First contact: Using offshore technology to find life on Mars

Offshore Technology | Umar Ali | September 2, 2019

offshore mars

The offshore oil and gas industry and space exploration have very different goals, but the conditions faced are similar.

Much like operations in the inhospitable reaches of space, offshore oil and gas involves operating in temperatures and pressure differentials that present unique challenges to exploration. The surface temperature of Mars is -63°C and its surface pressure is 610 Pascal, less than 1% of Earth’s surface pressure.

Mars Institute co-founder and chair Pascal Lee describes the challenges presented by the surface of Mars: “The surface is a very harsh place, there’s high radiation coming from space, intense ultraviolet light from the sun and the surface chemistry is pretty oxidising so it’s very hostile to most forms of life on Earth. So it’s maybe not too surprising that there’s no signs of life at the surface!”

With these shared challenges and experiences, the Mars Institute is working with electronics company Zaptec to develop a drill for space exploration, looking for life rather than hydrocarbons.

Read the full story here.