Kolonisatie van Mars noodzaak!

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Pilgrim
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Re: Kolonisatie van Mars noodzaak!

Berichtdoor Pilgrim » Do Jun 30, 2016 12:33 am

Wederom weer een onderzoek dat er op wijst dat Mars vroeger een zuurstofatmosfeer had.

De atmosfeer van Mars was ooit mogelijk rijk aan zuurstof

Caroline Kraaijvanger, 28 juni 2016

Nieuw onderzoek suggereert dat Mars ooit veel meer op de aarde leek dan gedacht. Naast water zou er ook volop zuurstof op de rode planeet zijn geweest.

Dat stellen onderzoekers op basis van onderzoek uitgevoerd door Marsrover Curiosity. De rover bestudeerde gesteenten op Mars en trof daarin opvallend veel mangaanoxide aan. Mangaanoxide komt ook op aarde voor en daar kan het – voor zover we weten – op twee manieren ontstaan: met behulp van zuurstof of microben. “En nu zien we deze mangaanoxiden op Mars en vragen we ons af hoe deze daar zijn ontstaan,” stelt onderzoeker Nina Lanza.

Microben?
Op dit moment lijkt het idee dat microben mangaanoxide op Mars hebben gecreëerd wat vergezocht. Aannemelijker is dat de atmosfeer van de rode planeet in het verleden veel meer zuurstof bevatte dan nu het geval is. “Deze materialen rijk aan mangaanoxide kunnen niet ontstaan zonder veel vloeibaar water en krachtige oxiderende omstandigheden,” legt Lanza uit “Hier op aarde hadden we heel veel water, maar weinig mangaanoxiden tot het zuurstofniveau in onze atmosfeer door toedoen van microben die aan fotosynthese deden, steeg.”

Zuurstofrijk
Het plots opduiken van mangaanoxide op aarde markeert dus een verandering in de aardse atmosfeer: de aardse atmosfeer werd zuurstofrijk. De aanwezigheid van mangaanoxide op Mars suggereert dat de rode planeet een vergelijkbare verandering doormaakte. Maar hoe werd de atmosfeer van Mars dan precies zuurstofrijk? “Mogelijk belandde zuurstof in de Martiaanse atmosfeer door de afbraak van water in de tijd dat Mars zijn magnetisch veld kwijtraakte,” stelt Lanza. “Aangenomen wordt dat in die tijd veel meer water op Mars te vinden was.” Maar zonder een beschermend magnetisch veld werd dat water blootgesteld aan straling. En die straling begon de watermoleculen te splitsen in waterstof en zuurstof. Omdat Mars relatief weinig zwaartekracht heeft, kon deze de lichte waterstofatomen niet vasthouden. Maar de zwaardere zuurstofatomen bleven wel achter.

In gesteenten
Een deel van de zuurstof verdween in gesteenten – en leidde tot de rode stoflaag die het oppervlak van de rode planeet vandaag de dag bedekt. De ijzeroxiden waaruit deze stoflaag bestaat, hebben maar mild oxiderende omstandigheden nodig om te ontstaan. Maar mangaanoxiden vereisen sterke oxidatieomstandigheden. Vandaar dat de resultaten dus suggereren dat Mars in het verleden veel meer zuurstof bezat dan werd aangenomen.

Doorgaans wordt een zuurstofrijke atmosfeer gezien als een ‘biosignatuur’ oftewel een teken dat suggereert dat op een planeet leven te vinden is. Maar in deze studie suggereren onderzoekers dat een zuurstofrijke atmosfeer ook zonder tussenkomst van leven kan ontstaan. Of Mars daadwerkelijk op de beschreven wijze aan zuurstof is gekomen, zal in de toekomst moeten blijken. Daartoe moeten onderzoekers eerst een beter onderscheid kunnen maken tussen mangaanoxide geproduceerd door levende wezens en mangaanoxide dat op andere wijze tot stand is gekomen. Op basis van dat vervolgonderzoek kan dan de oorsprong van het Martiaanse mangaanoxide worden vastgesteld.

https://www.scientias.nl/atmosfeer-mars ... -zuurstof/
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Re: Kolonisatie van Mars noodzaak!

Berichtdoor Ali Yas » Do Jun 30, 2016 5:49 am

Pilgrim schreef:Wederom weer een onderzoek dat er op wijst dat Mars vroeger een zuurstofatmosfeer had.

Des te erger! Het bewijst dat Mars onze pogingen er wat leefbaars van te maken ongedaan zal maken.
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Re: Kolonisatie van Mars noodzaak!

Berichtdoor Pilgrim » Do Jun 30, 2016 11:38 am

Ali Yas schreef:
Pilgrim schreef:Wederom weer een onderzoek dat er op wijst dat Mars vroeger een zuurstofatmosfeer had.

Des te erger! Het bewijst dat Mars onze pogingen er wat leefbaars van te maken ongedaan zal maken.

Maar dat duurt een hele lange tijd hoor. Hier nog een bericht dat Mars vroeger waarschijnlijk veel meer op de aarde leek dan we hadden gedacht.

Hebben we de geschiedenis van Mars verkeerd begrepen?

27 juni 2016 door Olaf van Kooten

Op de Rode Planeet is mogelijk een mysterie gaande. Vorig jaar wist de Marsrover Curiosity namelijk het mineraal tridymiet te detecteren in een geboord bodemmonster. Dat is bijzonder, aangezien tridymiet op aarde gevormd wordt onder hete omstandigheden, bij zogenaamd silicisch vulkanisme – dat zijn vulkanen die magma spuwen met een ongewoon hoog gehalte aan silicaten. Deze geologische processen zijn op aarde het gevolg van plaattektoniek en stromend water, maar Mars heeft geen van beide. Het tridymiet is op Mars aangetroffen in de Gale-krater in een bodemmonster dat door de rover Curiosity is uitgekerfd in het landschap. Nadat de hoge concentratie van tridymiet bevestigd werd door NASA, ging men meteen op zoek naar alternatief mechanisme om dit mineraal te vormen – een mechanisme dat op Mars wél mogelijk is. Nu is bekend geworden dat NASA geen alternatief gevonden heeft. Dat lijkt te betekenen dat we het verleden van de Rode Planeet helemaal verkeerd begrepen hebben. Een dergelijke concentratie van tridymiet suggereert dat Mars veel meer water moet hebben gehad dan gedacht én dat er plaattektoniek moet hebben plaatsgevonden – een verschijnsel waarbij de planetaire korst is verdeeld in meerdere segmenten die los van elkaar kunnen bewegen. Maar goed, Mars is een heel verschillende omgeving dan onze aarde, en wellicht zijn daar processen actief die we nog niet begrijpen. Het definitieve antwoord op dit vraagstuk zal wellicht pas gegeven kunnen worden door een toekomstige Marsrover met nieuwe instrumenten aan boord.

http://www.astroblogs.nl/2016/06/27/heb ... -begrepen/
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Re: Kolonisatie van Mars noodzaak!

