I'm interested in planetary materials, including their early evolution in the solar system, re-creating their exotic properties in the lab, and extracting them sustainably as space resources.
Dec 11, 2:28pm: Ancient Hydrated Silicates in the Martian Deep: Crustal Density, Water Budget, and Astrobiology. 2018 AGU Fall Meeting, Walter E. Washington Convention Center 206.
1. Carbonaceous muds (Recent abstract).
2. Martian clay formation and noble gas sequestration in the pre-Noachian (Recent publication).
3. High fidelity regolith simulants (Recent publication).
Deliquescence is the ability of certain materials to not only absorb moisture out of the atmosphere (i.e., hygroscopicity), but to actually dissolve in that water. Certain salts in the soils of Mars are likely to be deliquescent, and would quickly absorb water if brought into a humid, pressurized environment like a hab.
Here are two examples of deliquescent materials. The first is calcium perchlorate: Ca(ClO4)2. The video is sped up about 100x:
And here is iron sulfate: Fe2(SO4)3. This one is sped up ~900x, i.e., it deliquesces slower than the perchlorate:
It looks like the powders are melting, but in fact they are quite stable at room temperature in a dry environment.