Archive for the ‘Mars’ Category

MARS ONE: Mars-Bound Candidate Walks Away – Pulls Back the Curtain Revealing a Mess or is it?

Saturday, March 21st, 2015

Since the first announcement of the Mars One program, people have either picked up the story and hailed it with headlines trumpeting our colonization of the red planet or they’ve been standing there with confused looks slapped on their faces. Media outlets have just accepted that Mars One is taking us to Mars and we should all be excited.

Now the curtain has been lifted on Mars One…

By an actual finalist who’s basically packed his bags and walked away from it all.

Joseph Roche, one of the final candidates for the one-way trip to Mars, has walked away from the program recently and is revealing everything that he’s experienced during his time with Mars One.

Originally media and Mars One reported that 300,000 potential one-way ticket holders had applied.

Roche claims it’s less than 3,000 applicants.

Mars One boasted of the lengthy interview process.

Roche says it came down to a 10 minute Skype interview.

Mars One claims that there are billions behind this whole program.

Roche revealed that applicants contribute financially by spending money on Mars One merchandise to earn points.

Mars One’s selection process sounds more like a cross between filling out a Jelly of the Month Club application, joining Amway and learning that QVC is going to launch one in every ten callers to the moon if they also purchase the bonus steel cutlery set.

Roche’s revelations came about because he’s worried just how badly this entire “program” could affect the popularity that space exploration is currently enjoying:

“My nightmare about it is that people continue to support it and give it money and attention, and it then gets to the point where it inevitably falls on its face. If, as a result, people lose faith in NASA and possibly even in scientists, then that’s the polar opposite of what I’m about. If I was somehow linked to something that could do damage to the public perception of science, that is my nightmare scenario.”

In response to Roche’s claims and the interviewer, Elmo Keep, the man behind Mars One, Bas Lansdorp responded to the allegations that Mars One is quickly falling apart:

So what is actually happening at Mars One? Who knows. But even with the two year delay Lansdorp announced? The first Mars One unmanned mission is only five years away.

In 12 years we’re either going to look back and laugh at Mars One…

Or we’re going to be crossing our fingers and holding our breath when those first four astronauts are sitting in a rocket aimed at the sky.


Opportunity Rover Celebrates 11 Years on Mars

Sunday, January 25th, 2015

What was supposed to be a hopeful three month mission has quietly stretched into an unbelievable journey.

Opportunity bounced onto Mars back in 2004. During that time the little rover has traveled twenty six miles and transmitted a lot of data back to help us understand the ancient history of that planet and it’s make up.

The video above will let you relive the excitement of the crew that put “Oppy” up there and you’ll probably smile and hi-five your nearest coworker when you those first transmitted photos, from Oppy’s eyes to ours, pop up on the screen.

It’s a pretty awesome moment in the history of space exploration.


The Face on Mars

Monday, January 12th, 2015

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


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.


The Monolith of Mars

Friday, April 13th, 2012

monolith of mars.jpg

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.


How Much Does a Piece of Mars Rock Cost?

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

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
obama mars.jpg

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.”


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.


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.


“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

Skitched 20110404 142300

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

Skitched 20110401 210908

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

“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


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.”


[Pop Sci]