Mars microbes may have been able to live deep below the planet’s surface

This processed image shows a sideways view of a water-carved channel on Mars.


ESA/DLR/FU Berlin, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO. 3D rendered and colored by Lujendra Ojha

Humanity is super-stoked about the idea of finding signs of ancient life on Mars. So much so we keep sending increasingly more advanced machines, like NASA’s Perseverance rover, to search for evidence. But we might need to take a much deeper look into the matter, a new study suggests. 

A research team led by Rutgers University planetary scientist Lujendra Ojha examined a perplexing problem when it comes to the long-ago habitability of Mars: the paradox of the faint young sun.

The sun wasn’t always the perky ball of heat and light we know today. “About 4 billion years ago, the sun was much fainter so the climate of

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Mars microbes may have been able to live deep below planet’s surface

This processed image shows a sideways view of a water-carved channel on Mars.


ESA/DLR/FU Berlin, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO. 3D rendered and colored by Lujendra Ojha

Humanity is super-stoked about the idea of finding signs of ancient life on Mars. So stoked we keep sending increasingly more advanced machines, like NASA’s Perseverance rover, to search for evidence. A new study suggests we might need to take a much deeper look into the matter. 

A research team led by Rutgers University planetary scientist Lujendra Ojha examined a perplexing problem when it comes to the long-ago habitability of Mars: the paradox of the faint young sun.

The sun wasn’t always the perky ball of heat and light we know today. “About 4 billion years ago, the sun was much fainter so the climate of early Mars

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SpaceX could be on its way to Mars sooner than you’d think

View of SpaceX's Starship vehicle behind a Boca Chica Village home on Friday, Sept. 27, 2019, in Boca Chica. The SpaceX's prototype, resembling an old sci-fi movie rocket of the '50s, will be fully reusable transportation system designed to service all Earth orbit needs as well as the Moon and Mars.

View of SpaceX’s Starship vehicle behind a Boca Chica Village home on Friday, Sept. 27, 2019, in Boca Chica. The SpaceX’s prototype, resembling an old sci-fi movie rocket of the ’50s, will be fully reusable transportation system designed to service all Earth orbit needs as well as the Moon and Mars.

Marie D. De Jesús, Houston Chronicle / Staff photographer

SpaceX could be headed to Mars sooner than expected.

In a Dec. 1 interview with Mathias Döpfner of Axel Springer SE, SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk said he’s “fairly confident” SpaceX will be on its way to Mars six years from now, but it could happen as early as 2024.

“If you say six years from now I think [I’m] highly confident, if we get lucky, maybe four years,” he said, adding that “we want to try and send a

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Potential life on ancient Mars likely lived below the surface, study says

If life ever existed on ancient Mars, it may not have found a way on the surface — but several miles below it. A new study suggests that the most habitable part of Mars in the past was likely its subsurface.



a body of water: This is a vertically exaggerated, false-color rendering of a large, water-carved channel on Mars called Dao Vallis.


© ESA/DLR/FU Berlin, 3D rendered and colored by Lujendra Ojha
This is a vertically exaggerated, false-color rendering of a large, water-carved channel on Mars called Dao Vallis.

The study published Wednesday in the journal Science Advances.

Life, as we understand it on Earth, requires some basic ingredients. Water is one of those. And for years, NASA’s succession of robotic missions has been “following the water” on Mars to learn more about the planet’s history, including if it ever supported life.

While many scientists believe that Mars was warm and wet billions of years ago before it became the frozen desert it is today, others point to the faint young

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Manned Mission To Mars Close To Possibility As New Tech Transforms Salty Water To Oxygen And Fuel

KEY POINTS

  • Unlike NASA’s MOXIE, this new technology can produce oxygen and hydrogen from salty water
  • The team behind this device wants to partner with NASA for its goal of bringing humans to Mars by 2023
  • Apart from Martian missions, the new technology is also useful on Earth

Access to water and fuel remains to be the biggest barrier to manned missions to Mars. The good news is that a new electrolyzer technology could trample that obstacle, making it possible for humans to survive the extreme conditions on the Red Planet. 

