DailyDirt: Mars Missions
from the urls-we-dig-up dept
The successful landing of NASA's Curiosity rover on Mars will hopefully be followed by several years of fascinating data collection about our planetary neighbor. The mission has already gathered tons of useful radiation measurements on its journey that will give scientists a better idea of what kind of radiation levels a future manned mission would face on a similar trip to Mars. Here are just a few other interesting Mars-related missions to peruse while Curiosity performs its self-diagnostics before roaming around the surface of Mars.
- Last year, Opportunity found some "slam dunk" evidence of water having existed on Mars. There may have been an ancient "wet" Martian surface that was hospitable to our own biology, and Curiosity may find additional geological evidence to support a watery history on Mars. [url]
- NASA also recently tested an inflatable heat shield, capable of withstanding hypersonic speeds of up to Mach 10. The Inflatable Re-entry Vehicle Experiment 3 (IRVE-3) could help designers create spacecraft that can land on Mars without the use of fancy rocket cranes. [url]
- India is planning its own mission to mars in 2013 at an estimated cost of $70-90 million. But India's Department of Science hasn't fully approved a Mars mission with full funding, so these plans could be delayed. [url]