Questions tagged [mars]

Questions about the science or exploration of the planet Mars.

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Does a mission to Venus orbit require less propellant than a similar mission to Mars?

Gravitational attraction is determined using G (m1m2)/r^2 Which indicates the force is inversely proportional to the square of separation of the bodies Of the terrestrial planets Mercury, Venus, ...
21
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3answers
8k 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?
17
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1answer
417 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 ...
7
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1answer
358 views

What caused Cydonia mesas, such as “The Face on Mars”, to be created?

The Cydonia region of Mars is littered with mesas, which are an unusual geographic feature on Mars. A sample of a few of these, including the commonly known as "The Face on Mars", is shown below. How ...
7
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1answer
242 views

Could a magnetorquer be used in orbit around Mars?

One way to align a spacecraft into a certain manner while in orbit around a body is the use a Magnetorquer. Does Mars have enough of a magnetic field to allow such a device to operate?
7
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1answer
591 views

How many square kilometres of Mars is exactly mapped?

I've heard somewhere that we have better maps of the surface of Mars than the deepest areas of the sea. But how accurate are the maps really? Also, how much we have mapped about the surface of Mars?
9
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2answers
689 views

What factors are considered when choosing a Mars lander landing site?

NASA seems to have a mission planned to send a 2016 lander to Mars, and they say that they are in the process of choosing landing targets. What factors are considered when selecting these sites?
10
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2answers
1k views

How exactly does the Dutch “Mars One” colonization program envision dealing with the difference in Earth's and Mars' gravity?

The Dutch have started the Mars One Mars colonization program. In the next 20-30 years, they plan to build a little colony. Humans will be living in lower gravity than the Earth's. Is there any ...
9
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1answer
266 views

What is the naming procedure for rocks on Mars?

I think that the relevant naming 'authority' for e.g. craters on the Moon (and Mars) is the International Astronomical Union. Besides weak spots in the system, the basic idea is that people or ...
9
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1answer
407 views

Did Curiosity rover communicate to the ground station during its descent phase?

During descent phase and entering Mars' atmosphere, was the rover's descent controlled by the Earth based ground station, or by the rover itself? What are the technical challenges, when communicating ...
21
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1answer
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Why do the Mars rovers move so cautiously?

All the Mars rovers tend to move very slowly. For example, Curiosity moves at an average speed of 30 metres per hour and a maximum speed of 90 metres per hour. Why is this so? Is it because of safety ...
6
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2answers
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What's the highest resolution camera orbiting Mars as of 2013?

There are many cameras currently orbiting Mars, taking pictures of rocks and sand and things. What is the highest (in the visible spectrum) sensor resolution of these? Are there higher res ones ...
7
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1answer
374 views

Why are Martian rovers still looking for water?

It seems obvious that water has been on Mars at some point, be it long ago or recent. My question, then, is this: Why are we still looking for evidence of water on Mars? Shouldn't we be focusing on ...
8
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1answer
1k views

Can Indian PSLV take ISRO to Mars?

Is the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle capable of taking a 1,350 kg orbiter from the Earth to Mars as this article states?
32
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2answers
3k views

Why would NASA include a speaker on Curiosity?

Curiosity celebrated it's first birthday by playing, on Mars, Happy Birthday. How was this accomplished, and why would this capability even be included on Mars?
7
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1answer
153 views

How reliable is HiRISE imagery as a source of knowledge about Mars?

This is a question at the nexus of image interpretation and methodology of planetary science. How can HiRISE images be used in confirming or refuting hypotheses about the past and present geology of ...
6
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3answers
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Why are there no video transmissions from the Moon and Mars?

There is one new project, like Google Maps, which would be an online video transmission of the Earth's surface from a satellite: http://www.urthecast.com/ Another good one is a web cam situated on ...
11
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4answers
949 views

Does any country have real plans for a manned mission to Mars?

I'm curious as to whether or not any country has any real plans for a manned mission to Mars. Not a conceptual thing, but real, hard plans. If so, are there any specifics?
10
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1answer
441 views

Will the Mars Entomopter actually work?

Could a fixed wing entomopter with a wingspan of 2 meters actually fly in the Martian atmosphere? If so, could it reach a flight speed of over 250 mph in the thin atmosphere of Mars?
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, ...
5
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1answer
7k 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 ...
12
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1answer
947 views

Does NASA have any plans for future Mars rovers after Curiosity?

Curiosity should last a very long time - up to around 14 years. My question is whether NASA has any plans for a Mars rovers after Curiosity. If so, are any specifics known?
14
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1answer
646 views

Are data we get from surface rovers accurate?

NASA have already sent several surface rover vehicles to the surface of planets, mostly to Mars. Just think about Curiosity. Compared to the fact that these rovers are remotely controlled and have ...
14
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1answer
1k views

Did the Viking landers detect life on Mars?

The two Viking landers had an experiment on board where they attempted to find life on the planet. The initial results said yes, there was life, but later there were questions raised about the results....
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3answers
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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 ...
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2answers
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What are the disadvantages of parachute+airbag for atmospheric landing, versus rocket-based?

After Sojourner success, repeated by Spirit and Opportunity, it seemed like we had developed a fail-proof system for atmospheric landing for our probes: there's very little that can go wrong with the ...
1
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1answer
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Is there night photos from rovers of Mars? Specially sky of Mars with two moons [closed]

Is there night photos from curiosity or early of mars's skies. Two moon on the sky. Photos from ground. From rovers. Like this: Not a 50px white circle on the black background. Like this: But ...
53
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4answers
15k views

Would terraforming Mars be possible?

Mars is a planet commonly brought up when talking about terraforming. Even if we were to manage to get past all economic barriers, and somehow form a thick atmosphere, would the lack of a magnetic ...
10
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3answers
3k views

Does Mars contain materials that could be used to build a space colony?

If a manned mission to mars was made with the hope of colonization, we would probably need to make many of our structures there out of materials found there - they would probably be simply too heavy ...
15
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4answers
8k views

Energy consumption for travelling to the Moon vs. to Mars

I just finished reading Clarke's "Prelude to Space". In chapter XXVII the character Taine gives a talk where he states It sounds paradoxical, but it's easier to make the forty-million-mile journey ...
15
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1answer
214 views

Why did the HiRISE camera team choose the wavelengths they did?

The HiRISE camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has 3 color sensors, red (440-850nm), blue-green (400-600nm), and near-infrared (800-1000nm). Why these particular channels? Why not standard ...
15
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2answers
1k views

Which precious metals have been detected via samples taken from Earth's moon or Mars?

Have any of the rock samples (or meteors from Earth's moon or from Mars) provided a measurable amount of gold, silver, platinum or any other precious metals?
9
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2answers
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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 ...
16
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4answers
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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 ...
17
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1answer
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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 ...
32
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3answers
13k views

About how long will Curiosity last on its nuclear power?

Curiosity, we know, has no little nuclear reactor, it has a RTG. Great! But how long will it last? For how many years will our little 1-ton friend be roaming around another planet?
14
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1answer
695 views

How does NASA keep radiation from frying rovers?

I know that on Mars, radiation levels are quite high (turns out lack of an atmosphere does that). On the rovers that are sent to Mars, etc. How is radiation kept from playing havoc with the rover's ...
14
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2answers
1k views

What technological barriers, if any, prevent a manned mission to Mars at this time?

Is the technology currently in place to launch a manned mission to Mars (and is it thus just a resource constraint that's preventing such a mission from occurring), or are there still other ...