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Category Archives: Mars Colonization

How Humans Will Evolve on Multigenerational Space Exploration Missions

Posted: March 6, 2014 at 7:44 am

See Inside

How future generations will make the voyage from our earthly home to the planets and beyondand what it means for our species

The Science Of The Next 150 Years: 150 Years in the Future

When space shuttle Atlantis rolled to a stop in 2011, it did not mark, as some worried, the end of human spaceflight. Rather, as the extinction of the dinosaurs allowed early mammals to flourish, retiring the shuttle signals the opening of far grander opportunities for space exploration. Led by ambitious private companies, we are entering the early stages of the migration of our species away from Earth and our adaptation to entire new worlds. Mars is the stated goal of Elon Musk of PayPal fortune; polar explorers Tom and Tina Sjogren, who are designing a private venture to Mars; and Europe's privately funded MarsOne project, which would establish a human colony by 2023. The colonization of space is beginning now.

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How Humans Will Evolve on Multigenerational Space Exploration Missions

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What, Exactly, Is Kicking Off Everywhere, Whether in Venezuela, the Ukraine, or Thailand?

Posted: March 3, 2014 at 11:43 pm

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Kicking Off Everywhere is drawn from an interesting book by Paul Mason, Why Its Still Kicking Off Everywhere. He summarizes his thesis here (2013; reinforced here):

What is underpinning the unrest that has swept the globe? In reality its reducible to three factors. Firstly, the neoliberal economic model has collapsed, and this has then been compounded by persistent attempts to go on making neoliberalism work: to ram the square peg into the round hole, thereby turning a slump into what looks like being a ten year global depression. Secondly there has been a revolution in technology that has made horizontal networks the default mode of activism and protest; this has destroyed the traditional means of disseminating ideology that persisted through two hundred years of industrial capitalism, and has made social media the irreversible norm. Thirdly, there has been a change in human consciousness: the emergence of what Manuel Castells calls the networked individual an expansion of the space and power of individual human beings and a change in the way they think; a change in the rate of change of ideas; an expansion of available knowledge; and a massive, almost unrecordable, revolution in culture.

What we are seeing is not the Arab Spring, the Russian Spring, the Maple Spring [Quebec's Printemps rable], Occupy, the indignados. Were seeing the Human Spring.

Perhaps. Although we might consider firstly that the the 0.01% is doing quite well under a collapsing neo-liberalism, thank you very much; secondly that social media can be used by bad guys as well as good; and thirdly that a change in the way they think is just that: Change, much as speed is only speed, and not velocity. We might remember, also, that oligarchs and heads of state are Human, all too human; as are fascists.

So, in this post, I want to gently interrogate Masons theses, by using the following Real News Network interview as a forcing device; Im going to take the entire transcript and interweave other examples of unrest with it, along with commentary. The RNN interview also has the advantage of covering Venezuela in some detail, which our famously free press is not doing, and so is useful for that purpose alone, besides being an armature for discussion. And, readers, I hope youll chime in with additions, corrections, and refinements; Ive blogged a lot on unrest, ever since the Tahrir Square, but that, and an appropriate level of cynicism realism, are my only qualifications!

Paul Jay of the Real News Network interviews Miguel Tinker-Salas, professor of History and Latin American studies at Pomona College in Claremont, California, and Alexander Main of CEPR:

JAISAL NOOR, TRNN PRODUCER: Welcome to The Real News Network. Im Jaisal Noor in Baltimore.

Both pro- and anti-government forces are rallying in Venezuela today ahead of a peace conference called for by Venezuelan President Nicols Maduro.

Now joining us to discuss this are two guests.

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What, Exactly, Is Kicking Off Everywhere, Whether in Venezuela, the Ukraine, or Thailand?

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Kelowna scientist joins NASA funded simulated mission to Mars on Hawaiian mountain

Posted: February 27, 2014 at 4:44 pm

KELOWNA - A Kelowna scientist is joining the crew of a NASA-funded simulated mission to Mars after beating out hundreds of applicants from around the world.

Ross Lockwood and five others will spend four months inside a sealed environment high on the slopes of a Hawaiian mountain.

The main purpose of the mission, starting March 28, is to help the space agency develop psychological guidelines that will be used to select future astronauts capable of making a real trip to Mars.

``It's incredibly exciting to participate in a research project that will be used to help in space exploration,'' Lockwood said.

``I'm really looking forward to this, but I'm also a little bit nervous as well.''

