Questions tagged [mars]

Questions about the science or exploration of the planet Mars.

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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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What would sounds on Mars be like?

Figure there was a microphone on the surface of Mars, exposed to the atmosphere. If it recorded stuff, how would it sound? E.g. walking through sand, stuff falling down onto rock, a rocket engine, the ...
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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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Why is Curiosity remaining on the Vera Rubin Ridge for so long?

Have the MSL mission team members become overwhelmed by the iron-rich rocks on the ridge ? Image from: https://mars.nasa.gov/msl/mission/mars-rover-curiosity-mission-updates/?mu=sol-2018-rock-...
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1answer
277 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 ...
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1answer
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Could permanent self-sustaining biodomes be built on Mars?

Somewhat apropos of the question of whether Mars could be terraformed (which really seems a non-runner due to lack of molten core) the interesting consideration of biodomes was thrown up. By using ...
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4answers
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Can a blimp dead drop on Mars or Earth this way?

I saw a space jump where someone had exceeded the speed of sound before the air slowed him down enough to deploy a parachute, because the air was not dense enough to tear him apart in the upper ...
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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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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
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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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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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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 ...
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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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3answers
642 views

Is it possible for Curiosity to broadcast live HD television from Mars to Earth?

Current Mars rovers collect large amounts of data and image sequences on Mars and store them in memory, and usually they then transfer the data to a spacecraft in Mars orbit for rebroadcast to Earth ...
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Are Martian winds as strong as portrayed in “The Martian”?

I read Andy Weir's "The Martian" and saw the movie, which is supposed to be realistic science fiction. And I immediately saw a couple of huge flaws, one of which I'd like to tackle with this question: ...
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1answer
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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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191 views

Is a one-way manned mission to Mars currently possible? [closed]

I read about the manned mission here and I have a few questions: What prevents a return trip from Mars. Why can't a spaceship with efficient fuel, food and oxygen supplies be built for a return trip? ...
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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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3answers
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Why does the Mars InSight Lander look wet like a cardboard box that came in contact with water? [closed]

NASA has just released a photo showing a part of the InSight Mars lander wet, like a cardboard box that came in contact with water (see the picture). What is that liquid? The Instrument Deployment ...
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258 views

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
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Is Seasonal Affective Disorder a concern for Mars colonists?

We're all discussing effects of Martian sunlight exposure on structures, plants, solar panels, but I don't think I've seen any discussion of its effect on humans. There's a number of effects of ...
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1answer
101 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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179 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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Which is easier to build on mars per square kilometer; greenhouse windows or photovoltaics/LEDs?

If someone wanted to grow large quantities of food on Mars and they wanted to specify sunlight rather than nuclear or other sources, the two options I can think of are greenhouses and photovoltaic/...
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Is there an end-of-life policy for Martian satellites?

When a terrestrial satellite nears the end of its useful life, it is often de-orbited to burn up in the atmosphere or sent up into a graveyard orbit. This is done to prevent the satellite from being ...
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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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Is wind-power a viable backup power source for Mars One?

A question related to What power source options provide reliable and sustainable power generation for a Martian Colony, particularly the answer that solar and nuclear based energy sources being the ...
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90 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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1answer
341 views

Sunroofs on Mars - durable transparent structural plastics lighter than glass to ship from Earth?

Comments below this answer to the question Which is easier to build on mars per square kilometer; greenhouse windows or photovoltaics/LEDs? discuss the possibility of using plastic instead of glass ...
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1answer
70 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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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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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
575 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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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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6answers
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How can a Mars helicopter be autonomous if there isn't a Martian GPS?

For a drone to be autonomous, it needs something like a GPS to be able to navigate. If it doesn't have GPS, you'd have to manually control it. Do the orbiters provide something like GPS then? I ...
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2answers
118 views

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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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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331 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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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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1answer
2k views

Is there night photos from rovers of Mars? Specially sky of Mars with two moons [closed]

Is there night photos from curiosity or early of mars's skies. Two moon on the sky. Photos from ground. From rovers. Like this: Not a 50px white circle on the black background. Like this: But ...
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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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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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Why was it necessary to program InSight with an ability to land in dust storms?

If the entire event of EDL (Entry - Descent - Landing) is going to take only 7 minutes and if the command to begin could be signalled based on ground weather conditions, why was it necessary to take ...
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1answer
118 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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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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1answer
83 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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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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683 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 ...