NASA’s successful Mars landing will reveal yet more secrets from the red planet. But there is much we already know from Martian fragments that found their way to Earth.
Perseverance in action.
Methane gas in the atmosphere is a tantalising hint suggesting that life could exists on Mars.
Landing on Mars is extremely difficult.
Scientists preparing to land the Rosalind Franklin rover in a few years are nervously awaiting the landing of Nasa’s Perseverance rover.
NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell University/Arizona State University
Of the three probes to reach Mars this month, only two will land. But they will add to our growing knowledge of the red planet, and the search for evidence of life.
We’ve already sent probes to land on Mars. The challenge now is to get people there and bring them home again.
There seems to be a network of underground bodies of liquid water at Mars’ south pole.
NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems
New findings boost chances of finding life on Mars, but there are better candidates in the solar system.
The Perseverance Rover (Mars 2020) installed within the upper stage of the United Launch Alliance rocket that will send it to Mars from Florida this week.
Australian scientists have been working on NASA’s latest Mars mission for years.
In a clean room at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., engineers observed the first driving test for the Mars rover, Perseverance. Perseverance will search for signs of past microbial life, characterize Mars’ climate and geology, and collect samples for a future return to Earth.
This summer, NASA’s Mars Perseverance rover is taking the next giant leap in our search for signs of life beyond Earth.
Artist’s rendition of NASA’s 2020 Mars rover collecting rocks with its robotic arm.
Martian meteorites allow scientists here on Earth to decode that planet’s geology, more than a decade before the first missions are scheduled to bring rocks back home from Mars.
Mircobe-like features in a meteorite – later shown to probably be non-biological.
New research shows how rock features that look like fossilised microbes can form without life.
Much of Mars’s surface is covered by fine-grained materials that hide the bedrock. The above bedrock is mostly exposed and it is in these areas that micrometeorites likely to accumulate.
NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona
It’s established Mars was once a planet with surface-level water. So with multiple MARS missions starting next year, the key to seeking out martian life may instead lie in the contents of its ‘dust’.
An Israeli spacecraft carrying tardigrades crashed into the moon. Whether they will survive is irrelevant.
Relative sizes of planets that are in a zone potentially compatible with life: Kepler-22b, Kepler-69c, Kepler-62e, Kepler-62f and Earth (named left to right; except for Earth, these are artists’ renditions).
The ancient question ‘Are we alone?’ has graduated from being a philosophical musing to a testable hypothesis. We should be prepared for an answer.
Signs of life on Mars? These are the tracks of NASA’s Curiosity rover exploring the Martian landscape.
Mars has long captured our imagination, from claims of canals to Martian attacks and now our latest NASA exploration to look inside the red planet.
Once people get there, Mars will be contaminated with Earth life.
NASA/Pat Rawlings, SAIC
NASA’s InSight Mars lander touches down Nov. 26, part of a careful robotic approach to exploring the red planet. But human exploration of Mars will inevitably introduce Earth life. Are you OK with that?
Pie in the sky? Mars Ice Home concept.
Elon Musk may be disappointed by recent studies threatening his plans to go to Mars, but planetary scientists are breathing a sigh of relief.
We can create the right kind of food plants to survive on Mars.
If humans are to live on Mars they will need a stable supply of food. Earth plants are not suited to the Mars climate but we can engineer plants that are.
Mars’ south polar cap, as seen from Mars Global Surveyor. Buried beneath, we now know, is a lake of liquid water.
Researchers have found evidence of a large lake of salty water, buried 1.5 kilometres beneath the southern polar ice cap on Mars. So what does that mean for life on the red planet?
Mars NASA JPL Caltech cd f d o.
The race may be on to send humans to live on Mars, but is it worth the effort – and the spend – when we have our own problems to deal with on Earth.
The Wdowiak Ridge on Mars as seen by NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity.
NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell Univ./Arizona State Univ.
Clay on early Mars could have formed under hot and steamy conditions, challenging the idea that it was created just like that on Earth.