Katrina November 5, 1962, the Mariner 3, but the

Katrina Rivera

Period 1

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December 3, 2017

Extra Credit Physics Project- Topic: Mars

the successful flyby of Mars in 1965, there have been four successful groups
that have made it to Mars: the European Space Agency, the Indian Space Research
Organization, the Soviet Union, and NASA. 
The first attempts to get to Mars were done by the Soviet Union; from
1960 to 1962 there were five attempted flybys: the Marsnik 1 on October 10,
1960; the Marsnik 2 on October 14, 1960; the Sputnik 22 on October 24, 1962; Mars
1 on November 1, 1962; and Sputnik 24 on November 4, 1962. The United States
also tried to send one spacecraft on November 5, 1962, the Mariner 3, but the
covering encasing the spacecraft failed to jettison. The first successful flyby
to Mars was the Mariner 4, and it was launched on November 28, 1963. It flew
over Mars in 1965 and sent back to Earth 21 photos. The Mariners 6 and 7, both
sent by the United States in 1969, made it to mars and sent back dozens of
photos. After several more attempts made by the USSR between 1969 to 1971, the
Soviet Union was able to reach Mars with its Mars 2 orbiter. However, the Mars
orbiter crashed on the surface on November 2, 1971. With Mars 3, the orbiter
was able to work successfully before crashing in 1971.

            The pictures that the successful spacecrafts took all
showed parts of Mars that were heavily crated, which made people believe that
the Mars looked like the moon. With the Mariner 9 in 1971, scientists were able
to see that Mars was covered in a dust storm, had dormant volcanoes, and had a
huge rift later named the Valles Marieneris. This was a great discovery
regarding the surface of different planets. The Mariner 9 was able to produce
7,329 photos and spent almost a year in orbit or Mars.

            From the 1970’s to the 1980, there have been multiple
attempts by the Soviet Union to reach the Red Planet. In 1973 to 1974, there
was the spacecrafts Mars 4, Mars 5, Mars 6, and Mars 7; only one orbiter was
able to land briefly on Mars and returned data in 1974. In the 1980’s, the
Soviet Union only made two more attempts to get to Mars, and both missions
failed. Phobos 1 was launched on July 7, 1988, and the Mars orbiter, as well as
Phobos, were lost; Phobos 2 was launched on July 12, 1988 and were also lost. NASA
experienced better success during this period, and was able to send two pairs
of orbiters and landers to the Red Planet. In 1975, the Viking 1 and the Viking
2 were launched, and in 1976 both successfully arrived on Mars. The Viking 1
and 2 were the first extended examination of Mars, with one lander in each pair
on the surface and one orbiter circling the planet, and were able to transmit 50,000
photos back to Earth. These probes could not prove microbes on Mars’s surface,
discouraging scientists; however, new research has sparked hope for life on
Mars. The Vikings were able to take measurements of the atmosphere, and they
showed that the composition was nearly identical to specific meteorites found
on Earth, which prove that some meteorites originally came from Mars.

            In 1992, NASA had a huge failure with the Mars Observer.
The Mars Observer was launched to Mars on September 25, 1992, and the launcher
lost contact with Earth right before the spacecraft went into orbit. The
spacecraft cost about 813 million dollars to create, and inspired NASA to
create missions that heavily relied on advanced computer electronics and team
management to reduce the costs of sending probes to Mars. These missions under
the FBC (faster, better, cheaper) program. A success was later achieved by NASA
in 1997 with the Mars Global Surveyor, which mapped Mars from pole to pole,
showed signs of places that held water, such as hematite, a mineral that forms
in water, and ravines, and re-imagine what Mars looked like due to new
pictures. The Mars Global Surveyor’s mission was prolonged multiple times, and
the spacecraft eventually lost contact in 2006. The FBC program’s first
mission, the Pathfinder lander and Sojourner rover, were successes; they
arrived at the Red Planet in July of 1997, the lander revolutionized the usage
of airbags, and both lasted much longer than the expected time set for the
Pathfinder and Sojourner. The Sojourner was also the first rover to move on
Mars’s surface. The next two missions for FBC failed, with both spacecrafts
never making it to Mars, and eventually FBC was abandoned. The Soviet Union
attempted with Mars 96 in 1996, but the orbiter, two penetrators, and two
landers were lost due to rocket failure. Japan also attempted to reach Mars
with its first spacecraft, Nozomi, which launched on July 4, 1998 and failed to
enter the orbit of Mars in December 2003. 

