Discussion in 'Science, Tech, & Space Exploration' started by Toroid, Jul 21, 2018.
A bit of a reach maybe?...
The computer narrator asks question, who won. Another question would be why is this picture so blurry?
Its most likely due to it being taken out of context by being enlarged into pixelated mush.
Hi Castle-Yankee54. I was just thinking about you yesterday. Hope all is well.
Yes it does look enlarged and different from the first one that they show that looks like it's covered in sand.
Three Underground Lakes Found on Mars
Scientists studying data from the European Space Agency's Mars Express orbiter have discovered a trio of subterranean lakes hiding beneath the surface of the Red Planet. The remarkable findings, which were made by a team of researchers at Roma Tre University in Italy, were revealed in a paper published on Monday. The authors explained that the discovery came about by happenstance as they were initially attempting to confirm the existence of an underground lake on Mars that was first detected back in 2018.
"Taking into account more data and analyzing it in a different way," ESA explained in a press release, the were only able to confirm the presence of that first lake, but "three new ponds have been discovered." According to the research, the largest lake measures approximately 12 by 18 miles and is surrounded by the trio of newfound bodies of water which measure around six by six miles. The team indicated that there is a possibility that the four lakes could be interconnected, although that is merely theoretical until additional observations can be made.
On that note, what might be contained within the lakes is another mystery which could take quite some time to solve. That's because they are located beneath a nearly mile-thick layer of ice and, at the present time, we do not possess the technological ability to send something to Mars that can drill that deep into the surface of the Red Planet. As such, if there is any evidence for life in the newly discovered waters, it will remain tantalizingly out of reach for the time being unless additional and more accessible lakes can be found.
I've never heard of that ancient alien conspiracy before...
Elon Musk says SpaceX's 1st Starship trip to Mars could fly in 4 years
Can a Starship reach Mars by 2024?
SpaceX is almost ready to start building a permanent human settlement on Mars with its massive Starship rocket.
The private spaceflight company is on track to launch its first uncrewed mission to Mars in as little as four years from now, SpaceX's founder and CEO Elon Musk said Friday (Oct. 16) at the International Mars Society Convention.
"I think we have a fighting chance of making that second Mars transfer window," Musk said in a discussion with Mars Society founder Robert Zubrin. You can watch a replay of the talk here.
That window Musk referred to is a launch opportunity that arises every 26 months for mission to Mars. NASA, China and the United Arab Emirates all launched missions to mars in July of this year. The next window opens in 2022 with Musk referring to the 2024 Mars launch opportunity.
The mission will launch to the Red Planet on a SpaceX Starship vehicle, a reusable rocket-and-spacecraft combo that is currently under development at the company's South Texas facility. SpaceX is also planning to use Starship for missions to the moon starting in 2022, as well as point-to-point trips around the Earth.
Musk has long said that humans need to establish a permanent and self-sustaining presence on Mars to ensure "the continuance of consciousness as we know it" — just in case planet Earth is left uninhabitable by a something like a nuclear war or an asteroid strike. But SpaceX doesn't have any plans to actually build a Mars base. As a transportation company, its only goal is to ferry cargo (and humans) to and from the Red Planet, facilitating the development of someone else's Mars base.
"SpaceX is taking on the biggest single challenge, which is the transportation system. There's all sorts of other systems that are going to be needed," Mars Society founder Robert Zubrin said during the convention.
"My personal hope is that we're gonna see Starship in the stratosphere before this year's out, and if Elon is right, reach orbit next year or the year after," Zubrin added. "This will change people's minds as to what is possible. And then, you know, we'll have NASA seeking to fund the remaining pieces of the puzzle or entrepreneurs stepping forward to develop remaining pieces of the puzzle."
If Musk's projections are correct — he is known for offering overly ambitious timelines — SpaceX's first Mars mission would launch in the same year that NASA astronauts return to the moon under the Artemis program. SpaceX is also planning to fly space tourists on a Starship mission around the moon in 2023. NASA has also picked SpaceX as one of three commercial teams to develop moon landers for the Artemis program.
Musk said Friday that if it weren't for the orbital mechanics that call for Mars launches every 26 months, SpaceX "would maybe have a shot of sending or trying send something to Mars in three years," Musk said, adding that Earth and Mars won't be in the best position. "But the window is four years away, because of them being in different parts of the solar system."
