Monday, September 28, 2015

NASA Makes "New" Revelation: Mars Has Liquid Water

NASA apparently needs more money.

One way to get it is to get the public press all in a tizzy about something NASA has known for some time: Mars has some kind of "water" on it that produces "flows" under the right conditions.

So how do you get Congress interested? You get the press involved! And you make it "mysterious"! You tell them that on a particular date (today) they are going to tell the whole world of some "fantastic" discovery. So the press goes to work, and speculations run wild: Aliens? Life? Civilization? And all of America is waiting with anticipation...

Then the truth comes out... but not all of it reaches the average citizen and likely never reaches the members of both houses of Congress.

As a result the TRUTH about Martian water is lost in the press headlines (anything to sell a paper, fill up time on the evening news, sell ads on websites) and seldom makes it into the brief paragraph that follows the headline.

Half Truth: NASA says it has found "liquid water" on Mars.

The Other Half Truth: It isn't liquid water as we commonly know it.

  • You can't drink it as it is so laden with minerals and salts. Even our sea water is not embedded with the same level or type of minerals and salts. 
  • Perchlorate is the key ingredient Martian "water" that keeps "water" from freezing in the extreme cold environment of Mars (Summer: -100 degrees F at night and Winter daytime temps: -195 degrees F) And it is poisonous! It's an oxidizer in rocket fuel, but it also occurs naturally particularly in arid environments (i.e. Mars). All kinds of health problems result from ingesting even small amounts of it. Removing it from fairly "pure" water is hard enough.
  • Add to it all the other minerals and chemicals harmful to life, be that plant life or animal life... well, you get the picture. 
  • Any effort to desalinate Martian water would take far more energy than our present desalinization plants do with sea water that is in our oceans, and that is a lot of energy (one reason you don't see a lot of desalinization plants around!) In comparison, our sea water is "pure" by Martian standards and is (would be) far less expensive to build and operate.
  • And if you totally desalinate the Martian water, guess what? It FREEZES, even in Martian summer! And if it does somehow get warm enough to stay in liquid form, the lack of sufficient gravity would cause the water to evaporate and be lost into space. Hmmmm...
So as they say, "Nothing new here. Move along, folks."

The NASA scientists who "broke" the story were careful enough to state the actual composition of the Martian water. The press was not.

Comments or questions are always welcomed (well, as least nice ones)!

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