Crew 177 Chemistry EVA 29Mar2017
Today, we analyzed the samples taken from Candor Canyon. After taking two 2 gram samples from each main rock sample, we used Hydrochloric Acid (HCl) to test for the presence of carbonate in the rock samples.
Separately, we used Nitric Acid (HNO3) and Silver Nitrate (AgNO3) in order to test for the presence of halides in the rock samples. The results showed positive results by showing that both carbonates and halides were present in the rock samples.
The positive carbonate (CO3-2) results are significant because it shows the presence of a potential atmosphere-building gas in Martian rock. In addition, the halide tests were significant because halides can be refined and used for a thermal-based fuel. The presence of halides in Martian rock shows that there is a potential energy source on Mars should solar and nuclear power methods fail.
Joseph Quaas (crew chief, crew chemist)