“Maybe we’re on Mars because of the magnificent science that can be done there - the gates of the wonder world are opening in our time. Maybe we’re on Mars because we have to be, because there’s a deep nomadic impulse built into us by the evolutionary process, we come after all, from hunter gatherers, and for 99.9% of our tenure on Earth we’ve been wanderers. And, the next place to wander to, is Mars. But whatever the reason you’re on Mars is, I’m glad you’re there. And I wish I was with you.”
Mars needs YOU! In the future, Mars will need all kinds of explorers, farmers, surveyors, teachers … but most of all YOU! Join us on the Journey to Mars as we explore with robots and send humans there one day.
Mars has always been an interesting planet to us earthlings. The possibility of life, rovers leaving no stone unturned(literally), it’s demanding reddish appearance and now those breathtaking sunsets.Mesmerizing isn’t it ? But,
Why are martian sunsets blue?
Here on earth, sunsets are bright with Yellow, Orange and Red colors dazzling in the sky. During sunsets, the light from the sun has to travel a longer distance in our atmosphere to reach the earth.
Consequently, all the blue and violet light is scattered( thrown in various directions) by the particles in our atmosphere leaving behind only shades of yellow, orange and red, which is what you see. This phenomenon is known as Rayleigh scattering.
On mars, the reverse effect occurs. The martian dust is smaller and more abundant than on earth and it incidentally happens to be just the right size that it absorbs the blue light whilst scattering the red ones across the sky. This makes martian sunsets blue :).
Stay tuned, there is more space stuff coming your way.
Gale Crater can be seen in the center of this image with its central mountain of Strata. This is the Crater where NASA landed the Curiosity Mars Rover and made history in 2012. Curiosity discovered that this crater was once at the bottom of a large freshwater lake. The water in this lake would have been drinkable by humans and hospitable to microbial life. After exploring the Crater, Curiosity proceeded to explore the nearby plains of Aeolis Palus in search of life. Curiosity continues its search today, 140,000,000 miles away from home on a planet inhabited entirely by robots. (Though this image is computer generated, all of the geological features are correct and realistic.)
Even though there are (plenty of) technical difficulties we still have to solve, it’s quite possible we’ll see humans on Mars in our lifetime. In the beginning, living and working on Mars will be a lot
like scuba diving, James Green, director of NASA’s planetary science
division, told Mic. But then things will get more permanent.
The Martian movie is set 20 years in the future, but here at NASA we are already developing many of the technologies that appear in the film. The movie takes the work we’re doing and extends it into fiction set in the 2030s, when NASA astronauts are regularly traveling to Mars and living on the surface. Here are a few ways The Martian movie compares to what we’re really doing on our journey to Mars:
MOVIE: In the film, Astronaut Mark Watney is stranded on the Red Planet.
REALITY: In preparation for sending humans to Mars, we have completed one of the most extensive isolation missions in Hawaii, known as HI-SEAS. The goal of this study was to see how isolation and the lack of privacy in a small group affects social aspects of would-be explorers. The most recent simulation was eight months long, and the next mission is planned to last a year.
MOVIE: The Martian movie launches astronauts on the Aries missions from a refurbished and state of the art space center.
REALITY: Currently, the Ground Systems Development and Operations’ primary objective is to prepare the center to process and launch the next-generation vehicles and spacecraft designed to achieve our goals for space exploration. We are not only working to develop new systems, but also refurbishing and upgrading infrastructure to meet future demands.
Deep Space Propulsion
MOVIE: In the film, the astronauts depart the Red Planet using a propulsion system know as the Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV).
REALITY: We are currently developing the most powerful rocket we’ve ever built, our Space Launch System (SLS). Once complete, this system will enable astronauts to travel deeper into the solar system than ever before! The RS-25 engines that will be used on the SLS, were previously utilized as the main engine on our space shuttles. These engines have proven their reliability and are currently being refurbished with updated and improved technology for our journey to Mars.
MOVIE: In the movie, Mission Control operations support the Aries 3 crew.
REALITY: On our real journey to Mars, Mission Control in Houston will support our Orion spacecraft and the crew onboard as they travel into deep space.
MOVIE: The artificial living habitat on Mars in The Martian movie is constructed of industrial canvas and contains an array of life support systems.
REALITY: The Human Exploration Research Analog (HERA), formerly known as the Deep Space Habitat, is a three-story module that was designed and created through a series of university competitions. Studies conducted in habitat mockups will allow us to evolve this technology to create a reliable structures for use on Mars.
MOVIE: The characters in the film are able to cruise around the Red Planet inside the Mars Decent Vehicle (MDV).
REALITY: We are currently developing a next generation vehicle for space exploration. Our Mars Exploration Vehicle(MEV) is designed to be flexible depending on the destination. It will have a pressurized cabin, ability to house two astronauts for up to 14 days and will be about the size of a pickup truck.
MOVIE: Astronaut Mark Watney grows potatoes on Mars in The Martian movie.
REALITY: We’re already growing and harvesting lettuce on the International Space Station in preparation for deep space exploration. Growing fresh food in space will provide future pioneers with a sustainable food supplement, and could also be used for recreational gardening during deep space missions.
MOVIE: The spacesuit worn by astronauts in the film allows them to work and function on the surface of Mars, while protecting them from the harsh environment.
REALITY: Prototypes of our Z-2 Exploration Suit are helping to develop the technologies astronauts will use to live and work on the the Martian surface. Technology advances in this next generation spacesuit would shorten preparation time, improve safety and boost astronaut capabilities during spacewalks and surface activities.
Mars is probably the most important venture for the human race. But what would we do when we got there? What would we eat? How would we entertain ourselves? For starters, there are plenty of mineral deposits on the planet, ripe for mining. The composition is different from the deposits here on earth-scientists have found trace amounts of nickel, palladium, and other elements. Learn more
NASA found ‘Morse code’ on Mars.
A 2016 image revealed what appeared
to be a series of dashes and dots that
turned out to be sand dunes, but a
planetary scientist deciphered the
'message’ anyway just for fun. It says
'NEE NED ZB 6TNN DEIBEDH SIEFI
EBEEE SSIEI ESEE SEEE.’ SourceSource 2