- Martian Dunes Flying in Formation http://t.co/PIBl5ppt8E They look a little like giant Star Trek insignia, don't they? ->
- Planetary Radio: Getting Humans to Mars Without Breaking the Bank http://t.co/7NlNjvrAzY with NASA's Harley Thronson ->
- HiRISE image: Dunes in Leighton Crater http://t.co/OJ1mGqk9ze ->
- VIDEO: At Mars, Is the Doctor In? How Telemedicine Could Help a Mars Medical Emergency http://t.co/F9QEbXpLgS ->
- Could the first crew on NASA's Alabama-designed Space Launch System be bound for Mars? http://t.co/Z12EhSHLU6 ->
- Tiny Blobs and Tunnels in Meteorite Revive Debate Over Life on Mars http://t.co/VgL7Qj1fls ->
- Meteorite May Harbor Evidence of Mars Life: Study http://t.co/WARAyyyUe2 ->
- Mars Arctic 365 Mission Semi-Finalists Announced by @TheMarsSociety http://t.co/sCvm4f87ZJ ->
- NASA Scientists Find Evidence of Water in Meteorite, Reviving Debate Over Life on Mars http://t.co/CcbLov0RQU ->
- Relay Radio on Mars-Bound NASA Craft Passes Checkout http://t.co/2Thgl6TiNk ->
- VIDEO: 2021 Earth-Venus-Mars-Earth Free Return Trajectory http://t.co/zOH8yu2Bq0 ->
- Scientists at work: living on a simulated Mars http://t.co/KNTVgqTbTI ->
- RT @joostschuur: Facebook paid more money for WhatsApp than @NASA’s entire yearly budget. Maybe @jankoum Can send humans to Mars now. ->
- From India, Proof That a Trip to Mars Doesn’t Have to Break the Bank http://t.co/beSa9YTIZm ->
- One-way trip to Mars prohibited in Islam http://t.co/5ipGmWHUoE ->
- Winter in the Antarctic Shows What It Will Take to Live on Mars http://t.co/3fH2Fb9Rbv ->
- University Rover Challenge Registration Sets New Record with 31 Student Teams Set to Compete http://t.co/yfTn7ypDuB ->
- Mars 2020 Contamination Study Panel solicits your participation http://t.co/sACZYHdLEx ->
- A Vast Oceanus Borealis May have Once Covered 1/3 of Mars http://t.co/ON0Lvaf6RZ ->
- The Martian: A Novel by Andy Weir http://t.co/VspRlwwGET via @TheMarsSociety ->
- NASA Mars Orbiter Views Opportunity Rover on Ridge http://t.co/TbathGtHlo ->
- RT @esaoperations: #MarsExpress team studies Whipple shielding as one way to protect the spacecraft #SidingSpring http://t.co/wcqEO0Nj2S ht… ->
- Curiosity Rover Adds Reverse Driving for Wheel Protection http://t.co/hjW7NIw4bD ->
- Bitcoin on Mars: @marscoinorg is planetary cryptocurrency – bootstrapping Mars colonization and planetary financial system for Mars ->
- VIDEO: Mars Arctic 365 (MA365) Program Overview by @TheMarsSociety http://t.co/kGhhPswnwP ->
- Video: Colonizing Mars with Robert Zubrin http://t.co/n7lBtkGnlg 500 years ago, what will be remembered for? via @marscoinorg ->
- No Fresh Mars Impact Crater Spied Near Opportunity http://t.co/pVAlqWR4A2 ->
- How NASA's @MAVEN2Mars Probe Will Investigate Mars Atmosphere Mystery http://t.co/dIUsXXFI2O ->
- Help @TheMarsSociety Prepare for Red Planet Exploration by Donating to Mars-on-Earth Simulation http://t.co/ADLT1RZOMM ->
- You can find Martian Soil on Google+ too (with Christopher Adam's help): http://t.co/77fr09bAs0. The Facebook page never really took off. ->
- How Long Does It Take to Get to Mars? http://t.co/2ZWx9CusmJ ->
- How to Terraform Mars, by @MarsEduNicole http://t.co/pzbPjppUnM ->
- No Mars For Muslims? Mars One Asks Imams To Rescind Fatwa http://t.co/Es0nsSl8O6 ->
- Support MA365, @TheMarsSociety's One-Year Mars Simulation in the Canadian Arctic with your donation http://t.co/oxXlTI2RFT ->
With the introduction of the new pages feature on Google+, I’ve finally been able to set up a Martian Soil profile over there too. I hesitated to use my regular profile, because of the many non-space related posts I make over there.
