20Apr2012

Buzz Aldrin Backs Aussie As First On Mars

Buzz Aldrin backs an Australian to be the first person on Mars. Really! The second man to step foot on the Moon – Buzz Aldrin – believes an Australian could become the first to walk on the Red Planet. We’ve been in the background too long and our time has come.

The astronaut who has dedicated his life to space exploration said Australia had a pioneering spirit and our red centre was the perfect location for training missions should the human race choose to colonise the red planet.

“There is a pioneering spirit here, just like there was in America. The pilgrims that came over on the Mayflower did not wait around for a return trip. And the prisoners being sent to Australia, there was no return trip,” Mr Aldrin said during his visit to Sydney.

“I think Mars is a better place to set up a growing permanence. The Moon is relatively close and if it gets troublesome you can go back home, and back again, it’s a short distance. But to go to Australia, that is a long distance, Mars is a long distance.

“People are going to go there and they are going to stay there. They are going to train and be specialists conducting the experiments that are necessary to build an expanding survivability of humans. Not easy … not at all easy.”

He said it would require bold leadership, and global co-operation. “Everything costs money, that’s the great equaliser, no one has enough to do everything so everyone needs to contribute a little bit.

“I would like to see the leadership we invested in our country in the Cold War in space exploration protected and used, not just a flash in the pan.” He said Australia’s deserts could provide Mars-like territory for training.

“I’m sure that there are places in the deserts in Australia that could be similar to where we might want to go on Mars. “We could use that as a simulated area. It would be expensive transporting things there.

“(Mars) is a great opportunity, it’s always been there beckoning to us. I would feel disappointed if we neglected that challenge. “Mr Aldrin said Mars could be more accommodating than the Moon, which he labelled a barren, “magnificent desolation” and a forbidding place.

“Mars has a bit of air pressure, maybe we can build up that atmosphere to be a bit more accommodating to humans.” An exhibition on Mr Aldrin’s life opened at the Tom Dunne Gallery last night. Source: News.Com.au

Earth’s Asteroid Craters  Give Clues In Search For Life On Mars

A crater from a long-ago comet or asteroid impact in the Chesapeake Bay is buried beneath hundreds of feet of sediment. (Credit: Nicolle Rager-Fuller, NSF)

Craters made by asteroid impacts may be the best place to look for signs of life on other planets, a study suggests. Tiny organisms have been discovered thriving deep underneath a site in the US where an asteroid crashed some 35 million years ago.

Scientists believe that the organisms are evidence that such craters provide refuge for microbes, sheltering them from the effects of the changing seasons and events such as global warming or ice ages. The study suggests that crater sites on Mars may also be hiding life, and that drilling beneath them could lead to evidence of similar life forms.

Researchers from the University of Edinburgh drilled almost 2 km below one of the largest asteroid impact craters on Earth, in Chesapeake Bay, US. Samples from below ground showed that microbes are unevenly spread throughout the rock, suggesting that the environment is continuing to settle 35 million years after impact.

Scientists say that heat from the impact of an asteroid collision would kill everything at the surface. However, fractures to rocks deep below would enable water and nutrients to flow in and support life. Some organisms grow by absorbing elements such as iron from rock.

“The deeply fractured areas around impact craters can provide a safe haven in which microbes can flourish for long periods of time. Our findings suggest that the subsurface of craters on Mars might be a promising place to search for evidence of life,” said Professor Charles Cockell, of the School of Physics and Astronomy. Source: Message to Eagle

Read previous post:
See Big Bright Saturn This Weekend

See Big and Bright Saturn This Weekend. Now is the...

1960’s Space Oddity Remembered

1960's Space Oddity Remembered Ok, here's one for all the...

Discovery’s Final Resting Place

Discovery's Final Resting Place Space Shuttle Discovery, atop its Shuttle...

Close