Human Mars Lander Must Break New Ground
Aviation Week & Space Technology
For all the attention focused on how hard it will be to keep astronauts alive while they fly from Earth to Mars, the challenge of setting them safely down on the Martian surface will be just as difficult.
Entry-descent-and-landing (EDL) experts who spoke at a Humans To Mars symposium here say the “sky crane” that landed the robotic Curiosity rover on Mars last year will not scale to the huge sizes need for humans. And even if it did, the “seven minutes of terror” controllers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory experienced at a distance during the first sky-crane landing may be a little too tame for a human mission.
Op/Ed - Buzz Aldrin on Why We Should Go to Mars
A member of the Apollo 11 mission in 1969, Buzz Aldrin was the second man to walk on the moon. In the years since, he has become an advocate for space exploration and technology, calling for renewed U.S. investment in the space program. In Mission to Mars: My Vision for Space Exploration, Aldrin lays out a detailed, multi-stage plan for journeying to the red planet that would culminate in the first permanent human settlement beyond the Earth
What Would A Colony On Mars Look Like?
American astronaut Buzz Aldrin says the U.S. and NASA should focus on establishing a permanent colony on Mars by 2040. How likely is a future that include humans actually living on Mars? Should we be allocating our resources to this endeavor?
Poll: Americans Overwhelmingly Support Doubling NASA’s Budget, Mission To Mars
The American public overwhelmingly support a doubling of NASA’s budget in order to fund a mission to Mars, according to a recent survey. The poll, commissioned by Explore Mars, a nonprofit organization, and aerospace contractor Boeing, also demonstrated a high degree of enthusiasm about human exploration of Mars.
The survey found that 76 percent of Americans agree that NASA’s budget should be increased to 1 percent of the total federal budget to fund initiatives, including a mission to Mars. Currently NASA’s budget represents less than 0.5 percent of overall federal spending.
Poll respondents said they think a manned mission to Mars should be the country’s top priority in space exploration. The poll also showed that, in spite of the current budgetary climate, Americans remain very optimistic about the prospect of putting humans on Mars within the next two decades, with 71 percent saying they expect it will happen by 2033.
78,000 apply to leave Earth forever to live on Mars
Huge numbers of people on Earth are keen to leave the planet forever and seek a new life homesteading on Mars.
About 78,000 people have applied to become Red Planet colonists with the nonprofit organization Mars One since its application process opened on April 22, officials announced Tuesday. Mars One aims to land four people on the Red Planet in 2023 as the vanguard of a permanent colony, with more astronauts arriving every two years thereafter.
"With 78,000 applications in two weeks, this is turning out to be the most desired job in history," Mars One Chief Executive Officer and co-founder Bas Lansdorp said in a statement. "These numbers put us right on track for our goal of half a million applicants."
Win a Copy of Buzz Aldrin’s Book, Mission to Mars
Buzz Aldrin, celebrated Apollo astronaut and an outspoken champion for the pursuit of space exploration, is on a mission. He has written a new book titled “Mission to Mars.” While the title focuses on Mars, the book covers much more. Buzz lays out his goals for the space program and how he believes we can get humans to Mars by the 2030s. He makes the case and argues passionately for pushing our boundaries of knowledge and exploration of our solar system and presents his “unified space vision.” He emphasizes space exploration should not be a competition, but with cooperation a stronger path to a sustainable future in space could be forged.
Amgen Drugs May Boost Survival During a Nuclear Attack and Trips to Mars
Amgen Inc. (AMGN)’s Neulasta and Neupogen and a similar blood-boosting drug from Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (TEVA) may help people survive after a nuclear attack, U.S. regulators said.
Medications known as leukocyte growth factors, which also include Sanofi (SAN)’s Leukine, may help decrease death rates from radiation exposure, Food and Drug Administration staff said today in a report. FDA staff reviewed a National Institutes of Health study on monkeys exposed to radiation that were given Neupogen. Agency advisers plan to meet May 3 to discuss whether the animal study is sufficient to approve the use for humans.
John Kelly: NASA still aiming for manned Mars mission
NASA’s not giving up on flying people to Mars.
Some critics of the space agency’s recent proposal to fly astronauts to an asteroid say we’re “settling” for something less than the big prize: humans walking on the red planet.
Not true. The mission to an asteroid is part of a stepping-stone approach to sending human beings exploring deeper into the solar system. A sensible look at NASA’s current flight capabilities, human limitations and the space exploration budget means Mars isn’t possible yet.
NASA’s top human spaceflight chief, Bill Gerstenmaier, recently went over the payoffs with a committee of the NASA Advisory Council.
Abigail Harrison, who operates under the online persona "Astronaut Abby," has already amassed an impressive following. \Harrison's niche celebrity, though, wasn't her original intention. It all started with an eighth-grade project she was doing about the ISS.
"My mom helped me set up Twitter to get in touch with NASA employees for quotes," she says. "So I started sharing pictures of projects I was working on and writing about my dreams."
NASA and other influencers in the space community took notice and helped fill her plate with projects. Harrison now travels around the country promoting space and STEM careers in schools. She's introducing a pen-pal program in which she'll send readers personal emails about her experiences. This August, she will speak at a convention for the Mars Society about her No. 1 love: the importance of putting a human on the Red Planet.
Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne Reaches Milestone in Development of Next Rocket Engine for Human Spaceflight
Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, the rocket-engine manufacturer that helped power American astronauts to the moon during the Apollo era, has completed the last in a series of hot-fire tests on a J-2X engine with a stub-nozzle extension at simulated altitude conditions. This latest chapter in the development of America's next rocket engine paves the way toward full-motion testing of the J-2X engine, which is designed to power humans to Mars. NASA has selected the J-2X as the upper-stage propulsion for the evolved 143-ton (130-metric-ton) Space Launch System (SLS), an advanced heavy-lift launch vehicle.
Apply Now For A One-Way Trip To Mars
Want to live and die on Mars? Mars One has officially begun its worldwide search for astronauts who will fly to Mars in 2023—and never come back. The ultimate goal is to select 24 to 40 candidates who will travel to Mars in groups of four. Mars One wants to land the first group (two men and two women, ideally from four different continents, says CEO Bas Lansdorp) on the red planet in 2023, with the other groups following one at a time, every two years. Applications close August 31, 2013.
WATCH LIVE @ 12 pm ET: Mars Colony Project's Astronaut Search Begins
The private Mars colony project Mars One led by Bas Lansdorp will hold a press conference on Monday, April 22, at 12 p.m. EDT (1600 GMT) to "make an important announcement about its astronaut selection program at a press conference in New York."
Mars Colony Project to Begin Astronaut Search by July
A nonprofit organization that aims to land four astronauts on Mars in 2023 will kick off its two-year, televised search for Red Planet explorers by this summer.
The Netherlands-based Mars One will begin accepting application videos sometime between now and July, charging a fee to weed out folks who aren't serious about their candidacy. The group hopes to raise millions of dollars this way, with the proceeds paying for the ongoing selection process and technology studies.