Questions tagged [mars]

Questions about the science or exploration of the planet Mars. See wiki for related tags.

131 questions with no upvoted or accepted answers
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What could be strong arguments against Ingenuity following Perseverance at a safe distance when the flight test program has been a success?

This answer to the question "How long could the Mars helicopter Ingenuity keep up with the Perseverance rover if it wanted to?" reasons that indeed it could for years ! But according to the ...
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Why are Perseverance's wheels flatter?

As visible in the image above (and as most of you would have noticed!) the wheels on the upcoming NASA/JPL rover Perseverance seems to be largely different from Curiosity's wheels. A notable ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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Has Curiosity ever taken a good hard look at the dirt covering its top surface? Can it? Have individual particles been sized?

I added some dirty pictures of Curiosity to Curiosity is still dirty! after August 9, 2018 (Sol 2137), and in this March 2021 selfie PIA24543: Curiosity's Selfie at Mont Mercou things still look ...
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Could the SS520 be used to return a payload from Mars to Earth?

The Japanese SS520-5 nanosat launcher has a payload of 5kg or so to LEO on an all solid fuel rocket with a total mass of about 2.6 tons. To reach LEO its delta-V totalled over all three stages must be ...
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If Elon Musk wanted to bring back some Martian soil, would US permission be required?

A scenario occurred to me recently where the Chinese space program decided to go all-in on Mars sample return, and their schedule was such that it would happen before the NASA/ESA mission was ...
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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. ...
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Why (the heck) did Tianwan-1 insert into a low inclination orbit then execute a plane change from 11.8 to 86.9 degrees?

eoPortal's Tianwen-1 (China's first Mars Exploration Mission) shows the following graphic, caption and link. It's often discussed that orbital plane changes are like certain table wines in that they ...
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Did the Perseverance sky crane kick up more dust than expected?

The video of the Perseverance landing showed the rover descending into a cloud of dust kicked up by the landing rockets. This is not surprising, but I always had the understanding that one of the ...
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Has a satellite or spacraft orbiting the Moon or Mars been spotted from the surface of that body?

In reading this question (Lowest possible lunar orbit and has any spacecraft achieved it?), it prompts the question if any orbiting satellite/spacecraft around the Moon or Mars (the only heavenly ...
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Eyes on Mars; are these craters mentioned or described in any paper or (scientific) article?

Credit: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona HiRISE ESP_025334_2035 For a closer view, click on the image, and then, click again. This pair of similar craters is located in the northern part of Oyama crater,...
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How much pressure would the raptor engines experience when Starship does an atmosphere entry burn at Mars?

The Starship second stage has 3 sea level engines and 3 vacuum engines. When doing the atmosphere entry burn to mars, how many Bars will the raptor engines experience? I'm thinking that because of the ...
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Engine configuration for lander

Which is a more stable lander design: 1.Single central engine. 2.Multiple engines located near the corners Following is the design for Tianwen-1, the Chinese Mars lander: And following is the design ...
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How long would a plasma trail last during a lander's Mars atmospheric entry?

In this video of the Orion reenty, ᴴᴰ Full Onboard Re-entry into Earth’s Atmosphere ● New NASA Spacecraft, the plasma trail appears to last about 90 seconds. Screenshot from video Considering how ...
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Design considerations for a space suit going to Mars?

Essentially, I am trying to design a heat exchanger for a space suit traveling to mars. From my understanding, I assumed that the energy generated from the space suit relates to the astronaut as well ...
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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 is:...
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How many sundials, Sun compasses and gnomons are there on solar system bodies?

According to https://www.seis-insight.eu/en/public-2/seis-instrument/rweb Sundial Around the handle is a small sundial, which enables geophysicists to estimate the azimuth— i.e. the orientation of ...
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Are Peace Vallis and it's alluvial fan on Mars classified as special regions or not?

According to the answer for this question, that was not accepted, alluvial fans might have water and thus a IVc category mission would be required to visit such an area. Curiosity meets only the IVa ...
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Does NASA, or any other group, have any plans to directly explore caves on Mars or the moon?

The importance of Martian caves for life past and present, volatiles being trapped, and for future habitats would seem to put their exploration high on the list but I don't see any missions to do so. ...
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Mars curiosity rover's Maxon drive motors

I am trying to get information on the maxon drive motors on the Curiosity Rover. Does anyone know know what model of DC brushless motors are used what kind of gear speed reducer is used. Is it a ...
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What would happen to an astronaut on the surface of Mars if a Carrington-event-like superflare hit the red planet?

If a coronal mass ejection with the intensity of the Carrington event1 or more hit Mars, what would happen to an astronaut on its surface who is too far from their base to return to in time? Assuming ...
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Why does ESA's TGO satellite not permanently serve as relay for Perseverance?

This question is about the orbital parameters of ESA's ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO), so I am optimisitic that it belongs on astronomy SE. More specifically, it is about the orbital geometry of TGO ...
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Is Perseverance's heat shield's thickness radially symmetric?

I came across this video1 about the Mars 2020 Perseverance rover mission, especially the atmospheric entry phase. It says between about 03:50 and ...
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How sharp are the bits of sand and rock on mars?

Lunar regolith is quite sharp, so abrasive it can cut kevlar. This is because there is no flowing water or substantial atmosphere to erode the material and smoothen it out, so meteorite impacts break ...
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Is this digitally created ESA image of a Mars landscape incorrect to what the human eye would see?

This ESA image below of Noctis Labyrithus was created with data obtained from the High-Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC), onboard ESA’s Mars Express, seems to depict a time near either sunrise or sunset....
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Why will the NASA Mars drone helicopter use off the shelf batteries?

