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Wednesday, August 11, 2004


Telemedicine Being Tested For Space

Telemedicine in action.
Telemedicine in action.
Credit: National Insitutes of Health
NASA is conducting studies in cooperation with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to provide real-life data for telemedicine and its use in extreme, isolated environments. A Canadian astronaut will lead a crew on a 10 day mission in an undersea laboratory. Telemedicine will be tested extensively during this time. If it is successful, it could have far reaching implications for the well-being of International Space Station crew, as well as future long-duration missions to Mars.

Telemedicine can have many benefits that are not immediately obvious. For one, the infrastructure created in it will allow detailed diagnoses to be relayed from the best doctors on Earth to an astronaut-doctor on Mars. In addition, a single doctor or a single team of doctors stationed in one base on Mars could treat all of the colonists on Mars, whether they be one mile or half a world away. This kind of redundancy and efficiency means a great deal with the high costs and risks of sending humans to the Red Planet.


- posted by Brian @ 14:45 EST

(permanent link)

Sunday, August 29, 2004


Welcome to the New Red Colony!

Earth and Mars combine.
Earth and Mars combine.
Credit: XBWalker
After months of preparation, we are proud to welcome you to the new Red Colony! The website release coincides with our new focus: to focus on the specifics which will allow us to get to, colonize, and terraform Mars. We now have begun to reach out to different universities, gathering together people with the desire to apply what they know to Mars. By continuing to develop theories in these evolving fields we can tap the collective knowledge of the entire world, and truly find the most logical, efficient, and realistic way to Mars.

We have rebuilt the entire website from the ground up to give you access to our enormous archives. Explore the entire News Archive, from our first update in July 2000, or browse some historic screenshots from RC's past. The Mars Pic of the Day archive offers a searchable database of every daily Mars image since 2003, including the Mars Exploration rover images. And the feature is still available to be added to your own website.

The Forum has completely changed! In our continuing effort to integrate community discussion with the content of the website, we have introduced a new forum. You'll find the features and ease of use well worth the few seconds it takes to register a new name.

Our most exciting new feature is the Control Panel. Offering 8 different color schemes, a font size changer, and layout options, the Control Panel allows you to personalize Red Colony as you like it. And yes, you can change back to the old color scheme :-)

Red Colony's gem, however, is its articles. We now offer a searchable Article Index, filled with articles, short stories, and novels, submitted by people of all backgrounds from over the years. These articles cover topics as diverse as bioengineering and politics, and are sorted in convenient categories which can be found in the left column of the site. If you would like to join in and share your own ideas, submit your work today!

We hope that you find the new layout of the site easy to navigate, but we also hope that you find it easy to get involved. Red Colony is always on the lookout for new ideas, and our members are constantly exploring, revising, and perfecting various methods of Mars colonization and terraforming. We will inspire the world, and then show them how it can be done. The future is today. Join us.


- posted by Alex @ 6:24 EST

(permanent link)

Monday, August 30, 2004


New Article: Psychology and Space Travel

Astronauts on Mars.
Astronauts on Mars.
Credit: NASA
Anna Nicholson-Hutt has sent us a fantastic article, called Psychology and Space Travel: Planning for a Mars Mission, describing some of the hardships that a crew will face in an extended trip to Mars. During selection, crew hopefuls would be subject to intense psychological study to determine which candidates would be most compatible with each other. Using examples from Mir, and other historic explorations on Earth, psychologists better understand how to boost crew morale and maintain a pleasant living environment. Here's a snippet:

Morale presents a third problem. Life on a Mars mission could become both tiresome and stressful due to an unchanging routine and high expectations. The inherent danger of traveling through space requires a level of vigilance that could wear on astronauts already beleaguered by dealing with crew conflicts. Too much work and no play, or vice versa, can cause tensions to rise. In order to prevent a mutiny or psychological meltdown, planning must include ways to invigorate crew morale.

The first way to boost morale involves livening up life on the shuttle or at the base. Variety must pepper the routine of the crew in order to prevent boredom. Diversions such as card games and movies have been used by polar explorers to enhance morale (Sargent, 4). Competitions provide some relief, as long as they are not taken too seriously. Astronauts should be encouraged to continue pursuing their hobbies. Even meals can provide a way to improve performance: with varied foods, astronauts can enjoy and even look forward to the novelty of each meal (Cheston). When used along with a known routine and set of duties for each crew member, variety can be very effective in boosting morale.


This is a well-written article that not only flows pleasantly, but reflects the high level of research that surely went into it.


- posted by Alex @ 13:23 EST

(permanent link)

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