New analysis of Martian rocks has one researcher saying long ago, Mars had significant quantities of free oxygen in the atmosphere. [Read more...]
The picture above taken by Mars Curiosity is detailed, but if you click it and go to the NASA homepage you’ll find a zoomable version that lets you zero in on tiny features in crisp detail like never before.
Small probes the size of a human hand or smaller could be a big help to planetary exploration. Moore’s Law and tightening budgets could team up to make that technological leap sooner rather than later. In particular, small probes packed with microelectronics and advanced software capable of learning on the alien spot might bring the deep subcyrosphere of moons like Europa or Saturn’s Dionne under scrutiny: [Read more...]
How did these amazing gullies on the Red Planet form? Go below the fold for the intriguing answer: [Read more...]
Maybe Mars Inspiration should hold off on their proposed flyby launching in 2018. A new grant by NASA will reportedly develop a revolutionary engine that could reduce time travel to the Red Planet and other celestial destinations to a few weeks within a decade: [Read more...]
Link is here, not sure if you can see it without registering press creds, I hope to have video and transcripts shortly. … There are candid details about the inherent risks, challanges, and mission architectures. But my favorite speaker so far has been Dennis Tito, the driving force behind this team. An example, paraphrasing to the best of my recollection: ‘This is a “non profit mission,” meaning if it goes off as planned, “I will be much poorer,” but my grandchildren and yours will be much richer …’
Jane Poynter adds the sobering assesment “This will be like being crammed into a modest RV for a year and a half. With three thousand pounds of dehydrated food hydrated with recycled water … the crew will have to be doing hours of exercise every day while working on their life support system “. Full press kit and release below the fold. [Read more...]
Buzz is building about a planned 2018 private mission to Mars, which may launch the first humans toward the Red Planet. A nonprofit organization called the Inspiration Mars Foundation — which is led by millionaire Dennis Tito, the world’s first space tourist — will hold a news conference on Feb. 27 to announce the 501-day roundtrip mission, which will aim for a January 2018 launch.
Yes, there are many unresolved questions. But these people are not flakes; they are serious veteran space travel professionals. I think they’re really thinking about doing this. There will be more info soon. [Read more...]