The path to Mars goes through the moon — or the region of space near the moon, anyway. NASA aims to put boots on Mars in the 2030s after first gathering human-spaceflight experience and expertise in low Earth orbit and the “proving ground” of cis-lunar space near the moon. NASA has been working on this three-stage path to the Red Planet for some time, and the space agency lays out the basic plan in a 36-page report called “Journey to Mars: Pioneering Next Steps in Space Exploration,” which was released Thursday (Oct. 8).
Articles Tagged: Mars
The mystery of Mars’ missing atmosphere is one big step closer to being solved. A previous hypothesis had suggested that a significant part of the carbon from Mars’ atmosphere, which is dominated by carbon dioxide, could have been trapped within rocks via chemical processes. However, new research suggests that there’s not enough carbon in deposits on the Red Planet’s surface to account for the huge amounts lost from the air over time.
In “The Martian”, Mark Watney deals with a lot of dangerous situations — food and communications being a couple of them. But what if his camp got hit by a solar storm? How could he protect himself in that situation? Solar eruptions can cause damage to people and spacecraft. The radiation that flows during these events can short-out sensitive electronics and give astronauts an overdose of radiation, if they’re not careful.
A gallery of gorgeous new images shows a cone-shaped space capsule shooting like a meteor through the atmosphere of Mars, and descending quickly toward the surface before its thrusters set it down gently in the middle of a rocky, uninhabited landscape. The human crew prepares to set food on the Red Planet.
The experiment was part of NASA’s Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation, a series of studies to test how long-term isolation and confinement may affect crew psychology and team performance. HI-SEAS began in 2013, and three missions have been concluded; the fourth began on August 28 and will last for 365 days.
A mission that uses SpaceX’s Dragon capsule to help bring chunks of Mars rock back to Earth for analysis could launch as early as 2022, researchers say. This “Red Dragon” project — which remains a concept at the moment, not an approved mission — would grab samples collected by NASA’s 2020 Mars rover and send them rocketing back toward Earth, where researchers could scrutinize the material for possible signs of past Red Planet life.
My first day at NASA Kennedy Space Center was entirely surreal. Within a few hours of arrival, I walked through the doors of the largest single-story building in the world and former home of the fleet of spacecraft that pushed the boundaries of human exploration. Read more at: http://tr.im/8cHAB