Mars

space science mars NASA Successfully Tested the Rocket Engine That Might Take Humans to Mars
Via NASA
  • -
  • Vote
  • -

According to NASA's article on the test, this is a big step toward sending a manned mission to Mars:

NASA successfully tested the first deep space RS-25 rocket engine for 500 seconds March 10, clearing a major milestone toward the next great era of space exploration. The next time rocket engine No. 2059 fires for that length of time, it will be carrying humans on their first deep-space mission in more than 45 years.

This is all part of a plan to send humans to Mars by 2030, which NASA has laid out in this beautifully illustrated image:

NASA Spirit Rover Is There Life On Mars?
  • -
  • Vote
  • -

It's more than just a weird shadow this time, planetary geologist Steven Ruff and geobiologist Jack Farmer have seen something on Mars that could indicate life was there.  NASA's Spirit Rover took the above image in 2008. They say that the 'cauliflower-like' deposits of minerals seen in this picture could have been formed by microbes. 

The area this photo was taken on Mars is thought to have been a center for hot springs and geyser activity.  The same kind of mineral shapes have been found in Atacama desert in Chile.  



The Atacama desert is often compared to the conditions on Mars and even used as a practice area by NASA for the real thing. 

mars rover selfie This Image From Mars is the One Selfie You'll Really Want to See
Via NASA
  • -
  • Vote
  • -

The Mars Curiosity rover is no stranger to selfies. This is a composite of 57 images taken from the camera at the end of the rover's arm called the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI). It's on top of a sand dune called 'Namib Dune', taking samples of sand to study the composition of sand dunes on Mars and the way they behave in Mars' atmosphere. 

It even took a close up picture of the sand it's been scooping up. 



mice aliens image Alien of the Day: Is There Life on Mars?
  • -
  • Vote
  • -

This image was found among several of the images taken by NASA's Mars Curiosity rover. The amateur astronomer on ArtAlienTV claims that this is a large rodent of about 2-3 feet in length. 

Watch the video for an enhanced view of the "mouse" as well as a few other anomalies, including a big rock that you can kind of see has a scary face if you look at the right angle. 



Is this evidence of life on Mars? There are some who want to believe, but NASA hasn't mentioned any Rodents of Unusual Size in their findings. 

For now, enjoy this artists rendering of the space mouse.

via allsp49

Rush Limbaugh thinks water on Mars is a
Via huffpost
  • -
  • Vote
  • -



"Being right and being alone is a challenging existence."

Most everyone was pretty excited, or at least mildly interested, in the announcement NASA made yesterday about the likely possibility that there's liquid water on Mars.

Not Rush Limbaugh, unfortunately.

He's got his own ideas about just what NASA is doing up there.



According to him:

I said 'look at the temperature data, that has been reported by NASA, has been made up, it's fraudulent for however many years, there isn't any warming, there hasn't been for 18.5 years. And yet, they're lying about it. They're just making up the amount of ice in the North and South Poles, they're making up the temperatures, they're lying and making up false charts and so forth. So what's to stop them from making up something that happened on Mars that will help advance their left-wing agenda on this planet?'



So there you have it. Finally, the truth.

New evidence points to liquid water on Mars.
  • -
  • Vote
  • -



Drink it up, you guys.

Though we've long known that Mars has ice, it was not yet strongly believed that liquid water could exist on the surface of the red planet. Well the newest evidence, released Sept. 28, points strongly to that possibility.

As reported by the New York Times:

In a paper published in the journal Nature Geoscience, Dr. McEwen and other scientists identified waterlogged molecules — salts of a type known as perchlorates — in readings from orbit.

"That's a direct detection of water in the form of hydration of salts," Dr. McEwen said. "There pretty much has to have been liquid water recently present to produce the hydrated salt."

Though young Mars was inundated by rivers, lakes and maybe even an ocean a few billion years ago, the modern moisture is modest. Scientists have long known that large amounts of water remain — but frozen solid in the polar ice caps. There have been fleeting hints of recent liquid water, like fresh-looking gullies, but none have proved convincing.



Liquid water on Mars has been theorized for a while, with many scientists pointing to dark streaks on the surface that would appear seasonally. This most recent evidence is validation for the theory that those streaks are rivers and streams of water.

So what does this mean?

Many things.

It might ease the burden when considering Martian colonization, helping to grow plants and and food on the surface. With that it could also mean possibly helping to oxidize the atmosphere, which is currently mostly made up of carbon dioxide.

And The Verge sees it as a promise for extraterrestrial life:

[T]hat strengthens the possibility of finding microbial life on the Red Planet. The presence of liquid water on Earth is intimately linked with the formation of life, so the odds are better than ever that extraterrestrial organisms are nearby in our Solar System.

This is mind-blowing, eye-popping news.

Stonehenge shaped collection of rocks found on Mars.
  • -
  • Vote
  • -



Those who want to believe are going a little nuts over a grouping of large stones found on Mars, which looks suspiciously like Stonehenge.

Appropriately, its been given a portmanteau — Marshenge.



The Daily Mail has the story:

However, experts have in the past said such stone circles may form as a result of natural processes that also occur here on Earth.

For example, the freeze-thaw cycle of permafrost can cause sediment to churn and separate by grain size that can cause boulders or large rocks to produce stone circles or polygons on low slopes.

