Highlights from Interbike 2014

Mars

Mars One has received over 78,000 applications from people wanting to be the first to sett...

Despite the one-way nature of the trip, it seems there’s no shortage of people willing to pack their bags and experience life on Mars. Just two weeks after putting out the call for potential Mars settlers, Mars One had received over 78,000 applications from people in over 120 countries. With the application period set to last 19 weeks, the Mars One selection committees face a daunting task in whittling the numbers down to the four individuals that will ultimately make the journey that is planned for September 2022.  Read More

Artist's impression of the MAVEN spacecraft (Image: NASA)

Haikus to Mars may sound like the title of a 1950s sci-fi B movie, but that’s what NASA is asking for. The space agency is inviting the public to submit haikus to be recorded on a DVD that will be carried by the unmanned Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) spacecraft, which is scheduled to launch in November.  Read More

Mars 3 lander (Image: NASA)

Russian space enthusiasts have pinpointed the resting place of what is believed to be the Soviet lander, Mars 3, which failed shortly after landing in 1971. Using images returned by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, a crowdsourcing effort has found what may be four components of the lander, its parachute and descent module.  Read More

Artist's concept of a fusion-drive ship

Traveling through deep space is a hazardous undertaking and choosing the right engine can mean the difference between a fast, successful mission and a slow one with mounting dangers of radiation sickness, equipment failures and personal conflicts. A team of researchers from the University of Washington (UW) and Redmond, Washington-based MSNW are aiming to expand the options by developing a new fusion drive rocket engine that promises to make possible a manned spacecraft that could reach Mars and return to Earth in months rather than years.  Read More

Astronauts in spacesuit simulators (Image: OeWF (Katja Zanella-Kux))

Of all the nations who might get to Mars first, Austria doesn’t loom large. Yet the Austrian Space Forum (OEWF) has sent a manned mission to the Red Planet – or at least, to an Earth-bound version of “Mars” located in the northern Sahara near Erfoud, Morocco. During February OEWF conducted a series of experiments and simulation tests with the aim of gaining a better understanding of how to execute a manned mars mission and develop technology for making it a reality.  Read More

The four gigapixel panorama creates a Street View-like experience on the surface of Mars

Most of us will probably never make it to Mars, but the Curiosity Rover is there trying to give us the next best thing – tons of pictures. A diligent individual by the name of Andrew Bodrov has painstakingly stitched together 407 photos from Curiosity to create something that feels like Google's Street View, but with the Martian landscape as the subject.  Read More

Graphic showing the Sun/mars Conjunction (Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

NASA is taking an enforced holiday of sorts in April as it suspends Mars exploration missions for 17 to 21 days. This isn't due to budget cuts, but rather because Mars will be in conjunction with the Sun during April, which will make direct communications with the probes difficult, if not impossible.  Read More

Trace Gas Orbiter will seek out traces of methane in the Martian atmosphere

ESA and the Russian federal space agency, Roscosmos, have entered into a project to jointly explore the planet Mars. During a ceremony on Thursday (Mar. 14) at ESA Headquarters in Paris, the two agencies formed a partnership for ESA’s ExoMars program when a formal agreement was signed between ESA Director General Jean-Jacques Dordain and Head of Roscosmos Vladimir Popovkin. This agreement covers shared responsibilities for two missions involving three spacecraft in 2016 and 2018.  Read More

Artist’s concept of Curiosity (Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

NASA's Curiosity Mars rover has discovered a rock outcropping that may have been a suitable habitat for microbes in ancient times. Based on a sample collected by unmanned rover’s drill at the John Klein area in Gale Crater and analyzed using the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) and Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) instruments, the findings contribute to Curiosity's primary mission of seeking out areas of the Red Planet where life may have once or still could exist.  Read More

The scans were made by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbitor (Image: NASA)

While you may be aware of NASA's historic Curiosity mission (and the current problems it's facing), you might not have heard of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, or MRO. The craft has been in orbit around the Red Planet since 2006 and its latest research, a 3D scan of a huge underground channel system, has provided researchers with an insight into the planet's recent hydrologic activity.  Read More

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