So if you’ve made Google+ your home over the last few months, you can now circle Martian Soil for your usual dose of curated Mars news. I’m looking forward to seeing how the comment abilities there lead to more interaction and discussions with fellow Mars fans.
Otherwise, Mars news is still being posted over at the Twitter account.
With the new year upon us, here’s a short list of Mars themed events, conferences, releases and anniversaries to look out for in 2011. If I’ve missed any, or you have an update, drop me a line.
For all the latest news on Mars events and more, follow Martian Soil on Twitter.
- 1/1 2011 (5th) Mars Desert Research Station field season starts.
- 1/4 7 year anniversary of Spirit on Mars (miss ya, buddy).
- 1/13 Mars Program Update: From “Follow the Water” to “Seeking Signs of Life” at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington DC (archive video of the event).
- 1/17-21 Landing Site Characterization and Selection for Future Exploration Missions, a Europlanet JRA1 Workshop in Leiden/Noordwijk, The Netherlands.
- 1/25 7 year anniversary of Opportunity on Mars.
- 2/4 Mars in conjunction with the Sun from Earth, in Capricornus. Earth in superior conjunction with the Sun as seen from Mars. This will impact communication with the Mars Explorations Rovers currently on the Red Planet.
- 2/8 Fourth International Workshop on the Mars Atmosphere: Modelling and Observations in Paris, France.
- Simulated ‘landing’ of the Mars 500 2/12, with a Mars walk planned between 2/14 an 2/22 (See full list of February 2011 Mars 500 activities).
- 2/23 48th 2001 Mars Odyssey Project Science Group Meeting
- 2/25 The Mars Society presents: Mars Direct: Humans to the Red Planet within a Decade, by Robert Zubrin. 1:30 PM at the University of Washington, Seattle.
- 3/1 Proposal due date for scientific investigations and analyses for the 2016 ExoMars mission.
- 3/9 Mars in perihelion (closest to the Sun).
- 3/11 Mars Needs Moms animated Disney movie debuts.
- 3/21 Fifth Mars Science Lab Landing Site Community Workshop (see also, the September 2010 review of the fourth workshop from the Planetary Society).
- 4/6-7 The International Space Station and Mars Conference at George Washington University in Washington DC, by Explore Mars, Inc.
- 4/14 Life on Mars: Tales from the New Frontier release. Jonathan Strahan’s anthology of original Mars themed science fiction short stories, including works by Kim Stanley Robinson, Cory Doctorow and Nancy Kress.
- 4/19 Robert Zubrin‘s birthday, founder of the Mars society and leading manned Mars mission advocate.
- 5/7 2011 Mars Desert Research Station field season ends.
- 5/14-15 JPL open house in Pasadena, CA. Get up close with Mars rover tech/science and talk to some of the mission team. Previous years have allowed tours of the facility where Mars Science Lab Curiosity is currently being built (see my pics from the 2009 event).
- 5/31 Red Faction: Armageddon video game release.
- 6/2-4 University Rover Challenge at the Mars Desert Research Station in Hanksville, Utah. Design and build the next generation of Mars rovers that will one day work alongside human explorers in the field.
- 6/13-15 The International Conference on Exploring Mars Habitability in Lisbon, Portugal. Part of Mars Week in Europe.
- 6/16-17 First International Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group (MEPAG) Meeting (PDF link) in Lisbon, Portugal.
- 7/23-24 11th Australian Mars Exploration Conference (AMEC 2011) in Perth, Western Australia.
- 8/4-7 14th Mars Society Convention in Dallas, TX (Embassy Suites, Grapevine TX). See also: Dallas Mars Society Chapter.
- 9/30-10/2 11th European Mars Convention (EMC11) in Neuchâtel, Switzerland.
- 10/16 Mars 500 mission hits day 500.
- Preliminary return date for the Mars 500 mission.
- 11/7 2011 launch window opens for optimal trips to Mars, bringing with it possible launch dates for the Russian/Chinese Phobos Grunt/Yinghuo 1 (now slated for 2013 though) and Finnish MarsMetNet missions.
- 11/9-10: Women and Mars conference.
- 11/25: Launch date for NASA’s Mars Science Lab ‘Curiosity’ rover (planned landing between August 6 and August 20, 2012).
- 11/25-27:2011 National Mars Education Coference in Cocoa Beach, FL.
- 12/25 Mars Express celebrates 8 years in orbit
Further Mars calendars available at Berkeley Astrobiology and the Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group newsletter (PDF link).
Note, an originally scheduled Eighth International Conference on Mars at Caltech for July 2011 appears to have been rescheduled for 2013.
While you’re here, check out my other curated post on Mars themed Twitter accounts.
