Showing posts with label Mars Map. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mars Map. Show all posts

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Candidate sites for SpaceX Starship Mars landings revealed

[on September 2 info & map updated with additional two possible landing sites]

Robert Zimmerman from BehindTheBlack.com has found several images labelled as "Candidate Landing Site for SpaceX Starship [..]" in the latest data release from University of Arizona's HiRISE camera (aboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter). It means that with help from NASA SpaceX is already quietly evaluating the best place where to land first Starships on Mars. Here are direct links to HiRISE image of: Site 1, Site 2, Site 3, Site 4, Site 5 (in Arcadia Planitia) & Site 6 (in Phlegra Montes).

For several years it hasn't been a secret SpaceX is considering four Martian regions for landings: Deuteronilus Mensae, Phlegra Montes, Utopia Planitia and southern Arcadia Planitia. But even in 2017 southern Arcadia Planitia looked "more promising", according to Paul Wooster, Principal Mars Development Engineer at SpaceX. So by now SpaceX may very well be down to evaluating more precise landing sites in that region.

All the candidate landing sites (except #6 in Phlegra Montes) are located on the border between Amazonis Planitia and Arcadia Planitia. According to latest data, Arcadia Planitia is one of the few regions where abundant shallow ice is present at relatively low latitudes. There is strong evidence that this location holds buried ice glaciers. So it has two critical elements looked by SpaceX for its Mars Base Alpha: solar energy and water. Those are critical not only for life support but also for refueling Starships. It's also in low altitude meaning a bit higher air pressure than in higher areas on Mars; that is beneficial for radiation protection and creates more atmospheric drag during the landing.

We made a map of all of the candidate sites:
Potential sites for SpaceX Starship Mars landings
Mars heightmap & potential site 6 for SpaceX Starship Mars landing in Phlegra Montes

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Map of shallow subsurface water distribution on Mars

On March 10 ESA has revealed the first results from ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter orbiting Mars since October 2016. Among the data there is the best map of shallow subsurface water distribution on Mars ever created. The map is made by orbiter's neutron detector FREND mapping the distribution of hydrogen in the uppermost metre of the planet’s surface. Hydrogen indicates the presence of water, being one of the constituents of the water molecule; it can also indicate water absorbed into the surface, or minerals that were formed in the presence of water.
  • Blue areas - more water
  • Orange areas - less water
Map of shallow subsurface water distribution on Mars by ExoMars

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Map of possible landing sites for Red Dragon and Mars2020/ExoMars missions

Jake Robins from WeMartians Podcast has created a map of possible landing sites for SpaceX's first Red Dragon lander and NASA's Mars 2020 / ESA&Roscosmos's ExoMars rovers.
  • Red X = crashed/failed landings 
  • Green circle = successful landings 
  • Yellow ? mark = candidate sites for Mars2020/ExoMars 
  • Space "X" = candidate sites for Red Dragon

Map of possible landing sites for Red Dragon and Mars2020/ExoMars missions

It is presumed that the most possible landing site for SpaceX's first Red Dragon lander is southern Arcadia Planitia. We will see.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Toponymic MAP of Mars

When reading Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars trilogy I tried to find in the web a good map of Mars with enough toponyms to print out and effectively follow the story. I didn't found one. There were a few with the very basic toponymy of Mars but none to really follow the geographically rich story of Red Mars, Green Mars and Blue Mars. So I made one by myself collecting a lot of data from various maps including Google Mars. Feel free to use and share it :)

Map of Mars with toponyms