Musk unveiled plans for SpaceX's Starship plans in 2016. The project aims to launch a 165-foot (50 meters) spacecraft atop a massive booster for deep-space missions to the moon, Mars and elsewhere. Both the Starship and its Super Heavy booster will be reusable.
This year, SpaceX launched two test flights of Starship prototypes, called SN5 and SN6, from its Boca Chica test site in Texas. Those flights reached an altitude of 500 feet (150 meters). SpaceX is currently preparing another Starship prototype, called SN8, for a 12-mile-high (20 kilometers) test flight in the near future.
A 4 year space journey will present many physiological and psychological difficulties.
Cosmic rays being one of them .
Independent Review Board Praises Ambitious Plan to Bring Mars Samples to Earth
An ambitious campaign by NASA and ESA to collect samples from the Red Planet and return them to Earth has been praised by an Independent Review Board set up to review the multi-year Mars missions.
The Mars Sample Return campaign foresees NASA and ESA launching multiple missions to the Red Planet to collect samples, launch them into space and return them safely to Earth. NASA has released the report of a Mars Sample Return Independent Review Board, which it established to evaluate the status of the multi-year international partnership, together with NASA’s response to the report’s recommendations.
(More on the link)
I've been listening to Nick Redfern's recent book about Mars. I find it informative, thought-provoking, as well as entertaining.
A positive aspect of the book is his highlighting of some of the ideas of Mac Tonnies.
they found a Martian Parthenon or something there?
I think he pointed this out because China is going to that location...
Mars anomaly. Dome on top of the hill ?
NASA Curiosity rover celebrates 3,000th day on Mars with stunning panorama of planet - CBS News
Rare Martian Mineral Discovered in Antarctica
Deep inside of an ice core located in Antarctica is a mineral that is very rare on Earth but quite common on Mars. Researchers described the brittle, yellowish/brown mineral called jarosite as being created in the same manner both on Earth and on Mars – by dust that was trapped inside of ancient ice.
It was NASA’s Opportunity rover that discovered the jarosite at several different locations on Mars back in 2004 when it drove over layers of the mineral. Scientists definitely weren’t expecting to find it as it needs water, iron, potassium, sulfate, and acidic conditions in order to form which are not easy to find on the Red Planet.
Scientists came up with several hypotheses as to how the mineral formed in high quantities on Mars such as the evaporation of tiny portions of water that contained salt and acid. However, according to Giovanni Baccolo, who is a geologist at the University of Milan-Bicocca and the lead author of the study, the alkaline basalt rocks on the crust of the planet would have gotten rid of any moisture containing acid.
Another theory that the scientists came up with was that the jarosite would have formed inside of ice that covered Mars billions of years ago. When the ice sheets grew larger, the dust would have collected inside of them which then turned into jarosite.
As for the rare occurrences when jarosite has been found on Earth, it was usually because of mining waste that had been exposed to rain and air. And the fact that it was discovered in Antarctica was something that nobody expected. In fact, Baccolo found it by accident when he was looking for minerals that could possibly show ice age cycles inside of an ice core. He discovered the jarosite inside of pockets deep down in the 1620-meter-long ice core. But it was only a tiny fragment of the mineral as it was smaller than an eyelash or a sand grain.
Additional analysis seems to indicate that the mineral forms in the same manner here as it does on Mars but it still doesn’t explain how there is so much of it on the Red Planet. Megan Elwood Madden, who is a geochemist at the University of Oklahoma but wasn’t involved with the study, stated, “On Mars, this is not just some thin film,” adding, “These are meters-thick deposits.”
Since there is a lot more dust on Mars than on Earth, Baccolo said that perhaps the reason why that planet has so much more jarosite than here is because the dust provides additional raw materials that help form the mineral. “More ash would favor more jarosite formation under the right conditions,” he said. He went on to say that he wants to perform further studies on the jarosite found in Antarctica in order to learn more about its presence on Mars. “This is just the first step in linking deep Antarctic ice with the Martian environment,” he noted.
The research was published in the journal Nature Communications where it can be read in full.
