Category Archives: Mars

Communications Infrastructure on Mars

For someone living on the Red Planet, communications with Earth will be delayed by a one-way travel time for between 5 and 20 minutes. Geometry will also lead to some difficulties, making communications impossible or very difficult without some infrastructure … Continue reading

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How to go to Mars in 2020?

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory released its planning document for the potential 2020 rover this week. It can be found here. It’s pretty hefty (154 pages plus appendices) and covers many available options in a cost-constrained environment. There’s a particular focus … Continue reading

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Game Changer?

I’ve softened on this announcement about composite cryogenic tanks since I first saw it. My first thought was “Big deal, you’re taking one of the lightest components (the tankage) of an interplanetary craft and making it lighter.” This is similar … Continue reading

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Nuclear Power on Mars

There have been a few cases of natural fission reactions discovered on Earth. One area in particular seems to have the setup for criticality, and the discovery was made that such reactions took place about 1.7 billion years ago. Someone … Continue reading

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Mars Sample Return Options

Some people are getting desperate to find ways to use the Space Senate Launch System. Very interesting delivery system with an aerocaptured vehicle that uses electrical propulsion to return to Earth.

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Curiosity’s Worst-kept Secret

So, what’s the big announcement going to be?

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No Methane (Yet)

Given several previous studies that showed methane on Mars in higher concentrations than should be, one of Curiosity’s instruments was built to sense methane on the surface. So far, no dice, but with continued funding something is bound to show … Continue reading

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