Lockwood, 27, is doing his doctorate in condensed matter physics at the University of Alberta.

Along with his longtime interest in space-related research and astronomy, Lockwood has worked in educational programs at the University of Alberta Observatory.

His scientific background and experience in various university leadership roles helped him succeed in his application to participate in the simulated Mars mission, which is led by Cornell University and the University of Hawaii.

The researchers will enter the 11-metre diameter dome built in an old rock quarry at an elevation of 2,500 metres on the slopes of Mauna Koa.

Inside the habitat, they will spend several hours a day taking psychoogical tests and continuing with their own research endeavours as part of the venture dubbed HI-SEAS, for Hawaii Space Exploration and Analog Simulation.

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Packing Of Mars – Video

Posted: February 25, 2014 at 8:45 pm

Packing Of Mars
Packing Of Mars. . . . . mars colonization, mars human exploration, mars exploration curiosity, mars exploration timeline, mars exploration missions, mars ex...

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Mars Exploration – Video

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Mars Exploration
Mars Exploration. . . . . . .mars colonization, mars human exploration, mars exploration curiosity, mars exploration timeline, mars exploration missions, mar...

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Leading Texan Democratic Senate Candidate Compares Obama to Hitler

Posted: at 8:45 pm

In what has to be a blow for Democratic partisans who were convinced that state Sen. Wendy Davis (D-Fort Worth) can single-handedly turn the Lone Star State blue in November, the Texas Democratic Party appears to be on the verge of tarnishing its reputation. According to a poll conducted by the University of Texas and the Texas Tribune, the frontrunner to face likely incumbent Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) in November is Kesha Rogers. She is also somewhat unhinged.

Originally flagged by HotAirs Guy Benson, the poll shows Rogers leading her nearest opponent in the race to face Cornyn, Dallas area dentist David Alameel, by 8 points outside the polls 6.04 percent margin of error.

But Democrats might be careful what they wish for

As an acolyte of perennial presidential fringe candidate Lyndon LaRouche, she believes the U.S. economy is secretly controlled by a cabal of London financial institutions, wrote Dallas Morning News reporter Nick Swartsell in December. Shes paraded around Houston with a giant picture of Obama sporting a Hitler mustache and compared the Affordable Care Act to 1930s-era Nazi eugenics policies.

Thats right. Her campaign even features a video on her website comparing President Barack Obama to Narcissus and advocating for his removal from office.

SuperEgoGenocidal-NarcissistPsychosis! from Kesha for Congress on Vimeo.

Rogers has also made a central plank of her campaign platform the colonization of Mars and the funding to prepare NASA to use nuclear missiles to intercept potential earth-impacting asteroids.

The Democratic message in 2014 might be slightly undermined by a candidate who compares the leader of her party to Hitler and suggests the ACA is the successor to the legacy of Josef Mengele.

[h/t HotAir] [Photo via Michael Stravato/Texas Tribune]

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Planetarium Inspires New Cosmonauts

Posted: February 23, 2014 at 3:44 pm

D. Garrison Golubock / MT

Cosmonaut Alexander Alexandrov explains how to use an old space suit.

Last week, theMoscow Planetarium opened its new exhibit, "I want tobe acosmonaut!" which hopes toinspire anew generation ofRussians todevote their efforts tothe nation's ailing space program.

Theexhibit itself was rather spartan when compared tothe Museum ofCosmonautics near theAll-Russia Exhibition Center, but it offered achoice selection ofinteresting artifacts fromthe history ofSoviet space exploration such as Yury Gagarin's car, aSoyuz re-entry module, andan Orlan-T space suit. Theopening even featured real cosmonauts.

However, theexhibit's interactive features are thecornerstone ofits attempt torecapture theyouth's attention. Throughout theexhibit, which has been set up inthe planetarium's "Level 9" exhibition space, wonderful film reels provided bythe Russian Federal Space Agency, or Roscosmos, are projected onthe walls. Visitors are free totry ona pair ofgloves similar tothose ona space suit, or even try their hand ata space station treadmill.

This is all apart ofthe Russia's attempts toattract new talent tohelp save thestruggling space program, which has been fighting forits life foralmost 20 years now. One ofthe major challenges it faces is recruitment. Themajority ofthe talent available is not only underpaid, but over theage of60. There is amissing generation inthe space industry, andfinding thenext generation has proven anelusive task.

