Mars

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Elon Musk Says Humans Could Be on Mars in 10 Years

And living in a permanent Martian colony in 50 years

(Newser) - Human's have two choices: "become a spacefaring species" or perish in an "extinction event on Earth," Elon Musk said Tuesday during the International Astronautical Conference in Mexico while laying out his plan to colonize Mars. Here's what you need to know about the SpaceX founder'... More »

Scientists Finish Year on 'Mars'

6 emerge from dome in Hawaii

(Newser) - Six scientists have completed a yearlong Mars simulation in Hawaii, where they lived in a dome on a Mauna Loa mountain in near isolation and could go outside only while wearing spacesuits. On Sunday, the simulation ended, and the scientists emerged, the AP reports. Kim Binsted, principal investigator for the... More »

2 Tiny Moons Orbiting Mars May Be Sole Survivors of Many

Scientists question the prevailing theory of how the 2 moons formed

(Newser) - The two moons that orbit Mars, Phobos and Deimos, are pretty dinky as far as moons go, clocking in at just 14 and 7.7 miles wide respectively and known for being rather pathetic potato-shaped bodies that more closely resemble asteroids. And so astronomers have hypothesized that they are in... More »

Mars and Earth About to Get Cozy, Astronomically Speaking

Monday will mark the closest the red planet has been to us in 11 years

(Newser) - This Memorial Day, Mars attacks. OK, so the red planet won't actually be attacking, but it will be closer to Earth than it's been in 11 years. ABC News reports Mars will be within 46.8 million miles of Earth at 5:34pm Eastern time on Monday. At... More »

Spacecraft Blasts Off to Seek Alien Life on Mars

Russian and Euro space agencies send ExoMars craft to measure gases

(Newser) - Anyone who glanced at the skies above Kazakhstan Monday morning may have seen the trails of a spacecraft headed out on a search for alien life on Mars. Per the Guardian , the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter, a joint effort by the European Space Agency and Russia's Roscosmos agency, launched... More »

NASA Scientist: I Can Get Humans to Mars in a Month

'No known reason why we cannot do this'

(Newser) - A century ago, the first transatlantic flight took about 23 days. Soon, we could reach Mars in about as long. The key: perfecting laser technology. NASA scientist Philip Lubin says that by swapping out the current fuel-based rocket propulsion system with one relying on photons would significantly boost our space... More »

5 Brightest Planets Begin Rising Together

Look for them: Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Venus, and Mercury

(Newser) - Like stargazing in the pre-dawn hours? Then here you go: The sky's five brightest planets visible from Earth will soon be lined up for the first time in over a decade, the Conversation reports. Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, and Venus—which have been up visible together since early January—will... More »

Scientists Coax First Flower to Bloom in Outer Space

A month ago the zero-gravity zinnia plants weren't looking so good

(Newser) - Back in 2014, through a NASA project called Veggie, scientists began to grow plants in space—red romaine lettuce, to be specific. It took two attempts to get it right, though even the setbacks provided valuable data for the scientists back at home. So astronaut Scott Kelly's ability to... More »

We Need to Rename Mars' Moons Quickly

Phobos and Deimos are way too dark, writes essayist

(Newser) - Each new discovery about Mars seems to show that it's more like Earth than we imagined. NASA, meanwhile, is firming up plans for a trip there. It's high time, then, for a long overdue chore, writes Fortunato Salazar in the Guardian —we've got to rename the... More »

Mars Is Destroying Its Own Moon

Poor Phobos is doomed

(Newser) - The days are numbered for one of Mars' two moons, and the culprit turns out to be Mars itself. It seems that the two are engaged in what Discovery describes as a gravitational tug-of-war, and Mars is going to win. It will take a while, about 30 million to 50... More »

The Sun Is Obliterating Mars' Atmosphere

Solar storms hit with energy of 'one large nuclear weapon per hour'

(Newser) - Scientists might finally have an explanation for how Mars went from an Earth-like, potentially life-sustaining planet to a cold ball of rock barely capable of keeping a single Matt Damon alive . Discovery reports the sun has been "blasting away" the planet's once-thick atmosphere for the past few billion... More »

NASA: Here's How We'll Get Humans on Mars by 2030s

It involves 3 phases, the first of which is already underway

(Newser) - NASA doesn't just have a vague vision of putting humans on Mars by the 2030s: It now has a detailed plan to make it happen. In a report released last week, called "NASA's Journey to Mars," the space agency reveals a three-step plan, which includes more... More »

Meet the Woman Protecting Mars From Earth Invaders

Curiosity is one dirty rover

(Newser) - Dr. Catharine Conley's job is to make sure that if we ever discover life on Mars, it's actually Martian and not our own dirty fingerprints. “If we’re going to look for life on Mars, it would be really kind of lame to bring Earth life and... More »

NASA Announces Biggest Evidence Yet for Water on Mars

Could be good news for future astronauts

(Newser) - NASA made its much-hyped big announcement today, and what it comes down to is that scientists have found the strongest evidence yet that there's liquid water on the Red Planet, the Washington Post reports. Last April, using data from the Curiosity rover, researchers noted that perchlorates were present on... More »

NASA: 'Mars Mystery Solved'

The space agency 'will detail a major science finding' Monday morning

(Newser) - NASA is planning a big reveal about Mars but won't say what it is—which of course is prompting much speculation, the Houston Chronicle reports. "NASA will detail a major science finding from the agency’s ongoing exploration of Mars" on Monday at 11:30am, the space agency... More »

Elon Musk: We Need to Nuke Mars

It would actually make it more habitable, he tells Stephen Colbert

(Newser) - Elon Musk, the entrepreneur behind Tesla and SpaceX, hopes to send people to Mars someday, but first he thinks we earthlings should nuke it. That's not as bizarre as it sounds, he told Stephen Colbert last night, reports Fortune . The idea is to make the "fixer-upper" planet more... More »

6 Humans Step Into One-Year Isolation Dome

It's part of NASA's preparation to send humans to Mars

(Newser) - As NASA prepares to send a crew to Mars sometime in the 2030s, they've just shut six people inside an isolation dome in Hawaii for a year—the longest such experiment in the US, reports AFP . It's part of a larger look at travel logistics in a program... More »

Scientist: We Need Mars to Be Liberated of Earth

It must be independent, not a colony, in order to thrive

(Newser) - With plans to send humans to Mars in the works , one astrobiologist says the time to prevent an interplanetary version of the Revolutionary War is now. Jacob Haqq-Misra, who works for a nonprofit dedicated to promoting international unity in space, lays out his plan for a completely independent Mars in... More »

After 8 Months on 'Mars', Crew Missed Wind, Peaches

6 emerge after 8 months in Hawaii dome

(Newser) - After eight months almost completely confined to a dome on the slopes of a Hawaiian volcano, six scientists are enjoying things like the feel of wind on their skin and non-freeze-dried food like watermelon, peaches, and croissants—and being able to shower for longer than six minutes a week. The... More »

Rover Captures Blue Martian Sunset

Curiosity took image between dust storms

(Newser) - After nearly three years on Mars, NASA's Curiosity rover has captured one of its most stunning otherworldly images yet: a blue Martian sunset. The newly released image was taken on April 15 between dust storms when the thin atmosphere was still full of particles, reports CNET . "The colors... More »

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