maps, and collocating features is demonstrated using data from the Mars Global Surveyor and the Odyssey spacecraft. The overall mission design objective is to maximize a combination of scientific return and self-sufficiency based on utilization of local materials. Landing site optimization involves maximizing accessibility to collocated science and resource features within a given mission radius. Mission types are categorized according to duration, energy resources, and in situ resource utilization. Preliminary optimization results are shown for a number of mission scenarios.

  10. Amino acids in the Martian meteorite Nakhla.

    PubMed

    Glavin, D P; Bada, J L; Brinton, K L; McDonald, G D

    1999-08-03

    A suite of protein and nonprotein amino acids were detected with high-performance liquid chromatography in the water- and acid-soluble components of an interior fragment of the Martian meteorite Nakhla, which fell in Egypt in 1911. Aspartic and glutamic acids, glycine, alanine, beta-alanine, and gamma-amino-n-butyric acid (gamma-ABA) were the most abundant amino acids detected and were found primarily in the 6 M HCl-hydrolyzed, hot water extract. The concentrations ranged from 20 to 330 parts per billion of bulk meteorite. The amino acid distribution in Nakhla, including the D/L ratios (values range from <0.1 to 0.5), is similar to what is found in bacterially degraded organic matter. The amino acids in Nakhla appear to be derived from terrestrial organic matter that infiltrated the meteorite soon after its fall to Earth, although it is possible that some of the amino acids are endogenous to the meteorite. The rapid amino acid contamination of Martian meteorites after direct exposure to the terrestrial environment has important implications for Mars sample-return missions and the curation of the samples from the time of their delivery to Earth.

  11. Electrical Breakdown in a Martian Gas Mixture

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Buhler, C. R.; Calle, C. I.; Nelson, E.

    2003-01-01

    The high probability for dust interactions during Martian dust storms and dust devils combined with the cold, dry climate of Mars most likely result in airborne dust that is highly charged. On Earth, potential gradients up to 5 kV/m have been recorded and in some cases resulted in lightning. Although the Martian atmosphere is not conducive to lightning generation, it is widely believed that electrical discharge in the form of a corona occurs. In order to understand the breakdown of gases, Paschen measurements are taken which relate the minimum potential required to spark across a gap between two electrodes. The minimum potential is plotted versus the pressure-distance value for electrodes of a given geometry. For most gases, the potential decreases as the pressure decreases. For CO2, the minimum in the curve happens to be at Mars atmospheric pressures (5-7 mm Hg) for many distances and geometries. However, a very small amount (<0.1%) of mixing gases radically changes the curve, as noted by Leach. Here, we present the first experimental results of a Paschen curve for a Mars gas mixture compared with 100% pure CO2.

  12. Wind tunnel studies of Martian aeolian processes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Greeley, R.; Iversen, J. D.; Pollack, J. B.; Udovich, N.; White, B.

    1973-01-01

    Preliminary results are reported of an investigation which involves wind tunnel simulations, geologic field studies, theoretical model studies, and analyses of Mariner 9 imagery. Threshold speed experiments were conducted for particles ranging in specific gravity from 1.3 to 11.35 and diameter from 10.2 micron to 1290 micron to verify and better define Bagnold's (1941) expressions for grain movement, particularly for low particle Reynolds numbers and to study the effects of aerodynamic lift and surface roughness. Wind tunnel simulations were conducted to determine the flow field over raised rim craters and associated zones of deposition and erosion. A horseshoe vortex forms around the crater, resulting in two axial velocity maxima in the lee of the crater which cause a zone of preferential erosion in the wake of the crater. Reverse flow direction occurs on the floor of the crater. The result is a distinct pattern of erosion and deposition which is similar to some martian craters and which indicates that some dark zones around Martian craters are erosional and some light zones are depositional.

  13. Martian cratering. II - Asteroid impact history.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hartmann, W. K.

    1971-01-01

    This paper considers the extent to which Martian craters can be explained by considering asteroidal impact. Sections I, II, and III of this paper derive the diameter distribution of hypothetical asteroidal craters on Mars from recent Palomar-Leiden asteroid statistics and show that the observed Martian craters correspond to a bombardment by roughly 100 times the present number of Mars-crossing asteroids. Section IV discusses the early bombardment history of Mars, based on the capture theory of Opik and probable orbital parameters of early planetesimals. These results show that the visible craters and surface of Mars should not be identified with the initial, accreted surface. A backward extrapolation of the impact rates based on surviving Mars-crossing asteroids can account for the majority of Mars craters over an interval of several aeons, indicating that we see back in time no further than part-way into a period of intense bombardment. An early period of erosion and deposition is thus suggested. Section V presents a comparison with results and terminology of other authors.

  14. Acoustic environment of the Martian surface

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Williams, Jean-Pierre

    2001-03-01

    Prompted by the Mars Microphone aboard the 1998 Mars Polar Lander, a theoretical study of the acoustical environment of the Martian surface has been made to ascertain how the propagation of sound is attenuated under such conditions and to predict what sounds may be detectable by a microphone. Viscous and thermal relaxation (termed classical absorption), molecular relaxation, and geometric attenuation are considered. Classical absorption is stronger under Martian conditions resulting in sounds in the audible frequencies (20 Hz to 20 kHz) being more strongly attenuated than in the terrestrial environment. The higher frequencies (>3000 Hz) will be severely attenuated as the absorption is frequency dependent. At very low infrasound frequencies (i.e., <10 Hz), attenuation will be mostly due to geometric spreading of the propagating wave front and will therefore be more similar to the terrestrial surface environment. Probable sound sources in the landed environment include wind-blown dust and sand from large dust storms, dust devils, and possible associated electrostatic discharge. The sounds most likely to be detected will be sounds generated by the lander itself and aeroacoustic noises generated by winds blowing against the lander and its instruments.

  15. Martian electron foreshock from MAVEN observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meziane, K.; Mazelle, C. X.; Romanelli, N.; Mitchell, D. L.; Espley, J. R.; Connerney, J. E. P.; Hamza, A. M.; Halekas, J.; McFadden, J. P.; Jakosky, B. M.

    2017-02-01

    Flux enhancements of energetic electrons are always observed when the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) spacecraft is magnetically connected to the shock. The observations indicate that the foreshock electrons consist of two populations. The most energetic (E≥237 eV) originate from a narrow region at the nearly perpendicular shock. They always appear as spikes, and their flux level reaches a maximum when the angle θBn approaches 90°. The other population emanates from the entire Martian bow shock surface, and the flux level decreases slightly from the quasi-parallel to quasi-perpendicular regions. A detailed examination of the pitch angle distribution shows that the enhanced fluxes are associated with electrons moving sunward. Annulus centered along the interplanetary magnetic field direction is the most stringent feature of the 3-D angular distribution. The gyrotropic character is observed over the whole range of shock geometry. Although such signatures in the electron pitch angle distribution function strongly suggest that the reflection off the shock of a fraction of the solar wind electrons is the main mechanism for the production of Martian foreshock electrons, the decay of the flux of the second population on the other hand has yet to be understood.

  16. Numerical Modeling of Glaciers in Martian Paleoclimates

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Colaprete, A.; Haberle, R. M.; Montmessin, F.; Scheaffer, J.

    2004-01-01

    Numerous geologic features suggest the presence of ice flow on the surface of mars. These features include lobate debris aprons, concentric crater fill, and lineated valley fill. The lateral extent of these features can range from 100 meters to over 20 km. Previous work has demonstrated that these features could not have formed in current Martian conditions. It has long been speculated that changes in Mars orbital properties, namely its obliquity, eccentricity, and argument of perihelion, can result in dramatic changes to climate. Recent climate model studies have shown that at periods of increased obliquity north polar water ice is mobilized southward and deposited at low ad mid latitudes. Mid latitude accumulation of ice would provide the necessary conditions for rock glaciers to form. A time-marching, finite element glacier model is used to demonstrate the ability of ice and ice-rock mixtures to flow under Martian paleoclimate conditions. Input to this model is constrained by the NASA Ames Mars General Circulation Model (MGCM).

  17. Amino acids in the Martian meteorite Nakhla

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Glavin, D. P.; Bada, J. L.; Brinton, K. L.; McDonald, G. D.

    1999-01-01

    A suite of protein and nonprotein amino acids were detected with high-performance liquid chromatography in the water- and acid-soluble components of an interior fragment of the Martian meteorite Nakhla, which fell in Egypt in 1911. Aspartic and glutamic acids, glycine, alanine, beta-alanine, and gamma-amino-n-butyric acid (gamma-ABA) were the most abundant amino acids detected and were found primarily in the 6 M HCl-hydrolyzed, hot water extract. The concentrations ranged from 20 to 330 parts per billion of bulk meteorite. The amino acid distribution in Nakhla, including the D/L ratios (values range from <0.1 to 0.5), is similar to what is found in bacterially degraded organic matter. The amino acids in Nakhla appear to be derived from terrestrial organic matter that infiltrated the meteorite soon after its fall to Earth, although it is possible that some of the amino acids are endogenous to the meteorite. The rapid amino acid contamination of Martian meteorites after direct exposure to the terrestrial environment has important implications for Mars sample-return missions and the curation of the samples from the time of their delivery to Earth.

  18. Amino Acids in the Martian Meteorite Nakhla

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glavin, Daniel P.; Bada, Jeffrey L.; Brinton, Karen L. F.; McDonald, Gene D.

    1999-08-01

    A suite of protein and nonprotein amino acids were detected with high-performance liquid chromatography in the water- and acid-soluble components of an interior fragment of the Martian meteorite Nakhla, which fell in Egypt in 1911. Aspartic and glutamic acids, glycine, alanine, β -alanine, and γ -amino-n-butyric acid (γ -ABA) were the most abundant amino acids detected and were found primarily in the 6 M HCl-hydrolyzed, hot water extract. The concentrations ranged from 20 to 330 parts per billion of bulk meteorite. The amino acid distribution in Nakhla, including the D/L ratios (values range from <0.1 to 0.5), is similar to what is found in bacterially degraded organic matter. The amino acids in Nakhla appear to be derived from terrestrial organic matter that infiltrated the meteorite soon after its fall to Earth, although it is possible that some of the amino acids are endogenous to the meteorite. The rapid amino acid contamination of Martian meteorites after direct exposure to the terrestrial environment has important implications for Mars sample-return missions and the curation of the samples from the time of their delivery to Earth.

  19. Oblique reflections in the Mars Express MARSIS data set: Stable density structures in the Martian ionosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andrews, David; André, Mats; Opgenoorth, Hermann; Edberg, Niklas; Diéval, Catherine; Duru, Firdevs; Gurnett, Donald; Morgan, David; Witasse, Olivier

    2014-05-01

    The Mars Advanced Radar for Sub-surface and Ionospheric Sounding (MARSIS) on board ESA's Mars Express (MEX) spacecraft routinely detects evidence of horizontal plasma density structures in the Martian ionosphere. Such structures, likely taking the form of spatially-extended elevations in the plasma density at a given altitude, give rise to oblique reflections in the Active Ionospheric Sounder (AIS) data. These structures are likely related to the highly-varied Martian crustal magnetic field. In this study, we use the polar orbit of MEX to investigate the repeatability of the ionospheric structures producing these anomalous reflections, examining sequences of multiple orbits which pass over the same regions of the Martian surface under similar solar illuminations. Presenting three such examples, or case-studies, we show that the signatures of these ionospheric structures are often incredibly stable over periods of many tens of days. To further investigate the nature of these ionospheric structures, we use a 2D ray-tracing code to simulate MARSIS's response to a variety of anomalous ionospheric profiles.

  20. Oblique reflections in the Mars Express MARSIS data set: Stable density structures in the Martian ionosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andrews, D. J.; André, M.; Opgenoorth, H. J.; Edberg, N. J. T.; Diéval, C.; Duru, F.; Gurnett, D. A.; Morgan, D.; Witasse, O.

    2014-05-01

    The Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionospheric Sounding (MARSIS) onboard the European Space Agency's Mars Express (MEX) spacecraft routinely detects evidence of localized plasma density structures in the Martian dayside ionosphere. Such structures, likely taking the form of spatially extended elevations in the plasma density at a given altitude, give rise to oblique reflections in the Active Ionospheric Sounder data. These structures are likely related to the highly varied Martian crustal magnetic field. In this study we use the polar orbit of MEX to investigate the repeatability of the ionospheric structures producing these anomalous reflections, examining data taken in sequences of multiple orbits which pass over the same regions of the Martian surface under similar solar illuminations, within intervals lasting tens of days. Presenting three such examples, or case studies, we show for the first time that these oblique reflections are often incredibly stable, indicating that the underlying ionospheric structures are reliably reformed in the same locations and with qualitatively similar parameters. The visibility, or lack thereof, of a given oblique reflection on a single orbit can generally be attributed to variations in the crustal field within the ionosphere along the spacecraft trajectory. We show that, within these examples, oblique reflections are generally detected whenever the spacecraft passes over regions of intense near-radial crustal magnetic fields (i.e., with a "cusp-like" configuration). The apparent stability of these structures is an important feature that must be accounted for in models of their origin.

  1. Martian atmospheric gravity waves simulated by a high-resolution general circulation model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuroda, Takeshi; Yiǧit, Erdal; Medvedev, Alexander S.; Hartogh, Paul

    2016-07-01

    Gravity waves (GWs) significantly affect temperature and wind fields in the Martian middle and upper atmosphere. They are also one of the observational targets of the MAVEN mission. We report on the first simulations with a high-resolution general circulation model (GCM) and present a global distributions of small-scale GWs in the Martian atmosphere. The simulated GW-induced temperature variances are in a good agreement with available radio occultation data in the lower atmosphere between 10 and 30 km. For the northern winter solstice, the model reveals a latitudinal asymmetry with stronger wave generation in the winter hemisphere and two distinctive sources of GWs: mountainous regions and the meandering winter polar jet. Orographic GWs are filtered upon propagating upward, and the mesosphere is primarily dominated by harmonics with faster horizontal phase velocities. Wave fluxes are directed mainly against the local wind. GW dissipation in the upper mesosphere generates a body force per unit mass of tens of m s^{-1} per Martian solar day (sol^{-1}), which tends to close the simulated jets. The results represent a realistic surrogate for missing observations, which can be used for constraining GW parameterizations and validating GCMs.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zubrin, Robert 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 CO2. 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 34,000 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.

  3. Effects of a simulated martian UV flux on the cyanobacterium, Chroococcidiopsis sp. 029.

    PubMed

    Cockell, Charles S; Schuerger, Andrew C; Billi, Daniela; Friedmann, E Imre; Panitz, Corinna

    2005-04-01

    Dried monolayers of Chroococcidiopsis sp. 029, a desiccation-tolerant, endolithic cyanobacterium, were exposed to a simulated martian-surface UV and visible light flux, which may also approximate to the worst-case scenario for the Archean Earth. After 5 min, there was a 99% loss of cell viability, and there were no survivors after 30 min. However, this survival was approximately 10 times higher than that previously reported for Bacillus subtilis. We show that under 1 mm of rock, Chroococcidiopsis sp. could survive (and potentially grow) under the high martian UV flux if water and nutrient requirements for growth were met. In isolated cells, phycobilisomes and esterases remained intact hours after viability was lost. Esterase activity was reduced by 99% after a 1-h exposure, while 99% loss of autofluorescence required a 4-h exposure. However, cell morphology was not changed, and DNA was still detectable by 4',6-diamidino-2-phenylindole staining after an 8-h exposure (equivalent to approximately 1 day on Mars at the equator). Under 1 mm of simulant martian soil or gneiss, the effect of UV radiation could not be detected on esterase activity or autofluorescence after 4 h. These results show that under the intense martian UV flux the morphological signatures of life can persist even after viability, enzymatic activity, and pigmentation have been destroyed. Finally, the global dispersal of viable, isolated cells of even this desiccation-tolerant, ionizing-radiation-resistant microorganism on Mars is unlikely as they are killed quickly by unattenuated UV radiation when in a desiccated state. These findings have implications for the survival of diverse microbial contaminants dispersed during the course of human exploratory class missions on the surface of Mars.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  5. Martian Gullies: H2O or CO2 snow?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  6. A Genetic Cluster of Martian Trojan Asteroids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Christou, Apostolos

    2013-10-01

    Trojan asteroids lead 60 degrees ahead (L4) or trail 60 degrees behind (L5) a planet's position along its orbit. The Trojans of Jupiter and Neptune are thought to be primordial remnants from the solar system's early evolution (Shoemaker et al., 1989; Sheppard et al., 2006). Mars is the only terrestrial planet known to host stable Trojans (Scholl et al., 2005) with ~50 km-sized objects expected to exist (Tabachnik and Evans, 1999). I identified 6 additional candidate Martian Trojans within the Minor Planet Center database, including three with multi-opposition orbits. 100 dynamical clones for each of the three asteroids were integrated for 100 Myr under a force model that included the Yarkovsky effect. All clones persisted as L5 Trojans of Mars, implying that their residence time is longer still. This is further supported by recent Gyr numerical integrations (de la Fuente Marcos and de la Fuente Marcos, 2013). The number of stable Martian Trojans is thus raised to 7, 6 of which are at L5. To investigate this asymmetry, I apply a clustering test to their orbits and compare them with the Trojan population of Jupiter. I find that, while Jupiter Trojans are spread throughout the domain where long-term stability is expected, L5 martian Trojans are far more concentrated. The implication is that these objects may be genetically related to each other and to the largest member of the group, 5261 Eureka. If so, it represents the closest such group to the Earth's orbit, still recognizable due to the absence of planetary close encounters which quickly scatter NEO families (Schunova et al., 2012). I explore the origin and nature of this `Eureka cluster', including the thesis that its members are products of the collisional fragmentation and/or rotational fission of Trojan progenitors. I constrain the cluster's age under these scenarios and argue that collisions may be responsible for the observed paucity of km-sized objects. Finally, I discuss how the hypothesis of a genetic

  7. Chaotic Oscillations of the Martian Atmospheric Circulation.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pankine, A. A.; Ingersoll, A. P.

    1998-09-01

    We present a simplified model of the global circulation-dust interaction aimed at explaining the interannual variability of martian global dust storms. The model is described by the system of the Lorenz equations (Lorenz, 1963) with an additional term that represents seasonal forcing.The results of the Mars GCM simulations (Pollack et al., 1990) are used to define the values of the model parameters. For some parameter values the model exhibits rapid oscillations in atmospheric circulation and dust loading during early summer in both hemispheres. The oscillations are non periodic and may represent the observed global dust storms. The solutions are consistent with the time of occurrence and the duration of the observed global dust storms, but contradict the occurrence of global storms only in the southern hemisphere. We suggest that physical processes not related to the global circulation are responsible for these discrepancies. These processes may include redistribution of the dust on the surface (Haberle, 1986) or water ice condensation on the dust particles (Clancy et al., 1996). The duration of the dust storms in our model is independent of the dust settling time, suggesting that the global circulation plays important role in the dust storm decay. We think that the results of our simulations may help in distinguishing between processes that are crucial for the Martian dust cycle and can provide guidance for the Mars GCM simulations. References: Lorenz, E. N., 1963. Deterministic non periodic flow, J. Atmos. Sci., 20, 130-141. Pollack, J. B., R. M. Haberle, J. Schaeffer, H. Lee, 1990. Simulation of the general circulation of the martian atmosphere. 1. Polar process. J. Geophys. Res., 95(B2), 1473- 1447. Clancy, R. T., A. W. Grossman, M. J. Wolff, P. B. James, D. J. Rudy, Y. N. Billawala, B. J. Sandor, S. W. Lee, and D. O. Muhleman, 1996. Water vapor saturation at low altitudes around Mars aphelion: a key to Mars climate? Icarus, 122, 36 62. Haberle, R. M., 1986

  8. Detailed Cloud Patterns in Martian Northern Hemisphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    Cold and cloudy mornings; cool, hazy afternoons. High winds aloft and weather fronts moving slowly to the east. It is winter in the Martian northern hemisphere. One of the many reasons to study Mars is that, at times, its weather is very 'Earth-like.' At this time of the Martian year, clouds are abundant, especially in the morning and especially in the high northern latitudes. Clouds and fogs are also observed in low-lying areas farther to the south, in some lowlands they are as far south as the equator.

    The above color composite images, obtained by Mars Global Surveyor's camera on June 4, 1998, illustrate this Martian 'weather report.' Most of the thick, white clouds seen here occur north of latitude 35oN (roughly equivalent to Albuquerque NM, Memphis TN, and Charlotte, NC). Fog (seen as bright orange because it is lighter than the ground but some of the ground is still visible) occupies the lowest portions of the Kasei Valles outflow channel around 30oN and at 25oN.

    Several different types of cloud features are seen. The repetitious, wash-board pattern of parallel lines are 'gravity wave clouds'. These commonly form, in the lee--downwind side-- of topographic features such as mountain ranges (on Earth) or crater rims (on Mars), under very specific atmospheric conditions (low temperatures, high humidity, and high wind speeds). In this area, the wave clouds are lower in the atmosphere than some of the other clouds. These other clouds show attributes reflecting more the regional weather pattern, occasionally showing the characteristic 'slash' shape (southwest to northeast) of a weather front. These clouds probably contain mostly crystals of water ice but, depending on the temperature at high altitude (and more likely closer to the pole), some could also contain frozen carbon dioxide ('dry ice').

    MOC images 34501 (the red wide angle image) and 34502 (the blue wide angle image) were obtained on Mars Global Surveyor's 345th orbit about the planet

  9. Hosts of hydrogen in ALH 84001: Evidence for hydrous martian salts in the oldest martian meteorite?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eiler, John M.; Kitchen, Nami; Leshin, Lauri; Strausberg, Melissa

    2002-03-01

    The Martian meteorite, ALH84001, contains D-rich hydrogen of plausible Martian origin (Leshin et al. 1996). The phase identity of the host(s) of this hydrogen are not well known and could include organic matter (McKay et al., 1996), phlogopite (Brearley 2000), glass (Mittlefehldt 1994) and/or other, unidentified components of this rock. Previous ion microprobe studies indicate that much of the hydrogen in ALH84001 as texturally associated with concretions of nominally anhydrous carbonates, glass and oxides (Boctor et al., 1998; Sugiura and Hoshino, 2000). We examined the physical and chemical properties of the host(s) of this hydrogen by stepped pyrolysis of variously pre-treated sub-samples. A continuous-flow method of water reduction and mass spectrometry (Eiler and Kitchen 2001) was used to permit detailed study of the small amounts of this hydrogen-poor sample available for study. We find that the host(s) of D-rich hydrogen released from ALH84001 at relatively low temperatures (~500 deg C) is soluble in orthophosphoric and dilute hydrochloric acids and undergoes near-complete isotopic exchange with water within hours at temperatures of 200 to 300 deg C. These characteristics are most consistent with the carrier phase(s) being a hydrous salt (e.g., carbonate, sulfate or halide); the thermal stability of this material is inconsistent with many examples of such minerals (e.g., gypsum) and instead suggests one or more relatively refractory hydrous carbonates (e.g., hydromagnesite). Hydrous salts (particularly hydrous carbonates) are common on the earth only in evaporite, sabkha, and hydrocryogenic-weathering environments; we suggest that much (if not all) of the 'Martian' hydrogen in ALH84001 was introduced in analogous environments on or near the martian surface rather than through biological activity or hydrothermal alteration of silicates in the crust.

  10. Martian cratering 11. Utilizing decameter scale crater populations to study Martian history

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hartmann, W. K.; Daubar, I. J.

    2017-03-01

    New information has been obtained in recent years regarding formation rates and the production size-frequency distribution (PSFD) of decameter-scale primary Martian craters formed during recent orbiter missions. Here we compare the PSFD of the currently forming small primaries (P) with new data on the PSFD of the total small crater population that includes primaries and field secondaries (P + fS), which represents an average over longer time periods. The two data sets, if used in a combined manner, have extraordinary potential for clarifying not only the evolutionary history and resurfacing episodes of small Martian geological formations (as small as one or few km2) but also possible episodes of recent climatic change. In response to recent discussions of statistical methodologies, we point out that crater counts do not produce idealized statistics, and that inherent uncertainties limit improvements that can be made by more sophisticated statistical analyses. We propose three mutually supportive procedures for interpreting crater counts of small craters in this context. Applications of these procedures support suggestions that topographic features in upper meters of mid-latitude ice-rich areas date only from the last few periods of extreme Martian obliquity, and associated predicted climate excursions.

  11. Martian physical properties experiments: The Viking Mars Lander

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Shorthill, R.W.; Hutton, R.E.; Moore, H.J.; Scott, R.F.

    1972-01-01

    Current data indicate that Mars, like the Earth and Moon, will have a soil-like layer. An understanding of this soil-like layer is an essential ingredient in understanding the Martian ecology. The Viking Lander and its subsystems will be used in a manner similar to that used by Sue Surveyor program to define properties of the Martian "soil". Data for estimates of bearing strength, cohesion, angle of internal friction, porosity, grain size, adhesion, thermal inertia, dielectric constants, and homogeneity of the Martian surface materials will be collected. ?? 1972.

  12. The Martian highland paterae: Evidence for explosive volcanism on Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Crown, David A.; Greeley, Ronald

    1988-01-01

    The Martian surface exhibits numerous volcanic landforms displaying great diversity in size, age, and morphology. Most research regarding Martian volcanology has centered around effusive basaltic volcanism, including analyses of individual lava flows, extensive lava plains, and large shield volcanoes. These studies were hindered by a lack of definitive morphologic criteria for the remote identification of ash deposits. Knowledge of the abundances, ages, and geologic settings of explosive volcanic deposits on Mars is essential to a comprehensive understanding of the evolution of the Martian surface, with implications for the evolution of the lithosphere and atmosphere as well as the histories of specific volcanic centers and provinces.

  13. CO2: Adsorption on palagonite and the Martian regolith

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zent, Aaron P.; Fanale, Fraser P.; Postawko, Susan E.