            After the discovery of water on Mars, more effort was
placed into the exploration of Mars. The Mars Odyssey was launched on March 7,
2001, and is still currently relaying data. On December 15, 2010, it broke the
record for the longest serving spacecraft mission on the Red Planet, and the spacecraft
has sent back about 350,000 phots as well as more than 95 percent of data from
the rovers Spirit and Opportunity. Spirit and Opportunity were sent to Mars in
2004 and provided evidence of water on the planet. Spirit died in March of 2010
due to a sand dune, while Opportunity is still working and relaying back data. NASA
sent three more space probes at various times. The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter
was launched on August 12, 2005, and has provided more than 25,000 images and 3,500
radar observations. On August 4, 2007, NASA launched the stationary lander Mars
Phoenix, which cost 475 million dollars to make, and the lander was lost in November
2008 after the solar panels were damaged due to the harsh temperature
conditions. In May 2010 the lander was declared dead. After that, a powerful
rover called Curiosity was launched to the Gale Crater in 2012 to search for
signs of prehistoric, habitable environments. It has found places that
previously held water, Curiosity has also inspired another rover, called Mars
2020, to be launched. NASA has also sent out MAVEN (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile
EvolutioN) in 2013. It achieved orbit in 2014, and it is looking at the thinning
of Mars’s atmosphere. Russia has also made another attempt to reach Mars with
the Phobos-Grunt mission. It carried China’s first attempt at a Mars orbiter
and an experiment created by the United States’ based Planetary Society. The
mission was launched in 2011 and crashed in January 15, 2012 because it failed
to leave Earth’s orbit (NASA: Solar System Exploration- Missions).

            Other countries have
also begun to become more involved in the mission to Mars. The European Space
Agency launched the Beagle 2/Mars Express on June 2, 2003, and it was able to
complete its mission in November 2005; however, its mission was extended. The lander
was lost on December 25, 2003 when it attempted to arrive back to Earth. The European
Space Agency has plans to conduct two more missions. The first is the ExoMars
program, which is being done with Russia, and was launched in 2016 with an
orbiter and a lander. The second mission is an orbiter that is planned to be launched
in 2018. India also successfully launched a mission to Mars. The spacecraft,
called MOM (Mars Orbiter Mission), was able to take images of the entire disk that
were released to the public (NASA: A Chronology of Mars

            Water has been conjectured to have existed in large quantities
on Mars. The first piece of evidence for water was found in 2000. Gullies that scientists
believed were created by water were found on Mars. Additionally, the Mars Reconnaissance
Orbiter (MRO) found dark streaks that appear seasonally, called slope lineae
(RSL), confirmed signs of salty water that flowed on the surface of the Red Planet.
The discovery of hydrated salts means that water helped created RSL. However,
others believe that RSL were created by sand and dust instead of water, causing
controversy. Scientists also discovered vast ice deposits trapped at the poles of
the planet, which shrink during the summer when the water turns into gas and grows
during winter. Besides that, frozen waster was found beneath the surface of
Mars. Between the equator and the north pole, slabs of ice as large as Texas combined
with California were found in the subsurface of Mars (NASA, Mars Ice Deposit
Holds as Much Water as Lake Superior). Other evidence shows scientists that
other regions, such as high-altitude regions, on Mars contain frozen water. For
example, in high-altitude regions with patterned shapes, scientists believe that
areas contain frozen water that formed permafrost. Craters were found with shadowed
bottoms by the European Space Agency and NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter
that scientists conjectured liquid water were pooled in, and minerals from the
planet’s interior hint at the presence of water.  Another way to see if water existed on Mars is
to look at the history of the Red Planet. Large, flattened areas have been believed
to have held an ocean, empty gullies and streams are shown to have contained
water, and a channel system, called Marte Vallis was discovered (NASA, NASA
Confirms Evidence That Liquid Water Flows on Today’s Mars).

