Sunday, December 19, 2021

Map of shallow subsurface water in Valles Marineris on Mars

On December 15 scientists from Space Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow, Russia revealed a discovery of an area with an unusually large amount of hydrogen in the Valles Marineris canyon system on Mars. Assuming the hydrogen is bound into water molecules, as much as 40% of the near-surface material in Candor Chaos region appears to be water. The discovery was made by neutron detector FREND on ESA&Roscosmos's ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter orbiting Mars since October 2016. FREND is mapping the distribution of hydrogen in the uppermost meter 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.

While water is known to exist on Mars, most is found in the planet’s cold polar regions as ice. Typically water ice is not found exposed at the surface near the equator, as temperatures there are not cold enough for exposed water ice to be stable. Minerals seen in this part of Mars typically contain only a few percent water, much less than is evidenced by these new observations. We found a central part of Valles Marineris to be packed full of water – far more water than we expected. This is very much like Earth’s permafrost regions, where water ice permanently persists under dry soil because of the constant low temperatures,” told one of the scientists involved in the study.

These are very inspiring discoveries for the future human colonization of Valles Marineris region we have imagined in our speculative Mars Colonization Timeline!

Water in Valles Marineris region on Mars traced by ESA-Roscosmos ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter
⇧ In the area C up to 40% of the near-surface material appears to be composed of water (by weight).
The most water-rich area in Valles Marineris region is located in Candor Chaos:
Subsurface water-ice in Valles Marineris region on Mars
Subsurface water-ice in Candor Chaos (Valles Marineris) on Mars

HERE is global-scale map of shallow subsurface water distribution on Mars published in 2019.

Friday, December 10, 2021

Lunar colony in season 5 of The Expanse

After the bombardment of Earth Lovell City on Luna (the Moon) became the de facto capital of United Nations, 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. Luna functions as a way station between Earth and the rest of the Solar system, and its spaceport at Lovell City serves as a natural meeting place between residents of the inner planets and Belters. Due to its lower gravity, Luna is the only body in the inner system that Belters can easily visit. UN citizens living on Luna are generally wealthier than most of their counterparts on Earth.

As Mars was one of the major locations in season 4 of the show, Luna is in season 5, coming into spotlight after the bombardment of Earth. Here is a collection with HD images from the Lunar scenes in season 5 of The Expanse. There are a few more from the trailer of the season.

Lunar colony (Aldrin Docks at Lovell City) in season 5 of The Expanse

Lunar colony (Lovell City) in season 5 of The Expanse
Avasarala looking at Lovell City:
Avasarala looking at Lunar colony (Lovell City) in season 5 of The Expanse
Memorial at Lovell City:
Memorial at Lunar colony (Lovell City) in season 5 of The Expanse

Monday, December 6, 2021

SpaceX Legacy: episode 1: Manned Mission to Mars

YouTuber iamVisual has started to produce animated short series about the legacy of SpaceX – the leading NewSpace company developing innovative and cost-effective rocket and space technologies, including the first fully and rapidly reusable rocket system – two-stage super heavy-lift Starship rocket. The 1st episode of the series visualizes first human mission to Mars. You can watch it here:

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Human mission to Martian moons Phobos and Deimos by Pascal Lee

Over the years planetary scientist, the director of Haughton-Mars Project, Pascal Lee has created a set of paintings depicting human mission to the Martian moons Phobos and Deimos. Here are several of them. More of his Mars related paintings here.
Spaceship approaching Mars with Phobos and Deimos in sight:
Human mission to Martian moons by Pascal Lee
Landing on Deimos, the farthest and smallest of the two Martian moons:
Human mission to Martian moons - landing on Deimos - by Pascal Lee
Astronauts exploring Deimos:
Human mission to Martian moons - exploring Deimos - by Pascal Lee
Landing on Phobos, the closest and largest of the two Martian moons:
Human mission to Martian moons - landing on Phobos - by Pascal Lee

Thursday, November 25, 2021

SpaceX Starship next to SLS rolling out of NASA's VAB by James Vaughan

Picture of the Day 25/11/2021 - SpaceX's full stack Starship Super Heavy rolling out of NASA's Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) next to Space Launch System (SLS) rocket at Kennedy Space Center by American photographer and concept artist James Vaughan. More of his aerospace and defense concept art here.

SpaceX's Starship rolling out of NASA's Vehicle Assembly Building next to SLS rocket by James Vaughan

Saturday, November 20, 2021

Domed Martian city by Indranil Saha

Picture of the Day 20/11/2021 - an early human base on Mars in front of a domed city (Gaia-1) by graphic designer Indranil Saha (known as encreate) from India. More of his art here.

Domed Martian city by Indranil Saha (Encreate)

Sunday, November 7, 2021

SpaceX Starship at Mars Base Alpha by Caspar Stanley

SpaceX's Starship standing in front of a geodesic dome at Mars Base Alpha by Danish freelance 3D artist Caspar Stanley. It's quite likely the first crewed Starships sent to Mars and acting as temporary habitats for the first settlers will stay on Mars forever, forming the basis of Mars Base Alpha built around them, as can be seen in SpaceX's own renderings.

SpaceX Starship at Mars Base Alpha by Caspar Stanley

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Mars outpost by Robert McCall

Picture of the Day 02/11/2021 - An early human outpost on Mars consisting of several landers and rovers by classical space artist Robert McCall.

Mars outpost (1986) by Robert McCall

Friday, October 29, 2021

Squid Game season 2 on Mars

Squid Game season 2 on Mars with Player #456 dressed as SpaceX's Starman and playing* "Red light, Green light". Created by French urban artist Colin Doublier.

Squid Game season 2 on Mars

Saturday, October 23, 2021

Martian aesthetics of Dune (2021) movie

The most recent adaptation of Frank Herbert's 1965 novel "Dune" – Denis Villeneuve's movie "Dune: Part One" (2021) was one of the most anticipated sci-fi movies of the year. It was released internationally on September 15 and in the US on October 22. The movie is brilliant and without a doubt the best visual adaptation of the famous novel. We are waiting for Part Two.

Dune has always been somewhat Martian. And the most recent movie is not an exception. Granted, planet Dune is a hot desert, not cold as Mars is, has breathable atmosphere, advanced life forms and Earth-like gravity but the scenery is pretty Martian. The landscapes in Villeneuve's movie has even been filmed in the same place where The Martian (2015) has been – Wadi Rum desert in Jordan. And it doesn't stop at landscapes – the Brutalist buildings of Arrakeen has Martian vibes as well.
Arrakeen Palace:
Arrakeen Palace in Dune (2021) movie
Ornithopter flying in Dune's sky:
Ornithopter in Dune (2021) movie
Atreides spaceships and troops arriving on Dune:
Atreides spaceships in Dune (2021) movie
Arrakeen city:
Arrakeen in Dune (2021) movie
Ornithopter leaving research station:
Ornithopter leaving research station in Dune (2021) movie