The stone circle was highlighted on the Facebook page of a group called Journey to the Surface of the Mars, which regularly pinpoints unusual 'alien' features.

The stone circle on Mars was spotted in images captured by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment, or HiRise, camera on board the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.



This is just one of the many weird Martian things that people have crazy theories about. Remember the facehugging crab monster?



Until the aliens use their stone communicator to conquer us, we'll just be rocking out to this:

Buzz Aldrin forms a master plan to colonize mars by 2039
  • -
  • Vote
  • -



Buzz Aldrin, second man on the moon, has not been quiet about his desire to colonize Mars.

He has talked about it every chance he gets and pretty much only wears the one t-shirt.



Well, he has taken up with the Florida Institute of Technology to make colonization a reality. He signed off with the school on a 'master plan' Aug. 27, which he and the institute hope will provide a clear pathway for the country to get their asses to the red planet sometime in the next few decades.

According to The Guardian:

The 85-year-old Aldrin, who followed Neil Armstrong onto the moon's surface on 20 July 1969, will serve as a research professor of aeronautics as well as a senior faculty adviser for the institute.

He said he hopes his "master plan" is accepted by NASA and the country, with international input. NASA already is working on the spacecraft and rockets to get astronauts to Mars by the mid-2030s.

Aldrin is pushing for a Mars settlement by approximately 2040. More specifically, he's shooting for 2039, the 70th anniversary of his own Apollo 11 moon landing, although he admits the schedule is "adjustable".

One thing's for sure, he's definitely done with that crummy old moon.

Favorite

Links of the Day: Sadistic Raccoons, Martian Women and What You Missed This Weekend



How was your weekend? Good? Great!

But it was so good that you probably fell behind on the important stuff that happened in the world. And you probably fell way behind on all the weird, nonsensical stuff that happened.

Don't worry! We're here to bring you at least the latter!

woman raccoon alien Fantastic Four Mars curiosity dress washing - 597765
View List
  • -
  • Vote
  • -
science-win-nasa-mars-sunset-rover
Via NASA
  • -
  • Vote
  • -

In case you were curious, here is what an alien sees before he/she/it goes to sleep.

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover captured the above image on April 15, and it’s being described as the first sunset observed in color by the spacecraft.

The photos were taken last month, but they were just sent back to Earth last week.

While Mars may appear red, the sunset is actually blue, and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory explains why this is possible:

Dust in the Martian atmosphere has fine particles that permit blue light to penetrate the atmosphere more efficiently than longer-wavelength colors. That causes the blue colors in the mixed light coming from the sun to stay closer to sun’s part of the sky, compared to the wider scattering of yellow and red colors. The effect is most pronounced near sunset, when light from the sun passes through a longer path in the atmosphere than it does at mid-day.

Curiosity first landed on Mars’s Gale Crater in August 2012 with a mission of determining whether or not Mars is or ever was habitable by life forms.

Here’s an animated GIF of the sunset, which uses a series of photos takes over a period of about 6 minutes, 51 seconds. The sight apprently inspired the rover to recite some lines from T.S. Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” on its Twitter account.



Via AP
  • -
  • Vote
  • -

NASA successfully launched its unmanned Orion spacecraft on Friday, the first step in a new era of deep space exploration which could one day lead to humans on Mars.

This 4.5-hour long test marks the furthest a ship built for humans has gone since the Apollo 17 mission in 1972 - 15 times as far as the International Space Station into deep space.

It will make two orbits around the earth before soaring back down to Earth to test its heat shields and parachutes.

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden Jr. has dubbed this "Day One of the Mars era," which will be followed by an attempt to capture an asteroid in the 2020s, and the ultimate goal of eventually reaching Mars in the 2030s.

Where this little guy will be waiting for us…

Via YouTube
  • -
  • Vote
  • -

To commemorate the first anniversary of Curiosity's landing on Mars, NASA takes a look back at the rover's twelve months of expedition so far in this video footage filmed from the rover's eye view.

Mars science curiosity rover - 6837764096
Via NASA
  • -
  • Vote
  • -

NASA finally revealed the findings of Mars Curiosity today, announcing that the rover had discovered signs of simple organic compounds known as perchlorate, as well as water, sulfur and chlorine-containing substances in a Martian soil sample. The news came amidst heavy anticipations and rumored speculations that the rover had found signs of organic life, which was debunked earlier by the U.S. space agency as not true shortly before the announcement today. However, the scientists continued to tak

mars reconnaissance orbiter high definition Mars space - 6742901504
  • -
  • Vote
  • -

Today's space shot comes from the recently updated version of Google Earth's Mars exploration add-on, which features hi-def resolution images of the Red Planet's surface (20 ft. per pixel) captured by the Context Camera (CTX) onboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Start exploring today by downloading Google Earth!

nature Mars space - 6728999424
  • -
  • Vote
  • -

This is a false-color composite image of Valles Marineris, Planet Mars' very own Grand Canyon, captured by the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) aboard ESA's Mars Express spacecraft. Stretching across the Martian highlands for 2,485 miles (4,000 kilometers) in length, 124 miles wide and up to 6.8 miles deep, Valles Marineris is considered one of the largest known canyon systems in the solar system.