Friday, July 19, 2013

Thin Air: Curiosity analyze the Martian atmosphere - Heise Newsticker

Mars rover Curiosity

early August 2012, the enthusiasm was great at NASA: Curiosity happy landed on Mars. Not only the Mars lander called Curiosity, but it is also the name of NASA’s Mars mission. The space capsule launched from Cape Canaveral in Florida on 26 November 2011 and ended on 8 August 2012. As planned, the Mars Rover and his lab have begun work diligently and send results back to Earth.

  • Recent reports and background on Curiosity
  • facts and figures Curiosity mission
  • The equipment of the Mars Science Laboratory
  • NASA site for Curiosity
  • Mars is like Earth formed about 4.5 billion years ago. With a pressure of about 7 millibars but its atmosphere is now about 150 times thinner than the earthly. Researchers believe that the Red Planet once had a much denser than today’s atmosphere.

    The Mars rover Curiosity, the U.S. space agency NASA, the composition of the atmosphere has now re-analyzed on the Red Planet and transmits the data to Earth. The air on the Red Planet is, therefore, among other things, 96 percent of carbon dioxide, about 1.9 per cent of argon and nitrogen – and only 0.145 percent of oxygen, as researchers led by Paul Mahaffy of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Science write. This coincides roughly with the measurements of the Viking probes in the 1970s. For comparison, the air on Earth contains about 20 percent oxygen. (DOI: 10.1126/science.1237966)

    The researchers also determined the relative frequency of different types (isotopes) of the chemical elements hydrogen, carbon and oxygen in the Martian atmosphere. The now measured isotope ratios similar to those of the approximately 3.9 billion year old Martian meteorite ALH 84001, which speak before this time for a catastrophic loss of atmosphere, write to Chris Webster researchers from the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Science . The measurements also suggested that a gradual loss detainment atmosphere on Mars still. (DOI: 10.1126/science.1237961) (dpa ) / (jk)

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