Tag Archives: Mars

Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun and the second-smallest planet in the Solar System, after Mercury. Named after the Roman god of war, it is often referred to as the “Red Planet” because the iron oxide prevalent on its surface gives it a reddish appearance. Mars is a terrestrial planet with a thin atmosphere, having surface features reminiscent both of the impact craters of the Moon and the valleys, deserts, and polar ice caps of Earth.

Mars/Earth comparison:
Average Distance from Sun: 142 million miles (228.5 million km) / Earth: 93 million miles (150 million km)
Average Speed in Orbiting Sun: 14.5 miles per second (23.34 km per second) / Earth: 18.5 miles per second (29.77 km per second)
Diameter: 4,220 miles (6,791 km) / Earth: 7,926 miles (12,755 km)
Tilt of Axis: 25 degrees / Earth: 23.5 degrees
Length of Year: 687 Earth Days / Earth: 365.25 Days
Length of Day: 24 hours 37 minutes / Earth: 23 hours 56 minutes
Gravity: 0.375 that of Earth
Average Temperature: -81 degrees F (-62.78 degrees C) / Earth: 57 degrees F (13.88 degrees C)
Atmosphere: mostly carbon dioxide, some water vapor / Earth: nitrogen, oxygen, argon, others
Number of Moons: 2 / Earth: 1

The poles of Mars

The planet Mars has two permanent polar ice caps. During a pole’s winter, it lies in continuous darkness, chilling the surface and causing the deposition of 25–30% of the atmosphere into slabs of CO2 ice (dry ice). When the poles are again exposed to sunlight, the frozen CO2 sublimes, creating enormous winds that sweep off the poles as fast as 400 km/h. These seasonal actions transport large amounts of dust and water vapor, giving rise to Earth-like frost and large cirrus clouds. Clouds of water-ice were photographed by the Opportunity rover in 2004.
The caps at both poles consist primarily of water ice. Frozen carbon dioxide accumulates as a comparatively thin layer about one metre thick on the north cap in the northern winter only, while the south cap has a permanent dry ice cover about 8 m thick. Photo: windows2universe.org

Watch: Top 10 Tallest Rockets Ever Launched

To able to reach the space, we need rockets. Rocket engines work by action and reaction (“To every action, there is always opposed an equal reaction”Notes 1) and push rockets forward simply by expelling their exhaust in the opposite direction at high speed and can therefore work in the vacuum of space. Space rockets are usually enormous in size, because the bigger the rocket is, the more thrust can produce its engine and can carry more weight into the orbit. Here are the 10 tallest rockets ever launched in the history of space exploration.
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Photographer Catches the Launch of NASA’s Mars InSight Lander

On May 5, 2018, NASA’s robotic Mars lander, InSight, which designed to study the interior of Mars, was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base space launch complex 3-East. This was the first American interplanetary mission to launch from California. Andy Fortson, adventure and lifestyle photographer based in Los Angeles, California has photographed the launch and the result is stunning.
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Mars Curiosity Rover Celebrates Sol 2,000

This week, NASA’s Mars Curiosity Rover celebrated its 2,000th Martian day (or Sol) on the Red Planet. The nuclear-powered rover was launched from Cape Canaveral on November 26, 2011, and landed on Aeolis Palus in Gale Crater on Mars on August 6, 2012. A Mars day is slightly longer than a day here on Earth: a sidereal day is 24 hours, 37 minutes, and 22 seconds (on Earth, it is 23 hours, 56 minutes and 4.1 seconds) and a solar day is 24 hours, 39 minutes, and 35 seconds (on Earth, 24 hours).
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Watch: Others Will Follow (Short Sci-Fi Film)

A great short science fiction film, “Others Will Follow”, created and directed by Andrew Finch and published on Vimeo, tells the story of a manned Mars mission. An accident occurs and the spacecraft breaks apart, the last survivor (we don’t see what happens to the rest of the crew, but presumably they have died) manages to send an inspirational message back to Earth. A must-watch.
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Watch: NASA, SpaceX, and Blue Origin’s Rockets comparison

Tech Insider published a video titled “How NASA, SpaceX, and Blue Origin’s Monster Rockets Compare”. Still, the old Saturn V, which was used by NASA between 1967 and 1973 and took humans to the Moon, is the biggest and strongest rocket ever built. But new rockets are coming and that’s finally about the change. Here is the past and future monster rockets comparison:
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Watch: NASA’s 2017 Highlights

NASA (The National Aeronautics and Space Administration) has published a video that contains highlights of important events and the space agency’s achievements over the year 2017. In the video description, NASA has stated that “2017: A year of groundbreaking discoveries and record-setting exploration at NASA. The Moon became a focal point for the agency, we brought you unique coverage of the first coast-to-coast total solar eclipse in the U.S. in 99 years, we announced the most Earth-size planets ever found in the habitable zone of a star outside our solar system, and more!”
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Living on Mars is a terrible idea, scientist say. We should colonize Titan, instead

In September 2017, Elon Musk, the founder and CEO of SpaceX has revealed a new plan to colonize Moon and Mars with giant reusable spaceships. They are ambitiously planning to send the first humans to Mars as early as 2024 to build the foundations for the first Martian city. But is Mars really the best place for humans to settle? Some scientists, like Amanda HendrixNotes 1, the American planetary scientist, thinks it’s not, and we should be looking somewhere else and colonize Titan, Saturn’s largest moon, instead.
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Watch: Test Flight #1 of NASA’s Mars 2020 Supersonic Parachute

On October 4, 2017, NASA has tested Mars 2020’s supersonic parachute, which will slow down the spacecraft down as it enters the Martian atmosphere at over 12,000 mph (around 19500 km/h, or 5.4 kilometers per second). Mars 2020 is a Mars rover mission by NASA’s Mars Exploration Program. The planned launch will be, as the mission’s name suggests, in 2020. The mission will seek signs of ancient Martian life by investigating evidence in place and by caching drilled samples of Martian rocks for potential future return to Earth.
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Space Race 2.0? Lockheed Martin and NASA have teamed up to send humans to Mars

While Elon Musk and SpaceX planning to send Humans to Mars as early as 2024, the American global aerospace, defense, security and advanced technologies company Lockheed Martin has also revealed animations of a reusable rocket to colonize the red planet. The American company has teamed up with NASA, to build a space station (Mars base camp) orbiting Mars and a reusable, water-powered lander. The goal is sending humans to Mars only in a decade. The space race 2.0 is on the way!
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