{[ promptMessage ]}

Bookmark it

{[ promptMessage ]}

13A_Mars - Lecture 13A Mars Exploration Dimensions Moons...

Info icon This preview shows pages 1–3. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
1 GEL36 SOLAR SYSTEM Lecture 13A: “Mars: Exploration, Dimensions, Moons, Surface Conditions” (Ch. 22) Goal of the Lecture: To evaluate the characteristics of Mars, an intermediate size terrestrial planet, by comparisons with the smaller moon and larger Venus and Earth. Also: to discuss past climate change on Mars (including the likelihood of liquid running water), future exploration, and the possibility of life. Where is Mars in the night sky? May 22, 2011 Current and past exploration Most of our earliest knowledge of Mars came from the Mariner flybys which brushed past Mars in the 1960s and early 70s, and Viking 1 & 2 that landed on Mars in 1976, analyzing rocks, photographing the surface and looking for signs of life in the dusty regolith. - interest in Mars was rejuvenated in 1996 when NASA scientists announced potential evidence for microbial life in a Martian meteorite found years earlier in Antarctica. Most other scientists don’t buy their contention these days, suggesting that the evidence could have formed by inorganic (i.e., ‘non-living’) processes or perhaps the meteorite was contaminated as it sat encased in Antarctic ice. (see ‘Life’ lecture)
Image of page 1

Info icon This preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
2 NASA recently had a spacecraft (a bit smaller than a volkswagon) called the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) orbiting Mars that sent back spectacular high-resolution photos and mapped the entire planet along a pole-to-pole orbit. (launched in 1996, arrived in orbit in ‘97, fell silent in 2006 due to battery failure – 9 year mission) NASA currently (2011) has two exploration rovers on the surface, Spirit & Opportunity , both nearing the end of their lives yet actively returning data. NASA also has the Mars Odyssey spacecraft orbiting the planet (arrived in orbit in 2001). It has a three-part instrument package (basically all are spectrometers) intended to 1) search for minerals on the surface of Mars, 2) search for 20 elements as well as water and ice, and 3) measure the radiation environment of Mars (all preparation for future human landings) Another NASA spacecraft, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter , was launched in 2005 and went into orbit in March 2006 (expected mission time through 2011).
Image of page 2
Image of page 3
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern