The bone-dry desert of present-day Mars may seem like the last place you would look for water, but the Red Planet actually contains a wealth of water locked up in ice.
Vincent Lieser's insight:
In the lunar experiment, Ethridge and William Kaukler of the University of Alabama in Huntsville used a conventional kitchenmicrowave oven to "cook" some simulated regolith, the layer of loose soil and rocks found on the moon's or Mars' surface. The heat vaporized the frozen water, which was then collected and condensed on a chilled plate.
Russia's Roscosmos space agency has suggested expanding the length of future expeditions to the International Space Station from the current six months to a year and even longer to provide for the next step in space exploration - manned spaceflights beyond low-Earth orbit.
Des scientifiques australiens estiment que le sous-sol de Mars est suceptible d'abriter une vie microbienne. La pression et la chaleur émise depuis le noyau permettraient aux bactéries et à d'autres micro-organismes de se développer.
Last month, the investigators on the Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD) instrument aboard NASA’s Curiosity rover announced some of their findings. According to the scientists, the RAD measurements indicate that the crew of a human Mars expedition using present-day propulsion technology (six-month transits each way, 18 months on the surface) would receive a round-trip radiation dose of about 0.6 Sievert (Sv), or 60 rem (1 Sv = 100 rem.)
When Raye Kass heard of the Mars One proposal to build a human outpost on Mars, her first thought was this: “No way, no how.” For one thing, who would go? Who in their right mind would volunteer for this idea of Dutch entrepreneur Bas Lansdorp for a one-way voyage to the Red Planet to establish a permanent human colony there. And yet, ever since a news release was issued in May of last year announcing plans for an emigration to Mars in 2023, more than 78,000 people around the world have submitted applications for crew positions — including 35 Canadians.
Vincent Lieser's insight:
The Mars One Project : from skepticism to being part of the crew selection team...
Serial entrepreneur Elon Musk says SpaceX is developing a plan for trips to Mars that will eventually cost just $500,000 per seat. Musk founded SpaceX 10 years ago and interplanetary travel has always been one of his goals for the company. Few details were provided about the Martian voyage, but Musk did say we can expect to hear more about the plan in less than a year.
"If we're going to colonize Mars — and some scientists say we must — it's likely that we'll start by terraforming. Terraforming, or planetary engineering, is the process of altering the climate of a planet to be more hospitable to life and human exploration. Of all the bodies in the solar system, Mars is by far the best candidate. Here's how that would work."
Researchers studying C. elegans roundworms on the International Space Station found that they grow and reproduce well for long periods in space. Sending the worms to Mars or on other deep space missions may be the next step.
Indeed, they could shed light on some of the challenges humans will have to overcome to become a multiplanetary species. Those challenges include the muscular deterioration and radiation exposure associated with long-duration spaceflight.
"Expansion of the human economy over this century will be key to the maintenance of a technological civilization. Without the capabilities that only such a civilization affords, the immediate human future could turn unimaginably dark. Human spaceflight is one tool we can use to allow people to see the possibility of a better future, to expand our technological base, to develop additional resources by seeking cooperation and writing new law, and ultimately to see ourselves in a new way.
NASA is working with Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) to plan a mission that would search for evidence of life buried in the ice of Martian dirt. The NASA science hardware would fly to the Red Planet aboard SpaceX's Dragon capsule, which the company is developing to ferry cargo and astronauts to and from the International Space Station. The "Red Dragon" mission, which could be ready to launch by 2018, would carry a cost of about $500 million or less.
For instance, "Elon Musk's plans to send humans to Mars are simply not realistic" if you pay close attention to the details. A plan that "looks good on a cocktail napkin but the same old hand waving is required to shoo away the issues with those pesky human factors like radiation protection and artificial gravity generation."
Une vidéo expliquant en quoi Curiosity contribue aussi à une future exploration humaine. En effet, si Mars ne possède pas de champ magnétique comme la Terre, certaines zones de la planète pourraient tout de même être protégées contre les radiations, ce qui en ferait des sites d'atterrissage plus sûrs pour de futurs explorateurs.
With current technology, nothing larger or heavier than MSL can be put on the surface of Mars. Anything more massive, including a human mission, which NASA estimates would require landing at least 40 to 80 tons of machinery, is completely out of the question. (...) But the situation isn’t hopeless. In the years since Braun and Manning’s article appeared, engineers have been coming up with ideas for the next generation of Martian landers. Here are some of the schemes that may one day bring large payloads — and humans — to the surface of Mars.
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