In this image, released recently by ESA — European Space Agency — we can see a pronounced effect of prevailing wind on the red planet, Mars.
Climbing up Mt. Sharp in the middle of Gale Crater, NASA’s Curiosity rover has discovered two-tone mineral veins on a layered mountain which provides new clues of multiple fluid movement episodes on Mars, including some that occurred later than the wet conditions that formed after lake-bed deposits at its base.
Scientists for a long time were fairly certain that at one point in the universe’s history, Mars was host to forms of life, but that theory might have just been confirmed by NASA’ rover. Curiosity rover tasked with surveying the Red Planet has come up with surprising results when gathering samples from the soil and the environment of Mars.
It seems that despite the fact that humanity has had orbiters in the sky and landers on the Martian surface since the 1970s, the Red Planet is still full of surprises. NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft has caught sight of something quite unexpected in the Martian atmosphere. High above the surface is a massive dust cloud, and a glowing aurora not unlike the Northern Lights on Earth.
Mars One is a Netherlands based company who by 2025, want to have a permanent human colony on mars The company was established by dutch entrepreneur Bas Lansdorp in 2011.
Researchers have determined that a primitive ocean on Mars may have once held more water than is currently found in Earth’s vast Arctic Ocean. This paints a very different picture from the dusty Red Planet that we know today, and raises questions about where all that water could have gone.
Enormous cloud-like plumes reaching 160 miles above the surface of Mars have left scientists baffled. This is way beyond Mars’ normal weather, reaching into the exosphere where the atmosphere merges with interplanetary space. None of the conventional explanations for such clouds make sense – neither water or carbon dioxide ice nor dust storms nor auroral light emissions usually hit such heights.
Human expeditions to asteroids and Mars are potentially looming on the horizon, with programs such as Mars One even looking to establish a permanent human colony on the red planet. With the potential for long-term human space travel and habitation, researchers are working to understand the potential effects of remaining in regions with little-to-no gravity for extended periods of time.
The amount of data and stunning imagery being delivered by NASA’s Curiosity rover has given us new insight into Mars, but a new concept vehicle for future missions could dramatically increase our knowledge of the red planet. NASA is gearing up to create a robotic helicopter that can serve as a scout for more traditional, land-based rovers.
Time and time again, as we carefully scrutinize the amazing high-resolution imagery flowing to Earth from NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity, we see weird things etched in Martian rocks. Most of the time our brains are playing tricks on us. At other times, however, those familiar rocky features can be interpreted as processes that also occur on Earth.
There are myriad reasons why getting from Earth to Mars is hard, but chief among them are two 1) the massive amount of fuel needed and 2) a launch window that is limited to every 26 months, when the two planets are in optimal alignment. A couple of mathematicians have calculated a new path to Mars that solves both — and it’s far from a straight line.