Mars

NASA INFLATABLE HEAT SHIELD TECHNOLOGY PERFORMS UNDER PRESSURE

Testing is well underway as NASA’s LOFTID – short for Low-Earth Orbit Flight Test of an Inflatable Decelerator – prepares to catch a ride on an Atlas V rocket launch in 2022. LOFTID is a cross-cutting technology designed to help deliver heavy cargos to any planet with an atmosphere. In a few years, NASA and […]

NASA’S MARS 2020 WILL BLAZE A TRAIL — FOR HUMANS

When a female astronaut first sets foot on the Moon in 2024, the historic moment will represent a step toward another NASA first: eventually putting humans on Mars. NASA’s latest robotic mission to the Red Planet, Mars 2020, aims to help future astronauts brave that inhospitable landscape. While the science goal of the Mars 2020 […]

NASA’S MARS HELICOPTER TESTING ENTERS FINAL PHASE

NASA’s Mars Helicopter flight demonstration project has passed a number of key tests with flying colors. In 2021, the small, autonomous helicopter will be the first vehicle in history to attempt to establish the viability of heavier-than-air vehicles flying on another planet. “Nobody’s built a Mars Helicopter before, so we are continuously entering new territory,” […]

SEMI-FINALISTS SELECTED FOR MARS COLONY PRIZE COMPETITION

Twenty-five teams, including entrants from the U.S., the U.K., Japan, Poland, France, Switzerland, Sweden, Finland and Israel, have been selected out of a field of 100 competitors as semi-finalists in the Mars Society’s Mars Colony Prize design contest. The Mars Colony Prize design contest challenged people from all walks of life anywhere in the world […]

NASA INVITES PUBLIC TO SUBMIT NAMES TO FLY ABOARD NEXT MARS ROVER

Although it will be years before the first humans set foot on Mars, NASA is giving the public an opportunity to send their names — stenciled on chips — to the Red Planet with NASA’s Mars 2020 rover, which represents the initial leg of humanity’s first round trip to another planet. The rover is scheduled […]

COMET INSPIRES CHEMISTRY FOR MAKING BREATHABLE OXYGEN ON MARS

Science fiction stories are chock full of terraforming schemes and oxygen generators for a very good reason—we humans need molecular oxygen (O2) to breathe, and space is essentially devoid of it. Even on other planets with thick atmospheres, O2 is hard to come by. So, when we explore space, we need to bring our own […]

LUNAR POWER SYSTEM TEAM WINS PRESIDENT’S AWARD

In preparation of establishing a sustainable presence on the Moon by 2028, NASA is developing new technologies that will let astronauts land, live and explore the surface. In this video, Marc Gibson of NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland describes Kilopower, a power system to enable long-duration stays on planetary surfaces, including the Moon and […]

NASA’S BIG IDEA CHALLENGE WINNER DESIGNS BEST PLANETARY GREENHOUSE

Dartmouth was announced the winning team of the fourth annual Breakthrough, Innovative and Game-changing (BIG) Idea Challenge April 24 at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. Massachusetts Institute of Technology University was awarded second place. NASA’s BIG Idea Challenge engages universities in engineering design to develop space exploration concepts for the Moon to Mars. Earlier this year, […]

NASA SELECTS TWO NEW SPACE TECH RESEARCH INSTITUTES FOR SMART HABITATS

As exploration missions venture beyond low-Earth orbit and to the Moon — and eventually Mars — NASA must consider automated technologies to keep habitats operational even when they are not occupied by astronauts. To help achieve this, NASA has selected two new Space Technology Research Institutes (STRIs) to advance space habitat designs using resilient and […]

LIFE ON MARS?

According to NASA, scientists are in agreement that there is no life on Mars. However, they continue to assess whether Mars ever had an environment capable of supporting microbial life. Now, researchers from Hungary have discovered embedded organic material in a Martian meteorite found in the late 1970s. The scientists were able to determine the […]

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