Monday, March 03, 2014

life on Mars

Planet Mars is in the focus of planetary research like never before. The rovers Opportunity and Curiosity as well as three separate orbiters are providing us with clues to the present and past condition for life of the red planet, while people at the non-profit company Mars-One are preparing for the future of life on Mars in the shape of human colonies.

To me the most mindboggling aspect of the whole story is the fact that Opportunity is still operating after 10 Earth years on Mars, while the computers used to guide its trip there must by now be all dead and buried.

Anyhow, read all about it in today's issue of Current Biology:

The past and future habitability of planet Mars

Current Biology, Volume 24, Issue 5, R175-R178, 3 March 2014 doi:10.1016/j.cub.2014.02.029

Free access to full text and PDF download

A selfie of the rover Curiosity produced shortly after landing. By combining several takes, the editing removed the camera arm from the final mosaic image. (Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems.)

For background info, see Astrobiology - a brief introduction, 2nd ed., which describes the state of the field just before Curiosity landed.

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