Questions tagged [mars]

Questions about the science or exploration of the planet Mars.

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18
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2answers
1k views

Why is Curiosity not heading for Peace Vallis?

For over 5 years Curiosity has been successfully searching for many signs that water was once present at Gale crater. Its geology is notable for containing both clays and sulfate minerals that may ...
17
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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 ...
14
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6answers
1k views

Is the “Mars blue dune” actually blue? And what makes it so?

NASA recently released an image of a blue dune on Mars. The accompanying story seems to suggest to me that it is a false color image - some property of that part of the image is detected and rendered ...
9
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1answer
463 views

What, if any, reduction in radiation exposure does the atmosphere of Mars provide?

In the book "The Case for Mars", cited in this answer, there is a study cited that states that 20-50 REM radiation occurs due to cosmic rays in deep space. It seems likely that the atmosphere of Mars ...
8
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6answers
733 views

Will suits worn on Mars lose kilograms of “expendable water” each time they are used?

In this excellent answer I learned that space suits from the Apollo missions and even when used in space walks from the ISS today use water sublimation to remove both body heat and other heat ...
8
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1answer
429 views

How cold is the Martian sky at night? Or the day for that matter?

If you take a simple infrared "thermometer" which is actually a lot like a bolometer and point it at a clear sky, it says "cold!" because in the wavelength range that it's using (roughly 5 to 15 ...
7
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1answer
600 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 ...
7
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1answer
585 views

How thick would a Marscrete structure need to be to provide adequate protection against radiation?

Regarding a manned shelter on the surface of Mars... With all of this esoteric talk of ice shelters, why not simply create concrete (Marscrete) buildings? The ice probably provides better radiation ...
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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1answer
2k views

What are the most difficult challenges SpaceX will face getting astronauts to Mars by about 2025?

SpaceX has been announcing very ambitious goals such as starting to send manned missions to Mars in order to (eventually) create a colony, and recently there has been a substantial release of more ...
3
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1answer
172 views

What series of devices would you need to deliver to the Martian surface to manufacture concrete entirely in-situ?

It seems like you at least need the following: A self-drilling wellhead to reach the subsurface water, storage tank Some process for refining the regolith into the optimal composition, storage tank A ...
2
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1answer
180 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
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1answer
176 views

Can air pressure be accumulated this way for a biodome or spacesuit?

Using plastic or rubber or something similar and transparent be inflated with each layer having a increasing pressure lessening the strain on the containing material? When one or two layers fails the ...
1
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3answers
589 views

Could a powerful enough laser or maser heat the core of Mars?

I think that if we could build a powerful enough laser/maser to heat the core of Mars up and melt it, it could generate a magnetic field, which would allow for easier living on Mars. Could this be ...
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 ...
1
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0answers
124 views

Was the telltale on the Mars Phoenix Lander used for meteorology? Why not a hot wire anemometer instead?

Reading about ping pong ball anemometers I discovered that the Mars Phoenix Lander had an anemometer of this design, and there are images and GIFs of it moving. When imaged from one or two different ...
1
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2answers
373 views

How would travel to Mars without artificial gravity affect a crew's initial experience in Mars gravity?

This answer and the linked YouTube video discuss some difficulties with the experience of artificial "gravity" generated by small rotating craft (like one that could be launched to Mars in the near ...
25
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10answers
7k views

What were the most inaccurate or accurate things in “The Martian”?

I am curious what the most accurate, versus most inaccurate things that were depicted in the space movie, "The Martian"? I thought the part where he punctures his suit and jets over to the rescue ...
23
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5answers
7k views

Why hasn't NASA planted a stationary lab on Mars yet?

Why does NASA send rovers such as Curiosity instead of remotely building a small building on the surface of Mars?
16
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4answers
1k views

Is current state-of-the-art additive manufacturing (aka 3D printing) good enough to build parts out of Moon/Mars dust?

Additive manufacturing is currently being proposed as a way to greatly decrease the cost of establishing a permanent (robotic or human) presence on the Moon or Mars by sending only 3D printers to ...
6
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2answers
608 views

On building future sustainable Mars habitat

Pertaining to Mars habitation, eventually, could the answer be in burrowing into the ancient volcanoes instead of building the habitation outside in the open? Since Mars does not have magnetic ...
22
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3answers
11k views

Does Mars space suit have to be pressurized?

Various sci-fi movies treat Mars atmosphere differently, anywhere between "you just need oxygen rebreather" and "Your eyes will pop out and your head will explode". Meanwhile, I haven't seen any solid ...
17
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2answers
5k views

What is the cost estimate for a manned Mars mission?

I am looking for a cost estimate for a manned (return) mission to Mars. There is a similar question asking for the cost of the Mars One proposal, but I would be happy with a cost estimate for any type ...
7
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1answer
2k views

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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5answers
2k views

Would it be possible to deploy a man-made magnetic field in Mars orbit for terraforming? [closed]

I know terraforming Mars has been a topic of discussion for a long time. One of the larger obstacles is the planet's weak magnetic field, which if I understand correctly is integral to containing an ...
5
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1answer
8k views

Will colonists on Mars have enhanced physical mobility relative to an Earth-normal environment?

