.. ore samples that would be available around the planet in an hour than an automated rover would be able to do in a year. Humans will be extremely valuable in the search for life on the planet. A professional astronaut would have the skills to easily spot a protected site that would be favourable to life. An example of this would be a spot sheltered by a rock.
Equipment which is automatic that astronauts have is better for things like, repetitive measurements which would be stretched over long periods of time. Scientific research will be divided into two main categories. There would be a day to day exploration by the astronauts which would have more difficult tasks. They would also be responsible for long-term monitoring by automatic packages which would be left behind when they leave the planet. The main concern for the astronauts would be geological investigation of the planet. There might be one or more geologists in a mission to Mars. Teams of geologists at mission control will plan exploration traverses by using the orbiter’s to take pictures of the surface.
These pictures will produce a route map that would help the astronauts while they are exploring the planet. The astronauts will not be just responsible to collect samples and bring them home but also they must study the rocks while on the planet and conduct some analyses. The things that astronauts are looking for is the chemical and mineral composition of the rocks which would provide them with the information on the geological history of Mars, at which places were the rocks formed, at which temperatures and pressures were they formed, development of the atmosphere and the history of water on Mars. Necessary information will be profited from the rocks that are on the surface, but when drilling deep into the ground and dislodging the rock, it will uncover the historical development of the regions geology. Each day the astronauts job will be to set on the surface in a rover which would contain standard geological tools like hammers, chisels, rakes, sieves and tongs which would enable them to pick up essential rocks even if they seem awkward to pick up with their space suits on. Connected to their space suits there will be a gnomon.
This unique device is like a tripod with a free-hanging central rod, which is able to photograph against each sample before it is dislocated from the surface so the exact location is know to the astronauts. This photograph shows the scale of each of the objects removed, slop of the ground and its shadow that indicates the direction of the Sun. A colour pattern will be attached to the photograph which allow scientists on Earth to reconstruct the colours which surround the object removed. This is crucial because cameras sometimes tend to distort the colour to some degree. After each sample is photographed their locations would be carefully written down.
The astronaut will then place the samples in hermetically sealed containers. Geologists would highly recommend that a percentage of the sample be kept refrigerated at Marslike temperatures to prevent the soil sample to change on the way back to earth. The astronauts rover would stop every few hundred feet and soil samples would be tested automatically. Drilling around the planet would be carried out on a regular basis. This would be one of the astronauts most vigorous activities.
The rover of the astronaut will carry electrical powered drills and a supply of aluminium tube sections. The drill will be similar to jack-hammers used in construction on Earth. The drill will be powered by a compressor using Mars’ carbon dioxide atmosphere. Mars’ internal structure will be better understood when scientists find out the rate of heat flow from the interior. A method of doing this is by thermometers which would be placed at different depths of Mars.
Little heaters would be positioned near thermometers which would reveal how heat flows through the material that makes up the surface layers. Most probably on a trip to Mars there will be complicated apparatus’ for extensive analyses of soil. An electron scanning microscope would probably be used to look for any tiny fossils and aid in hopes of distinguish any minerals. An X-ray fluorescence spectrometer will be used to record the X-rays emitted by materials when they are irradiated by a radioactive source which will discover the materials present. There also will be a combined gas chromatography and a mass spectrometer which will separate and measure the gases that is driven off when a sample is heated When humans and rovers finally get to the poles, their top priority will be to get samples of the core which will be taken from the layers of deposits of ice and dust (which is millions of years old).
This would probably have a record of how the climate has changed over hundreds of million of years. There are numerous fascinating surface structures of Mars and when explorers do go to Mars it will be interesting to see what information they bring back about the places that have already been identified and the things and places that remain a mystery to us. These places include the volcanoes, the north and south poles of Mars, the equatorial canyons, the unique craters, basins etc. All these places when studied will help us get a better understanding of the planet which has amazed us from pictures that were taken from non manned missions. The volcanoes on the planet are the most startling features of Mars. There are many volcanoes on Mars but the most sensational is found near the equatorial region of Tharsis.
On the planet, volcanoes have been around much of the planet’s history. The general shape hints that eruptions of fluid lava has very small amounts of ash in it. The chemical composition of the terrestrial volcanoes on the planet shows that lava and the rate at which the volcanoes erupted affected the volcanoes’s final structure. The craters of Mars have a huge ranges from little as a several meters across to huge broad basins which are up to hundreds of kilometres in diameter. The southern hemisphere contains hardly any craters which is visible but in the northern hemisphere there an abundant amount of craters.
There are about sixteen basins on Mars each one larger than0 two hundred and fifty kilometres in diameter somewhere on the surface of Mars. Each basin appears to be vast and multi-ringed. Some basins are fairly new but the others are significantly old which look considerable eroded There are many striking features of Mars but we must understand the dilemma that is on Mars about the water. There are many things on the surface of Mars that look like water channels. Many years ago scientists thought that these channels were made by erosion, by lava, or the wind might have made these channels but this no longer holds true today.
Scientists know that water did once exist in huge quantities by the visible channels of Mars. We have found out that water did once exist on Mars but where has it all gone? Unfavourable scientists can only take a guess by what is know about the planet and then estimate at how much water Mars once had, how much of the water escaped on the surface and how much of it is hidden to the naked eye. The amount of water that is on Mars is negligible. The polar caps of Mars contain some water but they are mixed with frozen carbon dioxide and dust so the quantity of water is not known. The permafrost underground is another water supply.
The colder the conditions of Mars then the more chance of finding permafrost under the surface of Mars. There are estimates that at the poles the permafrost is well up to eight kilometres thick and lie just a few centimetres below the surface. Near the equator the permafrost is estimated to be up to, two to three kilometres thick and just a few metres deep. When a trip to Mars takes place and in the near future it will many scientist, researchers and the people will be excited to learn what the planet is like. There are many fascinating things on Mars that still remain a mystery today and a manned mission to Mars will help us unravel these mysteries. BIBLIOGRAPHY Asimov, Isaac. MARS, The Red Planet.
New York: Lothrop, Lee and Shepard Company. 1977 Asimov, Isaac. MARS: Our Mysterious Neighbor. Milwaukee: Gareth Stevens publishing. 1988 Simon, Seymour. MARS.
New York: William Morrow and Company. 1987 Frank Miles and Nicholas Booth. Race to Mars. New York: Harper and Row publishers. 1988.