Congress has just passed a bill that gives NASA a $19.5-billion budget to send a manned crew to Mars, but under one condition...it must happen within the next 25 years. "In order to maximize the cost-effectiveness of the long-term exploration and utilization activities of the United States, the Administrator shall take all necessary steps, including engaging international academic, and industry partners to ensure the activities in the Administration's human exploration program balance how those activities might also help meet the requirement of future exploration and utilization activities leading to human habitation on the surface of Mars," states the bill. Continue reading for another video on the colonization of Mars and more information.
Elon Musk has big plans for his space ventures, and it includes sending humans to the Red Planet. He announced, at Code Conference 2016 in California: "I think, if things go according to plan, we should be able to launch people probably in 2024, with arrival in 2025. The basic game plan is we're going to send a mission to Mars with every Mars opportunity from 2018 onwards. They occur approximately every 26 months. We're establishing cargo flights to Mars that people can count on for cargo." Both cargo and humans will be sent by an Interplanetary Transport System (ITS), formerly known as Mars Cargo Transporter (MCT). Continue reading for another video on Mars. Click here for new images of the planet captured by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.
NASA's Curiosity Mars has captured new images of Maris, the 'Murray Buttes' region to be more specific. "Curiosity's science team has been just thrilled to go on this road trip through a bit of the American desert Southwest on Mars. Studying these buttes up close has given us a better understanding of ancient sand dunes that formed and were buried, chemically changed by groundwater, exhumed and eroded to form the landscape that we see today," said Curiosity Project Scientist Ashwin Vasavada. Click here to view the first image in this week's things that look like other things gallery. Continue reading for a viral video of the massive ProDrone, which can pick up entire fences.
NASA has managed to capture a "voiceprint" of what Jupiter's auroras would sound like following Juno's maiden voyage around the giant gas planet. During this flyby, the spacecraft's waves instrument received radio signals associated with the giant planet's intense auroras. "The signals have been shifted into the audio frequency range and are displayed in a format similar to a voiceprint, showing intensity of waves as a function of frequency and time," reports the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Click here for a few bonus images of Jupiter's auroras. Continue reading for another video of what Jupiter sounds like, recording during an earlier mission.
YouTube user "Paranormal Crucible" has discovered a rock that resembles the head of a Roman soldier, but is it from a larger statue? "Interesting relic I found in the Curiosity Rover archives, this one looks like a statue's head, possibly Roman inspired or very similar in design. Even without any processing or enhancement this relic stands out in the raw image, and in my opinion it's definitely not a regular rock," said Crucible. Since humans are set to land on the red planet by 2027 via the Mars One Mission, it may be a while until we can actually confirm this finding. Click here to view the first image in this week's things that look like other things gallery. Continue reading for a viral video of battle bots duking it out for supremacy in the arena.
Though it may be nothing like Tatooine, this newly discovered planet, called "HD 131399Ab", has 3 suns, and is located 340 light-years from Earth. What does this mean? You would experience constant daylight, complete with triple sunrises and sunsets daily, depending on the season. A few caveats: it has a surface temperature of 1,070°F, and weighs approximately four Jupiter masses. "For about half of the planet's orbit, which lasts 550 Earth-years, three stars are visible in the sky, the fainter two always much closer together, and changing in apparent separation from the brightest star throughout the year," said Kevin Wagner, a first-year PhD student. Continue reading for another video and more information.
NASA's Juno Probe is a solar-powered spacecraft has finally reached Jupiter after 5-years and 1.8-billion miles. It fired its main rocket engine at 11:18pm ET, and quickly slowed from 165,000 mph into a sweeping orbit around the planet. The Juno spacecraft's suite of science instruments will determine the ratio of oxygen to hydrogen, effectively measuring the abundance of water in Jupiter, which will help distinguish among prevailing theories linking Jupiter's formation to the Solar System. Continue reading for another video and more information. Click here to view a few bonus images of Jupiter.
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has captured a massive aurora, caused by solar particles and volcanic debris in the space around the giant planet being accelerated towards the poles by its powerful magnetic field, that is larger than the entire Earth. The Juno probe is currently currently riding through the solar wind as it will enter Jupiter's orbit on July 4. Continue reading for another video and more information.
Could Mars be home to tiny humanoid aliens? Images captured by Curiosity Rover's Mastcam allegedly show a creature peering out from around a rock. "This human-like figure is peering around the corner of a rock wall and I can make out its head, chest, shoulders, arm, leg, knee, and foot from this one close up photo," said UFO researcher Scott Waring. Continue reading for another video and more information.
Using images taken by the Mars Orbiter Camera on the Mars Global Surveyor, amateur astronomer Will Farrar, who runs the YouTube channel "WhatsUpInTheSky37" from his home in from Salisibury, Maryland, claims to have found evidence of lakes of standing water surrounded by trees on the surface of the red planet. "This has never been addressed by NASA since we are still looking for these 'minuscule' traces of life and water. I ask you to use your judgement on this one. What does this look like to you," said Farrar. Continue reading for another video and more information. Continue reading for another video and more information.