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Questions tagged [mars]

Questions about the science or exploration of the planet Mars.

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How many motors on the new Mars 2020 rover? (and other questions)

With so many different motors on the new Mars 2020 rover, I'd like to ask if each motor programmed to operate independently or can the different motors operate in sync with each other? Also, as a ...
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1answer
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Why were Spirit and Opportunity separate launches?

In reading this question (Why A=2 and B=1 in the call signs for Spirit and Opportunity?), it prompted me to wonder why Mars probes Spirit and Opportunity were launched separately, even though their ...
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1answer
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H2 + O2 vs Li-ion batteries for long term colonies on Mars [closed]

You're starting a long-term surface base on Mars. How do you power it? The obvious answer for electrical power is a nuclear reactor. Now, how do you store it? Your two main options are lithium-ion ...
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1answer
171 views

Can we get to Mars today using current rockets/technology?

I was wondering if, using the rockets we have today (I'm guessing the most likely candidate is the Falcon Heavy), we could send at least 1 human to Mars. For arguments sake, let's ignore the fact it ...
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Could Martian soil be used as material for a 3d metal printer?

I know this sounds like a 3d printing question, but it is more space oriented so bear with me. My reasoning for this post is that the Martian soil is comprised mainly of iron oxide, which gives it ...
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1answer
160 views

Does Mars have badlands?

This excellent answer addresses the amazing 3D structures shown in the image below: The terrain examples show some striking similarities to what is referred to in the United States as "Badlands" - ...
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1answer
131 views

How are the most sensitive seismometers on Mars protected from the most powerful jackhammer on Mars just a few feet away?

In the image below we are supposed to be looking at the pretty clouds, but all I see is an incredibly sensitive set of seismometers sitting right next to a jackhammer that will slowly drive a metal ...
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Images of Mars Phoenix Lander showing what's happened after more cycles of winter ice build-up?

The Mars Phoenix Lander's End of Mission is an interesting story. It was left in a state such that had it survived the Mars winter of 2008, it could potentially be contacted again in 2010. The ...
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How can a hefty sand storm happen in a thin atmosphere like Martian?

As perceived, sand storms on Mars are quite hefty. But how is that possible in such a thin atmosphere like Martian?
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139 views

Can a semipermeable greenhouse be used to extract CO2 from the Martian atmosphere and help provide oxygen to a colony without using a pump?

When doing an experiment on growing plants in sealed plastic bottles, I learned that many plastics, such as PET used for soft drinks bottles, are more permeable to CO2 than to N2 or O2 (see table 2 of ...
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Method for keeping surface water on mars?

I've been reading this wikipedia article on terraforming mars. One of the major issues with terraforming mars is essential molecules and elements escaping the planet. There have been several ...
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1answer
144 views

Could a Rotary Rocket charge a super capacitor while descending on Mars?

Could a rotary rocket entering the atmosphere collect enough energy in a super capacitor through the rotors (along with auto rotation) while descending to have a controlled landing in the last few ...
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Could a solar panel be modified to also collect a static charge on Mars?

I was waiting for someone to piece both of these questions together into another question. @Dragongeek was the first, Could a solar panel be modified to create a static charge while spinning to remove ...
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How many spy satellites could be destroyed before the debris field would be too massive to launch moon or mars manned missions?

Obviously this is very statistical. Basically I'm looking for an order of magnitude. One geostationary satellite would cause a pinball effect or would it be more like 10 satellites? I'm concerned ...
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Fast spining solar cells to clear Martian dust possible?

I've seen a fast spinning glass wheel used in front of a camera to clear away water, dust or ice. Could Solar panels be made circular and spin to clear dust off of them in the same way may? As ...
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2answers
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Could electricty be generated from a Martian dust storm?

This helicopter is producing static electricity from the blades moving through the dusty air. Along with the electricity provided by wind generators could additional power be created this way from ...
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Could the BFR Tanker be used as an artificial gravity counterweight for interplanetary travel?

An alternative storyline to the Mars transport architecture: Tankers refuel starship, last Tanker gets mounted on the Starship for the Mars orbital injection burn, once on a Martian trajectory tanker ...
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2answers
193 views

Could an Igloo work on Mars?

Could ice make a good habitat like an igloo for colonists or as cold storage for fuel? Could the cavern be sealed and then carbon dioxide melted to create pressure inside the cavern to grow plants or ...
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1answer
68 views

Puzzler: help understanding these amazing Curiosity eclipse GIFs

Starting from Curiosity Observes Sunset Eclipse: Sol 2358 I found three images in the sequence PIA23133, PIA23134, and PIA23135 which I thought would mean (but don't know for sure) that they are ...
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Would a terraformed Martian athmosphere even persist? [duplicate]

So I saw a question here mentioning that omnipresent idea of terraforming mars by somehow giving it more atmosphere (here it was melting/evaporating the polar ice caps). My problem with that is: ...
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2answers
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Can a rocket refuel on Mars from water?

Can a rocket run only on hydrogen and oxygen? Could a rocket, rover, and electrolysis machine be sent to either of Mars' poles to excavate ice to make hydrogen and oxygen to refuel an unmanned rocket? ...
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1answer
154 views

How would this two-stage Mars Ascent Vehicle work? Where do you sit?

This curious answer shows an image of a liquid-fueled Mars Ascent Vehicle with a sign in front that only says Two Stage Mars Ascent Vehicle Question: Is there some NASA program associated with it ...
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1answer
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Is there mineral nitrogen on Martian surface? [closed]

I am aware of the atmospheric composition and pressure. I am looking for research papers which state the mineral content of Martian soil.
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What types of engines are able to go from Earth orbit to Martian orbit? [closed]

What engine is the most efficient in fuel and/or time to go from Earth orbit to Mars orbit and back again that are not capable of launching from the ground?
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1answer
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Do Mars rovers have irises? How do they safely look at the Sun?

This excellent answer by @MarkAdler to the question Opportunity's last tau was 10.8; what does that mean and how is tau defined and measured? explains that Curiosity uses its PanCam to image the Sun's ...
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2answers
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Maximum height for a Mars Balloon?

The altitude record for an unmanned balloon is 53.0 kilometers. wikipedia If we use this Earth based record for an estimate of the maximum possible height of a balloon started from Mars surface, ...
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1answer
166 views

How high could a weather balloon be used on Mars without rupturing? [duplicate]

What is the maximum height could a weather balloon achieve on Mars without rupturing? Assume that the balloon is adapted for Mars' atmosphere and gravity from standard high altitude balloons used on ...
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2answers
248 views

Could a fat rocket be used on Mars?

Since Mars' atmosphere is around 2% the density of Earth's then could a much wider rocket achieve orbit? Could the rocket be in the shape of a capsule or an optimal shape for reentry on Earth?
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1answer
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Would high altitude native populations make better astronauts for a Mars mission?

High altitude populations in Tibet, the Andes, and Ethiopia have genetic adaptations that allow them to better handle low oxygen levels. They are also used to colder and drier climates. And lastly ...
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118 views

Fuel vs food on the trip to Mars?

How much food for each person is need and fuel per various engine to go to Mars on the current 9-month trip there then 3 months on Mars and the 9 months back? Can time be saved on the trip to and from ...
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3answers
167 views

Instead of approaching Mars from behind can we approach Mars from the front of its orbital path? [closed]

Nine months is what google maps said to get to Mars. I would like to know if fuel was no expense how long could we get to Mars other than the method below? Is the 9 months and the method just what our ...
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1answer
205 views

Fastest orbit transfer constrained by maximum g-force magnitude

Let's consider an imaginary constant 1g rocket from Earth to Mars. What is the fastest possible trajectory? Intuitively it seems that the fastest travel time is achieved with the "radial" trajectory (...
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Could a cubesat propel itself to Mars?

I wrote the answer below to the question Could a cubesat be propelled to the moon? before realizing that it said Moon and I'd written it for Mars, so I've cloned that question and moved the answer ...
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1answer
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Why is Beresheet doing a only a one-way trip?

