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But can it core a apple?

On Thursday, NASA released the names and designs of three vehicles that could replace the space shuttle as means of sending our astronauts into space. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Aug 23, 2014 - 69 comments

If you plan on taking a trip to Jupiter, this is not the map to use.

If the Moon Were Only 1 Pixel is a tediously accurate model of the Solar System that Josh Worth made to explain to his daughter just how difficult it is to go on holiday to Mars.
posted by Kattullus on Mar 5, 2014 - 69 comments

"Do not throw yourselves with your own hands into destruction."

The General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowment has issued a fatwa banning Muslims from participating in a Mars colonization effort, citing pervasive risk for no "righteous reason." The Mars One project (previously) has penned a remarkably erudite reply.
posted by BlackLeotardFront on Feb 21, 2014 - 49 comments

frugal engineering can boost your space program

Trip to Mars Doesn’t Have to Break the Bank
Just days after the launch of India’s Mangalyaan satellite, NASA sent off its own Mars mission, five years in the making, named Maven. Its cost: $671 million. The budget of India’s Mars mission, by contrast, was just three-quarters of the $100 million that Hollywood spent on last year’s space-based hit, “Gravity.” “The mission is a triumph of low-cost Indian engineering,” said Roddam Narasimha, an aerospace scientist and a professor at Bangalore’s Jawaharlal Nehru Center for Advanced Scientific Research. “By excelling in getting so much out of so little, we are establishing ourselves as the most cost-effective center globewide for a variety of advanced technologies,” said Mr. Narasimha.
(NYTSL)
posted by infini on Feb 18, 2014 - 44 comments

We've planned too many wonders for one little star

"In 'Somebody Will' I wanted to get across why I see sci-fi and fantasy fandom as a more positive, productive world than many of the hobbies and communities common in our culture. [...] The hardest part of the piece is singing it to the end without crying."
[more inside]
posted by Sokka shot first on Jan 6, 2014 - 5 comments

Red Planet Blues

The trouble with terraforming Mars...
posted by Artw on Dec 20, 2013 - 73 comments

Mars is a world of wonders!

Educators, prepping for World Space Week, Oct 4-10? Be sure to include the very excellent space documentary The Mars Underground in your plans. It's free! [more inside]
posted by humannaire on Sep 24, 2013 - 5 comments

Curiosity's First Anniversary

Twelve Months in Two Minutes; Curiosity's First Year on Mars. Happy First Anniversary, Curiosity! [Previously]
posted by homunculus on Aug 6, 2013 - 25 comments

Ever Upward - blogging about Space for Tor.com

Ever Upward isn't just a blog about space but a love letter to the wonder and beauty lurking in the science of space. It is written, and occasionally drawn, by MeFite Narrative Priorities [more inside]
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Aug 1, 2013 - 4 comments

Where is life?

There once were two planets, new to the galaxy and inexperienced in life. Like fraternal twins, they were born at the same time, and took roughly the same shape.
posted by lite on Apr 15, 2013 - 15 comments

belters expanse trajectory: working up the Epstein Drive

How NASA brought the monstrous F-1 "moon rocket" engine back to life - "The story of young engineers who resurrected an engine nearly twice their age." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Apr 14, 2013 - 34 comments

Mars Eats Probes

Russian amateurs may have found the lost Mars 3 Lander.
posted by Artw on Apr 12, 2013 - 13 comments

It's not going to do any good to land on Mars if we're stupid.

Distance to Mars
posted by MiltonRandKalman on Apr 3, 2013 - 79 comments

Mars: Cosmic Bullseye?

Will Mars be rocked by a massive comet in 2014? Maybe a little. Maybe a lot. A comet will definitely pass close to the Red Planet on October 19, 2014. [more inside]
posted by IvoShandor on Mar 1, 2013 - 41 comments

A manned fly-by of Mars in 2018?

Space tourist Dennis Tito wants to send a 2-man crew to Mars in 5 years. The Inspiration Mars Foundation has sent out a media advisory for a press conference planned for next Wednesday, February 27. [more inside]
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit on Feb 21, 2013 - 104 comments

Damn fine year for outer space achievements and photos

The year in space, according to NASA and the ESA, along with the best space photos of 2012.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Dec 31, 2012 - 8 comments

The Ships We Sail - an Anthology of Stories about Love in Transit

The Ships We Sail - an Anthology of Stories about Love in Transit [via mefi projects]
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Dec 2, 2012 - 7 comments

We taught it everything we know, we did everything we could for it. But now it has to find its own path.

