Space

Is It Possible to Live In Mars?

What Is Mars?

Is It Possible to Live In MarsMars is one of the 9 planets in the solar system and is the fourth planet from the sun. To be more precise, it is about 230 kilometers from the sun. Mars orbital period is 687 earth days. A day on Mars is slightly longer than a day on earth i.e. 24 hours, 39 minutes and 35 seconds. A Martian year therefore is equal to 1 year, 320 days and 18 hours. It is said to be created as a result of stochastic process. It is nicknamed the “Red Planet” because of its reddish appearance caused by iron oxide found on its surface.

This makes it visible even from earth. Mars is almost half the diameter of planet earth and is less dense than earth. Mars has two small moons called Phobos and Deimos. Phobos rises in the west and sets in the east. It rises again after only 11 hours. Deimos on the other hand rises in the east but slowly.

Habitability of Mars

Is It Possible to Live In MarsIn recent times, there have been extensive studies to assess the possibility of human beings living in mars. This is because of all the other 8 planets in the solar system, mars is the only planet that is known to possess most earth-like seasons. This is brought about by the same tilts of both earth and Mars rotational axes. There is however a wide range of temperatures.

As mentioned earlier, mars has a thin atmosphere which inhibits liquid water from existing in large periods for longer periods of time. Planetary habitability can be termed as the capability of a world to possess favorable environmental conditions necessary to facilitate the emergence of life.

Due to Mars past flow of liquid water, it is dubbed as the planet with the most potential for human habitability. Recent studies carried out however show that the water found on the Martian Surface is too salty and acidic which hinders normal terrestrial life.

On a good note however, tests done by the Phoenix Mars lander have revealed that the soil contains alkaline pH with sodium, potassium, sodium and chloride. The nutrients therefore can support life but would require protection from ultra violet (UV) light.

Slight amounts of formaldehyde and methane noticed by mars orbiters are said to be likely evidence of life because the two would swiftly disintegrate in the Martian Atmosphere

Exploration of Mars

Is It Possible to Live In MarsMany countries have in recent times been interested in exploring mars to study its climate, surface and geology. The countries include the United States, Soviet Union, India and Europe. They have used among others crewless spacecrafts like orbiters, rovers and landers.

There are currently 7 active probes in mars (7 orbiters and 2 rovers). Some of the important observations made include possible water flow in warm months and soil containing 1.5-3% water by mass. Elon Musk, a billionaire entrepreneur and SpaceX founder came up with a plan to send passengers to mars in 2024. Most recently, US president Barack Obama improved the U.S policy to follow the mission of sending humans to mars by the next decade.

Challenges Facing Habitability of Mars

  • Mars has less heat transfer across its surface.
  • Inadequate atmospheric pressure required to keep water in liquid form.
  • This is due to the fact that water sublimes in gaseous state.
  • Reduced insulation against solar wind bombardment.

Published: October 25, 2015

Jeff Bezos Unveils New Rocket to Compete with SpaceX

Jeff Bezos’ New Rocket to Compete with SpaceX

Jeff Bezos Unveils New Rocket to Compete with SpaceXThe current CEO and founder of Amazon Inc., Jeff Bezos, on Monday 10th October 2016 unveiled a giant reusable New Rocket. The Rocket is planned to compete with SpaceX’s Falcon 9 owned by Elon Musk who is a renowned billionaire entrepreneur and other companies as well.

He is planning the launch through his Blue Origin LLC space company based in Kent, Washington. By doing this, Bezos will raise the bar on the US commercial space industry by a remarkable margin. The New Glenn Rocket will be able to carry not only astronauts, but also cargo into space.

The fact that thrusters will be usable will save millions of dollars. The New Glenn Rocket is specifically designed for relatively longer missions into deep space, meaning it can reach the moon.

Origin

Jeff Bezos Unveils New Rocket to Compete with SpaceXGlenn got its name from John Glenn, a prominent NASA astronaut who is a famous for being the first ever American to orbit the Earth in the 1960s. John Glenn is the sole survivor of NASA’S Mercury Seven Astronauts. Glenn main purpose is to propel commercial satellites and more interestingly to take people into space.

New Glenn has been unknown to the public for the past four years, as works on it began in 2012. Jeff Bezos is known to be a quiet and secretive man, that’s why the announcement came as a big surprise. He did this in a morning detailed email to Reuters and a twitter post.

