Questions tagged [mars]

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

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18
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How much can the Mars rover Curiosity do autonomously, after four years of operation?

I was under the impression (when asking this question) that over the past four years that experience by ground operators and programmers had lead to a configuration where the Mars rover Curiosity ...
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How can the two MarCO cubesats remain reliably close to InSight during their six month trip to Mars?

According to the NASA JPL web page Mars Cube One (MarCO) Mission Overview and the YouTube video MarCO: First Interplanetary CubeSat Mission linked there, after the Centaur upper stage deploys InSight, ...
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What would it feel like to be in a Martian dust storm?

In a recent question, 'Could an EVA Suit meant for Mars be used for EVA on another celestial, or vice-versa?', there was some discussion in the comments about the effects of a dust storm on Mars ...
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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 ...
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How do you 'make oxygen' on Mars?

This morning's BBC News says that a 2020 rover mission to Mars will "make oxygen". There is a brief line indication that it will extract it from atmospheric CO₂, but no other details. What process ...
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How would it be possible to kick start Mars's magnetic field?

Jumping from this question about terraforming Mars, how would one mitigate the main obstacle, namely Mars's lack of a magnetic field? Are there any hypothetical processes that might restart Mars's ...
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Could a helicopter fly on Mars?

Helicopter drones are awesome fun here on earth, but What if... we took one to Mars? This sounds like a good question for Randall Munroe. But I read about a proposal to send a helicopter drone (MHS) ...
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Why should space probes have to orbit the Earth before being launched at other planets?

I'm curious to know why any satellites that need to be sent to other planets should be moving around the Earth rather than directly going towards their destination? Today, India launched one satellite ...
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Curiosity is still dirty! How will the ExoMARS Rover keep its solar panels dust-free and collecting sufficient power?

update: Current events makes this question even more poignant sols 5183 to 5189, Aug. 23, 2018 - Aug. 29, 2018: Team Continues to Listen for Opportunity Curiosity selfie has been released just a few ...
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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 ...
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Will suits worn on Mars lose kilograms of “expendable water” each time they are used?

In this excellent answer I learned that space suits from the Apollo missions and even when used in space walks from the ISS today use water sublimation to remove both body heat and other heat ...
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What's the scientific evidence of water for return trip methalox on Mars?

EDIT: I am not asking if you think finding water is necessary for a return flight. I'm asking for the scientific evidence that there is mineable water on Mars that could be used for this purpose. ...
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Why would InSight's arrival date at Mars be fixed, and independent of the launch date?

Despite the 34 day long launch window, the day that InSight will arrive has already been chosen. See mars.nasa.gov's insight mission timeline below, a site I found linked in this answer. I'm not ...
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How will InSight's RISE antennas end up pointed in the right direction?

The rendering of InSight shows the RISE antennas, the two microwave horns pointed just above the horizontal over each of the solar array paddles. If I understand correctly the experiment works when ...
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Why does the Mars InSight Lander look wet like a cardboard box that came in contact with water? [closed]

NASA has just released a photo showing a part of the InSight Mars lander wet, like a cardboard box that came in contact with water (see the picture). What is that liquid? The Instrument Deployment ...
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Could you feel the wind on Mars?

The air pressure on Mars is about 1% that of Earth's at sea level. But wind speeds on Mars can be higher, up to maybe 60 mph sustained (actually I have come across several different figures, some ...
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Is Mars' gravity strong enough to hold a human-breathable atmosphere?

If we ever try to make Mars outdoors habitable, won't the air just keep flying off into the outer space because of low gravity?
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How cold is the Martian sky at night? Or the day for that matter?

If you take a simple infrared "thermometer" which is actually a lot like a bolometer and point it at a clear sky, it says "cold!" because in the wavelength range that it's using (roughly 5 to 15 ...
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Has the Curiosity rover ever communicated directly with Earth via its high-gain antenna? Signal strength & data rate?

In the question How does Curiosity know how to point and move it's high gain antenna in real time? I show an image of the hexagonal, articulated high gain antenna on the curiosity rover, as well as ...
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What uses would the Aldrin-Cycler have?

An Aldrin-Cycler is a vessel on an orbit on which it passes both Earth and Mars every few years without expending much fuel. At first glance this seems like a great thing for a permanent ...
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What is the largest hurdle of the mission to Mars?

I was shocked when I recently found out just how long it takes to get to Mars. I've been conducting a very informal survey amongst peers of how just how long people think it takes us to travel to Mars....
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Why can't we use the same radiation shielding in Mars that we used when going to the moon?

Note that this is somewhat related to this question but here I am specifically asking about the suitability of using existing shielding for Mars travel. This is about this article and video titled "...
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How would swimming on Mars feel, given the lower gravity?

The hypothetical swimming pool is inside a habitat at atmospheric pressure, and on Mars at 0.38g of Earth. What are the major differences regarding water properties (viscosity, surface tension, ...
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The types of motors used on the Martian rovers?

I have a question regarding the types of motors that were used on the Martian rovers, specifically the Mars Exploration Rovers and Curiosity. I am wondering about the main 6 motors that turn the ...
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Is wind-power a viable backup power source for Mars One?

A question related to What power source options provide reliable and sustainable power generation for a Martian Colony, particularly the answer that solar and nuclear based energy sources being the ...
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Blimp on Earth, but a glider on Mars?

Could enough surface area be created with a blimp to shed speed using Mars' atmosphere to have a controlled soft landing to minimize the need for retrorockets? Runway would need to be in place. While ...
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Is the “Mars blue dune” actually blue? And what makes it so?