Berichtdoor Ali Yas » Vr Jul 01, 2016 4:14 pm

Zo nieuw zijn die inzichten toch niet? We weten al lang dat Mars vroeger warmer was, een vloeibare kern had, water op het oppervlak had enzovoorts. Alleen nu is het een planeetgrote vriesdroger. Je kunt nog beter op de Maan gaan zitten: twee keer minder zonnepanelen nodig en het is nog om de hoek ook.
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Re: Kolonisatie van Mars noodzaak!

Berichtdoor Pilgrim » Vr Jul 01, 2016 4:25 pm

Men was er inderdaad al achter dat er flink wat water op de planeet moet zijn geweest, maar het blijkt nu dus nog véél meer geweest te zijn dan men had aangenomen en mogelijk heeft het ook vrij lang geduurd voordat het verdween. Dat is de essentie van dit artikel.
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Re: Kolonisatie van Mars noodzaak!

Berichtdoor Ali Yas » Vr Jul 01, 2016 7:59 pm

Pilgrim schreef:Men was er inderdaad al achter dat er flink wat water op de planeet moet zijn geweest, maar het blijkt nu dus nog véél meer geweest te zijn dan men had aangenomen en mogelijk heeft ook vrij lang geduurd voordat het verdween. Dat is de essentie van dit artikel.

Hoe meer water er ooit was, hoe ernstiger de situatie nu is: een planeet die het presteert niet een paar meter maar honderden meters water kwijt te raken is nog ongeschikter voor terraforming dan we al dachten.
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Re: Kolonisatie van Mars noodzaak!

Berichtdoor xplosive » Wo Jul 13, 2016 11:33 pm

Russia, China discuss cooperation in Moon, Mars exploration

Science & Space | July 13, 15:19 UTC+3

YEKATERINBURG, July 13. /TASS/.

Russia and China have discussed the possibilities of cooperation in exploring the outer space, including the Moon and Mars, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said on Wednesday.

The vice-premier made this statement during a talk with the heads of Russian regions and Chinese provinces and the managers of companies from both countries.

"Yesterday, we (Rogozin and Vice-Premier of China’s State Council Wang Yang) worked for three and a half hours, discussing cooperation in the nuclear sphere and cooperation in the issues of interaction between our space agencies where there are such large projects as the deliveries of rocket engines, and cooperation in navigation systems," Rogozin said.

"We’re developing an understanding for the rocket and space industry for possible interaction in such profound and technologically complex projects as the future exploration of the Moon, Mars and piloted cosmonautics," the Russian vice-premier said.

In Rogozin’s opinion, both countries have the potential to implement such impressive projects as trust exists both at the political level and at the level of specialists solving these issues.
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Re: Kolonisatie van Mars noodzaak!

Berichtdoor xplosive » Za Jul 16, 2016 3:55 pm

NASA Is Ready to Start Building Its Life-Hunting 2020 Mars Rover

By Mike Wall, Space.com Senior Writer | July 15, 2016 02:33pm ET

Afbeelding
Illustration depicting the science instruments slated to be carried aboard NASA’s Mars 2020 rover.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech


NASA's life-hunting 2020 Mars rover has cleared an extensive review process and is now ready to begin the final design and construction phase, agency officials announced today (July 15).

If all goes according to plan, the six-wheeled robot will blast off in August 2020, touch down in February 2021 in a yet-to-be-determined spot, and then explore the Martian surface for at least two years, mission team members said.

"While we're there, the major scientific objective of the mission is to seek the signs of life," Mars 2020 project scientist Kenneth Farley, of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, said during a Facebook Live event today. [NASA's 2020 Mars Rover in Pictures]

The modern Martian surface is cold, dry and radiation-blasted, but this wasn't always the case. For example, NASA's Mars rover Curiosity discovered that the huge crater it landed in hosted a potentially habitable lake-and-stream system billions of years ago. And other spacecraft have turned up additional evidence that the ancient Red Planet was a relatively warm and wet world.



So the 2020 rover will probe for signs of past — not existing — life on Mars, using several of its seven science instruments. The robot will also bag up promising Red Planet samples for future delivery to Earth, where they can be examined more fully in well-equipped labs. (No such sample-return mission is firmly on NASA's books yet, however.)

"The Mars 2020 rover is the first step in a potential multi-mission campaign to return carefully selected and sealed samples of Martian rocks and soil to Earth," Geoffrey Yoder, acting associate administrator of NASAꞌs Science Mission Directorate in Washington, D.C., said in a statement. "This mission marks a significant milestone in NASA’s Journey to Mars — to determine whether life has ever existed on Mars, and to advance our goal of sending humans to the Red Planet."

The 2020 rover will also carry an instrument called MOXIE (Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resources Utilization Experiment), which will generate oxygen from the carbon-dioxide-dominated Martian atmosphere. Such work will demonstrate technology that future human explorers could use on the Red Planet, NASA officials have said.

Afbeelding
This image is from computer-assisted-design work on the Mars 2020 rover, which will hunt for signs of past Red Planet life.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech


The rover will also use ground-penetrating radar to characterize the subsurface environment. Another instrument, called SuperCam, will fire a powerful laser at rocks, vaporizing them and allowing Mars 2020 to determine their composition from afar.

Other instruments include high-resolution cameras, an advanced weather station and spectrometers that will potentially enable mission scientists to detect carbon-containing organic molecules — the building blocks as life as we know it — in Martian samples.

The 2020 rover will be based heavily off Curiosity, allowing the newer mission to save money on development costs and parts manufacture. (Curiosity's mission costs $2.5 billion, while NASA has said the 2020 rover's price tag should be about $1.9 billion.)

Mars 2020 will also use the same parachute-and-sky-crane landing system that got Curiosity down safely in August 2012. The 2020 rover team is making a few improvements, however, including the addition of a "range trigger" that will allow the parachute's opening to be controlled more precisely.

Mars 2020 should also be able to navigate better during its harrowing descent through the Martian atmosphere, mission team members said.

