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2 votes

Have any Mars surface spacecraft had downward-pointing radiometers to measure the surface temperature? (not air temperature)

In fact Perseverance's Mars Environmental Dynamics Analyzer (MEDA) instrument does measure both air and ground temperatures: MEDA weighs roughly 12 pounds (5.5 kilograms) and contains a suite of ...
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1 vote

Rover wheel placement

Each of Curiosity's wheels have a drive motor, but only the four outer wheels are steerable. The suspension system is based on rocker-bogie system on the Pathfinder rover. The term "rocker" ...
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4 votes

Rover wheel placement

Why the wheels are placed where they are is probably due to combination of factors, such as weight distribution, foldability, loading forces, etc. But for the turning it doesn't matter, as the outer ...
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2 votes

What is the difference between a Trans-Mars Injection and a Mars Transfer Orbit?

Confusing wording, in my opinion. See also e.g. Wikipedia: A trans-Mars injection (TMI) is a heliocentric orbit in which a propulsive maneuver is used to set a spacecraft on a trajectory, also known ...
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6 votes
Accepted

Would it be practical to fly a probe to Mars using gravitational assistance from Venus?

It is not practical to use Venus to get to Mars in all but one circumstance. I searched for Earth-Mars and Earth-Venus-Mars (EVM) trajectories in a 900 day launch period starting Jan. 1st 2024. The ...
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1 vote

Would it be practical to fly a probe to Mars using gravitational assistance from Venus?

Are you using mods like RSS/RO or with Principia? If not, then the data is maybe not as accurate compared to real life circumstances. But if it is, I would say doing a simple Hohmann transfer to Mars ...
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4 votes

Could there be caves on Mars in the areas inside Jezero crater and the watershed west and north of it where the Mg carbonates are detected?

Cornelis! You like asking curly questions don't you! ;-) I've been thinking about this question, on and off since it was posted. Regarding your question of whether there might be caves in the ...
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3 votes

Could there be caves on Mars in the areas inside Jezero crater and the watershed west and north of it where the Mg carbonates are detected?

This YouTube video shows tiny caves in a Martian Rick taken by Perseverance. The cave openings are only millimeters across as the entire field of view is only 60 mm wide, so we can't go spelunking in ...
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1 vote

What is the right way to get Mars' sol?

The Mars Solar Date system is defined by Michael Allison and Megan McEwen in their paper "A post-Pathfinder evaluation of aerocentric solar coordinates with improved timing recipes for Mars ...
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14 votes
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Will Roadster ever encounter Mars?

The Roadster will have a close encounter with Earth in 2091 which will alter its orbit, but it is very hard to predict exactly where it will end up as its orbit will be somewhat chaotic due to the ...
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8 votes
Accepted

What are the regularly spaced spots on this piece of material on the surface of Mars?

The material is likely part of the Mars 2020 descent stage's thermal insulation "blanket". The spots are holes that are critical for equalizing/venting the pressure inside and outside of the ...
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0 votes

How much solar radiation hits a spacecraft in transit to Mars?

The radiation situation in interplanetary space and on the surface of Mars is significantly different from the situation in near-Earth orbits. It is more dangerous and under certain conditions (with ...
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3 votes

How much solar radiation hits a spacecraft in transit to Mars?

It depends when the journey is made and many other things. High energy solar protons are more of a problem during the solar maxima of the 11 year solar cycle and less so during the solar minima. The ...
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26 votes

Why did NASA's Soujourner Mars rover die at the same time as Pathfinder?

The only way for the Soujourner rover to transmit data to Earth or receive commands from Earth was through the Pathfinder lander. If Pathfinder died, Sojourner was also essentially dead.
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