NASA recently released an image of a blue dune on Mars. The accompanying story seems to suggest to me that it is a false color image - some property of that part of the image is detected and rendered ...
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How could an induced magnetosphere be created at Mars for terraforming?

In the long run Mars needs a magnetic field to keep a thick atmosphere and for radiation shielding, if humanity were to terraform it. Starting a dynamo in Mars' core seems forever impossible, but a ...
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Solar panels on Mars?

I was wondering if a base on Mars could be powered by solar energy alone? Since Mars is further away from the Sun wouldn't that mean lower efficiency thus making solar not scalable? Let's assume a ...
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1answer
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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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How would travel to Mars without artificial gravity affect a crew's initial experience in Mars gravity?

This answer and the linked YouTube video discuss some difficulties with the experience of artificial "gravity" generated by small rotating craft (like one that could be launched to Mars in the near ...
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Place a satellite at Sun-Mars L1 to shield Mars from Sun radiation

Instead of placing many magnetic satellites close to Mars to artificially generate a magnetic field to protect Martian colonists from harming radiation, we could place a magnetic satellite at ...
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Curiosity: Why did they “reinvent the wheel” instead of using pressure tires?

Curiosity rover's wheels seem a bit tired and show signs of wear and tear, as reported for example in this Discovery News article from May 22, 2013. This damage only increased since then and wheels ...
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Would a settlement on Mars need to import Nitrogen?

The air on Earth is about 20% oxygen and about 78% nitrogen. Best case, there seems to be sufficient oxygen (in water) to support colonization in the polar ice caps. What about the other 4/5 of the ...
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What would sounds on Mars be like?

Figure there was a microphone on the surface of Mars, exposed to the atmosphere. If it recorded stuff, how would it sound? E.g. walking through sand, stuff falling down onto rock, a rocket engine, the ...
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GPS constellation for Mars

How would a constellation of GPS satellites differ for Mars? For Earth the system is supposed to work with at least 24 satellites orbiting at ~20.000 km. Would Martian equivalent need less of them? At ...
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Boiling ponds and pools on Mars?

In the related questions Can you take a bath on Mars? & How would swimming on Mars feel, given the lower gravity? we learn that bathing and swimming on Mars is much like it is on Earth. Some ...
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Brushing clean a Mars lander's solar panels

A comment by SF. regarding the InSight Mars lander caught my attention: I really, really wonder why they didn't just include a small compartment with a duster brush grippable by the robotic arm. ...
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What is the deepest position in space we can get a GPS signal?

Can we use GPS in orbit at the moon? What about on Mars?
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Brachistochrone variation for Earth-to-Mars Orbit

Wouldn't a Brachistochrone curve to Mars orbit be a much faster and more efficient way to send personnel and equipment to mars as compared to the Hohmann transfer if we used an Ion engine? The below ...
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Is there any economical way to move the water from the Martian poles to the people?

update: Water at the poles has some more recent news: Science: 03-August-2018 Radar evidence of subglacial liquid water on Mars EarthSky.org: 28-Sept-2018 Pink lagoon provides clues to possible Mars ...
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Could InSight lift off and move somewhere else?

InSight used its built-in thrusters for the final stretch of the Entry, Descent and Landing, and the thrusters seem to still be attached. Would it have been at all possible for InSight to lift off ...
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Sources for make-up breathable oxygen on Mars; of H20, CO2 and ClO4-, which is likely to be used first?

While oxygen recovery and reuse is well developed, the ISS does receive regular shipments of make-up oxygen. See for example this and this and this answer. For an early, manned presence on Mars, a ...
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How could InSight's seismometers be intentionally and meaningfully “pinged”?

I had a friend whose summer job, a long long time ago, was to travel around an unsuspecting rural area, lay a heavy steel plate on the ground, and whack the plate with a sledge hammer. Apparently he ...
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Any scholarly or serious work in Sports Science for the low surface gravity of Mars or the Moon?

One of my favorite answers in SXSE is this one which addresses subtler effects of low gravity on sports that one might not anticipate. There are other answers there, and other questions and answers ...
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What precautions are planned to prevent samples returned from Mars crashing and releasing organisms on Earth?

Bias disclaimer: I think that returning samples from Mars to Earth at a point in time where we also suspect there is a chance that there is microbial life on Mars is ill-advised and arrogant. We are ...
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Who discovered “Egg Rock”? The Curiosity rover or people?

"Egg Rock" is a smooth, shiny nickel-iron meteorite found sitting on the surface of Mars on Curiosity's Sol 1505, or 30-Oct-2016. It is described the next day in Arizona State University's Red Planet ...
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1answer
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What factors would make station-keeping of an Areostationary Mars satellite necessary?

This answer introduced me to the word Areostationary Orbit - (hint, comes from Ares), an orbit that would remain stationary above a point on the equator of Mars. The article mentions that ...
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1answer
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Will the Mars 2020 rover's sensitivity to methane be better than Curiosity's?

The New York Times article NASA Rover on Mars Detects Puff of Gas That Hints at Possibility of Life describes the newest detection of a "whiff" of methane on Mars. The article states that ...
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What are the most difficult challenges SpaceX will face getting astronauts to Mars by about 2025?

SpaceX has been announcing very ambitious goals such as starting to send manned missions to Mars in order to (eventually) create a colony, and recently there has been a substantial release of more ...

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