Main image: Mars is getting more attention than ever. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech The fourth planet from the Sun has been in the news quite a bit recently. First NASA announced that its Curiosity rover had found that methane and organic molecules both exist on Mars, and then there was the dust storm that engulfed most of the planet, causing Curiosity to take a very dirty selfie. We humans are endlessly fascinated by Mars. It’s the only other planet in the solar system that we could ever colonize, and it could once have supported ancient life… and yet getting humans to live there successfully will be hugely challenging. The need to know what astronauts can expect when they land on the Red Planet is why space agencies are currently planning no less than five new missions to Mars. Here’s what they’ll do… NASA InSight Launch: May 5, 2018 Touchdown: November 26, 2018 Official mission page Already halfway through its 301 million mile (485 million km) journey to Mars, NASA’s newest lander is due to arrive in November. However, unlike its famous rovers Curiosity and Opportunity – now six and 14 years old, respectively, and still doing science – InSight won’t move at all. Since geologists know very little about Mars’ interior, InSight will take the Red Planet’s temperature, measure its tectonic activity, and reveal its deeper structure. InSight – shorthand for Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport – will be looking for one thing in particular: Marsquakes. Its scientific… [Read full story]
You are here: / / Get ready for FIVE new missions to Mars
TechRadar is an online publication focused on technology, with editorial teams in the US, UK, Australia and India. It provides news and reviews of tech products and first launched in 2008.