Features

The new rocket will be named New Glenn as mentioned. One of its prominent features is that one will be 270 feet (82 meters) tall besides having a thrust of 3.85 million pounds. The 270 feet tall is for the two stage version. The three stage version will feature 313 feet and 23 feet diameter.

SpaceX on the other hand is 230 feet tall and has a thrust of 1.7 million pounds. New Glenn is intended to have a booster which will enable vertical landing. This will make sure that Blue Origin can reuse the rocket’s first stage for satellite launches and even manned spacecraft.

It will have a cluster of 7 main BE-4 engines using liquid oxygen and burning liquefied natural gas. The third stage is fueled by a vacuum optimized BE-3 engine which uses liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen.

Launch

The Blue Origin’s New Glenn is expected to be launched before the year 2020. It is planned to be flied from the world renowned Launch Complex in Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and Kennedy Space Center which is a rocket manufacturing plant adjacent to the former. Blue Origin plans to fly the first stage back to a landing pad for refurbishment and re-flowing, just like Musk did with his Falcon rockets.

SpaceX for instance has managed to land rockets successfully six times, four times in the ocean and twice on the ground. Its 7th landing was slated for September 3rd but unfortunately it did not happen. This was because its rocket was damaged during a routine before-launch test 48 hours before liftoff. This happened at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida and the main cause of the accident is still not known. The damage caused a 200 million dollar loss.

Published: May 26, 2015

Benefits of Having Telescope In Travel

Benefits of Having Telescope In TravelA telescope can be defined as an optical instrument that helps to observe remote objects through collecting electromagnetic radiation. Telescopes gather light. There is a telescope for everyone. It all depends on needs of the user and their budget. Some people are known to be serious sky watchers while others are just beginners, mostly travelers and city dwellers. Travelling has become a new hobby to most people, especially during weekends and vacations.

Outdoor trips are fun and healthy, bringing you awesome experiences and enabling you to network with people from all walks of life. Good memories are made of this. Who doesn’t like making new friends? Every good trip requires adequate planning and the necessary equipment. The normal stuff that people carry include camping gear, cameras, extra clothing, binoculars and most importantly telescopes.

Types of Telescopes

Benefits of Having Telescope In TravelThere are 3 basic types of telescopes namely:

  1. Newtonian telescopes
  2. Refractor telescopes
  3. Catadioptric telescopes

Uses and advantages of carrying a telescope while travelling. Most people or at least a good percentage of people know that a telescope is used to magnify things by making them appear bigger. A telescope collects light and the more the light the clearer the view. Carrying a telescope can help you have a memorable experience just by gazing at the sky or a mars through them.

  • Large aperture enables seeing things the normal eyes cannot.
  • A telescope can be fitted out to record light over a considerable amount of
  • time while eyes don’t have that capability.
  • Superior resolution and can discern objects to fine detail.
  • Higher performance on bad conditions.
  • Require minimum maintenance.

Choosing an Appropriate Telescope

Benefits of Having Telescope In TravelJust like choosing a suitable camera, a telescope needs to be chosen wisely. A telescope is a long-term equipment which you will use for a relatively long period of time. You have to consider a telescope that best suits you. You can also decide to gift a loved one with a telescope, sometimes flowers and chocolates are overrated.

Portability is a major concern when choosing a telescope that you will use when you are travelling. You need to have a telescope that you can carry around be it to a safari in the vast savanna or the balcony of your hotel room. What is important is the beautiful and exciting view through the eyepiece. If you have enough storage, you can opt to choose a bigger telescope to use during your travel.

Another thing to consider is cost. This means that you need to live by your budget to get the most out of your travel expeditions. There is always something for everyone. After window-shopping for telescopes, it is wise to choose the one that has enough horsepower to carry you through years of satisfying viewing without going off budget. Telescopes with bigger apertures are heavier, costly and harder to use.

The purpose for using the telescope is also a point to consider when shopping for one. If you happen to be a photographer for instance, you are recommended to use a straight through model because it can make a clear telephone lens for your camera usually mirror less or DSLR Camera.

Time of use is also an important factor in choosing an appropriate telescope. Some are very helpful during the day than others. During the day for instance, if you are a sports fan or birder, a spotting scope will come in handy due to immense focus and accuracy.

Published: February 17, 2015