I read from this paper under section G. that the JPL Mars helicopter scout will use standard 18650 cells from Sony. I’m sure that a company like NASA has the capability of acquiring much more advanced ...
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Are there any past or present plans or proposals to explore martian lava tubes?

Lava tubes on Mars are the prime target for human or robotic missions. They provide protection from radiation, surface conditions, and are thought to have stable internal temperatures. Lava tubes are ...
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What is the current state of knowledge regarding embryology (from an animal husbandry perspective) in Mars-g gravity?

Before anyone comments - obviously, we don't have any experimental data. But do perhaps we have ISS or other data that can be extrapolated from? What I'm asking specifically is, what do we currently ...
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Are there any free return trajectories for a manned Mars flyby mission between 2018 and 2024?

I am looking for a mission profile including the delta-v for burns for an interplanetary mission to Mars. I have been unable to find any free return trajectories between 2018 and 2024, are there any?
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How would Ingenuity handle Martian Storm and dust devils?

Martian storms are quite common and can sometimes encompass most of the planet. Though the density of the Martian air is low, the speeds are pretty high (some have observed 26 m/s). How would the ...
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Why is the Southern Hemisphere of Mars is heavily struck by asteroids while the northern part is relatively smooth?

The northern hemisphere of Mars is smooth with flats lands but areas particularly below the Tharsis rise is heavily cratered, also Hellas basin, one of the largest impact craters is located in the ...
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Up to what mach/reynolds numbers will Ingenuity be tested?

From an aerodynamics perspective, velocity alone is insufficient to describe the flow regime experienced during flight. For the Ingenuity helicopter, what specific mach numbers and reynolds numbers ...
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Could a Mars rover reliably navigate using the local magnetic fields?

Mars does not have a global magnetic field which guides charged particles entering the atmosphere. Mars has multiple umbrella-shaped magnetic fields mainly in the Southern Hemisphere, which are ...
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Are there any illustrations / animations which show how Ingenuity is stored on Perseverance & how to it is perpared for launch?

While I found some articles which provide some information on how the Ingenuity helicopter is stored on Perseverance (e.g here), I did not found any illustrations or animations which show more details....
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Sources for Mars rover sensor data

Is it possible to get sensor data from past or present martian rovers sent by NASA? Specifically, I'm looking for accelerometer and wheel torque data from the rovers. I've searched their "...
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Trying to modify a JPL guidance algorithm for the Mars Sky Crane and Mars 2020

I've been trying to implement a modification to the JPL guidance law that was used (or very similar to what was used) for the powered descent portion of the MSL mission and I'm struggling to figure ...
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How to get MSL coordinates during EDL from SPICE kernel?

Upon trying to extract MSL position above surface by decoding a SPICE kernel, I am gettin this error: At epoch 3.9750216818313E+08 TDB (2012 AUG 06 05:16:08.183 TDB), there is insufficient ...
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Can it be estimated when a first settlement near the equator would become more economical than one at the midlatitudes of Mars?

Choosing the right place on Mars for a settlement would be of course an important decision because once it's there it would take much time and money to move on to another, better location. Because the ...
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What is the lowest possible stable Mars orbit?

Due to atmospheric drag, the lowest altitude above the Earth at which an object in a circular orbit can complete at least one full revolution without propulsion is approximately 150 km (93 mi) while ...
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Is there any current imagery of Mars2020?

Are there any current photos or video from the Mars2020 spacecraft, or since the first burn? It would be cool to check on this daily/weekly.
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Is there a specific reason why NASA put MOXIE on a rover?

MOXIE or The Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment is to be sent to Mars as a part of Perseverance's scientific payload. Sure the experiment is much needed and very anticipated, and ...
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Kinematic and Dynamic viscosity on Mars

I've been looking at the Mars helicopter (Ingenuity) that will be onboard the Mars 2020 rover and I am having trouble figuring out how they determined the size of the rotor blades. Specifically, I'm ...
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What does “clumps and streams” of hydrogen leaving Mars' atmosphere really mean? Are there images of them?

This excellent answer to Just how huge is Mars' cloud of hydrogen? links to the 14 October 2014 Nature News item "Hydrogen Cloud Blows Off Mars", by Alexandra Witze, https://www.nature.com/...
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How applicable can Martian soil samples from a handful of sites be to Mars at large?

Martian soil samples have been said to be heavily contaminated with perchlorate salts, which will obviously have tremendous impact on efforts to colonize Mars. But what reason do we have to believe ...
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Could the bright spot on the image captured by Curiosity have been caused by a data transmit or storage failure?

The image above, one of a total of 21 images shot over a 4 minutes span, was captured by Curiosity on June 16,2019 or sol 2438 on Mars. Only in this image a bright spot shows up, while the next and ...
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What can be done to get the heat-flow probe next to the Insight lander moving downwards again?

This article of July 12,2019 tells us that in late June 2019 NASA engineers succesfully lifted off the HP³ support structure of the Martian surface and obtained a clear view of the half-submerged heat-...
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Fate of human-made objects on mars

Now that Opportunity is dead, and since there are ideas for future human missions to Mars, I wonder if there is a project to collect all our rovers and landers or at least label as historical sites ...
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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?
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What are the tradeoffs of circularly unfurling solar panel over linearly deploying solar panels?

Martian landers like Phoenix and Insight uses circularly unfurling solar panels. The regular satellites make use of linearly unfurling panels. What are the primary reasons why linear unfurling ...