"As it is descending, the spacecraft can tell whether it is headed for one of the unsafe zones and divert to safe ground nearby," Allen Chen, Mars 2020 entry, descent and landing lead at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, said in the same statement.

"With this capability, we can now consider landing areas with unsafe zones that previously would have disqualified the whole area," Chen added. "Also, we can land closer to a specific science destination, for less driving after landing."

The rover's descent and landing will also be documented like never before, thanks to data gathered by multiple cameras and a microphone. Microphones have flown aboard previous Mars missions, but none have actually been used on the Red Planet, NASA officials said.

"This will be a great opportunity for the public to hear the sounds of Mars for the first time, and it could also provide useful engineering information," said Mars 2020 deputy project manager Matt Wallace, also of JPL.
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Re: Kolonisatie van Mars noodzaak!

Berichtdoor Pilgrim » Za Jul 16, 2016 7:23 pm

Watch the Trailer for National Geographic's 'MARS'

Matt Kim, July 5, 2016

National Geographic's big-media event tackles life on Mars

National Geographic released the first trailer for the fall release of its ambitious new event series today, MARS. The hybrid, scripted docuseries will be a six-part story about colonizing the red planet.

The trailer begins with an appropriately moody narration by a woman over the image of an Earth, and as the camera pulls back, we see it’s a depiction of Earth on a spaceship named Daedalus, after the mythological Greek craftsman who created wings for his son, Icarus. As the CGI ship veers into the crimson orbit of Mars, their mission is revealed: to make the planet a new home.

MARS, which will premiere in November, is produced by Ron Howard and Brian Grazer’s Imagine Entertainment and RadicalMedia, and it will be the centerpiece of Nat Geo’s big media push. MARS will combine documentary sequences about real-life efforts to travel and colonize Mars, with a dramatized story in which two Asian-American astronauts venture to Mars in 2033.

A digital-only prequel series, Before Mars, will focus on the two astronauts before they ship off planet. Joon and Hana Seung are twin sisters who find themselves in a rural American town after relocating with their mother. One of the sisters finds a ham radio which allows her to befriend a female astronaut on the International Space Station. Before Mars will be directed by Lloyd Lee Choi, while MARS will be directed by Everado Gout.

There is currently no release date for the Before Mars prequel series.



In a television landscape increasingly dominated by cinematic shows from channels like AMC and HBO, National Geographic is responding with an ambitious project of its own.

While details are still sparse, National Geographic is promising an ambitious event which will combine their science programming with social issues that appeal to millennials.

https://www.inverse.com/article/17875-n ... ailer-mars
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Re: Kolonisatie van Mars noodzaak!

Berichtdoor xplosive » Ma Jul 18, 2016 11:01 pm

Een helikite voor Mars :

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Re: Kolonisatie van Mars noodzaak!

Berichtdoor xplosive » Wo Jul 20, 2016 12:32 am

Next-gen Mars orbiters to help human missions become more real

By Conor Gearin | 19 July 2016

NASA is getting into the nitty-gritty of how to build a Mars orbiter that would support human ground missions. The agency awarded contracts to five engineering companies – Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Orbital ATK and Space Systems/Loral – to show what kind of spacecraft each is capable of building for a potential mission in the 2020s.

The current Mars orbiters relay about 95 per cent of the data from rovers on the Red Planet. The other 5 per cent is sent directly from rovers, but this takes much longer and can only be carried out at certain times. “Those orbiters are getting long in the tooth,” says Richard Zurek at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. The next generation will need better propulsion, better imaging capabilities and better communication systems to support a human mission.

Designing solar-electric powered orbiters will be key for these goals, says Zurek. Solar-electric propulsion, already in use in Earth-orbiting satellites, works by harnessing the sun’s energy to accelerate ions and propel the craft.

Such fuel-efficient satellites would be able to fly close to the Martian surface to get high-resolution pictures of good landing sites and carry new kinds of communication systems to cooperate with a ground crew.

An optical communications system could use a laser to send data back to ground control on Earth with high fidelity. But the spacecraft would need to be able to point itself very precisely to aim the laser at receivers on Earth.

NASA would also like the orbiter to be able to return to Earth with Martian samples, says Zurek. In this scenario, the Mars rover scheduled for a 2020 launch would send up a capsule of surface samples, which the new orbiter would snatch up and carry home.
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Re: Kolonisatie van Mars noodzaak!

Berichtdoor Pilgrim » Do Jul 21, 2016 2:47 pm


Gepubliceerd op 3 jun. 2016


Gepubliceerd op 11 jul. 2016
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Re: Kolonisatie van Mars noodzaak!

Berichtdoor xplosive » Za Jul 23, 2016 12:04 am

Kunnen stralingsbestendige schimmels helpen bij de kolonisatie van Mars?

Chernobyl Microbes Are Heading to the International Space Station

Written by Amy Thompson | July 17, 2016 // 12:00 PM EST

SpaceX and NASA are ready to send the next cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station, which contains over 250 different research investigations that the space station crew will carry out over the next few months. Tucked in among the various experiments are several strains of fungi straight from the world’s worst nuclear disaster: Chernobyl.

Thirty years ago, on April 26, 1986, technicians at Chernobyl’s infamous reactor number four were conducting routine systems testing when the reactor was struck by an unexpected power surge. This led to a chain of events that ultimately caused a complete meltdown, which blanketed the surrounding area in harmful radiation.

As a result, the Chernobyl nuclear disaster turned the area into a barren wasteland. During the incident, scientists estimate that the power plant released as much radioactive material into the environment as 400 atomic bombs, like the one that devastated Hiroshima, Japan.

Three decades later we are still witnessing the damaging effects of radiation exposure in local wildlife, plantlife, and residents of neighboring areas. However, among all the devastation, scientists are starting to see a glimmer of hope.

Like a phoenix rising from the ashes that once was Chernobyl, several species of fungi were the first organisms to spring up, and are actually thriving in the radiation-soaked environment. These hearty extremophiles could be the key to developing new radiation therapies.

Kasthuri Venkateswaran (Venkat for short), a senior research scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, is leading the charge to send colonies of these fungi up to the space station.

Samples of the Chernobyl fungi were collected at the site of the accident and at an area outside the fallout zone. Upon inspection, scientists noticed that a portion of the species collected at the site were not only thriving but actually growing towards the radiation.

“Berkeley National Lab has an agreement that allows them to collect samples from the Chernobyl accident site,” explained Venkat. “Following the accident, fungi were the first organisms to pop up and scientists wanted to understand how they can thrive in such an environment.”

Venkat and interns in lab at Caltech Image: NASA/JPL/Caltech.

