Become a Member


News Archive



2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017
January | February | March | April | May | June | July | August | September | October | November | December


Tuesday, June 3, 2003


Mars Express Lifts Off

Mars Express lifts off.
Mars Express lifts off.
Credit: ESA/Starsem-S.Corvaja
The hopes of many Europeans and others are riding on the spacecraft now heading to Mars. Today, or yesterday in Kazakhstan, the Mars Express successfully launched and will hopefully arrive on December 25 or 26.

If the mission is successful, it will be a huge achievement for the Europeans. Not only is it the first mission to another planet by Europe, but it also is the cheapest, and one of the quickest missions ever developed, thanks largely to the reuse of other mission equipment.

(More info: Discovery Channel, New Scientist, Florida Today)


- posted by Brian @ 17:56 EST

(permanent link)

Sunday, June 8, 2003


MER Names Chosen

9-year old Sofi.
9-year old Sofi.
Credit: Planetary Society
This morning NASA director Sean O'Keefe announced the winning names of the Mars Exploration Rovers: Spirit and Opportunity. The winner of the "Name the Rover" competions was 9 year old Sofi Collis of Arizona. "Sofi wrote a moving essay that caught many people's attention in the judging process," said Planetary Society Director of Projects Bruce Betts.

(More info: Planetary Society)


- posted by Jim @ 11:47 EST

(permanent link)

Tuesday, June 10, 2003


Mars Exploration Rover Lifts Off

Delta Rocket.
Delta Rocket.
Credit: NASA
The first Mars Exploration Rover, Spirit, will lift off from Cape Canveral today at either 1:58 PM or 2:36 PM EST. You can watch the event via NASA TV by clicking here. Delays forced the postponement of the first launch to today, but the second mission, Opportunity, is still scheduled for launch June 25th.

On a personal note, I apologize for not making any updates for the past few months and for ignoring the emails that you guys have sent. A death in my family has left me on hiatus, but I shall return this summer with site updates, news updates, new articles, and responses to your emails. Thanks for sticking it out :-)


- posted by Alex @ 10:23 EST

(permanent link)

Wednesday, June 11, 2003


Radiation Article

Radiation.
Radiation.
Credit: Unknown
Kian Cochrane makes his return in a new article entitled, Radiation. His article covers what causes radiation in space, what is so hazardous about it, and what can be done to prevent it. A great read from a Red Colony old-timer.

- posted by Alex @ 8:15 EST

(permanent link)

Friday, June 13, 2003


Shepherd Satellites Article

Saturn.
Saturn.
Credit: NASA
Steven A Wintergerst, author of his Terraforming Method, has written an article about Shepherd Satellites. According to him, a problem rarely mentioned in terraforming debates is the low surface gravity on Mars and its affect on hydrogen molecules. Steven says that, unless we find a way to manufacture gravity on the planet, hydrogen molecules would escape into space. However, he has solution, taken from a similar problem on Saturn. Shepherd Satellites are moons on the outskirts of the rings of Saturn that hole the rings in place. Without them, the rigns would dissipate. Creating such satellites on Mars could solve the problem. Read more here.

- posted by Alex @ 8:46 EST

(permanent link)


KSR's Red Mars to Air on SCI FI Channel

Red Mars.
Red Mars.
Credit: Kim Stanley Robinson
On June 6th, Kim Stanley Robinson, author of the Red Mars series signed a deal with the SCI FI Channel to produce a six-hour long miniseries based on Red Mars. It is unknown whether the series will cover the entire trilogy or just the first book. Gale Ann Hurd, producer of Hulk and Terminator 3 is set to produce the series. Gregory Widen of Highlander will write it, under consultation of KSR. The series is set to air in late 2004.