    1987-01-01

    Possible scenarios for the evolution of the Martian climate are discussed. In the interest of determining an upper limit on the absorptive capacity of the Martian regolith, researchers examined the results of Fanale and Cannon (1971, 1974) for CO2 adsorption on nontronite and basalt. There appeared to be a strong proportionality between the capacity of the absorbent and its specific surface area. A model of the Martian climate is given that allows the researchers to make some estimates of exchangeable CO2 abundances.

  14. Comparision of the Martian Gullies With Terrestrial Ones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  15. History of Martian volatiles - Implications for organic synthesis.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fanale, F. P.

    1971-01-01

    A theoretical reconstruction of the history of Martian volatiles indicates that Mars probably possessed a substantial reducing atmosphere at the outset of its history, and that its present tenuous and more oxidized atmosphere is the result of extensive chemical evolution. As a consequence, it is probable that Martian atmospheric chemical conditions, now hostile with respect to abiotic organic synthesis in the gas phase, were initially favorable. Evidence indicating the chronology and degradational history of Martian surface features, surface mineralogy, bulk volatile content, internal mass distribution, and thermal history suggests that Mars catastrophically developed a substantial reducing atmosphere as the result of rapid accretion.

  16. The chlorine isotopic composition of Martian meteorites 1: Chlorine isotope composition of Martian mantle and crustal reservoirs and their interactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Williams, J. T.; Shearer, C. K.; Sharp, Z. D.; Burger, P. V.; McCubbin, F. M.; Santos, A. R.; Agee, C. B.; McKeegan, K. D.

    2016-11-01

    The Martian meteorites record a wide diversity of environments, processes, and ages. Much work has been done to decipher potential mantle sources for Martian magmas and their interactions with crustal and surface environments. Chlorine isotopes provide a unique opportunity to assess interactions between Martian mantle-derived magmas and the crust. We have measured the Cl-isotopic composition of 17 samples that span the range of known ages, Martian environments, and mantle reservoirs. The 37Cl of the Martian mantle, as represented by the olivine-phyric shergottites, NWA 2737 (chassignite), and Shergotty (basaltic shergottite), has a low value of approximately -3.8‰. This value is lower than that of all other planetary bodies measured thus far. The Martian crust, as represented by regolith breccia NWA 7034, is variably enriched in the heavy isotope of Cl. This enrichment is reflective of preferential loss of 35Cl to space. Most basaltic shergottites (less Shergotty), nakhlites, Chassigny, and Allan Hills 84001 lie on a continuum between the Martian mantle and crust. This intermediate range is explained by mechanical mixing through impact, fluid interaction, and assimilation-fractional crystallization.

  17. Impact Crater Deposits in the Martian Highlands

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mest, S. C.; Crown, D. a.

    2005-01-01

    The martian highlands of Noachis Terra (20-30 deg S, 20-50 deg E), Tyrrhena Terra (0-30 deg S, 50- 100 deg E) and Terra Cimmeria (0-60 deg S, 120-170 deg E) preserve long and complex histories of degradation, but the relative effects of such factors as fluvial, eolian, and mass wasting processes have not been well constrained. The effects of this degradation are best observed on large (D greater than 10 km) impact craters that characterize the ancient highlands. Some craters exhibit distinct interior deposits, but precise origins of these deposits are enigmatic; infilling may occur by sedimentary (e.g., fluvial, lacustrine, eolian), mass wasting and (or) volcanic processes.

  18. Martian Resource Locations - Identification and Optimization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chamitoff, G.; James, G.; Barker, D.; Dershowitz, A.

    2002-01-01

    Many physical constituents of the Martian environment can be considered as possible material resources. The identification and utilization of these in-situ Martian natural resources is the key to enabling cost- effective long-duration missions and permanent human settlements on Mars. Also, access to local resources provides an essential safety net for the initial missions. The incident solar radiation, atmosphere, regolith, subsurface materials, polar deposits, and frozen volatiles represent planetary resources that can provide breathable air, water, energy, organic growth media, and building materials. Hence, the characterization and localization of these resources can be viewed as a component of the process of landing/outpost site selection. The locations of early permanent settlements will likely be near the imported and in-situ resources of the initial outposts. Therefore, the initial site selections can have significant long- term ramifications. Although the current information on the location, extent, purity, and ease of extraction of the in-situ resources is limited; this knowledge improves with each electronic bit of information returned from the planet. This paper presents a powerful software tool for the combined organization and analysis of Martian data from all sources. This program, called PROMT (Planetary Resource Optimization and Mapping Tool), is designed to provide a wide range of analysis and display functions that can be applied to raw data or photo- imagery. Thresholds, contours, custom algorithms, and graphical editing are some of the various methods that the user can use to process data. Individual maps can then be created to identify surface regions on Mars that meet specific criteria. For example, regions with possible subsurface ice can be identified and shown graphically by combining and analyzing various gamma ray and neutron emission data sets. Other examples might include regions with high atmospheric pressure, steep slopes, evidence of

  19. Martian valleys - Morphology, distribution, age, and origin

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pieri, D. C.

    1980-01-01

    The article summarizes the geological and geomorphological evidence concerning the formation of the valley networks of Mars which were observed in the Mariner 9 and Viking Orbiter images. There is no clear evidence of direct fluid erosion in any Martian valley. The networks are diffuse and inefficient, with irregular tributary junction angles and large, undissected intervalley regions. The deeply entrenched canyons, with steep-walled amphitheater terminations suggest headward extension (sapping) by basal undermining and wall collapse. It is believed that valley formation has not occurred on Mars for billions of years because the size-frequency distributions of impact craters in these valleys and in the heavily cratered terrain which surrounds them are statistically insignificant.

  20. Elemental composition of the Martian crust.

    PubMed

    McSween, Harry Y; Taylor, G Jeffrey; Wyatt, Michael B

    2009-05-08

    The composition of Mars' crust records the planet's integrated geologic history and provides clues to its differentiation. Spacecraft and meteorite data now provide a global view of the chemistry of the igneous crust that can be used to assess this history. Surface rocks on Mars are dominantly tholeiitic basalts formed by extensive partial melting and are not highly weathered. Siliceous or calc-alkaline rocks produced by melting and/or fractional crystallization of hydrated, recycled mantle sources, and silica-poor rocks produced by limited melting of alkali-rich mantle sources, are uncommon or absent. Spacecraft data suggest that martian meteorites are not representative of older, more voluminous crust and prompt questions about their use in defining diagnostic geochemical characteristics and in constraining mantle compositional models for Mars.

  1. Thermally distinct ejecta blankets from Martian craters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Betts, B. H.; Murray, B. C.

    1993-06-01

    A study of Martian ejecta blankets is carried out using the high-resolution thermal IR/visible data from the Termoskan instrument aboard Phobos '88 mission. It is found that approximately 100 craters within the Termoskan data have an ejecta blanket distinct in the thermal infrared (EDITH). These features are examined by (1) a systematic examination of all Termoskan data using high-resolution image processing; (2) a study of the systematics of the data by compiling and analyzing a data base consisting of geographic, geologic, and mormphologic parameters for a significant fraction of the EDITH and nearby non-EDITH; and (3) qualitative and quantitative analyses of localized regions of interest. It is noted that thermally distinct ejecta blankets are excellent locations for future landers and remote sensing because of relatively dust-free surface exposures of material excavated from depth.

  2. Simulation of Martian dust accumulation on surfaces

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Perez-Davis, Marla E.; Gaier, James R.; Kress, Robert; Grimalda, Justus

    1990-01-01

    Future NASA space missions include the possibility of manned landings and exploration of Mars. Environmental and operational constraints unique to Mars must be considered when selecting and designing the power system to be used on the Mars surface. A technique is described which was developed to simulate the deposition of dust on surfaces. Three kinds of dust materials were studied: aluminum oxide, basalt, and iron oxide. The apparatus was designed using the Stokes and Stokes-Cunningham law for particle fallout, with additional consideration given to particle size and shape. Characterization of the resulting dust films on silicon dioxide, polytetrafluoroethylene, indium tin oxide, diamondlike carbon, and other surfaces are discussed based on optical transmittance measurements. The results of these experiments will guide future studies which will consider processes to remove the dust from surfaces under Martian environmental conditions.

  3. A Site Selection Technique for Martian Habitats

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kerr, Mark E.

    2004-02-01

    The human exploration of Mars will require the identification of a region that includes the largest number of beneficial sites and properties. Because of the numerous relevant parameters and the complexity of the Martian surface an automated technique was tested using Ian L. McHarg's (1969) sieve mapping method. Beginning with a global inventory of features areas of interest were determined by astrobiology, geology and other mission parameters, with the goal of finding a series of possible habitat sites to support a traverse mission through Utopia Planitia, Isidis, and Elysium Planitia. We identified important occurrences of hydrogen isotopes, centers of past volcanic activity, significant impact craters and possible evidence of past and present water and superimposed these locations to determine the best site for the habitat, which is situated between the Elysium volcanoes, Isidis, Gale Crater.

  4. Possible test of ancient dense Martian atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hartmann, W. K.; Engel, S.

    1993-01-01

    We have completed preliminary calculations of the minimum sizes of bolides that would penetrate various hypothetical Martian atmospheres with surface pressures ranging from 6 to 1000 mbar for projectiles of various strengths. The calculations are based on a computer program. These numbers are used to estimate the diameter corresponding to the turndown in the crater diameter distribution due to the loss of these bodies, analogous to the dramatic turndown at larger sized already discovered on Venus due to this effect. We conclude that for an atmosphere greater than a few hundred millibars, a unique downward displacement in the diameter distribution would develop in the crater diameter distribution at D approximately = 0.5-4 km, due to loss of all but Fe bolides. Careful search for this displacement globally, as outlined here, would allow us to place upper limits on the pressure of the atmosphere contemporaneous with the oldest surfaces, and possibly to get direct confirmation of dense ancient atmospheres.

  5. Evidence for life in a martian meteorite?

    PubMed

    McSween, H Y

    1997-07-01

    The controversial hypothesis that the ALH84001 meteorite contains relics of ancient martian life has spurred new findings, but the question has not yet been resolved. Organic matter probably results, at least in part, from terrestrial contamination by Antarctic ice meltwater. The origin of nanophase magnetites and sulfides, suggested, on the basis of their sizes and morphologies, to be biogenic remains contested, as does the formation temperature of the carbonates that contain all of the cited evidence for life. The reported nonfossils may be magnetite whiskers and platelets, probably grown from a vapor. New observations, such as the possible presence of biofilms and shock metamorphic effects in the carbonates, have not yet been evaluated. Regardless of the ultimate conclusion, this controversy continues to help define strategies and sharpen tools that will be required for a Mars exploration program focused on the search for life.

  6. Elemental Composition of the Martian Crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McSween, Harry Y.; Taylor, G. Jeffrey; Wyatt, Michael B.

    2009-05-01

    The composition of Mars’ crust records the planet’s integrated geologic history and provides clues to its differentiation. Spacecraft and meteorite data now provide a global view of the chemistry of the igneous crust that can be used to assess this history. Surface rocks on Mars are dominantly tholeiitic basalts formed by extensive partial melting and are not highly weathered. Siliceous or calc-alkaline rocks produced by melting and/or fractional crystallization of hydrated, recycled mantle sources, and silica-poor rocks produced by limited melting of alkali-rich mantle sources, are uncommon or absent. Spacecraft data suggest that martian meteorites are not representative of older, more voluminous crust and prompt questions about their use in defining diagnostic geochemical characteristics and in constraining mantle compositional models for Mars.

  7. First Look at Martian Arctic Plains

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    This image, one of the first captured by NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander, shows the vast plains of the northern polar region of Mars. The flat landscape is strewn with tiny pebbles and shows polygonal cracking, a pattern seen widely in Martian high latitudes and also observed in permafrost terrains on Earth. The polygonal cracking is believed to have resulted from seasonal contraction and expansion of surface ice.

    Phoenix touched down on the Red Planet at 4:53 p.m. Pacific Time (7:53 Eastern Time), May 25, 2008, in an arctic region called Vastitas Borealis, at 68 degrees north latitude, 234 degrees east longitude.

    This image was taken shortly after landing by the spacecraft's Surface Stereo Imager.

    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.

  8. Aeronomy of the current Martian atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barth, C. A.; Stewart, A. I. F.; Bougher, S. W.; Hunten, D. M.; Bauer, S. J.; Nagy, A. F.

    1992-01-01

    The thermal structure of the Martian atmosphere, which varies diurnally, seasonally and episodically, is discussed. The atomic oxygen airglow at 1304 A is used to determine the density of atomic oxygen, and the 1216-A Lyman-alpha line is used to calculate the density of atomic hydrogen and, when coupled with the temperature measurement, the escape flux of atomic hydrogen. The most intense airglow is the IR atmospheric band of O2 at 1.27 micron that results from the photodissociation of ozone. The escape mechanism for atomic hydrogen is thermal, or Jeans, escape, while the atomic oxygen escape is caused by a nonthermal process, namely, the dissociative recombination of O2(+). The ratio of deuterium to hydrogen is enriched by a factor of 6. Three-dimensional models of the Mars thermospheric circulation show that planetary rotation has a significant effect on the wind, composition, and temperature structure.

  9. Mottled terrain - A continuing Martian enigma

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Scott, D. H.; Underwood, J. R., Jr.

    1991-01-01

    The mottled plains material found in the northern Martian lowlands is discussed in terms of Mariner and Viking images as well as geologic mapping based on Viking images. The mottling in Mariner 9 images of this area was associated with albedo contrasts between bright crater-ejecta blankets and dark intercrater material, and dark-crested knobs. The interpretation of the plains material based on the Mariner images is compared to an interpretation of the higher-quality Viking images. Based on the newer images, the mottled terrain is theorized to be comprised of the four constituent members of the Vastitas Borealis formation of Late Hesperian age. Fluvial, aeolian, and glaciotectonic processes are responsible for the extensive modifications of the apparently volcanic formations. The northern plains are not completely understood in spite of the Viking images, and the varied geology in those plains requires more sampling to confirm the theories.

  10. Stratigraphy of the Martian northern plains

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

  11. Modern atmospheric signatures in 4.4 Ga Martian meteorite NWA 7034

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cartwright, J. A.; Ott, U.; Herrmann, S.; Agee, C. B.

    2014-08-01

    rates and noble gas data are consistent with a meteoroid radius of >50 cm. Fission contributions are clear in the Xe data, with evidence to suggest that NWA 7034 contains both 238U and 244Pu derived fission Xe components. If the gas in NWA 7034 was trapped at its ancient igneous formation, this would suggest little evolution of the Martian atmosphere between ˜4.4 Ga and present day. However, as NWA 7034 is a regolith breccia with multiple lithologies and a strong compositional similarity to Gusev soils, the timing and incorporation of trapped atmospheric gases is unclear. With hints of resetting events at ˜1.5-2.1 Ga, the atmospheric component may have been incorporated during breccia formation - possibly in the Amazonian, though it could also have been incorporated on ejection from the surface.

  12. Organic degradation under simulated Martian conditions.

    PubMed

    Stoker, C R; Bullock, M A

    1997-05-25

    We report on laboratory experiments which simulate the breakdown of organic compounds under Martian surface conditions. Chambers containing Mars-analog soil mixed with the amino acid glycine were evacuated and filled to 100 mbar pressure with a Martian atmosphere gas mixture and then irradiated with a broad spectrum Xe lamp. Headspace gases were periodically withdrawn and analyzed via gas chromatography for the presence of organic gases expected to be decomposition products of the glycine. The quantum efficiency for the decomposition of glycine by light at wavelengths from 2000 to 2400 angstroms was measured to be 1.46 +/- 1.0 x 10(-6) molecules/photon. Scaled to Mars, this represents an organic destruction rate of 2.24 +/- 1.2 x 10(-4) g of C m-2 yr-1. We compare this degradation rate with the rate that organic compounds are brought to Mars as a result of meteoritic infall to show that organic compounds are destroyed on Mars at rates far exceeding the rate that they are deposited by meteorites. Thus the fact that no organic compounds were found on Mars by the Viking Lander Gas Chromatograph Mass Spectrometer experiment can be explained without invoking the presence of strong oxidants in the surface soils. The organic destruction rate may be considered as an upper bound for the globally averaged biomass production rate of extant organisms at the surface of Mars. This upper bound is comparable to the slow growing cryptoendolithic microbial communities found in dry Antarctica deserts. Finally, comparing these organic destruction rates to recently reported experiments on the stability of carbonate on the surface of Mars, we find that organic compounds may currently be more stable than calcite.

  13. Comprehensive analysis of glaciated martian crater Greg

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hartmann, William K.; Ansan, Veronique; Berman, Daniel C.; Mangold, Nicolas; Forget, François

    2014-01-01

    The 66-km diameter martian crater, Greg, east of Hellas, hosts various distinctive features, including dendritic valleys filled with chevron-textured masses (south wall), and lobate tongues a few kilometers long (north wall). We analyze these features by various quantitative techniques to illuminate martian geologic and climatic history. Crater retention model ages indicate that Greg is at least 1-3 Gy old, but surface layers of mantles and glacial features are orders of magnitude younger. Properties of the dendritic valleys, combined with climate models, suggest that fluvial activity began under a thicker, warmer atmosphere, soon after the crater's formation. The oldest exposed fluvial systems have surface crater retention ages of a few hundred My, indicating runoff in recent geologic time. Much of Greg is covered by ice-rich mantle deposits, for which we infer gradual accumulation and depths of order 30-85 m; they mask pre-existing landforms. The lobate tongues are interpreted as glaciers with mean slope of 10.2 ± 2.3° and average thickness of 33 ± 19 m. Our calculations and data suggest that these glaciers were originally ice-rich and that their surface layers have been depleted by volatile loss. The glaciers probably formed when ice-rich mantle deposits reached critical thickness and flowed downhill. The top 5-10 m of the mantle and glaciers show crater survival times of order a few My to ˜15 My, which, remarkably, is the time since the last 1-4 episodes of obliquity >45°. Global climate models affirm that Greg lies in one of two non-polar areas with extremes of ice deposition during high-obliquity epochs. This match with observations supports the use of such models in studies of planetary climate change.

  14. Stability of clathrate hydrates in Martian crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gloesener, Elodie; Karatekin, Özgür; Dehant, Véronique

    2014-05-01

    Clathrate hydrates are crystalline compounds constituted by cages formed by hydrogen-bonded water molecules inside of which guest gas molecules are trapped. These materials are typically stable at high pressure and low temperature and are present on Earth mainly in marine sediments and in permafrost. Moreover, clathrate hydrates are expected to exist on celestial bodies like the icy moons Titan, Europa or Enceladus. Current conditions in the Martian crust are favourable to the presence of clathrate hydrates. In this study, we focused on the stability of methane and carbon dioxide clathrates in the Martian crust. We coupled the stability conditions of clathrates with a 1D thermal model in order to obtain the variations of the clathrate stability zone in the crust of Mars with time and for different crust compositions. Indeed, the type of soil directly controls the geothermal conditions and therefore the depth of clathrates formation. Unconsolidated soil acts as a thermal insulator and prevents the clathrates formation in the crust except on a small part of a few tens of meters thick. In contrast, sandstone or ice-cemented soil allows the clathrates formation with a stability zone of several kilometers. This is explained by the fact that they evacuate heat more efficiently and thus maintain lower temperatures. We also studied the stability zone of clathrates formed from a mixture of methane and hydrogen sulphide as well as from a mixture of methane and nitrogen. Contrary to the addition of N2, the addition of H2S to CH4 clathrates extends the stability zone and thus brings it closer to the surface. Therefore, mixed clathrates CH4-H2S will be more easily destabilized by changes in surface temperature than CH4 clathrates.

  15. Martian Polar Vortices: Comparison of Reanalyses

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Waugh, D. W.; Toigo, A. D.; Guzewich, S. D.; Greybush, S. J.; Wilson, R. J.; Montabone, L.

    2016-01-01

    The structure and evolution of the Martian polar vortices is examined using two recently available reanalysis systems: version 1.0 of the Mars Analysis Correction Data Assimilation (MACDA) and a preliminary version of the Ensemble Mars Atmosphere Reanalysis System (EMARS). There is quantitative agreement between the reanalyses in the lower atmosphere, where Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) data are assimilated, but there are differences at higher altitudes reflecting differences in the free-running general circulation model simulations used in the two reanalyses. The reanalyses show similar potential vorticity (PV) structure of the vortices: There is near-uniform small PV equatorward of the core of the westerly jet, steep meridional PV gradients on the polar side of the jet core, and a maximum of PV located off of the pole. In maps of 30 sol mean PV, there is a near-continuous elliptical ring of high PV with roughly constant shape and longitudinal orientation from fall to spring. However, the shape and orientation of the vortex varies on daily time scales, and there is not a continuous ring of PV but rather a series of smaller scale coherent regions of high PV. The PV structure of the Martian polar vortices is, as has been reported before, very different from that of Earth's stratospheric polar vortices, but there are similarities with Earth's tropospheric vortices which also occur at the edge of the Hadley Cell, and have near-uniform small PV equatorward of the jet, and a large increase of PV poleward of the jet due to increased stratification.

  16. Martian polar vortices: Comparison of reanalyses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Waugh, D. W.; Toigo, A. D.; Guzewich, S. D.; Greybush, S. J.; Wilson, R. J.; Montabone, L.

    2016-09-01

    The structure and evolution of the Martian polar vortices is examined using two recently available reanalysis systems: version 1.0 of the Mars Analysis Correction Data Assimilation (MACDA) and a preliminary version of the Ensemble Mars Atmosphere Reanalysis System (EMARS). There is quantitative agreement between the reanalyses in the lower atmosphere, where Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) data are assimilated, but there are differences at higher altitudes reflecting differences in the free-running general circulation model simulations used in the two reanalyses. The reanalyses show similar potential vorticity (PV) structure of the vortices: There is near-uniform small PV equatorward of the core of the westerly jet, steep meridional PV gradients on the polar side of the jet core, and a maximum of PV located off of the pole. In maps of 30 sol mean PV, there is a near-continuous elliptical ring of high PV with roughly constant shape and longitudinal orientation from fall to spring. However, the shape and orientation of the vortex varies on daily time scales, and there is not a continuous ring of PV but rather a series of smaller scale coherent regions of high PV. The PV structure of the Martian polar vortices is, as has been reported before, very different from that of Earth's stratospheric polar vortices, but there are similarities with Earth's tropospheric vortices which also occur at the edge of the Hadley Cell, and have near-uniform small PV equatorward of the jet, and a large increase of PV poleward of the jet due to increased stratification.

  17. Geological Models for the Uppermost Martian Crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spray, J.

    2004-05-01

    Prototype cross-sections through the uppermost 100 m of the Martian crust are attempted for several distinct terrains: (a) young and uncratered (northern lowlands); (b) young and cratered (northern lowlands); (c) older and cratered (southern highlands) and (d) older and uncratered (southern highlands). Polar regions are also considered. The cross-sections are built from four main materials (1) uncemented sediment (i.e., dust and aeolian deposits); (2) cemented sediment (e.g., evaporites, sediments consolidated by diagenesis); (3) igneous rock (e.g., basaltic lavas and related hypabyssal intrusions, impact melt); and (4) megaregolith (i.e., impact-bombarded and impact-mixed material derived from 1-3 above). Megaregolith constitutes the foundation component, given that the entire crust had probably been impact processed by the end of the heavy bombardment period. The cross-sections have been constructed primarily in order to optimize the design of an orbiting synthetic aperture radar (SAR)/Sounder system for Mars. The cross-sections are also intended for use in mission planning (i.e., site selection, rover design and equipment selection). Understanding the composition and structure of the uppermost 100 m of the Martian crust is important for future missions. We need to estimate the likely substructure for landing sites so that we can optimize mission design. This is particularly important for rover-based drilling, ground-penetrating radar technology, sampling for evidence of life, and accessing H2O. Constructing cross-sections is an iterative process, largely based on existing remote sensing data (Mariner, Viking, MGS, Odyssey), combined with analogies with other terrestrial planets, especially Earth and the Moon. In this respect, Mars shows similarities with both the Moon (e.g., in megaregolith development and its preservation) and Earth (e.g., recent volcanism, presence of sedimentary deposits).

  18. Martian north polar cap summer water cycle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brown, Adrian J.; Calvin, Wendy M.; Becerra, Patricio; Byrne, Shane

    2016-10-01

    A key outstanding question in Martian science is "are the polar caps gaining or losing mass and what are the implications for past, current and future climate?" To address this question, we use observations from the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) of the north polar cap during late summer for multiple Martian years, to monitor the summertime water cycle in order to place quantitative limits on the amount of water ice deposited and sublimed in late summer. We establish here for the first time the summer cycle of water ice absorption band signatures on the north polar cap. We show that in a key region in the interior of the north polar cap, the absorption band depths grow until Ls = 120, when they begin to shrink, until they are obscured at the end of summer by the north polar hood. This behavior is transferable over the entire north polar cap, where in late summer regions 'flip' from being net sublimating into net condensation mode. This transition or 'mode flip' happens earlier for regions closer to the pole, and later for regions close to the periphery of the cap. The observations and calculations presented herein estimate that on average a water ice layer ∼70 microns thick is deposited during the Ls = 135-164 period. This is far larger than the results of deposition on the south pole during summer, where an average layer 0.6-6 microns deep has been estimated by Brown et al. (2014) Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 406, 102-109.

  19. 'Headless' Chosen for Attempt to Move a Martian Rock

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    A rock informally named 'Headless,' on the north side of NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander, has been selected for an attempt to slide the rock aside with the lander's robotic arm.

    Moving rocks is not among the many tasks the arm was designed to do, but if the maneuver can be accomplished, scientists on the Phoenix team hope to check whether the depth to a subsurface ice layer is any different underneath the area where the rock now sits.