The Mysterious “Trees” of the Red Planet
By Nick Redfern
“I’m now convinced that Mars is inhabited by a race of demented landscape gardeners.” Those were the words that the late sci-fi writer, Arthur C. Clarke, made in 2001. They were largely made in jest, but they served to make an important and astonishing point: Clarke came to believe that evidence had been found strongly suggesting that there was vegetation on the Red Planet. He even suggested – tentatively, admittedly – that Mars just might be teeming with trees, bushes and plants. And if there was vegetation, then there just might be other kinds of life on Mars, too. Possibly even intelligent life. And what was it that led Clarke to come to such a controversial conclusion? Nothing less than NASA’s very own priceless photos of Mars’ surface, that’s what. But, let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves. How did such a controversy begin?
For Arthur C. Clarke, matters began in his teenage years. That’s when he developed a fascination – which lasted throughout his life – for the mysteries of outer space. Such was the level of that fascination, Clarke became a member of the British Interplanetary Society (BIS) before he was twenty. During the Second World War, Clarke worked in the field of radar in the British Royal Air Force, honing his interest in science and technology. With the war finally over in 1945, and as a result of his growing enthusiasm for worlds beyond ours, Clarke accepted the position of chairman of the BIS. He oversaw it for two years. Clarke then took a break, coming back to run the organization from 1951 to 1953.
Floating above the red planet.
Clarke became not only a well-respected figure as an inventor, a writer, and an explorer: he was also someone who had an overriding passion for science-fiction. It was in this field, particularly, that Clarke absolutely thrived. For example, there was his short story, “The Sentinel,” which was written in 1948 and published three years later. It served as the direct innovation for Stanley Kubrick’s classic 1968 movie, 2001: A Space Odyssey. In 2015, the SyFy Channel broadcast a three-hours-long series based on Clarke’s 1953 novel, Childhood’s End. Clarke also turned his talents to television, presenting – in the 1980s – Arthur C. Clarke’s Mysterious World; Arthur C. Clarke’s World of Strange Powers; and Arthur C. Clarke’s Mysterious Universe. He died on March 19, 2008. All of which brings us back to that controversial statement of the “demented” kind. It would never have been uttered had it not been for certain, spectacular photos that came back from NASA’s Mars Global Surveyor.
As NASA noted in 1997: “Launched November 7, 1996, Mars Global Surveyor became the first successful mission to the red planet in two decades. After a year and a half spent trimming its orbit from a looping ellipse to a circular track around the planet, the spacecraft began its prime mapping mission in March 1999. It has continued to observe the planet from a low-altitude, nearly polar orbit ever since.” Not only that, NASA added that Mars has “very repeatable weather patterns” and that a “panoply of high-resolution images from the Mars Global Surveyor has documented gullies and debris flows suggesting that occasional sources of liquid water, similar to an aquifer, were once present at or near the surface of the planet.”
That same panoply revealed something else; something amazing, if the data was not being misinterpreted. Tucked away among a wealth of less controversial images from the Mars Global Surveyor were a number of astounding images that appeared to show nothing less than vast areas of vegetation; trees, even. They looked eerily like what on Earth are termed Banyan Trees. They are, essentially, trees that grow and thrive by living on other trees. It wasn’t long before the media – and Arthur C. Clarke – caught wind of these extraordinary photographs and what they seemed to show. He wasted no time at all in giving his opinion on this new development on Mars. Clarke made no bones about it when he said that the collective images were “so striking that there is no need to say anything about it.” Clarke was also excited by the fact that Mars’ very own Banyan Trees appeared to alter in appearance, according to the seasons on Mars. On this particular point, Clarke could not forget NASA’s words that Mars had “very repeatable weather patterns” when he said, “Something is actually moving and changing with the seasons.”
Candy Hansen, a key figure on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter program, said, in forthright fashion: “To date, there is no firm evidence of any type of Martian biology, past or present, plant or otherwise. In the Martian spring, the sun warms the ice, causing it to sublimate directly into vapor, and the resulting gas dislodges surrounding dust and sand particles. What we think is happening is that the dark sand is sliding down the bright frosted portion of the dune.”
The debate of the Mars’ “trees” still goes on.
Landslide mystery on Mars.
Martian landslides may be caused by melting ice and salt under the surface - CNN
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