Questions tagged [mars]

Questions about the science or exploration of the planet Mars.

70 questions with no upvoted or accepted answers
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565 views

How strong is the electric charge capacity of Martian dust storms?

In my answer to What would it feel like to be in a Martian dust storm? I assert that Martian dust storms would be best avoided, and as one of the reasons (besides carrying corrosive chemicals like ...
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Method for keeping surface water on mars?

I've been reading this wikipedia article on terraforming mars. One of the major issues with terraforming mars is essential molecules and elements escaping the planet. There have been several ...
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Why was the “Presidential Panorama of Mars” called presidential?

From The Astronomy Picture of the Day for 2000 May 14 : Explanation: Scroll right to unfold one of the great panoramas ever taken on the surface of Mars. For best viewing, click and hold the right ...
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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 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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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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Why NASA's sudden (apparently) interest in Wax hybrid engines? Which property is so attractive now?

I've just read the NASA news item From Pedicures to the Peregrine Rocket, Paraffin Wax Proves Its Worth. The project started when researchers at Stanford discovered that paraffin fuel burns three ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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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Is Curiosity allowed to investigate the subsurface of the “clay unit ” near Mount Sharp?

From the bottom image in this article from september 2016 it can be seen that there was a possible path for Curiosity in the direction of Mount Sharp (Aeolis Mons). At the end of januari 2018 however ...
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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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Are we still able to terraform Mars using greenhouse effect?

In the last month, a group from University of Colorado, Boulder, published a paper on Nature Astronomy entitled "Inventory of $CO_2$ available for terraforming Mars", which was highly publicized on ...
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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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Mars curiosity rover

I am trying to get information on the maxon drive motors on the Curiosity Rover. Does anyone A.) know what model of DC brushless motors are used B.) what kind of gear speed reducer is used. Is it a ...
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542 views

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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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'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 ...
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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 ...
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How does the color of the atmosphere differ on Mars? Does the sky during sunset on Mars look just like midday?

Higher frequency light wavelengths (blue) absorb more in our atmosphere. At sunset, light must travel farther to reach the observer, so more blue light is scattered and the sun/sky appears orange and ...
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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 ...
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247 views

What will MOM do when Earth isn't looking?

A quick follow-up to Is each instrument on ISRO MOM independently in 24x7 contact with Earth? Every 26 months Sol interposes to occult Earth from the gaze of the Warlord. The last time this occurred ...
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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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Where exactly on Mars was Curiosity when this image was taken?

The BGR article NASA’s Curiosity rover saw something flash on Mars, and people are freaking out is one of many nearly identical clickbait articles about a recent image that contains a bright spot. ...
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At the same temperature, what's the relation of speed of heat loss between Earth and Mars?

Mars has a thinner athmosphere than Earth. Let's say you have a similar shelter of the same volume and made of the same materials in Mars at -70 Celsius, and in Earth in some place in the Antarctica ...
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Funding for small astrobiology fieldwork project

I am a postdoctoral scholar who plans to conduct a small project at the MDRS, a Mars simulation volunteer project. The project will be to conduct DNA sequencing of soil samples using a handheld nano ...
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119 views

Could the BFR Tanker be used as an artificial gravity counterweight for interplanetary travel?

An alternative storyline to the Mars transport architecture: Tankers refuel starship, last Tanker gets mounted on the Starship for the Mars orbital injection burn, once on a Martian trajectory tanker ...
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Would the destruction of Deimos have any lasting geological impact on Mars?

This question is inspired by events in the science fiction series: The Expanse. To summarize, Deimos is blown up in a retaliatory strike. One character laments about how she would feel if Earth's ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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55 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 ...
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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?
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How many sundials or sun compases are there on Mars?

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 ...
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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 ...
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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. ...
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Practical rate (e.g. kg/day) that carbon could be harvested from CO2 in the Martian atmosphere and climate?

There is frequent discussion of using CO2 in the Martian atmosphere to synthesize carbon-containing compounds. One example is methane for propulsion, another: Can materials be found to make plastic ...
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How does Mars have a Bow Shock and proton aurora? What is a hydrogen corona?

I just saw the NASA video Mars Proton Aurora below and I'm confused, (which by itself is unremarkable). Without a planetary magnetic field, what force produces a bow shock in the solar wind at Mars, ...
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Transportation on the Mars I Underground

Mars has dust storm which can affect the transportation on the ground then the underground transport system seems better than on ground transport. An underground loop transport system which is under ...
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Cubic meters of martian greenhouse required

I'm trying to figure out how big a martian greenhouse would need to be to feed one person or supplement a significant portion of their diet. Question: What is the maximum amount of Calories one cubic ...
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Mars drill depth to discover Life

Curiosity has shown that Mars used to have persistent liquid water on the surface. (~3+ billion years ago.) IF life was around at that time, at what depth would we expect to find it? Without plate ...
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Rationale for human presence on Mars in the Apollo era

The Apollo program was motivated by politics; no matter that the Apollo program was conceived before Kennedy's speech, the commitment to make it happen was driven by the need to demonstrate an ...
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Practical ice deposits on Mars?

Per JPL, Recent observations have discovered a resevoir of ice beneath the surface of mars. How practical, from an ISRU perspective, is this discovery? Frozen beneath a region of cracked and ...
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What was the best late Nova rocket design among the request for proposals NASA received?

According to Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nova_%28rocket%29) the late Nova rocket was a "larger version" of the Saturn 5, meant to send manned missions to Mars. Some requests for proposals ...
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Is each instrument on ISRO MOM independently in 24x7 contact with Earth?

The ISRO Mars Orbiter Mission web-site writes to say Mars Orbiter Mission carries five scientific payloads to observe Martian surface, atmosphere and exosphere extending up to 80,000 km for a ...
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Inspiration Mars Foundation Mission to mars Current Status?

According to the Wikipedia article Inspiration Mars Foundation: Their website became defunct by late 2015 but it is archived by the Internet Archive. The Foundation's future plans are unclear. ...
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Speed needed for the ship to escape Mars, on The Martian movie

Based on the two speeds and altitudes that are presented in the movie: "The Martian" which are respectively 741 m / s and 1350m, 850 m / s and 1843 m I would like to prove with calculations whether or ...