Showing posts with label NASA. Show all posts
Showing posts with label NASA. Show all posts

Monday, September 9, 2019

Three phases of terraforming Mars by Björn Selin

Annotated images with three phases of exploring and terraforming Mars by Swedish game artist Björn Selin. The images were made with the guidance of planetary scientist Chris McKay from NASA's Ames Research Center.
Phase 1 - exploration - humans can explore the barren Red planet only within protective pressure suits / rovers / habitats:
Terraforming Mars Phase 1 (exploration) by Bjorn Selin
Phase 2 - planetary ecosynthesis - the air pressure and temperature has risen to the level where only warm clothing and oxygen mask is needed; simple organisms as lichens can be introduced:
Terraforming Mars Phase 2 (planetary ecosynthesis) by Bjorn Selin
Phase 3 - spreading life - humidity and temperature has risen to the level where only oxygen mask is needed; more complex organisms can be introduced:
Terraforming Mars Phase 3 (spreading life) by Bjorn Selin

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Candidate sites for SpaceX Starship Mars landings revealed

[on September 2 info & map updated with additional two possible landing sites]

Robert Zimmerman from BehindTheBlack.com has found several images labelled as "Candidate Landing Site for SpaceX Starship [..]" in the latest data release from University of Arizona's HiRISE camera (aboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter). It means that with help from NASA SpaceX is already quietly evaluating the best place where to land first Starships on Mars. Here are direct links to HiRISE image of: Site 1, Site 2, Site 3, Site 4, Site 5 (in Arcadia Planitia) & Site 6 (in Phlegra Montes).

For several years it hasn't been a secret SpaceX is considering four Martian regions for landings: Deuteronilus Mensae, Phlegra Montes, Utopia Planitia and southern Arcadia Planitia. But even in 2017 southern Arcadia Planitia looked "more promising", according to Paul Wooster, Principal Mars Development Engineer at SpaceX. So by now SpaceX may very well be down to evaluating more precise landing sites in that region.

All the candidate landing sites (except #6 in Phlegra Montes) are located on the border between Amazonis Planitia and Arcadia Planitia. According to latest data, Arcadia Planitia is one of the few regions where abundant shallow ice is present at relatively low latitudes. There is strong evidence that this location holds buried ice glaciers. So it has two critical elements looked by SpaceX for its Mars Base Alpha: solar energy and water. Those are critical not only for life support but also for refueling Starships. It's also in low altitude meaning a bit higher air pressure than in higher areas on Mars; that is beneficial for radiation protection and creates more atmospheric drag during the landing.

We made a map of all of the candidate sites:
Potential sites for SpaceX Starship Mars landings
Mars heightmap & potential site 6 for SpaceX Starship Mars landing in Phlegra Montes

Sunday, August 25, 2019

SpaceX Starship visiting Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway by Colin Doublier

Picture of the Day 25/8/2019 - Sketch of SpaceX's Starship visiting NASA's future Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway by French urban artist Colin Doublier. More of his art here.

SpaceX Starship visiting Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway by Colin Doublier

Saturday, July 20, 2019

60 year challenge for humanity: 1969 - Moon, 2029 - Mars

Today 50 years ago first humans - 2 out of 3 Apollo 11 crew members Neil Armstrong & Buzz Aldrin - landed on the Moon. But since then the advancement of human space exploration has been slow. It changed only in recent years with the rise of private space companies, especially SpaceX with its determined focus on rocket reusability and colonization of Mars. Now we have a real chance to land first humans on Mars as soon as 10 years from now, maybe even sooner.

60 year challenge for humanity: 1969 - Moon, 2029 - Mars

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Saturn V and SpaceX Starship at launch pad by Gravitation Innovation

Today 50 years ago the most powerful rocket ever built - Saturn V - launched first astronauts to set foot on the Moon. But right now the leading NewSpace company SpaceX is building even more powerful rocket for Mars - Starship & Super Heavy. SpaceX is hoping it to be operational in 2021.

Here is a poster by Gravitation Innovation with Saturn V and SpaceX Starship at launch pad. Note the Starship is at front so it appears a lot bigger than Saturn V at back. In reality the difference in height is minimal with Saturn V being 111 m high and Starship & Super Heavy at 118 m by current design which is subject to change.

Saturn V and SpaceX Starship at launch pad by Gravitation Innovation

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Mars Ice Home concept by NASA, SEArch+ & Clouds AO

Mars Ice Home is a feasibility study conducted at NASA Langley Research Center in 2016 in collaboration with human-centered space design studio SEArch+ and architects from CloudsAO. Responding to the problem of galactic cosmic radiation being the most significant issue for human health on long duration Mars surface missions, the concept incorporates in situ resource utilization derived water-ice for radiation shielding and as a structural component.

Water, a hydrogen-rich material, is an excellent shielding material for galactic cosmic rays – and many areas of Mars have abundant water ice just below the surface. The Ice Home concept balances the need to provide protection from radiation, without the drawbacks of an underground habitat. The design maximizes the thickness of ice above the crew quarters to reduce radiation exposure while also still allowing light to pass through ice and surrounding materials. The water-ice fills and freezes within cellular pockets of the precision-manufactured inflatable membrane. The interior of the habitat would be insulated from the ice with a cellular layer of carbon dioxide, which can easily be extracted from the Martian atmosphere.

