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Questions tagged [mars]

Questions about the science or exploration of the planet Mars.

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Can the top soil of the Mars be transformed to be arable, and how to do it?

Can Mars top soil be transformed to be a arable mood, and how to do it? It may be planted in the isolated space.
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2answers
3k views

How does the Curiosity rover survive dust storms on Mars?

According to the answers to this question, a dust storm on Mars can last for many days. Dust is a serious problem for mechanical joints if they use lubrication, because it may stick to the lubricant ...
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Robotically build resources on a planet before human arrival [on hold]

What would it take to send a group of machines to a planet/natural satellite to build structures for humans which we can go and reside on ? The group would consist a 'worker' that digs up minerals ...
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1answer
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Can it be realistic to build a artificial magnetic field around Mars?

I was wondering how realistic it is to build an artificial magnetic field around Mars using electromagnetism. So my question is; what kind of current would be needed in a loop around Mars' equator to ...
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1answer
37 views

What would the full hypothetical Mars terraforming roadmap look like?

Most of all the articles about Mars terraforming focuses on warming the atmosphere. 2nd most popular topic as far as I know is the magnetic field that Mars lacks. Some other sources speak about toxic ...
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Fate of human-made objects on mars

Now that Opportunity is dead, and since there are ideas for future human missions to Mars, I wonder if there is a project to collect all our rovers and landers or at least label as historical sites ...
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2answers
230 views

Is there any chance that Opportunity might still recover from the dust storm?

So, with today's announcement, Opportunity was basically declared dead When the dust storm originally engulfed Opportunity last year, mission scientists were hopeful that they might yet recover the ...
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1answer
413 views

Transparent radiation shielding for martian surface bases

One idea that's often floated when discussing ways of constructing martian habitats is that of "doming" over small craters or valleys and pressurizing the whole area. This would have several ...
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1answer
84 views

How much is the difference of gravity attraction between the highest and lowest point on Mars?

Mars has a very high mountain, wich is the Olympus Mons measuring 25 km; while Hellas Planitia is a 9 km deep crater. How much the weight of a man that on Earth is 100kg, change between the highest ...
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3answers
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Do Curiosity's reported measurements of Mars' surface gravity (~3.717 m/s^2) include centrifugal effects?

In this answer I discuss the first results in the 47th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (2016) conference paper First Gravity Traverse on the Martian Surface from the Curiosity Rover and a more ...
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How did NASA's Deep Space Network encode and broadcast music to Opportunity?

@Ingolifs's answer to the question What was the last message to Opportunity today (13 Feb '19)? quotes ArsTechnica's Opportunity did not answer NASA’s final call, and it’s now lost to us: Late ...
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1answer
289 views

Will SpaceX vehicles orbit Mars before they enter the atmosphere?

When SpaceX starts sending vehicles to Mars, how will they handle landing on Mars? Will the Starship (Upper Stage, transit vehicle) slow down enough to capture into orbit of Mars before entering the ...
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What is the effect of a solar flare on electronics on the surface of Mars?

Mars has practically no magnetosphere. Where does the impact of a solar flare on the electronics of Mars landers and rovers fall along the scale of nothing to EMP?
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1answer
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Is it justified that ESA is pushing to launch Rosalind Franklin even after Schiaparelli landing failed? [closed]

As far as I am aware, ESA has not achieved a successful martian landing yet. Why is it still a good idea to try with full-scale rover, weighting more than Opportunity and Spirit (though less than ...
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1answer
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What launch vehicle will be used for Exomars rover Rosalind Franklin?

I know that for TGO/Schiaparelli, Proton was used, but I don't know what will be for Rosalind Franklin.
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What's the role of the chainmail and scale armor on InSight's WTS?

It's like taken directly from a medieval armor... The role of wind and thermal shield (WTS) deployed over the seismometer is in its name - protecting it from noise and thermal changes. This is fairly ...
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2answers
929 views

Why Proton launcher for ExoMars, and not Ariane?

I know that ESA is cooperating with Roscosmos on the ExoMars project. But what were the reasons of selecting a Proton launch vehicle instead of Ariane? Is it because Baikonur is a more favourable ...
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Will the Insight seismometer use the deployment of the Heat Flow and Physical Properties Probe as a known impact source for sounding purposes? [duplicate]

As the Heat Flow and Physical Properties Probe (HP3) hammers itself into the Martian soil, it will generate impacts of known intensity. I have not been able to find anything on https://mars.nasa.gov/...
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1answer
275 views

How long can a moon orbit a planet?

Today it was announced that Phobos was formed in a giant explosion, similar to how the Moon was formed. Phobos is actually coming closer to Mars every year, and has an expected 10 million year ...
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Why is Curiosity's rocker-bogie mounted in it's current configuration

In this question, it is stated that by driving Curiosity backwards they could get more mileage out of it's wheels, as the rocker bogie puts less pressure on them that way. Now, the obvious question ...
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2answers
787 views

Does the Curiosity rover really have a chance of driving to the top of Mt. Sharp?

This great answer suggests the limiting high altitude to which the Curiosity rover on Mars could drive would be the top of Mt. Sharp (Aeolis Mons) - in the center of Gale crater. I'm wondering, is ...
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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 ...
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3answers
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Did the Mars rovers actually confirm the gravity of Mars?

For years the theoretical calculated gravity of Mars has proliferated science texts and Internet documentation - but did the rover actually do a test to confirm the theoretical gravity is truly equal ...
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How can I calculate the density of Mars' atmosphere during dust storms?

I have been searching to try to estimate the air density of the atmosphere on Mars during a dust storm. I am trying to use this dynamic pressure equation to calculate the pressure on a theoretical ...
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4answers
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Can either Opportunity or Curiosity explore the state of Spirit?

If you have a rough map of Mars a picture would help, but how far away are the three big rovers on Mars from each other? Is there any possibility of "roadside assistance" on Mars to "unstick" and ...
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Curiosity is still dirty! How will the ExoMARS Rover keep its solar panels dust-free and collecting sufficient power?

update: Current events makes this question even more poignant sols 5183 to 5189, Aug. 23, 2018 - Aug. 29, 2018: Team Continues to Listen for Opportunity Curiosity selfie has been released just a few ...
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Would it be feasible to use natural light to grow plants on Mars?

Would we need to use natural lighting to grow crops on Mars instead of just going with artificial LED lights? What are the pros and cons of using natural lighting, and do you think that a future Mars ...
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3answers
4k views

Is water on Mars the same as Earth water?

I would like to know how similar Mars water is to Earth water. Can we survive on Mars with Martian water without any major health issues etc?
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1answer
385 views

How to drink water on Mars?

There are craters filled with water on Mars as shown below. If fresh water is found, how would astronauts drink the water? Can the Apollo a spacesuit food/drink port be used to equalize the pressure ...
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1answer
115 views

What methods are proposed for storing cryogenic fuels (esp. hydrogen) in space for months or years?

Current Launch vehicles and upper stages must only keep their fuels for minutes or hours, so they are only insulated to keep boiloff to a few % per day - I've seen 21% per day quoted for Centaur on ...
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3answers
7k views

How can Mars have dust storms with such a thin atmosphere?

Mars, as I understand, has a very thin atmosphere. However, it still has weather like this: What causes the thin atmosphere to move fast enough to cause such a monster wave of dust?
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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 ...
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Why NASA's sudden (apparently) interest in Wax hybrid engines? Which property is so attractive now?

I've just read the NASA news item From Pedicures to the Peregrine Rocket, Paraffin Wax Proves Its Worth. The project started when researchers at Stanford discovered that paraffin fuel burns three ...
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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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42 views

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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2answers
507 views

Methane detection on Mars by MOM?

It's been almost a month since the ISRO's Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) was put into orbit. Though it doesn't carry much scientific payload, the one most talked about is the methane sensor, which even ...
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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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1answer
301 views

What is the terminal velocity on Mars?

How would I calculate the terminal velocity of Mars? What is the terminal velocity of a balloon entering Mars' atmosphere? Would a balloon pop if dropped from space?
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1answer
78 views

Which medications do you bring to Mars?

In the Apollo missions, any conditions that wouldn't kill in a few days could be treated upon return. In current missions to the ISS, an emergency abort can have medically-threatened crew members back ...
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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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4answers
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Solar panels on Mars?

I was wondering if a base on Mars could be powered by solar energy alone? Since Mars is further away from the Sun wouldn't that mean lower efficiency thus making solar not scalable? Let's assume a ...
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2answers
219 views

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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3answers
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What happens to Insight's parachute on Mars?

All of the animations I see show the heat shield detaching and falling to the ground, then Insight detaching and landing. There is no information about what happens with the upper part of the heat ...
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4answers
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Venus vs Mars for colonization

Why is Mars getting so much attention vs Venus, which to me seems like a much more attractive option, in regards to habitability. I've read that the upper atmosphere of Venus has the most Earth-like ...
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2answers
187 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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3answers
570 views

Are there any effective ways for removing/decreasing oxygen in a habitat on Mars?

A MIT Mars-One Study found that "crop growth, if large enough to provide 100% of the settlement’s food, will produce unsafe oxygen levels in the habitat". Assuming this to be true, are there any ...
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How to calculate velocity components of a point on Mars surface w.r.t. Mars center?

I found altitude, speed and acceleration data of old mission Phoenix during EDL phase, but they are referred to Mars c.o.g. rather than to ground or to landing site: Position and velocity (...
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1answer
203 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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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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1answer
101 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 ...