When the Artemis astronauts and future explorers go to the Moon and Mars, they’ll need power. Lots of it. Of course, they’ll use solar panels to generate the juice they need for habitats, experiments, rovers, and so on. But, they’ll need batteries for power storage. Those things weigh a lot and cost a fortune to send up from Earth. So, why not simply 3D print their own when they get there?Continue reading “Don’t Take Batteries to the Moon or Mars, 3D Print Them When you Get There”
The 9th Annual Achieving Mars Workshop Report has been Released! How to Make Mars Affordable…
This past summer (June 14th to June 16th), representatives from the public space sector, the commercial space industry, and academic institutions convened at George Washington University in Washington D.C. for The Ninth Community Workshop for Achievability and Sustainability of Human Exploration of Mars. The invitation-only event was hosted by Explore Mars, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to fostering international collaboration and cooperation between government and industry to achieve the human exploration of Mars by the 2030s.
The purpose of this workshop is to identify activities that will help prepare for missions to Mars by the 2030s. In particular, the workshop sought to address how a sustainable program of human Martian exploration can be achieved. The highlights of this event were recently shared with the release of the Achieve Mars (AM) IX Report, which established priorities and science objectives for future missions to Mars. The authors also made several recommendations for how cutting-edge technologies could play a role, how the health and safety of astronauts can be assured, and how Mars and Earth can be protected from possible contamination.;.
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Fly Around Jezero Crater on Mars in This New Video
There’s a reason Jezero Crater was chosen as the landing site for the Perseverance Rover: it is considered one of the likeliest places to find any evidence if Mars was ever habitable for long periods of time. In this great new flyby video from ESA, you can get a birds-eye look at Perseverance’s home.
Created from data ESA’s Mars Express and NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, the video takes you on an aerial tour of the crater. From this perspective, you can see the water features in this ancient impact crater and understand why this was considered one of the best places to explore Mars.Continue reading “Fly Around Jezero Crater on Mars in This New Video”
Remnants of a Relict Glacier Found Near the Equator on Mars
New results presented at the 54th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference could change our approach to Mars exploration. Scientists studying the surface of Mars discovered a relict glacier near the planet’s equator. The relict glacier could signal the presence of buried water ice at the planet’s mid-latitudes.Continue reading “Remnants of a Relict Glacier Found Near the Equator on Mars”
NASA’s Ingenuity Helicopter Sees A Beautiful Sunset on Mars
Sunsets provide some of the most beautiful natural imagery anywhere on Earth. People flock from all over to see sunsets at specific places at specific times, such as when they perfectly align down a street in Manhattan. But sunsets on other planets wouldn’t be nearly as spectacular.Continue reading “NASA’s Ingenuity Helicopter Sees A Beautiful Sunset on Mars”
ExoMars is Back on Track for Mars in 2028
The ExoMars Rover mission is back on track for its mission to Mars, but Russia won’t be a part of it this time. Following Russia’s disastrous invasion of neighbouring Ukraine in February 2022, the ESA suspended the ExoMars program.
Now, the mission is targeted for a 2028 launch to Mars without Russian involvement. In anticipation of that launch date, the ESA is busy testing the Rosalind Franklin rover and its mission-defining drill.Continue reading “ExoMars is Back on Track for Mars in 2028”
Perseverance Watches Carefully as Ingenuity Lifts Off for its 47th Flight
In some of the best footage yet, the Perseverance rover has taken new video of the Ingenuity helicopter taking off and flying over Mars’ surface.Continue reading “Perseverance Watches Carefully as Ingenuity Lifts Off for its 47th Flight”
Mars Has Bizarre “Swiss Cheese” Terrain. You can Thank Water, Carbon Dioxide and 500,000 years of Climate History for That
Seen from space, regions of Mars around the south pole have a bizarre, pitted “Swiss cheese” appearance. These formations come from alternating massive deposits of CO2 ice and water ice, similar to different layers of a cake. For decades, planetary scientists wondered how this formation was possible, as it was long believed that this layering would not be stable for long periods of time.
But in 2020, Peter Buhler, a Research Scientist at the Planetary Science Institute, and a team of researchers figured out the dynamics of how the Swiss cheese-like terrain formed: it was due to changes in Mars’ axial tilt that caused changes in the atmospheric pressure, which alternately produced water and CO2 ice. However, they were only able to deduce the rate of CO2 and water deposits over millions of years, which is about ten times longer than Mars’ orbit cycles.
Now, in a follow up study, Buhler was able to model how the frozen carbon dioxide and water deposits grow and shrink over 100,000 year-long cycles of Mars’s polar tilt. The model allowed the researchers to determine how water and carbon dioxide have moved around on Mars over the past 510,000 years.Continue reading “Mars Has Bizarre “Swiss Cheese” Terrain. You can Thank Water, Carbon Dioxide and 500,000 years of Climate History for That”
Curiosity Sees Spectacular Crepuscular Rays in Martian Clouds
NASA’s Curiosity Rover usually looks down at the ground, studying nearby rocks and craters. But sometimes, it looks up and sees something wonderful.
A new image released by Curiosity shows beautiful sun rays, called crepuscular rays, streaming through a bank of clouds on Mars at sunset. While relatively common here on Earth, they have never been seen on Mars. Crepuscular comes from crepusculum, the Latin word for twilight.
Another image from the rover shows a feather-shaped iridescent cloud in the high atmosphere on Mars.Continue reading “Curiosity Sees Spectacular Crepuscular Rays in Martian Clouds”
China’s Rover Used Radar to Look Deep Beneath the Surface of Mars. What Did it Find?
The ongoing effort to under Martian geology and the planet’s history continues. A recent paper from a scientific team in China looks at the data collected by Zhurong, a rover that has been in place on the Red Planet since 2021. While it didn’t find any evidence of water in the basin it was looking in, it did find some interesting buried features and provided more data to our mounting understanding of one of our nearest neighbors.Continue reading “China’s Rover Used Radar to Look Deep Beneath the Surface of Mars. What Did it Find?”