Martian Greens

Futuristic Greenhouse Domes might be the only way to grow food on Mars

There’s a story on New Scientist about the feasibility of growing plants in space and on Mars. The conclusion is that while some organisms can survive space travel (even in the vacuum of space!) they will not survive the harsh UV rays of the Sun that fall on the red planet. Plus, the dirt on Mars probably doesn’t have the organic material that would be friendly to growing plants.

All of this means that if we’re going to send humans to Mars we’re going to have to bring some potting soil with us, and some classically-styled UV shielding greenhouse domes. I’m okay with that. But there’s still the ethical question of potentially destroying life that may already exist there.

I hate to be the one to say it but, if there are microorganisms alive on Mars… uh, does that matter? Yes, yes, it matters, I know, and there are a lot of people who would be really, really excited about studying the bacteria or whatever may be over there, but we might have already contaminated Mars with Earthling organisms, so…

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Published in: on April 30, 2010 at 6:50 am  Leave a Comment  
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Notes from The Future – Feb. 13, 2010

The "Gyre" Sea Tower with ports for cruiseships and a spire as deep as the Empire State Building is tall

NewScientist – Our world may be a giant hologram

The holograms you find on credit cards and banknotes are etched on two-dimensional plastic films. When light bounces off them, it recreates the appearance of a 3D image. In the 1990s physicists Leonard Susskind and Nobel prizewinner Gerard ‘t Hooft suggested that the same principle might apply to the universe as a whole. Our everyday experience might itself be a holographic projection of physical processes that take place on a distant, 2D surface.
So what does this mean for our everyday lives? For most of us it probably won’t mean anything, but the philosophers will have a good time with it. My hope is that science fiction writers will latch onto this idea and try to imagine what happens when something not on this 2d holographic surface interacts with the surface. What happens to us then? Is that what ghosts are? Probably not.

Space.com – NASA Awards $50 Million to Commercial Spaceship Builders

NASA chief Charles Bolden announced the winners of the space agency’s commercial crew development competition to encourage progress in privately built spacecraft during a morning briefing at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.
Luna C/I has a breakdown of each company and their work. The privatization of space is very intriguing to me because it kind of goes back to the old frontierism of the railway companies in North America. It does seem strange to me that so many companies already exist with this mandate for space travel. One of the companies getting funding through this program is “Blue Origin” ¬†which was started by Jeff Bezos, the Amazon.com ceo. Between Bezos in space and Bill Gates messing with our atmosphere it seems like the lords of Silicon Valley are starting to realize all their wildest childhood dreams. I figure that can only be good for exploration.

ScienceRay – Mexican Colonization of Mars

Not sure what to think about this article. What it’s actually saying is that the US is teaming up with Mexico to train people and test technologies for future manned exploration of Mars in the Mexican desert. So it’s not really as unusual sounding as the headline makes it out to be. The strange thing though is that the article in incredibly poorly written. I don’t know if that’s because it was babelfish translated into english or what, but it’s hard to follow the whole thing.

Trends Updates – Gyre Skyscraper on the Sea

Gyre is meant to be a research station and an off shore resort, replete with gardens, shops and restaurants. Its shape is what is touted to make it a sturdy structure that can withstand ocean winds. Four arms extend from the center spire (1.25 kilometers in diameter). They keep the structure afloat and create a harbor large enough to accommodate huge ships.

A little while ago somebody made a prediction about self-contained buildings that operate on the same kind of principle as a cruise ship. This is kind of a similar thought. Unfortunately, because it has solar panels and wind turbines and water turbines they’re touting it as a sustainable tower in the sea. But can anything like a giant building floating in the sea be sustainable? Not even close, but it sure looks cool, and it’d be fun to visit.

Published in: Uncategorized on February 13, 2010 at 10:51 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Why Can’t We Go to Mars Right Now?

Mars station simulation in Utah created by The Mars Society

Looking back on our visits to the moon it seems like we just decided to go there, and then we went there. Kennedy said, “We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.” And then we did it. “We” as in humans, did it. I want us to go to Mars. We’ve sent plenty of Robots, so why don’t we send some people? Obviously I haven’t been asking the same questions NASA has been asking about how to get there.

Before any human can travel to Mars, scientists need to be able to analyze samples from the planet and answer many questions, NASA says. Martian dust, for example: What is its composition? How sticky is it? Will it stick to boots and clog zippers and Velcro fasteners? Is it toxic? If astronauts track surface materials into their habitat, will it cause problems?

NASA moves forward with Mars exploration plan

Those are all very, very good points, and not something I had ever considered. The other thing that came to mind as I read that article is that we sent people to the moon, and brought them back. It was tricky, but we managed to do it. It’ll be a lot more difficult to get people off of Mars than it will be to put them there, and I don’t think anyone is willing to send another human to Mars without a plan for getting them back home.

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Published in: Uncategorized on January 18, 2010 at 7:10 pm  Comments (5)  
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Workshop on the planet Mars, Les Houches, France

Some of you might know that I am an Urban Planning student. There’s plenty of work for planners on Earth, but I would love to get involved in planning a moon or mars colony. Part of my reason for wanting to get involved, despite my lack of science training, is that I fear the first permanent Moon settlements are going to be horrible places to live and work. Same for Mars.

There’s certainly something to be said for the practicality and efficiency of scientific bases, but it’s perhaps even more important that a proper plan is laid down wherever we decide to settle so that future growth occurs in a socially productive way. And I want in on the planning.

This workshop could be an opportunity to meet some of the people who will be involved in future Mars missions. Unfortunately it’s for scientists, and it’s in France.

Workshop on the planet Mars, Les Houches, France

[Date: 2010-01-11]

A workshop on the planet Mars will be held in Les Houches, France between 28 March to 2 April 2010.

The goals of the workshop are to integrate the main results of recent Earth-based observations and the missions to Mars (MarsExpress, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, Phoenix and Mars Exploration Rovers) into a new global picture of Mars evolution.

The event aims to further discussions among scientists of different disciplines and help refine the scientific goals of future missions to Mars. This workshop will also be an opportunity for young scientists to be updated on the most recent results and to be trained in some specific data processing techniques.

For further information, please click:
here

Category: Events
Data Source Provider: European Space Agency
Document Reference: Based on an event announcement
Subject Index: Policies; Space & satellite research

Published in: Uncategorized on January 16, 2010 at 5:15 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Cosmonauts will visit Mars to check on the monkey and will find an entire monkey colony

FALSE!

Prediction was to be opened in December, 2014, however it was not opened and verified until January 21, 2017.

Published in: on December 30, 2009 at 1:05 pm  Leave a Comment  
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