Venkat and JPL are just one part of a multi-institutional partnership that proposed this study, which aims to better understand how the fungi shield themselves from radiation into order to survive. The team thinks that melanin, the same dark pigment we have in our skin, helps to shield the fungi from harmful radiation and helps convert that radiation into a food source.

“The fungi collected at the accident site had more melanin than the fungi collected from outside the exclusion zone,” Venkat said. “This means the fungi have adapted to the radiation activity and as many as twenty percent were found to be radiotrophic—meaning they grew towards the radiation; they loved it.”

Observable molecular changes within the fungi were isolated to the species collected at and around ground zero. This tells researchers that these changes were brought about by cellular stress from the radiation. They want to duplicate this process to see if new drug therapies can be derived from the fungi.

To do so, eight different species of fungi (seven from Chernobyl and one previously grown on station) will be exposed to the stresses of microgravity. The fungi colonies will grow on board the ISS for 14 days, before being returned to Earth. After the samples are returned to JPL, Venkat and his team will compare them to identical strains of fungi grown on the ground.

"We are sending these fungi to the space station because they are shown to produce special biological molecules that have potential to fight illnesses such as depression and cancer," Venkat said.

But that’s not all.

The research also has agricultural benefits. By understanding what genes are responsible for the molecular changes, scientists can help engineer crops that are better suited to extreme climates, like those in arid climates and even on other planets.

The world’s space agencies have their sights set on Mars, and as we move towards exploring the Red Planet and other worlds in the Solar System, having radiation-resistant plants will be a huge plus.
Gun jezelf wat je een ander toewenst     islam = racisme   & de hel op aarde voor mens en dier
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Re: Kolonisatie van Mars noodzaak!

Berichtdoor xplosive » Vr Jul 29, 2016 12:22 am

Steeds meer onbelichte nadelen van straling die je ontvangt wanneer je je buiten de aardse bescherming begeeft komen aan het licht. Zou dit ertoe kunnen leiden dat de eerste pogingen om Mars te koloniseren gedurende nog vele extra decennia langer worden uitgesteld?

Er is nu ook een verhoogd risico op hart- en vaatziekten vastgesteld :

Deep Space Radiation May Cause Heart Problems In Future Mars Explorers

Bad news for future Martians: A new study suggests that deep space radiation may have made Apollo astronauts four or five times more likely than other astronauts to develop cardiovascular disease. The estimate is somewhat questionable, since only a handful of folks have ever gone that deep into space, but if it holds up, the risks could be higher for astronauts who take the years-long trip to Mars and back.

A decade of research on the International Space Station has shown that astronauts are more susceptible to circulatory problems, vision problems, and the loss of muscle and bone density. But as mankind expands out beyond the protective magnetic shell that envelops Earth and the space station, radiation becomes a bigger threat.

What Is Deep Space Radiation?

Composed mainly of galactic cosmic rays and speeding protons from the sun, deep space radiation is expected to cause elevated risks of cancer, neurological disorders, and radiation sickness in future Mars explorers. Now it looks like scientists can add cardiovascular disease (CVD) to the list.

Although ionizing radiation (like from gamma rays or x-rays) is known to increase risk of CVD, scientists figured the heavier particles in deep space radiation could potentially cause more damage.

"Most of what we've learned comes from atomic bomb survivors, and that is a very unique and different exposure scenario," says study co-author Ruth Globus, who researches the effects of space radiation at NASA Ames.

The Findings

To better understand the effects of deep space radiation on human hearts and blood vessels, the researchers started by comparing CVD rates between 35 astronauts who've never gone to space, 35 astronauts who've been to low Earth orbit (LEO), and 7 astronauts from the Apollo missions.

They found that CVD rates didn't differ between non-flight and LEO astronauts, but the rate was almost 5 times higher in the Apollo astronauts. 43 percent of the Apollo group developed CVD, although the small size of the group means this estimate should be taken with a grain of salt.

To find out whether deep space radiation, microgravity, or both could be the cause of the elevated CVD rates, the researchers put lab mice on a simulated trip to deep space. Elevating their hindlimbs mimicked the effect of microgravity, while irradiating them with iron ions simulated deep space radiation.

The researchers found that radiation, not microgravity, damages the cells that line the blood vessels--a factor that allows for plaque to form, leading to CVD.

A Cautionary Note

Determining how much radiation an astronaut actually absorbs is a tricky business. The paper points out that over longer-term stays in the International Space Station, astronauts could potentially get a radiation dose similar to that of Apollo astronauts. Why don't those astronauts have a higher rate of CVD than astronauts who haven't been to space?

The authors list a few explanations. First, maybe the LEO dose estimates are off. Second, activities on the lunar surface could have exposed the Apollo astronauts to scattered neutrons, which aren't found at significant levels in side spacecraft. Lastly, the Earth's magnetic field shields astronauts in LEO from lighter, low energy particles, whereas lunar and deep space astronauts get hit with these.

The paper notes:

> While it remains uncertain whether differences in absorbed dose profiles can account for the elevated lunar CVD mortality rates reported here, it is equally difficult to disregard this possibility.

What Does It Mean For Mars Explorers?

"In days of Apollo, the hull materials and how the ship was built was quite a bit different," says Globus. "So I do think there have been substantive advances."

Scientists have also gotten better at understanding and predicting radiation, she says, so that if the sun decides to erupt a sudden burst of solar particles, the space station crew can retreat to a safe haven.

Still, NASA has identified radiation as one of the main challenges of sending a crew to Mars, and the space agency is still working out a way to protect astronauts from its deadly effects. Radiation shielding and perhaps even a radiation-proof sunblock could some day make the road to Mars a little safer.

Als het zo doorgaat wordt het sturen van mensen naar Mars op de zeer lange baan geschoven.
Gun jezelf wat je een ander toewenst     islam = racisme   & de hel op aarde voor mens en dier
                                   koran = racistisch & handboek voor criminelen
      Moslimlanden bewijzen dagelijks:    meer islam = meer verkrachte mensenrechten

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Re: Kolonisatie van Mars noodzaak!

Berichtdoor Pilgrim » Vr Jul 29, 2016 1:29 am

Ik denk dat het uiteindelijk wel meevalt. Het stralingsprobleem wordt al lange tijd serieus aangepakt en de oplossing bestaat waarschijnlijk uit betere scheepswanden, mogelijk geïmpregneerd met waterstof. Het is trouwens alleen gedurende de reis naar Mars dat je wat extra risico loopt. Op Mars zelf is er de bescherming van een lichte atmosfeer en je zit daar waarschijnlijk ook onder de grond. Hier nog een artikel over de vruchtbare Marsgrond waar je je eigen groente kan verbouwen.

