Thursday, April 18, 2019

China's C-Space Mars simulation base in Gobi desert

On April 17, 2019 China opened it's second Mars simulation base - C-Space Project, located in the Gobi Desert 40km from Jinchang, northwest Gansu Province. Its aim is to educate and provide an environment for youths and tourists to experience life on Mars. The facility consists of several interconnected modules including a domed greenhouse, living quarters, a control room and a mock decompression chamber. It is developed by a private company C-Space and will be heavily focused on tourism, with additional investment and development of the surrounding area hoping to attract two million visitors a year by 2030.

Apparently China has serious plans to inspire its population about human colonization of Mars, as only a month ago it opened its first Mars simulation base - Mars Camp, located in a high-altitude desert - the Qaidam Basin in Qinghai Province.

Here is a collection of photos from the base by Reuters, AFP, EPA & East News:

China's C-Space Mars simulation base in Gobi desert

China's C-Space Mars simulation base in Gobi desert

Rover racing at China's C-Space Mars simulation base in Gobi desert

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

3D-printed Mars base by Hassell & EOC

Design studio Hassell and structural engineers Eckersley O’Callaghan (EOC) is one of the 10 finalist teams in phase 3 (virtual model stage) of NASA’s 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge for Mars. Both companies partnered to design a shell, which could be constructed entirely by autonomous robots using Mars’ natural regolith, to protect the astronauts from the radiation, as well as micrometeorite strikes. The human-centric design was made with an approach that moves beyond the idea of astronauts as purely operators, to create a habitat where people can not only survive life on Mars, but really thrive there. The concept is well explained in this video, which forms part of the final submission and was made in collaboration with the "LightField London":



Conceptual design images for the project:

3D-printed Mars base by Hassell & EOC (NASA’s 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge)

Mars habitat interior by Hassell & EOC (NASA’s 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge)

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Monday, April 15, 2019

New official renders of Lockheed Martin's Lunar lander

American aerospace, advanced technologies and defense company Lockheed Martin has published two new renders of its Lunar lander. The lander seems to be scaled down a little if compared to the concept published last year. The purpose of the two-stage lander would be to ship 4 astronauts from NASA's planned Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway to the surface of the Moon and back. The ascent stage is derived from the Orion spacecraft to ensure quicker development of the lander for an accelerated human return to the Moon as early as 2024 (according to the new aspirational timeline of NASA's leadership).

On 2017 Lockheed Martin also proposed its concept for a 4-person Martian lander.

Lockheed Martin Lunar lander on the Moon
Ascent stage docked to the "Early Gateway" in Lunar orbit:
Lockheed Martin Lunar lander docked to NASA Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway

Saturday, April 13, 2019

SpaceX Starship arriving to Mars

Picture of the Day 13/4/2019 - Fan version of SpaceX's stainless steel Starship (with different configuration of windows) arriving to Mars by Reddit user lmg1114.
(Open link in new tab to view ⇩ in full resolution)
SpaceX stainless steel Starship arriving to Mars

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Map of shallow subsurface water distribution on Mars

On March 10 ESA has revealed the first results from ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter orbiting Mars since October 2016. Among the data there is the best map of shallow subsurface water distribution on Mars ever created. The map is made by orbiter's neutron detector FREND mapping the distribution of hydrogen in the uppermost metre of the planet’s surface. Hydrogen indicates the presence of water, being one of the constituents of the water molecule; it can also indicate water absorbed into the surface, or minerals that were formed in the presence of water.
  • Blue areas - more water
  • Orange areas - less water
Map of shallow subsurface water distribution on Mars by ExoMars

Monday, April 8, 2019

SpaceX outpost on Mars by Kevin Gill

Artist's vision of an early SpaceX outpost on Mars if Red Dragon missions launched by Falcon Heavy wouldn't be cancelled and replaced by much more powerful Starship mission architecture. The image was done by software engineer Kevin Gill from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. More of his images here.

SpaceX outpost on Mars by Kevin Gill

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Mars colony by Alexey Shugurov

Picture of the Day 4/4/2019 - Astronaut trying to charge his ATV near a futuristic human colony on Mars by Ukrainian fantasy and space artist Alexey Shugurov. More of his art here.

Mars colony by Alexey Shugurov

Monday, April 1, 2019