    Headless is about 19 centimeters (7 inches) long, 10 centimeters (4 inches) wide, extends 2 to 3 centimetes (about 1 inch) above the surface.

    This image, originally posted on Aug. 27, 2008 without the label on Headless, is a mosaic of images taken by the Surface Stereo Imager on Phoenix, showing the workspace reachable with the robotic arm. The camera took the images during the early afternoon of the mission's 90th Martian day, corresponding to overnight Aug. 25 to Aug. 26.

    The shadow of the the camera itself, atop its mast, is just left of the center of the image and roughly a third of a meter (one foot) wide.

    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.

  20. MAVEN/IUVS Apoapse Observations of the Martian FUV Dayglow

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Correira, J.; Evans, J. S.; Stevens, M. H.; Schneider, N. M.; Stewart, I. F.; Deighan, J.; Jain, S.; Chaffin, M.; Crismani, M. M. J.; McClintock, B.; Holsclaw, G.; Lefèvre, F.; Lo, D.; Stiepen, A.; Clarke, J. T.; Mahaffy, P. R.; Bougher, S. W.; Bell, J. M.; Jakosky, B. M.

    2015-12-01

    We present FUV data (115 - 190 nm) from MAVEN/IUVS apoapse mode observations for the Oct 2014 through Feb 2015 time period. During apoapse mode the highly elliptical orbit of MAVEN allows for up to four apoapse disk images by IUVS per day. Maps of FUV feature intensities and intensity ratios as well as derived CO/CO2 and O/CO2 column density ratios will be shown. Column density ratios are derived from lookup tables created using the Atmospheric Ultraviolet Radiance Integrated Code [Strickland et al., 1999] in conjunction with observed intensity ratios. Column density ratios provide a measure of composition changes in the Martian atmosphere. Due to MAVEN's orbital geometry the observations from this time period focus on the southern hemisphere. The broad view provided by apoapse observations allows for the investigation of spatial and temporal variations (both long term and local time) of the atmospheric composition (via the column density ratios). IUVS FUV intensities and derived column density ratios will also be compared with model results from Mars Global Ionosphere/Thermosphere Model (MGITM) and the Mars Climate Database (MCD).

  1. Transient Density Enhancements of the Martian Orbiting Dust Torus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Juhasz, A.; Horanyi, M.

    2014-12-01

    The moons Phobos and Deimos have been suggested to be responsible for sustaining a permanently present dust cloud around Mars. The equilibrium size and spatial distribution of this dust torus has been the subject of numerous theoretical studies. However, no observational evidence has been found as of yet. Because of the renewed interest in Phobos and Deimos as potential targets for human precursor mission to Mars, there is a new opportunity for the detection of the putative Martian dust clouds using in situ measurements. Both Phobos and Deimos, as all airless bodies in the solar system, are continually bombarded by interplanetary dust grains, generating secondary ejecta particles. The surface gravity escape of these objects are low, hence most secondary particles escapethem, but remain in orbit about Mars. Subsequent perturbations by solar radiation pressure, electromagnetic forces acting on charged grains, and collisions with the moons or Mars itself limit the lifetime of the produced particles. The size dependent production rates and lifetimes set the most abundant particle size range of 10 - 30 micron in radius. Large, but short-lived, dust density enhancements can be predicted during periods of meteor showers. Also, comet Siding Spring will flyby Mars in October, 2014. Its dust tail can 'sand-blast' both Phobos and Deimos, dramatically increasing their dust production for a few hours. We present the results of our numerical studies on the temporal and spatial evolution of the dust clouds raised during highly enhanced production rates that last only hours-to-days.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

  3. Possible Meteorites in the Martian Hills (False Color)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2006-01-01

    From its winter outpost at 'Low Ridge' inside Gusev Crater, NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit took this spectacular, color mosaic of hilly, sandy terrain and two potential iron meteorites. The two light-colored, smooth rocks about two-thirds of the way up from the bottom of the frame have been labeled 'Zhong Shan' and 'Allan Hills.'

    The two rocks' informal names are in keeping with the rover science team's campaign to nickname rocks and soils in the area after locations in Antarctica. Zhong Shang is an Antarctic base that the People's Republic of China opened on Feb. 26, 1989, at the Larsemann Hills in Prydz Bay in East Antarctica. Allan Hills is a location where researchers have found many Martian meteorites, including the controversial ALH84001, which achieved fame in 1996 when NASA scientists suggested that it might contain evidence for fossilized extraterrestrial life. Zhong Shan was the given name of Dr. Sun Yat-sen (1866-1925), known as the 'Father of Modern China.' Born to a peasant family in Guangdong, Sun moved to live with his brother in Honolulu at age 13 and later became a medical doctor. He led a series of uprisings against the Qing dynasty that began in 1894 and eventually succeeded in 1911. Sun served as the first provisional president when the Republic of China was founded in 1912.

    The Zhong Shan and Allan Hills rocks, at the left and right, respectively, have unusual morphologies and miniature thermal emission spectrometer signatures that resemble those of a rock known as 'Heat Shield' at the Meridiani site explored by Spirit's twin, Opportunity. Opportunity's analyses revealed Heat Shield to be an iron meteorite.

    Spirit acquired this false-color image on the rover's 872nd Martian day, or sol (June 16, 2006), using exposures taken through three of the panoramic camera's filters, centered on wavelengths of 750 nanometers, 530 nanometers, and 430 nanometers. The image is presented in false color to emphasize differences among

  4. Martian Weather Analysis and Forecasts from Multiple Spacecraft Observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Houben, H.

    2004-05-01

    There is now a small fleet of spacecraft orbiting Mars with instruments that make observations relevant to the atmosphere. Chief among these is the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Thermal Emission Spectrometer that takes up to 6 nadir infrared spectra every three seconds from a low, circular, polar orbit, with occasional limb scans. The MGS also includes a Horizon Sensor that makes side-looking broadband 15 micrometer measurements, and a Radio Science experiment that determines the atmospheric structure from occasional radio occultations. From a different orbit, at a different time of day, the Mars Odyssey THEMIS instrument makes downward looking broadband 15 micrometer measurements. The Mars Express will add infrared and ultraviolet observations of the atmosphere from a highly elliptical orbit. All of these spacecraft carry cameras that observe ice and dust clouds. While none of the instruments or observing patterns is optimized for atmospheric science, the sum total of the data is more than enough to specify all of the parameters in a low resolution Martian general circulation model. We can therefore make use of data assimilation techniques (like those used in operational weather prediction on Earth) to deduce the full atmospheric state (4-dimensional temperatures, geopotential heights, winds, water vapor, dust, clouds, and surface pressure). The payoff is enormous: retrievals of atmospheric parameters are no longer independent of each other (and underdetermined), but are constrained by physical laws; the data assimilation product is a compact physical state that can reproduce the much more extensive spectral data (to within the observational errors); calibration can be addressed from the internal consistency of the observations of a given instrument; validation (in the absence of ground truth) is performed by detailed comparison of the data from different instruments and different platforms (even when there are no co-incident observations); data quality control

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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

  6. Recent Movements: New Landslides in Less than 1 Martian Year

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    Changes between 1 February 1998 and 18 November 1999

    Crater at 6oS, 184oW on 01 FEB 1998 [figure removed for brevity, see original site]

    3-D Anaglyph View--PIA02380 [figure removed for brevity, see original site]

    What is happening on Mars right now? Pictures that show changes occurring from time to time give some clues as to what processes are shaping the modern martian landscape. Dust devils, dust storms, and polar frosts are all known to cause change sin the surface every martian year. But what about other geologic processes? How 'active' is Mars today? The Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) onboard the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) has been in orbit long enough that it is starting to provide some answers. MGS began orbiting Mars in September 1997. Since that time, it has seen the planet cycle through more than 1 of its 687-Earth-days-long years. The pictures shown here document changes observed by the MOC caused by small landslides.

    The picture at the lower left (above) shows a shallow crater located near Apollinaris Patera at 6oS, 184oW, that was photographed by MOC in February 1998. The walls of this crater exhibit approximately 100 dark streaks running down its slopes. These streaks have formed as small landslides or avalanches and are probably composed of sand and/or silt. The image is illuminated by sunlight from the lower left, and the crater is about 5 kilometers (3 miles) across. The white box shows the location of a section of the crater that was photographed again in mid-November 1999, about 92% of a Martian Year later.

    The top picture shows a comparison of the southeastern crater wall as it appeared on February 1, 1998, and again on November 18, 1999. (Note that the picture has been rotated relative to the context image at lower left). During the time between the two images, three new dark slope streaks formed (arrows, top right). The older streaks are lighter and fainter than these new, dark ones, suggesting that streaks fade with time

  7. Crater Floor Fractures: Probes Into Habitable Martian Environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thomas, R. J.; Hynek, B. M.

    2016-05-01

    Geologic and spectral analysis of martian impact craters reveals the potential for floor-fractures with a aqueous/volcanic genesis to probe into both ancient surface and Hesperian-aged deep habitable environments.

  8. Hematite Mineralized Bacterial Remnants: Implications for Martian Hematite Deposits

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schelble, Rachel T.; Westall, Frances; Allen, Carlton C.; Brearley, Adrian J.

    2001-01-01

    Hematite mineralized bacterial remnants in the Gunflint Formation [early Proterozoic] can be used as an analog for potential microfossils in martian iron deposits. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  9. Evidence for explosive volcanic density currents on certain Martian volcanoes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Reimers, C. E.; Komar, P. D.

    1979-01-01

    The morphologies of certain of the smaller Martian volcanoes are discussed as possible results of explosive volcanic density currents. An examination of newly-photographed flank and caldera features of the Martian volcanoes Ceraunius Tholus, Uranius Tholus, Uranius Patera and Hecates Tholus, including steep slope angles, Krakatoa-type caldera morphologies, erosional features (radial channels and anastamosing gullies) and constructional features (blanketed flanks and possible lava deltas) reveals their similarity to terrestrial cones and composite volcanoes such as Barcena Volcano. Crater age data from the surface of Martian domes and shields indicates that such explosive activity occurred more frequently early in Martian geologic history, consistent with the view that the volcanic density currents were base surges rather than nuees ardentes, with the melting of permafrost supplying the water required in base surge generation.

  10. LIBS for Martian Moons eXploration (MMX)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kameda, S.; Horiuchi, M.; Cho, Y.; Ishibashi, K.; Wada, K.; Mikouchi, T.; Nakamura, T.; Sugita, S.

    2016-10-01

    JAXA's Martian Moons Exploration (MMX) is planned to be a sample return mission from Phobos, one of the satellites of Mars. We propose adding a laser-induced breakdown spectrometer (LIBS), which enables to determine the origin of the moons.

  11. 'Bounce' and Martian Meteorite of the Same Mold

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    These two sets of bar graphs compare the elemental compositions of six martian rocks: 'Bounce,' located at Meridiani Planum; EETA79001-B, a martian meteorite found in Antarctica in 1979; a rock found at the Mars Pathfinder landing site; Shergotty, a martian meteorite that landed in India in 1865; 'Adirondack,' located at Gusev Crater; and 'Humphrey,' also located at Gusev Crater. The graph on the left compares magnesium/iron ratios in the rocks, and the graph on the right compares aluminum/calcium ratios. The results illustrate the diversity of rocks on Mars and indicate that Bounce probably shares origins with the martian meterorite EETA79001-B. The Bounce data was taken on sol 68 by the alpha particle X-ray spectrometer on Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity.

  12. Martian Atmospheric Methane Plumes from Meteor Shower Infall: A Hypothesis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-09-01

    Methane plumes in the martian atmosphere were previously reported, but their source remains a mystery. We hypothesize a meteor shower source, as we find a correlation between Mars/cometary orbit encounters and detections of plumes.

  13. Mobility of icy sand packs, with application to Martian permafrost

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Durham, W.B.; Pathare, A.V.; Stern, L.A.; Lenferink, H.J.

    2009-01-01

    [1] The physical state of water on Mars has fundamental ramifications for both climatology and astrobiology. The widespread presence of "softened" Martian landforms (such as impact craters) can be attributed to viscous creep of subsurface ground ice. We present laboratory experiments designed to determine the minimum amount of ice necessary to mobilize topography within Martian permafrost. Our results show that the jammed-to-mobile transition of icy sand packs neither occurs at fixed ice content nor is dependent on temperature or stress, but instead correlates strongly with the maximum dry packing density of the sand component. Viscosity also changes rapidly near the mobility transition. The results suggest a potentially lower minimum volatile inventory for the impact-pulverized megaregolith of Mars. Furthermore, the long-term preservation of partially relaxed craters implies that the ice content of Martian permafrost has remained close to that at the mobility transition throughout Martian history. Copyright 2009 by the American Geophysical Union.

  14. Dune-like dynamic of Martian Aeolian large ripples

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Silvestro, S.; Vaz, D. A.; Yizhaq, H.; Esposito, F.

    2016-08-01

    Martian dunes are sculpted by meter-scale bed forms, which have been interpreted as wind ripples based on orbital data. Because aeolian ripples tend to orient and migrate transversely to the last sand-moving wind, they have been widely used as wind vanes on Earth and Mars. In this report we show that Martian large ripples are dynamically different from Earth's ripples. By remotely monitoring their evolution within the Mars Science Laboratory landing site, we show that these bed forms evolve longitudinally with minimal lateral migration in a time-span of ~ six terrestrial years. Our observations suggest that the large Martian ripples can record more than one wind direction and that in certain cases they are more similar to linear dunes from a dynamic point of view. Consequently, the assumption of the transverse nature of the large Martian ripples must be used with caution when using these features to derive wind directions.

  15. Amino Acids in the Antarctic Martian Meteorite MIL03346

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Glavin, D. P.; Aubrey, A.; Dworkin, J. P.; Botta, O.; Bada, J. L.

    2005-01-01

    The report by McKay et al. that the Martian meteorite ALH84001 contains evidence for life on Mars remains controversial. Of central importance is whether ALH84001 and other Antarctic Martian meteorites contain endogenous organic compounds. In any investigation of organic compounds possibly derived from Mars it is important to focus on compounds that play an essential role in biochemistry as we know it and that have properties such as chirality which can be used to distinguish between biotic versus abiotic origins. Amino acids are one of the few compounds that fulfill these requirements. Previous analyses of the Antarctic Martian meteorites ALH84001 and EETA79001 have shown that these meteorites contain low levels of terrestrial amino acid contamination derived from Antarctic ice meltwater. Here we report preliminary amino acid investigations of a third Antarctic Martian meteorite MIL03346 which was discovered in Antarctica during the 2003-04 ANSMET season. Additional information is included in the original extended abstract

  16. Martian stable isotopes: volatile evolution, climate change and exobiological implications.

    PubMed

    Jakosky, B M

    1999-01-01

    Measurements of the ratios of stable isotopes in the martian atmosphere and crust provide fundamental information about the evolution of the martian volatile and climate system. Current best estimates of the isotope ratios indicate that there has been substantial loss of gases to space and exchange of gases between the atmosphere and the crust throughout geologic time; exchange may have occurred through circulation of water in hydrothermal systems. Processes of volatile evolution and exchange will fractionate the isotopes in a manner that complicates the possible interpretation of isotopic data in terms of any fractionation that may have been caused by martian biota, and must be understood first. Key measurements are suggested that will enhance our understanding of the non-biological fractionation of the isotopes and of the evolution of the martian volatile system.

  17. Lunar and Planetary Science XXXV: Martian Meteorites: Petrology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    The session "Martian Meteorites: Petrology: included the following reports:Volatile Behavior in Lunar and Terrestrial Basalts During Shock: Implications for Martian Magmas; Problems with a Low-Pressure Tholeiitic Magmatic History for the Chassigny Dunite; Fast Cooling History of the Chassigny Martian Meteorite; Rehomogenized Interstitial and Inclusion Melts in Lherzolitic Shergottite ALH 77005: Petrologic Significance; Compositional Controls on the Formation of Kaersutite Amphibole in Shergottite Meteorites; Chemical Characteristics of an Olivine-Phyric Shergottite, Yamato 980459; Pb-Hf-Sr-Nd Isotopic Systematics and Age of Nakhlite NWA 998; Noble Gases in Two Samples of EETA 79001 (Lith. A); Experimental Constraints on the Iron Content of the Martian Mantle; and Mars as the Parent Body for the CI Carbonaceous Chondrites: New Data.

  18. Explore and Study a Martian Lava Tube or Cave

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Edberg, S. J.

    2012-06-01

    A rover exploring Martian lava tubes would provide crucial data for geology, exobiology, and human exploration disciplines. It would engage the public and provide valuable data on the history of Mars and on potential sites for human habitats.

  19. Workshop on Evolution of Martian Volatiles. Part 2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jakosky, B. (Editor); Treiman, A. (Editor)

    1996-01-01

    Different aspects of martian science are discussed. Topics covered include: early Mars volatile inventory, evolution through time, geological influences, present atmospheric properties, soils, exobiology, polar volatiles, and seasonal and diurnal cycles

  20. Searching for the Meteoritic Contribution to Martian Soils and Sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clark, B. C.

    2015-07-01

    Martian soils and surface sediments will contain contributions from meteoritic (and IDP) input, with multiple important consequences. Determination of this input must interpret in situ measurements which focus on trace elements and evolved gases.

  1. A Submillimeter Sounder for Measuring Martian Winds and Water

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tamppari, L. K.; Livesey, N. J.; Read, W. G.

    2016-10-01

    We review the scientific need for global vertically resolved observations of martian atmospheric winds, and show that a submillimeter limb sounder can provide such measurements, along with measurements of water vapor and other trace gases.

  2. A System of Systems Approach for Martian Exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Semrud, E. B.; Evans, B. W.; Fredericks, B.; Wells, D.

    2012-06-01

    A system of systems is designed for characterization of the Martian atmosphere and exploration of lava tubes in preparation for human colonization. Multiple expendable deployable sensor packages ensure mission success with a high level of redundancy.

  3. The observed day-to-day variability of Mars water vapor

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jakosky, Bruce M.; Lapointe, Michael R.; Zurek, Richard W.

    1987-01-01

    The diurnal variability of atmospheric water vapor as derived from the Viking MAWD data is discussed. The detection of day to day variability of atmospheric water would be a significant finding since it would place constraints on the nature of surface reservoirs. Unfortunately, the diurnal variability seen by the MAWD experiment is well correlated with the occurrence of dust and/or ice hazes, making it difficult to separate real variations from observational effects. Analysis of the day to day variability of water vapor in the Martian atmosphere suggests that the observations are, at certain locations and seasons, significantly affected by the presence of water-ice hazes. Because such effects are generally limited to specific locations, such as Tharsis, Lunae Planum, and the polar cap edge during the spring, the seasonal and latitudinal trends in water vapor that have been previously reported are not significantly affected.

  4. Standardizing the nomenclature of Martian impact crater ejecta morphologies

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Barlow, Nadine G.; Boyce, Joseph M.; Costard, Francois M.; Craddock, Robert A.; Garvin, James B.; Sakimoto, Susan E.H.; Kuzmin, Ruslan O.; Roddy, David J.; Soderblom, Laurence A.

    2000-01-01

    The Mars Crater Morphology Consortium recommends the use of a standardized nomenclature system when discussing Martian impact crater ejecta morphologies. The system utilizes nongenetic descriptors to identify the various ejecta morphologies seen on Mars. This system is designed to facilitate communication and collaboration between researchers. Crater morphology databases will be archived through the U.S. Geological Survey in Flagstaff, where a comprehensive catalog of Martian crater morphologic information will be maintained.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.; Anand, M.; Moser, D. E.; Delhaye, T.; Shearer, C. K.; Agee, C. B.

    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.

  6. The Spokane flood controversy and the Martian outflow channels

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Baker, V. R.

    1978-01-01

    The controversy over Bretz's hypothesis concerning the cataclysmic Spokane flood is discussed. Attention is directed to similarities between the Channeled Scabland of Washington and some Martian land features considered to be catastrophic flood channels. Characteristics of the enormous plexus of proglacial stream channels eroded into the loess and basalt of the Columbia Plateau in eastern Washington are described. The controversiality of the suggestion that a catastrophic flood is responsible for the Martian features is considered with respect to the Spokane flood controversy.

  7. Martian manned mission: what cosmonauts think about this

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nechaev, A. P.; Polyakov, V. V.; Morukov, B. V.

    2007-02-01

    The experience of cosmonauts who have participated in long-duration space flights has great value for solving problems connected with realization of the Martian manned mission. To study the cosmonauts' opinion in relation to the Martian crew size, professional specialization of crewmembers, duration of their joint training, the possible sources of psychological tension in the flight, etc., a special questionnaire has been developed. The results of the 11 Russian cosmonauts' survey are presented in this article.

  8. Refining Martian Ages and Understanding Geological Processes From Cratering Statistics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hartmann, William K.

    2005-01-01

    Senior Scientist William K. Hartman presents his final report on Mars Data Analysis Program grant number NAG5-12217: The third year of the three-year program was recently completed in mid-2005. The program has been extremely productive in research and data analysis regarding Mars, especially using Mars Global Surveyor and Mars Odyssey imagery. In the 2005 alone, three papers have already been published, to which this work contributed.1) Hartmann, W. K. 200.5. Martian cratering 8. Isochron refinement and the history of Martian geologic activity Icarus 174, 294-320. This paper is a summary of my entire program of establishing Martian chronology through counts of Martian impact craters. 2) Arfstrom, John, and W. K. Hartmann 2005. Martian flow features, moraine-like rieges, and gullies: Terrestrial analogs and interrelationships. Icarus 174,32 1-335. This paper makes pioneering connections between Martian glacier-like features and terrestrial glacial features. 3) Hartmann, W.K., D. Winterhalter, and J. Geiss. 2005 Chronology and Physical Evolution of Planet Mars. In The Solar System and Beyond: Ten Years of ISSI (Bern: International Space Science Institute). This is a summary of work conducted at the International Space Science Institute with an international team, emphasizing our publication of a conference volume about Mars, edited by Hartmann and published in 2001.

  9. Ancient impactor components preserved and reworked in martian regolith breccia Northwest Africa 7034

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goderis, Steven; Brandon, Alan D.; Mayer, Bernhard; Humayun, Munir

    2016-10-01

    Northwest Africa (NWA) 7034 and paired stones represent unique samples of martian polymict regolith breccia. Multiple breccia subsamples characterized in this work confirm highly siderophile element (HSE: Re, Os, Ir, Ru, Pt, Pd) contents that are consistently elevated (e.g., Os ∼9.3-18.4 ppb) above indigenous martian igneous rocks (mostly <5 ppb Os), equivalent to ∼3 wt% of admixed CI-type carbonaceous chondritic material, and occur in broadly chondrite-relative proportions. However, a protracted history of impactor component (metal and sulfide) breakdown and redistribution of the associated HSE has masked the original nature of the admixed meteorite signatures. The present-day 187Os/188Os ratios of 0.119-0.136 record a wider variation than observed for all major chondrite types. Combined with the measured 187Re/188Os ratios of 0.154-0.994, the range in Os isotope ratios indicates redistribution of Re and Os from originally chondritic components early in the history of the regolith commencing at ∼4.4 Ga. Superimposed recent Re mobility reflects exposure and weathering at or near the martian and terrestrial surfaces. Elevated Os concentrations (38.0 and 92.6 ppb Os), superchondritic Os/HSE ratios, and 187Os/188Os of 0.1171 and 0.1197 measured for two subsamples of the breccia suggest the redistribution of impactor material at ∼1.5-1.9 Ga, possibly overlapping with a (partial) resetting event at ∼1.4 Ga recorded by U-Pb isotope systematics in the breccia. Martian alteration of the originally chondritic HSE host phases, to form Os-Ir-rich nuggets and Ni-rich pyrite, implies the influence of potentially impact-driven hydrothermal systems. Multiple generations of impactor component admixture, redistribution, and alteration mark the formation and evolution of the martian regolith clasts and matrix of NWA 7034 and paired meteorites, from the pre-Noachian until impact ejection to Earth.

  10. Identification of Iron-Bearing Phases on the Martian Surface and in Martian Meteorites and Analogue Samples by Moessbauer Spectroscopy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Klingelhoefer, G.; Agresti, D. G.; Schroeder, C.; Rodionov, D.; Yen, A.; Ming, Doug; Morris, Richard V.

    2007-01-01

    The Moessbauer spectrometers on the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) Spirit (Gusev Crater) and Opportunity (Meridiani Planum) have each analyzed more than 100 targets during their ongoing missions (>1050 sols). Here we summarize the Fe-bearing phases identified to date and compare the results to Moessbauer analyses of martian meteorites and lunar samples. We use lunar samples as martian analogues because some, particularly the low-Ti Apollo 15 mare basalts, have bulk chemical compositions that are comparable to basaltic martian meteorites [1,2]. The lunar samples also provide a way to study pigeonite-rich samples. Pigeonite is a pyroxene that is not common in terrestrial basalts, but does often occur on the Moon and is present in basaltic martian meteorites

  11. Rare-Earth minerals in Martian Meteorite NWA 7034/7533: Evidence for Fluid-Rock Interaction in Martian Crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Y.; Ma, C.; Chen, Y.; Beckett, J.; Guan, Y.

    2015-07-01

    Previously, we reported finding of monazite, chevikinite-perrierite and xenotime in the ‘Black Beauty’ meteorite (NWA 7034/7533). Here, we show textural and compositional evidence of these minerals that suggest hydrothermal fluids in martian crust.

