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Friday, December 5, 2003


Bush Expected to Announce Moon or Mars Mission

George W. Bush.
George W. Bush.
Credit: Unknown
President George Bush is expected to make an announcement to convince the United States to land humans on the moon or Mars. The speech on December 17th, marking the 100th anniversary of the Wright Brothers' first flight, is rumored to be similar in some aspects to John F. Kennedy's famous speech in which he set a deadline for a manned mission to the moon. While Robert Zubrin and others have criticized any announcement that might pit the moon against Mars, Red Colony strongly feels that the habitation of any celestial object will be benefitial to mankind. Let's just pray it's Mars...

If Bush doesn't make the announcement on the 17th, he is expected to do so in his State of the Union address in January.


- posted by Alex @ 15:47 EST

(permanent link)

Tuesday, December 9, 2003


Nozomi Scrapped

Artist's conception of Nozomi spacecraft.
Artist's conception of Nozomi spacecraft.
Credit: JAXA
In a widely-expected announcement, the Japanese space agency today announced that it had failed to recover key electrical systems on its Mars-bound Nozomi spacecraft and was abandoning the mission. Nozomi, plagued by problems throughout its five-year life, was launched to conduct observations of the Martian atmosphere and magnetic field.

The Japanese space agency nows says it will attempt to use Nozomi to make observations of the solar wind as it orbits the sun.

(More info: CNN.com)


- posted by Brian @ 19:22 EST

(permanent link)

Sunday, December 14, 2003


Pillars of Fire Update

A pillar of fire.
A pillar of fire.
Credit: Unknown
Ian Steil has sent us an update to his ongoing novel, Pillars of Fire. The book, now 63 pages long, is in Microsoft Word form. Here's a snippet:

There he lay, silent, motionless, waiting for his target to wander into the crosshairs. Waiting was his life, it had always been, always will be. He was born, and waited to walk, was a child, waited to grow up, went to school, waited to graduate. Waiting had become something so familiar to him, and something he became extremely good at.

Finally, after 3 days, the moment had come. He was beginning to sense the need to sleep, the need to eat. If needed, he could last another week, maybe two, but maintenance was necessary for him. It was these feelings that kept him alive. Without a momentís hesitation, he pulled the trigger. The CMR (Compressed Mercury Rifle) spat a sliver of considerably dense mercury through the target, a general, actually. Whether or not he died on the spot from the impact of the projectile, or later from subsequent mercury poisoning, really didnít make a difference to Alim, all that mattered was that he could go back to his barrack and sleep.

- posted by Alex @ 12:26 EST




- posted by Alex @ 12:26 EST

(permanent link)

Tuesday, December 16, 2003


The Future of Mars? Poster

The Future of Mars? Poster.
The Future of Mars? Poster.
Credit: Frans Blok
Thanks to Frans Blok and his Future of Mars? feature, Red Colony.com is proud to introduce a poster featuring a map of a terraformed Mars. The poster is part of the Red Colony store which features shirts, hats, and even a wall calendar. If you would like to ensure your order arrives before Christmas, we are offering 2-Day shipping for the price of Ground until December 20th. Get your order in now!

- posted by Alex @ 15:41 EST

(permanent link)

Friday, December 19, 2003


Beagle II Separates

At 11:10 GMT the lander separated from Mars Express to begin its solo, 3M km journey, asleep. We're playing the second leg on Christmas morning. "I'm a real, real hard taskmaster because I'm going to demand that everybody comes along and witnesses that event on Christmas morning," said the Beagle II's creator, Colin Pillinger. Commenting on the recent dust storm, Prof. Pillinger said, "My information is very much that it's not going to be a big concern." The Beagle II has no propulsion system to call its own, therefore it relies on accurate positioning. After 6 days of solo flight, the next risky maneuver will take place, the decent, Christmas morning. It is planned to land on Isidis Planitia, slowed by a heat-resistant shield and parachutes, and cushioned by airbags (similar to Pathfinder).

- posted by Jim @ 19:20 EST

(permanent link)

Wednesday, December 24, 2003


Mars Express One Day Away

Beagle 2 lander.
Beagle 2 lander.
Credit: ESA
Mars Express is less than a day away from its destination, leaving Mars enthusiasts the world over with crossed fingers in hopes their Christmas present will arrive safely. The Mars Express orbiter will enter Mars' orbit within the day, as it is now only some 200,000 kilometers from the planet. The Beagle 2 lander, which separated last Friday, will reach the surface of Mars around 2:45 AM GMT Christmas Day, or 9:45 PM EST tonight. Unfortunately, confirmation of the landers success won't happen until a few hours afterward. The orbiter won't be able to send radio signals until January 3rd, and its first pictures aren't expected to be released until spring. In the mean time, signals from the lander will be transmitted through the Mars Odyssey, the earliest window at 12:15 AM EST.

- posted by Alex @ 9:33 EST

(permanent link)

Friday, December 26, 2003


Beagle Silent but Orbiter Successful

As you probably have heard, the Beagle 2 may or may not have survived its landing on the surface of Mars early Christmas morning. The window of opportunity for radio confirmation has come and passed several times since its assumed landing, leaving many scientists feeling the lander is lost. The orbiter, however, successfully entered Mars' orbit and will begin beaming back data on January 3rd. The spacecraft orbiting Mars was the European Space Agency's primary objective for Mars Express. It will study the surface of the planet and its geology, weather, atmosphere, and gravity.

While this news is unfortunate, we can continue to hope that contact will be made with the lander. In the mean time, two rovers are hurtling their way through space, increasing the odds that a landing will be successful in early 2004.


- posted by Alex @ 11:38 EST

(permanent link)

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