Life on Mars and 7 Other Mysteries of the Red Planet


Maja Ma

Elon Musk isn’t the only person to dream about life on Mars. The SpaceX founder has well-publicized plans to colonize the Red Planet by 2026 


Can Mars sustain life?

There’s no evidence yet, but NASA’s Perseverance rover is searching for signs that microbial life (fossilized, microscopic life) may have inhabited Mars billions of years ago. 


Can you drink the water on Mars?

In 2018, Science reported that astronomers found an underground lake of liquid water below Mars’ surface by using a radar instrument on the European Space Agency’s (ESA’s) Mars Express spacecraft. 


Was Matt Damon right? Can you grow potatoes on Mars?

In The Martian (2015), astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) is stranded on the planet and must farm and eat potatoes for hundreds of days. 


Why does Mars have two faces?

The northern hemisphere has flat lowlands while the southern hemisphere is dotted with volcanoes across highlands. 


What’s NASA’s Perseverance rover up to?

the rover’s main mission is to hunt for signs of ancient life in Jezero Crater, the site of a lake 3.5bn years ago. Deposits of minerals line the inner rim of Jezero like a bathtub ring, so it is the perfect hunting ground. 


Can you breathe the air on Mars?

Mars has a thin atmosphere made up mostly of carbon dioxide with a small amount of oxygen, so you’ll need a spacesuit to visit. NASA’s rover is fitted with an oxygen generator known as Moxie, however. 


How and when was Mars formed?

Mars and the Solar System were formed about 4.6bn years ago but the planet’s origins are still shrouded in mystery. 


Can Elon Musk colonize Mars by 2026?

Sure the landings need a bit of work, but Musk is determined to go farther and faster than anyone on earth. 


SPYSCAPE explores the cold, mysterious desert world in the sky. 

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