  12. Explaining the Birth of the Martian Moons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2016-09-01

    A new study examines the possibility that Marss two moons formed after a large body slammed into Mars, creating a disk of debris. This scenario might be the key to reconciling the moons orbital properties with their compositions.Conflicting EvidenceThe different orbital (left) and spectral (right) characteristics of the Martian moons in the three different formation scenarios. Click for a better look! Phobos and Deimoss orbital characteristics are best matched by formation around Mars (b and c), and their physical characteristics are best matched by formation in the outer region of an impact-generated accretion disk (rightmost panel of c). [Ronnet et al. 2016]How were Marss two moons, Phobos and Deimos, formed? There are three standing theories:Two already-formed, small bodies from the outer main asteroid belt were captured by Mars, intact.The bodies formed simultaneously with Mars, by accretion from the same materials.A large impact on Mars created an accretion disk of material from which the two bodies formed.Our observations of the Martian moons, unfortunately, provide conflicting evidence about which of these scenarios is correct. The physical properties of the moons low albedos, low densities are consistent with those of asteroids in our solar system, and are not consistent with Marss properties, suggesting that the co-accretion scenario is unlikely. On the other hand, the moons orbital properties low inclination, low eccentricity, prograde orbits are consistent with bodies that formed around Mars rather than being captured.In a recent study,a team of scientists led by Thomas Ronnet and Pierre Vernazza (Aix-Marseille University, Laboratory of Astrophysics of Marseille) has attempted to reconcile these conflictingobservations by focusing on the third option.Moons After a Large ImpactIn the thirdscenario, an impactor of perhaps a few percent of Marss mass smashed into Mars, forming a debris disk of hot material that encircled Mars. Perturbations in the disk then

  13. Absolute ages from crater statistics: Using radiometric ages of Martian samples for determining the Martian cratering chronology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Neukum, G.

    1988-01-01

    In the absence of dates derived from rock samples, impact crater frequencies are commonly used to date Martian surface units. All models for absolute dating rely on the lunar cratering chronology and on the validity of its extrapolation to Martian conditions. Starting from somewhat different lunar chronologies, rather different Martian cratering chronologies are found in the literature. Currently favored models are compared. The differences at old ages are significant, the differences at younger ages are considerable and give absolute ages for the same crater frequencies as different as a factor of 3. The total uncertainty could be much higher, though, since the ratio of lunar to Martian cratering rate which is of basic importance in the models is believed to be known no better than within a factor of 2. Thus, it is of crucial importance for understanding the the evolution of Mars and determining the sequence of events to establish an unambiguous Martian cratering chronology from crater statistics in combination with clean radiometric ages of returned Martian samples. For the dating goal, rocks should be as pristine as possible from a geologically simple area with a one-stage emplacement history of the local formation. A minimum of at least one highland site for old ages, two intermediate-aged sites, and one very young site is needed.

  14. The Martian Dust Cycle: Observations and Modeling

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kahre, Melinda A.

    2013-01-01

    The dust cycle is critically important for Mars' current climate system. Suspended atmospheric dust affects the radiative balance of the atmosphere, and thus greatly influences the thermal and dynamical state of the atmosphere. Evidence for the presence of dust in the Martian atmosphere can be traced back to yellow clouds telescopically observed as early as the early 19th century. The Mariner 9 orbiter arrived at Mars in November of 1971 to find a planet completely enshrouded in airborne dust. Since that time, the exchange of dust between the planet's surface and atmosphere and the role of airborne dust on Mars' weather and climate has been studied using observations and numerical models. The goal of this talk is to give an overview of the observations and to discuss the successes and challenges associated with modeling the dust cycle. Dust raising events on Mars range in size from meters to hundreds of kilometers. During some years, regional storms merge to produce hemispheric or planet encircling dust clouds that obscure the surface and raise atmospheric temperatures by tens of kelvin. The interannual variability of planet encircling dust storms is poorly understood. Although the occurrence and season of large regional and global dust storms are highly variable from one year to the next, there are many features of the dust cycle that occur year after year. A low-level dust haze is maintained during northern spring and summer, while elevated levels of atmospheric dust occur during northern autumn and winter. During years without global-scale dust storms, two peaks in total dust loading are generally observed: one peak occurs before northern winter solstice and one peak occurs after northern winter solstice. Numerical modeling studies attempting to interactively simulate the Martian dust cycle with general circulation models (GCMs) include the lifting, transport, and sedimentation of radiatively active dust. Two dust lifting processes are commonly represented in

  15. Studies of the Martian Magnetic Field

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Russell, C. T.

    1998-01-01

    This report covers two awards: the first NAGW-2573 was awarded to enable participation in the Mars 94 mission that slipped to become the Mars 96 mission. Upon the unfortunate failure of Mars 96 to achieve its intended trajectory, the second grant was awarded to closeout the Mars 96 activities. Our initial efforts concentrated on assisting our colleagues: W. Riedler, K. Schwingenschuh, K. Gringanz, M. Verigin and Ye. Yeroshenko with advice on the development of the magnetic field portion of the investigation and to help them with test activities. We also worked with them to properly analyze the Phobos magnetic field and plasma data in order to optimize the return from the Mars 94/96 mission. This activity resulted in 18 papers on Mars scientific topics, and two on the instrumentation. One of these latter two papers was the last of the papers written, and speaks to the value of the closeout award. These 20 papers are listed in the attached bibliography. Because we had previously studied Venus and Titan and since it was becoming evident that the magnetic field was very weak, we compared the various properties of the Martian interaction with those of the analogous interactions at Venus and Titan while other papers simply analyzed the properties of the interaction as Phobos 2 observed them. One very interesting observation was the identification of ions picked up in the solar wind, originating in Mars neutral atmosphere. These had been predicted by our earlier observation of cyclotron waves at the proton gyrofrequency in the region upstream from Mars in the solar wind. Of course, the key question we addressed was that of the intrinsic or induced nature of the Martian magnetic field. We found little evidence for the former and much for the latter point of view. We also discussed the instrumentation planned for the Mars balloon and the instrumentation on the orbiter. In all these studies were very rewarding despite the short span of the Phobos data. Although they did not

  16. Extraction of Oxygen from the Martian Atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    England, C.

    2004-01-01

    A mechanical process was designed for direct extraction of molecular oxygen from the martian atmosphere based on liquefaction of the majority component, CO2, followed by separation of the lower-boiling components. The atmospheric gases are compressed from about 0.007 bar to 13 bar and then cooled to liquefy most of the CO2. The uncondensed gases are further compressed to 30 bar or more, and then cooled again to recover water as ice and to remove much of the remaining CO2. The final gaseous products consisting mostly of nitrogen, oxygen, and carbon monoxide are liquefied and purified by cryogenic distillation. The liquefied CO2 is expanded back to the low-pressure atmosphere with the addition of heat to recover a majority of the compression energy and to produce the needed mechanical work. Energy for the process is needed primarily as heat to drive the CO2-based expansion power system. When properly configured, the extraction process can be a net producer of electricity. The conceptual design, termed 'MARRS' for Mars Atmosphere Resource Recovery System, was based on the NASA/JSC Mars Reference Mission (MRM) requirement for oxygen. This mission requires both liquid oxygen for propellant, and gaseous oxygen as a component of air for the mission crew. With single redundancy both for propellant and crew air, the oxygen requirement for the MRM is estimated at 5.8 kg/hr. The process thermal power needed is about 120 kW, which can be provided at 300-500 C. A lower-cost nuclear reactor made largely of stainless steel could serve as the heat source. The chief development needed for MARRS is an efficient atmospheric compression technology, all other steps being derived from conventional chemical engineering separations. The conceptual design describes an exceptionally low-mass compression system that can be made from ultra-lightweight and deployable structures. This system adapts to the rapidly changing martian environment to supply the atmospheric resource to MARRS at

  17. Northwest Africa 8159: New Type of Martian Meteorite

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Agee, C. B.; Muttik, N.; Ziegler, K. G.; Walton, E. L.; Herd, C. D. K.; McCubbin, F. M.; Santos, A. R.; Simon, J. I.

    2014-12-01

    Up until recently the orthopyroxenite ALH 84001 and basaltic breccia NWA 7034 were the only martian meteorites that did not fit within the common SNC types. However with the discovery of Northwest Africa (NWA) 8159, the diversity is expanded further with a third unique non-SNC meteorite type. The existence of meteorite types beyond the narrow range seen in SNCs is what might be expected from a random cratering sampling of a volcanically long-lived and geologically complex planet such as Mars. NWA 8159, a fine-grained, augite basalt, is a new type of martian meteorite, with SNC-like oxygen isotopes and Fe/Mn values, but having several characteristics that make it distinct from other known martian meteorite types. NWA 8159 is the only martian basalt type known to have augite as the sole pyroxene phase in its mineralogy. NWA 8159 is unique among martian meteorites in that it possesses both crystalline plagioclase and shock amorphized plagioclase, often observed within a single grain, the bracketing of plagioclase amorphization places the estimated peak shock pressures at >15 GPa and <23 GPa. Magnetite in NWA 8159 is exceptionally pure, whereas most martian meteorites contain solid-solution titano-magnetites, and this pure magnetite is a manifestation of the highest oxygen fugacity (fO2) yet observed in a martian meteorite. Although NWA 8159 has the highest fO2 of martian meteorites, it has a pronounced light rare earth (LREE) depletion pattern similar to that of very low fO2 basaltic shergottites such as QUE 94201. Thus NWA 8159 displays a striking exception to well documented correlation between fO2 and LREE patterns in SNC meteorites. Finally, NWA 8159 stands apart from other martian meteorites in that it has an an early Amazonian age that is not represented in the SNCs, ALH 84001, or the NWA 7034 pairing group. NWA 8159 appears to be from an eruptive flow or shallow intrusion that is petrologically distinct from shergottite basalts, and its crystallization age

  18. Identification of Martian Cave Skylights Using the Temperature Change During Day and Night

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jung, Jongil; Yi, Yu; Kim, Eojin

    2014-06-01

    Recently, cave candidates have been discovered on other planets besides the Earth, such as the Moon and Mars. When we go to other planets, caves could be possible human habitats providing natural protection from cosmic threats. In this study, seven cave candidates have been found on Pavonis Mons and Ascraeus Mons in Tharsis Montes on Mars. The cave candidates were selected using the images of the Context Camera (CTX) on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). The Context Camera could provide images with the high resolution of 6 meter per pixel. The diameter of the candidates ranges from 50 to 100m. Cushing et al. (2007) have analyzed the temperature change at daytime and nighttime using the Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) for the sites of potential cave candidates. Similarly, we have examined the temperature change at daytime and at nighttime for seven cave candidates using the method of Cushing et al. (2007). Among those, only one candidate showed a distinct temperature change. However, we cannot verify a cave based on the temperature change only and further study is required for the improvement of this method to identify caves more clearly.

  19. 34 CFR 300.11 - Day; business day; school day.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... 34 Education 2 2014-07-01 2013-07-01 true Day; business day; school day. 300.11 Section 300.11 Education Regulations of the Offices of the Department of Education (Continued) OFFICE OF SPECIAL EDUCATION AND REHABILITATIVE SERVICES, DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION ASSISTANCE TO STATES FOR THE EDUCATION...

  20. 34 CFR 300.11 - Day; business day; school day.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... 34 Education 2 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false Day; business day; school day. 300.11 Section 300.11 Education Regulations of the Offices of the Department of Education (Continued) OFFICE OF SPECIAL EDUCATION AND REHABILITATIVE SERVICES, DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION ASSISTANCE TO STATES FOR THE EDUCATION...

  1. 34 CFR 300.11 - Day; business day; school day.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 34 Education 2 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Day; business day; school day. 300.11 Section 300.11 Education Regulations of the Offices of the Department of Education (Continued) OFFICE OF SPECIAL EDUCATION AND REHABILITATIVE SERVICES, DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION ASSISTANCE TO STATES FOR THE EDUCATION...

  2. Great Kobuk Sand Dunes, Alaska: A Terrestrial Analog Site for Polar, Topographically Confined Martian Dune Fields

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dinwiddie, C. L.; Hooper, D. M.; Michaels, T. I.; McGinnis, R. N.; Stillman, D.; Bjella, K.; Stothoff, S.; Walter, G. R.; Necsoiu, M.; Grimm, R. E.

    2010-12-01

    Martian dune systems belong to two broad categories: (i) the sprawling north polar erg, rich in and immobilized by seasonal and perennial volatiles; and (ii) isolated low- to high-latitude dune fields confined by topography. While modern dune migration on Mars is nearly imperceptibly slow, recent studies are producing robust evidence for aeolian activity, including bedform modification. Cold-climate terrestrial dunes containing volatile reservoirs provide an important analog to Martian polar dunes because permafrost and seasonal cycles of CO2 and H2O frost mantling are thought to partially decouple Martian polar dunes from atmospheric forcing. The 67°N latitude, 62 km2 Great Kobuk Sand Dunes (GKSD) are a terrestrial analog for polar, intercrater dune fields on Mars. Formative winds affected by complex topography and the presence of volatiles and intercalated snow within the GKSD have direct analogy to factors that impede migration of Martian polar dunes. This system offers the opportunity to study cold-climate, noncoastal, topographically constrained, climbing and reversing barchanoid, transverse, longitudinal, and star dunes. The Kobuk Valley climate is subarctic and semiarid with long, cold winters and brief, warm summers. Niveoaeolian sedimentation occurs within west-facing lee slope catchments. In March 2010, we found the seasonally frozen layer to range in thickness from 1.5 to 4.0 m, and no evidence for shallow permafrost. Instead, using GPR and boreholes, we found a system-wide groundwater aquifer that nearly parallels topography and cuts across steeply dipping bedforms. GPR cannot uniquely detect ice and water; however, a similar analysis of rover-based GPR might be used to detect volatiles in Martian dunes. The perennial volatile reservoir is liquid because of mean annual air temperature, intense solar heating before, during, and after 38 days of continuous summer daylight, high dry sand thermal conductivity, higher wet sand thermal conductivity

  3. Martian paleolakes and waterways: Exobiological implications

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Scott, D.H.; Rice, J. W.; Dohm, J.M.

    1991-01-01

    The problems of how warm and wet Mars once was and when climate transitions may have occurred are not well understood. Mars may have had an early environment similar to Earth's that was conductive to the ermergence of life. In addition, increasing geologic evidence indicates that water, upon which terrestrial life depends, has been present on Mars throughout its history. This evidence suggests that life could have developed not only on early Mars but also over longer periods of time in longer lasting, more clement local environments. Indications of past or present life most likely would be found in areas where liquid water existed in sufficient quantities to provide for the needs of biological systems. We suggest that paleolakes may have provided such environments. Unlike the case on Earth, this record of the origin and evolution of life has probably not been erased by extensive deformation of the Martian surface. Our work has identified eleven prospective areas where large lacustrine basins may once have existed. These areas are important for future biological, geological, and climatological investigations. ?? 1991 Kluwer Academic Publishers.

  4. Electric field generation in martian dust devils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barth, Erika L.; Farrell, William M.; Rafkin, Scot C. R.

    2016-04-01

    Terrestrial dust devils are known to generate electric fields from the vertical separation of charged dust particles. The particles present within the dust devils on Mars may also be subject to similar charging processes and so likely contribute to electric field generation there as well. However, to date, no Mars in situ instrumentation has been deployed to measure electric field strength. In order to explore the electric environment of dust devils on Mars, the triboelectric dust charging physics from the Macroscopic Triboelectric Simulation (MTS) code has been coupled to the Mars Regional Atmospheric Modeling System (MRAMS). Using this model, we examine how macroscopic electric fields are generated within martian dust disturbances and attempt to quantify the time evolution of the electrodynamical system. Electric fields peak for several minutes within the dust devil simulations. The magnitude of the electric field is a strong function of the size of the particles present, the average charge on the particles and the number of particles lifted. Varying these parameters results in peak electric fields between tens of millivolts per meter and tens of kilovolts per meter.

  5. The Cyclic Nature of Martian Satellites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hesselbrock, Andrew; Minton, David A.

    2016-10-01

    The inward tidal decay of Phobos will cause the satellite to rapidly disrupt into a ring as it reaches the Rigid Roche Limit at ~ 1.6 Mars radii in less than 70 My. This ring will viscously spread to eventually form a new generation of satellites at the Fluid Roche Limit at ~ 3.2 Mars radii. We have constructed a ring-satellite model to show that this is only the latest in a series of satellite-ring cycles that have occurred repeatedly throughout Martian history, beginning with a ring created by a giant impact. During each cycle, ring material is deposited onto Mars, decreasing the mass of the ring-satellite system, such that each cycle produces progressively less massive satellites. We find that at least ~ 5 ring/satellite cycles are needed to produce a Phobos mass satellite in its current orbit. Furthermore, the decay of each ring system would have deposited a significant volume of ring material onto Mars throughout the early Noachian and into the late Amazonian. Some anomalous sedimentary deposits on Mars may be linked to these periodic episodes of ring deposition.

  6. Amazonis and Utopia Planitiae: Martian Lacustrine basins

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

  7. Results from the Martian Radiation Environment Experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zeitlin, C.; Cleghorn, T. F.; Cucinotta, F. A.; Saganti, P.

    2003-12-01

    Ionizing radiation in space presents a potentially serious health hazard to astronauts on long-duration missions outside the geomagnetosphere. As a precursor to possible human exploration, the Martian Radiation Environment Experiment, MARIE, is returning the first detailed radiation data from Mars. MARIE is designed to measure the nearly constant flux of energetic Galactic Cosmic Rays (GCR) and intermittent Solar Particle Events (SPE). Despite considerable uncertainties in the normalization of MARIE data, comparisons to model calculations show good agreement, well within the estimated errors. The radiation dose equivalent on Mars from GCR is predicted to be 0.2 - 0.3 Sieverts/yr. (This is approximately 1000 times higher than the cosmic ray dose received on Earth.) In Mars orbit, over the first 16 months of operation, MARIE data show an annual dose equivalent of 0.4 +- 0.1 Sv/yr. That the measured rate is higher than the calculation is expected, since in orbit there is a contribution from low-energy particles that do not survive transport through the atmosphere. Additionally, SPE during this period have contributed about 0.04 Sv/yr to the average annual dose equivalent, a figure that can vary substantially over the course of the solar cycle. The implications of these data for human exploration will be discussed.

  8. Plasma acceleration in the Martian magnetotail

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Esteban Hernandez, Rosa; Modolo, Ronan; Leblanc, François; Chaufray, Jean-Yves; Curry, Shannon M.; Steckiewicz, Morgane; Connerney, John E. P.; McFadden, James P.; Jakosky, Bruce M.; Brain, David A.; DiBraccio, Gina A.; Romanelli, Norberto; Halekas, Jasper S.; Mitchell, David L.

    2016-04-01

    Since November 2014, the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) spacecraft has been collecting data from Mars's upper atmosphere and induced magnetosphere (Jakosky et al., 2015). Evidences of escaping planetary ions have been reported from earlier missions as Mars-Express (Barabash et al., 2007) and more recently from MAVEN (e.g. Dong et al., 2015, Brain et al., 2015). Our goal is to determine the acceleration mechanism responsible for the energization of planetary ions in the Martian plasma sheet. MAVEN has a full plasma package with a magnetometer and plasma particles instruments, which allow to address the question of plasma particle acceleration. According to Dubinin et al. (2011), the j x B force due to magnetic shear stresses of the draped field lines is expected to play a major role in such energization process. On MAVEN data, we have first identified and characterized current sheet crossings taking place in Mars' magnetotail and then tested the Walén relation to infer the significance of the j x B force in the particle's energization. To characterize the plasma sheet crossing we have worked with MAVEN magnetometer (MAG, Connerney et al., SSR, 2015) and mass spectrometer (STATIC, McFadden et al., SSR, 2015) data, focusing on a particular event. We have performed a minimum variance analysis, on the magnetic field observations which allows to characterize the current sheet. We present results of the Walén test and our conclusions on planetary plasma acceleration in the plasma sheet region.

  9. Compositional variability of the Martian surface

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Adams, John B.; Smith, Milton O.

    1991-01-01

    Spectral reflectance data from Viking Landers and Orbiters and from telescopic observations were analyzed with the objective of isolating compositional information about the Martian surface and assessing compositional variability. Two approaches were used to calibrate the data to reflectance to permit direct comparisons with laboratory reference spectra of well characterized materials. In Viking Lander multispectral images (six spectral bands) most of the spectral variation is caused by changes in lighting geometry within individual scenes, from scene to scene, and over time. Lighting variations are both wavelength independent and wavelength dependent. By calibrating lander image radiance values to reflectance using spectral mixture analysis, the possible range of compositions was assessed with reference to a collection of laboratory samples, also resampled to the lander spectral bands. All spectra from the lander images studied plot (in six-space) within a planar triangle having at the apexes the respective spectra of tan basaltic palagonite, gray basalt, and shale. Within this plane all lander spectra fit as mixtures of these three endmembers. Reference spectra that plot outside of the triangle are unable to account for the spectral variation observed in the images.

  10. Volcanoes and volcanic provinces - Martian western hemisphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Scott, D. H.

    1982-01-01

    The recognition of some Martian landforms as volcanoes is based on their morphology and geologic setting. Other structures, however, may exhibit classic identifying features to a varying or a less degree; these may be only considered provisionally as having a volcanic origin. Regional geologic mapping of the western hemisphere of Mars from Viking images has revealed many more probable volcanoes and volcanotectonic features than were recognized on Mariner 9 pictures. These abundant volcanoes have been assigned to several distinct provinces on the basis of their areal distribution. Although the Olympus-Tharsis region remains as the principle center of volcanism on Mars, four other important provinces are now also recognized: the lowland plains, Tempe Terra plateau, southern highlands (in the Phaethontis and Thaumasia quadrangles), and a probable ignimbrite province, situated along the highland-lowland boundary in Amazonis Planitia. Volcanoes in any one province vary in morphlogy, size, and age, but volcanoes in each province tend to have common characteristics that distinguish that particular group.

  11. Inversion of topography in Martian highland terrains

    SciTech Connect

    De Hon, R.A.

    1985-01-01

    Ring furrows are flat-floored trenches, circulate in plan view, forming rings 7 to 50 km in diameter. Typically, ring furrows, which are 0.5 km deep and 2 to 10 km wide, surround a central, flat-topped, circular mesa or plateau. The central plateau is about the same elevation or lower than the plain outside the ring. Ring furrows are unique features of the dissected martian uplands. Related landforms range from ring furrows with fractured central plateaus to circular mesas without encircling moats. Ring furrows are superposed on many types of materials, but they are most common cratered plateau-type materials that are interpreted as volcanic flow material overlying ancient cratered terrain. The ring shape and size suggest that they are related to craters partially buried by lava flows. Ring furrows were formed by preferential removal of exposed rims of partially buried craters. Evidence of overland flow of water is lacking except within the channels. Ground ice decay and sapping followed by fluvial erosion are responsible for removal of the less resistant rim materials. Thus, differential erosion has caused a reversal of topography in which the originally elevated rim is reduced to negative relief.

  12. Electric Field Generation in Martian Dust Devils

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barth, Erika L.; Farrell, William M.; Rafkin, Scot C. R.

    2015-01-01

    Terrestrial dust devils are known to generate electric fields from the vertical separation of charged dust particles. The particles present within the dust devils on Mars may also be subject to similar charging processes and so likely contribute to electric field generation there as well. However, to date, no Marsin situ instrumentation has been deployed to measure electric field strength. In order to explore the electric environment of dust devils on Mars, the triboelectric dust charging physics from the MacroscopicTriboelectric Simulation (MTS) code has been coupled to the Mars Regional Atmospheric ModelingSystem (MRAMS). Using this model, we examine how macroscopic electric fields are generated within martian dust disturbances and attempt to quantify the time evolution of the electrodynamical system.Electric fields peak for several minutes within the dust devil simulations. The magnitude of the electric field is a strong function of the size of the particles present, the average charge on the particles and the number of particles lifted. Varying these parameters results in peak electric fields between tens of millivolts per meter and tens of kilovolts per meter.

  13. Climatology of the Martian Polar Vortices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McDunn, T. L.; Kass, D. M.; McCleese, D. J.; Kleinboehl, A.; Schofield, J. T.

    2013-12-01

    In the martian atmosphere, as in the terrestrial stratosphere, an intense cyclonic vortex forms over the winter pole. This vortex is known as the polar vortex and its edge is associated with the strong westerly jet that occurs over mid-latitudes during the winter season. The weather on Mars over the mid-to-high winter latitudes is heavily influenced by the polar vortex. However, the size, shape, and position of the vortex are not well characterized. Previous work has shown that the shape of the vortex can be deformed by baroclinic activity. Earlier work has also shown that southern-hemisphere dust activity can push the center of the northern vortex off the pole, resulting in marked deviations in the northern-hemisphere jet stream. It remains unknown how often such deformations in vortex shape and shifts in vortex position occur. Another feature of the vortex that remains poorly characterized is its strength. A strong vortex acts as a barrier against mixing, causing the winter air over the pole to become very cold, while a weak vortex permits mixing and is associated with less-cold polar temperatures. How frequently each of these phases occur and how long they persist remain unanswered questions. Here, we use temperature observations from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Mars Climate Sounder to diagnose the size, shape, position, and strength of the polar vortex. We report the daily and seasonal behavior of both the northern and southern vortices.

  14. Looking out Across the Martian Polar Plains

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Click on the image for the animation

    This movie shows the vast plains of the northern polar region of Mars, as seen by NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander shortly after touching down on the Red Planet. The flat landscape is strewn with tiny pebbles and shows polygonal cracking, a pattern seen widely in Martian high latitudes and also observed in permafrost terrains on Earth. The polygonal cracking is believed to have resulted from seasonal contraction and expansion of surface ice.

    Phoenix touched down on Mars at 4:53 p.m. Pacific Time (7:53 p.m. Eastern Time), May 25, 2008, in an arctic region called Vastitas Borealis, at 68 degrees north latitude, 234 degrees east longitude.

    This is an approximate-color image taken by the spacecraft's Surface Stereo Imager, inferred from two color filters, a violet, 450-nanometer filter and an infrared, 750-nanometer filter.

    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.

