August 12th, 2004

Site chosen for Mars training lab Australian Broadcasting Corporation

The Mars Society of Australia is to begin searching for investors to help fund a proposed Mars research station at Arkaroola in northern South Australia. The proposed laboratory will allow scientists to live and work in isolation, in an environment that closely resembles Mars. The site was picked during a month-long research trip by the Mars Society of Australia and Arkaroola was chosen because of its similarity to the Mars environment. Society director Jon Clarke says the challenge now is to get the funding to build the lab.

April 28th, 2004

Mars astronauts may get bored, pick fights Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Astronauts on future missions to Mars may get so bored and lonely they fight among themselves, say Australian psychologists. The researchers are testing their theory on group conflict with a team of scientists heading to a simulated Mars base in the remote Australian outback this August. The scientists will be living and working in Mars-like conditions at an experimental base at Arkaroola, in the Flinders Ranges, 660 kilometres north of Adelaide. The expedition to Arkaroola leaves on 2 August and is organised by the Mars Society, an international group of scientists based in Colorado dedicated to Mars exploration.

March 30th, 2004

Mars spacesuits to be tested in Oz desert Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Spacesuits for a Mars landing will be slim fitting and use electricity to mould to the human body, say scientists who are about to test a prototype in the Australian desert. PhD student James Waldie from RMIT University in Melbourne will test the prototype spacesuit, called a MarsSkin suit, in the South Australian outback in August. The tests at Arkaroola, more than 600 kilometres north of Adelaide, will be part of a Mars Society Australia project.

February 16th, 2004

Aircon backpack helps soldiers chill Australian Broadcasting Corporation

A tiny airconditioner that fits into a toddler’s backpack and weighs less than a frozen chicken is being developed to keep U.S. soldiers cool. There are also commercial applications, said Dr Ward TeGrotenhuis, chief engineer at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Washington. He delivered a seminar about ‘miniaturised man-portable cooling systems’ recently at the meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Seattle.

January 10th, 2004

One way to Mars, please Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Professor Davies, an astrobiologist and professor of natural philosophy at Macquarie University in Sydney, expects that earth’s first Martian explorers may be similar to Australia’s first colonists. “I see no particular reason that the astronauts who go to Mars should come back again,” Professor Davies said. “I’m in favour of a one-way mission to Mars – it would dramatically cut the costs. “You might think that’s terrible – you’re sending them to their deaths, but that’s not what I had in mind. “I have in mind resupplying them every two years as a sort of cycle of the Martian orbit. “We could send on the food parcels from home and other things that are required to keep a tiny colony, maybe four or six people, going perhaps for many years.”

December 22nd, 2002

British experts to probe signs of life on Mars Australian Broadcasting Corporation

British experts have put on display a robot lander that could settle one of the most pressing questions in space science today: whether life, or the potential for it, exists on Mars. The probe, Beagle 2, will be placed aboard a European Space Agency (ESA) spacecraft, Mars Express, which is scheduled to blast off from Russia’s Baikonur launchpad in Kazakhstan next May 23. If all goes well, exactly one year from now the mother ship will drop off its tiny golden baby as it finally nears the Red Planet.

November 12th, 2002

Mars meteors more common than thought Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Martian meteorites can reach Earth much more easily than first suspected, according to a new U.S.-Russian study, strengthening the case for theories that life on Earth may have originated on the red planet. High resolution computer simulations by Dr James Head of the University of Arizona in the U.S. and Professor Boris Ivanov of the Russian Academy of Sciences has found that even small impacts on Mars

October 29th, 2001

Australian eyes on Mars mission Australian Broadcasting Corporation

If you wanted to start a journey to Mars, where would you go? Well a team of Australian and NASA space specialists are trekking across remote parts of Central Australia looking for a starting point for a possible manned Mars mission. Among the proponents is the Mars Society, a team of scientists who are keen to see mankind land on Mars and who are desperate for Australia to have an involvement. A project team are spending the next fortnight travelling through Central Australia scouting for research locations.

October 27th, 2001

Hopes outback will be home to Mars exploration facility Australian Broadcasting Corporation

It is hoped an expedition into the outback will result in Australia being used as an experimental site for the exploration of the planet Mars. A group of national and international scientists is leaving today to look at sites in the Flinders Ranges and the areas around Woomera, Oodnadatta. The Mars Society Team hopes its research will increase the chances of securing United States funding to support local involvement in establishing an Australian mock-up Mars facility.

October 11th, 2001

Scientists search for Mars-like terrain in outback Australian Broadcasting Corporation

The Australian Mars Society will travel through the South Australian and Northern Territory outback this month to find a location which approximately replicates the terrain on Mars. NASA scientists will join the Australian team to find a location which will be used to build a training base for the first manned mission to the planet. The society’s Jason Hoogland says the expedition will look at areas near Alice Springs, including the Henbury crater site and the Todd River flood plains.

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