Questions tagged [mars]

Questions about the science or exploration of the planet Mars.

5
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1answer
95 views

Is the payload HP3, onboard the InSight a single use instrument?

InSight's HP3 probe is meant to drill deep into Martian soil. And the depth of reach is determined by whether there is a rocky layer underneath or not. If it's loose soil all the way down, merrier it ...
3
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3answers
427 views

Has the Curiosity rover ever communicated directly with Earth via its high-gain antenna? Signal strength & data rate?

In the question How does Curiosity know how to point and move it's high gain antenna in real time? I show an image of the hexagonal, articulated high gain antenna on the curiosity rover, as well as ...
6
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4answers
2k views

How could InSight's seismometers be intentionally and meaningfully “pinged”?

I had a friend whose summer job, a long long time ago, was to travel around an unsuspecting rural area, lay a heavy steel plate on the ground, and whack the plate with a sledge hammer. Apparently he ...
4
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4answers
660 views

Missions at or soon-to-be at Mars and their DSN “codenames”?

I'm "mining" old DSN data and would like to see all communications with spacecraft around Mars. A quick snapshot in their data shows the following codes. I can guess that ...
11
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3answers
2k views

What will become of the two cubesats deployed as part of the Insight mission?

So as part of the Insight mission, two Cubesats were also launched to relay data during landing (so data can be obtained if something goes wrong) What becomes of these satellites once their primary ...
4
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1answer
500 views

What is the history behind having peanuts in mission control during critical missions?

The InSight mission livestream showed a jar of peanuts with what appears to be the MarCO logo. Why is was this a significant shot in the livestream? Is there history behind this?
0
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1answer
261 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?
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0answers
59 views

Long term survival at Tranquility base? [closed]

What are the current estimates for the likelihood for a human to survive one year on a true Moon-base (first) vs a Mars-base (first), and what role are such estimates playing in NASA's decision to ...
4
votes
1answer
115 views

How do Mars spacecraft control attitude on final descent and landing?

When I watch videos of probes landing on Mars after cutting the parachutes off, they show the lander doing final orientation adjustments before touching down. The engines don't seem to have a ...
2
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1answer
268 views

Could a shuttle be built for Mars?

Mars does have an atmosphere, but is there enough atmosphere to glide, shed speed and land if there was a runway? What would this require from the shuttle, in terms of aerodynamics?
2
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0answers
65 views

How was InSight's vertical seismometer (accelerometer) tested in Earth's stronger gravity?

The BBC article InSight Diary: The silence of space tells an interesting story and has an interesting audio recording of InSight's seismometer signals sped up to audio frequency, made while in ...
2
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1answer
181 views

How will InSight's RISE antennas end up pointed in the right direction?

The rendering of InSight shows the RISE antennas, the two microwave horns pointed just above the horizontal over each of the solar array paddles. If I understand correctly the experiment works when ...
1
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1answer
245 views

During its final descent, how will the InSight lander know cardinal directions in order to land with proper orientation?

As explained in @karthikeyan's answer the InSight lander will rely upon its landing system to orient the lander properly, so that once on the ground instruments such as the RISE antennas will be ...
7
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3answers
1k views

Why didn't NASA use the “Sky Crane” method for landing the InSight mission on Mars?

The "Sky Crane" was able to land Curiosity on Mars which weighs about 900 kg. The InSight lander weighs about 358 kg. Why was a new landing method designed, instead of re-using all components of a ...
5
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2answers
105 views

How does a Mars lander reach a chosen landing site?

I see lots of questions how landing sites are chosen, but none so far how these landing sites are reached. It already looks like magic how the target planet can be reached at all, but when are ...
6
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1answer
256 views

How accurate is the following claim about NASA, from the movie Martian?

Teddy, Director of NASA and Vincent Kapoor has the following discussion about getting satellites above Ares 3 landing site. TEDDY: We’re a public domain organization. We have to be transparent ...
3
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0answers
50 views

What are the tradeoffs of circularly unfurling solar panel over linearly deploying solar panels?

Martian landers like Phoenix and Insight uses circularly unfurling solar panels. The regular satellites make use of linearly unfurling panels. What are the primary reasons why linear unfurling ...
3
votes
1answer
243 views

What type of rock or soil on Mars will give Nostoc Commune cyanobacteria the best chance to survive there?

Photo taken by YAMAMAYA Cyanobacteria are a group of photosynthetic bacteria, who use the energy of light to synthesize organic compounds from carbon dioxide, and producing oxygen this way. Nostoc ...
2
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2answers
707 views

How can the two MarCO cubesats remain reliably close to InSight during their six month trip to Mars?

According to the NASA JPL web page Mars Cube One (MarCO) Mission Overview and the YouTube video MarCO: First Interplanetary CubeSat Mission linked there, after the Centaur upper stage deploys InSight, ...
3
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1answer
120 views

InSight's Mars touchdown on 26th November 2018

According to information on Mars InSight Mission official website, InSight is set to land on November 26 at approximately 15:00 EST (excluding pre & post-landing news conference). I am staying in ...
4
votes
1answer
110 views

What are the technologies that can identify, validate, and quantify water-rich locations on Mars?

As the discussion progresses from the likelihood that there is water on Mars through yes, near the poles, now to to Is there really a frozen lake near the equator on Mars? and There's a lot of ...
8
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2answers
7k views

How much oxygen and hydrogen are in the soil of Mars?

Current knowledge suggests there is plentiful water ice at the Martian poles. The same knowledge says it gets cold enough at the poles for carbon dioxide to freeze out of the air. If creating a ...
0
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0answers
197 views

What would happen if an astronaut walked on mars without a spacesuit i.e. wearing just earth clothes? [duplicate]

Which will happen first: Would she die due to lack of oxygen/suffocation or due to lack of pressure/boiling bodily fluids?
2
votes
1answer
179 views

Current state of the art Mars spacesuit?

What's the current state of the art spacesuit for use on Mars? I'm wondering about things like size, shape, materials, layering, performance, weight and comfort. In particular, how thin can the main ...
3
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0answers
39 views

How does the color of the atmosphere differ on Mars? Does the sky during sunset on Mars look just like midday?

Higher frequency light wavelengths (blue) absorb more in our atmosphere. At sunset, light must travel farther to reach the observer, so more blue light is scattered and the sun/sky appears orange and ...
18
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3answers
1k views

How much can the Mars rover Curiosity do autonomously, after four years of operation?

I was under the impression (when asking this question) that over the past four years that experience by ground operators and programmers had lead to a configuration where the Mars rover Curiosity ...
1
vote
1answer
90 views

How to create a map of a certain area of Mars?

I am trying to create a personalised Google Maps style map of a certain portion of Mars! that will show three specific locations. Namely (a) Gale Crater (b) Hebrus Valles and (c) Valles Marineris. ...
23
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5answers
9k views

Could a helicopter fly on Mars?

Helicopter drones are awesome fun here on earth, but What if... we took one to Mars? This sounds like a good question for Randall Munroe. But I read about a proposal to send a helicopter drone (MHS) ...
8
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2answers
247 views

If I wanted to try to terraform Mars, who would have the authority to stop me?

Let’s say hypothetically I could fund a rocket ship and pack it with lots of biomaterial. Biomaterial that would hopefully survive the impact, reproduce and potentially alter the atmosphere of Mars. ...
17
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2answers
2k views

How do we make a round-trip journey to Mars?

I've been to Kennedy Space Center in Florida, where I saw the huge Saturn V rocket... This was used to get to people to the moon. It had a Lunar Module to propel itself on and off the moon's surface ...
9
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3answers
4k views

Will there be live HD television from Mars with the Mars 2020 mission?

Is it known if live HD television from Mars would be possible with the Mars 2020 rover mission and if an extra channel would be possible just for relaying HD TV to make live broadcasts possible ? ...
1
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1answer
161 views

NASA's Mars helicopter blade & weight

I've been really interested in NASA's Mars helicopter and have been reading bits of articles on that recently. But I have a few questions I hope people can help me understand — in this article, it ...
7
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2answers
541 views

What is the deepest place on Mars? Do humans need pressurized suits there?

Is there any particular deep area, trench, fissure, lava tube or otherwise on of Mars in which a person could survive with only an oxygen supply? How deep would plants or animals have to be in Mars ...
4
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0answers
67 views

Are there any past or present plans or proposals to explore martian lava tubes?

Lava tubes on Mars are the prime target for human or robotic missions. They provide protection from radiation, surface conditions, and are thought to have stable internal temperatures. Lava tubes are ...
0
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0answers
65 views

What would happen if an astronaut took off their helmet on mars? [duplicate]

Would lack of oxygen/suffocation or lack of pressure/blood or body fluids boiling kill her first?
4
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4answers
388 views

What is the most economical way to vaporize the CO₂ deposit near the south pole of Mars?

In April 2011 NASA announced that the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter had found a large, buried deposit of frozen carbon dioxide at the planet's south pole. It has a volume of about 12,000 cubic ...
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0answers
67 views

Would the atmosphere of Mars become less dusty if the ice deposit in Utopia Planitia could be uncovered?

In 2016 a large ice deposit has been found within the Utopia Planitia region on Mars by the SHARAD instrument on board of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The thickness of the deposit ranges from 80 ...
2
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2answers
82 views

Terraforming Mars - would Mars lose its water?

If we were to terraform Mars would Mars slowly lose its water i.e., some of the water would sink deep into the dry Martian crust or combine with other elements in the soil? Mars has been dry for ...
0
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0answers
79 views

Is it possible to restart life Mars? [duplicate]

I have learnt that the reason for no life existing on Mars was due to absence of a magnetic field strong enough to ward off incoming solar radiation. We could just instate an artificial one if that ...
2
votes
1answer
101 views

NASA's Curiosity Rover - Carbon Isotope Ratio of Methane?

The following is taken from Sinha & Rral , 2015: "NASA's Curiosity rover has the capability to search for organic compounds and to identify the chemical and isotopic composition of the Martian ...
1
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1answer
54 views

How will “InSight's onboard communications gear perform a radio-science experiment to shed further light on Mars' innards?” (Space.com)

The Space.com article How NASA Mars Lander's 'Steampunk' Claw Will Work (Video) says: InSight's mission aims to provide a detailed look at Mars' interior structure and composition. The lander ...
4
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1answer
81 views

Methane and the Search for Life on Mars

I was wondering, if we measured the carbon isotopic ratio of methane on Mars and found that it was very negative (i.e. it contained more carbon-12 than carbon-13), would this provide definitive proof ...
25
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8answers
13k views

Would a settlement on Mars need to import Nitrogen?

The air on Earth is about 20% oxygen and about 78% nitrogen. Best case, there seems to be sufficient oxygen (in water) to support colonization in the polar ice caps. What about the other 4/5 of the ...
20
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8answers
3k views

Is there any economical way to move the water from the Martian poles to the people?

update: Water at the poles has some more recent news: Science: 03-August-2018 Radar evidence of subglacial liquid water on Mars EarthSky.org: 28-Sept-2018 Pink lagoon provides clues to possible Mars ...
8
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2answers
1k views

BFR ticket cost

Has anyone paid SpaceX for a trip to Mars on the BFR? If so, how much did they pay?
5
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2answers
296 views

Terraform via moving Ceres To Mars orbit, using ion drive

EDIT: Apparently the accepted physics has changed, and we now use the convection model for generating planetary magnetic field, not the dynamo model. Next thing you know people will be telling me ...
47
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7answers
68k views

How would it be possible to kick start Mars's magnetic field?

Jumping from this question about terraforming Mars, how would one mitigate the main obstacle, namely Mars's lack of a magnetic field? Are there any hypothetical processes that might restart Mars's ...
15
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4answers
2k views

Can materials be found to make plastic on Mars?

Does Mars contain the materials required to make plastic? If not, can they relatively easily be made, or an adequate substitute found?
8
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1answer
226 views

Methane on Mars - Can we locate the source?

I know that Methane has been detected on Mars, however there seems to be a lack of specific information about the location and concentration of the Methane. Would it be possible to pinpoint the source ...
7
votes
2answers
222 views

How, in the SpaceX Mars stack, do they plan to address de novo landing sites?

Given a new, unprepared "in the field" landing site for a rocket, what is the SpaceX strategy? Are the landing legs intended to be rated to handle that kind of instability? How can they possibly be? ...