MARTIAN POLAR EXPEDITIONS : TECHNIQUES AND CHALLENGES FOR THE HUMAN EXPLORATION OF THE MARTIAN POLES
Charles S. Cockell
British Antarctic Survey, High Cross, Madingley Road, Cambridge. CB3 0ET. UK
Tel : +44 1223 221560. e-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
The Martian polar ice caps are regions of substantial scientific interest, being the most dynamic regions of Mars. They are volatile sinks and thus closely linked to Martian climatic conditions. It is likely that an age of polar exploration will emerge on the surface of Mars after the establishment of a capable logistical support infrastructure on the planet. Expeditions might be launched either from a lower latitude base camp or from a human-tended polar base. In this paper a ‘spiral in-spiral out’ unsupported transpolar assault on the Martian geographical North Pole is used as a Reference expedition to consider types of equipment for the human polar exploration of Mars. Martian polar ‘ball’ tents and apparatus for the use of polar ice for oxygen production are discussed. Other challenges faced by these expeditions are quantitatively and qualitatively addressed.