In September NASA announced that they’d found proof of water on the red planet.
Today, they revealed new findings about the red planet’s past and present.
The NASA MAVEN mission was specifically launched to further the goal of sending humans to Mars by the 2030s.
They may be one step closer to that goal in their discovery of how Mars lost it’s atmosphere.
The answer, according to NASA, is blowing in the wind.
Or more accurately, solar wind is constantly stripping away the atmosphere:
“…[Solar wind] appears to have played a key role in the transition of the Martian climate from an early, warm and wet environment that might have supported surface life to the cold, arid planet Mars is today.”
The Mars Society
Lucinda Offer is the Executive Director of The Mars Society, and she joined us on the Jon McComb Show today to talk about NASA’s current focus on Mars.
The Mars Society has two research stations; the Flashline Arctic Research Station on Devon Island in Nunavut, and the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah.
Mars analog simulators are set up at these stations and the society brings crews who live and simulate and do research. The general public are able to apply to do this research.
The biggest challenge to get to Mars?
“We don’t have a Saturn Five, we don’t have a heavy-lift launcher like we used to back when we sent humans to the moon.”
She says that’s part of NASA’s current journey to Mars.
“They’re creating the SLS, it’s a heavy-lift launcher. It’s scheduled to be ready to test in 2018.”
LISTEN to the full interview with the Mars Society here:
Want to be an astronaut?
According to NASA “the term “astronaut” derives from the Greek word meaning “space sailor,” and refers to all who have been launched as crew members aboard NASA spacecraft bound for orbit and beyond.”
As part of their recruitment campaign for the next generation of space travelers, NASA posted what it takes to be an astronaut on their official Tumblr acount.