  15. Plasma acceleration above martian magnetic anomalies.

    PubMed

    Lundin, R; Winningham, D; Barabash, S; Frahm, R; Holmström, M; Sauvaud, J-A; Fedorov, A; Asamura, K; Coates, A J; Soobiah, Y; Hsieh, K C; Grande, M; Koskinen, H; Kallio, E; Kozyra, J; Woch, J; Fraenz, M; Brain, D; Luhmann, J; McKenna-Lawler, S; Orsini, R S; Brandt, P; Wurz, P

    2006-02-17

    Auroras are caused by accelerated charged particles precipitating along magnetic field lines into a planetary atmosphere, the auroral brightness being roughly proportional to the precipitating particle energy flux. The Analyzer of Space Plasma and Energetic Atoms experiment on the Mars Express spacecraft has made a detailed study of acceleration processes on the nightside of Mars. We observed accelerated electrons and ions in the deep nightside high-altitude region of Mars that map geographically to interface/cleft regions associated with martian crustal magnetization regions. By integrating electron and ion acceleration energy down to the upper atmosphere, we saw energy fluxes in the range of 1 to 50 milliwatts per square meter per second. These conditions are similar to those producing bright discrete auroras above Earth. Discrete auroras at Mars are therefore expected to be associated with plasma acceleration in diverging magnetic flux tubes above crustal magnetization regions, the auroras being distributed geographically in a complex pattern by the many multipole magnetic field lines extending into space.

  16. Magnetic properties of Martian surface material

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hargraves, R. B.

    1984-01-01

    The hypothesis that the magnetic properties of the Martian surface material are due to the production of a magnetic phase in the clay mineral nontronite by transient shock heating is examined. In the course of the investigation a magnetic material is produced with rather unusual properties. Heating from 900 C to 1000 C, of natural samples of nontronite leads first to the production of what appears to be Si doped maghemite gamma (-Fe2O3). Although apparently metastable, the growth of gamma -Fe2O3 at these temprtures is unexpected, and its relative persistence of several hours at 1000 C is most surprising. Continued annealing of this material for longer periods promote the crystallization of alpha Fe2O3 and cristobalite (high temperature polymorph of SiO2). All available data correlate this new magnetic material with the cristobalite hence our naming it magnetic ferri cristobalite. Formation of this magnetic cristobalite, however, may require topotactic growth from a smectite precursor.

  17. Martian seismicity through time from surface faulting

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Golombek, M. P.; Tanaka, Kenneth L.; Banerdt, W. B.; Tralli, D.

    1991-01-01

    An objective of future Mars missions involves emplacing a seismic network on Mars to determine the internal structure of the planet. An argument based on the relative geologic histories of the terrestrial planets suggests that Mars should be seismically more active than the Moon, but less active than the Earth. The seismicity is estimated which is expected on Mars through time from slip on faults visible on the planets surface. These estimates of martian seismicity must be considered a lower limit as only structures produced by shear faulting visible at the surface today are included (i.e., no provision is made for buried structures or non-shear structures); in addition, the estimate does not include seismic events that do not produce surface displacement (e.g., activity associated with hidden faults, deep lithospheric processes or volcanism) or events produced by tidal triggering or meteorite impacts. Calibration of these estimates suggests that Mars may be many times more seismically active than the Moon.

  18. High-Capacity Communications from Martian Distances

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Williams, W. Dan; Collins, Michael; Hodges, Richard; Orr, Richard S.; Sands, O. Scott; Schuchman, Leonard; Vyas, Hemali

    2007-01-01

    High capacity communications from Martian distances, required for the envisioned human exploration and desirable for data-intensive science missions, is challenging. NASA s Deep Space Network currently requires large antennas to close RF telemetry links operating at kilobit-per-second data rates. To accommodate higher rate communications, NASA is considering means to achieve greater effective aperture at its ground stations. This report, focusing on the return link from Mars to Earth, demonstrates that without excessive research and development expenditure, operational Mars-to-Earth RF communications systems can achieve data rates up to 1 Gbps by 2020 using technology that today is at technology readiness level (TRL) 4-5. Advanced technology to achieve the needed increase in spacecraft power and transmit aperture is feasible at an only moderate increase in spacecraft mass and technology risk. In addition, both power-efficient, near-capacity coding and modulation and greater aperture from the DSN array will be required. In accord with these results and conclusions, investment in the following technologies is recommended:(1) lightweight (1 kg/sq m density) spacecraft antenna systems; (2) a Ka-band receive ground array consisting of relatively small (10-15 m) antennas; (3) coding and modulation technology that reduces spacecraft power by at least 3 dB; and (4) efficient generation of kilowatt-level spacecraft RF power.

  19. A Pb isotopic resolution to the Martian meteorite age paradox

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-01-01

    Determining the chronology and quantifying various geochemical reservoirs on planetary bodies is fundamental to understanding planetary accretion, differentiation, and global mass transfer. The Pb isotope compositions of individual minerals in the Martian meteorite Chassigny have been measured by Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (SIMS). These measurements indicate that Chassigny has mixed with a Martian reservoir that evolved with a long-term 238U/204Pb (μ) value ∼ two times higher than those inferred from studies of all other Martian meteorites except 4.428 Ga clasts in NWA7533. Any significant mixing between this and an unradiogenic reservoir produces ambiguous trends in Pb isotope variation diagrams. The trend defined by our new Chassigny data can be used to calculate a crystallization age for Chassigny of 4.526 ± 0.027 Ga (2σ) that is clearly in error as it conflicts with all other isotope systems, which yield a widely accepted age of 1.39 Ga. Similar, trends have also been observed in the Shergottites and have been used to calculate a >4 Ga age or, alternatively, attributed to terrestrial contamination. Our new Chassigny data, however, argue that the radiogenic component is Martian, mixing occurred on the surface of Mars, and is therefore likely present in virtually every Martian meteorite. The presence of this radiogenic reservoir on Mars resolves the paradox between Pb isotope data and all other radiogenic isotope systems in Martian meteorites. Importantly, Chassigny and the Shergottites are likely derived from the northern hemisphere of Mars, while NWA 7533 originated from the Southern hemisphere, implying that the U-rich reservoir, which most likely represents some form of crust, must be widespread. The significant age difference between SNC meteorites and NWA 7533 is also consistent with an absence of tectonic recycling throughout Martian history.

  20. Pulmonary Toxicity Study of Lunar and Martian Dust Simulants Intratracheally Instilled in Mice

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lam, Chiu-Wing; James, John T.; Latch, John A.; Holian, A.; McCluskey, R.

    2000-01-01

    NASA is contemplating sending humans to Mars and the Moon for further exploration. The properties of Hawaiian and Californian volcanic ashes allow them to be used to simulate Martian and lunar dusts, respectively. NASA laboratories use these dust simulants to test performance of hardware destined for Martian or lunar environments. Workers in these test facilities are exposed to low levels of these dusts. The present study was conducted to investigate the toxicity of these dust simulants. Particles of respirable-size ranges of lunar simulant (LS), Martian simulant (MS), TiO2 (negative control) and quartz (positive control) were each intratracheally instilled (saline as vehicle) to groups of 4 mice (C57BL, male, 2-3 month old) at a single treatment of 1 (Hi dose) or 0.1 (Lo dose) mg/mouse. The lungs were harvested at the end of 7 days or 90 days for histopathological examination. Lungs of the LS-Lo groups had no evidence of inflammation, edema or fibrosis. The LS-Hi-7d group had mild to moderate acute inflammation, and neutrophilic and lymphocytic infiltration; the LS-Hi-90d group showed signs of chronic inflammation and some fibrosis. Lungs of the MS-Lo-7d group revealed mild inflammation and neutrophilic and lymphocytic infiltration; the MS-Lo-90d group showed mild fibrosis and particle-laden macrophages (PLM). Lungs of the MS-Hi-7d group demonstrated mild to moderate inflammation and large foci of PLM; the MS-Hi-90d group showed chronic mild to moderate inflammation and fibrosis. To mimic the effects of the oxidative and reactive properties of Martian soil surface, groups of mice were exposed to ozone (3 hour at 0.5 ppm) prior to MS dust instillation. Lung lesions in the MS group were more severe with the pretreatment. The results for the negative and positive controls were consistent with the known pulmonary toxicity of these compounds. The overall severity of toxic insults to the lungs were TiO2

  1. Pulmonary Toxicity of Simulated Lunar and Martian Dusts Intratracheally Instilled into Mice

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lam, Chiu-Wing; James, John; Holian, Andrij; Latch, Judith N.; Balis, John; Muro-Cacho, Carlos; Cowper, Shawn; McCluskey, Richard

    2000-01-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is contemplating sending humans to Mars and to the Moon for further exploration. Equipment designated for these extraterrestrial bases will require testing in simulated Martian or lunar environments. The properties of Hawaiian and San Francisco Mountain volcanic ashes make them suitable to be used in these test environments as Martian and lunar dust simulants, respectively. The present toxicity study was conducted to address NASA's concern about the health risk of dust exposures in the test facilities. In addition, the results obtained on these simulants can be used to design a toxicity study of actual moon dust and Martian dust, which will probably be available in a few years. Respirable portions of lunar soil simulant (LSS) and Martian soil simulant (MSS) were separated from their respective raw materials. These soil simulants, together- with fine titanium dioxide (negative control for fibrogenesis in mice), and crystalline silica (positive control) were each intratracheally instilled in saline to groups of 4 male mice (C57BL/6J, 2-3 months old) at 0.1 mg/mouse (LD) or lmg/mouse (HD). The lungs were harvested 7 or 90 days after the single dust treatment for histopathological examination. Lungs of the LSS-LD groups on either the 7- or 90-day study showed no evidence of inflammation, edema, or fibrosis. Clumps of particles and an increased number of macrophages, visible in the lungs examined after 7 days, were absent after 90 days. The LSS-HD-7d group showed mild to moderate alveolitis with neutrophilic and lymphocytic infiltration, and mild perivascular and peribronchiolar inflammation. The LSS-HD-90d group showed signs of chronic inflammation: septal thickening, mild perivascular and peribronchiolar inflammation, mild alveolitis and some fibrosis. Foci of particle-laden macrophages (PLMs) were still visible. Lungs of the MSS-LD-7d group revealed mild focal intraalveolar inflammation with neutrophilic and

  2. Martian volatiles - Their degassing history and geochemical fate

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fanale, F. P.

    1976-01-01

    Implications of the Ar-40 content of the Martian atmosphere for Martian volatile history are considered. It is assumed that the potassium content of both Mars and earth is similar to that of normal chondrites, that Mars possesses a water content similar to that of normal chondrites, and that earth's water content is equal to or somewhat less than Mars'. A simple earth-analogous Mars degassing model is outlined in which the Martian surface volatile inventory is presumed to be identical to earth's, but scaled to the smaller mass and surface area of Mars. Physical storage of volatiles in the Martian regolith is examined along with the occurrence of volatile-containing mineral phases in the regolith, exospheric escape as a massive volatile sink, and the effect of the time history of degassing on the surface volatile inventory. Implications of earth's degassing history for Mars are assessed, and models describing the overall intensity of Mars degassing are presented. It is concluded that the maximum amounts of water and other volatiles that could be stored in the Martian regolith are marginally compatible with those required by the earth-analogous model, although a lower atmospheric Ar-40 concentration and regolith volatile inventory would be easier to reconcile with observational constraints.

  3. LU-HF Age of Martian Meteorite Larkman Nunatek 06319

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shafer, J. T.; Brandon, A. D.; Lapen, T. J.; Righter, M.; Beard, B.; Peslier, A. H.

    2009-01-01

    Lu-Hf isotopic data were collected on mineral separates and bulk rock powders of LAR 06319, yielding an age of 197+/- 29 Ma. Sm-Nd isotopic data and in-situ LA-ICP-MS data from a thin section of LAR 06319 are currently being collected and will be presented at the 2009 LPSC. These new data for LAR 06319 extend the existing data set for the enriched shergottite group. Martian meteorites represent the only opportunity for ground truth investigation of the geochemistry of Mars [1]. At present, approximately 80 meteorites have been classified as Martian based on young ages and distinctive isotopic signatures [2]. LAR 06319 is a newly discovered (as part of the 2006 ANSMET field season) martian meteorite that represents an important opportunity to further our understanding of the geochemical and petrological constraints on the origin of Martian magmas. Martian meteorites are traditionally categorized into the shergottite, nakhlite, and chassignite groups. The shergottites are further classified into three distinct isotopic groups designated depleted, intermediate, and enriched [3,4] based on the isotope systematics and compositions of their source(s).

  4. Simulating Meteor Shower Observations In The Martian Atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McAuliffe, J. P.; Christou, A. A.

    2005-08-01

    It is known that fast meteoroids entering the martian atmosphere give rise to bright, detectable meteors (Adolfsson et al, Icarus 119, 144, 1996). Although single meteors have already been detected at Mars (Selsis et al., Nature 435, 581, 2005), the characterisation of the martian meteor year will require a large number of detections. Experience at the Earth suggests that data storage and bandwidth resources to conduct such surveys will be substantial, and may be prohibitive. In an attempt to quantify the problem in detail, we have simulated meteor shower detection in the martian and terrestrial atmospheres. For a given shower, we assume a meteoroid stream flux, size distribution and velocity based on current knowledge of Earth streams as well as the proximity of certain comets' orbits to that of Mars. A numerical code is used to simulate meteoroid ablation in a model martian and terrestrial atmosphere. Finally, using the same baseline detector characteristics (limiting magnitude, sky coverage) we generate detection statistics for the two planets. We will present results for different types of showers, including strong annual activity and episodic outbursts from Halley-type and Jupiter family comets. We will show how detection efficiency at Mars compares to the Earth for these showers and discuss optimum strategies for monitoring the martian atmosphere for meteor activity. Astronomy research at Armagh Observatory is funded by the Northern Ireland Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL).

  5. Chemical Models of Salts in the Martian Regolith

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Treiman, A. H.

    1999-01-01

    The martian regolith is rich in ionic salts, which affect its chemical and physical properties, and will affect its resource potential and toxicity. Sulphate, halide, and carbonate salts are expected from theory, chemical analyses, and martian meteorites. A new inference here is that chromate salts may be present and abundant in the regolith. The origin of these salts is not known; they have been ascribed to hydrothermal action, meteoritic contributions, and volcanic aerosols/gases. Low temperature alteration (diagenesis) is a potentially important contributor to regolith salts. Ionic salt minerals in the martian regolith are important tracers of global and local chemical processes on Mars, appear to be important in setting the physical properties (i.e. trafficability) of the martian surface, will likely be important resources for human exploitation, and could possibly present hazards to human health. MECA and other instruments on the MARS 2001 lander are designed to investigate the regolith, so it is appropriate to examine the current knowledge of likely salt mineral in the martian regolith.

  6. Analysis and survival of amino acids in Martian regolith analogs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garry, James R. C.; Loes Ten Kate, Inge; Martins, Zita; Nørnberg, Per; Ehrenfreund, Pascale

    2006-03-01

    We have investigated the native amino acid composition of two analogs of Martian soil, JSC Mars-1 and Salten Skov. A Mars simulation chamber has been built and used to expose samples of these analogs to temperature and lighting conditions similar to those found at low latitudes on the Martian surface. The effects of the simulated conditions have been examined using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Exposure to energetic ultraviolet (UV) light in vacuum appears to cause a modest increase in the concentration of certain amino acids within the materials, which is interpreted as resulting from the degradation of microorganisms. The influence of low temperatures shows that the accretion of condensed water on the soils leads to the destruction of amino acids, supporting the idea that reactive chemical processes involving H2O are at work within the Martian soil. We discuss the influence of UV radiation, low temperatures, and gaseous CO2 on the intrinsic amino acid composition of Martian soil analogs and describe, with the help of a simple model, how these studies fit within the framework of life detection on Mars and the practical tasks of choosing and using Martian regolith analogs in planetary research.

  7. Martian mud volcanism: Terrestrial analogs and implications for formational scenarios

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Skinner, J.A.; Mazzini, A.

    2009-01-01

    The geology of Mars and the stratigraphic characteristics of its uppermost crust (mega-regolith) suggest that some of the pervasively-occurring pitted cones, mounds, and flows may have formed through processes akin to terrestrial mud volcanism. A comparison of terrestrial mud volcanism suggests that equivalent Martian processes likely required discrete sedimentary depocenters, volatile-enriched strata, buried rheological instabilities, and a mechanism of destabilization to initiate subsurface flow. We outline five formational scenarios whereby Martian mud volcanism might have occurred: (A) rapid deposition of sediments, (B) volcano-induced destabilization, (C) tectonic shortening, (D) long-term, load-induced subsidence, and (E) seismic shaking. We describe locations within and around the Martian northern plains that broadly fit the geological context of these scenarios and which contain mud volcano-like landforms. We compare terrestrial and Martian satellite images and examine the geological settings of mud volcano provinces on Earth in order to describe potential target areas for piercement structures on Mars. Our comparisons help to evaluate not only the role of water as a functional component of geological processes on Mars but also how Martian mud volcanoes could provide samples of otherwise inaccessible strata, some of which could contain astrobiological evidence.

  8. Water in Pyroxene and Olivine from Martian Meteorites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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

  9. Liquid Water in the Extremely Shallow Martian Subsurface

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

  10. Capture of Solar Wind He++ by the Martian Exosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chanteur, G. M.; Modolo, R.; Dubinin, E.

    The quantity of helium in the Martian atmosphere can be estimated from its emission line at 58 4nm Krasnopolsky and Gladstone Icarus vol 176 395-407 2005 and references therein Considering the necessary balance between losses through escape to the interplanetary medium and sources Krasnopolsky and coworkers have established that radioactive decay of uranium and thorium provides only one third of the lost helium They argue that the remaining two thirds should be captured from the solar wind This external source of Martian helium was also suggested by Barabash et al JGR 100 A11 21307 1995 Brecht JGR 102 A6 11287 1997 has estimated the deposition of protons into the Martian atmosphere from 3d hybrid simulation of the interaction of Mars with a solar wind made of protons and electrons only From these results Brecht gave an estimate of the deposition of solar helium ions into the Martian atmosphere based on scaling arguments In the recent past we have developed a consistent multi-species 3d hybrid model of the interaction of solar wind protons and alpha particles with the Martian plasma environment taking into account the ionisation of the oxygen and hydrogen neutral coronas of Mars Modolo et al Ann Geophys 23 433 2005 Neutral species are ionised by photons and by electron impacts the two processes are simulated consistently and independently through the specification of ionisation frequencies and cross sections Charge exchange reactions of protons and oxygen ions with hydrogen and oxygen atoms are taken into account

  11. Martian Arctic Dust Devil and Phoenix Meteorology Mast

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    The Surface Stereo Imager on NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander caught this dust devil in action west-southwest of the lander at 11:16 a.m. local Mars time on Sol 104, or the 104th Martian day of the mission, Sept. 9, 2008.

    Dust devils have not been detected in any Phoenix images from earlier in the mission, but at least six were observed in a dozen images taken on Sol 104.

    Dust devils are whirlwinds that often occur when the Sun heats the surface of Mars, or some areas on Earth. The warmed surface heats the layer of atmosphere closest to it, and the warm air rises in a whirling motion, stirring dust up from the surface like a miniature tornado.

    The vertical post near the left edge of this image is the mast of the Meteorological Station on Phoenix. The dust devil visible at the horizon just to the right of the mast is estimated to be 600 to 700 meters (about 2,000 to 2,300 feet) from Phoenix, and 4 to 5 meters (10 to 13 feet) in diameter. It is much smaller than dust devils that have been observed by NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit much closer to the equator. It is closer in size to dust devils seen from orbit in the Phoenix landing region, though still smaller than those.

    The image has been enhanced to make the dust devil easier to see.

    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.

  12. Methane storage capacity of the early martian cryosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  13. UV-Radiation Induced Methane Emission from Murchison - Possible Implications for Methane in the Martian Atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ott, U.; Keppler, F.; Vigano, I.; McLeod, A.; Früchtl, M.; Röckmann, T.

    2012-09-01

    Exposure of the Murchison meteorite to UV radiation releases large quantities of methane. Acting on meteoritic debris on the Martian surface, the process may be of importance for the Martian atmosphere.

  14. Aqueous Alteration and Martian Bulk Chemical Composition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taylor, J.; Boynton, W. V.; McLennan, S. M.

    2009-12-01

    The bulk compositions of the terrestrial planets are fundamentally important in testing models for planetary accretion. This is particularly true for the abundances of volatile elements. In the absence of direct samples of the mantle, we must rely on samples of surface materials obtained from orbit (specifically from the Mars Odyssey Gamma-Ray Spectrometer, GRS), Martian meteorites, and in situ analyses. Use of these databases requires understanding the processes that formed and modified the igneous rocks composing the crust; aqueous processes are particularly important. Halogens are useful elements for understanding Martian bulk composition and surface aqueous alteration. Here, we focus on Cl, which is an incompatible element during partial melting. Cosmochemically, Cl is a moderately volatile element with a condensation temperature of 948 Kelvin, only slightly below that of K (1006 Kelvin), another incompatible lithophile element. Cl is substantially lost during magma degassing at or near the surface, making it difficult to determine its abundances in the interior through analyses of rocks, leading to an underestimate of Cl abundance in bulk silicate Mars. GRS data for Mars between approximately 52 degrees north and south show that K and Cl are uncorrelated. This is not surprising as they fractionate easily by release of Cl-bearing gases from magmas near the surface and during eruptions, by aqueous alteration of surface materials, and by the large solubility of Cl salts in water. A positive correlation of Cl with H supports the role of water in Cl redistribution. In spite of the lack of correlation between K and Cl, the mean Cl/K ratio is roughly chondritic: 1.5 ±0.1 compared to 1.28 in CI chondrites. However, Cl appears to be enriched at least in the uppermost few tens of cm analyzed by the GRS: Cl correlates with both H and S, but a linear fit to the data shows a positive Cl intercept of about 0.3, which suggests a decoupling of Cl from S and H. Adjusting the

  15. Martian Atmospheric and Ionospheric plasma Escape

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  16. Hydrated Minerals in the Martian Southern Highlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wray, James J.; Seelos, F. P.; Murchie, S. L.; Squyres, S. W.

    2008-09-01

    Hydrated minerals including sulfates, phyllosilicates, and hydrated silica have been observed on the surface of Mars by the orbital near-infrared spectrometers OMEGA and CRISM [1,2]. Global maps from OMEGA [3,4] show that km-scale and larger exposures of these minerals are scattered widely throughout the planet's low and mid latitudes, but are relatively rare. Yet CRISM has found hundreds to thousands of Fe/Mg-phyllosilicate exposures in the highlands of Terra Tyrrhena alone [2], suggesting that smaller exposures may be much more common. To search for such exposures, we have surveyed the browse products from all PDS-released CRISM targeted observations (as of July 2008) across a large fraction of the Southern highlands, including the Noachis, Cimmeria, and Sirenum regions. Sulfates are observed in Noachian-aged terrains in each of these regions, including as far South as -63º latitude, suggesting that sulfate formation may have occurred locally or regionally throughout a large fraction of Martian history. Some of our strongest phyllosilicate detections occur adjacent to inferred chloride-bearing deposits [5] in Terra Sirenum. Also in Sirenum, the D 100 km Columbus crater contains light-toned, hydrated sulfate-bearing layers overlying materials that contain both a kaolin group clay and Fe/Mg-smectite clay, in different locations. However, phyllosilicates do not appear predominantly associated with impact craters in the regions surveyed, in contrast with Terra Tyrrhena [2]. We are currently searching for additional hydrated mineral exposures using CRISM multispectral data, providing further detail on their global distribution and identifying local areas of interest for future focused studies. [1] Bibring, J.-P. et al. (2005) Science 307, 1576-1581. [2] Mustard, J. F. et al. (2008) Nature 454, 305-309. [3] Bibring, J.-P. et al. (2006) Science 312, 400-404. [4] Poulet, F. et al. (2007) Mars 7, Abs. #3170. [5] Osterloo M. M. et al. (2008) Science 319, 1651-1654.

  17. Segregated Ice in the Martian Regolith

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zent, A.

    2003-05-01

    The martian high-latitude, volatile-rich mantle deposit, at least locally, contains more ice than can be accounted for in undisturbed pore volume. Excess ice cannot be cold-trapped from the atmosphere; hypotheses for how excess ice might occur include burying surface ice, or post-depositional in situ processing that causes the formation segregated ice. The terrestrial record indicates that segregated ground ice occurs in a limited number of ways: outright melting and flow, or temperature-dependent suction that develops in a porous freezing soil. Implicit in the post-depositional formation of segregated ice is significant H2O mobility, and consequently, the periodic presence of substantial unfrozen water in the mantle deposit. It is possible that the mantle represents the remnants of a dusty snowbank, or frozen body of surface water. Post-depositional processing would be limited to vapor-phase dessication of the upper tens of centimeters. The correspondence between vapor-phase transport models and the observed GRS distribution of ice suggests that vapor phase transport has operated to redistribute H2O in the deposit. Wedge ice would satisfy the GRS observations, but requires relatively saturated conditions to form in the same manner terrestrial wedges form. In unsaturated soils, water responds to potentials resulting from osmotic and interfacial (matric) forces. Only in near-saturated soils are gravitational potentials strong enough to drive flow. Cryosuction is a response to negative pressure potential in wet soils, and is the dominant redistribution mechanism in unsaturated soil. Cryosuction requires unfrozen water, and effective hydraulic conductivity that allows water to be transported to the freezing front. Numerical estimates of the times, locations, and quantities of unfrozen water in the near-surface regolith will be presented. These quantitative estimates will be essential for assessing future hypotheses of mantle development, geochemical weathering, and

  18. Unfrozen Water in the Martian Regolith

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zent, A.

