Stack Exchange Network

Stack Exchange network consists of 175 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers.

Visit Stack Exchange

Questions tagged [mars]

Questions about the science or exploration of the planet Mars.

6
votes
1answer
236 views

Understanding Von Braun's Math: Theoretical Isp

I've just read Wernher Von Braun's Project Mars: A Technical Tale, and I'm trying to understand the math in the back. I can follow some of what he's doing, but other parts I just can't tell where his ...
-1
votes
1answer
33 views

H2 + O2 vs Li-ion batteries for long term colonies on Mars [on hold]

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 ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

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 ...
3
votes
1answer
164 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
112 views

How does Mars have a Bow Shock and proton aurora? What is a hydrogen corona?

I just saw the NASA video Mars Proton Aurora below and I'm confused, (which by itself is unremarkable). Without a planetary magnetic field, what force produces a bow shock in the solar wind at Mars, ...
4
votes
1answer
159 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" - ...
2
votes
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 ...
2
votes
0answers
201 views

How many sundials or sun compases are there 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
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 ...
6
votes
3answers
770 views

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?
0
votes
0answers
34 views

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 ...
2
votes
1answer
93 views

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 ...
7
votes
0answers
72 views

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 ...
1
vote
1answer
124 views

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 ...
32
votes
3answers
13k views

About how long will Curiosity last on its nuclear power?

Curiosity, we know, has no little nuclear reactor, it has a RTG. Great! But how long will it last? For how many years will our little 1-ton friend be roaming around another planet?
9
votes
2answers
233 views

Is it possible to extend high speed data transmission with lasers to the distance Earth to Mars?

Data transmission using an optical laser between ground station and a GEO satellite may offer very high data rates, up to 1.8 GBit/s for instance. But what about a transmission from Earth to Mars ...
4
votes
2answers
235 views

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 ...
23
votes
1answer
25k views

How many active or inactive artificial satellites are in Mars orbit?

I just read in the BBC news that four nations have placed satellites in Mars orbit. How many active or inactive artificial satellites are there in orbit around Mars (2014)?
-1
votes
1answer
141 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
50 views

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 ...
5
votes
2answers
133 views

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 ...
2
votes
2answers
122 views

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 ...
2
votes
0answers
90 views

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 ...
1
vote
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 ...
16
votes
3answers
4k views

Could “live” video be transmitted from Mars?

With the approach of InSight to Mars today, and the two cubesats watching it, much is being made about seeing "Live Video" from the cubesats. I'm pretty sure that simply can't happen, but I'm ...
42
votes
5answers
14k views

Why aren't we sending quadcopters to mars?

After watching the MARS series on National Geographic I noticed that they sent one of their crew members down a chasm to check for ice. I wondered, why they did not just take a regular commercial ...
2
votes
2answers
318 views

Artificial Magnetosphere to Terra-form Mars?

I was reading a 2017 article on a potential that Mars could be terraformed using a magneto-tail; A Future Mars Environment for Science and Exploration. This would basically entail sticking a giant ...
3
votes
1answer
66 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
945 views

How could an induced magnetosphere be created at Mars for terraforming?

In the long run Mars needs a magnetic field to keep a thick atmosphere and for radiation shielding, if humanity were to terraform it. Starting a dynamo in Mars' core seems forever impossible, but a ...
12
votes
2answers
3k views

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? ...
5
votes
0answers
64 views

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: ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Can a machine process and run on $CO_2$ and $H_2O$ for an $O_2$ by product?

On Mars studies have shown that carbon dioxide solidifies to dry ice at the poles. During the winter months can electrolysis be applied to collected and then contained liquid $CO_2$ to replenish ...
3
votes
2answers
247 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?
2
votes
1answer
127 views

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 ...
2
votes
1answer
152 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
53 views

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.
51
votes
2answers
19k views

Why are we trying to build a base on Mars before the Moon?

My question is very close to the question answered in the link below and is raised by the answers that question received: Is a Moon-base inherently more dangerous than a Space Station? Why are we ...
2
votes
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 ...
2
votes
2answers
203 views

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, ...
0
votes
1answer
78 views

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?
1
vote
1answer
311 views

Is a ballistic blimp entry possible on this way?

Could the entry of Mars with balloons work by inflating to equalize with the atmospheric air pressure, while establishing buoyancy before meeting the ground? Would a balloon pop if dropped from space?...
8
votes
1answer
204 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 (...
3
votes
1answer
84 views

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 ...
0
votes
1answer
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 ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Could aluminum undergo a thermite reaction with Martian dust?

From what I understand, Martian dust is primarily composed of iron oxide, which is one ingredient for a thermite reaction. If heated to the proper temperature, would aluminum (possibly powdered) react ...
4
votes
1answer
136 views

What type of software is used to make radiation shielding simulations for use in Space or Mars?

Hopefully this is relevant to the board and doesn't get deleted. Quick background: In Thailand. Grad student, mechanical engineering, with very limited knowledge regarding nuclear or space radiations. ...
2
votes
3answers
165 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 ...
19
votes
4answers
1k views

What payload was expected for the 2018 Mars Dragon flight (“Red Dragon”)

SpaceX has long been planning to use Dragon capsules to carry objects anywhere in the Solar System. They have officially announced a 2018 launch to Mars. Specifically, the launch window is April-May ...
4
votes
2answers
181 views

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 ...
5
votes
2answers
286 views

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 ...