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Questions tagged [mars]

Questions about the science or exploration of the planet Mars.

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2answers
282 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 ...
13
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1answer
406 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 ...
4
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1answer
324 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 ...
4
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1answer
100 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 ...
3
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0answers
80 views

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?
8
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0answers
131 views

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 ...
2
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1answer
125 views

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 ...
5
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1answer
95 views

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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0answers
16 views

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/...
5
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0answers
81 views

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 ...
2
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3answers
197 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 ...
6
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0answers
90 views

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 ...
2
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0answers
80 views

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 ...
1
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1answer
441 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 ...
4
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1answer
144 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 ...
6
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0answers
67 views

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 ...
3
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1answer
112 views

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 ...
2
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0answers
49 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 ...
1
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1answer
305 views

Is a ballistic blimp entry possible on this way?

Could the entry of Mars with balloons work by inflating to equalize with the atmospheric air pressure, while establishing buoyancy before meeting the ground? Would a balloon pop if dropped from space?...
22
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2answers
2k views

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 ...
6
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2answers
264 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?
-5
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2answers
212 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 ...
0
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1answer
106 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 ...
0
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0answers
129 views

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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0answers
52 views

Would a liquid propellant fire in Mars' atmosphere cause charring?

If a ship carrying liquid propellant crashed on the surface of Mars, rupturing all tanks, I assume the propellant could ignite. If the propellant did ignite might it leave indications of charring on ...
1
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1answer
82 views

Would a debris field on Mars look like one on either the Earth or the Moon?

I am assuming there are no photographs, with enough resolution, of the any of the debris fields of Mars probes that crashed into the surface of Mars to indicate what the debris field looks like. I am ...
1
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1answer
118 views

Could it be worthwhile to bring a small and simple greenhouse with biofilms along with one of the next missions to Mars?

Planetary protection rules could be a reason not to bring biofilms to Mars, but because several landers and satellites that crashed or landed on Mars were probably not sterilized these rules were ...
0
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0answers
77 views

Can Mars provide vitamins?

How long can nutrients found in Mars along with an algae diet sustain human life?
6
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1answer
212 views

What would the human gait look like on Mars?

Is there an approximation of what a human would look like walking on Mars? Would it be closer to how the astronauts walked on the moon or the way we walk on the Earth? With the gravitational ...
2
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1answer
125 views

Why is a corner of InSight's selfie cropped like this?

A couple days ago, InSight took a selfie from the surface of Mars: Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech Most articles about it note that the photo is a composite image, which you can figure out by looking ...
2
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1answer
140 views

Manned entry to Mars

Did Insight have a ballistic entry? If so, does NASA plan a ballistic or skip-glide entry for manned missions to Mars?
2
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1answer
76 views

Hypersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator entry to Mars' atmosphere

Is it known whether or not a Hypersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator inflation and entry into Mars' atmosphere would produce more violent vibrations and lateral movements than was experienced by ...
7
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1answer
183 views

Why do InSight's solar panels have tall vertical ridges between segments - will these trap dust?

The NASA JPL News item NASA's InSight Takes Its First Selfie provides a link to the high resolution image PIA22876. Below I've cropped out the West solar panel array, which shows surprisingly tall ...
14
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2answers
2k views

Is the Curiosity rover equipped with motion detectors?

On Earth, wild life cameras are sometimes equipped with motion detectors to record rare species automatically. Could they not be applied in the case of Mars too ? Is Curiosity not equipped with ...
6
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1answer
171 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 ...
2
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1answer
77 views

What are the advantages to sending a person vs robotics to Mars?

Why is it needed to send a person to Mars one day when we have Rovers? What not obvious advantages do humans have in space exploration over Robotics and vise versa?
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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0answers
61 views

Why the big difference between NASA and ESA/Roscosmos in evaluating the Oxia Planum landing site?

In november 2018 ESA announced that the Oxia Planum region is favoured for the ExoMars surface mission. The figure above from this answer about the 21 potential landing sites for the Mars 2020 ...
0
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2answers
197 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, ...
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0answers
229 views

Is there any reason Cyanobacteria or Lichens can't survive on Mars?

According to this article "Mars atmosphere is supersaturated with water" & according to answers to this physics stack exchange question conditions do exist on the surface of Mars where fluid water ...
2
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1answer
93 views

How many hours each day is Mars reachable by 2 of the 3 DSN complexes?

NASA communicates with spacecraft beyond Earth orbit using the Deep Space Network, which has three complexes: Canberra, Australia; Goldstone, California; and Madrid, Spain. There are many spacecraft ...
7
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2answers
176 views

What does a NASA employee see on their monitor when a robot lands on Mars?

I have seen that many NASA employees (see the picture) were present in the control room when InSight landed on Mars on November 26, 2018. What I did not see is what exactly those people saw on their ...
3
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0answers
139 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 ...
1
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1answer
82 views

How feasible is wind energy generation on Mars? [duplicate]

Spacecrafts and rovers tend to have dust settled on their panel which leads to reduced power generation. If wind turbines could power the instruments, then the seasonality of solar power generation ...
2
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0answers
40 views

How old is the oldest water ice in Mars' polar caps?

Mars has permanent water ice caps at both poles, which are seasonally covered by carbon dioxide ice. What knowledge do we have regarding the age of the oldest ice in those caps?
3
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2answers
152 views

Is there a live feed from InSight anywhere?

OK so I know it's not "live" given the distances involved (so you can put your pedant hat away), but is there a feed where we can see the images & video from it more or less at the same time as ...
7
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1answer
516 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 ...
2
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1answer
69 views

Has the HP$^3$ on the Insight lander actually a probe to detect water and ice in the subsurface of Mars?

The Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package (HP$^3$) is a science instrument onboard the Insight lander that features a self-penetrating probe to determine how heat flows inside Mars. Nicknamed "the ...
2
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0answers
33 views

Mars “bus” shuttle between Earth and Mars [duplicate]

I've had no thoughts on a Mars mission for some time, but after watching the documentary on Mars One (which is think is not an option specifically to go to Mars and not return), I began going through ...
4
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2answers
114 views

Why are there no methane detectors with “the mole” of the Insight lander?

A possible geophysical source of methane on Mars could be ancient methane trapped in clathrate hydrates in the subsurface that may be released occasionally. In a not secured (!) article of ESA about ...