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LOTS of water inside the dwarf planet Ceres


WalterP
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1 hour ago, WalterP said:

 

Yes, this was one of the hypothesis they had when viewing the pictures of Ceres, that the observed white spots were related to water. Since there are a number of them in varying locations on the surface of Ceres, I expect Ceres will become a major outpost for humanity between Mars and the Moons of Jupiter in the next maybe 75 years. All space probes then will probably have nuclear reactors aboard which could desalinate the brackish water ices of Mars, Ceres, the moons of Jupiter, and maybe even Mar's moon Phobos, all expectedly future human outposts. Water can be used not only for drinking and agriculture, but also for fuel if needed for a return to Earth or another solar system outpost.

 

Since brackish waters are more dense and heavier than fresh water, fresh water can float on salt water. If there is not too much tectonic action on Ceres to mix these waters then there  could well be a fresh water table and aquifers not too far under its surface where the use of them would be almost as simple as pumping water from a well on Earth. Of course wells there would have to be internally heated and pressurized to pump out liquid water into a container or reservoir.

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Ok, so the deepest drilling on Earth to date seems to be on the order of 7.6 miles.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kola_Superdeep_Borehole

 

But this newly-detected water reservoir on (in) Ceres is around 25 miles deep.

 

I think there's a reasonable trade off to be made here.  Deep drilling on Earth means going through silicates, pyroxenes and basalts.  These are dense and tough materials.  But its a different story on Ceres.  The crust and mantle are composed of a rock and ice mix that's likely to be much less dense than any counterparts on Earth.  Think of Arctic and Antarctic drilling projects.  

 

https://www.wired.co.uk/article/antarctic-ice-drill-climate-research

 

The experience we gain here can be applied when a permanent colony is established on Ceres.

 

Of course, there's a different, and much easier, way of obtaining water, oxygen and hydrogen from Ceres' ice.  Just excavate a few tens of metres under the surface to create subterranean living spaces.  You'll be deep enough to be shielded from radiation and whatever you dig out you just melt to release all the resources you need.  Ok, nuclear power is a must, but as the Juno probe has demonstrated, solar electric power is still viable, well beyond the orbit of Mars.

 

https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/juno/launch/Juno_solarpower.html

 

Thank you.

 

Walter.

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Just found this...

 

https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/dawn-dead-in-ceres-orbit-ran-out-of-fuel-oct-2018.793140/page-43

 

There are 43 pages of posts covering the Dawn probe's approach to and orbits of Ceres.

 

If you want the latest stuff, start at 43 and work backwards.

 

If you want a blow-by-blow account of the discoveries as they were made, start on 1 and work through to 43.

 

Thank you.

 

Walter.

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On 8/11/2020 at 1:57 AM, WalterP said:

Ok, so the deepest drilling on Earth to date seems to be on the order of 7.6 miles.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kola_Superdeep_Borehole

 

But this newly-detected water reservoir on (in) Ceres is around 25 miles deep.

 

I think there's a reasonable trade off to be made here.  Deep drilling on Earth means going through silicates, pyroxenes and basalts.  These are dense and tough materials.  But its a different story on Ceres.  The crust and mantle are composed of a rock and ice mix that's likely to be much less dense than any counterparts on Earth.  Think of Arctic and Antarctic drilling projects.  

 

https://www.wired.co.uk/article/antarctic-ice-drill-climate-research

 

The experience we gain here can be applied when a permanent colony is established on Ceres.

 

Of course, there's a different, and much easier, way of obtaining water, oxygen and hydrogen from Ceres' ice.  Just excavate a few tens of metres under the surface to create subterranean living spaces.  You'll be deep enough to be shielded from radiation and whatever you dig out you just melt to release all the resources you need.  Ok, nuclear power is a must, but as the Juno probe has demonstrated, solar electric power is still viable, well beyond the orbit of Mars.

 

https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/juno/launch/Juno_solarpower.html

 

Thank you.

 

Walter.

 

Although a vast reservoir of water might be 25 miles deep below the surface of Ceres, the fact that there is brackish ice on its surface indicates that in some locations water ice is at the surface and probably is available in many shallower locations like on Earth.

 

Although solar power is fine for small amounts of electricity, desalination and electrolizing enough water to produce hydrogen and oxygen for rocket fuel within days or weeks would probably require nuclear power.

 

And yes, for a permanent habitat anywhere off Earth, underground seems like the best choice.

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