15.3 C
New York
Friday, September 29, 2023

Buy now

Mission Update: Mars and the Moon

About Moon to Mars mars and moon distance from earth

NASA will lead an innovative and sustainable program of exploration with commercial and international partners to send humans farther into space and bring back to Earth new knowledge and opportunities

Mission teams presenting at this week’s Lunar and Planetary Science Conference provided updates on the Perseverance and Zhurong rovers at Mars, Chang’e 5’s lunar sample return.

26413 Sol0057 zcam08103 Z110 R0E web1 - Mission Update: Mars and the Moon
This raw image comes from one of Perseverance’s hazard avoidance cameras. NASA/JPL-Caltech

This enhanced color image was acquired by the Mastcam-Z instrument aboard NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover on April 18, 2021 (sol 57). Kodiak, the prominent layered mound, stands approximately 2 km from the rover and is a remnant of the ancient Jezero delta. Scientists are using observations like this one to scout the rover’s traverse along the delta and prioritize science targets. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/MSSS.


NASA’s Perseverance rover and its tagalong helicopter, Ingenuity, have been on Mars for a little more than one Earth year now, During that time, the rover has driven nearly 5 kilometers (3 miles) through Jezero Crater, doubling back on a V-shaped path Its route took it along the boundary of two sections of the crater floor: Séítah, an older formation with rocks rich in olivine grains, and Máaz, a slightly younger, olivine-free formation that has rounded, spilled-pudding-like edges (the technical term for that is lobate).

The rover has scraped off six rocks, revealing complex, grainy textures beneath the worn surfaces. Samples stowed from these sites — six cores of rock and one (by mistake) of nothing but Martian air — will someday be brought back to Earth for detailed analysis.

Observations of these and other rocks along Perseverance’s path indicate that both Séítah and Máaz are igneous, formed by melted rock that slowly cooled, said Vivian Sun (Jet Propulsion Laboratory) during her overview presentation March 7th at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, It’s still unclear whether the formations are specifically volcanic in origin (they might be impact melt, for example), or how Máaz is related to Séítah, Before the rover’s arrival, origin hypotheses included both igneous and sedimentary processes.

Perseverance Ingenuity map 900x584 1 - Mission Update: Mars and the Moon
This map shows the paths taken by the Perseverance rover (white) and Ingenuity helicopter (gold) to date; circles indicate waypoints. Visit Where Is Perseverance? to see where they are now.)

The Perseverance team has also used one of the two microphones aboard the rover — the first to land successfully on Mars — to measure the speed of sound on the Red Planet: 240 meters per second (540 mph), slightly less than Earth’s sound speed of 760 mph.

The exceedingly thin, carbon dioxide-based Martian atmosphere leads to what Baptist Chide (Los Alamos National Lab) and team call “a unique listening experience,” because frequencies above 240 MHz travel 10 m/s, meaning that high-pitched sounds will arrive earlier than bass, (Not that astronauts would remove their suits long enough to notice!).


Ingenuity airfieldJ 796x600 1 - Mission Update: Mars and the Moon
Ingenuity (circled in red) at Airfield J, just north of the southern ridge of the Séíitah formation.
NASA / JPL-Caltech / ASU / MSSS

December 15, 2021

NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter sits on a slightly inclined surface with about 6-degree tilt at the center of the frame. The location, “Airfield J” (the 10th airfield), is just north of the southern ridge of the “Séíitah” geologic unit. The Mastcam-Z instrument aboard NASA’s Perseverance rover took this image on Dec. 1, 2021 (the 279th Martian day, or sol, of Perseverance’s mission) when the rotorcraft was about 970 feet (295 meters) from the rover.

Meanwhile Ingenuity, the Little Technology Demonstration That Could, is delighting team members. After proving that powered flight on Mars is possible, the helicopter is spending its time scouting for the rover identifying safe traverses and interesting rocks.

“I was really impressed with how well it worked and how useful it’s been ” Justin Simon (NASA Johnson Space Center) said.

The helicopter can’t venture far because it communicates with Earth through the rover, explained Matt Golombek (Jet Propulsion Laboratory) during a virtual roundtable with the press. Its longest flight has been 630 meters (about 2,000 feet). The helicopter’s flights have become more efficient, though, as it no longer needs to scout out new airfields before landing.

Even after several months and a dust storm, Ingenuity shows no signs of wear, Golombek said: Dust hasn’t impeded its solar panels (probably because it’s flying around) and the only change in performance is that it can’t fly quite as far because atmospheric pressure is dropping as the seasons change.

