Questions tagged [mars]

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

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Why is 90 sols a standard mission duration for robotic spacecraft on the surface of Mars?

Several robotic Mars surface missions have a planned mission duration of 90 sols. I would like to understand why this specific mission lifetime is commonly used by mission planners. Below is a non-...
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What are and could be all the advantages and disadvantages to have a crewed station on Phobos before landing crewed missions on Mars?

Stickney crater on Phobos For both images, credits: NASA/JPL The image above shows the Phobos monolith near Stickney crater, a sign or message to go there first ? An example of an advantage is the ...
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20 votes
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Why can't you travel to Mars in a straight line?

I had two questions regarding choosing a path to Mars. Firstly: I wanted to have a look at the mathematics behind the reason as to why we choose Hohmann's transfer over a journey that is a straight ...
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Are there any currently studied or hypothesized crewed Mars missions that utilize the Space Launch System?

Space Launch System is finally beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. If everything goes smoothly (fingers crossed!), we should see the Artemis program kicked into full drive by the end ...
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8 votes
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How much equipment will be required to mine 600 tons of water ice on Mars?

Assuming that Starship needs to fully refuel on the Martian surface to return to Earth, that will require about 260 tons of methane->66 tons of hydrogen->600 tons of water, which you would need ...
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6 votes
1 answer
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Why does the Buzz Aldrin Mars Cycler not play a larger role in planning for Mars exploration?

In 1985 Buzz Aldrin AKA “Dr. Rendezvous” proposed using a pair of space station habitats in solar cycler orbits as “Up and Down Escalators” for crewed Earth-Mars transfers. https://en.wikipedia.org/...
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Are there any studied landing sites on Mars for a crewed landing?

I am currently working on a research project regarding the distribution of Calcium Perchlorate on the surface of Mars' effect on the human body, and for this I would like to look at the concentrations ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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Thermal batteries rather than battery-powered heaters for small craft on Mars; how much mass would it add, how much would it replace?

As an example, the Ingenuity helicopter on Mars charges its batteries each sunny day (which is every day except when it isn't) and discharges them substantially each cold night (which is all of them) ...
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How many watts of electricity are available for systems during a Mars transit?

The 40+ year old Voyager probes have three Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs) currently producing 249 watts, losing around 4 watts per year. They began with 470 Watts. The Curiosity Rover's ...
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1 vote
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Is Perseverance going to keep carrying those samples around or cache them? I don't really understand the plan

IFLScience's Perseverance's Latest Mars Rock Sample Contains Curious "Greenish" Mineral begins: Having long broken its record of firsts on Mars, the Perseverance rover, still pootling ...
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Are valleys a good alternative to caves for radiation shielding?

Lava tube systems and caves have been discussed a lot when it comes to establishing a base on the Moon or Mars in order to protect it from the continuous exposure to lethal radiation, as well as ...
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What kind of rocket design would be used for Lunar/Mars E2E travel when colonized?

If/When Mars or the moon are colonized, transport will be needed between bases. Over long distances, rovers would be too slow and traditional aircraft would not work well in thin to non existent ...
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6 votes
1 answer
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Were both Computers active during the Landing of Curiosity and Perseverance

Curiosity and Perseverance have 2 redundant computers, during surface operations, only one is active at a time, while the other one is there as a spare. Now I'm wondering if during landing they ...
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Why is there a black donut in Perseverance's SkyCam? Is it always used to block the Sun? (sky cameras on Earth don't) How does it work?

At mars.nasa.gov/mars2020/multimedia/raw-images I found Mars Perseverance Sol 258: SkyCam Camera which shows a sky camera (180° FOV fisheye view of the sky) image. I've included it below along with ...
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2 votes
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Maximum lift of a helicopter in Mars' atmosphere?

Maximum lift of a helicopter in Mars' atmosphere? Inginuity has been a success. It begs the question of full-scale helicopter transportation on Mars. However, low Martian atmospheric density means a ...
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3 votes
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What transportation energy “currency” would be most suitable for mobile machinery on the Martian surface?

What transportation energy “currency” (methane, H2, electricity) would be most suitable for mobile machinery on the Martian surface? Photovoltaic (PV) cells or nuclear energy will likely be the only ...
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4 votes
3 answers
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What kind of experiments would a scientist do on Mars?

