Mars Overview Updated November 17, 2020

Mars

"The red planet"

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17 'Mars' stories

February 2020 - October 2020


Mars, named after the Roman God of war, is the second-smallest planet in our solar system. Often referred to as “the red planet” due to its red appearance caused by the iron oxide on its surface. Features of the planet include impact craters, valleys, deserts, and large polar ice caps.

The planet has been explored by many unmanned spacecraft, including Mariner 4, Mars Pathfinder, Mars Express, and many more.

Traditional life here has been deemed as likely, even more so under the surface due to underground water.

Important Stats

  • 4th planet from the Sun (142 million miles)
  • 2 moons
  • 4,220 miles in diameter
  • 25 degree axis tilt
  • 687 day long years
  • 30% of Earth’s gravity (3.71 m/s²)
  • Average temperature of -81 degrees F
  • Atmospheric makeup of mostly carbon dioxide with little water vapor

Moons

  • Phobos (fear)
  • Deimos (panic)

Surface Photos

Mars Stories October 29

While so many of us have been staying close to home during the COVID-19 pandemic, NASA’s new Perseverance rover has been zooming away from our planet in search of its new home on Mars. Percy officially reached the halfway point between Earth and Mars this week as it closes in on its search for signs of ancient life.

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Mars Stories October 7

‘Golf On Mars’ for iPhone offers almost infinite Martian fun with 25 billion holes

NASA’s Perseverance rover launched for Mars back in August but it won’t arrive until early 2021. If you’re looking to have some of your own Martian fun, the iPhone game “Golf On Mars” has you covered with an almost infinite amount of holes on the red planet.

Mars Stories August 17

Space Time is a new podcast from Space Explored, part of the 9to5Mac Network.

In this episode of Space Time, Daryl Sausse and Seth Kurkowski share their experience covering their first NASA mission for Space Explored during Mars 2020 launch week.

Subscribe to receive new episodes every Thursday: 🟣 Apple Podcasts 🟠 Overcast 🟢 Spotify 🔴 YouTube

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Mars Stories August 12

NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft left Earth on August 12, 2005, on a mission to study the atmosphere of Mars, and it showed us some incredible pictures of the Red Planet. To celebrate 15 years since the launch of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, NASA today shared stunning photos of Mars viewed from above.

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NASA’s Perseverance rover lifted off from Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket on July 30, but the Countdown to Mars is really only just starting. The rover’s months-long journey to Mars will continue through February 2021, then the next decade of Martian science and astrobiological discovery can begin. In this Dispatches from NASA installment, Space Explored captures the week that the Mars 2020 mission took flight in photos and video.

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Mars Stories July 29

Space Time is a new podcast from Space Explored, part of the 9to5Mac Network.

In this Mars 2020 edition of Space Time, Zac Hall speaks with Dr. Lori Glaze (Planetary Science Division Director) and Dr. Thomas Zurbuchen (Associate Administrator, Science) of NASA, and Scott Messer (Program Manager for NASA’s Launch Service Program missions) of ULA.

Subscribe to receive new episodes every Thursday: 🟣 Apple Podcasts 🟠 Overcast 🟢 Spotify 🔴 YouTube

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Mars Stories July 24

Space Time is a new podcast from Space Explored, part of the 9to5Mac Network.

Zac Hall and Seth Kurkowski are joined by Jaakko Karras of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab to unpack the work behind ingenuity, NASA’s new Mars helicopter launching next week to conduct a flight test in February.

Subscribe to receive new episodes every Thursday: 🟣 Apple Podcasts 🟠 Overcast 🟢 Spotify 🔴 YouTube

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Mars Stories July 22

On the heels of the return to human space flight from American soil, NASA is launching another historic mission this year. Perseverance, the newest of NASA’s Mars rovers, plans to launch as soon as July 30, and the mission is packed full of new science experiments to learn more about the Red Planet. The new Mars rover will be launching on top of a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket from Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

What makes Perseverance special? For starters, it’s the result of previous Mars missions dating back to the mid ’90s, and the state-of-the-art rover will be accompanied by the first-ever space helicopter…

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Mars Stories July 20

Neil Armstrong made history 51 years ago today when the American astronaut became the first human to step foot on the Moon. Space Exploration Day on July 20 honors the Apollo 11 mission and all advances made in space.

The White House released a presidential statement this year that recognizes the recent SpaceX launch with astronauts and the upcoming NASA Mars 2020 mission as current milestones:

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Mars Stories June 30

The window for launching from Earth to Mars opens on July 17. NASA planned to use the date to launch its newest Mars rover Perseverance tasked with finding signs of past life on Mars.

NASA associate administrator Steve Jurczyk shared on June 9, however, that the earliest date launch partner United Launch Alliance can lift off is July 20. The launch date slipped back another two days on June 24 following a “ground support systems issue identified during the packing of the spacecraft into protective fairings that go on top of the rocket.”

As of June 30, however, the current launch target is no earlier than July 30. The original launch target extended through August 5, although NASA and ULA believe they can launch as late as August 15 if needed.

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