Choosing a landing spot for the Mars Curiosity rover

Adapted from a talk given at #CSIROTweetup by Marion Anderson School for Geosciences Monash University. Marion is an incredibly passionate speaker and Australian ambassador for space science. Marion is a geologist, and was involved with site selection for the Curiosity landing. Our understanding of Mars has changed a lot in…

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Mars Curiosity Tweetup in Canberra!

On 25 November 2011, NASA will launch the Mars Science Laboratory mission in the form of the rover known as Curiosity, which will be the third such rover to be trundling about the red planet. Curiosity (follow on Twitter as @MarsCuriosity) is larger than the previous two, Spirit, which famously…

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Terraforming Mars or Venus?

In an earlier post, I described the difficulty a small planet, like Mars, faces when people are trying to terraform it: the planet simply doesn’t have enough gravity to hang onto the gases we need to survive. Some people suggested that maybe instead of Mars, we might look at Venus,…

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How is the size of a planet related to its atmosphere

People have asked me to write something about terraforming Mars, a subject that is of great interest to Science Fiction buffs. I think Kim Stanley Robinson in his Mars series does a pretty good summary of all the currently-held scientific opinions on techniques of how we could achieve this. Yes,…

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The next step: should we go to Mars?

From a Worldcon panel Race to the Red planet with science fiction writers Kim Stanley Robinson and David Levine and physicist Jim Benford, identical twin brother of science fiction writer Greg Benford (who was also at the con, which made for plenty of confusion). It’s a fact that humanity already…

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