If we have people on Mars around 20, 25 years from now, what kind of scientific study would they be doing on a daily basis? I know places we'd want to study, places where ancient water flows might ...
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4 votes
2 answers
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Starship: Methane and Oxygen can't both be liquid, except in a narrow temperature range. Is this a problem for interplanetary voyages?

On an extended spaceflight in Starship, the liquid propellant and oxidizer will tend towards the same temperature. The tanks can be refrigerated by boiling off contents, but your mileage may vary ...
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3 answers
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Why don't Raptor engines use CH3Cl instead of CH4?

The boiling point of CH3Cl is -24 degrees Celsius, whereas the boiling point of CH4 is -160 degrees Celsius. The density of CH3Cl is 2.3 g/cm3, whereas the density of CH4 is 0.6 g/cm3. CH3Cl is polar, ...
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Could not an adapted RASSOR appear to be crucial for the Perseverance rover to find possible biosignatures on Mars?

Is it not very likely that most of the material that could contain possible biosignatures, like clays and carbonate containing minerals, will be below a layer of dust or regolith on Mars ? That the ...
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3 votes
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Ultrasonic vibrations to clean solar cells?

Could ultrasonic vibrations propagated into the solar cells be used to dislodge dust in environments like the surface of Mars or the moon? Obviously the waves would need to be induced in the substrate ...
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How does SuperCam measure the air?

The NASA website mentions that the SuperCam onboard Perseverance can measure the air. How does it do this? Does it use LIBS? Is the SuperCam more apt at doing these measures than a regular camera?
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How does the wind behave throughout the day in Jezero Crater? (worried about Ingenuity)

JPL tweet links to mars.nasa.gov's Flying on Mars Is Getting Harder and Harder which explains that seasonal changes are lowering the density of the local atmosphere, presumably due to warmer seasonal ...
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What are the maximum data capacities of the active rovers on Mars?

Many rovers have been sent to Mars and, as now, some are still working there. Does anyone know the maximum data capacity of each active rover? Curiosity Perseverance Zhurong
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2 votes
1 answer
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Where will the sample tubes on Perseverance be stocked?

Will these sample tubes stay on the rover itself? Or will they be put on the surface of Mars? This latter way does not make sense to me. Squirrel effect: how could a future rover find them? Storms on ...
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High Water Map of Mars

Based upon data available now, what would a map of mars have looked like at the peak (high) water level period. If such a projected map is available could someone post a copy or a reference to same. ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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What connection do Mars rovers use to send data to Earth?

How do Mars rovers send data back to Earth? Do they have some kind of built in WI-FI routers or is there any other connection?
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4 votes
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Would it be advantageous to uncover the subsurface ice in the only two regions on Mars where water can flow downhill in summertime?

The image above is a screenshot from a part of NASA's Treasure Map for Water Ice on Mars. Within 'the only two regions' I mean the uppermost parts of the two coloured extensions to the north into the ...
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2 votes
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How to calculate when an areostationary satellite would be unable to talk to earth?

Consider an areostationary (geostationary but for Mars) satellite that communicates to Earth. Since on some orbits, Earth would be behind Mars from the point of view of the satellite, I imagine that ...
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How to calculate when an areostationary satellite would be unable to talk to earth? [duplicate]

Consider an areostationary (geostationary but for Mars) satellite that communicates to Earth. Since on some orbits, Earth would be behind Mars from the point of view of the satellite, I imagine that ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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What is the planned Nuwa city atmosphere?

Nuwa is a proposal for a large-scale permanent Martian settlement. What is the planned atmospheric composition of Nuwa city's air? Will it be 15psi Oxygen/nitrogen, and trace gases or low partial ...
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Has Perseverance fired up its RIMFAX yet?

PIA24048: Testing RIMFAX for NASA's Perseverance Rover Original Caption Released with Image: A test model of the RIMFAX instrument — aboard the trailer behind the snow mobile — undergoes field ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Perseverance's First Borehole looks like its particles of sand stuck together by something; composition of this material and source of adhesion?

Resampled and sharpened detail from PIA24796: WATSON Image of Perseverance's First Borehole This is reminiscent of a day at the beach digging a hole in wet sand. The walls remain standing as long as ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Earth to Mars (or reverse) Hohmann transfer orbits for the 21st Century

Is anybody aware of a nice graphic showing for the next 20-30 years or maybe the rest of the 21st century, the time periods for Earth to Mars launches? They occur about every two years, but I'm ...
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6 votes
0 answers
41 views

Is there an atmospheric pressure model for Mars that takes different temperatures and seasons into account?

