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Water, water everywhere… April 17, 2012

Posted by Mark Flavin in Technology.
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Image Credit: NASA

The recent mission to the moon like the LRO & LCROSS have determined that water likely exists in Lunar polar regions. This is great news for missions to the moon and beyond. Water is essential for exploration of  more distant locations for a couple of very important reasons like; we drink it and we can make rocket fuel out of it. The lunar surface is intriguing since it is much easier to loft a payload from a body with gravity that is only 16% that of earth.

What makes real sense is the concept of an autonomous plant which can locate and process the water ahead of us and store it until we get there. Such a concept demonstrator is being considered at NASA. This is the kind of break away thinking that will allow a mission to Mars or elsewhere there is water. It would reduce enormously the amount of mass,  supplies & propellant, we would need to take with us. This “live off the land” philosophy could be expanded to other areas too like remote materials processing and fabrication. If we use local resources we will have a lot less to lug along making such an endeavor as a manned Mars mission possible and a whole lot less complex. Can’t wait to sample the first tall glass of ice cold Martian water.

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