Op Mars en je voedselvoorraad is op? Geen probleem!

Wesley Schouwenaars, 27-7-2016

Afbeelding
Foto BNR

Het zal in de toekomst ongetwijfeld werkelijkheid worden: mensen op Mars. Maar hoe moeten zij aan hun eten komen op het moment dat de meegenomen voorraad op is?

De Wageningen Universiteit heeft onderzocht of het mogelijk is om op Marsgrond groenten te telen. 'Tot nu toe is het gelukt om ergens tussen de tien en twintig verschillende soorten groenten te verbouwen op Marsgrond', vertelt ecoloog Wieger Wamelink.

Om te onderzoeken of de grond geschikt is voor landbouw, heeft NASA grond van een vulkaan op Hawaï geoogst. Door de vulkaangrond te zuiveren kan Marsgrond worden nagebootst. 'Echte Marsgrond hebben we natuurlijk nog niet op aarde, omdat we het nog nooit mee terug hebben gebracht.'

Stikstof
Opvallend is dat de samenstelling van de grond van de rode planeet veel overeenkomsten vertoont met de grond op aarde. 'Het enige belangrijke dat ontbreekt is stikstof', zegt Wamelink. Voor de groei van planten is stikstof essentieel, maar de ecoloog heeft een oplossing voor dit probleem. 'Een reis naar Mars duurt ongeveer driekwart jaar. Als je de poep en plas uit die periode bewaart, dan kun je dat later als meststof in de grond stoppen.'

Morgen gaat Wamelink zijn Mars-aardappelen oogsten. 'Ik heb stiekem al even gekeken en er zitten echt aardappels aan. Ze zien er goed uit.' Op 30 augustus wordt een Marsmaaltijd georganiseerd. Het onderzoek van Wamelink wordt via crowdfunding gefinancierd. De gulle gever die 500 euro of meer heeft gedoneerd, krijgt een op Marsgrond gekweekte maaltijd geserveerd.



http://www.bnr.nl/nieuws/wetenschap/103 ... n-probleem
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Re: Kolonisatie van Mars noodzaak!

Berichtdoor Pilgrim » Vr Jul 29, 2016 8:52 pm

xplosive schreef:Steeds meer onbelichte nadelen van straling die je ontvangt wanneer je je buiten de aardse bescherming begeeft komen aan het licht. Zou dit ertoe kunnen leiden dat de eerste pogingen om Mars te koloniseren gedurende nog vele extra decennia langer worden uitgesteld?

Er is nu ook een verhoogd risico op hart- en vaatziekten vastgesteld : ...

Het valt misschien mee. Ook bij Scientias is er een artikel over verschenen. Hier een fragment van de slotconclusie:

Misschien is Delp iets te voorbarig, want de groep overleden Apollo-astronauten is niet zo groot dat er sprake is van een wetenschappelijk significant verschil.

https://www.scientias.nl/apollo-astrona ... atziekten/
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Re: Kolonisatie van Mars noodzaak!

Berichtdoor Pilgrim » Do Aug 04, 2016 4:13 pm

In dit artikel ook de volgende trailer van de documentaire serie 'Mars' van National Geographic.

Ron Howard’s MARS Gets a Danger-Laden Full Trailer

Posted by Michael Walsh on July 30, 2016



Going to Mars won’t be all fun and games full of poop potatoes and disco music; the trip will be fraught with danger and sacrifice, which is just what the newest trailer for Mars, the new docudrama mini-series from Ron Howard and Brian Grazer coming to National Geographic later this year, wants you to remember.

The scripted series, which tells the story of the first manned-mission to the red planet in the year 2033, is full of real scientists like Elon Musk and Neil deGrasse Tyson as talking heads, but will look to explore the toll paid by the brave voyagers that make up the Daedalus crew. The ones who will try to turn humanity into a “multi-planetary species.”

National Geographic has created a very cool website for the series that comes with a “real” press release from the International Mars Science Foundation about the launching and expected landing by the “historic mission, a massive undertaking decades in the making.” It also gives us a better understanding of just what story the mini-series will tell.

“Once the first human settlement is established, the crew must sustain itself until future landings in 2035 and 2037 expand the settlement with deliveries of both cargo and additional human occupants. The carefully selected international crew of six are uniquely suited to take on this monumental step for humans, and are supported by the best team on the ground.”

Earlier this month a teaser was released for the “global event series” that focused on the concept of home, and what it means to leave it.

[Hier de vorige trailer.]

Any people working on a Mars mission in the future would be very familiar with The Martian, so we don’t imagine they’ll run out of food, but we’re sure there will be plenty of other problems to deal with.

The mini-series premieres this November.

What are you most looking forward to with this show? Journey into our comments to let us know.

http://nerdist.com/ron-howards-mars-get ... l-trailer/
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Re: Kolonisatie van Mars noodzaak!

Berichtdoor Pilgrim » Di Aug 09, 2016 10:56 pm

Mars: The next step for humanity

Olivier Rey | August 5, 2016

Afbeelding
Future settlement of the mission Mars One.

NORMAN, Okla. – When NASA and other space governmental agencies postponed the idea to send humans to Mars, two men from the Netherlands, Bas Lansdorp and Arno Wielders chose to take up the challenge.

Lansdorp was an entrepreneur in wind energy and Wielders a scientist dividing his time between the Mars One project and the European Space Technology and Research Centre of the European Space Agency which founded the Mars One project in 2011.

“Since we started Mars One in March 2011, we received support from scientists, engineers, businessmen and –women and aerospace companies from all over the world. The announcement of our plan in May 2012 resulted in the engagement of the general public, and the support from sponsors and investors. To see our mission evolve this way feels like my dream is becoming a reality,” Lansdorp said.

The main particularity of this project and contrary to other similar projects, the Mars One mission is a one-way trip. The people landing on Mars will live permanently on the Red planet with no way to return to Earth.

“Mars One's permanent-presence scenario avoids having to address these challenges, instead focusing on living and working on Mars’ surface,” Lansdorp said, noting the technology to go and live on Mars exists already such as from NASA’s program.

According to Mason Alan Peck, a member of the board of advisers for Mars One and professor in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Cornell University, the project has many difficulties to face.

“One of them is the difficulty in landing the large masses necessary to sustain a human settlement. Another is the need for radiation protection, both in flight and after landing. And the third, obviously, is creating the resources to live, which will have to happen with material from Mars primarily,” Peck said to Red Dirt Report.

