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Questions tagged [mars]

Questions about the science or exploration of the planet Mars.

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What's the purpose of Mars colonization? [on hold]

What's the need of Mars colonization? I think Mars colonization is of no use.Instead we must find life supporting planet like Earth to colonize. Mars isn't an ideal place to colonize as it lacks ...
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1answer
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What can cause grooves (stairs like) features on Mars's ground that is opposite to water flow direction?

Looking at an image taken by Mars Odyssey THEMIS (Thermal Emission Imaging System) camera of an unnamed crater in Aonia Terra region I noticed what looks like grooves or ridges that resemble a stair ...
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Camera costings for Opportunity/Spirit/Curiosity rovers

I'm currently working on a project investigating the practicalities of a Mars Sample Retrieval rover, as part of my qualification. My area of concern is command/control, and I am struggling to find a ...
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106 views

Could inflating while decending for rentry be possible?

Could entry of Mars with balloons work by inflating to equalize with the atmopheric air pressure while establishing buoyancy before meeting the ground? Would a balloon pop if dropped from space? ...
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2answers
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Is Mars more at risk than Earth for asteroid collisions?

When looking at topographical pictures of Mars it seems like there are craters far more frequently than here on Earth. This statement, of course, is just pure speculation on my part. However, it makes ...
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2answers
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Where on Mars did the largest river once flow?

It is generally accepted that once there was running water on the surface of Mars. Can it be determined from remote sensing data from space where the biggest, largest and longest ones were?
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173 views

More water in a crater on Mars than the quantity dumped by the river Nile into the Mediterranean sea in 45 years?

If this is true then the problem of a reliable source of water on Mars, that is available the entire year, is solved. Crater on Mars filled with permanent ice. (Source: ESA, Mars Express) The ...
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1answer
97 views

Does a one way mission to Mars make more economic and scientific sense than a two way mission?

A one way mission skips any return rocket needs, extends the research mission by decades and slowly builds up the infrastructure on the surface. The longer mission on Mars would require regular ...
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Is there any reason other than lack of oxygen Tardigrades can't survive Mars?

If Cyanobacteria or Lichens can survive on Mars could other small organisms like the Tardigrade then survive & flourish among them? Due to the thicker atmosphere to be found the bottom of the ...
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47 views

Would a liquid propellant fire in Mars' atmosphere cause charring?

If a ship carrying liquid propellant crashed on the surface of Mars, rupturing all tanks, I assume the propellant could ignite. If the propellant did ignite might it leave indications of charring on ...
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1answer
64 views

Would a debris field on Mars look like one on either the Earth or the Moon?

I am assuming there are no photographs, with enough resolution, of the any of the debris fields of Mars probes that crashed into the surface of Mars to indicate what the debris field looks like. I am ...
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1answer
113 views

Could it be worthwhile to bring a small and simple greenhouse with biofilms along with one of the next missions to Mars?

Planetary protection rules could be a reason not to bring biofilms to Mars, but because several landers and satellites that crashed or landed on Mars were probably not sterilized these rules were ...
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Can Mars provide vitamins?

How long can nutrients found in Mars along with an algae diet sustain human life?
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1answer
90 views

What would the human gait look like on Mars?

Is there an approximation of what a human would look like walking on Mars? Would it be closer to how the astronauts walked on the moon or the way we walk on the Earth? With the gravitational ...
2
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1answer
114 views

Why is a corner of InSight's selfie cropped like this?

A couple days ago, InSight took a selfie from the surface of Mars: Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech Most articles about it note that the photo is a composite image, which you can figure out by looking ...
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1answer
120 views

Manned entry to Mars

Did Insight have a ballistic entry? If so, does NASA plan a ballistic or skip-glide entry for manned missions to Mars?
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1answer
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Hypersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator entry to Mars' atmosphere

Is it known whether or not a Hypersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator inflation and entry into Mars' atmosphere would produce more violent vibrations and lateral movements than was experienced by ...
7
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1answer
151 views

Why do InSight's solar panels have tall vertical ridges between segments - will these trap dust?

