Category Archives: Mars

Mars: Can Nuclear Propulsion Take Us There?

Scientists have been trying to find a way to use nuclear propulsion to get us to Mars for years. The idea is that it would be much cheaper and quicker than current methods. Nuclear propulsion works by using a nuclear reactor to heat up a gas, which then expands and pushes against the inside of the engine. This creates thrust, which propels the spacecraft forward.

A nuclear-powered rocket engine could be used to send astronauts to Mars. Real Engineering

The problem is that we don’t yet have a viable design for a nuclear engine that could take us to Mars. We also don’t know if the radiation from the engine would be harmful to astronauts.

Can nuclear propulsion take us to Mars?

For the first crewed missions to Mars, NASA’s considering two types of nuclear propulsion systems: nuclear electric and nuclear thermal. Also, NASA is investing in surface nuclear propulsion and fission energy technology to enable crewed missions. Also, NASA’s looking at nuclear-powered transportation systems to make surface missions shorter on Mars.

One part of the trip would take advantage of the planet’s low-energy orientation, and another part would use improved technology.

For Artemis, NASA’s developing nuclear electric propulsion and nuclear fission power. U.S. government is developing fuel fabrication capabilities, too. In order to develop and test new nuclear thermal propulsion fuels, NASA is working with DOE, industry, and universities. Research reactors at Idaho National Laboratory and Massachusetts Institute of Technology are testing the fuels.

A nuclear thermal propulsion system presents a major technical challenge, according to the head of NASA’s nuclear technology portfolio.

The fundamentals of nuclear propulsion can enable robust and efficient exploration beyond the moon for NASA’s manned Mars missions.

How long does it take to get to Mars with nuclear power?

Using nuclear thermal propulsion, scientists could shorten how long astronauts need to travel to Mars and stay there. USNC-Tech proposes it could be as short as three months. 

USNC-Tech’s technical director Michael Eades says nuclear rockets could make space travel possible for humans and open up space for galactic business opportunities.

NASA wants to reach its destination faster to reduce crew time in space. So NASA is trying to develop nuclear-powered rockets that could take astronauts to Mars and back in less than two years. 

USNC-Tech claims to have developed a fuel that can operate at temperatures as high as 2,700 degrees Kelvin (4,400 degrees Fahrenheit). 

According to Eades, the rocket’s design will reduce radiation. The distance between the crew and the nuclear reactor provides a buffer, and in case of a disaster, the rocket reactor would not land on Earth for tens of thousands of years.

Nuclear-powered rockets will be crucial to solar system exploration. USNC-Tech says its technology could help with space tourism and rapid logistics services in orbit. 

Still, it will take several demonstrations and tests before they go mainstream.

Things you should know about Nuclear Thermal Propulsion

NASA wants to send astronauts to Mars, and thermal nuclear engines could help it do so.

Nuclear rockets have a higher energy density and are twice as efficient. As a result, they can fly farther on less fuel. Additionally, NTPs allows for greater flexibility in space missions.

NASA and the Atomic Energy Commission studied nuclear thermal propulsion in the 1960s.

Three industry teams won a design competition in 2021 and are now developing their designs. In addition, DOE is helping NASA develop new fuels for thermal nuclear propulsion that reduce safety-related costs.

These fuels will be tested at Idaho National Laboratory’s Transient Reactor Test (TREAT) facility.

Conclusions

It is clear that nuclear propulsion could lead us to Mars faster than traditional methods. However, many challenges remain before this method can be used for manned missions. Nevertheless, atomic propulsion remains a promising future option for space exploration.

We will continue to explore all options for getting to Mars safely and efficiently.

Perseverance’s Most Unexpected Discovery on Mars So Far

The Perseverance Rover had to walk erratically across the deserts of Mars to avoid encroaching on its mission, just like the Fremen did in Frank Herbert’s 1965 epic sci-fi novel Dune.


Perseverance’s Most Surprising Mars Discovery: Discoveries made by Perseverance on Mars have surprised the scientific community each time they have been made.

NASA’s Perseverance Rover’s trip through Séítah, investigating Isolle, Brac and Roubion. Astrum | ENGINEERING – NASA – VIDEO

Perseverance had come to Mars to find samples of alien life beneath the planet’s surface but had had to struggle with the pitfalls of Martian geology.

Thankfully, it managed to collect its first rock sample after a year on the planet.

Unfortunately, when Mars and Earth are perfectly opposite to each other, communication between the planets becomes impossible.

Hence, NASA had to wait for these orbital bodies to move apart before Perseverance could start communicating again.

What did the Perseverance rover discover about Mars?

On Mars, liquid water used to exist, according to the Spirit and Opportunity rovers. As a result of that discovery, NASA’s Curiosity rover discovered conditions that could have supported life 4 billion years ago on Mars. Now Perseverance will search directly for signs of past life.

NASA’s Perseverance rover was sent to the Jezero crater to study the history of the area. To do this, it needed to find a safe route through the sand dunes, so its sidekick Ingenuity was sent to scout the area.

Perseverance set off in early November 2021, exploring the dunes, and made it to the protruding rock known as Brac.

Perseverance’s technique had been honed, and it was able to obtain new samples. It was discovered that the rocks in the Jezero crater were actually igneous and that the presence of water and high mineral count rocks would have been perfect conditions for life.

Perseverance’s mission seemed to be going well until it hit unexpected resistance while transferring a sample from a rock outcropping to its bit carousel.

NASA used Perseverance’s cameras to peer inside the carousel and found four small pebbles blocking the sample from being stored. Perseverance started by taking photos of the ground below it and then emptying its core sample tube onto the floor.

This would allow scientists to count the new arrivals and make sure they matched up with what had previously been seen inside the carousel.

Perseverance began to wiggle, and by rotating its carousel, it was able to dislodge two of the offending pebbles right then and there.

The remaining pebbles were stubborn, so Perseverance took things up a notch and drove away, searching for a spot where the slope was steeper.

Is it possible to have an earthquake in Mars?

Scientists have considered Mars to be a dead planet. However, measurements of earthquakes on Mars indicate that there may still be movement of molten rocks beneath the planet’s solid crust.

The magnetic field of the earth is created by the movement of conductive materials in the planet’s core. The heat emitted from the solid inner core layer heats the base of the liquid outer core layer, which creates a circular flow pattern that creates the magnetic field.

Mars has no magnetic field and no internal circulation currents, indicating that its core and mantle are relatively cold and quiet.

NASA’s InSight lander measured 465 earthquakes on Mars. Many of them were caused by the two small moons of Mars tidally pulling on the surface and the sun heating it.

Researchers measured hundreds of earthquakes on Mars using the Insight lander’s seismometer. They found 47 previously undetected earthquakes, which occurred over a period of 350 Mars days, i.e., 359 Earth days.

The Researchers think Mars’ tremors are caused by a molten rock moving in the upper mantle. On the other hand, the loss of the magnetic field may be due to another factor.

Why Scientists Think Elon Musk’s Mars Idea is Terrible – VIDEO

Mars Archives – Curiosity Guide

Earthquakes on Mars

Mars may be more active than we thought, with molten rocks still moving beneath its solid surface.

Mars has a relatively cool and quiet core and mantle that does not lose significant heat into space and do not create any internal circulation currents.

Scientists have found that underneath the surface of Mars, a lot of activity is taking place. The tremors are being caused by the stretching and contracting of the surface and the warming of the surface by the Sun.

Measurements of earthquakes on Mars indicate that it is not a geologically dead planet, and that molten rocks are still moving beneath its solid crust.

The slow cooling of the planets creates a magnetic field, and the flow of heat from the solid inner core layer to the liquid outer core layer creates earthquakes.

Scientists have measured 465 earthquakes on Mars since the seismic sensors began to operate, and the vast majority of them were caused by the stretching and contraction processes of the surface.

The mantle around the core

The movement of conductive materials in the earth’s core and the mantle around the core creates the earth’s magnetic field. The movement of conductive materials in the core also creates the earth’s tectonic plates and earthquakes.

Mars has a relatively cold and quiet core and mantle, which do not lose significant heat to space and do not create internal circulation currents. However, researchers believe that the movement of molten rock in the upper part of the mantle is responsible for the tremors discovered on Mars.

NASA’s InSight Records the largest quake ever observed on another planet

InSight has detected 1,313 quakes on Mars since November 2018, including the largest quake ever observed on another planet.

InSight was sent to Mars with a highly sensitive seismometer to study the planet’s deep interior. The seismometer detected a magnitude 5 quake, and scientists are now analyzing the data to learn more about the structure of Mars.

The large earthquake comes as InSight faces new challenges with its solar panels. The mission may enter safe mode again as available power slowly decreases.

Why Scientists Think Elon Musk’s Mars Idea is Terrible

Elon Musk thinks he has all the answers to our future survival, but his brilliant idea involves nuking mars. We found an insane new video where we explain why this isn’t such an intelligent strategy after all.

