November 2nd, 2009

Mars mission solved: Make it 1-way trip The Toronto Star

A leading cosmologist says he has figured out how to affordably mount a manned mission to Mars – make it a one-way trip.
Citing cost savings as well as reduced risk, Prof. Paul Davies made the suggestion at a gathering of NASA astrobiologists last year.
Davies envisions a first-time mission involving four astronauts. The quartet would land on Mars’ surface and immediately seek shelter, possibly inside lava tubes to avoid radiation poisoning. The first four would eventually be joined by others, establishing a permanent colony on the red planet. None of the visitors could ever return home.
He admitted that conditions might be a little Spartan, but “not as bad as Guantanamo Bay.”

January 23rd, 2004

Scientists confirm water on Mars The Toronto Star

Europe’s Mars orbiter has detected water molecules vapourizing from the Red Planet’s south pole, scientists announced today, calling it the most direct evidence yet of water in the form of ice on the Martian surface. The quest for water on Mars – which could indicate life – has fascinated scientists for centuries. Mars watchers have long believed that the planet’s poles contain frozen water, but previous scientific findings – including NASA’s Mars Odyssey orbiter’s evidence of large amounts of ice – were based more on inferences, European Space Agency scientists said.

December 8th, 2003

Canadian instrument could be lost in space The Toronto Star

The first Canadian scientific instrument to travel beyond earth’s orbit is in danger of becoming lost in space this week as it limps toward Mars on board a Japanese spacecraft. “It’s definitely a big disappointment; we’ve put a lot into this,” said Alain Berinstain, Mars project leader at the Canadian Space Agency. “But if you compare it to our Japanese colleagues, they have a lot more at stake here than we do.” Japan’s problem-plagued Nozomi orbiter is one of four spacecraft currently en route to the red planet.

December 7th, 2003

Mars lander to fly like a Beagle The Toronto Star

Like the little train that thought it could in the children’s story, a bargain-basement spacecraft no bigger than a bicycle wheel is poised to land on Mars Christmas Day and begin the first direct search for extraterrestrial life there in almost 30 years. The lander, conceived and built in Britain, is already a scientific success story for packing the most precise detection gear ever to reach the Red Planet into the smallest package. Beagle 2 has also captured the public imagination here in a grassroots way that the slick NASA publicity machine has seldom managed in the United States.

October 27th, 2003

Real hoax of Martian invasion is on us The Toronto Star

Did the infamous Orson Welles The War Of The Worlds broadcast actually cause mass hysteria, or was it the biggest hoax to be found in the fact that we believe so many panicked?

December 22nd, 1999

Hollywood feels Mars ready for its close-up The Toronto Star

There are currently four Mars films in the works, which are already being hyped on the Web, and James Cameron is behind two of them. He is preparing an IMAX 3-D movie and a television miniseries for the spring of 2001, about the first humans to visit Mars. The shows will likely have the same cast and overlapping stories.

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