Archive for the ‘Mars’ Category

U.S. Leads Applicants in One-Way Ticket To Mars!

Monday, September 9th, 2013


The totals are in for all the people who are ready to get off this rock and get to colonizing Mars.

Mars-One, the program that’s planning on getting people to Mars to begin the colonization process in the very near future, have tallied the applications for the first round of potential astronauts/colonists.

Leading the pack in applicants? The United States with 47,654 applications. That’s either a testament to the entrepreneurial spirit of the country or a big gauge that people are just overworked and ready for a change of pace even if it means jettisoning themselves into space with no return ticket.

Mars-One will gradually whittle the applicants down to a very small few over the course of the next several years ultimately arriving at a small group of brave, or possibly crazy, individuals who will be shot out to Mars to put down humankind’s first ‘burbs on another world in 2023.

Here’s where the world stood on the applicant roster:

Top 21 countries registered:

United States of America 47,654
India 20,747
China 13,176
Brazil 10,289
Great Britain 8497
Canada 8241
Russia 8197
Mexico 7464
Philippines 4365
Spain 3722
Colombia 3476
Argentina 3474
Australia 2926
France 2538
Turkey 2510
Chile 2475
Ukraine 2340
Peru 2293
Germany 2225
Italy 2070
Poland 1942

[SpaceIndustryNews]

Meteorites Reveal More Water on Mars Than Thought!

Saturday, June 30th, 2012

Science can’t seem to make up its mind about Mars.

Over one hundred years ago, scientists thought that Mars ran wild with water. Many decades later, scientists discovered they were wrong and that the planet may have once had water but was now completely dry. Only a few decades after that scientists learned that there is a small amount of water but only hanging delicately in the atmosphere.

Which brings us up to speed with the latest speculation…

That just below the surface of the planet there might actually be reservoirs of that refreshing martian water.

What’s strange about the discovery is that we didn’t even have to travel to the planet’s surface to get the information. We had the answers to our questions about Mars’ water situation right here on Earth for over a century.

Two meteorites, ejected from Mars almost 2.5 million years ago and which are right here on earth, contained the potential answers to just how ‘wet’ the planet may be all along.

A research team has recently looked at the amount of water molecules locked inside of minerals within both meteorites and used their finding to determine how much water was in the original rock on Mars that produced them.

Their findings so far? That Mars contains an amount of water eerily similar to Earth’s own mantle.

This could be huge for possible colonization of the planet (let’s face it…it’s going to happen).

Mars will begin revealing more of its secrets when, and if, NASA’s Curiosity rover begins playing in the dirt up there when it touches down in August.

[SmithsonianMag]

The Monolith of Mars

Friday, April 13th, 2012

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Is this a 2001: A Space Odyssey style monolith plopped on the surface of Mars? Kind of. Maybe. Not really. But it still looks awesome.

[Yahoo]

How Much Does a Piece of Mars Rock Cost?

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012
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Pieces of Mars (thankfully not Drops of Jupiter) crashed to Earth last year in Morocco. Pieces of the rock are trading for $8,500 per ounce at minimum and $28,350 at max.

To keep that in perspective, Gold is currently trading at $1,650.

The high prices comes because their is so precious little of the substance on Earth at all. In fact, since we’ve known how to look for and identify Martian rock, only 220 lbs. have been found. What’s more, the stuff that crashed last year accounts for 24 lbs. of that.

“It’s pristine material,” (Darryl Pitt, curator of the Macovich Collection of meteorites in New York City) said. “Five hundred dollars and $600 a gram for a freshly fallen chunk of the planet Mars? I’d say that’s a deal.”

Forget a Gold Standard, I want Martian Standard.

[Live Science]

Man Claims Obama Teleported to Mars as a Teenager, White House Denies

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012
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And so was birthed, the Mars-er.

In a shocking new revelation surely set to explode into the national conversation as our 2012 election draws closer, a man has claimed that a 19-year-old Barack Obama teleported to Mars twice as part of a top secret government program.

Mr. Stillings’ statement, released at the same time, read: “I can confirm that Andrew D. Basiago and Barack Obama (then using the name “Barry Soetoro”) were in my Mars training course in Summer 1980 and that during the time period 1981 to 1983, I encountered Andy, Courtney M. Hunt of the CIA, and other Americans on the surface of Mars after reaching Mars via the “jump room” in El Segundo, California.”

