Monday, April 12, 2021

Mars base by Mark Garlick

Picture of the Day 12/04/2021 - an early human base on Mars by British illustrator Mark Garlick. More of his art here. Note the Spirit/Opportunity rover in the field.

Mars base by Mark Garlick

Monday, April 5, 2021

First humans on Mars

Young Irish 3D artist Matthew Ryan has created a stunning animation of a SpaceX's Starship getting people from Earth to Mars for the first time ever. Here is the final scene with a group of Starmen disembarking from Starship on Mars:

First humans on Mars: Starmen disembarking from SpaceX Starship on Mars by Matthew Ryan
Full animation here:

Thursday, April 1, 2021

SpaceX Starship interior concept for 100 passengers by Joseph Lantz

Joseph Lantz has created his concept for the interior layout of SpaceX's 100-passenger Starship (the passenger capacity goal stated by Elon Musk). Therefore this concept isn't meant for the first crew Starships on Mars used as temporary habitats for the first few years (those first Starships will have much smaler crew). The concept divides the pressurized living space into 8 decks (here shown from top to bottom) and follows a common design choice of a central stairway through all the decks.

All Decks of SpaceX 100-passenger Starship interior concept by Joseph Lantz
Deck 8 - Observation
Deck 8 (Observation) of SpaceX 100-passenger Starship interior concept by Joseph Lantz

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Astronaut relaxing near a SpaceX Starship spaceport

Picture of the Day 30/03/2021 - Astronaut leaning against his Mars rover derived from a retro car near a SpaceX Starship spaceport by American video game concept artist Darren Bacon in collaboration with parody account Bored Elon.

Astronaut relaxing near a SpaceX Starship spaceport by Darren Bacon and Bored Elon

Monday, March 29, 2021

Jamestown US Moon base in season 1 of "For All Mankind" TV series

For All Mankind is alternate history sci-fi TV series depicting what could have happened if the space race had never ended after the Soviet Union succeeds in the first crewed Moon landing ahead of the United States in 1969. The authors of the show speculate such an event would force US to double down on space exploration altering the Apollo program from "flags and footprints" approach to a more ambitious one with extensive infrastructure buildup on the Moon (with hints of Mars exploration in later seasons of the show). Pouring money and resources into space exploration creates an atmosphere every space nerd would have wanted to continue after the enthusiastic 1960s.

Season 1 of the series (aired in 2019) depicts events from 1969 to 1974 in the alternate timeline of For All Mankind. The series are in the middle of season 2 now depicting the alternate 1983. It was said each season of the show will jump about a decade further into the increasingly diverging reality of the show. We will feature season 2 here after it will be aired completely. So here is a collection of HD images from season 1 with a focus on US Jamestown lunar base at the rim of Shackleton Crater near the lunar South pole where water ice is discovered in 1970 (several decades earlier than in reality):

Jamestown US Moon base in season 1 of 'For All Mankind'
Landing of the initial Jamestown lunar base module in October 1973:
Jamestown US Moon base landing in season 1 of 'For All Mankind'

Jamestown US Moon base landing in season 1 of 'For All Mankind'
Jamestown Phase 1 US lunar base in 1974:
Jamestown US Moon base in season 1 of 'For All Mankind'

Jamestown US Moon base in season 1 of 'For All Mankind'

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Martian colonies in season 5 of The Expanse

Mars is one of the three competing powers in universe of The Expanse TV series - a political sci-fi drama set a few centuries in the future where humans have colonized the entire Solar system. Mars, governed by Martian Congressional Republic, is a militaristic and technologically advanced society of over nine billion inhabitants. Martian society had been highly mobilized towards the shared goal of terraforming Mars for over a century but in season 4 that shared goal and order of the Martian society was starting to erode as the new habitable planets beyond the rings were discovered and people realized they could build a new home there without the costly need of terraformation. That erosion continues in season 5.

