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Wednesday, November 1, 2000


Blasting off to the Red Planet

Saturn V.
Saturn V.
Credit: Corbis.com
Conventional rockets such as used aboard the Apollo missions and the Space Shuttle are fine when you only need to go into low Earth orbit or even to the moon. After that, a faster and more fuel-efficient method must be employed. Although some people would argue that "faster" is not necessarily important, the physical and mental degradation that occurs during prolonged space flight in a confined area cannot be tolerated.

One such alternative to the traditional rocket is known as plasma rocket. Franklin R. Chang Daz first theorized one such engine in the 1980s while working on nuclear fusion technology. His design, the Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket, or VASIMR, is one of the most promising of all plasma rockets. If a properly designed VASIMR type rocket were given 200 megawatts of power it could reach Mars in just 39 days.


- posted by Brian @ 17:03 EST

(permanent link)

Friday, November 3, 2000


Red Planet the Movie

Red Planet.
Red Planet.
Credit: unknown
Does life really exist on Mars? Red Planet, directed by Anthony Hoffman and written by Chuck Pfarrer, asks just that. Once Earth becomes unsuitable for human beings, a team of astronauts travels to Mars to determine if the planet is inhabitable (duh). After a series of accidents and pitfalls, the team is left to face the untold secrets of Mars and its intelligent life.

I will be first in line next Friday to see this exciting film. Similar to Mission to Mars I will review the movie and post my opinion on RC. You will be able to read the review in the Movies section once it is released. You can visit the official site here. Red Planet is set for debut on November 10. The film is rated PG-13 for science-fiction violence, brief nudity and language.


- posted by Alex @ 15:59 EST

(permanent link)


Houghton-Mars Project

The Houghton-Mars Project is an international NASA-sponsored organization. It studies an impact crater in Devon Island, Canada, in the frozen north. Why? The Haughton crater is a Mars analog, a location in which many of its features closely resemble Mars. This allows NASA and the international scientific community to learn more about what Mars is like, and to study the effectiveness of new equipment and ideas. For more information, visit www.arctic-mars.org. You may also view a Quicktime Virtual Reality panorama of the research sites, also from the Houghton-Mars Project.

- posted by Brian @ 23:15 EST

(permanent link)

Saturday, November 4, 2000


Asteroid Could Hit Earth in 2030

2030 Impact Probability
2030 Impact Probability
Credit: NASA/MSNBC
An asteroid named 2000 SG344 has become the first asteroid to ever register on the zero-to-10 Torino scale of impact threats and could make contact with Earth on Sept. 21, 2030. There is a 1 in 500 chance that the object would hit earth, and scientists expect that it is merely a rocket booster left over from the Apollo missions.

Future asteroids could be more dangerous, with the "Armageddon" scenerio due to come around once in every 500,000 years. This raises the question of colonizing Mars before that event may take place. Current estimates suggest that a colony on Mars could become self-sufficient within 250 years. Expanding humans to two planets may prove necessary for our existence in the distant future.


- posted by Alex @ 10:29 EST

(permanent link)


Kim Stanley Robinson Honored

Kim Stanley Robinson, author of the Red Mars, Green Mars, Blue Mars series, was honored in Yahoo! Internet Life for his ability to "predict the future." "Even if science fiction writers don't claim to be latter-day Nostradamuses," Rob Bernstein and Gordan Bass write, "They're often uncannily accurate." Robinson's Mars series is the main reference for Red Colony.com, and a contributing factor in its existence. Yahoo Internet Life claims that Robinson predicted the Palm Pilot as well as decoding DNA and increasing life span, all major points in his Mars series. Although he and many other science fiction writers may have forseen the technology of today, Ray Bradbury put it best, "I don't try to predict the future. I try to prevent it."

- posted by Alex @ 17:23 EST

(permanent link)


Mars News Issue 1.5

The fifth issue of the official RC biweekly newsletter Mars News was released today. This highly anticipated issue is in a brand new format. You can read the entire newsletter here, or you can subscribe to future issues.

