In recent years, the Red Planet has been bombarded with space craft, rovers, observers, orbiters and studied intently from here on Earth. But the idea of human boots on Mars has remained in the realm of science fiction. Now though, serious planning is underway, for missions and even colonies there, and possibly much sooner than you might think. (digital post by Faith Meixell)
- John Gianforte– equipment editor at Sky & Telescope Magazine in Cambridge, MA. He is a co-founder of the Astronomical Society of Northern New England, and his website is theskyguy.org.
- Mal Cameron- retired astronomy & space educator at the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center.
*The New England Fall Astronomy Festival takes place this weekend (October 17-18) at UNH Durham.
- Sky & Telescope Magazine put out a special Mars issue last month: The issue contains articles written by leading experts in Mars science and exploration, including Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin, science-fiction author Gregory Benford, NASA scientists Chris McKay and Matt Golombek, and rover imaging scientist Jim Bell.
- NASA video about the comet predicted to make a close flyby of Mars this weekend:
- A report on India's successful Mars orbiter mission: It's a historic day for India's maturing space program, as its first-ever interplanetary explorer successfully slipped into orbit around the Red Planet. The Mars Orbiter Mission, informally called Mangalyaan (Hindi for "Mars-craft"), became the planet's newest robotic satellite at 7:30 a.m. India Standard Time on September 24th.