Tag Archive: Mars


Dear NASA, any chance you can send another Curiosity rover to the U.S. Congress to check if there’s intelligent life in there? Thanks a lot!

Curiosity's Surroundings - Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

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If you’ve always wanted to live on a distant world, Dutch company Mars One wants to give you your chance to settle on the red planet. There’s only one catch: You’ll never be able to return to Earth.

Next year, Mars One will hold a worldwide lottery to select 40 people to train to be civilian astronauts. That group will be sent to live in a desert simulation for three months, after which the initial pool will be whittled down to 10. By 2023, this group will be sent to Mars to form the first permanent human settlement.

According to Bas Lansdorp, founder of Mars One, “We will send humans to Mars in 2023. They will live there the rest of their lives. There will be a habitat waiting for them, and we’ll start sending four people every two years.”

Once the new settlement has begun to thrive, the possibility for a return visit to Earth may open up. Still, that’s not guaranteed. Says Lansdorp, “our astronauts will be offered a one-way trip. We have no idea when it will be possible to offer return tickets.”

Joining up with Mars One is probably the most cost-effective way you’ll ever set foot on Mars. After all, buying a round-trip ticket to Mars from space tourism company Space X will cost you $500,000

Source: Yahoo

Amazing visualization of what it takes to land NASA’s next rover, Curiosity, on the surface of Mars. Curiosity lands on August 5th.

It sounds like a science-fiction fantasy, but the company Mars One says it’s for real—and that it will really establish a settlement on the planet Mars by 2023.

The privately financed Dutch company has a plan. All it needs is a lot of cash, equipment and four Mars-bound astronauts who are willing to take a one-way trip to the red planet.

The idea is to first send rovers, which will stake out a good site for a settlement and then build out living units. In 2022, the crew will take a “transit habitat” for the seven-month trip to Mars and settle in to their new home. The intention is that the crew will live on the planet for the rest of their lives. Every two years after that, another group will join the settlement to populate the colony.

Mars One co-founder Bas Lansdorp has a very modern approach to funding the project: media exposure. “We will finance this mission by creating the biggest media event ever around it.” He said in a company video, adding, “Everybody in the world can see everything that will happen in the preparations and on Mars.”

Think of it as a “Big Brother” for outer space. Lansdorp explained to Yahoo! News, “This would be ‘real’ reality TV — adventure is automatically included, we don’t have to add fake challenges.” He added, “By sending a new crew every two years, Mars will have a real, growing settlement of humans — who would not like to follow that major event in human history?”

Who, indeed? The other-worldly idea has certainly intrigued the Web. The Mars One video has received over 232,000 views on YouTube since it launched less than a week ago.

Beyond entertainment, some scientists certainly seem intrigued by the possibility of interplanetary travel. Theoretical physicist and Nobel Prize winner Gerard ‘t Hooft, a “mission ambassador” for Mars One, endorses the plan. He says, “This project seems to be the only way to fulfill humanity’s dream to explore outer space. It’s going to be an exciting experiment.”

Next year, according to its website, the company will begin an astronaut selection process. Those who have the right stuff will then undergo a decade of preparation. And, we assume, the Mars travelers will be ready for their out-of-this-world close-up.

Curiosity the Nasa space rover ready for launch for Mars

The new approach to landing a rover on the planet, to be attempted in August, will involve winching it slowly to the surface using nylon ropes attached to a spacecraft overhead.

Once the probe, named Curiosity, has safely reached the ground the 25ft-long cords will be cut and the parent ship will use rockets to fire itself well away from the probe for a crash landing.

The new tactic is an attempt to overcome the challenging nature of landing on another planet with several previous missions, including Britain’s Beagle 2 in 2003, having failed in either their approach or landing.

But Nasa experts admitted the project, which will come to a head during the attempted landing on August 6, is a gamble which could prove to be a £1.7 billion ($2.5bn) disaster, The Independent reported.

Speaking at a news conference in London ahead of a lecture to the Royal Academy of Engineering Charles Elachi, director of the Nasa Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, said: “We will be very nervous. Landing on another planet is not a walk in the park.”

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Text messaging and e-mail is so yesterday. Why not use your smartphone to get pictures from the surface of another planet?

The Mars Images app fetches images from the NASA Opportunity rover’s latest downlink as soon as they’re available. On Mars since 2004, Opportunity has far exceeded its planned mission life and is still making groundbreaking discoveries, such as the recent unambiguous evidence that water once flowedon Mars.

Developed by computer scientist Mark Powell of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the app also allows you to browse older photos from the rover’s archive. It is free and available for both iPhone/iPad andAndroid phones.

NASA will add the image archive from Opportunity’s twin, the now defunct Spirit rover, in later versions of the app. The agency is also planning to release a similar app for the Mars Science Laboratory, once itgets on the ground and starts snapping photos in August.

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