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April 14, 2014

Monday's Big Space Day: See a Rocket Launch, Mars and Total Lunar Eclipse Online Yahoo!

Monday may be a dream come true for space fans, with a rocket launch, Mars and total lunar eclipse aligned in a truly epic cosmic triple play of live webcasts online. 'Space Monday': Total lunar eclipse, rocket launch, brush with Mars Yahoo News Mars Makes Closest Approach to Earth in 6 Years Monday Ahead of Lunar Eclipse SPACE.com SpaceX 'Go' for Dragon Cargo Ship Launch to Space Station Monday SPACE.com Tax Day Total Lunar Eclipse Kicks Off Blood Moon 'Tetrad' SPACE.com SpaceX to Launch Robotic Capsule to Space Station Next Week SPACE.com The events of Space Monday (April 14) begin in the late afternoon, when the private spaceflight company SpaceX will launch a robotic Dragon cargo capsule to the International Space Station. Once darkness falls, stargazers with clear skies can see Mars at its brightest (the Red Planet makes its closest approach to Earth since 2008 Monday), followed by a total eclipse of the moon in the overnight hours. Here's how to watch the events live online:
Full Story | Posted by tourdemars to General News | Permalink

April 9, 2014

Look how clean Opportunity is now! The Planetary Society

You've heard from both Larry Crumpler and A. J. S. Rayl recently about how Opportunity has enjoyed a cleaning event that's left her solar panels sparkling in the sunshine. Here's a rover deck panorama to corroborate that story, newly processed by James Sorenson. I love how the position of the rover mast's shadow across the deck perfectly implies its presence and even height. (Opportunity, of course, cannot see her own camera mast.)
Full Story | Posted by tourdemars to Mars Exploration Rovers | Permalink

April 8, 2014

Awesome alignment: Mars, Earth, sun to line up Tuesday

Skywatchers will get a rare treat Tuesday night when Mars, Earth and the sun will be arranged in a nearly straight line. Every two years, Mars reaches a point in its orbit called "opposition," when the planet lies directly opposite the sun in Earth's sky, according to Astronomy magazine. This means Mars rises near sunset and remains visible all night long as it moves nearly overhead across the night sky. It will be a bright burnt orange color, NASA's Mars Exploration Program reports, and almost 10 times brighter than the brightest stars in the sky. "From our perspective on our spinning world, Mars rises in the east just as the sun sets in the west," NASA reports. "Then, after staying up in the sky the entire night, Mars sets in the west just as the sun rises in the east."
Full Story | Posted by tourdemars to General News | Permalink

April 7, 2014

Opposition of Mars 2014: Sun, Earth and Mars to Align to Make Red Planet Brightest in Six Years Yahoo!

The Sun, Earth and Mars will align tomorrow night in a celestial event that only takes place once every few years. Mars will appear at its brightest for the last six years on the night of 8 April, and stargazers should be able to see the red planet from sunset to sunrise on 9 April. The opposition of Mars occurs when Earth comes closest to Mars for the year. However, this year's is of particular significance because Earth will pass between the Sun and Mars at a particularly close distance, making the red planet the brightest it has been since December 2007. Earth will come 0.621 astronomical units (92.9 million kilometres, 57.7m miles) from Mars. Six and a half years ago it was 0.600AU (89.7m km) from our planet.
Full Story | Posted by tourdemars to General News | Permalink

April 4, 2014

This Cornell Student Built A Rover To Help Colonize Mars Business Insider

Crowther is Team Leader of the Cornell Mars Rover club, an interdisciplinary team of 40 engineering, science, and business undergraduates that designs and builds a mock rover, much like NASA's Spirit or Opportunity rovers that roam Mars. Recently named to BI's list of most impressive students at Cornell, Crowther takes innovation to a new frontier. Rather than focusing on its individual sub-systems, Crowther is responsible for conceptualizing the rover's "big picture" design and investigating new methods of manufacturing, such as 3D printing. Last year, she co-founded the Rapid Prototyping Lab, Cornell's first open space for 3D printing and laser-cutting, which proved to be invaluable in the research and testing phases of building the rover.
Full Story | Posted by tourdemars to Mars Society | Permalink

April 3, 2014

NASA Designs a Robot for Mars Product Design & Development

Valkyrie stands more than six feet tall, weighs 286 pounds, and has an 80 inch wingspan. “It feels human-like, you can look her in the eyes,” says Reg Berka, deputy project manager of Valkyrie, the NASA built robot destined for the red planet. Designed at the NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC), Valkyrie competed in the DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC) [See sidebar] trial round in December 2013, with hopes of one day setting foot on Mars.
Full Story | Posted by tourdemars to Technology | Permalink

April 2, 2014

Exploring Mars in Utah National Geographic

Join five scientists on a "mission to Mars" in Utah. Photojournalist Jim Urquhart embedded with Crew 138 of the Mars Society's Mars Desert Research Station for two weeks in March. The crew describes what it's like, in their own words.
Full Story | Posted by tourdemars to Mars Society | Permalink
Testing life on Mars, but here on Earth Computerworld

A six-astronaut crew has begun its 120-day "mission" on Mars. They're not actually astronauts and they're not actually on Mars, but three men and three women volunteers have begun a four-month mission to investigate how they would interact and survive long-duration space exploration, such as a trip to Mars. The crew of the Hawai»i Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HI-SEAS) is wrapping up its first week of a 120-day experiment. Crew members will live in what the University of Hawaii describes as isolation in an "extremely remote," 1,000-square-foot habitat that's 8,200 feet above sea level on Mauna Loa, one of five volcanoes that form the island of Hawaii.
Full Story | Posted by tourdemars to Humans To Mars | Permalink

April 1, 2014

Southwest Announces New Route and It’s Out of this World! Southwest Airlines

Full Story | Posted by tourdemars to Humans To Mars | Permalink

March 31, 2014

Mars yard ready for Red Planet rover

A state-of-the-art ‘Mars yard’ is now ready to put the ExoMars rover through its paces before the vehicle is launched to the Red Planet in 2018. ESA, the UK Space Agency and Airbus Defence and Space opened the renovated test area in Stevenage, UK, today. ExoMars is a joint endeavour between ESA and Russia’s Roscosmos space agency. Comprising two missions for launch to Mars in 2016 and 2018, ExoMars will address the outstanding scientific question of whether life has ever existed on the planet, by investigating the atmosphere and drilling into the surface to collect and analyse samples. Extended Mars Yard opening Extended Mars Yard opening The programme will also demonstrate key technologies for entry, descent, landing, drilling and roving.
Full Story | Posted by tourdemars to ExoMars | Permalink
Powerful Jets From Mars-Bound Comet Spied by Hubble National Geographic

After lurking in the outer reaches of the solar system for the past one million years, a comet is heading for a close encounter with Mars. The Hubble Space Telescope is keeping tabs on the icy interloper, seen in just-released images. Comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring), which now lies some 353 million miles (568 million kilometers) from Earth, was discovered by Australia’s Robert McNaught, a prolific comet and asteroid hunter, more than a year ago. NASA’s Near-Earth Object Program Office at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, in Pasadena, California, has been refining the comet’s exact trajectory ever since. While researchers have ruled out a direct collision with Mars, the dusty coma of the comet (which is nearly as large as the entire Earth) will sweep directly across the red planet. The comet core, or nucleus, is expected make its closest approach to the red planet on October 19 at 2:28 p.m. ET. It will pass within 85,600 miles (137,760 kilometers) of Mars—less than half the distance from the Earth to the moon.
Full Story | Posted by tourdemars to General News | Permalink