- posted by Alex @ 21:52 EST

(permanent link)

Sunday, November 5, 2000


New and Improved Image Archive

Image Archive.
Image Archive.
Credit: Unknown
Red Colony.com is proud to introduce the new and improved Image Archive. Due to the positive response from our Pic of the Day, RC has opened an archive of all previous daily images. You can also access this feature from the bottom of the Pic of the Day on this page and every participating page on the net.

- posted by Alex @ 10:57 EST

(permanent link)

Monday, November 6, 2000


How Stuff Works: Terraforming

Mars Colony
Mars Colony
Credit: How Stuff Works
A scientific journal entitled, How Stuff Works, recently released an article entitled How Terraforming Mars Will Work. The article begins by saying we are in a period of "permanent human presence in space" with the International Space Station that will continue for the rest of mankind. The article then explains the reasons why Mars is the focus of colonization, and explains its similarity to Earth. Red Colony.com is listed as a reference along with Mars Society and NASA.

- posted by Alex @ 15:52 EST

(permanent link)


New Design May Hit RC this Winter

New design?
New design?
Credit: Unknown
Red Colony.com will see many changes this winter, one of which may be the changing of format. "We've kept the same format since July, but it's time to make a change," CEO and webmaster Alex Moore said. "It's good to refresh our appearance, and make changes to the design that will reflect the growing internet." The format is in its test phase, but already, several pages have been completed. A small screenshot of the downloads page is shown below. You can see the full shot here.

- posted by Alex @ 22:43 EST

(permanent link)

Tuesday, November 7, 2000


Get Out There and Vote!

Gore and Bush.
Gore and Bush.
Credit: ABC News
Election Day - George W. Bush or Al Gore? America votes today for who might be "the lesser of the two evils." But both candidates have different views on space exploration. On October 4, RC posted the views of Governor George W. Bush and how his plan will not only increase NASA's budget, but supports a manned mission to Mars as soon as possible. "The Bush administration would make space a priority, and that has not been done in the Clinton-Gore years," Former House Science committee chairman, Bob Walker said. "Space goals have become part of [Bush's] political agenda. NASA's budget has been cut and its workers have been punished for efficiency," he announced.

- posted by Alex @ 9:36 EST

(permanent link)


Movie Section Completed with New Format

Although Red Planet will not be released until Friday, the RC Movie Section is complete and ready to review the most talked about movie of the year. What is most exciting about this new section is that it is in a brand new format. As explained in yesterday's update, the new format will put Red Colony.com on the cutting edge of web design. The design is still in its "beta testing" phase and can and will be altered before the entire site is re-designed. We need your thoughts or suggestions. Drop us a line here or visit the forum.

- posted by Alex @ 17:34 EST

(permanent link)


It's Extremely Close... Election Results Roll In...

Election Results
Election Results
Credit: MSNBC
NBC Standings as of 11:33 PM EST: 225 BUSH   231 GORE

(11:05 PM EST): 217 BUSH   231 GORE   D
(10:21 PM EST): 217 BUSH   173 GORE   R
(10:16 PM EST): 213 BUSH   198 GORE   R
(10:13 PM EST): 208 BUSH   198 GORE   R
(10:08 PM EST): 197 BUSH   198 GORE   D
(9:47 PM EST): 185 BUSH   198 GORE   D
(9:34 PM EST): 185 BUSH   193 GORE   D
(9:16 PM EST): 144 BUSH   183 GORE   D
(9:05 PM EST): 144 BUSH   160 GORE   D
(8:44 PM EST): 130 BUSH   123 GORE   R
(8:09 PM EST): 130 BUSH   119 GORE   R
(8:06 PM EST): 116 BUSH   101 GORE   R
(7:50 PM EST): 54 BUSH   3 GORE   R

270 Electoral votes are needed to win the election, and no one is sure which candidate will triumph above the other. It is possible that Bush could win the popular vote but not take the presidency. We may have to wait until morning to find out who the next president of the United States will be.

Current Standings (MSNBC):


- posted by Alex @ 23:33 EST

(permanent link)

Wednesday, November 8, 2000


Terraforming: Is there an official definition?