A Princess of Mars (1912) by Edgar Rice Burroughs in Chapter III describes this "superhuman leap" by the hero John Carter: My effort was crowned with a success which appalled me no less than it ...
16
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2answers
647 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 ...
13
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1answer
1k views

Are there any proposals for a permanent orbital interplanetary ferry?

I believe I read in a book once a description of a kind of interplanetary ferry that would orbit the sun and regularly pass different planets like Mars and Earth. The idea of the ferry is to have a ...
10
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1answer
7k views

If Mars had more atmosphere how warm would it be?

Looking at Venus, Earth and Mars, the closer you are to the sun the warmer you are. At the same time the warmer planets also have thicker atmospheres. ...
10
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2answers
13k views

How close will the Tesla Roadster with Starman actually get to Mars?

I know the long term outlook is quite difficult to say, but how close will the Tesla Roadster actually get to Mars on it's first orbit around the Sun?
10
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2answers
1k 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 ...
9
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1answer
768 views

Use of carbon monoxide as propellant on Mars

Is it possible to use carbon monoxide as propellant for a rocket? For example, carbon dioxide from the atmosphere of Mars could be transformed to carbon monoxide and oxygen via photochemical ...
9
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1answer
173 views

What exactly are the recent observations of organics on Mars? What's the data?

There is news of organic molecules on Mars, an event in the press. What exactly are the measurements? I've heard something about atmospheric methane, is this determined from some absorption peaks in ...
9
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0answers
572 views

How strong is the electric charge capacity of Martian dust storms?

In my answer to What would it feel like to be in a Martian dust storm? I assert that Martian dust storms would be best avoided, and as one of the reasons (besides carrying corrosive chemicals like ...
8
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3answers
4k views

How many plants would be needed to produce oxygen enough for 20 humans?

Does it depend on the type of plants and how much sunlight they get too?
4
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1answer
1k views

Sources of radiation on Mars

This question proposes building a satellite to deflect solar ionizing radiation from Mars. But there are two sources of radiation: the sun and 'everything else' (cosmic radiation). How much radiation ...
27
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3answers
2k views

What happens to defunct lunar and Mars rovers? What technological barriers prevent humanity from creating a perpetual rover?

What happens to defunct lunar and Mars rovers? What technological barriers prevent humanity from creating a perpetual rover with sun batteries or nuclear portable reactors for use on Mars, the Moon, ...
20
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1answer
279 views

Rock flipping operation

After the recent announcement of complex organics being found on Mars within the curiosity rover's meager 5cm drill depth, I had an idea about artificially increasing it: Is curiosity rover's arm ...
20
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2answers
9k views

Is it possible to grow plants on Mars?

If we provide adequate water supply will it be possible to grow plants/seeds/moss/algae (from Earth) on Mars? How different are Mars soil from Earth's soil?
19
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2answers
6k views

Is it real to patch an opening to the vacuum with plastic tarp and duct tape as in Martian?

In the Martian movie Watney patched a broken door to the martian surface with plastic tarp and duct tape. The pressure on Mars is 0.5 kPa, which is 200 times smaller, that on Earth (100 kPa), i.e. it ...
18
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1answer
510 views

Why did the Earth based observations of methane on Mars go wrong?

ScienceNews states that: Scientists had previously identified methane on Mars using Earth-based telescopes and spacecraft orbiting the Red Planet. In 2003, researchers detected a ...
16
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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 ...
15
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2answers
747 views

How would the search for life on Mars be affected by having boots on the ground?

It is looking like Mars One might continue to go forward, and even if it doesn't it is fairly likely that we will have people on Mars sooner or later. Have there been any scholarly estimations of the ...
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?
14
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1answer
3k views

Why are Curiosity's wheels aluminum rather than titanium?

I was just reading this article on how Curiosity's aluminum wheels are getting pretty dinged up. Usually titanium alloy is considered an upgrade from aluminum alloys in most applications, from ...
13
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5answers
682 views

Are there any plans to establish depots in space?

Fuel weight is a major limitation on the range of manned spacecraft. It might make sense to pre-position fuel tanks (establish depot/depots) in orbit with different planets and moons to serve as ...
13
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2answers
2k views

What's the reasonable “window” in days for a Mars-Earth Hohmann transfer?

As any popular science reader knows, when traveling between Earth and Mars, there's a Hohmann transfer opportunity about every two years (I believe it's every 26 months, specifically). What I've ...
10
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3answers
674 views

Why is MOM in a very retrograde orbit?

A recent question/discussion on this site brought out the interesting fact that most probes around Mars are in Sun synchronous near polar orbit. The ISRO web-site for the Mars Orbiter Mission writes ...
9
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1answer
380 views

What's the current timeline for NASA's Mars orbiter laser communications?

Dr. Jim Green, Director, NASA Planetary Science Division, mentioned during his "The Martian": Science Fiction & Science Fact talk for the 18th Annual International Mars Society Convention (you can ...
9
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2answers
305 views

Least artificial gravity needed to maintain health on a one year space trip?

What is the least gravity needed for human health on a one year space trip?