zankaon

March 4, 2017

Drilling into martian glaciers, with a drone?

Filed under: Letters from Ionia — Tags: , , — zankaon @ 1:33 pm

One or two surface glaciers have been detected on Mars, perhaps covered with debris to some depth; uv broken down surface of such Martian rock ice? Earth-like ice should not be there, due in part to low atmospheric pressure. Hence the case for an altered ice i.e. martian rock ice, with an altered (strengthen) bond between water molecules; taking on the appearance of rock, but of a lesser density. One could drill into it, and compare densities (amperage as a proxy) with an earth ice model, and also utilize infrared spectroscopy of bond nature.

But the glaciers represent a small target, from orbit. Perhaps one could land within ~50-100 miles, and launch a large enough drone to not only get to the glacier, but also to drill into it.

Martian atmospheric pressure of 3-5 millibars would seem to preclude propellers. Instead one could utilize small rockets and/or simple non-combustible gas cartridges, since only Newton’s 3rd law applies.

Old Martian geological formations would seem consistent with flow of a fluid – presumably liquid water. Whereas the glaciers in question seem to have a freshness, newness to them; perhaps wind sweept, with minimal regolith, or none? Might uv effect give an irregularity (from sublimation) to surface; or might subterranean hard smoothness be retained? High resolution photography, as a minimal objective?

The moon’s regolith seems some what like pancake flour; with a stickiness secondary to no atmospheric molecules. Whereas on Mars, one has a dust patina; air molecules intersperse such particulate matter.

If like earth ice, then such glaciers could not exist on the surface. So would this seem consistent with a physical phase change for hydrogen bonding between water molecules? Perhaps the rheological outflow might be somewhat like slow motion hard surface being squeezed out, due to subterranean compression forces? 

WATSON: A Wireline Ultraviolet Raman and Fluorescence Spectrometer for Subsurface Organic Detection in Northern Ice Sheets 

WATSON is a deep UV Raman and fluorescence instrument intended to detect, characterize, and map the distribution of organic material in subsurface ice.

http://www.hou.usra.edu/meetings/abscicon2017/pdf/3415.pdf

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