Mars Habitats Simulated

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

HI-SEAS @ Facebook | HI-SEAS @ Twitter | Wikipedia


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.

Mars Society: Mars Desert Research Station

MDRS @ Facebook | MDRS @ Twitter | Wikipedia


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

FMARS @ Facebook | Wikipedia


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

Mars Institute | Facebook | Flickr | Twitter | Wikipedia



The NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations is a NASA project at the underwater laboratory Aquarius.


NEEMO @ Facebook | Twitter | Wikipedia


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


Don’t forget earlier projects like MARS-500 and Biosphere 2.

Wikipedia: MARS-500 | Biosphere 2 | Human analog missions | Mars analog habitatsMars analogs



Upcoming Mars analogs: PMAS in Poland and the Mars Habitat in Brazil

NASA blogs: Analog missions

New Scientist: Four extreme environments where humans are tasting life on Mars

National Geographics: 8 amazing places you can visit “Mars” on Earth


The end of the Rosetta mission

Tomorrow Friday will be the end of the Rosetta mission. It’s one of the European Space Agency’s most exciting missions. Here are some of the best links to learn more about it.

Follow it here: Rosetta @ Livestream

ESA: Rosetta mission web site | Rosetta team blogScience ’til the very end | F.A.Q. | ESA ESOCRosetta 3D model | Where is Rosetta?Youtube channel | Rosetta @ InstagramESA @ Facebook | Rosetta @ Twitter

Not enough? Got a 3D printer? Go here!

NASA: Rosetta mission web site

The Planetary Society: Rosetta end-of-mission event schedule Rosetta articles | Rosetta mission in pictures

EarthSky: Farewell, Rosetta comet mission

Wikipedia: Rosetta | Comet 67P | European Space Agency

First ExoMars launch is near

The first of ESA’s two ExoMars launches is only days away. A rover will be sent to Mars in 2018 but the mission will start with an orbiter and lander this month. The orbiter (Trace Gas Orbiter) will analyse atmospheric gas and function as a telecommunication relay between lander, rover and Earth. The lander (EDM or Schiaparelli) is basically a test to learn from so the rover in 2018 can land safely.

The orbiter and lander are built by ESA and will be launched by Roscosmos from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. The mission is operated by the ESA’s European Space Operation Centre (ESOC) in Darmstadt, Germany.

ESA: ExoMars overview | ESOC

Universe Today: ExoMars heads to the Red Planet in 2016

Wikipedia: ExoMars | ESOC | Baikonur Cosmodrome

Philae’s landing on Comet 67P

Yes, I’m a bit behind on this. The Philae lander setting down on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko happened more than a year ago and the above video was released two months ago. Still, the landing was such an adventure I must mention it here. The video is put together with data from the lander. What is quite new though is the image archive, please go to the Planetary Society to read about that.

ESA: Rosetta | Rosetta blog | 67P Comet Viewer | Image Archive

DLR: Philae lander

Wikipedia: Rosetta | Philae | Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko | ESA

Anonymous hacks ESA?

A number of news sites says hacker community Anonymous has hacked the European Space Agency. Anonymous has previously targeted organisations like the Church of Scientology, the Westboro Baptist Church and ISIS. To add ESA to that list seem a bit odd. Not sure everyone takes Anonymous seriously but for those who do their new hack may need a better explanation than doing it just for fun. IBTimes is one of few sources saying this is hack is not verified independently.

Computer World: Attackers hack European Space Agency

Tech Times: Anonymous hacks European Space Agency

IBTimes: Anonymous claims hacking European Space Agency

ESA web site

Anonymous: Web site | FacebookYouTube | Twitter

Wikipedia: Anonymous | 4chan