Questions tagged [mars]

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

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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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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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Where on Mars are the possible other 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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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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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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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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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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Venus-Mars-Venus cycler?

Is it possible to create a cycler that can travel from Venus to Mars, then back to Venus? Using as little delta-V as possible. To expound a bit further, it would need to travel from Venus to Mars ...
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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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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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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 methods of lightning detection on Mars?

Teslarati's NASA’s next Mars rover will pave the way for humans includes the graphic below which is an artists conception of a dust storm on mars. It shows what looks like lightning or some kind of ...
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How many sundials & Sun compasses 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 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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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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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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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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On what kind of martian soil or rock will the Perseverance rover drop its helicopter?

The image below is cropped from the high resolution version of NASA's Mars Helicopter and Perseverance Rover PIA23824 and shows the helicopter in it's stowed position on the underside of the rover ...
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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 ...
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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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What are the physical requirements of an astronaut for a Mars mission likely to be?

I realize that there's a lot of speculation involved here, but current actual mission profiles have PT programs and general wellness specifications. It seems like the qualifications would be a ...
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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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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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ROV-E compact configuration

Assuming that ROV-E could be employed in a real space mission, which would be the best configuration to store it in a larger spacecraft or linked to a larger spacecraft? Is it possible to modify the ...
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Mars Sample Return Earth Return Orbiter — which propulsion system for what?

Many sources (eg this one) show the Mars Sample Return Earth Return Orbiter with both ion and chemical propulsion, and also state that it will be launched on an Ariane 6, but I can't find a clear ...
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What is the preferred orbital trajectory for a rover/lander to land on a body?

With the new perseverance rover about to launch to mars, I have a question about landers and rover orbital trajectories. Do the landers/rovers circularize their orbit before landing on the body or do ...
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Is there a list of private companies with products on NASA Mars landers?

I'm trying to create a list of all private companies which have their products on the Mars surface. To make it easier, I'm limiting my search to NASA landers. Is there a comprehensive list of NASA ...
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Parachute characteristics of the Viking mission

I'm looking for the characteristics (diameter, coefficient of drag, altitude and velocity of deployment) of the parachute used by the Viking descent module on Mars. I found in this document [1] that ...
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How do we know how to distribute food supplies to import to Mars between 1st and 2nd tour?

Coming from this question about Mars foundation cargo, how do we know which food to deliver with the first and with the second cargo? (2x2x100t in total) possibly the first tour could carry more ...
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What is the acceleration necessary for a Brachistochrone transfer from Earth to Mars?

With these orbital configurations, source-Bing leaving Earth on Aug 16, 2106 and arriving on Mars October 10,2106, what is the lowest continuously-applied acceleration that can make what is ...
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How much energy would be needed to liquify 1 gram of atmospheric oxygen on Mars?

I've been told I have no Moxie but I still need oxygen to live on Mars. I see that Mars' atmosphere is 0.14% oxygen and my sad moxiless self wants some. I want to make a low power refrigerator to ...
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Could the NOMAD instrument on the TGO detect methane at night with sufficient reflected sunlight or artificial light?

Nadir and Occultation for MArs Discovery (NOMAD) is a 3-channel spectrometer on board the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO). Both the solar occultation (SO), and the limb nadir and occultation (LNO) ...
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Curiosity's drive wheel motors' manufacturer?

Although there are answers listed elsewhere on this site about the power requirements for the Curiosity Rover drive wheels, does anyone know what company provided those drive motors?
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Predictive simulation of gait on Mars?

In the Journal of Biomechanics, Volume 45, Issue 7, 30 April 2012, Pages 1293-1298, Predictive simulation of gait at low gravity reveals skipping as the preferred locomotion strategy (PDF file of an ...