But, it wasn't always this way. There was once atime where every child wanted tobe acosmonaut, space captivated theimagination ofSoviet youth, andjoining thespace program was anillustrious ambition. Thereasons were simple enough.

"Cosmonauts like Yury Gagarin andAlexei Leonov were celebrities. Star City was theplace tobe forbig parties, andthere were all sorts ofrumors about thegrand lifestyle ofthe cosmonauts, who really did lead lives ofrelative privilege andglamor. They could go places intospace but also abroad andinto thesuper-secret Soviet military-industrial complex where others simply could not," said Andrew Jenks, anexpert onSoviet space history atCalifornia State University atLong Beach

But today things are markedly different. Salaries forcosmonauts are shockingly low, "especially compared towhat anenterprising kid could get ina number ofother seemingly mundane jobs," he said.

Also, Russians do not need tobe cosmonauts tosee theworld anymore, anyone with abit ofcash tospend is free tocome andgo as they please.

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Calgary artist behind illustrations of would-be Mars One habitats

Posted: February 15, 2014 at 11:44 am

Peter Rakobowchuk, The Canadian Press Published Saturday, February 15, 2014 7:28AM EST

MONTREAL -- Bryan Versteeg hasn't stopped drawing ever since he got his first crayons and left marks all over the walls as a child -- all the while dreaming of someday living in space.

He still remembers that sketch books and drawing pencils were the predominant gifts on his fifth and sixth birthdays.

So began the career of the 38-year-old Calgary space artist who's becoming known for his futuristic out-of-this-world illustrations.

"I've always been seeking out the future of engineering," Versteeg said in an interview with The Canadian Press.

Over the years, he has been inspired by magazines like Popular Science, which he collected during the 1980s and 90s. The monthly magazine has been well known for its concept drawings of flying cars and interplanetary spaceships.

"It's a great way to look into the future," he added.

Warp forward to Versteeg's recent illustrations of what a human habitat on Mars would eventually look like. His Mars One conceptual designs have appeared in thousands of articles on the Internet.

Versteeg started working on the Martian space habitat after he was approached by the founders of the Mars One Foundation, which is planning a one-way mission to the red planet.

In December, the non-profit organization selected 75 Canadians to enter the second round of the mission's selection process. The 43 Canadian women and 32 men were among 1,058 candidates selected.

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Mars One: Va Beach woman makes first round of cuts for …

Posted: February 10, 2014 at 4:45 am

If Lt. Heidi Beemer has her way, she'll die on Mars.

Not anytime soon, mind you. The 25-year-old Virginia Beach native wants a long life, but she wants to live it out as a colonist on the red planet.

In December, Beemer got a little closer to that dream when she made the first cut of an international effort to start sending humans on a one-way trip to Mars beginning in 2024. As envisioned by Mars One, a nonprofit group based in the Netherlands, four colonists would arrive every two years after that, building a permanent settlement.

"It will be lonely for eight years, nine years," Beemer said in a phone interview from Kentucky, where she's stationed at Fort Campbell. She's applying for the mission outside of her Army service. "But as the colony grows, there will be a new community. Jamestown that's something that throughout my entire life was, 'Hey, these people came, they left their families behind, they left everything that they knew to set up a new life, to push the frontiers.' If no one is willing to make those sacrifices, we'll never do it."

Mars One estimates it will cost $6 billion for that first trip, and $4 billion for each subsequent one. Founders hope to fund them through public and private donations.

Semi-finalists will begin interviews in the spring, Beemer said, and the next round of cuts will be announced in mid-summer.

Beemer credits her father, a Navy veteran, for her lifelong desire to be an astronaut.

"I first really got interested in Mars in, I guess, '97 when the (Pathfinder) rover first landed on Mars," Beemer said. "My dad gave me a newspaper article, and I thought it was the coolest thing."

She wavered a bit in 2003 when the Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated while re-entering the atmosphere, killing all its crew.

"I thought, 'Oh, man, I really don't want to die,'" Beemer said. "'So I want to work for NASA and help other people get into space.'"

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Mars Colony-Scale Rockets ‘Could Be Ready In 10 Years …

Posted: February 7, 2014 at 5:45 pm

Dusty Space Cloud

This image shows the Large Magellanic Cloud galaxy in infrared light as seen by the Herschel Space Observatory, a European Space Agency-led mission with important NASA contributions, and NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. In the instruments' combined data, this nearby dwarf galaxy looks like a fiery, circular explosion. Rather than fire, however, those ribbons are actually giant ripples of dust spanning tens or hundreds of light-years. Significant fields of star formation are noticeable in the center, just left of center and at right. The brightest center-left region is called 30 Doradus, or the Tarantula Nebula, for its appearance in visible light.