The Infographics Show

How did Elon Musk plan to warm up Mars?

Elon Musk said that dropping thermonuclear weapons over the poles would allow us to terraform Mars. Still, he is not a scientist and has never published a peer-reviewed study pertaining to any of the sciences. Furthermore, nuking Mars’ poles would release greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere that would warm up the planet. 

This would allow humans and other lifeforms on planet Earth to live comfortably on Mars.

Elon Musk has stated that he plans to nuke Mars to warm up the planet to hospitable levels by releasing CO2 stored in the planet’s rocks and crust. Still, a recent study has shown that there isn’t enough CO2 contained within the surface rocks on Mars. 

Elon Musk’s plan to nuke Mars to create a habitable planet faces several problems, including the fact that Mars does not have a magnetic field protecting it and that solar winds tend to eject gasses from Mars’ atmosphere into space. In addition, Elon Musk’s plan to nuke Mars would not result in the planet being terraformed because it would increase greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere and cause a large amount of radiation. 

It would also take decades before it would be safe to grow plants on the surface. A nuclear winter would cause the temperature to drop even lower than it already is, and since there isn’t enough water or carbon dioxide on the surface of the planet to raise the temperature to adequate levels, nuking Mars is not a great option.

How can we protect Mars from solar wind?

A former NASA scientist has developed a plan to block the sun’s harmful effects on Mars’ atmosphere by setting up a magnetic shield between Mars and the sun. This would allow the planet to warm up and begin the terraforming process without human intervention. 

The magnetic shield will need to follow the orbit of Mars to keep it protected from the sun’s radiation, and we still need to find a way to put more greenhouse gasses into the Martian atmosphere. 

The entire surface of Mars would need to be mined to release enough greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere to increase the temperature of the planet. However, we don’t know if there is enough CO2 contained within the buried Martian rocks and minerals to create the desired effect.

How long would it take to terraform Mars with nukes?

The harvesting method would require a massive amount of energy to terraform the planet. Even if we detonated all the nukes we currently have on Mars, it wouldn’t be enough. Scientists think the only way to generate adequate constant energy is by using a source of fusion power similar to the sun. Scientists have proposed that we could terraform Mars faster by capturing a large asteroid full of ice and ammonia and slamming it into the Red Planet. 

This would release water and carbon dioxide into the atmosphere while simultaneously adding more greenhouse gasses to the planet. Using asteroids to terraform Mars would take centuries and involve moving a ten billion-ton asteroid through Mars’ atmosphere and slamming it into the planet. 

This would generate around 130 million megawatts of power and raise the temperature of the planet by around 35 degrees Fahrenheit. Using greenhouse gasses from old air conditioners and refrigerators, we could terraform Mars without nuking the planet or slamming countless asteroids into it. 

Instead, we would need to launch countless missions with supplies and colonists to build settlements and factories on the surface of Mars. A colony on Mars could be built using tons of resources, but it would take a long time. 

There may also be a way to increase temperatures on Mars from space. A giant mirror would need to be placed on one side of Mars to intensify the sunlight and cause global temperature change. Unfortunately, this would also cause the melting of the ice caps and the release of carbon dioxide trapped within the Martian rocks.

What happens when the levels of greenhouse gases in Earth’s atmosphere increase?

Once we get the greenhouse gasses to the right levels and Mars reaches a habitable climate, we will need to put oxygen into the atmosphere for us to breathe. 

This is because plants take carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere for photosynthesis, releasing oxygen back into the air. Unfortunately, growing plants on Mars is easier said than done because the Martian soil is devoid of all nutrients. 

First, we will need to find a way to fertilize the entire planet. Then pioneering species will convert rocks and sand into usable soil. 

The question of whether or not we should modify an entire planet to suit our needs comes up with all the talk of nuking, harvesting resources and changing the atmosphere of Mars.

If we want to terraform Mars, we will need a magnetic shield, a giant mirror, and a way to pump greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere. We will also need to study asteroids and continue to fund scientific missions and technological research.

Final Proof of Life on Mars!

The evidence for alien life is becoming stronger and stronger based on the research results of the past few years. Get a glimpse of what experts have already found and what discoveries were made on Mars a few months ago!


Video

Could we be alone? At first glance, this question seems so simple, but it is actually very significant. One of the most fascinating aspects of modern space exploration has always been the search for extraterrestrial life. As is well known, however, we have not yet been able to discover or contact extraterrestrial life forms.

