Water on Mars, the first 60 days

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All in all, your trip to Mars would take about 21 months: 9 months to get there, 3 months there, and 9 months to get back. With our current rocket technology, there is no way around this. The long duration of trip has several implications. First, you have to bring enough food, water, clothes, and medical supplies for the crew in addition to all the scientific instruments you will want to take.

You also have to bring all that fuel! In addition, if you are in space for nine months, you will need a lot of shielding to protect you from the radiation of the Sun. Water, and cement make good shielding but they are very heavy. All together, it is estimated that for a crew of six, you would need to 3 million pounds of supplies! The Shuttle can lift about 50, pounds into space, so it would take 60 shuttle launches to get all your supplies into space.

In the history of the Shuttle, there have only been about 90 launches, and there are less than ten launches per year So with the shuttle, it would take six years just to get the supplies into space. For this reason, you would probably need to develop a launch system that could lift more than 50, pounds into space.

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Even with a better launch vehicle, it is unlikely that you could launch the Mars mission all at once. You will have to launch it in several pieces and assemble them in orbit. Second, you are going to be in space for an extended period of time, and there a physiological consequences of being weightless for long periods of time. For one, your muscles do not need to work as hard.

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In response to being used less, your muscles begin to shrink or atrophy. Remember, your heart is also a muscle, and pumping blood around your body is easier in the weightless environment of space, so your heart gets weaker as well. On an extended space voyage, your muscles might become so weak that it would be difficult for you to stand upright once you return to an environment where you are subject to gravity.

It is estimated that Mars lost its magnetosphere around 4 billion years ago. A possible reason for this is because of numerous asteroid strikes and the solar wind interacting directly with the Martian ionosphere, lowering the atmospheric density by stripping away atoms from the outer layer.

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It is quite dusty. Recently methane has also been detected in the atmosphere, values of which indicate an active source of gas that should be present be it biological or non-biological. Spring in the northern hemisphere autumn in the southern is the longest season lasting days.

1. Introduction

Autumn in the northern hemisphere spring in the southern is the shortest at days. Northern winter southern summer lasts days while northern summer southern winter lasts days. These can vary from a storm over a small area, to gigantic storms that cover the entire planet. They tend to occur when Mars is closest to the Sun, increasing global temperature. Though it is often referred to as the Red Planet, Mars actually has many colors. At the surface colors such as brown, gold and tan are present.

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Mars has many evidences of a watery past, with ancient river valley networks, deltas and lakebeds, as well as rocks and minerals on the surface that could only have formed in liquid water. Some features suggest that Mars experienced huge floods about 3. Near the northern polar cap is the There are two permanent polar ice caps on Mars. When they are exposed again to sunlight the carbon dioxide sublimates and sometimes create water-ice clouds. The dichotomy of Martian topography is striking, northern plains flattened by lava flows contrast with the southern highlands, pitted and cratered by ancient impacts.

The volcano Olympus Mons, is an extinct volcano in the vast upland region Tharsis, which contains several other large volcanoes. Olympus Mons is however the greatest, in fact it is the largest volcanoe detected in the entire Solar System, it has about three times the height of Mount Everest. The length of Valles Marineris is equivalent to the length of Europe and extends across one-fifth the circumference of Mars.

It is 10 times longer and 10 times wider than the Grand Canyon. Whichever hemisphere is tilted closer to the sun experiences spring and summer, while the hemisphere tilted away gets fall and winter.

At two specific moments each year—called the equinoxes—both hemispheres receive equal illumination. But for several reasons, seasons on Mars are different from those on Earth. For one, Mars is on average about 50 percent farther from the sun than Earth is, with an average orbital distance of million miles. This means that it takes Mars longer to complete a single orbit, stretching out its year and the lengths of its seasons. On Mars, a year lasts The primary driver of modern Martian geology is its atmosphere, which is mostly made of carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and argon.

By Earth standards, the air is preposterously thin; air pressure atop Mount Everest is about 50 times higher than it is at the Martian surface. Despite the thin air, Martian breezes can gust up to 60 miles an hour, kicking up dust that fuels huge dust storms and massive fields of alien sand dunes. Once upon a time, though, wind and water flowed across the red planet.

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Not so today: Though water ice abounds under the Martian surface and in its polar ice caps, there are no large bodies of liquid water on the surface there today. Mars also lacks an active plate tectonic system, the geologic engine that drives our active Earth, and is also missing a planetary magnetic field. But in the ancient past—up until about 4. What shut down the Martian dynamo? Scientists are still trying to figure out.

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The peak is so massive, it curves with the surface of Mars. If you stood at the outer edge of Olympus Mons, its summit would lie beyond the horizon. The gorges span about 2, miles and cut up to 4. The valleys get their name from Mariner 9, which became the first spacecraft to orbit another planet when it arrived at Mars in