August 15th, 2004

Dust Clears, Mars Bright Astrobiology Magazine

One hundred twenty scientists have published their current running tally of results from the Spirit rover. No lakebed evidence has been found yet, but scientists are impressed with the equipment’s diagnostic capabilities so far.

August 12th, 2004

How Mars Fooled the World Astrobiology Magazine

Steven Spielberg and Tom Cruise will bring the classic H.G. Wells alien-invasion novel, “The War of the Worlds”, to the big screen, with Cruise expected to star, according to Variety magazine. The movie version has been accelerated onto a fast track, with only 10 weeks of pre-production scheduled before the film goes into shooting later this year. DreamWorks and Paramount are co-financing “War of the Worlds” which is expected to cost around or over $100 million –with both Cruise and Spielberg opting out of fees in favor of a share of the gross. “War” is now on track for a November start date and a 2005 release.

July 21st, 2004

Allan Hills Meteorite Abiogenic? Astrobiology Magazine

The famous softball-sized meteorite found at Allan Hills in Antarctica continues to spawn debate about its organic vs. inorganic origins. While there is little doubt the meteorite is remarkable at over four and half billion years old and largely undamaged during its fiery terrestrial descent, alternative inorganic hypotheses about its strange interior shapes now has new laboratory evidence.

July 12th, 2004

Terraforming Mars, the Noble Experiment? Astrobiology Magazine

Mars Society founder, Robert Zubrin, talks about how to terraform the red planet. His engineer’s eye reveals his robust plans for not just getting to a new home, but also how to build one from scratch.

June 20th, 2004

Naming Mars: You’re in Charge Astrobiology Magazine

Less than two weeks after Spirit landed on Mars, rover engineers and scientists were already planning Spirit’s itinerary on the surface. “Go To That Crater And Turn Right” read the headline of a January 13 press release. Needless to say, generically referring to features as “that crater,” “this rock,” or “these hills” could quickly become confusing.

June 18th, 2004

The United Nations of Mars Astrobiology Magazine

Great Terraforming Debate: Part V – Donna Shirley, John Rummel, and Kim Stanley Robinson. The Mars Terraforming Debate is co-sponsored by NASA’s Astrobiology Magazine, the SciFi Museum (Seattle), and Breakpoint Media.

June 17th, 2004

Walking Naked on the Red Planet Astrobiology Magazine

At the Astrobiology Science Conference on March 30, scientists and science fiction writers faced off in front of a packed audience to debate the promise and pitfalls of terraforming Mars. In part 4 of this 7-part series, Greg Bear ponders the evolution of humans into Martians.

June 14th, 2004

Defrosting Mars Astrobiology Magazine

Mars has an average global temperature of about minus sixty degrees Celsius (or minus 166 F). Watching seasonal changes on the red planet has been fascinating from the vantage point of a unique constellation of orbiting satellites. How will Mars change as its northern hemisphere now enters a winter cycle?

June 7th, 2004

Fleshing Out Martian Proteins Astrobiology Magazine

Berkeley biophysicist, Richard Mathies, talked with Astrobiology Magazine about plans for a 2009 experiment to test for martian biology. By making a portable test for protein detection and classification, his contribution to future forensics may yield the most comprehensive tests yet for detecting life elsewhere. Can heating soil samples with amino acids reveal biological origin– or not?

May 3rd, 2004

Interview with Beagle 2 Scientist Astrobiology Magazine

Beagle 2 Chief Scientist, Colin Pillinger, talks with Astrobiology Magazine about mission planning for the surface lander and how one might try to detect life using a robotic explorer.