The main action is still over on the Martian Soil Twitter account, but I wanted to take advantage of the spacious comforts of a full blog post to highlight some of the other Twitter dedicated to Mars exploration coverage:
- HiRISE: High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). Taking beautiful 25 cm/px pics of Mars 24/7.
- MarsCuriosity: NASA/JPL’s 2011 Mars Science Lab rover mission.
- MarsPhoenix: Now dormant Phoenix Mars Lander mission to the Martian north polar region.
- MarsRovers: Spirit and Opportunity rovers, roaming the Red Planet on six wheels since Jan 2004.
- MAVEN2Mars: The Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution Mission (MAVEN), set to launch in 2013.
- MarsMetNet: 2011 MetNet atmospheric science mission to Mars by he Finnish Meteorological Institute.
Mars groups and organizations
- DallasMars: Dallas chapter of the Mars Society.
- ExploreMars: An organization dedicated to seeing humans explore Mars, with educational outreach programs.
- KiwisOnMars: Mars Society New Zealand chapter.
- Mars_500: International Mars 500 experiment, based out of Moscow, simulating 500 days of a trip to Mars in closed quarters.
- MarsDrive: Striving to be the most outreach-oriented space group.
- MarsInstitute: Institute to further the scientific study, exploration and public understanding of Mars.
- MarsSanDiego: San Diego chapter of the Mars Society.
- MarsSociety: Italian Mars Society.
- tmse_sm: Mars Society España.
- TerraformMars: Promotes all news, discussions, and art concerning space.
- TheMarsSociety: Official Mars Society account. On To Mars!
Mars scientists and engineers
- colinpillinger: Colin Pillinger, planetary scientist and principal investigator for the 2003 British Beagle 2 Mars lander project.
- Marscryovolc: Planetary Geologist, Spacetweep, NASA fan, Astronomer, Volcanologist.
- marsroverdriver: Scott Maxwell, NASA’s lead rover driver for Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity (AKA The Coolest Job on Earth and Mars).
- MarsRoverGirl: JPL robot engineer with coveted title of “Mars Rover Driver” by Julie Townsend. Helping girls discover robotics and technology.
- marssciencegrad: Studied Mars using visible and near-IR spectroscopy and now working on the Mars Science Lab rover.
Alas, no Twitter accounts for people like Stephen Squyres or Robert Zubrin. I guess they’re busy?
Mars enthusiasts bloggers and news sites
- LandOnMars: Researching how to speak to the public about sending humans to Mars.
- mars_stu: Stuart Atkinson, Astronomy writer and outreach educator and ‘frustrated martian’.
- MarsNewsDotCom: Veteran Mars News blog, now with its own Twitter account.
- marstoday: SpaceRef’s Mars Today Twitter account.
- martiansoil: This very own humble little dedicated Mars exploration and pop culture Twitter account. All the fresh dirt on the Planet Mars!
- nivnac: James Canvin, maintainer of Martian Vistas: pictures taken by Spirit, Opportunity and Phoenix on Mars.
- Orbit_Mars: French language site dedicated to Mars exploration.
- themeridianjournal: A chronicle of planetary exploration, by Paul Scott Anderson.
- tourdemars: Unofficial account of MarsNews.com.
- udolein: Udo Günther. German hobby Mars Enthusiast since Viking 1 + 2.
- Ares: In persona accounts from the forth planet itself.
- KillerCuriosity: Unofficial parody site for NASA’s 2011 Mars Science Laboratory rover.
- ThePlanetMars: Another Mars persona account, albeit inactive.
- BuyPlanetMars: Scam to sell you real estate on Mars. Don’t visit them.
Am I missing any? Send in your Twitter account handle to get it listed here.
There’s a great number of space enthusiast folks on Twitter, but I’d like to keep this list limited to people directly connected to Mars exploration or accounts predominantly dedicated to Mars. For other accounts to follow, wander over to the Space Tweep Society, or check out the space section on WeFollow.
While you’re here, check out my other curated post on 2011 Mars events.
For a couple of weeks now, I’ve been cross-posting Mars related news from the Twitter account to a new Facebook fan page. With the help of some invites by friends and a small run of Facebook ads, I’ve been able to secure the 100 fans needed there to obtain the handy custom URL http://facebook.com/martiansoil. Yay me.
Twitter cross-posting to this blog appears to have broke a longer while ago and I’m not sure why yet. I recommend you follow the updates on Twitter or Facebook in the mean time. There’s even a Friendfeed group, if that’s your poison.
Update: Due to the manual way I have to post items to the Facebook page (to get the pretty image previews and summaries), I suspended updates to Facebook a while back. You’ll have to follow the Twitter account at this point.