In Martian scenes of season 5 the show focuses on depicting Asteria Naval Base (or Asteria NB) which is a military base and war college of the Martian Congressional Republic Navy (MCRN). Here is a collection with HD images from the Martian scenes in season 5 of The Expanse (open link in new tab to view in full resolution).

Exterior and interior of the Asteria Naval Base:
Mars colony (Asteria Naval Base) in Season 5 of The Expanse

Mars colony interior (Asteria Naval Base) in Season 5 of The Expanse
Martian mass transit network crosses canyons on cables and runs deep under ground:
Cable car on Mars in Season 5 of The Expanse

Mars colony metro in Season 5 of The Expanse

Saturday, March 13, 2021

小小小袪-2061 - a retrofuturistic vision of Soviet Union on Mars

Project "小小小袪-2061" is a community of Russian artists and writers envisioning Soviet Union in 2061 in an alternate reality. In 2011 they held their 1st arts contest asking participants to envision Soviet Union on Mars 50 years into the future. Here are some of the artworks from the contest.
Soviet spaceport in Valles Marineris on Mars by Igor Savin:
Soviet spaceport on Mars by Igor Savin for CCCP-2061 contest

Soviet spaceport on Mars by Igor Savin for CCCP-2061 contest
Domed soviet colony on Mars by Grinya Lesnoy:
Domed soviet colony on Mars by Grinya Lesnoy for CCCP-2061 contest

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Sunday, March 7, 2021

SpaceX 100+ Starship fleet arriving to Mars

Video animation with SpaceX's colonial fleet of 100+ Starships arriving to Mars by Austrian 3D environment artist Roger Bootsma. More of his art here.

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Updated design of #dearMoon Starship (2021)

On March 3 dearMoon Project opened application process for 8 crew member spots on SpaceX's first crewed deep space mission - #dearMoon Starship flight around the Moon scheduled for 2023. Applications are open for everyone now, not just the artists as originally was planned. The applications page contains some official renders of Starship's updated design with the most visible differences being in main window design:

Updated design (2021) of SpaceX's dearMoon Starship - orbiting the Moon

Updated design (2021) of SpaceX's dearMoon Starship - launch

Updated design (2021) of SpaceX's dearMoon Starship - orbiting Earth

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

SpaceX has downselected 7 potential Mars landing sites for Starship

On September 2019 it was revealed SpaceX has selected several Starship candidate landing sites on Mars. The candidate sites were located in Southern Arcadia Planitia East of Erebus Montes and one in Phlegra Montes.

Since then SpaceX has conducted several workshops with the Mars science community to evaluate and narrow the list of candidate landing sites. All the sites must fit several criteria:
  1. close to significant deposits of water/ice, a required resource for in situ propellant production and a consumable to support habitation;
  2. elevation below -2 km (with respect to the MOLA geoid) that can support the delivery of large payloads, with -3 km preferred;
  3. latitude must be <40° for solar power and thermal management, and closer to the equator is desirable;
  4. multiple separate landing locations spaced within a few km of each other, to support the multiple missions needed to grow an outpost;
  5. slopes should be <5° over a 10 m length scale and the chance of impacting a rock greater than 0.5 m high (1 m diameter) should be <5%;
  6. landing site must be radar reflective to enable measurement of the distance to the surface, and it must be load bearing to support the spacecraft at touchdown.

Recently an abstract with the conclusions has been published (the results of the study will be presented in two weeks, at the 52nd Lunar and Planetary Science Conference), pointing out 4 prime and 3 secondary potential Starship landing sites selected for further study and located in Phlegra Montes, Erebus Montes and Southern Arcadia Planitia:
  • PM-1 has the lowest latitude and elevation of the Phlegra Montes sites, a clear association with LDAs (local ice deposits expressed as lobate debris aprons), well developed polygons (one of the indicators of ice-related morphologies), and has the highest SWIM (Subsurface Water Ice Mapping) score for geomorphic indicators of ice;
  • AP-1 (Arcadia Planitia) appears to be one of the safest sites and has a moderate combined SWIM score for ice;
  • AP-9 has the thickest ice from radar returns (of the Arcadia Planitia sites) and geomorphology indicating shallow ice. It has the highest combined SWIM score for ice, but appears slightly rocky and rough;
  • EM-16 has a clear association with an LDA with nearby brain terrain and the strongest radar return for shallow ice and the highest combined SWIM score of the Erebus Montes sites;
  • AP-8 (Arcadia Planitia) appears to be one of the safest sites and has the highest neutron and combined SWIM scores for ice;
  • EM-15 (Erebus Montes) is associated with a prominent but less extensive LDA, has well developed polygons, nearby brain terrain and appears smooth;
  • PM-7 is adjacent to lineated valley fill (attributed to glacial flow) and appears to be the safest of the Phlegra sites.

