funding a research project that looks into a new and much faster way of getting astronauts to Mars
posted by C17H19NO3
on May 2, 2005 -
A pair of NASA scientists
told a group of space officials at a private meeting here that they have found strong evidence that life may exist today on Mars. Spirit
has also recently taken a very intriguing photo.
Of course this is just making things official, since we've known
the truth for years.
posted by jikel_morten
on Feb 16, 2005 -
is a skill pretty much taken for granted now, but it wasn't
. Accurate maps were once prized state secrets, laborious efforts that cost a fortune and took years (or even decades) to complete.
How things have changed. (Yours now, $110
) It took almost 500 years to map North America, but it's only taken one tenth of that to map just everything else. In the last 50 years, we've been able to create acurate atlases of two planets
and one moon
(with a second
in the works). Actually, we've done a lot more than that
. We're actually running out of things to map.
posted by absalom
on Jan 27, 2005 -
With all this talk of wars in distant countries, it's easy to forget that there's exciting things going on just 300 million km from your back porch. NASA has provided 90 second videos of the first 90 sols of the Spirit
[5MB .mov] and Opportunity
rovers [5MB .mov].
posted by fatbobsmith
on May 18, 2004 -
Life on Mars? Methane has been found in the Martian atmosphere which scientists say could be a sign of present-day life on Mars. It was detected by telescopes on Earth and has recently been confirmed by instruments onboard the European Space Agency's orbiting Mars Express craft. Methane lives for a short time in the Martian atmosphere so it must be being constantly replenished. There are two possible ways to do this. Either active volcanoes, but none have yet been found on Mars, or microbes
. The Independent has it as Methane find on Mars may be sign of life
. The second group to detect signals of methane in the Martian atmosphere is led by Michael Mumma of Nasa's Goddard Space Flight Centre in Maryland, who used powerful spectroscopic telescopes based on Earth. This team is even believed to have detected variations in the concentrations of methane, with a peak coming from the ancient Martian seabed of Meridiani Planum, which is being explored by a Nasa rover. This could indicate a subterranean source of methane which is pumping out the gas, either due to some residual geological activity or because of the presence of living organisms producing it as a waste gas. Asked whether the continual production of methane is strong evidence of a biological origin of the gas, Dr Mumma said: "I think it is, myself personally." As to how...
posted by y2karl
on Mar 28, 2004 -
Meanwhile, on Mars, The Spirit rover has reached Bonneville Crater, a primary mission objective, and snapped photos of the far side of the crater rim with its navcam. But what is that glint to the left side?
posted by brownpau
on Mar 11, 2004 -
More Mars Express images.
The German space agency (DLR) has the biggest and fastest loading set of Mars Express images I've seen so far. Among them is one which apparently was not part of the press kit (it hasn't been in any MEX-related report), and is not on the official ESA site
: This one
. It shows the Spirit rover landing site in Gusev crater -- and the area is covered with a green substance. Olivine or salt, perhaps. It should be highly interesting to get spectral readings. [Note: These images are, to my knowledge, near true color like all other MEX/HRSC photos.]
posted by Eloquence
on Jan 23, 2004 -
You may be familiar with the story, reported here
, about the southern California watch maker who supplied wrist watches for Mars scientists to get to work on time
. You may not have seen these time applications that make the time story equally as compelling for the rest of us. What is interesting from a graphics standpoint is the different qualities expressed with these versions, as a table of exact times
for specific locations (this site has a lot of great detail about the mission), or as an approximate time with shadows projected on the Mars map (for Mac OS X)
Any other Mars time graphics that you know about?
posted by xtian
on Jan 23, 2004 -
NASA is running their Spirit Martian explorer program on Martian solar time. With the project day running 39 minutes longer than a real day, engineers found they faced difficulties adjusting to this virtual timezone. Their solution was nearly as old as timekeeping itself.
posted by Ogre Lawless
on Jan 9, 2004 -
To the moon, Alice! (And then, on to Mars)
Time will tell whether this declaration will lead to an actual rebirth of NASA and realignment of goals for the agency. But I for one am absolutely thrilled that Bush is planning to give NASA a long-overdue new mission and goal. Avoiding the obvious pro/con debate of doing this (or the cost), I think it's absolutely vital to the national psyche for the United States to have a long-range goal that it can focus positive energy upon. This could be the first real "Challenge to the Union" that I think should become an annual event to replace the State of the Union.
posted by tgrundke
on Jan 9, 2004 -
We landed on Mars.