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech. Above are the pressure data from Curiosity's REMS sensor for the first 200 sols at Gale crater. At about sol 170 Mars was at perihelion and a month later it was southern ...
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3 votes
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what range of orbital inclinations will be needed to reach Mars from the Boca Chica launch site?

When SpaceX fly missions out of Boca Chica in South Texas to Mars what orbital inclination will the launch need to be to put the spacecraft on to best transfer orbit to Mars? And will this vary with ...
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13 votes
1 answer
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Is there dirt or its structural equivalent on Mars?

One potential solution to an initial permanent colony on Mars would be a series of modules with dirt floors and walls and slightly convex, transparent roofs. Assuming the interior temperature was ...
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3 votes
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What are the challenges in terraforming a portion of Mars as opposed to the entire planet?

To be clear, I'm not talking about creating human-livable conditions, just the minimum required to support microbial life and possibly begin the process of creating an environment to support more ...
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9 votes
1 answer
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Why shadows of the blades on Ingenuity navcam photos looks brighter than shadows of the legs?

Consider this photo from the Ingenuity navcam on the first (?) flight: You can see that the shadows of the blades seem brighter than the shadows of the legs. It's especially noticeable when they ...
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3 votes
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Which parameters to use with FFMPEG to rectify Mars Ingenuity helicopter images? [closed]

I know how to convert a fisheye image to equirectangular, to view it inside a 3D VR viewer as a "panorama": ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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What would be the trajectory and initial speed of a chunk launched from Phobos to get as close as possible to any pole of Mars?

Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / University of Arizona Phobos has a nearly circular orbit almost parallel with the equator of Mars. It orbits the planet in only 7h.39 min. at a height of 6000 km above the ...
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6 votes
1 answer
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Viking 1 - Cydonia Face on Mars Photograph Multitudinal Black Dots

The "Face on Mars" photograph taken by Viking 1 in 1976 of the Cydonia region on Mars has multitudinal similar sized small dots in a seemingly random pattern all over it. Are all those dots ...
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9 votes
1 answer
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Self-sustainable Hermetically Sealed System: Humans & Plants

Somewhat related to How many plants would be needed to produce oxygen enough for 20 humans? Suppose a number of humans are closed in a large hermetically sealed room on Earth with a glass (or other ...
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3 votes
0 answers
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Did the Human Mission to Inner Space (HUMIS) experiment ever take place?

The final report of the 2003 Caves of Mars Project, formally ''Human Utilization Of Subsurface Extraterrestrial Environments'' (PDF), talks a lot about the "Human Mission to Inner Space" (...
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17 votes
2 answers
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Martian dust getting into habitats

Martian dust could cause lung disease including cancer. Space suits and boots would become contaminated and bring the dust into the habitats. How would human missions to Mars mitigate this issue?
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14 votes
1 answer
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Manned helicopter on Mars

To operate a helicopter on Mars capable of carrying people, how big would the rotor blades have to be compared to a helicopter on Earth? This question has been reasked at https://aviation....
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7 votes
1 answer
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How do they know the sub-surface radar reflections (potential underground ice or "lakes") on Mars are not natural dielectric or metallic in origin?

Gizmodo's NASA Scientists Find More Subsurface Lakes on Mars links to Characteristics of the Basal Interface of the Martian South Polar Layered Deposits (paywalled, but there is this 52nd Lunar and ...
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-4 votes
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"Why don't they use the little helicopter to fly just above the rover's solar panels and blow the dust off?" [duplicate]

The Mars Rover solar panels are covered in dust and can't generate enough power. It is going to kill the mission. There isn't enough wind in the location where its at to blow the dust off. Why not use ...
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9 votes
1 answer
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What CPU does China's Zhurong rover use?

The Curiosity and Perseverance rovers, and the InSight lander, all use the BAE RAD750 processor. The Ingenuity helicopter uses a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor. The only other active spacecraft on ...
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7 votes
1 answer
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Will there be a command moratorium for Mars spacecraft again in 2021?

About every two years, Earth and Mars are on opposite sides of the Sun (a Mars-solar conjunction). Plasma expelled from the Sun can interfere with radio transmissions between Mars spacecraft and the ...
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