Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Another Curiosity Discovery

The headline is interesting on its own, but I was actually more curious about the breakdown of chemicals available in Martian soil. One of the things that makes the Moon less attractive as a site for a permanent colony is the lack of elements needed for organic life. Having enough nitrogen available in the soil to have once supported life suggests that agriculture on Mars might be sustainable without outside intervention (ie launching nitrogen rich asteroids at the surface of the planet.) Nitrogen is essential for plants and other biological processes. In addition, nitrogen currently represents less than 3% of Mars' scant atmosphere, a figure that would have to be raised during any attempt at terraforming.

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