Mars: a traveler’s guide – ruth nestvold

Mars: A Traveler’s Guide

You have chosen the topic “dust storms”:
Dust storms on Mars can encompass the entire planet. Global winds disperse the dust until the entire surface is covered and sunlight is cut off. When sunlight can no longer warm the ground, the effect stops. These storms are connected with the dominant weather patterns and the warmer summers in the southern hemisphere
You have chosen the topic “weather patterns”:
Weather on Mars consists of storms made of dust rather than rain. Typically, these storms occur during summer on the southern hemisphere, which on average is warmer than the northern hemisphere because it comes appreciably closer to the sun as a result of the elliptical orbit of the planet. The rapid heating of the surface gives rise to the famous “dust devils”: when the temperature difference between lower and higher altitude air is great enough, pockets of warm, rising air expand and turn

into whirlwinds that pick up dust. These dust devils can trigger global storms. The dusty air absorbs sunlight, warming the upper atmosphere and changing wind patterns. The dust particles in the clouds trap infrared energy, helping to make the planet’s atmosphere warmer.
Weather patterns are extremely difficult to forecast because the changes are dramatic and can result in abrupt planet wide swings between dusty and hot and cloudy and cold –
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You have chosen the topic “pressurized rover”:
The pressurized rover is especially designed to withstand the stresses of the Martian environment. The passenger compartment is protected by a waffled body tub in order to ensure that the cabin will not lose pressure in case the outer shell is damaged. Radiator fins help control the interior temperature. The rover has two independent hydrogen fuel cell systems, one on each side, and a power transmission grid wired directly into each wheel – a design very resistant to breakdowns –
You have chosen the topic “fuel cell”:
The fuel cells in the rover are powered by hydrogen (H2), working through a nanocontrolled catalytic membrane rated for Mars normal surface conditions. These fuel cells can also provide power to pressure suits, exploration droids, and other Mars excursion implements. Hydrogen is available from a number of sources including subsurface ice deposits, trace amounts in the Martian atmosphere, and ice shipped on low energy trajectories from Jovian orbit or salvaged from cometary bodies.
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Return to the topic “dust storms”:
Some dust storms rise up to eight kilometers above the surface of the planet and may carry many tons of fine red dust. Heavy dustfalls can be dumped on areas below the datum plane or within areologically sheltered formations that otherwise experience little or no direct impact from the storm. Major dust storms can cause brownouts, leading to dramatically decreased visibility, which may be so bad that the horizon, landmarks, and nearby safe havens cannot be seen. If this should occur, travelers are advised to use GPS navigational assistance. Martian scientists, however, are rapidly developing the technology to predict dust storms, making it possible to take extra precautions in advance against the danger of dust particles.



Mars: a traveler’s guide – ruth nestvold