Wow, it seems like a lot of people have similar ideas to I do about Mars... that there may be life on it or life was once there and it may be worthwhile to try to find it.
NASA called upon scientists and engineers to help plan a new strategy to explore Mars. It resulted in almost double the amount of expected submissions with over 400 unique and bold ideas.
These ideas were submitted to the Concepts and Approaches for Mars Exploration Workshop in Houston last month, which was put together to try to get updated information as well as different and new ideas for NASA's Mars Exploration Program. These ideas came from a wide range of groups and people including professional researchers, undergraduate and graduate students, NASA centers, federal laboratories, industry and international partner organizations.
This "motley crew" will continue to meet to narrow down the ideas selected. Near-term ideas will be taken into consideration for early mission planning in the 2018-2024 timeframe, while mid- to longer-term ideas will inform program-level architecture planning for 2026 and beyond. The ultimate goal is to send humans to Mars sometime in the 2030s.
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A powerful geomagnetic has sparked stunning aurora displays in the northern and southern hemispheres. The Draconid meteor shower peaks Thursday night. Also, the cresant moon joins the four planets visible in the early morning sky.
It has been wondered for quite some time if Mars was ever able to support life and if it was in a state now to do so. On Monday, we came so much closer to answering that question, and perhaps maybe we even did.
The sun gave us a show last week. And, it could lead to some aurora activity soon. Also, we look at what should be a very impressive eclipse of the Harvest Moon next weekend, which also happens to be the biggest supermoon of 2015.
There are signs that northern lattitudes will have a visibile aurora over the next couple of nights. Plus, Astronaut Scott Kelly is about halfway through his year in space; find out more about his mission.
We will have a partial solar eclipse early Sunday. The event will affect southern Africa and Antartica. But, you can follow along live via Slooh Community Observatory. Plus check out more amazing aurora pictures from the most recent show.