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Questions tagged [mars]

Questions about the science or exploration of the planet Mars.

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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 ...
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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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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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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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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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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 ...
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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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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 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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Could inflating while decending for rentry be possible?

Could entry of Mars with balloons work by inflating to equalize with the atmopheric air pressure while establishing buoyancy before meeting the ground? Would a balloon pop if dropped from space? ...
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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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443 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 ...
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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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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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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 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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What type of software is used to make radiation shielding simulations for use in Space or Mars?

Hopefully this is relevant to the board and doesn't get deleted. Quick background: In Thailand. Grad student, mechanical engineering, with very limited knowledge regarding nuclear or space radiations. ...
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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. Without a planetary magnetic field, what force produces a bow shock in the solar wind at Mars, thereby producing a "proton aurora"?...
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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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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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Can Mars topsoil be transformed to be a arable mood, and how to do it?

Can Mars top soil be transformed to be a arable mood, and how to do it? It may be planted in the isolated space.
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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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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 ...
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How large are the advantages to building a Martian spaceport on Olympus Mons? What are the disadvantages?

There are several questions and answers here about a potential advantage to launching from substantially higher altitudes, usually the answers are that while indeed there is some advantage, it is ...
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Why are the heat sensor probes in HP3 probe spaced with reducing gap with depth?

The HP3 probe used for studying the geothermal features of Martian surface, hammers upto 5m deep and inserts a tether lined with heat sensor probes. This link shared earlier by @uhoh, is an ...
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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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Would the atmosphere of Mars become less dusty if the ice deposit in Utopia Planitia could be uncovered?

In 2016 a large ice deposit has been found within the Utopia Planitia region on Mars by the SHARAD instrument on board of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The thickness of the deposit ranges from 80 ...
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How much CO₂ could the wind through a tunnel within the deposit near the south pole of Mars sublimate?

Within the CO₂ deposit near the south pole of Mars, according to this article 3 subunits have been found with one having the top CO₂ layer of about 300 meters thick covered by a water ice layer with a ...