November 25th, 2007

Blue Mars Honolulu Star-Bulletin

Creating a world set 170 years in the future is what a team of Honolulu-based game developers considers a challenge. On the Net:
Make the planet Mars, populate it with ultra-modern cities, flying cars and millions of gamers, and that’s what they call a whole lot of fun.
The development of Blue Mars, an online multiplayer game set to debut in beta format next year, is bringing dozens of former Square USA employees back to Hawaii under the company Avatar Reality Inc.
The company, founded in mid-2006, is helping revitalize a local gaming industry that saw the loss of more than 200 game developers when Square closed its Honolulu office in 2002.

January 25th, 2004

From Manoa to Mars Honolulu Star-Bulletin

University of Hawaii Mars researchers are anxious to see what NASA’s rover explorers Spirit and Opportunity reveal about the Red Planet. Spirit’s landing Jan. 4 in Gusev crater was “an incredible accomplishment … great for the space agency and for humanity in general,” said Pete Mouginis-Mark, Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology interim director.

August 19th, 2002

Team to analyze Mars data probe Honolulu Star-Bulletin

Vast reservoirs of underground ice on the Red Planet and other exciting discoveries by Mars Odyssey will be reviewed in Honolulu this week by the team that developed the spacecraft’s key instrument. “We were really surprised at just how much ice was buried just inches beneath the surface,” William Boynton, of the University of Arizona Lunar and Planetary Institute, said in an interview here. Mars Odyssey was launched by NASA on April 7 last year and is operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. It carries a Gamma Ray Spectrometer — three instruments in one — designed to analyze the chemical composition of Mars’ surface and detect water at shallow depths.

December 9th, 2001

Meteorite trip excites scientist Honolulu Star-Bulletin

University of Hawaii geologist Linda Martel, who wanted to be an astronaut as a little girl, will pursue her fascination with space in search of meteorites during a seven-week expedition in Antarctica. “It’s like a field trip to the moon and asteroids,” she said. “I picture this as being in a space outpost.” An educational specialist in the Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology, Martel is scheduled to leave tomorrow to join nine other scientists on this year’s Antarctic Search for Meteorites team. The National Science Foundation, NASA and the Smithsonian Institution sponsor the annual expedition to search for clues to the origins of the solar system, planets and possible life on Mars.

October 25th, 2001

UH scientists jazzed about Mars trip Honolulu Star-Bulletin

University of Hawaii planetary scientists are relieved and elated that NASA’s 2001 Mars Odyssey spacecraft is orbiting around the Red Planet. “We are eagerly awaiting the first data coming back,” said Peter Mouginis-Mark, Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology professor and researcher. The spacecraft’s successful orbit late yesterday after traveling 93 million miles through space was cheered after two previous NASA satellites to Mars failed. “We’re just really excited about getting access to some of the data sets,” Mouginis-Mark said. The two instruments aboard, a thermal infrared camera and a gamma ray spectrometer, will be tested in the next month but real data isn’t expected until about New Year’s, he said.

June 21st, 2001

Mars set for bright climb up island summer skies Honolulu Star-Bulletin

Islanders will have a spectacular view of the Red Planet this summer in the night sky in the east, says Mike Shanahan, Bishop Museum Planetarium manager. “It’s not as bright as Venus, but it is still way bright for Mars,” he said. Mars — called “Hoku’ulua” in Hawaiian for “red star” — is coming closer to Earth. It is the brightest the planet has been since 1988 and, further into the summer, it will move higher in the western sky at sunset, Shanahan said.