Mars in a Minute: Are There Quakes on Mars?

Thermal contraction, internal magma pressure , or meteorite impacts. These are a few suspects for the cause of Earthqua.., ahem, Marsquakes.  The behavior of those seismic waves that travel through the planet can help us understand what is going on beneath the surface of Mars. These movements will be measured by NASA’s Insight Lander’s Seismometer. Thanks to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory for this info, stay tuned for updates!

 

Thoughts on selecting a landing site:

Choosing where to have lunch can be hard. Deciding where to go on vacation is hard. Finding a new apartment is hard.   Selecting a landing site on Mars… the hardest!

For this task, we’re faced with choice overload. What characteristics might you consider in selecting a site?  Are you looking for water? Are you looking for moderate temperatures? How about regolith composition?

Lander data and satellite imagery can help us identify some of the site attributes and determine where to set up camp, so to speak. Check out the resources below:

Not quite google maps, but might as well be: https://www.google.com/mars/

High-Rise imagery from the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory at the University of Arizona: HiRise Imagery

Here’s another resource to help us “explore and irrigate the Martian planet” from ArcGIS:  Irrigate Mars

Getting ones bearings on Mars is often a challenge, especially given the nomenclature used to describe the planet’s geography. Here on earth, we have unmistakable landmarks like the San Francisco bay and the Golden Gate Bridge to aid navigation. On Mars, we only have some topography referenced in Latin…ugh. 
Below you can find a key to some of the descriptors used to categorize the planet’s geography and their English translation.
Where would you land!?

 

Catena (catenae): chain of craters
Cavus (cavi): hollows, irregular depressions
Chaos (chaoses): distinctive area of broken terrain
Chasma (chasmata): steep-sided depression
Collis (colles): collection of small hills or knobs
Crater (craters): circular depression (impact event)
Davida (bowiae): hidden map element
Dorsum (dorsa): ridge (wrinkle ridge)
Fluctus (fluctūs): terrain covered by outflow of liquid
Fossa (fossae): long, narrow, shallow depression
Labes (labēs): landslide debris
Labyrinthus (labyrinthi): intersecting valleys or ridges
Lingula (lingulae): tongue of land
Mensa (mensae): flat-topped with cliff-like edges
Mons (montes): mountain or mountain range
Palus (paludes): small plain
Patera (paterae): irregular crater with scalloped edges
Planitia (planitiae): low plain
Planum (plana): plateau or high plain
Rupes (rupēs): scarp
Scopulus (scopuli): irregular slope
Serpens (serpentes): sinuous feature with relief
Sulcus (sulci): subparallel furrows and ridges
Terra (terrae): extensive land mass
Tholus (tholi): small domical mountain or hill
Unda (undae): Field of dunes
Vallis (valles): Valley
Vastitas (vastitates): Extensive plain

LIVE IN 4 HOURS:

 
“The first test flight of Falcon Heavy is targeted for Tuesday, Feb. 6th at 1:30 PM ET from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. When Falcon Heavy lifts off, it will be the most powerful operational rocket in the world by a factor of two.
 
With the ability to lift into orbit nearly 64 metric tons (141,000 lb)—a mass greater than a 737 jetliner loaded with passengers, crew, luggage and fuel–Falcon Heavy can lift more than twice the payload of the next closest operational vehicle, the Delta IV Heavy, at one-third the cost.
 
Falcon Heavy draws upon the proven heritage and reliability of Falcon 9. Its first stage is composed of three Falcon 9 nine-engine cores whose 27 Merlin engines together generate more than 5 million pounds of thrust at liftoff, equal to approximately eighteen 747 aircraft. Only the Saturn V moon rocket, last flown in 1973, delivered more payload to orbit. Falcon Heavy was designed from the outset to carry humans into space and restores the possibility of flying missions with crew to the Moon or Mars.”

“When Falcon Heavy lifts off..

..it will be the most powerful operational rocket in the world by a factor of two. With the ability to lift into orbit nearly 64 metric tons (141,000 lb)—a mass greater than a 737 jetliner loaded with passengers, crew, luggage and fuel–Falcon Heavy can lift more than twice the payload of the next closest operational vehicle, the Delta IV Heavy, at one-third the cost.

 
Falcon Heavy’s first stage is composed of three Falcon 9 nine-engine cores whose 27 Merlin engines together generate more than 5 million pounds of thrust at liftoff, equal to approximately eighteen 747 aircraft.
 
Following liftoff, the two side boosters separate from the center core and return to landing sites for future reuse. The center core, traveling further and faster than the side boosters, also returns for reuse, but lands on a drone ship located in the Atlantic Ocean.
 
At max velocity the Roadster will travel 11 km/s (7mi/s) and travel 400 million km (250 million mi) from Earth.
 
Falcon Heavy was designed from the outset to carry humans into space and restores the possibility of flying missions with crew to the Moon or Mars.”
Click for video: Falcon Heavy Test Flight

2,000 Days on Mars With the Curiosity Rover

https://www.theatlantic.com/photo/2018/01/2000-days-on-mars-with-the-curiosity-rover/551984/?_ke=Y

A vantage point on “Vera Rubin Ridge” provided NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover this detailed look back over the area where it began its mission inside Gale Crater, plus more-distant features of the crater.
This view toward the north-northeast combines eight images taken by the right-eye, telephoto-lens camera of Curiosity’s Mast Camera (Mastcam). It shows more detail of a fraction of the area pictured in a more sweeping panorama (PIA22210) acquired from the same rover location using Mastcam’s left-eye, wider-angle-lens camera. The scene has been white-balanced so the colors of the rock materials resemble how they would appear under daytime lighting conditions on Earth.
The component images were taken on Oct. 25, 2017, during the 1,856th Martian day, or sol, of the rover’s work on Mars. At that point, Curiosity had gained 1,073 feet (327 meters) in elevation and driven 10.95 miles (17.63 kilometers) from its landing site.
Mount Sharp stands about 3 miles (5 kilometers) high in the middle of Gale Crater, which spans 96 miles (154 kilometers) in diameter. Vera Rubin Ridge is on the northwestern flank of lower Mount Sharp. The right foreground of this panorama shows a portion of Vera Rubin Ridge. In the distance is the northern wall of Gale Crater, with the rim crest forming the horizon roughly 25 miles (40 kilometers) from the rover’s location. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)

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Competition Announcement

The Third phase of the 3d Printed habitat competition has finally been announced! The team has been looking forward to the opportunity to compete against some of the best designers and most forward thinking engineers in the world.

Check out the full details at the link below!

NASA Briefing