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Saturday, April 1, 2006


Life Found!

NASA Scientist have found life on Mars.  This is an artist rendering of a radio tower on Mars.
NASA Scientist have found life on Mars. This is an artist rendering of a radio tower on Mars.
Credit: Unknown
This morning at 7am EST Pres. Bush announced that NASA has proven the existence of intelligent life on Mars. "Top officials at NASA have informed me that the Mars Global Surveyor orbiter has pick up 'intelligent' radio signals emanating from certain area on the surface," said the President. It was hinted at that one of the locations was the "face" on Mars. Details are sketchy, but the President said that NASA would be updating the page linked to below as new information is released. There is also a press conference scheduled for 9pm EST to discuss the information released during the day.

(More info: JPL/NASA)


- posted by Jim @ 9:19 EST

(permanent link)

Friday, April 7, 2006


Mars Sample Return in-Situ Resource Utilization - Mission Design Contest

Sample Return unit
Sample Return unit
Credit: Jason Archer
MarsDrive is hosting the Mars Sample Return in-Situ Resource Utilization - Mission Design Contest. From the overview:

Design and plan an unmanned mission to

1) place a scientific payload on the surface of Mars
2) collect geologic and astrobiological samples
3) use local Martian resources to produce a quantity of propellant (methane, LOX) to allow the collected samples to leave the surface and return to LEO.
The design must include all outbound stages from launch to TMI to Martian surface rendezvous and all return stages from surface liftoff to TEI to either LEO or Earth splash- down.

All materials and technologies must be in existence at the time of design.

Design can use components from multiple sources, countries and corporations.


The contest is being on feasibility, cost effectiveness, achievement of scientific goals and ability to land a manned presence on Mars by judged by Dr. Chris Mckay, Dr. Robert Zubrin, Louis Friedman, Grant Bonin. Abstracts are due by this summer. The offical page can be found here.


- posted by Jim @ 7:32 EST

(permanent link)

Monday, April 10, 2006


Elementry School science fair project shows use of special glass

The greenhouse on the left uses the special glass, while the greenhouse on the right uses normal glass.
The greenhouse on the left uses the special glass, while the greenhouse on the right uses normal glass.
Credit: Tyler Hamilton (http://tyler.blogware.com/)
Two students, Nathan Van Heyst and Tobi Sogbesan, build two greenhouses for their school science fair project. One uses normal glass, while the other used a glass that reduces glare. The greenhouses were left side by side and the growth of onions, lettuce and radishes were compared over time. The students found that "Advanced Glazings' honey-combed, insulating glass, which evenly lets light shine through but without the sharp slivers that cause glare" causes plants to grow more (see picture). The boys won 5th place and are moving on to regionals.

Simple ideas like these could yield appreciable increases in the viability of Martian colonization.

Thanks to snelson for showing us this article.

(More info: Clean Break)


- posted by Jim @ 10:16 EST

(permanent link)

Thursday, April 27, 2006


Young mars was wet (and wild)

Artist rendering of water on a crater on mars.
Artist rendering of water on a crater on mars.
Credit: Max-Planck-Institut für Chemie
Using the OMEGA spectrometer and data from the two rovers, a group of scientists has found that Mars was wet in its early years. But, "[s]tarting about 3.5 billion years ago, conditions on Mars became increasingly dry and acidic—not a pleasant place for any form of life, even a microbe," said John Mustard, a geologist from Brown University. The study says that Mars went through 3 phases:

1. 4.6 - 4 billion years ago: Rocks show erosion and minerals such as clay, leading us to infer that Mars was wet.
3. 4 - 3.5 billion years ago: Gypsum and grey hematite suggest that there was much volcanic activity.
3. 3.5 billion years ago - now: No evidence of water

If life had existed, it would have existed during the first era in the clay rich north. The team says that possible sites of further exploration would be in the Nili Fossae and Marwth Vallis regions.

Thanks to Maniax and ares2101 for submitting this to me.

(More info: Space.com)


- posted by Jim @ 11:12 EST

(permanent link)

Friday, April 28, 2006


MarsDrive At ISDC 2006

ISDC Logo
ISDC Logo
Credit: ISDC
In just a few days, from May 4th to May 7th, representatives from MarsDrive will be attending and presenting at what has been described as "the biggest, all-encompassing space advocacy event ever": the 25th International Space Development Conference. ISDC 2006 and RedColony would like to see you there.

Regan Walker, the U.S. MarsDrive Director, will be presenting the MarsDrive concept on Thursday, May 4th, and Grant Bonin, SpaceNow's Education and Mission Director, will be presenting the Mars For Less design on the same day between 3 and 4pm. You can find more details here in the Space Science section.

ISDC 2006 will take place at the Sheraton Gateway Hotel in Los Angeles - right in the heart of the new space entrepreneurial movement. Southern California is home to the X Prize Foundation, Scaled Composites, SpaceX, Sea Launch, SpaceDev and XCOR Aerospace, just to name a few projects. The dates are fortuitous: May 4 is Space Day, a nationwide space education event. The week also marks the 5th anniversary of Dennis Tito's historic private expedition to the International Space Station as the world's first-ever space tourist.

Submitted by Frank.


- posted by Jim @ 9:59 EST

(permanent link)

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