NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) is developing the capabilities needed to send humans to an asteroid by 2025 and Mars in the 2030’s.  In order to achieve this target, we need to find the possibilities of human survival and infrastructure required for the survival in Mars. Because of various similarities in Mars and Earth, the human exploration started to Mars. The climatic conditions in Mars are comparatively different from planet Earth. Mars is fourth planet from Sun, as we go away from the Sun, we can observe the low temperatures in planets and the planets nearer to sun have higher temperatures. The surface temperatures of Mars are about -870C to 50C. To build up infrastructure in Mars, we need to check the climatic conditions, soil properties and availability of material like water, raw materials for concrete required for infrastructure development. The data required is obtained from various space agencies and research journals.

This study will be an interesting and new research area. To provide complete details on this topic, we need series of blogs which will be available on this Construction leaders platform. The blogs will release on weekly basis. I hope this will create a new interest and advances the research interest of all disciplinary engineers in Mars. This domain of research mostly confined to America, Russia, Europe and China. I strongly believe that this series will definitely impacts the researchers and get innovative ideas which helps human exploration to Mars. In this blog, we will learn basics of the planet Mars. 

How many planets are there in Solar system???

Eight or nine?? Confused… I’ll clear your doubt. To the people who done schooling before 2006, we know its nine planets. Kids after 2006 knows that solar system consists of 8 planets. What happened to that one planet – Pluto??

It’s all because, the definition of planet was changed by international Astronauts. The most recent definition of a planet was adopted by the International Astronomical Union in 2006. It says a planet must do three things:

            1) It must orbit a star (in our cosmic neighbourhood, the Sun).

            2) It must be big enough to have enough gravity to force it into a spherical shape.

            3) It must be big enough that its gravity cleared away any other objects of a similar size near its orbit around the Sun.

The planet Pluto didn’t obey third property. Earth has 365 days a year is called Earth days. Pluto have 90530 earth days. To complete a year on Mars, it takes 90530 days. It takes 248.89 earth years to complete a year on Pluto. It has five Moons.

Mars is the fourth planet from Sun in Solar system. It turns on its own axis slower than Earth, so a day on Mars is 24.6 hours. As it is next to planet Earth, it takes extra time for revolution around Sun, it takes 687 Earth days. The size of Mars is almost half the size of Earth. Mars looks in Gold, brown and tan colour. Mars is also called as red planet because the soil have iron oxide chemical properties which looks like rust on the surface which makes red in colour shown in below figure. It has two small Moons named as Phobos (means fear) and Deimos(panic). The atmosphere in Mars is filled with dust. The surface of Mars is called Martian surface.

A 3D model of Mars, a terrestrial planet. Credit: NASA Visualization Technology Applications and Development (VTAD).

Mars is home to the largest volcano in the solar system, Olympus Mons. It’s three times taller than Earth’s Mt. Everest with a base the size of the state of New Mexico. The existence of water in Mars with ancient river valley networks, deltas and lakebeds in past are identified from its impressions on Martian surfaces. Some studies also says that Mars experienced huge floods about 3.5 billion years ago. The existence of water in Mars was found out in the form of water- ice just under the surfaces in the polar regions and observed salty water, which seasonally flows down some hillsides and crater walls. Scientists are not expecting living things currently thriving on Mars. They are looking for signs of life that existed long ago. Some Martian surfaces are shown in the below figures.

(Courtesy: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/mars/images)
(Courtesy: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/mars/images)

Some bulk parameters are mentioned in the below table. We can use this as a reference for our studies.

       Parameters   Mars      Earth   Ratio (Mars/Earth)
1Mass (1024 kg)0.641695.97220.107
2Volume (1010 km3)16.318108.320.151
3Equatorial radius (km)3396.26378.10.532
4Polar radius (km)3376.26356.80.531
5Volumetric mean radius (km)3389.563710.532
6Core radius (km)170034850.488
7Ellipticity (Flattening)0.005890.00341.76
8Mean density (kg/m3)393455130.714
9Surface gravity (m/s2)3.719.80.379
10Surface acceleration (m/s2)3.699.780.377
11Escape velocity (km/s)5.0311.190.45
12GM (x 106 km3/s2)0.042830.39860.107
13Bond albedo0.250.3060.817
14Geometric albedo0.170.4340.392
15V-band magnitude V (1,0)-1.6-3.99
16Solar irradiance (W/m2)586.213610.431
17Black-body temperature (K)209.82540.826
18Topographic range (km)30201.5
19Moment of inertia (I/MR2)0.3660.33081.106
20J2 (x 10-6)1960.451082.61.811
21Number of natural satellites21
22Planetary ring systemNoNo

                                                            (Source: NASA)

From the table, we can observe the specific gravity of Mars is almost one third of Earth. It implies that the force of attraction is comparatively less on Mars. From basics of mechanics, if a ball thrown upward in Mars, it takes three times more time to reach the ground than Earth. The weight of the objects feels to be lighter weight because of gravity makes lighter self-weight. If we jump on Mars, you can reach more height.

 In our next blog, lets discuss about human exploration on Mars, Martian atmospheric, climatic and surface conditions. You are ahead of new innovations. Stay tuned to Construction leaders platform.

Author Credit:  Vivek Konchada Inquisitive, Flexible, Enthusiastic, Adaptable, Honest, Want to be unique.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *