red planet

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Scientists Explain 'Scratch Marks' on Mars

Levitating dry ice causes deep gullies: scientists

(Newser) - No, a giant cat has not been clawing at the surface of Mars, though it might look like that. According to scientists, "scratch marks" or linear gullies on the Martian plains of Hellas Planitia were caused not by life forms but by dry ice—in fact, levitating dry ice.... More »

We Thought Mars Was Toxic. We Had No Idea

Chemicals on surface, UV light kill bacteria in seconds: study

(Newser) - A new study might throw a wrench into plans to establish a human colony on Mars, whose surface is "more uninhabitable than previously thought." Indeed, the Red Planet is covered in a "toxic cocktail" of chemicals that, when combined with UV light, are capable of destroying any... More »

100 Finalists to Vie for One-Way Trip to Mars

If admittedly unrealistic mission takes off, Earthlings could be there by 2024

(Newser) - From 202,586 to about 1,000 and now winnowed down to 100. That's how many finalists are left competing for a one-way ticket to Mars in the highly publicized Mars One project. The finalists will now compete for one of 24 crew member spots, with the goal of... More »

After 442M Miles, NASA Craft Enters Mars' Orbit

Maven will study red planet's atmosphere to prep for possible astronauts

(Newser) - After 442 million miles and a year on the space road, Maven has finally reached its destination. The NASA spacecraft successfully completed a harrowing 30-minute "orbital insertion" into Mars' orbit last night, the AP reports. "I don't have any fingernails any more, but we've made it,... More »

Mars Gets Up Close, Personal With Earth

Red planet is closest it's been to us since 2007

(Newser) - The red planet is coming in for a close-up with our night sky: As Sky & Telescope reports, Mars will be closer to Earth this month than it's been since the end of 2007, appearing bigger and brighter in the night sky for the middle two weeks of April.... More »

1K Make First Cut for One-Way Trip to Mars

297 Americans among the chosen

(Newser) - In the end, more than 200,000 people applied, but just 1,058 candidates got an email Monday letting them know they're still in the running for a one-way ticket to Mars . The Mars One project to send average Joes to colonize the red planet has narrowed down its... More »

Turns Out, People Aren't So Eager to Go to Mars

Mars One project doesn't get application numbers it hoped

(Newser) - Mars One, the heavily-hyped private expedition to Mars planned for 2023, hasn't quite found as many people willing to leave Earth forever as it had hoped. The project had expected 1 million people to jump at the chance to colonize the red planet; instead, just 165,000 applied, Space.... More »

Send Astronauts to Mars —and Leave Them There

Why a one-way ticket is the best way to the red planet

(Newser) - The most feasible way to get humans on Mars is to offer retirement-age astronauts one-way tickets to live out their last days on the red planet. Say what? It's not as crazy as it sounds, writes scientist Lawrence Krauss in the New York Times, who believes his plan would solve... More »

Methane Hints at Life on Mars

Gas released in high concentrations could be from bacteria

(Newser) - The discovery of high methane concentrations on Mars may hint that underground life exists on the red planet, the Houston Chronicle reports. Scientists funded by NASA and other institutions, using Earth-based telescopes, have found plumes of methane in such high concentrations they believe bacteria, which can also produce the gas... More »

Mars Toxin Dims Hopes for Red Planet Life

Rocket fuel chemical found is soil, but could be from Earth

(Newser) - The Phoenix lander has found a toxin in Mars soil that considerably decreases the odds of finding Martian life, Science.com reports. The chemical, perchlorate, is a harsh oxidizing agent often used in solid rocket fuel, so researchers are double checking to ensure it wasn’t carried from Earth. The... More »

Scientists Hatch Round-Trip Mission to Mars

Unmanned spacecraft would bring back rocks and possibly microscopic life

(Newser) - Before scientists can put a man on Mars, they first need to figure out how to get a mission back to Earth, reports the Guardian. An international team is doing just that—developing an $8 billion mission to travel to Mars and return with rock samples and possibly microscopic life.... More »

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