Friday, November 2, 2012

The Future of Mars Exploration - MAVEN

For those of you who have seen the original Total Recall, you might remember the scene near the end of the movie with Arnold Schwarzenegger on the surface of Mars without a space suit on, eyes and tongue bulging (click here for a pic, as it may be a little disgusting to view for some readers).

The director probably decided this was the best way to show what would happen if a human was put on Mars with no protection, in an atmosphere not suitable to support our oxygen and air pressure requirements, but do scientists really know what the atmosphere is like on Mars? Or perhaps the director was just making guesses...
This may very well be a picture of the director of Total Recall.
NASA is planning on launching the MAVEN satellite in 2013, which will answer all of our questions about the Mars atmosphere, ionosphere, and even interactions with the sun and solar winds! According to NASA, scientists will use the data collected from MAVEN to give an insight into the history of Mar's atmosphere and climate, liquid water, and planetary habitability by determining the loss of compounds like carbon dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, and water from the atmosphere to space.

Here's a really cool video clip from NASA showing what MAVEN will possibly look like orbiting Mars.


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