(More info: Sci Fi Wire)


- posted by Alex @ 22:08 EST

(permanent link)

Saturday, June 14, 2003


Past Martian Exploration

On Mars: Exploration of the Red Planet 1958-1978 Cover
On Mars: Exploration of the Red Planet 1958-1978 Cover
Credit: NASA
Astrobiology Magazine has begun a commemorative series of articles on the Voyager missions to the Red Planet. It describes in detail some of the ways that the Viking engineers tackled problems - or didn't.

You can also read a five hundred page book about Martian exploration from 1958 to 1978 online, although it may be easier to get the print version.

(More info: Astrobiology Magazine, On Mars: Exploration of the Red Planet 1958-1978)


- posted by Brian @ 17:00 EST

(permanent link)

Monday, June 16, 2003


Polluting Plants Article

Pollution.
Pollution.
Credit: Borrego Solar Systems, Inc.
Steven A Wintergerst has done it again. His article, Polluting Plants, discards the possibility of using Factories to produce greenhouse gasses. He argues that, not only are factories unreliable, but they are simply too bulky to move to Mars. Bioengineered lichen are the way to go. Read it.

- posted by Alex @ 8:18 EST

(permanent link)

Tuesday, June 17, 2003


Red Colony Road Trip(s)

Awww... Florida.
Awww... Florida.
Credit: Unknown
Well, it's that time of year when school ends and people make big plans: I told myself I would work on Red Colony more this summer. I said I would write an article every week, work on the MER and Express sections, and answer all those emails I had been putting off. However... a crazy thing about summer is all those plans that you make somehow get pushed further and further into the months ahead, to the point where you're doing somehow less than you did during school!

At any rate, Brian, Jim, and I are all leaving this week. Brian is traveling to sunny California to speak with Chris McKay, terraforming-head-honcho and Mars god, to ask him about Red Colony's role in the global terraforming scene. This is a great experience for Brian and for Red Colony. Hopefully Dr. McKay and (Dr.) Rudo will hit if off.

I am leaving tomorrow morning to drive down to Florida with my family. We're visiting my grandparents near the Everglades on the Gulf side. That's a week of boating, fishing, water-skiing, swimming, sight-seeing, and relaxation in the last un-commercialized part of Florida. Ahhh...

Oh, and Jim is flying down on the 25th to meet with me in Cape Canaveral to watch the Mars Exploration Rover, Opportunity launch. Expect a video of the launch and lots of pictures to be posted on Red Colony when we get back. After the launch, Jim and I are going to Orlando to visit Disneyworld (!!!) and to compete in the Natonal Technology Student Association conference. We are competing in a website design competition with paparman from the forum. You can see our somewhat lazy attempt at an entry here. Anyway, it was good enough to win first place at the Pennsylvania state competition.

So by about July 1st Brian, Jim, and I will be back firmly in Pittsburgh... kind of.

Why am I telling you all this? Because Brian has written a fantastic program that allows us to update Red Colony from any computer in the world. Well, I guess we could do that before, but now we don't have to create the files on the computer and upload them by hand. All of our updating can be done within an internet browser, and the program will upload everything for us. Brian deserves some serious praise. In the future, this will allow us to include other people to make updates on the front page...

So anyway, even if we're on a beach in Florida, Brian has made it possible for Red Colony to follow us there. :-(

Happy Summer!


- posted by Alex @ 9:29 EST

(permanent link)

Saturday, June 21, 2003


New T-Shirt Design

While slowly and comfortably drifting off to sleep, holding my fishing rod and relaxing in a straw chair on the dock, staring at the sunset and listening to the waves crash against the sea wall and the gulls fly overhead, I envisioned a man doing the same thing on another planet, hundreds of years from now. What pride he will feel, knowing that his race is able to reproduce such beauty throughout the universe... I feel the strong pull of a fish and jerk carelessly out of my thoughts, only to lose the prize-winning snook I'm sure was mine. Ahh, the thought occurs to me, I need to make a few changes to the Red Colony store. And yes, in my meditations overlooking a pristine, Floridian bay, I brainstormed a pretty cool T-Shirt.