Although Webster has no definition for the word, terraform, Red Colony.com releases a definition that the scientific community can hopefully agree on and use. Be sure to visit the new What's Terraforming? section.

Terraform (tèrafôrm) verb. To transform a planet without life into a planet that can harbor plants and animals on the surface (literally, creating another Earth). Terraforming is theorized to work in stages, and over a long period of time (several centuries or longer). In the case of Mars, bacteria and lichen will be released to gradually reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and plants will generate oxygen for animals and humans to thrive on the surface free. The temperature on Mars must of course be raised to support animals, but with a thickening atmosphere the sun's heat should remain trapped to the surface.

Special thanks to Gil Whiteley for inquiries on terraforming


- posted by Alex @ 18:43 EST

(permanent link)


Election Still Undecided

For those of you who have asked me about the results of the election, first of all, the winner is undecided as of now. The total Electoral votes are 260 for Gore to 246 for Bush. Only 2 states remain undecided, Florida and Oregon. Whoever wins Florida will be the next president of the United States, such a scenerio that America has not seen for decades. See the election standings as they were updated from last night.

- posted by Alex @ 20:57 EST

(permanent link)

Thursday, November 9, 2000


Red Planet Debuts Tomorrow

Red Planet.
Red Planet.
Credit: Unknown
Red Planet the movie opens tomorrow across the country and Red Colony.com will be first in line to see the film the nation has been talking about. I will review the movie and post it in the newly designed Movies Section. If you just can't wait for my review, you can read Gil Whiteley's for Intra Denver.

- posted by Alex @ 21:58 EST

(permanent link)

Friday, November 10, 2000


Red Planet Opens, Intra Denver.com Credits RC

Gil Whitely, the "Denver Rogert Ebert" of movie reviews for both a major radio station and the Intra Denver.com website, has posted his review of Red Planet. At the end of his review he used Red Colony.com's definition of terraforming and gave a link to RC. The movie has received a rating of 3 stars, and is rated PG-13 for violence and language. Later today, we will post our exclusive review in the Movies Section.

"For decades, they've been sending oxygen-producing algae to Mars, but it doesn't seem to be working. Cdr. Bowman's crew is loaded with experts on colonization and terraforming, because after all, mankind is at stake. When they get to Mars, the action starts, and all hell breaks loose-literally. Survival becomes the name of the game, as the obstacles keep presenting themselves. Red Planet is very scary at times and compelling at others. This is a smart film with great special effects, and interesting gadgets that took lots of ingenuity. The robot (Amee) that is sent on that is sent on the mission, to assist in any way it could, was intricately woven into the plot, and very plausibly." - Gil Whitely, Intra Dever.com


- posted by Alex @ 6:33 EST

(permanent link)


Red Planet Exclusive Review

Red Colony.com has posted our much anticipated exclusive review of the movie Red Planet. Here's a snippet:

This movie is an example of a more classic science fiction that we see so little of in modern literature and film. I couldn't help chuckling at references to Arthur Clarke's 2001 and events from early NASA, all so cleverly entwined with the plot and directed to perfection. Director Antony Hoffman has done a superb job on his first film since his Budweiser commercial work during the Super Bowl.

Bottom Line: Red Planet is an excellent movie from a science-fiction standpoint. The film has a great plot and incredible graphics, however it may not be scientifically accurate.


- posted by Alex @ 23:41 EST

(permanent link)

Saturday, November 11, 2000


New Links Section

We are proud to release the newly designed Links Section. Here you will find categories on different aspects of colonizing Mars all in a convenient easy-to-use format. If you would like your own website listed, email us here.

- posted by Alex @ 10:52 EST

(permanent link)


Paint Shop Pro 3.0

Paint Shop Pro 3.0.
Paint Shop Pro 3.0.
Credit: Jasc
Every image on RC has been designed in Jasc's Paint Shop Pro 3.0. Although the latest version (6.0) is infinitely powerful and much more professional, it's expensive. Rather than to pay for quality, I've chosen to get away with a (freeware?) version of Paint Shop Pro 3.0. It's time for a change. I have acquired a version of Adobe Photo Shop, and all images will now be designed with it. It's been a good 2 years with PSP, but I'm starting to wonder if it's legal...

