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Mars Colonization Reality Show Gets First Sponsors

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Colonizing Mars is a bold and expensive endeavor that has captured the imagination of many space enthusiasts for decades. Financing the trip through a reality tv show is an even bolder proposition but that hasn’t stopped Mars One from giving it a shot. Now in what is the first major development for the project since its announcement this June, Mars One has gotten its first sponsors in what they hope will be man’s first real effort to colonize another planet.

According to Space.com, Dutch companies Byte Internet, VBC Notarissen, New-Energy.tv, and MeetIn are now sponsors of the project along with the Australia-based Dejan SEO. While the sponsorship pool remains mostly Dutch and relatively small they could provide enough capital for Mars One to get a good start on the project and possibly pave the way to the international support that will be necessary to finance the trip. The General Director of Dejan SEO, Dan Petrovic, is excited about the new partnership.

 Mars One is not just a daring project, but the core of what drives human spirit towards exploration of the unknown. We are privileged to be a supporter of this incredible project.

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New Research Throws Wet Mars Theory Into Doubt

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When the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spied vast clay deposits on the surface of Mars, it was a major discovery supporting the possibility that the red planet was once a wet and warm planet. Just about all of the research being done on Mars these days revolves around the wet mars theory and the possibility that it could have supported life in the deep past, but now some doubt has been cast on where those clay deposits came from that could spell the end of science’s hopes for a second genesis.

Just last year, the wet mars theory took its first hit when researchers suggested that the clay deposits didn’t result from large standing bodies of water but from periodic subsurface outflows that carried the clay and minerals to the surface. This already didn’t bode well for the blue Mars that scientists had been hoping for, but now a new theory on the deposits argues that you don’t even need that much water to have clay in the first place. According to Universe Today, a research team led by Alain Meunier of the Université de Poitiers, has found geologic evidence on Earth that suggests the clay was actually formed by solidifying magma instead, meaning that planetary scientists have been looking at the leavings of volcanic activity rather than ancient lakes.

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Curiosity’s Tracks As Viewed From Space

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One of the coolest aspects about the Curiosity rover’s mission to Mars has to be its close cooperation with one of NASA’s other Mars projects, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. MRO was re-purposed for Curiosity’s landing in order to give a stunning shot of the rover parachuting down to Gale crater, and now it’s giving us even more shots of the Mini-Cooper sized laboratory roving around the surface of the red planet.

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Will.i.am’s Song Will Be The First Broadcast From Mars

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NASA is very happy to see the Mars Curiosity Rover is part of the current pop culture landscape. To add more resonance with the youth of the world, NASA brought on recording artist and rapper Will.i.am to record a song that will be the first to be broadcast on the Red Planet back to Earth.

“Reach For The Stars” was written and recorded by Will.i.am and made its debut yesterday at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California as part of an event for students to explain the Curiosity mission’s technology and objectives. No matter how you feel about his music or The Black Eyed Peas, the work Will.i.am does for NASA is commendable. He widens NASA’s reach and appeal to the youth through his music, celebrity, and public persona. Check out the song below:

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Curiosity Sends Back A Stunning Pic From Mars And A Message From The NASA Administrator

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The Curiosity rover is still running through its system checks before it gets started with the real business of exploring Mars but it is already sending back some amazing pictures. In the latest batch of data released to the public, the rover has sent not only an awesome pic showing the clarity of its high def cameras, but a message from NASA chief Charlie Bolden as well. If views like this are what we’re getting after just a couple of weeks on Mars, imagine what we will get in the years to come.

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NASA Wants To Use Cave Exploring Robots On Mars

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Over the years, we’ve sent lots of robotic missions to Mars. The legion of orbiting satellites, stationary labs, and rovers have each given us new insights into the makeup and history of the red planet but have ultimately boldly gone where other probes have gone before. While the size and instrument packages of the probes may have changed over the years, they’ve generally just trod the same ground hoping to find something new. Now a robotics firm has been given the go ahead to research technology that would for the first time, allow NASA to finally peak deep under the Martian surface.

In an earlier post, we told you about a newly discovered “skylight” found on the Martian surface that looks to be a cave in over a network of a dormant volcano’s ancient lava tubes. With the help of a two year, $500,000 grant from NASA, robotics firm Astrobotic Technology is now looking for ways to allow robotic missions to safely go spelunking on Mars and bring back some data we’ve never seen before using those same structures. Astrobotic’s CEO William Whittaker of Carnegie Mellon University told Discovery News why he thinks this could be such a huge leap forward for Mars exploration.