Mars Curiosity Rover. A short film by Dan Winters, narrated by members of the team that sent Curiosity on its way. [more inside]
posted by Narrative Priorities on Nov 28, 2012 - 11 comments

Our Robot/Meatbag Space Future

Almost Being There: Why the Future of Space Exploration Is Not What You Think
posted by Artw on Nov 13, 2012 - 33 comments

A talk by writer Warren Ellis

How to See the Future.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Sep 9, 2012 - 36 comments

Knots in Spaaaaace

The fine people over at the International Guild of Knot Tyers Forum talk knots. On Mars.
posted by Foci for Analysis on Sep 4, 2012 - 33 comments

Curiosity's descent is our ascent

Take the ride down to the surface of Mars in full 1080p glory. [YouTube]
posted by Burhanistan on Aug 22, 2012 - 98 comments

Curiouser and curiouser

NASA commentary on Curiosity landing has just started, landing itself is expected two hours later, at 5:31 am UTC/10:31 pm PDT. [more inside]
posted by egor83 on Aug 5, 2012 - 1193 comments

Oh man look at those cavemen go

Coming soon to a red planet near you, it's the Mars Science Laboratory! On Monday, August 6 at 05:31 UTC (other times around the world), NASA's Curiosity rover is expected to land on Mars in search of conditions suited to past or present Martian life. Live coverage begins on NASA TV at 03:30 UTC. But this mission has been years in the making, so if you have a little catching up to do... [more inside]
posted by ddbeck on Aug 4, 2012 - 139 comments

Is It Moist On Mars?

New report suggests Mars may be full of liquid water - Smithsonianmag.com
posted by The Whelk on Jun 26, 2012 - 77 comments

This post is just in time for the annual spaghetti harvest.

In the late 1970s the UK's Anglia Television ran a respected weekly documentary series: Science Report. But when the show was cancelled in 1977, the producers decided to channel Orson Welles in their final episode. The result was Alternative 3. Over the course of the hour, the audience would learn that a Science Report investigation into the UK "brain drain" had uncovered shocking revelations: man-made pollution had resulted in catastrophic climate change, the Earth would soon be rendered uninhabitable, and a secret American / Soviet joint plan was in place to establish colonies on the Moon and Mars. The show ended with footage of a US/Soviet Mars landing from May 22, 1962. After Alternative 3 aired, thousands of panicked viewers phoned the production company and demanded to know how long they had left to change planets. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jun 20, 2012 - 22 comments

Outta the way HAL, humans have work to do

Why Space Exploration Is a Job for Humans.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Apr 4, 2012 - 83 comments

For once, clouds are a good thing

One of the neater aspects of astronomy is that amateurs often make significant contributions to the field. A few nights ago Wayne Jaeschke found a strange cloud feature in his Mars images. He posted his findings to the site Cloudy Nights. It created a bit of a buzz there, as well as the wider media, (even MSNBC!). It has also piqued the interest of the pros. Researchers working with the Mars Thermal Emission Imaging System onboard the Mars Odyssey spacecraft and the Mars Color Imager onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Observer are looking over their data to try to figure out exactly what it is they're seeing.
posted by dirigibleman on Mar 24, 2012 - 18 comments

Can we go Dad, can we?!

Making the Case for Human Missions to Asteroids
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Mar 7, 2012 - 26 comments

"A situation in many respects similar to ours"

For a time in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, it was erroneously believed that there were canals on Mars.
Maps of the Martian canals. List of Martian Canals. Historical Globes of the Red Planet.
A modern perspective. The Planet Mars: A History of Observation and Discovery .
posted by timshel on Feb 12, 2012 - 26 comments

In Soviet Russia, Mars travels to you

The utopian Mars fiction of Soviet Russia
posted by Artw on Jan 11, 2012 - 8 comments

Best Of 2011: Space and Astronomy

Timelapse of the Year: an awe-inspiring trailer for the movie TimeScapes by Tom Lowe (full 4K version on YouTube/MP4 direct link). (Previously)
Rover Newcomer: Where In The Solar System is Curiosity?
Astronomy Photographer of the Year. The Top 24 Deep Space Pictures of 2011Top 14 Solar System PhotosTop 16 Space Photos.  (Images of a million-light-year long collision of galaxy clusters and a “stellar snow angel” didn’t make the cut, but should have).
Discovery of the Year: Opportunity uncovers conclusive proof that water flowed on Mars.
Astronomy Animation of the year: a zoom to the center of the Milky Way, and the supermassive black hole that is feeding there.
Lifetime Achievement: The Known Universe, a stunning three-minute zoom from the peak of the Himalayas to the edge of the cosmos, finally available in HD. (Previously).
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul on Dec 15, 2011 - 6 comments

Mars or bust!

Curiosity launched today and is on its way to Mars!
posted by Tom-B on Nov 26, 2011 - 60 comments

Space fail?