Why is the SpaceIL Lunar Lander doing a one-way trip? Is that a common project to do nowadays, to send landers to Mars and the Moon without returning them?
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Speed needed for the ship to escape Mars, on The Martian movie

Based on the two speeds and altitudes that are presented in the movie: "The Martian" which are respectively 741 m / s and 1350m, 850 m / s and 1843 m I would like to prove with calculations whether or ...
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If we can reduce travel time to Mars below the Hohmann standard, would we still use the same launch window?

If we can reduce the travel time to Mars below the Hohmann transfer orbit's typical 258 days, would we still use the usual Hohmann launch window or delay launch accordingly? For example, if we ...
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1answer
181 views

Could Mars ocean still be there?

So it’s pretty much agreed that Mars was once a wet planet, and most of the water was lost to space. However, I am unable to see why that is necessarily the case primarily for the same reason that ...
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Have the rovers on Mars encountered anything unrecognizable to geologists?

We have quite a few rovers trundling around Mars. Just from reading the popular news, I get the impression that everything encountered so far (minerals, rocks, strata, formations, structures, etc.) ...
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1answer
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What is VBB recentering (InSight lander's Very Broad Band seismic pendulums)?

From the Planetary Society Blogpost InSight Update, sols 25-42: Seismometer sensors working! Tricky setup and cable management on Mars This is an animated GIF: It's fairly subtle, you may not notice ...
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Could an Apollo mission be possible if Moon would be Earth like?

I suspect that actual technology results in the apparently paradoxical situation that is easier to visit the moon rather than a comfortable planet able to sustain life. I am obviously supposing the ...
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1answer
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Would it be possible to reach Mars using the same fuel-saving method SpaceIL's Beresheet is using?

A few minutes before SpaceIL's Beresheet spacecraft was launched into space, Israeli prime minister Netanyahu congratulated SpaceIL and all those involved and said: "We are already waiting for you to ...
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1answer
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Will people living in Mars for several years be able to return to Earth without consequences?

Living without gravity has consequences for the bones and muscles. To counter that astronauts have to do exercise and lifting regularly when they go to the ISS. Now are there any plans to counter ...
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Does Mars have a known “prevailing wind” direction?

Venus has a general retrograde wind direction, and a few days of measurements from the InSight lander so far suggest steady winds from the north-west, but are there any measurements that indicate Mars ...
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1answer
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How does SpaceX plan to obtain Oxygen in Mars?

In the ISS they obtain Oxygen from water through electrolysis. I guess this could be possible in Mars if they land near a large water source. NASA in the other hand, it's working for ways to obtain ...
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How does InSight measure wind speed?

According to this answer the weather at the InSight lander can now be seen online at https://mars.nasa.gov/insight/weather/ This includes the wind speed and I believe the direction (if that's what ...
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How unreachable are Jupiter's moons from Mars with the technology developed for going to Mars?

Jupiter's moons in their closest point to Mars (when Jupiter is closest to the sun) are like 7 times the distance between Earth and Mars, and in a return journey they will farther away. Is there any ...
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Is making gold mining in Mars profitable truly unlikely?

I was reading about Elon Musk believing space mining being unprofitable due to mining and transportation costs. Now I dont know about mining costs , but if Elon Musk says a person could go to Mars for ...
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Would the destruction of Deimos have any lasting geological impact on Mars?

This question is inspired by events in the science fiction series: The Expanse. To summarize, Deimos is blown up in a retaliatory strike. One character laments about how she would feel if Earth's ...
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NASA says Mars' soil has the nutrients for growing plants, how about the Moon?

Okey, that's not everything they said but I can't write everything in the title. NASA says Mars's soil has the nutrients for growing plants, though there may not be the right amount depending on where ...
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Will the duration of traveling to Ceres using the same tech developed for going to Mars be proportional to the distance to go to Mars or not?

I've read somewhere (I don't have right now the source and I don't know if it's trustworthy) that something that would take a significant amount of time for going to Mars would be the acceleration and ...