last Sunday we met to share our neighboring planet Mars a visit. After we were convinced that Sylvi the food basket had not forgotten, we continued our journey – musically accompanied by Pauli, our banjo player. Our trip was divided into several stations.

First, we stop at  http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/mgs/overvu/slides/02.html and watched us with a comparison between the Earth and Mars and discussed the question: Why are we so fascinated by Mars? What draws us here? The planet is the naked eye at starry nights as a red dot and visible with good binoculars, you can already detect the surface. In 1877 Giovanni Schiaparelli took line was like structures, which he described as Canali. Man came quickly to the idea of channels in these trenches to see the artificial origin are.

Vergleich Erde-Mars

Vergleich Erde-Mars

Subsequently, we wanted our neighbors also know each other personally. Therefore, we next stop on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars There, we learned among other things, that the average temperature of -55 ° C (fortunately our spacesuits had a built in heater) is that the atmosphere of a completely different composition, when our home planet. In addition, we learned that a lot of water as ice is available, and Mars the highest mountain, the Olympos Mons, altitude 26.4 km, our solar system has.

Marsübersicht

Marsübersicht

We made a short stopover on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exploration_of_Mars#Timeline_of_Mars_exploration one and gave us an overview of the other Martian visitors. Because we were curious, we also wanted to learn more.
The first successful visitor was the Mariner 4 probe of NASA, the launch was at 28.11 in 1964, the arrival was on 15.7 1965. The probe made 22 shots from the planet, here
http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/imgcat/html/mission_page/MR_Mariner_4_page1.html can watch.
The first landing took place on 20.7.1976 instead. Our neighbor was visited by  the Viking 1 lander. This led a few attempts to make possible life on Mars demonstrated. The results of the experiments were not meaningful. The lander also has a few nice pictures, which we jointly considered: http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/imgcat/html/mission_page/MR_Viking_1_Lander_page1.html
Viking Lander
Viking Lander
Very detailed images with a resolution of up to 2m, the highly successful Mars Global Surveyor mission of NASA, the probe made 240,000 Images: http://www.msss.com/moc_gallery/
Mars Global Surveyor
Mars Global Surveyor
Then we visited, nor the Missionspage of Mars Express: http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/Mars_Express/index.html
The probe of ESA is still active and making great shots. We watched our video of „Face on Mars“, a rock formation which resembles a face:: http://www.esa.int/esa-mmg/mmg.pl?mission=Mars+Express&type=V and then click  on the Cydonia Face on Mars.
Mars Express

Mars Express

Then we have the question of when the first humans to visit Mars. ESA and NASA plan  both manned missions to Mars. We discussed the risks during this long mission. For all the times it still want to read, you can find here a good summary: http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bemannter_Marsflug
The participants have great mental stability. The ESA MARS500 simulated in this project:
It is the behavior of a small group to narrow space for a prolonged period studied. The participants in the „spaceship“ for 150 days locked up, the food is rationed and communication with the outside world is up to 40 minutes delayed. In a 2nd Stage of the project participants will have 500 days insulated.
Mars 500
Mars 500
In this interview describes the astronaut Ulrich Walter a possible mission to Mars and is also very over the terraforming. After this point we had discussed, we got back on the way home

Ulrich Walter

Ulrich Walter

Some interesting Links
http://www.spacevidcast.com/ Live videos and reports on space missions
NASA NASA HP
Spacecrafts Kits for people who like to tinker
Thank you for the pictures Sylvi
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