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Mars

NASA has begun a comprehensive series of tests for its Mars Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) lander. Once on the Red Planet, the lander will operate as a stationary science platform, attempting to answer a plethora of questions regarding the interior structure of Mars, and hopefully granting us some of the information needed to make a manned mission to the Red Planet in the 2030s a reality.

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NASA's Mars Curiosity rover has been forced to alter its route after being faced with dangerous terrain. The current objective of the robotic explorer is to investigate a geological boundary between two distinct forms of bedrock as a part of its mission to explore the heights of Mount Sharp, and ultimately unlock the secrets of the Red Planet's ancient past.

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ESA's Mars Express orbiter has captured images that may indicate the presence of supervolcanoes on the surface of Mars. If the findings are later confirmed, the existence of these leviathan volcanoes may greatly inform current theories on climate formation, as eruptions from the supervolcanoes could have dramatically altered the Martian global environment.

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NASA has issued a challenge to designers aimed at stimulating innovation in 3D printing solutions that may one day be the key to establishing a permanent presence on Mars.

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Establishing and maintaining a permanent human presence on Mars promises to be one of the most technologically challenging ventures ever undertaken by our species. A key aspect of the endeavor is to create an environment in which human beings can survive and flourish – this requires a ready supply of oxygen. NASA is working with Indiana-based company Techshot Inc. in order to develop a solution with the potential to produce an abundant source of oxygen with minimal assistance from Earth.

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NASA has launched a public challenge with the aim of innovating technologies vital for the establishment of a colony on Mars. The agency is focused on a mission to the Red Planet, and has already taken the first vital steps. However, whilst simply reaching Mars with a cargo of healthy astronauts would be a monumental triumph, maintaining a permanent presence on so inhospitable a planet could prove to be a much greater technological challenge.

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Space may be big, but in our neck of the woods it's getting crowded. There are thousands of active and inactive satellites in orbit around Earth, and while Mars may not exactly be Piccadilly Circus, it now has five active satellites circling it. To prevent any unfortunate collisions around the Red Planet, NASA is working on a new traffic management system.

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A team of five mechanical engineering seniors has been tasked by NASA to design furniture suitable for use in future habitats on Mars, the Moon, or in space itself. The Lunar Lounger project aims to address the lack of available space and the low-gravity in such conditions, while ensuring the comfort of astronauts. Read More

Getting to Mars is a difficult, long and costly journey. However, Finnish scientists may have a solution based on combining an electric solar sail invented in 2006 with fuel stations orbiting around Earth and the Red Planet. Read More
There's plenty to suggest that water exists in various non-liquid forms on Mars, as well as signs that liquid water existed in the past, but now scientists have unearthed the first evidence that microscopic pools of water are developing and evaporating just below the surface of the Red Planet on a regular basis. Read More
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