We highlighted selected ★ prime and ★ secondary sites on the map:
7 potential sites for SpaceX Starship Mars landing
Mars heightmap (180° in center)

Friday, February 26, 2021

Friday, February 19, 2021

Landing site of Perseverance Mars 2020 rover

On February 18th NASA successfully landed its Mars 2020 Perseverance rover on Mars in Jezero Crater (Western Isidis Planitia). As you may wonder where it is, we placed Perseverance's landing location on the map of Mars by National Geographic Society:

Perseverance Mars 2020 rover landing location
Open link in new tab to view the map in full resolution.

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory has created an animated flyover of the Martian surface explaining why Jezero Crater, a 28-mile-wide ancient lake-delta system, is the best place for Perseverance to find and collect promising samples for a possible future return to Earth. The animation also reveals the route Perseverance will travel in the first years after landing:

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

NASA Mars 2020 Perseverance rover landing in infographics

Tomorrow, on February 18, NASA will land its Mars 2020 Perseverance rover on Mars in Jezero Crater (Western Isidis Planitia). Its mission is to collect samples for later retrieval and it is accompanied by a small reconnaissance drone-helicopter Ingenuity - the first such craft on Mars. We will be able to watch NASA's broadcast of the landing here (starting on 19:15 UTC).

Here is an excellent infographic of Perseverance's landing sequence by Australian space illustrator Tony Bela:
NASA Mars 2020 Perseverance rover landing sequence infographic by Tony Bela
Open link in new tab to view the infographic in its original resolution.

Friday, February 12, 2021

Spaceport on Phobos by Thomas Peters

Picture of the Day 12/02/2021 - Spaceport on Phobos, the closest of two natural Martian moons, by graphic designer and illustrator Thomas Peters (Drell-7). More of his space art here.

Spaceport on Phobos by Thomas Peters (Drell-7)

Saturday, February 6, 2021

Family watching news on terraformed Mars

Family watching news in their room at a human colony on partially terraformed Mars - a concept artwork by Portuguese fantasy artist Tiago da Silva (Grafik) created for upcoming computer game Terraformers. It is a Mars colonization strategy game currently being developed by indie game developer Asteriod Lab.

Note the news ticker below the main story in TV displaying: Carl Sagan National Museum opens new exhibit, "The first missions - Elon Musk" :)

Family watching news on terraformed Mars by Tiago da Silva for Terraformers game

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Animation of SpaceX Starship interior concept by DeepSpaceCourier

Two brothers from DeepSpaceCourier have created an animation of their concept for SpaceX's Starship interior. The animation takes through each level of the Starship showing it from 1st person perspective.

Common room:
SpaceX's Starship interior concept by DeepSpaceCourier - Common room
Utilities:
SpaceX's Starship interior concept by DeepSpaceCourier - Utilities

Friday, January 15, 2021

Steel factory on Mars by Dmitrii Ustinov

Picture of the Day 15/01/2021 - Mars is about twice as rich in iron as Earth is; in fact its distinctive red color is due to iron oxides on its surface. So making steel shouldn't be a problem. Here is an artwork of a steel factory (mill) on Mars producing raw steel blocks by Russian artist Dmitrii Ustinov. More of his art here.

Steel factory on Mars by Dmitrii Ustinov