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Some Strategic Considerations Related to the Potential Use of Water Resource Deposits on Mars by Future Human ExplorersA long-term base on Mars, at the center of an "Exploration Zone", would require substantial quantities of in-situ resources. Although water is not the only resource on Mars of potential interest, it stands out as the one that most dominates long-lead strategic planning. It is needed for multiple purposes for various human activities (including our own survival!), and in significant quantities. The absence of viable deposits could make a surface "field station" logistically unsustainable. Therefore, identification of deposits, and development of the technology needed to make use of these deposits, are an important priority in the period leading up to a human mission to Mars. Given our present understanding of Mars, ice and hydrated minerals appear to be the best potential sources for the quantity of water expected to be needed. The methods for their extraction would be different for these two classes of deposits, and at the present time it is unknown which would ultimately be an optimal solution. The deposits themselves would also ultimately have to be judged by certain economics that take into account information about geologic and engineering attributes and the "cost" of obtaining this information. Ultimately much of this information would need to come from precursor missions, which would be essential if utilization of martian is situ water resources is to become a part of human exploration of Mars.
Document ID
20170007074
Document Type
Conference Paper
External Source(s)
Authors
Beaty, D.W. (Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Mueller, R.P. (NASA Kennedy Space Center Cocoa Beach, FL, United States)
Bussey, D.B. (NASA Headquarters Washington, DC United States)
Davis, R.M. (NASA Headquarters Washington, DC United States)
Hays, L.E. (Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Hoffman, S.J. (Science Applications International Corp. Houston, TX, United States)
Date Acquired
August 1, 2017
Publication Date
April 11, 2016
Subject Category
Lunar and Planetary Science and Exploration
Meeting Information
ASCE Earth and Space Conference(Orlando, FL)
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Other