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The claims have been made by Andrew D. Basiago, a lawyer in Washington state who claims to have also been beamed to Mars twice. Among the unit of four college students he trained with was Obama’s appointed DARPA chief Regina Dugan.

Together, they were called Project Pegasus.

Responding to comment by Wired’s Danger Room blog a White House spokesman denied the story.

Officially, the White House says Obama never went to Mars. “Only if you count watching Marvin the Martian,” Tommy Vietor, the spokesman for the National Security Council, tells Danger Room. But that’s exactly what a secret chrononaut wants you to believe.

To be fair to the White House, Basiago claims that the CIA did their best to erase the memories of the expeditions from the minds of Project Pegasus’ participants. They might have done a better job with our future 44th president.

[Exopolitics via Danger Room]

Send Your Name To Mars

Monday, June 6th, 2011

You have until June 13th to submit your name to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory to be included on a microchip in the Mars Science Laboratory rover which is headed to Mars later this year. To date 1,171,344 names have been submitted and California, Texas, and Florida are dominating the U.S. participation.

[JPL]

Google Mars Anomaly

Sunday, June 5th, 2011

So, yeah. 71 49 19.73n 29 33 06.53w in Google Mars if you want to see it yourself. What do you think it is?

[Sighting UFO]

Did Space X just show its secret plans for a mission to Mars?

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

Space X released a video today showing their plans and capabilities for their Dragon space capsule. Besides the ability to ferry crew to and from orbit and to the International Space Station, Elon Musk, head of Space X has said that the capsule itself would be capable of using its built-in rockets to land on any solid planet, moon or asteroid in the Solar System. He described the heat shielding as being rated for “Martian and lunar” velocities.

Landing is one thing. What about a return trip, some have asked? If you look closely at the video Space X released you can get some idea of what they may have planned for a trip to Mars.

In the screen grab you can see the Dragon crew capsule in the foreground. In back of it looks like a crew habitat made from the stage of a rocket. Further in back you can see a platform with what looks like an ascent vehicle perched upright. This solves the ascent question.

Space X has talked publicly and informally about its plans for the future of space exploration. Besides the forthcoming Falcon 9 Heavy lift rocket, that would be the most powerful rocket since the Saturn V, they’ve also talked about a Falcon X Heavy and Falcon XX vehicles with 250,000 pounds of cargo capacity.

From the video it looks like we can see three of the four components you would need for a Mars round trip. The Dragon capsule as a lander for the astronauts. The crew habitat visible in the background and the ascent vehicle on a platform further out. Not shown is the space vehicle that would be used to bring astronauts from Earth orbit to Martian orbit.

If you look at Space X’s plans for future rocket engine technology, there are plans for motors that would be more than capable of the return trip. The one thing we haven’t seen is what their plans are for the spacecraft itself. It’d be curious to see what Elon Musk and Space X think this would look like. Let’s hop for more videos.

Elon Musk Says Falcon 9 Heavy Rocket Could Successfully Go To Mars And Back

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

Elon Musk’s Space X promised a big announcement today and it was the unveiling of the Falcon Heavy. The short list of features: it can put 100,000 – 120,000 lbs. in orbit, has the thrust capacity of 15 Boeing 747s combined, is 30% the cost of previous rockets of this size, meets NASA requirements for human transport, can do the a trip to the ISS, moon or Mars(!!!) and back AND is ready to launch by the end of 2012.

Musk:

“Falcon Heavy would be capable of launching people as soon as we’ve proven it out with a few launches,” Musk said. “It opens up a wide range of possibilities, such as a mission to the moon or conceivably even Mars,” he said.

“First launch from our Cape Canaveral launch complex is planned for late 2013 or 2014,” Musk said.

M-A-R-S. Mars.

[Fox News]

Are We Descended From Martians?

Monday, April 4th, 2011

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If one day, in a shiny future filled with hope and promise science and engineering finally succeeds in putting the feet of a human on Mars, we could just be returning home.

That is the theory of one MIT research team which aims to forensically test elements of the Martian ground to see if Earth humans were descended from the same genetic origin.

The MIT team led by Christopher Carr and Maria Zuber (head of MIT’s Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences) and Gary Ruvkun, a molecular biologist at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard University, are proposing to build an instrument to send to Mars and test for extraterrestrial genomes.

