Field innovations in support of Martian polar expeditions

Cockell, Charles (2004). Field innovations in support of Martian polar expeditions. Journal of the British Interplanetary Society, 57(3-4) pp. 92–98.



The Martian poles present a challenging environment for expedition planners. I review and describe innovations in support of human Martian polar expeditions that are a direct extrapolation of terrestrial polar exploration equipment. Ball tents provide an environment for de-suiting at the end of daily expedition traverse and can be used to establish temporary field camps and depots for transpolar expeditions or deep-field scientific outposts. Sublimation poles, netting and heating boxes allow for the harvesting of polar ices for water, oxygen and fuel production. Pressurization of ices prior to melting allows liquid water to be collected, thus reducing energy expenditure compared to ice vaporization. Sublimation nets additionally are used for the removal of CO2 frost from expedition equipment. Human mobility can be achieved with sledges and rovers. These innovations, when combined, make possible the planning of human scientific and expeditionary EVAs on the Martian polar ice caps.

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