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37

I am Jose Juan Lopez Moreno, co-I (co-investigator) of TGO-NOMAD and I feel obliged to respond to PearsonArtPhoto's answer. There is something real: TGO carries 2 independent instruments with a sensitivity high enough to detect methane with a low limit of 0.05 ppbv. Those independent instruments are led by different and independent teams. They are far from ...


33

There's a lot to unpack here, so let's look at the various discoveries of methane on Mars. The first discovery came from multiple groups in 2003-2004 using first Mars Express, followed by Earth based instruments. The measured amounts were small, and being from Earth, could be tricky to know for sure. Mars Global Surveyor data was studied, and it seemed to ...


6

Wikipedia says of the composition of the lower atmosphere: Because methane condenses out of Titan's atmosphere at high altitudes, its abundance increases as one descends below the tropopause at an altitude of 32 km, leveling off at a value of 4.9% [the rest is mostly nitrogen] between 8 km and the surface. and in a separate article The average ...


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Image from the informative presentation Progress on the RRM3 Cryogen Demonstration System The cryocoolers were commercial units, electrically powered Sunpower Cryotel CT 11 watt units. There is a lengthy data sheet here which includes these performance plots. Full disclosure: I had no idea what "lift" is in this context but there's a quote Lift is a ...


3

Assuming the methane stays in orbit around the Earth as indicated by uhoh, it will then not do much else. Wikipedia has a fairly extensive article about methane in the atmosphere, and it mentions that the primary reaction of methane in the atmosphere is oxidation by hydroxyl radicals. Because the hydroxyl radicals come from water and water in our ...


3

tl;dr: Except for the signal being 3x larger, at this point nothing new has been learned. The only thing new I can see is that the signal is 3x larger than the previous one recorded by Curiosity, removing any potential lingering doubt about the reality of signal, which at only 7 ppb was close to the error bars. Source Now at 21 ppb (3x larger than the ...


3

This 2018 release from Georgia Tech describes one such - claimed to be more practical than previous methane-fueled cells because it operates at a lower temperature. It is a solid-oxide cell. It appears to work by catalytically cracking the methane to hydrogen, and it seems that the advance is in the cracking part. https://www.news.gatech.edu/2018/10/29/...


2

Hydrogen is liquid below 21.15 K and goes solid at 14.01 K. Helium is liquid below 4.15 K and goes solid at 0.95 K under huge pressure of 2.5 MPa. So it should be possible to use gaseous helium to sub cool liquid hydrogen. It is gaseous even below the temperature of solid Hydrogen. Methane boils at 111.65 K and solidifies at 90.7 K. Sub cooling it with ...


1

Will the Mars 2020 rover's sensitivity to methane be better than Curiosity's? No, Mars 2020 rover's sensitivity to atmospheric methane will be nonexistent. Curiosity's Sample Analysis at Mars or SAM with its quadrupole mass spectrometer (QMS), gas chromatograph (GC), and tunable laser spectrometer (TLS) will have no counterparts on the streamlined Mars 2020 ...


1

The atmosphere is thin at 400 km, but it's still there and the ISS is in it. The velocity of a circular orbit at that altitude is about 7700 m/s and escape velocity is the square root of 2 larger than that. So unless the gas was vented at a velocity of 3000 m/s relative to the ISS (which it certainly isn't), it would remain in orbit around the Earth. Over ...


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