Hot on the heels of China's announcement of its plan to launch a lunar rover in 2013 comes this news from India: in 2013, it'll be launching a mission of its own, not to the Moon, but all the way to Mars. Ambitious, to be sure, but India has even bigger plans in the works.
Mars is the new Moon. Any ol' space program can hit up the Moon these days, but the real prize lies with getting a little red sand on your boots. Will that day ever come? Will Wright, creator of games such as SimCity, The Sims and recently Spore, envisions "Marstown," a settlement 8,000 strong in the year 2047.
Before Wernher von Braun designed the mammoth Saturn V rocket that sent Apollo astronauts to the Moon, the German rocket scientist nursed a dream to see men travel to Mars. In the 1940s, he started studying different Mars missions that were ahead of their time but feasible with the technology and techniques he had at his disposal at the time.
NASA is all-systems-go to land its 2,000 pound Curiosity rover on the Red Planet this coming Monday. Want a refresher of what it's all about? NASA has prepared a video covering the Mars Science Lab's approach, landing and operations on the Martian surface, and got none other than William James T. Shatner Kirk to tell you all about it.
NASA is calling the test flight of its new heat shield made from high-tech balloons an "unqualified success." The small capsule, called the Inflatable Re-Entry Vehicle Experiment 3 (IRVE-3), deployed its inflatable heat shield and re-entered Earth's atmosphere from suborbital space at a screaming hypersonic speed of Mach 10.
NASA-led scientists are busily prepping a menu that future explorers of Mars will be able to take advantage of. Whereas space nosh for orbit is whipped up following tight constraints and is typically bland, NASA research-chefs are able to boldly explore new territory in the realm of interstellar eats.
It's a lofty task ahead of you — attempting to land the Curiosity rover on the surface of Mars. This after a journey even hardened NASA engineers are calling "seven minutes of terror." Lucky for you, you can get in on the mission virtually, without having to risk billions of space bucks.
Want to take a trip to Mars? Well, this post won't help you get there (like this one could), but NASA's tenacious Opportunity rover is keen to offer you a glimpse. The space agency has released a massive panorama of the red planet's surface as the robotic explorer sees it.
Would you sign up for a trip to the Red Planet? That may be a very real option sometime soon: the Mars One Project wants to ship out a crew of four by 2023. How? By securing funds after "creating the biggest media event ever" surrounding the mission, and by sending waves of settlers to go live on Mars.
Mars Science Laboratory hasn't even managed to get to Mars yet, much less make a successful skycrane landing, but already NASA is hard at work on the next Mars-bound spacecraft: MAVEN, the the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolutio N orbiter, winner of this year's award for most strained space-related acronym.