MarsNews.com
January 14th, 2019

China aims for 2020 Mars mission after lunar success

China’s Chang’e-4 probe makes historic landing on moon’s far side

China is aiming to send a spacecraft to Mars next year, following its successful mission to the far side of the moon.

Lunar rover Jade Rabbit 2 and explorer Chang’e 4 landed on the moon in recent days and have now taken pictures of each other for scientists to study.

Officials at the Chinese space agency say they now plan to send a probe to Mars in 2020 and aim to follow that up with manned missions to the planet.

January 11th, 2019

Meet The Leader Of “The Mars Generation”

The Mars Generation founder Abigail Harrison. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Abigail Harrison wants to be the first person on Mars and she’s on a mission to inspire other to to help with those efforts.

That’s why she stated The Mars Generation, a non-profit dedicated to getting young people involved in STEM and space exploration. The group hosts various outreach events and offers a scholarship for low-income students to attend space camp.

Abigail Harrison, otherwise known as Astronaut Abby, joins us from her home in the Twin Cities, to talk about these efforts.

January 10th, 2019

140 Million Miles From Home

Astronauts are already preparing for the long trip to Mars. How can medicine protect them from the dangers of deep space and the accidents that are bound to happen along the way?
Eschliman Studio

NASA wants to send astronauts to Mars by the 2030s. The private aerospace company SpaceX is even more ambitious, aiming for 2024, and on the engineering side, it’s possible that the necessary spacecraft, launch rockets and guidance systems could be good to go by then. Preparing a crew, however, may turn out to be more daunting. Although people have been going into space for more than half a century, the longest anyone has stayed away from Earth is about 438 days, and no one has ventured farther than the Moon, a mere 239,000 miles away. A crewed mission to Mars would be an exponential leap, especially for the human body.

The first visitors to Mars will most likely spend one year or so in microgravity, pummeled by levels of interstellar and solar radiation no previous humans have endured, while riding in a cramped metal craft to a destination some 140 million miles from Earth. Unlike previous astronauts, who have enjoyed real-time communication with Earth and could return relatively quickly if a medical emergency arose, a Mars crew will soon be too far away to do either of those things. A communication lag of up to 21 minutes each way will require crews to be medically self-reliant in emergency situations, and they’ll have to be able to diagnose and treat anything that comes up—physical problems such as broken bones and bacterial infections, but also depressed or delusional crewmates—without immediate guidance from the ground.

January 8th, 2019

SpaceX’s ‘Starship’ Hopper Prototype Could Make 1st Test Flight in Weeks, Elon Musk Says

“Starship test vehicle under assembly will look similar to this illustration when finished. Operational Starships would obv have windows, etc.” @ElonMusk

SpaceX could take its prototype Mars-colonizing spaceship out for a spin very soon.

The flight-test version of SpaceX’s Starship vehicle could be ready to take its first short “hopping” excursion in a matter of weeks, company founder and CEO Elon Musk said over the weekend.

“Aiming for 4 weeks, which probably means 8 weeks, due to unforeseen issues,” Musk tweeted on Saturday morning (Jan. 5), in response to a Twitter follower who asked when the first hopper test would take place.

SpaceX is developing Starship and a giant rocket called the Super Heavy to take people to and from the moon, Mars and other destinations throughout the solar system. (The reusable duo was previously known as the BFR, but Musk changed the name recently.)

The first crewed Red Planet mission for the rocket and 100-passenger Starship could come as early as the mid-2020s if development and testing go well, Musk has said.

January 7th, 2019

White wine on the Red Planet? Scientists in Georgia are hunting for a perfect Martian grape.

Georgia’s state-run grape library in Saguramo, north of Tbilisi, grows 450 local varieties and 350 foreign varieties of grapes for research purposes. (Amie Ferris-Rotman/The Washington Post)

Georgia promotes itself as the world’s birthplace of wine. So it seems only natural that the country is trying to figure out what varietal might be sipped one day on Mars.

That is the thinking behind the IX Millennium project, which is seeking to develop grapevines fit for the possible Red Planet agriculture pods. The team also wants to put a Georgian stamp on one of the more unusual research fronts related to a dreamed-of Mars colony.

But it’s definitely not without merits.

The research may help answer questions about radiation, dust and other challenges for life-sustaining agriculture on Mars. And after all, who wouldn’t want a glass of Martian wine to welcome a new year (687 Earth days long) on a new planet?

“If we’re going to live on Mars one day, Georgia needs to contribute. Our ancestors brought wine to Earth, so we can do the same to Mars,” said Nikoloz Doborjginidze, founder of Georgia’s Space Research Agency and an adviser to the Ministry of Education and Science, which is part of the wine project.

January 4th, 2019

Egypt on Mars

CUBE Consultants

CUBE is pleased to announce the international design competition for students and fresh graduates from around the world to explore and express their views on the future of Egyptian settlements on Mars through their innovative and visionary proposals.

“Mars Is There, Waiting To Be Reached.” -Buzz Aldrin

This competition is intended to envision a habitat for the first Egyptian colonizers on Mars. It challenges participants to design the future architectural prospect that would define a trend for the architecture of the upcoming human civilization on the Red Planet.

