Topic: Solar System/Mars
The Mars-500 mission was a psychosocial isolation experiment conducted between 2007 and 2011 by Russia, the European Space Agency and China, in preparation for an unspecified future crewed spaceflight to the planet Mars. The experiment's facility was located at the Russian Academy of Sciences' Institute of Biomedical Problems (IBMP) in Moscow, Russia.
Between 2007 and 2011, three different crews of volunteers lived and worked in a mock-up spacecraft at IBMP. The final stage of the experiment, which was intended to simulate a 520-day crewed mission, was conducted by an all-male crew consisting of three Russians (Alexey Sitev, Sukhrob Kamolov, Alexander Smoleevskij), a Frenchman (Romain Charles), an Italian (Diego Urbina) and a Chinese citizen (Yue Wang). The mock-up facility simulated an Earth-Mars shuttle spacecraft, an ascent-descent craft, and the Martian surface. The volunteers who participated in the three stages included professionals with experience in engineering, medicine, biology, and human spaceflight. The experiment yielded important data on the physiological, social and psychological effects of long-term close-quarters isolation.
- "MARS-500" | 2015-08-29 | 49 Upvotes 14 Comments
The SpaceX Starship is a fully-reusable launch vehicle and spacecraft that is being privately developed by SpaceX. It is designed to be a long-duration cargo and passenger-carrying spacecraft. The development of the Starship began in 2014.
- "Mars Colonial Transporter" | 2014-04-19 | 27 Upvotes 6 Comments
Terraforming of Mars is a procedure that would comprise of planetary engineering project or concurrent projects, with the goal of transforming the planet from one hostile to terrestrial life to one that can sustainably host humans and other lifeforms free of protection or mediation. The process would presumably involve the rehabilitation of the planet's extant climate, atmosphere, and surface through a variety of resource-intensive initiatives, and the installation of a novel ecological system or systems.
Justifications for choosing Mars over other potential terraforming targets include the presence of water and a geological history that suggests it once harbored a dense atmosphere similar to Earth’s. Hazards and difficulties include low gravity, low light levels relative to Earth’s, and the lack of a magnetic field.
Objections to the project include questions about its feasibility, general ethical concerns about terraforming, and the considerable cost that such an undertaking would involve. Reasons for terraforming the planet include allaying concerns about resource use and depletion on Earth and arguments that the altering and subsequent or concurrent settlement of other planets decreases the odds of humanity's extinction.
Disagreement exists about whether current technology could render the planet habitable.
- "Terraforming of Mars" | 2012-07-07 | 21 Upvotes 14 Comments
Various schemes have been used or proposed for timekeeping on the planet Mars independently of Earth time and calendars.
Mars has an axial tilt and a rotation period similar to those of Earth. Thus, it experiences seasons of spring, summer, autumn and winter much like Earth. Coincidentally, the duration of a Martian day is within a few percent of that of an Earth day, which has led to the use of analogous time units. A Mars year is almost twice as long as Earth's, and its orbital eccentricity is considerably larger, which means that the lengths of various Martian seasons differ considerably, and sundial time can diverge from clock time more than on Earth.
The Mars monolith is a rectangular object (possibly a boulder) discovered on the surface of Mars. It is located near the bottom of a cliff, from which it likely fell. The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter took pictures of it from orbit, roughly 180 miles (300 km) away.
Around the same time, the Phobos monolith made international news.
The Mars trilogy is a series of science fiction novels by Kim Stanley Robinson that chronicles the settlement and terraforming of the planet Mars through the personal and detailed viewpoints of a wide variety of characters spanning almost two centuries. Ultimately more utopian than dystopian, the story focuses on egalitarian, sociological, and scientific advances made on Mars, while Earth suffers from overpopulation and ecological disaster.
The three novels are Red Mars (1992), Green Mars (1993), and Blue Mars (1996). The Martians (1999) is a collection of short stories set in the same fictional universe. Red Mars won the BSFA Award in 1992 and Nebula Award for Best Novel in 1993. Green Mars won the Hugo Award for Best Novel and Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel in 1994. Blue Mars also won the Hugo and Locus Awards in 1997.
Icehenge (1984), Robinson's first novel about Mars, is not set in this universe but deals with similar themes and plot elements. The trilogy shares some similarities with Robinson's more recent novel 2312 (2012); for instance, the terraforming of Mars and the extreme longevity of the characters in both novels.