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: space exploration
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.
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.
DARPA has a history of making things that sound fantastic a reality. One of the latest projects that DARPA is working on is reportedly a space-based transportation hub that would be able to build, refuel, and repair spacecraft in orbit around the Earth. The coolest part about this space hub is that it would operate without humans on board.
Scientists have long suspected that Enceladus, Saturn’s sixth-largest moon, has an ocean sloshing between its rocky core and icy crust. Now NASA scientists say that they’ve confirmed that the ocean covers the entire moon.
The quest for potentially habitable planets is often interpreted as the search for an Earth twin. And yet, some rocky planets outside our Solar System may in fact be more promising candidates for further research. Scientists have run 165 climate simulations for exoplanets that permanently face their ‘sun’ with the same side. They discovered that two of the three possible climates are potentially habitable.