Phosphorus

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P 15
 
Phosphorus

Abundance: 0.0%

Phosphorous, periodic table P, is a light metal. It's most common isotope is P31 ,with 16 neutrons.

Phosphorous is one of the "CHNOPS" elements (Carbon, Hydrogen, Nitrogen, Oxygen, Phosphorus, & Sulfur). All life is 99% composed of these elements. Of all the CHNOPS elements, phosphorus is the rarest one. Fortunately, Mars seems to be fairly rich in phosphates.

Phosphorous is a plant fertilizer, required for DNA, energy storage and a number of functions in plants. Phosphorous, with nitrogen, is one of the limiting factors of plant growth.

Phosphorous is available on Mars as phosphates. The Martian mantle is richer in potassium and phosphorus than Earth's, so the resource should be widely available, although concentrated ores need to be identified by exploration. The Columbia hills in Gusev crater have been shown by the Spirit rover to contain Phosphorous.


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