The NASA JPL News item NASA's InSight Takes Its First Selfie provides a link to the high resolution image PIA22876. Below I've cropped out the West solar panel array, which shows surprisingly tall ...
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2answers
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Is the Curiosity rover equipped with motion detectors?

On Earth, wild life cameras are sometimes equipped with motion detectors to record rare species automatically. Could they not be applied in the case of Mars too ? Is Curiosity not equipped with ...
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1answer
160 views

Why did the MarCO space probes use fire extinguishant as their propellant?

In many news articles, it's mentioned that the MarCO spacecraft, launched with InSight, used fire extinguishant as the propellant for its cold gas thrusters. I originally assumed that this was ...
2
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1answer
65 views

What are the advantages to sending a person vs robotics to Mars?

Why is it needed to send a person to Mars one day when we have Rovers? What not obvious advantages do humans have in space exploration over Robotics and vise versa?
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1answer
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Why not a “live” visual connection with Curiosity on Mars all the time?

Note: Got the idea for this question by @uhoh's question: "Has anything close to video ("live" or otherwise) been shot in space from beyond the Moon ? To have the "feeling" of a "live" connection ...
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Why the big difference between NASA and ESA/Roscosmos in evaluating the Oxia Planum landing site?

In november 2018 ESA announced that the Oxia Planum region is favoured for the ExoMars surface mission. The figure above from this answer about the 21 potential landing sites for the Mars 2020 ...
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2answers
184 views

Mars InSight mission. From dull to shiny copper in just 8 days?

In just 8 days, that hexagonal piece of equipment installed on the InSight lander changed its general appearance from dull to shiny copper (see image 1 and 2). How is it possible? Img. 1. Nov 26, ...
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Is there any reason Cyanobacteria or Lichens can't survive on Mars?

According to this article "Mars atmosphere is supersaturated with water" & according to answers to this physics stack exchange question conditions do exist on the surface of Mars where fluid water ...
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1answer
79 views

How many hours each day is Mars reachable by 2 of the 3 DSN complexes?

NASA communicates with spacecraft beyond Earth orbit using the Deep Space Network, which has three complexes: Canberra, Australia; Goldstone, California; and Madrid, Spain. There are many spacecraft ...
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2answers
172 views

What does a NASA employee see on their monitor when a robot lands on Mars?

I have seen that many NASA employees (see the picture) were present in the control room when InSight landed on Mars on November 26, 2018. What I did not see is what exactly those people saw on their ...
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What's the deepest a trench could theoretically be dug on Mars?

Given the physical characteristics of Mars (the crusts thickness, it's composition, gravity, etc) how deep a trench (that could be expected to continue to exist indefinitely, or rather, for periods of ...
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1answer
63 views

How feasible is wind energy generation on Mars? [duplicate]

Spacecrafts and rovers tend to have dust settled on their panel which leads to reduced power generation. If wind turbines could power the instruments, then the seasonality of solar power generation ...
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37 views

How old is the oldest water ice in Mars' polar caps?

Mars has permanent water ice caps at both poles, which are seasonally covered by carbon dioxide ice. What knowledge do we have regarding the age of the oldest ice in those caps?
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2answers
147 views

Is there a live feed from InSight anywhere?

OK so I know it's not "live" given the distances involved (so you can put your pedant hat away), but is there a feed where we can see the images & video from it more or less at the same time as ...
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1answer
443 views

How deep a valley or trench would be needed on Mars to provide the same atmospheric pressure as 6 km above sea level on Earth?

Atmospheric pressure increases the deeper you go & the highest growing plants on Earth have been found at a height of 6 km so how deep a trench would we need on Mars to provide similar air ...
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1answer
65 views

Has the HP$^3$ on the Insight lander actually a probe to detect water and ice in the subsurface of Mars?

The Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package (HP$^3$) is a science instrument onboard the Insight lander that features a self-penetrating probe to determine how heat flows inside Mars. Nicknamed "the ...
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Mars “bus” shuttle between Earth and Mars [duplicate]

I've had no thoughts on a Mars mission for some time, but after watching the documentary on Mars One (which is think is not an option specifically to go to Mars and not return), I began going through ...
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2answers
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Why are there no methane detectors with “the mole” of the Insight lander?

A possible geophysical source of methane on Mars could be ancient methane trapped in clathrate hydrates in the subsurface that may be released occasionally. In a not secured (!) article of ESA about ...
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1answer
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Brushing clean a Mars lander's solar panels

A comment by SF. regarding the InSight Mars lander caught my attention: I really, really wonder why they didn't just include a small compartment with a duster brush grippable by the robotic arm. ...
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2answers
284 views

Could InSight lift off and move somewhere else?

InSight used its built-in thrusters for the final stretch of the Entry, Descent and Landing, and the thrusters seem to still be attached. Would it have been at all possible for InSight to lift off ...
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1answer
167 views

How do the Mars rovers sleep through the night on Mars?

With reference to Mark Adler's response regarding to Curiosity rover (MSL) on this great & interesting question, this statement strongly caught my attention: The rovers are designed to be ...
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1answer
108 views

Has NASA thought about a hub on Mars, where rovers could branch out of?

When watching the insight landing I saw this map: Now all these missions had to have their own power supply(and more). Why did NASA not send up a kind of energy hub that is fixed where multiple ...
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2answers
3k views

Why is so much of InSight visible in this image?

It seems really strange to me that there is so little visible of the surface in this image, it mostly appears to be the deck of InSight. Why is so little visible?
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4answers
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Is Quantum Entanglement technology possible for interplanetary communication in future to achieve low real-time latency?

There is a small debate over the comment session in NASA Lands InSight on Mars video uploaded by JPL. The 1 minute and a half video is about the essential part of InSight's EDL event cropped out from ...
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81 views

How large are the advantages to building a Martian spaceport on Olympus Mons? What are the disadvantages?

There are several questions and answers here about a potential advantage to launching from substantially higher altitudes, usually the answers are that while indeed there is some advantage, it is ...
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1answer
81 views

Why does the SEIS require a bellows type wind cover?

The Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure probe onboard the Insight lander is meant to measure subtle seismic events on Martian surface. In order to reduce the noise induced by wind, a protective ...
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3answers
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Won't the heat sensor probe interfere with the seismometer?

I've read that the Mars InSight Seismometer will be deployed before the HP3 probe. Won't the digging interfere with the seismometer? Or the shock produced will be small enough to be dissipated by the ...
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3answers
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Can Curiosity pay InSight a visit?

InSight landed “just” 600 kilometers from Curiosity’s landing site. Can Curiosity make its way there for a rendezvous? Are there any plans for this?
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123 views

How many sundials on Mars?

According to https://www.seis-insight.eu/en/public-2/seis-instrument/rweb Sundial Around the handle is a small sundial, which enables geophysicists to estimate the azimuth— i.e. the ...
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2answers
174 views

Is it appropriate to use the term “geology” for Martian studies?

Jargons like geology, geophysics, geothermal has its origin in and has strong connections with Earth. Other jargons like the closet point and farthest point of an orbit to a heavenly body get ...
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Why are the heat sensor probes in HP3 probe spaced with reducing gap with depth?

The HP3 probe used for studying the geothermal features of Martian surface, hammers upto 5m deep and inserts a tether lined with heat sensor probes. This link shared earlier by @uhoh, is an ...
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2answers
547 views

Why was MarCO-B CubeSats flying away after InSight landed?

Farewell to Mars November 26, 2018 MarCO-B, one of the experimental Mars Cube One (MarCO) CubeSats, took this image of Mars from about 4,700 miles (6,000 kilometers) away during its flyby of ...
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199 views

How long was the trip from Earth to Mars for Insight?

How long was the trip from Earth to Mars for Insight from blastoff to landing?