A new paper is out in Nature Geoscience about how sediment flows from mud volcanoes that might have been erupted in the frigid conditions on Mars would morphologically resemble pahoehoe basalt lava flows on Earth. This laboratory result helps to explain some features observed on the northern lowlands of Mars. The authors don’t cite my paper but I had a paper published in 2005 that described how pitted cones in the Acidalia Planitia region were most likely mud volcanoes.
Space news write extraordinaire Leonard David has a piece in Scientific American detailing how the Trump administration budget for NASA takes the ax to a number of really scientifically productive Mars programs including the Curiosity rover and shutting down altogether the long-lived (and vital for communications with surface rovers) Mars Odyssey orbiter. As a team member of the late, great Spirit and Opportunity rovers, we relied on Mars Odyssey for getting information to and from the rovers.
We’ve accomplished so much in our efforts to understand the early geologic history of Mars and the role that water has played in moulding its surface. To retreat from that now would be a terrible mistake.
There is a good discussion in this post and in the comments of that post about what the Trump administration might do with regards to NASA’s mission… a return to the Moon?
This is a great plan by former NASA Science Mission Directorate Associate Administrator John Grunsfeld… put a communication satellite in Mars orbit, plus a ground penetrating radar and high resolution imager. Then send a SpaceX Red Dragon to land on Mars and pick up Mars 2020 cached samples… makes sense to me!
The Planetary Society has a detailed discussion of the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity’s current progress on its 10th extended mission. Opportunity is headed south along the rim of Endeavour crater en route to a Noachian-aged gully that appears to have been carved by water. It will be an interesting feature to investigate!
This is the site of Bill Farrand and Farr View Consulting. Bill has a PhD in the Geosciences from the University of Arizona and is an expert in the fields of multi- and hyperspectral remote sensing, acid mine drainage characterization, mineral exploration, and planetary geology. As this site is expanded, content will be added to describe Bill’s experience, past projects that he has been involved with, and topics of interest with regards to Earth and planetary remote sensing.