The first step was to recruit the future astronauts and after 200,000 candidatures from around the world, 100 candidates have been retained for the third round (which is ongoing) to keep only 40 and then just 24 men and women.

Then after several years of training, the first four crews will be launched for a trip of several months into dark space before landing on Mars and start to living and exploring the Red planet by producing their own food and energy.

Before sending humans to Mars, two rovers will install the six cargo units launched previously including living, supplies, and support units.

However, a recent study from the MIT showed the Mars One project is not feasible with the actual technologies and required a large investment to improve the chance of success. One of the risks is to produce enough oxygen to grow plants.

A study denied by Peck saying, “With minor improvements, or simply extracting more oxygen, that concern becomes irrelevant. This is one of the several minor objections on a technical basis. It is not one that is seen as a significant risk.”

Even if a large part of the technology is available and the Mars One project doesn’t need a return spaceship it will still cost a total of $10 billion to achieve the mission. As Mars One is a nonprofit organization it will not be easy to find sponsorship. One of Lansdorp’s ideas to solve this problem is to sell broadcasting rights.

“The Olympics games in London generated about $4 billion in revenue just from the TV broadcasting rights and sponsorships for just three weeks,” Lansdorp said at the Tedx talk in Delft.

As the project is non-governmental and therefore with no real authority unlike Apollo’s missions (military crews were present), it will be interesting to see how people from different cultures can live together dozens of millions of miles from Earth.

http://www.reddirtreport.com/around-wor ... p-humanity
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Re: Kolonisatie van Mars noodzaak!

Berichtdoor Pilgrim » Do Aug 11, 2016 6:38 pm

Eerste nieuwe Mars- en maanaardappelen geoogst

Bron: Wageningen UR | Publicatiedatum: 9-8-2016

Vanochtend zijn op Wageningen Campus de eerste aardappelen geoogst die gegroeid zijn in de Mars- en maangrond die NASA eerder ter beschikking stelde. Uit de potten waarin de aardappelen in april werden gepoot, kwamen veelal knolletjes tevoorschijn van enkele centimeters ongeveer zo groot als krielaardappelen. De tegelijk onder dezelfde condities ingezette aardappelen op aardgrond bleken niet veel groter. "Aan de teeltmethode kunnen we in ieder geval nog iets verbeteren," concludeert onderzoeker Wieger Wamelink.

Afbeelding

De geoogste bodemvruchten worden gewassen en gewogen. De maan- en Marsbodem brengen in deze potten minder op dan de aardse aardappel in potgrond uit de winkel. Ongeveer de helft, is conclusie na een pot. Maar er staan nog vele potten om geoogst te worden. "We hebben alle gewassen in vijfvoud ingezet." De vruchten worden geanalyseerd op gehaltes aan bijvoorbeeld vitamines, flavonoïden en alkaloïden.

Zorgvuldig snijdt Wieger Wamelink het loof van de planten om het gewicht te bepalen. "Dit groen wordt ondergewerkt in de bodems voor het volgende groeiseizoen. Het organisch materiaal bevat voedingsstoffen, zoals stikstof, en verbetert de structuur van de grond." De donkergrijze maangrond en roodachtige Marsbodem bevatten van nature geen organische stoffen. De maangrondsimulant heeft ongeveer dezelfde samenstelling als echte grond van de maan die met de Apollovluchten naar de Aarde is gekomen. "Nogal stoffig," zegt Wieger Wamelink. De grond is afkomstig uit Arizona, terwijl de Marsgrond uit een vulkaangebied op Hawaii stamt. De samenstelling is ongeveer gelijk aan die van de monsters van de hemellichamen.

In de kassen van Wageningen UR groeien dit jaar naast aardappelen, ook rucola, bonen, tomaten, rogge, tuinkers en andere gewassen. Die opbrengsten vormen samen met de geoogste aardappelen de ingrediënten voor een speciaal viergangendiner op 30 augustus voor de sponsors van het crowdfundingsproject.

http://www.agf.nl/artikel/144567/Eerste ... en-geoogst
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Re: Kolonisatie van Mars noodzaak!

Berichtdoor Pilgrim » Do Aug 11, 2016 10:45 pm

Commercial Space Travel And Colonization: SpaceX, NASA, And NextSTEP Make Preparations For Lift Off

Kim Mc Lendon | august 10, 2016

Commercial space travel is about to become a reality brought about by many private companies bent on taking their earthbound successes into space. The FAA is now open to granting permits to private companies to travel into space. It is hoped that this activity will lead to the colonization of Mars.

Elon Musk of SpaceX has the goal of beginning the colonization of Mars in the next decade. He plans to make commercial space travel and colonization a reality in his lifetime, according to The Washington Post. Mr. Musk is the mastermind behind both Tesla and SpaceX. He is one of the most brilliant minds of our time. An innovator and businessman, Elon has a track record of making dreams a reality and turning his plans into tangible results. Comparing his project to the colonization of America, Mr. Musk explains why he thinks people will agree to move to mars.

“The months-long journey is sure to be hard, risky, dangerous, difficult, [but] just as with the establishment of the English colonies, there are people who love that. They want to be the pioneers.”



Commercial space travel with the goal of eventual colonization of Mars is being facilitated by Elon Musk, SpaceX and a variety of companies under NASA’s NextSTEP program, which combines their own efforts with the work of numerous corporations who are committed to their mutual goal of transporting potential pioneers to Mars.

NextSTEP is partnering with NASA to build actual size, on the ground habitats and test them for safety. This private and public partnership allows various corporations to develop different aspects of different projects with the common goal of deep space exploration and colonization. The six prototypes will be developed by Boeing, who will also be responsible for design analysis, demonstration, and testing according to The Te Cake.



Commercial space travel, including travel, transport, and colonization under NextSTEP is a cooperative group of projects intended to facilitate the development of extraplanetary travel technology quickly and efficiently according to NASA. The human race will no longer be earthbound, and they will have corporations to thank for funding and designing these projects. Not all the projects are similar. While Lockheed Martin works on loading modules used to transport various cargo between the space shuttle and ISS, Sierra Nevada Corporation is working on inflatable fabric space habitat components to attach to interplanetary travel vehicles.

NASA and NextSTEP partner Orbital ATK is working to make launch vehicles more comfortable for long term habitation, while Texas-based NanoRacks will be responsible for feasibility checks, to ensure fit habitability of launch vehicles.

