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Questions tagged [mars]

Questions about the science or exploration of the planet Mars.

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13
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1answer
347 views

Has Curiosity started driving backwards yet?

I'm curious if curiosity has started to drive backwards, at least occasionally, as part of an effort to reduce the rate of damage to the wheels. This has come up after writing this answer to the ...
19
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1answer
1k views

What problems led to the use of the Sky Crane system used by Curiosity?

We all know about the fancy 'sky crane' system used on NASA's Curiosity rover. The rockets slow the descent to 1 ½ mph and power a sideways parry to avoid the faster falling chute. As Sky Crane ...
2
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1answer
62 views

Curiosity landing system versus Spirit/Opportunity's [duplicate]

Spirit/Opportunity used airbags to land while Curiosity had a "carrier" with thrusters and chords - which to me sounds heavier and much more complex, therefore also riskier. It seems that it would ...
5
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3answers
692 views

Is there a cost effective way to obtain Nitrogen/Argon on Mars for usage in a human breathable habitat?

Is there a cost effective way to obtain Nitrogen/Argon on Mars for usage in a human breathable habitat? It is my understanding that a sustainable human breathable atmosphere is made of two major ...
5
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1answer
787 views

What is the white stuff emerging from a hole on the surface of Mars?

Edit: It can almost certainly be excluded that the white spot was caused by Curiosity's ChemCam's laser, because it doesn't make sense that the laser was used at that time without taking images with ...
24
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2answers
5k views

SpaceX Starship landing on Moon or Mars: why doesn't it fall over?

How does the SpaceX Starship design accommodate uneven landing surfaces that might not be stable under the weight of the vessel? I don't understand how SpaceX's Starship would be able to land on ...
3
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1answer
59 views

Is it recorded and/or documented when and where Curiosity's ChemCam's laser has zapped on Mars?

The article with the title "NASA Rover's Images Show Laser Flash on Martian Rock" tells us that the ChemCam's laser had zapped more than 600 rock and soil targets on Mars since Curiosity landed in ...
4
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1answer
97 views

Why are Viking LR results not sufficient evidence of life on Mars?

Gil Levin, one of the scientists involved with the 1976 Viking mission to Mars, has claimed and continues to claim that there is life on Mars, based off the positive results of the Labeled Release (LR)...
10
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3answers
3k views

How will the crew exit Starship when it lands on Mars?

When SpaceStarship lands Mars, the crew will be almost 50 meters above the surface. How will they get out with all their equipment?
15
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3answers
2k views

Is a magnetic field really needed to terraform Mars?

I see so many discussions about how the main roadblock to terraforming Mars is its lack of a magnetic field. If Mars had an atmosphere as thick as Earth's but no magnetic field, wouldn't it still take ...
3
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0answers
84 views

Could the bright spot on the image captured by Curiosity have been caused by a data transmit or storage failure?

The image above, one of a total of 21 images shot over a 4 minutes span, was captured by Curiosity on June 16,2019 or sol 2438 on Mars. Only in this image a bright spot shows up, while the next and ...
6
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1answer
186 views

Where exactly on Mars was Curiosity when this image was taken?

The BGR article NASA’s Curiosity rover saw something flash on Mars, and people are freaking out is one of many nearly identical clickbait articles about a recent image that contains a bright spot. ...
18
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2answers
760 views

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 ...
9
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1answer
387 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 ...
7
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2answers
394 views

Is there an end-of-mission for Mars One?

So far, it appears Mars One will be one-way mission to Mars, to establish a colony with no options to return to Earth, astronauts staying on Mars to the end of their lives. But does that mean the ...
12
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4answers
2k views

Boiling ponds and pools on Mars?

In the related questions Can you take a bath on Mars? & How would swimming on Mars feel, given the lower gravity? we learn that bathing and swimming on Mars is much like it is on Earth. Some ...
3
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1answer
67 views

Transmission of video and audio signals

I know this is a silly question.In july,2019 NASA's insight captured sound by wind gusts.Here is a link of video that shows the movement of robotic arms and sound of wind on mars. ...
5
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2answers
181 views

Has Mars quaked yet? Any scientific speculation when it might?

We have lots of questions about the Mars lander InSight's seismometers, and I remember reading that they have detected microseisms from wind blowing over InSight's solar panels and the surface of Mars ...
3
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1answer
147 views

When going to Mars, how do you measure exact distances to determine course corrections?

When probes fly to Mars, they must adjust their trajectories multiple times during transit to ensure correct orbit insertion. They fire their small onboard rockets a little bit to do this. But how do ...
2
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0answers
107 views

Would it not be safe to introduce perchlorate consuming bacteria on Mars, at least for controlled tests?

Since the discovery of the toxic perchlorate being globally distributed in the martian soil the chances for microscopic life there are thought to be greatly reduced.. Even in the RSL's, once thought ...
8
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1answer
158 views

What was the driving record of each rover on Mars in one sol, and when?

Both Mars rovers Opportunity and Spirit had a top speed of 180 meters/hour on flat hard ground, but their hazard avoidance software caused them to stop every 10 seconds for 20 seconds to observe and ...
2
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0answers
77 views

How were Mars' zero elevation datum defined? What are their shapes?

Discussions on Boiling ponds and pools on Mars? led me to Wikipedia's Mars; Geography and naming of surface features which says: Because Mars has no oceans and hence no "sea level", a zero-...
2
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1answer
127 views

Will the Rosalind Franklin (ExoMars) rover solar panels be able to clear themselves of dust by tilting?

The BBC News item 'Rosalind Franklin' Mars rover assembly completed contains a short video, and I show some screen shots below. It looks like the panels unfold twice, from two stacks of three, to six ...
5
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1answer
150 views

Can we grow potato in mars soil?

In the movie The Martian (Wikipedia, IMDB) the astronaut grew potatoes using "soil" from the surface of Mars. Does the surface of Mars have something equivalent to soil? If so, even after being ...
2
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1answer
73 views

Would snow fall on the surface of Mars because of uncovering the ice deposit in Utopia Planitia?

In 2016 a large ice deposit was 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 about 80 ...
8
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1answer
235 views

Does NASA still plan for the Mars Ascent Vehicle to burn wax from the surface to orbit?

The NASA news item From Pedicures to the Peregrine Rocket, Paraffin Wax Proves Its Worth says: The paraffin-based fuel also works under challenging environmental conditions, like the very low ...
2
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0answers
62 views

Why will the next missions to Mars not search for past life where once hydrothermal vents were?

The iron-sulfur world theory and the deep sea vent hypothesis are among the most popular ones to explain the origin of life on Earth. This article (Michalski J et al. Ancient hydrothermal seafloor ...
4
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2answers
290 views

Is there a list of world wide upcoming space events on the web?

Is there a list of all the international upcoming events like launches, expected arrivals at, and landings on celestial bodies, etc. on the internet ?
2
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1answer
152 views

Why does Curiosity have two images of itself on itself, or is one a QR-code?

The first image in CNN"s New images show Mars as you've never seen it before shows a partial "selfie" by the Curiosity rover which includes what looks like two images on the rover itself. The one on ...
5
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1answer
313 views

What were the life spans of the four Mars rovers?

What were the life spans of all 4 rovers that were sent to Mars? By 4 rovers i mean Sojourner, Spirit and Opportunity and Curiosity? Which of them 4 had maximum and minimum lifetime span?
3
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0answers
73 views

What can be done to get the heat-flow probe next to the Insight lander moving downwards again?

This article of July 12,2019 tells us that in late June 2019 NASA engineers succesfully lifted off the HP³ support structure of the Martian surface and obtained a clear view of the half-submerged heat-...
0
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2answers
83 views

Why a rover bumps after landing on Mars?

Sometime ago I was watching a video which showed that when a rover lands on mars surface it will keep bumping on mars surface like a ball until it gets rid of stored energy and then it becomes static. ...
6
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1answer
843 views

Artificial gravity on Mars

It is well-known that the lack of gravity during spaceflight is a cause to many sorts of health issues. It is thus expected that Martian gravity (significantly lower than Earth's) will have influence ...
3
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1answer
249 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 ...
4
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3answers
139 views

Options for making rocket fuel using the Moon's natural resources

Based on what is known about the chemistry of the lunar surface through remote sensing and surface exploration, what raw ingredients are likely to be available that can be used to make rocket fuel?
4
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0answers
316 views

How many sundials & Sun compasses 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 ...
5
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1answer
4k views

Would you age slower on mars?

As far as I know, time dilation has little effect on Mars compared to Earth, and I'm not asking with that in mind. I'm rather asking if the low surface gravity (38% of Earth's) could allow humans to ...
2
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0answers
32 views

Is planetary impact testing planned for the InSight Mars lander's seismometers?

The question How could InSight's seismometers be intentionally and meaningfully “pinged”? is a hypothetical and has several good speculative answers. But here I'd like to ask specifically about any ...
5
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1answer
90 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 ...
1
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1answer
233 views

Expected differences between concrete prepared on the ISS and matched samples prepared on Earth?

From tweet The Spaceflight Now article Cygnus arrives at station with CubeSats, quantum physics experiment describes experiments that will be done on the ISS mixing small samples of either cement or ...
5
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6answers
615 views

What's the scientific evidence of water for return trip methalox on Mars?

EDIT: I am not asking if you think finding water is necessary for a return flight. I'm asking for the scientific evidence that there is mineable water on Mars that could be used for this purpose. ...
2
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3answers
528 views

How is Martian water lost to space?

I have read this news article and I wonder how Mars water is lost to space. Mars has mass and hence it has also got gravity to pull objects towards it like the Earth does. So how can water be lost to ...
7
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2answers
2k views

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 ...
35
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6answers
8k views

Why should space probes have to orbit the Earth before being launched at other planets?

I'm curious to know why any satellites that need to be sent to other planets should be moving around the Earth rather than directly going towards their destination? Today, India launched one satellite ...
4
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2answers
166 views

What is the closest distance SpaceX's Tesla Roadster (Starman) will ever be to Mars?

Elon Musk's own personal Tesla Roadster launched on the Falcon Heavy in November 2018 and unfortunately overshot the orbit of Mars. This short animation shows the trajectory of SpaceX's Roadster. It ...
1
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3answers
107 views

Will the Mars helicopter be able to remove the dust from solar panels?

Athough i'm not that worried about Insight's solar panels that i didn't sleep well because of that, this question got me thinking ! The Mars Helicopter Scout is a planned robotic helicopter that ...
1
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1answer
291 views

During final descent how will InSight 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 ...
2
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0answers
127 views

3D celestial puzzle; why InSight's two RISE horns point slightly south of east, and north of west?

@karthikeyan's excellent answer links to The Rotation and Interior Structure Experiment on the InSight Mission to Mars (Folkner, W.M., Dehant, V., Le Maistre, S. et al. Space Sci Rev (2018) 214: 100. ...
2
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0answers
81 views

Where on Mars will China's rover land?

Inspired by this question about all the missions to Mars in 2020, where on this planet will the rover of the mission that China has planned, land and operate ?
2
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2answers
274 views

Is a system to remove the charged Mars dust from settlers' suits feasible?

In the question How strong is the electric charge capacity of Martian dust storms? the possibility of electrically-charged dust and its inconvenience or danger to Mars explorers is described. The ...