Mars Ice Home exterior by NASA, SEArch+ & Clouds AO

Mars Ice Home greenhouse by NASA, SEArch+ & Clouds AO

Mars Ice Home by NASA, SEArch+ & Clouds AO

Sunday, June 30, 2019

3D-printed Mars habitat MARSHA by AI SpaceFactory

Architectural and technology design agency AI SpaceFactory is the team that won NASA’s 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge for Mars. Their design "MARSHA" of an egg-shaped, dual shell habitat is a principal rethinking of what a Martian habitat could be - not another low-lying dome or confined, half-buried structure but a bright, multi-level, corridor-free home that stands upright on the surface of Mars.

Here are some impressive conceptual design images for the project:

3D-printed Mars base MARSHA in duststorm by AI SpaceFactory (NASA’s 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge)

3D-printed Mars base MARSHA by AI SpaceFactory (NASA’s 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge)

3D-printed Mars base MARSHA by AI SpaceFactory (NASA’s 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge)

Sunday, April 28, 2019

1 million human colony city on Mars by Max Rymsha

On 2017 HP announced the "Mars Home Planet" rendering challenge inviting participants "to imagine, create and virtually experience a sophisticated civilization on Mars. A new home for one million humans." Swedish architect and CG artist Max Rymsha was one of the winners of the challenge creating his concept "Between The Red Mountains" for a sustainable city on Mars for 1 million humans. His inspiring vision includes several large-scale biodomes, SpaceX's Starships (in their 2016 design) for Earth-Mars transportation, hyperloop lines for intercity transportation, electric rovers and quadcopters for local transportation, laboratories of NASA, etc.; most of the city (not shown in the illustration) is underground for better radiation and asteroid protection.

1 million human colony city on Mars by Max Rymsha
Infographic version with annotations:
1 million human colony city on Mars by Max Rymsha - infographic

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)

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

Monday, February 25, 2019

SpaceX explorers digging out Opportunity by Leonhard Loacker

Picture of the Day 25/2/2019 - Drawing of future SpaceX explorers digging out NASA's Opportunity rover on Mars by young Austrian artist Leonhard Loacker. More of his art on his Instagram profile.

SpaceX explorers digging out NASA Opportunity rover on Mars by Leonhard Loacker

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Heavy Mars trucks by Blackbird Interactive

Picture of the Day 9/2/2019 - painting of heavy-duty Mars trucks by Canadian game developer Blackbird Interactive for its "Project Eagle" - a 3D interactive Mars base free to play on Steam and developed in collaboration with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The interactive base is intended as NASA's vision of what a human base on Mars would look like in 100 years.
Here are HD images from the project.
(Open link in new tab to view ⇩ in full resolution)
Heavy Mars trucks painting by Blackbird Interactive, NASA JPL

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Mars colony dome painting by Blackbird Interactive

Picture of the Day 24/1/2019 - painting of Mars colony dome by Canadian game developer Blackbird Interactive for its "Project Eagle" - a 3D interactive Mars base free to play on Steam and developed in collaboration with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The interactive base is intended as NASA's vision of what a human base on Mars would look like in 100 years.
Here are HD images from the project.
(Open link in new tab to view ⇩ in full resolution)
Mars colony dome painting by Blackbird Interactive, NASA JPL

Friday, January 11, 2019

Retro style Mars rover by David A. Hardy

Picture of the Day 11/1/2019 - a small ATV type, retro style Mars rover in front of NASA's lander (1981) by classical space artist David A. Hardy. More of his Mars art here.

Retro style Mars rover by David A. Hardy

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

NASA's InSight lander on Mars by Charlie Burgess

Yesterday NASA's InSight lander successfully landed on Mars at Elysium Planitia; to celebrate the landing British digital artist Charlie Burgess has created this picture of the probe. More of his art here.
(Open link in new tab to view ⇩ in full resolution)
NASA's InSight lander on Mars by Charlie Burgess

Friday, October 26, 2018

Mars base by XArc & James Vaughan

Picture of the Day 26/10/2018 - Mars base with 3D-printed modules by XArc (Exploration Architecture corporation) and James Vaughan - one of the 10 finalist teams in phase 3 (virtual model stage) of NASA’s 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge.
(Open link in new tab to view ⇩ in full resolution)
Mars base by XArc & James Vaughan (NASA 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge)

Thursday, September 27, 2018

SpaceX Big Falcon Ship docked to Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway by Mack Crawford

Picture of the Day 27/9/2018 - the 2nd stage of SpaceX's Big Falcon Rocket (BFR) - the Big Falcon Ship/Spaceship (BFS) v2018 docked to NASA's future Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway by digital artist Mack Crawford (brickmack). More of his space concept art here.
(Open link in new tab to view ⇩ in full resolution)
SpaceX Big Falcon Ship docked to NASA Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway by Mack Crawford

Monday, July 9, 2018

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Mars, Phobos and Deimos

Picture of the Day 28/2/2018 - Mars and its moons Phobos and Deimos; a collage by NASA.
(Open link in new tab to view ⇩ in HD wallpaper resolution)
Mars and its moons Phobos and Deimos

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Lockheed Martin's Mars Base Camp concept

In a few hours at 2017 International Astronautical Conference American aerospace, advanced technologies and defense company Lockheed Martin will give an update to its Mars Base Camp concept. If accepted by NASA the Mars Base Camp would be a manned "Mars-orbiting science laboratory where astronauts can perform real-time scientific exploration, analyze Martian rock and soil samples, and confirm the ideal place to land humans on the surface in the 2030s." The proposed mission would send humans to Mars orbit by 2028 and is "designed to be led by NASA and its international and commercial partners."

Recently Lockheed Martin has released some concept images for the mission (open link in new tab to view in full resolution):

Lockheed Martin Mars lander docked with Mars Base Camp

Lockheed Martin Mars Base Camp configuration