January 28th, 2004

British scientists plan new Mars mission New Zealand Herald

British scientists have begun planning a “Beagle 3” mission to Mars for launch in 2007, even as they try their final attempt to contact the missing Beagle 2 lander. A message will be sent during the next seven days from the orbiting Mars Odyssey spacecraft telling the Beagle 2 – if it is operational – to reboot its computer. That carries the risk that the machine will never return to life if it was working.

December 15th, 2003

Mars astronauts safe from radiation New Zealand Herald

Humans could survive an extended visit to Mars without dying of radiation exposure. A study of the cosmic rays bombarding the planet says a space colony should be able to shield itself from any radiation, thus escaping significant increases in the risk of cancer or other radiation-induced diseases. Although it may be many years before there is a manned mission to Mars, scientists are already assessing what needs to be done for such a return trip to work.

September 29th, 2003

Wool sector’s new-look company has eye on Mars New Zealand Herald

Agricultural science and biotech company Wool Equities today launched its prospectus in Wellington with news that it has an interest in a Mars landing. Wool Equities’ chairman Richard Bentley said a high-tech textile, Softswitch, one of its ventures is producing with a British company, is being assessed by a NASA supplier for use in space suits to be worn on Mars.

August 29th, 2003

Mars gazing phenomenon hits NZ New Zealand Herald

Mars gazers are flocking to New Zealand’s observatories for a rare glimpse of the Red Planet in its closest orbit to earth for 60,000 years. Stardome Observatory in Auckland’s One Tree Hill Domain has seen visitor numbers to its night-time shows treble since launching its Mars programmes two weeks ago.

April 25th, 2003

Find gives hope for life on Mars New Zealand Herald

A lichen which may one day be used to plant life on Mars has been found growing inside rocks near the South Pole. Waikato University biologist Professor Allan Green told the NZ Antarctic Conference in Dunedin this week that an international team of scientists was amazed to find 15 species of lichens in a small rock outcrop on Mt Kyffin, 750km south of Scott Base. Eight species were found in the Taylor Valley, a “dry valley” west of Scott Base which has received virtually no rain for millions of years.

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