The Mars crew hadn’t had water, power or fuel for 24 hours. Communication was down, space suits needed to be repaired and life support systems were not functioning. But the beer? The beer was just fine.
Earlier this month a team of scientists and space enthusiasts locked themselves into the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS), a simulated Red Planet base in Hanksville, Utah. The base is one of four in the world run by the Mars Society, a nonprofit that wants humans to settle on Mars. Thirteen crews of volunteers will rotate through the bases from November 2014 through May 2015, helping advance the science still needed for colonization.
At the remote base in Utah, the seven surrogate astronauts were testing vital space research, such as emergency response procedures, extraplanetary terraforming and ballistic-launched aerial imaging. And, of course, how to brew beer on other planets.
Four crewmembers simulating a mission on Mars dealt with a real-life emergency late last month — a greenhouse fire so strong that flames reached at least 10 feet (3 meters) high.
On Dec. 29, the first day of their mission, the crew noticed an unusual power surge in their habitat at the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS), in the Utah desert near the small town of Hanksville. A few minutes later, somebody spotted smoke coming from the greenhouse.
Solar Powered 3D Printers on Mars? Researchers Successfully Test Feasibility of Printing Surgical Tools on Red Planet
Space exploration has always been fascinating to me. When I stop and think of just how vast our universe is, it makes me realize how small I actually am. Earth is a tiny little particle floating in a vast vacuum called space, much in the same manner as individual atoms are currently floating in Earth’s atmosphere. No matter how you look at it, in the whole scheme of things, we are extremely tiny, and perhaps even insignificant.
Technology is advancing at rapid rates, thanks to increasing capabilities of computers, the ability to share knowledge via the internet, and the growing adoption rate of robotic driven technologies such as 3D printing. The culmination of these advancements has led to exploration outside of the Earth’s atmosphere, and the idea that one day we may colonize other planets has suddenly become a realistic possibility.
How Mock Mars Mission Will Simulate Life on the Red Planet
Martian explorers invaded the desert near the tiny town of Hanksville, Utah, early this morning and will remain there for the next two weeks to test technology that could be crucial on a long-distance mission.
The four-member crew is part of an ongoing mission at Utah’s Mars Desert Research Station to study what life will be like for earthlings who make extraterrestrial visits to the Red Planet. And for the first time, they will be testing 3-D printed medical devices. Dr. Julielynn Y. Wong, a preventive medicine physician who is the director of the Center for Innovative Technologies and Public Health, is leading this -- the 145th simulation at the station -- to test out medical technologies in space.
Will Interstellar inspire a new space race?
Stanley Kubrick was right about most things but when it came to 2001: A Space Odyssey, he got it hopelessly wrong. We’re now 13 years on from that particular date, so where’s our future? Instead of Pan Am flights to the moon we’ve got the faltering efforts of Virgin Galactic, which suffered another setback with the crash of its test plane last week. Instead of elegant space stations resembling modernist furniture showrooms, we have got the cramped tin cans of the International Space Station. And forget survey missions to Jupiter, Nasa doesn’t even have a space shuttle any more. As it is, we are not even on track for the dystopian future of Blade Runner, unless we can knock together some off-world colonies in the next five years. Charlton Heston’s Soylent Green is definitely still on, however, being set in 2022 (spoiler alert: we end up having to eat each other).
From a space enthusiast’s point of view, there is nothing more depressing than the fact that 2001 does not look particularly dated. If you had told those 1960s star children we would be no further out of Earth’s orbit nearly half a century later you’d have been laughed out of the cinema, and many of those people, Americans in particular, have never forgiven their governments for not fulfilling their promises. Political and economic pressures and conspicuous accidents, such as the Challenger and Columbia shuttle disasters, have clipped NASA’s wings considerably, and the multitude of Earthbound problems have put interplanetary exploration on the back burner. But in terms of a big, public plea for rebooting space travel, Interstellar is the answer to space camp’s prayers.
Emily Calandrelli, a 27-year-old astronautics expert, has been named host of “Xploration Outer Space,” a new syndicated series set to air on FOX-owned stations beginning in September. Its goal is to show off the coolest aspects of space and science to high school aged teens.
As the show’s host, Emily will take viewers on a fascinating journey to the outer reaches of the universe. Segment themes include why we explore Mars, robots in space, training to be an astronaut, extraterrestrial life on other planets and the future of private space travel.
Since traveling to Mars isn't yet possible, figuring out how to conduct routine, and specialized, activities on the Red Planet requires mock missions on Earth.
