The Mars Bizarre
Global Surveyor has been imaging Mars since 1997. Most of
the planet has been imaged and many areas have been covered more
than once and in different seasons of the Martian year.
The images have rocked the space science
community, sparking tremendous arguments over what they say about
the planet's history and current state. The biggest battle concerns
the issue of whether liquid water ever flowed
on the surface and whether any water remains frozen beneath the
among the tens
of thousands of images, there are many bizarre features
that defy quick explanation. These inevitably lead to "face
on Mars" kinds of explanations and even Arthur
C. Clarke claims that some of the pictures can only be explained
as signs of vegetation. Most likely, though,
they arise from less sensational geologic, climate, and chemical
You certainly don't have to accept
the extreme interpretations to find the images fascinating and to
get an appreciation for just how dynamic and diverse Mars really
Checkout some of the galleries listed
in the Strange Mars
part of the Multimedia
section and make some guesses yourself as to what those weird patterns
Claims Of Martian Life Are Erroneous - Spacedaily - Sept.20.01
claims about life on Mars - CNN.com - September 7, 2001 ]
- RLV News
Armadillo Rockets Along
Aerospace continues to make steady
progress in development of vertical-takeoff-vertical-landing rocket
Run by John
Carmack, a co-founder of ID Software and programmer of Quake and
other famous games, the program seeks to make steady step-by-step
towards a manned vertical-takeoff-vertical-landing (VTVL) sub-orbital
rocket vehicle by next year.
Watch a recent video of a test flight
of a unmanned vehicle - RollControl.mpg
- and checkout the construction progess of the manned vehicle -
7, 2001 Flight Test Meeting Notes.
The Armadillo website posts regular
updates on their progress.
Immerse Yourself in Space
Computer space simulators began as
simple lunar lander
games and grew into highly detailed flight
simulators for spacecraft ranging from the Mercury capsules
to the space shuttle.
With the growth of computer power,
it became possible to develop elaborate virtual
reality environments that simulated an entire space
station or a community on the Moon or Mars.
In some cases you are the only participant.
You explore the particular environment and, in some cases, try to
develop it further.
Some of these environments can be experienced
over the web, perhaps via a browser plug-in, and you participate
in the world simultaneously with many other people.
The Mars settlements of the ActiveWorld
site, for example, involves not just exploring the 3-D environment
but actively developing it as well. Thousands of users have participated
in the creation of this virtual space world.
Other such multi-user environments
include the Moon Tycoon online
3-D game and Space City One.