The front reads: This is Mars. (picture of Mars) This is Mars Terraformed. (picture of Earth)
The back reads: (picture of red colony logo) Any questions? www.redcolony.com

You can look at the shirt in the Red Colony Store and even buy one or two. We've also introduced hats, a tote bag, and various other items.


- posted by Alex @ 21:10 EST

(permanent link)

Monday, June 23, 2003


Opportunity Launch Pushed Back

The Mars Exploration Rover-B, Opportunity, launch has been delayed until no earlier than June 28th. This is a blow for Jim and me, as our plans will have to be changed to still see the launch. The Kennedy Space Center's website reports that the Delta rocket will launch at either 11:56 PM or 12:37 AM. Yesterday, the launch date was set as June 26th.

If you want to see a video of the first rocket's launch (which was in the day), click here.


- posted by Alex @ 10:57 EST

(permanent link)

Tuesday, June 24, 2003


Mars Express Computer Problems

Mars Express Orbiter.
Mars Express Orbiter.
Credit: ESA
The ESA's Mars Express appears to have experienced a minor setback when routine testing received an unexpected response from the orbiter. The error has prompted halting of further scheduled tests until the cause can be determined.

Luckily though, this is considered a routine problem that should not seriously harm the mission.

(More info: New Scientist)


- posted by Brian @ 14:25 EST

(permanent link)

Thursday, June 26, 2003


Frozen Water Found at North Pole

Martian North Pole.
Martian North Pole.
Credit: NASA/JPL/MSSS
Researchers working with combined data from the Mars Global Surveyor and Mars Odyssey spacecraft have discovered substantial amounts of water ice at the Martian north pole, confirming what was previously only speculation. The deposits appear to be a third larger than those at the south pole. The ice is distributed throughout the soil evenly, with 80 to 90 percent ice by volume in most areas.

There is now no question that there is plenty of water on Mars.

(More info: Reuters AlertNet)


- posted by Brian @ 17:12 EST

(permanent link)

Friday, June 27, 2003


Martian Revelation Radio Broadcast

Gary Leggiere is the host of an online radio station called Martian Revelation. A resident of Brevard County near Cape Canaveral, Gary will be covering tomorrow's launch of MER-B, Opportunity from the launch pad. The launch will be broadcast from his site, Martian Revelation. I have the pleasure of meeting Gary Leggiere tomorrow night at the launch. Jim Keener, Ryan Jerico, and I will be wearing our Red Colony t-shirts. If you're there, try to find us... we'll be the ones signing autographs :-)

The rocket launches at 11:56 PM EST tomorrow night.


- posted by Alex @ 16:29 EST

(permanent link)

Monday, June 30, 2003


We Missed the Opportunity (no pun intended)

From left: Alex Moore, Bill Nye (the Science Guy), and Jim Keener.
From left: Alex Moore, Bill Nye (the Science Guy), and Jim Keener.
Credit: Steven Moore
Jim and I may have missed seeing the Mars Exploration Rover-B launch on Saturday night, but we had a wonderful time. We arrived back in Pittsburgh today. First of all, don't let anyone tell you otherwise: the launch on the 28th was rescheduled, not because of a problem with the insulation, but because an unidentified boat was too close to the launch pad. At T-4 minutes, the countdown went on hold so that the boat could be removed from the area. The launch was scheduled until a half-hour later, but high altitude winds caused the scrub until the following day. That launch was rescheduled because of an insulation problem on the Delta rocket. To be honest, I think we should thank that fisherman/terrorist for anchoring too close to the launch pad. Without his thoughtless/malicious act, we could have missed Opportunity altogether.

Yes, that is Bill Nye the Science Guy. Jim and I got to meet him, as well as several NASA engineers and developers. Dr. Nye is apparently a terraforming enthusiast and was familiar with Red Colony.

The launch has been moved until Saturday night. The last possible date for takeoff is the 17th.


- posted by Alex @ 21:55 EST

(permanent link)

2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017
January | February | March | April | May | June | July | August | September | October | November | December