At Chrome Experiments you can get a good view over our nearest stars. Zoom in, or out. Check out 100,000 other stars. A very cool site! Picture credit: Chrome Experiments.
Wikipedia: Nearest stars
We’re going to Mars. If NASA is not going I’m sure Elon Musk will land on planet four. But even if we have lived two hundred thousand years on Earth we still have a lot to learn before we can move to another planet. Mars is cold, has no air and no radiation shield. The lower gravity will probably also be a problem. Whatever we can simulate here on Earth before we go we need to do. Here are some of the projects doing just that:
The University of Hawai’i is operating the Hawai’i Space Exploration Analog and Simulation habitat. The site on the side of Mauna Loa offers a cool and dry climate with a Mars like geology. This project is sponsored by University of Hawai’i, NASA and Cornell University. Four missions has been completed ranging from four month to a year. Next mission starts January 19.
University of Hawai’i: Hawai’i Space Exploration Analog and Simulation
NASA Analog Missions: HI-SEAS
Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS)
MDRS is operated by the Mars Society and located in the Utah desert. The habitat has a greenhouse and an observatory. Crews have been rotated the habitat since the early 2000s.
Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station (FMARS)
The Mars Society’s first habitat, located on Devon Island. The area near the Haughton impact crater is considered one of the best Mars analog sites on Earth.
Mars Society: Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station
Haughton-Mars Project (HMP)
Also on Devon Island, not far from FMARS is the Haughton-Mars Project. HMP is operated by the Mars Institute with help from the SETI Institute and NASA.
Project web site: Haughton-Mars Project
The NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations is a NASA project at the underwater laboratory Aquarius.
Living on white Mars
The distant research station Concordia at the Antarctic has been used to test isolation and cold. The project was documented on a blog at ESA.
ESA: Living on white Mars (PDF)
Wikipedia: Concordia Station
NASA blogs: Analog missions
National Geographics: 8 amazing places you can visit “Mars” on Earth
If you want to learn about science, space and astronomy the internet could be your best friend. The SETI Institute have their equivalent to TED Talks Science. Free science lectures not only about finding life in the universe but also about space exploration and astronomy in general. Great educational material by astronomers available for everyone. At the moment they have nearly 200 lectures.
Not only are there lectures to watch, there are a few really good pod casts to listen to. Please check my Space News section where you find pod casts like these:
The Big Picture (also from the SETI Institute)
And if you like to read there is of course the free online encyclopedia Wikipedia:
SpaceX and Elon Musk has now presented their vision of making humans a multiplanetary species. Based on the new rocket engine Raptor the Interplanetary Transport System will take 100 people to Mars.
The Verge: SpaceX articles
Space.com: SpaceX’s Mars colonization in images
Video below: SpaceX’s Interplanetary Transport System: