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According to Quanzhi Ye (via tweet; while not a primary source, he is planetary scientist who understands Chinese) it is for simulating Mars' lower gravity while testing obstacle avoidance for the Chinese Martian landers. There is some additional information on the testing program for the lander and Long March 5 rocket, which will carry it to Mars, in this ...


6

In addition to Russell Borogove's good answer there is another factor here to keep in mind: When you are dealing with planets you can't just add together separate burns. If you add up the energy needed to escape Earth, the energy needed to go from Earth's orbit to Mars' orbit and the energy needed to enter Mars' orbit you will get more than 16 km/sec. In ...


6

16 km/s is about right for Earth surface to low Mars orbit, summing up a few entries in this table. I am not sure as how he did it though, and was unsure if he used the escape velocity of Earth, the Hohmann Transfer, and also if that was only that velocity computed needed to be obtained once At a minimum, this would be split into ascent to LEO (~9.4 km/...


2

From Mars Fact Sheet: hydrogen (H), carbon (C), nitrogen (N), oxygen (O), argon (Ar), neon (Ne), krypton (Kr), xenon (Xe). From Inorganic analysis of martian surface samples at the viking landing sites: (DOI: 10.1126/science.194.4271.1283) silicon (Si), iron (Fe), magnesium (Mg), aluminum (Al), sulfur (S), calcium (Ca), titanium (Ti), strontium (Sr),...


1

Yes, Curiosity does have a chance to drive to the top of Mount Sharp ! Neither the text nor the map of Mount sharp from the Universe today article mentioned in the answer from @Hobbes indicates that the top is not traversable ! The text on the map "Possible Traverse Area" doesn't mean that other area would be impossible to traverse ! The image above was ...


2

Making a drill rig mobile is easy; it simply gets mounted on a tracked or wheeled platform. Mineral exploration companies & water borers have used truck mounted drill rigs for decades. The technology can be adapted for use on other celestial bodies. As to ground stability issues, this would potentially be a major issue if drilling sub horizontal holes ...


3

There are multiple designs for rovers and robots which are designed to pick up regolith from the surface and transport it for water extraction. For example, in this video, a rover is shown which has dual drum-excavators and is picking up the surface material in the simulated martian environment. For such a rover to work, the water would need to be rather ...


3

In addition to the answers above, one should add that assuming you can get to Mars very, very fast, you will therefore arrive there with a very high velocity relative to Mars. This makes the problem of landing on Mars much harder. Also, if something goes wrong at Mars insertion, the Martian explorers are hurtling off into deep space with no way back. The ...


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