MarsNews.com
October 7th, 2015

Las Vegas bets that SpaceX will make it to Mars before NASA

spacex-dragon-mars

NASA may believe that it’ll be the first to land humans on Mars, but don’t tell that to Las Vegas betting houses. Popular Mechanics has asked Docsports’ Raphael Esparza to set odds for the first organization to put people on Mars, and he believes that SpaceX stands a much better chance of reaching the Red Planet (5 to 1) than anyone else, including NASA (80 to 1). To put it bluntly, SpaceX has the money and the motivation that others don’t — NASA would be the favorite, but its budget cuts are holding it back.

August 24th, 2015

Help Restore Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) Green House by Contributing to New Crowdfunding Campaign

The Mars Society launched today an online crowdfunding campaign – via Indiegogo.com – to help raise $10,000 to rebuild and refurbish the green house used at the organization’s Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) in southern Utah to carry out food and plant research important for eventual human exploration and settlement of the Red Planet.

The MDRS green house (commonly referred to as the GreenHab) was severely damaged by fire late last year, with MDRS staff determining that the facility was unfit for further use and needed to be completely rebuilt.

Plans to restore the new GreenHab include building a geodesic dome designed to house an assortment of food gardens and science experiments. More efficient, easier to use and healthier for plants, the new structure will ensure that plant and food research remain a key aspect of the overall MDRS simulation program.

A generous donation immediately following the GreenHab fire in December allowed the Mars Society to cover the cost of a temporary grow tent for plant research during the remainder of the 2014-15 field season and also purchase materials to build the new GreenHab dome structure.

Since then, Mars Society staff and volunteers have constructed a small sample geodesic test unit and completed a work trip to MDRS this past weekend to lay the building foundation, with plans to return to the Utah site in September to build the new dome in time for the upcoming crew field season, which begins in mid-October.

August 21st, 2015

Two MIT students just schooled a company trying to send people to Mars



Broadcast live streaming video on Ustream

Two MIT engineering students just faced off with a private company that wants to send people on a one-way trip to Mars — and one group won by a landslide.
The debate stemmed from the students’ scathing critique of Mars One’s plan to set up a permanent human colony on Mars. That report, published in 2014, triggered widespread criticism of the company’s too-low $6-billion budget, unrealistic timeline, and general lack of preparedness for the challenges of Mars.

On Aug. 13 at the Mars Society Conference, two of the MIT students picked apart Mars One’s plan again — this time in front of CEO Bas Lansdorp and Barry Finger, chief engineer and director of life support systems for Paragon Space Development Corporation.

June 9th, 2015

Would-be Mars explorers say Utah dinosaur find supports their cause The Salt Lake Tribune

Would-be Mars explorers believe a Utah dinosaur quarry is proof their extraterrestial quest is worthy.

A dinosaur fossil found 13 years ago in southern Utah has resulted in one of the largest fossil discoveries in history and highlights the importance of sending human explorers into space, according to The Mars Society.

Scott Williams, director of science and exhibits for the Burpee Museum of Natural History in Rockford, Illinois, said formal excavations in southern Utah started in 2008 after museum staff were directed to the site by geologists with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

The site, located about 10 miles northwest of Hanksville, has been called a “bone jackpot.” The fossil site extends for more than a quarter mile, Williams says, and is roughly the size and scope of the Dinosaur National Monument bonebed.

April 13th, 2015

Moving To Mars The Salt Lake Tribune

For years, NASA has run experiments replicating the environments of space and alien planets. Rovers and robotics have been tested in the Arizona desert and in the Canadian Arctic. “Human factor” studies in preparation for space-station duties have been carried out in a capsule at the Johnson Space Center and in an underwater lab off Key Largo. These days, the International Space Station provides an analogue for future long-duration missions; the astronaut Scott Kelly, who has just begun the first full year for an American in orbit, is the subject of psychological as well as physical tests. The Hawaii project represents another step for NASA: a test of group dynamics and morale to help design systems that will send a team into deep space.

February 25th, 2015

There will be beer on Mars Playboy

The Mars crew hadn’t had water, power or fuel for 24 hours. Communication was down, space suits needed to be repaired and life support systems were not functioning. But the beer? The beer was just fine.
Earlier this month a team of scientists and space enthusiasts locked themselves into the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS), a simulated Red Planet base in Hanksville, Utah. The base is one of four in the world run by the Mars Society, a nonprofit that wants humans to settle on Mars. Thirteen crews of volunteers will rotate through the bases from November 2014 through May 2015, helping advance the science still needed for colonization.
At the remote base in Utah, the seven surrogate astronauts were testing vital space research, such as emergency response procedures, extraplanetary terraforming and ballistic-launched aerial imaging. And, of course, how to brew beer on other planets.

January 29th, 2015

Fire Ends Mock Mars Mission in Utah Desert Space.com

Four crewmembers simulating a mission on Mars dealt with a real-life emergency late last month — a greenhouse fire so strong that flames reached at least 10 feet (3 meters) high.
On Dec. 29, the first day of their mission, the crew noticed an unusual power surge in their habitat at the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS), in the Utah desert near the small town of Hanksville. A few minutes later, somebody spotted smoke coming from the greenhouse.

January 27th, 2015

Solar Powered 3D Printers on Mars? Researchers Successfully Test Feasibility of Printing Surgical Tools on Red Planet 3DPrint.com

Space exploration has always been fascinating to me. When I stop and think of just how vast our universe is, it makes me realize how small I actually am. Earth is a tiny little particle floating in a vast vacuum called space, much in the same manner as individual atoms are currently floating in Earth’s atmosphere. No matter how you look at it, in the whole scheme of things, we are extremely tiny, and perhaps even insignificant.
Technology is advancing at rapid rates, thanks to increasing capabilities of computers, the ability to share knowledge via the internet, and the growing adoption rate of robotic driven technologies such as 3D printing. The culmination of these advancements has led to exploration outside of the Earth’s atmosphere, and the idea that one day we may colonize other planets has suddenly become a realistic possibility.

December 17th, 2014

How Mock Mars Mission Will Simulate Life on the Red Planet ABC News

PHOTO: The Mars Mission Desert Research Station in Hanksville, Utah.
Martian explorers invaded the desert near the tiny town of Hanksville, Utah, early this morning and will remain there for the next two weeks to test technology that could be crucial on a long-distance mission.
The four-member crew is part of an ongoing mission at Utah’s Mars Desert Research Station to study what life will be like for earthlings who make extraterrestrial visits to the Red Planet. And for the first time, they will be testing 3-D printed medical devices. Dr. Julielynn Y. Wong, a preventive medicine physician who is the director of the Center for Innovative Technologies and Public Health, is leading this — the 145th simulation at the station — to test out medical technologies in space.

November 6th, 2014

Will Interstellar inspire a new space race? The Guardian

Stanley Kubrick was right about most things but when it came to 2001: A Space Odyssey, he got it hopelessly wrong. We’re now 13 years on from that particular date, so where’s our future? Instead of Pan Am flights to the moon we’ve got the faltering efforts of Virgin Galactic, which suffered another setback with the crash of its test plane last week. Instead of elegant space stations resembling modernist furniture showrooms, we have got the cramped tin cans of the International Space Station. And forget survey missions to Jupiter, Nasa doesn’t even have a space shuttle any more. As it is, we are not even on track for the dystopian future of Blade Runner, unless we can knock together some off-world colonies in the next five years. Charlton Heston’s Soylent Green is definitely still on, however, being set in 2022 (spoiler alert: we end up having to eat each other).
From a space enthusiast’s point of view, there is nothing more depressing than the fact that 2001 does not look particularly dated. If you had told those 1960s star children we would be no further out of Earth’s orbit nearly half a century later you’d have been laughed out of the cinema, and many of those people, Americans in particular, have never forgiven their governments for not fulfilling their promises. Political and economic pressures and conspicuous accidents, such as the Challenger and Columbia shuttle disasters, have clipped NASA’s wings considerably, and the multitude of Earthbound problems have put interplanetary exploration on the back burner. But in terms of a big, public plea for rebooting space travel, Interstellar is the answer to space camp’s prayers.