Suppose you are sitting on a bench on Mars under open sky and under your feet there is a grate from which contantly there is an air flow.

Under the bench there is a tube through which oxygen is pumped from a generating plant and released in the air just under the bench.

This creates higher pressure and oxygen content in the air locally so that you can breath even without a special mask or suite.

I wonder whether this setup is possible on Mars.

  • Under current Mars conditions

  • In the case Mars is terraformed for greater pressure by melting its poles, but not for greater oxygen.

  • If the park is situated under a non-hermetic tent which, possibly, has a non-sealed opening as a door to the outside

  • $\begingroup$ Aside from the low pressure, there might be a problem with at least moderately toxic (and stinking) dust particles with chloride and sulfur compounds. This problem is probably no better in an air sealed lava cave. Humans might not like bare contact with Mars rocks very much. $\endgroup$
    – LocalFluff
    May 2 '15 at 9:34

No, due to the ambient pressure.

The atmospheric pressure on Mars is less than 1% of earth's atmospheric pressure (see the Nasa Mars Fact Sheet). As the Oxygen is released, if it is at a higher pressure than the surrounding atmosphere, it will rapidly expand until the pressures equalize.

Even 100% oxygen is not enough to sustain human life at such low pressure; a person's blood would immediately bubble as gasses come out of solution and they would die of the bends.

An additional difficulty for the tourist is that the temperature would be way too low. The Nasa fact sheet tells us the the mean temperature is -63°C! Although on a balmy day, the temperature can exceed 0°C.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ "An additional difficulty for the tourist is that the temperature would be way too low..." is it? I wonder if the real risk might be overheating - with little atmosphere to dump heat into. $\endgroup$
    – NPSF3000
    May 2 '15 at 9:29
  • $\begingroup$ @NPSF3000: I doubt it. Your body wouldn't cool down as quickly as it would in a -63°C atmosphere at Earth sea-level pressure, but it would still lose heat by thermal radiation and by contact with the ground (and the hypothetical park bench). $\endgroup$ May 3 '15 at 22:35
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I think that as all of the liquid in your blood and tissues boils from the low pressure, you would also freeze very quickly, independent of the ambient temperature. Think of a CO2 cartridge spent very quickly. $\endgroup$ May 5 '15 at 17:48

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