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Mars One Gets Over 20,000 Applicants For Permanent Mars Mission

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mars oneWhen the Dutch nonprofit Mars One first announced they’d be taking applications for those interested in taking a permanent trip to Mars by 2023, the idea seemed like more of a novelty than a reality. But now that the application process has been going on for some days, the overwhelming response has made me realize that, even if this project doesn’t reach its goals, we’ll still be getting a reality show out of it. So it’s like lose-lose, right?

So, how responsive were potential Marstronauts? Well over 20,000 people have reportedly submitted their one-minute videos and their $25 entry fees. Bas Lansdorp and Arno Wielders, co-founders of Mars One, aim to get as many as 500,000 applications, if not more so, in the next two years of the selection process. They will eventually whittle all the applicants down to 24, and those 24 will receive astronaut training in front of a worldwide audience, who will then see that group shrink down to the four final Mars settlers. They’re also trying to raise $6 billion to get their project fully funded, and while that’s a huge number at the outset, only 240 million people need to apply in order for that goal to be reached. So tell your family and 240 million of your closest friends about it.

Also of note is the high level of interest in China, where over 600 citizens have applied. Not a huge number for such a populated country, but they’re also very young in the space race, and as a nation, they tend to do well with new technologies in a short time.

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Mars One Reality TV Series Now Taking Applications To Send People Into Space

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mars-oneHave you ever wanted to go to Mars? Now here’s your chance. A non-profit organization reality TV series based in The Netherlands is looking to send 24 would-be astronauts to the Red Planet in 2023. The TV series is called Mars One and it’s currently raising about $6 billion to fund the space colonization project. Here’s the catch, if you’re one of the very lucky few to be selected to go to Mars you won’t come back. It’s a one-way ticket to Mars to live and explore for the rest of your life.

Mars One is also currently taking entry submissions from anyone from around the world for the reality TV series. You can send a one-minute video of yourself, telling the Mars One producers why they should pick you to go to Mars, along with a $25 entry fee. Norbert Kraft, a former senior research associate at NASA and chief medical director for Mars One says of the reality series:

“Gone are the days when bravery and the number of hours flying a supersonic jet were the top criteria,” he said. “Now, we are more concerned with how well each astronaut works and lives with the others, in the long journey from Earth to Mars and for a lifetime of challenges ahead. If you are the kind of person that everyone chooses to have on their island, then we want you to apply, too.”

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Possible Photographic Evidence Of Soviet Lander on Mars

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marsWhile I admit finding a needle in a haystack would be a tough task, it isn’t exactly compatible to the kinds of searches I put myself through, which would promote the use of the saying, “Boy, this is like looking for a 12-volt adapter inside a big Rubbermaid storage container of adapters.” And for a dedicated group of Russian fans of the Curiosity rover, it would be like finding a Soviet lander on Mars.

And they did just that, probably. Members of a Curiosity-focused online forum in Russia, founded by Vitali Erogov, have been on the hunt for the Mars 3 lander, the first spacecraft to have a successful soft landing on Mars. For their guide, they used a 1.8 billion pixel image of the area containing the lander’s projected site, taken by the Mars Reconaissance Orbiter’s HiRISE camera in November 2007. It’s like Where’s Waldo?, if Waldo was a speck of dust. Specifically, they were looking for a parachute, heat shield, terminal retrorocket and the lander itself. To give everyone a sense of scale, Erogov made models of what these parts would look like in the images. Mostly just blurs, really, but distinct blurs.

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A Day In The Life Of A Terraformed Mars

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Ever wonder what the landscape of Mars would look like if, you know, it were a little more like Earth? By that I mean if it were capable of supporting life. Kevin Gill certainly did, and he went so far as to make this video of what a “living Mars” might look like. The animation takes the entire daily rotation of a fully terraformed Mars and compresses it into just under a minute of run time.

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Curiosity Confirms That Mars Was Once Suitable For Sustaining Life

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So we learned something exciting from the Mars Curiosity Rover today. Turns out that portions of the Red Planet have all the necessary components to support microbial life. The robotic space explorer drilled into a Martian rock, and when the remaining dust was analyzed, scientists found sulfur, nitrogen, hydrogen, oxygen, phosphorus, and carbon. All of those are all vital components for life.

JohnKleinRocks

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Mars Curiosity Rover’s Panoramic View is Beautiful And Creature-Free

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Curiosity

You open the mailbox and beneath the small stack of bills, and you find a postcard from a traveling family member who’s stopping in Branson, MO to see the Mel Tillis Theater. Then you spend the rest of the day envying all of the relatives of the Mars Curiosity rover, because they probably don’t have to put up with that shit.

Curiosity has been giving us gorgeous views of the Red Planet since it touched soil in August 2012, but these interactive panoramic photo compilations, hosted by 360Cities, are some of the most beautiful and important pictures ever taken, giving us a vivid gallery of a place I’ll never get to travel to. This panorama is a composite of 130 images taken using both the Curiosity’s Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI), and the 34mm Mastcam, all shot from the Yellowknife Bay region of the massive Gale Crater. It’s where Curiosity recently took its first drilling sample and very recently processed the rock’s dust into its onboard laboratory for testing. But that’s the technical news. This is all about the pretty shit.

Take a small but expansive tour of the Martian grounds, either zooming out to take in the mountainous horizon beneath a more distant sun, or zoom into the cracked ground and try and convince yourself you saw a lizard right before you moved the mouse and changed the image completely.

Though I’m slightly disappointed there aren’t any symbols that look like crop circles lying about, Curiosity is still young, and there will be more images to come, giving me more time to craft a design of Curiosity on my ceiling with glow-in-the-dark stars.