Questions tagged [mars]

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

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
17
votes
3answers
9k views

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 ...
17
votes
2answers
2k views

How do we make a round-trip journey to Mars?

I've been to Kennedy Space Center in Florida, where I saw the huge Saturn V rocket... This was used to get to people to the moon. It had a Lunar Module to propel itself on and off the moon's surface ...
17
votes
2answers
5k views

What is the cost estimate for a manned Mars mission?

I am looking for a cost estimate for a manned (return) mission to Mars. There is a similar question asking for the cost of the Mars One proposal, but I would be happy with a cost estimate for any type ...
17
votes
1answer
962 views

Does Mars One actually do anything?

I see SpaceX making a lot of technological advancements that will eventually lead to Mars settlement, such as development of affordable and reusable rockets. They're actually getting a lot of things ...
17
votes
1answer
671 views

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 ...
17
votes
1answer
2k views

What are the black and white circular patterns on the Curiosity rover?

On the Mars Curiosity rover, there are black and white circular patterns or marks spaced around the rover, as seen here marked in lime green:     What are these? If I had to guess, ...
17
votes
1answer
1k views

Is a railgun up Olympus Mons possible?

I know earth's atmosphere is a show stopper for rail gun launch to orbit from Earth's surface. The vacuum of the moon is often cited by lunar enthusiasts who point out lunar mass drivers could ...
17
votes
1answer
443 views

What are the resource implications of the prevalence of supervolcanoes on Mars?

According to the article "Supervolcanoes Rocked Early Mars" (Vergano, 2013), there is evidence that supervolcanic activity has occurred on the red planet. Also, it is believed some features ...
17
votes
1answer
823 views

How does NASA keep radiation from frying rovers?

I know that on Mars, radiation levels are quite high (turns out lack of an atmosphere does that). On the rovers that are sent to Mars, etc. How is radiation kept from playing havoc with the rover's ...
17
votes
2answers
1k views

What technological barriers, if any, prevent a manned mission to Mars at this time?

Is the technology currently in place to launch a manned mission to Mars (and is it thus just a resource constraint that's preventing such a mission from occurring), or are there still other ...
17
votes
1answer
2k views

How much temperature control would an EVA suit on Mars need?

The average surface temperature on Mars is -55°C and it can go down to -130°C. These are temperatures which sound deadly at first. But on the other hand, the atmospheric pressure on Mars is just 0.63% ...
16
votes
1answer
5k views

Can you take a bath on Mars?

A common picture of someone floating on the Dead Sea or Great Salt Lake, shows how high you float. l If you had that water in a bath tub, I don't think you would sink to the bottom, you would just ...
16
votes
3answers
4k views

Why didn't they launch the Falcon Heavy to be injected into Mars orbit?

With SpaceX's mission of getting a human colony, why would they launch the roadster into the astroid belt and not actually attempt to inject it into mars orbit?
16
votes
2answers
785 views

How would the search for life on Mars be affected by having boots on the ground?

It is looking like Mars One might continue to go forward, and even if it doesn't it is fairly likely that we will have people on Mars sooner or later. Have there been any scholarly estimations of the ...
16
votes
2answers
3k views

What are the disadvantages of parachute+airbag for atmospheric landing, versus rocket-based?

After Sojourner success, repeated by Spirit and Opportunity, it seemed like we had developed a fail-proof system for atmospheric landing for our probes: there's very little that can go wrong with the ...
16
votes
1answer
3k views

Would the national flag planted by astronauts on Mars need an upper horizontal pole like the ones on the Moon?

Due to the lack of an atmosphere on the Moon, the Apollo lunar flags had an upper horizontal pole in order to make them fully hoisted, looking like floating in the wind. Now Mars does have an ...
16
votes
2answers
1k views

How would finding life on Mars affect the timeline to send people?

There are a lot of questions here about looking for life on Mars, potentially finding life on Mars, how to deal with life on Mars as far as contamination one way or the other, even whether or not ...
16
votes
1answer
1k views

Are launch windows to Mars avoided if they result in landings during dust storm season?

This comment suggests that orbit before descent to Mars' surface allows a mission to delay the landing if the weather conditions are bad. I think that Tianwen-1 will be the first to put a lander rover ...
16
votes
1answer
4k views

Does a mission to Venus orbit require less propellant than a similar mission to Mars?

Gravitational attraction is determined using G (m1m2)/r^2 Which indicates the force is inversely proportional to the square of separation of the bodies Of the terrestrial planets Mercury, Venus, ...
16
votes
1answer
407k views

The true meaning of Sol regarding time on Mars

I'm writing a story about Mars and I'm really confused as to how one should use the word 'Sol when talking about the passage of time there. For example, Would one say to a colleague: "Today is Sol 345,...
16
votes
3answers
3k views

Feasibility: self-sustaining colony on Mars vs. Space Station

What’s more feasible: to build a self-sustaining colony on Mars or as a self-sustaining space station? The 1976-book The High Frontier advocates the latter while Elon Musk seems pretty confident that ...
15
votes
4answers
10k views

How many plants would be needed to produce oxygen enough for 20 humans?

Does it depend on the type of plants and how much sunlight they get too?
15
votes
2answers
2k views

Can the satellites in Martian orbit be put to use providing a rudimentary GPS system on Mars?

This website conveys the impression a rover on the Martian surface necessarily navigates by dead-reckoning. Stereo images are used to determine how far a rover has travelled; an advancement over older ...
15
votes
3answers
2k views

What happens to Insight's parachute on Mars?

All of the animations I see show the heat shield detaching and falling to the ground, then Insight detaching and landing. There is no information about what happens with the upper part of the heat ...
15
votes
6answers
2k views

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 ...
15
votes
2answers
2k views

Is the Curiosity rover equipped with motion detectors?

On Earth, wild life cameras are sometimes equipped with motion detectors to record rare species automatically. Could they not be applied in the case of Mars too ? Is Curiosity not equipped with ...
15
votes
4answers
10k views

Energy consumption for travelling to the Moon vs. to Mars

I just finished reading Clarke's "Prelude to Space". In chapter XXVII the character Taine gives a talk where he states It sounds paradoxical, but it's easier to make the forty-million-mile journey ...
15
votes
1answer
2k views

How did the spirit rover land right way up after bouncing

After watching an animation of how the Spirit rover landed on Mars, I was wondering how the rover managed to end up the right way up after bouncing around?
15
votes
1answer
681 views

Why do Ingenuity's legs differ?

In the pictures below, I notice that not all of the legs of Ingenuity are the same (look at the end of them, directly touching the surface). It looks like a single one is different than the other 3. ...
15
votes
3answers
6k views

What is the warmest place on Mars?

What is the warmest place on the Martian surface? What temperatures are seen there? (day, night, seasons, etc.) I am asking about weather; not anything out of the ordinary such as a volcano.
15
votes
2answers
4k views

How does the Curiosity rover survive dust storms on Mars?

According to the answers to this question, a dust storm on Mars can last for many days. Dust is a serious problem for mechanical joints if they use lubrication, because it may stick to the lubricant ...
15
votes
1answer
1k views

Did the Viking landers detect life on Mars?

The two Viking landers had an experiment on board where they attempted to find life on the planet. The initial results said yes, there was life, but later there were questions raised about the results....
15
votes
1answer
735 views

Are data we get from surface rovers accurate?

NASA have already sent several surface rover vehicles to the surface of planets, mostly to Mars. Just think about Curiosity. Compared to the fact that these rovers are remotely controlled and have ...
15
votes
1answer
403 views

Would the one million people on Mars be killed by an impact equivalent to an Extinction Level Event on Earth

If there are cities on Mars in the second half of this century with say a million people, they will be living in engineered structures and sustained by agriculture in protected, controlled ...
15
votes
1answer
255 views

Why did the HiRISE camera team choose the wavelengths they did?

The HiRISE camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has 3 color sensors, red (440-850nm), blue-green (400-600nm), and near-infrared (800-1000nm). Why these particular channels? Why not standard ...
15
votes
1answer
376 views

The heaviest martian spacecraft

What was the heaviest artificial object to reach orbit of Mars? Delivering the heaviest object of all times should have been quite an achievement in itself. So I'd like to understand the details of ...
15
votes
2answers
2k views

Which precious metals have been detected via samples taken from Earth's moon or Mars?

Have any of the rock samples (or meteors from Earth's moon or from Mars) provided a measurable amount of gold, silver, platinum or any other precious metals?
15
votes
2answers
2k views

Does the Curiosity rover really have a chance of driving to the top of Mt. Sharp?

This great answer suggests the limiting high altitude to which the Curiosity rover on Mars could drive would be the top of Mt. Sharp (Aeolis Mons) - in the center of Gale crater. I'm wondering, is ...
15
votes
1answer
574 views

Has any government published an official recommendation regarding Mars One?

To my knowledge, most governments throughout the world seem to run institutions that give recommendations regarding safety and wellbeing of their citizens when travelling abroad in one form or another,...
14
votes
8answers
5k views

How does time work on other planets?

I’m a game developer making a space-based game. I want to implement a system where the time is different depending on the planet. I think this would work like time zones, but to be honest, I’m not ...
14
votes
1answer
7k views

Could permanent self-sustaining biodomes be built on Mars?

Somewhat apropos of the question of whether Mars could be terraformed (which really seems a non-runner due to lack of molten core) the interesting consideration of biodomes was thrown up. By using ...
14
votes
2answers
500 views

Why were Spirit and Opportunity separate launches?

In reading this question (Why A=2 and B=1 in the call signs for Spirit and Opportunity?), it prompted me to wonder why Mars probes Spirit and Opportunity were launched separately, even though their ...
14
votes
2answers
2k views

Use of carbon monoxide as propellant on Mars

Is it possible to use carbon monoxide as propellant for a rocket? For example, carbon dioxide from the atmosphere of Mars could be transformed to carbon monoxide and oxygen via photochemical ...
14
votes
1answer
726 views

Could helmet-fogging occur on Mars, or on any other celestial body with an atmosphere?

When I drive in cold/wet weather the state of the roads is cause for concern. But more worrying is the risk of the wind-screen fogging over when least it should. Space/Earth orbit is a different ...
14
votes
1answer
874 views

Do Mariner 4 hand rendered images still exist?

At the NASA web site is a story about how the first images returned from Mariner 4 were rendered by hand. Do these images still exist, for example in a museum?
14
votes
1answer
606 views

What was the solution to the half-amp the heater on Opportunity was drawing?

I'd recently read Roving Mars by Steven Squyres and in it he talks about how one of the heaters in the arm of the Opportunity Rover was drawing a half-amp over night and it was severely costly to it's ...
14
votes
3answers
393 views

How is RF spectrum usage coordinated in Mars orbit?

As of 2016 there are multiple operational missions in orbit around Mars. There are possibly more non-operational missions in orbit around Mars, simply because we do not know the final fate of all ...
14
votes
1answer
6k views

How does the efficacy of solar cells on Mars compare with Earth?

Mars gets less than half the light that we get on Earth and there are dust storms, but the atmosphere is much thinner and there are no clouds. After all factors have been considered, how effective are ...
13
votes
4answers
6k views

How did the Perseverance rover land on Mars with the retro rockets apparently stopped?

Is there an explanation for the absence of any sign that would demonstrate the eight retro rockets in the image below were really working? It seems that no gas was getting out of the nozzles. The sky ...
13
votes
3answers
3k views

Differences between vehicles used on the Moon and the ones used on Mars

What are the differences in design considerations between Moon rovers and Mars rovers?

1 2
3
4 5
25