Thanks to NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover, we’re learning new things about the red planet nearly every day. However, we’re also learning a few new details about ancient Mars here on Earth, thanks to a meteorite from the planet discovered over 30 years ago.
A NASA spacecraft that recently arrived in orbit around Mars is already helping to solve a Martian mystery. Scientists are using the space agency’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft to gather more data about how Mars’ atmosphere bled molecules out into space over time.
Ever imagine that the red planet’s surface may once have had a different appearance? Well while researchers at NASA have had rovers scoping out Mars’ surface for years, new information received from NASA’s Curiosity Rover suggests that the planet’s craters may once have served a different purpose, and that the arid red planet may once have had long-lasting above ground lakes.
In the recent past, a lot of unusual features are rportedly being noticed in Mars. The latest to join the numerous other things that have been allegedly found is an alien skull that looked like it was buried in Martian sand.
One of the biggest challenges to manned space missions is the expense. The NASA rule-of-thumb is that every unit mass of payload launched requires the support of an additional 99 units of mass, with “support” encompassing everything from fuel to oxygen to food and medicine for the astronauts, etc.
Many of us have gotten used to believing that Mars is just another lonely, lifeless planet. True, its atmospheric conditions are just too extreme to be habitable by any life form that we know of. But that doesn’t make it an uninteresting planet at all. Through continuous advancements in technology, we’ve learned a lot about the red planet. Here are some of the most fascinating facts about Mars that you might not have known.
It might be one of your classmates, a work colleague. Or maybe even a punk kid who does oil drilling in the middle of the ocean. But NASA is sure the first humans to step foot on Mars are already walking the Earth today, meaning that smart kid you made fun of in fifth period might change history.
Talk about heavy metal! This shiny, lumpy rock spotted by NASA’s Curiosity rover is likely made mostly of iron—and came from outer space! It’s an iron meteorite, similar to ones found in years past by Curiosity’s forerunners Spirit and Opportunity, but is considerably larger than any of the ones the MER rovers came across… in fact, at 2 meters (6.5 feet) wide this may very well be the biggest meteorite ever discovered on Mars
The Mars One mission has instantly exploded in popularity, with support from legendary astronaut Buzz Aldrin and more than 78,000 international applicants vying for the opportunity to permanently settle on the red planet by 2023.
A recent study published in February’s issue of the journal Astrobiology has a surprising theory suggesting biological processes might have been at work on the Red Planet.