The Mars Society's Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) is one of the leading facilities hosting researchers, scientists and engineers as they test hypotheses, conduct simulated field work, and gain experience living and working in the physical and social confines of a Mars analog.
Watch the 17th Annual Mars Society Convention Live
The Mars Society will be convening the 17th Annual International Mars Society Convention in the Houston area from August 7-10. For those unable to attend the four-day conference, please consider watching the convention plenary talks live via the Internet on Livestream video broadcast.
Denver Woman A Finalist To Start A Colony On Mars
They’re calling it the next giant leap for mankind — putting people on the surface of Mars. It may seem like science fiction, but for a Netherlands nonprofit, it’s fact.
Mars One is the project that plans to establish a permanent human settlement on Mars with crews of four departing every two years starting in 2025. But buyer beware, it’s a one-way ticket. In Denver, just shy of her 24th birthday, Elena Finley may be one of those first Mars settlers.
“Definitely the fear is there, but it’s definitely still a risk that I’m willing to take,” Finley said.
Boeing and NASA employees recently partnered with academia to conduct early experiments on technologies that could eventually support life on Mars. The group traveled to a corner in southeastern Utah, right outside of Hanksville, Utah, to test out early solutions to potential problems.
“We’re doing some very interesting research,” said Alejandro Diaz, a Boeing senior engineer in Advanced Space Exploration, and the commander of the crew at the Mars Desert Research Station. “Not granted, we can’t simulate the gravity or atmosphere on Mars, but as far as a procedures stand point we do simulate what it might be like to live on Mars.”
June 30th Deadline -- 2014 Mars Society Convention Abstract Submission & Early Registration
The Mars Society will be convening the 17th Annual International Mars Society Convention in League City, Texas (outside Houston near NASA’s Johnson Space Center) on August 7-10, 2014. The four-day event will bring together key experts, scientists, government policymakers and aerospace executives to discuss the latest news on Mars exploration and planning for a humans-to-Mars mission in the coming decade.
Monday, June 30th at 5:00 pm MDT marks the official deadline for two important points of this year's Mars Society Convention: 1) Submitting an abstract for consideration on matters associated with the exploration and settlement of the Red Planet, and 2) Signing up for early registration for the convention, which provides a discounted rate for purchasing tickets for the Houston-based conference.
Zubrin Challenges Chang Diaz to Debate at Mars Society Convention in Houston
Mars Society President Dr. Robert Zubrin has challenged Ad Astra President & CEO Dr. Franklin Chang Diaz to a debate at the 17th Annual International Mars Society Convention, which will be held in Ad Astra’s hometown of Houston, Texas August 7-10, 2014. The proposed debate proposition is: Resolved “Electric Propulsion in an Enabling Technology for Human Mars Exploration,” with Dr. Chang Diaz representing the affirmative side and Dr. Zubrin the negative side.
Commenting on the challenge, Dr. Zubrin said, “This debate is critically necessary. Dr. Chang Diaz has been actively propagandizing an argument combining three claims. First, that cosmic radiation hazards dictate that current day propulsion, which enables six month transits from Earth to Mars, is too slow to enablehuman mission to Mars. Second, that therefore much faster forms of interplanetary propulsion are necessary before we dare undertake human Mars exploration missions. Third, that his VASIMR propulsion system would uniquely enable such quick trips.
Even though daytime temperatures in the tropics of Mars can be about –20°C, a summer afternoon there might feel about the same as an average winter day in southern England or Minneapolis. That’s because there’s virtually no wind chill on the Red Planet, according to a new study—the first to give an accurate sense of what it might feel like to spend a day walking about on our celestial neighbor.
“I hadn’t really thought about this before, but I’m not surprised,” says Maurice Bluestein, a biomedical engineer and wind chill expert recently retired from Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis. The new findings, he says, “will be useful, as people planning to colonize Mars need to know what they’re getting themselves into.”
Virtual astronaut to share experience of life on Mars
Being stuck in a two-storey, 8-metre metal cylinder with five strangers for two weeks would be terrifying for many people - but for Haritina Mogosanu it was a dream come true.
In fact, the Romanian-born Wellingtonian couldn't wait to get back to the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah, returning a year later. She will speak on her experiences tonight at the Carter Observatory.
The hab was built in the US by the international Mars Society to simulate what a long-term astronaut crew sent to the Red Planet might undergo.
Volunteers at the station provide invaluable feedback to those developing technologies like spacesuits and dehydrated food.