A team of engineers developed an electrolyzer device that can turn salty water into fuel and oxygen. Details of their development were published in the proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

This device can produce 25 times more oxygen than NASA’s Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment (MOXIE), which is currently used by the Perseverance rover that’s currently

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Mars colonists could get fuel and oxygen from water on the Red Planet

Colonists on Mars could one day generate fuel and oxygen from saltwater on the Red Planet, a new study finds.



An artist's illustration of astronauts mining water on Mars.


© Provided by Space
An artist’s illustration of astronauts mining water on Mars.

The novel technology behind this advance could also help submarines generate oxygen from seawater on Earth, researchers said.

In order to live on Mars, any potential colonists will need oxygen to breathe and fuels such as hydrogen gas to power their equipment. Any water they find on the Red Planet will therefore prove invaluable, as they can use electricity and other methods to break water down into both hydrogen and oxygen.

Related: How living on Mars could challenge colonists (infographic) 

“Mars is a long way out there, and we are limited in the amount of stuff we can bring with us, so if we can utilize resources already present there, that’s more economical and more viable

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‘Highly confident’ SpaceX will land humans on Mars by 2026

Elon Musk, chief executive officer of Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) and Tesla Inc., speaks during an event at the SpaceX launch facility in Cameron County, Texas, U.S., on Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019. Musk gave space fans an update Saturday evening on the status of “Starship,” the next-generation vehicle his SpaceX plans to use to eventually take humans to Mars. Photographer: Bronte Wittpenn/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Bronte Wittpenn | Bloomberg | Getty Images

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk remains “highly confident” that his company will land humans on Mars by 2026, saying on Tuesday that it’s an achievable goal “about six years from now.”

“If we get lucky, maybe four years,” Musk said, speaking on an award show webcast from Berlin, Germany. “We want to send an uncrewed vehicle there in two years.”

The ambitious 2026 goal matches with what Musk outlined at the International Astronautical Congress in September 2016, when

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New technology to create fuel and oxygen on Mars could help humans explore the deep sea here on Earth

  • A new technology developed by a team of engineers at the Washington University in St Louis can directly coerce oxygen and hydrogen from salty water, making the process much cheaper.
  • When humans eventually do visit Mars, this new technology could help them breathe on the alien planet and create fuel for the trip back home.
  • Meanwhile, on Earth, the same technology could allow for longer submarine missions and deep-sea exploration of uncharted waters.

A new technology that turns Mars’ salty water into fuel and oxygen could be an even bigger boon for defence and exploration here on Earth.

Taking briny water and turning it into hydrogen and oxygen isn’t easy. Still, engineers at the Washington University in St Louis have found a new way to coerce oxygen and hydrogen directly from saltwater.

The process can produce 25 times more oxygen than the Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilisation Experiment (MOXIE) using

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New technology will allow astronauts to transform salt water on Mars into oxygen and fuel

New technology will allow astronauts to transform salt water on Mars into oxygen and fuel when they land on the Red Planet in 2033

  • The system is designed with  two sides – one splits the water to form a hydroxyl ion and the other splits it again to produce oxygen
  • It produces 25 times more oxygen than NASA’s MOXIE that is heading to Mars
  • The system would work continuously on Mars and could be used in the deep sea 

There is water on Mars, but much of it is frozen and the rest is teaming with salt – rendering it useless to future astronauts who are set to land on the planet by 2033.

Now, a team from Washington University in St. Louise has developed a system that transforms the unusable water

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What causes the weathering of the Mars moon Phobos? — ScienceDaily

Of course, there is no weather in our sense of the word in space — nevertheless, soil can also “weather” in the vacuum of space if it is constantly bombarded by high-energy particles, such as those emitted by the sun. The Martian moon Phobos is affected by a special situation: it is so close to Mars that not only the solar wind but also the irradiation by particles from Mars plays a decisive role there. A research team from TU Wien has now been able to measure this in laboratory experiments. In just a few years, a Japanese space mission will take soil samples from Phobos and bring them back to Earth.

Billions of years of particle irradiation

“There are different theories of how the Mars moon Phobos could have formed,” says Paul Szabo, who is working on his PhD thesis in the research group of Prof. Friedrich Aumayr at

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