Rocket 21 J2M VOICES Living and Working on Mars

Living and Working on Mars thumb Living and Working on Mars

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Landing on Mars

Landing on Mars will require advanced technology and entirely different engineering. Mars lacks the atmosphere to land vehicles with friction and parachutes, as done on Earth. The heavier landers of tomorrow, some as large as a two-story building, will require new entry, descent, and landing technologies, and new woven heat resistant materials. NASA is testing a new Low Density Supersonic Decelerator that is equipped with a drag device deployed at supersonic speeds.

Living off the Land

NASA will need technologies that can filter oxygen and recycle water from the surface of Mars.


NASA will need to develop complex environmental control and communication systems to enable critical capabilities required to extend human presence onto the Martian surface.

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  • Drive a Rover (MER)
    Explore panoramas, view images through a Rover’s lenses, examine close-ups of rocks and examine a full image library as you drive a Mars Exploration Rover across the surface of Mars.
  • Roaming the Red Planet
    Choose your rover and start driving over the surface of Mars.
  • Mars Quest
    Launch a spacecraft to Mars, explore Mars’ volcanoes and canyons, solve mysteries about the search for life on the red planet, and explore the latest rover images.
  • The NASA Spacesuit
    Compare several spacesuits, analyzing the garment, gloves, and life support systems.
  • SCaN Network Demonstration
    Space Communications and Navigation (SCaN) provides communications services for all of NASA’s missions. Learn how SCaN’s ground and space-based facilities interact with NASA assets in space.
  • How Does a Spacecraft Send Information Back to Earth?
    Learn how radio waves carry messages from space to Earth.

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  • Real World: Using Lunar Reactors
    NASA’s plans to return to the moon never materialized, but the ideas and innovations considered for lunar exploration, such as lunar reactors, advanced technology. Watch this video and consider how this technology may be a part of the Journey to Mars.
  • Launchpad: Multifunctional Equipment for Moon Missions
    NASA’s plans to return to the moon have changed, but the ideas and innovations considered for lunar exploration may be transferred to plans for the Journey to Mars. Learn about weight and mass and the testing of tools and equipment that could be used to explore other worlds.
  • Real World: Changing the Way We Explore New Worlds
    NASA engineers are using a unique new technology to overcome the challenges of entry, descent, and landing on a planetary body with an atmosphere. See how Hypersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerators (HIADs) can be used to land larger rovers at higher altitudes or safely bring cargo from the International Space Station back to Earth.

plus iconWant to learn more? Explore resources at the Human Exploration and Operations website.

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