Saturday 18 November 2023

terraforming (11. 125)

Via Good Internet, we learn that AI-powered robot chemist, analysing Martian meteorites as a proxy for available materials in-situ (see previously) the Red Planet, has devised an efficient method for splitting the abundant reserves of water ice into its components—hydrogen and oxygen not only for air for potential human explorers to breathe but also for fuel—by trialing millions of molecular compounds (metallic ores bonded with those component elements are normally inert) apparently readily present in the Martian terrain to find the best catalyst to set off the reaction with the least need for extra energy to trigger the reaction and least effort of extraction. Though accomplished without human-intervention—drawing on the sum of human learning—the proposal would still need to be vetted by scientists for unintended consequences or biases for Earth gravity and weather. If proven safe and effective, maybe as an encore, the robot chemist could come up with the best way to capture and store carbon back home.


one year ago: The Mouse and his Child (1977), the first book printed in English (1477) plus assorted links to revisit

two years ago: bias in photo developing, the consecration of Old and New St Peter’s plus not all symbols are universal

three years ago: your daily demon: Haagenti, more medieval remixes, a Star Trek TOS fashion show plus the origin of the asterisk

four years ago: the Triadic Ballet reprised, Super Robot manga, separating texting from emails plus the Rabbrexit tapestry

five years ago: exterior walls of Japan plus a 1950s scrapbook of Moscow