    2003-12-01

    The martian high-latitude, volatile-rich mantle deposit, at least locally, contains more ice than can be accounted for in undisturbed pore volume. Excess ice cannot be cold-trapped from the atmosphere; hypotheses for how excess ice might occur include burying surface ice, or post-depositional in situ processing that causes the formation segregated ice. The terrestrial record indicates that segregated ground ice occurs in a limited number of ways: outright melting and flow, or temperature-dependent suction that develops in a porous freezing soil. Implicit in the post-depositional formation of segregated ice is significant H2O mobility, and consequently, the periodic presence of substantial unfrozen water in the mantle deposit. It is possible that the mantle represents the remnants of a dusty snowbank, or frozen body of surface water. Post-depositional processing would be limited to vapor-phase dessication of the upper tens of centimeters. The correspondence between vapor-phase transport models and the observed GRS distribution of ice suggests that vapor phase transport has operated to redistribute H2O in the deposit. Wedge ice would satisfy the GRS observations, but requires relatively saturated conditions to form in the same manner terrestrial wedges form. In unsaturated soils, water responds to potentials resulting from osmotic and interfacial (matric) forces. Only in near-saturated soils are gravitational potentials strong enough to drive flow. Cryosuction is a response to negative pressure potential in wet soils, and is the dominant redistribution mechanism in unsaturated soil. Cryosuction requires unfrozen water, and effective hydraulic conductivity that allows water to be transported to the freezing front. Accurate orbital tracking through the past few million years of Mars history indicates that substantial unfrozen water might have occurred in many instances, depending upon the meteorologic response to obliquity variations.

  19. Morphogenesis of Antarctic Paleosols: Martian Analogue

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  20. A Bootstrap Approach to Martian Manufacturing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dorais, Gregory A.

    2004-01-01

    In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) is an essential element of any affordable strategy for a sustained human presence on Mars. Ideally, Martian habitats would be extremely massive to allow plenty of room to comfortably live and work, as well as to protect the occupants from the environment. Moreover, transportation and power generation systems would also require significant mass if affordable. For our approach to ISRU, we use the industrialization of the U.S. as a metaphor. The 19th century started with small blacksmith shops and ended with massive steel mills primarily accomplished by blacksmiths increasing their production capacity and product size to create larger shops, which produced small mills, which produced the large steel mills that industrialized the country. Most of the mass of a steel mill is comprised of steel in simple shapes, which are produced and repaired with few pieces of equipment also mostly made of steel in basic shapes. Due to this simplicity, we expect that the 19th century manufacturing growth can be repeated on Mars in the 21st century using robots as the primary labor force. We suggest a "bootstrap" approach to manufacturing on Mars that uses a "seed" manufacturing system that uses regolith to create major structural components and spare parts. The regolith would be melted, foamed, and sintered as needed to fabricate parts using casting and solid freeform fabrication techniques. Complex components, such as electronics, would be brought from Earth and integrated as needed. These parts would be assembled to create additional manufacturing systems, which can be both more capable and higher capacity. These subsequent manufacturing systems could refine vast amounts of raw materials to create large components, as well as assemble equipment, habitats, pressure vessels, cranes, pipelines, railways, trains, power generation stations, and other facilities needed to economically maintain a sustained human presence on Mars.

  1. A lunar/Martian anchor emplacement system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Clinton, Dustin; Holt, Andrew; Jantz, Erik; Kaufman, Teresa; Martin, James; Weber, Reed

    1993-01-01

    On the Moon or Mars, it is necessary to have an anchor, or a stable, fixed point able to support the forces necessary to rescue a stuck vehicle, act as a stake for a tent in a Martian gale, act as a fulcrum in the erection of general construction poles, or support tent-like regolith shields. The anchor emplacement system must be highly autonomous. It must supply the energy and stability for anchor deployment. The goal of the anchor emplacement system project is to design and build a prototype anchor and to design a conceptual anchor emplacement system. Various anchors were tested in a 1.3 cubic meter test bed containing decomposed granite. A simulated lunar soil was created by adjusting the moisture and compaction characteristics of the soil. We conducted tests on emplacement torque, amount of force the anchor could withstand before failure, anchor pull out force at various angles, and soil disturbances caused by placing the anchor. A single helix auger anchor performed best in this test bed based on energy to emplace, and the ultimate holding capacity. The anchor was optimized for ultimate holding capacity, minimum emplacement torque, and minimum soil disturbance in sandy soils yielding the following dimensions: helix diameter (4.45 cm), pitch (1.27 cm), blade thickness (0.15 cm), total length (35.56 cm), shaft diameter (0.78 cm), and a weight of 212.62 g. The experimental results showed that smaller diameter, single-helix augers held more force than larger diameter augers for a given depth. The emplacement system consists of a flywheel and a motor for power, sealed in a protective box supported by four legs. The flywheel system was chosen over a gear system based on its increased reliability in the lunar environment.

  2. Moessbauer Spectroscopy of Martian and Sverrefjell Carbonates

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Agresti, David G.; Morris, Richard V.

    2011-01-01

    Mars, in its putative "warmer, wetter: early history, could have had a CO2 atmosphere much denser than its current value of <10 mbar. The question of where all this early CO2 has gone has long been debated. Now, several instruments on Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Spirit, including its Moessbauer spectrometer MIMOS II, have identified Mg-Fe carbonate in rock outcrops at Comanche Spur in the Columbia Hills of Gusev Crater. With this finding, carbonate cements in volcanic breccia collected on Sverrefjell Volcano on Spitzbergen Island in the Svalbard Archipelago (Norway) during the AMASE project are mineralogical and possible process analogues of the newly discovered martian carbonate. We report further analyses of Mossbauer spectra from Comanche Spur and discuss their relationship to Mossbauer data acquired on Sverrefjell carbonates. The spectra were velocity calibrated with MERView and fit using MERFit. Instead of the "average temperature" Comanche spectrum (data from all temperature windows summed), we refit the Comanche data for QS within each temperature window, modeling as doublets for Fe2+(carbonate), Fe2+(olivine), and Fe3+(npOx). The temperature dependences of QS for the Comanche carbonate and for a low-Ca carbonate from Chocolate Pots in Yellowstone National Park (YNP) are shown; they are the same within error. For Comanche carbonate summed over 210-270 K, (CS, QS) = (1.23, 1.95) mm/s. The value of QS for Sverrefjell carbonate at 295 K, (CS, QS) = (1.25, 1.87) mm/s, is also plotted, and the plot shows that the QS for the Sverrefjell carbonate agrees within error with the Comanche data extrapolated to 295 K. This agreement is additional evidence that the Sverrefjell carbonates are Mossbauer analogues for the Comanche carbonates, and that both carbonates might have precipitated from solutions that became carbonate rich by passing through buried carbonate deposits.

  3. Structural Origins of Martian Pit Chains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wyrick, D.; Ferrill, D. A.; Morris, A. P.; Colton, S. L.; Sims, D. W.

    2003-12-01

    Pit craters are circular to elliptical depressions found in alignments (chains), which in many cases coalesce into linear troughs, and are common on the surface of Mars. Pit craters lack an elevated rim, ejecta deposits, or lava flows that are associated with impact craters or calderas. It is generally agreed that these features are formed by collapse into a subsurface cavity. Hypotheses regarding the formation of pit crater chains require development of a substantial subsurface void to accommodate collapse of the overlying sediments. Suggested mechanisms of formation include: collapsed lava tubes, dike swarms, collapsed magma chamber, karst dissolution, fissuring beneath loose material, and dilational faulting. The research described here is intended to constrain current interpretations of pit crater chain formation by analyzing their distribution and morphology. The western hemisphere of Mars was systematically mapped using Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) images to generate ArcView Geographic Information System (GIS) coverages. All visible pit crater chains were mapped, including their orientations and associations with other structures. We found that pit chains commonly occur in areas that show regional extension or local fissuring. There is a strong correlation between pit chains and fault-bounded grabens. Frequently, there are transitions along strike from (i) visible faulting to (ii) faults and pits to (iii) pits alone. We performed a detailed quantitative analysis of pit crater morphology using MOC narrow angle images, Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) visual images and Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) data. This allowed us to interpret a pattern of pit chain evolution and calculate pit depth, slope, and volume. The information collected in the study was then compared with non-Martian examples of pit chains and physical analog models. We evaluated the various mechanisms for pit chain development based on the data collected and conclude that dilational

  4. Superoxide Radical Lifetime on the Martian Surface

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zent, A. P.; Ichimura, A.; Quinn, R. C.

    2005-08-01

    We have examined the formation and stability of the superoxide radical O2-, which has been hypothesized as a potential Mars oxidant. Rutile (TiO2) was heated to ˜ 400 degrees C under vacuum. The samples were tipped off in ampules under 8-9 torr O2, photolyzed with a Hg lamp for 30 minutes; EPR spectra were immediately obtained at 77K. The signature of O2- was clearly observed in the rutile. The sealed ampules were stored at room temperature for up to 2 weeks without any decrease in the number of spins. The same process, applied to rutile that was not baked out yielded superoxide signals that could not be detected once the photolyzing flux was cut off. To examine the effects of partial dehydration, we carried out the same series of experiments on rutile that was baked out at 200 degrees C. This material showed decay of superoxide spins to zero in less than 10 minutes. This qualitative pattern is also observed in experiments on anatase (Attwood, et al., , 2003). We hypothesize that O2- can be stabilized against reaction with H2O and OH by crystalline surface defects. On hydrated surfaces, O2- must compete for stabilizing sites, and the population is quickly extinguished; in dehydrated samples, it can migrate to stabilizing defects. Once sorbed, the O2- radical is stable in the presence of H2O. OMEGA Mars Express data (Poullet et al, 2005) suggest one to several percent adsorbed H2O across the Martian surface, which will significantly decrease O2- lifetime. One possibility for subsurface stabilization of O2- can be postulated based on EPR spectra of anatase, exposed to H2O2 in our lab in 1996, and which in 2005 shows the signature of O2-. Evidently, H2O2 can convert to stable O2- on some surfaces. This hypothesis might allow subsurface diffusion of H2O2, followed by conversion to O2-.

  5. Rocket dust storms and detached dust layers in the Martian atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spiga, Aymeric; Faure, Julien; Madeleine, Jean-Baptiste; Määttänen, Anni; Forget, François

    2013-04-01

    Airborne dust is the main climatic agent in the Martian environment. Local dust storms play a key role in the dust cycle; yet their life cycle is poorly known. Here we use mesoscale modeling that includes the transport of radiatively active dust to predict the evolution of a local dust storm monitored by OMEGA on board Mars Express. We show that the evolution of this dust storm is governed by deep convective motions. The supply of convective energy is provided by the absorption of incoming sunlight by dust particles, rather than by latent heating as in moist convection on Earth. We propose to use the terminology "rocket dust storm," or conio-cumulonimbus, to describe those storms in which rapid and efficient vertical transport takes place, injecting dust particles at high altitudes in the Martian troposphere (30-50 km). Combined to horizontal transport by large-scale winds, rocket dust storms produce detached layers of dust reminiscent of those observed with Mars Global Surveyor and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Since nighttime sedimentation is less efficient than daytime convective transport, and the detached dust layers can convect during the daytime, these layers can be stable for several days. The peak activity of rocket dust storms is expected in low-latitude regions at clear seasons (late northern winter to late northern summer), which accounts for the high-altitude tropical dust maxima unveiled by Mars Climate Sounder. Dust-driven deep convection has strong implications for the Martian dust cycle, thermal structure, atmospheric dynamics, cloud microphysics, chemistry, and robotic and human exploration.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  7. When Every Day Is Professional Development Day

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tienken, Christopher H.; Stonaker, Lew

    2007-01-01

    In the Monroe Township (New Jersey) Public Schools, teachers' learning occurs daily, not just on one day in October and February. Central office and school-level administrators foster job-embedded teacher growth. Every day is a professional development day in the district, but that has not always been so. How did the district become a system with…

  8. SNC meteorites and their implications for reservoirs of Martian volatiles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jones, J. H.

    1993-01-01

    The SNC meteorites and the measurements of the Viking landers provide our only direct information about the abundance and isotopic composition of Martian volatiles. Indirect measurements include spectroscopic determinations of the D/H ratio of the Martian atmosphere. A personal view of volatile element reservoirs on Mars is presented, largely as inferred from the meteoritic evidence. This view is that the Martian mantle has had several opportunities for dehydration and is most likely dry, although not completely degassed. Consequently, the water contained in SNC meteorites was most likely incorporated during ascent through the crust. Thus, it is possible that water can be decoupled from other volatile/incompatible elements, making the SNC meteorites suspect as indicators of water inventories on Mars.

  9. The apparatus "Photostat-I" for simulating Martian environmental conditions.

    PubMed

    Zaar, E I; Zelikson, V G; Kitaigorodsky, M G; Lozina-Lozinsky, L K; Koshelev, G V; Rybin, M A

    1970-01-01

    One of the main tasks of exobiology is to determine conditions required for life on different planets of our solar system. At present, experimental ecological methods permitting the study of responses of living systems to extreme influences and, in particular, to simulated environmental Martian conditions, are widely used. To study the reaction of Earth organisms, special chambers and mechanisms are used which allow the modelling of conditions different from ours, mainly Martian. Existing devices capable of simulating the Martian environment. Our apparatus "Photostat-I" permits the simulation of pressure and visible light illumination (up to 60,000 lux), the irradiation of biological objectives in UV light (220-400 nm) and the production of a daily temperature cycle typical of Mars with a high degree of accuracy.

  10. The question of a Martian planetary magnetic field

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moehlmann, D.

    1992-08-01

    Magnetic fields of Martian origin are investigated with experimental measurement data, and attention is given to an observed corotating magnetic field. The data include measurements of Phobos-2 dayside bow-shock crossings and Mars-2, -3, and -5 bow-shock subsolar point heights related to Martian longitudes. Also examined are the power spectra of magnetic field components from 89 hrs of continuous measurements at the circular orbit, and maximum entropy estimates are used to derive periodic components. The estimated field strengths and evidence of a magnetic anomaly suggest a solar wind-ionosphere/exosphere interaction similar to that noted for Venus by Reidler et al. (1989). The mechanism is modulated by a global Martian magnetic field and can explain the varying measurements of plasma and magnetic field noted in the experimental data.

  11. Martian meteorite launch: high-speed ejecta from small craters.

    PubMed

    Head, James N; Melosh, H Jay; Ivanov, Boris A

    2002-11-29

    We performed high-resolution computer simulations of impacts into homogeneous and layered martian terrain analogs to try to account for the ages and characteristics of the martian meteorite collection found on Earth. We found that craters as small as approximately 3 kilometers can eject approximately 10(7) decimeter-sized fragments from Mars, which is enough to expect those fragments to appear in the terrestrial collection. This minimum crater diameter is at least four times smaller than previous estimates and depends on the physical composition of the target material. Terrain covered by a weak layer such as an impact-generated regolith requires larger, therefore rarer, impacts to eject meteorites. Because older terrain is more likely to be mantled with such material, we estimate that the martian meteorites will be biased toward younger ages, which is consistent with the meteorite collection.

  12. The effect of solar energetic particles on the Martian ionosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Darwish, Omar Hussain Al; Lillis, Robert; Fillingim, Matthew; Lee, Christina

    2016-10-01

    The precipitation of Solar Energetic Particles (SEP) into the Martian atmosphere causes several effects, one of the most important of which is ionization. However, the importance of this process to the global structure and dynamics for the Martian ionosphere is currently not well understood. The MAVEN spacecraft carries instrumentation which allow us to examine this process. The Neutral Gas and Ion Mass Spectrometer (NGIMS) measures the densities of planetary ions in the Mars ionosphere (O+,CO2+ and O2+). The Solar Energetic Particle (SEP) detector measures the fluxes of energetic protons and electrons. In this project, we examine the degree to which the density of ions in the Martian ionosphere is affected by the precipitation of energetic particles, under conditions of different SEP ion and electron fluxes and at various solar zenith angles. We will present statistical as well as case studies.

  13. Iron Redox Systematics of Shergottites and Martian Magmas

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

  14. A review of volatiles in the Martian interior

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Filiberto, Justin; Baratoux, David; Beaty, David; Breuer, Doris; Farcy, Benjamin J.; Grott, Matthias; Jones, John H.; Kiefer, Walter S.; Mane, Prajkta; McCubbin, Francis M.; Schwenzer, Susanne P.

    2016-11-01

    Multiple observations from missions to Mars have revealed compelling evidence for a volatile-rich Martian crust. A leading theory contends that eruption of basaltic magmas was the ultimate mechanism of transfer of volatiles from the mantle toward the surface after an initial outgassing related to the crystallization of a magma ocean. However, the concentrations of volatile species in ascending magmas and in their mantle source regions are highly uncertain. This work and this special issue of Meteoritics & Planetary Science summarize the key findings of the workshop on Volatiles in the Martian Interior (Nov. 3-4, 2014), the primary open questions related to volatiles in Martian magmas and their source regions, and the suggestions of the community at the workshop to address these open questions.

  15. Curation of US Martian Meteorites Collected in Antarctica

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

  16. Consequences of Giant Impacts on the Martian dynamo

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Monteux, J.; Amit, H.; Arkani-Hamed, J.; Choblet, G.; Langlais, B.; Tobie, G.; Johnson, C. L.; Jellinek, M.

    2015-12-01

    The Martian surface exhibits a strong dichotomy in elevation, crustal thickness and magnetization between the southern and northern hemispheres. A giant impact has been proposed to explain the formation of the Northern Lowlands on Mars. Such an impact probably led to strong and deep mantle heating and merging between the two cores. These processes will have implications on the thermal state and on the magnetic evolution of the planet. We model the effects of such an impact on the Martian magnetic field (1) by characterizing the thermochemical consequences of the sinking of the impactor's core as a single diapir, (2) by imposing a heat flux heterogeneity on the Martian core-mantle boundary (CMB). Our results show that large viscosity contrasts between the impactor's core and the surrounding mantle silicates can reduce the duration of the merging down to 1 kyr. Direct impact heating of Martian core favor thermal stratification of the core and core dynamo cessation. The merging of the impactor's core with the Martian core only delays the re-initiation of the dynamo for a very short time. While the core thermal stratification is likely to be evacuated rapidly, the impact induced thermal anomaly within the mantle is likely to remain stable for a longer timescale above the CMB. This thermal anomaly generates a large scale cooling heterogeneity at the CMB and a magnetic field dichotomy. A polar impactor leads to a north-south hemispheric magnetic dichotomy that is stronger than an east-west dichotomy created by an equatorial impactor. The amplitude of the magnetic dichotomy is mostly controlled by the horizontal Rayleigh number that represents the vigor of the convection driven by the lateral variations of the CMB heat flux. Our results imply that an impactor radius of 1000 km could have recorded the magnetic dichotomy observed in the Martian crustal field only if very rapid post-impact magma cooling took place.

  17. Earth Mars similarity criteria for exploring martian vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Savu, G.

    2006-10-01

    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 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 substantially higher. The most efficient vehicle for the Mars exploration 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.

  18. Earth-Mars similarity criteria for exploring martian vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Savu, G.

    2003-11-01

    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.

  19. Extended Survival of Several Microorganisms and Relevant Amino Acid Biomarkers under Simulated Martian Surface Conditions as a Function of Burial Depth

    SciTech Connect

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

    2011-01-01

    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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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. Germination and growth of wheat in simulated Martian atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schwartzkopf, Steven H.; Mancinelli, Rocco L.

    1991-01-01

    One design for a manned Mars base incorporates a bioregenerative life support system based upon growing higher plants at a low atmospheric pressure in a greenhouse on the Martian surface. To determine the concept's feasibility, the germination and initial growth of wheat (Triticum aestivum) was evaluated at low atmospheric pressures in simulated Martian atmosphere (SMA) and in SMA supplemented with oxygen. Total atmospheric pressures ranged from 10 to 1013 mb. No seeds germinated in pure SMA, regardless of atmospheric pressure. In SMA plus oxygen at 60 mb total pressure, germination and growth occurred but were lower than in the earth atmosphere controls.

  2. Germination and growth of wheat in simulated Martian atmospheres.

    PubMed

    Schwartzkopf, S H; Mancinelli, R L

    1991-01-01

    One design for a manned Mars base incorporates a bioregenerative life support system based upon growing higher plants at a low atmospheric pressure in a greenhouse on the Martian surface. To determine the concept's feasibility, the germination and initial growth of wheat (Triticum aestivum) was evaluated at low atmospheric pressures in simulated Martian atmosphere (SMA) and in SMA supplemented with oxygen. Total atmospheric pressures ranged from 10 to 1013 mb. No seeds germinated in pure SMA, regardless of atmospheric pressure. In SMA plus oxygen at 60 mb total pressure, germination and growth occurred but were lower than in the Earth atmosphere controls.

  3. Formation of Martian Gullies by the Action of Liquid Water Flowing Under Current Martian Environmental Conditions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Heldmann, J. L.; Toon, O. B.; Pollard, W. H.; Mellon, M. T.; Pitlick, J.; McKay, C. P.; Andersen, D. T.

    2005-01-01

    Images from the Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) on the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) spacecraft show geologically young small-scale features resembling terrestrial water-carved gullies. An improved understanding of these features has the potential to reveal important information about the hydrological system on Mars, which is of general interest to the planetary science community as well as the field of astrobiology and the search for life on Mars. The young geologic age of these gullies is often thought to be a paradox because liquid water is unstable at the Martian surface. Current temperatures and pressures are generally below the triple point of water (273 K, 6.1 mbar) so that liquid water will spontaneously boil and/or freeze. We therefore examine the flow of water on Mars to determine what conditions are consistent with the observed features of the gullies.

  4. Biological space experiments for the simulation of Martian conditions: UV radiation and Martian soil analogues.

    PubMed

    Rettberg, P; Rabbow, E; Panitz, C; Horneck, G

    2004-01-01

    The survivability of resistant terrestrial microbes, bacterial spores of Bacillus subtilis, was investigated in the BIOPAN facility of the European Space Agency onboard of Russian Earth-orbiting FOTON satellites (BIOPAN I -III missions). The spores were exposed to different subsets of the extreme environmental parameters in space (vacuum, extraterrestrial solar UV, shielding by protecting materials like artificial meteorites). The results of the three space experiments confirmed the deleterious effects of extraterrestrial solar UV radiation which, in contrast to the UV radiation reaching the surface of the Earth, also contains the very energy-rich, short wavelength UVB and UVC radiation. Thin layers of clay, rock or meteorite material were shown to be only successful in UV-shielding, if they are in direct contact with the spores. On Mars the UV radiation climate is similar to that of the early Earth before the development of a protective ozone layer in the atmosphere by the appearance of the first aerobic photosynthetic bacteria. The interference of Martian soil components and the intense and nearly unfiltered Martian solar UV radiation with spores of B. subtilis will be tested with a new BIOPAN experiment, MARSTOX. Different types of Mars soil analogues will be used to determine on one hand their potential toxicity alone or in combination with solar UV (phototoxicity) and on the other hand their UV protection capability. Two sets of samples will be placed under different cut-off filters used to simulate the UV radiation climate of Mars and Earth. After exposure in space the survival of and mutation induction in the spores will be analyzed at the DLR, together with parallel samples from the corresponding ground control experiment performed in the laboratory. This experiment will provide new insights into the principal limits of life and its adaptation to environmental extremes on Earth or other planets which and will also have implications for the potential for the

  5. Electrostatic fields in a dusty Martian environment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sentman, D. D.

    1991-01-01

    While there have been several studies suggesting the possibility of electrical activity on Mars, to date there have been no measurements to search for evidence of such activity. In the absence of widespread water clouds and convective storm systems similar to those on the Earth and Jupiter, the most likely candidate for the creation of electrostatic charges and fields is triboelectric charging of dust, i.e., the friction between blown dust and the ground, and of dust particles with each other. Terrestrial experience demonstrates that electric fields 5 to 15 kV-m(exp -1) are not uncommon in dust storms and dust devils in desert regions, where the polarity varies according to the chemical composition and grain size. Simple laboratory experiments have demonstrated that modest electrostatic fields of roughly 5,000 V-m(exp -1) may be produced, along with electrical spark discharges and glow discharges, in a simulation of a dusty, turbulent Martian surface environment. While the Viking landers operated for several years with no apparent deleterious effects from electrostatic charging, this may have been at least partly due to good engineering design utilizing pre-1976 electronic circuitry to minimize the possibility of differential charging among the various system components. However, free roaming rovers, astronauts, and airborne probes may conceivably encounter an environment where electrostatic charging is a frequent occurrence, either by way of induction from a static electric field or friction with the dusty surface and atmosphere. This raises the possibility of spark discharges or current surges when subsequent contact is made with other pieces of electrical equipment, and the possibility of damage to modern microelectronic circuitry. Measurements of electrostatic fields on the surface of Mars could therefore be valuable for assessing this danger. Electric field measurements could also be useful for detecting natural discharges that originate in dust storms. This

  6. A comprehensive database of Martian landslides

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

    During a long-term project, we have identified and classified a large number (> 3000) of Martian landslides especially but not exclusively from Valles Marineris. This database provides a more complete basis for a statistical study of landslides on Mars and its relationship with geographical and environmental conditions. Landslides have been mapped according to standard geomorphological criteria, delineating both the landslide scar and accumulation limits, associating each scarp to a deposit, and using the program ArcGis for generation of a complete digital dataset. Multiple accumulations from the same source area or from different sources have been differentiated, where possible, to obtain a more complete dataset and to allow more refined analyses. Each landslide has been classified according to a set of criteria including: type, degree of confinement, possible trigger, elevation with respect to datum, geomorphological features, degree of multiplicity, and so on. The runout, fall height, and volume have been measured for each deposit. In fact, the database is revealing a series of trends that may assist at understanding landform processes on Mars and its past climatic conditions. One of the most interesting aspects of our dataset is the presence of a population of landslides whose particularly long mobility deviates from average behavior. While some landslides have travelled unimpeded on a usually flat area, others have travelled against obstacles or mounds. Therefore, landslides are also studied in relation to i) morphologies created by the landslide itself, ii) presence of mounds, barriers or elevations than have affected the movement of the landslide mass. In some extreme cases, the landslide was capable of travelling for several tens of km along the whole valley and upon reaching the opposite side it travelled upslope for several hundreds of meters, which is indication of high travelling speed. In other cases, the high speed is revealed by dynamic deformations

  7. Looking for Fossil Bacteria in Martian Materials

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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

  8. Pyroxenes in Martian meteorites as petrogenetic indicators

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McKay, Gordon; Le, L.; Mikouchi, T.; Makishima, J.; Schwandt, C.

