Tag: Mars

House Members Want NASA to Develop Human Space Exploration Roadmap

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Artists concept of NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Robotic Mission capturing an asteroid boulder before redirecting it to an astronaut-accessible orbit around Earth's moon. (Credit: NASA)

Artists concept of NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Robotic Mission capturing an asteroid boulder before redirecting it to an astronaut-accessible orbit around Earth’s moon. (Credit: NASA)

WASHINGTON, D.C. (House Science Committee PR) – On Wednesday, the House Subcommittee on Space held a hearing titled,Charting a Course: Expert Perspectives on NASA’s Human Exploration Proposals.” Witnesses shared their viewpoints on NASA’s human space exploration plans – including a human mission to Mars – and the challenge of keeping programs on track through changing presidential administrations.

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Video: Musk Talks About SpaceX, Mars Settlement

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Musk begins talking about SpaceX at 27:48. Hopes to go to space station in five years. Hopes to launch crew to Mars around 2025. Will describe the Mars Colonial Transporter in September at the International Astronautical Conference in Guadalajara. Mexico.

Praise for NASA’s Commercial Cargo Contract Awards

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CSF_logo2Commercial Spaceflight Federation

NASA announced three cargo contract awards to ensure robust and affordable transportation of critical supplies, scientific experiments and commercial payloads to and from the International Space Station (ISS) through at least 2024. NASA selected Orbital ATK, Sierra Nevada Corporation, and SpaceX to continue and expand upon its successful public-private partnerships with American companies to obtain reliable cargo resupply services for the ISS.

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NASA Year in Review

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WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — In 2015, NASA explored the expanse of our solar system and beyond, and the complex processes of our home planet, while also advancing the technologies for our journey to Mars, and new aviation systems as the agency reached new milestones aboard the International Space Station.

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UK Report Recommends Deeper Involvement in Space Exploration

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UK_space_agencyA new advisory report recommends the United Kingdom maximize its engagement in an on-going international effort to explore space that includes robotic missions to the moon and Mars.

“The UK Space Exploration Working Group recommends that the United Kingdom takes maximum advantage of the unique opportunities presented by the Global Exploration Strategy. It should play a full and active role in these programmes and the endeavours that will define space exploration in this century.

“Involvement in both robotic and human elements of space exploration should be strategically targeted to develop new capabilities by building on existing UK strengths. Such activities will generate scientific knowledge and return value to the UK economy through technological challenges, innovations and new commercial ventures. Furthermore they will engage British society in the full excitement of space exploration and help to inspire a new generation of scientists and engineers.
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NASA Suspends 2016 Launch of Mars InSight Mission

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Mars InSight lander (Credit: NASA)

Mars InSight lander (Credit: NASA)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — After thorough examination, NASA managers have decided to suspend the planned March 2016 launch of the Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) mission. The decision follows unsuccessful attempts to repair a leak in a section of the prime instrument in the science payload.

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Musk Wants to Settle Mars Before It’s Too Late

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Elon Musk (Credit: SpaceX)

Elon Musk (Credit: SpaceX)

In a lengthy profile in GQ, Elon Musk there might only be a short window to create a self-sustaining colony on Mars before humanity does something stupid like have a nuclear war. He added that he might reveal details of his “really big” and seemingly “pretty crazy” plan to colonize the Red Planet next year.

First, the urgency of colonizing Mars.

I ask Musk how often he actually thinks about colonizing Mars. Every day? Every week? “I do think about it a fair bit,” he answers, explaining that part of his urgency is that we might not always have the technology to get there. Most of us instinctively assume that technology relentlessly marches forward, but there have been times before now in human history—after the Egyptians built the Pyramids, for instance, or after the multiple advances of the Roman Empire—when the civilizations that followed could no longer do what had been done before, and perhaps there’s a complacency and arrogance in assuming that this won’t happen again.
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Spike to Bring Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars Trilogy to TV

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red_mars_coverNew York, NY, December 8, 2015Spike is bringing Kim Stanley Robinson’s award-winning “Mars Trilogy” to television with Skydance Television serving as the studio on the original one-hour scripted series, titled “Red Mars.”

The books, “Red Mars,” “Green Mars,” and “Blue Mars,” chronicles mankind’s colonization and transformation of the red planet, have been adapted in 21 languages and are regarded as the best novels ever written on the subject.

“Red Mars” will be Executive Produced and written by J. Michael Straczynski whose works include “Sense8,” “Babylon Five” and “Changeling.” The straight-to-series project will be Executive Produced by Emmy®-Award winner Vince Gerardis (“Game of Thrones, “Flash Forward”) who brought the project to Spike and has shepherded development, along with Skydance’s David Ellison, Dana Goldberg and Marcy Ross (Skydance’s 2015 feature films are “Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation” and “Terminator Genisys” and current television series include “Grace and Frankie” and “Manhattan”).

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NASA Cargo Resupply Decision Set for Next Week

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Cygnus and ISS robotic arm (Credit: NASA)

Cygnus and ISS robotic arm (Credit: NASA)

On Nov. 5, NASA will announce contracts worth up to $14 billion to fly cargo to the International Space Station (ISS) for 2018 until 2024.

Four companies reportedly remain in the Commercial Resupply Services 2 competition: incumbents Orbital ATK and SpaceX, and challengers Boeing and Sierra Nevada Corporation. Lockheed Martin has been reportedly eliminated from the competition.

