The difficulty of going to Mars

There's been a lot of celebration this holiday season of the fiftieth anniversary of the Apollo 8 mission, the first time humans went into (relatively) deep space and orbited another body, the moon.  I'm glad to see Apollo 8 getting some recognition.  It's usually overshadowed by Apollo 11, the first mission to actually land on … Continue reading The difficulty of going to Mars

‘The Martian’: Robinson Crusoe meets Apollo 13

I recently read Andy Weir's novel: 'The Martian'.  Weir's book is a self publishing success story.  An admitted life long geek, he enjoyed thoroughly researching how a mission to Mars might work and what might go wrong with it.  He originally published the book, in serialized form, on his web site.  In response to reader … Continue reading ‘The Martian’: Robinson Crusoe meets Apollo 13

The problems with ensuring humanity’s survival with space colonies

Stephen Hawking, as he has done before, expresses a common sentiment, that we need to colonize space in order to survive. Humans should go and live in space within the next 1,000 years, or it will die out, Stephen Hawking has warned. "We must continue to go into space for the future of humanity," Mr … Continue reading The problems with ensuring humanity’s survival with space colonies

Yep, Mars One appears to be a scam

I've written critically about Mars One before, just evaluating their claims at face value.  But it appears that I wasn't nearly skeptical enough.  Mars One appears to be a scam.  A Mars One "finalist" candidate explains why: Mars One Finalist Explains Exactly How It’s Ripping Off Supporters — Matter — Medium. “When you join the ‘Mars One … Continue reading Yep, Mars One appears to be a scam

Methane-Based Life Possible On Titan

ratamacue0 sent me this interesting Slashdot post: Methane-Based Life Possible On Titan - Slashdot. Randym writes: With the simultaneous announcement of a possible nitrogen-based, cell-like structure allowing life outside the "liquid water zone" (but within a methane atmosphere) announced by researchers at Cornell (academic paper) and the mystery of fluctuating methane levels on Marsraising the possibility of methane-respiring … Continue reading Methane-Based Life Possible On Titan

Comet Siding Spring: A Close Encounter with Mars

In case you haven't heard yet, there's a comet headed for Mars.  It will pass pretty close, close enough for the various orbiters we have in there to get pictures, and for them to be in a little bit of peril.  But apparently there is a plan. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oq8lEKAY_fI Comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring will make … Continue reading Comet Siding Spring: A Close Encounter with Mars

The real goal and challenge of establishing off-world colonies

David Warmflash (a very cool name) has a post up at Discovery looking at the issues with establishing off world colonies: Forget Mars. Here's Where We Should Build Our First Off-World Colonies. The collective space vision of all the world’s countries at the moment seems to be Mars, Mars, Mars. The U.S. has two operational rovers … Continue reading The real goal and challenge of establishing off-world colonies