We're going to Mercury because we need some ice.

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Abdul Alhazred
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We're going to Mercury because we need some ice.

Post by Abdul Alhazred »

There was an Asimov story The Martian Way that featured Mars colonists getting H2O by fetching a huge chunk of ice from Saturn's rings. They had to do this because there was an Earth based demagogue complaining about Martians grabbing all our water.

Well as it happens, Mars has plenty of subsurface ice, so it could never play like that.

But what if you're on Venus? Perhaps you are living in a giant dirigible because the surface is too hot for liquid water. What's the nearest source of water in conveniently portable solid form?

Mercury's scorching daytime heat may help it make its own ice at caps
Science Daily
...

As with Earth, asteroids delivered most of Mercury's water, the scientific consensus holds. But the extreme daytime heat could be combining with the minus 200-degree Celsius cold in nooks of polar craters that never see sunlight to act as a gigantic ice-making chemistry lab, say researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

The chemistry is not too complicated. But the new study models it onto complex conditions on Mercury, including solar winds that pelt the planet with charged particles, many of which are protons key to that chemistry. The model presents a feasible path for water to arise and collect as ice on a planet rife with all the necessary components.

"This is not some strange, out of left field idea. The basic chemical mechanism has been observed dozens of times in studies since the late 1960s," said Brant Jones, a researcher in Georgia Tech's School of Chemistry and Biochemistry and the paper's first author. "But that was on well-defined surfaces. Applying that chemistry to complicated surfaces like those on a planet is groundbreaking research."

...
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ceptimus
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Re: We're going to Mercury because we need some ice.

Post by ceptimus »

There are plenty of places "closer" to Venus, in rocket fuel terms, than Mercury. Earth is closer, though landing on Earth and taking off again uses a lot of fuel. Earth's moon, assuming it has ice, is probably the "nearest" option.

If you're on Venus, it's probably cheaper to make any ice you need there than to fly anywhere to get it. You'd most likely burn hundreds, if not thousands of tons of rocket fuel for every ton of ice you got back - and ice is easier to make than most rocket fuels. Indeed, most rockets produce a lot of water in their exhaust - and many rockets produce nothing but water.

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Doctor X
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Re: We're going to Mercury because we need some ice.

Post by Doctor X »

There is a lot of ice on Pluto.








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Re: We're going to Mercury because we need some ice.

Post by shemp »

Doctor X wrote:
Sat Mar 21, 2020 9:38 pm
There is a lot of ice on Pluto.








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Re: We're going to Mercury because we need some ice.

Post by Doctor X »

That is why we go to *snicker! snicker!*

Uranus.

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