Explore this and other web sites and answer the following ten questions on Mars - - Lab Report Example

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Student's Full Name: Professor's Name: The Mars Missions (Spirit, Opportunity and Curiosity) 04 October 2012 (estimated word count = 1,006) 1. There are six geologic processes found on the planet Mars (aeolian, cratering, hydro, landslides, tectonic and volcanic) although not all of them are occurring at present…
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Explore this and other web sites and answer the following ten questions on Mars -
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The other processes are believed to have occurred much earlier in Martian history. 2. The purpose of the “Spirit” and “Opportunity” missions was to study the surface of Mars to determine any past water activity (liquid water does not exist in Mars today due to temperature and pressure conditions) such as sedimentation, precipitation, and evaporation based on soil and rock samples selected and tested by the rovers. The three things learned about Mars' surface are it has a very thin atmosphere (at only 6% of Earth's atmospheric pressure), the Martian atmosphere is composed mainly of gases carbon dioxide (95%), nitrogen (3%), argon (1.6%) and other rare gases; and lastly, its Martian rocks are made mostly of basalt and fairly high levels of nickel and iron in some of the soil samples and rocks taken and tested so far. 3. The purpose of the latest mission to Mars is to study the planet up close with the use of a mobile scientific laboratory on its surface. Its success is defined by the innovative way it landed using a giant parachute and in the final seconds, lower the rover on piece of tether. Its success is to demonstrate an ability to land a very large and heavy rover, a good preparation for a manned expedition to Mars in the future (JPL 1). 4. The highest mountain on Mars (and in the entire solar system) is the Olympus Mons which rises some 25-27 kilometers from the surface plain. It is of volcanic origins and it reached this incredible height due to intense volcanic activity in the years past. 5. A very interesting image taken by the rover Curiosity is that of the Gale Crater area in which there is very fine sand, similar to or characteristic of a desert. The whole area is colored bright rust due to the presence of iron-rich minerals in its regolith. 6. The Curiosity rover, in one of its explorations, found a dry riverbed that showed flow channels for water, very similar to those found on Earth. This was a conclusion made by Sanjeev Gupta regarding the discovery of rounded pebbles on the dry streambed, as it indicated the action of water on the stones, making them rounded and smoothened. 7. The polar Martian surface is composed of several thin layers of water ice combined in many places with Martian dust. At the top of these layered deposits is the frozen water that is present year-round while additionally, frost enlarges the polar ice caps during its wintertime, made up mostly of solidified carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. This is due to the atmospheric process of lowered temperatures due to the planet's rotation in which its axis is tilted like that of the Earth, giving it the Martian seasons. Atmosphere temperatures can vary greatly, from plus 20 degrees C to minus 125 degrees C. 8. Scientists know that a meteorite which landed on Earth came from Mars based on the elements and isotopic compositions as analyzed in the laboratory and found to be very similar to those found on Mars based from the rocks and atmospheric gases analyzed by the previous fly-by missions and now confirmed by the rover missions on Mars. Of some 50,000 plus meteorites found on Earth, almost all of them are of Martian origin. 9. The Valles Marineris is a system of giant canyons and gullies formed by the geologic action of water many years ago but already completely dried up. This Martian landscape is a big rift valley about 5,000 km long, 100 km wide and 10 kms deep. 10. Manned missions to Mars Read More
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