Martian

A MATERIAL WAY TO MAKE MARS HABITABLE

People have long dreamed of re-shaping the Martian climate to make it livable for humans. Carl Sagan was the first outside of the realm of science fiction to propose terraforming. In a 1971 paper, Sagan suggested that vaporizing the northern polar ice caps would “yield ~10 s g cm-2 of atmosphere over the planet, higher […]

CURIOSITY DETECTS UNUSUALLY HIGH METHANE LEVELS

This week, NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover found a surprising result: the largest amount of methane ever measured during the mission – about 21 parts per billion units by volume (ppbv). One ppbv means that if you take a volume of air on Mars, one billionth of the volume of air is methane. The finding came […]

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 […]

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 […]

NASA’S MARS HELICOPTER COMPLETES FLIGHT TESTS

Since the Wright brothers first took to the skies of Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, December 17, 1903, first flights have been important milestones in the life of any vehicle designed for air travel. After all, it’s one thing to design an aircraft and make it fly on paper – or computer. It is quite […]

CLUES TO MARTIAN LIFE FOUND IN CHILEAN DESERT

A robotic rover deployed in the most Mars-like environment on Earth, the Atacama Desert in Chile, has successfully recovered subsurface soil samples during a trial mission to find signs of life. The samples contained unusual and highly specialized microbes that were distributed in patches, which researchers linked to the limited water availability, scarce nutrients and […]

WEATHER ON MARS: CHILLY WITH A CHANCE OF ‘DUST DEVILS’

If you’re planning a trip to Elysium Planitia on Mars, pack a sweater. Beginning today, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory will provide daily weather reports for Mars, courtesy of the red planet’s newest robotic resident, InSight. “The InSight lander is close to the Martian equator – just north of the equator – so it is experiencing […]

BIG IDEA CHALLENGE 2019 FINALISTS TO DEVELOP PLANETARY GREENHOUSE CONCEPTS

No drive-through? No problem. University students are designing greenhouses so astronauts can grow their own food on Mars. NASA and the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA) selected five university teams to participate in the 2019 Breakthrough, Innovative and Game-changing (BIG) Idea Challenge. The challenge seeks to provide innovative ideas for the design, installation and sustainable […]

MARS VIRTUAL REALITY SOFTWARE WINS NASA AWARD

A mixed-reality software that allows scientists and engineers to virtually walk on Mars recently received NASA’s 2018 Software of the Year Award. OnSight uses imagery from NASA’s Curiosity rover to create an immersive 3D terrain model, allowing users to wander the actual dunes and valleys explored by the robot. The goal of the software, a […]

SOFTWARE FINDS THE BEST WAY TO STICK A MARS LANDING

Selecting a landing site for a rover headed to Mars is a lengthy process that normally involves large committees of scientists and engineers. These committees typically spend several years weighing a mission’s science objectives against a vehicle’s engineering constraints, to identify sites that are both scientifically interesting and safe to land on. For instance, a […]

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