Detoxifying more Martian water

Recent discoveries on Mars by Mars Express show that some of the water ice may extend as deep at 3700 meters below the surface. This is much higher than previously detected.

But perhaps more importantly, a new method to detoxify the Martian water has just been selected by NASA’s Innovative Advanced Concepts program.

Water would be a vital resource for humanities home on Mars, even more so than Earth. Clearly we need it to drink, but it can also provide the Oxygen we need to breath, and even create fuel needed to launch rockets from the surface. Not to mention watering the plants we would need to consume.

But is the water safe to drink? Probably not! Which is were the new detoxifying method comes in. On Earth much of a water is cleaned naturally by bacteria which lives in it. But on Mars there is no such bacteria as it couldn’t survive in the Martian ecosystem, so this new method makes use of synthetic biology – that’s bacteria designed in the laboratory and engineered specifically to clear out those pesky Martian poisons.

Who knows, on Mars it may become traditional to toast with sparkling water. After all it really is one of the most important resources humans will ever have.

Cheers, Martians!



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