Science Sunday: Missions to Mars
Much like our own world, the world of Chronsylvania is full of strange natural phenomena. Every Sunday we'll highlight an article that explores the odd, and very real, scientific properties of our universe. We'll also leave you with a writing/drawing prompt based on the article to get your creative juices flowing.
Landing hot after NASA's successful landing of the Insight Rover on the surface of Mars, this week’s article from The Guardian highlights five future missions planned to Mars. The most exciting part? It's no longer just NASA in the space game anymore. Space agencies from across the globe are readying their rockets to reach the red planet.
Read the full article here.
While NASA does have an additional Martian mission date set for 2020, they will by no means be the busiest players in Martian research over the course of the next decade. A joint effort between the European Space Agency and Russia's Roscosmos to explore the red plant is set for 2020, as are Martian missions from the national space programs of both China and the United Arab Emirates. Never one to let the nation-state's have all the fun, Elon Musk's SpaceX, has cargo missions to Mars planned for 2022, and a crewed mission set for 2024. The goal of those missions? Establish a self-sustaining city that may be the first step to a more permanent and widespread human civilization on Mars.
Yes, the red planet has captured our global collective imagination once again. And the more data we are able to collect from a diversity of countries and corporations, and hopefully share with one another, the more endless our possibilities will become.
Over the next decade or so, Martian probes and rovers will be sending all kinds of data back to earth: analyses of soil, atmospheric gases, and potentially biological matter. Speculate for a few minutes about what kind of information these probes might turn up. Let your mind go crazy. Will these probes find atmospheric conditions leading to the potential for human habitation? Signs for the conditions of life? Signs of life itself? Soil content revealing the fossils of now-extinct plant and animal species? Structures hidden underneath the planet's red surface that reveal the existence of a vast, technologically-advanced, civilization?
Then, take your wild speculation and write or draw about the implications of this information that we might find. How might this data change our understanding of the universe and our place in it?
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You can find the Guardian on Instagram and Twitter @Guardian
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