January 3rd, 2019

I’m Moving to Mars

4 FILMS | 16 MIN
Directed by Julia Ngeow

Would you travel to Mars if it meant staying forever? To some, a one-way ticket to another planet might sound daunting—but when Mars One, a European and American venture aiming to send human settlers to one of Earth’s closest neighbors, put out its first call for applicants in 2013, it received thousands of responses. In this new series of doc shorts, we meet five Mars One finalists eager to become the first extraterrestrial emigrants: a former military man, an architect, an engineer, and an adventurous couple who met through Mars One forums online. Find out why all of them are eager to join the first mission, projected to take off in 2031—and what they think will be the biggest challenges of becoming Martians.

January 2nd, 2019

Meet the people who plan to move to Mars in 2032

R Daniel and Yari Golden-Castaño are applicants for a 2032 civilian mission to Mars. TOPIC

Boston-based couple Yari and R Daniel Golden-Castaño met on a Facebook group for aspiring Martians, married on a day when the red planet was closest to the Earth — and have signed up to colonize the fourth planet from the sun.

“It’s just part of [my] childhood dreams,” said R Daniel, 36, an Army reservist who is studying computer science.

The pair are two of 100 semi­finalists worldwide who have been selected for the Mars One program — a Dutch organization’s scheme to launch a human colony on the planet by 2032. More than 4,200 candidates originally applied, and the group of 100 will eventually be whittled down to 24 trainees. They’ll be subjected to a decade of intense training: sequestered in a remote location where they will learn to grow food, repair technology and offer medical training. No one will be given a return ticket.

The 100 come from all ages (18 and over) and walks of life and were chosen for their adaptability, curiosity and suitability to work and live with others. Each submitted an online application with a short video and were interviewed about their motivations.

The Golden-Castaños are among five potential future Martians profiled in “I’m Moving to Mars,” a four-part documentary that premieres Thursday on Topic.com.

December 21st, 2018

Mars Express gets festive: A winter wonderland on Mars

Perspective view of Korolev crater. ESA/DLR/FU Berlin

This image shows what appears to be a large patch of fresh, untrodden snow – a dream for any lover of the holiday season. However, it’s a little too distant for a last-minute winter getaway: this feature, known as Korolev crater, is found on Mars, and is shown here in beautiful detail as seen by Mars Express.

ESA’s Mars Express mission launched on 2 June 2003, and reached Mars six months later. The satellite fired its main engine and entered orbit around the Red Planet on 25 December, making this month the 15-year anniversary of the spacecraft’s orbit insertion and the beginning of its science programme.

These images are an excellent celebration of such a milestone. Taken by the Mars Express High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC), this view of Korolev crater comprises five different ‘strips’ that have been combined to form a single image, with each strip gathered over a different orbit. The crater is also shown in perspective, context, and topographic views, all of which offer a more complete view of the terrain in and around the crater.

December 18th, 2018

NASA Begins America’s New Moon to Mars Exploration Approach in 2018

The first U.S. astronauts who will fly on American-made, commercial spacecraft to and from the International Space Station, wave after being announced, Friday, Aug. 3, 2018 at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. The astronauts are, from left to right: Victor Glover, Mike Hopkins, Bob Behnken, Doug Hurley, Nicole Aunapu Mann, Chris Ferguson, Eric Boe, Josh Cassada and Suni Williams. The agency assigned the nine astronauts to crew the first flight tests and missions of the Boeing CST-100 Starliner and SpaceX Crew Dragon.
Credits: NASA/Bill Ingalls

NASA welcomed a new administrator, Jim Bridenstine, deputy administrator, Jim Morhard, and chief financial officer, Jeff DeWit, in 2018. Their focus is on firmly establishing the groundwork to send Americans back to the Moon sustainably, with plans to use the agency’s lunar experience to prepare to send astronauts to Mars.

“Our agency’s accomplishments in 2018 are breathtaking. We’ve inspired the world and created incredible new capabilities for our nation,” Bridenstine said. “This year, we landed on Mars for the seventh time, and America remains the only country to have landed on Mars successfully. We created new U.S. commercial partnerships to land back on the Moon. We made breakthroughs in our quest to send humans farther into space than ever before. And, we contributed to remarkable advancements in aviation. I want to thank the entire NASA team for a fantastic year of American leadership in space, and I am confident we will build on our 2018 successes in 2019.”

In 2018, NASA celebrated six decades of exploration, discoveries and cutting-edge technology development for the agency’s 60th anniversary on Oct. 1. Bridenstine said, “President Eisenhower launched our nation into the Space Age and President Kennedy gave us the charge to reach the Moon. Over six incredible decades, we have brought the world an amazing number of bold missions in science, aviation and human exploration. NASA and its workforce have never failed to raise the bar of human potential and blaze a trail to the future. We celebrate our legacy today with great promise and a strong direction from the President to return to the Moon and go on to Mars.”

The Office of the Chief Financial Officer received a successful clean audit in 2018 – the eighth consecutive clean financial audit opinion for the agency. In addition, DeWit led his Strategic Investments Division in working with the Government Accounting Office to pass an official Corrective Action Plan for only the second time in NASA’s history, which will increase accountability and transparency into the costs of large programs and proactively improve NASA’s program and project management activities.

On Dec. 11, NASA recently marked the one-year anniversary of Space Policy Directive-1 (SPD-1), which provided a directive for NASA to return humans to the surface of the moon for long-term exploration and utilization and pursue human exploration of Mars and the broader solar system. Two additional space policy directives were enacted this year by the White House, with SPD-2 in February helping ease the regulatory environment so entrepreneurs can thrive in space, and SPD-3 in June helping ensure the U.S. is a leader in providing a safe and secure environment as commercial and civil space traffic increases.