Perseverance will take more samples in the next week or so then set off to explore the ancient delta in Jezero.


chinas mars rover zhurong - Mission Update: Mars and the Moon
A self-portrait of Zhurong and its landing platform on Mars. CNSA

Elsewhere on Mars, China’s Zhurong rover, which arrived with the Tianwen 1 mission that launched in 2020, has been driving since May 2021 It’s exploring Utopia Planitia, a large, flat plain in the planet’s northern hemisphere. Scientists have interpreted the surface that the rover now trundles over as the sediments left behind by lakes, rivers or even an ancient ocean.

The primary goal of the mission is an engineering one to field and test an orbiter, lander, and rover in a single package. But Zhurong also carries six scientific payloads, and the team has used some of these instruments to investigate interesting soil, rocks, ridges and craters along the way. In particular, they report on several ridges near the rover’s path. Wind has shaped these crescent-shaped ripples. But after combining the rover’s data with orbital images the team surmised that these features are dusty, suggesting that whatever wind did the shaping has since quieted down. These results and others are published in Nature Astronomy and were also presented at the LPSC.

Thanks to the exceedingly flat terrain, the rover could continue to drive a long way. Indeed, it has already outlived its primary 90-sol (92-day) mission. Zhurong will continue to examine interesting features along the way as it trundles toward what might have been the shoreline of an ancient ocean,


maxresdefault 2 - Mission Update: Mars and the Moon
This is a rectified version of the landing site panorama taken by cameras aboard Chang’e 5.
CNSA / CLEP / Don Davis

The Chang’e 5 mission, launched in late 2020 performed a quick roundtrip mission to the Moon and back, taking less than a month to return 1.7 kilograms of lunar soil to Earth. Now members of the Chang’e 5 team and others who have analyzed the fragments have presented their finds the ongoing Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (LPSC).

Chang’e 5 landed in the northern part of Oceanus Procellarum, which was already known to have hosted the most recent volcanic eruptions on the Moon. Indeed, the samples collected indicate a volcanic origin, probably a single eruption that occurred some 2 billion years ago. Based on the sample analysis, that eruption drew magma from the shallow mantle not too far beneath the surface. The samples will ultimately help scientists understand how the Moon has cooled over time.

Meanwhile, a spectrometer aboard the lander made the first-ever in situ detection of water on the lunar surface. (Technically, what the instrument detected was the 2.85 micron absorption line indicating the presence of hydroxyl groups usually associated with water.)

Interactions between solar wind particles and the lunar regolith probably created the water, though it’s worth noting that it’s likely chemically bound — otherwise it wouldn’t have stuck around, unlike the water ice thought to exist in permanently shadowed craters at the Moon’s poles. Chang’e 5’s detection confirms studies from orbit that suggested water could, in some form, survive on the Moon’s dayside.


Other missions continue apace elsewhere on and around Mars: The UAE’s Hope Probe is transmitting global data on the Red Planet. And the Insight lander’s SEIS instrument continues to collect seismic data, now at 1,300 shakes and counting. Most are detected at night, when the atmosphere is calmer and less wind shakes the SEIS housing. The vast majority of these (1,100) are nearby, noted as high-frequency quakes. But two were stronger, with magnitudes of 4.1 and 4.2, respectively. These could help inform models of the Martian core.


