from the urls-we-dig-up dept
Manned missions to Mars have been in the works for decades, but we still haven’t worked out all the details for getting humans to safely set foot on the red planet. Technology has clearly improved since the 1970s, so we’re likely closer to solving the challenges of landing people on Mars than ever before. Some astronauts might accept a one-way ticket, but it might be nice for those adventurers to have a committed, long-term supply line so that their excursion lasts as long as possible. Here are just a few links that might be interesting for future astronauts.
- Curious features on the surface of Mars could be explained by blocks of dry ice carving out tracks as they slide down slopes, leaving behind odd “linear gullies” after the frozen carbon dioxide sublimes. If any one-way astronauts make it to Mars, they should try out this kind of snowboarding, #YOLO! [url]
- Ancient plants found on Earth could help us look for similar kinds of life on Mars. Bryophytes might be more easily grown in the harsh conditions of space, and some of these plants can reprogram themselves to adapt and grow into different kinds of plants. [url]
- The Office of Planetary Protection tries to protect extra-terrestrial environments in space from contamination caused by human activities. But preventing biological contamination from Mars-bound spacecraft could be a waste of effort and funding, according to some scientists. [url]
If you’d like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post via StumbleUpon.