The Mars Exploration Rover Spirit has captured its first color image of Mars. It is the highest resolution picture ever taken of another planet. Fascinating.
posted by mad
on Jan 7, 2004 -
The most accurate navigation in history
. "We had to know everything from how the iron molten lava in the center of the Earth was churning to how plate tectonic movements were affecting the wobble of the Earth to how the plasma in the atmosphere delayed the radio signals to and from the Deep Space Network stations". ..even the seemingly insignificant solar radiation pressure and thermal radiation forces acting on the spacecraft to a level equal to less than a billionth of the acceleration of gravity one feels on the Earth needed to be taken into account. This mission set a new standard for navigation accuracy for all future interplanetary missions.
posted by stbalbach
on Jan 4, 2004 -
Mars, take II
- Still no word from Beagle 2
), unfortunately, as Mars maintains its tough reputation. However, the first of two rovers much larger than 1997's very successful Pathfinder is expected to hit the Martian surface with a giant bounce tonight at 8:35 p.m. PST. Check out the realistic simulation videos
of how it will land and get to work, then watch Nasa TV
(RealVideo) for live coverage.
posted by planetkyoto
on Jan 3, 2004 -
In about 24 hours, the Beagle 2 lander
will descend to the surface of Mars, courtesy of the European Space Agency. After a few mighty bounces, encased in a giant rubber ball, the lander will open up and allow its instrument payload to start sampling the surface.
This is the first in a trifecta of landers
destined for Mars during the next month. NASA's landers
, Spirit and Opportunity
, land on January 3rd and January 24th.
posted by warhol
on Dec 23, 2003 -
Lego Astrobots Blog From Mars Rovers
- The Planetary Society has teamed with NASA to "man" it's two Mars Exploration Rover spacecraft with Lego "Astrobots." The bots, Biff Starling and Sandy Moondust, are blogging their adventure
"to allow kids to vicariously experience life in space, from launch, through the six-month space cruise, to landing and roving on the Martian surface."
posted by tpl1212
on Jun 13, 2003 -
Constance Adams, Space Architect
She designed the International Space Station's TransHab module
(a prototype for manned Mars missions), and says cool things about what the role of architecture is: "Architecture involves forming harmony around the human system, balancing culture, biology, planetary knowledge and technology in counterpoint to the unknowable." (via boingboing)
posted by vraxoin
on Jan 24, 2003 -
Santa found living on the South Pole....of Mars!?! Mysterious tracks that look like 250-mile long ski or sled trails have been found near the South Pole of Mars.
Researchers at the University of Colorado have found the broad, sweeping lines cutting through a section of the southern ice caps of the frigid planet, but haven't a clue what caused them. via the excellent laputan logic
posted by Ufez Jones
on Dec 17, 2002 -
Art goes to Mars.
This may be the very first art that our species sends into space, unless you count the little naked folks on the Voyager plaque, or broadcast television. In a somewhat bold move, they've chosen shock artist putter-of-sharks-in-formaldehyde Damien Hirst
. Is it me, or would the chosen painting be much dorkier if this were NASA rather than the European Space Agency? Like a duck or something.
posted by condour75
on Nov 30, 2002 -
The Mars Gravity Biosatellite Project
is an unmatched international effort that pools top-notch technical talent from MIT, the University of Washington in Seattle, and the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. The mission is nothing short of groundbreaking. The plan is to build a spacecraft capable of housing a small crew of mice, including pregnant females, which will simulate the gravity of Mars to determine its effects on mammalian development.
posted by David Dark
on Sep 18, 2002 -
The New Frontier-
Preparing the law for settling on Mars. "Like the abandoned launch fields [at Cape Canveral], the Outer Space Treaty [of 1967] needs to have its valuable parts salvaged, and the dangerous ones demolished."
posted by Ty Webb
on Jun 4, 2002 -
Oh cripes. Not again.
Remember like a year or two ago when M&M/Mars switched the lime flavored Skittle with green apple? And it totally upset that harmonic flavor balance you get when you shove a handful of Skittles into your gaping maw? This time, it's much much worse. The lemon Skittle has been replaced with one of nine white Mystery Flavors! Guess all nine and get a "FREE CHEW THE CLUETM
Jesus Christ. Quit screwing with my candy, people.
Warning: site saturated with #FFFF00. May cause blindness.
posted by andnbsp
on Apr 15, 2002 -
Good news for fans of the late, great Replacements
Paul Westerberg has signed a new deal, will return in April with a 2 cd set and is also considering a tour.Hey Paul, Tommy Stinson is wasting his time with Axl Rose, so call him up.I'm guessing Chris Mars and Slim Dunlap would be available for gigs too.Billboard articles have a pop-up, sorry 'bout that.
posted by BarneyFifesBullet
on Jan 14, 2002 -