NASA's Curiosity Mars rover caught its own shadow in this image taken just after completing a backward drive of 329 feet (100.3 meters) on the 547th Martian day, or sol, of the rover's work on Mars (Feb. 18, 2014). NASA/JPL-Caltech
Friday, February 21, 2014
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
"The Martian" by Andy Weir... "For the record, I didn't die on Sol-6... I might be the first human being to die on Mars...."
READ MORE ABOUT "The Martian"
UPDATE: I am now 60% through "The Martian" by Andy Weir... a $9 Kindle version which tells me percentages and not pages read. When I first started teaching decades ago, I imagined a semester long book project for my IPC students about a trip to Mars and with it all the Physics, Chemistry, (and yes Biology) that would involve. Like most being science teachers, I was fresh, new, and naive. Now retired. That project was never accomplished. Lots of trials and research, but nothing truly engaging or inspiring. Andy Weir's first novel, "The Martian", deserves your attention as a common reading book project for a second semester, rite of Spring, wake'em up project. I have tried Heinlein and Bova and Robinson in the past but Weir is a fresh, well written, and very thought provoking read. The hard science topics are both obvious and well presented to the reader... any science teacher will be excited by potential of classroom and lab activities it invokes. Live or Die on Mars, Martin Watney's tale is compelling... only 40% more to go til I find out how it all comes out. You can read the first chapter and the author presentation at Space.com here: http://www.space.com/24721-chapter-one-of-the-martian.html
Thursday, February 6, 2014
A new 3D image photo from NASA's Curiosity rover shows the car-sized robot at the lip of a small Martian sand dune, debating whether or not to drive over the obstacle on its way to a huge Red Planet mountain.
|The lichen chosen for the experiment, called P. chlorophanum, has proven itself a survival champion even before the Mars simulation. Researchers removed lichen samples for testing from its home atop the rocky Black Ridge in Antarctica's North Victoria Land — a frozen, dry landscape not unlike that of many places on Mars. |
Reported in AstroBiology Magazine:
The mere feat of surviving temperatures as low as -51 degrees C and enduring a radiation bombardment during a 34-day experiment might seem like an accomplishment by itself. But the lichen, a symbiotic mass of fungi and algae, also proved it could adapt physiologically to living a normal life in such harsh Martian conditions — as long as the lichen lived under "protected" conditions shielded from much of the radiation within "micro-niches" such as cracks in the Martian soil or rocks.
"There were no studies on adaptation to Martian conditions before," said Jean-Pierre de Vera, a scientist at the German Aerospace Center's Institute of Planetary Research in Berlin, Germany. "Adaptation is very important to be investigated, because it tells you more about the interactions of life in relation to its environment."
READ MORE : http://www.astrobio.net/exclusive/5932/lichen-on-mars http://www.astrobio.net/exclusive/5932/lichen-on-mars