redplanet

  • 143
Added a post  to  , redplanet

In 2018, scientists made a discovery that could change our understanding of the dusty, dry red ball that is Mars.

Radar signals bounced from just below the planet's surface revealed a shining patch, consistent with nothing so much as an underground pool of liquid water. Subsequent searches turned up even more shiny patches, suggesting a whole network of underground lakes.

Groundbreaking stuff, right? Although Mars has water in the form of ice, to date not a single drop of the liquid stuff has ever been found on our red buddy.

There's just one problem. According to a new analysis, which has found dozens more of these shiny patches, some of them are in regions that are just too cold for liquid water, even a brine, which can have a lower freezing temperature than freshwater.

"We're not certain whether these signals are liquid water or not, but they appear to be much more widespread than what the original paper found," said planetary scientist Jeffrey Plaut of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Full Article >>

Added a post  to  , redplanet

NASA's Mars helicopter Ingenuity keeps pushing the aerial exploration envelope.

The 4-lb. (1.8 kilograms) chopper lifted off from the floor of Mars' Jezero Crater today at 10:49 a.m. EDT (1449 GMT), kicking off its fourth flight on the Red Planet.

Ingenuity achieved all of its main technology-demonstrating goals on flights one through three — which occurred on April 19, April 22 and April 25 — so the helicopter's handlers let it off the leash today. Ingenuity covered 872 feet (266 meters) of ground and reached a top speed of 8 mph (13 kph) during the 117-second jaunt, NASA officials said.

Full Article >>

Added a post  to  , redplanet

For decades, scientists have speculated about what may have happened to all the water on Mars, which is believed to have been a substantially wetter planet eons ago. Some water can be found frozen in the Martian polar ice caps, but new research indicates there's also a shocking amount of water in Mars. The discovery could have a major impact on developing plans to harvest water for a future human presence on the red planet.

It's been largely presumed that as Mars' ancient atmosphere was gradually sucked out into space, much of its surface water went with it. But a new NASA-backed study suggests a significant portion of all that Martian moisture is still on the planet, trapped in its crust.

"Atmospheric escape doesn't fully explain the data that we have for how much water actually once existed on Mars," Caltech Ph.D. candidate Eva Scheller said in a statement. Scheller is lead author of the study published Tuesday in the journal Science.

Full Article >>

Added a post  to  , redplanet

NASA's Perseverance rover has recorded the first audio clips captured on the surface of Mars, beaming back to Earth guttural sounds of wind gusting on the red planet.

The first-of-its-kind audio was released Monday, along with extraordinary new video footage of the rover as it descended and landed last Thursday. The images are among the most sophisticated yet taken of Mars, and offer never-before-seen views of the rover approaching its landing site.

Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, said the new images and audio are "the closest you can get to landing on Mars without putting on a pressure suit."

Full Article >>