This enhanced-color image shows sand dunes trapped in an impact crater in Noachis Terra, Mars. Dunes and sand ripples of various shapes and sizes display the natural beauty created by physical processes. The area covered in the image is about six-tenths of a mile (1 kilometer) across. Sand dunes are among the most widespread wind-formed features on Mars. Their distribution and shapes are affected by changes in wind direction and wind strength. Patterns of dune erosion and deposition provide insight into the sedimentary history of the surrounding terrain.

This image obtained by the framing camera on NASA's Dawn spacecraft shows the south pole of the giant asteroid Vesta. Scientists are discussing whether the circular structure that covers most of this image originated by a collision with another asteroid, or by internal processes early in the asteroid's history. Images in higher resolution from Dawn's lowered orbit might help answer that question. The image was recorded with the framing camera aboard NASA's Dawn spacecraft from a distance of about 1,700 miles (2,700 kilometers). The image resolution is about 260 meters per pixel.

This undated photo shows a classic type 1a supernova remnant. Researchers Saul Perlmutter and Adam Riess of the United States and US-Australian Brian Schmidt won the 2011 Nobel Physics Prize on October 4, 2011 for their research on supernovae.

A quartet of Saturn's moons, from tiny to huge, surround and are embedded within the planet's rings in this Cassini composition. Saturn's largest moon, Titan, is in the background of the image, and the moon's north polar hood is clearly visible. See PIA08137 to learn more about that feature on Titan (3,200 miles, or 5,150 kilometers across). Next, the wispy terrain on the trailing hemisphere of Dione (698 miles, or 1,123 kilometers across) can be seen on that moon which appears just above the rings at the center of the image. See PIA10560 and PIA06163 to learn more about Dione's wisps. Saturn's small moon Pandora (50 miles, or 81 kilometers across) orbits beyond the rings on the right of the image. Finally, Pan (17 miles, or 28 kilometers across) can be seen in the Encke Gap of the A ring on the left of the image. The image was taken in visible blue light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Sept. 17, 2011. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 1.3 million miles (2.1 million kilometers) from Dione and at a Sun-Dione-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 27 degrees. Image scale is 8 miles (13 kilometers) per pixel on Dione.

Combining almost opposite ends of the electromagnetic spectrum, this composite image of the Herschel in far-infrared and XMM-Newton's X-ray images obtained January 20, 2012, shows how the hot young stars detected by the X-ray observations are sculpting and interacting with the surrounding ultra-cool gas and dust, which, at only a few degrees above absolute zero, is the critical material for star formation itself. Both wavelengths would be blocked by Earth's atmosphere, so are critical to our understanding of the lifecycle of stars . (AFP / Getty Images)

Resembling looming rain clouds on a stormy day, dark lanes of dust crisscross the giant elliptical galaxy Centaurus A. Hubble's panchromatic vision, stretching from ultraviolet through near-infrared wavelengths, reveals the vibrant glow of young, blue star clusters and a glimpse into regions normally obscured by the dust. (NASA / ESA / Hubble Heritage)

A bubbling cauldron of star birth is highlighted in this image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. Infrared light that we can't see with our eyes has been color-coded, such that the shortest wavelengths are shown in blue and the longest in red. The middle wavelength range is green. Massive stars have blown bubbles, or cavities, in the dust and gas--a violent process that triggers both the death and birth of stars. The brightest, yellow-white regions are warm centers of star formation. The green shows tendrils of dust, and red indicates other types of dust that may be cooler, in addition to ionized gas from nearby massive stars.

This composite image shows the central region of the spiral galaxy NGC 4151. X-rays (blue) from the Chandra X-ray Observatory are combined with optical data (yellow) showing positively charged hydrogen (H II) from observations with the 1-meter Jacobus Kapteyn Telescope on La Palma. The red ring shows neutral hydrogen detected by radio observations with the NSF's Very Large Array. This neutral hydrogen is part of a structure near the center of NGC 4151 that has been distorted by gravitational interactions with the rest of the galaxy, and includes material falling towards the center of the galaxy. The yellow blobs around the red ellipse are regions where star formation has recently occurred. (NASA / CXC / CfA / J. Wang)

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