A: Mars is part of the inner Solar System, and therefore is a solid planet. Its composition and
structure are similar to that of the Earth. Some notable differences are that it is less dense than the
Earth, its interior is much cooler than Earthís, and it is half the size of the Earth.
A: The Mars Odyssey 2001 Mission has only an orbiter. The instruments onboard
are: Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) for mapping the mineralogy and
morphology of the Martian surface; Gamma Ray Spectrometer (GRS) for global
mapping of the elemental composition of the surface; and Mars Radiation Environment
Experiment (MARIE) for characterizing aspects of the near-space radiation
environment as related to the radiation-related risk to human explorers. For more
info, visit http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/2001/instruments/index.html.
A: The Mars Direct mission plan includes the use of a
spinning tether system, hundreds of meters long, to provide
artificial gravity in interplanetary space with the empty rocket stage as a counterweight for the manned habitat.
However, NASA has some grievances with the tetherís deployment - one experimental tether broke while being deployed
from the Space Shuttle - so all current mission plans search for medical countermeasures to zero-gravity effects
rather than using artificial gravity. However, further experiment could validate this concept.
A: I believe the lander you are talking about is 2003 mission. Here is the list of
instruments the rovers will have: Pancam camera, Mini-TES infrared spectrometer
that will survey the scene around the rover and look for the most interesting rocks
and soils; Microscopic Imager, Moessbauer spectrometers and the APXS spectrometers
that can be placed against these rock and soil to get their composition; Rock
Abrasion Tool (a.k.a the RAT) for scraping away the outer layers of a rock to see
what lies beneath. For more info, visit http://athena.cornell.edu/.