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CCD-Based XRD/XRF for Determining Environmental Mineralogy on MarsHealth effects from Martian dusts will be a concern for any manned Mars missions. Nuisance dusts plagued the Apollo astronauts, but dusts of more hazardous mineralogy, in habitats occupied by Mars astronauts weakened by a long-duration mission, may be more than a nuisance. Chemical hazards in Martian regolith attributable to S, Cl, Br, Cd, and Pb are known or strongly suspected to be present, but terrestrial studies of the health effects of dusts indicate that accurate determination of mineralogy is a critical factor in evaluating inhalation hazards. Mineral inhalation hazards such as the Group-I carcinogenic zeolite erionite, which is demonstrated to cause mesothelioma, cannot be identified by chemical analysis alone. Studies of palagonite analogs raise the possibility that erionite may occur on Mars. In addition to health effects concerns, environmental mineralogy has significant importance in resource extraction, groundwater use, and sustained agriculture. The high sulfur and chlorine content of Martian regolith will affect all of these uses, but the nature of mineralogic reservoirs for S and Cl will determine their uptake and concentration in extracted groundwater and in agricultural applications of regolith. Wet chemistry experiments planned for the Mars Environmental Compatibility Assessment (MECA) will define some of the consequences of water/soil interaction, but an understanding of the mineralogic basis for water-rock reactions is needed to understand the mechanisms of reaction and to apply the results of a few experiments to larger scales and different conditions.
Document ID
20010020524
Document Type
Conference Paper
Authors
Vaniman, D. T. (Los Alamos National Lab. NM United States)
Bish, D. L. (Los Alamos National Lab. NM United States)
Blake, D. F. (NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA United States)
Chipera, S. J. (Los Alamos National Lab. NM United States)
Date Acquired
August 20, 2013
Publication Date
July 1, 2000
Publication Information
Publication: Concepts and Approaches for Mars Exploration
Issue: Part 2
Subject Category
Geophysics
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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