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Question on hypothetical pure O2 atmosphere

by DHF
Tags: atmosphere, hypothetical, pure
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May5-14, 10:25 AM
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P: 65

Due to all the buzz by Mars One, my friend and I have been discussing hypothetical possibilities for long term colonization of Mars. He suggests the only long term solution is to extract O2 from the Ice on Mars and give the planet a breathable atmosphere. he did the math and calculated that in order to give the planet a 20kPa atmosphere of pure O2 you would need 670 Million metric tons.

I am curious as to how stable a pure O2 atmosphere would be. I know it is a very reactive element so what would happen if you had an atmosphere of pure O2?

Thanks for any insights.
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May5-14, 12:08 PM
P: 15,201
Your friend's calculations are *way* off. Mars mean radius is 3389.5 km and its surface gravity is 3.711 m/s2. Since ice is 16/18 oxygen by volume, creating a 20 kPa atmosphere of pure oxygen on Mars would require 870 million million metric tons of ice.

WolframAlpa calculation:*+18%2F16
May5-14, 12:54 PM
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P: 65
I double checked with him, I was in error, his calculation of 670 Million Metric Tons was based on an end result of 16kPa, not the 20 I stated.

May5-14, 12:55 PM
P: 12,037
Question on hypothetical pure O2 atmosphere

The calculation is off by a factor of 1 million, a factor of 2 does not matter here.

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