Book review: The Long Mars by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter
The year is 2040. America is enshrouded with a “searing blanket” of dust and “ash like diabolic snow” after a cataclysmic event – the eruption of the Yellowstone supervolcano in the Yellowstone National Park.
Communities and landscapes are ripped apart and the devastating effects are not just witnessed in America – they are evident across Earth.
In an ordinary world, the survivors would flee from the immediate danger to neighbouring communities which were not as struck by the disaster, where they would attempt to reassemble their lives.
But these people, who live on our Earth (“Datum Earth”), exist in a world which has a key difference to ours – it contains the Long Earths, a string of Earths which number in the millions. Some are akin to Datum Earth, while others formed in vastly different circumstances.
Private Mars One Colony Project Signs Deal with TV Production Company
The next big reality-TV star may be an aspiring Mars colonist.
The Netherlands-based nonprofit Mars One, which aims to land four settlers on the Red Planet in 2025, announced today (June 2) that it has signed a deal with Darlow Smithson Productions (DSP), an Endemol-owned company, to film its astronaut selection and training process.
"Our team felt all along that we needed a partner whose strength lies in factual storytelling to an international audience," Mars One co-founder and CEOBas Lansdorp said in a statement. "DSP will provide that to Mars One, while allowing our selection committee to maintain control of the applicant selection process. This really is a perfect fit for both of us."
The adventurous primate Curious George is heading to Mars for the first time in a special TV episode of the cartoon airing Monday (May 19).
While Curious George has been to space before, this is the first time he is exploring the Red Planet. In the episode, "Red Planet Monkey," George needs to help engineers on Earth figure out what is making the rover's controls stick. The primate finds himself on an amazing adventure to Mars with his friend, the Man with the Yellow Hat.
Thinkfactory Media Shopping Mars Exploration Reality Series
There is a second reality series project devoted to chronicling a mission to the Red Planet. Leslie Greif’s Thinkfactory Media (Hatfields & McCoys, Gene Simmons: Family Jewels) has partnered with The Mars Society, a non-profit organization dedicated to the exploration and settlement of the Red Planet, on an unscripted TV project that would document Mars Society’s year-long Mars simulation in the Canadian Arctic. Thinkfactory had been working with the Mars Society on the project for the past four months. It took the series out to networks last week, with two outlets interested and currently in discussion with the production company. Tentatively titled Mission To Mars, the series is one of two Mars colonization reality projects in the marketplace, along with Lionsgate TV’s untitled series done in collaboration with Lansdorp’s Mars One, the international Mars mission backed by Dutch billionaire entrepreneur Bas Lansdorp.
Kerbal Space Program to get children as well as Kerbals into space
More details have been announced for KerbalEdu, the educational version of Kerbal Space Program's sandbox space flight sim.
The game sees players constructing spacecraft to launch the little green Kerbals into space as part of the titular Kerbal Space Program.
Propulsion systems, thrusters, aerodynamic design, power generation and docking capabilities, return trips and so on all need to be considered by the player otherwise you have to go through the hearbreak of stranding your Kerbals in space (telling yourself you will one day return to rescue them) or seeing them consumed in a catastrophic rocket malfunction.
LEGO launches Mars Curiosity; Plus! Five toy brick spacecraft awaiting liftoff
NASA's Mars Curiosity rover has landed in LEGO's toy catalog and is now available for order.
The fifth in a line of fan-created, LEGO-produced building kits, the six-wheeled science laboratory could be followed by the now Pluto-bound New Horizons spacecraft, Hubble Space Telescope, or other space-themed kits, if the public votes for them online.
The 295-piece "NASA Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover" is now for sale for $29.95 through the Danish toy company's webshop. Created and suggested by engineer Stephen Pakbaz, who worked on the real Curiosity before its launch to the Red Planet, the model faithfully recreates many of the actual car-size rover's features, including its "rocker-bogie" suspension.
Mars Attacks! 75 years ago, 'War of the Worlds' broadcast put nation in a panic
Bob Sanders was in Grovers Mill when Martians invaded the Jersey town — 75 years ago today.
"William Dock saw the water tower in the moonlight, thought it was a spacecraft," recalls Sanders, now 81 and a lifelong resident of the West Windsor hamlet. "He took a couple shots at it with his double-barreled shotgun."
The town was in a tizzy. The nation was in a panic. Murderous Martians had invaded Earth, their unlikely first landfall Grovers Mill, outside Princeton.
"We sat down and listened to it on the radio," Sanders says of "The War of the Worlds'' broadcast on Oct. 30, 1938. "Some of the local people put their families in their cars and drove out of town."
Last Days On Mars: Blood, Gore and Bacteria
The first manned mission to Mars will be gritty, dangerous and, potentially, miserable for the crew. Despite the thrill of the awe inspiring adventure and discovery, the crew will need to be a very special bunch, fending off life-threatening situations while still carrying out science and completing mission objectives.
In a new trailer released for an upcoming sci-fi movie starring Liev Schreiber (of “X-Men” and “Ray Donovan” fame), the “true” horror of a mission to Mars is depicted, with a twist. In what appears to be the last day of the first manned mission to the Martian surface, a band of astronauts are preparing to come home.
A comic about the first generation of children born on Mars—and what we might become, together, if we have the courage to try. In 2051 AD, when a war between the United States and China plunges two peaceful Martian colonies into a miniature cold war, it's up to the first generation of children born on Mars to restore peace to their planet and set a positive example for Earth.
Poetry Heading To Mars Aboard NASA’s MAVEN Spacecraft
NASA will launch more than 1,100 haiku to Mars aboard the MAVEN spacecraft later this year. The haiku are part of a contest that was sponsored by the University of Colorado and aimed at getting the public more interest in space.
Contestants were asked to “submit haiku poetry relating to NASA’s upcoming MAVEN mission to Mars,” per the university’s website. The MAVEN mission, which launches in November, is setting out to find out why the Red Planet lost its protective atmosphere, reports Discovery News. Scientists generally believe that Mars was once much like Earth. However, something happened to turn it from a lush, water world into a dry, cold desert.
A comic about the first generation of children born on Mars—and what we might become, together, if we have the courage to try.
"Someday Mars will have its own Laura Ingalls Wilder to tell the tale of growing up on the new frontier. But with 'Generation One: Children of Mars,' we can experience some of that story now. It's going to be great."
—Dr. Robert Zubrin, Mars Society President and author of "The Case for Mars"
Life on Mars is a tabletop storygame where we explore what it might be like aboard the first manned mission to mars.
We start simple, choosing a name and role for our crew members. Each turn we move to a place on the ship and describe a little snapshot of their lives. When we arrive on Mars, the board unfolds revealing more opportunities to discover who we are, how we relate, and how life on Mars changes us.
Life on Mars is for 2-4 players and plays in a single 2-3 hour session.
Mattel's Astronaut Barbie becomes a Mars Explorer with help from NASA
A new collaboration between NASA and Mattel, the largest toy company in the world, is turning the Red Planet a tad more pink.
"Mars Explorer Barbie," a new spacesuited version of the iconic fashion doll, officially launched on Monday (Aug. 5), to coincide with the first anniversary of NASA's Curiosity rover landing on Mars. Mars Explorer Barbie is packaged with a cardboard cutout of the six-wheeled Mars Science Laboratory, decked out in pink.