Related article: New water map of Mars will prove invaluable for future exploration
BLOG | August 31, 2022A Day Full of MOXIEWritten by Michael Hecht, Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment (MOXIE) Principal Investigator at Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyToday, we published our first peer-reviewed, post-landing paper on MOXIE, detailing the seven oxygen generation runs we completed during Perseverance’s first year on Mars. We’ve made considerable progress since those first seven runs, completing run #11 this past weekend – and it turned out to be the most productive MOXIE run to date!This is the peak of the Martian winter, when cold nights and relatively high atmospheric pressures conspire to produce the highest air density of the year. The denser the air, the more CO2 MOXIE has to work with, and the more oxygen it can make. We’re always extremely cautious about designing runs for the irreplaceable flight model on Mars, but we pushed the envelope a little this time to briefly produce oxygen at a rate of nearly 10.5 grams per hour. If you were to double that, a human being could survive on it – it’s not a lot, but a record for us.We have a long way to go before being able to make the 2 to 3 kilograms per hour that will be needed to make the tens of tons of propellant to lift a human crew of four to six astronauts off the surface of Mars and into orbit – the main goal of future oxygen generation technology to succeed MOXIE. But that will require 25 kilowatts of power, and Perseverance only gives us 100 watts, so we’re doing fine. And we’re learning how to make the next MOXIE a lot more power efficient. Right now, we only use about 10% of our power to generate oxygen. The rest goes to running the compressor that collects the air, to our electronics, and to making up for heat loss from our 800 degrees Celsius electrolysis unit through the wires and tubes.In a full-scale version, we expect to use more like 90% of the power through a few simple changes, like running the compressor at lower pressure and designing a more efficient oven. I’d love to help build that unit, but one step at a time…
MOXIE Lowered into Rover: Technicians in the clean room are carefully lowering the Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment (MOXIE) instrument into the belly of the Perseverance rover. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech.
From ESA - Mars Express updatesQuote from: bolun on 08/23/2022 05:38 pmRelated article: New water map of Mars will prove invaluable for future explorationWater-rich minerals at Jezero CraterJezero crater and its surroundings on Mars display a rich array of minerals that have been altered by water in the planet’s past. These minerals are predominately clays and carbonate salts. Of the minerals identified in this particular region, carbonate is a salt, Fe/Mg phyllosilicates are iron- and magnesium-rich clays, and hydrated silica is a form of silicon dioxide that forms the gemstone opal on Earth. The close-up data were obtained from a global map of minerals produced by ESA’s Mars Express and NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.NASA’s Perseverance rover, which landed on Mars in 2020, is currently exploring Jezero crater and its surroundings.https://www.esa.int/ESA_Multimedia/Images/2022/08/Water-rich_minerals_at_Jezero_CraterImage credit: ESA/Mars Express (OMEGA and HRSC) and NASA/Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (CRISM and HiRISE)
Yes indeed, but the carbonates near the crater rim are a later goal of the mission.
The rover did a quick survey at Enchanted Lake and the 'bacon strip' areas, then chose sites to sample. They sampled two places on the 'bacon strip' and are now heading back to Enchanted Lake to get that. Every tube is precious so they didn't sample at Enchanted lake initially until they were sure from their survey that it was important. Here is a mission blog about the return to Enchanted Lake and the bit of debris they were studying for a while.https://mars.nasa.gov/mars2020/mission/status/397/perseverance-soon-heads-to-enchanted-lake/
NASA’s Perseverance Mars Rover has arrived at an ancient delta in Jezero Crater, one of the best places on the Red Planet to search for potential signs of ancient life. The delta is an area where scientists surmise that a river once flowed billions of years ago into a lake and deposited sediments in a fan shape. Rachel Kronyak, a member of the Perseverance science operations team, guides the viewer through this Martian panorama and its intriguing sedimentary rocks. It’s the most detailed view ever returned from the Martian surface, consisting of 2.5 billion pixels and generated from 1,118 individual Mastcam-Z images. Those images were acquired on June 12, 13, 16, 17, and 20, 2022 (the 466th, 467th, 470th, 471st, and 474th Martian day, or sol, of Perseverance’s mission). In this panorama, an area called Hogwallow Flats is visible, as is Skinner Ridge, where two rock core samples were taken. The color enhancement in this image improves the visual contrast and accentuates color differences. This makes it easier for the science team to use their everyday experience to interpret the landscape. For more information on the Perseverance rover, visit https://mars.nasa.gov/perseverance.Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/MSSS
QuoteIn this panorama, an area called Hogwallow Flats is visible, as is Skinner Ridge, where two rock core samples were taken. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/MSSS
In this panorama, an area called Hogwallow Flats is visible, as is Skinner Ridge, where two rock core samples were taken. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/MSSS
Webcast for briefing on Thursday
Press release for today's briefing. https://mars.nasa.gov/news/9261/nasas-perseverance-rover-investigates-geologically-rich-mars-terrain/I listened to the briefing. Highlights:1) Delta materials contain organics and sulfates (the latter indicating salty water when deposits were made)2) After collecting two more pairs of samples and preparing one additional witness tube, Perseverance will deposit a sample cache of the one each of the paired samples plus witness tube(s)3) Perseverance will then continue exploring up the delta toward the crater rim for about a year. Hope to continue exploring beyond the rim.
2) After collecting two more pairs of samples and preparing one additional witness tube, Perseverance will deposit a sample cache of the one each of the paired samples plus witness tube(s)
Quote from: vjkane on 09/15/2022 06:49 pm2) After collecting two more pairs of samples and preparing one additional witness tube, Perseverance will deposit a sample cache of the one each of the paired samples plus witness tube(s)I know I saw an explanation of this a year or so ago, but I've forgotten. Can somebody explain what a witness tube is and what it is for?
Witness tubes are similar to the sample tubes that will hold Martian rock and sediment, except they have been preloaded with a variety of materials that can capture molecular and particulate contaminants. They are opened on the Martian surface to "witness" the ambient environment near sample collection sites. With samples returned to Earth in the future, the witness tubes would show whether Earth contaminants were present during sample collection. Such information would help scientists tell which materials in the Martian samples may be of Earth origin.