Despite the numerous landers and rovers we’ve sent already, the only surface biology experiments were carried out in a bold but premature effort in 1976 aboard the trailblazing NASA Viking landers. The confusing results from these tests remain controversial and ambiguous today.

Even if we aren’t cosmic cousins with whatever critters skittered around The Red Planet once upon a time, the study has another benefit. It could greatly increase our understanding of microbes on Mars and if they would be hazardous to human settlers.

Because if they are, we might have to tent the planet for fumigation before moving in.

[Discovery News via Conspiracy Journal]

Did Mars Suffer From A Natural Nuclear Explosion?

Saturday, April 2nd, 2011

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Mars is the bomb. Or rather, may have been bombed. But not by rogue Martians or those weenusmunchers from Venus. No, it was totally natural. This explosion wiped out all life on the planet and left it a wasteland of red sand. At least, according to one theory:

“The Martian surface is covered with a thin layer of radioactive substances including uranium, thorium and radioactive potassium — and this pattern radiates from a hot spot [on Mars],” Brandenburg told FoxNews.com.

“A nuclear explosion could have sent debris all around the planet,” he said. “Maps of gamma rays on Mars show a big red spot that seems like a radiating debris pattern … on the opposite side of the planet there is another red spot.”

According to Brandenburg, the natural explosion, the equivalent of 1 million one-megaton hydrogen bombs, occurred in the northern Mare Acidalium region of Mars where there is a heavy concentration of radioactivity.

Some are intrigued by the theory but others believe the only way to prove it would be to send a mission to Mars, which are resources better spent elsewhere, like trying to find other intelligent life.

Or we could just invent a time machine and hit it with a nuclear warhead. Problem solved.

[Fox News]

Does Methane On Mars = Sign Of Life?

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

Possibly. But probably not.

[Pop Sci]

Who Created A Smooth 200-Yard Trench On Mars?

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

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Well… duh.

Other theories (notably less awesome than an all powerful, semi-emo superman) include an “oblique impact, when a small body struck the surface at a very shallow angle.”

Boring.

[Pop Sci]

Dismissed Study Alleging Proof Of Martian Life On Earth Finds New Support

Friday, June 25th, 2010

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In 1996 a team of NASA scientists published a study saying the they’d found signs of life on a Martian meteorite that crashed to Earth in 1984. They were summarily dismissed by many.

14 years later, as science has caught up, their findings don’t seem so far fetched.

Could we have proof of life on the Red Planet right here?

[Pop Sci]

7th Graders Pwns Geological Surveyors By Finding Unknown Mars Cave Opening

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

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I believe that children are the future, give them pictures of Mars and let them find the caves.

A heretofore unidentified Martian cave opening was found by a group of 7th graders. It was completely unrecorded by our official geological survey of the Red Planet.

the students examined more than 200 images of Mars taken with the Thermal Emission Imaging System (Themis), an instrument on NASA’s Mars Odyssey orbiter.

Using that camera, the students focused on the area around the planet’s Pavonis Mons volcano. The only other similar opening near the volcano was found in 2007, when Glen Cushing, a scientist with the U.S. Geological Survey, published a research paper on the surface anomalies.

“This pit is certainly new to us,” Cushing told the students, according to a release from the university. He estimated the opening to be 620 feet by 520 feet and the hole to be at least 380 feet deep.

Yeah… but let’s see them buy a pack of cigarettes!

[CNET]

Scientists Solve 40-Year Old Martian Ice Cap Mystery

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

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If you had “strange but undeniable resulting pattern caused by a million years of whipping from Martian wind” in the What With The Bizarre Shape Of The Mars Ice Cap pool, please collect your winnings.

According to a new NASA study, the deep grooves in the ice cap, once considered to be proof of a horrific volcanic eruption which left chasms that could easily hold the Grand Canyon, now look the the results of eons of work done by natural forces.

It points to an ancient process, over millions of years, by which the ice and dust accreted while at they same time were sculpted by a powerful, persistent force: the Martian wind.

“Nobody realised that there would be such complex structures in the layers,” Holt said.

“The layers record a history of ice accumulation, erosion and wind transport. From that we can recover a history of climate that’s much more detailed than anybody expected.”

So, there we go.

[AFP]