    2006-01-01

    Pyroxenes in Martian meteorites are important recorders of petrogenetic processes. Understanding the details of pyroxene major and minor element compositional variations can provide important insights into those processes. A combination of careful petrographic analysis of natural samples and experimental crystallization studies can lead to better understanding of the processes that gave rise to these samples on Mars. In addition, experimentally determined major, minor and trace element partition coefficients are important for using natural pyroxenes to estimate the compositions of the melts from which they crystallized and the oxidation conditions that prevailed during crystallization. We will report on minor element (Al, Ti, Cr) zoning in nakhlite pyroxenes and in synthetic pyroxenes that we have grown for the purposes of determining pyroxene/melt partition coefficients for Sr and REE. The natural pyroxenes have patchy Al zoning that, by analogy with our experimental pyroxenes, we interpret as sector zoning. The irregular patchy nature of the zoning is probably the result of the vagaries of growth kinetics and local environment during crystal growth. More slowly cooled nakhlites have the most distinct bimodal zoning, with one mode having Al2O3 around 0.5-0.6 wt%, and the other around 0.9 %. Average Al content increases with increasing cooling rate. This feature is puzzling, since the cumulus pyroxenes were almost certainly present at the time of eruption. Al and Ti are strongly correlated, but Cr is completely decoupled from those elements. The synthetic pyroxenes are distinctly sector zoned in Al and Ti, and the sector-to-sector variation in Al within a single crystal has important effects on trace element partition coefficients. Trivalent REE are strongly correlated with Al, while divalent elements (Sr, Eu+2) show a significantly weaker correlation. For example, as the Al2O3 content varies from 0.3 to 0.6 wt % from one sector to another, D(Gd) increases by

  9. What Lies Below a Martian Ice Cap

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Click on image for larger annotated version

    This image (top) taken by the Shallow Radar instrument on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter reveals the layers of ice, sand and dust that make up the north polar ice cap on Mars. It is the most detailed look to date at the insides of this ice cap. The colored map below the radar picture shows the topography of the corresponding Martian terrain (red and white represent higher ground, and green and yellow lower).

    The radar image reveals four never-before-seen thick layers of ice and dust separated by layers of nearly pure ice. According to scientists, these thick ice-free layers represent approximately one-million-year-long cycles of climate change on Mars caused by variations in the planet's tilted axis and its eccentric orbit around the sun. Adding up the entire stack of ice gives an estimated age for the north polar ice cap of about 4 million years a finding that agrees with previous theoretical estimates. The ice cap is about 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) thick.

    The radar picture also shows that the boundary between the ice layers and the surface of Mars underneath is relatively flat (bottom white line on the right). This implies that the surface of Mars is not sagging, or bending, under the weight of the ice cap and this, in turn, suggests that the planet's lithosphere, a combination of the crust and the strong parts of the upper mantle, is thicker than previously thought.

    A thicker lithosphere on Mars means that temperatures increase more gradually with depth toward the interior. Temperatures warm enough for water to be liquid are therefore deeper than previously thought. Likewise, if liquid water does exist in aquifers below the surface of Mars, and if there are any organisms living in that water, they would have to be located deeper in the planet.

    The topography data are from Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter, which was flown on NASA's Mars Global

  10. Martian surface heat production and crustal heat flow from Mars Odyssey Gamma-Ray spectrometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hahn, B. C.; McLennan, S. M.; Klein, E. C.

    2011-07-01

    Martian thermal state and evolution depend principally on the radiogenic heat-producing element (HPE) distributions in the planet's crust and mantle. The Gamma-Ray Spectrometer (GRS) on the 2001 Mars Odyssey spacecraft has mapped the surface abundances of HPEs across Mars. From these data, we produce the first models of global and regional surface heat production and crustal heat flow. As previous studies have suggested that the crust is a repository for approximately 50% of the radiogenic elements on Mars, these models provide important, directly measurable constraints on Martian heat generation. Our calculations show considerable geographic and temporal variations in crustal heat flow, and demonstrate the existence of anomalous heat flow provinces. We calculate a present day average surface heat production of 4.9 ± 0.3 × 10-11 W · kg-1. We also calculate the average crustal component of heat flow of 6.4 ± 0.4 mW · m-2. The crustal component of radiogenically produced heat flow ranges from <1 mW · m-2 in the Hellas Basin and Utopia Planitia regions to ˜13 mW · m-2 in the Sirenum Fossae region. These heat production and crustal heat flow values from geochemical measurements support previous heat flow estimates produced by different methodologies.

  11. Phoenix Conductivity Probe after Extraction from Martian Soil on Sol 99

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander inserted the four needles of its thermal and conductivity probe into Martian soil during the 98th Martian day, or sol, of the mission and left it in place until Sol 99 (Sept. 4, 2008).

    The Surface Stereo Imager on Phoenix took this image on the morning of Sol 99 after the probe was lifted away from the soil. This imaging served as a check of whether soil had stuck to the needles.

    The thermal and conductivity probe measures how fast heat and electricity move from one needle to an adjacent one through the soil or air between the needles. Conductivity readings can be indicators about water vapor, water ice and liquid water.

    The probe is part of Phoenix's Microscopy, Electrochemistry and Conductivity suite of instruments.

    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.

  12. Constraining a Martian general circulation model with the MAVEN/IUVS observations in the thermosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moeckel, Chris; Medvedev, Alexander; Nakagawa, Hiromu; Evans, Scott; Kuroda, Takeshi; Hartogh, Paul; Yiğit, Erdal; Jain, Sonal; Lo, Daniel; Schneider, Nicholas M.; Jakosky, Bruce

    2016-10-01

    The recent measurements of the number density of atomic oxygen by Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN/ Imaging UltraViolet Spectrograph (MAVEN/IUVS) have been implemented for the first time into a global circulation model to quantify the effect on the Martian thermosphere. The number density has been converted to 1D volume mixing ratio and this profile is compared to the atomic oxygen scenarios based on chemical models. Simulations were performed with the Max Planck Institute Martian General Circulation Model (MPI-MGCM). The simulations closely emulate the conditions at the time of observations. The results are compared to the IUVS-measured CO2 number density and temperature above 130 km to gain knowledge of the processes in the upper atmosphere and further constrain them in MGCMs. The presentation will discuss the role and importance in the thermosphere of the following aspects: (a) impact of the observed atomic oxygen, (b) 27-day solar cycle variations, (c) varying dust load in the lower atmosphere, and (d) gravity waves.

  13. The optical depth sensor (ODS) for column dust opacity measurements and cloud detection on martian atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Toledo, D.; Rannou, P.; Pommereau, J.-P.; Foujols, T.

    2016-08-01

    A lightweight and sophisticated optical depth sensor (ODS) able to measure alternatively scattered flux at zenith and the sum of the direct flux and the scattered flux in blue and red has been developed to work in martian environment. The principal goals of ODS are to perform measurements of the daily mean dust opacity and to retrieve the altitude and optical depth of high altitude clouds at twilight, crucial parameters in the understanding of martian meteorology. The retrieval procedure of dust opacity is based on the use of radiative transfer simulations reproducing observed changes in the solar flux during the day as a function of 4 free parameters: dust opacity in blue and red, and effective radius and effective width of dust size distribution. The detection of clouds is undertaken by looking at the time variation of the color index (CI), defined as the ratio between red and blue ODS channels, at twilight. The retrieval of altitude and optical depth of clouds is carried out using a radiative transfer model in spherical geometry to simulate the CI time variation at twilight. Here the different retrieval procedures to analyze ODS signals, as well as the results obtained in different sensitivity analysis are presented and discussed.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  15. MSL/RAD Measurements of the Neutron Spectrum in Transit to Mars and on the Martian Surface

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, J.; Zeitlin, C. J.; Ehresmann, B.; Wimmer-Schweingruber, R. F.; Hassler, D.; Reitz, G.; Brinza, D. E.; Böttcher, S. I.; Burmeister, S.; Guo, J.; Martin-Garcia, C.; Boehm, E.; Posner, A.; Rafkin, S. C.

    2014-12-01

    The Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD) onboard Mars Science Laboratory's rover Curiosity has measured the energetic charged- and neutral-particle spectra and the radiation dose rate during most of the 253-day 560-million-kilometer cruise to Mars and is now measuring on the Martian surface. An important factor for determining the biological impact of the Martian surface radiation is the specific contribution of neutrons, which possess a high biological effectiveness. In contrast to charged particles, neutrons and gamma rays are generally only measured indirectly, requiring the transfer of kinetic energy from neutral to one or more charged particles. Therefore, the measurement is the result of a complex convolution of the incident particle spectrum with the measurement process. We apply an inversion method to calculate the gamma/neutron spectra from RAD neutral particle measurements. Here we show first measurements of the gamma/neutron spectra during transit and on Mars and compare them to theoretical predictions. Measuring the neutron spectra in transit to Mars and on the Martian surface is an essential step for determining radiation hazard for future human exploration, including shielding designs of potential spacecraft and habitats. The relative contribution of neutrons to the dose equivalent increases considerably with shielding thickness, so our quantitative measurements provide an important baseline to strategies that would mitigate cancer risk.

  16. MSL/RAD Measurements of the Neutron Spectrum in Transit to Mars and on the Martian Surface

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, J.

    2015-12-01

    The Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD) onboard Mars Science Laboratory's rover Curiosity has measured the energetic charged- and neutral-particle spectra and the radiation dose rate during most of the 253-day 560-million-kilometer cruise to Mars and is now measuring on the Martian surface. An important factor for determining the biological impact of the Martian surface radiation is the specific contribution of neutrons, which possess a high biological effectiveness. In contrast to charged particles, neutrons and gamma rays are generally only measured indirectly, requiring the transfer of kinetic energy from neutral to one or more charged particles. Therefore, the measurement is the result of a complex convolution of the incident particle spectrum with the measurement process. We apply an inversion method to calculate the gamma/neutron spectra from RAD neutral particle measurements. Here we show first measurements of the gamma/neutron spectra during transit and on Mars and compare them to theoretical predictions. Measuring the neutron spectra in transit to Mars and on the Martian surface is an essential step for determining radiation hazard for future human exploration, including shielding designs of potential spacecraft and habitats. The relative contribution of neutrons to the dose equivalent increases considerably with shielding thickness, so our quantitative measurements provide an important baseline to strategies that would mitigate cancer risk.

  17. Schoolwide Literacy Days.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Polder, Darlene D.

    2000-01-01

    Describes 10 "literacy day" activities that one California elementary school has used successfully schoolwide, typically one such day per month, to make reading fun and purposeful, while developing a sense of community. Includes: spread-a-quilt day; teacher exchange day; turn off the TV; Dr. Seuss day; community readers; schoolwide…

  18. Li, B - Behavior in Lunar Basalts During Shock and Thermal Metamorphism: Implications for H2O in Martian Magmas

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chaklader, Johny; Shearer, C. K.; Horz, F.

    2005-01-01

    Introduction: The water-content of Martian magmas is a topic of debate among researchers. Some Martian basalts are characterized with melt inclusions of biotite, apatite and amphibole; phases typically associated with hydration reactions on Earth [1-3]. However, the H-content of melt inclusions from these basalts is low, and bulk-rock H2O-contents range from a meager 0.013 to 0.035 wt. % in Shergotty [4]. Nonetheless, researchers note that low present-day water contents do not preclude a once hydrous past [5]. Since light lithophile elements (LLE), such as Li and B, partition into aqueous fluids at T > 350 C, workers proposed that Li-B depletions in pyroxene rims of Nakhlite and Shergottite basalts reflect the loss of several weight percent water from Martian magmas during crystallization [6]. Since similar depletions were observed in pyroxene rims from completely dry lunar basalts, it is likely that alternative mechanisms also contribute to the distribution of elements such as Li and B [7]. Given that many Martian basalts have experienced considerable shock pressures (15-45 GPa), it is possible that shock and subsequent thermal metamorphism may have influenced the volatile element records of these basalts [8]. In order to better understand the distribution of Li and B, we are studying the effects of crystal chemistry, shock pressure, and thermal metamorphism in pyroxenes from lunar basalts. Below, we discuss results from experimentally shocked and thermally metamorphosed Apollo 11, 10017 (A-11) and Apollo 17, 75035 (A-17) basalts.

  19. Samples from Martian craters: Origin of the Martian soil by hydrothermal alteration of impact melt deposits and atmospheric interactions with ejecta during crater formation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Newsom, Horton E.

    1988-01-01

    The origin of the Martian soil is an important question for understanding weathering processes on the Martian surface, and also for understanding the global geochemistry of Mars. Chemical analyses of the soil will provide an opportunity to examine what may be a crustal average, as studies of loess on the Earth have demonstrated. In this regard the origin of the Martian soil is also important for understanding the chemical fractionations that have affected the composition of the soil. Several processes that are likely to contribute to the Martian soil are examined.

  20. Timescales of shock processes in chondritic and martian meteorites.

    PubMed

    Beck, P; Gillet, Ph; El Goresy, A; Mostefaoui, S

    2005-06-23

    The accretion of the terrestrial planets from asteroid collisions and the delivery to the Earth of martian and lunar meteorites has been modelled extensively. Meteorites that have experienced shock waves from such collisions can potentially be used to reveal the accretion process at different stages of evolution within the Solar System. Here we have determined the peak pressure experienced and the duration of impact in a chondrite and a martian meteorite, and have combined the data with impact scaling laws to infer the sizes of the impactors and the associated craters on the meteorite parent bodies. The duration of shock events is inferred from trace element distributions between coexisting high-pressure minerals in the shear melt veins of the meteorites. The shock duration and the associated sizes of the impactor are found to be much greater in the chondrite (approximately 1 s and 5 km, respectively) than in the martian meteorite (approximately 10 ms and 100 m). The latter result compares well with numerical modelling studies of cratering on Mars, and we suggest that martian meteorites with similar, recent ejection ages (10(5) to 10(7) years ago) may have originated from the same few square kilometres on Mars.

  1. Response of microorganisms to a simulated Martian environment.

    PubMed

    Hawrylewicz, E J; Hagen, C A; Ehrlich, R

    1965-01-01

    A study was undertaken to determine whether terrestrial microorganisms can survive in a simulated Martian environment. The ultimate objective is to establish whether earth organisms can contaminate Mars. In addition, any demonstration of survival and growth in a simulated Martian environment will provide information relating to the biology of Mars. In the experimental design, exhaustive consideration was given to the duplication of the known and the theoretical environmental parameters of Mars. These included composition of the soil and the atmosphere, barometric pressure, moisture content, solar radiation, and diurnal temperature extremes. Based upon these considerations, a simulated Martian summer environment was defined and used in the experiments. One group of microorganisms was selected from culture collections on the basis of their known characteristics. The other group was made of microorganisms isolated from soils. The soil samples were obtained from the Antarctic, from New Mexico, and California deserts, and from the Colorado tundra. The studies showed that a number of microorganisms can survive the simulated Martian environment. However, no substantial growth under such conditions could be demonstrated. The ability of microorganisms to form spores as a mechanism for survival will be discussed. Also, experiments utilizing augmented environments to establish minimum environmental conditions which will permit growth will be described.

  2. Terrestrial glacial eskers: Analogs for Martian sinuous ridges

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kargel, Jeffrey S.; Strom, Roger G.

    1991-01-01

    A glacial model was introduced last year for the Argyre region, a concept which is now extended, and which was recently integrated with a Global Hydrologic Model incorporating many other aspects of Martian geology. Despite wide agreement that the Martian ridges strongly resemble glacial eskers, this hypothesis has been presented with great equivocation due to a perceived lack of other glacial landforms. Quite to the contrary, it is shown that the Martian ridges actually do occur in logical ordered sequences with many other types of characteristically glacial appearing landforms. Herein, the esker hypothesis is further supported in isolation from considerations of regional landform assemblages. It is concluded that Martian sinuous ridges are similar in every respect to terrestrial eskers: scale, morphology, planimetric pattern, and associations with other probable glaciogenic landforms. It is found that the esker hypothesis is well supported. Eskers are glaciofluvial structures, and owe their existence to large scale melting of stagnant temporate glaciers. Thus, eskers are indicators of an ameliorating climatic regime after a protracted episode of cold, humid conditions.

  3. Mapping the Iron Oxidation State in Martian Meteorites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Martin, A. M.; Treimann, A. H.; Righter, K.

    2017-01-01

    Several types of Martian igneous meteorites have been identified: clinopyroxenites (nakhlites), basaltic shergottites, peridotitic shergottites, dunites (chassignites) and orthopyroxenites [1,2]. In order to constrain the heterogeneity of the Martian mantle and crust, and their evolution through time, numerous studies have been performed on the iron oxidation state of these meteorites [3,4,5,6,7,8,9]. The calculated fO2 values all lie within the FMQ-5 to FMQ+0.5 range (FMQ representing the Fayalite = Magnetite + Quartz buffer); however, discrepancies appear between the various studies, which are either attributed to the choice of the minerals/melts used, or to the precision of the analytical/calculation method. The redox record in volcanic samples is primarily related to the oxidation state in the mantle source(s). However, it is also influenced by several deep processes: melting, crystallization, magma mixing [10], assimilation and degassing [11]. In addition, the oxidation state in Martian meteorites is potentially affected by several surface processes: assimilation of sediment/ crust during lava flowing at Mars' surface, low temperature micro-crystallization [10], weathering at the surface of Mars and low temperature reequilibration, impact processes (i.e. high pressure phase transitions, mechanical mixing, shock degassing and melting), space weathering, and weathering on Earth (at atmospheric conditions different from Mars). Decoding the redox record of Martian meteorites, therefore, requires large-scale quantitative analysis methods, as well as a perfect understanding of oxidation processes.

  4. Chemical Composition of the Martian Surface: A Sedimentary Perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McLennan, Scott M.

    1999-01-01

    The sedimentary rock record is the primary repository of Earth history over the past four billion years. Major and trace element geochemistry and radiogenic isotopes are routinely used to investigate the sources of sediment (provenance) and the various processes that affect sediments throughout their history (e.g., weathering, sedimentary transport and recycling, diagenesis). The most sophisticated analytical methods that are available have been employed in sedimentary geochemistry and in many cases include grain by grain analyses of mineralogy, chemistry and isotopic characteristics. In turn, this information has been used to address many important issues, such as tectonic associations, environments of deposition, paleoclimates, paleohydrology, and crust/mantle evolution. Photographic, spectroscopic and geochemical results, returned from the surface of Mars over many years and many missions, have increasingly pointed towards a wide variety of sedimentary processes playing a dominant role in shaping the Martian surface. Accordingly, there is great potential for applying the knowledge that has been learned from studying terrestrial sedimentary rocks towards evaluating Martian geological history. Chemical and mineralogical analyses from the Martian surface, especially those from the Viking, Pathfinder, and Mars 2001/2003 missions, coupled with greater understanding of basaltic sedimentation on the Earth should provide the sedimentological framework within which to study the chemistry and mineralogy of returned Martian samples.

  5. Alteration of a Martian Impact Regolith Recorded in NWA 8114

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bridges, J. C.; MacArthur, J. L.; Hicks, L. J.; Burgess, R.; Joy, K.

    2015-07-01

    A TEM, XANES, Ar-Ar study of martian breccia NWA 8114 shows it underwent high T oxidation and breakdown of px to Fe oxide, amorphous silicate and recrystallised px. This together with veining and accretionary rim formation reset the Ar-Ar.

  6. Modeling the development of martian sublimation thermokarst landforms

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dundas, Colin M.; Byrne, Shane; McEwen, Alfred S.

    2015-01-01

    Sublimation-thermokarst landforms result from collapse of the surface when ice is lost from the subsurface. On Mars, scalloped landforms with scales of decameters to kilometers are observed in the mid-latitudes and considered likely thermokarst features. We describe a landscape evolution model that couples diffusive mass movement and subsurface ice loss due to sublimation. Over periods of tens of thousands of Mars years under conditions similar to the present, the model produces scallop-like features similar to those on the Martian surface, starting from much smaller initial disturbances. The model also indicates crater expansion when impacts occur in surfaces underlain by excess ice to some depth, with morphologies similar to observed landforms on the Martian northern plains. In order to produce these landforms by sublimation, substantial quantities of excess ice are required, at least comparable to the vertical extent of the landform, and such ice must remain in adjacent terrain to support the non-deflated surface. We suggest that Martian thermokarst features are consistent with formation by sublimation, without melting, and that significant thicknesses of very clean excess ice (up to many tens of meters, the depth of some scalloped depressions) are locally present in the Martian mid-latitudes. Climate conditions leading to melting at significant depth are not required.

  7. Development of a Charged Particle Detector for Windborne Martian Dust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Calle, C. I.; Mantovani, J. G.; Groop, E. E.; Buehler, M. G.; Buhler, C. R.; Nowicki, A. W.

    2002-01-01

    A prototype of an aerodynamic electrometer to measure the electrostatic properties of Martian atmospheric dust has been constructed. The instrument will enable a more thorough understanding of the potential for electrostatic discharge of different materials on Mars. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  8. Martian Atmospheric Dust Mitigation for ISRU Intakes via Electrostatic Precipitation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Phillips, James R., III; Pollard, Jacob R. S.; Johansen, Michael R.; Mackey, Paul J.; Clements, Sid; Calle, Carlos I.

    2016-01-01

    This document is the presentation to be given at the 2016 American Society of Civil Engineers Earth and Space Conference to examine the concept of using electrostatic precipitation for Martian atmospheric dust mitigation of the intakes of in-situ resource utilization reactors.

  9. Small Martian North Polar Volcanoes: Topographic Implications for Eruptive Styles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sakimoto, S. E. H.; Garvin, J. B.; Bradley, B. A.; Wong, M.; Frawley, J. J.

    2001-01-01

    We characterize and model small volcanoes in the martian mid-latitude and near-polar regions. Regional differences and possible latitude-dependent geometry parameters hint that subsurface volatiles may be significant for polar eruptions. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  11. Strategic Planning for Exploration of the Martian Subsurface

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Beaty, D. W.; Briggs, G.; Clifford, S. M.

    2000-01-01

    Exploration of the upper 2-5 km of the martian crust (i.e. the portion that we can realistically envision physically accessing) is a tantalizing prospect. This may provide our best opportunity to advance the three current objectives of the Mars exploration program: Life, Climate, and Resources, with a common theme of water.

  12. Multifunctional Martian habitat composite material synthesized from in situ resources

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sen, S.; Carranza, S.; Pillay, S.

    2010-09-01

    The two primary requirements for a Martian habitat structure include effective radiation shielding against the Galactic Cosmic Ray (GCR) environment and sufficient structural and thermal integrity. To significantly reduce the cost associated with transportation of such materials and structures from earth, it is imperative that such building materials should be synthesized primarily from Martian in situ resources. This paper illustrates the feasibility of such an approach. Experimental results are discussed to demonstrate the synthesis of polyethylene (PE) from a simulated Martian atmosphere and the fabrication of a composite material using simulated Martian regolith with PE as the binding material. The radiation shielding effectiveness of the proposed composites is analyzed using results from radiation transport codes and exposure of the samples to high-energy beams that serve as a terrestrial proxy for the GCR environment. Mechanical and ballistic impact resistance properties of the proposed composite as a function of composition, processing parameters, and thermal variations are also discussed to evaluate the multifunctionality of such in situ synthesized composite materials.

  13. Bacterial growth in a simulated Martian subsurface environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kronyak, R. E.; Pavlov, A.; House, C. H.

    2013-12-01

    The ability of microorganisms to grow under Martian conditions has implications in both the search for life and habitability of Mars as well as the potential contamination of Mars by landing spacecraft. Factors that inhibit the growth of organisms on Mars include UV radiation, low pressure and temperature, CO2 atmosphere, lack of liquid water, and extreme desiccation. Yet a possible biozone capable of supporting microbial life on Mars exists in the shallow subsurface where there is protection from harsh UV rays. In addition, the presence of widespread subsurface ice, confirmed by the Phoenix Lander, offers a water source as the ice sublimates through the upper soil. Here we will determine the ability of the organism Halomonas desiderata strain SP1 to grow in the simulated Martian subsurface environment. Halomonas was chosen as the bacteria of interest due to its tolerance to extreme environments, including carrying salt concentrations and pH. Experiments were carried out in the Mars Simulation Chamber, where temperatures, pressures, and atmospheric composition can be closely monitored to simulate Martian conditions. A series of stress experiments were conducted to observe Halomonas's ability to withstand exposure to a Mars analog soil, freezing temperatures, anoxic conditions, and low pressures. We have determined that Halomonas is able to survive exposures to low temperatures, pressures, and anoxic conditions. We will report on the survival and growth of Halomonas in the simulated Martian permafrost under low (6-10 mbar) atmospheric pressures.

  14. Martian weather and climate in the 21st century

    SciTech Connect

    Zurek, R.W.

    1990-01-01

    The historical interest in the weather and climate of Mars and current understanding of aspects of the present climate are addressed. Scientific research into the weather and climate of Mars in the next century is examined. The impact of the Martian weather of the 21st century on humans that may then be inhabiting the planet is considered. 8 refs.

