from the urls-we-dig-up dept
A manned spaceship to Mars sounded like a logical next step in the 1970s after the first astronauts walked on the moon. But it’s been a while since then, and we’ve sent a few robotic missions to the red planet recently to check out the place a bit more to see if it’s really worth visiting. Maybe there isn’t anything living on Mars now, but it certainly looks like there could have been conditions favorable for life there in the past. For space exploration fans, here are some interesting links on going to Mars, pointing out some of the challenges and technological advances that will help us get there (someday).
- There are a lot of stumbling blocks to getting to Mars — such as choosing a rocket propulsion system, designing a human-friendly landing vehicle for the Martian surface, and various other problems related to bringing along everything people need to survive while still having enough fuel to do it. None of these problems sound impossible to engineer solutions for, but it’ll be expensive. [url]
- NASA is working with 3D printers to create almost anything an astronaut would need while in space, without having to manufacture it before the long journey to Mars. One of the items that could be printed: pizza. (Yum. printed cheese.) [url]
- Curiosity’s Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD) has been collecting data on radiation levels that future astronauts might face on their journey to Mars — and the exposure levels are nothing to sneeze at. NASA has defined some limits for its astronauts, and a trip to Mars could easily exceed those limits. [url]
If you’d like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post via StumbleUpon.