Commercial space travel including exploration, transportation, and colonization through NextSTEP is being managed by NASA under the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate. The purpose is stated to be the building of prototypes. These prototypes are being designed to take human beings off the Earth.

Elon Musk’s SpaceX is preparing for a launch their Falcon 9, which will launch a drone into space, according to NASA Space Flight. The government contract to launch drones is just the way Mr. Musk pays the bills, though. Elon wants to develop spacecraft that are reusable, rather than waste all the parts, on every trip. This would make travel to another planet more affordable. Ultimately, though, Mr. Musk’s goal is to colonize Mars. Part of Elon’s plan is affordability. He wants ordinary people to be able to afford to travel to Mars if they want to move there.

Afbeelding
Elon Musk [Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images]

Commercial space travel, exploration, and transportation by Elon Musk, SpaceX, NASA, NextSTEP are part of a plan to colonize mars within the next decade.

http://www.inquisitr.com/3405322/commer ... -lift-off/
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Re: Kolonisatie van Mars noodzaak!

Berichtdoor Pilgrim » Vr Aug 12, 2016 1:30 am


Gepubliceerd op 18 jul. 2016
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Re: Kolonisatie van Mars noodzaak!

Berichtdoor Pilgrim » Ma Aug 15, 2016 2:29 am


Gepubliceerd op 10 aug. 2016


Gepubliceerd op 1 jul. 2016
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Re: Kolonisatie van Mars noodzaak!

Berichtdoor Pilgrim » Zo Aug 21, 2016 4:59 pm


Gepubliceerd op 15 jul. 2016
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Re: Kolonisatie van Mars noodzaak!

Berichtdoor Pilgrim » Wo Aug 24, 2016 1:57 am

Kunnen we planten verbouwen op Mars?

Tim Kraaijvanger, 23 augustus 2016

Afbeelding

“Ik heb een tuintje op Mars, alleen voor jou...” Studenten van de Universiteit Leiden zijn een crowdfundingsactie gestart om te onderzoeken of dit mogelijk is.

Het klinkt misschien makkelijk om een tuintje op Mars aan te leggen, maar schijn bedriegt. Een hovenier kan niet zomaar wat zaadjes strooien. Marsgrond bevat namelijk perchloraat, wat een giftige stof is. Alles wat groeit is hierdoor ook giftig voor ons. Als kolonisten zich gaan vestigen op Mars, dan moet er voldoende eten zijn. Meenemen is geen optie. Het is cruciaal dat zij dus leren om voedsel te verbouwen op de rode planeet.

Maar hoe omzeil je perchloraat? Studenten onderzoeken hoe een bacterie de stof kan afbreken. Wanneer dit gebeurt, dan komt er zuurstof vrij. Handig, want ook zuurstof is cruciaal om te overleven. De bacterie moet in de toekomst naar Mars worden vervoerd en hun taak volbrengen in de Martiaanse grond.



De dertien Leidse studenten gaan het project zelf opzetten, leiden en uitvoeren. Hiervoor is geld nodig, aangezien zij nagemaakte Marsgrond, perchloraat en laboratoriummaterialen nodig hebben. Ook maken ze gebruik van geavanceerde technieken, zoals een machine om de zwaartekracht op Mars in een lab na te bootsen. Overigens valt het beoogde totaalbedrag enigszins mee, namelijk 8.600 euro. Op het moment van schrijven is 5% van dit totaalbedrag al behaald. Investeren kan nog tot 27 september.

Wanneer het project met crowdfunding wordt bekostigd, kunnen de studenten meedoen aan de zogenoemde International Genetically Engineered Machine-competitie, georganiseerd door het MIT. Meer dan 300 teams nemen deel aan deze competitie. Het doel is om een probleem op te lossen aan de hand van synthetische biologie.

https://www.scientias.nl/kunnen-we-plan ... n-op-mars/
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Re: Kolonisatie van Mars noodzaak!

Berichtdoor Pilgrim » Do Aug 25, 2016 1:27 am

"Mars' Mystery" --NASA Scientists Baffled About Mar's Evolution: "We're Missing Something Important"

August 19, 2016

Afbeelding

"Aside from the shapes of the continents, geologists had paleontological evidence that fossil plants and animals in Africa and South America were closely related, as well as unique volcanic rocks suggestive of a common spatial origin. The problem was that the broad community of earth scientists could not come up with a physical mechanism to explain how the continents could plow their way through Earth's mantle and drift apart. It seemed impossible. The missing component was plate tectonics," he says. "In a possibly similar way, we are missing something important about Mars."

"We have tended to think of Mars as being simple," observed John Grotzinger, Caltech's chair of the Division of Planetary and Geological Sciences and former Curiosity Mission project Scientist. "We once thought of the earth as being simple, too. But the more you look into it, questions come up because you're beginning to fathom the real complexity of what we see on Mars. This is a good time to go back to reevaluate all our assumptions. Something is missing somewhere."

As climatologists try to develop new atmospheric models about the Red Planet, help should be coming from the continuing explorations by Curiosity. "There are still many kilometers of Mars history to explore," says Fischer. He thinks that some of the most exciting data yet may come in the next few years as Curiosity climbs higher on Mount Sharp. "The strata will reveal Gale's early history, its story. We know there are rocks that were deposited underwater, in the lake. What is the chemistry of these rocks? That lake represented an interface between the water and the atmosphere, and should tell us important things about the environment of the time."

The mismatch between the predictions of Mars's ancient climate that arise from models developed by paleoclimatologists and indications of the planet's watery past, as interpreted by geologists, bears similarities to a century-old scientific conundrum about Earth's ancient past. At the time, geologists first began to recognize that the shapes of the continents matched each other, almost like scattered puzzle pieces, explains Grotzinger.

A lingering question surrounds the original source of the water that carried sediment into the Gale Crater Curiosity landing site (image above). For flowing water to have existed on the surface, Mars must have had a thicker atmosphere and warmer climate than has been theorized for the time frame bookending the intense geological activity in Gale Crater.

Afbeelding

Evidence for this ancient, wetter climate exists in the rock record. However, current models of this paleoclimate—factoring in estimates of the early atmosphere's mass, composition, and the amount of energy it received from the sun—come up, quite literally, dry. Those models indicate that the atmosphere of Mars could not have sustained large quantities of liquid water.

Yet the rock record discovered at Gale Crater suggests a different scenario. "Whether it was snowfall or rain, you have geologic evidence for that moisture accumulating in the highlands of the Gale Crater rim," Grotzinger says. In the case of Gale Crater, at least some of the water was supplied by the highlands that form the crater rim, but groundwater discharge—a standard explanation to reconcile wet geologic observations with dry paleoclimatic predictions—is unlikely in this area.

