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Questions tagged [mars]

Questions about the science or exploration of the planet Mars.

75 questions with no upvoted or accepted answers
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11
votes
0answers
578 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 ...
10
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168 views

Are there any possible methods 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 ...
10
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711 views

Why NASA's sudden renewed (apparently) interest in Wax hybrid engines? Which property is so attractive now?

update: This answer links to Larry Russel Kellogg which links to NASA Tests Environmentally Friendly Rocket Fuel where images of Test firing of new Paraffin-Based Fuel at NASA Ames Research Center 1/...
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124 views

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 ...
7
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509 views

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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136 views

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 ...
5
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89 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 ...
5
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182 views

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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136 views

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 ...
5
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142 views

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 ...
5
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124 views

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. ...
4
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1answer
344 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 ...
4
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317 views

How many sundials & Sun compasses 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 ...
4
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143 views

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 ...
4
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68 views

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 ...
4
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65 views

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 ...
4
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174 views

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 ...
4
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573 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?
3
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40 views

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 ...
3
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83 views

Why is there no microscope on the Mars 2020 rover?

Good magnification microscopes seem both light and cheap. As far as I could find out, there hasn't ever been one on any Mars rovers. The closest I could find is the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) which ...
3
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85 views

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 ...
3
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74 views

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-...
3
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72 views

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 ...
3
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82 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?
3
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154 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 ...
3
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53 views

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 ...
3
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41 views

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 ...
3
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684 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 ...
3
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252 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 ...
3
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1answer
279 views

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 ...
2
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108 views

Would it not be safe to introduce perchlorate consuming bacteria on Mars, at least for controlled tests?

Since the discovery of the toxic perchlorate being globally distributed in the martian soil the chances for microscopic life there are thought to be greatly reduced.. Even in the RSL's, once thought ...
2
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120 views

How were Mars' zero elevation datum defined? What are their shapes?

Discussions on Boiling ponds and pools on Mars? led me to Wikipedia's Mars; Geography and naming of surface features which says: Because Mars has no oceans and hence no "sea level", a zero-...
2
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64 views

Why will the next missions to Mars not search for past life where once hydrothermal vents were?

The iron-sulfur world theory and the deep sea vent hypothesis are among the most popular ones to explain the origin of life on Earth. This article (Michalski J et al. Ancient hydrothermal seafloor ...
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34 views

Is planetary impact testing planned for the InSight Mars lander's seismometers?

The question How could InSight's seismometers be intentionally and meaningfully “pinged”? is a hypothetical and has several good speculative answers. But here I'd like to ask specifically about any ...
2
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85 views

Where on Mars will China's rover land?

Inspired by this question about all the missions to Mars in 2020, where on this planet will the rover of the mission that China has planned, land and operate ?
2
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33 views

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 ...
2
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0answers
75 views

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 ...
2
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0answers
57 views

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 ...
2
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0answers
163 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 ...
2
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0answers
67 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 ...
2
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0answers
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 ...
2
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45 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?
2
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50 views

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 ...
2
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127 views

3D celestial puzzle; why InSight's two RISE horns point 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. ...
2
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0answers
65 views

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 ...
2
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0answers
121 views

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, ...
2
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0answers
95 views

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 ...
2
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0answers
91 views

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 ...
2
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0answers
71 views

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 ...
2
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0answers
119 views

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 ...