Mars

RED WINE’S RESVERATROL COULD HELP MARS EXPLORERS STAY STRONG

Mars is about 9 months from Earth with today’s tech, NASA reckons. As the new space race hurtles forward, Harvard researchers are asking: how do we make sure the winners can still stand when they reach the finish line? Published in Frontiers in Physiology, their study shows that resveratrol substantially preserves muscle mass and strength […]

A MATERIAL WAY TO MAKE MARS HABITABLE

People have long dreamed of re-shaping the Martian climate to make it livable for humans. Carl Sagan was the first outside of the realm of science fiction to propose terraforming. In a 1971 paper, Sagan suggested that vaporizing the northern polar ice caps would “yield ~10 s g cm-2 of atmosphere over the planet, higher […]

CURIOSITY DETECTS UNUSUALLY HIGH METHANE LEVELS

This week, NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover found a surprising result: the largest amount of methane ever measured during the mission – about 21 parts per billion units by volume (ppbv). One ppbv means that if you take a volume of air on Mars, one billionth of the volume of air is methane. The finding came […]

NASA INFLATABLE HEAT SHIELD TECHNOLOGY PERFORMS UNDER PRESSURE

Testing is well underway as NASA’s LOFTID – short for Low-Earth Orbit Flight Test of an Inflatable Decelerator – prepares to catch a ride on an Atlas V rocket launch in 2022. LOFTID is a cross-cutting technology designed to help deliver heavy cargos to any planet with an atmosphere. In a few years, NASA and […]

NASA’S MARS 2020 WILL BLAZE A TRAIL — FOR HUMANS

When a female astronaut first sets foot on the Moon in 2024, the historic moment will represent a step toward another NASA first: eventually putting humans on Mars. NASA’s latest robotic mission to the Red Planet, Mars 2020, aims to help future astronauts brave that inhospitable landscape. While the science goal of the Mars 2020 […]

NASA’S MARS HELICOPTER TESTING ENTERS FINAL PHASE

NASA’s Mars Helicopter flight demonstration project has passed a number of key tests with flying colors. In 2021, the small, autonomous helicopter will be the first vehicle in history to attempt to establish the viability of heavier-than-air vehicles flying on another planet. “Nobody’s built a Mars Helicopter before, so we are continuously entering new territory,” […]

SEMI-FINALISTS SELECTED FOR MARS COLONY PRIZE COMPETITION

Twenty-five teams, including entrants from the U.S., the U.K., Japan, Poland, France, Switzerland, Sweden, Finland and Israel, have been selected out of a field of 100 competitors as semi-finalists in the Mars Society’s Mars Colony Prize design contest. The Mars Colony Prize design contest challenged people from all walks of life anywhere in the world […]

NASA INVITES PUBLIC TO SUBMIT NAMES TO FLY ABOARD NEXT MARS ROVER

Although it will be years before the first humans set foot on Mars, NASA is giving the public an opportunity to send their names — stenciled on chips — to the Red Planet with NASA’s Mars 2020 rover, which represents the initial leg of humanity’s first round trip to another planet. The rover is scheduled […]

COMET INSPIRES CHEMISTRY FOR MAKING BREATHABLE OXYGEN ON MARS

Science fiction stories are chock full of terraforming schemes and oxygen generators for a very good reason—we humans need molecular oxygen (O2) to breathe, and space is essentially devoid of it. Even on other planets with thick atmospheres, O2 is hard to come by. So, when we explore space, we need to bring our own […]

LUNAR POWER SYSTEM TEAM WINS PRESIDENT’S AWARD

In preparation of establishing a sustainable presence on the Moon by 2028, NASA is developing new technologies that will let astronauts land, live and explore the surface. In this video, Marc Gibson of NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland describes Kilopower, a power system to enable long-duration stays on planetary surfaces, including the Moon and […]

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