If we look at Mars missions, we can see that a lot of missions have been done on Mars since the beginning. Before we talk about each of these, the first thing to talk about is the reasons why so many missions have been performed on Mars …
Let’s first know the basics about Mars …
Mars is the fourth planet in our solar system. Mars is also the second smallest planet in the Solar System. And its gravity is low. The gravity here is 0.38 times the gravity of the Earth.
This planet is also known as Mars, as well as “Red Planet”. Mars’ regolith (a thin layer of dust and rock around Mars) is rich in iron-rich minerals and oxides, which oxidize to iron oxides and rust, causing Mars to appear red.
Mars has two moons or moons and they are called Phobos and Deimos. Both of these moons are satellites with irregular shapes.
The values of Mars’ rotation, rotation times, radius, density, mass, etc. can be shown as follows.
- Orbital Period: 1.88 years (687Days)
- Rotation Period: 24.6 h
- Radius: 0.53R (Earth)
- Density (Relative to Water): 3.96
- Mass: 0.11 M (Earth)
- Escape velocity: 5.0 km / s
- Axial tilt: 25.19
- Known satellites: 2
Mars also has a wide range of topographic features, such as the mountains, valleys, and plateaus of the Earth, as well as the topography of Mars.
Mars has a very thin atmosphere. The composition of that atmosphere can be shown as follows.
- 95.97% – carbon dioxide
- 1.93% – argon
- 1.89% – nitrogen
- 0.146% – oxygen
- 0.0557% – carbon monoxide
- 0.0210% – water vapor
- 0.0100% – nitrogen oxide
Thus, the thin atmosphere contains the largest amount of carbon dioxide.
This atmospheric pressure is about 7% of the Earth’s atmospheric pressure, and the mean temperature of the atmosphere is about -67 F (-55 C).
The interior of Mars is mainly divided into several parts. From the inside, those layers can be shown as follows.
- Possible solid inner core
- Liquid iron-sulfur core
The main objectives of conducting Mars Missions
The main purpose of these missions is to send humans to Mars. They are researching to send a manned spacecraft to Mars by 2033.
One of the aims is to study the similarities between Mars and Earth. And there are lot of reasons for manned mars missions.
Reasons to focus on establishing a settlement on Mars
There is a habitable zone between the levels of the planets around the sun. (Earth is in the center of that region) The boundaries of the Habitable Zone are the boundaries between Venus and Mars. Accordingly, Venus is located at one end facing the Sun, Mars at the other end, and the Earth at its center.
Venus is closer to the Sun than Earth, and because of its high temperature, it can never be inhabited. Therefore, only Mars in our solar system has the potential to create a small population. For these reasons, scientists are conducting research on the formation of populations on Mars.
A large number of Mars missions have been carried out to carry out such research, and although most of them failed in the early days, they are currently being carried out very successfully. Let’s find out more about these operations and the information found in them in the future.
Similarities between Mars and Earth
Although the mass, size, etc. of Mars are not very similar to those of the Earth, other factor studies have shown many similarities with the Earth.
Primarily, Mars shows a number of features, as well as the Earth’s topography.
These landscapes include valleys, mountains, deserts, etc., and the study of topography shows that rivers and oceans existed here a long time ago.
These topographic anomalies are spread over a larger area than the Earth. For example, the highest mountain found on Mars is called Olympus Mons and its height exceeds 21km. It is about three times the size of Mount Everest, the highest mountain on earth. Another similarity between Mars and Earth is that the axial tilt of both planets is very similar. This value of Earth is about 23.5 and the value of Mars is 25.19. Accordingly, this shows only a very small degree difference.
Similarly, the time it takes for both planets to orbit around their axis is very close. That value on Earth is 24h and that value on Mars is 24.6h.
Weather as well as climate change can be seen here. This is mainly due to CO2 snowfall as well as occasional dust storms.
The main reason for these large dust storms is the very low (negative) temperature on Mars. As we know, the lower the temperature, the lower the pressure in that area. Such a sudden decrease in pressure creates a very large pressure gap. This pressure difference causes strong winds and dust on the surface of Mars to form very strong dust storms.
Also, many people doubt that water existed here for a long time. It is believed that there may have been oceans, lakes, rivers, etc. on Mars as well as on Earth many years ago.
Similarly, a Mars Express orbiter sent radar waves to confirm the presence of water on Mars, and a picture taken at the South Pole showed that liquid water could be detected two layers below the surface of Mars, that is, after the ice and dust layers.
Similarly, ice can be seen in the northern and southern directions on this planet. This is very similar to the North Pole and the South Pole.
However, the ice here is made of carbon dioxide (CO2). That is, these are dry ice. (Snowfall on Mars is dry snow from carbon dioxide)
In this way Mars bears a lot of resemblance to Earth.
Extensive research is being done on all of this, and the ability to discover all of this is also possible through past and present Mars missions. And with this brief start we can study deeply about mars missions in our next articles. Some of those are successful and some of them are failed Mars Missions. We will study every single one of them in future. Most recent one is Mars Missions 2020 Perseverance Rover.
I hope to see you in future articles on Mars missions launched today.
Sasindu Jayasri is an Engineering student from Sri Lanka and he studies mechanical engineering at the department of mechanical engineering at the University of Moratuwa. He is passionate about writing and giving inspiration to the world. Follow him in LinkedIn for updates and you can contact him directly.