October 2nd, 2005

NASA Grant Energizes Student-Developed Mars Project

Future explorers of Mars got a literal leg up thanks to a NASA research grant provided to a student space project. The Mars Gravity Biosatellite Program announced September 21 that they have received a $200,000 NASA advanced projects development grant. The funding will support development of a full payload engineering model, as well as make possible a number of tasks that push the project nearer to a real-time liftoff. The Mars Gravity Biosatellite Program is the first ever mission to study the effects of Martian gravity on mammals, a fundamental step moving humans out beyond low Earth orbit to the red planet.

July 20th, 2004

Mouse Tronauts to land on Mars China Radio International

A group of mice will be trained and sent off the planet in 2006 to help pave the way for a human visit to Mars. This is a serious space project by US-Australian scientists. But before the rodents rocket away from earth, a Chinese company will create a sci-fi cartoon based on their interstellar adventures. “The Mouse Tronaut” is the first cartoon based on a real space project, designated to bring a hi-tech and adventurous feel to young audiences in China.

May 29th, 2004

Mars Gravity Update

The Mars Gravity Biosatellite team is developing an earth-orbiting satellite to study the effects of Martian-level gravity on mammals, a key step in preparing for the human exploration of Mars. This partnership of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the University of Washington (UW), and the University of Queensland (UQ) provides a unique opportunity for student involvement in technology development, ground-breaking research, and international collaboration.

April 12th, 2004

Mice to help us endure trip to Mars Ledger-Enquirer

In Massachusetts, a cadre of tiny mice anxiously wait, hoping they have the right stuff to become the first test astronauts for a very special trip into orbit. This latest space venture hopes to make future trips to Mars safer for humans, since we still have much to learn about the long-term effects of space travel on the human body. Even though we’ve been lifting off the launch pad since 1961, the question remains as to how much the human body can endure in conditions vastly different those on Earth.

March 20th, 2004

Destination Mars Science News for Kids

If you’re lucky, you might someday walk on the surface of Mars. For some scientists, the question is no longer whether people will ever get to Mars. It’s a question of when people will travel there. The most cautious of the bunch say it may take many decades to overcome the obstacles standing in the way of such an expedition. Others are more optimistic.

February 12th, 2004

Mars Gravity Biosatellite Newsletter #7

Mars Gravity Biosatellite will provide the first data on the adaptation of the mammalian body to the partial gravity of 0.38g found on the surface of Mars. It will help provide answers to one of the critical outstanding questions in the planning of future human expeditions to the Red Planet. Mars Gravity is led by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the University of Washington (UW) and the University of Queensland (UQ). In this edition: 1. WATCH THIS SPACE – Mars Gravity Notices 2. EVENT HORIZON – News and Views on Events 3. TECH LIFE – Science and Engineering Updates 4. LIL’ BIT OF SOL – Team Member News

January 29th, 2004

Students to rocket mice into space The Daily

Students and researchers at the UW have a dream that one day, humans will be able to explore every part of the universe. They are making their dream a reality by designing a mission to determine mammals’ response to the reduced-gravity environment of Mars. The program, called the Mars Gravity Biosatellite Program, is the collaborative effort of the UW, MIT and the University of Queensland in Australia.

January 28th, 2004

Mars Mice NASA

Astronauts experience many detrimental changes in their bodies when they leave the 1g environment of Earth and travel in microgravity (0g). Such changes including loss of bone mass and muscle atrophy. We know a great deal about life in 0g thanks to numerous missions aboard the shuttles and the International Space Station; but now scientists are starting to wonder what will happen to humans living in environments like Mars, which experience a fraction of Earth’s gravity. At .38g, is Mars gravity enough to keep human explorers healthy? Will they be able to readapt when they return to Earth?

January 20th, 2004

Mars Mice NASA Science

From long experience on the space shuttle and various space stations, we have some knowledge of how mammals, especially people, respond to 0-g. We have even more experience with 1-g on Earth. But we still don’t know what happens in between. What, for example, will happen to humans on Mars where the surface gravity is 0.38-g? Is that enough to keep human explorers functioning properly? And, importantly, how easily will they readapt to 1-g, once they return to Earth? In 2006 a group of mice-astronauts will orbit Earth inside a spinning spacecraft. Their mission: to learn what its like to live on Mars.

January 15th, 2004

Martian Gravity To Be Tested on Mice Universe Today

Students and researchers at MIT are designing a space mission to learn about the effects of Mars-level gravity using pint-sized astronauts. The 15 mouse-trounauts will orbit Earth for five weeks to help researchers learn how Martian gravity – about one-third that of Earth – will affect the mammalian body. The mouse cages will be designed for comfort and protection with room for the little travelers to lope around for exercise in the simulated gravity of Mars.