Canada’s first astronaut in space says he’s convinced there was once life on Mars and Canadians are uniquely placed to figure out if there still is. Garneau said he’s convinced there once was life, but he’s doubts there still is, although it could exist in a kind of dormant state under the planet’s surface. “We need to find it,” he said. Canadian companies could be at the forefront of finding it. It requires mining.
American and European space agencies are in stiff competition in a race to send a manned mission to Mars within the next 30 years. U.S. President George W. Bush wants to return astronauts to the moon by 2020 and then send them on to Mars about a decade later. Michael McKay, the European Space Agency’s ground manager for the Mars Express program, said “We’re not sitting back resting in our laurels. . .we’re looking at putting the first human on Mars in the year 2030.”
‘Martians’ land in T.O. cnews
Living like Martians for a week has stoked the dreams of Mars’ scientific zealots who believe astronauts could walk on the Red Planet within 10 years. Members of a hi-tech crew are in Toronto this week after returning from a Mars-like research station in the Arctic where they’ve been trained for an imaginary mission to Mars. “We believe there are hundreds of millions of people around the world who want to see the exploration of Mars,” said Dr. Robert Zubrin, president of the Mars Society, the group that organized the expedition. “And doing it is completely political. From a technical point of view, we could launch to Mars in 2008.”
More than 1,000 aerospace experts and enthusiasts will be in town today for the third annual International Mars Society’s convention at Ryerson Polytechnic University. But the four-day event has nothing to do with men from the tiny red planet. Instead, NASA scientists, film directors and Mars fanatics from around the world will discuss the technical, scientific and social aspects of exploring and establishing human settlements on Mars.
Nomad goes solo cnews
After many months with only its learner’s permit, Nomad the robot is finally driving solo — on an icy Antarctic plain. A successful test in Antarctica could lead to Nomad’s serving as a a prototype for future scientific missions to Mars and the Moon.