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Snooze on Your Way to Mars

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Mars torpor transport (Credit: SpaceWorks)

Mars torpor transport (Credit: SpaceWorks)

ATLANTA, October 16, 2015 (SpaceWorks PR) — SpaceWorks Enterprises, Inc. (SEI) is pleased to release its recent findings evaluating the potential of its torpor-technology to enable sending an unprecedented number of passengers on a mission to Mars.

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Launch Pad Repairs Completed on Wallops Island

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An aerial view of the Wallops Island launch facilities taken by the Wallops Incident Response Team Oct. 29 following the failed launch attempt of Orbital Science Corp.'s Antares rocket Oct. 28. (Credit: NASA/Terry Zaperach)

An aerial view of the Wallops Island launch facilities taken by the Wallops Incident Response Team Oct. 29 following the failed launch attempt of Orbital Science Corp.’s Antares rocket Oct. 28. (Credit: NASA/Terry Zaperach)

NORFOLK, Va. (Virginia Space PR) – Today, September 30, marks the completion of the major repair work at the Virginia Space – MARS Launch Pad-0A, located on NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility. This is a significant milestone in support of Orbital ATK resuming cargo resupply service with the upgraded Antares launch vehicle to the International Space Station for NASA.

The rebuild effort restored to flight readiness the facility and all systems that were damaged during the October 28, 2014 launch mishap. This work included repairs or replacement to the Deluge, HVAC, Fire Alarm, Electrical systems, Controls, Liquid Fueling Facilities and any damaged structures. The work was completed as scheduled, and within the overall budget while keeping a small management reserve for final system performance testing, which started September 25, 2015.

Rush Limbaugh: Mars Water Announcement Part of Leftist Plot

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Limbaugh has flowing water on his brain. His synapses are clearly firing, but they’re being short circuited by some briny mixture inside his head. Thus, “flowing water on Mars, well that’s kind of cool, wonder what that means” becomes “NASA is making this up to somehow support a vast left-wing global warming conspiracy.”

It’s kooky. Even for him.

But, it does point to one of the problems with this whole conspiracy theory. NASA is a science agency. It reports the results of its scientific research. It’s the gold standard in planetary science. Nobody in the world does it better than they do.

Yet, some of the same folks who believe what NASA reports about other planets — Lamar Smith, for example, was thrilled by the Mars news — believe it has been hopelessly corrupted in what it reports about our own.

It’s the same agency. It’s the same Science Directorate. Similar methods are used to gather and analyze the data. It doesn’t make any sense. NASA’s science program either has integrity or it doesn’t. Otherwise, you’re simply picking and choosing what science results to believe based on per-conceived ideology.

NASA Confirms Evidence That Liquid Water Flows on Today’s Mars

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These dark, narrow, 100 meter-long streaks called recurring slope lineae flowing downhill on Mars are inferred to have been formed by contemporary flowing water. Recently, planetary scientists detected hydrated salts on these slopes at Hale crater, corroborating their original hypothesis that the streaks are indeed formed by liquid water. The blue color seen upslope of the dark streaks are thought not to be related to their formation, but instead are from the presence of the mineral pyroxene. The image is produced by draping an orthorectified (Infrared-Red-Blue/Green(IRB)) false color image (ESP_030570_1440) on a Digital Terrain Model (DTM) of the same site produced by High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (University of Arizona). Vertical exaggeration is 1.5. (Credits: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona)

These dark, narrow, 100 meter-long streaks called recurring slope lineae flowing downhill on Mars are inferred to have been formed by contemporary flowing water. Recently, planetary scientists detected hydrated salts on these slopes at Hale crater, corroborating their original hypothesis that the streaks are indeed formed by liquid water. The blue color seen upslope of the dark streaks are thought not to be related to their formation, but instead are from the presence of the mineral pyroxene. The image is produced by draping an orthorectified (Infrared-Red-Blue/Green(IRB)) false color image (ESP_030570_1440) on a Digital Terrain Model (DTM) of the same site produced by High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (University of Arizona). Vertical exaggeration is 1.5. (Credits: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona)

WASHINGTON, DC (NASA PR) — New findings from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) provide the strongest evidence yet that liquid water flows intermittently on present-day Mars.

Using an imaging spectrometer on MRO, researchers detected signatures of hydrated minerals on slopes where mysterious streaks are seen on the Red Planet. These darkish streaks appear to ebb and flow over time. They darken and appear to flow down steep slopes during warm seasons, and then fade in cooler seasons. They appear in several locations on Mars when temperatures are above minus 10 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 23 Celsius), and disappear at colder times.

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Video: NASA’s LDSD Paving the Way to Mars

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Video Caption: NASA’s Ian Clark is the Principal Investigator for the Low Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) Project; it’s basically an inflatable airbrake designed to help spacecraft descending through a planet’s atmosphere to slow from breakneck speeds to a safe landing speed. The technology behind LDSD will allow NASA to safely land spacecraft with larger payloads on the surface of Mars, more accurately and at elevations we’ve never before had access to.

Elon Musk & The End of the World as We Know It

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nuclear_explosion
Elon Musk wants to build a colony on Mars to ensure the human race will survive if Earth is somehow wiped out. He argues that putting all of humanity’s eggs in one basket — as they have been for millions of years — is too big a risk.

Is he right? Is settlement on a cold, barren lifeless world that’s trying to kill us six ways to Sunday the only way to ensure our long-term survival? Or would it be better to focus on the actual threats at hand?

Let’s take a closer to look at all the things that could potentially wipe humanity off the face of the Earth. It’s not very pretty. So, if you’re squeamish, stop here. Some of the stuff that follows is kind of disturbing.

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