Originally posted by deadeyedick
reply to post by Phage
I figured as much.
Water on Mars exists almost exclusively as water ice. The Martian polar caps consist primarily of water ice, and further ice is contained in
Martian surface rocks at more temperate latitudes (permafrost). A small amount of water vapor is present in the atmosphere. There are no bodies of
liquid water on the Martian surface.
So condensation on the tracks is not completely out of the realm of possibilities.
edit on 14-9-2012 by deadeyedick because: (no reason
Static discharge in space exploration Due to the extremely low humidity in extraterrestrial environments, very large static charges can
accumulate, causing a major hazard for the complex electronics used in space exploration vehicles. Static electricity is thought to be a particular
hazard for astronauts on planned missions to the Moon and Mars. Walking over the extremely dry terrain could cause them to accumulate a significant
amount of charge; reaching out to open the airlock on their return could cause a large static discharge, potentially damaging sensitive
Static electricity produces heat there is some amount of moisture in the atmosphere along with frozen water there. Wet or frozen soil on the tracks is
edit on 14-9-2012 by deadeyedick because: (no reason given)
I see no reason either, can we say a 'mildly moist' possibilty? That static discharge in the devil's and storms is thought by some to be one source
of the Methane found on Mars, that would need to include water molecules;
“We propose a new production mechanism for methane based on the effect of electrical discharges over iced surfaces,” reports a paper published in
Geophysical Research letters, written by a team led by Arturo Robledo-Martinez from the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, Azcapotzalco, Mexico.
“The discharges, caused by electrification of dust devils and sand storms, ionize gaseous CO2 and water molecules and their byproducts recombine to
Some online quotes about the MSL mission,
"... intended touch-down zone in a deep equatorial crater, The Gale Crater which is one of the lowest spots on Mars. If water is present underneath
the surface of Mars this is where the water will be closest to the surface."
"Water, whether liquid or frozen, absorbs neutrons more than other substances. The Detector of Albedo Neutrons on the Mars Science Laboratory rover
will use this characteristic to search for subsurface ice on Mars.
CREDIT: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Russian Federal Space Agency"
"Water might also be present in a transient form that changes with the Martian seasons, such as soil moisture that can increase or decrease according
to the surrounding humidity."...same source, says vast tracts of underground water are not expected.
About the formation of Gale crater,
Gale Crater, the landing site of the 2011 Mars Science Laboratory mission, formed in the Late Noachian. It is a 150 km diameter complex impact
structure with a central mound (Mount Sharp), the original features of which may be transitional between a central peak and peak ring impact
structure. The impact might have melted portions of the substrate to a maximum depth of ~17 km and produced a minimum of 3600 km3 of impact melt, half
of which likely remained within the crater. The bulk of this impact melt would have pooled in an annular depression surrounding the central uplift,
creating an impact melt pool as thick as 0.5–1km. The ejecta blanket surrounding Gale may have been as thick as ~600 m, which has implications for
the amount of erosion that has occurred since Gale Crater formed. After the impact, a hydrothermal system may have been active for several hundred
thousand years and a crater lake with associated sediments is likely to have formed. The hydrothermal system, and associated lakes and springs, likely
caused mineral alteration and precipitation. In the presence of S-rich host rocks, the alteration phases are modelled to contain sheet silicates,
quartz, sulphates, and sulphides. Modelled alteration assemblages may be more complex if groundwater interaction persisted after initial alteration.
The warm-water environment might have provided conditions supportive of life. Deep fractures would have allowed for hydraulic connectivity into the
deep subsurface, where biotic chemistry(and possibly other evidence of life)may be preserved.