The evidence for alien life is becoming stronger and stronger based on the research results of the past few years. Get a glimpse of what experts have already found and what discoveries were made on Mars a few months ago!

The search for extraterrestrial life

When we think of extraterrestrial life forms, images of flourishing advanced civilizations thousands of light years away from our blue home planet may come to mind. Despite all these spectacular thoughts in our minds, the actual search for extraterrestrial life is taking place on a much smaller scale.

The hypothetical life forms on other celestial bodies are primarily in the microscopic spectrum due to our current technical capabilities. The search for extraterrestrial life does not primarily take place in distant galaxies, but right on our galactic doorstep.

Mars is the first place many scientists think of when they ask “Where might we find extraterrestrial life?” because of how similar it is to Earth. Mars was probably like Earth once.

Life on Mars?

The Johnson Space Center (a division of NASA) announced in July 1996 that they found possible fossils of bacteria in a Mars meteorite called ALH84001. It was found in 1984 in the Allen Hills in Antarctica after landing there 12,000 years ago. While many scientists were initially excited, much of the evidence offered fell flat. NASA announced that after two years of investigation, “a number of pieces of evidence failed.”

Some chemicals and molecular structures were exciting because they seemed to resemble the byproducts of life on Earth. However, these chemicals and structures can form without life. Some are even found in deep space on comets, and scientists no longer believe they came from Martians.

Small spheres were observed in the meteorite, which scientists claimed in 1996 were the fossilized remains of bacteria. However, they are about 1000 times smaller than the smallest bacteria on Earth, so they do not resemble any conceivable life. Organic (carbonaceous) compounds were found along with the spheres. The organic compounds ended up in the meteorite after it landed (maybe water seeped in a few times during the 12,000 years the rock was in Antarctica). On Earth, carbon 14 is found in organic compounds, but not in spheres.

The environment on Mars was very different in the past than it is today. At that time, conditions may have been favorable for the existence of life. The Martian meteorite does not prove that life once existed on Mars, but neither does it disprove the possibility.

The search for life on Mars

The Viking program in the 1970s was the first to provide data indicating that there is currently no evidence of life on Mars.

In order to conduct a more thorough search, the Mars Surveyor program was launched. A total of five space probes were to be sent to Mars between 1996 and 2005. These spacecraft were to include the Mars Global Surveyor, the Mars Climate Orbiter, and the Polar Lander. Unfortunately, the Mars Climate Orbiter and the Polar Lander have been lost. Scientists still hope that after collecting all the information, they will know more about the evolution of Mars and its potential to host life.

Conditions on Mars were wetter and warmer at times in the ancient past. Today, conditions are fairly inhospitable. Originally, Mars was a habitable planet. It has been shown that more than three billion years ago, Gale crater was home to a lake that held water that may have sustained life.


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Discovery of Mars | History of Mars

Mars is very similar to Venus. It is very bright and because of that we can easily observe it in the night sky. This is part of the reason no one really knows who discovered Mars. We do know that its name is that of the Roman god of war because the planet’s reddish color suggested the color of blood.

Christiaan Huygens

In 1659, Christiaan Huygens discovered a strange feature on the surface of the Red Planet. It later became known as the Syrtis Major. Since then, fear of a Martian invasion has prevailed in our society. In 1802, one scientist really believed that there was life on Mars that he wanted to draw large figures in the snow in order to signal to the Martians!

Giovanni Schiaparelli

In 1877, the astronomer Giovanni Schiaparelli, discovered what he thought were several intersecting lines. He opined that intelligent creatures created water channels on Mars.

Mariner 9

In 1971, Mariner 9 visited Mars and sent back images of huge volcanoes and vast canyons. It discovered Olympus Mons, which is now the most famous volcano outside of Earth. This large volcano could cover the area of the state of Missouri and rises up to 15 miles above the surface. Mariner 9 also found evidence water once existed on Mars. As of today, there is no evidence of the famous Schiaparelli canals.

Viking I and II

In 1975, two space probes, Viking I and II, landed on Mars to study its surface. They analyzed the planet’s rocks and soil. The probes provided information about its atmosphere and weather. Today, scientists continue to explore Mars. In 1997, the Mars Global Surveyor mapped the planet.

When was Mars Discovered

No one discovered Mars, scientists discovered its moons! In 1877, astronomer Asaph Hall observed the two moons and gave them names: Phobos, meaning fear, and Deimos, meaning dread. They were named after the mythological horses that carried Mars, the god of war.