Tagged With mars

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Image Cache: When you capture Australia at just the right angle, it can look more than foreign — it can look properly alien. That's the end result of these photos from Canon's 'Down Under From Above' aerial photography project, which turn Shark Bay on the WA coast into an orange and teal masterpiece that looks like something out of The Martian.

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In Andy Weir's novel-turned-Matt-Damon-movie The Martian, the protagonist endures the harsh terrain of Mars by using his own shit to grow potatoes. The idea isn't that outlandish — over the last few years, a NASA-backed project has been attempting to simulate Martian potato farming by growing taters in the Peruvian desert. While early results were promising, new research suggests that survival of any life on Mars — much less potato-growing humans — might be more difficult than we thought. I blame Matt Damon.

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Remember that time Matt Damon farmed potatoes on Mars in a mix of soil and poo? In The Martian, that is - not IRL. That we know of, anyway.

Anyway - researchers have shown that actual Martian soil is likely to be toxic to cells, killing them in minutes.

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Practically everyone who likes space and has lots of money is trying to get to Mars in the near future. But before anyone reaches the Red Planet, there are plenty of concerns to mull over, most notably that our bodies were not built to live in a barren litter box with a thin atmosphere. But the journey to Mars is an equal concern. An unnerving new study suggests that the trip to Mars could put passengers at a higher risk to develop cancer — possibly two times greater than what experts previously thought.

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Our little red neighbour may be a rocky red wasteland now, but a lot of people think it was once an ocean-covered world just like our own. After scientists found some evidence of flowing water back in 2015, folks started to take these claims even more seriously. Heck, maybe Mars even supported life.

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Lots of people really want to go to Mars. Some of them want to live on that barren litter box forever, which sounds exciting, but would probably suck. The thing about a Martian colony is that people would have to be able to reproduce there in order to keep it going — and luckily for those hopeful pioneers, a team of Japanese scientists have achieved an important first step toward making their pipe dream a reality.

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In the halcyon days of yore, people put away money with the hopes of retiring somewhere warm, where they could argue about chicken salad with other curmudgeons until they expired. But very soon, the new retirement hotspot might be on Mars. While billionaires like Elon Musk have long touted human settlement of the Red Planet, at least a few ordinary folks are listening — and saving up money accordingly.

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When NASA's Opportunity rover landed on Mars in 2004, it settled at the bottom of a crater in an interplanetary hole-in-one shot that would make even a golf champion jealous. When the rover trundled out of its unexpected hole, it left behind its landing platform. Now, 13 years later, we've caught our best glimpse yet of this historic landing site and the crap NASA left behind.

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One of the many challenges of colonising Mars is that the planet is lacking many of the natural resources we rely on here on Earth. We'll need to bring as much of what we need to survive as possible, but you can only pack so much into a spaceship. So scientists are developing ways to utilise at least one of the red planet's most abundant resources: Dust.