Yesterday, Russia's first interplanetary mission in 15 years launched sucessfully from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. It ran into serious problems almost immediately. In jeopardy are a sample return mission from the Martian satellite Phobos, The Planetary Society's Living Interplanetary Flight Experiment (LIFE), and China's Yinghuo-1 Mars orbiter.
posted by IvoShandor on Nov 9, 2011 - 40 comments

NASA's new ride

NASA is designing a spiffy new rocket, the Space Launch System, which will lob people and cargo to the moon, an asteroid and eventually Mars. [more inside]
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Oct 20, 2011 - 92 comments

"And the Cadillac of rovers is not far behind...."

Martian Life's Last Stand in the Trenches? "Scientists have found water-bearing deposits on Mars that are out of step with what was happening elsewhere on the planet, raising the prospect that the sites could have hosted Martian life's last stand."
posted by Fizz on Sep 28, 2011 - 27 comments

Water water everywhere

NASA May Have Discovered Flowing Water on Mars Dark, finger-like features appear and extend down some Martian slopes during late spring through summer, fade in winter, and return during the next spring. Repeated observations have tracked the seasonal changes in these recurring features on several steep slopes in the middle latitudes of Mars' southern hemisphere.
posted by modernnomad on Aug 4, 2011 - 65 comments

The frozen desert

Huge cache of frozen carbon dioxide found on Mars.
posted by The Whelk on Apr 24, 2011 - 45 comments

Is there life before Mars?

Six would-be astronauts will this week begin a 520-day mock space voyage to simulate a mission to Mars. How will they cope with the huge psychological pressures? It's a project that may simulate a mission that's going nowhere.
posted by twoleftfeet on Jun 1, 2010 - 113 comments

Designing Space Fighters & Marines

The Physics of Space Battles "I had a discussion recently with friends about the various depictions of space combat in science fiction movies, TV shows, and books. We have the fighter-plane engagements of Star Wars, the subdued, two-dimensional naval combat in Star Trek, the Newtonian planes of Battlestar Galactica, the staggeringly furious energy exchanges of the combat wasps in Peter Hamilton's books, and the use of antimatter rocket engines themselves as weapons in other sci-fi. But suppose we get out there, go terraform Mars, and the Martian colonists actually revolt. Or suppose we encounter hostile aliens. How would space combat actually go?"
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey on Dec 17, 2009 - 106 comments

Explore the Surface of Mercury

NASA's MESSENGER team (previously: 1, 2, 3), with help from the U.S. Geological Survey, released yesterday the first global map of the planet Mercury. [more inside]
posted by SpringAquifer on Dec 16, 2009 - 15 comments

Photos of Martian landscapes

The frequently excellent photo-blog The Big Picture at the Boston Globe has posted a collection of stunning and, well, alien-looking photos of the martian landscape.
posted by Frankieist on Nov 7, 2009 - 30 comments

A trip to Mars

Columbia Hills Flyover 2.0 - "a flyover of the Columbia Hills on Mars using data from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and Spirit, the Mars rover. "
posted by Burhanistan on Sep 25, 2009 - 13 comments

Please Prepare For Landing

1,512 high-resolution images of Mars from the viewpoint of an airplane passenger. Previous photos: 1 2 3
posted by msalt on Sep 4, 2009 - 14 comments

One Way Ticket

In the next few weeks, NASA will present President Obama with options for the near-term future of human spaceflight. A manned flight to Mars is one possibility. But if we do send astronauts to Mars, do we really need to bring them home again?
posted by william_boot on Sep 1, 2009 - 138 comments

Has life on Mars been confirmed?

A British tabloid claims that NASA will today announce the probable presence of life on Mars. Planetary and atmospheric scientists from NASA's Mars program will address a press conference at 2PM EST, apparently about concentrated methane plumes that bloom and dissipate [pdf]. There was a false alarm about a similar briefing a few months ago; is this the real deal?
posted by Joe in Australia on Jan 15, 2009 - 129 comments

Martian maps

Martian maps and a few others in good quality PDF.
posted by Wolfdog on Dec 16, 2008 - 9 comments

Phoenix Confirms Martian Water, Mission Extended

"We have water," said William Boynton of the University of Arizona, lead scientist for the Thermal and Evolved-Gas Analyzer, or TEGA. "We've seen evidence for this water ice before in observations by the Mars Odyssey orbiter and in disappearing chunks observed by Phoenix last month, but this is the first time Martian water has been touched and tasted."
posted by finite on Aug 1, 2008 - 52 comments

New Hi-Res Mars Pix

The European Space Agency's Mars Express Probe has sent back some beautiful new high-resolution images of the Echus Chasma. More images and information can be found here.
posted by tits mcgee on Jul 16, 2008 - 14 comments

Phoenix to land on Mars.

Phoenix is set to land on Mars at 2353 UTC. Video coverage: NASA | CNN
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on May 25, 2008 - 97 comments

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