Mars Curiosity – Term Paper

Chronology of mission and its design

Gerndt asserts that NASA’s exploration mission began in 1960s when the then President foresaw that the Americans would walk on the moon. Notable progresses were made at a latter stage when NASA unravelled the mission of reaching Mars in 2030s. According to Jakosky,William Gerstenmaier at a lunch buffet unveiled the mission of NASA reaching the Mars by twenty thirty. The short term mission according to Gerst is to develop techniques and technologies that would put humans on Mars. Moreover, NASA would not wish the mission to be conducted once.  They have proposed some good structures to be put in place in order to allow frequent visit to mars. Other plans are to plant solar electric robots near Earth’s asteroid which would in turn aid NASA in their mission to reach Mars (Calef III). The notable mission is geared towards unravelling the mystery of whether life exists beyond the earth.

Mars mission progress from conceptual stage to launch

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The mission stage from conceptual stage to launch was smooth. This is because, Viking decided to select the team and companies that had rich knowledge on the space matter. Some of the firms or organizations that were selected for this mission due to their long experience in the field are NASA and Jet Propulsion Laboratory (Gerndt). The reason for selecting NASA is that most of its earlier mission was successful including the Armstrong’s mission of 1960s which saw the first person landing on the moon. Several researches and experiments have been conducted to determine whether they can be able to get the lowest energy transfer to propel the rocket with high intensity while using low cost fuel to Mars.  It is incumbent to indicate that this has been realizable as the agreement was reached to adopt Hofmann’s transfer concept which would see to it that the mission takes probably 9 months to Mars.  On the same breathe, Ballistic capture was proposed to realize the dream by cutting down on the cost of fuel for propulsion (Jakosky). The launch that was slotted for 17 September at 10:58 a.m. delayed a little bit longer since there was a need to evacuate people from the buildings that were affected by Antares blast wave. Several attempts by Orbital to launch a site at MARS on wallops Island came to realization in April 2013. This was under the ‘slogan to go or not to go’, luckily they were able to attain their objective and the initial launch kicked off.  It is important to note that the initial mission of Vikings selection team that would assist in developing a powerful air space encompassed a few secondary vendors skilled in developing science instruments of great significance in this mission set for 2030s (Gerndt). In 2013, the rover had not identified or found any trace of methane. From the biological knowledge, living organisms do produce methane. Therefore, its discovery could be a clear indicator that life exists in the Red planet.

The purpose of the mission

As indicate earlier, the astronauts have been attempting to solve the puzzle whether life exists beyond earth. It is from this view that European Space Agency (ESA) has devised some workable measures to enable the first astronauts to land on space safely. There are multifaceted activities that are going to take place and the notable one is the planting of crops from Earth to see or determine its growth. However, from the data, there are numerous hazardous risks coming out as a result of this mission (Starek). The conspicuous ones are health risks. The high ionization radiation poses a great threat to human health.  These energy particles may interfere with one’s health due to their high intensity of radiation that may go deeper into one’s cells and interfere with the normal cycle of human life.

Primary role of the spacecraft

The data attempts to unravel Soil chemistry investigation.  This is aimed at characterizing soil to determine its suitability for growth. The molecular organic investigation using Gas Chromatograph Mass was intended to determine the existence of life on Mars. It was further to establish the different forms of life on it. From the data, there are three fundamental stages to be determined namely; gas exchange, pyrolitic release and label release (Starek).  All this critical investigations are aimed at taking some precursor so as to safeguard the lives of the first people to land on mars.

Surprises on Mars mission data revelation

Upon the landing of Super rover airspace craft, Curiosity on August 2012, a lot of surprises have been realized. The close monitor and study reveal that Mars quakes are common on the said planet. Another finding revealed that glaciers and volcanic flows are still eminent on Mars. The fascinating part of this is that the astronauts further established some sort of resemblance of rocks found on the surface of Mars and the one on earth (Calef III).  The other intriguing part of this study is based on wind sculpted ripples and thin Maritain atmosphere. The astronauts or scientists are yet to discover the magnitude of land covered by water, and most importantly the depth of lakes. Curiosity took 9 months to travel approximately 350 million miles away from the earth. Additionally, the places on Mars were identified as habitable. On Gale Crater where Curiosity landed, scientists discovered some gravels similar to the volcanic rocks found on the earth’s surface. There are ongoing investigations and research held in search of methane.

Other notable missions

            This mission followed up another mission duped Retrieval Mission 2 to return to the moon so as to pave way for Mars entry and exploration. Since 1972, no team has been seen exploring the moon again. This will be the second move to see the astronauts and most importantly the exploration team going beyond the international space. It is estimated that Mars is millions miles away from the earth and therefore it would be a herculean task to reach there. To accomplish its mission, NASA has developed Orion Space, a powerful air space craft (Gerndt).  It is explicitly clear that other missions to space include the scientific study on mineralogy or geochemistry. This is aimed at determining the level of minerals and its composition in comparison to the one found on earth (Jakosky). The finding is geared towards establishing whether there is linear similarity of minerals found on the earth and that on Mars.  In so doing, the scientists can either refute or claim that life exists beyond the earth’s surface.  Conclusively, this work has deeply looked at the explorative mission to Mars in what is commonly referred to as Mars Curiosity.  This has led to multiple discoveries and new findings in contrast to what the scientists earlier held about mars.

Work’s cited