  • mars and the moon 2021
  • mars and the moon tonight
  • mars and the moon august 2020
  • mars and the moon october 2020
  • mars and the moon alignment
  • mars and the moon last night
  • mars and the moon september 2020
  • mars and the moon astrology
  • mars and moon alignment 2020
  • mars and moon are friends
  • mars and moon are same
  • mars and moon australia
  • mars and moon aspects
  • mars an the moon
  • mars and the moon side by side
  • mars and the moon will be visible together from tonight
  • will mars and the moon be visible tonight
  • mars and blue moon
  • mars moon becomes a ring
  • mars moon base
  • mars moon boots
  • what time will mars and the moon be visible tonight
  • mars and the moon close together
  • mars and the moon come together
  • mars and moon conjunction
  • mars and moon conjunction 2021
  • mars and moon compatibility
  • mars and moon conjunction in 8th house
  • mars and moon conjunction meaning
  • mars and moon conjunction in 4th house
  • mars and moon distance from earth
  • mars and moon distance
  • mars and moon differences
  • mars and moon debilitated
  • mars moon deimos
  • mars moon dasha
  • mars moon doomed
  • mars moon deimos pronunciation
  • mars and the moon earth
  • mars and moon eclipse
  • mars and moon exchange houses
  • mars and moon event
  • mars and the moon next to each other
  • mars moon earth alignment 2020
  • mars moon exploration
  • mars moon eclipse 2020
  • mars and the full moon
  • mars and moon friendship
  • mars and moon friends
  • mars and moon from earth
  • mars and full moon 2020
  • mars moon facts
  • mars moons from surface
  • mars moon falling
  • mars and moon gravity
  • mars and moon in gemini
  • mars conjunct moon gemini
  • can plants grow on mars and the moon
  • mars and the harvest moon
  • what do mars and the moon have in common
  • mars moon how many
  • mars moon hollow
  • mars moon have
  • mars and moon 2nd house
  • mars has moon
  • mars and the moon in august
  • mars and moon in 7th house
  • mars and moon in 8th house
  • mars and moon in 12th house
  • mars and moon in 4th house
  • mars and moon in 10th house
  • mars and moon in 1st house
  • mars and moon in 2nd house
  • when can i see mars and the moon
  • mars and the moon june 2021
  • mars and the moon june 21 2021
  • mars and moon june 21
  • mars moon jupiter conjunction
  • mars moon jupiter in 4th house
  • mars moon jupiter
  • mars moon jupiter saturn
  • mars moon ketu conjunction
  • mars moon ketu conjunction in capricorn
  • mars ka moon
  • mars km moon
  • moon and the mars kia corthron
  • mars and the moon line up
  • mars and the moon live
  • mars and the moon tonight live
  • mars and moon location
  • pictures of mars and the moon last night
  • what will mars and the moon look like tonight
  • mars moon landing
  • mars and moon mutual aspect
  • mars moon monolith
  • mars moon mercury conjunction
  • mars moon mission
  • mars moon midpoint
  • mars mahadasha moon antardasha
  • mars mini moon
  • moon and mars
  • n-1 for the moon and mars
  • mars and the moon on august 27 2020
  • mars and moon opposition
  • mars and moon occultation
  • mars and moon october
  • mars and moon on synastry
  • mars near the moon october 2020
  • mars and full moon october 2020
  • mars and the moon photo
  • mars and moon position today
  • mars and moon parivartana yoga
  • mars and moon pictures
  • mars and moon pics
  • mars moon phobos
  • mars moon phases
  • mars moon phobos facts
  • mars moon quintile
  • mars quincunx moon synastry
  • mars quincunx moon
  • mars quintile moon synastry
  • mars quincunx moon transit
  • mars quincunx moon composite
  • mars and moon relationship
  • mars and moon resort
  • mars and moon right now
  • mars and moon rock
  • mars moon rahu conjunction
  • mars moon rahu in 6th house
  • mars moon rover
  • mars and the moon september 5
  • mars and moon size comparison
  • mars and moon synastry
  • mars and moon sign
  • mars and moon sign compatibility
  • mars and moon singapore
  • mars’s moons
  • mars and the moon together
  • venus mars and the moon tonight
  • mars and moon tonight uk
  • mars and moon together today
  • mars and moon together august 27
  • mars and the moon uk
  • mars moon uranus
  • mars under moon
  • jupiter lining up with venus mars and the moon
  • when can u see mars and the moon
  • mars and the moon visible
  • mars and the moon visible together
  • mars and moon visible tonight
  • mars and venus moon
  • mars moon venus conjunction in 8th house
  • mars v moon size
  • mars and the moon this week
  • mars and moon which is bigger
  • mars and moon what time
  • mars moon will crash into it
  • mars moon water
  • mars moon wiki
  • mars moon with monolith
  • mars and moon yesterday
  • mars moon yoga
  • mars moon youtube
  • mars next to the moon youtube
  • can you see mars and the moon tonight
  • can you see mars and the moon
  • mars moon zodiac
  • mars moon 12th
  • mars and moon in 11th house
  • mars and moon in 11 house
  • mars conjunct moon 12th house
  • mars and the moon 2020
  • mars and moon 29 october 2020
  • 2 mars moons
  • october 2 mars and moon
  • mars 2 moons facts
  • mars and moon in 3rd house
  • mars 3rd moon
  • mars 3 moons
  • mars and moon in 5th house
  • mars and moon september 5 2020
  • mars and moon in 6th house
  • mars and moon september 6
  • mars and moon in 7th house of navamsa
  • mars and moon in 8th house for leo ascendant
  • mars and moon in 8th house synastry
  • mars and moon in 8th house for scorpio ascendant
  • mars and moon in 9th house

Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Stay Connected

- Advertisement -spot_img

Latest Articles