- posted by Alex @ 14:14 EST

(permanent link)


Red Planet Review Boosts in Popularity

One amazing thing about the internet is how information can spread like wildfire. Within the past 14 hours since I posted my Red Planet review, 3 message boards, 6 separate chat rooms, and 13 websites have linked to it. You can read the MSNBC Space News message board here. Special thanks to Mike Moore and to Gil Whitely for the publicity. We've received record-breaking hits already today. Be sure to read our exclusive Red Planet review everyone's talking about.

- posted by Alex @ 14:49 EST

(permanent link)

Sunday, November 12, 2000


New Red Colony.com Forum

We've introduced a brand new forum to Red Colony.com. Unlike the old message board, the new forum is cleverly designed into the RC layout. You can post any questions about Mars that you might have, as well as answer questions from Red Planet enthusiasts around the world. Be sure to check it out here or from the link at left.

- posted by Alex @ 18:57 EST

(permanent link)

Monday, November 13, 2000


Brand New RC Image

Yin Yang Mars.
Yin Yang Mars.
Credit: Matthew Holmes
Matt Holmes sent us a brand new image for use on RC. It's a yin yang of Earth and Mars, symbolizing the similarities between the two planets, as well as the Red Planet's terraformed future. Matt has extensive web programming and graphic design skills which obviously shine through in his beautiful picture below.

- posted by Alex @ 17:20 EST

(permanent link)

Tuesday, November 14, 2000


RC Opens the Thanksgiving Season

Over the river and through the wood
To Grandfather's house we go.
The horse knows the way
To carry the sleigh
Through white and drifted snow.

Over the river and through the wood
Oh, how the wind does blow!
It stings the toes
And bites the nose,
As over the ground we go.

Over the river and through the wood
To have a first-rate play.
Hear the bells ring,
Ting-a-ling-ling!
Hurrah forThanksgiving Day!

Over the river and through the wood,
Trot fast, my dapple gray!
Spring over the ground
Like a hunting hound,
For this is Thanksgiving Day.

Over the river and through the wood,
And straight through the barnyard gate.
We seem to go
Extremely slow
It is so hard to wait!

Over the river and through the wood
Now Grandmother's cap I spy!
Hurrah for fun!
Is the pudding done?
Hurrah for the pumpkin pie!


- posted by Alex @ 20:59 EST

(permanent link)

Wednesday, November 15, 2000


Olympus Mons of the Future

Olympus Mons Island.
Olympus Mons Island.
Credit: Brian Bober
What might Olympus Mons look like in the future? Thanks to Brian Bober, the largest volcano in the solar system may look like a huge tropical island. In this picture, the surrounding plain is one huge ocean, and rivers carry water from the fozen summit down to the waters of this Martian sea.

- posted by Alex @ 18:37 EST

(permanent link)

Monday, November 20, 2000


How to Use the New Discussion Board

There seems to be some confusion as to how to post a response to the Discussion Board. To take part in this new and exciting feature, simply scroll down to get to yesterday's update, and click on the link for pro or con. However you chose to respond, keep in mind your post will be in competition with many others and it might not even be posted on RC. If you'd like to suggest a new discussion topic click on the link at left (below News). Only one pro and one con will be posted, and new topic suggestions will not become active until the current topic has expired (moved to the archive).

This feature is still in its infancy. You can soon expect major changes to the layout and submission process. Also, there are rumors of a sister site that would be used exclusively for the Discussion Board and chats. Stay tuned...


- posted by Alex @ 22:05 EST

(permanent link)

Thursday, November 23, 2000


Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving everybody! Got to go, I've got some turkey to devour and some football to watch asleep on the couch. This must be the holiday rush...

- posted by Alex @ 8:32 EST

(permanent link)


Space Colonization Forum

There's an awesome new forum by Stephanie Heck called the Space Exploration Forum. Here's a snippet from her front page:

Space exploration is not science fiction -- Space Exploration is an ongoing adventure in space, well beyond our own planet Earth and its moon, that has already touched upon most of the planets in our solar system. The technologies that have evolved from space exploration flight and aviation have advanced quickly to where they are today. With more work to be done by NASA, and even private enterprises, the speed with which space exploration advances should accelerate exponentially once we take space exploration more seriously as an advanced aviation, as well as a human science.

