Mars special section

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Study raises doubts about viability of Mars One
Posted: Wed, Oct 15 8:29 AM ET (1229 GMT)
Mars One base illustration (Mars One/Bryan Versteeg) A proposed privately-developed one-way mission to Mars would likely kill its crew within months of arriving on the planet, according to an MIT study. The analysis of Mars One, performed by MIT researchers and presented at the recent International Astronautical Congress, concluded that the crops needed to sustain the Mars settlers would create excess oxygen, which would require additional nitrogen to dilute it to safe levels. That would deplete gas supplies intended to compensate for leaks, causing a drop in overall air pressure in the habitat over time and suffocating settlers as soon as 68 days after arrival. The Mars One plan, the MIT researchers also found, underestimated the amount of spare parts needed to maintain the facility; the additional supplies would require 15 Falcon Heavy launches versus the 6 in the original plan. Mars One, a Dutch organization that proposed sending four people to Mars on a one-way mission in the 2020s at a cost of just $6 billion, has argued that technology exists to remove excess oxygen from the habitat's air, but the MIT study notes none of those systems have been developed for use in space.

Mars spacecraft prepare to observe comet flyby
Posted: Tue, Oct 14 8:41 AM ET (1241 GMT)
Mars and Comet Siding Spring illus. (NASA) An international fleet of spacecraft orbiting and on the surface of Mars are planning to observe a comet as it makes a close flyby of Mars this coming Sunday. Comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring will pass less than 140,000 kilometers from Mars on October 19, with its closest approach at 2:27 pm EDT (1827 GMT). Several NASA spacecraft orbiting Mars, as well as the Curiosity and Opportunity rovers, plan to make observations of the comet as it flies by Mars, although the orbiters will be positioned on the opposite side of Mars from the comet at closest approach to minimize the risk of damage from cometary dust. ESA's Mars Express and India's Mars Orbiter Mission, two other spacecraft orbiting Mars, also plan to observe the comet during its flyby. Siding Spring is the first comet coming in directly from the distant Oort Cloud to be observed up close by spacecraft. Other spacecraft orbiting the Earth, and groundbased telescopes, plan to observe the comet.

NASA and ISRO sign agreement on Mars, Earth science cooperation
Posted: Sat, Oct 4 9:27 AM ET (1327 GMT)
The space agencies of India and the United States signed an agreement this week to cooperate on both an Earth sciences mission and Mars exploration....

Indian spacecraft enters orbit around Mars
Posted: Wed, Sep 24 7:19 AM ET (1119 GMT)
India's first mission to Mars successfully entered orbit around the Red Planet early Wednesday. The Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) spacecraft performed a 24-minute...

India Mars mission tests engine prior to arrival
Posted: Tue, Sep 23 12:55 PM ET (1655 GMT)
India's first Mars mission successfully tested the engine it will use this week to go into orbit around the Red Planet. The Mars Orbiter...

Monday, October 20
NASA's Mars Odyssey Orbiter Watches Comet Fly Near
NASA/JPL — 5:34 am ET (0934 GMT)
NASA's MAVEN Studies Passing Comet and Its Effects
NASA/JPL — 5:34 am ET (0934 GMT)
Op-Ed: Hey, MIT — What about success on Mars?
Digital Journal — 5:31 am ET (0931 GMT)
Hiding behind Mars, MOM captures comet
The Times of India — 5:22 am ET (0922 GMT)
Hypervelocity comet passes within 87,000 miles of Mars
Washington Times — 5:17 am ET (0917 GMT)
Comet hurtles past Mars in rare celestial event
Deutsche Welle — 5:15 am ET (0915 GMT)
Comet squeaks by Mars
Al Jazeera America — 5:11 am ET (0911 GMT)

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