May 19th, 2015

Here’s how to download the code NASA uses in its rockets Business Insider

Nerds and future billionaires rejoice: codes used on NASA’s rockets are now free and legal to download.

For the second year in a row, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration has released its public software catalogue, a list of over 1,000 selected programs and codes available for download via the agency’s website.

With only a few restrictions, the release allows US coders and programmers to peak under the hood of NASA programs that the agency doesn’t deem too sensitive to share.

April 29th, 2015

10 things humans are doing right now to reach Mars Business Insider

Mars is a freezing, desolate desert seemingly devoid of life. Yet humanity will be in much better shape after we colonize it.

This feat, however, will not be easy. The first steps will likely begin with return missions from Mars back to Earth. And only after we’ve proven that we can safely transport, land, and launch people from Mars, will we begin considering the possibility of establishing small, permanent colonies there.

Before either of those things can happen, however, scientists first need to make sure we can afford these missions and, more importantly, prove that we have the technology to safely get people to Mars and back.

There are ten projects that are currently underway which should help us move forward with missions to Mars. Based on the ground and in space, these projects are pushing the boundaries of technology and human psychology, physiology, and ingenuity.

April 28th, 2015

ELON MUSK: I think we’ve got a decent shot of sending a person to Mars in 11 or 12 years Business Insider

Elon Musk has his heart set on Mars.

The billionaire entrepreneur seems to have his hands in every cutting edge tech field, and some of that tech is going to help land a human on Mars.

If Musk gets his way then that historic landing will happen within the next 12 years, he said during an episode of Neil deGrasse Tyson’s StarTalk Radio show.

March 30th, 2015

The atmosphere of Mars is a lot weirder than we thought Business Insider

Just earlier this week, NASA’s MAVEN probe observed two mysterious phenomena on Mars.

In its examination of the planet’s thin atmosphere, the probe captured images of a high altitude dust cloud and an aurora deep in the Martian atmosphere.

The discoveries have captivated the field of planetary science, as their origins are beyond the current understanding of Mars’s atmospheric processes.

MAVEN, an acronym that stands for Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution and intentionally harkens to the English word for an expert in a field who seeks to bestow knowledge onto others, was launched in the fall of 2013 and reached Mars’s orbit in September 2014.

March 27th, 2015

NASA’s longest-running and most successful Mars rover may be brought to a halt by budget cuts Business Insider

It’s been a long time coming, but this week NASA’s Mars Opportunity rovercompleted the first-ever Martian marathon. After landing on the Red Planet in January 2004 on a mission originally planned to only last 90 days, Opportunity has instead endured for more than a decade, and has taken eleven years and two months to travel the marathon-standard 42.195 kilometers. On average, that’s only about ten meters per day—slower even than a snail’s pace.

“This is the first time any human enterprise has exceeded the distance of a marathon on the surface of another world,” says John Callas, Opportunity’s project manager at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. “A first time happens only once.”

February 13th, 2015

Elon Musk is getting $3.5 million to write a book about Earth and Mars Business Insider

Elon Musk, the CEO of both Tesla and SpaceX, is taking on a new project.
He is writing a book for Penguin.
We’re told it’s a book about Earth and Mars. It will be half about the issues facing us on Earth — sustainability issues in particular.
The second half will be about the idea of a multiplanetary existence — about what’s possible, about the adventure of experience.
Musk’s literary agent is Jennifer Rudolph Walsh, who runs an agency called the Worldwide Literary Department.

April 19th, 2014

India’s First Mars Mission Midway Through Its Journey, Nearing Its Goal Business Insider

September 24, 2014, is all set to be a red letter day for the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). On this day, India’s Mars spacecraft, Mangalyaan, will enter the Red Planet’s orbit. Midway through its journey, India’s solo Mars mission has captured the imagination of both its citizens and the international space community. If it succeeds, it will be testimony to Indian jugaad – our unique ability to part-innovate and part-improvise – and will also affirm the country’s status as an emerging space superpower.

April 4th, 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.

January 31st, 2014

The Opportunity Rover Looks Nearly Unrecognizable After 10 Years On Mars Business Insider

The Opportunity rover recently celebrated 10 years on Mars, even though the mission was only planned for three months. Engineers thought the rover would conk out much sooner, in part because they believed its solar panels would quickly become caked with dust and cut off the robot’s power supply. Instead, they found that wind storms actually help to clean the panels.
Over the years, Opportunity has taken several self-portraits — an overhead view of the rover made by combining several images — that give us a good idea of how much dust has accumulated on the solar panels. Compared to its first year on Mars, the rover is looking really dirty today.

November 15th, 2012

NASA Scientist: Astronauts Could Absolutely Live On Mars Business Insider

The Mars Curiosity rover is three months into its two-year mission to determine if Mars was, or still is, able to support life.
One life-limiting factor to habitability — and critical to a future manned mission to Mars — is the level of radiation, from cosmic rays and solar particles, that gets to the planet’s surface.
To measure this, an instrument onboard the rover called the Radiation Assessment Detector, or “RAD,” has been collecting data on the daily cycles of radiation reaching Curiosity.

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