Tag Archives | Mars

Curiosity Finds a Weird ‘Ball’ on Mars

The 'ball' (left of center) can be seen in this sol 746 observation by Mars rover Curiosity's Mastcam. According to NASA scientists it is likely an example of a Martian concretion. NASA/JPL-CALTECH/MSSS

The ‘ball’ (left of center) can be seen in this sol 746 observation by Mars rover Curiosity’s Mastcam. According to NASA scientists it is likely an example of a Martian concretion.
NASA/JPL-CALTECH/MSSS

via Discovery:

If there’s one thing to be said for Curiosity’s mission on Mars so far, it certainly hasn’t been boring. Although the six-wheeled rover has taken thousands of photographs of Martian rocks, the rich diversity of Mars’ landscape has provided many beautiful examples of planetary geology and some geology that is downright weird.

Take this recent photographic example from the Mars Science Laboratory’s Mastcam camera that was uploaded to the mission’s photo archive on sol 746 (Sept. 11). While compiling a mosaic of images of the surrounding landscape, Curiosity captured a rather un-Mars-like shape atop a rocky outcrop.

There’s a perfect-looking sphere sitting proudly on a flat rock surface. It’s dusty, but under that dust it appears a little darker than the surrounding rock.

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Would You Rather Mitigate Climate Change or Terraform Mars?

Mars dayside in Celestia with Addon. Own work (Screenshot) by NikoLang via Wikimedia Commons.

Mars dayside in Celestia with Addon. Own work (Screenshot) by NikoLang via Wikimedia Commons.

The choices are yours and yours alone.

By Andrew Lilico via The Telegraph (please follow the link to read the entire piece):

One frequently quoted study of the global costs of mitigating climate change put them at around $3 trillion by 2100, with the main benefits being felt between 2100 and 2200. Here is alternative way to spend around the same amount of money with around the same timescale of payback: terraforming Mars. A standard estimate is that, for about $2-$3 trillion, in between 100 and 200 years we would be able to get Mars from its current “red planet” (dead planet) status to ” blue planet” (i.e. a dense enough atmosphere and high enough temperature for Martian water in the poles and soil to melt, creating seas) – achievable in about 100 years – and from there to microbes and algae getting us to “green planet” status within 200 to 600 years.

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NASA’s Space Suits for Mars Missions

mars space suitIt does now seem inevitable that there will be manned missions to Mars this century, so designing a practical 21st century space suit may not be such a crazy idea. NASA is showing off its designs, report via BBC News:

US space agency Nasa has been showing off the wardrobe essentials for future astronauts looking for a new outfit for their first flight to Mars.

Nasa said the Z-2 spacesuit was only a prototype, but elements of it would be incorporated into the suit worn by the first humans to reach the Red Planet.

The suit uses light-emitting patches and luminescent wire that could be customised to identify individuals.

The “technology” design beat two others with 63% of a public vote of 233,431.

The suit will be tested in Nasa’s pools used to teach astronauts to spacewalk
The others were:

  • a “bio-mimicry” suit, which mirrored the bioluminescence of aquatic creatures and the tough scaly skins of fish and reptiles
  • a “trends in society” suit, which reflected what everyday clothes may look like in the future
    Aesthetic appeal

The Z-2 will be built using 3D-printed parts, and 3D laser scans will ensure each suit fits each astronaut perfectly.

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Hawking: We’ll Colonize The Moon Within 50 Years, Mars By 2100

320px-Physicist_Stephen_Hawking_in_Zero_Gravity_NASAStephen Hawking joined in a two-and-a-half-hour live broadcast from the International Space Station and Mission Control in Houston on March 16th, telling viewers that our future is in space and that we’ll have colonized the Moon within 50 years and Mars by 2100. It’s a message he’s been preaching for some time and with thousands of people clamoring to join the one-way mission to Mars planned for 2025, it seems his message has resonance…

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Mysterious Rock Suddenly Appears In Front Of NASA Rover On Mars

There may be a perfectly reasonable explanation, but I certainly would not want to be left alone on Mars after dark. Via the Daily Mail:

A mysterious Martian rock that appeared in front of the Opportunity rover within days has left scientists scratching their heads. The rover, which landed on Mars in 2004, hasn’t moved in over a month as it waits for better weather on the red planet.

But a photo taken on Sol 3540 (January 8th, or the 3,540th Martian solar day since the Opportunity rover landed) shows a rock that wasn’t visible in previous photos taken on Sol 3536.

The discovery was revealed by Mars Exploration Rover lead scientist Steve Squyres in a keynote at Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory last night.

rock

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Mars One Mission Selection Will Be A Reality TV Show

mars oneEver wish that reality TV stars could be hurtled off to Mars with no possibility of ever coming back? They've made a show out of it. Via the Telegraph:
Mars One hopes to announce a Big Brother-style reality show to help choose which of the 1,058 candidates for the one-way trip to Mars in 2025 will be among the 40 who make the final selection, with viewers voting on who should colonise the Red Planet. Paul Römer, co-creator and the first producer of The Big Donor Show and the Big Brother, is an ambassador for the project. CEO Bas Lansdorp has said: "We're in advanced negotiations with a major studio for an overall deal for film and television properties." 1,058 candidates survived the round one application process, which has weeded out more than 200,000 people since April last year. Organisers said they ruled out anyone "not taking the mission seriously". The shortlisted candidates come from 107 countries.
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