  15. Modeling Results on the Seasonal Influence at the Martian Exosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bhattacharyya, Dolon; Clarke, John; Bertaux, Jean-Loup; Chaufray, Jean-Yves; Mayyasi, Majd

    2015-11-01

    Analysis of HST ACS/SBC images of Mars in the far-ultraviolet taken in Oct-Nov 2007 and May-November 2014 indicate seasonal influence as a driving factor of the hydrogen corona, as has been reported earlier. To derive the changes in number density and temperature, the data must be compared to a radiative transfer model to simulate the resonantly scattered optically thick Lyman α emission from the exosphere of Mars. This work presents details on the modeling process used to analyze the data and the corresponding uncertainties. The escape flux is highly dependent on the characteristics of the martian exosphere like the exobase temperature and number density of H atoms as well as the presence or absence of a superthermal population of hydrogen atoms. Detailed studies on the workings of the radiative transfer model indicate degeneracy between temperature and number density values that can fit the data. Therefore it is difficult to accurately determine the characteristics of the martian hydrogen exosphere without independent measurement of at least one of the variables. However, HST observations have the advantage of observing a large portion of the dayside exosphere with intensity profiles extending from altitudes of 700 - 30,000 km giving a better estimate of the best-fit temperature and density values which characterize the martian exosphere under different seasonal conditions. Comparisons of the latitudinal symmetry from the HST images indicate the exosphere to be symmetric beyond 2.5 martian radii due to the broad trajectories of atoms at high altitudes.

  16. Modeling the development of martian sublimation thermokarst landforms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dundas, Colin M.; Byrne, Shane; McEwen, Alfred S.

    2015-12-01

    Sublimation-thermokarst landforms result from collapse of the surface when ice is lost from the subsurface. On Mars, scalloped landforms with scales of decameters to kilometers are observed in the mid-latitudes and considered likely thermokarst features. We describe a landscape evolution model that couples diffusive mass movement and subsurface ice loss due to sublimation. Over periods of tens of thousands of Mars years under conditions similar to the present, the model produces scallop-like features similar to those on the martian surface, starting from much smaller initial disturbances. The model also indicates crater expansion when impacts occur in surfaces underlain by excess ice to some depth, with morphologies similar to observed landforms on the martian northern plains. In order to produce these landforms by sublimation, substantial quantities of excess ice are required, at least comparable to the vertical extent of the landform, and such ice must remain in adjacent terrain to support the non-deflated surface. We suggest that martian thermokarst features are consistent with formation by sublimation, without melting, and that significant thicknesses of very clean excess ice (up to many tens of meters, the depth of some scalloped depressions) are locally present in the martian mid-latitudes. Climate conditions leading to melting at significant depth are not required.

  17. Martian north pole summer temperatures: dirty water ice.

    PubMed

    Kieffer, H H; Chase, S C; Martin, T Z; Miner, E D; Palluconi, F D

    1976-12-11

    Broadband thermal and reflectance observations of the martian north polar region in late summer yield temperatures for the residual polar cap near 205 K with albedos near 43 percent. The residual cap and several outlying smaller deposits are water ice with included dirt; there is no evidence for any permanent carbon dioxide polar cap.

  18. Martian north pole summer temperatures - Dirty water ice

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kieffer, H. H.; Martin, T. Z.; Chase, S. C., Jr.; Miner, E. D.; Palluconi, F. D.

    1976-01-01

    Broadband thermal and reflectance observations of the Martian north polar region in late summer yield temperatures for the residual polar cap near 205 K with albedos near 43 percent. The residual cap and several outlying smaller deposits are water ice with included dirt; there is no evidence for any permanent carbon dioxide polar cap.

  19. Albedo Study of the Depositional Fans Associated with Martian Gullies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Craig, J.; Sears, D. W. G.

    2005-03-01

    This work is a two-part investigation of the albedo of the depositional aprons or fans associated with Martian gully features. Using Adobe Systems Photoshop 5.0 software we analyzed numerous Mars Global Surveyor MOC and Mars Odyssey THEMIS images.

  20. CIRs Observed by MSL/RAD on the Martian Surface

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lohf, Henning; Zeitlin, Cary; Rafkin, Scot; Koehler, Jan; Posner, Arik; Hassler, Donald M.; Heber, Bernd; Ehresmann, Bent; Wimmer-Schweingruber, Robert; Guo, Jingnan; Appel, Jan Kristoffer

    2016-07-01

    Co-rotating Interaction Regions (CIRs) are recurrent Stream Interaction Regions in the solar wind which are stable transient plasma structures lasting several solar rotations. They can modulate Galactic Cosmic Rays (GCRs) and to some extent result in a modulation of GCR induced secondary energetic particles on the Martian surface. The Mars Science Laboratory/ Radiation Assessment Detector (MSL/RAD) has been measuring the Martian Surface Radiation Environment for more than three years and observes this modulation effect. We will show that the effect of CIRs can be measured on the Martian surface with MSL/RAD and this can be used to derive the arrival times of CIRs at Mars. These can provide (limited) solar wind plasma properties in the vicinity of Mars and thus serve as important constraints for modeling atmospheric response to variations in the solar wind. We use multi spacecraft observations of the solar wind and compare them with the heliospheric MHD Model ENLIL to verify that a certain class of dose rate variation we see on the Martian surface is due to CIRs. We use ballistic back-mapping as well as a time-shift algorithm to map the plasma properties measured at individual spacecraft locations and times to Mars. We compare these predictions with those of the CCMC ENLIL heliospheric MHD simulations.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dartnell, L. R.; Desorgher, L.; Ward, J. M.; Coates, A. J.

    2007-02-01

    The surface of Mars, unshielded by thick atmosphere or global magnetic field, is exposed to high levels of cosmic radiation. This ionizing 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. Previous research has attempted to address the question of biomarker persistence by inappropriately using dose profiles weighted specifically for cellular survival. Here, we present modelling results of the unmodified physically absorbed radiation dose as a function of depth through the Martian subsurface. 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 from galactic cosmic rays 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 briefly treat particle deflection by the crustal magnetic fields.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

  3. Slope histogram distribution-based parametrisation of Martian geomorphic features

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balint, Zita; Székely, Balázs; Kovács, Gábor

    2014-05-01

    The application of geomorphometric methods on the large Martian digital topographic datasets paves the way to analyse the Martian areomorphic processes in more detail. One of the numerous methods is the analysis is to analyse local slope distributions. To this implementation a visualization program code was developed that allows to calculate the local slope histograms and to compare them based on Kolmogorov distance criterion. As input data we used the digital elevation models (DTMs) derived from HRSC high-resolution stereo camera image from various Martian regions. The Kolmogorov-criterion based discrimination produces classes of slope histograms that displayed using coloration obtaining an image map. In this image map the distribution can be visualized by their different colours representing the various classes. Our goal is to create a local slope histogram based classification for large Martian areas in order to obtain information about general morphological characteristics of the region. This is a contribution of the TMIS.ascrea project, financed by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG). The present research is partly realized in the frames of TÁMOP 4.2.4.A/2-11-1-2012-0001 high priority "National Excellence Program - Elaborating and Operating an Inland Student and Researcher Personal Support System convergence program" project's scholarship support, using Hungarian state and European Union funds and cofinances from the European Social Fund.

  4. Gamma-ray Emission from the Surface of Martian Satellites as a Function of Elemental Composition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yoshida, Kouhei; Naito, Masayuki; Hasebe, Nobuyuki; Kusano, Hiroki; Nagaoka, Hiroshi; Ishii, Junya; Aoki, Daisuke

    Mars has two satellites, Phobos and Deimos. The Martian satellites have never been explored from the aspect of elemental composition. Their origins are still mysterious. Gamma-ray spectroscopy from the orbit of spacecraft is a powerful method to investigate elemental distribution and abundance of planets with no or thin atmosphere. In this work, gamma-ray emission from the Martian satellites was calculated as a function of elemental composition. Both chondritic and Martian compositions, which represent captured origin and giant impact origin, respectively, were assumed as elemental composition of Martian satellites. The gamma-ray fluxes induced by galactic cosmic rays at their surface were calculated for both of them. It was found that the elemental compositions of Martian satellites are clearly distinguished between chondritic or Martian by the gamma-ray emission rate ratios of Si/Fe and Ca/Fe and enable us to give strong constraint to the idea for the origin of the Martian satellites.

  5. Adult Day Care

    MedlinePlus

    ... Page Resize Text Printer Friendly Online Chat Adult Day Care Adult Day Care Centers are designed to provide care and ... adults who need assistance or supervision during the day. Programs offer relief to family members and caregivers, ...

  6. Numerical simulation of the radiation environment on Martian surface

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, L.

    2015-12-01

    The radiation environment on the Martian surface is significantly different from that on earth. Existing observation and studies reveal that the radiation environment on the Martian surface is highly variable regarding to both short- and long-term time scales. For example, its dose rate presents diurnal and seasonal variations associated with atmospheric pressure changes. Moreover, dose rate is also strongly influenced by the modulation from GCR flux. Numerical simulation and theoretical explanations are required to understand the mechanisms behind these features, and to predict the time variation of radiation environment on the Martian surface if aircraft is supposed to land on it in near future. The high energy galactic cosmic rays (GCRs) which are ubiquitous throughout the solar system are highly penetrating and extremely difficult to shield against beyond the Earth's protective atmosphere and magnetosphere. The goal of this article is to evaluate the long term radiation risk on the Martian surface. Therefore, we need to develop a realistic time-dependent GCR model, which will be integrated with Geant4 transport code subsequently to reproduce the observed variation of surface dose rate associated with the changing heliospheric conditions. In general, the propagation of cosmic rays in the interplanetary medium can be described by a Fokker-Planck equation (or Parker equation). In last decade,we witnessed a fast development of GCR transport models within the heliosphere based on accurate gas-dynamic and MHD backgrounds from global models of the heliosphere. The global MHD simulation produces a more realistic pattern of the 3-D heliospheric structure, as well as the interface between the solar system and the surrounding interstellar space. As a consequence, integrating plasma background obtained from global-dependent 3-D MHD simulation and stochastic Parker transport simulation, we expect to produce an accurate global physical-based GCR modulation model. Combined

  7. Sulfate Brine Stability Under a Simulated Martian Atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chevrier, Vincent; Denson, J.; Sears, D.

    2006-09-01

    Brines have long been suggested to account for possible current liquid water activity on the surface of Mars. Recently obtained spectral data by Mars Express and Mars Exploration Rovers has added additional support to evidence that dates back to the Viking era of the presence of sulfates on the Martian surface. In order to investigate the stability of MgSO4 brines under simulated Martian conditions and elucidate their potential for serving as a possible source of subsurface water a series of evaporative experiments was performed in the Andromeda chamber, a vacuum chamber designed to simulate the martian surface environment. Brine concentrations ranged from 5 to 25 wt% MgSO4. The evaporation rates of the lesser concentrated brines (5-15 wt%) correlated well with the predicted rates for sulfate brines under the exact same conditions based on a modification of the classic Ingersol equation to account for the sulfates affect on the water activity. However the high wt% solutions (20-25 wt%) exhibited a dramatic decrease in evaporation rate. This decrease was greater than what was predicted by simply altering the Ingersol equation to account for the presence of the sulfates. In addition crystallization of the sulfates was observed within these highly concentrated brines. We hypothesize that the crystallization process itself affects the evaporation rate of the brine solutions. These results suggest that highly concentrated brines have a dramatic effect on the stability of water under Martian conditions. This study provides initial evidence that sulphate minerals could conceivably serve as a reservoir of subsurface water on the Martian surface. This program was funded by The W.M. Keck Foundation, NASA, and the University of Arkansas Center for Space and Planetary Sciences.

  8. Constraints on the Composition and Petrogenesis of the Martian Crust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McSween, Harry Y., Jr.; Grove, Timothy L.; Wyatt, Michael B.

    2003-01-01

    Spectral interpretation that silicic rocks are widespread on Mars implies that Earth's differentiated crust is not unique. Evaluation of observations bearing on the composition of the Martian crust (Martian meteorite petrology and a possible crustal assimilant, analysis of Mars Pathfinder rocks, composition of Martian fines, interpretation of spacecraft thermal emission spectra, and inferred crustal densities) indicates that the crust can be either basalt plus andesite or basalt plus weathering products. New calculated chemical compositions for Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) global surface units indicate that surface type 1 has basaltic andesite composition and surface type 2 has the composition of andesite. If these materials represent volcanic rocks, their calc-alkaline compositions on a FeO*/MgO versus silica diagram suggest formation by hydrous melting and fractional crystallization. On Earth, this petrogenesis requires subduction, and it may suggest an early period of plate tectonics on Mars. However, anorogenic production of andesite might have been possible if the primitive Martian mantle was wet. Alternatively, chemical weathering diagrams suggest that surface type 2 materials could have formed by partial weathering of surface type 1 rocks, leading to depletion in soluble cations and mobility of silica. A weathered crust model is consistent with the occurrence of surface type 2 materials as sediments in a depocenter and with the alpha proton X-ray spectrometer (APXS) analysis of excess oxygen suggesting weathering rinds on Pathfinder rocks. If surface type 1 materials are also weathered or mixed with weathered materials, this might eliminate the need for hydrous melting, consistent with a relatively dry Martian mantle without tectonics.

  9. Electrostatic Screen for Transport of Martian and Lunar Regolith

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Immer, C.; Starnes, J.; Michalenko, M.; Calle, C. I.; Mazumder, M. K.

    2006-01-01

    The Martian and Lunar Regolith contain fine particulate including those in the size range from 0.5 to 200 micron [1-2]. Martian dust can be transported and deposited by Aeolian processes, including "Dust Devils". Due to the ultra high vacuum (10e-12 Torr), transport of dust on the Moon is solely a result of collision/ballistic motion. Dust obscuration of solar cells is one of the primary factors limiting the duration of Martian missions, including the Mars Exploration Rovers. Dust contamination in vacuum seals is one of the primarily factors that limited lunar excursions during the Apollo missions. Controlled transportation of dust on Mars and the Moon is important for many reasons, including both contamination mitigation and in situ resource utilization (ISRU). Since both the monopole and dipole electrostatic moments result in non-trivial forces on particles in an electrostatic field, dust particles, whether charged or not, can be transported by electrostatic fields. In the electrostatic screen, alternating waveforms of voltage applied to patterned grids of electrodes will transport dust. The authors will show that the canonical methods for transporting dust via electrostatic screen can be readily applied to transport of Martian and Lunar regolith. Experiments have been performed in ambient, low humidity, Martian, and Lunar conditions. Screen parameters have been examined for application to each regolith, such as grid spacing, trace width, grid voltage, pulse pattern, pulse frequency, and coating type. The authors have also developed an electrostatic screen based on optically transparent conductors that can be placed over solar arrays, windows, visors, lenses, etc.

  10. Spectral characterization of acid weathering products on Martian basaltic glass

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yant, Marcella; Rogers, A. Deanne; Nekvasil, Hanna; Zhao, Yu-Yan Sara; Bristow, Tom

    2016-03-01

    For the first time, direct infrared spectral analyses of glasses with Martian compositions, altered under controlled conditions, are presented in order to assess surface weathering and regolith development on Mars. Basaltic glasses of Irvine and Backstay composition were synthesized and altered using H2SO4-HCl acid solutions (pH 0-4). Scanning electron microscopy/energy dispersive spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, Raman, and infrared spectral measurements were acquired for each reaction product. Infrared spectra were also acquired from previously synthesized and altered glasses with Pathfinder-measured compositions. Acid alteration on particles in the most acidic solutions (pH ≤ 1) yielded sulfate-dominated visible near infrared (VNIR) and thermal infrared (TIR) spectra with some silica influence. Spectral differences between alteration products from each starting material were present, reflecting strong sensitivity to changes in mineral assemblage. In the TIR, alteration features were preserved after reworking and consolidation. In the VNIR, hydrated sulfate features were present along with strong negative spectral slopes. Although such signatures are found in a few isolated locations on Mars with high-resolution spectrometers, much of the Martian surface lacks these characteristics, suggesting the following: acid alteration occurred at pH ≥ 2; small amounts of sulfates were reworked with unaltered material; there is a prevalence of intermediate-to-high silica glass in Martian starting materials (more resistant to acid alteration); primary or added sulfur were lacking; alteration features are obscured by dust; and/or large-scale, pervasive, acid sulfate weathering of the Martian surface did not occur. These results highlight the need to better understand the spectral properties of altered Martian surface material in order to enhance the interpretation of remote spectra for altered terrains.

  11. Martian Mystery: Do Some Materials Flow Uphill?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1999-01-01

    the pancake batter-like material?) and how rapidly it moved, but for now this remains an unexplained martian phenomenon.

    The context image (above, left) was taken by the MOC red wide angle camera at the same time that the MOC narrow angle camera obtained the high resolution view (above, right). Context images such as this provide a simple way to determine the location of each new high resolution view of the planet. Both images are illuminated from the upper left. The high resolution image covers an area 3 km (1.9 mi) across.

    Malin Space Science Systems and the California Institute of Technology built the MOC using spare hardware from the Mars Observer mission. MSSS operates the camera from its facilities in San Diego, CA. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Mars Surveyor Operations Project operates the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft with its industrial partner, Lockheed Martin Astronautics, from facilities in Pasadena, CA and Denver, CO.

  12. The Martian Prime Meridian -- Longitude 'Zero'

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2001-01-01

    , 746A46), and these two images were the basis of the martian longitude system for the rest of the 20th Century.

    The Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) has attempted to take a picture of Airy-0 on every close overflight since the beginning of the MGS mapping mission. It is a measure of the difficulty of hitting such a small target that nine attempts were required, since the spacecraft did not pass directly over Airy-0 until almost the end of the MGS primary mission, on orbit 8280 (January 13, 2001).

    In the left figure above, the outlines of the Mariner 9, Viking, and Mars Global Surveyor images are shown on a MOC wide angle context image, M23-00924. In the right figure, sections of each of the three images showing the crater Airy-0 are presented. A is a piece of the Mariner 9 image, B is from the Viking image, and C is from the MGS image. Airy-0 is the larger crater toward the top-center in each frame.

    The MOC observations of Airy-0 not only provide a detailed geological close-up of this historic reference feature, they will be used to improve our knowledge of the locations of all features on Mars, which will in turn enable more precise landings on the Red Planet by future spacecraft and explorers.

  13. Evaporites in Martian Paleolakes: Observations and Implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wray, J. J.; Milliken, R.; Swayze, G. A.; Ehlmann, B. L.; Dundas, C. M.; Baldridge, A. M.; Andrews-Hanna, J. C.; Murchie, S. L.

    2009-12-01

    Ancient lakes on Mars have long been inferred from morphologic evidence [e.g., 1], and are considered high-priority targets in the search for Martian biomarkers. Minerals precipitated from lake water reflect water chemistry and temperature, as well as the composition of the contemporaneous atmosphere, providing constraints on habitability. However, proposed paleolakes have until recently shown little evidence for evaporite minerals such as carbonates and sulfates. We previously reported CRISM detections of sulfates and phyllosilicates in finely bedded deposits within impact craters in Terra Sirenum [2]. Subsequent mapping reveals that Al-phyllosilicates are found not only within these ~10 craters, but also on the intercrater plains. Sulfates, however, are found only within the craters Columbus (29S, 166W) and Cross (30S, 158W). Cross contains the acid sulfate alunite [3], while Columbus has predominantly polyhydrated Ca and possibly Mg sulfates in a “bathtub ring” around its walls. Thermal infrared data are consistent with ~40% clay and ~16% sulfate abundances in the Columbus ring, suggesting strong alteration, possibly in a lacustrine setting. Since most craters in the region lack major inlet valleys, they may have been filled by groundwater. Indeed, global hydrologic models [4] predict enhanced Noachian/Hesperian groundwater upwelling in this region, and a new regional model predicts the greatest thicknesses of evaporites in Columbus and Cross craters specifically. Therefore, groundwater may have caused regional alteration, before ponding and evaporating in the largest craters to form sulfates. A new CRISM image reveals sulfate in another deep lacustrine setting. A depression within Shalbatana Vallis (3N, 43.3W) has been described as a Hesperian-aged paleolake based on topography and morphology, including inlet channels that feed six fan-shaped deposits interpreted as deltas, the largest of which preserves features inferred to be shorelines [5]. The valley

  14. Durham, North Carolina, Students Study Martian Volcanism

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    This image of the wall of a graben a depressed block of land between two parellel faults in Tyrrhena Terra, in Mars' ancient southern highlands, was taken by the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) at 0914 UTC (4:14 a.m. EST) on February 6, 2008, near 17.3 degrees south latitude, 95.5 degrees east longitude. CRISM's image was taken in 544 colors covering 0.36-3.92 micrometers, and shows features as small as 35 meters (115 feet) across. The region covered is just over 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) wide at its narrowest point.

    This image was part of an investigation planned by students in four high schools in Durham, North Carolina. The students are working with the CRISM science team in a project called the Mars Exploration Student Data Teams (MESDT), which is part of NASA's Mars Public Engagement Program and Arizona State University's Mars Education Program. Starting with a medium-resolution map of the area, taken as part of CRISM's 'multispectral survey' campaign to map Mars in 72 colors at 200 meters (660 feet) per pixel, the students identified a key rock outcrop to test their hypothesis that the irregular depression was formed by Martian volcanism. They provided the coordinates of the target to CRISM's operations team, who took a high-resolution image of the site. The Context Imager (CTX) accompanied CRISM with a 6 meter (20 feet) per pixel, high-resolution image to sharpen the relationship of spectral variations to the underlying surface structures. The Durham students worked with a mentor on the CRISM team to analyze the data, and presented their results at the 39th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, held in League City, Texas, on March 10-14, 2008.

    The upper panel of the image shows the location of the CRISM data and the surrounding, larger CTX image, overlain on an image mosaic taken by the Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) on Mars Odyssey. The mosaic has been color-coded for elevation using data from the Mars

  15. Effects of Assimilation Window Length and Radiatively Active Water Ice Clouds on Martian Thermal Tides and Martian Atmosphere Predictability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Y.; Greybush, S. J.; Kalnay, E.; Hoffman, R. N.; Wilson, R.

    2013-12-01

    Martian therrnal tides are a particularly prominent feature that contribute much to the Martian atmospheric circulation and dust transport. To study the Mars diurnal features (or thermal tides), data assimilation based on the GFDL Mars Global Climate Model (MGCM) with the 4D-Local Ensemble Transform Kalman Filter (4D-LETKF) is used to perform a reanalysis of spacecraft temperature retrievals from the Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) and Mars Climate Sounder (MCS) instruments. Since the traditional 6-hr assimilation cycle induces spurious resonance in the Kelvin waves represented in both surface pressure and mid-level temperature, short assimilation window lengths (1-hour and 2-hour) are introduced in 4D-LETKF. In order to compare the performances of different assimilation window lengths, 10-sol forecasts based on the hour 00 and 12 reanalysis are evaluated and compared. The shorter windows show improved forecast root mean square difference with respect to observations, and not only remove the spurious resonance but also better compensate for the absence of radiatively active water ice clouds (RAC). The predictability of Martian atmosphere is also studied using multi-sol forecasts initiated from analyses employing different assimilation window lengths, and the effect of RAC on Martian atmospheric predictability is also discussed.

  16. Light Lithophile Elements in Natural and Experimental Phases in Martian Basalts: Implications for the Degassing of Water from Martian Magmas

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Herd, C. D. K.; Treiman, A. H.; McKay, G. A.; Shearer, C. K.

    2003-01-01

    Lentz et al. argued that zoning trends in light lithophile elements (LLE) in pyroxene in Shergotty and Zagami are evidence for the degassing of magmatic water. We tested this inference by obtaining: additional LLE analyses of Shergotty and Zagami pyroxene; analyses of Pasamonte pyroxene; and silicate and phosphate partition coefficients for B and Li for martian magma and mineral compositions.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  19. Martian magnetic minerals signature detection by Shallow Radar (SHARAD)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Restano, M.; Mastrogiuseppe, M.; Masdea, A.; Picardi, G.; Seu, R.

    2012-04-01

    Near-global thermal infrared mapping by the Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) on Mars Global Surveyor has revealed unique deposits of crystalline gray hematite (a-Fe2O3) exposed at the Martian surface in the Sinus Meridiani region. The material is an in-place, rock stratigraphic sedimentary unit characterized by smooth, friable layers composed primarily of basaltic sediments with 0-20% crystalline gray hematite. Shallow Radar (SHARAD) is a ground penetrating radar (GPR) provided by the Italian Space Agency (ASI) and selected by NASA for the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) mission. The goal of this nadir-looking altimeter with synthetic aperture capabilities is to investigate the surface and subsurface of Mars providing data about the crustal composition of the planet. The sounder operates using a 20 MHz carrier and a bandwidth of 10 MHz (from 15 to 25 MHz) to achieve a theoretical vertical resolution of 15 m in free space, maintaining an acceptable penetration capability of approximately 1500 m. Performance of the instrument can however be highly dependent on the operating environment and in particular on the reflectivity of the surface and the subsurface, on the effect of the ionosphere and on the level of clutter echoes, which in turn depend on the surface topography. Laboratory measurements of electrical and magnetic properties of grey hematite at Mars ambient temperatures in the ground penetrating radar frequency range have produced surprisingly strong dielectric relaxations as well as the expected magnetic properties. At the average Mars surface temperature of 213 K hematite has a strong dielectric relaxation near 15 MHz which is strongly temperature dependent. Between day and night this relaxation will move through the frequency range of SHARAD that may be capable of identifying the temperature dependence. Several works regarding the effect that magnetic materials should have on the signal transmitted by ground penetrating radars like SHARAD have been

  20. CGH Supports World Cancer Day Every Day

    Cancer.gov

    We celebrate World Cancer Day every year on February 4th. This year the theme “We can. I can.” invites us to think not only about how we can work with one another to reduce the global burden of cancer, but how we as individuals can make a difference. Every day the staff at CGH work to establish and build upon programs that are aimed at improving the lives of people affected by cancer.