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Tuesday, November 7, 2006


Minerals point to martian oceans

Possible Martian Glaciers
Possible Martian Glaciers
Credit: NASA
The discovery of certain soil chemicals by NASA's rovers suggests an ocean of water was once quite abundant on Mars. But the same chemicals also indicate that life was not widespread on the planet at that time. Some researchers argue that the broad, flat area in Mars's northern hemisphere is the remains of a once massive ocean. The uniform phosphorus-to-sulphur ratio detected by both Mars rovers is the first chemical evidence that such a large body of water could have existed. Sadly, the large amounts of phosphates point to a rather small biosphere for Mars because, on Earth, phosphates are quickly used up by biological processes.

More at NewScientist


- posted by

(
permanent link)

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


Mirrors

Unknown Image
Unknown Image
Credit: Unknown
People have spoken of using orbital mirrors to warm the surface of Mars for a long time. Well, Rigel Woida, an engineering student at Arizona State University in Tucson, US, has recieved $9000 from the NASA institute for Advanced Concepts (NIAC) in Atlanta, Georgia, to explore the possibility of using mirrors to "terraform" a small portion of the martian surface so astronauts don't need heavily insulated materials to preform their day-to-day functions. The mirror would focus sunlight onto a 1-kilometre-wide patch of the planet's surface. This focused sunlight would raise the temperature in this patch to a balmy 20 Celsius (68 Fahrenheit) from Mars's typical surface temperature of between -140 C and -60 C (-220 and -76 F).

More at NewScientist


- posted by

(
permanent link)

Friday, November 17, 2006


1000 Sols of Spirit

'McMurdo' Panorama from Spirit's 'Winter Haven' (False Color)
'McMurdo' Panorama from Spirit's 'Winter Haven' (False Color)
Credit: NASA/JPL
The most detailed panorama ever released by the MER mission comes on Sol 1000 of Spirit's life on Mars. This comes after several months spent with Spirit perched facing north to maximize energy from the solar panels. Congratulations to the MER team!

(More info: NASA)


- posted by Jim @ 22:39 EST

(permanent link)

Saturday, November 25, 2006


XCup Review

dreammaker has submitted a short review of his experience at the XCup. You can read it here.

From Announcing the Wirefly X Prize Cup page, describing some of the:
The Vertical Rocket Challenge is another lunar-landing-technology-focused competition The primary differences between the Vertical Lander Challenge and the Lunar Lander Challenge are the minimum time of flight (90 vs. 180 sec.), the surface terrain at the landing sites (flat vs. rocky) and the degree of difficulty presented for precision landing.

During the Space Elevator Games, more than 20 teams will face the challenge to use light to power a vehicle along a tether -- this year up about 50 meters, but eventually hundreds and thousands of miles.


- posted by Jim @ 14:02 EST

(permanent link)

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


The MarsDrive Founders Circle

Mars Drive
Mars Drive
Credit: Mars Drive
MarsDrive needs your help. After a year of amazing growth, many changes and progress we are ready to take the next steps and want you to join us. Currently we are moving into a new phase of our organization and we need the help of all Mars enthusiasts. You can find out the details of how to join the new Founders Circle by visiting our site here

If you want to know more who we are and what we are all about visit our site and take a look around. This Founders Circle is your opportunity to be a part of something big in the drive to reach Mars. If you have any questions you can contact them here.


- posted by Jim @ 11:15 EST

(permanent link)

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