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Questions tagged [mars]

Questions about the science or exploration of the planet Mars.

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7
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1answer
952 views

What were the Curiosity sky-crane’s descent engines?

I vaguely remember hearing the descent engines in the sky crane of curiosity were monopropellants and ran on hydrazine. Is this true and is there any other information on the engines available?
7
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2answers
960 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 ...
7
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1answer
551 views

Will the 2018 Mars Dragon Lander be the largest lander on Mars to date?

Assuming the Dragon V2 will be the lander for SpaceX Mars mission launching in 2018, will it be the largest lander (either by weight or by size) that humans have put on Mars to date? Wikipedia has ...
6
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1answer
201 views

Why did the MarCO space probes use fire extinguishant as their propellant?

In many news articles, it's mentioned that the MarCO spacecraft, launched with InSight, used fire extinguishant as the propellant for its cold gas thrusters. I originally assumed that this was ...
6
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4answers
3k views

Can we use a rail gun on the moon to launch stuff directly to mars?

Quite a bit has been written about railguns launching stuff to the earth. But has any work been done on using the moon as a pit stop between the earth and mars.
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3answers
538 views

Why would Mars' sky appear blue at dawn and dusk, but red during the middle of the day (reverse of Earth)?

After reading the really interesting question and discussion Terrestrial Exoplanet Skies – I've Built a Visual Sky Chart. Is it Accurate? I was reminded that in this video at ...
6
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0answers
132 views

Where on Mars are the known craters or collapse features with very high depth/diameter ratio?

Figure 1 of this article about craters and collapse features on Mars with high depth/diameter ratios shows that ratios higher than 0.2 are exceptional. This presentation of the Program of the Second ...
6
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2answers
736 views

Source for up-to-date values of Mars' standard gravitational parameter

Wikipedia currently gives the standard gravitational parameter of Mars as: $$ GM_{Mars} = 4.2828(9) *10^{13} (m^3/s^2)$$ The (9) is the uncertainty of the last digit, so it works out to about ...
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2answers
2k views

Could NASA send animals to Mars and back as a rehearsal before a human mission?

Animals in a "free return" trajectory around Mars and landed on Earth should give great data about the effects from microgravity and radiation. It would also test the life support systems. Wouldn't ...
5
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1answer
172 views

Removing perchlorate from Mars surface soil

It's known that there's a lot of perchlorate contained in Mars' surface soil. But could we take the toxic part out and make it become plantable? If so, how might this be done in a practical way on ...
5
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2answers
314 views

International Collaboration on Large-Scale Manned Space Exploration Projects

Many people would argue that the International Space Station is one of the most extraordinary human accomplishments in space exploration. Considering the short-lived space stations of the pre-ISS era, ...
5
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1answer
743 views

After a trans-Mars transfer, what is the direction of the rotation of the orbit around Mars?

I'm not quite familiar with space exploration vocabulary. For the Apollo missions, the trajectory was figure-8-shaped. Thus, the direction of rotation of the Earth orbit was opposite to the one ...
5
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1answer
121 views

How close to the planet Mars would an object have to be to generate friction in its atmosphere?

If satellites were in place with space elevator type cable holding a "friction generator" close to the Martian atmosphere, how far from the surface would the said device have to be? I don't need an ...
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2answers
2k views

How much gravity is actually needed to avoid serious health consequences?

Most discussion I have read about using tethers and rotation in order to simulate gravity on spacecraft, talk about simulating Earth's gravity - 1g or 9.8m/s^2. Baked into the 1g figure is the ...
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3answers
306 views

Fast spining solar cells to clear Martian dust possible?

I've seen a fast spinning glass wheel used in front of a camera to clear away water, dust or ice. Could Solar panels be made circular and spin to clear dust off of them in the same way may? As ...
4
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1answer
303 views

Could a sling launcher be used on Mars?

A sling launcher (discussed in this write-up by Landis) is a tower with a motor that spins a hub with two or more cables attached. Payload(s) are attached to the end of one or more cables and ...
4
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2answers
671 views

Is SSTO viable on Mars?

I know that Single-Stage-to-Orbit is quite challenging from the surface of Earth, but it's relatively straightforward from the moon (as demonstrated by the Apollo LM). What about Mars? Let's assume in-...
4
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1answer
5k views

Can we restart Mars's magnetic field? [duplicate]

Could Mars's magnetic field be restarted by its own moon? I've done some research (and I am definitely no scientist) but I am looking for answers. I know that Mars has two moons, one of which is on a ...
4
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1answer
143 views

Have any systems on any Mars rovers failed (even partially) as a result of a dust storm? (besides loss of solar power)

Have any systems on any Mars rovers failed (even partially) as a result of a dust storm? There is the obvious problem of loss of solar power, but the failures there are the result of loss of power. ...
4
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1answer
604 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 ...
4
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2answers
345 views

Is secure communication in space important?

How important is secure communication in space? Science-related research is often made public, but does that mean all communications must be unprotected?
4
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1answer
223 views

How does one get Context Camera (CTX) images from Mars with certain identification numbers?

According to Wikipedia the Context Camera(CTX) on board of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter had already mapped 50% of Mars by Februari 2010. Should it not have to be possible to get access to all these ...
4
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3answers
247 views

Calculating low-thrust capture delta-V with high $V_{inf}$

I'm designing a CubeSat mission to the Martian moons, and am having trouble calculating capture delta-V. Once it gets into a circular orbit, I can do the rest, but the capture itself is giving me ...
4
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2answers
670 views

Solar Flux on Mars Surface

Considering that the Solar Flux on top of Mars' atmosphere is 590 W/m2 (following the 1/r^2 relation for sunlight), how much of this incident light actually arrives to Mars. In other words, what is ...
3
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2answers
146 views

How much of an issue is space junk going to be for future manned mars missions?

