Blog Archives

Lift Off to Mars: Documentary on space travel to Mars

Will space travel to Mars be possible in the future? Astronaut Thomas Pesquet hopes to be part of a crew lifting off to the red planet.

French astronaut Thomas Pesquet spent six and a half months on the International Space Station ISS, which brings together researchers from all over the world. He conducted experiments in space to find out more about the potential of human spaceflight. Could we really send people to Mars? Thomas Pesquet was part of the crew of the ISS expedition 50/51 and spent 196 days on board the International Space Station (ISS). The astronauts were preparing for the moment mankind leaves its home to explore other celestial bodies like Mars, or the moons of Jupiter and Saturn. The journey would lead through the most hostile environment of all: the vacuum of space. In the documentary, Thomas Pesquet describes the everyday challenges that await space travelers in their search for new worlds. Half of the experiments carried out on board the ISS have to do with human survival in space. On the ground, meanwhile, research laboratories around the world are dealing with the physiological problems associated with life in zero gravity, and space agencies are conducting isolation experiments under realistic conditions to find out what qualities astronauts need. Even the best-prepared missions can be jeopardized by the psychological problems that are inevitable during very long flights. Europeans, Russians and Americans are also working together on the technical aspects of interplanetary travel. Improving spacecraft propulsion, recycling waste, protecting astronauts from cosmic rays, developing ergonomic space suits and human-robot interfaces are just some of the issues being investigated on the ISS.

 

Five Years of Curiosity on Mars

Nearly five years after its celebrated arrival at Mars, the Curiosity rover continues to reveal Mars as a once-habitable planet. Early in the planet’s history, generations of streams and lakes created the landforms that Curiosity explores today. The rover currently is climbing through the foothills of Mount Sharp, a 3-mile-high mountain formed from sediment brought in by water and wind. This talk will cover the latest findings from the mission, the challenges of exploration with an aging robot, and what lies ahead.

Speakers:
James K. Erickson, Mars Science Laboratory Project Manager, JPL
Ashwin R. Vasavada, Mars Science Laboratory Project Scientist, JPL

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Streamed live on 13 Jul 2017

Water Flowing on Present-Day Mars

During a news conference at NASA headquarters, agency scientists and officials discussed new findings from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) that provide the strongest evidence yet that liquid water flows intermittently on present-day Mars. Using an imaging spectrometer on MRO, researchers detected signatures of hydrated minerals on slopes where mysterious streaks are seen on the Red Planet. These downhill flows, known as recurring slope lineae (RSL), often have been described as possibly related to liquid water.