Science Technology

The Human Footprint On Mars Is Expanding…Sometimes Faster Than We’d Like

Mars has always been a point of discussion among all the people, not only researchers, but also the common people. It is believed to be much like Earth and the researchers have thus, speculated of alien life on its surface. In an effort to constantly find life in Mars and to research about the composition of this planet, the Human Footprint on Mars are expanding, probably way to fast than the imagination of the scientists. But, apparently, it will be a long time until the humans step on Mars next, at least until the 2030s and possibly a lot longer. It also is claimed to depend upon the Trump administration thinking about the NASA’s unfunded exploration plans.

Human Footprint On Mars

Human Footprint On Mars Is Expanding: Researchers ClaimSchiaparelli crash site. Image: NASA Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

Regardless of how many humans have stepped or are going to step on the surface of this mysterious planet, we have already left a mark on its surface through our robotic emissaries. Latest one of this being, on October 19, which was a sad and unexpected splat from the European Space Agency’s Schiaparelli probe. Apparently, the lander crashed into the surface at about 300 kilometers per hour, gouging out a 2.4-meter-wide (8-foot) crater, which was surrounded by debris trail may be from a fuel explosion. This happened apparently because of a betrayal by an errant altitude reading from one of its instruments.

Human Footprint On Mars Is Expanding: Researchers ClaimImage Source (Image Source)

This attempt was hardly the first time an attempt to the Mars touch down ended in a wrong way. NASA’s whole Mars program was claimed to be overhauled because of the Polar Lander’s catastrophic crash. Also, the British Beagle 2 probe reached Mars’ surface but never phoned home. Moreover, Russia’s Mars 3 and Mars 6 failed immediately after making it successfully to the surface.

The Opportunity And Curiosity Rovers

The Opportunity and Curiosity Rovers were the successful ones out of all these and are claimed to be still throwing down treadmarks as they roll across the rusty terrain.

Human Footprint On Mars Is Expanding: Researchers Claim

Opportunity is a bold exception to the rule that machines usually break right after their warranties expire as it is 13 years into its 3-month mission.

Human Footprint On Mars Is Expanding: Researchers ClaimCuriosity rover’s tracks on Mars spell out J-P-L in Morse code–a little prank on the part of the engineers. (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)

The Curiosity Rover is much larger and more capable. It is apparently wending its way through the rugged terrain around Mt Sharp and as it moves, it rolls over and the tread marks of its wheels spell out J-P-L – Jet Propulsion Lab, over and over.

viking-sites-1024x503-1Viking 1 and Viking 2 landers, which both arrived in 1976, were spotted from orbit by MRO. Their landing parachutes were still visible 30 years later, suggesting that the trenches they dug are probably still visible through the dust, too. (Credit: NASA/JPL/UAz)

The most impressive part about all this is the marks left by all these are visible from space as well, even the failed Mars landers have been images by the orbiters. MRO’s Rapid surveillance shots identified the Schiaparelli crash site and helped decode what had gone wrong. In addition, the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter, Schiaparelli’s companion arrived flawlessly and has apparently returned impressive first results.

esp_040269_1755-2-1024x605-1Curiosity’s parachute is flapping in the Martian breeze in this 2012 image from MRO. Shortly after, Curiosity drove away from its landing site. (Credit: NASA/JPL/UAz)

The Data sent back on the way down by Schiaparelli lander is claimed to refine the design and trajectory of the ESA’s first Mars rover, set for 2020 launch. The spots where the two Viking landers dug into the ruddy soil in search of alien life are some of the history of Earthlings on Mars.


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