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Questions tagged [mars]

Questions about the science or exploration of the planet Mars.

14
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1answer
524 views

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 ...
13
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5answers
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 ...
13
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5answers
676 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 ...
12
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4answers
1k views

What is the least energetic trajectory design to send uncrewed supplies to Mars?

Both Mars One and NASA have suggested sending uncrewed supply ships to Mars as part of a manned mission or colonization. These payloads can take all the time they like, not being constrained by human ...
12
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3answers
873 views

Between a space elevator on Mars versus the Moon, which would have lower material strength requirement?

On one hand, the Moon has lower gravity, and the gravity from Earth also reduces the distance the it has to span. This is particularly true for EML-1, and a little less so for EML-2. I don't know if ...
10
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3answers
1k views

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 ...
9
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1answer
480 views

Designing a bicycle for Mars?

Assuming that Elon Musk's plan to send colonists to Mars is successful and I'm one of the chosen few, and assuming there's the mass budget for it, can I take my bicycle with me? What difficulties ...
9
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2answers
4k views

What power source options provide reliable and sustainable power generation for a Martian Colony

In order to maintain a Colony on Mars, we will need to be able to provide consistent, safe, and sustainable power on the planet. The extremely cold temperature means that the need to maintain ...
9
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1answer
230 views

Would it be cheaper to go to Mars if the empty transit vehicle is slowly accelerated before the passengers board?

Would it reduce the cost/time to go to Mars with people if the transit vehicle was accelerated using less expensive means (i.e. ion engine and/or gravity assists), and the people got took a small ...
8
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2answers
2k views

How precise are our Mars landings?

The idea of surface rendezvous for supply missions to a Mars expedition (either before or after arrival of a manned expedition) seems to come up every now and then. This would allow a manned ...
8
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2answers
431 views

How much elevation has Mars Curiosity climbed so far from the bottom of Gale crater?

Recently, I came across information that Curiosity is currently at -4220 m of altitude. I have three questions: Since there is no sea level on Mars, what is the level of reference for altitude ...
8
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2answers
3k views

How long would a Falcon Heavy last in orbit around Mars before degrading?

Elon Musk made another characteristic splash recently with his plan to launch a Falcon Heavy into orbit around Mars, with the bonus payload of his personal Tesla Roadster inside. Of course, it's an ...
8
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3answers
329 views

Sources for make-up breathable oxygen on Mars; of H20, CO2 and ClO4-, which is likely to be used first?

While oxygen recovery and reuse is well developed, the ISS does receive regular shipments of make-up oxygen. See for example this and this and this answer. For an early, manned presence on Mars, a ...
7
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2answers
1k views

Can a machine process and run on $CO_2$ and $H_2O$ for an $O_2$ by product?

On Mars studies have shown that carbon dioxide solidifies to dry ice at the poles. During the winter months can electrolysis be applied to collected and then contained liquid $CO_2$ to replenish ...
7
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0answers
491 views

How is retropropulsion by the Falcon 9 first stage being used to design retropropulsion entry on Mars?

Much has been made of how the reentry burns of Falcon 9 first stages occur at an altitude where the atmosphere is similar in density to the atmosphere of Mars, and so they demonstrate that supersonic ...
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 ...
6
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3answers
640 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 ...
6
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1answer
447 views

Would a GPS type system on Mars really need a ground station?

This question and answer has got me thinking. Would one or more ground stations be necessary (or even just very beneficial) for a GPS-like system to operate around Mars? The atmospheric issues are ...
5
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0answers
165 views

Low energy cements for Mars and Callisto. Waterless cement for the Moon. Any good candidates?

In the non-polar regions of the Moon and Mercury there is a shortage of volatiles, including hydrogen and nitrogen, so they might be regaded as too valuable to be "wasted" to prepare concrete. ...
4
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2answers
294 views

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/...
4
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1answer
340 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 ...
4
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1answer
164 views

What type of software is used to make radiation shielding simulations for use in Space or Mars?

Hopefully this is relevant to the board and doesn't get deleted. Quick background: In Thailand. Grad student, mechanical engineering, with very limited knowledge regarding nuclear or space radiations. ...
4
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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 ...
4
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3answers
292 views

Are there “rover-friendly region maps” for Mars? What about the Moon?