            The search for water on Mars began in 1971, when the
Mariner 9 send back pictures of dry river beds and canyons that scientists were
able to conjecture once held water. Later, the Viking orbiters sent back photos
that strengthened the theory of water on Mars. In the 1990’s, orbiters mapped
the surface of Mars and analyzed minerals on the surface, and data showed that
minerals (which form in the presence of water), hot springs patches of ice were
in craters, and frozen water beneath the surface exist on Mars. NASA’s Pathfinder,
Phoenix, Spirit, and Opportunity rovers have all took measurements of the
planet and traveled the surface to collect information. In 2008, Phoenix found brightly
colored material that evaporated after four days; the rover detected water vapor
in a sample that it found, conforming water. The twin rovers, Spirit and Opportunity,
found traces of water in rocks on the surface of Mars. Additionally, Spirit found
a layer of rock that contained silica, a mineral that likely formed in water. NASA’s
Curiosity rover found an ancient stream bed in August of 2012 and many rocks
that were exposed to water (Time Magazine, A Brief History of the Search for
Water on Mars).

            The Curiosity rover is currently taking pictures of Vera
Rubin Ridge, and its color capabilities of the camera is highlighting different
rocks and mineral in the Martian Ridge. There are two cameras on the Curiosity
Rover, a ChemCam and a MastCam. ChemCam can detect the chemical composition of rocks,
and it is identifying rocks that are more varied in color at Vera Rubin Ridge. Curiosity
is currently moving south east on Vera Rubin Ridge and is using ChemCam and MastCam
to identify rocks on the ridge (NASA, Curiosity Mission Updates – Mars Science

            NASA plans to continue exploring Mars. NASA says that
their 2020 Mars mission will center around measuring the “atmospheric entry
conditions and surface dust while selecting and encapsulating
samples for potential return to Earth” (NASA’s Journey to Mars- Pioneering Next
Steps in Space Exploration). NASA will focus on creating advanced ion
thrusters, solar electric propulsion, habitation systems, EDL systems, laser
communications, deep-space atomic clocks, and nuclear fission for spacecrafts
in the journey to Mars. NASA is also attempting to send humans to Mars. The
administrators of NASA reaffirmed their want to send humans to Mars; they set
up a goal of 2030 for colonization and 2020 for sending humans into space for
Mars. In September of 2016, SpaceX, which is working with NASA, announced that
they planned to begin Mars colonization. They set up a concept called the
Interplanetary Transport System, which would include a launch vehicle called
ITS, Interplanetary tanker, and Interplanetary Spaceship. However, ITS has been
scrapped and replaced with the concept of BFR (Big Falcone Rocket), which
includes reusable rockets and spacecrafts. Martin Lockheed has also worked with
NASA to create an American spacecraft to send astronauts to Mars. The concept
is called Mars Base Camp (MBC), and it depends on the idea of transporting astronauts
from Earth to a Mars orbiting spacecraft using the moon. The six pieces of MBC
would be transported individually and assembled in space. Orion would serve as
the excursion vehicle, and the spacecraft would be functional as early as 2028 (Lockheed
Martin: Mars Base Camp). In March of 2017, NASA has announced using the Deep
Space Transport (DST) spacecraft for transport. NASA estimates that the launch
will be in 2027. The idea would be for the spacecraft to dock at the Deep Space
Gateway, which would be a crew-manned cis-lunar space station built in 2021,
and maintain Mars’s orbit to observe Mars. The current plan states that there
will be a 4-man crew, and the mission is to be two years long. NASA is
currently working on the issues of transportation for crew and cargo, working
in space, and staying healthy in space (NASA’s Journey to Mars – Pioneering
Next Steps in Space Exploration).



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