welcome to the new future

by twit

Not only is the Mars Rover using Twitter:

“Are you ready to celebrate? Well, get ready: We have ICE!!!!! Yes, ICE, *WATER ICE* on Mars! w00t!!! Best day ever!!” the Mars Phoenix Lander tweeted at about 5:15 pm.

but it has happily discovered what looks very much like water in areas beyond the polar regions, which may mean that there is lots of water on Mars. From Space.com on June 20, 2008:

“Now we know for sure that we are on an icy surface and we can really meet the science goals of our mission at the highest level,” Lemmon said.

From Maas Digital, a “dramatic, scientifically accurate computer animation” of the Mars Rover mission, now with theme music:

One of the game-changing implications of this discovery is that because water can make fuel, this could well make all the difference to the future of space exploration. The technology involved in making fuel from water continues to be tested and developed, including this recent example reported by Macon.com on June 9, 2008:

The new Hyhauler Plus at Robins Air Force Base is not quite an alchemist’s dream, but it is close.

Instead of turning ordinary metals into gold, it converts water into hydrogen using an onboard electrolyzer.

and this kind of technology has already been in use for years on this planet. From ABC News on January 18, 2005:

Iceland has already started by turning water into fuel — hydrogen fuel.

Here’s how it works: Electrodes split the water into hydrogen and oxygen molecules. Hydrogen electrons pass through a conductor that creates the current to power an electric engine.

Hydrogen fuel now costs two to three times as much as gasoline, but gets up to three times the mileage of gas, making the overall cost about the same.

As an added benefit, there are no carbon emissions — only water vapor.

In the capital, Reykjavik, they are already testing three hydrogen-powered electric buses.

What we build for Mars we build for this planet as well…

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