NASA Confirms Thousands of Massive, Ancient Volcanic Eruptions on Mars
Some volcanoes can produce eruptions so powerful they release oceans of dust and toxic gases into the air, blocking out sunlight and changing a planet’s climate for decades. By studying the topography and mineral composition of a portion of the Arabia Terra region in northern Mars, scientists recently found evidence for thousands of such eruptions, or “super eruptions,” which are the most violent volcanic explosions known.
Affordable housing in outer space: Scientists develop cosmic concrete from space dust
Transporting a single brick to Mars can cost more than a million British pounds - making the future construction of a Martian colony seem prohibitively expensive. Scientists at The University of Manchester have now developed a way to potentially overcome this problem, by creating a concrete-like material made of extraterrestrial dust along with the blood, sweat and tears of astronauts.
Mars rocks collected by Perseverance boost case for ancient life
NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover has now collected two rock samples, with signs that they were in contact with water for a long period of time boosting the case for ancient life on the Red Planet.
NASA Perseverance Rover Collects First Mars Rock Sample
NASA’s Perseverance rover today completed the collection of the first sample of Martian rock, a core from Jezero Crater slightly thicker than a pencil. Mission controllers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Southern California received data that confirmed the historic milestone.
Mars mission to pause for about 50 days
The Chinese probe Tianwen-1 will remain deactivated for about 50 days from mid-September due to the effect of solar electromagnetic radiation, local media reported today.
During this period, the Earth and Mars will be at the maximum distance and aligned with the Sun in between, so the solar electromagnetic radiation “will affect communications,” Zhang Rongqiao, Tianwen’s chief designer, told the media yesterday.
Such radiation will make communications difficult between the components of the mission, made up of an orbiter, a landing module and a rover called Zhurong, and control from Earth.
NASA plans yearlong Mars simulation to test limits of isolation
NASA wants four people to test the limits of human isolation by placing them in a simulated Mars habitat for a year, cut off from the world except for delayed communication and possible simulated spacesuit walks.
The simulation, planned for Johnson Space Center in Houston, won’t be the first time the space agency attempts to mimic a stay on Mars, but it will be one of the longest.
Predicting the weather on Mars
As scientists prepare for crewed research missions to nearby planets and moons, they’ve identified a need for something beyond rovers and rockets.
They need accurate weather forecasts. Without them, any trip to the surface may be one dust storm away from disaster.
NASA’s Perseverance Rover Successfully Cores Its First Rock
Data received late Sept. 1 from NASA’s Perseverance rover indicate the team has achieved its goal of successfully coring a Mars rock. The initial images downlinked after the historic event show an intact sample present in the tube after coring. However, additional images taken after the arm completed sample acquisition were inconclusive due to poor sunlight conditions. Another round of images with better lighting will be taken before the sample processing continues.
Shrooms in space
Mushroom expert Paul Stamets, author of Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World, is part of a new NASA-funded study on “astromycology,” how fungi could be used in space as building materials, to generate healthy soil for agriculture, and even as batteries. Scientific American interviewed Stamets about his current research and also his most far out ideas beyond the NASA project.