Rover missions are hard - you need to put them down somewhere where they can safely drive around and measure (hopefully a variety of) interesting things. Future rovers may have legs as discussed in ...
4
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1answer
339 views

Who discovered “Egg Rock”? The Curiosity rover or people?

"Egg Rock" is a smooth, shiny nickel-iron meteorite found sitting on the surface of Mars on Curiosity's Sol 1505, or 30-Oct-2016. It is described the next day in Arizona State University's Red Planet ...
3
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2answers
396 views

Why does the word “Mars” shows up in google maps when viewing the Goldstone DSN complex?

In the Wikipedia page for the Goldstone DSN complex there are coordinates. If you click them it takes you to GeoHack. I copies the decimal coordinates there ...
2
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2answers
161 views

Mars Watershield Greenhouse Question

I was reading about Martian greenhouses earlier today and I saw this image: Would this be feasible? Would the water need to be cooled/heated up to prevent things like water condensation from forming ...
2
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0answers
109 views

3D Puzzler; why are InSight's two RISE horns pointed 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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1answer
163 views

How to understand this complicated plot for Mariner 4's mid-course correction (to Mars)?

The 2015 DrewExMachina blog post Mariner 4 to Mars has an interesting looking plot! Below is the associated text, and the image caption. But I still do not understand all of the lines and labels in ...
2
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3answers
610 views

What's required to construct a space port on the Moon or Mars?

It is sometimes suggested that space ports, or at least launch pads, should be constructed on the Moon to support water exports and on Mars to support large scale exploration and settlement. I get the ...
2
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1answer
268 views

Mars: Readily usable sulfur for sulfur concrete?

Sulfur concrete is a mix of sulfur and aggregates that make a strong, quick-hardening concrete that is likely to be used for construction on Mars, which has a great deal of sulfur. Most experiments, ...
2
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3answers
213 views

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 ...
2
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0answers
64 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
99 views

What is the science behind the variation of Mars' effective sky temperature with latitude and longitude? Why the “hot spot”?

After reading this interesting answer to the question How cold is the Martian sky at night? Or the day for that matter? I found that Mars Global Reference Atmospheric Model 2001 Version (Mars-GRAM ...
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 ...
1
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1answer
245 views

Would a Faraday cage made of gas block radiation?

What is best blocks radiation and is transparent as a gas? Would applying an electrical current through the gas increase the gas from blocking radiation on Mars? Radiation could be blocked by the ...
1
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0answers
218 views

Do you recognize these space artists who made this (possibly) first “paint-by-numbers” image of Mars?

Update! I've just run across the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory video Five Ways Mariner 4 Changed Mars Exploration and it mentions this "paint by numbers" representation of "the first digital image of ...
1
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0answers
116 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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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 ...
1
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4answers
771 views

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 ...
0
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1answer
288 views

Color-correcting photos on Mars so that things look like they would on Earth - is it a big correction?

The message at the end of the very cool new NASA JPL video Curiosity at Martian Scenic Overlook says To aid geologists, colors in the image are white balanced so rocks appear the same color as the ...
0
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2answers
206 views

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, ...
75
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5answers
11k views

Could “peak Apollo levels” of support have gotten NASA astronauts to Mars in the 1980's?

In an "alternate universe" where NASA continued to receive a mandate, funding and public support at say peak Apollo levels, could another ten or twenty years have gotten boots on Mars, with astronauts ...
51
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2answers
19k views

Why are we trying to build a base on Mars before the Moon?

My question is very close to the question answered in the link below and is raised by the answers that question received: Is a Moon-base inherently more dangerous than a Space Station? Why are we ...
22
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4answers
7k views

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 ...
18
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2answers
7k views

How did NASA remotely fix the code on the Mars Pathfinder?

In 1997, NASA remotely fixed a bug that caused priority inversion on their Mars Pathfinder. How did they go about doing this? What kind of communication protocols are used? How do they update the ...
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 ...
29
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1answer
5k views

Who took the Curiosity rover's self-portrait photo from the surface of Mars?

Curiosity is missing an arm, can you help us find it? The self-portrait photograph of the Curiosity rover from the Gale Crater is probably one of the most well known ones of this particular rover of ...
26
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3answers
5k views

How can Elon Musk's Tesla actually reach Mars orbit?

So the payload of the maiden Falcon Heavy flight will be... Elon Musks's Tesla This is one part publicity stunt (it's going to be playing David Bowie's Space Oddity, if for nothing more than the ...
21
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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?