The dream of colonizing Mars may no longer be relegated to the world of science fiction. If Netherlands non-profit Mars One succeeds in its elaborate mission, humans could be settling on the Red Planet in the not-so-distant-future of 2023. To kick-start the sweeping astronaut-selection process and begin what Mars One co-founder Bas Lansdorp calls “the biggest media event ever,” the organization recently released its application criteria, and announced that a team of Mars One experts and viewers of a “global, televised program” will ultimately choose the first of Earth’s ambassadors to Mars. Can this possibly be for real? Here’s what you need to know:
NASA’s Curiosity rover — a car-sized robot mounted on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket — successfully blasted off from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on Saturday morning at 10:02 a.m. Its task: To determine if microbial alien life could, or ever did, exist on the Red Planet. Here’s a look at Curiosity’s ambitious and costly “long cruise to Mars,” by the numbers:
What is NASA’s ‘100-year starship’? The Week
NASA and the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) are starting work on a “Hundred Year Starship” designed to take astronauts on a one-way trip to other planets, says NASA Ames Research Center director Simon “Pete” Worden. “You heard it here,” he told a gathering in San Francisco last weekend. “The human space program is now really aimed at settling other worlds.” What is the Hundred Year Starship, and will it make our sci-fi dreams a reality?