“This would be the first time any of the children saw the surface. The colonists had built underground, using existing caves and lava tubes where possible, building and burying structures where necessary. This was to protect themselves from solar and cosmic radiation. On Earth, the atmosphere and magnetic field serve this purpose. But Mars has little of either, so dirt and rock filled the role.”
– from Scratching the Surface: Generation Mars, Prelude
A new paper explores lava tubes in the Hellas Planitia as possible habitats for humans.
This is a wonderful series of lessons on Mars and why/how humans will go there.
Mensa for Kids
Ridiculous title, but the science behind it is quite interesting. Decades old data from Voyager 2 as it passed by Uranus suggests the planet is losing some of its atmosphere through an interesting mechanism. This could also hold clues to how Mars lost its atmosphere.
This is incredibly cool. Sean Doran has used imagery from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and ESA’s Mars Express to create a massive image of the landscape Curiosity has traveled through. The detail here is astonishing.
MSL Traverse map v1.0
1.8 billion pixels 09x HiRISE DTM’s
I think I would have preferred to go second.
“Whoopee! Man, that may have been a small one for Neil, but that’s a long one for me.”
Transit to Mars using current technology takes about six months. How might a crew react to that length of time in close quarters, moving ever farther from Earth? The ISS could provide a testbed and training facility for such a trip.
A Journey to Mars Starts on the Space Station
NASA wants to use the International Space Station as a facility for Mars-analog missions.
This might be the most dedicated space journalism I’ve ever encountered. I want to say “Bravo!”, but that seems weird.