Caves of Mars Project


Caves of Mars Project

The Caves of Mars Project is a NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts funded program to assess the best place to situate the research and habitation modules that a manned mission to Mars would require.

Caves and other underground structures, including lava tubes, canyon overhangs, and other Martian cavities would be potentially useful for manned missions, for they would provide considerable shielding from both the elements and intense radiation that a Mars mission would expose astronauts to. They might also offer access to minerals, gases, ices, and any life that the crew of such a mission would probably be searching for.

The program also studies designs for inflatable modules and other such structures that would aid the astronauts.

It is now known that water comes to the surface of Mars from time to time, but whether NASA will change the project in light of this has not been revealed.

2007 Lunar and Planetary Science Conference

NASA scientists studying pictures from the Odyssey spacecraft have spotted what they think may be seven caves on the flanks of the Arsia Mons volcano on Mars. The cave entrances measure from 100m to 252m wide and they are believed to be at least 73m to 96m deep. Because light did not reach the floor of most of the caves, it is likely that they extend much deeper than these lower estimates. Dena was the only exception, its floor was observed and measured to be 130m deep. The caves may be the only natural structures offering protection from the micrometeoroids, UV radiation, solar flares and high energy particles that bombard the planet's surface. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/6461201.stm]

External links

* Leonard David, [http://space.com/scienceastronomy/050222_mars_methane.html "Digging and Sniffing for Life on Mars"] , space.com, February 22, 2005
* [http://www.highmars.org/niac/index.html Caves of Mars website] , Complex Systems Research; Inc. (funded by a NIAC Phase II grant from the NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts)
* Paul Rincon, [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/6461201.stm "'Cave entrances' spotted on Mars"] , "BBC News", March 17, 2007
* [http://library.thinkquest.org/C003763/index.php?page=interview09 "Life in the Extremes: An Interview With Dr. Penelope Boston"] , 2000
* [http://s3.amazonaws.com/planetary/22295/pr20070618_64kb.mp3 Planetary Society Radio] interview with NASA scientists on the caves.


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Mars Society — Founded August, 1998 Key people Board of Directors: Robert Zubrin (chairman) Scott Horowitz James Heiser Declan O Donnell Officers and Staff: Lucinda Land (Executive Director) Heat …   Wikipedia

  • Mars Direct — is a proposal for a manned mission to Mars. Proponents of the scheme have claimed it to be both cost effective and that it can be conducted with current technology. It was originally detailed in a research paper by NASA engineers Robert Zubrin… …   Wikipedia

  • Mars — This article is about the planet. For other uses, see Mars (disambiguation) …   Wikipedia

  • Mars to Stay — Concept for NASA Design Reference Mission Architecture 5.0 (2009) Mars to Stay missions propose astronauts sent to Mars for the first time should stay there indefinitely, both to reduce cost and to ensure permanent settlement of Mars. Among many… …   Wikipedia

  • Mars in fiction — Fictional representations of Mars have been popular for over a century. Interest in Mars has been stimulated by the planet s dramatic red color, by early scientific speculations that its surface conditions might be capable of supporting life, and …   Wikipedia

  • Mars landing — View from the NASA Phoenix lander in 2008 A Mars landing is a landing of a spacecraft on the surface of Mars. Of multiple attempted Mars landings by robotic, unmanned spacecraft, six were successful. There have also been studies for a possible… …   Wikipedia

  • Mars surface color — Rock strewn surface imaged by Mars Pathfinder The apparent color of the Martian surface enabled humans to distinguish it from other planets early in human history and motivated them to weave fables of war in association with Mars. One of its… …   Wikipedia

  • Mars Ocean Hypothesis — The blue region of low topography in the Martian northern hemisphere is hypothesized to be the site of a primordial ocean of liquid water. The Mars Ocean Hypothesis states that nearly a third of the surface of Mars was covered by an ocean of… …   Wikipedia

  • Mars in culture — The planet Mars is named after the Roman god of war Mars. In Babylonian astronomy, the planet was named after Nergal, their deity of fire, war, and destruction, most likely due to the planet s reddish appearance.[1] Whether the Greeks equated… …   Wikipedia

  • Mars in the fiction of Leigh Brackett — The planet Mars appears frequently as a setting for many of the stories of Leigh Brackett, and Mars and Martians are frequently mentioned in other stories of the Leigh Brackett Solar System. Brackett s Mars shares some characteristics with the… …   Wikipedia