"Right on the other side of Gale's northern rim are the Northern Plains. Some have made the argument that there was a northern ocean sitting out there, and that's one way to get the moisture that you need to match what we are seeing in the rocks."

Pinpointing the possible location of an ocean, however, does not help to explain how that water managed to exist as a liquid for extended periods of time on the surface.

Spoiler! :
In a new paper published October 2015 in the journal Science, the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) team presents recent results of its quest to not just follow the water but to understand where it came from, and how long it lasted on the surface of Mars so long ago.

The story that has unfolded is a wet one: Mars appears to have had a more massive atmosphere billions of years ago than it does today, with an active hydrosphere capable of storing water in long-lived lakes. The MSL team has concluded that this water helped to fill Gale Crater, the MSL rover Curiosity's landing site, with sediment deposited as layers that formed the foundation for the mountain found in the middle of the crater today.

Gale Crater, the landing site of the Mars Curiosity rover, has long been hypothesized to have once held a large standing body of water. The scientific findings from the MSL support that claim, and suggest that it may existed for millions of years — potentially long enough for life to have formed. NASA artist rendition of how the "lake" at Gale Crater on Mars may have looked millions of years ago (credit and copyright: Kevin Gill).

Curiosity has been exploring Gale Crater, which is estimated to be between 3.8 billion and 3.6 billion years old, since August 2012. In mid-September 2014, the rover reached the foothills of Aeolis Mons, a three-mile-high layered mountain nicknamed "Mount Sharp" in honor of the late Caltech geologist Robert Sharp. Curiosity has been exploring the base of the mountain since then.

"Observations from the rover suggest that a series of long-lived streams and lakes existed at some point between 3.8 billion to 3.3 billion years ago, delivering sediment that slowly built up the lower layers of Mount Sharp," says Ashwin Vasavada (PhD '98), MSL project scientist. "However, this series of long-lived lakes is not predicted by existing models of the ancient climate of Mars, which struggle to get temperatures above freezing," he says.

This mismatch between the predictions of Mars's ancient climate that arise from models developed by paleoclimatologists and indications of the planet's watery past, as interpreted by geologists, bears similarities to a century-old scientific conundrum—in this case, about Earth's ancient past.

At the time, geologists first began to recognize that the shapes of the continents matched each other, almost like scattered puzzle pieces, explains John Grotzinger, Caltech's Fletcher Jones Professor of Geology, chair of the Division of Planetary and Geological Sciences, and lead author of the paper. "Aside from the shapes of the continents, geologists had paleontological evidence that fossil plants and animals in Africa and South America were closely related, as well as unique volcanic rocks suggestive of a common spatial origin. The problem was that the broad community of earth scientists could not come up with a physical mechanism to explain how the continents could plow their way through Earth's mantle and drift apart. It seemed impossible. The missing component was plate tectonics," he says. "In a possibly similar way, we are missing something important about Mars."

As Curiosity has trekked across Gale Crater, it has stopped to examine numerous areas of interest. All targets are imaged, and soil samples have been scooped from some; the rocks in a select few places have been drilled for samples. These samples are deposited into the rover's onboard laboratories. Using data from these instruments, as well as visual imaging from the onboard cameras and spectroscopic analyses, MSL scientists have pieced together an increasingly coherent and compelling story about the evolution of this region of Mars.

Before Curiosity landed on Mars, scientists proposed that Gale Crater had filled with layers of sediments. Some hypotheses were "dry," implying that the sediments accumulated from wind-blown dust and sand, whereas others focused on the possibility that sediment layers were deposited in ancient streams and lakes. The latest results from Curiosity indicate that these wetter scenarios were correct for the lower portions of Mount Sharp. Based on the new analysis, the filling of at least the bottom layers of the mountain occurred mostly by ancient rivers and lakes.

"During the traverse of Gale, we have noticed patterns in the geology where we saw evidence of ancient fast-moving streams with coarser gravel as well as places where streams appear to have emptied out into bodies of standing water," Vasavada says. "The prediction was that we should start seeing water-deposited, fine-grained rocks closer to Mount Sharp. Now that we've arrived, we're seeing finely laminated mudstones in abundance." These silty layers in the strata are interpreted as ancient lake deposits.

"These finely laminated mudstones are very similar to those we see on Earth," says Woody Fischer, professor of geobiology at Caltech and coauthor of the paper along with Grotziner. "The scale of lamination—which occurs both at millimeter and centimeter scale—represents the settling of plumes of fine sediment through a standing body of water. This is exactly what we see in rocks that represent ancient lakes on Earth." The mudstone indicates the presence of bodies of standing water in the form of lakes that remained for long periods of time, possibly repeatedly expanding and contracting during hundreds to millions of years. These lakes deposited the sediment that eventually formed the lower portion of the mountain.

"Paradoxically, where there is a mountain today there was once a basin, and it was sometimes filled with water," says Grotzinger. "Curiosity has measured about 75 meters of sedimentary fill, but based on mapping data from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and images from Curiosity's cameras, it appears that the water-transported sedimentary deposition could have extended at least 150–200 meters above the crater floor, and this equates to a duration of millions of years in which lakes could have been intermittently present within the Gale Crater basin," Grotzinger says. Furthermore, the total thickness of sedimentary deposits in Gale Crater that indicate interaction with water could extend higher still—up to perhaps 800 meters above the crater floor, and possibly representing tens of millions of years.

But layers deposited above that level do not require water as an agent of deposition or alteration. "Above 800 meters, Mount Sharp shows no evidence of hydrated strata, and that is the bulk of what forms Mount Sharp. We see another 4,000 meters of nothing but dry strata," Grotzinger says. He suggests that perhaps this segment of the crater's history may have been dominated by eolian, or wind-driven, deposition, as was once imagined for the lower part explored by Curiosity. This occurred after the wet period that built up the base of the mountain.

The image at the top of the page was taken in February 2014 by Curiosity’s MastCam instrument. The picture shows the rover tracks across a dune located in an area dubbed “Dingo Gap.”

"Given the recent Curiosity findings, past Martian life seems possible, and we should begin the difficult endeavor of seeking the signs of life," says Jack Mustard, chairman of the Science Definition Team and a professor at the Geological Sciences at Brown University. "However, no matter what we learn, we would make significant progress in understanding the circumstances of early life existing on Earth and the possibilities of extraterrestrial life."

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The Daily Galaxy via Caltech

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

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