As far as I understand, a manned mission to mars would require an unprecedented amount of equipment, most of which would have to be pre-staged in LEO. How is space junk going to affect this? The ISS ...
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0answers
152 views

What's the deepest a trench could theoretically be dug on Mars?

Given the physical characteristics of Mars (the crusts thickness, it's composition, gravity, etc) how deep a trench (that could be expected to continue to exist indefinitely, or rather, for periods of ...
3
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1answer
71 views

Puzzler: help understanding these amazing Curiosity eclipse GIFs

Starting from Curiosity Observes Sunset Eclipse: Sol 2358 I found three images in the sequence PIA23133, PIA23134, and PIA23135 which I thought would mean (but don't know for sure) that they are ...
3
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2answers
279 views

Could a fat rocket be used on Mars?

Since Mars' atmosphere is around 2% the density of Earth's then could a much wider rocket achieve orbit? Could the rocket be in the shape of a capsule or an optimal shape for reentry on Earth?
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0answers
668 views

Artificial magnetic shielding for Mars feasible?

According to this article, the Martian atmosphere can be saved from being dispersed into space through an artificial magnetic shield. I'm interested in knowing the costs and mechanics that can make ...
3
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1answer
129 views

What is the Austrian Space Forum doing in Oman?

I was looking through CNN's clickbait photo compilation Instant vacation: The world's best travel photos of 2018 and came upon the following image and caption. What is the Austrian Space Forum, and ...
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6answers
461 views

What would be a few challenges to build a landing strip on mars?

So we are spending a lot of money to get things landed vertically. Its a challenge, and obviously tough too. So here is the idea. Get to mars. land over there, no need to return to earth (if no ...
3
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1answer
189 views

Can HiRISE photograph Starman?

On Oct 7, 2020, according to the latest predictions, the Tesla Roadster/ Starman will pass within 0.05 AU (7.4 million km). Could HiRISE image it with any success, and as anything but a dot?
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2answers
448 views

How to use this Google Mars viewer to find this Martian landslide event?

This NASA/University of Arizona HiRise tweet shows this interesting image of a meteor impact crater that triggered a landslide (or maybe a "dust-slide") on Mars. The tweet links to this University of ...
3
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2answers
199 views

Is it possible for entomopter to fly on Mars carrying payload of 1-2kg?

In other words, how big should an entomopter be so that it could fly in Mars' atmosphere and carry a payload of 1-2 kg? I'm trying to find out if an entomopter could be used to carry a spectral sensor ...
3
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2answers
1k views

How can aerobraking be used to enter high orbit without landing?

It has been proposed that a human mission to Mars could park the transfer habitat in high Martian orbit while only a small capsule lands on the surface or on a moon. This in order to minimize the mass ...
3
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2answers
619 views

Bombing Moon and Mars: What would it look like?

To me it seems surprising, frightening, and sadly typical that before humans set foot on a celestial body, they plan to nuke it (1, 2, 3). What would a big explosion on Moon or Mars look like? I ...
3
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1answer
272 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 ...
3
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1answer
980 views

Mars' atmosphere and the triple point of water

As I understand it, the average atmospheric pressure at the surface of Mars is close to the triple point of water. Is this a coincidence or does water have some sort of controlling effect on Mars' ...
2
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1answer
109 views

What were the 21 potential landing sites for the Mars 2020 mission?

In August 2015 more than 150 scientists attended a conference to evaluate 21 potential landing sites for NASA's next rover, a mission called Mars 2020. Out of those proposed landing sites the Mars ...
2
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1answer
425 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?
2
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2answers
191 views

Were the previous Mars landers configured to transmit beacons or data during descent?

The ExoMars Entry, Descent and Landing Demonstrator Module (EDM) Schiaparelli was configured to broadcast a UHF beacon throughout the entry, descent and landing phases using multiple transmitters and ...
2
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1answer
395 views

Martian Carbon Dioxide Turbine Oxygen Generator

How much solid Carbon Dioxide can be collected in a container with the top of the container level with the ground during a Martian Winter? Side Question: What do you call a generator that runs on the ...
2
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1answer
172 views

How would this two-stage Mars Ascent Vehicle work? Where do you sit?

This curious answer shows an image of a liquid-fueled Mars Ascent Vehicle with a sign in front that only says Two Stage Mars Ascent Vehicle Question: Is there some NASA program associated with it ...
2
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2answers
329 views

What are the louver-like structures on the sides of the Mariner 4 probe?

The COSMOS Magazine article First mission to Mars: Mariner 4’s special place in history July 14, 1965, forever changed the way we see Mars. Tim Wallace looks back at one of NASA’s greatest triumphs ...
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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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1answer
770 views

Real time communications in space

Today we use audio and video communications (using UDP protocol) over IP networks (VoIP) for communicating (Skype, Whatsapp, FB messenger). This works fine on planet Earth (although there are various ...
2
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1answer
177 views

Do Mars rovers have irises? How do they safely look at the Sun?

This excellent answer by @MarkAdler to the question Opportunity's last tau was 10.8; what does that mean and how is tau defined and measured? explains that Curiosity uses its PanCam to image the Sun's ...
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2answers
198 views

Could a small Mars Cycler be used for repeated sample and big data transfers?

Imagine rovers collecting samples on Mars and launching them to dock with a Mars-Earth transfer spacecraft. This vehicle would be in a Mars cycler orbit which passes near Mars and Earth every 7 years, ...
2
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1answer
378 views

Is the entire underside of Schiaparelli one big crushable-structure?

The caption in this Space dot com video says that Schiaparelli will drop the last two meters, and the shock will be absorbed by a crushable structure. It is described in the text accompanying this ...
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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-...