Questions tagged [mars]

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

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646 views

Are there any effective ways for removing/decreasing oxygen in a habitat on Mars?

A MIT Mars-One Study found that "crop growth, if large enough to provide 100% of the settlement’s food, will produce unsafe oxygen levels in the habitat". Assuming this to be true, are there any ...
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Will uncovering the ice deposit in Utopia Planitia improve the climate on Mars?

In 2016 a large ice deposit has been found within the Utopia Planitia region on Mars by the SHARAD instrument on board of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The thickness of the deposit ranges from ...
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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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441 views

What caused Curiosity's electrical trouble?

According to this NASA announcement, there seems to have been some kind of trouble with Curiosity's electrical system: The decision to resume science activities resulted from the success of work to ...
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432 views

Why would humans travel to Mars before machines have built a colony?

Why is there a push to get humans on Mars in the next few decades? Wouldn't it be wiser to send only robots first to set up an entire colony; do research; try to establish self-sustainability, etc. ...
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How deep a valley or trench would be needed on Mars to provide the same atmospheric pressure as 6 km above sea level on Earth?

Atmospheric pressure increases the deeper you go & the highest growing plants on Earth have been found at a height of 6 km so how deep a trench would we need on Mars to provide similar air ...
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Balancing a mirror

A possible way of heating up Mars is to use mirrors to direct more sunlight towards the planet. I am not asking about the feasibility or cost of such a gigantic project, but I have a question ...
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How exactly does the Dutch “Mars One” colonization program envision dealing with the difference in Earth's and Mars' gravity?

The Dutch have started the Mars One Mars colonization program. In the next 20-30 years, they plan to build a little colony. Humans will be living in lower gravity than the Earth's. Is there any ...
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Who decides where Curiosity goes?

I've been wondering for a while who gets to decide where Curiosity goes. I'm not wondering so much about who gets to actually give it the commands (that seems fairly easy to find), but who decides its ...
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327 views

Least artificial gravity needed to maintain health on a one year space trip?

What is the least gravity needed for human health on a one year space trip?
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Why is the surface of Mars oxidized?

Before 2.5 to 2Gya, Earth's surface was a chemically reducing environment (evidence includes reduced forms of iron, sulfur, and uranium in rocks before that time). It is believed to have become ...
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Any explanation for morphology of within crater formations on the northern Nili Patera caldera of the Syrtis Major volcanic plain of Mars?

The Nili Patera region has enjoyed fairly good media exposure recently, ever since high detail HiRISE (High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment) photographs hit the Internet, showing fabulous sand ...
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Designing a bicycle for Mars?

Assuming that Elon Musk's plan to send colonists to Mars is successful and I'm one of the chosen few, and assuming there's the mass budget for it, can I take my bicycle with me? What difficulties ...
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1answer
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Features on border of a crater & ravine on Mars

This image of the Sirenum Fossae Trough - MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-248 of Mars shows spots on the northern lip of the crater that draw my attention. See the Mars Global Surveyor - Mars Orbiter Camera ...
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Can a semipermeable greenhouse be used to extract CO2 from the Martian atmosphere and help provide oxygen to a colony without using a pump?

When doing an experiment on growing plants in sealed plastic bottles, I learned that many plastics, such as PET used for soft drinks bottles, are more permeable to CO2 than to N2 or O2 (see table 2 of ...
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Mars Orbit Upon Intercept

I'm running a numerical simulation that calculates an interplanetary trajectory from Earth to Mars, and I'm trying to get a spacecraft into an orbit about Mars upon intercept, but am having a little ...
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1answer
425 views

Is Seasonal Affective Disorder a concern for Mars colonists?

We're all discussing effects of Martian sunlight exposure on structures, plants, solar panels, but I don't think I've seen any discussion of its effect on humans. There's a number of effects of ...
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Does any country have real plans for a manned mission to Mars?

I'm curious as to whether or not any country has any real plans for a manned mission to Mars. Not a conceptual thing, but real, hard plans. If so, are there any specifics?
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Won't the heat sensor probe interfere with the seismometer?

I've read that the Mars InSight Seismometer will be deployed before the HP3 probe. Won't the digging interfere with the seismometer? Or the shock produced will be small enough to be dissipated by the ...
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271 views

Why do many Mars missions launch now, if the Hohmann transfer orbit is the most propellant-saving one?

The Hohmann transfer orbit is the most propellant-saving transfer orbit to Mars. When using this kind of transfer, the rover/rocket/etc. starts from Earth when Earth and Mars are in conjunction. But ...
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Mars versus the poles of Mercury WRT colonization

From MESSENGER Finds New Evidence for Water Ice at Mercury's Poles : Credits: NASA/John Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington/National Astronomy and ...
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What is the science behind the canals of Mars?

A recent BBC news article give a short history on the canals of Mars In the late 19th Century, the American astronomer Percival Lowell thought he saw canals on the surface of Mars. He suggested that ...
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What are the details of the SSTO Mars profile for the BFR?

In this link and on other occasions, SpaceX has indicated that the BFR would land on Mars, "top off the tanks" as the article says, and then launch back to Martian orbit. SSTO doesn't work on Earth ...
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How close will the Tesla Roadster with Starman actually get to Mars?

I know the long term outlook is quite difficult to say, but how close will the Tesla Roadster actually get to Mars on it's first orbit around the Sun?
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How many memory banks does Opportunity have?

Sparked by the comments to this answer, how many memory banks does Opportunity have? I'm specially interested in the flash memory but any other info is also welcome. According to this JPL press ...
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Are there serious business benefits to going to Mars? [closed]

Elon Musk has many times announced plans to go (manned) to Mars and it seems strange that investors and stakeholders would be interested in spending money on this just because Elon is interested. ...
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How can I find a daily record of the temperature on Mars?

Does any probe or lander track the temperature on Mars, and is this data published anywhere? I recall the MGS used to issue a "Martian Weather Report", but it has ceased operating.
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How much elevation has Mars Curiosity climbed so far from the bottom of Gale crater?

Recently, I came across information that Curiosity is currently at -4220 m of altitude. I have three questions: Since there is no sea level on Mars, what is the level of reference for altitude ...
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If Mars had more atmosphere how warm would it be?

Looking at Venus, Earth and Mars, the closer you are to the sun the warmer you are. At the same time the warmer planets also have thicker atmospheres. ...
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What is SpaceX's stance on Mars One?

The Mars One website lists SpaceX as a supplier for their launch vehicle and that they did receive a "letter of interest" from them along other suppliers. Mars One cofounder Bas Lansdorp has visited ...
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What is required to produce rocket quality methane fuel and oxygen from Mars' atmosphere?

Turning $\require{mhchem}\ce{CO2}$ and some hydrogen into $\ce{O2}$ and $\ce{CH4}$ seems pretty straightforward and has been known since early chemistry in the 19th century. But what about the quality,...
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What are the synergies between human landing on the Moon and on Mars?

In what main ways would a human return to the Moon facilitate human travel to Mars? It is often argued that the Moon could work as a stepping stone to Mars. I want to know what the merits are of that ...
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Is there any reason Cyanobacteria or Lichens can't survive on Mars?

According to this article "Mars atmosphere is supersaturated with water" & according to answers to this physics stack exchange question conditions do exist on the surface of Mars where fluid water ...
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How will the NASA 2020 Mars rover's instrumentation differ from Curiosity?

The Wikipedia page on the plans for NASA's 2020 Mars rover says that it will be designed similarly to Curiosity but will differ in scientific instrumentation because of its goal: to investigate an ...
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814 views

What does a NASA employee see on their monitor when a robot lands on Mars?

I have seen that many NASA employees (see the picture) were present in the control room when InSight landed on Mars on November 26, 2018. What I did not see is what exactly those people saw on their ...
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Why did the MarCO space probes use fire extinguishant as their propellant?

In many news articles, it's mentioned that the MarCO spacecraft, launched with InSight, used fire extinguishant as the propellant for its cold gas thrusters. I originally assumed that this was ...
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527 views

Is there really a frozen lake near the equator on Mars?

Figure 1. Views of plate-like terrain on Mars, and pack-ice on Earth. From the paper linked below. a, Part of an HRSC image of Mars from orbit 32, with a resolution of 13.7 m per pixel, centred at ...
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How long will it take for Starman to get to Mars?

How long will it take for the Starman to get to Mars? I'm following the incredible launch of the Heavy Falcon and Starman, and would like to know. Thanks!
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How is 80 to 150 days to Mars possible at 6 km/s TMI Delta V?

Is the data presented on this slide realistic? Here's the slide: Here's the talk at the time the slide is presented, so you can hear what he's saying with it. I can ...
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1answer
597 views

What is the projected death-rate displacement for colonists to Mars?

Unlike Earth Mars does not have an atmosphere with oodles of Carbon Dioxide and water-vapour. lacks a planet-wide magnetic field Even alone these two factors make a significant difference to the ...
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344 views

How seriously did astronomers take the idea of a hollow Phobos?

Phobos, the larger moon of Mars, was once theorized to be hollow by Iosif Shklovsky. Plenty of publications reference the idea (such as this snippet from Popular Science), but did anyone take it ...
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460 views

Will the Mars Entomopter actually work?

Could a fixed wing entomopter with a wingspan of 2 meters actually fly in the Martian atmosphere? If so, could it reach a flight speed of over 250 mph in the thin atmosphere of Mars?
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What likely is the chemical composition of the thin piece of material on the surface of Mars on the image below?

Note: The MAHLI images below were acquired when both the two groups of white light LEDs and the ultraviolet LEDs were off. When looking for the damage on the wheels of Curiosity on the raw images i ...
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How, in the SpaceX Mars stack, do they plan to address de novo landing sites?

Given a new, unprepared "in the field" landing site for a rocket, what is the SpaceX strategy? Are the landing legs intended to be rated to handle that kind of instability? How can they possibly be? ...
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702 views

Is hydroponics the only viable solution to plant growth on Mars?

The problem with Mars is that it's surface is not very rich in minerals important to plants. There is also a significant lack of water on Mars. Does this mean that the only viable solution to plant ...
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1answer
321 views

Methane on Mars - Can we locate the source?

I know that Methane has been detected on Mars, however there seems to be a lack of specific information about the location and concentration of the Methane. Would it be possible to pinpoint the source ...
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What useful elements are NOT to be found on Mars?

There are a series of questions on this site which are generally "Is there X on Mars?" "Are there sufficient Y to create Z on Mars?" And the answers are generally YES for the most part. What is there ...
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683 views

Will the Mars Transit Vehicle need to include a water recycling system?

An NIH abstract writes to say A daily water intake of 3.7 L for adult men and 2.7 L for adult women meets the needs of the vast majority of persons. Mars One touts a crew-size of four with a ...
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1answer
299 views

What is the naming procedure for rocks on Mars?

I think that the relevant naming 'authority' for e.g. craters on the Moon (and Mars) is the International Astronomical Union. Besides weak spots in the system, the basic idea is that people or ...
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Feasibility of Liquid Water at Bottom of Valles Marieneris

Last night I was looking at NASA's equations for pressure and temperature of the atmosphere of Mars. P (in kiloPascals) = $0.699 \exp^{-0.00009 h}$ The Valles Marineris is 11 kilometers deep at it's ...

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