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Waspie_Dwarf

Icebreaking Mars

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Icebreaking Mars

Scientists supported by the Astrobiology Technology for Exploring Planets (ASTEP) and Astrobiology Instrument Development Programs (ASTID) have outlined the proposed 'Icebreaker' mission to Mars in a recent paper in the Journal of Field Robotics.

Icebreaker would send a robotic lander to the same region of Mars visited by the Phoenix mission in 2007. After landing at Mars' polar latitudes, Icebreaker would use its tools to penetrate the surface and excavate samples. The goal is to see what is hiding beneath the ice caps, and whether or not Icebreaker could unlock a treasure trove of organics, and possibly signs of past or present life on Mars.

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I don't know, seems a bit cold at those latitudes for life. Isn't one of the Martian icecaps mostly frozen CO2 and the other a combination of water ice and CO2? At those temperatures I can't imagine any biological activity taking place, but then again it would be alien life, so who can say.

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I don't know, seems a bit cold at those latitudes for life. Isn't one of the Martian icecaps mostly frozen CO2 and the other a combination of water ice and CO2? At those temperatures I can't imagine any biological activity taking place, but then again it would be alien life, so who can say.

Where theres smoke theres fire.

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I don't know, seems a bit cold at those latitudes for life. Isn't one of the Martian icecaps mostly frozen CO2 and the other a combination of water ice and CO2? At those temperatures I can't imagine any biological activity taking place, but then again it would be alien life, so who can say.

At the latitude that the Mars Phoenix Lander visited (and this mission is proposed for) the ice cap is not permanent, in fact it was the return of the ice in winter that ended the Phoenix mission.

Life can exist on Earth at high latitudes so why not on Mars? Some bacteria can survive and multiply in temperatures below 0oC, see this article: Arctic bacteria found multiplying at record -15 C

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