The discussion threads on space exploration topics that follow are intended to inspire the imagination it takes to explore the infinite possibilities of discovering the planets, distant solar systems, the galaxy and someday the whole universe, and, in the process, all the yet to be discovered technologies that will make that once remote possibility a future factual state.


How cool is that :-)


- posted by Alex @ 17:56 EST

(permanent link)

Friday, November 24, 2000


Gift Idea for the Mars Enthusiast

Lego Mindstorms.
Lego Mindstorms.
Credit: Legos
Looking for that perfect gift for someone? Today, America's busiest shopping day of the year, brought forth an army of people searching for just one thing, the Lego Mindstorms Exploration Mars System. What better way to give that Mars enthusiast something special then with this incredible package. I myself own the Lego Mindstorms Robotics Invention Set, and I enjoy it thoroughly. To visit the official Lego Mindstorms website, click here.

- posted by Alex @ 18:26 EST

(permanent link)

Sunday, November 26, 2000


Red Colony.com Welcomes Spacewalker.it

In cooperation with RC, Spacewalker.it of Italy will be participating in a joint project to inform the public of the necessities of colonizing space. Spacewalker is an Italian site, representing a large portion of the country interested in colonizing Mars. Together, we hope to bring more attention to Red Colony.com, while promoting our interests in the future of Mars.

- posted by Alex @ 14:58 EST

(permanent link)

Monday, November 27, 2000


Exploration Funding Request to PA Senator

Dan Hussain of the Pittsburgh Mars Society recently wrote a letter to Pennsylvania Republican Senator Rick Santorum to raise support for a manned mission to Mars. The letter will be signed by members of the society, including RC. Here's a snippet:

A national vision of space exploration would inspire thousands of young scientists, engineers, and mathematicians, just like it has inspired me, to (in the words of President John F. Kennedy) "seek out new heights of knowledge and understanding." The high-tech industry sector is lacking in skilled and motivated workers to fill the newly created jobs, while at the same time many people continue to live below the poverty level in this country. I believe that placing the manned exploration of Mars on the national agenda would motivate and inspire America's youth to go into these high-tech fields.

As a member of such a prestigious institution, you have a great responsibility to lead the nation into a better future. By supporting a manned mission to Mars, you will be helping to foster the first seeds of a movement that will someday be looking back from another planet, and marvel at the great adventures our generation helped to create.


To read the full letter, click here.


- posted by Alex @ 12:57 EST

(permanent link)


Forum Open and Ready for Business!

The Red Colony.com Forum is up and running! We are excited to introduce new features to the forum, including a "Discussion Highlight" and a new forum master, Michael Moore. The Discussion Highlight feature will contain a list of the most interesting and educational topics and replies from the forum. Special thanks to Chronos, Fuzzy, and Don from the Red Planet Roundtable Discussion.

- posted by Alex @ 21:43 EST

(permanent link)

Wednesday, November 29, 2000


2001 Mars Odyssey Section in New Format

The 2001 Mars Odyssey has been transfered into the new format. This marks an important event in RC history. This is the first article to be converted and many more will soon follow. The entire directory substructure has been re-routed to be more user-friendly and to sort information into more concise categories. Although these changes will not take effect until the entire site is converted to the new format, the ten new categories (in this order) are:

   News
   Features
   Colonization
   Terraforming
   Biomechanics
   Future Missions
   Past Missions
   Geology
   Site
   Help


- posted by Alex @ 16:42 EST

(permanent link)

Thursday, November 30, 2000


Mars Pathfinder Section Completed

Mars Pathfinder view.
Mars Pathfinder view.
Credit: NASA
The Mars Pathfinder section has been completed. Also, certain bugs and typos were removed from older drafts. If you have any suggestions for the new format, or just want to drop us a line, email us here.

- posted by Alex @ 16:23 EST

(permanent link)

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